Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families

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Post Info TOPIC: Share your story here.


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Share your story here.


   {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Frieda}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Thanks for sharing, and welcome to MIP! 

You have certainly been through a lot.  It is understandable that you have fears and anxieties as a result.

As Laundry List #13 says, "Alcoholism* is a family disease; and we became para-alcoholics** and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink."

** Para-alcoholic was an early term used to describe those affected by an alcoholics behavior. The term evolved to co-alcoholic and codependent. Codependent people acquire certain traits in childhood that tend to cause them to focus on the wants and needs of others rather than their own. Since these traits became problematic in our adult lives, ACA feels that it is essential to examine where they came from and heal from our childhood trauma in order to become the person we were meant to be.

Here we share our stories and help each other understand what happened, and how to live a better life.  Keep coming back, it works if you work it!!



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In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Frieda. I so relate to the hell you went through as a child. My sperm donor was a monster. He was a serial sex offender and any young minor girl would do including me. I had to put up with him molesting me all through my teenage years or he would kill a pet or beat my mother again or beat one of my younger brothers he was good with blackmail and threats and he was a definite narcissistic homicidal antisocial personality. He was dangerous and I knew it even as a kid. You didnt cross him because somebody would die and usually it would be an innocent pet I know he murdered my German Shepherd, my mother finally confessed to me because I would not give up looking for her and finally my poor mother told me the truth. That bastard was the worst pile of manure I can even think of. Everything he touched everything! He either soiled or destroyed or killed. So I know what its like to feel unworthy, to feel inferior because I wasnt big enough and old enough to fight him off. I tried to poison him with ant poison to kill him to get rid of him but it didnt work it just made him sick and my mom caught on and she wouldnt let me have access to his food anymore and I think it was to protect me from going to jail. But yeah some of the crap that some of us went through I wouldnt wish on anybody so Im just picking up the pieces day by day piece by piece and I am making a life for myself I am not a victim anymore I will not let anyone who has Not proven to me they are trustworthy close enough to me to hurt me again. I used to put up walls. Now I put up chain-link fences yes they keep the bed out but I dont want to lock the good out either but it takes a person time and sustained good fruit to earn my trust. And I do have much healthier relationships now. Please keep coming back this program works and you are worth it

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ROSIE,  a work in progress!!! 

Keep it simple__Easy does it__Keeping the focus on me--AND___"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart" ~ Unknown



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Hello - I've joined this board less than half an hour before the Tuesday 11:00 CST meeting starts.

Not a newbie, though - first went to Al-Anon from 2002-2008.
Was married to an A (in recovery) from 2004-2009.
But I always noticed I spent a LOT more time in meetings talking about my family of origin than about issues dealing directing with the A himself.
Lotta trauma and dysfunction in my family, though to look at our perfect-white-suburban-family presentation you'd never guess it.
Spent much of my life thinking I was the problem, and they were happy to agree.
As of this week I am estranged from my brother, and I have a feeling my parents might have to follow.
It's affecting my husband and daughter, but I won't let that happen.

Thanks.

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Welcome to MIP, Val! 

The chat meeting is 6 pm CST; I hope you made it!

The ACA Problem statement says, in part: We either became alcoholics (or practiced other addictive behavior) ourselves, or married them, or both.  https://adultchildren.org/literature/problem/

I've had my share of alcoholic/dysfunctional fiances and boyfriends.  And I am distanced from my FOO, except for my Stepbrother.  Separation doesn't have to be permanent if we can learn to deal with our family while maintaining our serenity.

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

 



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In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Hey everyone my name is Gentle Man Goo Goo - I am the first in my family to stick with ACA - Come from a long line of dysfunctional alcoholics - Fun times lol - Add me on Facebook to connect - I'm into the Disney show "So Weird', "Charmed", Pizza, & "Buffy" - I also like Florence & the Machine, Lana del rey, Lady gaga, A tribe called red, Foster the people, Biggie Smalls, & Kate Bush.

www.facebook.com/gentlemangoogoo

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GGG


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Welcome to MIP, Gentle Man Goo Goo!

I'm glad you are breaking the family cycle of dysfunction.

Check out our shares on the Main Page!!



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In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Hi,

I am glad to have found this group. I previously tried to go to Al-Anon meetings, but I didn't quite feel at home there, although looking at my life through a codependent lens has helped me.

From what my therapy experience and my research has taught me, I'm a pretty textbook example of a child from a dysfunctional household. My mom had an alcoholic father and is a codependent and my father likely had an undiagnosed mental illness. There was domestic violence and a lot of chaos. We were poor, and whatever working appliances we had in the house (including the toilet) my father would smash when he was angry to punish us. I was definitely the lost child and often neglected. That was fine with me (or so I thought) - I just hid somewhere and read. I did very well in school and excelled. You wouldn't know something was going on. We learned to get by on very little love.

