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How it impacts the kids to stay w an A

Old 11-21-2013, 10:08 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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I haven't left yet (or actually asked him to leave though we have discussed it.) And, I definitely don't have it all figured out. Quite the opposite I know it's hard. I can't imagine what I'd do in your situation. In the end, you have to decide what's best for you & your kids and if you decide that's staying, then stay and don't apologize for it because you don't owe any of us anything! And, in the end, it really doesn't matter what we think. I mean this with the most respect and love. This is hard and none of us have all the answers unfortunately.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:19 AM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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I agree 100%. Just don't expect your AH to be willing to do this or wait him out hoping he will.

You're describing good parenting and logical behavior.

My AH ONLY was willing to behave this way once the court was watching. When it was me asking and pleading he had no interest. And I think that's pretty common w A's.

That's all I was saying.

Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
I think the counselor was more saying look, you are both the parents of these children, it is better to split peacefully than be at each other's throat. I agree with him totally. Nasty divorces have destroyed children I know. No matter what happens, I don't want that. That is something we discussed right away as one of the goals of going to counseling in the first place at the first visit w/the counselor. Things were very emoational yesterday, I think he was scared we would go right outside and tell each other to cram it quite frankly, and that is no way to end a 16 year relationship. And in reality, the relationship never ends b/c you will both be the parents forever. So you have to find a way to communicate effectively together, married or not.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:23 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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I didn't and don't have it figured out at all. I'm not strong. I just was fearful of what staying was doing to my kids.

I'm still afraid and still confused and the system doesn't care that he's an A bc he has no arrests for it.

But I fought hard for safety precautions in our parenting plan and it sounds like you could too. You know as we all done just by talking to him if he's been drinking so make that a part of any agreement IF you leave him and he ever drives the kids.

The system won't be the one to protect your kids. You will. A parenting plan will be made by you and you get to dictate what's in it and how to keep your kids safe.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:28 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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Maybe all of you strong people who have left have it all figured out, but unfortunately for me, I don't have that figured out yet. I don't trust the system AT ALL.
Can you trust in your HP?
I am fortunate that my A is no longer functional enough to make a stink about custody. Also we were never married, so he would technically have to establish paternity first. (And I took all that paperwork with me when I left, so he would have to go out of his way to do it). I literally just took our son and left the state. Despite all his (and his mother's) quacking about their "rights", I have yet to see any evidence that they are willing to take on even a minimal visitation. I try make sure they speak to DS4 every week, and A can't even manage that some weeks. He forgets what day it is, can't dial a phone, is in the drunk tank, whatever.
I offered to let him (with his parent's supervision) have DS4 for a week at Christmas b/c DS12 is spending the holiday with his deceased father's family. We're meeting halfway to do the exchange, so I told A that he was welcome to have a weeklong visit if they wanted to meet us at the halfway point- which for them is only like a 3 hr drive. The reply so far- crickets. Alcoholics say a lot of things, but what they do is drink. Supervising children, cooking for them, paying attention to them, those things all require effort. And when an A gets to a certain point, all of their effort goes into drinking, anything that interferes with that will fall by the wayside. Your AH may not quite be at this point yet, but he will be one day, whether you try to keep the family together or not.
It's easy for him to come home and do whatever he wants because someone else is there taking care of everything. When I left, mine was dismayed that he suddenly had to do his own laundry. That was his main complaint. A's are not big on extra responsibility, and kids are a big responsibility when you have them all to yourself. Another poster hit it on the head when she said that he would likely start coming up with excuses not to do his visits after a few weeks of the "superdad" act.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:58 AM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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I hate to throw this in here but it's a harsh truth - read the ACOA forum to verify....but in my case and in many many cases later in life as adults adult children of alcoholics come to resent the codependent parent much more than the alcoholic parent. We (ACOAs) end up in tons of therapy to work that out. I think the reason is it's easy for me to see the alcoholism as a disease but my mother staying...well she was SOBER and chose to stay to keep her great "image" of marriage rather than do what was best for me. Now my mother is NPD also so it's easy to say my case is special but it's not - at ACOA meetings and right here on this board I often hear the same thing from ACOAs whose sober parent was not NPD...many feel the same way.

