menu/ THE ROOTS OF ADDICTION

1. All children are born to grow, to develop, to live, to love, and to articulate their needs and feelings for their self-protection.

2. For their development, children need to the respect and protection of adults who take them seriously, love them, and honestly help them to become oriented in the world.

3. When these vital needs are frustrated and children are, instead, abused for the sake of the adults' needs by being exploited, beaten, punished, taken advantage of, manipulated neglected, or deceived without the intervention of any witness, then their integrity will be lastingly impaired.

4. The normal reactions to such injury should be anger and pain. Since children in this hurtful kind of environment are forbidden to express their anger, however, and since it would be unbearable to experience their pain all alone, they are compelled to suppress their feelings, repress all memory of the trauma, and idealize those guilty of the abuse. Later they will have no memory of what was done to them.

5. Dissociated from the original cause, their feelings of anger, helplessness, despair, longing, anxiety, and pain will find expression in destructive acts against others (criminal behavior, mass murder) or against themselves (drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, psychic disorders, suicide).

6. If these people become parents, they will then often direct acts of revenge for their mistreatment in childhood against their own children, whom they use as scapegoats. Child abuse is still sanctioned -- indeed, held in high regard -- in our society as long as it is defined as child-rearing. It is a tragic fact that parents beat their children in order to escape the emotions from how they were treated by their own parents.

7. If mistreated children are not to become criminals or mentally ill, it is essential that at least once in their life they come in contact with a person who knows without any doubt that the environment, not the helpless, battered child, is at fault. In this regard, knowledge or ignorance on the part of society can be instrumental in either saving or destroying a life. Here lies the great opportunity for relatives, social workers, therapists, teachers, doctors, psychiatrists, officials and nurses to support the child and believe in her or him.

8. Till now, society has protected the adult and blamed the victim. It has been abetted in its blindness by theories, still in keeping with the pedagogical principles of our great-grandparents, according to which children are viewed as crafty creatures, dominated by wicked drives, who invent stories and attack innocent parents or desire them sexually. In reality, children tend to blame themselves for their parents' cruelty and to absolve their parents, whom they invariably love of all responsibility.

9. For some years now, it has been possible to prove, through new therapeutic methods, that repressed traumatic experiences of childhood are stored up in the body and, though unconscious, exert an influence even in adulthood. In addition, electronic testing of the fetus has revealed a fact previously unknown to most adults -- that a child responds to and learns both tenderness and cruelty from the very beginning.

10. In the light of this new knowledge, even the most absurd behavior reveals its formerly hidden logic once the traumatic experiences of childhood need no longer remain shrouded in darkness.

11. Our sensitization to the cruelty with which children are treated, until now commonly denied, and to the consequences of such treatment will as a matter of course bring an end to the perpetuation of violence from generation to generation.

12. People whose integrity has not been damaged in childhood, who were protected, respected, and treated with honesty by their parents, will be -- both in their youth and in adulthood -- intelligent, responsive, empathic and highly sensitive. They will take pleasure in life and will not feel any need to kill or even hurt others or themselves. They will use their power to defend themselves, not to attack others. They will not be able to do otherwise than respect and protect those weaker than themselves, including their own children, because this is what they have learned from their own experience, and because it is this knowledge (and not the experience of cruelty) that has been stored up inside them from the beginning.

It will be inconceivable to such people that earlier generations had to build up a gigantic war industry in order to feel comfortable and safe in this world. Since it will not be their unconscious drive in life to ward off intimidation experienced at a very early age, they will be able to deal with attempts at intimidation in their adult life more rationally and creatively.

- from For Your Own Good, by Alice Miller


The biochemistry of the body is a product of awareness. Beliefs, thoughts, and emotions create the chemical reactions that uphold life in every cell ...

Perception appears to be automatic, but in fact it is a learned phenomenon. The world you live in, including the experience of your body, is completely dictated by how you learned to perceive it. If you change your perception, you change the experience of your body and your world ...

A meticulous 1987 study from Yale, reported by MR Jensen, found that breast cancer spread fastest among women who had repressed personalities, felt hopeless, and were unable to express anger, fear, and other negative emotions. Similar findings have emerged for rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, intractable pain, and other disorders ...

Child psychologists have found that young children are much more deeply influenced by ascriptive statements from their parents than by prescriptive statements Ö in other words, telling a child WHAT HE IS makes a much deeper impression than telling him WHAT TO DO ...

Pain in the present is experienced as hurt. Pain in the past is remembered as anger. Pain in the future is perceived as anxiety. Unexpressed anger, redirected against yourself and held within, is called guilt. The depletion of energy that occurs when anger is redirected inward creates depression ...

