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Post Info TOPIC: Share your story here.


Guru

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RE: Share your story here.


Hi Star,

Welcome here. Thank you for telling your story.

-cw-

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Newbie

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I don't want you to think that I'm looking for an attention. I've just made my blogspot to share my sad story, to find myself, to understand myself and maybe someone will read it and then will try to fight with his destiny.
I went through hell and you can read about it on my blogspot called To hell and back... Back? But when?.

I would like to change my life for a better place, and maybe I can help you? Who knows.

I know what it's like to be ignored and treated like a trash. :/

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Guru

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The Twelve Steps, ACA and this forum ARE "the better place."Many of us know what it feels/felt like to be treated like trash.
Do you have The Big Red Book?

Keep posting. Keep Coming Back.

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Hello ACA,

Me name is Ben and I just recently discovered ACA and I'm grateful that I found this forum. I have not attended AA or ACA meetings as of yet, but I intend to. I do not believe that I have a problem with alcohol, but there are occasions where I have been concerned about my intake socially.

I grew up in a household that was nurturing in my younger years, and then it became a war zone due to my mother's AA. My mother's addiction to alcohol surfaced in my early teens, and I subsequently left home at age 17 and became estranged from family. In retrospect, I was plotting to leave as I signed military enlistment papers before graduating high school. A few weeks after graduation I was formally enlisted and finally escaped. It was at that point that my communication with family started to discontinue, only phoning occasionally. While deployed my mom passed away due to an alcohol related illness. I don't quite know how to explain how I processed my mom's death. The closest words I can use to describe it is "denial" and to some extent "relief". My family phoned my battalion to ensure I was okay, and to get my travel plans. I, on the other hand, resumed with my day to day work. I also continued taking my after hours college course work.

I attended my mom's funeral, and I didn't grieve or cry. Once I returned back to my military station, I carried on as usual. This numbing has continued on for several years, and so has the isolation and on some occasions I've even pushed people away from me when relationships became too personable.

Fast forwarding to the present, I am considered a "success" by most people. I have excelled professionally, and have achieved at high levels. There have been times when I have received awards and praise and I'm always unmoved or even puzzled on how I achieved with such mediocre effort. I have always lacked the ability to complete challenges. When things become difficult or hard I have the tendency to lose interest and quit. This has been true in academics and in relationships. I have several physical and emotional battles that I've been working on. I think the most troubling external issue I have is my inability to interact socially. In one-on-one conversations, and after being comfortable with someone for some time, I can be quite engaging and fairly confident. When speaking to others in groups or strangers, I tend to get very uncomfortable, stammer and start forgetting details like the person's name.

There were several recent events that aided me in wanting to look within to determine what childhood trauma I may be carrying. I haven't cried in over 20 years. I'm in my 30s, my marriage is crumbling and I have no desire to make it work. I've noted an increase in my alcohol consumption at certain points in my life, but have always been diligent in assessing it and restraining after a bad episode. I still have a fondness for my childhood, all of my dreams either take place in the home I grew up in or include some reference to my upbringing. I made efforts to spend time with family after a 3 year absence. I visited for an extended period, which felt great, but slowly back-fired. It erupted into being updated on family problems that I wasn't privy to because of my decades of isolation. To a larger degree, I noted other forms of dysfunction from additional family members that I never observed in the past,i.e., the aunt that's always has a daiquiri in hand or is spiking bunch, a few cousins that are addicted to processed foods.

My younger sister, who is my closest sibling, witnessed much of my mother's alcohol addiction and her passing has always reached out to me when having financial difficulty. Like clockwork I would wire her the money she needed or send a check to her landlord, car finance company, etc. It was much easier for me to write a check, than to ask serious questions. After a noticeable increase in providing for her financially, I made calls to other family members and they all stated that she in fact owed them money too. It seems her pattern was to borrow small sums from them, but when she needed money for larger debts she would call me.

After some rough interrogation, and revealing to her that I too am dealing with the emotional damage of our mother's disease, she confided in me that she's been addicted to pain pills for several years now. I feel extreme guilt in regards to this, because though I was encouraging; I cut all communication off with her shortly after and thus the distance and isolation from family is back again.




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Guru

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Hello, Ben.  Being an ACoA doesn't necessarily bring with it becoming an alcoholic, although there are plenty who are both.  You will find lots of good people here.  Welcome home.



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"This place is the bomb-diggity-wiggity cocoa puff." - CDK

My blog



Newbie

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Hello.

I stumbled upon this site today.

I was raised in an *extremely* dysfunctional home. My father was a raging,violent alcoholic and was also a violent offender.

I have been in therapy for the past 4 years,for PTSD from my childhood, and am now ready to work on this stuff.



-- Edited by Terish on Saturday 3rd of January 2015 01:33:03 PM

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Guru

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Wecome Terish glad you found us.....

read and respond at your leisure and at your safety level....

nice folks here..

blessings,
donna

__________________

if life is not the party you hoped for...

while you are here you might as well dance
 



Newbie

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Hello my name is Lee.  My story is pretty much the same as many of the others posting here.  Alcoholic father, enabling mother, and lots of crazy behaviors.  I have put this off for a long time.  I am 58 and only divorced 5 years ago from another alcoholic.  I have three grown sons, two of them live with me.  My youngest is in NA, three years now and I feel so much guilt about raising him and his brothers with their father who was abusive.  I need to get past it, since it cannot be undone and get on with life without the bad stuff from the past.  I can only write a little at a time, since the tears come when I think about the fact that I could have changed things much sooner than I did.  I felt so trapped.  Anyway, one of my older sisters has been in the ACA program for years and has encouraged me to pursue this.  I am hoping to attend Al-Anon meetings locally.  I want to be able to feel good about myself and to show my sons that they can too.  Maybe that is hoping for too much, but.....



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Lee



Guru

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Welcome.

Crying does me much good. Seems to wash away some of the trail dust.



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Newbie

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Hi,

My father is a para-alcoholic. I say he's not an alcoholic but he drinks every day. Maybe I'm in denial. He doesn't get violent ever, just numbs out. I don't ever think he's drunk. My mother drinks a several times a week but will often get tipsy/drunk. I relate more to ACA from a dysfunctional family perspective, but as I write about my parent's drinking habits maybe they are alcoholics. I guess I have other family members, grandfather and uncles who are/were alcoholics drug users that make me feel like my parents are just drinkers, not alcoholics.

