Thursday, March 13, 2008

Are you a hostage?

I am out of the house at last. I'm not held hostage by the cold bug any longer. I'm grateful for that.

So today I went to my first meeting this week. I heard some pain and I heard recovery. All of it was what I needed to hear.

One of the sharings was from someone in an alcoholic marriage. A couple of young children are the innocent ones. One of the adults is a high roller in business, winer and diner of clients, mostly drunk every day. The other adult accompanies the spouse to the wining and dining. A great deal of discomfort ensues. The accompanying spouse doesn't know what to do.

Her questions: "Do I and the children ride in a car with a drunk? Do I continue to go to affairs where the inevitable result is drunkenness? If I don't go with my spouse, I'm told I'm not being supportive and arguments ensue. What do I do?"

I was an emotional hostage in an alcoholic relationship. I rode in the car with my dad when he was drunk and weaving from side to side. I remember the feeling of shame and of not caring whether I lived or died. I also saw my future wife run off the road after a party during graduate school. She wasn't hurt but was angry that I had followed her. I let her drive off and felt helpless. And I've been left at parties in which she's gone into a rage and driven off. I count myself as lucky for that now.

So my own thoughts are:

I no longer will endanger myself or children by riding with a drunk.

I won't go to parties or places in which there is an alcoholic free for all.

I will not allow anyone else to make me feel responsible for their actions or choices.

I accept full responsibility for my actions and not the actions of any other adult.

I trust that whatever obstacles I am dealing with in this life, there are others who have been there and with the help of my HP, I'll find a way to a clear path.

I don't think that anyone deserves to be held hostage in a relationship. No amount of money, ego or guilt is worth the price of living in an emotional cage.

Having boundaries doesn't complicate life; boundaries simplify life.
--Beyond Codependency


  1. Great stuff for me to remember. If only I had a rememberer.

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  3. I like the list. I particularly like what you say about children. They are pure innocents.

    When I first went to Al-Anon and spoke of my wife's driving our 9 year old, someone came up to me after the meeting and said, "Let go and let God."

    I couldn't understand that. But I tried it. I "gave up." But only once. Fortunately nothing happened.

    I realized that the meaningful person who told me this was perhaps wrong; "just allow it to happen" was what I interpreted.

    But perhaps she meant and what I interpret this to mean today after months of Al-Anon and reading, is not to "give up," but to allow God to help you and allow God to give you an answer. It wasn't "Allow her to drive drunk with our child and hope God watches over them."

    Thanks for your wisdom and pure straight forward openness Syd.


  4. I agree. Love the last quote. I'm going to write that down.

  5. Hi sid, its strange looking at my alcoholism from the other side of the fence, I got sober when my son Luke was 9 after a "holiday from hell" and now hes 13, He is my salvation in a way

  6. wow, great thoughts those. and so very true! good to live by...


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