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Daughters of Alcoholics Support - Page 2

post #21 of 215
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leatherette
Meowee, do you still have contact with your parents? My father is dead, and my mother stopped talking to me 3 and a half years ago, and that is when I was really able to just work on myself and my feelings (and raising my son!).
I want to cut off contact with them, but can't. I just can't. My father's health is not good and he will probably die within the next decade unless he does something to help himself.

They cause me nothing but sadness, but I can't cut them off completely.

I am somewhat estranged from them, though.
post #22 of 215
I would have had a very hard time cutting off contact with them, too. My mother stopped talking to me, and I spent 6 months pleading with her to meet me halfway, and she wouldn't. I was very upset about it. It took me a while to reap the benefits.

L.
post #23 of 215
Thankful for this thread.
My father did not become a full blown alcoholic until I around 20 years old....I'm now 33.
While I was growing up he always (and still does) fight with serious depression and bi-polar disorder. He is a deeply sad man. He was also a work-a-holic.
I believe he used alcohol to essentially "treat" his depression. And although it worked initially, it quickly snowballed to years of alcoholism.
He's been in treatment several times. His latest treatment he went to the Karen (sp?) Center in the northeast for six weeks, which cost $20,000+/-. He stayed sober for several months after his return, but again started drinking several months ago.
To complicate matters, my husband works closely with him. It's both a blessing (because my husband loves the job) and a curse (because it keeps me so close to the chaos).
My parents have been married 36 years. My mom (who's father was also an alcoholic) enables my father tremendously. My dad has said she is a "trigger" for his drinking. They seem to have more of a mother-son relationship, an adversarial one at that. My father's actual mother gave birth to him at 15 and was emotionally and physically abusive towards him ---which in my head is the root cause of his woes.
To bottom line it, as if you really can, I feel both sad and angry towards both my mother and my father. I see them as a team since they remain remarried. I try to keep perspective of things, whatever that means. I try to focus on the positive. But there is an undeniable dark cloud there. sigh.
The weird thing is I don't hate alcohol. I hate the cause of the void in people's heart that makes them go to the horrible place that alcohol addiction takes you.
Thanks for this thread.
post #24 of 215
Meowee: I really understand your questioning- the "whys?'- I used to find it easier and helpful in a very deep way to believe that i was becoming wiser, more seasoned, learning my lessons, etc. I do still like to believe that and in my heart I DO, yet it seems to get more difficult now. Maybe because i've set some subconscious goal about being "better" by the time im "older" and yet Im older next week (37!).....Im possibly better than I was 10 yrs ago or maybe even 3. Yes, true. I just think as i keep looking at this for me that my issues that are still underneath and aching are being brought to the surface as my son and daughter grow. My fear, As LEATHERETTE is suggesting, MY WORRY is more intense than my Faith. and sure, That's going to do the harm just as much to me and my family as if I were drinking and drugging and abusing in other ways.
so, Those "blows to the souls" are not defeating us unless we let them. we may have sadness but then happiness is not everythng. Im not minimizing deep sadness. Maybe Thats the key for you: knowing where and what you are content with. Although I still have crazy times and am wondering on days if i will make it much further, I know im still happy. I've always been able to be glad that I no longer live the life i endured as a child. Right now, thats enough.
Thanks ladies~Laura
post #25 of 215
Sparklemom> The "team" your parents have is truly sad, yet very commmon. It is so true, undeniably, that the disease affects each person in the relationship. I think it is crucial for our own health to take the steps to move away from the inclusion-nomatter how miniscule - in the family crap. I dont think I could continue to be part of my familys life (dad and mom) if dad still drank. I took some time a few years ago to back off from my brothers life for the drinking and behavior i was seeing hurt too much. now, i see him maybe once or twice a year.

I know this is hard. we love them and abhor their behavior at the same time.
~Laura
post #26 of 215
Jumping in...

I am the 30-year-old daughter of two alcoholics. Mom & Dad drank every weekday evening, and constantly on the weekends. Dad was "dry" for about a year and a half when I was 7 and/or 8. That's it. I have a HUGE amount of anger toward them, and it frequently manifests in times of stress. I have a very long fuse, but when I let the pressure out - it's like an atomic blast. I also have issues with perfectionism and feeling the need to control everything. I have one sister, who is ten years older than I. When she graduated from HS, she left home and never looked back. I do resent that she "abandoned" me to raise myself, but at the same time I understand her need to escape, and I realize it wasn't her job to raise me, it was my parents'. We do have a relationship now, but we're not close.
My father's sister recently died, and Dad showed up to the funeral smelling like a keg. I got a lecture from all the other aunts about how I should take care of my father. Uh, yeah. And to finish things out quite nicely, DH is just now starting to come to terms with his own family's alcoholism & how it has affected him. (I think that his journey to wellness is really prodding me to start taking some action as well.) I pray that I'm able to raise my sons in a normal, happy, loving home, free of the chaos that was my childhood.

