Parents

Some alcoholics still have families when they get to AA. This is a place to ask questions and share experiences about relating to family members sober, especially when newly sober. (If you are not an alcoholic, please use the "Our Friends and Families" forum.)

Parents

Postby desire4peace » Sat May 16, 2015 9:24 am

I've been sober for two weeks, today. Last night, my mom did something to really strike a nerve. I'd called her about something small--just a German dictionary that my sister J told me that Dad wouldn't even let her borrow, so I shouldn't bother--and she said, "well, wouldn't you like to know how the rest of the family is doing?". I wanted to scream, then. I wanted to let my rage leak out just a little bit. I wanted to be honest. Instead, as politely as I could, I told her that I'd talked to J the day before about her dress fitting for the wedding. Mom said that she was rather stressed and that J's couples' shower was this weekend [today, actually], and I said something in reply, probably an apology or whatever. Inside, I was seething. She assumes that I never talk to my siblings. She thinks I'm psychologically impaired, that I never ask about how other people are doing, when, yeah, I do have that problem sometimes, but I've been trying harder to ask after things. What hurts the most is the insinuation. I've got an uncle who's schizophrenic, and he usually goes on about how he's doing and forgets to ask after how people are doing. Mom's told me before that sometimes I sound like him when I talk. I really wanted to break my sobriety last night, but I didn't. I called my best friend, talked about it with my fiance a bit, but we'd been on the way to meet a friend, and...so I sort of had to shove it down a bit. I had a grande green tea frappuccino and enjoyed it. It's now, in the daylight, that...I would really like a drink.

Has anyone tried to separate from their immediate family? I'm starting to wonder if I should.

Thank you for listening.
desire4peace
Forums Newcomer
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 9:09 am

Re: Parents

Postby Niagara » Sat May 16, 2015 10:36 am

Hi and welcome Desire4peace

I remember asking myself this question (and my sponsor) and the conclusion I came to was that it's not the best time, in early sobriety to make such a massive change to my life. Instead, I limited contact until I'd got on to a decent footing with the steps and had a better understanding of where I was at.

As I've worked the steps, I'm in a better place with myself, and my parents cannot rattle me in the same way they used to. Even when they try, and not just with a casual offhand thing (which somehow always seemed to hurt the most)

I was always kind of an extreme person before, and my initial reaction whenever they hurt me (which was often, they're about as subtle as a hammer to the face) was to cut all ties and cut them out of my life.Instead, Moderation was necessary - I do love my parents, but they have funny ideas sometimes. I had to get myself to a place where their funny ideas didn't affect me anymore. Had I cut them out, so early on, I think looking back it would have been sheer reaction born out of frustration and the fact that I was climbing the walls. Wanting to stay sober yet obsessed with the drink all at the same time. Now I'm working the steps in my daily life, I'm a lot calmer, and able to make rational decisions for the right reasons.

So my advice would be, hang on for a bit. Limit contact if you feel the situation is a threat to your sobriety, but don't cut them out just yet. Get to meetings, Get a sponsor, and start working the steps. Focus on your recovery, for now. That is your top priority, if you want to stay sober. Once we sort ourselves out, everything else starts coming in to focus, I've found.
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt
User avatar
Niagara
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1235
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:38 am

Re: Parents

Postby Brock » Sat May 16, 2015 11:46 am

Welcome to e-aa. I suspect that your mom has in her mind that there is only one way to open a conversation, and that is by asking how are you, and how is this one and that one, perhaps a simple habit of speech to show how much she cares about everybody else. My experience with folks like that is that they say this so automatically that I get the impression they really don’t want to know, and I just answer by saying “fine thanks,” I believe for them it’s like saying good morning, they just think it’s polite. I also believe that regardless of how old we are our parents still think they have a right to correct us and it’s as annoying as hell.

Our Big Book has various references to people who piss us off, and suggestions as to what we might do about it, you will come across these as you go through the steps, here is one of those.


Ch. 5 How It Works
... This was our course: We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, "This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done."

This sort of thinking looked like a lot of mumbo jumbo to me when I was new; I expect it will look a bit like that to you. But it is my experience that when you do the steps it becomes clear, and you don’t have to use the words the book uses, it becomes more of I have a program for living that keeps me from pissing off others and they don’t, so I won’t get annoyed with them because they don’t know better. For me the program even leads to just not getting annoyed because I can’t be happy and annoyed at the same time, sounds a bit weird now but really it comes automatically.

So if it helps just think of your mom as someone who doesn’t know better, feel a little sorry for her, try your best to avoid that first drink and best of luck.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3176
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Parents

Postby Lali » Sat May 16, 2015 8:41 pm

This is why we need sponsors!! It is a part of a sponsors job to let you dump what you need to dump and not keep it bottled up.

Have you a sponsor?
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him
Lali
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 4869
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Re: Parents

Postby desire4peace » Sun May 17, 2015 12:28 am

Thank you all for being so supportive! It was really awesome to see that taking a step back in communication was suggested: I'd decided to not talk to my mom on the phone for a while, so it was really neat hearing people say something similar.

I've read a great deal of the Big Book before, actually for an addiction-based course meant for my Associates in Human Services. It had been strange, reading it then. I think I had an inkling that alcohol was steadily becoming a problem for me. Now, though...yes, I need to hope that I haven't packed it yet (moving to another state, yikes!) and can read it again. I did find a book, though, and got it on my Kindle. It's Being Sober (Haroutunian), but I'm trying not to read it too fast. Knowledge often has to be soaked in and not over-loaded, I've found.

I currently don't have a sponsor. I basically have a problem with speaking. I know that everyone has different experiences, that everything is unique, but I don't... I guess I don't share well at first, although generally I'm very honest.

