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A good description

Old 04-10-2020, 10:42 AM
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A good description

Hi guys. Does anyone have a link or two with a really good explanation/illustration of how and why having a highly functional alcoholic parent is still very damaging? I struggle putting phrasing to it. I know I can’t convince AH, this is really for me to have for myself and for anyone else outside who wants to know. AH is very good at pointing out all that he does—breadwinner, driving them, etc— and uses that “evidence” to counter the nasty behavior. I can’t put it into words, he’s great at reducing his behavior to absurdity so it’s hard for me to conceptualize how ****** he’s being to us. I’d love to be able to have something to refer to. Thanks.
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:51 AM
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https://adultchildren.org/
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:53 AM
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Pizza....the best thing that I can think of is to go to amazon.com....in the book section. there, you can get the materials and Book for "Adult Children of Alcoholics". Do you know that there is a group for "Adult Children of Alcoholics".?
by reading these materials, you will see how the dynamics of living/having an alcoholic parent damages the emotional development of the children.
the material will sometimes be called---"Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families"...….

Of course, other posters may have good ideas for you, also......
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Old 04-10-2020, 11:40 AM
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As I have learned the hard way....highly functioning really only applies to people that aren’t close to the alcoholic as they are able to keep up appearances for others. I realized that my XRAH was highly functioning away from home but at home he really was not very functional at all, drinking a sleeping and very much unavailable emotionally. Which is why I could not recover from his years of drinking when he finally got sober. Too much damage to the person closest to him while no one else had a clue he was an alcoholic. Any alcoholic parent whether functional or not is unhealthy because they cannot have a normal healthy relationship with those closest to them because emotionally they are very much absent. Of course your AH will not understand that as long as he is an active drinker. Sorry no resources but that’s what I learned through family program at rehab and through counseling.
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Old 04-10-2020, 12:19 PM
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I love how someone can think that driving someone somewhere or providing a roof over their head is "parenting". These are things that an organization for homeless people do, or any organization that helps those in need.

Doesn't make you a good parent!

Sorry I don't have any reference material to point you to. I think understanding the affect of an alcoholic parent on a child (and a family in general) is as complicated, if not more than understanding alcoholism in general.

My Father (an alcoholic) never defended his drinking, then again he never had to (to my recollection) because my Mother didn't participate in that. She never, to my knowledge, called him on his drinking. She married an alcoholic (or at least I imagine he was at the time), she knew this and accepted it.

Doesn't mean she accepted poor behaviour, in general and doesn't mean it didn't have a devastating affect on her at the time but her expectation of him was, basically, to bring home money from work and he always did.
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Old 04-10-2020, 06:25 PM
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Is he still just having 2 drinks a day ?
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:43 PM
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Pizza I think I understand your point, that you are probably looking for assurances that we aren't crazy, or wrong in our thinking. I feel this way all the time, have googled high-functioning alcoholic until I'm blue in the face. I think if you are truly not happy and clearly you have tried, with counseling etc., it's ok to allow yourself to take the next step. Maybe speak to a lawyer and find out what your rights are. You are worthy of living a life where you are not tormented and miserable. Your kids deserve that as well.
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:44 PM
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Pizza.....I actually think that you, instinctively, know that there is more to parenting than just providing food and housing (as Trailmix alluded to)…..like she said....a homeless shelter can provide that much.
After all, it is in the home where the developing child receives it's first foundation for emotional development. And, the effects of this emotional development will be carried for the rest of the young person's life. Every part of the child's environment has an effect....one way or another.
In an alcoholic home...every person is affected....The non-drinking parent is also affected to such an extent that even they are not able to do their own best parenting. the non-drinking parent cannot be fully present for the child, either.....as they become preoccupied and drained by the stress and attention that they direct toward the alcoholic.
I think it is like throwing a rock into a pool of water....eventually, the ripples from the rock reach every single bit of the water.....

Of course, I am known, around here, for saying "Knowledge is power"....lol...
I do believe that.
You already seem to know that you will not "convince" him of what you are trying to enlighten him about...his total responsibility as a partner and parent....
I think you are right...as long as he is drinking he will be in DENIAL of the effects of alcohol on him and others. Just stopping to drink will not be enough either. It will take living by the principles of RECOVERY...which entails changing his attitudes, ways of thinking and changing behaviors. this requires a lot of diligent work and following a program of recovery.

