Perfect Daughters by Robert Ackerman is a popular book for daughters of alcoholics. I recommend it to all children of alcoholic parents!! It includes a vast amount of information from women with personal experience on the subject, gathered by a compassionate author. This book is a great relief for me because it helps me to see my strengths and weaknesses. Codependency is something we are all a little guilty of. Real nasty codependency is created by the lack of emotional support of a parent, or parents, due to the abuse of alcohol. It takes that safe place away, that place we need as children growing up! That place of emotional security. Instead it makes adult children of alcoholics lacking important skills needed in the world of adult interactions.
To be an enabler is to not let another person take responsibility for their mistakes. As a child I witnessed this over and over again in my mom and dad’s relationship. I still witness this in my sibling family circle. Letting others take responsibility for their actions, or lack of actions, is the first step. Becoming aware as an adult daughter of an alcoholic father was my first step towards standing tall. This action of accountability will make you very unpopular within the family structure, but it is the only way out. I am accountable for my actions. I am responsible for myself. I will not take on the caregiving of another that is not worthy of my help. If this means tough love so be it. In the long run this will help others face their own truths, their own strengths and weaknesses…because there is no other way!!!