Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Life's Lessons

I would like to acknowledge my anger and resentment today. They are two of my most common symptoms of this awful disease. The feelings and behaviors often creep in without me even realizing it. I have always chosen to do things the hard way. I have the attitude that I can do anything... I can do it on my own... and I can most likely do it better than you. You meaning everyone. It has always been that way.

I am the oldest of three. My father is still actively drinking and has been since I can remember. My mom was the perfect co-dependant. My mom and father were married very young. My mom was 15 and my dad was 17. They were married for 23 years. He drank for 21 of those years. Little L and I are 9 years apart. my mom was sexually molested as a child. My father is the child of an alcoholic. It is the perfect breeding ground for dysfunction. in my adult (and not so adult life) dated my own alcoholics or adult children. It truly is a vicious cycle.

Back to anger and resentment. Anger was usually my only form of communication. It played in nicely as I hit teenage-dom and associated myself as a weird-artsy-feminist-liberal-granola-bitch type. I fit nicely into the role of outcast. It allowed me to hurt without really being noticed. I have always held so much anger towards men, my father in particular. I suppose much of it has spilled out into other areas of my life. I saw my mom constantly making excuses for my father all of the time and ended up just like her. Funny how that works.

I have an overwhelming need to take care of people. If I take care of you, then maybe you will love me. But when I take care of you... I also resent you. Resent having to care take. Resent people not being able to take care of themselves. I hate asking for help. I always have. I would rather die trying than actually admit I can't do something on my own. And I resent people who can't do anything. I resent people who can actually ask for help. My mind tells me that I deserve to do everything the hard way. Punishment of sorts. I think I am always right. My way is always the best way, right? When someone doesn't do things the way that I want then it makes me angry. Anger for me is my most comfortable form of expression. Maybe its because no matter how angry I got my father never cared. He never raised his voice. He never argued. He would just sit there. He never cared. My mom used to yell a lot. Never did any good. Maybe that's why I am so comfortable with anger. I can count the times on one hand I ever saw anyone in my family cry. It just didn't happen. And when it did, it was behind closed doors. People crying still makes me uncomfortable to this day. After everything that K2 and I have been through over the last 8 months. I never once cried in front of him. I couldn't. I cried after he was gone. It has always been a sign of weakness.

My mom and I were on the phone today. We were talking about Little L. I forget how young she is sometimes. I know I was a wretch at her age. She is 19. In so many ways she is so much older than that. I have to remember what it was like to be 19. I was upset with some of her behaviors over the holiday weekend and I was discussing them with my mom. She told me that I need to be mindful of my anger and resentment. I can't expect everyone to be like me. I cant everyone to act the way I think is appropriate. I can't be resentful towards the fact that I am a care taker and Little L isn't. We are many years apart and we had very different childhoods. I shouldn't do things for others if I cant have a good attitude about it.

It upsets me that I have this anger and resentment inside of me. It upsets me that I act inappropriate sometimes. But. There is a silver lining to all of this. I didn't freak out on my mom today. I listened to her. I agreed with much of what she had to say. I acknowledged the behavior and I was able to see my part in it. I might not be able to change it all at once but at least I am not denying it. A few months ago I would have freaked out on my mom and cursed her up and down. Today I can see that this is something I need to work on... something I need to be mindful of. This is all really hard. Really really hard.

Today I am grateful for:

Being able to see someone else's side
Constructive criticism
Healing old wounds
Higher Power
20 minutes left in the day
Dinner with my boss last night and his reassurance about my job
Accepting my mistakes and moving on


Cat said...

I see so much of myself in this post and this particularly blew me away: "I fit nicely into the role of outcast. It allowed me to hurt without really being noticed."

We could be soul sisters Kristen. This was so beautifully written.


Gabriella Moonlight said...

This is a really powerful post, I find so much in your words and appreciate you honesty! Thank you for sharing this today!

I hope that your evening is great!
Hugs G~*

Syd said...

It is hard but it sounds as if you have a desire and willingness. And being able to see the the view of other's is important. I may not agree with their opinion but they have a right to express their views. Thanks for this post. It is a great one.

big Jenn said...

Thank you for sharing in such a personal way. I can identify with the anger thing. It's a comfortable emotion for me too. You sound good though. You sound like you're working on stuff. That is a way big deal.jeNN


Awareness is always the first thing that needs to happen in order to identify what we want to change.

You have expressed so clearly what you "see". It's beautiful. To the outside world it may seem very negative, but I see it as "what you see, you can work on, and can change".

The only caveat is that one allows plenty of time for the change. You are on a journey of change and I celebrate the progress you've made.

Anonymous said...

This is a powerful share. :0) You're doing just fine. Thank you so much for sharing this with me.

Pam said...

for a minute there I thought you were talking about me. none of my circumstances were the same at all, but all the feelings were right on.

Linda S. Socha said...

Powerful meaningful well written stuff. Thank you for sharing this. KIeep writing!

steveroni said...

Hey, even GOOGLE is in the AA program, "one of us"! E.g., when I clicked on "FOLLOW THIS BLOG" I received the message:

"You are following Progress.....not Perfection"!! Now, hoe did GOOGLE know that? I ask ya? -grin

Note to: Whoever "Progress Not Perfection" is...you are doing JUST what your title states. Sounds like 'growth' to me.

I was gonna ask, "Where you BEEN all my blogging life? (All of five months!!!) but finding out you're only 28 or so and have been on these lists since October 7, 2008.
(I went back to your first post**)

Well, I'm age 75, and I still don't really know what I want to be when I grow up, and there is not a -grin- to go with that. I DO know I enjoy AA meetings, and helping people, and enjoy living and loving life, wife, bike, AA, violin, and AA

...so THERE! AA was listed 2X on purpose. ** I see you're Alanon, are you also AA? Also, how do you find crazy people like me on here?

Keep growing, one day at a time, Girl--guess you're a girl.....

simply...lilli! said...

This reads like my own story in so many ways, it reminds me of why it is such a good thing I have finally made a step forward and opened up to people, joining an acoa and an al-anon group ... it's been people like you and many others here that gave me the courage to go beyond my fears and finally not only seek but also accept help. Reading these blogs, and hearing others share their stories, both in the blogs and in meetings, it's a source of hope and strength that I never expected to find. Thank you for that!