Blogs


Notices

ACOA's and Relationships

Old 05-26-2004, 09:30 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,955
ACOA's and Relationships

“When the child of a dysfunctional family begins to enter the "real world"--schools and the workplace-- they discover their family system is not the reality shared by their classmates and co-workers. Many Adult Children become loners or form tight, unhealthy relationships with other children of dysfunctional homes. These relationships actually re-enforce their dys- functional view of the world by ‘finding another person who really understands.’ The tightness of the bonds created in these relationships is accented by the Adult Child's lack of an individual sense of identity-- they do not yet know where they stop and someone else begins. As a result they are unable to define their limits and begin to take on other people's opinions, defects and needs.�
~From “Adult Children Of Alcoholics In The Workplace�
by Marianne Tedder

Yet another thing I read that made me feel like someone has been following me around taking notes on my life. I’ve done both of the above. I did the loner thing for a long time. Then I bonded with other dysfunctional-ites. And once upon a time, I was in a relationship with someone who said “I can’t tell where I stop and you begin.�
At the time, I thought it was incredibly romantic. Of course, at the time I was a needy, wearing my heart on my sleeve, relationship-obsessed mess.
And that bit about taking on other people’s opinions, defects and needs…oh yeah, I lived on that street for a long time. I really need to start looking over my shoulder more often. If these authors are going to use me as a case study I think I should get some of the royalties.
Gabe is offline  
Old 05-26-2004, 10:19 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
It's a Puggle!
 
paula a.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: On the road to sanity
Posts: 235
Amen Gabe!
paula a. is offline  
Old 05-26-2004, 11:22 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
believer
 
journeygal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: walking in faith
Posts: 1,023


I'm still waiting for my check from Melody Beattie.

A friend of mine and I bonded over our overly critical fathers back in jr. high school. We would spend hours on the phone, alternating b/t gossiping about our classmates and venting about our fathers. We are still good friends to this day. Her father died last November and it was a sad thing to deal with, not just b/c she lost her dad, but moreso due to the history we both shared with our fathers.

Our reasons for bonding may have been dysfunctional, but I could not have made it through my teenage years without her friendship. She was the only person in my life who understood what I was going through. Fortunately, our friendship has never been unhealthy. We've always maintained appropriate boundaries.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
journeygal is offline  
Old 06-01-2004, 11:34 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Survivor
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Proud Upstate New Yorker
Posts: 869
me too Gabe

I had an awful relationship with someone from a disfunctional family this past semester and I had to end it because it became entirely to painful for me to endure. Now, I dont want any close friends really and I feel withdrawn from the people around me. I do work hard on not completely isolating myself and am getting better. I would just really rather not have anymore close friends.
DefofLov is offline  
Old 06-05-2004, 02:41 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: fresno, ca
Posts: 17
I was a loner for so long because all my relationships were so dysfunctional. I was always getting hurt. I felt it was just better to be alone, but after I got into some recovery and found out how to have healthy relationships, I am so happy. I want healthy relationships in my life, it is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.There is such a joy that I can't even descibe it. I always felt like there was this void in my life, and I tried all kinds of ways to fill it, only I was still lonely. I don't feel that void anymore. I can trust myself to make healthy decisions about what kind of relationships I want in my life and I can let go of those that are not good for me. I am not afraid anymore, I don't want to be alone anymore, it hurts too much. I have learned so much from being in recovery and listening to other people. I hope that you will seek to understand why we are the way we are and that there is hope for us. We can change, we can learn better coping skills. I always knew that there was a better life for me, in my heart of hearts I knew.
dark angel is offline  
Old 06-05-2004, 02:55 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,955
Dark angel,
I am a firm believer that your heart of hearts will never steer you wrong.
We can change, and we can learn better coping skills.
Well said.
Gabe is offline  
Old 06-05-2004, 03:34 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
believer
 
journeygal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: walking in faith
Posts: 1,023
((((((DefofLov))))))

We are not meant to spend our lives on this earth alone. We may not have had the right experience growing up to be able to develop healthy relationships and friendships, but it doesn't mean we'll never be able to. The more progress you make in your recovery, the healthier the people will be that you attract and are attracted to. Don't give up on having close relationships. I strongly believe that one day you'll be surrounded by nothing but healthy, supportive people and will feel happier and more content in your relationships than you ever thought possible. Isn't that worth having and working for?

