Blogs


Notices

Sober Dad but not emotionally sober

Old 03-26-2008, 08:48 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3
Sober Dad but not emotionally sober

Hi!

I started realizing I had major problems with self worth about a year ago. I started seeing a counselor and went to an alanon meeting after reading the book the ACoA syndrome. when I read it I realized they were explaining our family to a "T".

Anyhow, I told my parents that I went and how I was feeling, and where I thought it came from and they were insulted and angry with me.

After that I didn't tell my two younger brothers.

The youngest who still lives at home with them came over yesterday and we had a long talk. I told him about what I had learned about myself, and he started to see it in him also. We began talking about our dad.

We see certain things about our parents that are not healthy, and we both want them to be.

My dad acts like a child, the simplest things are the biggest problems he gets so upset and almost throws tantrums if he can't find something, and then my mom comes to the rescue. My brother told me yesterday that he is hurt by how my dad treats him. He doesn't talk to him about his day, the first thing my dad says to him is a judgement or a "why haven't you taken the garbage out". My mom also seems very unhappy and they argue a lot. My dad just comes home from work and plays online dominoes until he goes to bed, my brother sees this as a filler for alcohol.

We both feel like we know our dad is hurting inside, and we both feel like we don't know anything about him. We want to build communication but I don't know if they are ready for it.

What would you recommend?
iteach is offline  
Old 03-26-2008, 09:14 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3
More info:


My dad has been sober for 13 years, he goes to meetings all the time.

On Easter, everyone came to my house and my Mom gave me a CoDa pamphlet which I thought was interesting. She hasn't done any kind of work since my dad got sober... We are all Codependant I'm sure.
iteach is offline  
Old 03-26-2008, 03:16 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Power is not having to respond
 
Wascally Wabbit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wabbit Hole
Posts: 1,923
Originally Posted by iteach View Post
Anyhow, I told my parents that I went and how I was feeling, and where I thought it came from and they were insulted and angry with me.
This is just typical. They deny having any problems or being the cause of anyone elses problems. It's a very selfish mindset.

Originally Posted by iteach View Post
We see certain things about our parents that are not healthy, and we both want them to be.
Don't be suprised by this, but he will never change. Never. Why should he? He has his wife to cover his tracks and he is never held responsible for his actions. Therefore, he will remain the same.

My dad acts like a child, the simplest things are the biggest problems he gets so upset and almost throws tantrums if he can't find something, and then my mom comes to the rescue. My brother told me yesterday that he is hurt by how my dad treats him. He doesn't talk to him about his day, the first thing my dad says to him is a judgement or a "why haven't you taken the garbage out". My mom also seems very unhappy and they argue a lot. My dad just comes home from work and plays online dominoes until he goes to bed, my brother sees this as a filler for alcohol.

We both feel like we know our dad is hurting inside, and we both feel like we don't know anything about him. We want to build communication but I don't know if they are ready for it.

What would you recommend?
There really isn't much we can do about their drinking. We an make our own future, and work on our own sanity.
Nothing you can do about their unhappy marriage either.
Just continue to focus on getting yourself to that healthy place where the alcoholic's behavior no longer has the devestating effect it once did.
Continue your counseling.
Go too Alanon, ACOA.
Come back and post here!
Wascally Wabbit is offline  
Old 03-27-2008, 08:12 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3
Ya,

I told my brother all we can do is help ourselves.

However, if someone was constantly rude to you at your job and acting like a child at your job, wouldn't you say something? I feel like we can't let certain things go. People need to be held accountable for their actions.

For now, we are going to approach all situations with "i messages"

like I feel confused when you are throwing a temper tantrum about finding the salt when I know you are capable of finding it. I feel like you are trying to get my attention, but I would like you to address me with words in the future.


It's like how I would address a two year old "use your words"

I feel like ignoring it and working on ourselves is impossible. Our whole lives we have known this isn't the way an adult should act, and yet we feel confused because it's happening. As a married woman on holidays with them over I can't let it go. Or I will explode.


