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My Resentment

Old 10-03-2010, 03:30 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Hi Skipper!

I remember a reading in Courage to Change that described resentments as "premeditated expectations". I had to chew on that one for a while.

I believe it is true in my case. I can usually look back now over resentments and see that I had "expected certain things" to unfold as I thought best, and when they did not........I was consumed with resentment. Still am today.

The difference is now I am able to recognize the resentment building, and hopefully spend some time self examining to determine what the expectation was that triggered the resentment.

I hope you are able to find Alanon meetings in your area. I believe there are some online Alanon meetings too. One of our members has begun a Saturday night Alanon meeting in chat here at SR, look for Kassie2 or ask for more info.

Self-improvement books and counseling may be other options is you are not able to find another local meeting.
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:50 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Pelican

Originally Posted by Pelican View Post
Hi Skipper!

I remember a reading in Courage to Change that described resentments as "premeditated expectations". I had to chew on that one for a while.

I believe it is true in my case. I can usually look back now over resentments and see that I had "expected certain things" to unfold as I thought best, and when they did not........I was consumed with resentment. Still am today.

The difference is now I am able to recognize the resentment building, and hopefully spend some time self examining to determine what the expectation was that triggered the resentment.

I hope you are able to find Alanon meetings in your area. I believe there are some online Alanon meetings too. One of our members has begun a Saturday night Alanon meeting in chat here at SR, look for Kassie2 or ask for more info.

Self-improvement books and counseling may be other options is you are not able to find another local meeting.
I think this is my feeling today. As an ACoA, I've found that it's ok to be angry, and it doesn't own me. I'll get over this.

Part of the process, for me, is expressing it, getting it out, and then moving on to more positive experiences.

My only expectation is for myself, and I haven't let me down yet!!

Thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely seek them out. My motto is: Smart people utilize their resources. And I will.
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:08 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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ooh I love COURAGE TO CHANGE book....
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:25 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Please remember,
a lot of evidence points to the fact that these people are sick- have a disease- and are trying to recover. Al-a non would certainly be the best place to be.
I had two alcoholic parents, and I only wish they had found sobriety- that they had found a group to help them experience life sober again.
Alcohol messes with their brains, and remember too, that a lot of alcoholics have had many experiences that they do not wish to deal with. If they are sober, and laughing, good for them. With time, their thought processes may improve, and they may be able to face the pain they have caused others.
Imagine trying to cure a disease-their success hangs by a thread, and they need all the laughs they can get, I say. Some of the recovering alcoholics here at sr have given me the kindest advice of all- not always in favor of the a, but caring about those hurt by the alcoholic.

There are thoughtless folks everywhere- alcoholics and non- alcoholics.

I know how it is to be hurt by alcoholics. I wish I had been able to understand that they were sick, and powerless over their choices, and maybe i would not have resented it quite so much. it hurts much less now that i know that they were just very very sick.

I hope that you are able to find a good meeting, and to get over the pain eventually. You really have to express your feelings, and get the anger out. I am sure that you are very justified in feeling angry.

hugs,
chicory
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:42 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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If reveling in the AA thing, as you put it, is what keeps them from drinking, then who are you to say that it's not OK. We all do what we must and some people have different struggles that you would not understand.

I've been mulling this over. I was ranting last night, and figured I would be calm enough to agree with this after a good night's sleep. But I don't.

Sure, if someone is supporting himself financially, doesn't have loved ones depending on him, then sure, let him spend all his free time talking about himself and his addiction and his recovery and whatever else. Let him attend AA meetings every night. Let him do that for the rest of his life. It's less of a public nuisance than drinking.

But many of these same people will insist it's a "family disease;" therefore the spouse goes to Al-Anon, the kids go to Ala-Teen or whatever else. And beyond the family: neighbors are freaked out, the police waste time on him, his co-workers have to cover for him whenever he has the "flu" or has to take "medical leave."

So in that latter case? Six months. As far as I'm concerned he should get exactly six months of the detox, the frequent meetings, the coddling and the wallowing and the crying.

Then after six months and one day the whole family gets on with their lives. Life's too short for that nonsense.

If after six months the person still can't grasp the concept that their kids, their spouse, community are more important than their need to drink? Then they just need to row themselves out to an island with several cases of gin and drink themselves to death.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:53 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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(Nothing like a building up a good head of resentment and indignation to power you through a hard time. But don't worry, I'm not planning to start crashing AA groups and castigating the poor addicts. Except, you know, in my head.)
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:38 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Yes, I find it interesting that alcoholics like to point at us and declare us "sicker" than they are, yet where is the millions in funding for a "cure" for us? Where are the dozens of rehab centers in every city for us? Why can't I get paid time off work for my overwhelming stress from living with an insane drunk?

pfft
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:44 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Very good to talk this out, you wonderful, wonderful people. Most of the folks here are right, I have no business being in yet another open AA meeting, since I've attended them most of my life. I'm really tired of the same old story that I did not cause, that I cannot control, and that I would not even attempt to cure, ever.

