Message Boards

Topic : 12/15 Children of Addicts

Number of Replies: 354
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Friday, December 08, 2006, 02:44:03 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Robin and Dr. Phil both grew up in unstable family environments due to an alcoholic parent. In her new book, Inside My Heart, Robin explains the choices she made to become the best woman, wife and mother she could be, and the circumstance behind those choices. See how her biggest struggle helped her make a choice about the type of man she would marry. Then, Jill says her husband, James, used to be adored as the mayor of their community, but now he’s the town drunk, an embarrassment to the family and the neighborhood. She says he’s a horrible influence to their 15-year-old son, Robert, and is spending their life savings on booze. James has been sober for six weeks since being arrested and ordered to wear an ankle bracelet that will detect alcohol in his system. He thinks he must know why he drinks in order to stop drinking for good. Dr. Phil and Robin have an important message for Robert, who has only recently seen his father sober. Next, a daughter’s words send her famous father into rehab. Known as the voice of the NFL, Pat Summerall has a message to anyone who struggles with alcoholism. Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

More December 2006 Show Boards.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

December 12, 2006, 6:24 pm CST

My fault

A daughter of an alcoholic may never recover even after she has been away, on her own and with her own children.   My mother was sick but I did not know that until I was 32.  I am now 37 and still struggle.  If you have ever read the book "Mommie Dearest" that was me.  Atleast the beatings.  It is my fault she was and still is sick.  It is my fault my dad walked away and to this day can not have a face to face conversation with me because I look like her.  My mother beat me so bad that the doctors think I was in a severe car accident and eventually I will loose muscal control diapers and a wheel chair will be my calling.  I fight it every day that it is my fault but really have no facts to support this.  She grew up in Germany with the camps and her step father was very mean.  But I just couldn't get things right the first time.  My father left me there when I was 12 and to this day still with throw me away like a piece of old trash.  I found God when I was 28 and my husband  I have all the support you could ever ask for so why is it my fault.   My husband says that my thinking is a lot like Dr. Phil and at times I sound like him.   I take his advise and do a lot of prayer but maybe Dr. phil and God can help me.  Depression is a daiy struggle and why people stay around me I still don't know.  My husband says God uses me to help others through what I have been through but if that was true I would not feel so alone.  i guess this is just the price you pay for being born.
 
December 12, 2006, 7:32 pm CST

12/15 Children of Addicts

Quote From: jafrancis770

Hi Robin and Dr. Phil -

My name is Jenni.  I too grew up with a father that was an alcoholic!!  He was a mean drunk.  The first time I remember my father being violent with my mother was when I was 3 years old.  I remember the pounding on the door and then looking at my mother as she said Honey, go back to bed."  As soon as she said this - I remember the locked door come crashing down on her and my father walking through the door smashing her with the door!!  There were countless times after- unloaded guns being put to her head infront of my younger brother and I  while he is telling my mother he is going to "blow her head off"  if she told anyone.  Scissors would be put to her throat and she would be told that he was going to "kill her"all the time.  This doesn't even count the times that my father turned on me and threw me down the old cellar basement steps at the age of 5 yrs. b/c I wouldn't feed the dog.  My mother finally divorced my father when I was 8 yrs. old.  My father didn't get sober until I was17 yrs. old.  He doesn't remember anything - Missing my birth, hitting my mother unitl she miscarried a third sibling, the constant hitting and beating.  Now, I am 32 trs. old and I cannot seem to forget!!  Even though my father and I have an OK relationship, I cannot seem to forget and these events and it effects me on a daily basis!!!  I've forgiven my father in words but in thoughts and my  heart I'm still so angry!!!  How could someone do this to a person or people they love........I know that it is a disease but what do you do with the little ones who become adults and still have this effecting them constantly????  You are right - I am now happily married to a man that would never, NEVER hit me but even when we argue or he raises his voice all I think is that a fist is coming next and how do I protect myself and my children?  Greg, my husband, doesn't understand this b/c he knows he wouldn't hurt any of us EVER!!!!  I've never sought counseling....Do you think that this is a must for self healing?  I just want these fellings to quit haunting me!!!  Thanks for listening.....Jenni Francis, Ohio

Learning to let go of past hurts is something I learned in Al-Anon.  I also needed one-on-one therapy for awhile.  Part of my problem was that I took everything quite personally.  When I finally got help and knew I'd been truly heard, I was more open to learning how to let go and not react to everything as though I were still the child in an alcoholic home.

