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Daughters of Alcoholics Support - Page 5

post #81 of 215
ummm, i thought that was normal ickrause, i do that too
post #82 of 215
you know what's really unbelievable? I've never really connected my own emotional disconnect to my being the daughter of an alcoholic before.
post #83 of 215
Originally Posted by mama ganoush
ickrause-i totally relate.

I do have pangs of "regret" kinda feelings years later. Like I start to miss that part of my life or something. But I am capable of boxing it up and shutting it down.
post #84 of 215
Hi- j I am another adult child of alcoholics. My parents married at 19 & 20, divorced 7 years ago, when I was 19, after 25 years of marriage. My father was born & raised in Scotland w/a heavily drinking family and does not see that he is an alcoholic because he is daytime functional. He would walk in the door and start drinking until he was in a rage or passed out by 8 or so. My mother is very co-dependent and also an alcoholic. Although she drank heavily when my parents were married, it has only been in the last 5 years or so (after the divorce) that I would say she has become an alcoholic.

My dad moved out of the country shortly after they divorced and just moved back to the state (only 15 miles from me) in December. He is moving in with a close family friend whom he is now dating and planning on marrying. This is a long-term, "they were friends in college," her kids and us grew up together, type of friend. I am having a hard time with his sudden return and his lack of interest in seeing me or his only grandchild- my DD. My mother spent her 6 years of alimony & child support, in a state of serious depression and is now penniless, unemployed, living in her parents home (also very disfunctional family), literaly living off of my grandparents savings (grandma is in a nursing home) and teetering on the brink of moving in with me. I am desperate to avoid having her move in but also terribly sad at the life she is living. My sister is only 19 and is so very lost. She is a good kid, and trying so hard to follow a path out of her childhood. She calls me and my DH her "mini-mom & mini-dad." It is me that she worries about dissappointing, calls with worries, asks to get the stains out of her new pants, stays the night w/when home from school, etc. I also have a 22 yr. old brother who lives out of state and has battled addictions with both marijuna and just recently, he admitted that he is "drinking too much."

My DH is a wonderful, kind, gentle soul. He has a very happy, very functional family. They are wonderful people that I am grateful to have in my life. He and I dated in high school and he is very aware of my childhood, parents and issues. However, DH cannot seem to understand how significantly my parents have impacted my life. I feel that I became utterly dependent on him at about 15, dated through high school & college, married shortly after, had baby, you know... I do love him but hate to feel that I might have made this decision out of dependence/fear of being alone. DH has also had problems with depression and began taking something (starts w/an L- lexapro?) about 6 months ago. He has leveled out and swears it has changed his life. My IL's talk all the time about "how proud my dad must be of me" and "how much he must see me now that he is home." They are aware of his drinking problem, but only see his "public face" and think he is a great guy.

Anyway- my biggest issue right now is anger management. I have been fighting this flash temper all my life and with current stresses I am having a harder time. On top of my parents current issues, we are flat broke, deep in debt and struggling to dig ourselves out. I have been a SAHM but have two new jobs (that I can bring DD to) around the corner. Anyway, sorry for the book. Glad to have found this thread!
post #85 of 215
lovemyAvery> glad you joined us here!
first: i relate to of course much you said and then i want to offer a few bit's of what i think is wisdom-learned. When you worry that you may have made a decision to marry out of fear/dependency; well, I would guess there were wonderful times, chemistry, love and maybe something unknown more akin to your lifes path that helped you to make your decison in marrying this wonderful guy. ( my dh's name is rob too, btw )
now, for him to fully understand just to what extent alcholism and codependeny affected you he would need to be educated as even we usually cant see all of it and how it plays out until we seek out help. But, It's mostly important for YOU to understand your part and what you can do in your life to make the differences. I often get caught up in codependant thinking and behavior's;expecting dh to understand this and that and have just the right things to say or do. I do that without realizing im not acting responsible for my behavior and then looking at him to blame in some way. It's hard to change these ways after so long. It's been part of your family for a long time. I hope all of us coming here can learn new ways so as to not pass it on down.
keep sharing here and we can all learn from eachother
post #86 of 215
welcome ilovemyavery

I have to be brief because I've got to get some work done (at work)....

re: anger ----> I can totally relate. It has honestly taken me YEARS of my "normal" post-parents-very-involved adult life to find ways to deal with anger. Stress jacks up my inability to cope with stuff like that. I find that 20 minutes of calm walking outside really helps me.

