I can count on my hands the number of times I've been afraid to tell my parents something. It has always been something that I've done, or has been done to me...and it's always been something pretty serious. Most of the time once I finally spilled the beans they were supportive, and if it was something bad they were there once their initial anger left them.
Today, I have something new I'm afraid to tell them, and it's eating me up inside. This thing is different because it also involves both of them. The ironic aspect to my issue, is this thing is really good for me, so I shouldn't be afraid to tell them..but I am.
Last weekend I went to an Al-Anon meeting. My first Al-Anon meeting*. At this meeting, I verbally said my name, then stated I am the daughter of an alcoholic. The words felt really good to finally say out loud. In a way, they felt liberating. I spent my morning listening to others, and the clouds cleared from my head; I am WAY more effected by alcohol and drugs than I had originally believed. I guess you could say I had been living in denial.
The day of the meeting, ironically enough, my mom offered to watch baby boy. It would be the first time she's spent time with him in 2010. Some of you might think "well, it's only March...my parents rarely see my kids". People, my parents live about 15 minutes from me...the only reason my mom hasn't seen my child is because she has chosen to live a selfish life that involves alcohol, work, and more alcohol.
I've tried speaking with her about her drinking habits, and SURPRISE, she gets very defensive. I've tried reasoning with her. I've tried begging her to be a more active role in my son's life. All I hear are excuses masked by what she thinks is reason.
The day after my meeting I stopped by my fathers house. I had every intention of telling him what I had started doing...but I couldn't. Fear of his reactions and judgement paralyzed me. See, a loooong time ago (read: when I was in middle school) I accused HIM of being an alcoholic, and to this day he still reminds me. I don't take back my feelings from back then. I witnessed him putting tonic and scotch into a HUGE enclosed mug. I'm not crazy, I swear. Also, there's that one Christmas, two years ago, where him and my brother both got so pissy drunk that they started verbally attacking me, calling me horrible names...eventually leading to me leaving my dad's house in hysterical tears, I digress (p.s. Thanks Johnny Walker..you Rock).
I think I'm so fearful of telling them because it will stir up emotions, and when people get defensive and feel like they're being judged, they throw judgement right back. I'm hoping that after a couple more meetings I'll have the strength to confront them. I'm hoping.
Since this was my very first meeting, I was absolutely clueless. I wasn't even sure how to walk into this place (note: it was a HUGE house on a historic street in the city). I was aware that they provided child care during the meetings, so baby boy was with me.
We walked into this house, and I must have had an enormous look of confusion on my face. A man told me to talk with so and so upstairs for childcare...so upstairs we went. I got baby boy settled, told him I would be just outside, and then went to find a seat.
The room was empty aside from a HOT guy..go figure. I felt extremely uncomfortable, and I'm sure I looked extremely uncomfortable.
It wasn't until I heard multiple people talking about how long they'd been sober, and that they were drunks that I realized I might be in the wrong place. The room was quickly filling up, but I leaned to the lady next to me, and asked her what meeting I was in. "AA...this is an AA meeting." Son of a drunk, I was in the wrong meeting. I asked her where Ala-non was, politely stood up, and walked DOWNSTAIRS to where my meeting had already started.
It was actually a pretty funny moment.