© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
I’ve spent twenty years of my life trying to understand alcoholism. I have gone to Alanon for families who deal with alcoholics. I’ve tried a more spiritual route such as prayer and church. I have read articles, books, and case studies.
I retired in my role as the provoker years ago. And I have exhausted myself as the martyr in recent years. Oh yes the martyrs. They are the ones who hope there is a day of awakening for the alcoholics in their life. Those that they either love or have loved.
The martyr has moments of hoping there will be a day the alcoholic feels bad for the deeds they have done. They just want to see apologies and recovery. Most of all, they want healing.
I have gone head to head with the ones who maintain the roles of being “the rescuer”. Years ago I was considered the rescuer too, so perhaps that is why their rescuing affects me like it does. I’d clean up the messes, apologize for many horrific social scenes of drunken stupor and I’d make excuses for the drunkenness all the time.
Over the course of time I got sick of being the provoker. I was tired of demanding respect, maturity, love and so forth. I got tired of telling stories of the things I would wake up to. I was tired of feeling embarrassed, mistreated, and unloved. So, I went on strike after that.
To me, the rescuers seem just as bad as the alcoholics themselves. They appear to have every excuse under the sun for the behavior of the alcoholic. Nothing is the alcoholics fault. And I mean nothing. Everything is blamed on people in the past or present days of the alcoholics life.
The rescuers claim they love their alcoholic but tough love has gone astray. They can’t find it no matter how hard they look. And they just can’t stand up to the alcoholic in effort to get them the treatment that they need.
Sometimes the alcoholic wants help but they do not have one person whom they respect to look them in the eyes and say: “Man you have a problem and you need serious help. Are you ready to get better yet? Because I can’t keep watching this. It is hurting everyone around you but mostly you!”
Questions of the day for the rescuers:
If your loved one had any other disease like Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease etc. and everyone around them could tell just by looking at them…..wouldn’t you try to help them?
Or would you make a bunch of excuses and blame others for the loved one not being in their best health? Would you claim other people gave them their disease? Would you say they had no disease regardless of their diagnosis?
Or would you continue to say: “Screw those people, they are all crazy. You’re just fine dear. Now I would help you but I just love you too much. And if I help you then that means I’d have to admit that I was wrong about you to all those people! So we will just keep this between us and go on about our business. Okay?”
WARNING: This post may require some tissues.
I had the liberty of spending time with a young lady this weekend who played a music video for me. The video reminded her of her struggles with her father who is an alcoholic.
Before she shared the video she stated:
“OMG! You have to watch this.This gives me chills. This is so me”
Now granted, I do not encourage watching many videos on this site. But in order to understand her perspective a bit more, I will ask that you watch this three minute music video and absorb the lyrics.
As I watched and listened to the video, hearing the lyrics “That’s enough now dry your tears, it’s been a long eleven years” (among other fitting lyrics) struck a cord with me. She is in fact eleven years old. (She is still a baby ya’ll!)
She has watched people make excuses for the behavior of her alcoholic father, which are in turn lies. She is ashamed. She spent many times crying because he is drunk. She is full of frustration.
There have been so many instances of false hope for her watching him battle his disease. She watched her family divide. And then divide some more. And for some reason she blames herself! This is not her fault! It is disheartening and it feels like someone kicked me in the gut just listening to her use her voice on the subject matter. Whew, that poor baby.
As we wrapped up our conversation of her sharing her thoughts and feelings on being the child of an alcoholic, I asked her if she would write something about it. I wanted her to share with others who struggle with the disease itself.
She writes this:
All of those glass bottles I witnessed being absorbed by a broken mans body taught me some lessons. I don’t think alcohol is ever the answer. If you’re broken you can’t expect other people to fix your selfish, big ego, lying butt. I grew up around lies so now it’s time for me to tell the truth.
We were young. We heard so many lies and saw many things that hurt our eyes.
My whole life so far has been like a bomb. Tick, tick, tick, tick. The representation of all the pain filling me up inside. Lies and alcohol. Pain. Then I finally found my voice. I found me. And that is when I created the explosion.