Thanks for your response!
iteach is offline  
Old 03-27-2008, 04:03 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
GingerM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Under the Rainbow
Posts: 1,086
People need to be held accountable for their actions.
Do they? Or do you feel that people *should* be held accountable for their actions? I looks like your dad doesn't feel any *need* at all to be accountable.

I feel like ignoring it and working on ourselves is impossible. Our whole lives we have known this isn't the way an adult should act, and yet we feel confused because it's happening.
Ignoring something is to say that it doesn't exist. You will not be able to ignore your father's behavior because it does exist.

How *should* he behave? What *should* an adult act like exactly?

I keep emphasizing the *should*s because they were a huge source of problems for me. My therapist finally got me through this problem by pointing out that there are no "should"s in life. There really aren't. "Should"s are based on how you think the world would be in an ideal situation - ideal situations simply don't occur in reality.

You can bypass the "should" angst by reframing your statement using one of the following three statements:

I wish
I want
It would be in my best interest if

These statements do not imply an expectation - which "should" does imply. By saying "My father should behave this way", you are placing an expectation on him that he will. And he is obviously failing to meet your expectation. Repeatedly failing to meet it. And yet you continue to say 'should' and he continues to not meet the expectation.

You *wish* he would behave like a responsible adult. There is no expectation implied in that statement. It's a statement only of desire. I wish my parents weren't alcoholics. I also wish I had a pony. Yet I do not expect that my parents will stop drinking, nor do I expect I will ever in my life own a pony. That doesn't mean I can't wish for it.

You *want* your father to treat you with civility. Again, this does not imply any kind of expectation. It's simply a statement of desire, just like the wish is. The focus here is on something YOU can control though, and the outcome of the want is based on your actions. You can change what you want - you can't change how he behaves. You can modify your own behavior to get what you want, and even what you need, but you may also find that in that journey, what you want changes.

The "It would be in my best interest" statement was more for things like when I would say "I should clean the bathroom" and then would beat myself up for not having enough energy to do so. "It would be in my best interest to clean the bathroom" removes the expectation that I *will* do it, and therefore the guilt if I happen to run out of steam before I get to it.

I hope this helps in some way. The "shoulds" will drive you insane if you don't find a way around them. There are many other ways of dealing with "shoulds", mine is not the only one, but it is the one that worked the best for me.
GingerM is offline  
Old 04-11-2008, 11:06 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Progress Not Perfection
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: "Further up and further in!"---C.S. Lewis
Posts: 563
Blog Entries: 3
I have a question, "if someone was constantly rude to you at your job and acting like a child at your job" would you invite them to family functions? Would you have them around you and you immediate family? Would you choose to hang out with them?

"Our whole lives we have known this isn't the way an adult should act"...but you choose to expose yourself it regularly?

Originally Posted by iteach View Post
I feel like ignoring it and working on ourselves is impossible.
How about setting boundaries with your parents and working on your individual recoveries?

Maybe its time to re-evaluate time spent with your parents. More than expecting them to change, you owe it to yourself to expect YOU to change....create a peaceful life where you are responsible for your own emotional well being. You get to decide how or if your parents fit into this equation.

For me, I cannot let my parents have a whole lot of control over me as an adult (emotional control, manipulation ect)...I also have my husband and child to think of. They deserve a wife and mom who cares for herself in a healthy way. If I find myself investing in people, parents, whoever, and I don't get my investment returned, then I learn to invest more appropriately in the people in my life who ARE trying.

My parents were both alcoholics....I am amazed now, that I thought "they are my parents so I HAVE to be super-involved with holidays ect." I realize today that just isn't true for me. I worked through the fear of abandonment with them because I realized on many levels I HAD already been abandoned by them, especially emotionally. I began to experience more peace as I grieved the fantasy of ever having normal or healthy parents. I grieved what I deserved that I never got from them. I grieved the person I could have been if I had healthy parents....I had to learn how to accept who they really were, today------not who I wished they would be. When I did that, I began to accept reality....that we were vastly different people.

The hardest part for me was accepting that my parents didn't really want to be involved in my life...that more times than not, I was forcing myself and my expectations on THEM.

When I backed off, (detached) started caring and being responsible for myself, and let my parents be who they really were and left them alone...our relationships actually improved.
Growing 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 08:22 AM.