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Daughters of Alcoholics Support - Page 6

post #101 of 215
Hello and welcome GP. !!!
Hope you find some sisterhood and insight here.
to all: I want to give out a heartfelt HAPPY MOTHERS DAY-- knowing many times it's extremely difficult to be a mom after our own childhoods.

post #102 of 215
Thank you for the warm welcome!! I just saw my mom today. She has been dry for about 2 months right now. I think this is the first time she has even tried. MY husband lost his dad to alcoholism 2 years ago. I hope my mom can stay dry and prolong her life. Maybe one day her and I can sit and talk about how it affected me.
post #103 of 215
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY-- knowing many times it's extremely difficult to be a mom after our own childhoods.
This bears repeating. Thanks Laura.

post #104 of 215
Originally Posted by siddie
Is anyone else still dealing with an active drinker? He is 77 and has been drinking heavily at night for at least 35 years.
I am in a similar situation with my dad. He is actively drinking every day and it is beginning to affect his health. He has been retired for a few years. We are just waiting for him to drink himself to death, I guess. That's basically what the doctors say is going to happen if he doesn't stop. I see him as little as possible. I don't want DS around him either. Even sober, he's a pathetic, selfish person.
post #105 of 215
This is turning into quite an amazing thread. I feel it is very therapeutic to share like this. Isn't alcohol such an amazingly damaging drug?

They go on about the dangers of cannabis and heroin but alcohol outdoes them by many many times. It is just so pervasive. I am so glad I gave up drinking completely 11 years ago, not that I had any major problems with it.

I relate to all the stories about families not being emotionally honest, not being accepting of family members problems and issues. Not being patient with them. My mother could not at all deal with heartfelt anger or grief. The protestant work ethic ruled her....if you work harder shit won't happen! Shit doesn't and shouldn't happen!

I feel sad that my family were so in denial about emotions. I know it has had a huge impact on me, and them of course.
post #106 of 215
reviving this thread. brief snippet of my life -- I just need a little TLC ---

I'm 38 weeks pregnant and got an email from my older sister that basically was blaming my sisters and I for not being more involved in my mom's life. Apparently mom threatened to kill herself yesterday and older sister spent much of the day on the phone and took a large portion of the burden. BUT...older sister is also not on board with letting my mom live her life.

cranberry's post from may
I see him as little as possible. I don't want DS around him either. Even sober, he's a pathetic, selfish person.
basically sums up the drinking version of my mom.
post #107 of 215
Hi There.

My father is an alcoholic. I grew up in a very violent dysfunctional family. My father had black outs and would beat the crap out of my mother on a weekly/monthly basis. My younger sister and I actually have lots of blanks in our memories from way back then... probably for the best! He's now a "recovering alcoholic" and has been since I was 18. I moved away when I was 24 and just moved back last year. I JUST (this week!) realized that part of my moving back here was to "gain his acceptance". I thought I could bring back my son and dh and start a great relationship with him. Of course, this was part of my subcontience... not my outward self. And, after him only coming to my house ONCE (because I had my grandmothers' birthday party here) and me taking my ds to see him weekly it has become painfully clear that I'VE GROWN UP and he's not. So, here I am not wanting to live near him again. ugh. It's strange what our inner-psyche does to us dysfunctional kids, isn't it?
Anyway... yes, I attended ala-teen groups all thru highschool and alanon in college and was in therapy plenty in my 20's. Having a child has brought up a whole new aspect of my own childhood and has made it a little more mentally challanging to parent well.
post #108 of 215
Having a child has brought up a whole new aspect of my own childhood and has made it a little more mentally challanging to parent well.

So true. I also lived with an alcoholic father who was physically abusive. He got sober when I was in my 20s, but was still verbally volatile. He died a couple years ago....without us resolving our issues.

I was in therapy most of my life.....but I dont think it really helped me.(I believe it was the therapists I was seeing) Now Im seeing an amzing gifted therapist.....and starting to realise that it doesnt just affect my parenting (or did) but ALL relationships. I think, for me anyways, I have to be VERY conscious and present in my parenting to NOT parent like I was parented.

I have to mention a book being present in our parenting called EVERYDAY BLESSINGS: the inner work of mindful parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn.

post #109 of 215
yesterday i was inadvertently drawn into watching part of the dr phil show. I can't stand dr phil normally. I was drawn in yesterday when I turned on the tv to switch to the news channel and saw a very abusive mom yelling/screaming at her kids and I realized/remembered what my childhood (well teenage years) had been like. It made me so sad at first for those kids and then brought to the surface all these feelings I had dealt with long ago.

We have one of those "I'm a big sister" books about having a new baby in the house. The last page or so of the book says something along the lines of "I'm special. I'm the only me in the whole world." Which i think is often lost in children of alcoholics and probably many kids overall -- the idea that every person is special for who they are.

edamommy -- so is your plan to stay where you are and just come to terms with your dad? or will you move away again?