Anyway, I drank and did drugs as a young teenager and young adult. I come from a high functioning home. I related to only three items on the laundry list the first time I read it. I have very strong denial about my life. I was told I had a good childhood and so I believed it. I was told how I felt and I believed it. I get very confused around feelings. I laugh at the wrong times and hadn't cried in many years, because I was "strong." Pshh yeah right. I realize it takes more courage to cry. I'm glad to say I've cried a lot this past year. I'm at a place where I'm willing to dig up my stuffed feelings/experiences and process them. My Higher Power has been cradling me as I explore this area in my life and get in touch with my inner child.

I was raped when I was 18 or 19 and was in such denial that I barley came to terms and identified it as rape a couple months ago. I am now 30. I felt so stupid for being in denial about it. How could I not know I was raped? How could I hear the guys name and not feel anything? How could I read articles about rape and not relate? Or think, "Oh yeah, I was raped"? How could I not know? I am accepting this denial as a gift. A tool I needed at the time. I feel that I have a lot of denial in my life because I can't remember much about my childhood. I'm interested to see what comes up, but also fearful.

I now identify with all but one of the laundry list items as I wipe the fog from my eyes. I have started step work and am working on step 4. I have three small children 3 years, 2 years and 3 months old. I'm learning that I need to care for myself before I can truly care for them physically and emotionally. I am doing the best I can now. I am enough. I do enough. I have enough.


I am looking forward to using this site to get to know more of this family here. I already feel welcomed as I see that everyone is welcomed.

See you guys around!

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Guru

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WELCOME! Glad to see your share here on the boards.

Interestingly enough, as these things tend to work out this way in the universe...... I have just this week realized that my very first sexual encounter when I was in jr high school was actually rape.

I am twice your age, literally.
There is no shame in how long it takes us to 'wake up' ...... there is great pride in doing the work necessary to wake up.

proud of you girl....... welcome home.......

blessings,
donna

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if life is not the party you hoped for...

while you are here you might as well dance
 



Newbie

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Realized I need to deal with issues.........


Hi all.  I had a wonderful childhood until I became a teenager.  At that point, my Mother began drinking and emotionally abusive.  It's hard for me to even type that.  I was the one who was told I was a terrible person and that I thought I was better than her and so on.  I buried it deep and told myself I was going to be successful no matter what she did.  One of the hardest days of my life was leaving for college when my little brother was 6, I had been his caregiver.  I sobbed but knew I had to get out of there.  I graduated and ended up moving back home.  Not much had changed.  Now though, she could tell me that I wasn't better than her because I had a degree.  I was and never will be good enough although she claims to everyone how proud she is of me.  I married a high school boyfriend and now realize I just jumped from one alcoholic to another and one emotionally abusive person to another.  Our first sexual encounter was date rape but I denied that too.  He and I were married for 22 years before he walked out.  It was all my fault according to him.  My Mother did find AA and remained sober for 4 years.  She recently fell off the wagon.  She lied about it.  A couple of days later, I had a few drinks at home and my son noticed my erratic behavior (I get silly).  He was upset.  He knows his Father is an alcoholic and that his Grandmother is an alcoholic.  He doesn't like it when I drink at home alone.  I told him I was sorry and I would stop drinking.  He said, I have heard that before.............that night laying in bed, I burst into tears.  I realized that I drink when I am upset about the divorce or my Mother.  I have not dealt with those childhood issues.  She still has the ability to make me feel so small and my ex-husband has the same ability.  I need to find myself.  I need help.  I asked a friend that I know attends AA online and they directed me here.  I just ordered the Big Red Book and attended my first online meeting tonight.  I feel a small glimmer of hope.



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Guru

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RE: Share your story here.


Switzy585 wrote:

 I feel a small glimmer of hope.


                                                     aww a warm welcome ma'am... smile



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He poto, he reka...  short and sweet... the latter is a saying of mum's. 

 

 

 

 



Guru

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Switzy.......

welcome to the family!
glad you found us.

thanks for sharing.

blessings,
donna

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if life is not the party you hoped for...

while you are here you might as well dance
 



Newbie

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i am not happy, although i fake it pretty well. i have realized that growing up with an alcoholic father, a mother who...(it is hard to describe her as i can put many things here) tried to make things better, and 4 sisters are what continue to permeate in my brain. i have been haunted by that life and the one that came after (my marriage).

My dad was always an alcoholic, he was strict, emotionally abusive and physically abusive to my mom. I grew up thinking that the only way to keep her safe was staying up until dawn waiting for him to either snore or hit her. If i heard any type of commotion, i would quickly jump on him to get her off of her. As i grew up I quickly became aware that money was needed and i started working in order to help out my mom. I took on the role of care giver. To this day i feel a big sense of responsibility for my family, which gives me tons of guilt and stress.

My dad died 7 years ago. Alcohol (liver cancer, cirrhosis) killed him at 54. Funny, when i was little i would sometimes wish for a car accident or something. now, i miss the man. the last 2 years of his life when he was sick and hardly drank showed us a different more loving man.

i married at 21 after a 9 month engagement. he was the best thing that ever happened to me. unconditional love. Unfortunately i brought my mental and emotional baggage with me and slowly but surely our marriage despite all of his hard work crumbled. we were married 10 years when they found cancer in his heart (ironic isn't it). he died 9 months later. the guilt i have over his death is immense. It has been 6 years without him and i have not had a healthy relationship as of yet.

I have read the list, bought a book and read through that, talked to a couple of therapists but yet I find myself in that same hole. Repeating the things I promised i wouldn't. the saddest part of it all is not allowing myself to be happy and letting be.

so i am here reading the posts and looking through websites. i think i found a place to meet others that share a similar story. :)

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Newbie

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I've just bought a few books and now I'm waiting for them to be delivered to my house. Thank you.