 

It sounds as though this past is haunting your present, so wouldn't it make sense to get help?  Otherwise, I wonder if it will harm your present family.

 
December 12, 2006, 9:35 pm CST

Jenni Francis

Quote From: jafrancis770

Hi Robin and Dr. Phil -

My name is Jenni.  I too grew up with a father that was an alcoholic!!  He was a mean drunk.  The first time I remember my father being violent with my mother was when I was 3 years old.  I remember the pounding on the door and then looking at my mother as she said Honey, go back to bed."  As soon as she said this - I remember the locked door come crashing down on her and my father walking through the door smashing her with the door!!  There were countless times after- unloaded guns being put to her head infront of my younger brother and I  while he is telling my mother he is going to "blow her head off"  if she told anyone.  Scissors would be put to her throat and she would be told that he was going to "kill her"all the time.  This doesn't even count the times that my father turned on me and threw me down the old cellar basement steps at the age of 5 yrs. b/c I wouldn't feed the dog.  My mother finally divorced my father when I was 8 yrs. old.  My father didn't get sober until I was17 yrs. old.  He doesn't remember anything - Missing my birth, hitting my mother unitl she miscarried a third sibling, the constant hitting and beating.  Now, I am 32 trs. old and I cannot seem to forget!!  Even though my father and I have an OK relationship, I cannot seem to forget and these events and it effects me on a daily basis!!!  I've forgiven my father in words but in thoughts and my  heart I'm still so angry!!!  How could someone do this to a person or people they love........I know that it is a disease but what do you do with the little ones who become adults and still have this effecting them constantly????  You are right - I am now happily married to a man that would never, NEVER hit me but even when we argue or he raises his voice all I think is that a fist is coming next and how do I protect myself and my children?  Greg, my husband, doesn't understand this b/c he knows he wouldn't hurt any of us EVER!!!!  I've never sought counseling....Do you think that this is a must for self healing?  I just want these fellings to quit haunting me!!!  Thanks for listening.....Jenni Francis, Ohio

 

Hi Jenni-

 

Please get and read, "Toxic Parents," by Dr. Susan Forward.   There is a chapter on forgiveness that I think will sort of be a "light bulb" moment for you.  The key is accountability.  You must hold your father accountable before you can truly forgive him. 

 

For me, it meant working things through in my mind, not a verbal confrontation with the dysfunctional parent, my father, as he is very elderly.  Truly, it freed me from my anger, for which I am so grateful.

 

Also, please check out other boards here: click on Members, then Family Relationships, then Toxic Family Relationships.  I've found lots of helpful posts there and on other boards as well.

 

Best wishes to you on your journey toward healing!!

 

ssoganty

 
December 13, 2006, 12:57 pm CST

Alcoholism

It's not nice to see how many are affected by alcohol, however; at least I don't feel so alone in the world.  I am the oldest of 5 children and my parents are both alcholics and still actively drinking.  Being the oldest I was blamed for them having to get married ( at a very young age) and I always felt I was the burden and the reason for our dysfunctional family.  My dad was a very agressive man and beat all of us including my mom for whatever reason.  My mother started having alcohol seizures when I was just 9.  Those are the scariest things to see, and we never knew if she would come out of it alive.  I had a bed wetting problem up until the age of 13 and they had me believing I was lazy and just didn't care.  Later I was to learn that it was a nerve problem. 

 

My mother would drink all day while we were in school and would take it out on me of course as soon as we got home.  I hated my home life so much, we never got to stay over at friends houses, I was 22 and living on my own in the city and still having to ask my dad if I could go out when I came home for the holidays.  Needless to say when I got out on my own I went wild.  I got married at the early age of 21 and realize now for all the wrong reasons.  My dad and mom used to tell me I would never find anyone and I wanted so badly to prove them wrong.  I lasted 10 years in my first marriage and had to end it as the feelings weren't there and I felt like I was married to my brother.

 

I am presently on my second marriage and was blessed with 1 son, as I was told I could not have children 12 years earlier when my first husband and I were together.  My womb is scarred which puzzled the doctors, and after learning about my life and the beatings summed it up to the beatings.  I felt so betrayed and hurt that I would not experience being a mother over someone else's stupidity.  However; I truly believe God gave me another chance at life and gave me a miracle, my son, whom I love with all my heart.

