It seems as though confusion in the family started at a very young age for many of us who are adult children of alcoholics. Thinking back in my life, when my father passed away when I was age five, my memories of my mother are that she was always in the bed sick. I realize now as an adult that she was drunk most of the time after his death. Mom finally found the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and stayed sober for over thirty years until she passed away.
As a kid, I was confused about all the things that had happened to me. The more meetings I attend in the rooms of the Alanon program, the more I realize that I am not alone in my confusion about relationships with family members and the damage that alcoholism has done.
It’s a common occurrence for alcoholics to be basically shunned by family members who are not up to the task of dealing with all of the strange and damaging things that alcoholics do. The list is long of things like steeling, fighting and constantly lying that follow wherever the family alcoholic goes.
The sad part is that the confusion filters throughout the entire family. When one family member decides to push an alcoholic out of their lives, the children, cousins, aunts, uncles and grand parents are all affected. The bitter root seems to affect everyone. This always breads confusion, especially if the alcoholic decides to get help for their problem and gets sober. Some of the family members are not as forgiving as others are.
So, what happens inside of the family is there begins to develop those who are for the alcoholic and the others who are against them. There seems to be a great need for forgiveness inside of the family walls. The division of people for and against the alcoholic’s past behaviors causes great confusion and separation among people who were once close in the family.
What should you do if you find yourself in this type of situation? Let it go and enjoy your life. Learn how to forgive and offer the alcoholic another chance. It may be necessary for you to stick to your decision that you have made to keep the alcoholic at a distance, at least until they prove themselves worthy of being trusted again. Just make sure to set a goal to forgive them and work at restoration of your relationship once they have proven to be able to stay sober.
Confusion among the family and constant bickering and fighting oftentimes is a way of life for many families. For you to escape from the chaos, it will be necessary to learn how to cope with active alcoholism’s affects on your past, present and future. The best way to learn how to cope with the confusion that accompanies alcoholism is to find support meetings in your area that can help you deal with troublesome situations. As you attend more support group meetings, you will begin to change things that you can, let go of things you have no control over and you will obtain the wisdom to know the difference.
Thanks for the article. Al Anon meetings are usually plentiful and easy to find. There are even online meetings for those in more remote areas. ACOA- adult children of alcoholics meetings may be harder to find but they are more group specific. Anyone that grew up in a “dysfunctional” family qualifies.
thanks for posting this article. Al-anon and ACA meetings and the 12 step program have helped me a lot. My father was an alcoholic