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Post Info TOPIC: Share your story here.


Newbie

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RE: Share your story here.


TigWizard wrote:

Hello all!

Long story short:

I grew up with an alcoholic mother. There was no physical abuse, but plenty of verbal/ emotional abuse. I became aware of the alcoholism as a pre-teen. I was embarrassed and/or humiliated on a regular basis by my mother. †My father tried his best to support my sister and me, but there wasnt much he could do.

ive been in regular therapy for a few months and am coming to the realization that my entire life has been effected by my mothers behavior. This is my first foray into reaching out in this way.†

Thank you for listening/reading.

Tig


†I had trouble with the whole opening up and talking about things process. †Im usually quiet and dont display my feelings. Now I know that what i went through as I kid played a huge part in my sense of worth and self esteem. This process is really helping but its just beginning for me.†



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Les


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Welcome to MIP, Tig!

Pull up a chair and join our experience, strength, and hope!

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Guru

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†Hi Tig... I do exactly the same thing myself- self-talk... it really does help me to ease into my thoughts, and my feelings...†smile...



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† short and sweet...† a goal, anyway...



Newbie

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david wrote:

†Hi Tig... I do exactly the same thing myself- self-talk... it really does help me to ease into my thoughts, and my feelings...†smile...


†Its funny, I do have this self dialogue, if you will, when Im alone. i find myself almost rehearsing what I want to talk about prior to a session. I guess as long as it comes out its a good thing.



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Les


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† † † † † † † † †smilesmilesmilesmilesmile.....aww...



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† short and sweet...† a goal, anyway...



Newbie

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Hello,

If I'm honest, I'm not really sure if I should be here, but, after some pretty horrendous behaviour, the breakdown of my marriage and a lot of pain over the past 3 years, my psychotherapist suggested that I read the Laundry List. I recognise a lot of that list in myself, and my father†was† and remains a recovering alcoholic.

The problem I'm having with even beginning to consider the impact of my father's alcoholism on my life is that to everyone who knows him, myself included, he is a good person. Everyone who knows him well, knows he is a recovering addict. Everyone admires him for his recovery, for his work helping others with recovery and for his honesty in doing so.†

My father was never a violent drunk (that I know of) and since before I was born had been in AA. As a child of maybe 8 yrs old I learned of his addiction when he relapsed. He was a 'sad drunk'. He retreated, he slumped, he drank and he binged for 2-3 days, tapered off for a day or two, then returned to work, got on with life and within a week the tension and uncertainty that went with his drinking subsided... until the next time.

I can't remember how many times he fell off the wagon, but it varied between every 6 months to every 2 years between relapses. I never felt anger towards him, I felt pity. AS I grew older, I was proud of him for his recovery. I was and remain very grateful for the fact that while he was powerless over his addiction, he would aim to minimise its effect on us. When he drank, he retreated.†

He is a complex and extremely intelligent person. He was a teacher, and universally liked and respected by everyone.

I always assumed his alcoholism had a minimal impact on me, and may even have been beneficial, in a strange way - I learned that even the best people are flawed.

So, I never associated, and still don't know if I do associate the problems that I have with his drinking. I felt irritated when my psychotherapist first brought it up, but I'm considering that perhaps his alcoholism had more of an impact on me than I first suspected.†

Now, here's a bit about me...

I was a strange child. Extremely quiet, painfully shy and permanently fearful - of what, I have no idea. Other children terrified me. I isolated myself and watched from the edges as others formed friendships. I mostly felt like I wasn't part of what was going on around me. When people tried to make friends with me ( I was well-liked, somehow, despite being so quiet) I almost felt sick. It felt like they were hassling me.†

Emotionally I was sensitive but kept that deep, deep inside of me in a vice-like grip.

I also had, and this is extremely embarrassing for me, a fear of being barefoot. I had an intense fear of having to take off shoes and socks. I'm not sure where this came from but I know that to me it was the most embarrassing, humiliating, shameful thing. This became somewhat of an obsession and I could not stop thinking about it. This later developed into a fetish - one where I wanted to be humiliated by being made to be barefoot. Much later in life, this led me to fetish sites, then message boards, then craigslist, then real-life meetings with men (I am straight, and married. I love my wife dearly, but I could not stop this compulsion). When my behaviour was discovered my life fell apart, as did my marriage. I concluded that I was an addict myself - a sex addict. I joined a 12 step programme. Later I attended therapy, too.†

My therapist helped me to look at† the fetish differently - to accept it, but importantly, she helped me to uncover that it was less of a sexual desire, but an emotional need - I needed to show vulnerability. The physical experience of being barefoot, helped fulfill an emotional need - the need to be emotionally vulnerable. For me this was life changing. My compulsion ended over night and the desires to engage in dangerous meetings just disappeared. Now I see my fetish as, slightly embarrassing, but something that could have been shared and explored in a healthy way.†

At the same time as this realisation, my emotions started flooding to the surface. I could feel the need and the want to be a more open, honest, vulnerable person. I want to connect, to be able to relax, be myself and be free. I have spent my life living in fear of my emotions being exposed, of people knowing me or seeing my vulnerabilities. Now, I'm tired and I want someone to see me, know me and accept me.

My therapist thinks I may have 'shut down' emotionally at a very young age to gain some 'internal control over my external environment'.

