Blogs


Notices

Need a reality check- becoming someone I don't like

Old 04-19-2011, 07:17 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,175
Originally Posted by Grnmtn1 View Post
ps how do you teach that? How do you teach someone to put their own needs first and not appear selfish?
There are some really great metaphors for this...

-Putting your oxygen mask on before your childs, becuase you cannot be there to help them if you cant breathe.
this applies to anyone in need, or in a compromised position...it is so true.

-If a person is drowning, and you are trying to save them, but they are not ready, or willing to be saved,they are kicking and fighting, taking you down with them... there comes a point where you have to let go, swim to shore and save yourself. Two drowned people at the bottom of the ocean is no good. Especially when you were willing to swim, willing to live.

And there is the very simple idea that you can impress on your child:

It is important and kind to be there for people in need. BUt it is also important to make boundaries. Boundaries keep us clear about where we begin and others end.
We can only help our loved ones and friends if we are clear and balanced, and thats why self care is so important.

-Here is one very important quote I refer to in my life, often, and I just posted it in a thread the other day. It is more about keeping yourself spiritually clear, and being who you should be no matter what, because it is Gods will that we be powerful...This is from Marianne Williamson

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Hope some of this helps, at least conceptually.
Buffalo66 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Buffalo66 For This Useful Post:
dbh (04-19-2011), wanttobehealthy (04-19-2011)
Old 04-19-2011, 07:19 AM
  # 42 (permalink)  
Member
 
wanttobehealthy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,095
ps how do you teach that? How do you teach someone to put their own needs first and not appear selfish?
Good question. I'm 39 and still trying to figure that out for myself. There have been a few occassions with AH has said to one of my D's that she shouldn't do X bc the other will be sad that she can't... you know, basically, don't have fun unless you both can and put others' feelings before your own (again, some situations merit this- others not) and I've quietly said to him "we shouldn't make the girls responsible for each other's happiness"...

I try to walk a line between be kind, share, care about others, have empathy and also say it's okay to have time, feelings, events, things of your own and someone else being unhappy about that doesn't mean you shouldn't do/have/feel those things...

I am taking it on a case by case scenario... I know that doesn't help at all...

Who knows? Maybe your son seeing you say "I love our friend and care about him but we need to put our family's well being first" will be the start of showing him how you can care but that doesn't mean you sacrifice yourself... Know what I mean?
wanttobehealthy is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to wanttobehealthy For This Useful Post:
Grnmtn1 (04-19-2011)
Old 04-19-2011, 09:55 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
dbh
Member
 
dbh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 456
Originally Posted by Grnmtn1 View Post
Thanks wanttobe for that. It's hard to hear, but I know is right on. Our son is very compassionate too and already thinks of others- a lot. Your post was perfect and brought to light something I should take a sharp look at with him NOW, before he gets much older. I'm sure my anger must spill over and the last thing I want to do is hurt him. So, I have to take a hard look at my choices and make some tough decisions, for my son's future, and ours.
Thank you so much for starting this thread. I was able to relate to so many of these posts.

As an ACA, I am sensitive to what subtle messages I could be passing down to my children (they are 8 & 11). Alcoholism is truly a disease that is passed down through generations. I know many ACA's who where not raised by alcoholic parents but ACA parents who never resolved their own issues.

My marriage is also good and I think we have a relatively healthy home. However, I find that when I'm active in my codependency I become emotionally unavailable for my children. Very similar to how alcohol made my father emotionally unavailable to me.

I started my recovery 3+ years ago because I found that I was often placing other people's problems and needs above that of my family. I was in an unhealthy place.

I'm still working on realizing that taking care of my needs and placing appropriate boundaries doesn't mean that I'm selfish. It just means that it's okay to care about me too.

I often think about putting on my own oxygen mask before assisting others and filling up my own "well" so that I have something to give to others.

I personally had to pull back from so many people and volunteer activities to work on my own recovery. For me, when I'm giving/helping and it feels good that's a sign that it is "healthy". When I'm frustrated that someone is not doing what they are "suppose" to do or when someone doesn't appreciate all that I'm doing for them, that's a sign that I'm heading into codependency.

Thanks again for the topic and for letting me share.

db
dbh is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to dbh For This Useful Post:
wanttobehealthy (04-19-2011), wicked (04-19-2011)
Old 04-19-2011, 04:11 PM
  # 44 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
Wow, your post is amazing Buffalo. I was actually a lifeguard, in my younger years and can completely relate to that example. You do your best, but when you are going under, you need to push the person away in any way possible, to save yourself. That may also be the only way to save the other person as well. It's funny you used the oxygen mask example as well, we were just talking about that at work the other day. Simple and very clear.

The Williamson quote is amazing. I will forward that along to my phone so I can read it regularly and allow it to fully sink in. What I truly need to do now is re-read all of these posts a few times over and refer back to them when I'm feeling shaking, angry or unable to hold my ground. It's hard but this has been the year for me to re-do me and I'm hoping this will be one of the biggies that I can accomplish. Thank you so much.
Grnmtn1 is offline  
Old 04-19-2011, 04:17 PM
  # 45 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
Wanttobe: I'm 41 and I guess it's never to late to learn something as big as this. Thank goodness we are trying to learn and can hopefully break the cycle with our own kids. I appreciate your empathy and wise words, that means a lot.

