Daughters of Alcoholics Support - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-24-2005, 08:59 PM
 
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So today I went to one of my teachers (who is also a counselor) and I told her everything about my father's drinking problem. It felt so good to have someone who wasn't my family listen to me. I felt somewhat relieved to share this knowledge with an outside source. I knew it was the first step for myself to heal and actually realize what is going on around me. I am still in shock and it still doesn't really feel like my life, but I will accept it more as time goes on. Tomorrow I plan on going to the substance abuse counselor at my school and telling him my story. I know he will be able to help me a lot. Hopefully he can tell me more about an intervention or something that will help my father get better. My mom is also planning on getting me some therapy and having all of us go to a al-anon meeting. Mostly, I just want my father to go to one. Honestly, I am really scared, because I think my father feels he has nothing left in life; nothing to live for. I wish I could show him he does, but I know right now, my words don't matter.
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Old 01-26-2005, 12:03 AM
 
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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?
me!! OMG i never really thought about it. But totally! If I am having a bad day and am going to flip out over something it happens right around 2ish...which is when my mom would begin drinking (well at least that's when I remember her drinking. i know she would hide her cup in the morning sometimes too).


I don't really have much to add to the newcomers to this thread -- other than to say welcome. it isn't the right word, but I'm enjoying thinking and processing how alcohol use by my folks is impacting my parenting. I was just talking about this yesterday -- dh spilled coffee on the carpet and dd wanted to help clean it up. Which led to a discussion between myself and dh about how when I was little a spill of any kind was a nightmare. I want to teach my daughter to be careful, but even careful people sometimes have accidents.

DD is beginning to think about using the potty and all of a sudden the shame I felt at wetting my pants at about age 3 is coming back. I'm resolving to follow her lead and see where she takes us on this new parenting journey.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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Old 01-31-2005, 01:41 AM
 
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My dad is a recovering alcoholic. My mom has bipolar manic/depressive disorder. My siblings and I lived in a chaotic childhood home, between crazy episodes with my mom and the addictions of alcoholism with my dad.

My dad has been sober almost 20 years now (I am 36 & he became an AA regular when I was in high school). My mom went to Al-Anon and took us to Alateen meetings when we were young. The best thing about my parents was their openness about addictions and mental illness.

I did YEARS of therapy in my 20s and a few years of ACOA (Adult Children of Alcholics). The ACOA group that I attended was good for me, but when it disbanded I never found one that was as positive or supportive again.

I have a great relationship with my parents today and they are both wonderful, deeply spiritual and loving people. They dealt with alot of pain and confusion, but they loved us the best way they could. They didn't always meet the needs or me and my siblings, but hey, that's why we have therapy, right???

I find that I am so similar to my parents in so many ways that it kind of freaks me out sometimes. My husband and I bought my parents house (against alot of reservations on my part!), so now I am raising my kids in the house that I grew up in. It's odd, but in some ways it is really healing to be able to parent in a much healthier way in the place where my needs were not always met. Parenting is giving me the opportunity to heal my own childhood wounds. I think that is a huge gift.

Kathleen
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Old 01-31-2005, 06:30 AM
 
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Kathleen, Gee. you sound like me. Although there wasnt the exact healing/ mom never was diagnosed and Dad got sober on his own. I hear you in being freaked how much the alikeness is with the parents! I suppose since there isnt a whole lot of healing on the different parts of our "puzzle" ,if you will, I find myself Hating their sicknesses again as they come up and show themselves in my life.
I am very happy for you that there has been growth and understanding. I certainly could never go back and live in that house. I know, never say never. But, as far as the way things are now--- not gonna happen.
I agree also that having children can be a wonderful opportunity to heal. I wish it wasnt so hard sometimes, tho.
glad you found this thread.
Laura
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Old 02-13-2005, 09:14 PM
 
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I come from a fairly dysfunctional family. My stepfather was an alcoholic, and my biological father is probably a hazardous drinker. My mother had no problems with drink, hardly touched it, but was emotionally distant and a workaholic. The scars are there to see in the children....my brother is a drug-addict, mainly marijuana, though also dance party pills, and a bit of acid. Big problems with his anger...he's done a lot of drink-driving too. To be honest he's an idiot. My half-sister became a solo-mum at a young age with 2 children to 2 different men who didn't want to know and won't have anything to do with their children; and she has some big problems with depression. Yes, she's pretty sad.
Me, well I have had problems with low self-esteem, and getting into co-dependent relationships. I think I was, and still am perhaps to some extent, cut off from my emotions.
But I consider myself lucky in that I have no addictions: I don't touch alcohol or drugs. No sex addiction, no food addiction etc. I do have a lot of anger, but I don't have a bad temper or anything. It's under control.

