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The "Four M's"

I didn’t grow up in an alcoholic family.  I was the only child.  I had a wonderful mother and I adored and admired my father.  He was my mentor and my hero. When I married my first husband I was convinced that I married my Dad.

During my fourth step work and when I shared all my assets and defects with my sponsor, a light bulb went off in my head.  I remembered that my mother was an Adult Child of a violent Alcoholic father and I had learned many behavior characteristics from her.  I also realized that my first husband was an ACA and had witnessed violence in his childhood.  So you see, in reality I married my mother.  Here I always thought I had married my father.  My mother was a martyr, she managed, manipulated, and mothered my Dad and me. She also used the silent treatment a lot, but my Dad called her on it. He told her that ignoring her child would do more harm than good and she listened.

Guess what, I had learned the same tools and practiced them in my family with my husband and my children.  Finally, by talking to my sponsor, by working the steps, by reading the daily readers, going to a lot of meetings,  and through prayer and meditation, I got it.  I slowly took my focus off my kids, there was no point for me to practice martyrdom.  I manage my own life; I attend at least 3 to 4 meetings a week, I do service and I work with sponsees;  I manipulate my legs in winter when I ski, embroider or knit, in spring, summer, and fall when I hike rather than manipulating my daughters. I try to nurture others – by sharing my experiences, strengths and hopes and leave others the opportunity to mother other people.

I so wish that my mother and my first husband had known about Al-Anon that could have helped them immensely.



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