The 12th Step Newsletter
The 12th Step Newsletter


Growing up is neither an easy job nor does it happen immediately upon birth as is the case for some animals. And it doesn’t happen at the same pace with all children either.  As parents we know it is appropriate to snatch a two year old up out of the street they have wandered into so as not to be hit.  But how do we protect our kids when they go to school out of our control?  How do we protect them when they get to Jr. Hi and are confronted with peer pressure, bullying, competition, learning difficult subjects and navigating the internal changes or puberty?  How much supervision is appropriate for each age?  Why do we become “helicopter parents”?  What does negligence look like at birth, one, five, and fifteen?  These are some of the questions we ask ourselves and many times we don’t feel like we have really good answers.  In the characteristic of Vulnerable we fight to get the right balance from too much to too little protection.  Obviously babies are completely helpless and we are the ones to provide ALL basic needs including a sense of trust and connection so necessary to thrive.  Yes, many of us grew up in warm, nurturing/loving homes and have a deep sense that the world while filled with danger is basically a safe place to be while many others believe the world is out to get them.  Many times we aren’t even aware of these beliefs; they lie beneath many layers of experiences and stuffed emotions.


The primary symptom in the Vulnerable characteristic is the lack of setting healthy functional boundaries.  This can lead to the secondary symptom of resentment and a deep sense that we are constantly put upon or used.  After all we do for people it never seems to be enough.  As that resentment builds we stuff it in the gut and wonder why we have stomach aches, back aches, migraines or other physical symptoms.  Many diseases can be traced back to chronic resentment and the related stress it produces.  Eventually this can lead to actions on a scale from the feeling we need to punish others for their misdeeds to angry outbursts or violent rage attacks that seem way out of proportion to the “offense”.



  • Take inventory of your boundaries
    • Self assessment
    • With the help of a professional therapist
  • Learn to say “No”
  • Learn the difference between a wall and a boundary
  • Identify areas and people who fail to recognize and respect boundaries
  • Begin setting boundaries in a few safe areas or relationships
    • If you are in a physically abusive relationship don’t attempt to set boundaries alone, engage safe helpful others
    • Provide yourself and any children in the situation with you a safe and swift exit plan in case it escalates to violence
    • Practice in role playing settings with trusted others
  • Read the book “Boundaries” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
  • Take a boundary workshop


Recovery 3.0

Meets at

Seven Oaks Church

1021 S. Burke St.

Visalia, CA 93292


6:30- 8:00 PM

Gateway to Recovery

Meets at

Praise Center Church

503 N. Floral St.

Visalia, CA 


6:30- 8:00 PM



Admin ER Store


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