JC: Diane your submission was titled, “How To Stay Focused Without Feeling Guilty.” One of the characteristics of being raised in an alcoholic home is having guilt feelings. As an adult child of an alcoholic, I understand what it is like to wrestle with many negative emotions. One of the things I learned from my support group is that guilt is either earned or learned and we avoid it as much as possible. Here is a good article: “How TO Cope With Guilt In Alcoholic Relationships.”
Guest Post By:Diane
Here’s the long story shortened. I was raised in an alcoholic home. My mom was the alcoholic. I have always been the people pleaser, take charge, clean up and figure out things kind of person.
My father was abusive and a gambler..There were days that I saw my parents happy and then when their addictions arose there were fights.
So what do I do? I married a man 21 years my age looking for a father figure. He is also an alcoholic.
I have issues when it comes time to having fun (as I am currently going on a cruise and feel so guilty that my husband is unable to attend due to poor choices in his finances), but yet I am fine due to being super hero and maintaining my finances. My husband has taken for granted my super responsible ways and I have finally awakened to that fact.
My mom had a stroke. I am her primary care giver. She has gotten better, but she also has taken advantage of my super responsible ways. During her bouts of consuming liquor, she treated me very bad. I remember her cursing me out during many fights that dad participated in too. There has been plenty of verbal abuse which included damaging words like; “you will never amount to anything”…
My parents mood swings are and were terrible. You never knew what to expect. I have gone to Al-alon which I had to stop because I felt the people attending needed more than the program. I have gotten counseling and am doing much better, but still suffer with bouts of guilt and sometimes feel like I am not doing enough.
Characteristics Of Being Raised In An Alcoholic Home(ACOA)
Any suggestions on dealing with that?
When it comes to taking care of myself, I have horrible feelings of guilt and never really enjoy the blessing of my life.
My husband is now 73 and I am 51. He drinks strong beers 40oz (3-4 per day) that give him a kick. When he is drunk, he talks to the T.V., curses and eventually falls asleep until the next day… He is functional until around 3:00 p.m., then the process starts again…it is depressing to see.
JC: Diane, I heard something recently that has periodically helped me stay a little more stable; “I Am Enough.” I wasn’t raised in an abusive alcoholic home where I was told that I wouldn’t amount to anything. However, as an adult I married an alcoholic who was verbally abusive. She was constantly ridiculing me and making me feel worthless.
Whatever follows I am … will come looking for you. – Oprah’s Lifeclass
I can relate. My father quit drinking when I was 8. When I became a teenager, he started to scapegoat and never stopped.
Nothing negative was said to me in a direct way but I was blamed and criticize. After many years of therapy and coda support groups, I realized that my father (as all alcoholics/dry drunks) never worked on his issues from childhood. This is the reason they drink, so, they don’t have to feel, they just pass their shame on to us.
I married late in life (I use to joke and say, if I ever get out of this family alive, I’m not getting into another one). The man I married was successful, kind hearted, funny and drank wine every night.
I thought it was social drinking because you could not tell he was drunk. It was really stage 2 alcoholism. As time went on he started to criticize and blame me, just like my father, he even, looked and sounded like him a few times. I tried to take my knowledge (29 years of it) and work US through it to become a connected happy couple. That back fired and he ended up leaving me.
I still feel rejected and hurt from everything that was done and said. I read this site daily and know I should be thankful that I have a chance to find someone else and be happy.
I have been clinical depressed and finally went last week to the doctor to get on a different anti depressant to help get out of this hole.
I don’t think working on ourselves ever stops, but that is ok because we work on making our lives better instead of numbing the pain and passing it on to others.
Healing The Shame That Binds You by John Bradshaw, my go to book. I know if you read this book and listen to him on YouTube it will help you. He is a recovering alcoholic, speaks
about shame and acoa.
I watch different things on tv as therapy.
Iyanla: Fix My Life Sat. 10/9 C — She is also on Oprah.com
Oprah LifeClass Sundays
Couples Therapy Wed.
Rehab with Dr. Drew
Oprah.com has lots of good stuff. Check out the I Am class or watch it Sunday.
Try saying to yourself, I am statements the last 5 minutes b4 you go to sleep. I am happy, I am going to have fun on my cruise….
Our subconscious brain cannot tell the difference between real and imagined.
Sorry for the length of this but I hope this helps. Keep us posted.
If you argue against reality, you will suffer. – Iyanla