I often read - well my kid is doing great - in all these activities and succeeding. Well...I did great too but not for the right reasons - I did good in school and did activities to "keep from rocking the boat" and "keep that great image" my mother taught me was so important. I didn't do any of those things for the right reasons - none of them were because I was exploring me as a person as normal kids got to do - I was pleasing the alcoholic system. As an adult I developed a huge resentment towards my mother because of that - not my father (the A) but my mother because she was the one that was all about the image and keeping the system in tact.

She even kept his alcoholism from me - hid him down in the basement to drink...I didn't know he was an A for a long time but I knew my family was fake and just an image and I wanted to escape from there as early as age 7. All that good I did school I used to get away from that family...

I don't know - that's just my story but it's one I've heard from other ACOAs too...take what you want and leave the rest.

WTBH - I know it's been tough but when your children are adults they will appreciate you gave them at least one sober, authentic household (sure it may be not 100% of the time for now, I do think your AH will show his colors to the court eventually, but it's so much better than 100% of the time in an A household), I would have done anything for that (the idea of something authentic).
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:12 AM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Awesome post Aeryn...

I avoided reading the ACOA forum even when told to while I made rationalization after rationalization for staying bc I didn't want to face the truth.

I am sure there are many on here who dislike me for saying all that I have just as I disliked those who said it to me.

But had they not pissed me off by speaking the truth about how my staying WAS harming my kids, I never would have left.

If I had been told "yeah you've got it under control, you're unique and your kids will be fine" etc or any other nonsense I thought I wanted to hear, my kids and I
would be all the more damaged.

The post from you below Aeryn is powerful and maybe should be a sticky on this page so we all have to remember just how much kids Do know and worry.


Originally Posted by Aeryn View Post
I hate to throw this in here but it's a harsh truth - read the ACOA forum to verify....but in my case and in many many cases later in life as adults adult children of alcoholics come to resent the codependent parent much more than the alcoholic parent. We (ACOAs) end up in tons of therapy to work that out. I think the reason is it's easy for me to see the alcoholism as a disease but my mother staying...well she was SOBER and chose to stay to keep her great "image" of marriage rather than do what was best for me. Now my mother is NPD also so it's easy to say my case is special but it's not - at ACOA meetings and right here on this board I often hear the same thing from ACOAs whose sober parent was not NPD...many feel the same way.

I often read - well my kid is doing great - in all these activities and succeeding. Well...I did great too but not for the right reasons - I did good in school and did activities to "keep from rocking the boat" and "keep that great image" my mother taught me was so important. I didn't do any of those things for the right reasons - none of them were because I was exploring me as a person as normal kids got to do - I was pleasing the alcoholic system. As an adult I developed a huge resentment towards my mother because of that - not my father (the A) but my mother because she was the one that was all about the image and keeping the system in tact.

She even kept his alcoholism from me - hid him down in the basement to drink...I didn't know he was an A for a long time but I knew my family was fake and just an image and I wanted to escape from there as early as age 7. All that good I did school I used to get away from that family...

I don't know - that's just my story but it's one I've heard from other ACOAs too...take what you want and leave the rest.

WTBH - I know it's been tough but when your children are adults they will appreciate you gave them at least one sober, authentic household (sure it may be not 100% of the time for now, I do think your AH will show his colors to the court eventually, but it's so much better than 100% of the time in an A household), I would have done anything for that (the idea of something authentic).
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:20 AM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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Thank you all very much for your input. Yes, I do know it will get worse. Yes, I do fear my kids will become codependent and/or resent me.

I do know it has to change and I will be the one to do that, simply put, I will do it on my timeline when the time is right for me and my children. It takes planning and not doing things because I am an emoational mess.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:37 AM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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I too am a planner and I found for whatever it's worth, that the more I planned the more reasons I found that now wasn't the right time.

Quite unlike me what did finally happen was me making the leave happen as a result of very emotional occurrings.

Im not preaching. Just sharing my experience as others did for me and I referred back to those stories when the time was right for me.

