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Guilt & The holidays...the perfect family immage?

Old 12-26-2006, 10:17 PM
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Guilt & The holidays...the perfect family immage?

So...as some of you might know I am 21 & once agian at home with my parents. My parents would be divorced right now if not for financial hardship....most caused by my father. He got into a alcoholic wreck, flipped his truck, and in the middle of financial hardship...when he knew my mother was working on saving enough money to pay off her current bills and leave him, he buys a brand new truck making us go into greater debt to pay off the sevral hundred dollar a month payments for this new car. He knew this would trap her into staying with him...atleast financially...thats why he went behind her back & did it with out her consent or knowledge. While she is not on the bill nor did she co-sigh for this car...this means that 500 extra dollars from her own paycheck needs to go into the joint account to make up for his part of the house payments which are now used for this truck....she needs to do this so she doesn't loose the house & everything she has worked for. She wants to atleast sell it and get half of what it's worth....not let it slip into forclosure & ruine her credit. So now because of the extra cost...she can't build up enough money to leave. My dad somehow thinks because we are trapped here that we love him & the family is perfect & intact. He doesn't see that his family doesn't care for them...he thinks of us as posessions and as long as he can controol us thats all that matters. He seems to be proud of the fact that my mom can't leave him. I feel trapped because I don't want to leave my mom alone in this abusive situation. I am afraid she will kill herself if I leave here here as this is not a pleasant place to be and she can't leave...I feel obligated to stay or come back when I try to move. It caused alot of guilt.


So a few days before christmas...my dad calls up & asks me to go christmas shopping for my mom because he wants to buy her something special. He acts like a loving little daddy & says yeah we'll catcxh lunch and make a day of it. Ok??? Let me just say it never happened. I said yes & immediatly regretted it. Any time alone with the man makes me queesy. I can't stand the stupid idel conversation. He doesn't even know me. I have never despised a person more. So Our microwave broke sevral months ago and no one had any money to buy a new one...so we went without (like we always do because my father NEVER fixes any problems...All the plumbing in the house is broken & has been for like 10 years...we had to like "ghetto rig" everything to even get some kind of plumbing). He got her that for christmas...like he expects to be praised for buying a microwave....something we need in the house & should be expected to be replaced.....as a "gift". He then also tells me he got her a necklace which I admin was nice but didn't take much thaught. So around the holidays he turns into mister nice guy....loving family man...and expects to be put on some sort of pedastool. WTF??? I just want to scream because I am so frusterated with this whole situation. Every FRECKING year we put on this play on christmas or duing the holidays like everything is perfect and everyone loves each other. So because he got mom a gift, and for some reason I got sucked into believing he gives a crap about his family, I decided to take my mom shopping for gifts for him. I figured maybe that would help. I knew if he gave a gift and didn't get one his feelings would be hurt....and when his feelings are hurt....he goes on a rage & becomes an angrey *******....so even though I got him a gift because I thought it would make him turn "nice"....I also did it because I felt obligated to make sure he was "happy"....which is stupid because I can't make him happy....he is a miserable old ******* & I wish I could care less about his damn feelings....but I feel guilted into doing so.

I hate this game. I just HATE IT. I hate it when he is nice to us. I hate it when he hugs me. I hate it when he acts like a father. I hate it because it's FAKE. It's a Fing act...a damn play & I am sick of going over the motions. They have NO MEANING. Why do we have to go through this dance? Why do I let my self believe that if maybe I get him a gift he will be "nice" and if I do the right thing we will have a ood christmas. What I hate the most about it...is that I despise this man....but he thinks that he can just be a father when ever it fits his agenda....like flipping a god damn switch and he will have kids that love him....no matter how much he degrades them & hurts them the rest of the year. URRGHHH. I COULD JUST SCREAM. I HATE it when he is an angrey mean old *******.....but I hate it more when he is nice....because then I feel obligted to be nice back....even though I feel disgust and hatred twards this person I need to pretend like I love him...or else I become the big bad bitch that ruines the holidays and the mean one that started the fight.
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Old 12-27-2006, 08:03 PM
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Hello Mlynn, sorry you're going thru all this hardship.

Can I ask if your mom is going to al-anon meetings? She can get a lot of support there and a lot of suggestions on how to maintain her finances without letting your father mess it up for her. If she's not going to meetings do you think you could introduce her to the "Friends and Family" forums next door here on Sober Recovery. There's a lot of fine ladies there who have a lot of experience in building up finances in order to leave an alcoholic husband.

And speaking of meetings, are you getting yourself to any? I find that being able to share in a real life meet with people face to face is awesomely helpful. You mentioned in another post that you don't have insurance for counseling. Although meetings are not the same as counseling, they are _very_ helpful and they've done me a world of good. Have you been able to find any al-anon or ACoA meets nearby?

Mike
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Old 12-27-2006, 08:15 PM
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I really should go to meetings. The thing is...I think I am afraid....seriously afraid of taking that step. I know that taking that step is the ONLY way I am going to get out of this hell....but the very thaught of being "healthy" scares the crap out of me. It's like foriegn teritority. I really really should go...it's just taking that first step & walking through those doors for the first time that is so hard. I feel like I need someone to hold my hand....but I know I need to walk on my own....and I don't have anyone that I would feel comfterable bringing with me to a meeting for support. I especially could not let my mother how know how I feel or open up in a meeting while she is there. She gets very depressed when she hears what a horrible childhood I have had....it makes her sad & desprate. She is delicate emotionally....and just letting her know the tip of the iceburge about what I am going through was enough to almost send her over the edge the very few times that we have actually talked about it.

