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Bradshaw on the Family..anyone familiar with this?

Old 08-10-2007, 05:35 AM
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Question Bradshaw on the Family..anyone familiar with this?

Good morning to all,
I usually post on Friends and Family, but of late have been realizing more and more that I am also ACoA. I never considered my parents to be alcoholic, but they did drink almost every night-3 or four beers before supper. It's not so much the drinking itself that I am dealing with, it is more the 'rules' of our family, and the complete dysfunctionality.

I was married for 25 years to a very abusive, controlling, addict and started counseling some months after I seperated from him in an effort to figure out how in the world I let my life get in such a state. My counselor gave me a video series from the mid-80's by John Bradshaw called 'The Family', and I just wondered if anyone is familiar with it. (He is a recovering alcoholic and also ACoA) It has been a huge 'ah-ha' kind of thing for me, even though the program was filmed 20 years ago. Bradshaw uses the word 'compulsivity' interchangeably with 'addiction' and 'alcoholism' and lumps together all manner of control and raging behaviors, showing how they affect the family system.

I won't go into detail about it because I am just beginning to understand the whole concept of the 'lost child'. Like I said, I just wondered if anyone else had heard of it or read anything from Bradshaw, and if so what you think of it.

Thanks, and I hope you all have a great Friday!
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:04 AM
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hanvn't heard of it, but thanks for share it, I'll have to check it out.
Being an recoverying alki,acoc, codi as I am.

I didn't even condiser looking into ACOA until a couple of years ago.
i relapsed after 11 years and all of the childhood stuff came up and bit
me in the butt. grace i suppose why I'm still alive, but when i sober
up and my father is still drinking. i still continue to feel lost or not good
enough or blame myself for a lot of things. I guess the child hood stuff
that bit me was blessing. The pain forced me to do things different
I've been in recovery since 1992....some of us are sicker than others.lol
Getting better as i go. i feel tired sometimes..just wish i was cured..know what i mean ?

Me ? the middle child..oh yes. i feel lost then and half lost , now.lol
kind of strange, but it makesense to me
one of my favorite song is call "the forgotten".lol
The song has no words, but yet say so much.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:26 AM
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I've been in recovery since 1992....some of us are sicker than others.lol
Getting better as i go. i feel tired sometimes..just wish i was cured..know what i mean ?
I also get tired sometimes Satit, it's to be expected. It's rare we get to let our hair down and just relax unless we are completely and utterly alone (and even then it can be a struggle). I've been working on my issues since 1989. I've been dry since 1991.

Some days are harder than others. I don't view myself as sick though. I view myself as having learned a set of survival tools which worked very well for a child growing up in a dysfunctional family. Those tools don't work as well in everyday life. So I see myself as having the wrong tools for the job, and I"m trying to find better tools. Sometimes I get tired of rummaging in the tool chest though.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:30 AM
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Hi Duet,

I'm familiar with Bradshaw -- I remember getting a lot of good insights and ah-ha moments from his work as well. Compulsivity is a good word...I find that, and 'disorder,' more accurate than the word "disease" when it comes to addictions. Not that what we call it changes it or makes it better, but it just feels more realistic.

Glad you found him. All knowledge is for the good, sez me

GL
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Old 08-10-2007, 01:12 PM
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I've read the book and a few others by him, of which I can't recall the titles for. I've used that book alot and referred to it often over the years. Maybe it's time for me to read it again.
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Old 08-11-2007, 06:52 PM
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my AH has recently started working with a new therapist, and her first assignment is for him to read Bradshaw...........Family secrets

We are having a difficult time finding it locally and I plan to order online this week.........
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Old 08-11-2007, 09:27 PM
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Yea I have read almost all of his books I think. He is so smart and full of humor too. I really loved his book "Healing The Shame That Binds You" the best of all of his books.

I am ACOA and so are both of my parents and probably both of their parents were too. I am probably the most functional of all my family and I am still pretty sick. I do make certain strides and I don't feel near as bad about myself as I once did...I am a work in progress.

I have started using myself instead of letting others use me. I don't use myself like others do. I use myself to find happiness and to do things that I like to do and it works so well. I just really love me. I am going to be just as sweet to me as I have been to others and I will protect myself and pay attention when it seems like thangs ain't right.

I can trust me and I can also meet people who are trustworthy. I am and was a middle, lost, hero, mascot child and I am darn proud of myself....
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:52 AM
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Wow.. Tmarie
Are you sure, we're not related somehow ?
You describe my sibling and i too the key.
My older sister moved far, far away across the ocean,
across the country. Always in a different state.
Very sucessful and very understanding.
My other older sister..in one foot away from the looney home and heaviely medicated. My younger sister..she's the baby and can't seem to put her life
together no matter how much she tries.

