So you want to learn more about the Hero’s Journey and Transactional Analysis and a couple other ideas I mentioned? Don’t worry, I’m not telling you what to do (adult children hate being directed), but just saying it’s here, if you should decide to dive deeper (wink, wink).
Regarding the phrase “They Did the Best they Could”
Here’s the post that inspired my ignite talk: Who Says Our Dysfunctional Parents Did The Best They Could? So many people commented! (Maybe you will too.)
Children of Alcoholics
It may seem obvious but, one resource for more information is: this blog. (No way.) (Way.) You can navigate directly to my Surviving > Adult Child Issues section and read articles there (or take this shortcut.
To read about the connection between adult children of alcoholics and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), read this post: Yes, Adult Children of Alcoholics Can Suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Heal from PTSD.
I mentioned in my talk that I named this blog after a characteristic of children of alcoholics. Here’s the full list of characteristics: The Characteristics and Common Traits of People Who Grew up in Alcoholic Homes.
And this one is a forward-looking post about moving on from a childhood with alcoholic parents (or addict parents, or hyper-vigilant and controlling, or mentally ill, narcissistic, etc. Take your pick): Can You Grown up from Being the Child of an Alcoholic?
I’m just the new girl on the block, though. The woman who is the most important and influential when it comes to understanding adult children of alcoholics is Janet Woititz. Here is her list of the characteristics of children of alcoholics, 13 Characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics. She wrote many books about the issues of adult children of alcoholics. Here is a brief bio of Janet Woititz.
(Some of) Janet Woititz’s books:
Mr. Berne is the kind-looking gentleman who appears in my slide deck. I called him the Father of Transactional Analysis (parent-child-adult models for communication). Here’s the Wikipedia bio of Berne.
And here’s Berne’s book about transactional analysis: Games People Play: The Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis
What’s Transactional Analysis? It’s a way of looking at communication styles — how adults can, and do, relate to one another in Child mode, Adult mode, and Parent mode. For a quick primer, here’s a post I wrote about transactional analysis, which contains a few scripts: Relating to Others, Adult to Adult.
The Hero’s Journey
This Wikipedia definition of the Hero’s Journey is great because it contains a list of the Stages of the Journey (such as The Call to Adventure, Refusal of the Call, an so on).
These stages are from Joseph Campbell’s book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
But it’s important to know that before Joseph Campbell studied the Hero’s journeythat C. G. Jung had begun the work. Be sure to read about what Jung wrote about the Hero’s Journey as Analysis, which beings with this quote:
“To develop one’s own personality is indeed an unpopular undertaking, a deviation that is highly uncongenial to the herd, an eccentricity smelling of the cenobite, as it seems to the outsider. Small wonder, then, that from earliest times only the chosen few have embarked upon this strange adventure.”
Carl Gustav Jung, 1932
If you’re a writer, a book that I cherish and has its own take on The Hero’s Journey is this one: The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers
This was, by far, the scariest thing I have ever done. I practiced my talk nearly twenty times. I had only 5 minutes to convey my story and the slides auto-advanced every 15 seconds (fifteen seconds!) It was scary not only because it was public speaking and it was being video taped, but because I wasn’t speaking to “my people” (ACoAs), I was speaking to the general public, because many of my colleagues were in the audience, and because it was the first time I was telling the story of my mother’s overdose and death.
What was remarkable was that after speaking, I got to talk to people in the audience (I got hugs!) and I got to see faces, hear voices, and hear the stories of others — after so many years of writing behind the screen of this blog, the human contact was just an incredible experience.
Feel free to share this. The talk is also on my Guess What Normal is Facebook page. This talk is dedicated to all of you. Thank you for your support!