You can't count on him. His DENIAL is so strong that it is bigger than you. All of your talking and efforts to educate him and debate with him will, surely, fall on deaf ears.
This makes you the Captain of the Ship for your self and your children.
I think it is really important for you to learn everything you can about the effects of an alcoholic parent (at any stage of alcoholism) on the developing child.
this will give you the opportunity and tools to provide the best kind of environment for your children....to be a good role model for them and to guide them into adulthood...….
One healthy parent can make all the difference to the child.....
Read everything that you can...and, get all the help you can for you and your children...from anywhere you can get it....
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Old 04-11-2020, 04:59 AM
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AH here will mount all sorts of arguments in response to my concerns and take them around and around so much its hard to know where the conversation started. Its sport for the. Ive stopped playing.
Some wise soul on this forum said to imagine then quacking when they start on that circuitous deflection. It works well but you have to be careful not to laugh.. After a while you can predict what will happen when you raise a topic. I imagine AH taking a tennis racquet and hitting anything i say back over the net at me.
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Old 04-11-2020, 05:28 AM
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My Dad always kept a roof over our heads, worried about us if we weren't home on time, saw to it we respected our elders, impressed upon us how important education was, instilled a great work ethic in all of us. He was a deacon in our church and helped older people with odd jobs at their homes. He and Mom took us on one long camping trip each summer, and weekend trips when we sometimes got to bring a friend with us. Dad got up early on weekends and fixed a big breakfast for everyone so Mom could sleep in.

I know that when I got older, I didn't see excessive drinking as 'excessive.' So when I met Late AH, the amount he drank was worrying, but hey, it never caused my Dad any real trouble. One spring Mom broke her leg, and I called one evening to see how she was. Dad answered the phone clearly out of it and I realized he was of no help to her at all during that episode. His DWI / vehicular manslaughter came 12 years after I married, and that was the only DWI he ever had. Obviously, having my 76-year-old father go to prison was disastrous.

It took me a long time to admit my marriage was a mistake. AH's decline was far more rapid than my father's. By the time he was 59, his drinking had cost him three jobs in six years. It was probably just luck he never killed anyone driving. Or maybe he just kept so much beer on hand, he never had to go out to get more while he was drunk.
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Old 04-11-2020, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Derringer View Post
Is he still just having 2 drinks a day ?
yes but as Ive said they’re stronger. Also, I know about ACOA and that’s fine. I was just looking for maybe an impact letter from someone who lived w a functional alcoholic parent. Something like that.
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Old 04-12-2020, 05:42 AM
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pizza I think I hear wh at you are asking for...but, I also know the frustration of that. I think that most all f us have tried to reach the alcoholic by having "just the right words" or being able to out-logic or out-debate them....We tried everything to pull back the curtains and let the Enlightment in.....
But....there is no one more deaf than those who will not hear. Their ears are closed due to the Denial of their disease. the ability to do self evaluation and shoulder responsibility is as scarce as icewater in the Sahara.
I think that the best way to what you are wanting....the best for you and your children's ultimate welfare is to increase your own self confidence and learning all that you can learn.....
He may remain ignorant...but Knowledge will be your power.
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Old 04-12-2020, 09:18 AM
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in the same way that today we are all social distancing to keep ourselves (and others) safe, the same practice can be applied to dealing with the alcoholic/addict - EMOTIONAL DISTANCING. done for the same reasons - to keep ourselves (and others, including chidren) SAFE from the effects of addiction.

every interaction you have with him is crazy making. every time you react, you have violated your own emotional distancing. it is incumbent upon you to put emotional barriers in place - for you and the kids. to the best of your ability.

this means not rising to the bait, not poking the bear, not engaging in yet another fruitless argument. this doesn't mean you instigate and US versus HIM mentality. but it does mean you provide emotional solace and support for yourself and your kids. in a thoughtful, guided way.
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Old 04-13-2020, 08:43 AM
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Well yeah Anvil I knew that. I was just looking for words to describe the impact on me and the kids not really for AH but for me and anyone else who wants to understand what this is like.
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Old 04-13-2020, 09:00 AM
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Pizza...I don't know if you are aware, but, we have an extensive library of articles about alcoholism and the effects on the loved ones, right here on this forum. There are over one hundred articles …..enough to read and digest one every single day.....lol....
It is contained within the stickies...just above the threads, on the main page.
For your convenience, I am going to give you a following link directly to them.
They are referred to as "Classic Readings".....just so you know....

I doubt that there is any aspect of the effects on the loved ones that is not addressed somewhere in this "library"...….

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...c-reading.html (Classic Reading)
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Old 04-13-2020, 01:04 PM
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Also pizza have you read the Adult children of addicted/alcohol parents forum?

In particular you might find this thread helpful, which also contains reference to books:

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...ng-wounds.html (Adult Children of People With Alcoholism: Healing the Wounds)
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