I just know that sometimes in the desire to plan carefully and think it all through we may become (or at least I did) our own worst enemy bc we think so much that we think our way out of taking action.

If that doesn't apply in others cases all the power to you. I just know that DID apply to me. I finally had to just take a leap of faith and do it w no guarantee it would be ok. And I was only able to do that much like an alcoholic getting to sobriety, after I had tried every other possible way around leaving and found all my strategies had failed me and my kids.

Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
Thank you all very much for your input. Yes, I do know it will get worse. Yes, I do fear my kids will become codependent and/or resent me.

I do know it has to change and I will be the one to do that, simply put, I will do it on my timeline when the time is right for me and my children. It takes planning and not doing things because I am an emoational mess.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:44 AM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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Maybe all of you strong people who have left have it all figured out, but unfortunately for me, I don't have that figured out yet. I don't trust the system AT ALL.
Babe, it's not about strength. Sometimes it's just about it feeling more dangerous to stay than to leave. That's what pushed me over the edge. Don't short-change yourself and think that other people have some secret power you lack and that's why they leave and you don't.

Every time someone makes a post about the effect on children of living with an A parent, I cringe. Because while every word of how horrendous it is is true, I feel like it often adds a burden to a parent who is already feeling like utter crap about themselves and their abilities and strengths.

I know that I minimized and refused to listen to posts like these while I was still living with AXH. Not because I didn't believe them, but because my capacity for beating myself up was maxed out. And when I got the additional "and the kids are f-d for life" added to the mix, I just shut down. I believed that I was weak, awful, and a horrendous parent who basically just deserved to die.

I don't for a second want to attack the OP for the post -- I agree with every single word, WTBH, and I can add that I have two kids diagnosed with PTSD; I'm considering getting a second job to pay for therapy for all three children; one of my kids says the same thing Mike said -- she has almost no memories of her childhood but she's wanted to die for as long as she can remember.

I just wanted to add the perspective that while you may not have the energy to take in at this very moment what the OP says, it doesn't make you a horrendous person. It doesn't make you a bad parent. You have to remember that you are in the situation you are because YOU are suffering under the same family disease your children are. Yes, you're an adult. Yes, you need to stiffen that spine and do what needs to be done. For everyone's sake. But don't beat yourself up. Give yourself credit for all you are capable of doing DESPITE living in the hell you're living in.

Chin up. You can do what needs to be done. If I could do it, you can.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:52 AM
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What a great post....thank you so much. I needed to hear all of that. It is so very true!
I have all of this bookmarked so when I need courage I will come back to it.

Blessings!


Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
Babe, it's not about strength. Sometimes it's just about it feeling more dangerous to stay than to leave. That's what pushed me over the edge. Don't short-change yourself and think that other people have some secret power you lack and that's why they leave and you don't.

Every time someone makes a post about the effect on children of living with an A parent, I cringe. Because while every word of how horrendous it is is true, I feel like it often adds a burden to a parent who is already feeling like utter crap about themselves and their abilities and strengths.

I know that I minimized and refused to listen to posts like these while I was still living with AXH. Not because I didn't believe them, but because my capacity for beating myself up was maxed out. And when I got the additional "and the kids are f-d for life" added to the mix, I just shut down. I believed that I was weak, awful, and a horrendous parent who basically just deserved to die.

I don't for a second want to attack the OP for the post -- I agree with every single word, WTBH, and I can add that I have two kids diagnosed with PTSD; I'm considering getting a second job to pay for therapy for all three children; one of my kids says the same thing Mike said -- she has almost no memories of her childhood but she's wanted to die for as long as she can remember.

I just wanted to add the perspective that while you may not have the energy to take in at this very moment what the OP says, it doesn't make you a horrendous person. It doesn't make you a bad parent. You have to remember that you are in the situation you are because YOU are suffering under the same family disease your children are. Yes, you're an adult. Yes, you need to stiffen that spine and do what needs to be done. For everyone's sake. But don't beat yourself up. Give yourself credit for all you are capable of doing DESPITE living in the hell you're living in.

