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I am confused about some behavior of alcoholics....

Old 01-18-2011, 07:31 PM
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I am confused about some behavior of alcoholics....

Hi. I am 37 and working to feel better after being raised by an alcoholic. I recently read a book about ACOA's and it seemed that many were, like myself, yelled at and berated constantly, sometimes for hours on end. Why do so many do that? At first i was thinking maybe many of them have personality disorders or mental disease such as depression and that's why they do it and their drinking is the self medicating part, but not sure that's it since sooooo many behave like this (or maybe they don't and my qualifier is just a particularly nasty person?)

What is the connection between drinking and then drunk or sober yelling at the people you live with for hours on end about how horrible they are? This is confusing me. I get the invalidating part, i get the shame cycle (which could contribute to some of the anger) by why are they so darn mean and hateful? I am very confused. They seem almost borderline personality disorder in behavior (not saying they are borderline, just that that is what their behavior is often like)

thanks.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:42 PM
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Hmmmm. I don't really have enough information on your situation but my first answer would be they build a lot of resentment towards you. An active alcoholic doesn't process things like we do - if you say the wrong thing or do something they don't like, they let it build and fester and create a lot of resentment. Or they are very focused on someone else so that they don't have to focus on themselves. Or they just like to fight and create drama so they have reasons to drink.

It's hard to make sense of crazy - but so far these are the things I have learned here.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:49 PM
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I just figure he's a grade A jerk who gets off on being mean.

And yes on the resentment. Unfortunately I've learned not to say things even if I want too, because I may not hear about it that day, or even at any time over the next month, but I WILL hear about it. I'm still hearing about things that happened, about things I said, over 10 years ago.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:51 PM
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Hello hopingforlife,

It might be best not to try to figure it out right now.
It took me many years to learn and actually absorb the knowledge that my father's alcoholic rages had nothing to do with me.
Absolutely nothing.
He would line us up (all four of us) and question us like prisoners of war. My youngest brother was about 6 years old.
What could he do to enrage my father? Why nothing of course.
It is not your fault, and it is only your problem until you realize it is not about you.
Horrible to be yelled at by a parent, scary, frightening, and uncalled for, but they do it anyway.
hopingforlife, (excellent name btw) get some counseling to let go of your childhood and figure out what you want out of life.

Beth
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by goldengirl3 View Post
Hmmmm. I don't really have enough information on your situation but my first answer would be they build a lot of resentment towards you. An active alcoholic doesn't process things like we do - if you say the wrong thing or do something they don't like, they let it build and fester and create a lot of resentment. Or they are very focused on someone else so that they don't have to focus on themselves. Or they just like to fight and create drama so they have reasons to drink.

It's hard to make sense of crazy - but so far these are the things I have learned here.
just a tiny bit of the situation, she would rant and rave (that i understand is common of the alcoholic, not sure why. Her rants were full of hate (you lazy piece of ----, you fat lazy (i was neither fat nor lazy), look what you've done!!! (um. picked up your kids from daycare, buy your coffee and pasty every morning before school, pick your kids up and babysit them and tuck them in at night? and at age 12! lol, yeah, really horrible person i was! (*sarcasm*).

I guess resentment makes sense, she can't admit it is she who ruined her life so she thinks children are baggage and did it? (She was constantly raving that she was "cooker, cleaner, bottle washer", so that kinda makes sense. But so many of them behave this way i think. Still, really bizarre. For example, many parents have to cook for their children, why would alcoholism lead them to believe it is terrible that they have to cook?

Is it brain rot maybe? what is *wrong* with these people? i get the disease part, but daaaaamn these people are freaky.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:59 PM
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It has nothing to do with reality.

While neither of my parents drank or did drugs, my mother was frequently yelling at all of us for random, stupid, pointless things. I learned later there in her case, there were two main causes:
My father was hardly ever home (he has problems saying "No" to people, so would work extra at work, but would never tell my mother he'd be home late) so she took her frustration out on us, when really she was frustrated that my father wasn't around to help her with things he'd committed to do.
My mother's mother was extremely old fashioned, objected to my mother going to school, refused to pay for any of her college (so my mother worked full time and went to school part time to get her degree), and she resented that we her children had "better opportunities" because she was helping pay for our college.