Don't give up!

Hugs,
JG
journeygal is offline  
Old 06-05-2004, 08:08 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Pooh Corner, USA
Posts: 116
I have read this over and over and it is almost too painful to keep reading. I have posted many things about the relationship that I had with a friend that has been a living nightmare for over a year. She doesn't want to give up and I seem to be tangled in this web down in a hole and if I climb out of the hole the web chokes me and if I get out of the web then I can't climb out of the hole. I have realized that although this friend has hurt me deeply, she didn't mean to do it. It was a domino effect from many situations that have happened in our early relationship.
I am understanding that she was the mother, sister, close friend and compassionate listener that I never had growing up and that I don't have in my marriage. I just had a hard time walking away and I still have a hard time walking away.

It seems so encouraging that I could be happy in a friendship. I have sworn that I will never get close to ANYONE like this again. It was too damaging. I just want to be able to heal from this situation. All the therapy in the world does not help me to believe that it would be safe to get involved with a friend again. At 45 I think being alone is a better option. My husband is a good man, but not an emotional man. I love him deeply and my relationship with this girlfriend almost killed our marriage. I can't let that happen again.
How do you start coping? How do you move on? Most importantly... How do you feel happy and joyful in a relationship? It seems very strange that after 45 yrs that I could do that. I am too old to make NEW friends. Most people are already in very close relationships at this age and it is not doable.
Thanks for the hope, but I am still skeptical.
runningfree is offline  
Old 06-05-2004, 08:50 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
JT
Supply Manager
 
JT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Cleaverville
Posts: 2,898
I am a bit of a loner and I have had my share of messed up friendships and relationships. I picked friends the same way I picked mates.

The only difference between me and you...Running Free...is some recovery. I am not afraid of relationships because I know where I end and someone else begins...at least today. At least I think so...

I had a very weird bust up of a friendship not that long ago and I am looking for a replacement, not avoiding one. I think that is what I am doing anyway...

You can see I am not all that decisive. But I do see my recovery as a kind of suit of armor. I know my limits...I think.

Hugs,
JT
JT is offline  
Old 06-06-2004, 06:09 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Pooh Corner, USA
Posts: 116
{JT}
I wish I knew what you meant. What is it meant to be in recovery of this situation. What would I need to be realizing and what would I be doing at this point. Right now I am in limbo and numbness land. I am trying to make "good" so that I am not screwing anything up in the relationships that I am in right now. I am in the middle of medications which is a mental health dilemma, but even if I ever get that straightened out I still think that this issue of relationships and recovery will be a fog to me instead of a clear picture. What am I missing?
runningfree is offline  
Old 06-06-2004, 07:06 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
JT
Supply Manager
 
JT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Cleaverville
Posts: 2,898
Running Free,

Life becomes much more simple when all we have to worry about is keeping our own side of the street clean. By that I mean behaving in ways that cause ourselves no regret. That is sort of my personal benchmark for how to act. And because of my recovery I know I cannot change another person so if that person is not a positive in my life I back away. It is not healthy for me to spend time in any relationship that is negative. Not friends, not family, not mate's or children or co-worker's. A relationship is a relationship...they are all the same...negative or positive.

Medications?? That's #1 for you hon. Until you get that straightened out it will be hard to see clearly as you said.

