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Introducing myself...

Old 05-20-2005, 12:49 PM
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Introducing myself...

I realize I have not done enough soul searching or looking inward for what makes me tick.

I will write a breif life history, not to bore you all but to purge and "come clean".
I was raised in an alcoholic and severely abusive household. My parents marraige ended when I was 6-7, and my abusive alcoholic father left the family and area for a while to punish my mother. I witnessed his trying to kill her numerous times and we actually became accustomed to his bizzarre rampages and would at times laugh while he was gone about some of the things he would do. He hit all of us. When he left my mother would hit us, she did not drink daily but was the ocassional binge drinker. I have helped her vomit and clean up when I was a teenager. Needless to say, me and my siblings learned to drink early, smoke early and dabble in drug use. Luckily, we no longer smoke or use drugs, my brother seems to not have a drinking problem but my sister and I do. She won't admit it. I have been admitting it for years. I can slow down, goes days without drinking, even months and throughout pregnancies and nursing. Lately, this past month though I have been indulging in atleast 4 glasses of wine per night. I don't crave it, I just do it. I am soul searching that one.
I knew nothing about ptsd while growing up but realize surely that there has to be lingering effects of an abusive childhood.
My father left the area for close to a year, we were financially very badly off. My father accused my mother of infidelities, she still insists it didn't happen during the marriage however, she did date one man after the divorce that he accused her of seeing, and then she was involved in an affair for 23 years, until that man past away. They shared an apt together, my siblings and I were often left unattended, I was the youngest 7-8 when they got the apt. I then had to ask for her to bring us home food etc.
I also started babysitting very young, and some of these people would actually pay me in joints, I started smoking pot at 10 and then drinking at 15. I have always drank. I would like to experience life without it now.
I lived with a guy at 16, then again at 19 then married at 22. Lost twins at 24 and then had two babies 15 months apart, on of those pregnancies were twins, called disappearing twin syndrome. Then another two years later, then another and another. So, 1987,89,91,95 and 2001. Will be celebrating 20 years of marriage this year and yes, all my children are from the same man!

I know loosing the twins was a trauma that I was not treated for, I know my childhood was a trauma that I was not treated for. I was also in an airplane with my two oldest children when we were in a tornado warning and I now know I developed pstd because of that. Just thinking about flying after that made me break out in a sweat. I started having thoughts of death and then developed panic disorder but didn't realize what that was until after my 5th pregnancy when I developed post partum hyperthyroidism. That disorder made the panic truly severe. I was told everything was all in my head for about 6 months and thought I would go mad. I was so lucking to find an endochronologist that KNEW that I wasn't loosing my mind and was put on xanax until the postpartum phase ended.

Two years ago, I found out my husband was having an affair. All the symptoms of the panic came back. I couldn't sleep, wasn't eating, felt sideways- off balance, out of body and insecure that there would be a tomorrow. He started having very expensive cases of wine sent to the house. I don't think he did this conciously but I thought he did it as a way to get me HOME. So, I wouldn't leave him. I don't drink during the day. I am very active but think that I could be so much healthier and physically fit with less alcohol consumption. He is more than an enabler, he often opens wine and brings me a glass. I have had very frank talks with him about this and do not think that he is being malicious, I truly think he loves me and thinks, it is just a little problem, a controlable problem. He has an eating disorder, I felt guilty making chocolate chip cookies the other day, but I know he hides food and doesn't eat his hgihest calorie food in our home.

Now, here's the issue.
We are truly eachothers life partners. We are in a place in life now that we both KNOW we can depend on eachother. This is how our relationship should have been so long ago.
I have finally addressed the ptsd by getting on a plane and flying with my entire family- I did take a xanax but I got on the plane. I have face down and lived through the repeatative thoughts, I am no longer obsessed about the woman he cheated with. I feel really good. I feel really loved. I see the faces of my children and knwo they also feel the harmony and appreciate it.
I guess I am looking for a way to treat the remaining symptoms of ptsd and the drinking at the same time. Can I just do it? Is reaching out here enough.

I have told numerous Drs. that I over drink and they all poo-poo it. They all say I have taken the big step by bringing it out in the open. It didn't feel like a big step to me. I don't think I use alcohol as a crutch, I don't "protect it", I think now it is just a way of life- it has just always been around.

My father did come back into my life but 4 years ago he started drinking heavily again and he became verbally abusive so I ended all contact.