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Newbie

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Hiya Friends! Sometimes ya' just need someone to bounce things off of..... But I have so much to bounce that I feel a Punching bag would be more in order than a person! I am new to the program and we only meet once a week...I attended my first meeting Sat morning and I KNOW that is where I belong! Been in Al-Anon for almost 8 yrs...had a Wonderful Sponsor...so wonderful that we fell in love and started a relationship!! OOPS! Yes I live an alternate lifestyle because that's how I was born! I say we started a relationship....but it seems that we keep having to start over because of me and my insecurities....she is absolutely a Gift from God....And I know this from the depths of my soul! But sometimes because of my "I'm not good enough's" and my "I'm not worthys..." I find myself trying to push her away...trying to push EVERYONE away....told my Therapist I just wanted to live in a cave where no one can find me and I don't have to "FEEL" I know this has something to do with the environment I was raised in.....both Parents alcoholics...Horrible Bloody fights between them, which I as a very young child took on the role of "Savior" for my Mom....It was MY JOB to keep my stepfather from killing here and I took that job very seriously! I have 7 other siblings and they just stepped back and let things happen...SOMEONE had to save my Mom! So I put on the cape and accepted the role! was sexually abused by him for 15 yrs (that I know of..can only remember back to 2 yrs old)....Never told anyone.....My room was next to theirs and I could hear her saying "No! Leave me alone"...and I KNEW he would be coming to my room soon...I waited for the familiar footsteps and stumbling...and like clockwork....he was there in my room....always pretended to be asleep......But I felt if I just closed my eyes and let this happen, even at 3,4,5 yrs old....That I was protecting my Mom...and that was my Job...Whatever it took! I have lots of feelings....but no one ever sees them...not even me....except anger...EVERYONE gets to see that part of me! I isolate...keep the blinds drawn and the room barely lit...don't answer the phone....just wanna be left ALONE! My Mom died of Cancer 14 yrs ago and I Failed! My job was to keep her alive and I Failed! I DON'T CRY!! Had to force tears at my own MOM'S funeral for fear of what people might think.....she was very sick and I know she is in a better place now...but I believe I'm still dealing with the "fallout"?? I DON'T CRY!! Ok my hands are shaking and my stomach is churning and I have to stop now......I know this is where I need to be and I hope to make it to one of the online meetings ASAP! Thanks for listening and Thanks for Being Here!!!



-- Edited by netskie on Tuesday 13th of January 2015 02:53:51 PM

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Guru

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Welcome netskie.

thanks so much for your sharing your story.

glad you found this place and look forward to you joining us on the boards...

blessings,
donna

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if life is not the party you hoped for...

while you are here you might as well dance
 



Newbie

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Thank you very much



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Veteran Member

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Welcome to all the new people, it is good to be here listening to others ESH, it looks like we are in the boat and will row to the other side of the lake. I am grateful for recovery and growth, and of course there is pain, but it does pass. What I am feeling today is anger, some old stinking thinking about not being good enough, my life will never work, I will never have what I need etc. and other lies. The critical parent is on a rampage today. I recognize that now.

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Patress


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Hi everyone, I just found this site. I have wanted to share my story with others but have been too bashful. I grew up with the "don't talk" rule front and centre. Well here I go.

I grew up in a middle class home. I remember the first time I saw my mother drunk was on my fathers 40th birthday. I was about 6 years old. I don't really know what happened that night but I do know that me, my Dad and Sister ended up staying the night at a neighbours house. I remember my father telling me not to tell my mom where we stayed that night in order to protect her from embarrassment. 

Her drinking progressively got worse and she became violent towards my father. My father decided that for his safety that they should separate. I remember my parents taking me and my sister to a social worker in order to determine what the living arrangements would be. When asked where we wanted to live, I couldn't imagine leaving my mother alone. I was afraid of what might happen to her if we all left her. I thought she would kill herself. I felt I needed to be there to take care of her.

When I was 7 me and my sister ended up living with my alcoholic mother. Life was very scary. I was terrified of her when she was drunk. I never knew what was going to happen and how she would embarrass me. When she was drunk and incoherent she would ofter make phone calls. I got chills whenever she would start dialling the phone. Who was she going to make a fool out of herself to?  I learnt pretty quickly not to have friends over. I once brought a friend over after school and we found her standing in the kitchen with only a bra and panties on. She started losing her balance and she fell into the kitchen table. On another occasion a friend was over and we were wondering when dinner would be ready. We went to check and found my mom. She had fallen off a chair and was passed out on the dining room floor. My mother also abused anti-anxiey meds which in combination with the alcohol made her behaviour very frightening. Sometimes she would make no sense at all and I would be terrified. When things got really bad, on occasion my sister and I would call my dad and he would come to pick us up. This made me feel safe however it only made my mother more angry and I felt I should try my best to resist calling him in the future and when I was very afraid I learnt to just shut myself down and try to sleep. I felt like I could tell anyone what was going on. I didn't even talk about it with my sister. We would be in our respective rooms listening to my mother making her drunk phone calls and we never talked. 

Over the next few years my mother, when drunk, started a fire in the house from using a blowtorch to use drugs. She also rear ended a parked car with me in the car while she was drunk. The first thing she said after the accident was, "don't cry". 

During my life living with her, I tried my best to get her to stop drinking in a very passive way. I would try to be good, not make waves, cover up the messes she made etc....There were periods of weeks of sobriety but they would never last. I felt a deep sense of despair those days when upon coming home from school, seeing the car parked funny, seeing the door wide open, or some other clue that she started drinking again.

My mom died about 9 years ago of a heart attack. She was on life support and the when the doctors told me that she is pretty much a vegetable and that they could keep her on life support but they didn't recommend it, I had no problem agreeing with their suggestion to pull the plug. I have an incredible amount of anger towards her still.

I can't communicate with anyone now. I avoid conflict like the plague. I'm in a relationship but I'm unhappy because I am unable to say how I feel, discuss my needs and feel comfortable in the relationship. Sometimes I think I would be happiest and most comfortable living alone.

Thank you for reading. This was great to get off my chest.

 



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Guru

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Nice to meet you Prairie

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Jade



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Hello, my name is Kamesha.  I started to attend ACoA around May of 2010, after seeing an old acquaintance's Facebook post.  I immediately identified with the title, because I knew my parents were alcoholics; subsequently, AcoA would help me confront my own struggle with alcoholism.  I have four years and a few months and counting of sobriety.  When I first began my process, there were few meetings dealing with dysfunction.  Things have picked up a little but like many say, "it's not like it used to be, in the old days", circa '85.  I live in a post industrial town, working towards becoming a college town.  I am in school, I work, my life is part-time in all aspects.  I do not make meetings as much as I used to.  I have  registered here to find more of "my people", as my mentor says.  For me this means people who can get past the ACoA title of the group, identify with the laundry list, and stay long enough to understand their role in the pattern of dysfunction.  Many of the meetings in my area are of other 12step groups and all too often they seem to have an abjective view of ACoAers.   So tend to be more open to ACoAs or those with a similar recovery background.  I hope this was enough of my story.  I did not want to get into gritty details, not that there that many in my opinion.  Funny what we choose to forget.  Hopefully this site and you all will aid me in maintaining an honesty character and continue to point me in the right direction of recovery.  Thanks for reading.

kamugg1280@yahoo.com



-- Edited by kamugg1280 on Wednesday 18th of February 2015 02:09:44 PM

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Cause it, cure it, control it, not I.


