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ACOA questions...the root of my situation

Old 01-20-2011, 12:04 PM
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ACOA questions...the root of my situation

Hi everyone...I have been following posts etc...you have all been so wonderful to me. It has helped a great deal. I followed a link to ACOA because I was curious about the Laundry List, etc... I think I have discovered where my codependency comes from but I need some help clarifying.

Just a quick history, my mother's dad was an alcoholic. She got pregnant with me at 18 yrs old, then married my bio dad (later she told me she did it to escape her parents home). By the time I was 2, she had left my bio dad and went back to her mom's (my nana). My mother is a definite ACOA - I am her bi-product. She is not an alcoholic. (but is she a dry alcoholic?) While she has an occasional cocktail, she is not a big drinker at all and understandibly so. I never knew what she went through as a child until I was an adult. It was never discussed in my family.

I have read the Laundry List on ACOA. Wow! This is me. Every single item on that list. Further, it is my MOTHER. Of course, she has been through therapy, blah blah blah takes medication now to "correct" her chemical imbalance. My childhood looked great on the outside, but was stressful from the beginning. My mother's love is conditional. She is super controlling to the point where I don't even speak with her now. Until I went to college I did everything she said, very rarely misbehaving, starving for her admiration, fearing abandonment (i had no contact w/my bio dad after I was 4 yrs. old)which she would give as long as I was PERFECT. I was a straight A student, class president, honor council, sports captains, etc... When it was time to go to college, she chose the colleges I could apply to. I ended up going to women's ivy league college in New England. The second I began to stray from her well-laid out plan after I graduated from college, she turned her back on me. I married someone she didn't approve of though I think the perfect man would not have been good enough for her. She did not support my choice and stopped talking to me. She did not come to my wedding. Abandonment was complete. The one thing I feared the most, came true. I tried to build my own life with my new husband, but inside I was sick from her abandonment. He turned out to be exactly like her. Controlling, abusive (verbally) and conditional love. I had to be the PERFECT wife/caretaker.

All of my close intimate relationships are a reflection of my relationship with her. Insecure, conditional love relationships. Now I find myself in a relationship with someone who actually is an alcoholic and I now see that my mother isn't so different from him. She just doesn't drink every day. The characteristics - all the same.

YIKES!!!!!!! What a revelation! Have I completely gone off the deep end? If this is a correct assessment, then what do I do to fix myself????
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:14 PM
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Actually, Codie, I think you are already on your way to getting better.
You recognize the problem.
Since I am just begining my journey, (I have done the twelve steps for alcoholics) as an ACOA I am reading everything I can and I have ordered the Big Red Book (for ACA's) from the ACOA site.
It is a revelation, after all the struggle to realize that you are not alone.
There is help and a happy, fulfilled life for YOU.

Beth

I used to call my grandmother Nana too.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:22 PM
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I love my nana...she was my only safe haven as a little girl.

I need to get the Big Red Book. I am completely floored. I guess I never realized that my mother's "dry" alcoholism (now that I know what that is) made me who I am. I feel like I have been punched in the stomach and at the same time I am crying tears of relief because I think I have figured out what is wrong with me. I am so angry with her even though it is not really her fault. I was just a little girl. I was doomed from the beginning to be a codependent woman with dysfunctional relationships. Gosh that pisses me off. If only I had known this years ago, I could have saved myself a bunch of heart ache and pain.

Ok so now what? Read the Big Red Book? Therapy? How do I fix me? There are no meetings for ACA in my area.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Codie101 View Post
Ok so now what? Read the Big Red Book? Therapy? How do I fix me? There are no meetings for ACA in my area.
If you want to go to a meeting, most of the people in AlAnon are the sorts of people you'd see in ACA, and so the same sorts of topics come up, just a different focus.
I have ordered a copy of "Codependent No More" - I believe that is one of the best Codependency books around.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:38 PM
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Will meetings really help? or can I work the 12 steps, read the book and participate on SR?
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:54 PM
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You should do whatever helps, and not do whatever doesn't help.

There's no magic formula - everyone is different. Everything is la carte, basically.

