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Denial continued

•Blaming:  Blaming someone else for causing the problem; the behavior is not denied, but its cause is someone else's fault (e.g., blaming your parents for your current inappropriate behavior).

 

Excusing:  Offering excuses, alibis, justifications and other explanations for our own or others' behavior (e.g., calling in sick for a partner when the actual cause of the absence is inebriation).

 

•Generalizing:  Dealing with problems on a general level, but avoiding personal and emotional awareness of the situation or conditions (e.g., sympathizing with a friend's flu symptoms when you know chemical dependency is the real problem).

 

•Dodging:  Changing the subject to avoid threatening topics (e.g., becoming adept at "small talk").

 

•Attacking: Becoming angry and irritable when reference is made to the existing condition, thus avoiding the issue (e.g., being unwilling to share your feelings).

 

As we become willing to admit our dysfunction to ourselves and others and enter into a program of recovery, the healing process will begin.  If we stop the denial and get honest with ourselves and others, it will empower us to examine the reality of our pain.  We can learn to look fearlessly at ourselves, accept those unwanted tendencies and grieve our losses. Over time feelings such as unworthiness, anxiety, depression and inferiority will dim and eventually disappear. As this occurs we will be able to recognize and utilize the strengths we developed in childhood. We can then move toward restoration of our self-worth and renewed family integrity.

 

Telling ourselves the truth can be a frightening and painful experience. But the rewards of doing so can be extremely beneficial to us as individuals and in our family relationships.  

 

If we hold to traditional family values and respect the home as the glue that holds our society together, let us each  begin to speak truth to one another and to ourselves. Denial defeats us, but truth overcomes that which holds us in bondage and drains the very life from our families. As Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32).

 

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The twelve steps: A spiritual journey. (1988). San Diego: Recovery Publications. Copyright 1992, El Rophe Center, Inc.

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