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...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Some Compassion

Now that my blood father's visit is less than two weeks out, I have finally found some compassion for him with an exercise I came up with while reading Survival to Recovery.

I pictured my father as a 7 or 8-year-old boy whose father died from dust pneumonia during the dust bowl of the Depression. I was the same age when my father left the family not to return.

Then I pictured him as a 14-year-old boy whose alcoholic step-father kicked him out of the house for good. When I was 14, my mother told me I could go live with my father right before she pushed me out onto the front porch on a below zero night in January in the country in Montana. Soon after that, I was adopted by my step-father.

Then I pictured my blood father as a young man in a loveless marriage feeling trapped with children. I have a picture of him next to my mother who is happy holding me as a baby, but he looks detached and is standing several inches from my mother.

After that is where our lives differ. Although I felt trapped as a young wife and mother, I stayed and got help for my attitude. I've worked on that attitude ever since and I think, finally, am making a major breakthrough - through my original anger to a place of real forgiveness.

I like compassion - it gives me the freedom to see someone else's humanity without condoning their behavior. It helps me understand what happened to someone else without letting them interfere with my serenity. It helps me keep an emotional distance to take care of me first.

This truly is detaching with love - for me and for others.

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At Friday, March 26, 2010 12:35:00 PM, Blogger TAAAF said...

"I like compassion - it gives me the freedom to see someone else's humanity without condoning their behavior."
That's a beautiful sentence. Thanks for this.

At Saturday, March 27, 2010 12:16:00 PM, Anonymous chitowngreg said...

Always good to be able to walk in other's shoes. Sounds like you've got a lot to draw from as you go your own way. Have a good one!

At Friday, April 09, 2010 3:05:00 PM, Blogger Kathy M. said...

I can relate to this post in terms of my relationship (or lack thereof) with my own alcoholic father. Through working the steps, I was able to forgive him, too. What a blessing that is. Thanks for sharing your story.


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