Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    247

    My Relationship with My Dad

    My dad died at 71, and he never had an extended period of sobriety. Our “reconciliation” was based on boundaries I’d created to keep myself safe.

    I've been thinking of my friends whose parents were alcoholics and my own experiences on the Father's Day. What mended the relationship of some of my friends, or why it was past repair in others, is what is on my mind tonight.

    I won't be able to share all my thoughts tonight - there's just so much! - but over the course of a few days, will be able to share. I'm hoping that you'll also share your own experiences.

    If my dad had managed to get sober before he died, there is a chance we could have reconciled. But it would have taken months, if not years of sobriety, an honest discussion with an honest apology, and a real noticeable change.

    I also would never have stopped looking for his vodka bottles under the sink. This lack of trust has nothing to do with the current trustworthiness of the parent, and everything to do with the coping mechanisms adult children of alcoholics have learned in order to survive.

    Even with my boundaries in place, I knew my dad loved me. I had to experience that love from a safe distance in order to heal.

    Before his terminal lung cancer, I wrote him letters, I saw him in person in daylight hours, and I never cut him out of my life. I simply had to invest in the relationship on my terms, in order to protect myself from more emotional harm.


    ~4tRACY
    Welcome. Please know this is a safe place. Feel free to share.

    ~4tRACY520

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    247
    Children of addicts and alcoholics can face unimaginably difficult hurdles in life. They may face abandonment, neglect, trauma from emotional and physical abuse, confusion, witnessing violence, exposure to crime, chaos, involvement of government agencies like DCFS, etc. As a result, they may feel profoundly hurt. The may be very angry.

    I'm sure that many of us have scars from the above list of traumatic experiences.

    Growing up I’d always felt like I was different. Not different as in I had some amazing athletic ability or that I was blessed with a brand of intelligence that made me a shoo-in for Harvard but different in that I came from an alcoholic family that most people I knew couldn't relate to.

    I remember once at a sleepover, in middle school, where I decided to open up to a select group of friends about my brothers’ heavy drug use. I thought for sure that once I filled them in on all of the sordid details my all access pass to the cool club would be revoked and I would be left to wade through the dramas of adolescence alone.

    I was surprised and secretly relieved when it appeared that my friends were hardly fazed by the details I shared. Which led me to believe that maybe, despite being both raised by and related to a bunch of addicts, that I really wasn’t that different after all.

    Unfortunately, my high fizzled as soon as I found out, a few days after my confession, that my friends had unanimously decided that I had made up everything I told them. So not only was I back to feeling different but thanks to a couple of catty preteen girls I was also labeled a liar.

    Yes, alcoholism affects entire families.


    ~4tRACY
    Welcome. Please know this is a safe place. Feel free to share.

    ~4tRACY520

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Tx
    Posts
    23

    For me, it was my mom

    When I was 17 and a senior in high school, I decided it was time to stop the charade and I called a family meeting to talk about mom’s drinking. I was thrown out of the house.

    Not long after dad did tell me secretly that he knew about her alcoholism. I got him to go to Al-Anon for a while.but my mom never did and died at 61 of a anyerism.

    She never got treatment, never asked for it and we failed her by not having a intervention. That family meeting was a farce. It's my biggest regret in life.

    She struggled with addiction, and I believe it was because she had larger issues (chemical and emotional) that she couldn’t face. I believe that she would have gotten help for those issues, she would have stopped drinking.

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    247
    Sorry to hear your story, Kit. I hope you've had some closure from your trauma. Have you ever attended therapy for your experiences?

    It wasn't until I started regularly attending Al-Anon meetings in my 40's that I was able to connect with other people who had also been affected by addiction.

    Once I realized that I wasn't alone, I slowly opened my mind to the possibility that maybe what I feared made me different from other people, really wasn't all that bad. This realization inspired me to learn everything I possibly could about addiction.



    In addition to attending weekly Al-Anon meetings I also sat in on AA meetings. It was through the wisdom of authors such as Pia Mellody and Melody Beattie that my quirks and fears started to make sense.

    It wasn't until I stumbled upon Janet Woititz's book, Adult Children Of Alcoholics, that I made great strides in my recovery.

    ~4tRACY

    (I forgot to find the links to the books I wanted to share. Sorry, brb)
    Last edited by 4tRACY520; 06-22-2016 at 09:12 PM.
    Welcome. Please know this is a safe place. Feel free to share.

    ~4tRACY520

  5. #5
    Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    247
    Janet was the first to list and describe the 13 most common characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics or ACOAs.

    Below, I have listed the five characteristics out of Janet’s original list of 13 that I identify with the most and I have considered how each one has played out in my adult life.

    1. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty having fun

    I took my first trip abroad with my husband back in 2011. It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime with an itinerary that included stops in France, Germany and England. I love doing genealogy, and this was supposed to be a grand experience for both of us.

    Initially, I was excited but as the trip crept closer I found myself growing increasingly miserable. Instead of anticipating all of the fun we could have, I became preoccupied with all of the reasons why I didn’t deserve to go.

    During the trip, against the backdrop of the Rhine river in Germany and the grand views of Paris, I picked fights with my husband and let my mood swings suck every last drop of joy out of the experience.

    It wasn’t that I didn't want to have fun but it was more about not allowing myself to have fun because I was convinced that I didn’t deserve it.

    Once our vacation was over, I thought about the other areas of my life where I sabotaged fun and enlisted the help of my therapist at the time to work through those urges.

    Her advice was simple, “You’ve just got to fight through it and make a deliberate effort to choose fun as often as possible.” I’m still working on this one and every now and again I fall back into my old patterns but at least now I know that I have a choice and that it is indeed okay and even necessary for me to choose fun.

    ~4tRACY

    Any thoughts on your feelings of having difficulty having fun?
    Last edited by 4tRACY520; 06-22-2016 at 09:12 PM. Reason: linking book to Amazon
    Welcome. Please know this is a safe place. Feel free to share.

    ~4tRACY520

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •