Awakening Through Love

Awakening Through Love

Naranon topic of "Anger"

"Anger" was the topic at last night's Naranon meeting.  There were about 20 people in attendance.  I had been twice before months ago. 

We went around the room sharing how anger has affected our lives.  A lot of the people remember being angry when their addict stole from them. 

A few have memories of much anger directed at them from the addict. 

Some were angry at themselves for not maintaining their boundaries. 

Another lady (there with her daughter) said she's given up hope that things will ever change with her ex-husband and she was angry for her daughter

Most of the people gave a short description of who their addict was (i.e., child, spouse) and some gave a little background.

I tried to give the topic some thought, while listening to everyone and when my turn came around, I said that I usually expressed my anger in the form of impatience or irritation, related to my addict.  I mentioned that I had called the police after finding him OD'd on the bedroom floor, having been guided by the Crisis Hotline and that he was currently in "lockdown rehab" after having been in jail.  I was the only one who got a little teary eyed.  I think I'm still working through "guilt", even though it's not logical (I'll save that for another post)!

Forty minutes into the hour long meeting, a couple arrived and the woman looked "shell-shocked". They spoke last and the man said he was a recovering drug addict and was there for his wife. He asked if the next time, he could speak and share some of his story thinking that it may be of help to us. The facilitator said he could so long as he didn't share from AA or NA.

After the meeting, I talked briefly with the lady and her friend sitting next to me and she gave me more background about her situation.  I told her that my son had never stolen from me, so perhaps that's why I didn't feel more anger.  She said her daughter didn't in the beginning either.  She's been dealing with this for 10 years and has a grandchild living with her addict daughter and addict son-in-law.  Based on some other things she said, I left the meeting feeling anxious.

Because I grew up in a home where "anger" was the main emotion, I wonder how it has impacted me.  I have always been able to show anger at boyfriends and husbands (have had two of them).  My first husband has an anger management problem and my current husband also has those tendencies.  I think we are drawn to familiar personalities/situations. 

I didn't want my son to grow up in an anger filled home, so I made a conscious decision to not have heated "communication" in front of him.  That doesn't mean we didn't "bicker" or have "disagreements" because I think it's healthy to let children see that you can disagree and hopefully have a resolution.  What's important is that you "fight fair", i.e. no name calling, belittling, sarcasm, yelling, violence...

My husband also grew up in a home with "anger" and recently realized that he plays the role of the peacekeeper sometimes.  If we are "communicating" and we're both angry, he wants to end the conversation.  Issues don't get resolved, unless you agree to bring it up later, which wouldn't happen most of the time.  This is definitely "therapy territory"!!  The good news - we've come a long way in the past 15 years!


Anna said...

I know that shell shocked look.

Syd said...

I see the shell-shocked in Al-Anon meetings as well. They have just realized that their son/husband/daughter/wife is an alcoholic (or addict). I am glad that they are there. It is a brave step.

Barbara said...

I know the shell shocked look too! It wasn't that long ago that I had it. I remember being the only one who got teary eyed in a few Al-Anon meetings.

Hey - way to go on the growth in your anger management and insights!

Lou said...

Cool--you got something out of the meeting! I'm glad the person chairing didn't let the guy just start talking. A lot of people are hurting, and don't really want to hear the addict's story. Naranon is for the family, not another place for addicts to vent.

Her Big Sad said...

I recognize that "peacekeeper" element. My DH is very good at leaving the conversation, always for something "important" (dog needs to go out, gotta get this letter in the mailbox), and that way, the argument is stalled, nothing changes.

I've heard that last part before..... "nothing changes if nothing changes!"

I'm familiar with that shell-shocked look too. I'm glad every time I see a newcomer though!

Thank for adding us to your prayer list - I pray for your family/son daily too!

Jamie said...

NAR-ANON has helped me put my anger in its place: yesterday.

It's not that I never get angry, but now I have more insights about why anger is triggered in me and I can choose to act rather than react to negativity and chaos. If you'd like to know more or share online, please check out our WSO website and our Nar-Anon Forum:

Anonymous said...

I agree that Nar-anon is for the family and not a place for addicts to vent, however, having an invited recovering addict share at a meeting can be an awesome source of hope for many family members. I am a GR for a Nar-anon group and have had some wonderful speakers from NA at our meetings, sharing their experience,strength and hope. Sometimes it is healthy for us to hear from the addict's point of view.

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bb said...

Im so angry with my boyfriend all the time. I cant help it and i dont know what to do :( hes put me through so much throught his addiction and his recovery :'( i cry almost evryday... heck im even crying right now...

Anonymous said...

Evict or not evict loved one who is in denial of his addiction?

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