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I don't know if I am in the right place?

Old 11-23-2010, 06:15 AM
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I don't know if I am in the right place?

I read the stickies, and have gotten confused. And it said if you were not sure to just post and ask for direction.

My father was an alcoholic growing up. He worked out of town most of the time, but when he was home he was cold, never talked to me, and when he did was mean. We had little to no interaction or relationship growing up. My mother who I realize now was co-dependent. She tried to overcompensate and make up for my dad being that way. Also my mother grew up with a raging alcoholic father.

Fast forward and I am an adult now. My father never attended AA but stoped drinking for over 12 years and is a totally different person. We have a healthy normal relationship. My mother however, I feel is a very toxic person. She does not drink and never has. However she fits all the signs of codependcy, even though nobody is drinking.

My mother has seen a counslor for years who to this day tells her she needs to go to Alanon (which she never does). I am at a loss right now because I feel like I may be codependent towards my mother also? I don't know if that makes sense that there are 2 codependent people codependent on each other and neither is drinking?

The reason I feel that, is that my mother is emotionally unstable. She focuses on other people's problems and get wrapped up into other peoples lives. Then she calls me and my sister 10 times a day to talk about it or complain about things and tries to take it out on us or get us involved. If we don't answer her calls or try to ignore it she gets worse. She then verbally abuses us and says we think we are too important to talk to her. Or she tries to throw in my face how she thinks I am superior because I have a good position and career at work. Then she tries to create non-exisistent problems between me and my sister and tries to guilt me that I am not close enough with my sister. I am getting married and she has no boundaries and tries to interfior in my and my fiancee's relationship. She told me I shouldn't marry him because I will be alone like her. Because sometimes we do seperate activities he goes hunting with the guys and I go have beach days with the girls, but we also have a ton of activities we do together. Everytime the phone rings I don't know what to expect, it's an emotional rollercoaster. It's gotten to the point where I am constantly angry but won't confront her on it because it makes her act worse. And now its gotten to a point where its creating major problems. When she calls or shows up in one of her "moods" I get upset and then after that my day is wrecked and sometimes I take it out on my future husband. I feel like she drains all the energy out of me.

I don't know if I am in the wrong place? If I am, please direct me where to go. Or if I any of this makes sense to anyone, because it dosen't really make sense to me, but I know this isn't right.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:36 AM
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Hi idreamblue

Yes, you are completely in the right place and welcome to SR.

My FIL was an alcoholic (died this year), my husband is an alcoholic and so are both of his siblings. The worse one of all though is my MIL who is not an alcoholic but completely toxic, so I understand where you are coming from.

My AH and I haven't spoken to MIL for 20 years and boy is it peaceful without her! Not so easy for you as its your mother but you can definitely make things easy for yourself by setting boundaries. This can take some 'getting your head around' and a good place to start would be for you to go to Al-anon for yourself, to learn about the disease, who it effects, and what you can do to protect yourself. Its great that your dad has found sobriety and maintained and I am sorry that your mother was never able to recover herself.

I heard the other day that for every alcoholic there is generally about 7 other people who it effects. These days I do have some empathy for my MIL, living with an AH couldn't have been easy for her but both my AH and I have no desire to get involved with that personality again.

My psychotherapist once said that he dislikes it when we keep toxic people in our lives because they are 'family'. He said that we should seek out people who are loving, kind, caring, thoughtful, genuine, etc, etc. Why waste your life with people who aren't at least some of these things. I know this is a bit harsh but there is some truth in it and once you are able to set up some boundaries to protect yourself, you will feel much more powerful when dealing with your mum.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:48 AM
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Hey idreamblue!!

You are in the right place!! You will find lots of support here. I am a newbie myself, so I totally relate to the feelings of confusion regarding alcoholism and how it affects our lives. There are many wonderful and wise folks on this forum- their advice and suggestions are invaluable! They will be along, in the meantime cruise around this forum and just read as much as you can!

I hope you are having a great day!