Newbie

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Congratulations, Terish on your accomplishment.  There are many people out there, in my family especially struggling to get where you are today.  Keep at it, one day at time experiencing one moment at a time, acceptance is the key.



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Cause it, cure it, control it, not I.


Service

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Welcome

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I didn't come this far to only come this far.



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Hello, I'm so happy to find you all here.  I've not attended an ACA meeting in over ten years and am considering returning.  How refreshing to see I can do this online!  Thank you for creating this forum, and thank you to everyone for sharing your stories.  I remember back when I got into recovery, in 1990, that I would never feel comfortable crying in front of strangers or feeling empathy or sympathy from them.  "They don't even know me, how can they feel for me or understand?".  And yet once I opened myself up to meetings I was overwhelmed with the feeling of "of COURSE they know me!  They know me better than even my closest friends do.  They were there too, just like me.  I don't have to explain myself, they just get it".  I sobbed and sobbed, which felt uncomfortable but the clarity was a wonderful feeling.  I finally was around a variety of people who "got me" ... and I loved it.  Of course I found reasons not to attend regularly, feeling I could figure it all out on my own.  Ha.

I have just turned 48 y/o, have 5 y/o twins, am married to an emotionally healthy, wonderful man, am a formerly very successful nurse, and have my own business now.  And yet, so many of the ACA symptoms still plague me, and no matter how much therapy or introspection I do, I still struggle with hypervigilance, workaholism (or paralysis, go between the two), perfectionism, harsh self-criticism and low self-esteem, high burden of responsibility (only reinforced when I was a nurse), and approval-seeking tendencies, even from strangers.  I'm also dealing with lots of physical symptoms, which by my age are expected after having lived this long with ongoing internal stress.  My neurologist says I "broke my switch" that regulates my parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system.  I know only I can turn off the destructive harsh voices inside, and I'm committed to doing so.

I grew up with an alcoholic mother from an upper=class family who was sexually abused as a child and she was raped by a drug dealer when I was 2 1/2, which is when the heavy drinking started.  She had attempted suicide and got pregnant with me from someone she met in the treatment facility. I had various step-fathers and didn't meet my real father until I was 29, and he's a schizophrenic self-absorbed individual I want nothing more to do with (tried for five years, then gave up).  My main step-father, starting at age seven, was an abusive cop who often beat my mother and threatened to hurt her more if I screamed.  My mother married him on crutches after he threw her down the stairs and broke her ankle. I learned later that he is also an alcoholic, but the lens was always on my mother. Luckily she kept him from me and he never struck me.  I was sexually abused by my male nanny on an ongoing basis (a very old man, who smoked cigars, who my mom met a liquor store and then let move in with us to take care of me from age four to age six), and my mom seems to recall my grandmother (who was also a crazy alcoholic who committed suicide at age 54) telling her I had been sexually abused when I was 2 1/2 years old (staying with her for the summer b/c my mom decided to have a hysterectomy after the rape).  We always had pornography lying around the house, as my mom was a "hippy" and felt there was nothing to hide.  I became a perfectionist and the "good girl" who always wanted to control my environment and stay safe.  I got good grades, was helpful, and spent a lot of time on my own, never knowing how my mother was going to act.  She would keep her large jugs of wine in the bathroom and I would freeze when I saw her going in and she'd often return acting completely different than when she went in.  She'd vacillate between overly permissive and unreasonably strict.  She'd take care of the house and then other times flip-out and tell me how spoiled I was, or just ignore me and be rude, which of course I took very personally.  One of these times I was about 11 y/o and she flipped out when I brought down my laundry, basically telling me how much I sucked and then stormed into the bathroom to drink.  I took the bleach from the laundry room we were standing in and got a Dixie cup from the kitchen, and raised the cup of bleach to my mouth.  Right about then my mother yelled from the front room couch to bring her some water.  So I gave her the bleach.  She was too drunk to even notice the smell, and gulped it down.  I remember nothing after that except calling the ambulance and being terribly afraid she would die.  My step-sister came and yelled at me, as did a few sponsors of my moms (she had pretended to get sober on numerous occasions, and when I would replace her alcohol with water in the bottles (I knew all her hiding places) she could only be angry with me but never say why directly).  

I feel I will always struggle with "I should have known".  I know it's a lie, but it is so ingrained in me.  I remember a time, something that always comes back to me, when I was about ten years old.  A neighbor girl had been picking me, beating me up, she was much older.  My mom came up with a plan that I should call her over after my step-dad went to work (he didn't approve and forbid her from doing this) and tell the girl to leave me alone.  So I did, with my mom peeking through the crack in the door as I did so.  My mom had a surgical boot on her foot, having just had surgery to remove a large darning needle from her foot (which was completely healed up, doesn't know how it got there, showed up on an xray).  The girl knocked me down and my mom came flying out of the door and grabbed the girl by the hair, dragged her to our porch and started telling her to leave me alone.  The girl called for all of her sisters and aunts to come help and they climbed on my mom, bashing her head into the porch as they pulled her hair, punched her, and she was like a rag doll, but never let go of the girl's hair.  Our St. Bernard was barking and barking in the dog run next to the house, but it didn't even occur to me to let him out.  I was screaming and so scared, and once it was over my mom yelled at me for not letting the dog out to save her.  She said he injuries were my fault.  And I believed her.  I still kind of do.  It's ridiculous.

She sobered up when I was 13 y/o, for approximately 12 years, but then slipped down the slope of addiction with pain killers and only got much worse later in life.  She died when my kids were 4 months old and it was such a relief.  I was relieved to not have to convince her anymore that my experience had been valid.  

