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Resentment and Anger

Old 01-05-2012, 12:54 PM
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Resentment and Anger

Hi all,

I'm fairly new here, and in fact, new to the AA community. Last night I went to my first Al-Anon meeting, and I plan on going back. I felt so many emotions during the meeting as others were speaking, and two of them have come back to me today that I felt I just had to post about it.

My father has been an alcoholic my whole life. I spent so much of my childhood and teenage years dreaming of getting out of that environment, thinking that running away from that part of my life would save me. That finally I'd be a normal, happy person. I thought I would meet some man who would "save" me and never abandon me like my father and my birthparents. My mother never did anything to stand up to my dad, letting him say or do whatever he wanted without consequences. Her goal was to please him, mine was to keep the peace between all of us.

When I left my house at 18 I finally felt free. I went to college and thought that finally, it was all over. What I now understand, after about ten years of being on my own, is that the behaviors I have learned as a child have followed me to adulthood and I am not okay. I've been running away from every single person who has hurt me. This means I've lived in five different cities in the last 10 years, never staying one place long enough. When a romantic relationship has ended, I've gotten the hell out of dodge. I'm tired though, tired of running. I don't think I'm going to run anymore.

But what I'm really dealing with now is anger and resentment towards both of my parents. After a major surgery last year, my dad quit drinking for a few months. I couldn't believe it. I finally thought my life was going to be a happy one. Everything started looking up after that. I lost weight, I fell in love, had the best vacation of my life with my parents. But as everything goes in life, the shoe dropped. My boyfriend broke up with me, my dad started drinking again, and my dreams were dashed. My dad doesn't drink like he used to, so Christmas this year was actually enjoyable. First time ever, I think, without him being wasted. But now I'm just angry. Angry that he couldn't have been like that when it mattered the most. Angry that yet again, I've been abandoned by the boyfriend and wondering what I did to deserve that kind of treatment yet again. Angry at my dad for not caring about me enough to give me a childhood without drinking.

I'm new to the program, so any advice you all can give me would be appreciated. Thanks so much for this community.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:23 PM
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Wow, after reading ur share all I could
think was,,,your situation is similar to
mine, but reversed. It was my mom that
was the sick person in our 6 person family
and my dad was the one to try and smooth
things over by just saying my mom was
ill and that she doesnt know what she is
doing by physically, verbally and emotionally
abusing me. That I need to forgive her for
the hurt she did to me. Yeah, right I said.

So much pain and so much hurt I left at 18
as well to only drink to numb, fears, resentments,
anger and such.

I was told by my mom to stay away from my
dad because he was hers and that drew the line
in the sand with any kind of father daughter
relationship i ever wanted with my dad.

When my other siblings saw my dad as always
preaching i took what he said as guidance in my
life and would never steer me wrong.

In my yrs, i stayed married for 25 yrs raising
2 awesome kids who r adults today with no
addictions. I entered recovery 8 yrs. into that
marriage and my little ones were small. So
the family have known me in recovery for the
most part.

Divorce came because of lack of communication
and understanding and probably other needs I
needed that i wasnt getting from my spouse.
Emotional, spiritual.

Today, im 21 yrs sober, almost 3 yrs remarried
living and honest joyful rewarding life like I could
ever imagine.

Sadly, my relationship with both my families is
estrange, if im saying that right. Meaning I have
little to no contact with any of them.

My recovery is important to me and is healthy.
And to submit myself or subject myself to family
sickness or illness would only be harmful to my
own recovery progress.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:02 PM
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Welcome CRandall. Feeling resentment against what our parents did is hard to avoid. I and some others, had more resentment towards the non alcoholic parent for allowing the bad things to happen, let us live like that, learning dysfunctional habits. The only freedom I found was in forgiving. I know it sounds trite but it was my only option. Not because they deserved it, they didn't, but because I deserved to live in peace.

Look over the stickies posted above, there is a lot of interesting information there.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:47 PM
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Crandall,

So glad you are here, I have walked for many years in your shoes, I am 49, my mom has been the alcoholic for 40+ years, my dad is the enabler.

I still battle anger and resentment, I am back in therapy becuase I can't get over the feelings of anger, hate, etc., there are times I make it to indifference, which is really where I want to be, but I slid back into hate.

My wife tries to be understanding but has never gone through anything like this and really does not get it.

Awhile back I posted some self-esteem and affirmation exercises that my therapist gave me to do, they might help you, they have been good for me.

I hope you can work through this, if you would like to talk, I will be here for you.

Best of luck,

Bill
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:33 PM
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I often feel the resentment and anger toward my addict/alcoholic parents. My alcoholic father has created mainly been just a source for misery. My addicted mother is on and off--sometimes she is nice, and sometimes she is one of the meanest people on the planet. I feel a lot of anger toward both of them. I wish that things could have been better. I even have a memory of a trip with my father where things were going pretty well.

I have found that this website helps because it teaches me things about taking care of myself rather than always taking care of others. It also teaches me about having boundaries for myself. I've learned about detaching with love and about not trying to control other people.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CRandall View Post
I thought I would meet some man who would "save" me and never abandon me like my father and my birthparents... What I now understand, after about ten years of being on my own, is that the behaviors I have learned as a child have followed me to adulthood and I am not okay. I've been running away from every single person who has hurt me. This means I've lived in five different cities in the last 10 years, never staying one place long enough.... yet again, I've been abandoned by the boyfriend and wondering what I did to deserve that kind of treatment yet again. Angry at my dad for not caring about me enough to give me a childhood without drinking.
There's a pattern here -- and it sounds as though you're recognizing it.

