I had a dream for a client who was having a hard time with attracting unhealthy men in her life. They were either addicted to alcohol, marijuana, gambling, shopping, sex and/or didn’t treat her well. She was done with this and wanted help.

The dream I had was where my client was in her childhood home in her parent’s bedroom. Her ex was in her parents bed on her father’s side and my client was a little girl. She went over to him and was bouncing around trying to get his attention. The man in the dream was not responsive to her. She ran to the kitchen to bring some water as her ex, (daddy) looked thirsty. The water bottles were empty and, although she was thirsty, she tried to give any last drops of water to him before herself.

In the dream her ex in her father’s place, represented her alcoholic and sexually ill father.

Water can represent nourishment, hydration, and in the Tarot, cups or water signify love. A child trying to get the attention of a parent that is not available physically or emotionally, doesn’t understand why they have to perform for love, but they try their hardest to get that parent’s attention. This abandonment from the parent can cause trauma to the body, mind and spirit.

It can cause you as an adult, to neglect your basic needs or to over-give in romantic relationships. It can also be the cause of staying in neglectful, inappropriate or abusive situations. The adult gives everything they have to try to get the attention from that person. He/she is trying to change that person in some way in order to receive the love they never received as a child. They also try to be what that person wants them to be. They give and give until they have nothing left and when they are not able to change that partner, it re-creates trauma responses in the body that need to be cleared and healed. This is subconscious and automatic until dealt with. My client shared that this all resonated.

If we had an addicted parent or parents who weren’t able to love us the way we needed, these problems will show up in our romantic relationships. They can also show up with friends or bosses, co-workers and siblings. In ACA, Adult Children of Alcoholics, “The child became approval seeking and lost their identity in the process.” We saw this in the dream. “The child also has developed an unhealthy sense of responsibility, and it is easier for them to be concerned with others rather than themselves.” ACA WSO Inc. The child wants any approval of the parent and will take care of them where they see the parent isn’t taking care of themselves. The adult child is quick to give, help, fix, provide advice, hold the partner’s emotional dumping day by day. The child may also feel sexual inappropriateness as familiar and accept a sex addict or harmful behavior.

The man in the bed showed up in her parent’s bed to show where she has been affected by her dysfunctional upbringing. She’s choosing partners who are similar to the emotional unavailability of her father. Over-giving in relationships is a subconscious manipulation to get affection from someone or a to have a need met.

According to relationship expert, Dr. Patricia Allen, “A healthy feminine woman should not give to a man unless he is under five years old or sick in bed.” This was shocking for my client to hear as her mother only gave to everyone and still does. Her mother is also quite ill.

If you’ve ever lost yourself in a relationship, you wonder how this happened. The behaviors stem from childhood, whether we had an addicted parent or one who was simply unable to care for us the way we needed. This will also have us stay in relationships where our partner is emotionally unavailable or toxic for us. I’ve been there.

The good news is we can change these behaviors and create a new life for ourselves based on mutual love and peace. It takes deep inner work and perseverance. Energy work speeds up that process. We cleared old stagnant hurt from neglect as a child and energetically detached the energies from her father. She felt immediate relief, which is why I love this work.

There are twelve step programs for almost anything now. For my client I recommended she start with Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families, ACA. Whether you had an alcoholic caregiver or not, the Big Red Book for ACA helps with dysfunctional behaviors as an adult. When we heal from the inside out, we build our self-respect and in turn, our self-esteem improves.

I’m so grateful I have done this work and continue to do so. If you need my help, please reach out. I wish you self love, peace and joy beyond your wildest dreams.