 

When my mother finally left my father he assaulted her and went to jail. It was front page of the newspaper. It was humiliating and confusing but for the first time in my life, I felt safe because I knew my mom was safe. Although she was my 1 semi-functional parent, she never took responsibility for her bad parenting and because my father was so terrible, it was easy to deflect blame. But she was not emotionally available, which I came to understand in adulthood. She did try, and on my better days I try to remember the good things. I know she feels a lot of guilt.

I also have a medical condition that makes me look different and is a source of emotional pain for me. As a child I felt like a huge burden to my family. They pretended it didn't exist, so I pretended it didn't exist. But walking through the world with a deformity is different. I felt very alone.

Many members of my family have done considerable work on themselves, so I am lucky to have a supportive family in adulthood. I also have some wonderful friends and I do a good job with reaching out to new people and joining groups when I'm feeling lonely. I'm just tired. I'm grateful to have found this forum. I never would have been able to articulate this at a live meeting and I really don't like being vulnerable with strangers who want to make eye contact. wink



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Welcome to MIP, Blue Bathrobe!! 

I think you will find that we have many comonalities.  Alcohol does not have to be present for a family to be dysfunctional.  There are also Grandchildren of Alcoholics (see reading).

There is a lot of cross-over in the groups for dysfunction, codependency, mental illness, etc. 

Yes, you are lucky to have a supporting family.  Many of us don't speak to our Family Of Origin.

Most of our sharing is on the Main Page, which is only viewable by Members.  This page can be seen on the Internet; mamalioness or I can move your share if you wish.

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

 

Aug31.jpg

 



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In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Hi, I'm River, and I'm an ACA.


I have been learning that I was abused horribly as a child by my parents, grandparents and once, by a family friend. This led me to therapy, and eventually mental health diagnosis. Recently, I overdosed on psychiatric meds with the hopes of not waking up in the morning, and my therapist highly recommended ACA as a means of dealing with the dysfunction in my family of origin and getting my life back. I am doing 30 meetings in 30 days, and am looking for new meetings to try (particularly LGBTQ+ meetings.) I have been working in the Loving Parent Guidebook, as I wait for my 12 step and Laundry List workbooks. So far I've met River-10, River-16, and my critical parent as I try to develop my loving parent.

Thank you so much for this space, and thank you for listening.


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Welcome River, you are not alone..I attempted suicide a couple of times myself (hanging, drugs, etc) but HP must have a purpose for me because I am still here...I want to go to my next life, naturally, and with less baggage...this program is helping me do that

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ROSIE,  a work in progress!!! 

Keep it simple__Easy does it__Keeping the focus on me--AND___"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart" ~ Unknown



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Welcome to MIP, River!! 

I was chronically depressed before I found ACA.  If I had continued like that, I probably would not be here today.

Through ACA, I learned that my depression was rooted in my childhood; I was programmed to fail.

No child should have to go through what we did.

Here, we walk together on our recovery journey! 

We have a text chat meeting in our Chat Room 7:00 pm (Eastern) on Tuesdays.

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

 



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In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Thank you, Mrs_Snoopy! This is helpful. I might take you up on moving this to the private section. Thank you!



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Let us know, Blue Bathrobe....



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In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Hi everyone! I am new here, and I just have to say that reading all of your stories have been very helpful so far! It is hard for me to tell my story, because I honestly feel like I am being disingenuous somehow, or like I should have no right to be here sharing when there are people going through worse things. But I am hoping to lighten this burden I have been carrying. My parents were both heavy drinkers, especially after my sister was born when I was 6. At that point, my mom really started to hate herself, and in turn me, a lot more. Every little insecurity she had about herself, she would then project onto me, so I was then told I was fat, ugly, boring, too emotional, too sensitive, lazy, slutty you name it. Whenever I did not do something exactly perfectly, she would tell me I had failed. I was only allowed to participate in activities that she wanted me to, because it didnt seem to matter what actually made me happy. I struggled with eating disorders, but everyone around me just ignored it. When I started having anxiety-induced seizures at 10, she acted like I was making it up. When I told her at 12 years old that I had tried to end my own life, she ignored me and did nothing. She lied to my doctor for years, telling them that she had brought me to see different doctors when she hadnt. The worst part about it all was always that I believed that no one would listen to me or help me. And now, at 26, I still struggle to open up to any kind of doctor, or anyone really, because I do not trust that anyone will actually help. I have now been in a relationship for over 6 years with a very loving person, who thankfully is willing to take the time to try to understand where I am coming from, and has been patient with me while I try to improve. However, I am constantly feeling guilty because I catch so many unhealthy behavior and communication patterns on my part and I know that he deserves better. I just want to stop living out my childhood over and over again every time I keep acting it out in my present life, and I am hoping that this program can help me stop living in the past, and finally create a healthy, secure life for myself that I can actually allow myself to enjoy.

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Welcome to MIP, breeeezy!! 