So, on her advice, I read the laundry list, I dentified with it, and now I've written what probably reads like a long, rambling post. I apologise if it's in the wrong thread, or if parts of it seem irrelevant or make people queasy. It is my story, though

Thanks



__________________
Michael


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Welcome to MIP, Michael!†

If you identify with a majority of The Laundry List, you are probably in the right place!†

There are many kinds of alcoholics, and many ways that impacts the family.† Not all Families Of Origin have physical, verbal, or sexual abuse.† A lot of us were just neglected, which can be very painful to a child.† My Narcissistic mother was caught up in her own problems and really didn't want kids.† My alcoholic Dad stayed away from home and ran around with other women.

Pull up a chair and join our experience, strength, and hope!†

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Newbie

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Hello, I'm April and I'm an adult child of two alcoholics who love me dearly, but imperfectly. I have been on my journey of recovery with ACA since December of 2010 and started with ACA and Alanon after some sweet person handed me a copy of Melody Beattie's (I don't remember if I spelled that correctly) book 'Codependent No More'. I had heard of Alanon, but had never attended. I had no knowledge that ACA existed. I attended a few meetings of each and decided that ACA was for me, though I am certainly not knocking Alanon because I appreciate what they do. My FOO consists of my father, a physically and emotionally abusive man whom I now realize is a scared young boy with a temper trapped inside a 60+ year old's body. My mother, a hard-working and intensely loyal 'spineless jellyfish' of an alcoholic that seems to drink more out of a desire to keep my dad company in his drunken state than drinking for herself, but that is, of course, my humble opinion. They married a few months after their 3rd child and have remained so for nearly 36 years. Next is my brother, a dearly loved manipulative con artist and abusive alcoholic, father to two intensely smart children, who took his own life on my birthday in 2014 (pretty rough bday present). Then there is me, an unmarried mother of two, who had a "good job" I hated for over a decade and has been bouncing around temp agencies since I finally quit a few months after my brother's death. And finally, my sister, also an unmarried mother of two who has a good job that she likes most of the time. My sister and I are very close, physically (our homes share a yard) and emotionally, since my brother's death, and neither of us are addicted to alcohol, nor abstain from it. Though neither of us are free of addictions by a long shot! We are both still in contact with our parents, though she more than I. My family regularly attempts to shame me for the boundaries I have put in place and must enforce on a pretty consistent basis, but, with practice, I have learned to let it slide off my back instead of letting the shame roll in to drown me like it used to. I am here because I need my meetings, I need my family of choice because, as much as I love them, I do not have the support network I need from my family of origin. I am here because I feel like I'm priming for a backslide into all the unhealthy behaviors I used to use to cope, the binge eating, the retreating into myself and marathon watching of movies and video games to help deny the fact that I'm flailing and, arguably, failing, at "real life". Sorry for the long post. I look forward to getting to know you and hopefully finding a home, even if I'm too far away from a physical meeting. Thanks for 'listening'!

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I will not be quieted. I will speak my truth.


Guru

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Welcome to MIP, April!

It sounds like you have a lot in common with many of our members.† Pull up a chair and join our experience, strength, and hope!

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Guru

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Queen Bee wrote:

†Thanks for 'listening'!


† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † Thanks y'all, ma'am.

Part of my veneer is a faux southern accent... but ah'm rural and this is a part of my culture and personal makeup.

I live far from the deep south. But my heart is there.†

I always say y'all kin take the kid out of the family, but y'all caint take the family out of the kid.

Taking a circuit through an ACA group- for me gives me an extra rite of passage... into emotional growth. I find the true meaning of the word ~detachment~. Which is really just a way of growing out and growing up.

It is a journey, and ah really really enjoy time with other travellers... it makes up for the grey days in my life... an accumulation of them...

We depend entirely on our membership here. There are no rooms.

Unless people share there is resounding silence.

We get on each other's wavelengths in a healthy way. We have the right to be wrong sometimes... how else would we learn?

I was afraid to be wrong... I thought I was entirely wrong!

Shame... getting to the bottom of this now...

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † and getting it out of my system... liberating...

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † but impossible to do this, on my own...†

thanks for posting here- signs of hope, April...

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †



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† short and sweet...† a goal, anyway...



Newbie

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I have certainly missed it, the letting go of what used to be shameful information and being met with 'thank you' and 'welcome' instead of judgement and criticism. I'm glad to be here. Just knowing that I have a safe place to talk has already calmed and motivated me quite a bit! Thanks for the warm welcome.

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I will not be quieted. I will speak my truth.


Guru

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Welcome to the MIP family!†

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Member

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Hello everyone,

I discovered ACA right before the new year. I was desperately searching for help after a traumatizing family Christmas. My desperate searching led me to ACA. Thank goodness I finally found what was "wrong" with me all these years. I'm feeling a lot more stable these days because of the recovery program. I am so grateful.

My name is Rachel, and I am gratefully recovering in ACA. I haven't found a sponsor or fellow traveler yet and am seeking. There are no face to face meetings in my area, but there is 1 al-anon meeting I plan to go to when winter isn't quite so winter-y here. So far, I've attended online meetings at intherooms and on stepchat. I've participated in a telephone meetings also.

I am an adult child of alcoholics and dysfunction. My dad passed away last June. It's all such a heartbreaking story. Makes me so sad :( My mom is still with us, but she is hell bent on drinking herself to death and lives far away from me in another province. I am so sad I never got a "family". I have a sister who also lives in another province. My little brother lives in another country altogether. My kids are grown, but I lost my family ten years ago. One of my four kids moved here to the farm with me and my now husband for four years, and I'm so grateful he did that. I miss them though. I have a beautiful baby grandson but my daughter is so often upset with me for living on a farm in another province, it makes it really hard. I found such a good life. A life that is financially stable and awesome, actually. I live at the boreal forest line in my province and so my backyard is the forest, where my husband and I enjoy "playing" with our friends - snowmobiling and quadding and other "redneck" activities ;)†

I don't know how to get past all the pain yet. I hope as I reparent myself, my kids will benefit and the cycle of dysfunction and addiction perhaps has a chance to be over.†

Thanks for listening to my story.

