Yes, I am another perfect daughter. How do I know? Dr. Robert J. Ackerman (http://www.counselormagazine.com/editor-Counselor-Magazine.aspx) told me so in his book Perfect Daughters. For the first time in my life, I knew I did not have to defend myself to myself for being a perfectionist. I no longer felt abnormal for striving to make everyone’s world perfect, because I realized that is normal for the daughter of an alcoholic father.
Reaching deep down inside myself, I took out the little girl who tried to please everyone, who blamed herself if something went wrong, who always took care of others first, who suppressed her needs. And I cried for her and over her when I was seventy years old.
It is never too late for healing.
Throughout the years I had read other books on codependency, but none had touched me like Dr. Ackerman’s. Maybe that was because, as he reveals, he, too, is the child of an alcoholic. Regardless, his heart had reached mine.
Akin to all adult children nurtured in dysfunctional families, I deal with clinging childhood pain and relationship issues. I met these head-on while fighting to protect my alcoholic father from nursing home neglect and abuse.
I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland; received my B.A. from Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, and M.Ed. from Towson University in Towson, Maryland. I earned my PHT (Putting Hubby Through) in New Orleans, Louisiana, while my husband attended seminary. Our two children were born in Annapolis, Maryland, and raised in Maryland (Edgewood and Baltimore) and Kemblesville, Pennsylvania. After his retirement, my husband and I settled in Katy, Texas, where we can be near our children and growing families. Otherwise, our fourth beagle and tortoiseshell cat keep us busy.
After my father died I knew I had to tell our story. When I finished my manuscript, I contacted Dr. Ackerman and asked him to read it. His subsequent endorsement appears on the back cover of my book.
Borrowing words from the English poet and hymn writer Frances R. Havergal (1836-1879), I leave with you my heart’s desire for this blog:
O teach me, Lord, that I may teach
The precious things Thou dost impart;
And wing my words, that they may reach
The hidden depths of many a heart.