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Just another daughter of alcoholic mom

Old 01-26-2012, 09:00 PM
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Just another daughter of alcoholic mom

I realize I should go to alanon, but I guess im not quite ready.

My mom is an alcoholic and has been for my entire life and at least half of hers. My dad divorced her when I was 7 due to her drinking, manipulation, and lies. I have great step parents and an amazing sister. I have an older half sister from my moms first marriage who is a paranoid schizophrenia drug addict. My relationship with her is limited. I have step brothers and sisters too.

Nearly everyone on my mothers side is an addict. Alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, you name itÖ.they use it.

My dad is a good guy. He loves me but I know I am a huge disappointment to him. He thinks all that Iím capable of is being attractive, cooking, and cleaning. Recently I gained a little weight and he seemed so hurt by it. It was as if he was thinking that I canít even stay in shape, much less succeed at something truly difficult. Iím currently in college and I think heís just waiting for me to throw in the towel so that he can lecture me about it.

When I was a kid, I tried to get me and my sister to go live with him but my manipulative mother told us that if we didnít live with her she would kill herself. We got really scared and ended up having to lie to the courts and tell them that we changed our minds. We said that our dad was mean and we missed our mom. So back to moms we went.

My mom has emotionally abused me for as long as I can remember, and she was sober for A LOT of it. She has called me every bad name out there, told me that im a c***, dumb, that I have a learning disorder, etc. The list could go on for a while.

She worked as a waitress (even though she collected a very very large amount of child support). She came home really late at night, after we had gone to bed. Then she would sleep in late and be gone when we got home from school. It seemed like she just couldn't stand being around us.

Every event that we ever went to together, she got drunk. Our birthday parties, drunk. School recitals, drunk. My wedding rehearsal, drunk. And on the rare occasion that she wasnít drunk, she would find some way to horrifically embarrass me.

Appearing perfect was extremely important to my dad. We went to private Christian school, but we couldnít tell people there about our mom.

My mom has always been "ill". A constant cold or flu. Now I think it was a cover for her daily hangover.

Other than this stuff, I remember VERY little from my life. Not even just my childhood but my whole life. In fact, I have a hard time even remembering really recent things. I feel like my whole life is a blur and the only moment I ever really feel is the one Iím in right that second.

I am insecure about my personality so I have always relied on my looks. I constantly worry that I will forget what people tell me about themselves and then theyíll think Iím a jerk for forgettingÖand then it happens. I try to be funny and cunning but it just comes off at rude and inappropriate. I tell everyone everything. I have little to no filter for sharing my personal information. I drive myself crazy doing that but it just keeps happening. Maybe I feel like I should warn people that Iím effed up, or maybe Iím looking for someone to fix me. I donít really know.

I dislike almost all womenÖ. especially if they are even remotely attractive. But then I get bummed out when I canít find a friend to go to Sephora (or whatever girly place) with. But even when someone does go with me, I make the whole shopping trip about me. I lose interest almost immediately when it comes time to help them find their new eye shadow or whatever.

I hate going "out." Social situations make me beyond nervous, especially if they involve partying.

I talk bad about almost everyone, even people that I really really like. I know I got that from my mom. Its such an ugly thing to do but its so hard to control.

I am a realist to a fault. Blind optimism drives me insane.

I feel selfish because I donít really care that my moms an alcoholic. I mean, Im sad that she is throwing her life away but what makes me really mad is that it feels like she is throwing mine away too.

She recently told me that she does not want to have a relationship with me anymore because I and mean to her and that I cannot get over her alcoholism. She has no idea that I am mean to her because she has bashed me and my emotions for the last 25 years.

I hate feeling like a bad person. I love so many people but I just canít bring myself to engage in healthy relationships. I ruin everything.

Thereís so much more that Iím not comfortable saying on the internet. I donít know why I am posting this. I guess im just hoping to hear from someone that can relate. Maybe they have gotten through this awful feeling of being ugly and gross on the inside.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:14 PM
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Welcome. And yes we do understand. I'm so sorry you had to grow up with this. Don't beat yourself up over this, you had a hard life it wasn't your fault. But now it's time to learn to move on. You have a whole wonderful life ahead of you if you can get a handle on this now. Try reading some of the "stickies" above, when I first found them they were very helpful.

One thing to learn is when the disease is talking, not your Mom, when she says really outrageous things. And the next is to not make it your fault for anything that happened between you folks, like being manipulated to stay. The saying around here is, the three C's: you didn't cause it, you can't control it, you can't cure it.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:22 PM
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Hello and welcome, we have all walked in these shoes, our problems may not all manifest themselves the same way but we are all family.

Counseling has been very beneficial for me, others have had much success with al-anon.

I am glad you are here, it takes a lot of courage to post, please don't hesitate to ask for help, this is a great place to vent, to talk, to get some support or a hug.

Best of luck to you,

Bill
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:30 AM
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Correct me if my summary is wrong: you grew up in a world where being put down was the norm, and on top of that, everything you experience demonstrated the the universe was absolutely not to be trusted.

Gee, I can't understand at all why you want to beat people to the punch by putting them down before they have the chance to put you down. Nor can I understand why you would hate social engagements or having to interact with people.

I feel selfish because I don’t really care that my moms an alcoholic
Why would that be selfish? The woman did nothing to ever earn anything but disdain from you. It seems a perfectly healthy response to not care about someone whom ... you don't care about.

I used to put others down perpetually also. I had a difficult time interacting with others. I became a self-imposed social hermit. For three years, I spent very little, if any, time socializing with anyone outside of what was required to hold a job. I found that that period of my life was an awakening for me.

