Friday, February 1, 2008

Al-Anon Friends

I am grateful that my mother-in-law is here this week. The tension at home looms large. It is like a dark cloud. I often hold the mirror up to see what I am doing to create the cloud. I think sometimes I am creating the cloud. My mother-in-law is a smart lady. She breaks the tension to some degree.

I was a happy-go-lucky guy once. I remember him. He was funny, jovial, trying to make people laugh. I guess you could say I was trying to gain acceptance.

I read Syd's comments in the post below. They are from Al-Anon and the effects of children from alcoholic families;

  • I am the overachiever. I had to be successful. I thought money would solve a lot of "issues." It did. I was dirt poor. But money did not buy me a true partner. Someone to laugh with and pitch in to help. This part annoys me. I bust my tail, and my qualifier "hangs out." I have been doing this all my life. When is my break?
  • I am fearful of criticism. I really don't want people pointing out what is wrong with me. Jeez, I know what is wrong with me.
  • I do take on more work than I am capable of. AND I do it! And all I want is a little recognition.
  • I do not strive for perfection. Whew! I thought I was everyone of these. Then someone told me there are different types of perfection. I knew it, just when I thought I had one licked, they redefined the malady.
  • I do like a crisis. I am addicted to the rush to fix things. I know exactly what to do each and everytime. I take "command" and can direct people out of the fire. Why is that? Because I have been in "fires" when I was a kid?

See Syd's comments in the post below.

What do I want now? I want appreciation. I want a plan. I want to know what is going to happen in my life six months from now. I do not want to be in this turmoil the rest of my life.

Tuesday night I dreamt the following dream. I am not a "dream person" - so let me make that clear right now. But this dream was pretty clear in it's imagery and there was a lot of symbolism.

My Dream:

I dreamt my wife was driving an SUV. I sat in the passenger side. I said go left. Naturally, she went right. We were lost. She knew we had to turn around. She could not turn around, so she drove up an embankment the left. She got out to let me drive. Then she tripped and fell on the ground.

Next thing she is on railroad tracks. Someone from another car comes and helps her up. Pulling her off the railroad tracks.

I am now in the drivers seat. The SUV is on the road sitting there - still - in park. My 10 year old daughter is in the front passenger seat. We both are buckled in. We are watching as this person - which is on the Right Side of the SUV - helping my wife up and move her to safety off railroad tracks.

I look to my left. I see we are on the railroad tracks. I see a train coming from the left side. It is moving fairly quickly toward us. I try to move the SUV's stick shift from Park to Drive. The stick stick is stuck. It won't budge. I look to my daughter in the seat beside me. I look at her seatbelt. I evaluate whether I should unbuckle her belt or should I keep trying to take the SUV out of gear and get us off the tracks. I think about whether if she gets out, by me unbuckling the seat belt, will she move fast enough of of the SUV and run from the right side - back away from the tracks.

I hear the horn of the train, I look to my left. I see the train and I then wake up.

It is 5 AM Tuesday morning. I cannot believe what I have just dreamt with so much clarity. I have never had a dream in such vivid detail. I have never had a dream with so much thought processing detail.

I tell this dream to you, with some intrepidation, as you not think I am a kook. I am crazy, but I am not a kook. This is one of a several things that have recently happened to me. But this message was clear.

The message I got from it was, someone is helping my wife. But my daughter and I are left and no one is helping us.

How about that for weird?

That may be my last weird post. I promise.


Anonymous said...

Not weird, nor crazy......

There is POWER in what we can't see, or hear in the moment.

FAITH.... BROTHER..... FAITH.....!

For me it's in a divine GOD that can see my life from my birth, to my death, and can intervene in an instant and change the course of my life.

FAITH... It's all I have right now. I'm clutching it with everything I have.



Ashley said...

I agree with Kevin, not weird or crazy.

I just got back from a noon al-anon meeting that I attend. The topic was Step 2 "Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity". Part of the reading contained the serenity prayer. This is what came to mind when I read your post - especially this part.

What do I want now? I want appreciation. I want a plan. I want to know what is going to happen in my life six months from now. I do not want to be in this turmoil the rest of my life.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.... I don't know that you can change their lack of appreciation or necessarily know what will happen in six months. I completely understand wanting these things .... I just don't know that you'll get them, and most likely you'll be miserable waiting for them. I know I was.

The first part of the serenity prayer is very powerful, and very difficult. Whenever things don't go the way I expect, I say the first line over and over .... grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change....

I'm slowly getting it .... it's just taking awhile.

I hope you have a peaceful, serenity filled weekend.

Joe said...

Thanks Kevin. This week was a downer. My wife is blaming me - according to the therapist, becuse I am there. Fine. Thank you very much.

Ashley - Thank you for reminding me. I can do that. I overlook the things that are simple solutions. I do have control over what I can control.

I just wish for peace. PEACE is all I want right now.

Ashley said...

We all need a reminder every once in a while. Me probably more than most. :)

skip said...

I agree, I don't think your dream was weird or crazy either.
I agree with you 100%.
My husband has wonderful almost overwhelming support from AA, which thank goodness he is doing very well with. But my children and I have no-one, and I feel we have been forgotten in all of this "healing".
I live in a small country town, and have a very responsible job, I am VERY VERY reluctant to head down to the local al anon meeting, much of the time I can barely bring myself to sign in here fearing some-one will figure out who I am, silly isn't it.

But reading this blog site is making me more determined to somehow get some local support. I would love to get hold of the books you talk about, particularly "courage to change" is therE a good one for teenage childreN? There is no way my sone (Mr Cool) will ever go to an Ala teen meeting.

Thanks very much


Ashley said...


You can buy any of the books on Al-anon's website (they come in plain brown packaging, no advertising on it :) There is a lot of literature (books, pamphlets etc) for al-ateen there as well.

On a side note, you may be surprised who you do see at al-anon meetings.... but there is absolutely no judgement. Al-anon is where you will find the support you need. In fact, in my opinion, al-anon is as important for the family members as AA is for the alcoholic.

Joe said...

Skip - What is said there in Al-Anon stays there.

there is Al-Ateen books and Al-Ateen meetings

the books are
Al-Ateen One Day at a Time. I saw this book and read a short passage. It explained to the reader "why mom had to do certain things"... If I recall it was why mom had to be the tough one and why she may have "yelled" sometimes.

The other book is called "Alateen - Hope for Children of Alcoholics"


skip said...


Anonymous said...

I am not very religious. But I believe that dreams are sometimes gifts--from somewhere. Our own subconscious? A higher power? I don't know.

I wanted to add an interpretation of your dream. You mention that you see your wife getting help, and there is no help for you and your daughter. What struck me was that your wife's predicament is what distracted you from the oncoming train. You didn't realize you and your daughter were in peril, because your focus was diverted by your wife being unable to help herself.