Chin up. You can do what needs to be done. If I could do it, you can.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:45 PM
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Just want to add on to Aeryn's post above--sounds very similar in many ways to my FOO. We didn't have alcoholism (that I know of) but we did have a stepfather who was abusive in many ways and a mom who had an AF of her own. As a kid, I saw her as a helpless victim w/no options. As an adult, I came to believe she DID have options but chose not to exercise them. We did not speak for a period of YEARS.

As I find myself working thru recovery now, I read the many, many stories of people here w/kids who don't leave for this reason or that one. I begin to see the other side of it, to some extent. I start to understand that, as an untreated ACOA herself, she was not capable of acting in a healthy way for herself OR us.

To those of you who fear that leaving a bad situation will damage your kids more than staying will, I will tell you that, in discussion with my siblings, we have ALL agreed that we would rather have lived any other place, any other way, than the way that we DID live as kids. Take that for whatever it's worth.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:50 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
Every time someone makes a post about the effect on children of living with an A parent, I cringe. Because while every word of how horrendous it is is true, I feel like it often adds a burden to a parent who is already feeling like utter crap about themselves and their abilities and strengths.
I know you have Alanon and lots of good recovery under your belt so I felt confident that I could say this without being offensive - so hopefully it won't be offensive. I don't think any ACOA posting their story should have to worry or feel it's their fault if their post made someone feel bad. I made my post just as my post - my story - nothing more nothing less. I actually didn't even read anything other than the OP. So if someone felt my post added a burden to them....I empathize but that has to do with them rather than me (and I don't mean that in a harsh way at all - its just about me not taking ownership of someone else's feelings). I understand it must be hard to be a parent in the situation and I empathize but that doesn't change my truth. It's a hard situation all around. But for me acceptance was about looking at what was (in my case my life was immensely unhappy with my XAH and a mirror of the inauthentic childhood I had) no matter how it made me feel. I spent my life avoiding feelings - thanks to a good therapist I no longer do that - I feel how I do and it's ok. And if others don't like how I feel that's ok now too.

As an ACOA one of the things I did (and I know some others have felt this way too) is become afraid to tell my truth - the reason was every time I did my mother would tell me how much I'd hurt her and how badly I'd made her feel, making me feel it was my fault. So one of the things I'm doing in therapy is learning to speak my truth and understand that as long as I just tell it without mal-intent it is what it is and others reactions to it are about them not me.

In my case I may one day be able to let go of my resentments but since my mother is also NPD and unwilling to admit any mistakes a reconciliation with her is likely never going to be possible. It's a hard road.

I think the fact that you and many others here have left is so brave and I'm in awe of it since my mother was not able to do the same - I imagine if she had taken care of me and gotten me in therapy and away from that toxic environment at an earlier age like many here have done I would be in a better place today - because now I'm having to do this all well into adult hood. I am just NOW discovering who I am since I was never given a chance as a child, I was too busy keeping up the image. So my post was in no way a message to anyone especially one of burden - it was just my truth and it's there for anyone who might find it useful.

My story is just that - not a message to anyone in any way - take it, shred it, throw it away or keep it...it's all ok with me. It's just my feelings - nothing more.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:06 PM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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FWIW, I do not have children, at least not human kids, I have two very cute miniature dachshunds who love me to pieces and never talk back. hehe

This post is about effects of alcoholics on children. I don't know if this is exactly related but how you feel now, the fear, worry, etc lightens as you remove yourself from the craziness of an alcoholic not actively working recovery. It does take time, but it happens eventually. There are still regular life stresses, but you (we)(I) are in control of your own destiny when no longer involved with someone who is unpredictable.

Part of the fear/worry/anxiety that I felt as the partner of an alcoholic and I would imagine that ACOA's feel is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. My mom was not an alcoholic, but had a brain injury and her reasoning ability and behavior is a LOT like a dry drunk. My father failed to recognize the reality of her limitations until it was too late and I developed terrible anxiety as I spent the most time with her when I was little. She was in no position to be a responsible parent and was extremely unpredictable sometimes dangerously so. I was around 35 when I finally realized the extent of some of the emotional abuse I suffered from her. I have little to no relationship with her now and I wish that my father had recognized that the bad situation that was our family was bad earlier on and taken action earlier. I don't blame him, but he was adult and only one in control back then.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:18 PM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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I haven't read every word posted here, but I just want to pipe in for those who are in not just a relationship with an A, but an abusive A.