Thank y'all again for listening =).
desire4peace
Forums Newcomer
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 9:09 am

Re: Parents

Postby PaigeB » Sun May 17, 2015 9:40 am

Hi desire4peace! Funny thing I found? The things I thought were unique to me and very scary (cause if you knew them, you would not like me anymore) were NOT AT ALL unique. We actually have a lot of laughs over stuff that is pretty common stuff for an alcoholic, but not common at all to a normal person!

Here is a copy of the Big Book
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/aa-liter ... -anonymous

Here is a pamphlet on Sponsorship
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/aa-liter ... ponsorship

No matter where you go e-aa will be right here and AA is everywhere
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 10396
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Parents

Postby positrac » Tue May 19, 2015 3:31 am

Has anyone tried to separate from their immediate family? I'm starting to wonder if I should.


If you have a AA chip it says to thy own self be true and right now you need to work on you and not worry about those other people who don't matter. See having to pay rent for family that just wanna run you down or play head games can get you drunk and they win.

For me I have a rule about family and it is I can take them or leave them and that is because they sent me away at age 11 and so it was me now. But many of you all can't relate to my struggles in this area and so what I can say is this: If you died this very second what would it all matter anyways? Might be harsh what I am implying although life is short and we drunks hold resentments to the extreme and drinking and thinking we go it all covered is BS. Step back and learn boundaries on things and once you realize this I believe you'll learn faster not to do something again that causes you problems.

You may never get this deal right and so pick your battles and let the rest go. Hang a 3X5 card by the phone that reads: If I answer this what can I expect on the other end, cell phone is another problem with texting as those hit us when we least expect it. So my point is sobriety is a gift and we drunks and addicts can't just think this pops out of thin air and as fast as we get it, well the fast as we can lose it.

Slow down and back off and stop communicating with them for a minute and if you feel guilty then send a card after a while saying you are thinking about them. See if you totally cut folk off they get to feeling weird and the point is to protect yourself and not burn bridges. Give it some thought and let this thought flow as I never said cut all ties, I said barriers, boundaries and think, and don't let folk live rent free in your head. I am not sure if we ever master them but we are aware of those personalities.


One day at a time.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1139
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Parents

Postby desypete » Tue May 19, 2015 6:24 am

its a long road this journey and one that has so many bumps that come along, people thought i was selfish to, everyone told me how selfish i was and of course it would wind me up to explode, how dare anyone tell me i am selfish

along this road i have found out the truth about me, how i think, how i feel, how i react, do i put others first or put myself first in all things ? do people have to say things i like or do i go nuts if they say things i dont like ?

my sponsor played his part in getting me to come to see the truth in my life as he would listen to me go on and on as i would get things off my chest, it would make me feel good to get rid of it for a short while, as once i got off the phone it would start to play again in my mind,
i would buold up pictures of me telling people were to get off, i would plan my revenge, i would feel the anger build up in me, and i would call my sponsor again, or go to an aa meeting and let them have it lol

in the end i started to learn how to look at me and to stop looking at everyone else and judging them by how the affected me, but its taken a long time to get there and i believe its always there inside of us, it never goes away, but we just learn to accept people places and things as they are without having to fight all the time.

so i would suggest you get yourself a good sponsor someone who has experienced many things in life and who has stayed sober through them and who values peace in there life above all else.

my sponsor makes me laugh at me

when he was learning how to cope in early years he would go out in his garage and get a hammer and bash hell out of a lump of wood lol

he might cope well with major things that go wrong in life, but if someone has not put a spoon in the suger bowl well all hell could break out and everyone in ear shot would feel his wrath, he would be devoicing his wife for the 5 milliionth time he would never want to see his family again he would let them all have it all guns blazing

until he clamed down and had to say sorry lol

he doesnt do those sorts of things anymore but its taken him years to outgrow them and years to find out the truth about himself and of course he has had to put in a lot of effort into trying to change, today he does ask how are other people, he does care for others, he goes out of his way to help if he can, its a far cry from how he was years ago and i am following in the same sort of path, i am a lot better today than i was 10 years ago

good luck to you and no matter what goes on in your day or how you behave or feel, just dont pick up that first drink.
desypete
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:23 pm

Re: Parents

Postby Lali » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:27 pm

I agree very much with a lot that has been said here, especially Niagara's post. When I first moved to this town and was dealing with my mother on an every day basis, she was doing something that absolutely enraged me no matter how many times I asked her to stop. Even her sister told her she needed to stop. (She was carrying on telephone conversations with my EX-husband on an almost daily basis and siding with him without even knowing him or the extremely cruel way he had treated me). Man, did I have a resentment and couldn't even think about getting sober while this was going on. I couldn't limit my contact with her because I was temporarily living with her.

Once I got a sponsor and began the steps, I was actually able to forgive her. Where are you with the steps? The steps are extremely important to your recovery. I like what Brock quoted. We must treat people who harm us as if they are sick and need our understanding. But this is often impossible without having the spiritual awakening that comes with working the steps and incorporating them into your daily life. Without doing this, you are likely to be miserable for the rest of your days. The program helps us to become happy, joyous and free. Find your book; this is in there.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him
Lali
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 4869
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Re: Parents

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:26 am

good luck to you and no matter what goes on in your day or how you behave or feel, just dont pick up that first drink.


Man, after being in the rooms for 10 years, all you could come up is "Just don't pick up that first drink"? I am sure there other people doing the same. No wonder the new-comers are puzzled. We read "We are powerless over alcohol and our lives have become manageable" at the begining of every meeting and then we come up with this? As though we have a choice?
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 4646
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA


Return to The Family Afterwards

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest