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my dad and taking a look at myself

Old 01-25-2010, 12:00 AM
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my dad and taking a look at myself

Something just hit me! I remember looking at my Dad, who was one of my amends that i made (by letter in a different country and phone would have not been appropriate) and i haven't seen in 6 years...I remember thinking last time i saw him how on earth does someone get to his age and learn nothing, what i mean is still saying exactly the same things and acting in exactly the same way as i remember he used to when i was a kid. Ok i guess some examples would be good...ok...racist, homophobic, hateful and fearful of the entire human race, thinks the world owes him a living, y'know punch someone before they punch you kid of guy?!

I remember him drumming stuff into me as a kid like every kid in state school carries a knife...don't trust anyone...a lot of crude sexist stuff etc...

The one thing i did notice is that he has mellowed somewhat which i put down to getting older, i put this down to simple logic that comes with age, e.g. its not a good idea for a 60 year old to pick a fight with a 25 year old, less women in the thirties want to sleep with you etc...

When i did my step 4 this was a huge wake up call for me and one thing that i didn't know about myself and that is everything i believed, feared, hated etc when i was in my teens i still had all that at 38...wtf?! I couldn't believe it, thats how little i had looked at myself.

I was reading a thread about being grateful to be an addict/alcoholic, and i would say that i am very grateful to have the opportunity to change so i am not spouting the same crap out at 60 that i did at 20...i would also think this may be a bit of a wake up call for some to actually think about what they believe, their thoughts, their actions, their feelings etc and ask, if appropriate, how the heck can all these be the same at my age now as they were when i was twenty if all i have a problem with is drinking alcohol, there has to be something not right inside and how do i get help for that?!

I don't think my Dad is an alcoholic he has pretty much controlled his drinking and now has one or two nights a week with several drinks a night, but he will go to his grave a very sick man and no in his face reason to do anything about it...that, to me, is alot more scary than death...

There are a lot of things that keep me working on myself on day at a time, but this is a big one...i really, really didn't and don't want to be the person i have been, and am determined, for my part, to put the work in not to be...

Last edited by Dee74; 01-25-2010 at 12:35 AM. Reason: to comply with rule 4
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:16 AM
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Great post. Recovery is so enlightening in so many ways - things which we just accepted were part of us show us why we have been so sick.

I glad that you have had the opportunity to change your life and to realise what it means to be a grateful recovering alcoholic/compulsive gambler.

...And that now you have some peace and acceptance that Dad is just who he is and that's the way it is going to stay.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:53 AM
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Ah yes......

To change my past attitudes ...I needed to take strong positive action.
For me.....that means continueing to live the AA Steps.

By doing that I've become the woman I always wanted to be.
It's an amazing adventure each day!

I've gotten older..poorer...wrinkled and saggy ...
I've also found my soul and heart sings with gratitude
for the changes recovery gives me.

I'm so tickled you are on this journey too Cliff
I've watched you change immensley .....
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:00 AM
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I think I know a little of what you mean...my Dad's not an alcoholic but he's not a grower either - we don't get on too well but he's not a bad guy...he's just exactly the same man I knew as a child...same attitudes, same prejudices...same haircut LOL.

I vowed *I* would never stunt my growth...but of course I ended up doing exactly that...for nearly 20 years.

It's nice to have restarted growing these last 3 years...even if I do look more and more like my dad everyday

D
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:40 AM
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Thanks for this thread. I think about those kinds of things all the time! My father died an untreated alcoholic. All of my siblings are untreated alcoholics. I am watching one of my brothers become an angry and bitter 66 year old whose view of the world is soured by his this.

I often think how sobriety and working the steps would turn their views of the world and themselves around, and maybe they would be happier?

Sometimes I wonder how how our lives would be if my father had stopped drinking? They are sad thoughts indeed.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:07 AM
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Great thread Great
No but seriously, I truly believe that any recovering alocholic/addict becomes a much nicer person. I don't know why, some through working the steps I'm sure, but not all of us do that. Yet we become more appreciative, understanding and caring for others.
Also I have noticed just in myself that when I meet people (plenty in my extended family I can tell you - lol) that are biased, sexist, racist, homophobic, whatever negative attitude they may portrait, I tend to pass them off, not ignore, but somehow 'accept the things I can not change'. Your thread reminded me of that. Thanks.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:08 AM
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Yep!!! So very true. I know I have made many good changes within myself and it's actually made my life much easier.