She never made amends to me, and I took that as my own fault, that my filter of my childhood was skewed, that it really wasn't that bad, that I needed to just get over it.  Even when she was using again and I had "proof" (counting pills, calling pharmacies and learning of double or triple prescriptions), I was blamed for it and she never sought help again.  She married an ex-husband when I was 20, who she got sober and he still is, to this day.  No matter how much I confronted, or ignored or distanced myself, she never changed and it sickened me.  I even marked my bottles of alcohol when she'd come to visit, and with that proof I was still told I was imagining things.  And part of me truly believed her!  Insanity.  The relief I felt when she died is that I no longer have a choice to convince her of anything.  My truth is my truth.  Thankfully I cut off all contact with her five years before she died.  That's when I met my wonderful husband and right before the wedding I brought her back into my life.  No regrets about her not meeting my babies, but definite resentment that she was never what I needed.  I saw Peter Levine (my therapist was in a seminar with him and I was the sample patient) and he got me to say "my mom is crazy and that's where it's at" over and over with movement, and somehow that freed me up to move on in my life for those five years, not speaking to her, and it felt so good.  (With guilt mixed in, of course)

Much more drama and history there (she was raped again when I was 33, attempted suicide, my step-sister was murdered and raped when I was 12, teenage pregnancies, my own suicide attempts) -- but I've gone on so long already.  Thank you for reading if you've come this far.  I do feel fortunate to be in a healthy relationship finally (he's the first healthy one in my entire life!) and to have self-awareness and know my children will never be in the circumstances I was in.  And as I parent them with love, I get to reparent myself.  

I so look forward to getting to know the community and attending a meeting here soon.

All my respect and appreciation for my fellow wounded children who are now strong and hopefully healing adults.  

xo



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what an awesome opening share.

thanks for your honesty!

so glad you found us.

WELCOME!

blessings,
donna

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Thanks Tasha

I am new with a grandfather I know was an alcoholic, his daughter, my Mom, had a strong spiritual sense of things, she didn't learn how toy take care of herself though and I feel this is one of my lessons.

I also have a life long disability, not related to alcoholism or addiction.  Growing up in this culture, which is heavily body conscious, I find I had to unlearn a lot of the habits of thinking associated with acoa, the same stuff.  Minus the chaos.  But the valuing of myself - big. And realizing there is nothing wrong with me.  Big again.  It might be of interest to know that the percentage of people with physical disabilities who are also addicted - hold on to your chair - over 80 percent.  Yikes.  A sad commentary.  This may sound like a poor me post.  It isn't.  My intention is to shed light via information, on a very discriminated against group, which is rapidly growing bigger, because of war and accidental injury.

Please put those with physical disabilities in your prayers.  Thank you.



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I am glad you are here. No , it doesn't sound like a poor me post. Being from the same culture , I do understand when u say....heavily body conscious. But mine wasn't minus the chaos. It was full blown chaos in my case. For me I have found hope here as I am not my body or my culture. That's the big picture. I have all 14 traits. All of them . I feel people pleasing and keeping the focus on others is a deep rooted dysfunction of that culture. And many others follow them in some way or another.
Sending love

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Namaste 

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Welcome

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Hi Swami... smile...

welcome to MIP ACA smile...

pull up a chair... wink...

namaste,

DavidG.



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Hello, I found out about ACA from my therapist and have been to a few face to face meetings but I have been afraid to talk at any of them due to my very low self-esteem. I'm hoping that these forums will help me with this and other issues from growing up in a dysfunctional home. My dad was an alcoholic who was mentally abusive to me and my brother and pyscically abusive to my mom who was a control freak. As children we were told many times that children are to be seen but not heard and my dad was proud that that when he told my brother and me to do something that we didn't want to do that we did it without saying a word. When I started theraphy two years ago my therapist asked how I felt about something that I had said and I realized that other than anger I didn't know how to express my feelings. Spirituality is going to be very hard for me... All those nights that I prayed to god to stop the yelling and fighting to no avail. I feel like I'm rambling but it made me feel better and to be part of this community.

Doug



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Doug



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to you Doug - welcome :)

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Welcome Doug!


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hi, i am new to the site, just signed up a while ago. I'm so thankful that i found this site, that have a relativity about my case by far.

I'm an alcoholic by the way, and i need some suggestions and tips on how to recover. I just want to quit. alcohol brought so much problem in my life. My wife and son leaved me because of my alcohol issue, and now, my family threaten me to enter me into a rehab center if i will not stop my bad habit.

so desperately need some advice guys.

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Megavita, welcome glad you're here! I'm also a double winner as a child of an alcoholic who later became an alcoholic. I quit drinking in AA, and I'm addressing the root of the thing here in ACA. Keep coming back!

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Hi,

I am new on this board. Less than five years ago I married ACOA. We dated for ten years prior, and he attends alanon weekly and has for years. I've noticed only over the last two years that he has relationships with his children where they treat him disrespectful, or he allows them to be disrespectful towards both me & him, and he will not stand up to them. I also see now that he has another friend where he gives way too much to this person. He is not always openly honest with me about what he gives this friend or his children. When I find out and question him he gets aggressive and snappy with me in his demeanor. In my mind the issue is not his kids, it's how he relates to his kids and what he allows them to get away with and how he relates to them. Their mother was a severe alcoholic and passed away from the side affects of drinking too much. I sat my husband down and told him it has become clear to me that he gets something out of not having his girls and I get along. Otherwise he would work harder at not allowing them to be disrespectful. He believes if I don't take what they say or do as an insult, then it isn't an insult. I told him he's full of bullshit that you teach people how to treat you. On several occasions I notice his girls have tried to engage him in an argument about the affects their mother's drinking has had on them. He won't engage and changes the subject. I told him this is twice I have seen them do this and he responds so weak. Surely he had to be expecting this would come one day and why didn't he let them say what they had to say? It's his opportunity to say he did the best he could and he can't change anything from the past and like them he to is ACOA, but they are adults now and he has made it a point to make sure they understand the tools available to them to get help, and if there is something he can do to help them regarding getting help he will do this. My husbands response to me was he didn't think it would be right to have this conversation in front of people. I told him it was just the four of us. That's when I understood I was the outsider and he is too defensive to let his girls have their say. I now know I'm on my own too and he won't stand up for me with them if he doesn't stand up for himself. My husband says he doesn't see one thing his kids have done that's disrespectful that if I wanted to interpret it different it wouldn't be disrespectful. I'm really in love with my husband, but the more I stand up to him and his children the more I feel distant from him and this scares me. The fact that he never validates anything I say or feel angers me. When I confront him and we talk about things he claims it's the way I say things, or I keep saying things over and over. I recorded a conversation for an hour to see if I do that and I got one or two things wrong, but how angry he was over the smallest things that would set him off it just seems strange the entire thing boiled down to the way I said something. Plus,during this conversation he said I could change something for a trip we were taking and the next day I decided to make that change. When I told him I wanted to do this he told me he wasn't comfortable making the change after all that he said I could make the day before. I don't want to be my husbands babysitter, and it's affecting us in the bedroom now too. I've made an appointment with a counselor. He said we don't need counseling but I told him I think his judgment ticker is off on this one so I told him I'm making the decision for both of us that we're going to couples counseling. Normally we never fight and communicate really well. This has only started since I started expressing to him when I did not find his children's behavior very kind and I noticed he did not do anything about it, and I did not let it go.

