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I am many things...Put them all together and they = a mess!

Old 03-13-2017, 06:27 PM
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I am many things...Put them all together and they = a mess!

I've been reading here for quite a while and this is my first post. I see so much positive give and take here (and feel like I "know" some of you from reading so much) that I thought I'd finally post.

As the title says, I have a lot going on alcoholism wise...I'm an ACOA (father, died when I was 19), a recovering alcoholic myself (just over 6 years sober), and my mother is a current alcoholic (she had quit before I was born, sober my entire life until I was about 25). I was married to a drinker (not an alcoholic but definitely a problem drinker) for 6 years and I divorced him about a year and a half after I got sober.

I have a good handle on my own recovery, I've made peace with my dad, still struggle sometimes with how to deal with my mom but am able to remain pretty detached for the most part. The biggest issue I've found myself having with her is not so much her deciding to drink her last years away, but stuff from childhood. It wasn't until I quit drinking myself that I started to realize that most of my issues from childhood affecting my adult life stem from her utter selfishness and inability to look out for and protect me...keeping me in a sometimes violent and consistently dysfunctional alcoholic home for as long as she did (she finally divorced my dad when I was 15, but I remember begging her to move us to my grandma and grandpa's as young as 7/8). I've been in therapy for the past 8 months, first time since I quit drinking but had lots of therapy prior to that in my 20's. Totally different animal at this age than in my 20's lol. I'm learning how to have compassion for her and forgive her but it's slow going.

So I guess I see the ACOA stuff is what's behind most of my current issues, but that forum doesn't seem to get much traffic so I thought I might get more input here. After I divorced, I was totally alone for 2 years, worked hard on making my life happy, and I succeeded at that. Then I got into a relationship and I haven't had the same grip on happiness since. He's great in many ways, not a drinker or addict of any kind, but like everyone he comes with his own baggage and issues, the main one affecting me/us being emotional unavailability and fear of intimacy. He is also in therapy and has the same history with therapy as I do. We have gone to couples therapy but basically, where she would see each of us separately on occasion she's seeing him more individually because she believes his issues are having a greater affect on us. So I've just let that go for now because it makes sense.

I just feel so lost a lot of the time. My therapist has been very helpful, is EMDR certified which has brought about some major breakthroughs for me, but I don't know if it's working out as well anymore because I don't feel like I'm getting the direction I need in terms of figuring out my part in what's wrong with my relationship. This is the first long term relationship I've ever had totally sober (didn't drink much at all prior to my late 20's but smoked A LOT of weed), with someone who is relatively mentally healthy himself (or at least can see where he needs work and is willing to do it), and I just know I'm doing things wrong but can't figure out what or where it comes from or what's up/down/left/right half the time. I see some codependency in myself for sure but not as severe as I may have been before my drinking got out of control. I've brought that up to my therapist but either she doesn't see it doesn't think it's an issue. But I know it's there to a certain degree.

I've been thinking about starting to go to ACOA meetings but haven't pulled the trigger yet. I did AA for a while when I first quit drinking and also used a forum much like this, which I found more helpful because I just found more people who had what I wanted there (many of whom I'm still in touch with, although the forum no longer exists). The thing with the meetings is I'm extremely introverted and I work a lot, so the thought of doing ANYTHING after work involving people makes me want to take a nap. There's also a trust issue, I just have this constant thing where I won't let anybody near me (mentally/emotionally) except a romantic relationship and a handful of close friends, and I even keep the friends at a distance, especially lately since most of them have gone off the deep end themselves in recent years. I know it's not fair to my boyfriend to depend on him as my sole source of emotional support. I've talked about this in therapy a little, and all she can say is "you just have to do it, you just have to open up to it" but I can tell myself that all day and it's doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere. So I'm starting with you all

Not sure what I'm looking for here...just to vent, someone who can relate, honest advice, all of the above.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:14 PM
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Yep...card-carrying extreme introvert here. I trust very few with my private thoughts, which is one of the many reasons why this forum has been so helpful. You can have how much or how little interaction you find useful on any given day...and there's always someone here who knows exactly what you're going through.

So...welcome!

P.S. You're not a mess at all. You're just a work in progress, like all of us!
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:31 PM
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I think it's very tough to be with someone who is emotionally unavailable. How do you tackle that?
No advice, just hello and welcome.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Ariesagain View Post
Yep...card-carrying extreme introvert here. I trust very few with my private thoughts, which is one of the many reasons why this forum has been so helpful. You can have how much or how little interaction you find useful on any given day...and there's always someone here who knows exactly what you're going through.

So...welcome!

P.S. You're not a mess at all. You're just a work in progress, like all of us!
Thank you for the welcome! Ah yes, work in progress...another one of my issues is needing resolution and answers to everything now, immediately lol.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Maudcat View Post
I think it's very tough to be with someone who is emotionally unavailable. How do you tackle that?
No advice, just hello and welcome.
Thank you for the welcome. I'll let you know how to tackle that as soon as I figure it out lol. Honestly it's been very difficult for me, especially given my own background I think. He's not an extreme case, and he's aware of it and wants to fix it, so that helps. He had his own screwed up childhood and has never come close to dealing with any of the feelings stemming from it until now. I've been very close to walking, especially recently, but he IS working on it in therapy and there has been progress so I'm not ready to walk just yet. Plus I think initially it probably worked for me in some way that I haven't uncovered in my own therapy yet.
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:22 PM
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Denise, should I say welcome? Hon, you have been coming here for 3 years this month, and we are so happy you are coming out of the closet. In my opinion you are healing, you are taking a "chance" on telling people your truth. Good for you, what a risk you are taking, it was on your own time frame, and only when you were ready.