Neither of these were my fault. She decided to marry my father and not put her foot down (or call to make sure he was still coming home). She decided we were all going to college and she was helping to pay for it. Both were her decisions, but we were the targets of her frustration.

It doesn't really matter why they do what they do, because it's their problem, and their problem has no bearing in your reality.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:03 PM
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It doesn't really matter why they do what they do, because it's their problem, and their problem has no bearing in your reality.
Yeah, this is it. Ridiculous to blame a child for your problems.
Let go of this hopingforlife, then you will find your own life.


Beth
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by wicked View Post
Hello hopingforlife,

It might be best not to try to figure it out right now.
It took me many years to learn and actually absorb the knowledge that my father's alcoholic rages had nothing to do with me.
Absolutely nothing.
He would line us up (all four of us) and question us like prisoners of war. My youngest brother was about 6 years old.
What could he do to enrage my father? Why nothing of course.
It is not your fault, and it is only your problem until you realize it is not about you.
Horrible to be yelled at by a parent, scary, frightening, and uncalled for, but they do it anyway.
hopingforlife, (excellent name btw) get some counseling to let go of your childhood and figure out what you want out of life.

Beth
Hmmm.

Yeah, definitely nothing to do with me, she hates *everyone*. Similar to your father, just a totally freaky nasty attitude toward people. Hmmm.

I just started alanon last week, and had about 10 years of counseling starting after my father died, but i had so many problems because of my being reared by her that i had to learn how to function in pretty basic ways, so couldn't really focus alot of the alcoholism.

I guess part of me is trying to accept the "disease" part, which i do get a little bit, but it's hard to understand it really. And i'm finding it difficult to not think she's a pos when the behavior is so freaky. I figure it might help me not to detest her and stop hoping she drops dead.

But i guess that is still focusing on *her* and not me. okay, thanks. i ordered a handful of acoa books a few days ago, hopefully they say how to stop thinking of *her* bs instead of my future as a more happy, less bitter, more functional human being. *sigh*

I will make it one of my missions to focus on me and my future instead of her freakiness. I figured also it would help me to not detest her? It would probably just lead to more questions, right?
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wicked View Post
Yeah, this is it. Ridiculous to blame a child for your problems.
Let go of this hopingforlife, then you will find your own life.


Beth
Any good articles i could read on letting go? this is gonna have to be my first mission, is it really possible?
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:23 PM
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I think some people are just plain mean. They get trapped into repeating bad behaviours and loose site of what is normal and alcohol adds to the problem.

My mum left her 1st husband after she was beaten up for the second time and left with broken ribs and admitted into hospital. She worked with her then husband (he was her foreman) and so she could not go back to work and basically left him with nothing. Because of her mental state at that time, she thought it would be best to leave her son, who was one year old, with his dad, who was working and could provide for him.

My mums first husband quickly remarried to a woman who had two children of her own and so my half brother was brought up by a step mum. He didnt know this and was always told that she was his 'real' mum. However his 'real' mum was very abusive towards him, kept him hungry and made him clean the house from a very young age (and a lot worse besides). She would do this whilst her own children did not suffer at all. This in itself is very cruel - dont you think. My half brother married young to get away from her and did not speak to his step mum again. He found my mum when he was 30 years old, after a relative let slip that his step mum was not his real mum.

My half brothers story kind of reminds me about 'A child Called It' (a book I once read on the best sellers list - true story) about another woman who was very abusive to her youngest son, making him drink bleach etc.

I guess that I am just trying to say that unfortuately there are just adults/parents out there like that - alcohol or no alcohol. Who knows why they do it, how they let themselves reach the depths of evil and why they dont see it.

As an adult its time to not let the past control your future because then they have won. I know thats a cliche but its really good not to fester too much in that stuff. I know my half brother is still severly effected by his child hood and he is 50 yrs old now.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:29 PM
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I left my exABF a few months ago. His best "friends" were a married couple with a two-year-old little girl and another one on the way. The wife drank everyday throughout her pregnancy. I HATE children, but this little girl was an ANGEL. The sweetest thing, the cutest thing you could ever have. I remember one day we all went out and her ears started hurting because she was getting sick and she quietly stuck her fingers in her ears and nothing else...no screaming, or crying or anything. My point...the wife kept saying that she need to have some wine every night after putting the little girl to bed after dealing with her all day and this little girl was an ANGEL. And the wife was pregnant. She was basically saying that she just couldn't deal with this perfect little girl and really needed to drink even though she was pregnant.