I won't make that stupid mistake again. And I won't beat myself up over making it. It wasn't something I could've predicted.

I'm glad my RABF is not drinking today! Good for him, now let's get onto the business of living. He can come with me, hand in hand, in life and enjoying it, or not. His choice. My choice is that he can sure do that, and I'd be happy, but I'd sure be happy anyway.

I made some serious big steps in the future of my career today and in my community involvement. I'm diving in, and I'm pretty excited.

I'm not angry anymore about last Friday, heck, that was then, this is now. But I sure won't put myself in that situation again.

You are all very good hearted people. Thank you.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:05 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by akrasia View Post
If reveling in the AA thing, as you put it, is what keeps them from drinking, then who are you to say that it's not OK. We all do what we must and some people have different struggles that you would not understand.

I've been mulling this over. I was ranting last night, and figured I would be calm enough to agree with this after a good night's sleep. But I don't.

Sure, if someone is supporting himself financially, doesn't have loved ones depending on him, then sure, let him spend all his free time talking about himself and his addiction and his recovery and whatever else. Let him attend AA meetings every night. Let him do that for the rest of his life. It's less of a public nuisance than drinking.

But many of these same people will insist it's a "family disease;" therefore the spouse goes to Al-Anon, the kids go to Ala-Teen or whatever else. And beyond the family: neighbors are freaked out, the police waste time on him, his co-workers have to cover for him whenever he has the "flu" or has to take "medical leave."

So in that latter case? Six months. As far as I'm concerned he should get exactly six months of the detox, the frequent meetings, the coddling and the wallowing and the crying.

Then after six months and one day the whole family gets on with their lives. Life's too short for that nonsense.

If after six months the person still can't grasp the concept that their kids, their spouse, community are more important than their need to drink? Then they just need to row themselves out to an island with several cases of gin and drink themselves to death.
In your perfect little world, that may be how things work out, but this is not your pefect little world and things do not always work out so easily.

You mention why should the whole family be involved. Well one quick explanation would be, the whole family was involved and had to witness the destruction and suffer through the alcoholism, so why not make everyone apart of the recovery.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:44 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Pelican View Post
Hi Skipper!

I remember a reading in Courage to Change that described resentments as "premeditated expectations". I had to chew on that one for a while.

I believe it is true in my case. I can usually look back now over resentments and see that I had "expected certain things" to unfold as I thought best, and when they did not........I was consumed with resentment. Still am today.
This is exactly my problem. Then I'd try different, harder, more, longer, spin my wheels - and build up even more resentments. A decade later it was a mountain.

I no longer feel resentment towards my ex. I have let that go. I'm not at empathy and don't even feel like moving towards empathy. Alcoholics have their world and they can live in it and I have mine and I'll try with all my soul to keep them seperate. I have no desire to attend any open AA meetings. My friend told me I should change careers and go back to counseling (which is what I have my degree in) since I have some life experience now. Um, no. Me as an abuse counselor would not be a good thing.

Originally Posted by skippernlilg View Post
I made some serious big steps in the future of my career today and in my community involvement. I'm diving in, and I'm pretty excited.
Excellent news! Congratulations!!
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:41 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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You mention why should the whole family be involved. Well one quick explanation would be, the whole family was involved and had to witness the destruction and suffer through the alcoholism, so why not make everyone apart of the recovery.

Hahahahaha. You know what would also also help the family? If the root of their problems, i.e., alcoholic person, would either stop drinking or [redacted] off.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:40 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by akrasia View Post
You mention why should the whole family be involved. Well one quick explanation would be, the whole family was involved and had to witness the destruction and suffer through the alcoholism, so why not make everyone apart of the recovery.

Hahahahaha. You know what would also also help the family? If the root of their problems, i.e., alcoholic person, would either stop drinking or [redacted] off.
Akrasia,

You have every right to your bitterness, but do keep this in mind. Even after the alcoholic DOES stop drinking, everything doesn't just go back to hunky-dory. Heck, the alcoholic could drop dead and everything doesn't go back to hunky-dory. The healing starts (for everybody--the alcoholic and the family) when the drinking stops.

And however self-indulgent you may feel that AA meetings are, the program is a lifelong one if there is to be lifelong sobriety.

You still have the same choices you always have had--to live with "it" or not. There are more than a few marriages that break up after sobriety.

Acceptance of the situation is critical, I think. However angry you are that you are in this position, you are here now. Ultimately you will have to make your peace with the recovery process, or you will have to leave. The only other choice is to stay and be miserable.

