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.
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.