R



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Guru

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Welcome to Miracles In Progress, Rachel!

We are fellow travelers here; pull up a chair and join the experience, strength, and hope!

I think you will find Al-Anon is a bit different than ACA.† In Al-Anon they address dealing with an active alcoholic.† Here we look at childhood baggage that we have carried into adulthood.† Some people have both!

Sorry about your Dad.

I gave up expecting my family to be perfect like the ones on TV a long time ago.† They just aren't able to provide for my needs.† I am also fortunate to have a wonderful husband and a great life we share, including motorcycle riding!† I put my time and energy into him, not people who drain me.

Have patience with recovery!† Remember, it took us a long time to get this way.

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Member

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Thank you for welcoming me Princess K. I sure appreciate it. I'm so glad to have found you all. It's so wonderful for you and for me that we found great husbands - what a difference that makes!! My 1st husband wasn't so good. But I'm grateful I get a second chance with my 2nd husband. So grateful.†

Motorcycle riding sounds pretty cool! I was never into powersports growing up, but as I reparent my inner child, these powersports are proving to be pretty fun!†

I will work on having patience. I'd like to wave a magic wand and make it all better right this instant, but the recovery process has been a good process so far. I've been learning little techniques to help me process the memories and for the first time, things are getting "put away" proper I feel.†

I am very grateful to be in recovery,

Rachel†smile



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Guru

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Hi Rachel,

† † † † † † † †I read your share in my I-phone this morning- high up on the mountain road, here in another corner of the Commonwealth.

† † † † † † † †Welcome here...†smile... we are a friendly bunch...††



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† short and sweet...† a goal, anyway...



Member

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Thank you Guru :)†



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Guru

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†[blushes]... the gizmo here makes us a guru- after 500 shares...

† † † † † † † † † nothing to do with wisdom, or prowess...†biggrin...



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† short and sweet...† a goal, anyway...



Member

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haha David, I see now lol



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Newbie

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This is my first time in any ACA group. I have been in therapy off and on over my life, but found a trauma therapist a couple years ago who is saving my life! I did not grow up in an alcoholic family, but a VERY dysfunctional one. I‚m limited or no contact with most of my FoO. I have a family of my own...hubby and 3 kids. I am working hard to break the cycle of abuse I grew up with and make a different life for my kids. I‚m here to find ways to heal, to be supported and to support others here....as my user name states...seeking peace.

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Guru

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†Hi there, Peace, and welcome... to ACA and to our online group!†smile...



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† short and sweet...† a goal, anyway...



Guru

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Welcome to MIP, Seeking!

We have a big umbrella here, which covers all types of dysfunctional families.† I also have limited contact with my FOO, and no contact with a lot of them.† Hubby and dog are my Family of Choice!

Pull up a chair and join our experience, strength, and hope!

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Newbie

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Thank you David and Princess K for the welcome. Hoping to continue my journey of healing and have a good life.

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Member

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today is 1 of those days that is hard and i cry and cry for hours and hours. my neck hurts. my jaw hurts. it all hurts and all i can do is cry :( i am weeping for my family :'( love addiction hurts :(†



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Guru

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†Hi Rachel,

† † † † † † † †I always felt that tears was the way in. I cry at bad stuff and for gratitude and relief as well.

† † † † † † † †I read about those sore bits- neck and jaw- in the Yellow Workbook... I flatten out and breathe- and push gently into the pain and discomfort.

† † † † † † † †Not a quick fix- but works well months into years of practise...

† † † † † † † †...I do wish I had massage much earlier into my life. I have had help from a physio and a chiropractor.

† † † † † † † †It would be a real gem to find someone switched onto this kind of situation!†

† † † † † † † †My thinking and memory has improved a lot- concentration.

† † † † † † † †Sharing and listening give me a real neat sense of connection- daily reminders. Thanks for your share!†smile

† ††



__________________

† short and sweet...† a goal, anyway...



Member

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Thanks so much for listening. Thanks so much for allowing me to share. I sure appreciate this.†

From my understanding yesterday, I believe my tears were an important part of my grief work. I hadn't yet realized what I was grieving for. I thought it was my lost family. But I think what I needed to understand was that I needed to grieve first for my lost childhood. Yesterday I consciously was able to do that because of my ACA work.†

My yellow workbook should be here on Friday. It's all divine timing I believe. I was supposed to have gotten the workbook when I got my big red book, affirmations book, and meeting kit but it got missed in my order. So now it will be here and I get to begin the workbook study.†

My hubby and I keep talking about a couples massage. Maybe I should book one for our Valentine's present. That would be really nice and what a wonderful suggestion! Thanks :)†

Have a great day!

biggrin

Rachel



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Guru

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rachellee333 wrote:

My yellow workbook should be here on Friday.


† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †



__________________

† short and sweet...† a goal, anyway...



Newbie

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Hi all,

First time on this thread, obviously first time post too!

I have been in therapy for 5 of the last 10 years (3 separate Ts, 1 CBT, 1 psychodynamic and now I'm in psychoanalysis) to help me get over my ACOA feelings. Today was a major step for me - I finally confronted my mother.