Does anyone else have large portions of their childhoods that they can't remember? I feel like I have a few pictures in my head, but I can't remember NEARLY as much as my DH. I remember fragments here & there, but for the most part, it's just a blur. Scary.
post #27 of 215
Hi nitenites! I hear you. -perfectionism, blowing like an atomicblast, resentment.... Yep, forgetting so much about my childhood is something that i always notice ! when people/ parents at my sons school refer to their childhood im always in the back of my head thinking " gosh, wow, that must be nice to have that memory." Mine are mostly pretty whacked, although some - a few- are nice. sometimes i think that the reason my memory now is so terrible (always has been really) is that i got very good at forgetting.
~Laura
post #28 of 215
You know, I honestly remember very little from my childhood and growing up years. I usually suspected that I just perhaps have a poor memory. But could it also be a defense mechanism of sorts? Am I not the only one who remembers surprisingly little about the past?
post #29 of 215
Wow! What a great thread! I have a mother who is one of those alcoholics who has a split personality. I won't take calls from her after 6pm and have horrible memories of what nights were like with her. My dad usually just passes out after dinner. They drink primarily wine and they don't think it is a big deal. My maternal grandfather was a full-blown, all day long, hard drinking alcoholic, physically and verbally abusive, gambling away the paycheck, yelling all the time, etc so my mom does not think what she and my dad do is a problem. I got into therapy by a fluke at age 20 and have been in and out ever since (20 years now) and I take antidepressants from time to time. I do drink occasionally but when it becomes a crutch for stress relief, that is when I go back into therapy. After having my dd, my allergies have been terrible and I cannot tolerate alcohol at all. So, I don't drink any more. All the better. My dh drinks occasionally but he, too, is monitoring his intake and drinking less and less. His parents are more social drinkers but he did not experience the abuse I have. We don't want to get to where my parents are and be unaware of it and give our dd the hellish experience I had so we monitor ourselves.

I've never been to any official meetings. My experience was with verbal abuse and I think my mom would not understand if I ever went to a alcoholics meeting. Counseling in private provides a safe place for me to speak my mind and say what I want. I am close to my mom and I do visit her but as I've gotten older I have been more and more honest about her drinking. She is only allowed to have two drinks a day, after 5pm, when I am with her. She is not allowed to watch dd at night and I would never let dd stay with her alone for extended periods, ever. I do have to remind my mom to stick to her 2 drink limit (she sneaks it or pours a half glass repeatedly) but things have gotten remarkably better in recent years.

I have to give my mom credit that she is at least open to criticism (during the day). She has been trying to do better. She just does not understand that the patterns of drinking are really hard to break. I live in fear of the day my dad dies and she will have to live on her own. The stress will most likely put her over the top. She claims to be healthy and that the drinking is not doing anything to her but I can't believe that.

I am so glad to read that some of you have had experiences like mine, with a parent who has one personality during the day and one at night. Not that I am glad you experienced that but I've never met anyone who has. Most people seem to get along well with their family and not have these issues. Or, they are hiding them. It is the feeling of being alone and being unusual that always got me down when I was younger.

I would love to hear more from any of you who want to converse in this forum or in private.
post #30 of 215
Thread Starter 
in my house, growing up, my parent would start drinking around 5-6 PM and it would progress steadily until by 8 PM by which point they were either in an abusive rage or asleep. To this day I find myself getting more and more anxious as evening approaches, and by 8-9 PM I feel extremely anxious and nervous.
post #31 of 215
Hi! I will join you ladies!
My mom died from breast cancer just after I was born. Her and my dad had been together for 15 years already. My nanny and my dad stayed together, and I know her as my mom. Both of them are alcohlics.My dad drowned his sorrows so to speak. They functioned well and did not drink during the day, worked good jobs etc. My dad drank about 15 beers a night from 4 pm - 8 pm. Because it is beer he doesnt seem to think its a problem. Besides the verbal and emotional abuse sometimes physical, I was neglected. Left in parking lots at night in the car while they drank in the pub ( at two and three years old) Big parties on weekends ( my friends thought it was pretty cool though) where I had to clean up in the morning. Every function missed , I would be the only kid with no parents at the Christmas concert or the swim meet.Or if my mom came she obviously didnt want to be there and brought a book and payed no attention. It was the standing joke amongst the other parents. The drinking got progressively worse through high school. They were extremely strict and controlling. When I moved out , I became pretty separated from the reality of the situation.My dad was laid off at 50 and couldnt find work so began drinking all day. When I was pregnant with my first son at the age of 20, my parents came to visit. We all went to bed early but when I got up to get a drink of water I found my dad guzzling beer trying to meet his quota so he wouldnt be sick the next day. He shakes pretty badly too.After my second son was born we went to visit them. He was supposed to be quitting( or "quit" as my mom said" and it was no problem") and we found his stash down in the basement. Talk about denial. He said to me last month that he does drink too much, but is convinced thet he isnt hurting anybody. He sold my things that were stored in thier basment as well as my partners, without our permission. He sold all of the family possesions... great grandmas things and such.
I really am like a woman in an abusive relationship. I make excuses for them, I keep going back even when they are horrible to me, and especially since having a family of my own just want support and love around me and just keeep thinking and hoping that they will change. Last week was honestly the first time I admitted that what they did was wrong. I see that if I did those things to my children , that they would be taken away from me. I don't even know where to start in healing from this. I feel stuck and cant seem to move forward but dont want to go back there if you know what I mean.
Thank you for starting this thread. I would love to check out that online alanon meeting. Do you have any links?
post #32 of 215
Village Mama, I can understand the physical/emotional/verbal abuse that you describe. I lived it, too. I remember as a child having a very strong fear of being abandoned, being left. I wouldn't stay in the car if my mother went in the grocery store, wouldn't leave her side when we were out of the house, and couldn't spend the night at friends' houses until high school - I was terrified I'd go home, and my parents would have moved while I was away. I didn't find out until years later (when I was about 20) that my mother left one night in the middle of the night when I was about 2, and didn't come back for 4 days. She didn't tell anyone she was leaving or where she was going - she just picked up a few outfits & left. My sister told me that I cried frantically for two days, and then spent the other two days wandering listlessly around our house. I have a very clear memory of when I was about 4, holding on to my mother's leg and screaming/begging for her not to leave when she & Dad prepared to go out on a "date." Ugh - remembering that leaves a heavy, sad weight in my chest.