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Old 11-23-2010, 06:50 AM
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Thanks for your repsonse. I have some understanding of how alcholics effect families because we all went to counseling to deal with my father growing up. My mother used to constantly accuse me of being an alcoholic because me and my friends would meet up for karoke every three months and it happened to be a bar. Her counslor told her she needed to stop because it was untrue. My sister who is over 5 years younger then me goes to the bar at least 3 times a week and she thinks that's great because she is out being social. She lives her life through my younger sister who in her eyes does no wrong, and is totally in her business and tells her how to live her life. And my sister lets her, and that's why I think my mom thinks it's o.k. that she does that.

I feel like I am the parent and she is the child. I have to correct her to tell her to that some things she encourages my sister to do is wrong. She supports my sister meeting total strangers at a bar, quiting jobs just because she dosen't get along with one person, not paying her bills. And she turns on me when I don't want to get involved and wrapped up in those messes. However if it was me doing any of that she would kill me and I wouldn't hear the end of it. It makes no sense? She is absorbed into other people in my family who have dependcy and emotional issues. However with me she seems resentful and always tries to tear me down because I am sucessful, independent, and have a stable life.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:14 AM
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Are you in Al-Anon? Be smarter than mom.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:15 AM
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Your mother and mine share a lot of similar traits. My dad is the adult child of two alcoholics (deceased before I was ever born), and my mother is the untreated codependent with a long line of alcoholism on her side of the family too.

I am the alcoholic/addict who was the first on both sides of the family to break the chain, and I've been clean/sober 20 years now.

Neither of my parents have ever sought any healing from the effects of the alcoholism.

I have one sibling, a brother who is 6 years younger, and he is the golden child, the one who can do no wrong.

My mother hinges her reality off of everyone else.

She says she never gets angry, just upset. There is a lot of anger simmering under the surface, and she has on occasion vomited her anger all over me much like you described with your mother.

I've had to put boundaries in place and stick to them. I don't care if she gets angry. She'll get over it or not!

There have been times my parents got so toxic, I literally had to cut off all contact with them for an extended period.

I would heartily suggest Alanon for you, to give you face-to-face support with this dynamic. "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie is an excellent starter book. I've also done therapy off and on over the years to work out these issues with family of origin.

I'm glad you found us, and please keep posting, okay?
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:25 AM
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sounds like your mom may be a little resentful because you DO have a healthy relationshihp with your other half...maybe something she never had??

my dad was an A but he left home when i was very young and didn't turn back. i know it sounds mean but somtimes i glad he didn't. but i'm happy you have something good with your dad now.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Freedom1990 View Post
I would heartily suggest Alanon for you, to give you face-to-face support with this dynamic. "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie is an excellent starter book.
This is such good advice. Be the change you want to see. I can see how my childhood was not perfect but my mom gave us a much better childhood then she had. My mom died when I was 21 so I do not have an adult relationship to refer to but she had her own issues. I am close to my aunt (her sister) and there are some similar traits to what you describe there and I am working hard at detaching from the feelings those things evoke, creating boundaries (unstated actually - but I just refuse to participate in conversations that cross my boundaries and I plan our visits much more carefully and they are more limited) etc. I want to be the change. I want my kids to have a better childhood then I had (so I need to set examples of boundaries and how I deal with others etc.). I might not have been to successful up to this point but I'm determined to be more successful from here on out.

We can change this cycle but we have to do it by working to changing ourselves, not others.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:52 AM
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idreamblue, it definitely sounds to me that your mother is a codependent.

The basic emotional symptoms of Codependents involve fixing or controlling others through overt or covert threats instead of facing internal pain, and failing to recognize the disease in oneself. They have an intense need to feel needed by others in order to establish a relationship with them. Feeling that they know better how to take care of others than they know how to care for themselves. They are afraid to allow other people to be unique and independent individuals and to let events unfold naturally and spontaneously. They are "experts" in knowing best how things should turn out and how people should behave. They become resentful when not allowed to help others. They feel agitated and unhappy about others pain or struggle. They put aside their own hobbies and interests in favor of the hobbies and interests of others. Their world is rigid and inflexible, and they take comfort in routine.