It is what it is. None of the options are easy. Only you can decide what's healthiest for YOU.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:09 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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I agree that if AA works for the alcoholic and keeps them sober and mentally healthy and growing then more power to them! Rah Rah! I am all for mental health in any living creature and a big supporter of AA.

But the OP wasn't posting about that. She was posting about her resentment - and that is a very common boogeyman to come up against at some point if we have loved an alcoholic. (I am sure A's at times resent having to deal with their problems too!)

Defending an A's need to go to AA misses the point.

I think struggling with resentment is a stage in our recovery from codependence. My resentments came and went, it was like I was at their mercy, until I focused on them and found that I could actively let them go.

But it took several months - maybe even years, of experiencing this resentment: having grown up w/ an A father and now having 3 A bros, whom I adore, going down the tubes w/ the drinking, I was very angry that I had to deal with this stuff. How unfair and painful that at odd moments in my (should have been!) free and struggling life I would be overwhelmed with sadness, or bad habits of mind, all related to my childhood and their drinking!

AlAnon definitely helped me with this stuff - but yes sometimes I even resented having to go to AlAnon to get better! Therapy also helped a lot too.

Eventually (and I am 20 years into exploring this stuff) I came to appreciate how what I've had to learn from these experiences has made me a stronger, more compassionate, less judgemental person. But I still can totally relate to that feeling of resenting how huge a problem alcoholism is for me and my family, how infectious its noxious tendrils are, and how much saner and safer my childhood would have been without the A dad!!!

skipper it sounds like you are making good progress. Expressions of negative feelings are not a sign that we are not progressing! I found it most important to reconnect with my true feelings (neg or pos) - I had been so trained in denial and numbing by my upbringing that I had to re-train myself to allow for the big negative feelings - they are just feelings after all - they do not have to dictate how I choose to behave or react or plan my life.

Peace-
B
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:29 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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I totally relate to this thread - and I'm a double winner. Adult child - late bloomer when it came to my own drinking problem - and I've been sober more than five years.

I was in a one year relationship with an alcoholic before I started going to al-anon and had to taper way down on my AA meetings for months because I couldn't stand to be around alcoholics.

For years my family tiptoed around my Mother's disease - and all my feelings about that erupted like a stream of boiling lava after I finally dated another alcoholic. I don't know if it's a cop-out (I've struggled with this) but I have been a codependent since childhood and even when I was drinking too much, I lived alone, wasn't in a relationship and mostly drank in the evenings at home, by myself. I didn't have anyone to pick up the pieces or scrape my life together for me, or pay my bills. And I probably got off before the ground floor because of it.

My al-anon sponsor has a husband who has never worked. Not ever. For 13 years of their relationship he drank - and since then AA has been his full-time job. I really love her but I just cannot be around him. He's like a manic street preacher - and starts lecturing program as soon as there's any kind of gap in conversation. It makes me so angry that I almost need to peel myself off the ceiling. I want to scream "there are other people in the room, too."

There are many levels of recovery in the average meeting of both programs. I'm glad that I'm sober - and I'm glad that I found alanon. Having a resentment against alcoholics when you are one is really rough, believe me. And I feel it from both sides. When does this ^&** end. Who ever "wins"? The answer is nobody. For me, AA was useful in getting sober so I could "meet" myself again. Alanon is absolutely essential so that I can learn some of the life and self-care skills I should have picked up while I was too busy mopping up after an alcoholic parent and pretending that was just fine with me.

Hugs,

SL.
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:48 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by skippernlilg View Post
Akrasia,

I think you and I are in a similar spot. I know I didn't cause it, I know I can't control it, and I certainly know I can't cure it. And I don't ignore the pink elephant in the room. There it is, huge, pink elephant. I will not apologize for it or the way I feel. It belongs in the circus, not my home.

I told my mother, Queen Codie, the story of the open AA meeting, and she replied, "Well, I found Al-anon very helpful because I had to live with it for so long..." Really? Do you think she had to live with it for so long? She said I needed empathy! Really? Empathy.

How about I just raise my son with all the great things life has to offer with faith, belief, principles, the common good, helping our neighbor, stand up for what's right, have compassion for people, and all those things? How about I teach him how to handle life himself without doing everything for him? Let him fly! How about that?!
I totally agree with you. I think going to AA meetings becomes just another addiction for some. While it's suppose to help you help yourself it looks to me just downright depressing hearing the same stories over and over. I believe once you get yourself sober, you need to move on with life. It seems like life just stops at the door of AA meetings and never moves on past that.

