Having a hard time.

  • I had a hard time tonight. My family got together to celebrate Christmas and my mom's birthday since my sister and I work tomorrow. It was nice to see everyone, especially my mom since I haven't seen her in 7 months, and I got to meet her new boyfriend and saw she seemed happy.

    The problem with this is that my mom and two brothers are alcoholics, and none of them in any kind of treatment. I've had to deal with this since I was a teenager, and it's really hard for me. I was never abused, they never hit me or my sister, or mentally abused us. Yet, as I continue to work at this treatment center for teen girls, I realize that this is my particular trauma. I was particularly sensitive to my mom's drinking, I could see even from the first drink how it took over her. I hated it, it made me angry and upset, and people wouldn't believe me at first, when it wasn't as bad. When it got to the point that other people like my dad (they were divorced) were saying stuff, it was really bad. I refuse to drink, and have never touched it. I hate it and what it does. I love my mom, but our relationship isn't as close as it used to be because she eventually kicked myself and my sister out of the house at one point. I've gotten better about this over the years, I've relaxed around people when they drink, and can tolerate it as long as they're not stupid.

    Tonight, I was triggered in a way I haven't experienced in a long time. As I've said, I haven't seen my mom in a while. I see my oldest brother quite a bit, but I have become slightly uncomfortable visiting with him at his house because usually he ends up getting drunk. He's a former Marine and a war vet, dealing with PTSD, and he's not getting help for it, so I understand he's having a hard time. But it's gotten to the point that some nights I make up an excuse not to go over when he wants to hang out, as much as I love him and want to see my sister in law and neice, because he'll try to manipulate me into taking him to the store to get more alcohol. Tonight, both of them got drunk to where they were not even able to stand (my mom does the one eye closed thing that really digs at me), and it hit me really hard, to where I was almost shaking and couldn't sit or stand still. Almost like a break down or something, just full of manic energy and crying.

    I hate this because while I'm proud of my abstinence, I feel like this alcoholism in the people I love has had an impact on how I relate to people and my social side. I'm not quite as shy as I was as a teenager, but I feel like I have a hard time connecting to people beyond the surface. I'm 27 and have never been in a serious relationship or even dated. I don't really even have any friends, I'm just friendly with people. It's hard for me to trust people, and I'm pretty insecure. I really want to be able to connect to the people I work with at this school, because it's a close-knit community and there are some cool people there. Plus there are a few coworkers who I think might actually be interested in me. But I struggle with connecting, and couldn't even relax very much at our Christmas party, which was fun (at least, everyone else had fun, I was just shy, nervous, and uncomfortable).

    I tend to be more of an easy going person, but this is something that's really hard for me. And tonight was very startling, to react the way I did with the intensity that was there. I think I mostly posted this here because I needed an outlet for this. But if anyone wants to give me some input or insight, I'd be appreciative.

    Sorry for the ramble.

  • Kaymrial, the people around you have to become aware of how their alcoholism and PTSD impacts badly on others. You need to distance yourself from anyone who is making you feel bad while you deal with the long term effects of living with alcoholics. They are literally killing themselves because of how bad they feel about themselves but you cannot let yourself be dragged down with them, even if they are family. You need to tell them that until they get real help for their deeper problems (the alcohol is just masking their true problems) that for your own good health, you cannot be around them.

    And I am sure there is help for the children of alcoholics so you should seek their help. Maybe Al-Anon has some answers or ideas. You do need to talk this through with someone who can help you understand why alcoholics are the way they are. Talk to your co-workers too.

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