I am a codependent and am in therapy trying to work out some of my problems and issues. One of the most thought provoking comments my therapist told me is that I am just addicted to my AH as my AH is addicted to alcohol. I had a hard time placing my finger on the reason why I couldn't move on with the rest of my life, and felt stuck.

****************************************** ******************

The higher our expectations, the lower our serenity. Try to keep your boundaries high, your expectations low, and your heart open.

Willingness comes from the pain, the healing comes from the steps.

Step 1. Surrender
Step 2. Sanity
Step 3. Serenity

There is a difference between “relief” and “recovery”.

Steps 1-3 bring relief
Steps 4-9 bring recovery..
Steps 10-12 maintain it…

Steps 6 & 7:

Step 6 Be willing, Be ready and let God do the work

Step 7 Humbly ask (acknowledge who you are in relation to God)

Al-Anon is program that is meant to be worked with another and with God.

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Old 11-23-2010, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Phoenixthebird View Post
The basic emotional symptoms of Codependents involve fixing or controlling others through overt or covert threats instead of facing internal pain, and failing to recognize the disease in oneself. They have an intense need to feel needed by others in order to establish a relationship with them. Feeling that they know better how to take care of others than they know how to care for themselves. They are afraid to allow other people to be unique and independent individuals and to let events unfold naturally and spontaneously. They are "experts" in knowing best how things should turn out and how people should behave. They become resentful when not allowed to help others. They feel agitated and unhappy about others pain or struggle. They put aside their own hobbies and interests in favor of the hobbies and interests of others. Their world is rigid and inflexible, and they take comfort in routine.
I started to highlight and see now that it was rather pointless as I highlighted the whole darn thing!

That is like looking in a mirror. How unpleasant and boy do I hate it when other Co-Dependents in my life go all codie on me :rotfxko

I should maybe read this in the morning so I make a mental effort to lead each and every day in a more healthy manor.

I may have blown a gasket before school this morning. I do not need to be so rigid. We will not explode if we are late to school one day. I do not need to hold on to my agitation (or even have agitation) that last night was an unexpected night out of the house because it was FUN for one thing. If I lesson my agitation and discomfort I will have the patience to answer my anxious son's questions about his hair being flat and looking nice 427 times before school without losing my cool - which results in him losing his cool.........
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:10 AM
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Wow I just stumbbled upon this message board by google of codependence. I feel such relief that there are people out there that have similar circumstances and understand me. My fiancee says just don't talk to her, but he doesen't understand that it's not that easy, and the end all soloution. I was at my whit's end last night. Today is pretty rough, my mom already called me four times with anger, anger, extreme happiness, and last call anger and hung up the phone on me because I couldn't meet her until tommorow instead of today. Thank you for suggesting that book, I am going to start there. Can anyone lead me to a direction that gives me information on boundries, and setting them? Or is that in the book suggested? No I do not go to Alanon. Is that something that I should go to even though my mom is not an alcoholic?
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Phoenixthebird View Post
: They put aside their own hobbies and interests in favor of the hobbies and interests of others. *
I have so many hobbies. And I have tried unsucessfully to get my mom involved in some I did thinking that would help her occupy her time better. I tried to get her into knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, sewing, painting, puzzles, etc. just a few She seems to have an excuse on why not to try it or not to like it. However I believe she also adult ADD too.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:16 AM
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I think you find find al-anon to be a good place.

Your mom is spewing on you and creating chaos...gee, that is alot like what alcoholics do.

I can't deal with that kind of stress and drama!
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:19 AM
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YES. Go to Al-Anon...

Al-Anon is for you, not your mother. This board is for you, not your mother. If you want to be happy you will go to Al-Anon.

This is my trying to hammer into your head that you need to go to Al-Anon, at least six different meetings before you decide if you'll continue

If you do not want to be happy and you want nothing to change you will make up reasons or excuses not to go to Al-Anon. It will be easy. One of those reasons might be, why should you go when she is the one with the problem?