It goes to show you they will find any reason to drink and blame it on someone or something else.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Eight Ball View Post
As an adult its time to not let the past control your future because then they have won. I know thats a cliche but its really good not to fester too much in that stuff. I know my half brother is still severly effected by his child hood and he is 50 yrs old now.
Any recs on how to stop festering? is it really possible? i've been doing it for a week straight (my first alanon meeting was a week ago).
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:48 PM
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Hi hopingforlife

All I can say really is to keep going to Al-anon for the alcohol part and maybe try psychotherapy if you can. A psychotherapist will definitely be able to sort though all your negative emotions about your upbringing which will allow you to move forward.

I have been going to Al-anon for over a year now and it really does help but I still relapse myself (bigtime) and get back into my old behaviours. I just have to remember to keep going. We have a phrase 'it works if you work it' or something like that!

I dont think my half brother has been for help with sorting out his issues surrounding his upbringing but he does write a lot (blogs) poems etc about his past. His step mum died a few years ago and he never went to her funeral and continues to have a strained relationship with his dad (who let a lot of the abuse go on).

My own AH had some issues with his mother abandoning him, he went to see a therapist years ago about it. The therapist listened to him and said 'there are just some people in the world who are better off out of your life' and hearing it from another man, helped my husband a lot and was able to move on from his issues fairly quickly after that.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:02 PM
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Any good articles i could read on letting go? this is gonna have to be my first mission, is it really possible?
oh yes, it is possible to find peace by letting go.
i will look for some reading for you.

Beth
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wicked View Post
oh yes, it is possible to find peace by letting go.
i will look for some reading for you.

Beth
i mean is it possible to let go of the past. God i hope so. The festering is eating me alive.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:21 PM
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Hi HopingForLife! I am ACOA also. There are a few of us on here. Keep going to AlAnon See if you can find an ACOA meeting too! Those are great; you really feel accepted and like you belong, I did. Be patient with yourself, keep focusing on you and working on you and what you need to get to, you will get to. It is just great that you see what you see about your mom. Chew on it a bit, feel what you feel, go to meetings, keep coming here and reading and posting and you will see.

Remember the Three Cs:
You did not cause it
You cannot cure it
And you cannot control it
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:26 PM
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I'm an alcoholic and an addict and I've done more than my fair share of being mean, rude, belittiling and just being a jerk. We alcoholics do hold a lot of resentment toward others so that is one reason we are such a-holes in our disease. Another reason that I myselt didn't understand until I got into recovery is that most of all we have problems with ourselves. I always thought that I would change if I just stopped boozing and using, that alcohol and drugs were my problem. In recovery I learned different. I was my problem, the alcohol and drugs were just my solution for the problem that lied between my ears.

I've always been self conscience of myself, I've always had a low self esteem, I've never felt that I measured up to societies standards and I've never felt that I fit in. When I drank or used it drowned out the voices in my head and took away my insecurity. One of the drawbacks to hiring from your issues and fears in that way as opposed to facing them is that you become a different person. Often a person that people don't particularly care for. For me I became a very selfish and thoughtless person. When I wasn't drunk or stoned I was even worse because I didn't feel how I wanted to feel, normal. All I cared about was getting drunk and stoned and it didn't matter who I hurt or how many I hurt. I hurt many people in the course of my disease, people I love and care for. I lied to people I love about many things, what I was doing (drugs and drinking) and money. It didn't matter to me because I just wanted to get my next fix. I neglected my kids and I wasn't completely faithful to my wife.

The point is that I did a lot of things in my disease that I would never do today. It's not just because I'm sober because I've gotten sober before without my program. Like I said alcohol and drugs weren't my problem, I was my problem. I got into AA and started working the steps. Working the steps has helped me to solve and face my problems. When I sobered up before without my program I was still the same A-hole I was before, the only difference was that I was sober. I hope this helps you out as far as giving you a better understanding of alcoholics. Hope everything works out for the best for you.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:28 PM
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I'm an alcoholic and an addict and I've done more than my fair share of being mean, rude, belittiling and just being a jerk. We alcoholics do hold a lot of resentment toward others so that is one reason we are such a-holes in our disease. Another reason that I myselt didn't understand until I got into recovery is that most of all we have problems with ourselves. I always thought that I would change if I just stopped boozing and using, that alcohol and drugs were my problem. In recovery I learned different. I was my problem, the alcohol and drugs were just my solution for the problem that lied between my ears.