I've read a book recently that has helped give me a lot of insight into my family and a lot of other people around me. It is called "Codependency: How to break free and live your own life" by David Stafford & Liz Hodgkinson.
According to them alcoholism and co-dependency go hand in hand. In fact that is true with all addictions. Underneath alcoholism lurks co-dependency, and this needs to be dealt with for a real healing to take place. Also...
"Whatever the substance, whatever the dependency,...the underlying problem remains the same: low self esteem, a poor sense of identity, a chasm where real genuine feeling should be and a sense of desolation so acute, so all-pervading, that some kind of pathological dependency seems the only answer, the only way out. And it always starts from the same place: a dysfunctional family where realities are denied, and appearances attempted to be kept up at all costs."

I feel really depressed and stressed at Christmas time because I then have to think about how bad my family is. I'm estranged from them now...and actually it is for the best. My brother assualted me a few years ago, and my mother never has been there for me. I lived in denial for so long about the realities of who they are...but not anymore. I did my best to love them but I feel like they threw it in my face.

That book was pretty useful in giving me a handle on what happened, an overview. Co-dependent people are almost always children of tragedy. They're running away from something big and scary in their emotional life.

Compulsive behaviour of any sort is a clue that that person has problems with co-dependency. "They have a diminished capacity to initiate or participate in loving relationships, because deep down they feel they are unlovable. ...they often choose a partner who cannot fully be there for them. Co-dependents' parents never really loved them, because they themselves were incapable of proper love. So such people settle for less than the best, and often very little."

They give some good solutions in the book. But in a nutshell their solution seems to be to learn to love yourself. Only then can you properly love others, and not be too needy. This really resonates with me. I feel sure they're right.
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Old 02-13-2005, 09:49 PM
 
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I feel really glad to participate in this thread. It is helping me understand.

You are really brave to face up to all these things that happened in your childhoods.

Materialism seems to be a common thread, and blocked emotions. My mother had a very hard upbringing with a physically abusive father. She got counselling as a young adult but couldn't face all the horrible feelings that welled up, and so stopped unfortunately. Instead she took refuge in materialism ( she actually told me when I was 19 that she was a materialist), and blocked off all the emotions. She is very good a business, owns her own shop and is probably a multimillionairess. But she doesn't know how to love, and never found a good partner. I doubt whether she's happy. In fact, I'm sure she's not, though she puts on a good act with her friends and customers.
My father lost his parents when very young and had a major nervous breakdown in his mid-thirties. He's pretty much semi-depressed most of the time , and is pretty negative about life, always criticising things. He's addicted to tobacco too. He does have some good spiritual beliefs, but has never put them into practice...he's always been an armchair theorist. He's fairly materialistic, but can be very generous at times, which is more than I can say about my mother.
My stepfather got kicked out of our house when I was 17, though he made a comeback with my mother a couple of years later. She was always addicted to him, even though he was a lying conman, and womanized behind her back heaps. Plus he never really worked and was coming home drunk every 2nd night. I don't know what his beliefs were...I don't think he ever thought that deep. It was just live for pleasure for him.
Anyway their relationship eventually ended for good. He wasn't all bad. I felt sorry for him when I got older, though I hated him as a kid because he was always putting me and my brother down. He had a real inferiortiy complex. He had been a Barnados orphan, so he was a child of tragedy too.


Self awareness seems to be missing in my family, and maybe yours too.
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Old 02-13-2005, 11:39 PM
 
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Aquaduct> welcome to the forum. hope you can keep sharing here. And now that im thinking of it... WHERE IS EVERYONE Around here?????!!!!
I realize we are all pretty busy with the lives we have as parents, but i sure could use your support these days.
Im being treated for bi-polar and having a difficult time. Began depakote 5 days ago and constantly having periods during the day when i wonder if im just so emotionally messed up from my childhood that my behavior is all due to that and not a more genetically, mood related disorder. This is hell putting more S@#$ in my body. I believe the side affects are taking hold ... been extremelly sore in my joints and tired. If that is the case I hope it goes away.
anyone any thoughts on this?
~l
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Old 02-14-2005, 02:46 AM
 
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Hi Lauraess,

I am not around much because my parents are no longer in my life - it's not so much a day-to-day issue, but I like to check in every week or so.

I am sorry you are experiencing side effects from Depakote. It is rough stuff. I have not been on it myself, but have had students and clients who took it, I think mostly for seizures?