Go anyway. Here, I'll help:

How to find a meeting in the US/Canada/Puerto Rico

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Originally Posted by idreamblue View Post
Wow I just stumbbled upon this message board by google of codependence. I feel such relief that there are people out there that have similar circumstances and understand me. My fiancee says just don't talk to her, but he doesen't understand that it's not that easy, and the end all soloution. I was at my whit's end last night. Today is pretty rough, my mom already called me four times with anger, anger, extreme happiness, and last call anger and hung up the phone on me because I couldn't meet her until tommorow instead of today. Thank you for suggesting that book, I am going to start there. Can anyone lead me to a direction that gives me information on boundries, and setting them? Or is that in the book suggested? No I do not go to Alanon. Is that something that I should go to even though my mom is not an alcoholic?
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:31 AM
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Al-anon would probably be helpful, yes. Can't hurt and it is free

Your husband might have a point. You don't need to talk to anyone that is angry - much less four times in a row. You could create a boundary around angry phone calls. For example (and you don't have to use this specifically I'm just making it up)...

I am stressed and unhappy when I get phone calls full of anger. If mom calls me in anger, I will politely end the conversation by letting her know I'll talk to her tomorrow when she is less angry. Then don't pick up the phone and talk to her again until tomorrow. Repeat tomorrow if necessary. She'll be angry! and then even more angry! because if a little anger doesn't work, maybe a lot will, but eventually she'll stop calling you in anger.

Here is another idea and one I use....

I had to do some work to determine what my boundaries are within a few relationships and then if said person is crossing a boundary (with her anger, 'advice', addressing issues that aren't her business etc., lecturing -ugh) I will just not respond. I will refuse to engage in boundary crossing conversations. Utter silence until I either think of an excuse to hang up/walk way, tell her I am not talking about this (I need to do this more - I am trying hard to be more assertive), or she changes the topic. If I open my mouth I have a hard time not trying to reason or explain etc until we are very entangled in the conversation so the utter silence method is safer for me right now! I think she actually enjoys the entangled conversations but they are quite damaging for me so I can no longer go there.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:43 AM
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great post Thumper!
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by idreamblue View Post
No I do not go to Alanon. Is that something that I should go to even though my mom is not an alcoholic?
Your dad is an alcoholic (albeit sober), you are a daughter of an alcoholic and you have a mum who is suffering the effects of having lived with an active alcoholic, so of course Al-anon is for you.

No matter what relationship you have with an alcoholic, whether they are still drinking or not, all who have been affected by someone else’s drinking can find solutions that lead to serenity in the Al-Anon/Alateen fellowship. Copied from an Al-anon website.

Also your fiancee has some wisdom with his words 'just dont talk to her'. It is easier for someone relatively outside of the family circle to come up with a simple solution because they are not quite so entagled in the mess but it is definitely something you could/should try for your own serenity. Maybe reading the 'codependant no more' book will be a good place to start.

This is the start of some 'YOU' time, putting the focus on you and how you feel and I am excited for you about that.
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:42 PM
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I am looking at al-anon meetings in my area. I know open is open to anyone. What does it mean when it says closed?
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:51 PM
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You probably are in the right place. All I will caution though is it could be just who your mom is. Do you know much about her upbringing? Has she always been like this? I ask because yes learning about codependency is important due to your dad's history but your mom sounds like my mom in lots of ways and we didn't have alcholism as an issue. Did have a domineering father though. But for my mom it was this fear that we'd leave her, just as she left her family and never was there for them. It was like she was atoning her guilt through our lives. Something about my mom's upbringing made her gravitate towards my domineering dad and then be codependent etc etc. That is what I'm trying to suggest. There is always more to the story
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:52 PM
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Closed meetings are for members or prospective members. Most Alanon meetings are closed. This is what I have just read on their website. I assume open meetings mean anyone can attend and not necessarily someone who has had problems with alcohol perhaps someone else can clarify.

You are a prospective member, so definitely included.

Hopefully you will find Al-anon of some benefit to you. Go to a few meetings and a few different places too if you can. Sometimes one clicks more than another with different people etc. I try to get to two meetings and one is definitely my favourite just because of the people who attend regulary and the wisdom shared. You have to be a bit open too as meetings can take some getting used to.
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