I have a 64 yo mother who hasn't changed either and she's still doing what she's been doing which is also a lot of "hooey" I picked up over the years. My beliefs and thoughts have totally switched gears I'm happy to say!!

Amen and ditto to all you said yeahgr8!!!
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:23 AM
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Well, you pretty much described my dad to a tee, except he is definitely still as active an alcoholic as ever.

I never want to blame anyone for my problems. I had an ex-boyfriend who ended up a drug addict and he blamed everything on the way his mom raised him. My problems are my problems, my cross to bear, and I will find a way to deal with them appropriately.

But there is no denying that my father's actions contributed to who I am today.

And there is no denying that he, too, will die a lonely and sad man who never learned, never saw how beautiful life can be without alcohol.

I have spent a lot of time crying over this very issue during the past few days. I know I can't go back and change the past. I just wish the past was different. I wish it hadn't had such a dramatic effect on me. I'm sad for him, I'm sad for me, it's like a little pity party I guess.

Thanks for sharing this.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:59 AM
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Thanks for a great post, Cliff Somewhat OT:

My dad visited me recently. I have always looked up to him: he is a kind, honest, and loving person: big heart, great parent.

Just last week, though, he brought on a big OMG! moment.

We were talking about (someone's situation). Out of the blue, he said "I'm very surprised at you, Matthew... People don't change! You're a grown man, I would have thought you'd learnt that by now".

O.o!

Right then and there I realised that's the message he has been giving me *all* my life: people don't change. And, for a very, very long time, I had automatically accepted that ridiculous belief, and acted in consequence. I still do, in many areas of my life... and it's outrageous. Basically, my arrested development is a direct result of believing that a tiger never changes its stripes.

I now believe that my recovery proper began when I -probably unconsciously- countered that precept with... I CAN CHANGE! Everything changes all the time.. so we might as well go with the flow. Changing consciously.

More to the point, and to state the obvious, imo it's impossible to recover from addiction if you don't believe in change.

Last edited by Mattcake; 01-25-2010 at 12:05 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:06 PM
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Oh Matt thats another thing my Dad says so not OT at all!!! His was a leopard never changes its spots, or you are who you are just accept it and get on with it!

Oh and get this my mother (not an alcoholic but IMO much more sick than my father, kind of reminds me of the star wars quote "who's the more foolish, the fool or the fool that follows him") always used to say no man is an island except your father and my Dad would puff out his chest like it was something to be proud of...oh man lol

Oh and don't ever trust anyone...anyone i said! And mate his view on women i just can't even post here, literally unbelievable...poor Dad!
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:13 PM
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There's no shortage of family drama here. It's strange to watch them get all torn up and bent out of shape over anything that comes up.

This quote alway's comes to mind: "we will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us".
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:27 PM
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i much relate to your post.
i always said id never be like my dad........only to slowly evolve into a mirror image of the man.
a resentful aggressive military man that could find a negative in most things and judged everyone.

maybe not a drinker.......but resembled one greatly.

i picked up all those resentments and judgements.....they become pre-installed
alot of my resentments that came to light were not actually mine........they were sucked up information from a twisted man when i was a kid....i had no reason for them........or any need.
it was an eye opener............when i actually stopped saying "yeah but" and got honest.

he has mellowed much.......and i have made amends to him for the harm i did while drinking......for my part i have a clean side of the street.
thats all i can do.

the rest is his business
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:01 PM
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its also important to me cliff to continue to sweep away all that junk.
because i still cop resentments......i am not a saint.
but i recognize the poison that strangles my humility in a blink.
i am no longer able to revel in my own b.s........and hate.
i cant sit with it.. (believe me Ive tried).........and i deal with it pronto.

sitting on a resentment for me is just like spinning the barrel again.....
and it clutters my view and connection to the boss.
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:36 PM
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Very heavy post/thread, Great. Thank you.
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:55 PM
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I totally agree and understand about the resentments, i have definitely swept clear my side of the street...of this i am certain and my sponsor would say the same and i mean everything.

