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Are all alcoholics abusive to others?

Old 02-11-2011, 10:33 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I am a recovered alcoholic and working step 4 in the AA program was really tough for me because I was shown, through the steps, that yes, I have hurt people. I didn't want to believe it.
I hurt people by running away.
I literally ran away from an alcoholic home and 4 decades later....I realized how much I hurt my alanon mother by doing so.
I ran away from relationships, ran away from jobs, responsibilities....everything. I was a runner.
I thought I was taking care of myself by running away, but, that wasn't true.

I lost my active alcoholic brother last summer. He died alone in his car in a parking lot. Actually, he wasn't really abusive. I loved him so much. He was never abusive to me or anyone else. His ex's grieved his passing and his children, we all did. All we wanted was for him to sober up. Never happened. That is what we grieved the most.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:50 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by brokenheartfool View Post
...Us F&F of alcoholics see something as abusive which alcoholics don't--which is that they are "checked out" emotionally often, even the nicest of alcholics. My ex was very nice, but!...
My short answer is yes.
brokenheartfool sums it up well.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:01 AM
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It depends upon how you define abusive. Nasty verbally/or physically abusive--no, not all alkies are that, but in other ways they hurt the people around them. Not showing up for a child's event (they don't forget that--my daughter is 19 and still remembers Dad not showing up for a father/daughter kindergarten event even though he promised he'd be there--the booze took priority). I'm sure my ex doesn't remember this in the slightest nor is aware of how this and similar habits affected her. Embarrassing the spouse and the children or other families members, letting bills go unpaid because the bar tab came first, not being there for sick family members or family events--none of those things would likely be defined as abuse, but they are hurtful, and it seems to me the A's in most cases don't understand that they have caused hurt in this manner.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by littlefish View Post
I am a recovered alcoholic and working step 4 in the AA program was really tough for me because I was shown, through the steps, that yes, I have hurt people. I didn't want to believe it.
I hurt people by running away.
I literally ran away from an alcoholic home and 4 decades later....I realized how much I hurt my alanon mother by doing so.
I ran away from relationships, ran away from jobs, responsibilities....everything. I was a runner.
I thought I was taking care of myself by running away, but, that wasn't true.

I lost my active alcoholic brother last summer. He died alone in his car in a parking lot. Actually, he wasn't really abusive. I loved him so much. He was never abusive to me or anyone else. His ex's grieved his passing and his children, we all did. All we wanted was for him to sober up. Never happened. That is what we grieved the most.

This is sad. I am so sorry. I also lost a brother five years ago this month, to cirrhosis.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:23 AM
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My experience, she is a 'happy' alcoholic, as in she didn't become psychotic when she drank, but she would do some awful things when she drank, would find out after the fact, which would probably constitute 'abuse'. And self abuse on my part by not departing immediately from the scene and never looking back.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:55 AM
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Another "wow" thread for me today. And I also can't say it better than brokenheartedfool... as long as I lived my own life, never 'needed' anything from him, never questioned anything, never mentioned the damage done when he was drinking, I was the best wife ever.

Translate that to be a non-human with no value. Is that abuse? I felt it was from my perspective. But not done with malice and forethought...just by protecting his delusions and addictions. And it was my choice to put up with that for as long as I did. I can say that I was verbally abusive in return sometimes, out of trying to defend myself from the blameshifting.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:32 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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I've met active alcoholics who are some of the nicest people that I've ever met and teetotalers that are some of the meanest...

People will be people.

The question itself is intrinsically biased so I'm inclined to agree with dgillz.
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:30 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I am alcoholic and have discovered, thanks to my participation on Sober Recovery, that I am an abusive person. Even though I am not actively drinking. I am abusive with my anger. I can cut with my words very easily. And doing so is a release. They say that is what people who actually cut themselves feel when they do it. A release.

It makes me sick to think of just how abusive I have been. I think it could be why I am always attracted to alcoholic and addicted people. I can order them around and be abusive and vent my anger and not think twice about it because after all, they are alcoholic and/or addicted and therefore Less Than, right? I mean, they actually DESERVE it, don't they?
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
I am alcoholic and have discovered, thanks to my participation on Sober Recovery, that I am an abusive person. Even though I am not actively drinking. I am abusive with my anger. I can cut with my words very easily. And doing so is a release. They say that is what people who actually cut themselves feel when they do it. A release.

It makes me sick to think of just how abusive I have been. I think it could be why I am always attracted to alcoholic and addicted people. I can order them around and be abusive and vent my anger and not think twice about it because after all, they are alcoholic and/or addicted and therefore Less Than, right? I mean, they actually DESERVE it, don't they?
Really? I never would have guessed this about you. I read your posts all the time and never knew you had been a drinker.

What do you mean they are "therefore less than, right?" Less than you or less than right?
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:55 PM
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Thank you for this thread PennyWhistle. It has made me see that I really need to get help.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by wicked View Post
This is what I told myself over and over invisigoth.
I am only hurting myself. Who cares? I dont.
I was silent, completely silent.
I had no abusive problems either, but i was just a body taking up space.
If you are not there emotionally you are not doing the whole job of being a spouse or a mother or whatever it is.

Wonderful news on your ten days invisigoth!
7
I agree wholeheartedly!


Invisigoth: "I'm an alcoholic and I'm not abusive to anyone, except perhaps myself. I don't yell at or hit my wife nor am I mentally abusive to her or anyone else in my life. Alcoholism and its effects are relative to the person."

