My introduction

Old 10-27-2013, 09:58 AM
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My introduction

Hi
I am new to this forum, thought I would just jump in and say hello.

I started discovering my ACOA-ism about 4 years ago. My perfectly structured co-dependent relationship (with a functioning alcoholic) was beginning to fall apart. I had successfully isolated myself and truly had no friends other than her; I worked from home, and was drinking often, and I truly convinced myself that there was a magical day coming where I would go after my dreams. I didn’t even know I was looking for an answer, all I knew is something was wrong. After all, my father didn’t drink. He beat it, he was a celebrity in AA, hadn’t had a drink in over 30 years! Hell, based on number of attended meetings, I should have a few chips under my belt since I had been to meetings since the age of 5.

It wasn’t until a casual conversation with someone who knew him through “the rooms” that I first heard him [my father] described as a “dry drunk.” Jokingly of course, he was referring to my father when he first got sober, then of course he followed up with what a great man he is. For me though, “dry drunk” is all I heard. See, I never thought I had the right to saw I grew up in an alcoholic house. My home life didn’t mirror the TV specials we saw as kids, with the drunk parent beating everyone, or being hung over. He didn’t drink, so he was better, he was righteous, top of his game, ruled his empire with a watching eye.

But all the traits (minus the physical act of ingesting alcohol) were there, amplified. Our lives still centered on him. Only now he had no kinks in his armor, never hung over or feeling guilt, no outward signs that anything was wrong. House was clean and perfect and he “came back from the dead” (literally) so to the outside world he was a god.

When I read “A guide for adult children of alcoholics” I was floored. It is my life story, it describes me perfectly. And it makes me angry. Very angry! ACOA meeting are non-existent and the few Al-non meetings I went to didn’t apply (no offense) but I really wasn’t able to relate to middle aged housewives who were busy cleaning up after there still drinking husbands. Not to mention, god forbid if someone saw me there (since EVERYONE in any form of recovery knows my father) I felt like what little I did share I had to censor to protect him.

The years have gone by, and I became aware of a lot. I took full control of my “recovery”. But I still hear his voice coming out of me at times. I still have the old instinct reactions to situations that trigger me. Again I see myself slipping into old patterns. Isolation and awkward relationships.
I understand that he isn’t 100% the same person I remember, I am older and things are different, but it feels like when we talk we put on our old costumes.
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:29 PM
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Welcome.

I, too, have a father diagnosed as a 'dry drunk,' although in his case because he could stop drinking whenever he felt like it. But, like you, the behaviors and control never changed.

I, too, felt and often still feel, that I can't claim to have come from an alcoholic home, because there was none of the falling down, vomiting, embarrassed to have friends come over stuff. And yet, here I am.

On occasion, there would be outbursts of physical violence. Anger, criticism, and swearing were daily fare. (They still would be if I went back.)

I constantly felt I was getting everything wrong. When I did A, he'd yell that I should have done B, and when I did B, he yelled I should have done C. I was well into my adult years before I finally understood it wasn't me--that no matter what I did, it would have been wrong, because he was angry and looking for a reason to vent, and he was bound to find it.

In short, you'll find many people here who understand, who have been there. Welcome.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by EveningRose View Post
Welcome.


I constantly felt I was getting everything wrong. When I did A, he'd yell that I should have done B, and when I did B, he yelled I should have done C. I was well into my adult years before I finally understood it wasn't me--that no matter what I did, it would have been wrong, because he was angry and looking for a reason to vent, and he was bound to find it.

.

Then after venting, I feel guilty, and hear my mother's voice saying "get over it already,"
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by imacoa View Post
Then after venting, I feel guilty, and hear my mother's voice saying "get over it already,"
"Get over it" is how the guilty assuage their part in our suffering. So consider the source.
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Kialua View Post
"Get over it" is how the guilty assuage their part in our suffering. So consider the source.
Ah, yes. "Get over it": the mantra of every dysfunctional alcoholic family.

Welcome to the boards, imacoa. I did (and still do) have an active A mother. She's been sober for a couple of short stretches, so I've seen the dry drunk thing, too. Sometimes I think I'd rather her drink than hurl at lightspeed through the world as a dry drunk. Haven't talked to get in a year though, and that's the best way for me to deal with her.
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by imacoa View Post
Not to mention, god forbid if someone saw me there (since EVERYONE in any form of recovery knows my father) I felt like what little I did share I had to censor to protect him.
This is one that happens a lot -- the other one is "It's a small town, so if I went to Al-Anon, I'd probably run into someone I know... and we couldn't have that!"

Here's the thing: If you ran into someone you know, that would be great, because there would finally be someone who could put 2 and 2 together. For me, occasionally my worlds collide -- although usually it's that I run into someone from a meeting when I'm out somewhere else -- but it's always a relief, because it shows that at least a few of the people "out there" understand what we're going through....

T
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:28 AM
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thanks for the replies.
Something I've questioned is, when I look at the description of an ACOA, I'm like, "yep, that's me" I understand that those are things I don't like about myself or traits I instinctively use, but EX> when does trying not o be a control freak become failure to be a leader?

Interesting thing I've begun to notice lately is how much I hear my parents (more my mother) voice in my head labeling and judging me. Weirdest times too, ike I think to myself "I'm going to go for a walk" then suddenly I hear in my head "you don't wanna do that." In the beginning I would do the opposite of whatever the voice said, and now lately I have been feeling very tired and almost "giving in."
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:11 PM
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I've always been too scared to be a leader, so I can't answer that question. I'm still trying to squash the voice in my head that tells me I'm a failure and will never amount to anything. I know better, but I still can't get past it. My husband has such a wonderful view of me and my supposed talents. If only I could wear the same glasses. This is why I'm still in therapy and still going to Al-Anon. If I don't at least do one or the other during the week, I get all squirrely and it drives my family bonkers.
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