Music is metabolized in the same way as narcotics in that it creates the release of endogenous narcotics in the body.

Exhilarating music creates natural anti-depressants in the body.

- from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra

 

the twelve steps

The heart of all personal recovery is contained in Twelve Steps:

1. We admitted we were powerless - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of our Higher Power as we understood it.

4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. We admitted to our Higher Power, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our weaknesses.

6. We were entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove all these defects of character.

7. We humbly asked our Higher Power to remove our shortcomings.

8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed or hurt, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power as we understood it, praying only for wisdom.

12. Having had an awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others who suffer and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Copyright 2002 Narcotics Anonymous

how those touched by addiction can feel better

A favorite Dolphin Research Center program, allowing people to enter the dolphins environment and participate in a playful, structured swim session with the dolphins. Participation in educational workshops completes the experience. The program costs $135 per person and requires advance reservations. Minimum age is 5 years old. Children ages 5 - 12 must have an adult in the water with them for the swim. Understanding of spoken English is required.

Reservations can be made the month before you wish to swim. Call the reservation line in Florida on (305) 289-0002. For a reservation schedule and more information about the program, click here. Absolutely no reservations will be accepted by mail, fax or electronic mail.

The Dolphin Child Department offers dolphin-assisted therapy and recreational programs for individuals and small groups. The results are carried over into school, home and community. DRCís commitment to providing life enhancing dolphin experiences to adults and children with special needs, illnesses, and disabilities, touch families from all over the world.

Our dolphin interactions act as therapeutic adjuncts, serve as agents of change, and represent contacts with nature, as well as increase the capacity for enjoyment through the Dolphin Child Therapy Program and the Special Needs Recreational Program.

For more information in our Dolphin / Child Therapy Program contact Joan Mehew, Director of Dolphin / Child Department on: drc-dcp@dolphins.org

For more information in our Special Needs Recreational Program contact Kathryn Campbell, Special Needs Coordinator on: drc-snp@dolphins.org

* People who live outside the US may like to contact us about similar programs in your country or a country near you.

Copyright 2003 The Dolphin Research Center

 

I awoke late that afternoon, having missed all the action. Amedeo had smashed all the priceless Bossu crystal. Untethered by medication and his grief, he had placed every glass on the main dining room table and then systematically aimed them, one by one, at the vibrant family portrait (in which Georges Bossu, a sexagenarian closet transvestite, embraced with zeal the thirty-year-old wife he so openly detested, the two of them decoratively flanked by his gaga children - one heroin-addicted, the other permanently under observation for extreme suicidal tendencies - by two different women, both of these women dedicated drunks and professional former wives; the lot of them remarkably natty in hacking jackets and jodhpurs, a wicker picnic basket overflowing with glazed hams and maraschino cherries in the foreground, a fictive pop-eyed bulldog scowling in the background, and all this set in the Aberdeen green lands of the portraitist's imagination).

- from The Pure Weight of the Heart by Antonella Gambotto-Burke

LINKS ON THIS SITE
Anger
Learn more about Alice Miller
Learn more about Antonella Gambotto-Burke
Learned helplessness
Abuse
Depression
Unemployment
Debt: a new perspective
Grief
Relationships
A healthy life
Pregnancy
The laughter page
Find your own North Star

LINKS (GENERAL)
An essential + superb site for all those considering medication * highly recommended
Alcoholics Anonymous monthly journal

AA's message for teenagers
Alcoholics Anonymous
Help for teenagers with alcoholic parents
Adult Children of Alcoholics live chat - NOW!
Al-Anon message boards - NOW!
Alcoholics Anonymous message boards - NOW!
International help for alcoholics - NOW!
International help for the partners of alcoholics - NOW!
International help for the children of alcoholics - NOW!
International help for the parents of alcoholics - NOW!
Information about alcoholism
Hope and Healing: A Place of Sobriety
Transitions
How to find romance with healthy people
Spiritual sisters

Alternative treatment for depression
The Meaning of Listening
Crosstalk & Boundaries
Disorientation, Agitation, Uncertainty + Distress
Styles of Distorted Thinking
Characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics
The Promises of ACoA
About Alcoholism
Responsibility, Guilt, Shame + Perfectionism
Suffering & Self Abuse
The Release of Rage + Grief
Learning To Love
Roles In Dysfunctional Families
The Psychology of Deceit
Compulsive Behaviours, Including Sexual + Pornography Addiction
Alcoholic Family Roles
Tough Love International
Great free guided audio online relaxation exercises