I spent a great deal of the day thinking about all of these posts and I'm sure they will help when I have to lay down the law with him. (His daughter is in town visiting and I don't want to ruin their week. On the positive side, we haven't communicated much and I think it's been really good for all of us).
Grnmtn1 is offline  
Old 04-19-2011, 04:20 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
Originally Posted by dbh View Post
Thank you so much for starting this thread. I was able to relate to so many of these posts.

As an ACA, I am sensitive to what subtle messages I could be passing down to my children (they are 8 & 11). Alcoholism is truly a disease that is passed down through generations. I know many ACA's who where not raised by alcoholic parents but ACA parents who never resolved their own issues.

My marriage is also good and I think we have a relatively healthy home. However, I find that when I'm active in my codependency I become emotionally unavailable for my children. Very similar to how alcohol made my father emotionally unavailable to me.

I started my recovery 3+ years ago because I found that I was often placing other people's problems and needs above that of my family. I was in an unhealthy place.

I'm still working on realizing that taking care of my needs and placing appropriate boundaries doesn't mean that I'm selfish. It just means that it's okay to care about me too.

I often think about putting on my own oxygen mask before assisting others and filling up my own "well" so that I have something to give to others.

I personally had to pull back from so many people and volunteer activities to work on my own recovery. For me, when I'm giving/helping and it feels good that's a sign that it is "healthy". When I'm frustrated that someone is not doing what they are "suppose" to do or when someone doesn't appreciate all that I'm doing for them, that's a sign that I'm heading into codependency.

Thanks again for the topic and for letting me share.

db
I'm so glad that this thread will help more than just me. I can't get over how much you all were able to cover with me and the support and guidance has been so valuble. Is this what an Al-Anon meeting is like? I know it's covered at least 3 therapy sessions worth at least $400- so thanks for that. My husband thanks you for that too.
Grnmtn1 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Grnmtn1 For This Useful Post:
dbh (04-19-2011), StarCat (04-19-2011)
Old 04-19-2011, 04:23 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
Member
 
wanttobehealthy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,095
I'm 41 and I guess it's never to late to learn something so big as this. Thank goodness we are trying to learn and can hopefully break the cycle with our own kids. I appreciate your empathy and wise words, that means a lot.
Breaking the cycle is precisely what I want to do - exactly!

I spent a great deal of the day thinking about all of these posts and I'm sure they will help when I have to lay down the law with him. (His daughter is in town visiting and I don't want to ruin their week. On the positive side, we haven't communicated much and I think it's been really good for all of us).
Just for what it's worth-- you telling him what you need (him not to be in your life right now) is never going to be at the "right time" and if for your serenity you want to tell him now, do it. You are not responsible for his reaction or how he chooses to spend time with his daughter after hearing what you have to say. And honestly, maybe saying it to him now while his daughter is around is a good idea. Maybe she is too afraid to say something to him (since I am guessing his addiction is not a secret) and having the issue addressed is something that needs to happen.

At the end of the day you get to choose when it is best for you to set boundaries for your life. Don't wait for the right time -- it'll never come. I waited 8 yrs to face reality and that was 8 yrs too long.
wanttobehealthy is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to wanttobehealthy For This Useful Post:
Grnmtn1 (04-19-2011)
Old 04-19-2011, 04:27 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
Member
 
wanttobehealthy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,095
]I'm so glad that this thread will help more than just me. I can't get over how much you all were able to cover with me and the support and guidance has been so valuble. Is this what an Al-Anon meeting is like? I know it's covered at least 3 therapy sessions worth at least $400- so thanks for that. My husband thanks you for that too.
The al anon mtg's I've been to-- 4 different ones-- aren't like this in that people don't offer their opinions/thoughts/advice. Al anon has a lot to offer and I get a lot out of it, but I like SR more in some ways bc it's just nice to have people offering their thoughts sometimes on a situation I'm mulling in my own head.

Maybe others al anon experiences are different? I'm curious to know too!
wanttobehealthy is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to wanttobehealthy For This Useful Post:
Grnmtn1 (04-19-2011)
Old 04-19-2011, 07:30 PM
  # 49 (permalink)  
Today is a New Day
 
StarCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,766
Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
The al anon mtg's I've been to-- 4 different ones-- aren't like this in that people don't offer their opinions/thoughts/advice. Al anon has a lot to offer and I get a lot out of it, but I like SR more in some ways bc it's just nice to have people offering their thoughts sometimes on a situation I'm mulling in my own head.

Maybe others al anon experiences are different? I'm curious to know too!
Al-Anon meetings up my way, there's no cross talks during the meeting.

That said, everyone talks to each other after the official meeting is over. I think someone once phrased it as "the part of the meeting that actually works." The meeting itself helps people work through some of their own feelings and issues (based upon the topic for the day), and then after the meeting everyone goes to talk to the person/people whose "shares" they connected with the most.
StarCat is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to StarCat For This Useful Post:
Grnmtn1 (04-19-2011)
Old 04-19-2011, 08:11 PM
  # 50 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
It's been suggested to me in the past that I should try an al anon meeting, but with my husband working late and only a few meetings are available (rural), I won't take our son. I'm sure I could figure out a way to make it work, but I haven't yet. You all have been amazing and I sure have a lot to chew on.

Blessings to each of you and thanks again for all of your kind and thought provoking words.
Grnmtn1 is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:44 AM.