When my wife (now sober 15 years) was in treatment, i went to a "family week" they had at the treatment center. Among other things, I had a couple of one-on-one sessions with one of their relationship counselors. She told me, "You're going to have to work on understanding how you got involved with this person and why. You can either do it now -- in this relationship -- or you can end it and move on, but you'll probably end up getting involved with someone else who's just like her. So you can do the work now, or do it later."

What she was getting at was that we tend to be drawn to a type -- a lot of people in Al-Anon will say that they've had one relationship after another, after another -- all with alcoholics, and they're not sure why!

You seem to be saying that you get into a relationship, cling to it, and wait for the other person to split up with you. What's the common thread -- is there a "type" that you tend to gravitate toward?

I'm really not sure what the pattern was with me, but there was a pattern. My wife had a very similar family of origin to mine -- two alcoholic parents, or at least one bad one and one that drank along with him.

Awareness, acceptance, action, goes the saying... Awareness is the biggest one!

T
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:50 AM
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I get you!

CRandall, I here you and I get it. I just posted my own stuff. It was my mother in my family and my father was the enabler. My father also died when I was 18, so then there was no one to block her behavior and it was a nightmare.

I am starting with a new theraphist this week, but I went to theraphy for almost 2 years with my previous one and the biggest thing I think it helped me do was to release the anger that I had not only at my mother, but at my father as well. I never realized that I was not only angry at him for not protecting me more, but for dying on me and leaving me alone with her. And it was okay to be angry with him. It didn't mean that I didn't love him.

The biggest thing that has helped me in dealing with the anger towards my mother is accepting the fact that she was raised in an alcoholic family and not given the tools to be a good mother. She didn't know how. Once I started seeing her as a wounded soul, someone who has missed out on so much in her life due to her behavior and dysfunction, I was able to let the anger go and just have pity for her. It's a sad life for her, and I'm sorry that she doesn't have the strength to change it.

But boy, am I with ya, and it's just nice to know there are others out there with similar problems. Makes you feel not so alone in the world.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by tromboneliness View Post

You seem to be saying that you get into a relationship, cling to it, and wait for the other person to split up with you. What's the common thread -- is there a "type" that you tend to gravitate toward?

T
You are right on. That's exactly what I do. I get into a relationship and I'm in love with them, then they leave. The men who have left me are all different, but if there can be one thing that describes them, it was that they were emotionally unavailable at the time they were dating me. That's all I can come up with, because nothing else makes sense. Here are the things they said when breaking up with me:
#1 - "There's nothing about you I don't like. I just know I don't want to be with you anymore."

#2 - "You are my best friend and I love you, but I know I'm not in love with you because I've been in love before."

#3 - "You aren't conservative enough for me" (later, he told me he broke it off because he wasn't over his ex, even though at the time he said he was over her)

#4 - "I have a lot going on right now and I'm in a funk. You and I aren't supposed to be. But I've never had more fun with anyone and I know we click so well."

If anyone can decipher any other kind of pattern besides emotional unavailability, then I'm all ears.

Thanks for sharing, everyone.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:41 PM
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I'm no expert but it might be that you are being extremely loyal -before they deserve it.

You might be confusing loyalty with falling in love. Loyalty to our alcoholic is given whether they deserve it or not. We sometimes think if can work hard enough through our loyalty (physically or emotionally) then they will really love us and not leave us, leave us emotionally, spiritually, or even physically.

These men all "LIKE" you and so you take it to the next level with your loyalty proving to them how much you love them. They need to deserve your loyalty and love BEFORE you give it.

Because we have given our loyalty to our alcoholic parent we are sometimes not good judges as to who else to give our loyalty and love to. These men have demonstrated that they were not deserving of your love or loyalty.

Consider trying to back off and not falling in love with someone until they have proven their loyalty to you first. Guard your feelings until you are sure.
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Kialua View Post
I'm no expert but it might be that you are being extremely loyal -before they deserve it.

You might be confusing loyalty with falling in love. Loyalty to our alcoholic is given whether they deserve it or not. We sometimes think if can work hard enough through our loyalty (physically or emotionally) then they will really love us and not leave us, leave us emotionally, spiritually, or even physically.

Consider trying to back off and not falling in love with someone until they have proven their loyalty to you first. Guard your feelings until you are sure.
I never looked at it this way before, Kialua. This could definitely be it. I know that I am extremely loyal, which means it is both my best and worst trait. It means I am the most reliable and loving friend, but it gets me in trouble with romantic relationships.

I knew that the reason I never had successful relationships with men was because of my relationship with my father, but I was never quite sure why. The unfailing loyalty to my dad was what kept me going. I had to care, I had to love him, I had to stay.

In this last relationship I thought I was doing a pretty good job of reigning myself in and not falling too fast, but it looks like I need to hold back even longer.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:14 PM
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Loyalty (undeserved) is definitely a trait we all share. I think it comes from the inborn love for our alcoholic parent who leaves us. But we stay loyal in one way or another and then just transfer that over. We don't want to be left again, so we strive to be loyal and worthy of love.

Consider holding back your loyalty and love until they propose you to. They really aren't worth your life long love until they prove with a proposal that they love you and want to be with you. You have been hurt too many times to just keep doing the same thing again and again. The man you love really has to be worthy of your love. If he is not worthy and demonstrating his worthiness he will just end up leaving like all the others.

Try researching the traits of Adult Children of Alcoholics and see where you think you fit. Then you can address those traits and grow. Hang out here too and read the stories they are of much value.

Good luck.
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