Is there another way to approach this? I appreciate any feedback. Thank you so much.



-- Edited by new wife on Monday 6th of April 2015 06:31:15 PM

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smile ...and welcome... ...tailing things through, as you are doing is a gr8 approach, to a very tricky issue...

...being an adult child myself, a whole lot of what is going on for me is beyond the scope of a councellor or therapist...

the things i went through made me numb, and I cannot express stuff I really need to...

       ...group work does work, over time... especially with people just like myself...

    and therapy can follow, when I have a grasp of what actually is wrong...

             well, through growing up with the illness, just about everything about me is wrong! hmm

 

There is hope... this forum is open to all comers: my heart goes out to you, hubby, and your family... smile...



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He poto, he reka...  short and sweet... the latter is a saying of mum's. 

 

 

 

 



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Saw this blog and I can relate about her story.. My father was also an alcoholic person.
He just stop when he got sick. Then he realized that drinking was not good.
My dad went to rehab. We often visits at the said rehab for him not to feel alone.



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Welcome.

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Jade



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Thank you for the welcomes.  I was giving a talk once and someone asked me the biggest lesson I got so far and I said "self-love" (it is still true), and she said "That is just about EVERYBODY'S biggest lesson...hummmmm......



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I fit the classic definition of a lost child. The emotional abuse that I suffered as a child from my fathers criticisms was so painful, that I literally went into hiding. I was so sensitive as a child, and those words were such an attack on my very being, that the hurt felt completely overwhelming. I would run off to my room and lay on my bed and cry. No one would come and check on me. Here I was crying, feeling so hurt and was completely abandoned when I needed help the most. When I finally pulled it together and emerged from my room, the rest of the family was watching TV like nothing happened. My emotional reality was never to be acknowledged.

I learned a very powerful message from that. Not only did my father hurt me but everyone else in my family hurt me by treating me like I did not exist. If I dont exist in this family then the only place I can exist is in a world I create for myself. I lost myself in that safe fantasy world. Because of how I had been hurt by not only my father, but by every other member of my family, I developed a tenacious core belief that all people will hurt me. I totally isolated to protect myself from further hurt, as every incident of criticism and disapproval was excruciatingly painful. I became totally isolated. I had no human friends. I loved my dog more than Ive ever loved anyone or anything in my life. I escaped into books or into the woods where I felt so safe. The outdoors was where I belonged. I would not be hurt there.

When one is that isolated, in that much pain, as he feels so defective that he can never connect with the real world, it becomes the perfect breeding ground for addiction. And what addiction would fit a lost child the most? Certainly not one where he had to interact with people to get his drug of choice. It had to be something where the lost child did not have to depend on others, as to depend on others means pain. In that pain and isolation I became addicted to sex at the first orgasm. It became nothing but total mind numbing escape.

At 25, I went to treatment. I started to uncover the childhood pain then, realized how deep it was, and have been running from it ever since. Strangely enough, I have had long term relationships and my addiction would fluctuate depending on how connected I felt. I still was mostly frozen emotionally but if I felt loved, my addiction was a more manageable addiction, if there ever could be such a thing. 6 months ago, at 50 years of age, I was feeling extremely disconnected. Addictions being addictions, it escalated to such a point that my comforting manageable escape addiction morphed into an intensity driven self-destructive addiction. I surrendered and here I am. Finally no longer running and finally dealing with the childhood trauma and pain that has driven a lifetime of addiction and loneliness. I now have the maturity and have been beaten up enough by life that I am absolutely committed to working the 12 steps. I have no choice.

I have been literally transformed by my 12 step groups. I have been honest and vulnerable. I have been accepted. I havent been hurt. Every week I feel more and more connected. My feelings are unthawing. For the first time in my life Im able to feel genuine love for another person. I truly am Lost Child Found.


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Wow, thank you. I relate so much.

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I grew up the last boy of 3, no father, and an alcoholic mother. As the youngest, I learned if my brothers had a plan, it was usually safest to follow it. One brother I bonded close with. Being home when younger meant keeping my eyes open, since Mom was an all night drinker, and she controlled us via verbal and physical assaults. I remember our grandma coming to stay with us when I was a teenager, and I mainly remember being corrected, not loved. We were there to make them happy. I was never spoken to about life, relationships, money, or anything in real life. So, I just followed my brothers, who were and are as mature as I am now (that's funny).

I used the same survival strategies in school, and later work: keep a very low profile, say little, hide, and let my feelings out when home, nowhere else. It made the few sleepovers I had growing up (maybe 2) very undesirable. I hid from my own thoughts and desires at home, but wow--could I do this over here? Again, shame came out as I did normal social exploring. Talking about my thoughts never happened at home. However, as an older teenager I expressed anger to my mom, and she either shamed me or ignored me.

When I was 15 or so, my brothers had left for good, and I became Mom's surrogate husband by sharing my small paycheck from working in a restaurant. I later learned I was being emotionally incested via messages like "you are the nicest of all my boys" and others. I was performing for my mom's attention. The one day my mom laid down on my bed sticks in my mind. I was 15, had dated a girl, and my mom "snuggles" with me. YUCK! I only dated 3 girls in high school, all for petting reasons. All short term. In my 30's, when I re-met a girl I'd later marry, I was all passive. I didn't initiate anything in our relationship.

We married, but even while dating, I was heavily into recovery for childhood sexual abuse (from my brother). I was hiding from life in therapist's offices, Al-Anon and AA meetings, and church. I had no idea what I was doing as an adult. I survived, but gave little of myself in my marriage. I gave to receive, felt shameful about me, and hid from the authority figures in my life (in-laws, bosses, pastors, anyone at all really). I felt young all the time.