My oldest daughter is almost 18 and has never drank and says she won't as does my oldest son. They see alcoholism, as both thier grandfathers are alcoholics, and I would have to label myself that even if I don't have physical addiction to it, I cartainly have an emotional addiction to it. My husbands father is a functional alcoholic, he was also in the fields of Vietnam, but he is a mans man type and I know he is treating the ptsd from that war with alcohol. I don't want any of my children to have this struggle or the self loathing that it can bring with it. I want to take control and seek out help.
I want my family and myself to benefit more from my bettering myself. I know I can't love my husband to have him loose weight, although I have tried!! But, I am hoping that he too may benefit by my seeking out help.
Does anyone have any ideas?
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Old 05-21-2005, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jaxees
I have finally addressed the ptsd by getting on a plane and flying with my entire family- I did take a xanax but I got on the plane. I have face down and lived through the repeatative thoughts, I am no longer obsessed about the woman he cheated with. I feel really good. I feel really loved. I see the faces of my children and knwo they also feel the harmony and appreciate it.

I guess I am looking for a way to treat the remaining symptoms of ptsd and the drinking at the same time.

Can I just do it?

Is reaching out here enough.
First off....welcome to the forum.

You have definately been through a lot and you are a survivor, that is the first thing to acknowledge. It sounds like you have started on the road to recovery, but I think you still have a bit farther to travel. Because you have had multiple instances of trauma, you will probably need to address them seperately (since they involve different aspects of your life). If you still have a drinking problem, I strongly suggest taking care of that FIRST. Alcohol (and substances in general), can complicate PTSD recovery 10x, because you need a clear mind (and body) to work through your PTSD. Self medication is incredibly common for PTSD survivors, but it is a damning cycle because you numb yourself from the trauma, but also from the recovery.

People approaching their drinking problems differently, but I would suggest a 12-step program. There is a great forum on SR for AA . I think you need to jump into a program and commit yourself to sobriety.

Tackling your remaining PTSD issues is next. They have local support groups (depending on the trauma). Also, seeing a therapist one on one can be effective. There are options through your healthcare coverage, or through a community mental health center. It sounds like you have made some strides to get past your trauma, but I believe you will still have some work to do. Working with a professional can help sort out some of the underlying issues, and then from there you can choose to continue with them or transition over to a support group.

I hope these suggestions help. Please don't be a stranger, and spend some time surfing the different forums in SR. There is a lot of great information here, and even greater people.

-pedagogue
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Old 05-21-2005, 05:32 PM
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Hi and welcome to SR
Just getting your feelings out and into type can be very helpful...
Have you though about quitting alcohol, maybe getting some support from a group... like AA, there are others available, the main thing is to have the "Face to Face" support of others who are walking the same path and have the same experiences.

Also... for the PTSD
I used
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy and had very good results.
here is a website that has more information

http://www.emdr.com/

You have alot going for you and you are not alone in desiring a healthier and happier way of life, that is why we are here... to get well together.
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Old 05-21-2005, 07:30 PM
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Thanks for the responses. I realize now from reading the boards that many of the people with drinking problems also have ptsd. That is why I posted here first but have since posted elsewhere also. (with little response but I don't know yet which boards are most active)
I am not drinking right now. I had a couple of glasses of wine Wednesday night. Didn't feel good about it Thursday and found this sight Friday.
My problem now with drinking, besides that I do it even when I don't 'crave' it or even think about it. It is just a way of life. I don't have any reprecussions so to speak other than the self loathing that has also been a way of life for as long as I can remember because of the abusive childhood. Remarkably, my household is very loving. We have had ups and downs and maybe because there was been such a LONG UP I am waiting for the disaster. Or, maybe because there has been such a long up I am ready to face the reality of my drinking habits.
I have to say there were some calculated decesions in my life, like choosing my husband. I choose a husband that would not drink heavily like I did/do. he can take it or leave it and will help me when I ask that we not have alcohol in the house for a while but he will also bring it home whenever I ask also. I know I can manipulate that FAR too easily. He loves me and wants me to have whatever I want. He grew up in a functionally alcholic household with a mother that could take it or levae it but also enables her father to drink. I often think that WAR like NAM has given some people a permission slip to go blurring when they want. Those are some experiences I would never have wanted to experience.
Anyhow, when I mention not drinking. He will be very supportive. Then, once in a while he may say, "is that practicle to think we/you can never drink again?"

Now, I know I have to ignore that to some extend, because I can manipulate that also as I want to. I can set the time limit and he will truly go with it. One week, two weeks...once as I said even 4 months, and then through out every pregnancy.
Strangely, I can picture writing all of this while sipping a glass of wine!!! ( I AM NOT)

Anyhow, I may copy paste this and put it on newbie board or alcoholism board-
I would also love to address the issue of hitting perimenopausal symptoms at the same time and wondering if they are the alcohol or my body changing!! That is another reason why I sought this out. I thought with some of the hot flashes- "Oh no, is that a withdrawl symptom?" Headgames mixed with ptsd, and cycle drinking, ready to howl at the moon-if a fun way, pms-which has gotten milder and onset of menopause!!! While at the same time feeling strangely better than ever before in my life.
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