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AA has brainwashed my DM ..

(35 Posts)
meatliqour Sun 28-Feb-16 19:31:41

Don't get me wrong I've never been happier that my DM is sober.

She was a living nightmare.

There are no words to describe the 25 years I suffered.

She is. Threw AA. Thankfully 7 years sober.

However ... She rams it all down my throat, suffocating kind. Anyone who touches a drink ... Oh they are an alcoholic, even if they have a drink once a fucking year!

It is still exhausting. She will and maybe I forget this. Is still and always be an alcoholic sad

Quoteunquote Sun 28-Feb-16 19:33:39

Make her watch Mom 9or watch it with her) , then tease her a bit.

Good news she trying.

meatliqour Sun 28-Feb-16 19:36:34

What channel?

AtrociousCircumstance Sun 28-Feb-16 19:40:35

Have you had any support, during your long stint suffering an alcoholic mother? Your mother is much improved so now perhaps your justified anger can surface and it might be a good idea to find a place to express that.

Therapy, counselling, support groups for loved ones of addicts?

Meggymoodle Sun 28-Feb-16 19:40:41

They say there's no-one more anti-smoking than an ex-smoker - I guess it's the same with an ex-drinker. I can imagine it is very exhausting but glad for you both that's she sober.

Sorry, that was a worse than useless response!

Cutecat78 Sun 28-Feb-16 19:45:53

AA does brain wash people a bit IMO.

I went out with someone in recovery for 5 years he was convinced I was an alcoholic to the point I began behaving like one (hiding empty wine bottles etc to avoid grief).

I'm not a massive fan of AA but they do seem to do the job (ex drug and alcohol worker).

Believeitornot Sun 28-Feb-16 19:48:07

What is she actually saying? Does she really say that anyone who touches a drink is alcoholic?
My mum was an alcoholic and used to tell us all the time how many years she had been dry for. It did my head in a bit but I suspect that is part of how she deals with it. So I let it wash over me and be thankful she isn't dead in the street somewhere.

In guessing part of you is still angry with her for how she was when she was drinking?

Thudercatsrule Sun 28-Feb-16 19:49:23

This happened to my nan. She wasn't an alcoholic, but the wife of a gambler/drinker and back then wasn't GA so she went to AA.

She completely changed, made all her children grow up with twisted attitudes to alcohol, all 4 of them had/have issues with alcohol.

Unfortunately the attitude won't change, but just be grateful she's sober. When's she ranting, just remember all the horrible times she was drunk and hopefully that will help.

alltouchedout Sun 28-Feb-16 19:51:33

I work in a recovery agency. About half the clients and staff are into AA. They are fucking evangelical about it.

RitaVinTease Sun 28-Feb-16 19:57:44

She's still an alcoholic. Sorry, but nothing has changed. Her addiction is still there.

Alcoholism is a game of Victim. Persecutor, Rescuer, also called the Karpman Drama Triangle.
Once you understand how it works, you can see which position the other person is in, analyse your response, and step out of the game.

When she is lecturing about alcohol abuse she is in Rescuer mode, and will then slide into Persecutor.
When you reject her help, you will become the Persecutor and she will slide into Victim - I was only trying to help, I have been through so much you cant understand.
From there she will slide back into Rescuer. Let me help you understand what I have been through.

And so it goes on ad nauseum. If you google there is load of info including advice on how to break out of the train tack that is the game.
I also recommend Games People Play by Eric Berne.

ModernToss Sun 28-Feb-16 19:58:58

AA got me sober 25 years ago, and I'm sober today. I don't give a shiny shit what other people drink, I don't monitor anyone else's consumption, and I am not evangelical.

Perhaps you're mistaking the enthusiasm of novelty (like people who have lost weight on a new diet) for AA brainwashing.

Cutecat78 Sun 28-Feb-16 20:00:40

Games People play is good as is I'm ok you're Ok.

I agree people do get evangelical about AA and I don't think allows people to move on from their addiction.

Gumnast2014 Sun 28-Feb-16 20:06:59

I have been sober 6 years and absolutey ,couldn't have done it without AA.

Has she done the steps and work with sponsor or is she a dry drunk?

Aa basically teaches me to be the best version of me! Which when drinking was pretty shit!!!

shazzarooney99 Sun 28-Feb-16 20:08:12

Good on her, isnt it fantastic that shes dry? I always wished my mum would have got dry, she never did, she died in October age 63. You should be patting her on the back now.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 28-Feb-16 20:11:52

In my very inexpert, layman's opinion AA is a bit like vaping and methadone. A less unpleasant addiction for the addict to use to replace their "true" addiction.

