I am an expert at overcoming obstacles. My mother and my sister both dropped out of high school and my father was a mean drunk. When I was 10 years old I made a vow to myself that I would not let history repeat itself. I would not be an alcoholic or an addict and I would certainly not marry one. I would get an education, so that I never felt that I had to stay with a man for security.... more
I am an expert at overcoming obstacles. My mother and my sister both dropped out of high school and my father was a mean drunk. When I was 10 years old I made a vow to myself that I would not let history repeat itself. I would not be an alcoholic or an addict and I would certainly not marry one. I would get an education, so that I never felt that I had to stay with a man for security.
As far as I know, I'm the only person on my side of the family to get a masters degree, a Masters in Counseling which I received in 1987. I broke the cycle, and I am more proud of this than any other achievement I have ever made.
Because I did the work to recover from my childhood, my children are free to live their lives without having a cloak of addiction and codependency covering them, reducing their ability to see themselves and life clearly.
VickiDid I mention that both of my children are college graduates? My daughter is an events manager for the Rose Quarter in Portland, her dream job. My son has a PhD in computer science and works for Google. These are important accomplishments, but more importantly, they are good people. They know how to have fun. They know how to love and be loved.
When my mother was 40 she went blind from a rare genetic disease. She was misdiagnosed, so the rest of her family was told it was not genetic and we had nothing to worry about. This turned out not to be true. When I was 37 a blood vessel burst in my left eye, and I knew I had my mother's eye disease. Shortly thereafter, I lost central vision in my left eye. In 1994 by loss of central vision in my right eye, I became legally blind.
At the time I lost my vision, I was going through a divorce, and my job as a counselor for a school district was disappearing underneath me. I was terrified. I slept with the teddy bear. I was quite serious about sleeping with my teddy bear.
Plugging a cord into an electrical outlet was so difficult for me that I would sometimes break into sobs. If I couldn't plug in a toaster, I thought to myself, how was I going to handle the rest of my life?
Some people would say that I brought this vision loss upon myself because I was afraid of being seen. Maybe so. All I know is that this adventure of blindness has been an amazing gift. I have had to learn to ask for and receive help graciously. I have learned that receiving is more difficult than giving.
When we give we are in control; when we receive we are open and vulnerable and receptive. When we receive we allow other people's molecules to mingle with ours. We are changed forever. Since giving is safer than receiving, it is no wonder so many of us are addicted to over-helping.less