Understanding My Childhood Reactions

Old 01-31-2007, 11:01 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 50
Understanding My Childhood Reactions

Dear All,

I just wanted to post this tonight...

As I go through this healing, I have been especially at night, living through the traumatic experience of my childhood with a deeper awareness of it this time.

I'm beginning to understand how as a child, I reacted in response to the spiraling of my father's alcohol abuse, and the impact it was having on my mother who went into a depression.

I can sort of break down these reactions into actual phases. First, I remember not feeling sure of what was going on, confusion; this was when the problem surfaced around 12 years.

My mother reacted to the drinking binges by screaming at my father, and just losing it, like one time, packing her bags and threatening to leave. Her reactions were equally traumatic, and made me aware something was very wrong. I quickly panicked and felt like a serious crises was present.

Around this time, I started having anxiety which manifested in recurring dreams about an intruder holding us hostage in our home. Clearly, the intruder was alcoholism and the anxiety was caused by my feeling shaken by the loss of my parents sanity.

As I matured, I remember going into fix-it mode, where I sincerely believed I was capable of bringing order back to our household - like I was a superhero.

In my own way, I would clean the house for my mother, and try to fit in perfectly to my father's moods, and do things with such effort to be "right", so he would be "neutral" and not fight or drink. I was really hyper diligently watching what people's moods were, and just trying not to upset anyone. Exhausting and nerve-wracking!

Whatever I was doing, was not having any effect - it was not stopping him from going to the bar, or changing his personality from hard/angry human to a gentle father.

This got me upset/frustrated/mad so I reacted by trying "harder." Definitely, at age 15, I was becoming obsessed!

As the obsession kicked in, I went "crazy" in the sense of irrational & it demonstrated in me raging, for very little things, at my poor little brother, and I was a furious workaholic in high school.

I've been stuck in that latter phase, as an adult. I have been reluctant to really experience the deeper feelings, especially depression, because hopelessness and despair, lost dreams, are the toughest part to bear.

with love & thanks for letting me share.
Adore is offline  
Old 01-31-2007, 11:08 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
utopia's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Second star to the right....
Posts: 845
wow adore, you just read my past. i also had similar dreams when i was a boy. i wanted to just tell you that with recovery i have faced that despair and depression. it does hurt but remember that IT DOES PASS. if its on its way up its onits way out. grief does progress. i found step 4 brought it up and with other services like therapy and other practices i purged the hurt and grief of childhood remembered. i wish you the best in your journey. (((hug)))
utopia is offline  
Old 02-01-2007, 01:18 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 50
"if it's on it way up, it's on its way out." I love this. It is brilliant! thank u..
Adore is offline  
Old 02-01-2007, 07:10 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Pasadena,Ca
Posts: 147
Wow, Adore,
That was my past, too. Even the nightmare was very similar. I used to lay in my bed and feel like there was somebody or something evil lurking outside my window, I would have to make plans on how I was going to defend my family against this intruder. Interesting.... I haven't thought of that for years and never realized what the possible significance could mean. Thanks for provoking some thought.

I am beginning to grieve things that I wasn't able to long ago. Some days are very painful, but little pieces of weight are being lifted. Little by little.
socalgal is offline  
Old 02-01-2007, 07:22 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
DesertEyes's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Starting over all over again
Posts: 4,427
Blog Entries: 1
Awesome post, Adore.

I really identify with the "superhero" part. Still today I have people tell me I'm over-responsible and super-dependable. Just like you said, that was my way of coping as a child, and once an adult it had become a habit.

As far as the depression, hopelessness and despair, I found that those were the feelings I had as a child. Those feelings were overwhelming to a child, and I thought they would overwhelm me as an adult. Working thru them as an adult turned out to be much easier than I expected because I had the tools of an adult, and the support of a program.

thanx for a wonderful share.

DesertEyes is offline  
Old 02-01-2007, 08:16 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
blessed2be's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Arlington Heights, Illinois
Posts: 32
Adore...great post. I am going through the same phase in my recovery (from the same past you just described!). I went to my first al-anon meeting on New Year's Day and have been going to 2-3 meetings a week. Tuesday night I cried for the first time through the entire meeting, through my entire share, all the way home, and cried for a good amount of time when I got home. Then I stopped. Then I felt so darn good! A huge weight was lifted. I felt like I was feeling everything for the first time. My past collided with my present and I was sent reeling. I am so glad I was able to let so much go. I have plenty left, but it is a start and I woke up Wednesday morning with my first little bit of serenity! yay!

Many blessings to you! Thanks for sharing!
blessed2be is offline  
Old 02-04-2007, 10:10 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 50
Thank you for the help and support!

It's nice to get it...

Best to all..
Adore is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:39 PM.