 

My dad has not contacted me in 14 years, and has not acknowledged my son or even met him.  We have sent pictures but to no avail will he call me.  My mother is still drinking and just recently sent me the most horrible letter a mother could send to a daughter bringing up things I had done over 10 years ago. 

 

I have been seeking counselling for the past year and find I truly have a different way of thinking.  I used to feel guilty for not seeing my parents, but do not feel that way anymore.  They have chosen to live with their "bottles" instead of with their children.  I have had it and do not want to be with them anymore.  I truly do not know if I will ever be able to forgive them, I pray to God everyday, and I do believe with God's help and my counselling that I have been able to move forward.  Of course I still struggle with everything everyday and boy do I know what depression is all about.  I have nerve problems and IBS which my doctor has said is linked to what I went through. 

 

I hope things will improve even more in my life and will be happy to accept any comments as to anything I can do besides what I am trying to do to make my life more liveable for me and my family.  Also, will I ever be able to completely forgive???

 
December 13, 2006, 2:36 pm CST

Good-Bye Guilt!

Quote From: sherrylynne

It's not nice to see how many are affected by alcohol, however; at least I don't feel so alone in the world.  I am the oldest of 5 children and my parents are both alcholics and still actively drinking.  Being the oldest I was blamed for them having to get married ( at a very young age) and I always felt I was the burden and the reason for our dysfunctional family.  My dad was a very agressive man and beat all of us including my mom for whatever reason.  My mother started having alcohol seizures when I was just 9.  Those are the scariest things to see, and we never knew if she would come out of it alive.  I had a bed wetting problem up until the age of 13 and they had me believing I was lazy and just didn't care.  Later I was to learn that it was a nerve problem. 

 

My mother would drink all day while we were in school and would take it out on me of course as soon as we got home.  I hated my home life so much, we never got to stay over at friends houses, I was 22 and living on my own in the city and still having to ask my dad if I could go out when I came home for the holidays.  Needless to say when I got out on my own I went wild.  I got married at the early age of 21 and realize now for all the wrong reasons.  My dad and mom used to tell me I would never find anyone and I wanted so badly to prove them wrong.  I lasted 10 years in my first marriage and had to end it as the feelings weren't there and I felt like I was married to my brother.

 

I am presently on my second marriage and was blessed with 1 son, as I was told I could not have children 12 years earlier when my first husband and I were together.  My womb is scarred which puzzled the doctors, and after learning about my life and the beatings summed it up to the beatings.  I felt so betrayed and hurt that I would not experience being a mother over someone else's stupidity.  However; I truly believe God gave me another chance at life and gave me a miracle, my son, whom I love with all my heart.

 

My dad has not contacted me in 14 years, and has not acknowledged my son or even met him.  We have sent pictures but to no avail will he call me.  My mother is still drinking and just recently sent me the most horrible letter a mother could send to a daughter bringing up things I had done over 10 years ago. 

 

I have been seeking counselling for the past year and find I truly have a different way of thinking.  I used to feel guilty for not seeing my parents, but do not feel that way anymore.  They have chosen to live with their "bottles" instead of with their children.  I have had it and do not want to be with them anymore.  I truly do not know if I will ever be able to forgive them, I pray to God everyday, and I do believe with God's help and my counselling that I have been able to move forward.  Of course I still struggle with everything everyday and boy do I know what depression is all about.  I have nerve problems and IBS which my doctor has said is linked to what I went through. 

 

I hope things will improve even more in my life and will be happy to accept any comments as to anything I can do besides what I am trying to do to make my life more liveable for me and my family.  Also, will I ever be able to completely forgive???

Good for you for getting help and for moving forward in your life!  My experience has been that the more I let go of the past, the less it affected me, the more I focused on my life, the better I felt, and the more forgiving I became.

 

I guess I'm saying it's just a process.  As long as I wasn't doing much to help myself, then I felt angry and bitter.  When I started really changing my attitude, etc., I felt a lot better.

 

Alcoholism is a very serious illness that, without treatment, just gets worse and worse.  I finally realized that dealing with this in my family isn't a lot different from others having to deal with other serious illnesses.  I am sure my parents didn't wake up and decide to be alcoholics.   Once I stopped taking it so personally, then I really found forgiveness was possible.  I also found that NOT expecting much from these sick people meant I could stop being reinjured.

 

I've found so many absolutely wonderful and loving people in life who have more than helped me with the things most people expect from their parents.  I just had to stop looking for that from alcoholics and pay attention to everyone who WAS willing to help and actually was ABLE to help. 

