The use of guilt is a common thread among people who drink. The alcoholic that I dealt with was constantly creating problems and trying to take me on a guilt trip. If you can learn to recognize when they begin to blame you for everything, then you can choose not to ride on the road of the blame game.
When we begin to recognize that not everything that they say is our fault, then we can stop defending ourselves and there will be less arguing with the problem drinker.
I say often in articles that I write that using the expression “I’m sorry you feel that way” is very freeing. It gives us the power to not get caught up in the moment and buys us time to think about what the alcoholic is throwing our way. At a later time, if what they are saying about us is true and we need to make an amend to someone, then we should keep our side of the street clean and make the amend.
My point is that regardless of the comments that get hurled our way, “We Don’t Do Guilt.” It’s just that simple! When we take everything to heart that gets pushed our way it’s like we are taking the world on our shoulders. The guilt can cause us to feel as though we have little value. Don’t allow anyone to degrade or belittle you. You are a beautiful person, perfectly designed to be exactly who you are.
You must learn how to love yourself in spite of how others treat you. This will make you strong in the face of misguided truths and more.
When insults were hurled at me, I was told to just let them drip off like water dripping from a duck’s back. That expression seems to help for some, but I would rather raise my imaginary shield and let the guilt be deflected away.
The alcoholic who was constantly throwing guilt in my face was a very abusive person. Using an imaginary shield to deflect the abusive comments helped me win the battle. Daily I constantly had to lift up my deflector so the guilt trip would not hit me.
Once I recognized the power that I had allowed the alcoholic to have over my feelings, I refused to ride the roller coaster anymore.
Statements like: “I’m sorry you feel that way” and “that’s not true” or even, “you may be right,” can protect you tremendously from getting into an argument.
You see, the more an alcoholic can keep us anxious, angry and reacting in negative ways, the greater the focus is on our bad behavior and not theirs.
An alcoholic uses guilt in order to get the focus off of them and on us. This is a common thread among addicts. If they can blame everyone else for their problems, then somehow it makes them feel better in a very dysfunctional kind of way.
This is “typical” alcoholic behavior.
When I made up my mind that I was going to love the alcoholic in my life no matter what kind of guilt trip they were trying to give me, patience and love for them increased. This isn’t to say I became a doormat. No! I learned how to set healthy boundaries as well.
JC–this article really spoke to my heart (as this was done to me constantly) but hoping you can elaborate on 2 things I would like more info on:
1.”The reason I say it this way is because the alcoholic who was constantly throwing guilt in my face was a very abusive person.”
–What types of abuse
–when? only when under influence or do they tend to behave that way all the time?
2. “blame everyone else for their problems, then somehow it makes them feel better in a very dysfunctional kind of way.”
–what if there are no problems in their life at the time–they seem to still do this–why do you think if there are currently no problems in their life?
Just new at this and want to thank everyone who shares their ideas, experiences, and feelings. God it is horrible and real. I am sooooooo tired of the pain, guilt, failure of not making it better. Ha1 Like I could.. Anyhow, I truly appreciate that somehow I received this information and don’t feel so alone now. I felt like the only one out here. Again, thank you all. Robin
This sounds eerily like my brother and mine’s relationship. I can’t take it anymore, I’m trying to study and do something with my life and I get read the riot act daily because I don’t want to spend my life getting sloshed. I don’t want to sink into the bog and disappear into addiction. He’ll berate me and come to all kinds of bizarre conclusions, that alcohol makes him smarter, and more intuitive, and more likable. But he’s constantly abusive and I feel like I can’t study or work or anything afterwards. He makes it out that if I don’t spend my life sitting next to him in a bar then I don’t love him. It’s emotionally draining and it feels like there’s nothing I can do to change it. It’s like the only thing that he cares about is alcohol. I wish it never existed.
I don’t know if I want to live with the alcoholic without them ever getting help. What kind of life is that. They need to be accountable at some point. I’m not feeling it today.
I am hearing some things about allergy I do not know if they are speaking of allergy to alcohol or not but heard this twice of late in an open aa meeting! I am just trying to edecate myself on this! Please help if you can.
Thank you !
At first I did take on guilt. I must have been a terrible mom somewhere down the way. But I realized I wasn’t a bad mom. I realized that deflection is part of the affliction. A year and a half of therapy with a therapist who specialized in alcoholism and the family was very helpful. My therapist had done her internship at a hospital that specialized in addiction treatment.
I’ve seen adult alcoholics guilt their senior parents on a fixed income into paying 10s of thousands of dollars in debt, give them money for a new car along with alot of other things. The alcoholic adult child went after them like a conman first fishing for sympathy saying how bad they have it and what they need to make things better. That same parent is paying the price(the 10s of thousands paid on behalf of an alcoholic adult child) is the difference between financial stability and losing their house. Adult alcoholic children are no better than conmen.