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Post Info TOPIC: New and Looking for Resources


Newbie

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New and Looking for Resources


Hi everyone, 

I'm new to the group and sort of stumbled upon it by accident. I suffer from a lot of mental health problems, and I believe that my experiences as a child growing up with an alcoholic parent has contributed to a lot of my mental health problems now and unhealthy thinking patterns. I wanted to share my story as sort of my first steps to healing. 

Growing up, my father was an alcoholic. My earliest memories were of me waiting for him to come home, and he would always come home late in the night, intoxicated. It was the anxiety of always waiting and not knowing and watching my mother feeling stressed and anxious. There were a lot of terrible things that happened, and I was always in the middle... Trying to comfort my mother, while taking care of my father when he came home. However, it was difficult to express my feelings... For one thing I was really young, and also the family atmosphere I grew up in did not allow me to express how I felt. When I did cry no one cared, the focus was on the conflict. I couldn't tell you the number of times I cried watching everything, and how it felt like I was just there to cry so my father wouldn't leave. But when there was no direct conflict, I was stuck having to pretend I was ok and just focus on the situation at home, making sure that I was extra vigilant. 

So most of my childhood would be this pattern of waking up and everything was fine, but when it was dinner time, it was always looking at the door wondering if my father would come home, if he was still alive, if he even loved us anymore. I would just wait for the sound of the doorknob to turn and watching as it got dark, and forever growing with more disappointment as I waited for my father and feared for the conflict that was ahead. And then if he did come home, it was this battle of trying to ensure that there was no fighting. My parents would yell at each other, and I just felt like I was living in a bubble... Whereby I just had to watch everything play out, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't stop all the bad things. 

As a child, I felt very powerless (and still do), which followed the anxiety of not being in control. After many years the situation became less hostile, and eventually he found sobriety. I am happy that it worked out eventually, but also I sometimes feel angry and sad about the situation. While everyone else in my family has appeared to move on, I always felt stuck and unable to express how I feel. I guess because it's not happening anymore, people think everything is OK now and get upset with me that I still can't find peace, however I think they don't realize the emotional turmoil I experience in my head. 

I think reflecting now it's been empowering to want to work through this... I feel like I'm in a place in my life where I need to take care of myself and really start unpacking the trauma I experienced as a child and how I still carry it. I really resonate with what I've been reading about children of alcoholics... I overthink obsessively, I live in the past, I fear change, and I desperately try to please everyone in my life. I think one of the biggest stressors are my relationships; it's definitely tough to feel OK when you're still living in the past... And for me, it's always this feeling of needing to gain control and worrying about the possibility of abandonment. I learned that it did not matter what environment I was in, who I was with, these feelings still appear, almost bringing me back to my childhood where I felt helpless, dependent, and worried. It's almost synonymous to a rollercoaster of emotions... I feel like when my social relationships are going well, I feel this amazing high, and the minute I sense social relationships are not going well, I experience anxiety, paranoia, and depression... Again, similar to how I felt as a child. My goal is just to feel OK and be at peace with my past and learn to relax and enjoy life. I'm tired of pretending I'm OK, and I am motivated to work through this and be the best version of myself. 

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my story.



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Co-Moderator

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Posts: 15620
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Thanks for sharing alexa, and welcome to MIP! 

Glad that you found us!! 

ACA helps us to understand the past and come to terms with it so it stops effecting the present.  That, in a nutshell, is recovery!

My Father was also an alcoholic.  Unfortunately, I don't remember most of my childhood.  I know he was out at night school, working, or womanizing.

My Stepfather was also an alcoholic, and fortunately he found AA.

There was constant fighting at home.  My Brother and I tried to stay out of it.

I found ACA in my 30s through therapy.  I was embarrassed to admit to my therapist that I couldn't tell her how I felt.

I would call myself anxious, hypervigilant, judgmental, negative, and more; and those are my good traits!    Eventually, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

I have been in The Program a while, and have found the ACA Promises come true:

The ACA Promises

  1. We will discover our real identities by loving and accepting ourselves.
  2. Our self-esteem will increase as we give ourselves approval on a daily basis.
  3. Fear of authority figures and the need to people-please will leave us.
  4. Our ability to share intimacy will grow inside us.
  5. As we face our abandonment issues, we will be attracted by strengths and become more tolerant of weaknesses.
  6. We will enjoy feeling stable, peaceful, and financially secure.
  7. We will learn how to play and have fun in our lives.
  8. We will choose to love people who can love and be responsible for themselves.
  9. Healthy boundaries and limits will become easier for us to set.
  10. Fears of failure and success will leave us, as we intuitively make healthier choices.
  11. With help from our ACA support group, we will slowly release our dysfunctional behaviors.
  12. Gradually, with our Higher Powers help, we will learn to expect the best and get it.

As the slogan goes, Keep coming back, it works if you work it!



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In Recovery,

Princess K.



Co-Moderator

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Posts: 9105
Date:

Welcome Alexa

on our main page, there is a TON of reading, worksheets, etc., for us ACA's to trace it, face it , and tho we can't erase it, we can at least "dim the harshness" of it....

my mother was the alcoholic in my family....he was a predator ofthe worst kind...mom drank herself to death because she could not deal being married to such evil.....and she was a raging alkie at that...i wonder if I did not get her "isms" in that I rage when life "hits" me one thing after another....then I get angry at the accumulation....I don't handle stress well AT ALL...don't handle being helpless AT ALL, but program has h elped me......

thanks for your share....and Welcome

__________________

ROSIE,  a work in progress!!! 

Keep it simple__Easy does it__Keeping the focus on me



Guru

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Posts: 2717
Date:

Welcome Alexa! I am glad you found us! Great job sharing your story. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for sharing, PK and Rosie.

** I overthink obsessively, I live in the past, I fear change, and I desperately try to please everyone in my life. **

Your statement resonated with me because I was like this too before recovery. By working the steps, attending meetings and posting on this forum, I have begun healing in a way that therapy never could. For me, this program has helped me heal my wounded spirit. Slowly, I am becoming able to catch my negative thinking and patterns and live in the moment. I will always be a work in progress, but I am glad I can see progress today.



-- Edited by Orange on Sunday 23rd of August 2020 01:38:55 PM

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