It is important, for me, to not close the door on the past and to understand not only myself but where i came from...a very big part of my progress, for me, is working on my character defects and what i have said from first week of getting sober is that i can learn as much from other people's 'mistakes' as i can from their 'successes'. Give you an example my sponsor, and he wouldn't mind me saying this, has a couple of areas of his life that he is working on...he has great sobriety, incredible actually, but maybe let these 2 areas slide a little in importance or whatever...from this i can learn as this would be very easy for me to do too...just because he has not worked on them doesn't mean i don't have to and this is me, an alcoholic, learning from another alcoholic. He doesn't want me to not work on these areas and wants me to have the best sobriety for me which is why he points this things out to me.

Let's just agree that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree:-) So whereas before i would blame my father and literally hate the guy i can now see him in me and me in him, practically speaking this is a great point of reference for me...he has become the role model i needed, for the most part a role model of who i don't want to be so not looking at him would be just plain stupid on my part.

At the end of the day we have all done what we thought was best at the time, him included...i would not condemn his actions as i would not condemn the actions of a child or a mentally ill person who knew no better. I was the same as him i knew no better and was sick.

My father didn't plan to become the person he is, it is the same as me self will run riot basically...but as God will do things for me that i could never do for myself, i do know that God will not do for me wht i can do for myself and i need reference points for that part of the work.

Does that make sense Shaun, maybe i won't need to have this so much in the future but i don't want to go off getting on with being sober for a couple of years, stop, look and think oh **** thats just what my Dad, sponsor, old friend, or I did before lol

But yeah at some point IMO an alcoholic will drink over a resentment, guaranteed;-)

*** Just wanted to add this is why it is, for me, so important at meetings to listen to everyone, and im not talking about judging people here, but i learn more from the people that have and are making, from what i have learnt, mistakes as i do from the people that are doing great...very important IMO
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:26 AM
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My father is the first person on my step four list. I haven't reached the third column and will go through all of it with my sponsor when I'm done. I am looking forward to finding new ways of seeing him as a person, because my view has always been colored by anger, hatred and resentment. I simply never liked him: I hated him.

It will be darn good to find another way to feel, because those feelings have only hurt me. An AA speaker said: resentment is from latin and means "return to feeling". They hurt you the first time, but when you take that resentment and visit it over and over again, you are hurting yourself.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by littlefish View Post
My father is the first person on my step four list. I haven't reached the third column and will go through all of it with my sponsor when I'm done. I am looking forward to finding new ways of seeing him as a person, because my view has always been colored by anger, hatred and resentment. I simply never liked him: I hated him.

It will be darn good to find another way to feel, because those feelings have only hurt me. An AA speaker said: resentment is from latin and means "return to feeling". They hurt you the first time, but when you take that resentment and visit it over and over again, you are hurting yourself.
Hi Littlefish,

......In the meantime I would suggest you follow the specific instructions on the second half of P552 of the BB. (also read the whole story if you have time, it's a good one)

My experience of this is - at first I have literally choked on the words as I have found them so unbearable to say, then I start laughing at the ridiculousness of them a few days later, then a few days later I feel peace and the resentment has vanished. It has always worked for me.

Resentment cannot live alongside Prayer.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:49 AM
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Oh the emotions are running rampant while working with my sponsor on my childhood teachings this week! I was raised in a religion where my mother and father both told me that I would probably not graduate from high school since the world is going to end!! Do you know what tremendous pressure that is growing up? They did not encourage college either, since it wouldn't be needed!!

Well, I got myself kicked out of that church at 21, went to college at 32, drinking excessively the whole time and at 44......I have a whole heap of S**t to work through!! I have absolutely no belief system........I welcome change with open arms!!

Resentment cannot live alongside Prayer. I like that Intention, thanks!
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by trucker View Post
i picked up all those resentments and judgements.....they become pre-installed
alot of my resentments that came to light were not actually mine........they were sucked up information from a twisted man when i was a kid....i had no reason for them........or any need.
it was an eye opener............when i actually stopped saying "yeah but" and got honest.

he has mellowed much.......and i have made amends to him for the harm i did while drinking......for my part i have a clean side of the street.
thats all i can do.

the rest is his business
I was waiting and hoping for this to be said and trucker you did not disappoint. My faith for working the steps has been renewed.
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
Resentment cannot live alongside Prayer. I like that Intention, thanks!
Just passing along what was passed to me. I made the note in the margin of my book when I was was a BB study with Joe and Charlie.
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