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stunted GROWTH in the A/NA

Old 05-12-2011, 08:11 AM
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stunted GROWTH in the A/NA

i had an awesome meeting last nite.

one thing i got and a profound thing, was as soon as the A/NA takes that 1st drink/hit, their growth has stopped right when they started...I find this profound with their WACKED of thinking...

any thoughts or comments?
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:16 AM
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I have heard this also from my therapist and others. A's emotional/mental development is often the age they were when they began using. They do not learn how to handle emotions/situations beyond that point because they have always turned to alcohol and drugs to numb it. It makes perfect sense to me. How would they learn to behave, act, control their emotions, work things out, etc. if they have always turned to the bottle whenever something went bad? My "R"AH has not drank for about a year and a half but he is struggling because he doesn't know what to do with his feelings now that he doesn't have a beer or whiskey bottle in his hand. Very difficult to be around!!
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:38 AM
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ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!

I started drinking, with my parents consent, when I was 12. Back then ('57) Mom didn't want some fellow to be able to take me out and get me drunk and do what he wanted.

I found recovery 3 weeks shy of my 36th birthday. I don't believe that I flipped into alcoholism until about age 16 or 17, and I have to say that as I started to sober up, clean up, act like an adult, I still felt like a teenager.

I was extremely immature in many facets of my life. Really had to learn how to do lots of different things again, now that I was 'sober.'

I do believe that this is true of most alkies. When they get into recovery they are at the age (emotionally, mentally, spiritually) that they were at when they slipped into alcoholism.

IF they work a program of working themselves diligently, they usually catch up in a year or two.

It is a sad fact but a true fact.

J M H O

Love and hugs,
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:43 AM
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Based on the behavior of my AH, I have to agree. I was just thinking about a trip to Florida we went on in January, to see my brother and also to cash in on a stay at a luxury resort that we won in a silent auction for a charity.

Well he was so drunk when we got there to check in, I ran in to do it so I could just get to the room without a scene, but a scene I got anyway. For FIVE HOURS he ranted at me, angry that I had checked in. His mantra was "You USURPED me! I want be the Big Shot!! Why couldn't you let ME be the Big Shot!"

I'm not even kidding. So, what age does that make him? Two?

Seriously, though, I have heard exactly that--that your growth is stunted the minute alcohol takes over your life.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:50 AM
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I have had this experience so far. I actually pointedly told the RAH before he went to his first AA meeting that he has NO COPING SKILLS for life's daily stressors. He couldn't handle the small things, much less anything big (like marriage and step-parenthood). The more stress he felt, the more he drank.

Now he's lost...without that crutch to lean on he has no idea how to handle emotions...his or anyone else's. I also find him struggling to set boundaries. We've swung from none at all to ridiculously strict boundaries. Unrealistic boundaries. And boundaries that are another attempt to protect his right to do whatever he wants with no responsibility for his actions.

He's having to do things for the first time and its painful to watch him struggle. It's also painful to be the one who is on the receiving end of his "practice". From what I can see - he's really not "trying" this out on anyone else.

The positive note to all of this is I am better at teaching my kids boundaries. I am more aware of the importance in this life lesson because I see the impact of what life can be like if people don't learn this early. I don't think the RAH came from a family who set healthy boundaries. Not only did he not learn the lesson, but he spent 20+ years drinking and hiding from it all.

Long way of saying - yes...I do believe this to be true! ; )
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:54 AM
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Tuffgirl and I were talking about this the other day...

...and I noted that AW did not start drinking until she was in her 30s. When I read the many, many posts from people here about the infantile behavior of their AWs and AHs I have a hard time understanding it (and wonder who really got married in order to be parenting their husbands or wives?).

I guess I'm thankful for the, and I'm using the term loosely here, "blessing" that AW was somewhat mature when she started drinking. When she's drunk I'm just dealing with a depressed and angry woman who feels sorry for herself, rather than an infantile, tantrum-throwing, angry woman who feels sorry for herself.

Thank God for small miracles, eh?



Cyranoak

P.s. Weird, she and I just posted at almost exactly the same time. Coincidence? I think not.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:58 AM
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Ah yes the one I know behaves like a teenager and started around 16 or so.

Sad.

I am so glad I haven't seen him lately at work YAY!!

But I had a nightmare about him. Sheesh.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:34 PM
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Maybe his drinking is finally affecting his job..

Originally Posted by TakingCharge999 View Post
Ah yes the one I know behaves like a teenager and started around 16 or so.

Sad.

I am so glad I haven't seen him lately at work YAY!!

But I had a nightmare about him. Sheesh.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:36 PM
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So... here's a question: Do those of us who develop codependent behaviors in defense of ourselves in alcoholic relationships also freeze in our emotional growth?

(I don't have an answer. Just a question.)
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:28 PM
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post that question Lillamy, in reference to mine...see what happens...but for your question i have to think about that...that is a good question


thanks all for your replies...my NA started after a serious car accident and on medication in his late 20's, sad, but just a month before he got married...I so totally get the WACKED thinking on their part(As or NAs)...thanks everyone...i guess another AH HA moment for me...
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:46 PM
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My xah didn't start drinking until he was in his early 20's. I'm not sure when he crossed the line into alcoholism. Probably pretty quickly.

If I may indulge in some armchair psychology he is very co-dependent as well. He grew up with an alcoholic father (that died from his disease when xah was 17yo) and a very co-dependent mother. With some help here at SR I had a couple a-ha moments about his codependency. How that is expressed in him was about exactly opposite of how it was/is expressed in me but I can see it plain as day - especially when I read Co-Dependent no more.