I totally know how you feel about not being able to sort your behaviours and moods into separate compartments labelled "genetic" and "environmental" because of your family history. I feel that there must be some sort of genetic mental illness in my family that people have self-medicated with alcohol, but I don't think I have it. I have thought that I had ADHD, then Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and was actually diagnosed and treated with meds for both. But the less contact I have had with my family of origin, and the more time that passes, hmm, I have become asymptomatic. I still work on teaching myself to use healthy coping skills, as I was never taught any.

Have you talked to your therapist about this? If there was any way to be off Depakote (unless it helps you), you may want to bring these thoughts up.

Take care,
L.
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Old 02-21-2005, 02:30 AM
 
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Leatherette, sorry it took me days to reply. anyway, I am seeing a new therapist who i am not completely comfortable with yet. Hoping. When it comes to coping, well, I've had some luck in the past with different tools and techniques. I guess i need constant renewing and reviewing of those. I mean really, im a mess a lot these days. Im a recovering addict who hasnt been to regular meeting in about 4 years, a daughter of an alcoholic and pshychogicially ill mother, being categorized and treadted for Anxiety and Mania and a freakin' health nut too! ( little sarcastic humor there)
But all in all... I just keep hangin in there.... got kids and dogs and frogs and a dh who seems to still love me despite my many issues.
I finally upped the dose like the good psych wanted, after allowing my body to become more accustom. Im not quite so tired these days and my aches arent there. i use Yoga to help and intend on getting in some more exercise with riding my bike a few mornings. Im thinking already that my chaotic thinking is better. My therapist explained a bit how my racing thought tendencies get me all overwhelmed. He says it's a chemical imbalance that means my brain cant correlate and prioritize sometimes. sounds right to me.
We'll see. still in the trial phase to see if this really works.
~take care all~
~L
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Old 03-11-2005, 03:07 AM
 
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So, three+ weeks later, how's it going, Laura?


Quote:
I mean really, im a mess a lot these days. Im a recovering addict who hasnt been to regular meeting in about 4 years, a daughter of an alcoholic and pshychogicially ill mother, being categorized and treadted for Anxiety and Mania and a freakin' health nut too!
Remember, you are not a list of diagnoses and issues

You are a great mama who is trying to heal and find your way.

L.
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Old 03-11-2005, 11:03 AM
 
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Oh HOW SWEET to be thought of LEATHERETTE!
I must say that It (my behaviors and thoughts) has been getting a bit more stable . We just increased the doseage two days ago so maybe we will see more improvement. I still dont always accept the diagnosis, yet i think from what i read somehow thats inherent in the Illness. It sure appears to me that many of us with bipolar are incredibly strong-willed and the need to fix our selves is very common. I guess thats good although a Pain in the@#
when we arent accepting the limitations.
My therapist tells me im not a 'typcial' bipolar and so i want to continue thinking "yeah, right, you just want to give me drugs no matter what I 'have' ."
As i look back at distinct parts of my life i definately see bipolar aspects.
so, remaining hopeful and diligent in my attempts to get better.
Thanks for asking!
~L
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Old 03-12-2005, 11:47 AM
 
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I received this email from my alcoholic bipolar Dad yesterday. It made me cry for him. He struggles so hard with life. His mother recently died....she never showed any love towards him, which is where I believe the roots of his emotinal ailments lie.
He's considering going back to a place called Caron for rehab again. He went there about a year ago for six weeks. He started drinking again shortly after returning.
Anyhow, I wish I could "fix" him...make him believe more in himself...I don't know really what to do.

his email:
I am so tired. So very tired. I am out of hope. I seem unable to
change,
no matter the consequences to me or the hurt I bring to others. I am
sorry
for anyone who counts on me. Here I go, sounding like a victim when
the
real victims are those I love.

But I am so discouraged. I miss my girls and cannot accept the fact
that
they're all grown up. I just love you all and the grandkids so much and
don't know how to show it.

I'll try to do better. Only the power of the universe can help me.

Again, I don't want to sound like a victim. But alcohol possesses me
and I
hate it for that and the damage it inflicts on every one I care about.
What
to do? I haven't a clue. But, I cannot go on like this, hurting all
those
I love so dearly.

I'll try to be better.

I love you so very, very much. Please don't ever forget that.

Love,

Dad
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Old 03-13-2005, 03:14 AM
 
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Sparklemom,

Is he sincere? I want to give him a hug. He sounds like my dad, who died 10 years ago.