You're right to want to move on and enjoy life with your child. And you should do that. Do whatever makes YOU happy. It's your life. Enjoy it. Don't let someone else's addiction drag you down along with them.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:04 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by stilllearning View Post
I totally relate to this thread - and I'm a double winner. Adult child - late bloomer when it came to my own drinking problem - and I've been sober more than five years.


My al-anon sponsor has a husband who has never worked. Not ever. For 13 years of their relationship he drank - and since then AA has been his full-time job. I really love her but I just cannot be around him. He's like a manic street preacher - and starts lecturing program as soon as there's any kind of gap in conversation. It makes me so angry that I almost need to peel myself off the ceiling. I want to scream "there are other people in the room, too."

There are many levels of recovery in the average meeting of both programs. I'm glad that I'm sober - and I'm glad that I found alanon. Having a resentment against alcoholics when you are one is really rough, believe me. And I feel it from both sides. When does this ^&** end. Who ever "wins"? The answer is nobody. For me, AA was useful in getting sober so I could "meet" myself again. Alanon is absolutely essential so that I can learn some of the life and self-care skills I should have picked up while I was too busy mopping up after an alcoholic parent and pretending that was just fine with me.

Hugs,

SL.
Another double winner here, I've never heard anyone else explain the resentment I have against alcoholics. Thanks.

The non-working BB thumper would make me crazy as well.

For me, HP seems to have taken care of my drinking problem, even though I was "sentenced" to AA and attended for a couple of years, it was never comfortable for me. Drinking again is a non-issue for me, and for that I'm grateful, but that had nothing to do with AA. I quit over a year before a judge insisted I attend.

I was also "sentenced" to Alanon and still attend 4+ years later, neither judge cares at this point. But my emotional "sobriety", which gets addressed in Alanon, is by far more necessary to my well being at this time.

Maybe I wasn't comfortable in AA because of my resentment/annoyance towards other alcoholics. IDK, interesting.

Good thread.

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:12 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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I have mixed emotions when I go to AA.
It reminds of the life I walked away from but then it keeps me reminded of the life I never want to go back to.
There are many good, strong, able bodies and willing people in AA and those are the ones you need to focus on. The ones who show up to pay lip service and declare they are working a program are the ones you need to avoid.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:19 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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"The non-working BB thumper would make me crazy as well."

Yup. It has been a very, very tricky situation, Coyote. At times, he has tried to serve as my other sponsor (I dip in and out of AA now) and I also started feeling pressure to up my AA meetings from my al-anon sponsor - who still attends more meetings of AA than al-anon with the bible thumper.

I had all kinds of problems - and had to really check myself. Was I a "typical" drunk who wasn't willing to work a program? Was I behaving like a dry drunk? I came up with no. I had reached a crisis point because all my adult child behaviors had gone into overdrive. I had reached a crisis point because I had spent a year with an active alcoholic. It was time to get into al-anon - and I really wish I had found it sooner.

Re: the thumper - it's very, very hard to take someone who has been sober for less time than I have telling me the finer points of the AA program when I'm now trying to step back and really look at the effects that alcoholism had on me as a child.

As for AA meetings - some are great. The step and topic meetings that are about how to live well can be fantastic. But that's hit and miss - and i feel, now, like that's what I always get in my al-anon meetings.

One of the old timers from my favorite al-anon meeting recently told me that he uses the program as mental floss so that he can live a big, full life that runs smoothly. He's not "coming back" after all these years so that the program can be his whole life - but so that he can have a "whole" life, thanks to the principles he keeps getting better at using.

I love that. That's what I want. And those are the kinds of people I've started to gravitate to in and out of the program. People with a sense of balance.

This is a great thread.

SL.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:29 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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I think it all comes down to whether we think alcoholism is disease or not.
Before I trully understood it is disease, I used to think all kind of things, and I was so resentful. BUt once I truly understood in my heart that alcoholism is a terrible disease I was able to let go of my resentment. It didn't take away the pain, though, as I still feel it, but I also feel the empathy. Do I chose to live with an A or not is a completely different subject. It is my own choice to decide what I want in my life, but it doens't remove the empathy I feel for A people. To be honest, I think their struggle is worse than mine, as I do have a choice and they don't so much or at least it is much harder.

I think at the end of the day, we are all just people, different people, what is simple for you can be hard for me and vise versa, and we all struggle. I'm an ACOA too, and I've been struggling with resentment for years too, I think the way to get over it is to understand alcoholism is a disease, to take the reality for what it is, and to work on our expectations of ourselves and others.
Also I think anger and resentment can be good to get you to start moving, acting, but it can be dangerous if you stay stuck in it, as it is only working against you.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:19 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
Being Silent so I can Hear
 
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
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You might be right sesh, because to me alcoholism it not a disease. And if it is a disease, then co-dependency is also.
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