You have been through the ringer, my friend. Congratulations on 6 years of sobriety. Congratulations on working to forgive your dads alcohlism and abandonment while drinking and dying so young. Congratulations on having enough strength and power to divorce an addict. Now Mom/daughter relationships are always tough, and then add alcohol, wow, good for you for trying.

From what you have described, regarding your life, I am surprised you didn't wind up in a looney bin. I think you sound amazing and need to pat yourself on the back. You are a Survivor!!! Good for you for seeking therapy on how to better yourself and your relationship, thats all we can do to move forward.

Denise, I hope you can smile and be proud of what you have accomplished, because I can, and we just met. Hang in there, life is full of amazing things!!!
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:49 PM
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I can relate as growing up, I had an extremely emotionally abusive mother that I think really screwed me up for most of my life leading to a lot of mental health issues and alcoholism as well. I also still struggle with relationships and often times they just don't work out, or it's possibly just all those years of emotional damage that really takes it's toll.
I'm still trying to figure it out myself. Therapy and one day at a time,..
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:59 PM
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I've actually only been reading here for about a year maybe, although I did register a long time ago, just didn't realize it was THAT long ago. So yes, thank you for the welcome! Nice to meet you.

Thank you for the kind words.... I know in my head I've pulled myself out of some very dark places, but I don't really spend any time feeling proud or like I've accomplished anything other than what everyone else in the world does...learn to live the best life they can with what they have.

I actually owe a lot of that to my parents...although he never succeeded very long term, my dad gave an honest shot many times at quitting for good. So I had a childhood filled with rehabs and their family groups/weeks, Alateen, and my mom was in Al-Anon for many years before she divorced my dad. So lots of education and exposure early on. Part of my difficulty with her at this stage in life is that she's always been put on this pedestal, not just by me but by everyone who knows her, as this strong independent woman who finally figured her stuff out, got the strength to leave my dad, and did it. And that's who she was...maybe not as soon as my childhood self needed her to be, but she was. So when it came to light how serious her own alcoholism has now become and I don't recognize her anymore, I miss that woman. I have to let go of the fantasy mom I thought she'd be in older age, because her golden years look nothing like I thought they would.

Anyway, thank you again for the welcome and your kind words.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Forward12 View Post
I can relate as growing up, I had an extremely emotionally abusive mother that I think really screwed me up for most of my life leading to a lot of mental health issues and alcoholism as well. I also still struggle with relationships and often times they just don't work out, or it's possibly just all those years of emotional damage that really takes it's toll.
I'm still trying to figure it out myself. Therapy and one day at a time,..
Me too. Another issue I have, which I see in a lot of posts here and totally relate to, is staying in relationships way longer than I should, not listening to or trusting my gut, and I fear that's what I might be doing now, but I'm just not sure.
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:09 PM
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:33 AM
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DeniseKS.....one thing that jumped out, to me, from your post is the fact that you say that you have entered a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable and has problems with intimacy.....that you seek your emotional support from.....
doesn't that sound a little like going to the hardware store for a loaf of bread.....

And, you have been pushing your friends away...(that inplies that you did have friends and you are capable of making friends)......
Even introverts need social interaction and connections. They just need it in a different pattern and in different ways than some other people do. but, I have never heard that isolating away, as a total diet, a path to satisfaction.....
I'm just saying......

I have seen some books, on amazon.com, specifically for ACOAs...if you have never studied the literature.....
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:59 AM
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Hi Denise, welcome!

I am sorry for what brings you here, but so glad you are here and decided to post. Lots of people on this forum have an ACOA background as well. There are also others who have went through recovery themselves.

Congratulations on SIX YEARS of sobriety! An especially hard challenge with all of your exposure from others in your life. I love hearing a success like that!

More will come along, I just wanted to send out a warm welcome, I am so glad you are here, I hope the interaction here will help!
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:15 AM
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I can relate to the growing up. I had a extremely abusive ( physically and emotionally ) father and a mother who was a PA control freak. I lived with my grandmother until I started school but then my parents saw grandmother had made me useful by teaching me household stuff so they wanted me back to look after my younger siblings. I cooked Sunday lunches aged 8 and was in and out of school all my childhood minding various siblings while my parent conducted life as they wanted it. Fast forward. I am brain damaged cos of being shaken by my father and both sides of the family had alcoholics in them. My father was a recovered one when he married my mother but his behaviour wasn't recovered. He was a nightmare who had no idea of his own strength.

My own experience has been marrying alcoholics - twice. Two of my siblings are alcoholics and one is a very heavy drinker. I seem to have missed the alcoholic "gene" but still picked those types to marry. I am very introverted now. I rarely leave the house and have only one good friend I meet once a week for lunch. I think us children grow up with a core of fragility that never quite goes away when we have lived in those environments where we were not protected and nurtured.

I have a boyfriend too but he's not here much and it is likely he is moving permanently this year to get settled in Europe before the UK leave the EU for good. The clock is ticking on that now. I told him to go even tho he doesn't want to leave me cos one of us deserves to be able too.

When I saw = mess my first thought was no she is not. You will get there. It just takes time.((hugs))
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