Thursday, January 31, 2008

Online Al-Anon Meeting Friday

This is just a reminder - the Weekend On-line Al-Anon Meeting is Friday 6PM through Sunday evening.

I believe there was a suuggestion to discuss children in our family and how we can help protect them. This is a topic I would like some help with.

Can someone leave a comment that would be the preamble for this weekend? It can be what you feel and think - or a quote from one of the Al-Anon books including Al-Ateen . . . or?

Any way - if someone would/could make the comment - I will cut and paste it into this weekend's meeting blog post.

OK ?

Thanks!

Joe

4 comments:

Ashley said...

Hi Joe,
I'm sorry I missed the meeting last weekend - it looked like a good one.

On the topic of children, I found this reading in One Day at a Time (page 179). I don't have any of the alateen literature, but would love to hear from anyone who does.

" We who really try to use the Al-anon program have various reasons to be grateful as we see the results. This was one member's experience, which she told her friends at a meeting.

Her greatest difficulty concerned her children. "I never knew what to do about them when my husband came home drunk and disorderly. I felt they should be shielded from violence, yet overprotection wouldn't be good for them. I didn't want to influence them against their father; I knew he loved them, and they him."

"I found all the answers in Al-Anon. I made sensible explanations about their father's illness and found them naturally compassionate. I avoided scenes by not allowing my frustrations to erupt into anger. I tried hard to be consistent and fair to them. The results have been everything I hoped for, and I am so grateful to Al-Anon for this."

Today's Reminder
Our children are a first thing to consider first. Our attitude is the key to a successful family relationship -- and their normal growing up.

And above all, I never use the children as pawns in any conflicts. They respond so well to respect.


I've found that as I grow in Al-Anon recovery, my attitude towards my husband has changed significantly. Where before, our children would hear us arguing at all hours of the day or night, now they don't. They are happier, their parents are happier and all in all, their lives are much better.

One of the most difficult things that I had to accept is my own part in our arguments. Once I realized that my actions and reactions were a large part of our problems, I started to work on it. Things have improved tremendously in our household, which has only benefited the kids.

All that being said, my husband isn't violent when he drinks, he also doesn't drive so I've never really had to worry about either of those things. (He can get very angry when he drinks, but if I don't feed that by arguing back, it doesn't manifest).

I don't know if this helps anyone or not, but I can attest that my children are in a much better place mentally and spiritually since I started attending Al-Anon.

Syd said...

Joe,
I'm on my boat this weekend but thought that I'd mention these questions from the Al-Anon website that focus on the effects of growing up in an alcoholic home.

The wording of these questions offer an insight into some ways children are affected by growing up in a alcoholic home.

1. Do you constantly seek approval and affirmation?

It may be because you don't really know what "normal" is -- you have to try to figure it out from the actions and reactions of others.

2. Do you fail to recognize your accomplishments?

What seems routine to you might be considered "overachieving" by everybody around you.

3. Do you fear criticism?

In childhood "criticism" often was accompanied by some form of abuse, verbal or otherwise.

4. Do you overextend yourself?

Just carrying a normal work load was never good enough. You had to do more to avoid the wrath of the alcoholic.

5. Have you had problems with your own compulsive behavior?

Without knowing it, you probably developed a patern in childhood of approaching everything "alcoholically."

6. Do you have a need for perfection?

One little slip up and the alcoholic might explode into anger. That deep-seeded fear can carry over into adulthood.

7. Are you uneasy when your life is going smoothly, continually anticipating problems?

The alcoholic always sabotaged the "good times" like holidays, birthdays, vacations, etc. Things never turned out the was the were planned.

8. Do you feel more alive in the midst of a crisis?

People can become addicted to excitement. They find "normal" people and situations boring.

9. Do you still feel responsible for others, as you did for the problem drinker in your life?

There's always that nagging feeling that you were somehow responsible for the alcoholic's drinking. Maybe if you had done something differently...

10. Do you care for others easily, yet find it difficult to care for yourself?

You are comfortable in the "caretaker" role, but extremely uncomfortable doing things for yourself, like spending money on something just for you.

11. Do you isolate yourself from other people?

If they get too close, they may find out your "secrets."

12. Do you respond with fear to authority figures and angry people?

The authority figures in your childhood were probably abusive. You expect the same from all authority figures. When the alcoholic became angry, it usually meant something extreme was about to happen.

13. Do you feel that individuals and society in general are taking advantage of you?

You grew up with someone who was an expert at controlling and manipulating everyone around them. Trust is not something that comes naturally.

14. Do you have trouble with intimate relationships?

Possibly the only "love" that you saw demonstrated in childhood was the love the alcoholic had for the bottle.

15. Do you confuse pity with love, as you did with the problem drinker?

You may be attracted to people who "need" you or people you know that you can "fix."

16. Do you attract and/or seek people who tend to be compulsive and abusive?

Again, normal people bore you and you don't understand them. You are more comfortable around people who you can relate to and won't judge you.

17. Do you cling to relationships because you are afraid of being alone?

It may be from your deep-seeded fear of abandonment. One way or the other, your alcoholic parent emotionally or physically abandoned you for the bottle.

18. Do you mistrust your own feelings and the feelings expressed by others?

How many times have you heard, "I'm sorry. It won't happen again." But it did.

19. Do you find it difficult to identify and express your emotions?

You were told that it was not okay to cry. You were never allowed to be angry and if you were you faced serious consequencies or ridicule.

20. Do you think parental drinking may have affected you?

Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic. But it would be extremely difficult to grow up around excessive drinking and not be somehow effected.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone,

Been a rough week for me, and look forward to my weekend.

Wanted to share this with you, as some of us I hope, have several days to rest our bodies, and minds.

"You have to count on living every single day in a way you BELIEVE will make you feel GOOD about your life".

Jane Seymour

Peace to you all this Friday Morning.

kevinb

Joe said...

Ashley - that's a great intro. I will use it for this afternoon's AlAnon meeting

Syd - I am printing you comments out. MAN-o-Man everyone of those hits home!

Kevin - Thanks