Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hello... my name is Monica...

... and i am a daughter of an alcoholic.

This is something that is NOT a secret to anyone i know. I grew up in a very small town... where people like to talk.

I do not want to write this blog about my past, or what has happened to me. I have moved on... but i would like to write down how it is now... and what it means to be an adult child of an alcoholic.

Its amazing how the way you grew up can really influence the way you are as an adult. I am noticing more and more of that now that i am preparing to walk down the aisle.

Adult children of alcoholics can tend to be perfectionist, overreact to change out of their control, constantly seek approval and affirmation, are extremely loyal (even in the face of evidence that loyality is underserved), frightened of angry people, have an overwhelming sense of responsibility, stuff their feelings, have low self-esteem, and can be terrified at personal criticism. [ site reference ].

These things could be going on in the adult head, all because of an addiction that the child did not say yes to.  Because of the way we, as children, needed to guard ourselves from our alcoholic parents . . .  we can tend to OVER guard our hearts to our new adult relationships. We build up these walls so that we cannot get hurt. But walls dont keep us from getting hurt . . . it keeps people from getting in and lovingly touching our hearts. I know that i do this at times. . . and now that i am seeing it - i am more equipped to fix it.

We can tend to see things not as they truly are - but as our "hurt glasses" see them. Like when you have colored sunglasses on and your world looks a little altered. Adult children of alcoholics can sometimes look at a situation and instead of seeing it for what it truly is . . .  we see through our hurt and react out of that - making something a big deal, although it really isn't. People who were not affected by alcoholism have a hard time understanding or relating to this. We have to take the "hurt glasses" off and see life for what it really is . . . and not for what our anxieties and fears see it.

Alcohol is a VERY touchy subject with me. Everyone who knows me . . . knows this about me. And although my mother has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, i have noticed that i too, have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
I do not love it too much that i choose it about other things . . . but i HATE it so much that i choose harsh feelings over other things. Which is also unhealthy.

I hate ALCOHOLISM and what it can do the family. But not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic. Not everyone who goes to a bar has a problem with alcohol. It seems soo simple, but for a daughter of an alcoholic . . . that is something i had to re-learn.

So.. yes, i do have walls up that i need to tear down in order to have a healthy relationship with my new husband. He is a very understanding and gracious man and i am soo thankful for him. I know that it takes steps to get to where i need to be . . . and i have been taking those baby steps. Every day i feel like i have more and more breakthrough in this area.

I am being honest with myself, honest with my future husband. I breathe and have to remind myself that sometimes i am looking through my "hurt glasses" . . .  and i need to take them off to see what is REALLY going on and not what my previously hurt heart sees.

Its a challenge and a learning process. I recently went to an Alanon Meeting (for families affected by alcoholics). i HIGHLY recommend it. If you are affected by anyone in your life who is (or was) an alcholic, please find a meeting to attend. Even if you are not in contact with the alcoholic . . .  it will help. trust me.

Remember that the past will only dictate your future . . .  if you allow it to.

hope, new beginnings, and love. - M

♥ . ♥ . ♥


Andi said...

Thanks for sharing this, Monica. I too am the daughter (and granddaughter) of alcoholics, but fortunately, my dad chose to leave and I din't have to deal with his addiction on a daily basis. You're very right in saying that adults carry around "hurt glasses" and put them on in a number of situations. I know my dad chose alcohol over my mom and me and while I don't HATE alcohol, I don't understand people who drink more than once in a blue moon. I have even found myself slightly judging my husband for ordering a drink at dinner randomly for no reason!

Monica820 said...

thanks Andi, for sharing too.

It is very very hard... something that i constantly am working on. I sometime deal with THAT feeling when my Fiance drinks. Its SOO not a big deal... but i have to push my fear and anxiety away. it can be a battle.

In my childhood it did feel like my mother loved alcohol more then me... and that is hard to get over.
But with Christ i know i will be set free of the fear and anxiety!

I can no longer allow my "hurt glasses" affect my every day life! It really only hurts me and my relationships.

i have hope in that. I feel sad for every young person growing up in alcoholic families and i pray that they can find the hope and stop the cycle with them.