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"Divorce and Alcoholic, Anger is not the problem. "
by Toby Rice Drews
by Toby Rice Drews
A "HOOKING" ISSUE ----- Sandy (not her real name) is in family recovery for many years...she is divorced about 8 years. Her emotionally-abusive/sober 'ex' and she have no reason that they have to have contact---i.e., no children together.
But Sandy occasionally receives letters from him. They vary from crazymaking in some ---- to "I still care about you" in others.
Each of the letters asks for a reply.
Each of the letters claims to either "not understand" what he has done... or claims that "it was not intentional".
It has taken Sandy quite a while, but she has gotten to the point where she knows, deep down, that she need not respond.
She used to feel that since he "didn't mean it", she needed to give him another chance. Then, she progressed in her recovery to the point where she not only did not need to do that----but she knew that his kind of approach was, in and of itself, very crazymaking. And therefore, she said to herself, when receiving one of those letters, "'No' is a complete sentence---and I said it a long time ago."
"I need not repeat it."
She remembered Father Martin's admonition to families of alcoholics who said they felt guilty every time they were angry---- he said, The only 'sin' is in babying them... not in getting angry. Every time we go from anger to guilt-for-the-anger, and on and on, we are beating ourselves up, emotionally, for being angry when we not only have a perfect right to the anger ---but if we asked persons who grew up without abuse at all, if we were 'guilty' for being angry when we encountered emotional abuse of any kind-----they would look at us like we are crazy!
They just do not understand this kind of thinking at all. They are powers of example for us to keep in mind...... they help us to pull ourselves out of the muck of irrational guilt into the world of sane reactions to crazymaking.
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