I'm in ACA F2F meetings now, am also in Celebrate Recovery (Christian 12 step), and am feeling a lot more now, even daily. It's not comfortable, I feel lost a lot, but have more support and guidance now. I look forward to challenges now since....there's a lot in me I'm still discovering. The challenges make them surface . There is hope for me, I believe.

Maybe one day I will like me. I look forward to that.

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Welcome

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Hi everyone,

I'm new here. I'm not sure whether I qualify as an ACoA, so I would like to hear your input.

Here's my story: I'm now 37 years old. For the first 4 years of my life, before my parents divorced, my family was very much like a typical alcoholic family. My father was the alcoholic and when he was drinking he got angry and violent toward my mother, often left the home for several days, brought drinking buddies into the home, etc. About a year after my parents divorced my mother met my stepfather and they have lived together since. Neither my mother nor my stepfather were alcoholics then, however my older sister started drinking when she was 12 and a few years later she became a drug addict. Apart from that, our family life was quite normal, we had a clean house, regular times for dinner and sleep, we went on camping and vacations and did most things that normal families do. Though I have many good memories from the childhood years that I can remember (from I was about 5 or 6) it was also difficult. I was bullied both in kindergarten, in elementary school and in lower secondary school (called names, mocked, excluded), and also I was much in hospital due to my physical disabilities. I can't remember anything from the first 4 years when I was directly affected by my father's alcoholism. My brother and I visited our father sometimes in the weekends after my parents divorced and though he sometimes drank when we were there, my mother came and picked us up if he got too drunk.

For the last decade or so my mother and my stepfather have both been drinking heavily and I've now realized that they have become alcoholics. This makes me very sad and worried, and I'm particularly concerned about the physical and mental health of my mother when she retires next year and will then be "free" to drink every day from morning to night. Recently I've been reading much about alcoholism and in this regard I also learned about ACoA. I recognize in myself many (though not all) of the ACOA symptoms. From "the Laundry list" I can relate to the following traits:

- seeking approval and losing my identity in the process

- frightened of angry people and personal criticism

- all the men I have been in relationships to have been alcoholics and/or had other addictions

- live life from the viewpoint of victims and attracted by that weakness in love relationships

- get guilt feelings when I stand up for myself instead of giving in to others

- confuse love and pity

- have "stuffed" at least some of my feelings from my childhood. I can sometimes feel very intensely, but I have problems expressing my feelings in front of others

- judge myself harshly and have low self-esteem

- dependent and terrified of abandonment

- reacting rather than acting

There are also other ACoA traits I recognize in myself, like lack of boundaries, indirect communication, avoiding confrontation, procrastinating and difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.

Reading about ACoA I felt kind of relieved in considering that my weaknesses and dysfunctions might be caused by childhood trauma and not just me being a failure. Still I wonder whether I am "a real" ACOA, since my direct experience of growing up with an alcoholic parent is only the four first years that I can't remember.



-- Edited by SusieM on Thursday 7th of May 2015 06:41:02 PM



-- Edited by SusieM on Thursday 7th of May 2015 06:51:02 PM

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Hey Susie - if you wish for support in leading a better life - you're in the right place no matter what the circumstance. Humanity has been subjected to a great deal of dysfunction, and throwing in the word alcoholism just gets things confusing and keeps people separated when they needn't be IMO. We're all in this together - there isn't a person alive who hasn't been affected by some sort of dysfunctional circumstance in their life.  House got hit by a tornado when you were 22?  You're welcome here.  Sister lacked natural empathy?  You belong here.  Teacher slapped you and shunned you under the table when you were 8 - you belong here.  Neighbor peeped through your windows?  You belong... and of course, you belong if you grew up around abuse, neglect, addiction, chronic illness, religious abuse... and any of the other various things humanity deals with.  Some of the reasons I am here are a direct result of my grandmothers hoarding due to the depression.  That hoarding thing has trickled down and been passed on... though less with each generation... it's still there.

 

You are welcome and home here as long as you seek to enhance your support system. We strive to offer a place where we can practice unconditional love, tolerance and acceptance to ourselves and others here. We don't do this perfectly - so we sure learn a lot!

Much love,
Tash



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Thank you Tasha for your welcome and for your kind and caring words. I'm so grateful that I've found this place.



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Hi Susie,

               ...when I was in Alanon I learned that I was powerless over alcoholism...

 

...they say you can take the kid out of the family, but you can't take the family out of the kid.

I learned that when I left home. But ACA teaches me so slowly but surely take the bad family bits out-

and leave a few saving graces... something to build a new life around... smile...



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He poto, he reka...  short and sweet... the latter is a saying of mum's. 

 

 

 

 



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I am an Adult Child of two Alcoholic Parents, I fooled myself in to believing that the things that happened in my childhood no longer had any effect on me in my adult life.I always felt that was life and it is what it is. I remember growing up I always swore I would never drink alcohol because I would never allow myself to be that out of control.I kept that promise of not drinking or using drugs ,I was proud of the fact that my children ages 23 & 26 have never seen me take even one drink of alcohol or ever be under the influence of any controlled substance.I thought that I had created a more stable home for my children.It took me being married and divorcing 3 different alcoholics (the first one of them being my children's dad) to truly see that there childhood was not stable and I do have a problem and if I don't take steps to fix it I will just continue to live in the dysfunction.I have just started reading the Red Book and it is already opening my eyes to a lot of things.When I read the Laundry list I can relate to all the list with exception to #12 and I only say that because I am the one that will usually abandon a person before giving them the chance to abandon me, if I feel that person doesn't have my back I lose all respect for them and eventually move on to someone new,if I am wrong in thinking that this behavior is different than what is being said in #12 then please someone help me to clarify that. My Mother has passed away almost 10 years ago from unrelated cause (to alcohol )and my Dad stopped drinking many years ago so the alcohol is not a current factor in our lives but none the less their drinking has left their mark on my emotional state.I am just so tired of feeling not good enough, not worthy of true happiness,not having confidence in myself,of feeling like I am the only one in the world that will have my back,of feeling isolated and having a wall built up around me and unable to reach out to anyone.And when I do try to reach out such as with this introduction it gives me major anxieties,makes me feel exposed and vulnerable.I also want to add that I have an introvert personality so the idea of going to a local meeting(assuming there was one ) and walking in to a room filled with strangers and not knowing what I am walking in to is unlikely to happen,and so I feel my only hope of healing and understanding will come from online.



