Hi, I didn't want to take the original thread in a different direction, but as I was reading through it, I found I was coming up with some questions.
My H (not so D, these days) is the child of alcoholics. Alcoholism goes back through many generations on both sides of his family, as far as I can tell. His mother has been in recovery for about fifteen years (after H was grown and moved out), I think, and his father has died. I grew up with parents who didn't (and wouldn't) drink at all and was never around alcohol as a child or teenager; it wasn't until I was out on my own that I conducted my own experiments with social drinking. I am continually shocked about how naive (or just stupid?) I am about many things, alcohol in particular.
What I would like to ask is whether any of you who are adult children of alcoholics might be willing to help me understand some things? I'm trying to figure out how/whether or not H and I can make any progress with some of the issues between us--we've been in counseling for almost a year.
H doesn't seem to be able to reflect on most things as far as past experience. He's made some awful choices (including illegal things) and has been inclined to blame me; not for the actual choices, but for my response/attempts to create boundaries. He doesn't seem to be willing or able to remember much about his childhood, except to say it was great, or his parents were great, although the best comparison I can come up with for his M.O. is that of a beaten dog--either cowering and groveling, fearful and maybe hopeful he'll get some of what he needs, or snarling and growling, certain that someone is out to hurt him. Our counselor, for what it's worth, thinks that he's carrying a burden of quite a bit of trauma from his childhood, and that it's basically a barrier to dealing with anything here and now. He has lied to me quite a bit and doesn't seem to understand the idea of transparency or accountability, and I think it's likely that he's alcohol dependent, but there's a great deal of denial about that on his part/the part of his family. He has spent the last few years telling me that everything is my fault; I'm depressed, controlling, malicious, whatever, and telling his family the same stories, and I've only just begun to see how much manipulation has been at play--there isn't much that I can do right, unless it's exactly what would please him/meet his need for unconditional everything.
I know that we're all very different people from a background of very different experiences, but I'm really trying to understand some of his behaviors more clearly for my sake and his (and that of our child). I'm just wondering if there might be some common perspectives that any of you who grew up with alcoholic parents might be able to share with me toward that end.