I have not been on the mothering.com forums in a bit. I shied away from them because they are so publicly viewable, but I keep coming back and lurking. It really is a great community, so I thought I would go ahead and jump back in, especially since I am really in a moment of need.
I have been in a 18+ year relationship, and for so long, I have thought that the dysfunction of my childhood was something I handled and got over. "It wasn't so bad. Nothing compared to what others have suffered through." But finally I **heard** my DH say that I needed to grow up. Here I am in my late 30s, and finally hearing -- after the millionth time of him saying-- that I need to grow up, that I need to do something or he will leave me.
It makes my stomach turn.
My sister has been able to make great strides in her personal growth after learning about ACOA. That was about a year ago...now I am finally realizing I need to really face how the dysfunctionality I learned as a child has been affecting me this whole time.
I am now reading Becoming My Own Parent, and I am just starting to accept that I am struggling with typical issues of adult children, codependency and passive aggressiveness. I have created so many problems for myself and for husband.
I searched for an active thread on the forums for ACOA issues, but could not fine one. Am I missing it? Or shall we start one here?
If not, can anyone recommend an active forum elsewhere that could be helpful? There are no ACOA meetings near me, so I am trying to find other means for "fellowship."
You could also try CoDa (http://www.coda.org/) which has the same structure as AA and Al-Anon and which focuses on co-dependent relationships.
I have found it very helpful and inspiring.
Good luck, and remember you are not alone!
Single mama to a 5yo and 8yo
Thanks, y'all, for the suggestions. I also found this forum http://acoa.activeboard.com/forum.spark?forumID=42759 which is starting to pick up in activity. That site has online meetings, which is helpful since I do not have an option for face-to-face meetings right now.
I am just beginning this journey, and it is so very hard right now because my DH is also an ACoA...and we have some serious codependent issues. He is the controlling-type. I am the complaint-type. It has lead to some emotional abuse issues. And I am trying to clarify where I have to take responsibility for my behavior and stop stepping right into the victim role. I can see how I am just begging to be controlled sometimes. It makes no sense! I can also see how my resentment of his controlling behavior that has built over the years leads to me just being passive-aggressive and picking fights. At the same time I am trying to realize when I am acting healthy and he is not. I am so very emotionally weak right now that I always end up seeing things from his perspective at the end of the fight. So I am the one who apologizes all the time. We are both sick of hearing me apologize!
Thanks Heavens, this is not all the time. We have unhealthy spells, and then we have healthy spells. We have had good honest talks and we both know that we can be better than we are. We are 20 years together, and just now have a son under 2.
And I guess this is why I am hoping that we might have a discussion here, because I am seeing how important it is to stop the craziness for not just my sake but for my son's sake, too. I don't want him to grow up in a dysfunctional home. I don't want him to see his mom take verbal abuse. I don't want him to see his mom be an emotional wreck for no apparent reason at all. I grew up with that...my mom verbally-abused herself a lot. She entered into bad relationship after bad relationship. Between her various addictions, various recoveries, and mental health issues (clinical depression, bipolar, and what we now realize was probably borderline personality disorder), my mother could never maintain emotional stability for more than a few days at a time. (My mother passed away a few years ago.)
I also don't want my son to think that being a man means to be controlling and unfeeling. I also know my husband does not want this either. Our relationship did not start out that way, but we got together young and grew up together. Sometimes I think I am the one who created the monster in him. I know it is not true. I am not responsible for his behavior, but I have encouraged it with my own "crazy ways."
We both have a lot to work on, but for now I can only work on me. on mom.
Thanks for reading. I hope others might decide to share their thoughts on their childhood and how it is affecting them as parents.
I have been thinking about trying to attend a CoDa or ACOA meeting myself. I was in a very dysfunctional marriage for ten years - thankfully got out and DID NOT replicate my mistake and fell in love with a truly kind and giving and sweet man, who, i am just learning now, has a ridiculously co-dependent family! They live locally, but we used to visit probably every other month or so - now that i have had their first grandchild - we see them twice a month and their 'idiosyncrasies' have really begun to bubble to the surface.....
My MIL is ACOA - and her son is currently an alcoholic - living at home , in his mid 30's ...etc..etc... I am only beginning to see some of those old familiar patterns between my new DH and myself. I did find a therapist who is fairly helpful. I have seen therapists twice before this and i always find it so difficult to find a good one! I started again because i have gained all my pregnancy weight back again....and i would like to stop this compulsive overeating now that i am over 40! But i think starting with the ACOA and co-dependent behavior patterns might ultimately help me - i dunno ...it still feels pretty overwhelming!
good idea to start the post OP!
Happy at Home Mama to DD 4/95 DS 4/98 and DS#2 8/10
Since I have been offline my MIL has decided to move into town so yeah, I think I am going to see a lot of my DH's family's co-dependent behavior coming out, too!
It's hard for me because I feel like I need to deal with my ACoA stuff....and at the same time I want to help my DH see his ACoA behaviors. I know I need to start with myself...but wouldn't it be so much easier if I could *fix* him!?! (only if...sigh)
Since i stared reading dome of the Acoa literature., i thought things were getting better. But then we got into it at again. The biggest fights are always right around my cycle. Always! It's crazy because i feel like he is the one starting it...like he knows i am about to begin...and jumps on it. Of course, he sees it totally differently...like I am the one having the meltdown. Alas! I am finally starting to wonder if there is something I can do to balance the hormones to stop whatever emotional breakdowns that I am having around my cycle. So far I have decided that I just need more exercise around that time, but I am curious if there is something else I could be doing...
I've had success with herbs for PMS. Everyone is different of course but worked for my rage and acne was Vitex and Saw Palmetto
I also have rage issues with PMS. I am actually being treated totally holistically for a chronic illness and so I have great hope that all my issues will be resolved. The Dr believes my rage is related to the imblances in my body. The therapist believes it is pent up rage from my childhood...I think it is a mixture of both!
I started going to ACoA meetings after I got sick this winter and I am finding it is helping me so much to cope with the struggle of being sick. It's weird but I LOVE going to my meeting!
I am lucky because my dh is not an ACoA and so there's only one of us. We still have our PMS fights though. I now will tell him flat out-"I am struggling, I may not be resonable or kind today but I am trying- please remember how much you love me"
Exercise absolutely helps too.
Hey, Deir, Thanks for the recommendations. I recently had 2 miscarriages and I read about Vitex some, still trying to decide if I should try it or not. As for Saw Palmetto, I will have to look into it. I had read that it can help with women who are extra hairy...*blush*...and I sure could use some help with that. As for exercise, I am definitely going to try to step it up a notch. I am realizing just how much frustration has built up inside of me over the years and without some truly aerobic, hard sweaty activity this frustration has nowhere to go!
I am sorry to hear you are dealing with a chronic illness. I feel like I barely escaped my crazy dysfunctional family with my health. The whole family has autoimmune issues, and I was younger they thought I was on the borderline of having lupus. All throughout high school it was an issue. As soon as I moved out of state and away from the madness, well, my health problems slowly went away. Not totally away, but almost.
As for my DH, I don't know if I said this before but he hasn't self-identified as an ACoA. At the moment, I don't think he sees the need for himself to do any type of recovery work. Right now, he sees it as all me as the problem. And for now, I feel like I have to just accept the situation as it is because I really do have plenty of work to do on myself.
For ACoA issues (and more) definitely check out Guess What Normal Is - http://www.guesswhatnormalis.com
The LiveJournal group for ACoA has a good body of content and is active in waves for ACoA issues.
What I love about good ACoA meetings is that, finally, the focus is on us, the emotion-stuffed silen ones...that focus is long over-due.