It is plain and simply a dangerous time when a person decides to leave an abuser. You can't just leave because it would be better for the children, without having a safety plan in place.

I left an abusive alcoholic. I cannot say things are definitely better for my children now than they were when we were living with AH. AH has done some pretty heinous things since I got him out of the house. And he is crazier and more manipulative with the children than I have ever seen before.

The difference is there was no hope for improvement if I had remained with AH.

But we have each of us been through h**l since the separation and it isn't over yet.

So if you are reading this thread and you are in an abusive relationship with an A, I applaud the wisdom here but seriously caution anyone to get out safely.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:19 PM
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I don't think any ACOA posting their story should have to worry or feel it's their fault if their post made someone feel bad.
Agreed. Absolutely. And I didn't mean to suggest that people should censor their sharing -- just sharing my reactions, since I remember way too vividly that I would perceive shaming and accusations where, really, there were none.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
Agreed. Absolutely. And I didn't mean to suggest that people should censor their sharing -- just sharing my reactions, since I remember way too vividly that I would perceive shaming and accusations where, really, there were none.
That makes perfect sense....I just wanted to make sure no one thought that because it was my initial reaction.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:37 PM
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Thank you for pointing that out, Aeryn -- sometimes it's difficult to know how your words come across!
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:28 PM
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Just thought I would share my experience. Some of you may remember me. My experience was the same as many on this board but with the added twist of my ex being a police officer. He was very abusive verbally and occasionally physically when drinking. We were the type of family that people envied from the outside but behind closed doors were a mess.

I gained a few inches of strength to leave after reading posts here for a few months. I made excuses to myself constantly regarding being able to protect the children better and that I could control the situation better staying. I was dying inside and thought I was strong.

I had no exit plan. I was going to fix it. My sons were 7 and 3 at the time. We had all been through a lot. But the last straw was when I was in the house and my ex had the boys outside and my youngest fell off a gate by the barn and broke his arm and my ex did nothing, opened my eyes fully. Not only did he do nothing but put him in his car seat in his truck to "rest" because he was crying so much. When my son fell asleep, most likely from the pain, he drove both boys to the gas station to buy more beer. When they got back, I was shocked. I was cooking dinner, I did not even know they had left the property. My ex was wasted. My young son wanted me but my ex just growled at me that he was handling it, that he was his father after all. When I suggested we have the hospital look at his arm, my ex was furious and said I was overreacting. I slept in the other room that night after my ex passed out. I woke in the middle and threw up because I knew it was not OK.

I left the next day. I recount this as an example that even if you are there, it does not mean bad things will not happen. (I took him to the hospital that morning without consulting my EX and yes, his arm was broke in two places.)

We have had major ups and downs since I left over two years ago but the world has opened up. My ex currently only gets supervised visits but will be starting three hours of unsupervised a week this weekend. The good thing is that the courts and everyone involved is going to be watching how he handles this step forward, so close.

My children have changed dramatically for the good since we left. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get them into counseling. At first, while my ex still had 1/2 time custody, my older son was obsessive about everything. Checking doors and windows, to ensure we were safe. He would not speak up for himself and would have constant stomach aches. I documented, documented, documented.

It was horrible for about 6 months but he finally took enough rope and has had only supervised visits since. The court appointed the boys their own attorney and I got my older son in counseling.

His grades have gone from C's and D's to Honor Roll every semester since I left. He is so much stronger and stands up for himself now. Sometimes to the point I want to tell him to knock it off! He quit licking his lips until they were chapped all the way around. He plays sports and has friends at school.

This is not all without tons of work on my part. I decided that I wanted us to be proud of our lives. That I would do whatever it took to make sure that my sons would never treat a woman treated the way they saw me treated. Oh, my son just got an award at school for "Compassion". I am doing something right.....it is not easy though but really is it, that much more effort than it took to keep the peace with my Ex? To deal with the crazy his drinking brought in my house. Nope. And I love the "kid crazy" I have now.

