"We were asked to pick a word that summarizes the legacy of our childhood. I thought my word was abandonment - and yes, at times I feel abandoned by my parents but I think the better word for me is worthiness.
My parents loved and valued me but when they turned to alcohol, that came first. I felt as if my value diminished. I didn't "matter" enough - not enough for either of them to stick around. Alcohol, their world, 'mattered' more.
No matter how I overachieved (and I did), nothing felt good enough, so I turned to others to try and find value.
In my marriage, I feel the same, no matter how I overachieve - high position job, super mom, volunteer, coach, do it all - I am not valued - so I look to external sources - to food, fantasizing about other relationships, work, distractions - to feel full.
And then it hit me - the only source of true and lasting validation, the only opinion of myself that should really matter – is me and mine."