 

For example, in Al-Anon, a woman agreed to "sponsor" me.  Well, she was so smart, astute, totally honest with me yet sensible.  Man, I gobbled up any time she would give to me and we just talked it all out.  She knew EXACTLY what I was talking about.  I didn't have to explain it all, like I had tried to do with more therapists than I care to count!  It took only about 6 months to realize that I felt content inside.  Someone really understood, got it, got me.  Then I realized, well.....heck, if there's one of her, I bet there's more people out there who are actually nice and informed and helpful.

 

I was right.  Since then, life has been a lot of fun for me.  I look forward to people now. 

 

So yes, I think there's a lot you can do to help yourself.  And it sounds like you're on the right track!

 
December 13, 2006, 3:38 pm CST

Sherrylynn

Quote From: sherrylynne

It's not nice to see how many are affected by alcohol, however; at least I don't feel so alone in the world.  I am the oldest of 5 children and my parents are both alcholics and still actively drinking.  Being the oldest I was blamed for them having to get married ( at a very young age) and I always felt I was the burden and the reason for our dysfunctional family.  My dad was a very agressive man and beat all of us including my mom for whatever reason.  My mother started having alcohol seizures when I was just 9.  Those are the scariest things to see, and we never knew if she would come out of it alive.  I had a bed wetting problem up until the age of 13 and they had me believing I was lazy and just didn't care.  Later I was to learn that it was a nerve problem. 

 

My mother would drink all day while we were in school and would take it out on me of course as soon as we got home.  I hated my home life so much, we never got to stay over at friends houses, I was 22 and living on my own in the city and still having to ask my dad if I could go out when I came home for the holidays.  Needless to say when I got out on my own I went wild.  I got married at the early age of 21 and realize now for all the wrong reasons.  My dad and mom used to tell me I would never find anyone and I wanted so badly to prove them wrong.  I lasted 10 years in my first marriage and had to end it as the feelings weren't there and I felt like I was married to my brother.

 

I am presently on my second marriage and was blessed with 1 son, as I was told I could not have children 12 years earlier when my first husband and I were together.  My womb is scarred which puzzled the doctors, and after learning about my life and the beatings summed it up to the beatings.  I felt so betrayed and hurt that I would not experience being a mother over someone else's stupidity.  However; I truly believe God gave me another chance at life and gave me a miracle, my son, whom I love with all my heart.

 

My dad has not contacted me in 14 years, and has not acknowledged my son or even met him.  We have sent pictures but to no avail will he call me.  My mother is still drinking and just recently sent me the most horrible letter a mother could send to a daughter bringing up things I had done over 10 years ago. 

 

I have been seeking counselling for the past year and find I truly have a different way of thinking.  I used to feel guilty for not seeing my parents, but do not feel that way anymore.  They have chosen to live with their "bottles" instead of with their children.  I have had it and do not want to be with them anymore.  I truly do not know if I will ever be able to forgive them, I pray to God everyday, and I do believe with God's help and my counselling that I have been able to move forward.  Of course I still struggle with everything everyday and boy do I know what depression is all about.  I have nerve problems and IBS which my doctor has said is linked to what I went through. 

 

I hope things will improve even more in my life and will be happy to accept any comments as to anything I can do besides what I am trying to do to make my life more liveable for me and my family.  Also, will I ever be able to completely forgive???

 

Please see my post to Jenni on this page.  I am sure this book  would be helpful to you as well.

 

Best wishes on your journey!

 

ssoganty

 
December 13, 2006, 10:28 pm CST

Want to help the alcoholic in your life?

I wanted to save them all in my family!  What really worked in my life was just dealing with my own life.  As I felt better, I seemed to attract others.  My mother, father, brother, step-son, first husband were all alcoholics.  Today, I just got home from spending a wonderful holiday with my family.  My brother is sober.  My sister-in-law and I both enjoy Al-Anon.  We laughed, were completely honest and open, and more loving than ever before in our lives.  We are enjoying one another.

 

My mom and dad both died from this illness, alcoholism.  I was devastated.  I was in pain like so many, many people have already posted.

 

I have the family of my dreams today, and it all started with me getting brave enough to attend just one meeting of Al-Anon.  Today, recovery has snowballed in my family.  My son loves to go with me to meetings.  He always relates.  My brother is at ease.  My step-son enjoyed his "court-ordered" AA time. 

