Intergenerational abuse. Part two: how do we stop the cycle?

If you missed part 1 of this blog, please click here.


How do we stop these patterns playing out in our lives?

Person 1 - “Awareness has been the first major change in the way I view myself, my life and my relationships. Education, through Codapendence Anonymous and the 12 step program, it’s literature and hearing the experiences of others, my own experience often mirrored back to me in group meetings.”

Person 2 - “12 step recovery program and therapy. Taking full responsibility for my side of the street and feeling and processing my emotions instead of denying and squashing them down. A huge thing for me has been to form a spiritual relationship with a power greater than myself which is not a person, substance or thing.”

Person 3 - “We need to suffer enough to want to change the pattern. We need to become aware that there is a pattern. Seek help, find therapies, join a 12 step group. "When the student is ready the teacher will appear" as the old saying goes."

Person 4 - “I’d been searching my whole life for help and answers. I finally found the right therapist that lay it all out for me to understand. He introduced me to Codapendence Anonymous, which is a very gentle way of getting support and becoming self aware. By working this program I am gradually learning to love myself, use healthy boundaries and stop my unhealthy behaviours”

What are you doing to change and how have you changed so far?

Person 1 - “Identifying a deep desire and willingness to change by actively working the coda program along with regular therapy that allows me to explore my own childhood and behaviors with rigorous honesty under the care of an experienced and gentle therapist. Doing so has allowed me the freedom to distance myself from the family story and instead think and feel for myself for the first time in my life. Developing a relationship with a loving higher power, rather than making my higher power other people, and working hard on learning to love myself, to parent myself and meet my own needs, rather than relying on others to meet them for me. Becoming part of the Coda community and developing a support network of other codependents in recovery to call on for support and advice when I feel I am becoming unmanageable or feeling compelled to act codependently. I am beginning to take responsibility for myself and grow as a person, to believe that I am worthy and capable of giving and receiving love and have healthy and intimate relationships in my life.”

Person 2 - “12 step program recovering from codependency, weekly therapy and lots of reading. So much has changed!! My marriage is so much more healthy, we communicate in effective and meaningful ways. I now live my life rather than just survive it. I have clear boundaries most of the time which keep me safe. I know who I can communicate my deepest feelings with safely and keep my mouth closed when it is not safe. My parenting is much more conscious and less reactive. Honestly the list is huge I could write a whole book!”

Person 3 - “I've identified my addiction is to relationship, so stopping being in relationship is a way to be sober and healthy for me. I've made time and space to grieve and feel my feelings, which has led me to feel worse than ever, to the extent of suicidal. But that passed as well, and now I'm feeling more authentic as a person, more comfortable with myself each day that passes, and there is joy starting to peek through. CoDA, meditation, psychotherapy, journaling and bodywork is leading me to peaceful self-acceptance, and self-care is my priority.”


Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Person 1 - “Our society is not comfortable with grief, fear, or despair, so each of us needs to find a way to make friends with these feelings. In the words of another great teacher Tara Brach, it can be useful to ask the key question: "What am I unwilling to feel?".

Person 2 - “Change is possible, it takes hard dedicated work but it is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and the people you love. The rewards and the life on the other side is beyond anything your mind can comprehend. We all have trauma and have suffered abuse in one way or another. I would love to see this come out into the light more so that people feel less alone and less frightened so they will seek the healing we all have a right to experience. I also believe spirituality and a belief in a higher power is a missing piece for so many in this time. So many of us spend our days lost, alone confused and angry I would like others out there to know there's more to life than that and its available to all....”

Person 3 - “We need to suffer enough to want to change the pattern. We need to become aware that there is a pattern. Seek help, find therapies, join a 12 step group. "When the student is ready the teacher will appear" as the old saying goes."

Person 4 - “This is generational pain, it has been passed on from my grandmother to my mother and now to me. If I do not stop, feel the feelings, take steps to heal, it will continue to be passed on to my children and their children. I will be the change”


If you have been effected by reading this blog, please know there is help available to you and developing a support network is crucial to moving forward.

Call life line: 13 11 14

Get to a Codependency meeting near you:

Connect with Adult children of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families -

Alcoholics anonymous -

Overeaters anonymous -

Help with substance abuse, Narcotics Anonymous -

Sex and love addicts anonymous -