Originally Posted by ilovemyavery
My IL's talk all the time about "how proud my dad must be of me" and "how much he must see me now that he is home." They are aware of his drinking problem, but only see his "public face" and think he is a great guy.
Personally, I'd be totally upfront and honest about what's going on and how you feel. They sound like they want to be supportive of you. Of course it depends upon your ILs, but I find that being totally honest about what's happening/happened in the past makes it easier for people to support you in the present. Often that means an initial explanation about how you feel about what's going on, which can be troubling.
post #87 of 215
Hi Mamas,

1. Totally there with the emotional disconnect, except that I don't have falling outs with people. It's more of a drifting away that I don't do anything to stop. I have a hard time pursuing people for friendships, because I pursued an emotional relationship with my parents, and was repeatedly rejected. They favored drunkeness.

2. Anger - have definitely had to teach myself how to manage anger as an adult. I was not allowed to show anger or frustration in my house growing up. All emotions were ridiculed, and the only coping mechanism modeled was drinking (and some yelling!).

3. I think in order to survive without becoming my family legacy, I have to be honest about my life, even if it turns people off/makes them uncomfortable. Hiding the truth supports alcoholism and co-dependency and self-loathing. I feel wierd every time I do it, but I respect myself, and know I am taking care of myself.

Thanks everyone. Somedays I really need this thread, even though I am not in the thick of it.

post #88 of 215
I am so grateful to have found this thread... it's comforting to know I'm not the only one with these feelings... though I'm sad for anyone else that shares them. It seems that no matter how much I learn about alcoholism & addiction, I am constantly befuddled as to where all the anger, rage, and sadness I carry come from. Why am I so angry all the time? Why do I feel so sad and alone in the world (despite a wonderful DH)? Then I remember, and think, oh yeah, I guess that's it.

It's as if I'm still constantly baffled by the endless effects this shit has had on me, on my character, on who I am. It's left engravings on my soul.

Background: my parents got pg with me in HS and were basically forced to marry. Stayed together for my first 5 years, which were spent drinking, partying, moving around a lot. Fear, uncertainty, and instability were the norm. My main memory of us as a family is driving around, down by the beach, with an ever-present beer in my dad's lap. He was always drinking a beer.

He scared me. He's a big guy with a bully vibe, and I can remember literally backing away from him when he approached me in my playpen. Fear has become his MO in life, probably because he is a terrified little boy underneath all his bravado. He never physically hurt me, but I always felt he would. Both of his parents were heavy-drinking, abusive alcoholics.

My mom was my safety net. I clung to her, though I realized early on that she was lost herself, and not quite there. I was always longing for my mom, desperately, even when sitting right next to her. She was never there. I have many memories of clinging to her legs, begging her not to leave me, for fear I'd never see her again. That is just the saddest thing to me.

Mom finally left dad - for his drinking problem and verbal abuse - and we moved in with my grandparents. She returned to school and work, so they basically took care of me. I am grateful that I had them in my life - any love, attention or affection I ever received came from them. My mom was the pretty, popular, always-busy party girl who just happened to have a child at home. I was an afterthought; the inconvenience she didn't know what to do with. Her drinking/partying increased, until she entered a residential treatment program for alcohol (though all my grandparents told me was, "she had to go away for a little while". Lies run rampant in my family.) After treatment, she continued drinking, and no one ever mentioned it again.

The irony is - she became a therapist, and continues to drink daily. And sees nothing wrong with it. Even criticizes people she knows (even clients?) for staying with their "loser alcoholic" husbands. : HELLO??

Since I've had children (4 yrs now) the pain/anger/fury has really risen up in me. Each day that I work on really raising them well - consciously, lovingly, attentively - I see how totally neglectful she was (is). I feel so sad for my little 5 year old self, who was made to become an adult before she had a chance to experience childhood.

