Al-Anon Lifer

Anonymous sharings from a long-time member of Al-Anon, which is a safe place to recover from the effects of alcoholism in a friend or relative...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Where There's Smoke...


So just when you think everything's okay and you're on the right path, someone tells you different. Such happened the same evening of my last post, the day I had that lovely time alone in a motel swimming pool (if that isn't an oxymoronic statement, I don't know what is).

Anyway, my sister and I were driving home from the wedding reception sans my daughter who we left behind to dance with "the kids." It was dark and we get lost. My sister tries to navigate but I'm not able to hear what she's saying (she always mumbles) and she has the light on in the car to look at the teeny map we have, which is just making it harder for me to see, plus there are weirdos in the area of town we have found ourselves (no pun intended). So I tell her as nicely as I can to please turn off the light and look for highway and street signs.

SILENCE. I can hardly stand it. It is so passively pouty aggressive...

Suddenly, I almost hit one of the weirdos who is taking his unaware time crossing the street in front of me. I slam on my brakes and my sister screams (she's done this to me before) and asks in a shaky voice, louder than her usual mumble, "Are the doors locked?" I can't stand it. I pull over the first chance I get and tell her that yes, the doors are locked, and I had to slam on the brakes to not hit that guy, and if she doesn't like my driving, which I've been doing all weekend, she can get out. Not a nice thing to say at all, I'm the first to admit it.

But I don't admit it until we have fought, or at least discussed life and all the things in our lives the other sister should feel bad about, for a half hour while driving around looking for one familiar highway or street sign. I say some pretty rotten things, or at least they sound rotten because I'm screaming them, something this sister never does, at least not with words. She finally gets through to me, enough for me to stop and listen while driving (listen and drive?) and tells me her latest tale of woe while we remain lost for another half hour.

I am calm, even if I'm not serene, never once asking my HP for help (although I have accused my sister of not using her HP when she is sore afraid earlier) when we stumble across the street we know leads away from the highway we want, so we find a parallel street that leads to said highway and lo and behold, there it is. I would call it a miracle or a God-send, but it was just that we had hit every other street in town already. This wasn't a giant city, just a mid-size one. The kind you think you'll never get lost in so you don't prepare. You forget to go to the AAA office and get a free map, only printing out little maps off the Internet with specific directions to your destination, forgetting that maybe you should have directions from your destination.

Anyway, we spend another hour back at the motel making up and hugging, and though the words will leave scars for years, we are closer for it. I found out that she didn't want to travel with me or rent a car with me or stay in a motel room with me. Even though she thanked me for making the plans and didn't say NO when I asked her if she wanted to do all of the above. However, she didn't say YES either. She just accepted and went along with my plans. So she was at fault there, not speaking her mind, afraid (once again) of something, I don't know. Maybe my screaming at her, you think?

Well, what is done is done. I've made my direct amends. Now come the living ones. I called her this morning to see how she was, something I just don't do. I don't like the phone. If I make contact at all it is with email or a greeting card. Yes, I bought her a greeting card, too, to send sometime later this week, so it isn't too obvious that I am groveling for her forgiveness. My therapist tells me not to be too hard on myself, and certainly not to do what the alcoholic used to do when he did the same to me - buy me flowers or a lobster dinner. Point taken.

The best thing I can do is to NEVER AGAIN take my frustrations and feelings of rejection (this time by "the parent I hardly knew" and the new manager at work) on my sweet sister, who herself was terribly damaged in her childhood. My mother was/is her step-mother, and she was/is very much like Cinderella's step-mother, only she treated her own daughter, me, more like Cinderella and my two step-sisters like the rats before they became the coachmen. Throwing them crumbs and slapping them should they complain or even speak. We had/have a baby sister who got to/gets to go to the balls and supposedly married "prince charming," although I'll take my alcoholic (even before he was sober) over this guy anytime.

Well, enough. I'm still feeling disgusted with myself, being in that Al-Anon hangover stage. This too shall pass, but I must, if I have any kind of decency, go through a grieving period of guilt so I will have the grave resolve to continue my step-work. I went to my home group this morning and they loved me even after my confession. My sister loves me, too, although I'm not sure if she wants to ever see me again. I wouldn't blame her. I get tired of her character defects, too. But this blogging stuff is helping. And hopefully it helps anyone out there reading it realize that those of us in recovery are just that, in recovery. It's "progress not perfection!"

3 Comments:

At Wednesday, October 04, 2006 2:59:00 AM, Blogger Mary Christine said...

Progress not perfection - indeed. Thank God we don't have to be perfect.

 
At Wednesday, October 04, 2006 6:38:00 AM, Blogger Gwen said...

I hate when that stuff happens. It just feels soooo yucky. I am glad you guys made up and were able to talk. Have a great day.

G~

 
At Wednesday, October 04, 2006 11:26:00 AM, Blogger SCoUt said...

Agreed with Gwen and MC.
And I also agree that blogging helps.
Peace to both of you,
Scout

 

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