We all have our story; none are "better" or "worse" than the other; they are ours.

Wow, that is a lot to dump on a six year old.

I'm sorry that you tried to end your own life at 12, and no one paid attention to your pain. 

That is the goal of ACA; that we stop living out our dysfunctional childhoods.

Pull up a chair, and check out our personal shares on the Main Page (see link above).



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In Recovery,

Princess K.



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I am 37 years old, and I was raised by high-functioning alcoholics.  My mother and father have been heavy drinkers as far back as I can remember.  As a kid I thought that everyone's parents passed out in the living room floor, slept into the late afternoon, or let the electricity and water get shut off sometimes.  I remember one weekend our power was turned off in the dead of winter, so we had to go stay at my grandmother's house.  My parents were very angry about this situation, so they were hitting the sauce extra hard all weekend.  My brother and I were playing around in the garage, and I did something that set my father off.  He lifted me up by my arm and beat me until I went to the bathroom on myself.  I remember catching quick glances of the other kids' and adults' shocked faces as he angrily twirled me through the air and beat me.  I think I was around 7 years old.  My mother checked on me the next day, and saw the damage he had done to my buttocks (it was severely bruised and I had trouble sitting down for a few days).  Always the enabler, she told me to make sure I never do whatever I did to "set him off" again.  To this day I still have no idea what I could've done.

 

As an adult now, I didn't think that it would be an issue in my life since I'm able to take care of myself now.  There are times of the day when I know I cannot call or accept a call from my parents.  I have kids of my own, but they rarely spend time with my parents due to their lack of responsibility.  The last time they watched them for a few hours (I am a theatre actor and had a show that night), they got so drunk that they couldn't even function.  Any time I mention that I wish they'd stop drinking they tell me to mind my own business.

 

I am new to ACOA, so if this is the wrong message board for this type of story I apologize.  I am so glad to see that I am not alone in this anymore.  I look forward to attending an in-person meeting soon!



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-Ders



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Thanks for sharing, Ders and welcome to MIP! 

My Dad and Stepdad were a highly functioning alcoholics and Mom was Narcissistic.  I also thought my family was "normal".

I believe that you are in the right place!  Have you seen The Laundry List?

Your parents are right that their drinking is not your business.  There is only one person we can change, and that is ourself!

We have a chat meeting 7 pm EST Tuesdays.

P.S.: We are anonymous here; you may not want your full name and date of birth in your profile.



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In Recovery,

Princess K.



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Hi! My name is Jenn. I am so glad I discovered this group. I grew up in a very dysfunctional household, and the dysfunction continues to this day. My dad has a serious mental illness, specifically schizoaffective d/o depressive type. He attempted suicide when I was about 10 years old (Im 25 now). This caused a lot of stress on my family. My dad got help the help he needed for the depressive symptoms, but thats when the verbal abuse and gaslighting started. His verbal abuse which was mostly comments and remarks related to how I look led to me developing bulimia in my teens. I think the reason for that was partly me just hating myself but also because I felt like it gave me some type of control if that makes sense. That bulimia morphed into binge eating disorder in my adulthood which Im not receiving help for. BED caused me to gain 150 pounds since receiving help Im down 40 pounds. I have a lot more to go but Ill get there. On top of the verbal abuse directed towards me, my dad also directed those behaviors towards my mother. She confided in me many times growing up and still does. Their relationship is very dysfunctional and arguing was almost constant growing up. I always felt the need to fix things and still do honestly. I was often the mediator when my parents were fighting. Moving out of the home did wonders for me. About 8 months ago though my dad started experiencing a relapse of his schizoaffective and depressive symptoms. Old patterns repeat themselves I guess and I find myself still being the therapist of the family (I guess it doesnt help that Im an LMSW currently going for my LCSW). My dad calls me crying often and Im so afraid of losing him that Im having a hard time setting boundaries. These last few months have retraumatized me and I have been feeling so anxious to the point that I feel sick. Im also so angry. Im angry at my mom for her behavior and I have a lot of anger towards my father who cries out for help but refuses to put any work in to better himself. Im wondering where I should get started in this group. Im new to this site as of today.

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Hi Jenn... smile ...

I am an oldtimer, returning here.

Next week we have our first live ACA meeting, in these valleys.

We plan to meet monthly for a start.

We have gotten good support from Alanon, NA and AA- being seen a part of the twelfth Step family.

I learned a lot about this with these Miracles in Progress boards. smile 

 

Learning to trust, is tough, at first.

And finding other people who are worthy of our trust.

It does take time. biggrin

but, for me, it has worked out.

Welcome home.  awwawwaww...



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Welcome to all the newcomers. On our main page weve got all kinds of great stuff: step worksheets and just recovery questions and lots of love and caring and sharing. Glad yall are here

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ROSIE,  a work in progress!!! 

Keep it simple__Easy does it__Keeping the focus on me--AND___"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart" ~ Unknown

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