My "Family Afterwards"

Some alcoholics still have families when they get to AA. This is a place to ask questions and share experiences about relating to family members sober, especially when newly sober. (If you are not an alcoholic, please use the "Our Friends and Families" forum.)

My "Family Afterwards"

Postby sober_life » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:59 am

My drinking caused stigmas to this day, even when I was a teenager long time ago.
My family is ethnic, and some things get "written in stone".
Sure, there was drugs involved, but I was never a "drug addict", I used drugs and smoked lots of weed for most of the years.
Therefore my "image" became not normal.
When I got married in my early 30's, it was as if I had "come back home", that I finally grasped the idea of life !
Yet I still felt like a "visitor" to all my in-laws. My ex-wife, we go on along fine, except for my drinking, when I drank.
She was not much of a drinker, never done drugs, in fact a lovely lady and mother to our 4 children.
The marriage lasted less than 10 years.
In those 10 years, at a wedding reception on her side, it will always be remembered, I shamed every one.
From that time on wards there was never anything left of me to be respectful of, I was never taken with any weight of credibility, and was no longer part of the conversation on the family Sundays, type of thing. If I would go sit where all the other were, they would sort of move away, or stop talking. It became that feeling of isolation, and this isolation spread on both sides of family. That drunken black-out episode at the reception and then back home when at least 5 grown men tried to calm me down, and relatives that came from interstate questioned my ex's family, "who's he she married" ?
Soon after,( 2 years) I walked away from the marriage, when I tried to get back to my ex, there was trouble and the police had to be called. This was late 90's.
Divorce proceeded and the family court scenario to see my children was played out to.
My children are grown up now, in their 20's and I never got to see them grow, or go to school, never seen them with their friends, never was able to offer advice in their teens, nothing, and nothing to this day.
When I finally found AA, I thought there is a glimmer of hope that some day all will be forgotten and these amends may work.
No, due to legal restraining stuff, my sponsor and I decided the amends be made by a letter to my children and another letter to my ex.
This was about 5 years ago, and nothing, no contact, nothing. I don't know what is going on with family as I write. It's as if there is this blanket wall of silence.
I know this alcoholism got me bad when I drank, it must have made me look like a monster, my actions were never physically violent, I never physically hurt anyone. Just crazy things I said I would not normally say and some actions that were crazy, but not obscene. Like jumping out of the car when they were trying to hold me in, stuff like that.
In the entire clan, I am the only alcoholic who goes to AA.
Even my brother does not have any faith in me and still sees me as that "joke".
I have no mother, my father is in his twilight years and at least he talks to me.
I know my family has get togethers, card nights and what not. I'm never asked.
Family has seen me sober, there has been no "bad news" for over 7 years about me, but this does not seem enough.
It does not matter even if I win lotto the next day, millions of dollars will never get back what could have been, never.
The respect, the honor and all the good things in life were washed away by alcohol.

There is some good,
I do have another child from a teenage relationship I had not seen for over 30 years. Therefore the 4 children from my marriage have a half-sibling, probably not aware of it.
And I did not know I was a grandfather until only recently either.

Thought I post this, I miss my children and all I can do is one day at a time Hope something by God changes.
I made my amends, I know the amends have been received and read.
One may ask why don't I go in person ?
The answer is when I went there on an 18th birthday, ( against the advice of my then 1st sponsor), an aunt of theirs called the cops. I was 6 months sober at the time
When the 21st birthday came along, only my father, brother and a cuz were invited.

The thing I do dread, I will never be at their weddings. It's as if the in-laws have brainwashed my children and take some personal pleasure in making sure they get the credit for all the things they done helping the mother bring up those 4.

This is my story and sometimes I feel I am now entitled to some reprieve, that this goes beyond the BB, that I ought to take some action and front up, sober, calm, cool and collected. "They will never see that old side of me", so my mind says.
But I know, it the isms trying to confuse or delude me.
It surely is one of those "God things" to sort out, I can't.
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Re: My "Family Afterwards"

Postby PaigeB » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:41 pm

The thing I do dread, I will never be at their weddings.

That may or may not come true... dread of the future is but a fantasy. The last page of the last story in the Big Book says we have to be rid of these fantasies. Surely you wish to be rid of the dread? I think I would be, but then again, I know that somewhere in my alcoholic mind this worrying gives me the illusion of power & knowledge. Still, it may or may not be certain.

I found it was better for me to get busy doing what is directly in front of me to do - where my hands are right now? Seems they are on the keyboard in this Forum. Ohhh I picked up a wet drunk from the hospital last night and gave her a ride home... seems she had a seizure and refused treatment at the ER and just needed a ride. It was late, but I wasn't really doing anything - so I went to get her only to find out she was blotto. Yeah - there is some dread hanging over my day today. The urge to reach out to see if she lived through the night, or if - like a good drunk, she made it to work today. Maybe she landed in jail... I could make some calls, check facebook, look at the police blotter online... but I have done none of that. I am pretty sure any action or thought I take in that direction will further pull me into fantasies of knowledge and control.

So I do the next right thing. If I am lucky, like I am today, I can find another drunk to work with... someone like you! We do not have a lot of details in common, but we have this insidious dis-ease that beleaguers us. We have both chosen to trudge the road of happy destiny with others in AA. We both have the opportunity to make today better for someone.

"Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics.... Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of lives." Page 89.