Sparklemom - no, you're not the only one. I can't remember much at all. I have a few "flashbulb" memories, maybe 6 or so before middle school, but nothing like what I know other people can recall. I just wonder why I'm repressing - what awful memories are laying in wait for me?

Mom is a happy, affectionate drunk. That makes it very difficult for me to accept affection from her. To this day, she tells me she loves me and I shudder - reminds me too much of sloppy hugs and holding up a drunk woman as she's falling over me, telling me how sweet I am. Dad is an argumentative, belligerent drunk: even when you agree with him, it isn't enough.

So, those of you who've been, tell me what an Al Anon meeting is like.
post #33 of 215
Thread Starter 
villagemama. my parents were also very controlling, which seems to be in contradiction with alcoholism, which causes a person to completely lose control. I am also toward them like a woman in an abusive relationship. I kept going back to them even when they behaved abominably in front of my kids. The last time I was there it was so bad I decided to avoid them on holidays and to only see them at my house (not their house).

post #34 of 215
I think that they wanted some perfect daughter to represent them or somthing. What good is perfect table ettiquette going to do, if the other table guests are passed out in thier dinner? :LOL
post #35 of 215
I am jumping on board here-
my dad still is a major alcoholic and my mom enables him and makes excuses.. i, even at age 35, have a hard time being around him- i end up feeling like a 7 yo who desperately wants to win her daddies support.
i still have sooo much anger and few happy childhood memories,
what is hardest for me is that my mom is awesome and i love to spend time with her and completely trust her with my kids...BUT she lives with my dad and after repeated episodes, i do not want my kids around him too often..
this is our first holiday season staying home and my kids are thrilled- i am a bit sad- i miss my mom...
post #36 of 215
Thread Starter 
Do any of your parents match this profile-- one is an alcoholic, the other not an alcoholic but a very controlling, narcissistic personality? This is how my parents are, and I'm wondering if there is something in these personality types that suit each other (addictive/ narcissistic). Somehow I doubt it's unusual to find this. In part, I believe, because it takes someone with a very narcissistic worldview to be capable of the denial and translation of reality needed to live with an alcoholic.
post #37 of 215
Thread Starter 
post #38 of 215
My mother was an alcoholic. My father divorced her and took me and my two brothers back to his home town. I was 5yo (my brothers were 7 and 3yo). We were raised by our father and step mother but visited our mother during school vacations. As a child we did not 'see' our mother for what she was and our father did not tell us who she was other than our mother. I guess he was sheilding us from the stigma of it, because he must have trusted her to some degree because visitation with her was unsupervised and lengthy in the summer. As I became an adoloescent I started to 'see' more of her. I choose to restrice my visitaction with her, particularly because her last husband was violent at times, scarry situation. She never did admit to her problem. She was a very functional drinker. She eventually died from esphixiation (sp?) when I was a junior in high school. I had not seen her for over a year at that point. It is hard at times that my children will never have me her or even for her to see what I have become. KWIM?
post #39 of 215
Yes, meowee- as i've pointed out- that my mom's sickness is what seems to hurt me the most- She was always very narcisistic and uh.... well, kinda bi-polar in a way. My dad was the alcholic and very controlling. I think the type together work well so to speak. Basically i just look at it like two sick people getting sicker together and passing it on.

I want to say I am very glad to be able to come here and find some understanding for the pain that seems to be more intense at this time of year.

Laura
post #40 of 215
Thread Starter 
does anyone else whose parent/s started drinking at the same time every day start to feel anxious and depressed around that time of day? As I mentioned above starting around 5-7 PM I find my mood shifts dramatically. I get sad and nervous. I'm extra cautious to be patient with DC around this time as I know my mood is being affected.
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