Possibly that is why we seemed like such a good fit for each other when we first met. :shrug:

Lillamy your question is a good one. I think that many of my co-dependent behaviors or approaches to relationships was learned as a small child. It isn't so much that my emotional growth was frozen, it is just that some specific areas did not develop in a healthy way.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
...and I noted that AW did not start drinking until she was in her 30s. When I read the many, many posts from people here about the infantile behavior of their AWs and AHs I have a hard time understanding it (and wonder who really got married in order to be parenting their husbands or wives?).
I honestly did not know what I was signing on for until shortly after the wedding. I knew something was wrong, but I was so naive that I didn't think it was alcoholism. I thought it was stress and the drinking was a symptom of that stress. I thought I was the problem. Damn, I hoped I was the problem because that I could have fixed. I was in my own deep denial...

I didn't see any of the really obvious signs while we were dating. He never seemed immature to me. Maybe a little needy and sometimes jealous of other men in my life, but never anything that was really over the top. Even looking back with my blinders off - I still don't see any obvious red flags. That's the frustration of it all - he was very good at hiding it and lying to himself.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:13 PM
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All I saw when I was dating my AW was that we both liked to drink beer and have a good time. It wasn't until the pressures of life caught up to primarily her that she slipped into a deeper level of drinking. I on the other hand, don't drink at all. Hell I used to brew my own. Not anymore.

So is the question about people who are Alcoholics or addicts by nature? I mean, I remember stealing brews from my uncle when I was very young. I'm certainly not a teenager in my growth.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:30 PM
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When my Ah was in rehab, they showed the families films for 2 days.
The films were real actual pictures of brains & professional alcoholic experts.

The doctors explained it to us like this, so we could understand it on a normal terms.

The brain has 4 lobes. The front lobe is where your feelings/senses are located.
That lobe is the first one to get affected by alcohol. The brain cells begin
to get damaged. After long use, the brain cells become so far & wide apart,
it will soon have craters..

Brain cells begin to repair themselves 12 to 18 months or longer. That process begins
with they STOP drinking. If they begin to drink, 30 days later, they go back to square one.

Crators that are created in the brain, take up to 3 years+ to heal...
(this is where it gets trickey, with an alcoholic...too much damaged brain cells and too many crators,...
you will have a spouse that will never be better mentally, even without the alcohol. It
is called permanant brain damage.

When the brain cells begin to get damaged, at whatever age they begin to drink at,
is where they more than likey mentally stay, until sober.

With all of this into factor: Your A may never have (age issues), depends
on how much they drank & their genetics.

As a loved one of an alcoholics, you will feel like a babysitter.
Understanding the medical values of their minds & (age) of drinking
will also help you understand why you feel like your babysitting.

Some of you may say...Oh, my A, acts his or her age
.....Really?? How many other Male/Female do you know, that cause their
family or/and spouse so much, pain, grief, embrassment, chaos, dysfunction?

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

What I wrote above is what I learned in his Rehab.
I never thought it that way, but now when
my AH says:
...OH BOY,Took the truck out mudding, Havent done that since I was 18
...OH BOY, Im in better shape now with this new job, I havent been this buff
since I was 18

I think the lucky number is 18....

Which some boys at 18 are very responsible & the other 1/2 are very immature

im·ma·ture/ˌiməˈCHo͝or/Adjective
1. Not fully developed: "immature fruit".
2. (of a person or their behavior) Having emotional or intellectual development appropriate to someone younger


((( YES..I am married to Immature Fruit ))))
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyJ View Post
im·ma·ture/ˌiməˈCHo͝or/Adjective
1. Not fully developed: "immature fruit".
2. (of a person or their behavior) Having emotional or intellectual development appropriate to someone younger


((( YES..I am married to Immature Fruit ))))
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:56 PM
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Now you can say, Im married to immature fruit...
Sounds better, than saying your married to an alcoholic...

Maybe the neighbors wont cringe as much,,,everyone likes fruit...

LOL
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
I am better at teaching my kids boundaries. I am more aware of the importance in this life lesson because I see the impact of what life can be like if people don't learn this early.
I grew up in an emotionally abusive/controlling home with a father who raged. He's an ACOA and possibly NPD. I had no idea I was a) allowed to say No and b) that people have boundaries until I was 39. Good for you Tuffgirl, growing up with no boundaries is devastating.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyJ View Post
Now you can say, Im married to immature fruit...
Sounds better, than saying your married to an alcoholic...

Maybe the neighbors wont cringe as much,,,everyone likes fruit...

LOL
In that case, I dated an immature fruitcake.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:48 PM
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I so agree with this post. My XABF started drinking when he was 13 yrs old! And he was PROUD of that fact. He acted like a 13 yr old through out our 4 yr relationship!!! He'd pull my shirt and bra down in public, broke my temperature control panel in my truck while we were driving and flat out denied he did it to my face even though I watched him do it. He'd pee on vehicle tires in parking lots, fart and burp in public, throw temper tantrums, pout and be loud and really obnoxious when we were out. Oh yeah, and "dutch ovened" me the first time we slept together. We are both 40 yrs old now!!! I acted like the adult... he on the other hand... a child! I LOVE the IMMATURE FRUIT AND FRUITCAKE references. Made me giggle.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:06 PM
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I seriously just laughed out loud and sprayed saliva all over my computer when I read the "immature fruit" comment. Thank You, BobbyJ.

I can go to bed with a smile on my face now

HAHAHAHAHAHA!
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