Just pick what you feel will help from the list of available assistance, and go from there! *Grins*
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:16 PM
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Sorry if it sounds like I am freaking out. I really was. It was like the clouds cleared and I could see for the first time in my life. Very overwhelming. Thank you for the advice Starcat and Wicked. I really appreciate it. SR has probably just permanently altered my life. For the better.
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:40 PM
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All of my close intimate relationships are a reflection of my relationship with her. Insecure, conditional love relationships. Now I find myself in a relationship with someone who actually is an alcoholic and I now see that my mother isn't so different from him. She just doesn't drink every day. The characteristics - all the same.
Codie -0

It takes some of us YEARS to get to this realization -
give yourself a great huge hug...
bake yourself a cake or something!


wow! talk about FAST
your handle should be something like ZOOMER or something!
"Whoosh"

YIKES!!!!!!! What a revelation! Have I completely gone off the deep end? If this is a correct assessment, then what do I do to fix myself????
I agree that Alanon might be just the thing
to get you started in the 3d aspect at the very least.

People in recovery are very ... connected.
THey're connected with other types of recovery,
other plans, paths, ideas, theories...
as well as government assistance and well-
just a world - a culture -

that most of us have no idea exists until we're in need of it.

I'd give that a try first if I were you.

congratulations!

Now youi're going to see it everywhere.

For me -
it even determined whether I thought a boss was a 'good' boss
or a tv character was a 'favorite'

you're going to be amazed!
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:01 PM
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Barb...you are the best! Ill take the big hug because boy do I need it. I can't believe it has taken me practically half of my life to figure this out. SR and all the posters who have been so supportive are my catalyst. I am determined to be a quazi-normie...if that's even possible. I guess we are kind of like "hybrids" once we see it. I feel like standing on top of my office building and screaming "I finally figured it out!"

I will check on Al-anon meetings and I am scheduled to speak with my counselor later today. She is going to be in for an ear full.

Love to all who posted here and helped me see the light. Wow. On to fixin me...I am so ready!!!

Signed Codie101 - a/k/a ZOOOOMMMMER
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Codie101 View Post
Wow. On to fixin me...I am so ready!!!
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:53 PM
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StarCat: Love the car....ZOOOOMMMMMER!!! So cute...
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:17 PM
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Hi Codie101.

Here's a post of mine from November of last year:

I am an only child of an only child, was married to an only, (she's an active alcoholic and an ACOA) and have an only child. I was in Alanon for over 3 years before it dawned on me that my beloved grandfather, who basically was my surrogate dad, was probably an alcoholic. Although not the mean kind, more the friendly/mellow type. Which, I can now finally see, would still be pretty annoying to my gmaw, and mom as a child.

Which would explain my gmothers weird behavior, which I always thought was just run of the mill neurosis, but upon reflection seemed to have been untreated codependency. Which would also explain my mom's behavior, which I would classify as ACOA, which trickled down to ME! Oh joy. She married 3 different drunks. IDK, I could be wrong, but all the players are dead, so no one is left to ask. Seems pretty text book though, knowing what I know now.


I remember not wanting to ever have any kids, lest I eff 'em up trying to parent. My poor daughter may never realize just how lucky she is that I waited till I was 49 to give in and become a dad. I've mellowed/improved some over my 20's. I'd have hauled ass back then, and left her to be raised by her mother's clan with absolutely zero recovery.

A least I'm some what self-aware, which is head and shoulders over many. Wish I'd found recovery in my 30's instead of my 50's, but too late to do anything about that now!


I case you didn't notice any similarities I highlighted a few. Also, you are light years ahead of me already in the realization department and I been doing this for 4+ years. Damn.

What, you been around here for about a week, sheesh.

Just had a discussion with LMC's (Little Miss Coyote) teacher while ago, she pointed out to me that the only kids struggling in her class, in prep for the TAK's, were the boys. Sigh, maybe you all ARE smarter.

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:27 PM
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Yes Al-Anon helps. Like other's said, you seem to have a higher level of understanding than many do when they first get here. If you really want to get better, and learn how to be attracted to people who are not controlling, alcoholics, or both, then you will try Al-Anon-- at least six meetings (some different) before deciding if it is for you.