I am sorry for the huge vent. It seems to redicioulous and counter productive now that I re-read what I wrote.
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Old 12-28-2006, 07:14 AM
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Mlynn, the first time anyone ever goes to therapy, it's scarey as all heck. I'm not kidding when I say I think it was the most frightening thing that's ever happened to me. The first time my father went to therapy, I took him - as we sat in the parking lot, he said "I can't spit. I spent two tours in Viet Nam having people intentionally try to kill me, and I was never as scared then as I am now".

AlAnon is great because, like this board, you don't have to share if you don't want to. You can just sit and listen. You can also imagine all of us on this board, standing right behind you as you walk through those doors. AlAnon is not as prying as a one on one therapist would be, so you can kind of get your feet wet.

Based on what you said, I would not go to a meeting with your mom, her issues are hers to resolve and not yours to try to make her resolve.

We are all walking through those doors with you. Some of us will be inside waiting for you (metaphorically speaking, of course). The people in there have been where you are, some are still where you are, some have moved away from that point, but all can relate.

Think of it as a live version of this board. These are not people who won't understand. These are people who understand all too well. I strongly urge you to go to one meeting and just sit through it, maybe pick up some literature if you can.

Life is so much brighter on the other side, it would be a shame to let that fear of the unknown get to you. As for being afraid of being healthy, I don't think it's being healthy you're afraid of, I do believe it's fear of the unknown. I can promise you that healthy is different for everyone, but it's always better than unhealthy.
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Old 12-28-2006, 02:52 PM
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I know its not a fear of being healthy...although it feels that way. I WANT to be healthy(what ever that means). I know I am MUCH healthier now....just by acknowledgeing that I have issues....just by reading self help books....and reaching out through these websites. I can see that I am so much more healthy then I was 1 or 2 years ago when I was severly depressed, hurt myself, and didn't know WHY??. Now I know why....and it has released a HUGE burdon off my back. I now know why I am sad...and have been able to work through some of that sadness....so it doesn't turn into horrible (I don't want to wake up in the morning & can't function) depression. I don't think that I will ever go back to that dark place because now I know why I behave the way I do....and I can emotionally detach in some small ways from my family's actions so it doesn't trigger negative feelings in myself....but that only goes so far you know.

I just wish there was something more that I could do to encourage my own heeling.

I think the idea of other "real" people being in that room and being able to "physically" see me in my raw and vonerable state with out a computer to be a barrier is what is really really scarey . I think the idea of showing other real people that I am somehow "vonerable" in person is what is really scary. There are other "real" people there & then my "problems" become so much more real too. I have to admit that I need someone esle's help, and understanding, to heal and thats really scary to be that vonerable and be able to open up like that to someone else....becaus then there is a possiblility of rejection that that those people won't understand me and cause me some kind of pain & hardship. I know that is really unrealistic sence people in groups are all going through all the same things so they will understand. But its scary non the less.
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:24 PM
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I can completely understand you're fear of making yourself vulnerable. The great thing about AlAnon is that you never have to speak if you don't want to. Which means you can sit and listen as everyone else talks about their own issues until such time as you feel comfortable talking about it.

I come to this board not so much to make myself a better person, no board can do that, only I can do that. I come to this board because there are people here who understand all too well where I'm coming from. I come here for "refresher courses" when I feel myself getting sucked back into places I don't want to go. Much of the time, I come here and simply read.

I read to remind myself of what I have left to work on. I read to remind myself of what I have already worked on, but maybe isn't in the fore of my mind right then. I read when I feel like there is no way anyone could understand what I'm feeling.

And after reading, I am reminded again that I am not the only one who feels this way. I am not insane, I am not emotionally unstable and I am not a freak. I come here to listen more than to talk. I come here to feel as though I fit in.

Sometimes just knowing that you're surrounded by people who really can understand where you are mentally can remove a tremendous amount of stress. You don't always have to talk. I would even go so far as to say that often listening gets one further than talking does. So I listen. And when I feel I might be able to help, I talk.

Perhaps you could look at your first meeting as something like reading the jacket on a book - you're just interested in a taste of what's inside, not in knowing the entire plot line. If you go, and you listen, and you decide it's not for you, then you have nothing lost. You don't have to speak to a single person if you want.

Or you may find that it comforts you to listen to others, and you want to continue to attend, but still don't want to talk, and that's okay too.

Or you may find that once you feel like you're amongst those who really can understand, the floodgates open and you're ready to grab a shovel and start digging your way out.

There's no way to know unless you take that chance on yourself. Remember, it isn't a competition, you don't have anything to prove, and no one expects you to prove anything.

If you don't like it, you can continue down your own path. There is a saying "Take what you need, leave the rest". We all take different paths, there is no magic bullet or easy solution. What works for some won't work for all.

I hope you find something that works for you, whether you attend a meeting or not. I viewed attending a meeting as being similar to trying out each tool in the toolbox. I tried the tool, it didn't work for me, I kept trying different tools. This board is one of my tools. But if you don't try the tool out, you'll never know whether it will work for you or not.

Recovery is not a science, it is an emotional journey down a road thick with fog and eerie yellow eyes staring out at you. It can be frightening, liberating, empowering, terrorizing, angering, frustrating, loving and many more things, sometimes all at once.

I do hope you can find the courage to at least see if AlAnon is a good tool for you. It's always good to have as many tools as you can fit in your toolbox.

Ginger
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:43 PM
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Hey there Mlynn,

I had a heck of a time going to my first meet. I drove up into the parking lot, chickened out and drove home for like two whole months. And this was _after_ having therapy and going to AA meets. So I understand how scary it is.

You know what I found out? The people in the meets are _just_ as scared. They are all there for the same reasons I am, and they are just as scared of _me_ as I was of them. When it comes down to emotions we really are all the same, just little kids on the inside who had the courage to survive some awful stuff.

You're going to be fine at the meet Mlynn, just like all the rest of us were fine when we went to our first one.

Mike
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