Background - both parents are alcoholics. My father stopped drinking when I was 5 (I'm now 35), however, as I'm sure you can imagine, he didn't go from the bottom of a bottle into a honorable father overnight. He was in AA, but took 15 years before he could be described as recovered. He was an angry, threatening bully. He worked on his issues and is now a posterboy for AA recovery. I still hold resentment towards him for how he treated me as a child, but I can't deny he is a different man now.

My mum wasn't a daily drinker, but drank at least 3 or 4 nights a week. She would miss large parts of my childhood because she was drunk or hungover in bed. She never rose prior to 1pm on weekends because she 'worked hard' during the week. She was high functioning and had a great job, but our home was mad. My mother continued to drink and my parents would fight constantly. At big events, family gatherings or holidays, she would get completely wasted and would have to be helped out. She was always the drunkest person in the room (or at least in my eyes). When my parents fought it was loud and frightening. My dad would threaten to leave, the odd time walking out for a few hours or, rarely, overnight. The tension in the house was impossible.

My brother, sister and I all have been affected by this in one way or another. I self sooth with food or alcohol, with shameful feelings after binges. I tried drugs a little, but my anxiety always made me a bit too frightened. I hated social events, didn't really feel I fitted in and didn't know how to interact with others. I'm self critical and always looking over my shoulder for the next attack or crisis. It became too much for me to handle in my mid 20s and I decided to try and take control of my life. I started therapy. Since then I have lost weight, started socialising and recently got married. I still binge drink/eat from time to time, but it's getting better. I had a major health scare last year and need to prioritise my life. Today I finally told my mother that I can't be around her when she drinks. I told her how awful I feel and how angry and upset I'm left when she has to be carried out of places (my wedding was 3 weeks ago and I'm sure you can imagine what the final straw was).

I have a therapy session tomorrow, but wanted to get something written today. Thank you for your reading

sparkie_t



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†Hi Sparky,

If you get to know me here, I like to use you-tube clips. And one will follow here...

I think ACA works in tandem with other agencies- providing long term support.

I always say that we are works in progress, and that ACA itself is a work in progress.

It only exists because we all pitch in and actually create the organisation!

I also said too- that it is not a product, it is a process!

ACA embodies anyone who is doing family of origin work. But it did grow out of Adult Children of Alcoholics.

My mum was a drinker and my dad was a drunk. But mum remarried and had a great life. I was lucky to have a great step-dad.

So, welcome on board!†smile...

DavidG.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O3IzIzoVvk&t=257s



__________________

† short and sweet...† a goal, anyway...



Newbie

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Lol, what a great clip David. It give me a chuckle. I must admit that my mum telling me to wait until daddy gets home had another meaning! One of the weird things of being an ACOA is the dark sense of humor it leaves you with

Thanks for the welcome



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Guru

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Welcome to MIP, sparkie!

I'm sure you will find much in common, although we are from different places.† My Father and Stepfather were alcoholics.† My Mother is Narcissistic, and possibly also an alcoholic.† My FOO was constant fighting and chaos.† I left as soon as I could!

Pull up a chair and join our experience, strength, and hope!

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Hi, I'm Mikayla, and I'm a college student in the US. I just found out that I have complex PTSD, on top of depression, anxiety, and OCD that I've been dealing with for the past couple years. My counselor recommended me to start with these meetings, so I found y'all on the ACA website. I'm very nervous about actually going to a meeting, so instead I found this message board which is a lot more appetizing to someone who's a bit shy. I'm a pre-medical student and I'm a junior. I'm also 20. I'm married, have 2 kitties, and am trying to stay afloat here recently.†

I'm glad y'all have a forum instead of having face to face meetings. This is honestly a lot easier than going to a place I've never been before.



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†Hi ,Mini...

† † † † † † † † †...we do not have to apologise, or justify what we do. Just being here is enough reason to be here...

I have C-PTSD too, and i am learning to live with it- and learning to find ways of dealing with it. I found conscious breathing helpful [it does take time!]

and at present I am using a breathing monitor...

The ACA D-F programme offers a way of identifying the issues [THE LAUNDRY LIST] And addressing them.† This is a safe way to begin relating to other

people here... learning to chill-out more!

welcome...†biggrin,,,



__________________

† short and sweet...† a goal, anyway...



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Hello everyone,†

This is my first foray into an online ACA group, but I'm happy there are places I can find support since there are no in-person ACA meetings in my language where I live. I grew up in Canada with an alcoholic father. There were five kids in the family and the disease affected all of us; I can still see the effects in our family today. My mother was typically either raging or depressed. My father was 100% emotionally absent from my life. I remember reaching the conclusion when I was in middle school that he was basically my biological father and nothing more. And yet he was overprotective, anxious and overbearing and I had to live under his control despite my huge resentment towards what a crappy role model he was.†

In junior high school, I remember the night of a particularly bad argument between my parents when I hid down in the basement yet again, crying and just wishing my life could be happy, and finally realizing no one was going to rescue me and that the only way I was going to survive the rest of my teenage years under their roof was to stop feeling in order not to let the pain overwhelm me. That was the night I shut down emotionally and started to isolate even more than I already did.†

When I was old enough to drive, I used to fantasize about driving off the road and crashing just to get my parents' attention. There was a complete lack of nurturing in my home, and I don't recall my parents ever actively showing or telling me they loved me - they never hugged or kissed me, they never said the words "I love you" - until I was 23, leaving the country, and I said it first. To this day, I feel like my parents don't know how to take an interest in my life. They still make everything about them without ever asking what's really going on with me. As a result, I realized a few years ago that I basically feel like an orphan.†

I've been in a local al anon group for the past 3.5 years, and have been working the steps there. The group is very small and meetings are inconsistent since people are often absent, which is another reason I am looking for support in ACA. I have made a lot of progress in al anon already, and I want to keep getting better, so I feel good about at least understanding at this point in my life that I do have choices, I can take action, and I can reach out to find help.†

Thank you for listening. It feels good to share with people who will understand the unique situation of growing up in a dysfunctional home with active addiction.††



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In loving kindness


Guru

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†Hi Stella,

† † † † † † † Most of us come in with a deep sense of abandonment here...†blankstare...

