• Anna Belle Wood

Dear Adult Child

Hello, dear one.

You have been on my heart today and I wanted to pass along a self love note. I hope it provides a balm to the pain of our experience. Either way, let me know your thoughts in the comments!

From one adult child to another, adulting after dysfunky sucks! The more I study our plight inside and out, personally and professionally, the clearer I get on the specifics of our particular struggle, the more my love for helping others, particularly those in early recovery, grows.

The core of our struggle is a dark and lonely place. A seemingly endless dizzying tunnel I wouldn't wish on anyone. But, there is hope! There is light on the other side! You can get there. Even if you are only stepping out on faith, at first. Even if you can't yet make out a glimmer.

First off, the darkness you've been feeling is not the truth of who you are. You must learn to see this and challenge it. Let me explain.

Growing up in a home in which our emotional needs were not met alters us on a core level. Our very physiology and neurobiology is impacted. It also shapes how we see ourselves and how we relate with others, setting the stage, for many of us, for further trauma.

It's not difficult to see how moving through the world with the beliefs of someone who's needs were not met in childhood, combined with altered nervous systems, present problems:

Dysfunky thoughts: There's something wrong with me, I'm not good enough, The other person is always right, I must take care of everyone else first, I'm a burden, I must be liked by everyone, I cannot trust.

Dysfunky feelings: Loneliness, shame, fear, guilt, self hate, self doubt, worthlessness, despair.

These dysfunky thoughts and feelings are the tunnel I spoke of earlier. The dark and lonely place we feel there's no escape from when we're going through it in early recovery. But, that's a lie.

Fear is a liar. In this case, put there by deficits in our early caregiving. The truth is, we can find belonging. That's what I, like many helpers before me, am here to assist people in doing.

We rebuild and repair these early deficits by relating with not just any others, but with good enough, safe enough others. People who are capable of creating the emotional safety necessary to heal. Yes, they're out there! With time, effort, and a little luck, we can find them.

When we do, we can finally come home to our selves. Just by being in relationship with good enough, safe enough others, we can regulate our nervous systems and develop new neural pathways. It's wild! In time, the distant concept of self love becomes a lived experience.

Our growth and recovery can spiral up--not just down! We can grow to expect more from life (as we should!). Things really can get so much better. When you've only ever known things to be one way, it can be very difficult to imagine anything else. But, another way is possible.

And, guess what? You deserve it. Sending big love to you wherever you are on the journey.

Got a question for me, a professional survivor? Leave me a comment or send me a message.

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