I see how phony & neglectful she is with my girls - "forgetting" to buckle their car seats, on walks letting them wander off without her. All her bullsh*$ excuses. She has that constant distraction of the addict, attention always focused elsewhere, her heart as hollow as a shell.

I don't have compassion for her these days; I'm too full of my own grief.

My father continues to drink heavily; hiding out in his life. No interest in or contact with his only grandchildren.

- I also lock away emotions. And I have a scary ability to cut people out of my life, without ever looking back.

- Has anyone else noticed this - when my girls hit the age I was when trouble started in my family (3-4), parenting got really hard for me. Last year was so stressful for me - them being 3 brought up all my stuff from then, it seemed.

- I've come to realize that my mother is not safe with my children, and this has been such a painful realization for me. I think I'm finally admitting to myself just how serious her problem is - that she would put them in dangerous situations repeatedly - totally freaks me out. Needless to say, they will not be alone with her again.

Sorry for the novel... it was a hard weekend with her. So much has come up for me, it was good to let it all out.
post #89 of 215
Welcome, Babylovex2. Glad you are here, sorry to hear of the losses in your life. Isn't it wierd to think Grandma=not safe? My parents would leave us with our grandparents for days, with instructions to not get in the car with them in the afternoon. WTF? Both my maternal grandparents and my parents were daily til' you pass out drinkers.

You are wise to not leave your kids with her anymore. My mother came to visit us in the hospital (my son had to stay for a week) and pulled out my son's IV to change his clothes without asking anyone first (I was asleep and I read it in the nurses chart notes)! And she wasn't even drunk! She isn't stupid, either, she just has no dang judgement.

Grandmas are supposed to be soft, fun, safe, and bake cookies. Sorry, I cling to the stereotype......

post #90 of 215
Thanks Leatherette.

I cling to the stereotype too. I am also HIGHLY idealistic, and want everything/everyone to be perfectly loving, kind, and in control of themselves. I see how lack of control - in any form - makes me feel so scared and unsafe.

Safety has become so important to me as an adult.

So it's totally freaking me out that my mom is not safe with my kids. To really see and accept that as reality. But I know I must; I'm so good at hiding my head in the sand I've got to force myself to see things as they are.

I'm also realizing how important it is for me to keep the focus on myself and respect my own needs. That it's okay for me to make her, and others in my life, aware of my boundaries. Just because no one stuck up for me as a child doesn't mean I can't do it for myself now.
post #91 of 215
post #92 of 215
My father was a horrible alchoholic as I was growing-up. I have very clear recollections of him being drunk, and very few of him being sober.

I remember looking up to see the kitchen door open after he drove himself home, and he fell through it the rest of the way and onto the floor.

I remember learning to disconnect battery cables and hide keys under seats and beg people for rides when I was like 8 years old.

I remember lots of other stuff too, but it's painful and I don't really want to dredge it all up at the moment.

My Dad is a much better person now. We have a good relationship for the most part, but only because I was able to forgive him for A LOT.

s to the other mamas who's btdt s
post #93 of 215
This thread has me crying. I've read most of it and I can't believe some of the things I've read that sound so much like me. Both my parents are alcoholics. My df is dead and didn't drink much is last few years. He could either be happy and fun or in almost an instant turn mean and angry. My mother is an annoying emotional, clingy drunk.

Here are somethings I've read in this thread that I can totally relate to. I can emotionally just completely shut down. I like stability, predictablity , and no surprises. I can't hardly remember anything of my childhood. I have bouts of anger and I don't know where it comes from. I absolutely hate that boiling underneath the surface feeling.

I have never been to an al-non meeting. I don't want alcohol to take up anymore of my live/time.

I occasionally have a glass of wine or a margarita. I pretty much gave up drinking after my 20's.

My mother and I have role reversal. I've been the mother for years kwim. I feel like she has used me as a life perserver and I can't do that no more.

More than anything in the world I want to give my kids security, stability, predictability, love, and freedom to enjoy their childhood. I sometimes want to mourn the fact that I never had the carefree childhood.