I came through Alanon too... ACA has given me wings, and a bit more motivation to change- mostly bad thoughts and old pain.

I did have a death wish- to cross the road into the path of a truck. Not to hurt the driver! But how could the driver live with a fatality...?

I grew up being so good hearted underneath all of my black thoughts. Don't think that no mo' tho'... ...thank blimmin goodness!†

We reach across the waves with hope... it does take a while to learn to trust... to trust our own thoughts and feelings, even...

at the moment I think that being listened too, and even being noticed is empowering and liberating... it gets us through all

the negativity in The Laundry List... nice to see your posting, from another Commonwealth country...†smile... David G.



__________________

† short and sweet...† a goal, anyway...



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Thank you, David. It means so much just to be able to share these painful thoughts. It lessens that much more of the burden of shame, guilt and regret I've kept inside for so long. Step four has shown me just how deep my trust issues are, as well. It's getting better, but it's hard and an ongoing journey for me.†

It's always inspiring to meet others who have their own recovery stories to share .†



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In loving kindness


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Welcome to MIP, Mikayla!

It's great that you have found The Program so early!† I didn't learn about it until I was 33.

Pull up a chair and join our experience, strength, and hope!

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Welcome to MIP, Stella!

I also grew up in a loveless home.† My Mother didn't say "I love you" until late in my adult life, but I don't believe it.† I'm not sure what her definition of "love" is.

Pull up a chair and join our experience, strength, and hope!

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Thanks, Mrs. Snoopy!

I know what you mean -- even though it's horrible for a child to say this about their parents, I honestly don't know if I "love" my birth parents, because they never set out any expectations about what they†wanted†of me. Once I moved away from home as an adult, they only ever made me feel†guilty about having moved so far away. When they do send out signals that†appear to be loving, kind or thoughtful (like sending a birthday card), I am immediately doubtful and suspicious of their intentions. My first instinct is never to think they're being sincere. I honestly don't know if†they know what love means either. It is so confusing and it drives me crazy!!

I used to get so angry over this, but at least my work in a 12-step program has helped me to start learning about detachment, focusing on myself, and releasing a lot of that anger. ACA also helps me feel less insane by telling me it's okay to release my unreasonable expectations of my birth family.†

At this point in my life, I'm trying to focus on loving my own family, myself, and creating new families through my involvement with al anon and ACA.†



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In loving kindness


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Thanks for sharing, Stella.

I don't believe that I do love my Mother.† Yes, I would feel bad if something happened to her.† But I don't enjoy spending time with her, and I don't like her as a person.† This was hard to admit for a long time.

It took me many trips to the hardware store to realize they don't sell bread!†

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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†Lovely to see your posting here Tash...

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † we created our own reality here- sort of like a clubhouse, or a treehouse...

you told all of us it was the unconditional love that turned your life around.

In a sense, if we can sift through all of the posts, we have our own manual here... one that is focussed essentially, on our own lives.

I cut and paste your motto, which still rings true:†

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

You, my humble friend encouraged me to keep ongoing- to realise my full potential. I am a generation older than you- and I have more accumulated crap to wade through!

But here- I am on the thresh-hold of success- pushing out the old dross.

I have decided to be more open-more ambitious.

I am mindful of the old saying: "Pride come before a fall." Hmmm I think we should wade through all these old truisms...

I am proud of this international forum... taking the very best of the American Dream, that became the 12 step self-help groups.

In my view one of the greatest of the USA's exports and gifts t the world!†smilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmile...

We can adapt and tweak these to our own foreign cultures- without losing any of the essence and power of the programme!

We can come together to celebrate our diversity- and our deep common cause- the resolving and dissolving of childhood trauma.

I feel we have much more to learn.

Tasha, we have become friends forever.

We are intrinsically bound together.

A bond of love, a bond of family, of deep sincere trust.

Something the world most sorely needs.

Let is begin with me... and end with us...†smile....



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† ††



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Hi. Brand new here and just went to my first ACoA meting last night.

I was raised in a family with an extremely alcoholic mother (black out drunk every night), an enabling father and huge doses of narcissism in both of them. It all melds together as I continue processing and accepting and grieving for myself as a little girl.

So much of the laundry list resonates: I am terrified of authority, have been a pleaser and an approval seeker at all costs, am overly worried about others and situations that are not mine to own, I isolate, I have a huge sense of responsibility at all times for everything. I can't relate to seeking danger and excitement. I actually do everything I can to stay away from both!

My sister and I do not speak. Our childhood trauma drove us to opposite camps and we were taught to be enemies. In this process of saving myself, I am not strong enough to try and heal our relationship but I hope that can happen.

My father is dead and my mother is still alive. As many of you might be able to relate to, she lives in my community and is just the most darling little old lady ever! Just ask her or her many paid minions. Her dog walker, her pilates instructor, etc...they just love her and wonder what kind of a monster (me) doesn't see her dear little mom. I can tell you: the getting-healthier-me is not going to keep going back to the poison well anymore. I'm done. I spoke with her on the phone 3 times in calendar 2017 and saw her once (on Xmas day). My young adult children love her (I support that and do not ask them to take sides). But they know that for me, Granny is not a safe person to be around and that this year, I will likely not be participating in the Xmas charade. She is mean, competitive, nasty and lives to plant seeds of worry and discontent. I am sad to say how long I let "What will people think/she's your mom" keep me involved. She doesn't want my sister or I in her life. She hasn't seen my sister but 4 times in 25 years.

I could go on and on but will stop. It's so painful to acknowledge how I was raised. But I am committed to working on all of it to have more peace and be healthier.

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Hi Kensingtonway, and welcome to MIP!!

It sounds like you are in the right place!† My father was an alcoholic, stepfather was a recovering alcoholic, and my mother is Narcissistic.† When I learned about ACA I also had almost everything on The Laundry List.† I have been in recovery for a while and while the progress was slow, it has definitely made a difference in my life!†

My Family of Origin is also full of estrangements.† I have tried to build bridges with some of them, with limited success.† Others I don't wish to relate to.

My mom is a self-absorbed pain in the butt.† She says she has a lot of friends, but they were nowhere to be seen when I visited last July.† Fortunately I live 1,100 miles from her and can keep at arm's length.† I have stopped expecting her to be someone that she is not.

HOORAY for the getting healthier you!†

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Thanks Princess K!

Amen to "stopped expecting her to be something she's not." That is just so very true and healthy.

Looking forward to coming back to this forum.

K

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Hello all,

My childhood was good until my parents divorced when I was 13 years old. My father spiraled downward in his addictions and my brother and I moved back and forth I don't remember how many times between his house and my mothers. My mother grew up in an alcoholic home as well, so both homes were filled with dysfunction. Before the divorce, my father and I were very close. After he started drinking, I lost him. I grew up emotionally and some times physically abandoned, leaving me to parent my younger brother. I handled adult problems and my childhood was cut short.

I found Alanon and attended for a few years when my brother struggled with addiction. I never felt fully accepted or understood until finding a live ACA meeting. I started therapy and finally found the courage to move away and pursue my own life instead of feeling guilty for not sticking around to fix everyone's problems when they came up. I moved about two years ago and have not been to any meetings since. I recently had a relapse when my alcoholic father contacted me asking about our relationship. I'm hoping that this forum will help me figure out how to stop the triggers and feel my feelings without dwelling on them for weeks at a time.

So happy that this outlet is available and to know that there are others out there available to support and help me though this journey.

Thank you



-- Edited by Jenny2low on Saturday 21st of April 2018 07:49:40 AM

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jenni†



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†Hi Jenny,

† † † † † † † †Mrs Snoopy is the main greeter here- but I imagine she is on the highway at the moment...

† † † † † † † †nice to see you share here... we all pitch in here and make what we can of this space...

† † † † † † † †there is no coffee duty, because we all take care of our own...†biggrin†...† my mum had her moments; but my dad was the most emotionally crippled one;

† † † † † † † †and my mum used to say: "the more the merrier"....

† † † † † † † †By banding together here, is does help us all to find solutions...†smile†...

† † † † † † † †cheers,

† † † † † † † †DavidG.†aww†...



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Welcome to MIP, Jenny!† :byebye:

david is right, I was out of state and just saw your post.

My parents divorced when I was 12.† I don't remember much about my childhood, except that it was chaotic.

Mom said that Dad didn't drink until after they divorced, but I'm not sure I believe that.† She passed away on April 17th, and I recently found a deposition she did 56 years ago.† She kept a lot of ugliness about his bad behavior from us.† He was running around on her at the time, and even took us kids out with his girlfriend!

My brother moved to Dad's when he was about 13.† I cut my Dad off when I was 18, and didn't speak to him for about 25 years.† I was the oldest, and was supposed to be the little adult.

Keep coming back, it works if you work it!

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Hello all. †I have just become a new member of ACA, thank you.†

I grew up in a lot of dysfunction. Father an alcoholic, and mother a very angry and depressed person. My sister was the studious one, my brother and I dabbled in drugs and alcohol. I became very rebellious and ended leaving home By 16...I have been thru Councelling, AA etc. I think that the concepts with ACA, are very well suited to me. I am in my 60s and have never realized how my upbringing shaped Us. Now I can do my best to understand myself,and hopefully pass information to my children, 2 of which are alcoholics.



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tmccannel


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†Hi y'all T.†

† † † † † † † †Bin there- done that, and have eaten the peanut butter sandwich...

...nice to read your story... I was missing my ACA buddies here in the city- the meeting is on Monday... so it was a welcome boost to read your post.†biggrin†...

-D.



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Welcome to MIP, Wasylena!†

My Dad and Stepdad were also alcoholics.† Mom was Narcissistic.† I am the oldest, and always tried to win their approval with my accomplishments.† I left our chaotic home ASAP at 18.

I am 63, and still tote around childhood baggage!

Pull up a chair and join our experience, strength, and hope!

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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New to this forum. Thank you for being here.


This is from my profile. This is me, right now.†

An adult child of a dysfunctional family.

Only child, now with 6 step-brothers and sisters that I have acquired as an adult, very, very difficult to feel like I fit in, have been isolated, 1st be my upbringing, then by choice.

In ACOA recovery for 5 years, via a few other 12 step programs. It's been a long, glorious process, with the step work taking forever. But I do grow each and every day.