Have you ever asked your wife? I wonder if she or any other relationships you are in would agree with you?
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:26 PM
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I was not abusive to my daughter when I was drinking but I was short tempered, irritable, and just 'not there' for her. Fortunately that's a thing of the past and she's forgiven me. She had become depressed over my drinking but now has no problems with depression since I'm sober, so I healed myself and my daughter by getting and staying sober.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:40 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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NO, not all alcoholics are abusive towards others; verbally, emotionally or otherwise.

Abuse isn't dependent upon substances or drinking. Abusive people are just as prevalent in the non-drinking population. There is NEVER an excuse to abuse people. I don't care if he is prince charming sober and attila the hun drinking, he is a person that drinks and abuses others.

If someone is abusive while drunk, it may make someone think the two go hand in hand but they really don't. The fact is, if you are walking on eggshells and praying that he won't drink, that is STILL part of the abuse until he gets help for the drinking. Even if he treats you like a goddess sober.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Eight Ball View Post
I think the more subtle abuse, is sometimes more damaging. Just my opinion.
I think this is so true. I found the big things much easier to forgive. It was all the little things that hurt so much. And that you can't get out of your head.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:48 PM
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@ssholes come from all walks of life. They surround us daily. In an ideal world we could group all the abusers on a deserted island and let them fend for themselves. Survival of the fittest...one by one they could take each other out till there is only one guy standing. Then..sorry about your luck buddy...no boats around to save you. You can be inside your miserable head all by yourself and think of how your actions have affected others. No volleyball with a face drawn on to keep you company either. How do you like me NOW?
An abuser is just that drunk or sober. If you happen to become involved with one..drinking makes the violence escalate. NOT drinking makes the violence escalate. And it comes in all forms. The silent treatment is another top of the line form of abuse. Hmmmm...it appears I may still have a few issues!!!
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:31 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Wow, a ton of great responses! I'm glad I brought this up.
Most of the alcoholics I know have been 'mean drunk/nice dry' or 'mean dry/'nice drunk'
I think I would have fit into the latter category. But I am also aware that some people are just mean all the time, or nice all the time.
It took me a long time to admit that I was an alcoholic because I was nice when I drank, unlike the main drunk in my life who was mean and abusive when drunk. So because the mean drunk was my only point of reference of alcoholism for many years, I thought alcoholism meant 'mean and drunk, often'. It would take me awhile to figure out that many of my relatives were alcoholics as well, because I wasn't aware of the different types of alcoholics, and they were much more discreet, and we were also small children of whom they would be afraid to 'act out' around but probably acted out in other ways. Sorry to ramble, it's late.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:08 AM
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Thank you Floss for this "and now that I'm 'clean' of my addiction to alcoholic partners"... I have 12 years sober and ended up in a Long Distance Relationship relationship with a very successful active alcoholic/work-aholic for 9 months... I always felt alone and waiting for him to show up emotionally but he would tell me that he liked his repressed feeling right where they are... I, myself, need to deal with my emotions on a daily basis because I am sober. I became addicted to his unavailability (just as my father was when I was growing up). I never felt safe or secure in the relationship regardless of what he said until finally I walked in on him perusing match.com profiles to which he denied after switching the screen... I could never handle being lied to and be able to remain sober so I needed to end it and am dealing with the emotional hangover from that... active alcoholics are able to numb themselves which gives you only half a person... a facade... I really needed to learn that I cannot be with an active alcoholic... but I think I already knew that...
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:23 AM
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There is NO way that an active alcoholic can avoid ever being abusive in any ways. The combination of intoxication, lowered inhibition, active addiction, mood swings, physical impairment, and other altered emotional states will lead to NEGATIVE behavior at SOME POINT.
Anyone stating the contrary is lying to themselves, or cannot see what they have done to others.
I always thought that I was a happy drunk, and for the most part I was.
Being sober, I recall this time, and that time, and think about how some incident might have been perceived by sober folks, and it honestly makes me cringe.
If you are honestly an alcoholic, you have inevitably passed out, blacked out, said something you regret, did something you wouldn't do sober, gotten into fights (verbal or otherwise) Gotten depressed or suicidal, gotten overly silly and giddy, etc.
Any of these things can be disturbing to those around you and 100X MORE in regards to children.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:34 AM
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The addicted brain, by it's desire to simply survive, is abusive.

Addicts take hostages, hostage taking is abuse.

I'm pretty clear on this, not one active addict ever added anything positive to my life.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:17 PM
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I think the more subtle abuse, is sometimes more damaging. Just my opinion.
Actually, this is exactly what a domestic abuse counselor told me, that verbal and emotional abuse is harder to "treat" or "get over" than sexual or physical abuse. She is herself a survivor of an abusive marriage, and said that for her, the sexual and physical abuse was obvious, there was evidence of it, she was bruised and scarred from it. But the emotional and verbal abuse was more insiduous. Years after she thought she had recovered, she could hear her abuser's voice in her own when she engaged in negative self-talk.

She said the emotional and verbal abuse is difficult to deal with because part of the abuse is the abuser manipulating you into questioning whether you really are being abused or whether you're just imagining or exaggerating. Verbal and emotional abuse doesn't leave physical evidence, but it harms you on a very deep level because it makes you question your connection to reality and your ability to judge what is real.

My AXH would never, ever, in a million years admit to having been abusive. Ever. He would scoff at the idea. He still doesn't understand why a mere murder-suicide threat would make me leave.
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