All my writing and my life is dedicated to my wonderful parents, Roy and Grace De Long of Chester, W. Va. and Zephyrhills, Florida. We found our ways through the tragedies of addiction and mental illness. Hurray for us!
The main reason that I love helping others is because we are each born with a core of goodness from birth. I also believe that this core contains our creativity which is the source of our joy. I also believe that helping anyone find this creativity is the answer to awakening others to the beauty of himself/herself. Finally, I believe maturity is returning to the joyful, playful child that God created.
My name is Kathy Berman and I live in Margate, Florida. My recovery date is 11/24/1976. Having grownup in a home controlled by alcoholism, I was able to see my addiction very early. Thanksgiving, 1976, I told my family that I thought I was an alcoholic. I fully expected everyone to disagree with me.
But, my mother said that she had been afraid of that. So I was stuck with the admission and being the “perfect daughter”, I never drank again and went to AA. I had no idea that I wouldn’t discover until 33 years later than I had experienced PTSD in that home which would continue to shape and direct me.
My third month into recovery, I had a radical conversion as described by William James in his The Varieties of Religious Experience. It was instant and I call it ‘”the moment that changed my life.” So I have been trying since 1977 to hear what God’s will is for my life. Many days I have followed my will and called it His. But there has been progress, too.
Kathy Berman Blogs 2014
Addiction Recovery Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) Online
Addictions are the bandage covering the wound of not feeling worthy. I just discovered in 2010, that my primary addiction was to my family of origin—the family I grew up in. I have a picture of myself at age 5 which is about when I started thinking that I was terribly unfit to be in this family. There was always fighting, drama and violence. We had our loving times, too. I believe that my parents did the best they could. When describing those years, I love what ACA says about The Problem: “This is a description, not an indictment.”
My Favorite Passage From the ACA Red Book
Ending the Internal Conflict
The conflict between the two sides of self is one of strategy and not of intent. Both the adult and the child long for the love and respect necessary to sustain the human spirit but disagree on how to attain their desire; the child by hopefully waiting in isolation and the adult by rushing into frustrated action. In ACA we learn both strategies lead only to despair.
Ending our inner conflict depends on both the adult and the child recognizing the need for unity in recovery. By acknowledging their need for each other, the adult and the child create the sense of wholeness needed to fully respond to the world.
Mutual acceptance allows the child to see that the ability in trust is damaged but not broken and can be restored by gently and slowly emerging from the protective prison of isolation. The adult becomes aware of the spirit of joy that inhabits every child and recognizes the need for openness and spontaneity in feeling completely alive.
ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) Changed My Life
The ACA Red Book gave me the blueprint to heal the negative emotional patterns I had learned in childhood. It was more important to me than any book I had ever read about recovery. I came to see that growing up in a home dominated by alcoholism overshadowed every other experience I had as a child.
So my primary addiction healing had to be changing those ways I had learned to cope in a family torn apart by a substance one family member chose to use to control his feelings of helplessness. Alcohol was in charge and we all learned ways to bend to its control.