I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we have the power to take the most awful things we have done and that have been done to us and turn them into something priceless when we
- learn from them
- give them away
- let them go
Sharing my struggles, and screw-ups, and the damage done and what that journey has taught me is how I turn the tables. And if it helps someone along the way, then that makes me very happy.
I do want to caution you, because I didn’t take my response this far…if you do decide to completely alter the way you’ve been interacting with loved ones for your whole life, I suggest doing with the help of a support group like Alanon or CoDA. Because no one likes to see the status quo shift; especially the people you’ve been picking up after all these years.
When I decided not to continue to feed into my family dysfunction, it was so painful. Sometimes, it still is. And I didn’t DO anything except stop engaging…engaging my mom to unload on me about my dad, and letting my dad pick fights with me, and letting my brother treat me like shit on the bottom of his shoe.
I merely: told my mom that I understood how she felt but that since she wasn’t going to take any action to change her circumstance, it was really too painful to hear over and over how abusive my dad was being. And if she wanted to do something, I would drive the getaway car, but i just made the topic off limits. And she was the most understanding.
And i really can’t complain too much about my dad. It’s a long story.
But my brother and I haven’t spoken for over a year, because i sent him a text ASKING HIM NICELY to stop apologizing for me in front of me, and for my kids, and acting like we were this giant black sheep (different words) and he responded to delete his number because he hated me because (and he went on and on).
No one has EVER spoken to me that way and that is saying something.
And it was because i finally got a voice and he didn’t appreciate that.
See, he’s an alcoholic as well…I’m the only person who has ever admitted i have a problem, and so I get blamed for all the problems, even though (AS OF TODAY AS A MATTER OF FACT) I’ve been sober for 6 years.
He won’t allow me to babysit my nephew, because of SIX YEARS AGO. My nephew is FIVE. He’s never seen me under the influence. His dad, though… but that’s different.
See, I thought when I began recovery that my family would be proud and want to support me on that journey but what ACTUALLY happened is that I shifted everything. Suddenly, there was someone who wasn’t willing to pretend dad didn’t hit mom last night, since he didn’t remember anyway.
As augustkhalilibrahim said, denial is a powerful thing.
And it’s insidious. like drinking the Kool Aid.
When you’re in denial, you don’t necessarily REALIZE you’re in denial. So the person who brings that to your attention is often ganged up on.
I don’t tell you this to dissuade you. On the contrary, this is an amazing revelation you’ve had, and I’m thrilled that you want to make changes. It will be very good for you. For your health. Your happiness.
Just don’t expect your change to change them. They have to decide that on their own. :)