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Welcome CWilder.

Your introvert line got me since I'm one too. I'll even guess that the majority here in this forum are too.

Your story is very familiar. You aren't alone.

Welcome to the board! That introduction was a very brave step....

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Thank you ,yes being an introvert does have it's challenges some time.



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CW



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Hi,
I'm an ACA about to separate from his wife of almost 16 years. I'm hitting all kinds of bottoms, and reverting to my dysfunctional behaviors. The current relationship I'm in is suffering, too.

That might be worth explaining. My wife and I are kinky and polyamorous. The polyamory is part of what destroyed us, because that isn't what I want out of life. I am involved with a woman I've known for 7 years, and it looked like we had a future. That's no so apparent right now.

She's got some ACA style issues of her own, and poor boundaries. I've unconsciously taken advantage of that, and burned her out a bit. She's pulling back, and I'm upset and angry that she's doing it a week before I'm separated and need the support most.

That's part of the back story. What I need to do, and don't know how, is remember that I'm good, worthy of love, courageous, powerful, and have no reason to fear. I can and will get through this and thrive. The fear and need to control won't let me see that. The self-hatred is telling me that all this is my fault, and I'm believing it.

I hope to find a little help and understanding here, between the meetings I go to.

Thanks everyone,
J

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JC


Service

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Welcome J - keep us posted on your progress. Start your own threads and keep coming back :) We are family here.

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Hi SusieM

As an adult with life long disabilities, I can say some of the list of acoa traits apply to me.  I think maybe the reason for the abuse is not what causes the traits.  The traits are caused by the abuse itself.  If society tells us we are inferior, unworthy, not to be taken seriously, after a time this changes even the strongest person, until we consciously counter act that constant barrage of negativity.  That's my experience anyway.

I celebrate who you are.



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Hello,
I'm not used to sharing, I've closed myself years ago and it's hard to open up again. I'm scared and seem to have panic attacks when I need to tell something about myself. I'm so hurt, I carry a huge pain inside. I've been so mistreated for years... It's sad and unfair. When I look in the mirror I see someone else, not me. That person in front of me looks normal, but I'm not 'normal'.
I'm a freak, an underdog, outcast, because there is a monster living in me. It's rude, hateful and mean, it doesn't know how to love and doesn't want to be loved because it doesn't need it. I thought I'd carry this monster within me through my whole life, I cherished it, I relied on it, I was proud of it because this monster was the only thing in the whole world who protected me, kept me alive and kept me company through all the tough situations. As years flew by I started to watch the world through the eyes of my monster, a grey, dull, sad world, but I felt save inside of that world, I felt free, because I knew that no matter what my monster will protect me, will get me through anything bad, will eat my pain and erase any person who treated me badly from my memories. I felt so safe in this closed world with my monster, just the two of us. I hated it so much, because it was born out of huge pain and rotten genes, I loved it so much, because it was so strong it could endure anything. Before I knew it my monster started eating not only my pain, it consumed so much emotions it couldn't stop anymore, its' mouth turned into a dark howling void, it's started eating everything what I had inside, good or bad, it didn't matter to it. My hopes, my love, my joy, my self-esteem, my memories... What's been white before became grey, what's been grey became black, what's been black turned into a sharp shards cut deep into my heart and soul. Eventually when I looked inside of myself I saw nothing but rivers of blood. Every emotion turned into hate, any thought was negative.
You find smth funny? -I think it's silly.
You believe in smth?- I have nothing but sarcastic commentaries on your stupid beliefs.
You love me? -You're lying.
You don't like me? -Well I hate you.
My monster's void was getting bigger and bigger, after emotions and feelings it started feeding on me. I started losing interest in everything, I felt constantly tired. The only wish I had was to had never been born, I didn't want to exist at all. And eventually even my monster turned its' back on me.
'You don't want to live? Then don't. No one cares, it was obvious from the start that you're not worthy of a happy ending. You are damaged beyond repair, you will only hurt people around you, you are me, you are a monster and monsters are not allowed to walk the Earth.'
'I'm a monster... This place is not for me, no one will understand me here. It's just an empty existence... '
But I want to live... I still want to BE.
When it seemed like an end I came across information about ACoA by accident. I found out that my monster is a disease and that I'm not a freak and that I can recover. A simple truth, but it took me a long path to get to it. Only finding out these things turned my whole world upside down. I know it's just a first step but I made it and I'm ready to start anew, because everything what has seemed to not fit my point of view is on its' right place now.
I have a long path to go and it's not going to be easy, I know. But I want to believe that I have a chance. Can I still believe? Is it not too late to hope?..



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Service

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Yes, you can still believe. I recognize that monster (I called it 'the blob'). There is hope. We are here for you anytime day or night. Share your heart... get to know the real you again. You sound like a beautiful soul that had normal reactions to dysfunction to me.... which makes you normal, and means your true self is sensitive and loving. Together we learn to accept what has happened as proof only that we are so alive, and so able to feel. Emotionally deep people like us... have that same capacity for joy and serenity.

What a brave move to reach out for you. Never give up on you... I wont... I believe in you... because I believe in me.

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My dad quit drinking about a year before I was born. because he had overcome it, I never saw his alcoholism as contributing to our dysfunctional family dynamic. I just thought he was angry. Really, really angry.



-- Edited by Songstheysing on Sunday 20th of March 2016 07:44:14 PM



-- Edited by Songstheysing on Sunday 20th of March 2016 07:45:16 PM

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Guru

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Welcome. I relate to a lot of the things you shared. Keep coming back, it works if you 'work' it. (So 'work' it, you're worth it)

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Jade



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my father has been an alcoholic my entire 26 years of life. a drug addict for awhile and my mother who in the past 8 years has been working her way up to a functioning alcoholic . my father was physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive to me and my siblings and he now is mentally and emotionally abusive when i see him and when angry threatens to be physical since we have all become adults. probably over the past 6 years and starting a family of my own and becoming part of a new family within my fiances ive started to see and notice how angry i am and how my parents have tainted my brain and my heart. i'm hoping to figure out how to fix myself. hoping that some one will just say they understand me . i have stopped talking to my parents recently on a whim following an argument with my mother while she was drunk and i have no desire to speak to them or take my children around them anymore.

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