It is not perfect. We are a work in progress. I've noticed both boys have been making up stories about stuff they have done with their Dad or telling friends about things they are going to do with their Dad, that just are not true. I have been discussing it with them. My older son will always chose to a homebody rather than go out if given the option. Like I said, working on it. I am very aware of the nuances going on with us.

Life can be better. You don't have to suffer for love. Yes, I wish my marriage had worked out. I wish I could have "fixed" his drinking if I tried hard enough. But I had to pull my head out of the sand and take a good hard look at my life. I hit the point that I was more afraid to stay than go.......

I wish anyone in this situation still, all the positive vibes I can send. Remember, you can stand up and say that you deserve to love yourself and your children in a healthy way. You don't have to settle for the scraps your A will throw your way when they feel you pulling away.

4MyBoys
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:48 PM
  # 59 (permalink)  
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4myboys, I'm so glad that you got the courage to run. It is quite frightening that he has supervised visits (which is a good thing) AND is still a police officer! That say a lot about the system.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:23 PM
  # 60 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Aeryn View Post
I hate to throw this in here but it's a harsh truth - read the ACOA forum to verify....but in my case and in many many cases later in life as adults adult children of alcoholics come to resent the codependent parent much more than the alcoholic parent. We (ACOAs) end up in tons of therapy to work that out. I think the reason is it's easy for me to see the alcoholism as a disease but my mother staying...well she was SOBER and chose to stay to keep her great "image" of marriage rather than do what was best for me. Now my mother is NPD also so it's easy to say my case is special but it's not - at ACOA meetings and right here on this board I often hear the same thing from ACOAs whose sober parent was not NPD...many feel the same way.

I often read - well my kid is doing great - in all these activities and succeeding. Well...I did great too but not for the right reasons - I did good in school and did activities to "keep from rocking the boat" and "keep that great image" my mother taught me was so important. I didn't do any of those things for the right reasons - none of them were because I was exploring me as a person as normal kids got to do - I was pleasing the alcoholic system. As an adult I developed a huge resentment towards my mother because of that - not my father (the A) but my mother because she was the one that was all about the image and keeping the system in tact.

She even kept his alcoholism from me - hid him down in the basement to drink...I didn't know he was an A for a long time but I knew my family was fake and just an image and I wanted to escape from there as early as age 7. All that good I did school I used to get away from that family...

I don't know - that's just my story but it's one I've heard from other ACOAs too...take what you want and leave the rest.

WTBH - I know it's been tough but when your children are adults they will appreciate you gave them at least one sober, authentic household (sure it may be not 100% of the time for now, I do think your AH will show his colors to the court eventually, but it's so much better than 100% of the time in an A household), I would have done anything for that (the idea of something authentic).
This is where I got hung up in my recovery. Going No Contact with my AM was cake. It was then that I realized the full scope of the dysfunction in my FOO, and that my grandmother, whom I elevated to this saint-like status as a kid, was just feeding the beast. She was a huge part of the alcoholic machine. My dad got out, but in the early 80s he stood a snowball's chance in hell of getting custody of his kids. My mom was a pillar of society, as far as the courts were concerned. I loved my dad more than anything, but by the time I reached the age where I could choose where I wanted to live (12, in Virginia), I had been so brainwashed to believe that my AM's home was the best place on earth and that no one could ever take care of me the way they could.

I could have gotten out. My grandmother KNEW I needed to be with my father. He's a God-fearing, honest man who emphasized all the right things in life, and none of the bs that I grew up believing from my family at home. I could have had a better childhood. I could have had SLEEPOVERS, for crying out loud! You don't have friends over in an A home, because you're horrified of what might happen when your A parent gets trashed at night.

I'm still having a lot of issues with my resentment towards my grandmother and other family members who just sat by and watched it all happen. Or who pushed the abuse because, after all, she was my mother. I should just shut up and take it, and stop being a spoiled, ungrateful brat. Yeah, this is a sore spot for me. Any place would have been better than being in that hellhole. Which is why I tried running away a lot as a teen. I wanted to be anywhere but in the same state as my AM.
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