I have an adult child (18), who went to live with his father 6 years ago. He is leaving for the Marines in less than a month.

I live with my SO, who I met in f2f Aca meetings....very different rates of recovery & work at this...



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Fatesfan



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Share your story here.


Welcome to MIP, Fatesfan!

Pull up a chair and join our experience, strength, and hope!

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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†Tasha was an early "graduate" here... and she talked about XA..†biggrin†...

we are all in this together- one way or another... so i join our friend Princess K, in welcoming you in...††aww†...

† ††smile†-D.



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I am new to this, although not new to being an ACOA. My mother has been an alcoholic as far back as I can remember.† When my parents divorced, I became the main caregiver for myself and my brother. By the time I was 18 and moved out for college, I was full of resentment and shut off from the "issue" and did not acknowledge the addiction in any way. I told myself "not my problem". My brother started using and everyone looked to me to "fix" him. I got as involved as I felt comfortable but it was never enough. And I was slammed with guilt and anxiety. Wasn't he my responsibility after all?

My mother has been through rehab programs several times and always, always relapses. I always go through periods of intense anxiety that it is my fault for not trying harder. A few years ago my brother passed away from an overdose and I had just given birth to my first baby. I had severe post partum depression and looked only to healing myself. When family asked me what I was doing to help my mother, I couldn't give them the answer they wanted. I didn't want to help her. When did she ever help me? She ended up in the hospital a couple times and I didn't go to see her. I could not forgive her. I felt very judged by her sisters.†

As my children grew, I gave in to guilt and allowed her to be in their lives. She promised she was in recovery, going to meetings, seeing a therapist. I probably knew this was not true but I just wanted the good parts of having a mother and wanted the bad parts to go away.† †Every time she relapsed I tried to reset boundaries. I tried to be honest with myself and with her about what her addiction was doing to me. This came to a head a few days ago. A friend of hers called to say she had been drinking heavily. I yelled at her and told her this was the last time and my family would no longer have contact with her. The next day the same friend called said she was still drinking and appeared to have injured herself. I could tell he wanted me to come take care of it. But I am so so tired of getting these phone calls. I am so tired of being lied to. I am so tired of having to be in charge of her. I told him no. I told him to drop her off at the hospital.†

I got a call later that day that they found swelling in her brain and she needed immediate surgery. The hospital needed consent so they called me. It was all too raw. I shut down. I gave them permission for the surgery but refused to be proxy for her. I told them to call her sister. It has been three days and I don't know how she is doing other than she is alive. Her sister hasn't called me, so I don't know if she's mad at me for not taking responsibility but that's what I keep thinking.† †I swing wildly between not wanting to get involved, protecting my family and myself from further hurt and feeling like this is my fault and it is my responsibility to take care of her.†

I have been reading posts on this forum and trying to work up the courage to go to a meeting. I have realized several things:

What she does is not my fault.†

What she does is not my responsibility.

I need help.

I have been reading about the type of surgery she had and there is a good chance she will be disabled for life. I am paralyzed with anxiety. I do not want to take care of her. I do not want judgement from her sisters when I refuse to take care of her. I felt so free when I told her I was done and now she is pulling me back in.†

Thank you for reading.†



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Welcome to MIP, sunflowerbaby!

I think you will find people here with common issues.† My father was an alcoholic and I cut him off when I was 18.† I did not have any contact for 25 years.† In 1994 when he was on his deathbed from alcoholism, my brother and I disavowed him.

There is more, but that's enough for now....

Pull up a chair and join our experience, strength, and hope!

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Hello, All! I hope I'm doing this in the right place... chat board newbie, here.†

I'm Michelle. I am the only child of what I like to call a "functioning alcoholic" who was truly a great dad and I have no doubt loved me deeply, but was emotionally unavailable to me most of the time. He died when I was just 18 (he was 51, so young, and alcohol-related, no doubt, but I also had a mother who "couldn't deal" and didn't have an autopsy - it was clear it was a massive coronary, but I'm sure his liver was shot.) I had a mother that was sick with heart issues from the time I was 9 years old, and I often lived in fear of her death; many times she almost didn't make it. Because my father was not always available to us, due to drinking, and his own ACA demons (his father was an alcoholic, as well, and it's on my grandmother's father's side, as well - I come from a long line of alcoholics), I ended up being my mom's caretaker in times when she was ill, which was often. I had to do things no child or teen should have to do. She was in and out of the hospital from that time, until she died when I was 30 of complications from congestive heart failure. Although it was not her fault, she was also emotionally unavailable to me as a child, teen, and adult. I was the parent... to both parents.†

When I was 25, I become extremely ill with an autoimmune disease that shut my kidneys down and almost killed me. At that time, I started to do some self-reflection. I wondered how I'd gotten to where I was. I was a professional performer, and I was unable to work due to my illness. I blamed myself for everything. I became a very angry and confused adult who didn't understand how my own behaviors had contributed to my low self-worth, self-esteem, and loneliness.