Thank You for letting me share.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: My "Family Afterwards"

Postby sober_life » Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:25 pm

Thanks for the reply, yep, that's the crux of it, work with another alkie.

Maybe dread is not the right word. What I am saying is, I don't feel like I deserve another phase of humiliation and a feeling of "less than" after over 7 years sober.

We had 2 new comers at a meeting last night. I could see they both got something and went over to have a bit of a chat with them after the meeting.
It was that bright spot again to see them smiling, not just with their smiles, but with their eyes, the hope, they found something.
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Re: My "Family Afterwards"

Postby clouds » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:05 am

sober_life wrote:
Maybe dread is not the right word. What I am saying is, I don't feel like I deserve another phase of humiliation and a feeling of "less than" after over 7 years sober.


I dont think you deserve any more rejection and humiliation from them either.

I made amends to everyone I had hurt by my drinking when I did steps 8 and 9. Most of my family were just happy to see me sober, but some held grudges. I am sorry you were cut off like that, it sure must be hard. For me, the ones that held grudges were ones that continued drinking or using drugs while feeling superior to me. Some had lies of their own to hide and wanted me out of the picture. So often when I feel the pain of it I remind myself that my sponsor said steps eight and nine were done for me, for me to stay sober, the results didnt matter. That helped because of course I wanted to be accepted forgiven and loved again. The people that rejected me or held a grudge are pretty much way out of my life now, and it hurts sometimes. As Paige said, workingwith others and not projecting my thoughts and hopes into the future wll do a lot of good. I can keep balanced when I get bopped by the past. Its not that I became a machine without emotions in sobriety, or that I can push these feelings away or down, to just sit with the emotions in quiet answers come.

Glad you're here,
C.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: My "Family Afterwards"

Postby sober_life » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:53 pm

clouds
Thanks for the reply.

My home group is good, it was the very first AA meeting and is where I currently go.
I wrote what I wrote to vent a bit, and also to identify with others they are not alone either if in similar circumstances.
When I rang my ex's sister to inform her of a death in our immediate family last year, I can tell with the "body language" over the phone. ( I don't have the ex's phone number, nor any of my children's phone numbers).
There was no other conversation except the formal condolences, then that coldness and she hangs up.
She is the main "mother hen" with a fat family purse so to speak, who calls the cops, organized everything for the family courts at the time, took it to nth degree so it goes to pre-trial hearing, just cos I wanted to see my kids during access visits a bit more back then.
They never expected I got a house, job etc and part pension due to a work related accident long time ago.
I never gave any of them the satisfaction though to go through to trial. Instructed my lawyer at the time, "look, the mother of my children is not well by the looks of her, she is bringing up the kids, it's her sister who has orchestrated all this BS, and her lawyer was sitting by the sidelines getting handsomely paid by the government, therefore let them have it their way, the kids will grow up and realize what went on". All this was way back around 2000'ish btw
I let it go at the time, walked away to allow my children be at school with none of this, "dad stuff".
However, the court did order I receive by post their school reports. Was never invited on graduations, sports etc, nothing. And I did not force the issue either for their sake. The education came first and foremost. Today I know they graduated in something. What exactly it is don't know. No one tells me anything, not even my dad.
I was still drinking/drugging back in those days. EVERYONE thought, ( or betting) I was going to do one of those drunken appearances, like that stuff ya read in the newspapers or see on TV etc. It did not happen.

Eventually the alcohol "won", all new acquaintances, girl friend/s, etc etc were gone. My drinking just embarrassed everyone, as usual and the last drunken episode I had to be carried off and taken away.
That's when I hit that "rock bottom" or "moment of clarity" a week later when alone at home, looked up the phone book to find out the "why", the only clear answer came from AA. I never knew what Alcoholic truly meant till that day.
Have not had the obsession to want to drink, but yes the mind, that cunning bit that "talks" is surely there.
I pray to the HP of my understanding and ask to keep my children safe and to do His Will as best as I humanly can.
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Re: My "Family Afterwards"

Postby clouds » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:25 am

Hi sober-life,

I don't want to write about my own experiences with courts and lawyers right now, but like my grandfather said "when the lawyers get involved you're losin from the start." That was true for me because my x was a banker for HSBC and he got the best lawyer in the city, one who could win even if they all had to lie and twist things around until nobody knew what was right or wrong anymore. So believe me when I tell you I really know what it can be like. The kids get hurt worst and they often end up being cut off from us as their loyalty can even be turned toward the very ones who abuse them, depending on how cunning those people might be in their lies.

I agree with you 100% what you said about prayers, keep on that path. I know my grandson is graduated from high school and college now. Like you I got no 'invite' or even a grad picture about it. I think they dont want me there because other members of the family seem more respectable with their money and rich clothes, even if they still drink and are zombies on all their medications, somehow thats better than a sober 65 year old woman who knows the truth. So I just remember its a bit like service work in AA, I send gifts to them and do prayers because its the right thing to do and I figure it adds a little spiritual lift to those I do those things for too.

They don't know how my life has turned out through all these sober years. Where they thought I was a loser, called me crazy and said I was never able to get it together financially, well, all those things have come right for me, and I don't mind if they never know how things have come round for me, as now some of them are having mental, family, financial problems themselves and I wouldnt really want them to suddenly become all that nice and friendly to me, being needy and in trouble themselves! :lol:
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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