((Hugs))
JT
JT is offline  
Old 06-06-2004, 07:10 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,955
Originally Posted by Just Tired
It is not healthy for me to spend time in any relationship that is negative.
Thank you JT. I think that is going to be my mantra for a while. I just backed away from a relationship that had become much more negative than it was positive. Off to make sure everything is cool on my side of the street.
Gabe is offline  
Old 06-06-2004, 01:01 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: fresno, ca
Posts: 17
I want to encourage you to keep taking your medication. I want to share with you how I felt before I got on medication. I had this deep, dark void. An emptiness, no words could ever explain Sometimes I felt like I was walking around in a fog, I couldnt think clearly, I was afraid of every little thing, even the simplest of things would boggle my mind. My moods were unbearable. The negative self talk was constant. It's like sinking in quicksand, the harder I try to get out, the deeper I sank.I became stuck. I had become so overwhelmed with emotional pain that I went dead inside. I could no longer feel. For so long I did't feel anything. Something good could happen and I knew I should be feeling happy, but instead I felt nothing. I had began to wonder if I would ever feel again. My heart was empty, I was completly numb. I was paralyized, leaving me feeling stuck. It took me a long time to even get the strength to get help, I went to meetings but I just could'nt seem to get it. I couldn't focus. Then one day a lady shared her story about depression and the medication and I started crying. I finally found the answer the help I needed, she gave something I had lost a long time ago. I had hope. I am me again. It was a process, but once those medications kick in you are going to be so amazed. My only regret is that I didn't get help sooner. Also , I am 46 years old and yes there are still good friends out there to be found. If you don't believe me all you have to do read your posts, we are right here with you. You are going to feel happy and joyfull again. I don't think it, I know it.
dark angel is offline  
Old 06-06-2004, 01:12 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,955
Originally Posted by runningfree
How do you move on? Most importantly... How do you feel happy and joyful in a relationship? It seems very strange that after 45 yrs that I could do that. I am too old to make NEW friends. Most people are already in very close relationships at this age and it is not doable.
Thanks for the hope, but I am still skeptical.
Runningfree...three words...
No
you're
not.

When I turned forty, I decided that I was entering into the better half of my life. Anything is doable, as long as you are willing to give it a try. We all deserve happiness and joy. And it is in my daily prayers that everyone here at Sober Recovery finds happiness and joy in their day. So since you are included in those prayers, it's coming around. Keep an eye out.
Gabe is offline  
Old 06-06-2004, 03:40 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Pooh Corner, USA
Posts: 116
Thank you all for the optimism. I find that this kind of friendship is doable, but we are words across a computer. I do not see myself doing anymore than that. I treasure the kind words that come my way and the messages of comfort and hope.

To Dark Angel:
I am numb to read your note because it is just how I feel. I have been trying different meds for a year and it is not the right formula at this point. I am beginning to wonder. I know that feeling of the fog clearing because at one point I had medication that did just that. It stopped working and now I am in this same funk. I even had a doctor tell me that I can't expect any more than I got. It is me and I shouldn't think that the meds should do anymore. That has shattered me and my new doctor has a tough wall to break to make me believe anything else than this other doctor said. Oh well--

Thank you all... It is nice to have someone to talk to!
runningfree is offline  
Old 06-07-2004, 06:21 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Survivor
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Proud Upstate New Yorker
Posts: 869
(((((((journeygal)))))))

Dont you worry, it may be hard, but I am not giving up...i still try hard to reach out and i have done a good job so far of not giving up entirely on people.



Originally Posted by journeygal
((((((DefofLov))))))

We are not meant to spend our lives on this earth alone. We may not have had the right experience growing up to be able to develop healthy relationships and friendships, but it doesn't mean we'll never be able to. The more progress you make in your recovery, the healthier the people will be that you attract and are attracted to. Don't give up on having close relationships. I strongly believe that one day you'll be surrounded by nothing but healthy, supportive people and will feel happier and more content in your relationships than you ever thought possible. Isn't that worth having and working for?

Don't give up!

Hugs,
JG
DefofLov is offline  
Old 06-07-2004, 07:27 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Dancing To My Own Beat
 
Magichappens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: I don't know what kind of state I'm in
Posts: 1,326
running free,
You asked how to be in recovery from this dysfunction. There are a lot of recovery activities that have helped me become whole, learn to have healthy new relationships, and love without losing myself. I go to Alanon. The people there know the pain of living with the effects of alcoholism and addiction. Each person has a different set of circumstances, but the feelings and the results are the same. I work a 12 step program, which has helped me to define the incorrect lessons I learned growing up, and begin to correct them, with the help and support of my new friends in Alanon. I chose to also go to individual counselling, which has helped me grow in my new relationships and work through the fears and doubts and blunders that I continue to make (won't ever be perfect). If you seek help, it's there. If you are willing to try, it will work for you. There is a great book list in the powerposts at the top of the Alanon forum. If you are not ready to reach out, there is still a lot you can do for yourself. There's no quick fix, and everyone is different and may chose different paths, but anyone can begin recovering and changing any time they want. Hugs, Magic
Magichappens 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 11:11 PM.