Thanks for listening and sharing!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #94 of 215
Rebecca> 'more than anything....to enjoy their childhood. I sometimes want to mourn." I understand. I have spent many times alone, just crying, sobbing, grieving. I think it helps. when it is happening i dont understand but then when it's over i get it.
Im very understanding also of the mom reversal. I know that is one of the big reasons I get burnt out as a real mom so fast. sometimes it's like im sooo sick of taking care of them and I feel so unvalidated and unappreciated and frustrated. But it goes to the point that I know my kids are not supposed to validate or show appreciation the way i (or part of me)expects sometimes. Then i realize it's the old stuff. The old hurt and frustration and overwhellming feeling of being stuck as a 'parent' at such a young age.
post #95 of 215
I can't begin to tell you ladies how enlightening this thread has been. I find by the end of the day I feel my self shutting down, between my mom calling, my dh needing something, and the kids needing attention, I just want to curl up by myself. I find sitting in front of the computer very relaxing. I hope to use what I've learned here to help me always give my all to my kids and put limits on the other things that drain me.
post #96 of 215
wow. i'm a bit weepy and more than a little amazed at how much all of this hits home, although i know i shouldn't be -- i guess i still feel at times that my childhood experience was uniquely miserable because of my father's drinking. it's amazing how similarly it affects all of us.

my father drank from as early as i can remember and was emotionally, and rarely physically, abusive. after 2 horrifying events (a DUI with the driver of the other car getting killed and a mugging which left my father somewhat disfigured and blind in one eye), it then took a brain anyurism and a stroke to keep him from drinking. that was when i was 13 or so. even after that, however, he was a very mean person to be around -- a "dry drunk", i suppose. i found myself wishing he would drink b/c then my mother would have a reason to leave him.

now, we actually have a decent -- if distant -- relationship. i feel like real (family-related) relationship issues lie with my mother. i don't know if i still feel like she was the one who robbed us of our childhood b/c she stayed with him. i definitely don't think she gave too much thought to how it was affecting us, which is a horrible thing to say about my mother -- i mean, i know she loves us and wanted the best for us, i just think she was so wrapped up in her own world and we (my brother and i) were so self-sufficient (out of necessity), she just didn't think about us in that way.

Originally Posted by Leatherette
1. Totally there with the emotional disconnect, except that I don't have falling outs with people. It's more of a drifting away that I don't do anything to stop. I have a hard time pursuing people for friendships, because I pursued an emotional relationship with my parents, and was repeatedly rejected. They favored drunkeness.
i'm totally with leatherette on this point -- i can't say how many friendships i've let slip away, knowingly, and without making any effort to stop it. i always knew that it had something to do with having an alcoholic parent, but never drew connections as closely as i have this morning.

thanks for this thread. it's been very theraputic and cathartic. i don't think i've cried over my past in a while -- it's a very good release.

to end on a better note, i realized a long time ago that, overall, i'm very happy with how my life turned out. and now, i have the most wonderful husband and baby boy. i'm sure i'll make plently of parenting mistakes with jack (and any other child i'm lucky enough to have) but they *won't* involve the heartbreak & pain that comes with having an alcoholic parent. there may be fallout from me having grown up with an alcoholic dad, but that's *got* to be better than living with it directly, right?

thanks again & sorry for the book. don't think i've ever posted this much anywhere...
post #97 of 215
Hi, Melissa.

post #98 of 215
Another ACOA here.
My father had a drinking problem before I was born, and it took until I was 13, and begged my mother to leave, that we got out of that toxic situation.

I was very lucky to have a friend when I was about 16 who had gone through a herion addiction, and been to rehab, and she urged me to go.
The facility was open to any substance abusers, including children of.
It was a residential program for 6 weeks, and I swear - the best thing I ever did.
My father came for family week, and participated in the therapy - he was at that stage admitting to being alcoholic, but could not bring himself to stop.
He did finally stop when I was about 23 or so, and he has told me that going through the therapy with me was a huge factor in his being able to stop.

After coming out of therapy, where we ALL had to go to AA and NA meetings, I started going to alateen, and later to alanon, but found the alanon meetings to be full of bitter, controlling women, not at all like the really fun AA and NA meetings I was used to. Funny really, I guess the addicts still were getting out there having a good time, and the spouses were being left behind to be bitter and angry.
I went through the 12 steps, and the one where you admit to yourself, to god and one other person the nature of your shortcomings, wow - that was SOOOOO powerful.