Al-Anon is the best thing that ever happened to me. I can't believe I waited five years to go to my first meeting. Another thing on my list of dumb s**t I've done. It's a long list, yet this is in my top five (and there's a lot of competition).

Take care,

Cyranoak
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post

Al-Anon is the best thing that ever happened to me. I can't believe I waited five years to go to my first meeting. Another thing on my list of dumb s**t I've done. It's a long list, yet this is in my top five (and there's a lot of competition).

Take care,

Cyranoak
Maybe we're soul mates?

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:51 AM
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Coyote 21...Thanks for sharing your post. I definitely see many many similarities. My grandmother (Nana) is severely codependent and after divorcing my grandfather went on to marry another alcoholic who was extremely difficult to live with. Yes, when my mother was working or off doing "her" thing, I was with my Nana. The alcoholism and codependency runs crazy in my family and I don't know why I never saw it before this week. I guess I always thought that you had to actually DRINK alcohol to be an alcoholic. Nope. I was wrong.

I am frustrated that I didn't realize all of this when I was 23 and about to make my first huge marital mistake, but of course, maybe this is my lesson in life to learn. I am now 44 yrs old. I am ready to break free of this cycle. I have 2 daughters which my exH refuses to let me see. They think I hv abandoned them. Long story...

Hmmmm, women smarter???? haha I am pleading the 5th on that. I think I have been stewing on this for quite sometime and my ABF's crazy behavior just made me dig a little deeper. If it weren't for SR and folks like you, Coyote21, who knows how long it would have taken me to connect the dots!?

Thanks again for sharing...it helps so much.

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Old 01-21-2011, 08:58 AM
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Thanks Cyranoak...I am checking the meetings in my area and I am going to attend to see if its more me. I will say that I was in therapy about 4 years ago when I first separated from my husband. My mother of course had to attend with me...controlling bulldozer to the end. At that time, I read Codependent No More and I kept thinking "why is my therapist having me read about Codependence and Alcoholism?" Um DUH! :brick Never felt that brick...denial at its best. SR made me see the light. Thank goodness.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:27 PM
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Just dropping in to see how it's going today -

and saw Coyote's post...

awwwww... Coyote.... it's okay, really ....





...of course we're smarter...LMAO
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by coyote21 View Post
Maybe we're soul mates?

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
HaHaHaHaHa!!
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:09 PM
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codie101,


Welcome to Sober Recovery. Methinks you are a smart cookie.

You sound like you're freakin out a little

No worries, we all do from time to time.

You lucky duck...you are on the verge of discovery. It is exciting and frightening.
Sometimes being able to name something is a whole heap of relief.

Go to Al-anon. Come to SoberRecovery. Read whatever you can/want to.
Don't get into a new relationship.

See ya around
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:58 AM
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jds0401...thanks for the post. Unfortunately, I read Codependent No More and never saw the writing on the wall. Of course, my mother was in my life then, driving me absolutely crazy, and I missed the connection. Well not this time. I am going to go to an Al-anon meeting because there are no ACA meetings in my area. I will see if I can find an ACA to talk to. I think it is essential to my recovery! Thank you again for the advice! I need it!

Barb..."of course we are smarter" LOL...love it. Coyote - sorry! Thanks again to both of you! You have been wonderful!

coffeedrinker....yes I was definitely in freak-out mode. I have been processing since last week and am feeling much much better and more determined than ever to recover. It is so amazing - I feel like I have been struck by lightening. Now I see it...I recognize it in other people around me and am removing myself graciously from those relationships. I am working on removing myself from my ABF as well. Going to counselling will help with that. My fear of abandonment is a real problem, but of course I get myself in relationships that are insecure - terrible cycle. I am glad my ACA mother is not in my life right now because I was so angry last week that I would have dumped all over her. I need to continue processing all of this information and worry about ME for a change.

Of course, I would never have had my epiphany nor have access to the tools and advice I need for recovery if it wasn't for all of you and SR. Thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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