Me..I came into recovery but still got assigned the blacksheep.lol

Thanks for for sharing Splendra. It means so much too me.
While i'm not totally as sick as i use to be and to tools of recovery
had help me so, so much. Just knowing that someone actaully understands
me, i don't feel totally alone or lost, lost. Becuase i don't feel totally
will or cure after all these years. i get triggers that are very subtal.
Bascially the veriouse traits of my father that other recoverying addicts
or alki has and i still reacted in my veriouse old behaviors. Becuase i still
need AA or NA for my recovery. I need to work on it..i get tried thou.

Simple, thanks for reminding me...somedays are better than others.
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:53 AM
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Hey Jen,
Bradshaw opened my eyes to alot of dysfunction. I remember having alot of, aha moments, and while I saw the dysfunction in my house growing up, I didnt really see the effects it had on my choices until I was reading more.

Feel free to take it easy with ACoA reading or recovery, it is still really hard for me, and sometimes its just tough. But the knowledge and understanding of myself I gain is why I keep at it
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:50 AM
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Hey (((((((((duet)))))))))

I am familiar with Bradshaw on the Family.... I personally haven't read it but others I know have and said it was a great book!!!

Hang in there!! I too struggled with the "lost child" coming from my Whole family being alcoholics.. I am doing better but there are times or a situation that will come up and I will think does this have to do with my "Lost Child" stuff?? It is kind of interesting in away for me to look at it that way I seem to deal with the situation better....

Anyways take care ((((duet))))

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Old 08-13-2007, 01:41 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for your input. I am also reading Susan Forward's (I think that's her name) 'Toxic Parents'. These books are bringing so many of the feelings and emotions that I always have lived with into sharper focus.

Tracee, I can so relate to your mom-I'm 50; I didn't go through the type of trauma that you describe, but I still got the message that I was 'worth-less...' as Bradshaw puts it. My parents were functional (every night) drinkers, but our big family secret was that my brother was gay, and eventually had a sex change operation. I was just not allowed to talk about it or question it or express any emotion about it at all. I was point-blank told to lie about it to anyone who asked about my brother, that people just 'could not' find out.

My parents were so completely wrapped up in his/her drama that I just got left to do whatever I felt like. They just were not ever there for me, you know?? Most of my memories of my mom at that time are of her sitting at the table, smoking and wringing her hands while she literally cried into her beer. "What am I ever going to do?" was her most frequent sentence. Daddy just sort of checked out somehow. I don't know any other way to explain it. He was there physically but emotionally he was dead.

Geez-the whole family SHOULD have been in therapy, but I definately needed some help-I was only 10 when this all started for crying out loud!! And the sex-change took place when I was a junior in high school in 1974. I was always so ashamed, so afraid that someone would find out about it.

I can remember so vividly in high school feeling like I just wasn't as *whatever* as the other girls and that feeling never left me. I went into 9th grade at the top of my class, a cheerleader, friends with the 'good' kids. But I just never felt 'good enough'; so I started hanging with the druggies since they could've cared less about my family. God I was so screwed up on drugs for a long time, but my parents just didn't even notice. I finally checked myself into rehab when I was 22, over the loud objections of my exah. Even then, it was like they just didn't care enough to deal with it. It was all up to me, they had their hands full. End of story.

Even later in my life, when he was still drugging and I was trying really hard to live "right" and raise my kids, he would just abuse the hell out of me-physically and mentally-and they would tell me to 'work it out'. I 'worked it out' for 25 years; it almost killed me.

My daddy died last August 19 after a long battle with cancer (and yes I took care of him the whole time while drying mama's tears and dealing with my exah and trying to raise my kids and run a business). The last time I admitted him to the hospital, the last day he was really lucid, it was just him and me there. He started crying and telling me he loved me. He never said those words, nor did my mom, not in my whole life. I said that I knew it, and he said (still crying) that he hadn't done a very good job of showing me.

I didn't get it then. I get it now, at least I am starting to. I am just beginning to understand the extent to which they just abandoned me. And what it has cost me in terms of really poor life decisions. I have always thought it was somehow 'wrong' to even look at this whole situation-disloyal, ungrateful, whatever you want to call it. I was just a little girl who needed her parents. And they checked out.

Thanks for listening! Feels good to get it out.

((hugs))
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:43 PM
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I didn't get it then. I get it now, at least I am starting to. I am just beginning to understand the extent to which they just abandoned me. And what it has cost me in terms of really poor life decisions. I have always thought it was somehow 'wrong' to even look at this whole situation-disloyal, ungrateful, whatever you want to call it. I was just a little girl who needed her parents. And they checked out.
Does this ever speak to me.
I felt the same.
Toxic Parents was the first book I read (at the recomendation of a therpist) where I sat there and thought, OMG, I was really mistreated. It was seriously tough to swallow, bc I had lead myself to believe I was just a bad decision maker, hard to deal with, selfish, and less than good person. Nope.
I remember hiding the book when my mom came over, it seemed disloyal at the time for her to see it. We have come a long way now and talk alot and are now very close.

Good for you...you are working it
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