So, I started my journey to learning about what went wrong when I was a kiddo, and taking some much needed steps to find my long dreamed of happiness. I was 26. (I just turned 50 in June... it was a looong time ago. A lifetime, really.) I faced a lot of my demons, forgave my parents, worked on building my relationship with my mom before she died (that's for another time), spent a ton of time and money on excellent therapy, worked through workbooks (The Child Within was instrumental to my recovery at the time,) was in a loving and caring group with my therapist and other women who shared similar struggles with being ACA and general dysfunction in the home growing up... I worked incredibly hard, but I never went to a single ACA meeting, although it was suggested to me by my therapist many times. I didn't need it, or at least that is what I thought. That was my first massive mistake. My second was when I thought I was "cured" and I stopped working on me.†

Looking back, I can see how I slowly, slowly slipped back into myself. I was in a horrible relationship that gave me absolutely nothing but anxiety and heartache (isn't that what I deserved?) and during that time my mom died. I had a move from the Valley in Los Angeles to the Inland Empire, was an hour away from my therapist (tho tried to see her monthly, but it was difficult), and I stopped making my own recovery a priority. At the time, I didn't see the self-sabotage I was doing. I was in a fog for a year after my mom died, but I woke up, kicked the a$$hole to the curb and a month later met my husband (we've been married 16 years, together 18.)

Once I realized that my husband was probably the man I would marry, I felt that all my problems were solved. This man would make me all better. I didn't need to continue therapy. About 6 months or so after we got married, I had a breakdown of sorts. I didn't know who I was. Nothing made sense. I was a incredibly unhappy. I didn't understand. I had married an amazing guy, why was I unhappy? So, I found a new therapist and started all over again. I made a few small breakthroughs, but didn't put as much into as I had before. My husband and I went through the adoption process to become parents (my disease made it impossible for me to carry a child to term, and there was a possibility I'd die in the process.) Eighteen long months later, we brought our beautiful boy home. And guess what I did? I decided that this little baby was going to fix me... and you can guess what happened next? When he was about 9 months old, I made the decision that it was "too hard" to pack him up and take him with me to my weekly sessions, that were about 30 minutes away (we'd bought our first house even farther inland.) So, once again I stopped working the process. And, no, I never attended a meeting or even began to touch on that part of the recovery process.†

And that gorgeous little baby didn't fix me. Fast-forward 14 years. My marriage is a mess. My relationship with my son is pretty good (he's a teenager, not the most fun time), but I know I'm shutting down with him, too (he has mild autism, adhd, and fetal alcohol effects, all due to his birth mothers drug and alcohol use, and has never been the easiest child - I gave EVERYTHING to him and his therapies when he was younger, and most people would think on the outside, that I should be mother-of-the-year... but if they could hear what I say to myself. Lord. It's bad.)

We made a huge move to Kansas (to the town I grew up in) in 2010, and slowly, slowly, I slipped away. I haven't made very many friendships that are meaningful, although that's getting better. I think now, looking back, our marriage wasn't great before we moved, and because I am a "runner" I thought that moving far away from California would, once again, fix me. It only made things worse, which if you've read this far, already knew.†

In June, my husband and I were on very shaky ground. I am not blaming him, but he does have some responsibility in all of this mess. From the time he and I got together, he spent more time on his computer than with me. I was alone a lot. I didn't have anyone to talk to. And when I did turn to him, he gave me nothing emotional in return. I felt abandoned. I had left what few deep relationships I had in California, and I have felt completely alone for eight years. My husband has now has taken responsibility for his part, and is working on himself to be a better communicator, which has pushed me to find my own answers for the screwed up way I think and live my life. My conclusion right now is that over the years of our marriage, I have become just like my parents. Emotionally unavailable.†

Something in me snapped earlier this year and I shut down completely. The intimacy in my marriage, that's never been all that intimate, because I've controlled my thoughts and heart, came to a stop. I didn't see what was happening. I had completely denied any work that I had previously done. It wasn't until about a week ago that a light went off in me. Maybe I needed to get back to working through what happened to me in my childhood. I shared more about ACA's with my husband and I ordered the books Struggle for Intimacy and Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Woititz (read ACoA during my initial recovery and it made so many things clear to me.) And just received the Red Book and work book. I'm ready to dig back in, but scared as hell.

I live in a rural area and the closest meeting is 45 miles away, which is not ideal, but doable once my next show is closed, but rehearsals will not allow me to be there until the end of October. So, I'm hoping this will be a place for me to be able to find some support, in whatever way that is provided here.

Thanks for reading (if you made it!)

Michelle



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MZakharov


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Welcome to MIP, Michelle!†

I'm sure you will find people here who understand where you are coming from.† There are similarities with my own story, too.

I'm 63, and although I really didn't want to carry my childhood baggage into retirement, I have done that in some ways.† I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which I attribute to growing up in a chaotic, dysfunctional household.

My Dad was also an alcoholic and emotionally unavailable.† He was either avoiding Mom or chasing women.† Mom (who recently passed away) was Narcissistic, which probably had a greater impact on me.

I have tried the geographic cure several times, and it never†worked!† † When I graduated from college I learned to ride a motorcycle and took off across the country.† I was a rolling stone for a while, not ready to "grow up".

Through therapy, the ACA Program, meetings, and sites like this, I have made immense progress.† I do have some joy in life, although I feel that I was robbed of that in childhood.† My relationships are much better, and I am able to set boundaries.† I can check off a lot of the "Flip Laundry List" https://adultchildren.org/literature/laundry-list/.† I am still working on #11, self esteem.

I'm sorry to hear that you and your husband are having problems.† I hope you can both grow and work things out.† As we know, recovery is an inside job; no one else can fix us.

There are many good books out there.† Some of my favorites are:

  • Big Red Book (a long read, but classic)
  • Healing the Shame that Binds Us - John Bradshaw
  • Stage II Recovery: Life Beyond Addiction - Earnie Larsen
  • The Laundry List: The ACOA Experience - Tony A. (founder of ACOA; out of print)

I also do several daily readers.

Pull up a chair and join our experience, strength, and hope!†

In Recovery,

Princess K.



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