There is no rule that says one MUST be social. There are plenty of people (myself included) who, by and large, are quite happy being alone. By spending all that time alone, I got to know myself, I got to experience a world in which I controlled the outcome of my life. I'd never had that before. I discovered that I am in control of my destiny and swore that I'd never let someone else control my future again (to the point that I swore I'd never marry - then my husband came along, and he is also very independent and has no issues with me wanting to be alone).

When the universe has never shown you any kindness, it's difficult to believe that it will take care of you. Trust in all humanity is lost. For me, to trust someone, I must know them for a number of years, sometimes decades. There are very few people in this world I trust implicitly, and fewer still whose abilities I have faith in. I still don't trust the universe to take care of itself, let alone take care of me. I probably never will, and I have come to accept that as part of who I am. And I'm just fine with being that way. It grants me both bonuses that others don't have (an extreme ability to be self-reliant) and drawbacks (I miss out on some social aspects of life that might be rewarding if I were open to them). As with all things in life, my approach has both positives and negatives.

What are the positives to your way of life?

There is a branch of therapy called dialectical behavioral therapy which focuses on exactly that premise: all things in life are a double edged sword. The very things I find annoying in my husband under some circumstances are the very things that I love about him in others.

What is the other side of the sword to how you live and function? Well, I would say that from this side of the computer, you protect yourself from harm by others - if you push others away first, they can't push you away. That seems reasonable given the background you come from.

The next question is: Is that how you want to live? If not, then what do you think would change it? Change isn't an overnight process. I've been in therapy for 15+ years now, at least 10 of them contiguous. I may be in therapy the rest of my life. While I could recognize why I was doing what I was doing, I didn't like it in myself and I wanted to change it, but I didn't know how. Therapy has helped me become the person I wanted to be - the person I knew was already inside me, but I didn't know how to let her come to the fore.

I'm not saying therapy is your answer. Everyone's answer is different. But I present you with some things to ponder.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:20 AM
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Thanks for posting, and welcome.

I can identify.

I don't dislike women, and I have some good women friends (but far less now that I've decided that I want healthy friendships with people who aren't codependent to the point of becoming obsessive with my personal life, or who boost their self-esteem by comparing my life to theirs).

But, I came to the realization years ago that I'm not comfortable being friends with women who are either as attractive as I am, or whose tastes and styles are too similar to mine. If I'm going to be friends with someone, there is an unhealthy criteria that says "you have to be at least different enough from me in looks or style so that I don't feel insecure, and therefore don't feel like we're in competition".

I shun friendships with women who are attractive and have their lives together because I feel worthless and inferior when I compare myself to them (and I am *always* comparing myself to others).

I'm sorry for the experiences you've had, and that your father places so much value on your physical appearance.

Judging by your post, you seem like an intelligent person who has been raised to believe that you are not. Work through it, because in reality, you can do whatever you want to do in life...go to college, succeed, and if you don't at first, try again. That's what I did.

I also had a lot of emphasis placed on my physical appearance by my mother, who was always irritated with me if I didn't have my makeup done to her liking, or my hair, clothes, etc.

So, you're not alone here, and I hope you keep posting.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:29 PM
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Thank you all for your words of encouragement, they are absolutely invaluable to me. Although it is unfortunate that so many people have been through hardship, it is really nice to have some people to talk to about what I went through.

I have been thinking a lot over the past few days and the one thing that seems to keep repeating in my mind is that I HAVE to stop punishing myself for everything I do. My dislike toward others and myself has completely consumed my thoughts and is has to stop. It is poisonous to everything and everyone in my life. Maybe being able to recognize that I am doing it will help me learn to change the behavior.

I still have not spoken to my mother (with the exception of an illegible drunken Facebook email about her cat). It has been over a week since she told me that she no longer wants a relationship with me, and it has provided me with a good opportunity to think about things. I must say that I am extremely bitter about the fact that she can "dissolve" our relationship as soon as I say a few things that she doesn't like, but I have been taking verbal abuse from her for 25 years. It just seems like she's getting off way too easy. I just wish that she could feel for herself the pain in my heart that she has created.

Maybe someday Ill forgive her, but not today.

Thanks again for the help. This website, and all of your kind words, have been like a little light in a very very dark room.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by want2bloom View Post
Maybe someday Ill forgive her, but not today.
I'm glad for you that you are entertaining the notion of forgiving her someday. Someone on the forum posted about forgiveness and said it's not like it means nothing happened and they weren't wrong and we forget everything. We forgive for our sake to get rid of the bitterness. It can block development and recovery. When I forgave my Dad it was the hardest thing I ever did and actually got sick about it. He didn't deserve it at all. But I knew I had to do it. (you can read in my blog here about it if you like) After the forgiveness his acts didn't cut so deep anymore. It was kind of freeing.

But don't do it just to do it, it has to be a real commitment that you need to research and understand. Good luck.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:56 AM
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All I want to say is that you really sound quite normal and in my opinion you seem like a bit of a perfectionist. (Being too hard on yourself). This is just a guess from my perspective here. It almost sounds like you're taking your anger at your mom out on yourself.

I'm not sure what to say about Mom. Maybe it's better to leave her alone for a while and let her work out her own issues. Be nice, don't hurt her any more than she's already hurting (probably) but don't allow her to abuse you. I used to think that people should never abandon family members, but now I think otherwise. Toxic people should not be allowed in your life, no matter who they are.

And about women friends, I rather agree, I prefer hanging out with men. Women are so catty and untrustworthy (in general). Of course I am an exception, lol.
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