In some ways my choices are made for me -- i live in northern minnesota. My parents lived in boston. My dad died about 6 years ago, my mom recently moved about an hour out of the city to a town that is totally unable to sustain my career or my husband's career. So we aren't moving back there.
post #110 of 215
Anyone essentially watch their parent die of alcoholism?
My father is an alcoholic...he drinks large amounts daily. He and my mom are married, 38 years this week. I don't think their marriage would survive if he were to sober up and become strong---I think she feels safe only when she's needed to constantly "fix" someone. He has sobered up several times over the years, and spent thousands and thousands of dollars on professional treatment. But it's always short lived.
He's 58, but looks 78. I can only think, and he has said himself, that the alcohol will kill him eventually. He also suffers from deep depression.
It's sad to watch. My husband works with him, so we are close to it. I know intellectually that I cannot really help him, though he has pleaded for it over the years. But after a while you learn that the only one that can really help him is him....I guess.
It's hard to watch someone you love slowly destruct themselves.
But I have children who I adore, and who need me. I feel I must focus my energy there.
post #111 of 215
My best friend is watching the affects of alcohol kill both her parents.

They both stopped drinking only recently (theyre in their late 70s). Her mom has dimentia and has to go in for electric shock treatments 2xs a month. Her dad has various health concerns, heart, etc They both look like theyre in their 90s.

Its so sad......and then what they do to their children as well.
post #112 of 215
I grew up with an alcoholic father. He'd bring home a 2-4 every night after work and drink the whole thing until he passed out in his chair. He was terribly abusive to my mom and my sister.

I remember fetching beers for him and taking sips of them from very early childhood.

I never attended al-anon or anything and I haven't seen him in 15 years. I don't even know if he is alive or dead.
post #113 of 215
my father was an alcoholic. but it was my mother's rage and violence that damaged our family most. my dad got sober before he died thankfully. that was the greatest gift to see him live his life sober. he really worked the 12 steps. i spent a few years attending ACOA and SOSA. after my father died i left the family for about 7 years mainly because i couldn't deal with my mother. now i am back, but its not easy, living in close proximity. my mother's rage has cooled down, but i still feel overwhelmed with emotion from her visits. pain still surfaces.

i am working hard on stopping the cycle of abuse. i feel like i could use some meetings these days.

post #114 of 215
Well, I read all the posts!
It took a while, but I think it was one of the best things I've done for myself in a while. I think it was back somewhere around page 3 that I realized I was hugging myself and just rocking as I made myself keep reading. Thanks to everyone who shared their story here. I know I will be back to share mine, but I think I should go gather my thoughts a little bit first, kwim?
post #115 of 215
Kerc, thanks for reviving this thread. So I belong here. My mother was an alcoholic all through my childhood, she stopped drinking when I was about 30 years old by which time I had emigrated to the USA (originally from England). She doesn't drink now but she's just the same - crazy. My father has severe mental illness. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters, both my brothers are verbally abusive to my mother and I have very little to do with them. Thinking about it makes me realise how terrible my childhood was....I am desparate not to raise my dd the same way. I am always afraid I'll be just like my mother but without the alcohol. Sometimes I hear her voice in thing's I say and it sickens me. I rarely drink now, I did alot in my 20's.
I have been to Alanon a bit, nothing recently and to therapy. I definately have control, anger and anxiety issues.
I too love the book "everyday blessings". MDC helps me a lot too.
post #116 of 215
My father is (was?) an alcoholic. I say it that way because the last time I saw him I was 18, before that, I was 15 or 16, and I heard through the grapevine (we still talk to his side of the family, even though they don't really talk to him much) that he went to one of his brothers and said he had cancer and that he needed some money for medication and medical bills. His brother told him that he would give him food, shelter, and help pay his medical bills, but he would not give him cash. Apparently my dad told him to go shove it where the sun doesn't shine, and he hasn't been heard from since. That was when I was 19. So I don't know if he's dead or alive. He doesn't know that my sister is a junior in nursing school and doing quite well. He doesn't know that I've gotten married, and had a son, and also doing well. And frankly, I prefer it that way.
post #117 of 215
Originally Posted by kerc
Which i think is often lost in children of alcoholics and probably many kids overall -- the idea that every person is special for who they are.
So true. The child is usually just an extension of the adult, a mirror to their unfilled needs. I have so many moments with my daughters where I think-wow, I didn't get this growing up.
post #118 of 215

Compassion is key

Well...I am glad to see this thread happening.

Thank you all for your honesty and sharing your stories. It is through telling and hearing stories that healing happens.

I am coming up to one year as an al anon member and can tell you that it has inspired a hugely beneficial change in my life .

I came to al anon a year ago after my partner checked himself into a treatment program. I did not really realise that he had a problem with addiction until that moment. I knew he used drugs and alcahol but it never really registered that he was addicted...I just thought he was a jerk with crazy mood swings. I realised also that I was passing on to my dd's the tradition of hooking up with addicts and I needed that tradition to stop. I knew al-anon was the answer and I am so greatful for this program.

I was born into a family of addicts, my father was a violent alcaholic and my mother was a heroine addict. I was raised mostly by my grandma but still was deeply affected by the users. I lived the death of my parents a thousand times in my mind and as a child I secretely wished that they would finally die so that My grandma and I could live with some peace of mind and no longer have to worry.

