This is the 2nd Part of a 5 part review of the book, “Perfect Daughters: Adult Daughters of Alcoholics .” This Part 2 Section is called “Co-dependently Yours.” In the 1st part of the book, the past and the childhood of the alcoholic daughter was looked at and investigated. Click here for the 1st part if you missed it. In this 2nd part section, the adult daughter and her adulthood will be examined.
Part Two – Codependently Yours
Chapter 7 – Me, Myself and I – How well do you know these people?
In this Chapter, the daughter recognizes characteristics in herself such as:
- Feeling Isolated – Feeling different than others. Without adequate role models, we end up mimicking people on tv or other people.
- Inconsistency – Due to the chaotic earlier home environment, the daughter brings this same inconsistency to her adult life.
- Self- Condemnation – I judge without mercy. I have difficulty having fun. I take myself too seriously.
- Control Needs – The adult daughter has an unusual need to control others and their behavior.
- Approval Needs – The adult daughter has an unusual need to be approved by others, no matter if that person was healthy or not.
- Rigidity – The adult daughter is rigid in behavior and you can tell this by her “stiff posture.”
- Fear of Failure – The adult daughter fears failure.This is a two sided problem. They fear abandonment and rejection from others, yet THEY reject others. They fear failure but they criticize and sabotage their own successes. They fear criticism and judgment, yet THEY criticize and judge.
A good number of daughters were also afraid of making decisions for themselves.
Chapter 8 – What Kind of Adult Daughter Were You?
In this Chapter, the author identifies what kind of adult daughter you turned out to be. Each type has positive AND negative implications.
The Achiever accomplishes many things. She’s competent, in control, good in a crisis, reliable, powerful, successful, survivor and motivates self and others. Her negative characteristics are: overly competitive, marries a dependent person, perfectionistic, difficulty relaxing and having fun, never wrong, fears failure, unable to play, only externally validated, can’t express feelings, workaholic and compulsive. The lists have more negative characteristics than positive.
The goal of the Achiever is to:
- relax and let go
- learn to say “No” to others as well as yourself
- learn to have fun
- being a “human doing” is unnecessary
The daughter that triangulates never deals with anyone or any problem directly. Other people do her dirty work for her. If anything goes wrong in her life, she more than likely will look at others to blame. The adult daughter learned how to triangulate from their parents. The positive aspects are: creative, courage, good under pressure, lots of friends, commands attention, adventuresome. The negative traits are: conduct disorders, poor communication skills, blames world for problems, manipulative, angry, irresponsible, substance abuser, passive-aggressive. Again, the negative aspects of the personality outweigh the positive aspects of the personality.
The goal of the Triangulator is to:
- learn to accept responsibility for your behaviors
- learn appropriate ways to handle or release anger
- learn how to communicate affectively
- learn alternative ways to handle stress
The Passive One
The passive one is never a player in the game but always a spectator. Characteristics are: tolerant, willing to help others, giving, highly adaptable, loyal friends, independent, good listener, empathic. The negative qualities (which outweigh the positive) are: doesn’t stand up for self, low self-worth, always puts others before self, lonely, fears reality, depressed, joyless, used in relationships, eating disorders, confused and shy.
The goal of the Passive One is to :
- learn to take care of yourself first
- do things to raise your self-esteem
- learn to feel good about yourself,
- learn to accept being liked by others
- stop doing what you do not do; take action.
The Other-Directed One
The characteristics of The Other Directed One are to rely heavily on others’ opinions, to hide their own feelings and to feel as if their lives are out of control. You basically portray the direct opposite then your true feelings. The underlying reason why this daughter does this is their fear of abandonment. Showing your “true feelings” would lead to abandonment because she feels her “true feelings” are sad and unacceptable to others.
The positive qualities are: attracts attention, charming, sense of humor, can anticipate needs, adaptable, team player, cooperative, joyful and energetic. The negative characteristics are: overly controlled by others, tense, anxious, over-reactive, shallow relationships, indecisive, no sense of self, overly dependent, needs to please others only, needs constant approval, poor sense of boundaries.
The goal of the Other-Directed One:
- learn to develop a sense of what is right for you
- stop being controlled by others
- learn to express your needs and ideas
- establish your own sense of self and boundaries
- start doing what you want to do
The Conflict Avoider
The Conflict Avoider is the people pleaser. Known as “the Red Crosser,” the Red Crosser will attempt to fix you whether you like it or not. Do you help everyone else with their problems but avoid your own? The conflict avoider is highly vulnerable to being used. She believes that the only time to get attention is when there is an accident or illness. This makes her highly susceptible to being manipulative in getting her needs met.
The positive aspects are: willing to help others, good in a crisis, good neighbor, problem solver, persistent, sensitive to others, good communicator. The negative aspects are: unrealistic opinion of arguments, constantly placating others, powerlessness, depression, denial, takes on too many problems, seldom happy, intimidated, inability to receive, user relationship.
The goal of the Conflict Avoider is to:
- recognize and focus on your own problems
- quit taking on the problems of others
- learn to accept positive attention
- learn the difference between helping someone and feeling responsible for their problems and solutions
- be willing to receive help from others
“When I was young I was never a child.” This is a common statement from a hypermature adult. She takes herself very seriously and anticipates the needs of others around her and plans accordingly. She has a tendency to live vicariously thru her children. Positive aspects of the personality are: organized, analytical, prepared, mature, reliable, intuitive, meets goals, attentive. The negative aspect of the personality are: stress-related illness, not much fun, fearful, driven, avoids taking risks, critical, blames self too much, constantly needs control, difficulty expressing emotions, too serious.
The goal of the hypermature are to:
- learn to relax and have fun
- let others take charge
- allow yourself to express emotions
- adjust your priorities to reduce feeling overwhelmed
- laugh more
The detacher wants to remove herself physically and emotionally from all situations which she perceives as undesirable. Detaching from unhealthy relationships is positive. However, for the detacher the problem arises because she has a tendency to “prematurely close” relationships due to her inability to deal with the problem/issue at hand. If the problem/issue makes her uncomfortable, she leaves. A detaching daughter is very hard to reach.
The positive aspects of the personality are: perceptive, sets limits, can spot trouble, independent, self-motivated, traveler, nonconformist. The negative aspects of the personality are: rigid attitudes, jealous, suspicious, defiant, lonely, non-feeling, high risk for addiction, secretive, inner anger, fears being hurt, denial.
The goal of the Detacher are to:
- learn interpersonal relationship skills
- develop a realistic concept of healthy relationships
- develop alternatives for handling stress
- learn to identify and express your emotions
- learn to accept help and support from others
The invulnerable is the healthy adult daughter which we should all strive to be. Sometimes a miracle occurs and the daughter emerges healthily. The second reason why she emerges healthily is because she has “worked on her issues.” The third reason is because she recognizes the healthy parts of herself and doesn’t deny her unhealthy parts. The healthy invulnerable accepts help when it’s offered and doesn’t deny her feelings.
Characteristics of a healthy adult daughter:
- you know how to attract and use the support of those who are around you
- you have developed a healthy sense of humor
- you have developed a well-balanced sense of autonomy
- you are socially at ease and others are comfortable around you
- you are willing to identify and express your feelings
- you can work through your problems
- you are neither controlled nor controlling
- you do not live in fear of your past, but with the joy of the present
- you like yourself.
Stay tuned for an in depth Chapter of the Co-dependent in Part 3.
Tuesday 7 pm
“Lafayette ACoA”– Asbury Methodist Room 1, 101 Live Oak Blvd. Contact: 337 781-2036
This group is small and would like the support of others.
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