Hopefully in time she will slowly become less obsessive but see the obsession as a good thing - at least if she is obsessing over whether half a glass of champagne at her daughter's wedding makes cousin Sylvie an alcoholic and where and when to stage the intervention - she isn't obsessing over how she can get some vodka.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 28-Feb-16 20:30:11

In my experience anyone who overcomes an addiction or life-problem becomes a wee bit evangelical about their 'cure', be it AA, therapy, Weight Watchers, running, religion, whatever. I think it reinforces (to them) that 1) they had a problem and 2) their program works.

Try to bear with it (and change the subject) because it's helping her stay sober at this point. She'll probably ramp it down after awhile. They usually do.

x2boys Sun 28-Feb-16 20:44:38

Somebody close to.me was a heroin addict he went to NA for a while but found it too much he's clean and sober now I think everything has it s place Aa,NA etc isn't for everyone but for a lot of people it works u guess.

CallMeExhausted Sun 28-Feb-16 20:51:43

Having worked in mental health, I can tell you that an addictive personality will always find something to be addicted to.

It may be drug or drink, food, gambling, sex, shopping, religion, or the tenets of an organisation like AA - but there will be something.

The tendency is always there, and without extensive counselling to deal with the root cause and learn coping skills, one addiction will simply replace another.

meatliqour Mon 29-Feb-16 09:58:09

Totally take on board comments about being grateful for her sobriety. I of course am, and yes I would rather have her the way she is than the horrific drunk she once was.

I just find her constant digs at me, my friends & anyone that picks up a drink exhausting.

She is 100% not a dry drunk. She follows the 12 steps everyday and I'm eternally grateful for her getting sober this way.

But the incessant comments about alcohol is driving me nuts.

I'm also pleased that some people do agree that AA can be brainwashing & members appear to preach that anyone who picks up a drink has a problem, or is drinking for a reason.

I have also had counselling to try & alleviate some of the anger I still hold, I find it really hard to be honest, I think I probably need to try harder.

PrivatePike Mon 29-Feb-16 10:11:24

AA is not brainwashing, and I think people claiming it is can be damaging for alcoholics beginning to realise they have a problem and seeking a solution. I'm in AA, not evangelical AT ALL, just really really glad that I'm sober and aware that I would probably have killed myself by now if I hadn't got there.

However this - 'But the incessant comments about alcohol is driving me nuts' must be very annoying! Sorry she's doing that sad

CallMeExhausted Mon 29-Feb-16 12:38:20

Are there any services for families of addicts in your area? I am not sure AlAnon would be a good choice (as it is affiliated with AA) but perhaps others are available.

They can help you not only live with those facing addiction, but those recovering. My SIL is an addict, drink and drug, and her younger daughter lives with us now that she has aged out of the foster care system. Understandably, SIL's behaviour affects our lives, both directly and indirectly through the influence her substance use during pregnancy had on her DD, as well as her difficulty understanding that I am not trying to replace her as DN's mother.

As a woman who has been affected (massively) by your DM's addiction, you have been changed. Be gentle with yourself. Yes, she is sober now, but that doesn't erase the years that she wasn't.

And just maybe, even though it verges on "hidden drinking", make the conscious choice not to drink in her presence - even if it is just to preserve your sanity.

CallMeExhausted Mon 29-Feb-16 12:43:42

PrivatePike congratulations on your sobriety. That is fantastic.

Through my work in MH and addictions, I have found that some chapters of AA do border on evangelical - even brainwashing - by instilling fear of relapse in members as a coping strategy, and the idea that one drink begins the decline. I am glad that yours didn't go that far -- AA can be a fantastic tool, but in the end it is only as good as the members (and even a stable and moderate chapter can change if the membership undergoes a shift).

Maybe its hard for an addict to understand how other people can drink and not become addicted. Your DM realises the mess alcohol made of her life and wants to protect others from doing the same. However, the people she is targetting don't have the same addiction to alcohol so find her "advice" frustrating and unhelpful.

PrivatePike Mon 29-Feb-16 12:58:03

the idea that one drink begins the decline. Er, I don't believe that is brainwashing, I believe that is truth, borne out by my own experience. Of course, it doesn't apply to everyone with a drinking problem, but...by the time you wind up in AA, things tend to have got pretty bad. The only solution for me is total abstinence - but I would never push that down anyone else's throat, honestly! I'm quite young, but the thought of a lifetime ahead (hopefully) alcohol free fills me with joy grin

Owllady Mon 29-Feb-16 13:02:50

I'd give al anon a try, go to a couple of sessions and see if it's for you

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