I've always been self conscience of myself, I've always had a low self esteem, I've never felt that I measured up to societies standards and I've never felt that I fit in. When I drank or used it drowned out the voices in my head and took away my insecurity. One of the drawbacks to hiring from your issues and fears in that way as opposed to facing them is that you become a different person. Often a person that people don't particularly care for. For me I became a very selfish and thoughtless person. When I wasn't drunk or stoned I was even worse because I didn't feel how I wanted to feel, normal. All I cared about was getting drunk and stoned and it didn't matter who I hurt or how many I hurt. I hurt many people in the course of my disease, people I love and care for. I lied to people I love about many things, what I was doing (drugs and drinking) and money. It didn't matter to me because I just wanted to get my next fix. I neglected my kids and I wasn't completely faithful to my wife.

The point is that I did a lot of things in my disease that I would never do today. It's not just because I'm sober because I've gotten sober before without my program. Like I said alcohol and drugs weren't my problem, I was my problem. I got into AA and started working the steps. Working the steps has helped me to solve and face my problems. When I sobered up before without my program I was still the same A-hole I was before, the only difference was that I was sober. I hope this helps you out as far as giving you a better understanding of alcoholics. Hope everything works out for the best for you.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by johndelko408 View Post
I'm an alcoholic and an addict and I've done more than my fair share of being mean, rude, belittiling and just being a jerk. We alcoholics do hold a lot of resentment toward others so that is one reason we are such a-holes in our disease. Another reason that I myselt didn't understand until I got into recovery is that most of all we have problems with ourselves. I always thought that I would change if I just stopped boozing and using, that alcohol and drugs were my problem. In recovery I learned different. I was my problem, the alcohol and drugs were just my solution for the problem that lied between my ears.

I've always been self conscience of myself, I've always had a low self esteem, I've never felt that I measured up to societies standards and I've never felt that I fit in. When I drank or used it drowned out the voices in my head and took away my insecurity. One of the drawbacks to hiring from your issues and fears in that way as opposed to facing them is that you become a different person. Often a person that people don't particularly care for. For me I became a very selfish and thoughtless person. When I wasn't drunk or stoned I was even worse because I didn't feel how I wanted to feel, normal. All I cared about was getting drunk and stoned and it didn't matter who I hurt or how many I hurt. I hurt many people in the course of my disease, people I love and care for. I lied to people I love about many things, what I was doing (drugs and drinking) and money. It didn't matter to me because I just wanted to get my next fix. I neglected my kids and I wasn't completely faithful to my wife.

The point is that I did a lot of things in my disease that I would never do today. It's not just because I'm sober because I've gotten sober before without my program. Like I said alcohol and drugs weren't my problem, I was my problem. I got into AA and started working the steps. Working the steps has helped me to solve and face my problems. When I sobered up before without my program I was still the same A-hole I was before, the only difference was that I was sober. I hope this helps you out as far as giving you a better understanding of alcoholics. Hope everything works out for the best for you.
Interesting. Okay, then i think my mother's and many A's behavior must be 75% alcoholic, 25% (in her case: arrogant mean bitter,) ahole. It *is* actually good to know that all her sh*ttyness doesn't get to be written off by the AMA. : ). Yeah, i didn't feel right that i'm supposed to feel totally bad for this person, that it's all just a sickness. thanks.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:02 PM
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I don't believe alcoholism is necessarily the reason for being a mean person. My father was a true tyrant, from yelling to beatings. He didn't drink. But he was raised in a mean home with a father just like him. Often this type of abuse is a cycle.

I was married to an alcoholic who was extremely sweet, thoughtful, and kind. He was gentle, and I don't believe he ever raised his voice even once. He also drank himself drunk nearly every night. He was a sad drunk, but a very stubborn one.

Look to dysfunction in your mother's home growing up, how her parents berated her. There probably lies your answer. The alcohol probably made it worse.
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