 

There are solutions, and nobody needs to keep feeling angry, bitter, or hurt by alcoholism. 

 
December 14, 2006, 7:37 am CST

Not your fault

Quote From: carkey06

A daughter of an alcoholic may never recover even after she has been away, on her own and with her own children.   My mother was sick but I did not know that until I was 32.  I am now 37 and still struggle.  If you have ever read the book "Mommie Dearest" that was me.  Atleast the beatings.  It is my fault she was and still is sick.  It is my fault my dad walked away and to this day can not have a face to face conversation with me because I look like her.  My mother beat me so bad that the doctors think I was in a severe car accident and eventually I will loose muscal control diapers and a wheel chair will be my calling.  I fight it every day that it is my fault but really have no facts to support this.  She grew up in Germany with the camps and her step father was very mean.  But I just couldn't get things right the first time.  My father left me there when I was 12 and to this day still with throw me away like a piece of old trash.  I found God when I was 28 and my husband  I have all the support you could ever ask for so why is it my fault.   My husband says that my thinking is a lot like Dr. Phil and at times I sound like him.   I take his advise and do a lot of prayer but maybe Dr. phil and God can help me.  Depression is a daiy struggle and why people stay around me I still don't know.  My husband says God uses me to help others through what I have been through but if that was true I would not feel so alone.  i guess this is just the price you pay for being born.
Your mother's choice to drink is not your fault.  Your father's choice to leave you is also not your choice.  It is their fault for making the choices they have made in life.  You did not ask to be born; and it seems like your parents failed miserably in their parenting skills.  Just because someone has the biological ability to reproduce does not qualify them to be parents.  I am so sorry for the things you have had to go through because of the choices your parents made.  You did not ask to be born, so there should be no "price for being born".  You are not alone, there are many of us who suffer depression and other daily struggles due to our parents choice to drink or do drugs.  God may be using you in ways you can't see.  Remember you can do ALL things through Christ who stregnthens you.
 
December 14, 2006, 8:44 am CST

When they are sober?

I grew up around so many adults that used alcohol as source of nurishment.

A Mom has to be the worst to deal with being an alcoholic but then I didn't know

my Dad, who was known to have a temper when he did drink, he died when I was little.

My Mom wasn't mean in hitting, yelling or anything obvious to anyone, believe me no one in that samll town turned her in either!  She neglected us with no love, food or a safe home so she could have her alcohol and friends of like minds.  She ignored messages of sexual abuse in the family, not even a death of a child stopped her more than a few weeks.

 

I feel very sorry for children stuck with alcoholic parents, I knwo how bad they feel.

If it aint abuse enough there is usually other kinds of abuse tied in with it.

 

What about when they are sober?  The real person does surface sometimes when they are sober!  When they are sober a child sees a different person only in that the symptoms of the alcohol is not there.  So a child ignores some of the traits they do pick up to continue that chain.

When they are sober they sencerely say things like: I don't want to drink, I hate myself for it,

I wish I didn't do it to on and on... they go right back to the drinking anyways.

They are selfish, addicted to smothering thier emotions under drugs or alcohol and when sober

if you pay close attention even if they do good it is for thier own guilt fix?

 

Does not seem to matter what town you travel through, you find a bar or store selling alcohol

about within every five miles or less?  Our country does have too many taverns, bars and alcohol sales.  I doubt much would happen to change that because most politicians drink more than a few times a week on our money?  Alcohol rules most advertising in sales?

 

All the child can do is endure and it is a lifetime emotional bondage we carry of what we felt from

living with an alcoholic parent.  When they are sober, we know they will drink again!

My Mom neglected us and withheld emotions from us because she was a drunk.

Her health finally caught up to her so she could not drink and guess what?

When sober she still continued the neglect and emotional abuse even though we are adults?

the alcohol only covers for a short time, they need more than treatment for alcoholic symptoms?

 
December 14, 2006, 9:28 am CST

Children of Addicts

I personally did not come from a family with any addicts in it. But I can not say that for my 2 year old daughter. Her father is a drug addict. I have pleaded many times for him to think of her and try to quit but I am just talking to a brick wall. He has to learn he has a problem and has to deal with it... easier said than done.

I have recently told him to leave and when he excepts reponsiblity for his habit and wants to change it; then just possibly he can become a true father to his daughter.

I don't know what to do.

-Confused.

 
First | Prev | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next | Last