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Post Info TOPIC: Introduction

Veteran Member

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Posts: 34


I commented on a post yesterday with a very short intro.  I was made aware of ACA by my therapist back in about 1988.  When I sat in that first meeting and recognized myself in most of the characteristics of adult children, I knew I belonged, except that I couldn't reconcile the fact there was no alcoholism in my immediate household.  It wasn't until I read a book about adult children with grandparents who are/were alcoholics that I understood how my dad's rage-aholic behavior had been learned from his father. 

Now I see the official name has added "Dysfunctional Families".  Mine certainly fits that bill.  When I moved out the state I was currently living in, there were no ACA meetings, so I started attending Al-Anon.  Thirteen years later, when I moved out of that state, I did not attend meetings.  I was, however, engaged in active therapy.  So I have been in therapy and support programs for about 30 years.  I am finally in a loving, caring relationship to someone who is so stable that he can tolerate those monsters that still like to raise their ugly heads once in a while.

What has brought me back to these "rooms" is some family issues that have blown up.  Fortunately I live a number of states away from my sister and my niece.  My sister is not an alcoholic or addict; however, she is extremely dysfunctional in her relationships. My father died in May, and we both received some money from a small life insurance policy he had and then he had some cash in the bank.  My sister lost all of the approximately $40,000 she received to a scammer who was laundering money.  When she finally realized she'd lost everything, she threatened suicide.  My niece called 911 and she was placed in a psychiatric hospital.  She is now in an assisted living facility.  Because of the family dynamics, my niece and I have not seen each other since she was about 9 years old and she is now 35.  We had not spoken on the phone for maybe 15 years.  My niece has been in and out of rehab and recently, due to a blow up between her and her housemate who owns the house, he kicked her out and she threatened suicide.  She voluntarily checked herself in to a psychiatric hospital and is now in a rehab facility, but found out at check in that the facility doesn't take her insurance.  She is evidently there for the weekend and is supposed to be talking to someone on Monday about options.

I had to block my sister's number because she kept leaving messages that were accusatory one time and apologizing the next.  My stress level skyrocketed. Then when my niece is released from the hospital and goes back to her house to get some clothes for her stay at the rehab facility (her housemate is supposedly allowing her to keep her things there until she finds other accommodation - that 20-year relationship is a whole other dysfunctional saga), she texts me to tell me her mother broke into the house and took some things that did not even belong to her.  This was just yesterday (Friday).

My mantra since yesterday, based on some things my therapist and I talked about on Thursday, has been "Your crisis is not my crisis."

What I have shared is only the tip of the iceberg.  So many crazy things have happened since the end of October when my sister threatened suicide.  I sometimes wish I would have simply responded to my niece, "That must be awful for you.  I hope you're able to figure things out" instead of telling her if she needed to talk, I'm here for her.  That said, I am glad she visited at Christmas because I was able to witness firsthand the damage growing up with her mother and then her own self-abuse has done to her.  She is a bright, intelligent young woman, and at 35, she still has a chance to recover.  And I probably felt guilty for not making an effort to be a part of her life even though my sister tried to keep us apart.  What is done is done.  I can't change it.  And I know I cannot allow their crazy lives to bleed into my life.  I have the best life I have ever had.  I need to keep myself from getting sucked into their drama.

So all this and more is why I'm here.

Thank you for listening!




Status: Online
Posts: 15622

Thank you for sharing, SongWoman.

I'm glad you found us!! 

Unfortunately, dysfunction is part of many families, whether or not alcohol or drug abuse is present.

My Family of Origin (FOO) has some of the same characteristics.  When I was 12, Mom married another alcoholic and his four kids moved in.  My Stepsister has had mental health issues for a long time and been in and out of psychiatric hospitals.  She had several failed suicide attempts.

My younger Stepbrother shot and killed himself in 1995.  We were not very close.  He was probably the smartest one in the family, but that was lost to his addictions.

I have more estranged relatives than ones that I speak with.  My only biological brother drowned in 1998.  He had a girlfriend and 2-year old daughter.  I tried to be patient with his girlfriend under the circumstances, but I just couldn't get along with her and kept my distance.

Several years ago the girlfriend committed suicide.  I then started trying to make connections with my niece.  However, she has not reciprocated, and I am letting her go.

I love your mantra!  IMHO, we need to look out for our own serenity and not get sucked into other people's chaos.  They will continue their downward spiral with or without dragging us down, too.  We each need to find our own recovery.

It is unfortunate that so much life is wasted on dysfunction.  But we are here, getting better!!!


In Recovery,

Princess K.


Status: Offline
Posts: 1610

Thank you for sharing some of your story. I'm glad you are here with us. I can relate to much of what you have shared too. Thank you.



"We were entirely ready to begin the healing process with the aid of our Higher Power"  Tony A's Step 6


Status: Offline
Posts: 9105

Thank you so much for that brave and honest family is as messed up and toxic as a family can be...I DO NOT allow their drama to bleed into my life, but it took years of being in ACA to arrive to that place...Now I will help a person help themselves, but if they are just leeches and users, I AVOID them....I am responsible for ME...ONLY me....NO one else....I love to assist, encourage those who are trying to help themselves....tho I am kind and compassionate, I do not get enmeshed in other's problems, I can't...its all I can do to keep ME emotionally sober.....

I have an elderly friend up the street upon my rescuing one of her 3 cats, she tried to PUSH me to taking my cats brother who is a very nice pet with me..I said "NO___ONE cat is plenty for me" she kept trying to push me..."2 cats are the same as 1 cat" I very firmly but nicely told her "no it is NOT---you got twice the food, litter, space needed for the animal---if i cannot give adequate care, it is not fair to the cat----I am taking the ONE and that is END of story" she finally shut up, and I told her i would put brother's pic on my facebook and the neighborhood site...

this woman, I believe is a hoarder for cats....they had about 9....her landlord, an ugly , aggressive alcoholic who is into multiple cats as well, finally took some to a rescue place, but after I rescued my cat, they still have about 4 left...I CANT help more than I have....its NOT my problem...NOT my responsibility....I wanted the kitty that I got..I made friends with him a year ago and I am happy with him as he is happy here with me...some people think it is my job to caretake them and their problems.....NOT TRUE.....thank God for recovery!!!! I used to , to avoid abandonment, go more then I needed to for usually ungrateful, shallow people....Even the GOOD ones...I have my boundaries and I stick to them, but it took YEARS of ACA recovery for me to get to this place...


ROSIE,  a work in progress!!! 

Keep it simple__Easy does it__Keeping the focus on me

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