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confused and guilty

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Old 05-31-2005, 10:35 AM   #1
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scaryskimomm HB User
confused and guilty

Don't know if anyone can help with advice on this one but... here goes....
Been going to meetings, asking for help and getting on my knees everyday and asking for my h.p.'s (I choose to call h.p. GOD) help and, like a good alcoholic, the answer to today's jeopardy question isn't coming fast enough for me. Have an event that I really should go to due to family in law obligations - in-law's don't talk to me unless it is absolutely necessary yet they want my hubby and I to attend a party planning meeting this evening. The place where this party planning meeting will be held is at the house of another of the in-laws and there will be an abundance of alcohol served there, as usual. These in-laws have informed my husband on numerous occassions that I have shamed them due to my alcoholism and they had suggested last fall that he divorce me. He left his job of 25+ years with the family company partly due to the fact that he was given a choice between continuing to work with them or leave me (we now own our own company, together). I spent 5 months last year in rehab and a half-way house 100 miles from my actual home (my own choice) to get healthy and try to become a productive partner in my own life. I am not comfortable being around these people and the last time I was around them in March of this year, two days later I had a relapse. Now I am not blaming them as they did not pour the alcohol down my throat, however, I am so uncomfortable being around his family that I feel physically ill at the thought of going to this planning meeting and ultimately this silver anniversary party. I have no idea why they want me to help plan the party, as when I am around them they generally do not acknowledge my presence. So I have soooo much guilt because I do not want to attend either this meeting or this party. I am trying to look inside of myself and analyze the reasons why I don't want to go and part of me says it's because I'm spiteful for them not supporting me, but another part of me says it's because I am afraid of the feeling that I feel (I used to pretend to feel nothing when they didn't talk to me) when I am around them: anger, resentment, uselessness, anxiety, self-pity, selfishness. I have told the hubby to go without me, and in anger told him that the only reason that they want us there is to help with financial matters. He said last night that he didn't want to go because of the way that they have treated me in the past (I was crying in bed when he said this) and told me to not worry about it, but today it's a different story. He is angry with me (this I assume) and does not want to talk about how I feel about this. I didn't have any time to talk to anyone at my morning Daily Reflections meeting and I can't seem to reach ANY of my telephone contacts. I don't have a desire to drink over this, YET, but I just don't want to put myself in a position. Argggggg any suggestions????

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Old 06-01-2005, 12:12 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
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now&then HB User
Re: confused and guilty

Hi scaryskimomm,

I relate to many aspects of your situation. When I 1st got sober, I felt and/or imagined an immense degree of hatred and loathing coming at me from the in-law side of the family. Not that they ever saw me during my problem times with alcohol and drugs. It was the rumor mill that ate at me to no end--I knew they all knew something but I didn't know exactly who knew what.

My sponsor at the time (a shrink with 25 years in AA) told me to face my fears (real or imagined), stand straight, walk tall, smile a lot, and do all the rest of the things I would do if I'd just miraculously recovered from say a heart attack. He said if I did a good job of believing there was no shame in recovering from a disease that everyone else would share that belief.

It turned out that most everyone was actually glad to see me. The only reason some had recommended my wife divorce me (which she didn't) was out of concern for her and the kids not hatred against me. They really hadn't known what to think or do. Slowly but surely, one by one, I talked to them eye-to-eye, found out what the knew (hardly anything), filled in the blanks and/or corrected the miscommunications as I saw fit.

More than one of them went on to become an addict or alky in their own right, but I didn't ask who's sorry now--I just helped them however I could. Interestingly, the ones who seemed the most angry at me when I was suffering in my disease were the ones who ended up being addicts or alcoholics themselves. It's been said that we hate in others what we hate in ourselves.

That was over ten years ago and although I haven't forgotten what I went through (my experience is my most valuable asset) they sure have. The same father-in-law that threw me out of his house (I was newly sober and just visiting) now cries tears of joy (he's old country) everytime I get another year of sobriety.

Having said that, I also won't trade in my serenity to buy into someone else's baloney. I try never to give anyone free rent in my head. As recovering alcoholics, we crawl before no one.

In your heart, you know what will take the power out of this for you.

I'd really like to hear how it turns out for you.

Easy does it,

Sumtimes Slowly

Old 06-01-2005, 01:04 AM   #3
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CromeYellow HB User
Re: confused and guilty

Don't quit before the miracle happens! You will find in time, as you stay clean and sober, that without the need the defend yourself (in fact, avoid defending yourself, just BE by way of shining clean example) people will gravitate to you and give you the respect you deserve, and more.

Eventually you will not feel less than or greater than anyone. Humble. Serene.

Last edited by CromeYellow; 06-01-2005 at 01:05 AM.

Old 06-02-2005, 04:20 AM   #4
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scaryskimomm HB User
Re: confused and guilty

Thanks PPLs.. Well went to the planning party, when I got there the people that I did not expect to acknowledge me held true and did not; however I had a safety net. I left after 40 minutes and went to a meeting about a mile from the in-laws house. Guess that when I was gone, one of the "non-speakers" asked the hubby what she and the rest of the "FAMILY" (sounds ominous huh? LOL) could do to make me feel more comfortable. He gave them all a great answer and told them how about if they acknowledge me and talk to me!! Maybe that'll happen and maybe it wont, but it's not something I can change or control. I realize that I have to be me, old warts, new warts and imagined warts, and all. Other sisters in law are just too funny... as they were discussing how many boxes-o-wine to get for this party - matriarch sister in law pipes in and says (and this is too funny) "well, (my name inserted here!) and I don't drink so......" and she trailed off. There are 150 people coming to this party and I guess the number of boxes o wine did depend on my drinking habits in the past LOL. I know she means well and all.... I just got a good chuckle out of that as I had been reading my Living Sober book just last week and it described situations such as this. Maybe I'll take her aside, when I stop laughing, and ask her to refrain from such outbursts in future, and then again maybe I won't. Another sister in law was shocked....shocked by the fact that there was an AA meeting at HER CHURCH. She said she didn't realize that there were alcoholics in her husband got a good laugh at that one. Well you have a great day and thanks for the advice.

bye bye Scary

Old 06-02-2005, 12:42 PM   #5
Nervous Nellie
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Re: confused and guilty

Scary, I just love your style!

I'm sorry I missed your post before you went to the planning party but it sure sounds like you held your own very well.

The most important person in this equation right now is YOU. No matter what, you need to keep yourself as strong as possible and if going to certain events expose you to people or temptations that you don't feel are in your best interest right now...then don't go. Your sobriety is way more important.

I'm positive there WILL come a day that you can do all these things with much lesser risk, but again, only you will know when you're strong enough.

It's funny but it seems so much easier for folks to point the finger at someone and criticize them than it is to walk a mile in their shoes. While my own son is still addicted, I have seen some on and off progress over the past year and hopefully he'll make the decision to change his life someday. I know though, that if I were to criticize and judge him all the time, I'd be the last person he'd look to for support.

Best of luck to sound like an awesome lady.


Old 06-03-2005, 06:10 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 14
scaryskimomm HB User
Re: confused and guilty

Well Nell, bless you and your son... sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly, as the big book says. You hang in there and keep the hope. My prayers are with you, your family and especially your son. Thanks for the vote of confidence and I have to say I really am enjoying my life as it is now. One day at a time. Good luck and god bless.


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