Friday, November 07, 2008

Cleaning up your wreckage

That's an A.A. term, well a 12 step term really.

What it means is while we were:
  • Druggin

  • Raging

  • Codependent-ing

  • Manipulating

  • Being a Control Freak

  • Over Eating

  • Drinking

  • Insert Drug of Choice Here

  • ... while we were addicted... someone had to wipe our ass.

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    Do you know how "they" came up with the term: "Co Dependent"?

    That term originally came from the term: "Co Alcoholic"

    It came from the 1940's, researchers in behavior and psychology found that alcoholics seem to always have a Co Alcoholic. Apparently you can't be an addict in a vacuum!

    For Example:

    If you're half of a parenting team (father and mother) and one of you is frequently drunk and incapacitated... it stands to reason that the other half of the team is doing the others share of work.

    If I'm high... my spouse is gonna have to 'take up the slack'.

    ...or Some body's gonna have to!

    Those same researchers were amazed to discover (and this is clinical, it's in the decades of case histories... don't take my word for it, I'm not just making this stuff up)

    ... were amazed to find that the (usually women) co alcoholics kept on falling for another alcoholic!

    Wife Beaters followed the same path... women who got beat up by their spouses, when (or IF) they left the abusive man...

    they went out and found themselves the same kind of guy!

    You see, codependency is: "A disease of irresponsibility"
    And it's a learned irresponsibility at that.

    Ok, enough of the set up...

    Cleaning Up Your Wreckage means:

    You let your loved ones down

    They were 'Wronged By You"

    While you were (insert drug of choice here)high, compulsively masturbating, over eating, drunk... while you were "NOT PRESENT" ... somebody had to wipe your ass.

    That was unfair to who ever was covering for you while you were fucking up.

    It doesn't matter if the person who covered for you was, themselves, unhealthy.

    That's IRRELEVANT.

    You screwed up, you dropped the ball, you let someone else carry YOUR WEIGHT.

    and that person or persons, whoever they are (mother father, family friend, old girlfriend) got wronged.

    You left Wreckage

    At some point you're going to have to 'Clean up the Wreckage you left behind'

    You're not going to be able to 'come to terms' with your past
    (I really do hate that phrase, but I know I'm writing this to people outside of 12 step group terminology)

    I'm cleaning up some of my wreckage.

    I was.. for the first 3 years of my children's lives, a loving, capable father.
    For the next 16 years I 'blew my fuses', my kids did not have a functional father.

    OK, I can't undo the past... it was what it was.

    John Bradshaw said in an audio tape series I had, said:

    "The best thing we can do for our kids is to let em see us heal"

    When I heard that 10 years ago, I 'wished' I could pull that off.
    I wanted to pull that off... the fact of even considering "let my kids see me heal" even being on the table led me to this:

    I could see how far I'd have to go to pull that off.

    If I'd not 'wanted to do that' (3 of the 12 steps don't say "DO THIS", they say "become READY to do this")... I'd not have been aware of the distance between where I was and where I needed to be if I was gonna pull that off.

    so... I created an N.L.P. reframe for me to 'collapse anchor' when ever my 'irrational jealousy' kept me from being a functional father.

    All my kids wanted was a father, they did not require that I be a perfect father, they did not require that I even be a functional father... what they DID want and need was for me to be there when they needed me to be there. ie, do the best I could under whatever circumstances presented themselves.

    Fast Forward to a few years ago:

    My kids were in college (not that I helped.. they actually qualified for student loans because I was non functional... often homeless, couldn't keep a job, spent the money badly when I did have a job), My kids needed ME to help them with their homework.

    By the grace of god, my kids needed help with their computer skills, one of my daughters even took web design classes... Not only did I get to help her with her HTML skills, I was the ONLY person in her life that even knew HTML skills.

    Fast Forward to today: Not only am I in daily contact with my two youngest children, (I'm consider my self lucky that they even talk to me)I'm a GrandFather...

    I'm doing the Granddady Day Care and I love it.

    I'm even finally earning enough from my web writing to be able to be there for my grandchildren...

    It IS possible to 'let your kids see you heal'

    even if you were fucking up as much as I was.

    This article is for informational purposes only.
    Please contact a licensed professional in your area
    if you are in crisis or require mental health services

    David Bruce

    Healthy Boundaries & Victim Behavior

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