Boyfriend's Drinking triggering

Old 11-02-2009, 05:31 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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Boyfriend's Drinking triggering

This is my first post here and I am beginning my long journey to recovery or to find some sort of peace within myself

My father was an alcoholic from the time I can remember. Used to drink every night, verbally and physically abuse me. My father was mostly absent from my childhood until the age of 6 or 7 due to being in the Navy and when he retired he re-appeared in my life so to speak. I don't really know why he singled me out or why it effected me so badly. Sometimes I tried to stop his drinking or hide his alcohol or pour it down the drain and that made him even more violent and angry. It also made me extremely frustrated and upset. I can only guess that I felt betrayed by him (he finally comes back and then when he does, he's dedicated his life to Miller Lite). I was often responsible for making sure he didn't hurt himself or burn down the house. I often felt like I hated him.

During my last year of highschool I had nervous breakdown of sorts and had to seek help for depression and anxiety disorder. I don't know why my father's drinking effected me this way especially when I wanted nothing to do with him. I got help and eventually, after a year or so, I start feeling much better. I also left for college and removed myself from the chaos of my home life. I also met my boyfriend of three years.

My boyfriend drinks and he used to abuse alcohol by binge drinking. His favorite story to tell was when got drunk, ate an enormous volume of Ramen, puked it up and then passed out in his own vomit. His friend with whom he was drinking with wandered off into the woods behind his house and went missing. Later that morning he was discovered passed out by some railroad tracks down by the river.

My boyfriend knows about my problems and especially after seeing me upset and after becoming more mature, going to school, and getting a job with the police force he no longer does anything like this sort of irresponsible behavior that I described above.

However he is turning 21 soon and plans to drink on a regular basis. Whenever I he drinks or even if I know he is going out to drink, I feel a rush of extreme anxiety and anger and self-hatred. All of the pain of my past with my father comes to my surface and I feel trapped and overwhelmed by it. I am sure many people here know the sort of pain I am talking about. It is all-consuming and all I can do is lay in silence or cry. It feels like I am full of pain and anguish and no matter what I do, I cannot rid myself or my body of it because there is so much.

In particular my boyfriend plans to get wasted with his brothers on his birthday. I have begged and begged him to reconsider this decision. I know I am using manipulative and controlling behavior in order to get him to do what I want so I can avoid re-living the pain that I experienced during my childhood.

I just want to know where to go from here. I love my boyfriend so much and he is one of my only places to go for support. He knows everything I have gone through and we have survived a lot together. I don't want to loose him, but the pain and anguish I feel when I know he is drinking or when he drinks is going to destroy me.

I know I need to get therapy, will I ever be able to cope with my boyfriend drinking? How long will it take? I am at a very bad place with my depression and I don't know if I have the energy to get through all of my issues
mastodon is offline  
Old 11-05-2009, 08:11 PM
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Hello there mastodon, and pleased to "meet" you

Originally Posted by mastodon View Post
.... This is my first post here and I am beginning my long journey to recovery or to find some sort of peace within myself ...
Congratulations, and welcome to our little group. We're all on our own journeys, so you're in good company.

Originally Posted by mastodon View Post
.... I just want to know where to go from here. ...
Start by reading the "sticky" posts we have at the top of this forum. Then go to the forum "next door" and read their "sticky posts"

Friends and Family of Alcoholics - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

After that get out your phone book and call the local office of al-anon. They have _wonderful_ books and pamphlets and are the experts on relationships with people that have a problem with alcohol. Check out a few of their meetings and see what you think of them.

That will keep you busy for awhile

Originally Posted by mastodon View Post
.... I know I need to get therapy, will I ever be able to cope with my boyfriend drinking? ...
I can't tell you if _you_ will. I can tell you that I know a lot of people in al-anon who cope just fine with their spouses' addiction.

Originally Posted by mastodon View Post
.... How long will it take? ...
Oh goodness. The general suggestion is that you focus on just the _first_ steps first. You have set out a big task for yourself, so take it easy on yourself.

Originally Posted by mastodon View Post
.... I am at a very bad place with my depression and I don't know if I have the energy to get through all of my issues ...
Well in that case can I suggest that your first step be to find a good counselor? That way you'll have some support and you can then decide what issues to work on first and which to work on later.

In any case, I'm glad you decided to join us.

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Old 11-06-2009, 05:04 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Birmingham, England
Posts: 58
Welcome. I hope you find this as supportive as I have over the last 5-6 weeks.

I don't feel entirely comfortable giving advice on here, as I am new to my recovery myself.

But one thing that jumps out at me from your post is that you are judging your boyfriend on your dad's behaviour.

I know it's difficult to change a thought process that has been imbedded in you for so many years but I think it would help you if you could learn to seperate them and treating them as 2 different individuals/situations.

Ok your B/F has done some silly things in the past (most of us have) but it doesn't mean that we choose that life all the time. If he is 21 and just becoming legal for him to have a drink, then he probably just wants to initiate himself with his brothers. I know I got completely trashed at my 18, 19, 21, 22 etc etc etc but that's all it was and I soon grew out of it.

I can totally understand your worry but can you allow him to enjoy his b'day the way that he wants and set boundaries with him that still protect your feelings? I'm not sure, it's just a thought.

I'm sure you will receive some great advice on here and I hope you are feeling better soon xx
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:23 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: CO
Posts: 72
I'm very sorry to hear about the pain you had in your childhood and about what you're going through now. All humans are drawn to people who are like our parents, and in our cases, that means to people who abuse drinking. I can't tell you what to do, and I really don't give advice around here because I am so young and new to healing myself. I'm not entirely sure whether your boyfriend simply drinks for fun, like many people his (and my) age do, or if he is actually an alcoholic. I think it would be wise to find out because there is a difference.

I've yet to really be in your situation, but I do know that I personally will never be able to have a relationship with an alcoholic. It would be far too painful for me and I don't think I could ever heal. I guess some people do have... healthy relationships with alcoholic partners though.
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