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Character Defect vs. Alcoholism

Old 02-23-2012, 11:18 PM
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Character Defect vs. Alcoholism

This week I learned something new

Character defect is not the same as alcoholism

I always thought alot of things that my xah did was because he was drinking
If he did stupid/mean stuff, I would always say, "OH, he just had too much to drink, he didnt mean that"

<excuses, denial, dumb blonde, uneducated about alcoholism, character defects and domestic abuse>

When I put obession, anger, complusive, control, and my daughter
on the wheel of; Domestic abuse & Character defect - Bingo! There it was
It all started to click....
Then he added alcohol - Like adding icing on top of the cake

2 seperate issues....
That I use to mix together as one.

I seperated the icing from the cake this week....

Even without the alcohol, his mind is very sick

A drunk is a drunk, but how many do you know that
talk about their kids in a sexual manner, when they are drunk? Or how many dads call their daughters filthy names, even when they are not drinking? How many dads sneak text messages to their daughters 16/17 years old, calling them whores, if their not home from the movies by 11pm?

No more mixing the 2 together for me...I got it!

Learning this, gave me strength to let go, it broke the final straw

It overwhelmed me with anger and now I have major work to do on myself
I thought I was healing, but this knock me down. But I am grateful for
it, maybe now is my time to really work on my anger and I can finally
move on. I have stayed standing in the cement long enough...

I have called his family & his rehab and calmly told them
that if he calls me one more time...I will file herassment & stalking charges...

I finally think I got it - I hope and pray
I want released and I want peace........
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:47 AM
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There is a saying in the rooms of AA, "Q: What do you get when you sober up a horse thief? A: A sober horse thief".

The point being, that stopping drinking does not address the wreckage of our past, or address as you put it, our character defects. The 12 steps do this.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:36 AM
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great insight bobbyj! thanks for sharing it. it's helpful to me.

i too gave way to much credit to alcohol for unacceptable behavior.

I have called his family & his rehab and calmly told them
that if he calls me one more time...I will file herassment & stalking charges...
go girl! take your life back. gee, i love this place.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:48 AM
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One of the posters on here used to say:

You wring the alcohol out of an asshat but then all you have left is a sober asshat.

That being said we all have character defects and the alcoholism and true recovery is connecting with our HP (psychic change) and staying on the path of eliminating those character defects.

Sadly, it is hard, hard work and difficult and most... the vast majority... of alcoholics prefer just to add alcohol and forget about the problems, issues and solutions.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:09 AM
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My favorite one is
'you can take the rum out of the fruit cake, but you've still got a fruit cake!'
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:30 AM
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This is a great and timely post... I actually posted something similar-ish in a different thread, talking about how shocking it was to realize that AH's behaviors fit those of the abuser in the wheel of power and control with Domestic Violence...

For years I blamed drinking but then was always confused bc his behavior was mean and cruel drinking or not as time went on. Then I told myself that it was just bc he was an untreated A and that AA would turn him back into the kind man I thought I'd married.

Bottom line: he may be an A, but he is also an abuser and a bad person-- character defect is a nice way to put it. I'm thinking narcissist/sociopath describes him well. He can go to AA all he wants (not that he does I'm sure) but unless he sees there being a problem with his thinking, his control, his entitlement complex etc.... he can be as sober as the day is long and will still be a horrible person and alcoholism has nothing to do with that.

Anyway, so glad you came to this same realization and yes, it is like re-opening a wound and hard to wrap your head around and upsetting.

Have you read the book Why Does He Do That? Inside the minds of controlling men? It was a HUGE eye opener to me last summer...
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:01 AM
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Alcohol is a mental illness that affects body, mind and spirit. Character defects are part of it. In AA's Big Book Bill Wilson describes the alcoholic have self-will and grandiosity, they are self-centered and very immature. "His majesty the child..."

Ok, you put down alcohol and you still have these character defects. If the recovering alcoholic is to change and grow they must work hard: therapy and AA. Whatever works. "When you take the alcohol away from a drunken horse thief you still have a horse thief.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:12 PM
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I posted a similar question to this awhile back. One of the most confusing things to me....confusing the drink with the character. I think when you love an A...you fantasize about the "wonderful person who used to be in there". My therapist helped me see this differently.

Not drinking, he was kind, sociable, thoughtful, charismatic. But also a complete master of disguise. He was incredibly, highly skilled at figuring out what I wanted to hear, who I wanted him to be...then shape shifted into that. I bought it! I did not see it for what it was: a finely developed political skill he'd developed over decades with the disease. It nearly made me crazy thinking I was so stupid to not be able to "see" this other person.

When he relapsed, all the skill at shapeshifting collapsed...and the cruelty, the narcicissim, the lying and deceit....all right there. Drinking, he could no longer navigate the intricate web of lies and fantasy. I thought some stranger had moved in. I learned that I was just meeting the real person, underneath the politician.

Emotionally.....it is this recognition that is so devastating and why we must also recover. So hard to grasp this. But once I could see it, that was the beginning of recovery and detachment for me. I had to see it as it was. This finally explained to me why it was so seemingly easy for him to just walk away from everything I thought had meaning to him.

A good therapist combined with Al Anon....got me through this, but it was ROUGH
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:59 AM
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MsGrace very well said. I too fell in love with the "politician" he lied twisted and acted based on what he knew I wanted in a man but it was all a sham.

Sad is they think they can keep this act going. What's more sad is once we knw it's all an act we still stay and make excuses for them cuz we don't want to believe the reality as ur is too painful.

All of it was 100% real from my end and I thought he was being real. So painful to see the truth.
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