L.
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Old 03-13-2005, 03:36 AM
 
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hi all! glad to have found this thread. I don't have alot to say right now, but i'm really looking forward to reading everyone's posts.
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:44 AM
 
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I would love to join this thread, if I may!!!
I am a daughter of an alcoholic, my Dad.
I am also a recovering alcoholic (me - 12 years sober) and married to a recovering alcoholic (dh - 13 years sober).

I attend AA & Alanon....not as much as I used to.

My Dad recently stopped drinking, almost a year now.
He still is in the dry drunk stages...but hopefully that will change too....

Looking forward to "meeting" all of you.

TIA!!!
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:32 AM
 
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Spaklemom> I know that has got to hurt in so many ways
I wish i could give you a hug and your dad a ride to the rehab. There is always hope. Dont give up on him...
Maybe someday soon he will get how this disease works and work a program, surrendering and accepting his powerlessness. It is terribly sad to watch a parent suffer like this. It's like you want to take them to the rehab, give em a big hug and kick em out the door of the car (making sure they get in the building tho)!
you have our support mama
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Old 03-19-2005, 01:08 PM
 
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Aloha, I am another member. I just spent an hour typing a lot of junk my cat just erased so I will keep this short. I live on an island far from my alcoholic father but he has managed to reach me here. Is anyone else still dealing with an active drinker? He is 77 and has been drinking heavily at night for at least 35 years. HE has been very functional unti recently, worked two jobs most of his life and finacially responsible. I jsut had small stuff to deal with like a mom who attempted suicide numerous times after he tried to leave. I was 11 and would find her passed out on the couch after taking her fav valium (supplied by dad) and wine. When I called Dad at work crying he would say oh, she never takes enough to hurt herself, she'll be fine, just go to bed. I have all of the stuff you guys already talked about, anxiety disorder (think I have this under control after therapy), perfectionism, dysfunctional relationships. I have a big problem now though. Dad gifted and sold a house to me 10 yrs ago (he had invested in real estate). I didn't ask for it but it was a nice surprise and the rental income has helped me to be a sahm. Now he want it back, says he is in finacnial trouble. Theonly problemis that if I do give it back, it willput my familyinfinancial jeopardy
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:47 AM
 
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Siddie> Hey sister-mama I can only think of one thing: "Its ultimatum time" - I bet he wouldnt be in financial straits if it wasnt for the drinking, maybe? anyway, A gift is a gift and you are in the position to 'bargain' with him. Lay it all out and find a way for him to benefit from the property AFTER he rehabs.
I do feel for you mama, and for me there is leftover hurt over the injustices i endured when you speak of your situation.... not much sympathy for dear dad tho. so, try to think how it can be a win/win situation.
~L
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Old 03-20-2005, 03:38 AM
 
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I actually read the whole thread. How bout that.

Quickie background: My father was an alcoholic and eventually drank himself to death when I was in my mid-20s (I'm 32 now). Not the funnest childhood but probably could have been worse.

Anyway, here's my "issue."

Does anyone else have a scary ability to completely lock away emotions? For example, year before last I had a falling out with a very close friend. I grieved heavily for about three days. During that time I gathered up everything--and I mean EVERYTHING--she had ever given me in our 9 year friendship and boxed it up. At the end of the three days, when it became clear the friendship would never be repaired on any meaningful level, I chucked the box(es) in the dumpster. A week later, from an emotional standpoint, it was as though she had never existed in my life. I mean intellectually I know/understand what happened, but emotionally the whole incident and that 9 years of friendship and that person provoke no feelings whatsoever in me now. No regret, no sadness, no wistful remembrances of good times, no curiosity, no confusion, nothing.

And that is just the most recent example. Sometimes I feel like I'm from the planet Vulcan or something.
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Old 03-20-2005, 04:08 AM
 
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ickrause-i totally relate.
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Old 03-20-2005, 07:40 AM
 
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ummm, i thought that was normal ickrause, i do that too
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Old 03-20-2005, 12:33 PM
 
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you know what's really unbelievable? I've never really connected my own emotional disconnect to my being the daughter of an alcoholic before.
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:17 AM
 
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Quote:
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.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:02 AM
 
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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!

sleepytime.gifC.- WOHM, CPST Instructor, and all around busy Mama to  blowkiss.gifA.- 02/04, bouncy.gif I. 01/07,babyf.gifE. 09/10 and

stork-suprise.gif expecting the surprise of our lives Fall 2012!
 

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Old 03-22-2005, 03:51 AM
 
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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
~l
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:37 PM
 
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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.

Quote:
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.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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Old 03-25-2005, 02:42 AM
 
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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.

L.
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:05 AM
 
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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.
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Old 03-31-2005, 03:39 AM
 
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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......

L.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:19 PM
 
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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.
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