I am really lucky in that we are very close now, after a period in my life of about 10 years when I felt that he was dead to me, and completely believed he would drink himself to death.

I have a huge amount of empathy for him, as I grew into adulthood, I came to know of many things in his childhood, and life which pushed him to the drink - not excusing self destructive behaviour at all, but just understanding a little.

I can't really think of things in my life now that I can attribute to growing up in a co dependant/alcoholic household, apart from perhaps my tendancy to keep to the edges of social circles, and having an anxiety about having visitors into my home - that one has eased a bit now, but I think it comes from the wierd memory I have of whenever we had visitors, the whole family would run into the bush and hide!!! How strange and unusual is that?
Obviously I never learned how to be a good host!

I'm amazed (not really) to see so many others out there.


post #99 of 215
Just found this thread......also sharing alot of the same experiences and feelings of emotional shut down.

My father was an alcoholic, but I dont remember him ever being drunk. He just drank himself to sleep in a chair in front of the tv. I do have vivid memories of being 4 or 5 and not wanting to kiss him bc he smelled of beer. For some reason, he and I NEVER got along.....and he would give me severe whippings for even the most minor thing. We never had much of a relationship....and he left my mother when I was 16, to marry a friend of hers. Through my 20s, I tried to have a relationship w/him.....then I got an angry letter from him, saying he knew I was "faking it" and to not bother. He sent me an "ammends letter" after that. But he never acknowledged anything about how he treated me...and would talk to my mother about what a brat I was towards him. He actually could not understand why I felt the way I did! He had no memory of it! How can you own what you dont remember?? We didnt talk for 7yrs. Then I saw him....my brother had a bbq at his house, and he was a total asshole to me. That was the last time I saw him, he died a couple summers ago. Ive had therapy for years......and have been filled with anger that is stuffed so far down...most of the time I have no connection to it. Im sad I couldnt have a conversation with him directly.....but I did send him a letter years ago, telling him how his lack of affection/attention and the abuse affected my life.....led me to relationships with men who were emotionally unavailable.....one that was physically abusive. I heard he cried when he read it....but he never called me. I didnt expect him to. His parents were both Alcoholics......his mother drank a 5th of whiskey daily until she died at age 95.

Like I said, Ive had years of therapy......and thought I had dealt with alot of it, until dh's father started visiting us. He is in recovery (so he says) from alcohol......and he behaves like a 16 year old most times. I cant say exactly what it is about him that triggers everything in me......but the last time he was here, dh was at work and I had to spend about 6hrs with him and his fiance. He had pulled a muscle in his neck....and was asking me if I had any vicodin......he always has to be the center of attention, esp around dd .....then he was telling me about this wine he had a few weeks ago....I wanted to say "Arent you in recovery?".....but just didnt want to go there. He is always saying either inappropriate things, or things like that to get me to respond. He is getting married next month and I told dh I do NOT want to go.

Dh's sister was a heroin addict and has had problems with addictions for years. Thankfully, dh and I do not have issues with alcohol or drugs. My ds from a previous marriage has been in recovery for 2yrs for alcohol and pot.

I think what is wonderful and painful......is to see how dh is with our dd. They are soo close.....and so affectionate with eachother. I know if I had had that in my life as a child, it would have been so different for me. Im so happy dd has that. I know this continues to affect all my relationships in my life.....and I wish more people would realise that it does. I know so many people with alcoholic parents that are not getting help....

thanks for reading.....
post #100 of 215
It is so great to see this thread. I have not read all the post yet but I am goign to go back and read them. My mom has been an alcoholic for as long as I can remember. She right now is trying to quit drinking but with out going to a group or even telling my dad.
She is a loving caring person but I have a lot of bad feeling towards her that I am alway looking to purge. I am mad that my brother and I were not enough to make her happy. I know that it is deeper than that for her but that is how it makes me feel.
So far we have not left the baby with my parents but we have not left the baby with anyone.
Thank you for this thread
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