Out of necessity, some ACOAs, like me, took on some of our parents’ responsibilities. These may have been practical things like paying the bills, or emotional things like comforting your siblings when your parents fought. But as adults we find that we continue to take responsibility for other people’s feelings or for problems that we didn’t cause.
When my father go sick, I was a teenager. I took on the responsibility of writing the checks for the monthly household expenses and doing the grocery shopping. As an adult I’ve been in relationships with men who I took over making sure their bills got paid on time; rent got paid on time, etc. It’s like I couldn’t stop being overly responsible. Where was the off switch?
Eventually it became a burden. A lot of people relied on me for a variety of different things. Now with the internet and smart phones I’m learning to tell others where to find the information they need for themselves because I am tapped out.
I like the theme song from the daytime talk show The Real. It says: this is my time, don’t waste another minute. This has become my mantra. It’s time for me to do me and focus on the things that I want to do and need to do for myself.
Hi, I’m Liz Hawkins and I’m a recovering Adult Child of an Alcoholic.