I have spent my life harbouring anger towards my parents for the life they lead. I could not forgive what I did not understand. especially when I had children I could not understand how a parent could turn their back on their child. I was discusted and ashamed of them. I also carried much shame , had low self esteem and lacked boundaries.

ALcaholism and drug addiction are an illness...a disease no different from diabetes, cancer, etc. And most importantly IT IS A FAMILY DISEASE! Once I grasped this concept I was better able to see how I was just as sick as the addicts in my life. I became a control freak demanding perfection from myself and those around me. I would look at my partner to see what kind of mood we would be in for that day. My boundaries were so week that I could not feel for myself I looked to others as a gage for how I was doing. I was so overly sensitive that the smallest criticism was like a disasterous blow to my ego. I could not manage my emotions very effectively and would react and over react to everything.

My anger was great because I really believed that if I stayed angry it would change the people I was angry with. Hah! it only hurt me. I also tried acting really sad and hurt and that didn't seem to work either.

I thought that at 37 years old I had escaped unscathed...after all I don't drink and I don't use drugs. Well I grew up and married an addict...huh...funny that.

My life has changed for the better now that I can understand this disease and have compassion for the addict and love them at their worst and at their best and everything in between.

My Dad has been clean and sober for ten years and has worked the AA twelve step program...it saved his life. Al-anon helped rekindle my relationship with my Dad as I understand how difficult it was for him and still is. I am able to forgive my parents because they are not bad people they are ill people.

My mother still uses but I can love her and withhold judgement against her because she is ill. Would I be angry with somebody ill with cancer? I choose compassion and my life, my family life , my marriage, and my daughters are all better for it.

btw..when someone stops drinking or using drugs their life does not sudenlly get better. The disease does not stop. It is a life time journey of healing and self discovery and a lot of battles with the demons of the past...mainly shame.

Anyway...miracles happen at al-anon, aa, na,acoa,etc . For me I feel contentment for the first time in my life and that is what I am choosing to pass on to my daughters now. I can only change myself.

post #119 of 215

my story...

Well, my dad's an alcoholic... the most important thing in his life was drinking, second most important thing was working. He got sober about 6 years ago and just threw himself into his job to fill the void. Then he had a stroke about 3 years ago which forced him into an early retirement. He now relies on my siblings and I to fill his days, which I really resent sometimes. Yes, that's right, I am a monster. What kind of person resents a handicapped, recovered alcoholic? I am the oldest of his kids, and take most of the resposibility of ensuring his happiness, and sometimes wonder why I do it for him when he was NEVER there for me. Although he is dry, he can still be very mean. I think he is probably a pretty cool person who has just been through a lot, but now that I have children of my own, I am realizing all that I missed out on and also am lacking in what seems to be basic parenting skills, such as anger management. (which was non-existant in our house growing up.)

Here's the worst part: Sometimes I wish he wasn't sober because then some of these feelings would be validated! : I just feel like I have no right to complain because he stopped his drinking, so although he was drunk for the first 20 years of my life, I don't allow myself to talk or think enough about this stuff. And as I hear about how my little sister got beat up by her boyfriend again, or that my little bro went on another drinking binge, I can't help but think that our lives might have been better without him.
My mom is a pro enabler... she waited until us kids were grown to divorce him because of his drinking, and is now engaged to another alcoholic. I love her, but I am also resenting her for allowing him to drive us around knowing he was wasted, never mentioning alateen to us as kids, and just overall letting us think that our family situation was "normal".

So I am trying to salvage a relationship with a man I barely know... we only had about 3 years to get to know the real him, post-alcohol and pre-stroke.
If anyone else's situation is similar at all to this one, I would to hear from you. I'm also curious about anyone's experience with getting outside help... specefically alanon vs. acoa, and real meetings vs. on-line meetings.

Thanks for "listening"....
post #120 of 215
Hi Brooke. I think your reactions are totally valid. I have a somewhat similar situation. My parents were both alcoholics. My father was nice to us, but my mother was pretty cruel, drunk and sober. She pushed me away, in particular, as I got older and less under her control.

Then my father died, and she seemed to expect me and my sister to fill the void. All of a sudden there were all these expectations of family closeness, all these imagined ideas of how we were supposed to behave as her daughters, what we "owed" her, considering that she was this poor grieving widow. She stopped talking to me soon after my son was born. I guess in part due to my not being able to meet her needs as quickly as I used to.

Now, almost 5 years later, she is trying to re-establish contact, and I just don't know what she is expecting. I know that I can count on nothing with her, and that makes a real relationship difficult. And we live 3000 miles from each other, and I have two young children who she chose not to know or acknowledge.

I think you are doing a lot, and he is lucky to have you for a daughter. I went to alanon about 10 years ago, and it was not so helpful for me at the time, but I would like to go again. It seemed like the people in the group I was in all seemed to have had a lot of physical abuse and fights with their parents, and my situation was not like that. I sort of felt like my situation was not "bad" enough to deserve air time.

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