Its my fault for making the explosion. But that monster created that bomb and expected me not to light it. These next few years will be me cleaning all this up. Im glad my mom divorced him because I wont be another basic, shallow, insecure girl. That is most of this generation.
Do me a favor and find your voice. Be loud. It isn’t always bad to make an explosion.
The child of an alcoholic
It is hard to believe that an eleven year old wrote this. She is wise beyond her years. She is strong and she is brave. And clearly at some points she is blaming herself. And we all know it is not her fault. But still she carries that cross. She is burdened.
Although we may contribute to an alcoholic’s disease in some ways we are not to blame for the illness itself. It is a mental disorder which often accompanies other mental disorders such as bi-polar, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders etc. It is something that existed within the individual long before the alcoholism itself surfaced and became visible.
Alcoholism – A cancer of the heart and soul. A disease that cripples families every day. A disease that the eleven year old girl in the above passage will probably spend her entire lifetime trying to understand.
I wrote a piece a few years ago in regards to humility and wisdom going hand in hand. And boy do they ever if you think about it. I mean, they are in deed the best of friends. You can’t have a little bit or a lot of one….without having the other show up. They are just inseparable. (And the two of them together can cause quite a fuss!)
In life we will have experiences that humiliate us. Friends may humiliate us. Co-workers may humiliate us. Family may humiliate us. All in all…. people will humiliate us. ( And if they don’t we may just find some time to humiliate ourselves.😂)
We must remember however that it is only humiliation when there is truth to it. Otherwise it is just a rumor folks. And nobody gives a crap about rumors. Rumors are laughed at, blown off, and just flat out ignored. (By intelligent people they are anyway.)
When truth humiliates us we are given wisdom. After that it is up to us what we do with it. We can take that wisdom in and use it to benefit us and the situation, or we can reject it all together.
When we reject the wisdom we choose to continue on the same path and stay in the same place of ignorance. It is simply a preference to keep making the same mistakes.
What we should really do, is use the wisdom to change the situation. That in turn breaks the cycle, and that is the only way to truly move forward.
The majority of people who suspect cheating probably should. Usually that is your instincts trying to tell you something.
Those who don’t suspect cheating in their relationship, should still have this knowledge. There are two reasons I suggest this. 1) It can happen to anyone, and 2) It’s not a bad thing to know what signs and symptoms to look for. Most people don’t know the signs of a cheater, until it is a little too late.
1.) Appearance – Has he/she taken more pride in personal appearance lately such as: new clothes, cologne/perfume, working out, new hairstyles etc.? If they are getting all done up just for a trip to the grocery store or other trips that are out of the ordinary, then something is probably fishy. Granted, some people do naturally take pride in their appearance. With cheaters it is more of a sudden change in their normal patterns of getting ready, what they wear, how they look etc.
2.) Nit-Picking – Is he/she picking a fight just to get away or using the notorious “Time to think” or “I have some work to do at the office” excuse? Cheaters do this every day. They will literally pick a fight just so they have a reason to get away from you and do what they do…cheat!
3.) More Frequent Trips – Is he/she leaving the house more frequently? Granted this is not always the case. Work affairs happen so often and their time is mostly accounted for.
4) Abandonment Technique – Is he/she leaving you with the children knowing you won’t drag them to check up on him/her? This is a common trick for married couples. Once the kids are in bed it makes it hard for the one left behind to check out anything questionable in their partners behavior.
5.) New Tunes – Is he/she listening to new music? Lyrics are crucial!!! Especially for ladies! We identify with songs as though they are the meaning of our own life and experiences. Now ladies, men are usually opposite on this one. They can truly listen to a song and think about absolutely nothing.
6.) Internet – Is he/she on the computer a lot? If they are spending more time talking to and interacting with people on the internet than they are with you then it would be a huge flag. Where we invest our time speaks volumes as to which relationships mean the most.
7.) Uninvited – Is he/she doing things/activities and you are not welcome or even invited to attend? Some will purposely schedule or portray to schedule activities you detest because they know you will not want to go. (Call their bluff the next time and watch their reaction.)
8.) Unhappy – Has he/she mentioned unhappiness in the relationship in the last 6-12 months? Typically mentioning being unhappy with the relationship happens just before an affair begins. In a sense it is a cry for help. Or a warning call per say.
9.) Contacts – Are there any unusual numbers or contacts in his/her cellular phone or on the bill? Many men will make up a guys name and many females will make up a ladies name so that it appears to just be a text from a friend. Another one in this category is the mentioning of hanging out with the friend you have never heard of.
10.) Secretive – Has he/she been more secretive or distant? If you are communicating less and he or she is keeping to themselves more then that may be a flag.
11.) Depression – Has he/she recently suffered from depression? Depression can do many things to the mind. A simple compliment could carry the depressed person far away, into a land of hope. And boom, affair.
12.) Loss – Has he/she recently lost a loved one? Losing a loved one causes us to reevaluate our lives. Some develop a need to live as though they were dying themselves after losing someone close to them.
13.) Changes In bedroom – Is there a sudden lack of interest or a sudden uncontrollable interest in sex? This too is an obvious sign. Affairs can play both sides however. But definitely question when new techniques or ideas appear.
So many affairs fly under the radar before being detected and these above mentioned things are very obvious signs. If you have answered yes to a few of these, you likely have some research to do about your partner.
If they are on the computer a lot you can install spyware if you just need proof. This can also be added to their cellular phone.
If you have kids and can’t get away when they take off you can always hire a P.I. relatively cheap. And sometimes you can trick them in to coming clean without providing hardly any information. 9 times out of 10 people discover that the instincts that led them to question it in the first place, were right all along.
Whatever you do, do not let them manipulate you into thinking you are crazy for suspecting something. Dig and dig until the truth is revealed if that is what you are searching for.
Always remember, what is done in the darkness will always be brought to light.
So often we give up on the desires of our heart due to rejection, fear, anxiety, doubt, lack of motivation, depression etc. In doing that, we lose sight of what’s important, our dream.
If you can dream it, you can do it! Don’t let the negativity of other people stop you. Others are typically only negative about it because you are doing something that they fell short of doing themselves. What they don’t realize, is that because you continue to believe in yourself you will succeed, and you my friend will get the final laugh. Not them.
When you find yourself around people that don’t believe in what you are doing, draw an invisible line and maintain your distance. It doesn’t mean you have to be rude, or even tell them. For every negative thing they do/say list 10 reasons they are wrong.
Say to yourself:
I believe in this!
I believe in me!
I believe this is possible!
I believe God will allow me to obtain it!
I believe your negativity is only a test!
I believe I will win!
I believe this has crossed my path for a reason!
I believe in the impossible!
I believe I will not let you get me down!
You can list whatever you want, whatever fits for you. Just stay positive and keep believing. As soon as you let seeds of doubt get planted and you stop believing, it becomes the impossible dream.
Positive thoughts bring positive results!
If you don’t believe in you, how can anyone else?
© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
There is a way to communicate, and have straight A’s in the process. The conversations will be fail proof if the following steps are considered before tackling an issue or problem with another individual. It is truly all about our approach, our attitude(s), and our actions.
Approach is the first step to communication. If you approach with a bad attitude one will feel attacked, and things will quickly escalate. On the other hand if your approach is calm, sincere, and lacks sarcasm; it will be accepted by the opposite party will likely not become offended. We must all follow the three T’s to a proper approach when we are communicating a problem we have with someone else.
Attitude is everything in life; especially when communicating feelings or resolving issues one may have with other people. A bad attitude can be contagious; but the good attitude is more appealing, attractive, and will provide better results.
Maintaining a positive demeanor while approaching and talking to an individual will promote conversation opposed to yelling and bickering. A person’s attitude when approaching another individual with heated topics; will determine the outcome. A bad attitude, will catch some of the most positive and care-free spirits off guard.
Actions speak louder than words. Our gestures or what we do can speak volumes in showing the other person how we truly feel. We may claim we were talking nice, but how heated we become is revealed by our actions. If either person is shaking their head, defensive, or involving others: it would be best to stop communicating until things calm down.
As with all problems in life, until we get to the root of an issue it will never get resolved. If we find ourselves in conflict with others and then over time speaking again without ever fully discussing what caused or allowed the previous separation; we will end up in the same place again and again. Until we fix the roots and they are thriving, the flowers will never blossom.
© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.
Day 8 Letter H
Now that we have tackled the concept of allowing others grace to grow; we naturally begin to help others see the light. Because we have given them grace they will seek us out time and time again in times of trouble. They will return because we offer acceptance.
When others feel our acceptance of them despite where they are in their life journey; they will then begin to see and feel our love. When they feel our love, they will begin to see the light. Once they see the light, the chains that bind them are finally broken.
There are multiple ways that we can help others see light in particular situations. It could be by handing them a tract or brochure, referring them to someone else that can relate better, suggesting a particular song or movie, or by simply being a light ourselves: through conversation or by setting an example with our own lives.
To some people we are merely a match flame.
To some a candle or lantern.
To others we may be the sun.
We all shed light.
In some way.
And light affects everyone.
© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited
Day 7 Letter G
We believe we would react to situations in particular ways or that we would behave differently than someone else until we are placed in the other person’s shoes. Once we put those shoes on that were once worn by someone else; we not only have new shoes, but a new pair of new glasses too.
Those who accept us where we are despite any decisions we are making at the time; are giving us grace to grow. These are those people who no matter where we are or what we do in our lives; they love us anyway. They do not judge us, because they understand. They listen, they advise, and they care.
The concept of allowing one grace to grow is a concept that many should grasp. Once grasped, one will find themselves no longer in a position that they feel “above” someone for making better life decisions. They will not utter phrases such as: “I can’t believe they ___” “I would never”, “He/She shouldn’t ____” You won’t believe what ____ did now” etc.
I have observed that when I utter phrases like those mentioned above; I am quickly served a piece of humble pie. When I can’t understand people, their lifestyle, behavior, and their decisions I am often given a situation shortly after; where I can. It may not be an identical situation, but it is a situation that allows me to comprehend where they were at that time, and what they were thinking. Or better yet, a situation where I can relate to their emotions.
I have written often about the fact that we are all given the same lessons throughout our lives and that the lesson plans slightly differ. One may experience grief through the lost of a parent, another through the loss of a child. One may experience adultery through their parents, or through a marriage of their own. Nonetheless, the emotional processes are the same.
No matter the format of the lesson, the lessons eventually produce the same results. We will all face temptations, and struggles. We will have to find a place and time at which we will have to forgive ourselves and each other.
We will all feel: neglect, abandonment, taken for granted, mistreated, disliked, unloved, and many other emotions at some point in our lives. The lessons differ, but the emotions are the same.
Grace is essential to provide for others; because we all need it to grow. Those who accept us despite our choices have allowed us grace to grow. Those who watch us make a mistake but love us anyway, are one of a kind.
For Today: Find someone in your life that has a situation that you can’t or couldn’t at one point understand. Analyze what emotions that person may have been feeling at that time, and compare it to a situation in your life where you experienced the same emotions.
© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited
It has been requested by a reader that I expand on my ABC’s of life poem. They felt a need to read more on each topic and I felt the idea was borderline genius. For the next several days (26 to be exact) I will begin to develop each line into thoughts for each day. Hopefully by the time we get to Z, we will all have more insight on life.
Day 1 Letter A
Both words and actions have two faces. Whether they are in a positive or negative fashion, our words and actions will leave a mark somewhere. They will have an impact and bring about change. They will build and they will destroy.
I put the phrase “actions speak louder than words” in the poem ABC’s of Life and thought particularly of my ex-husband at the time that I wrote this line. It is a series of words I have heard him say countless times over the years and something that I didn’t fully comprehend; until I was in my thirties. But now I can admit it, he was right. Actions speak louder than words.
I believe we put so much stock into words because religions teach us all that we are judgmental when we base our opinions on one’s actions. Society has taught us to deceive ourselves, and let people use their words to manipulate us.
If we paid more attention to the actions of others and less attention to words they speak; we wouldn’t find ourselves in some of the most hurtful situations. Instead we would be further along. We would not only feel stronger and wiser but we would probably find ourselves much happier too.
I have carried what was once an annoying statement in an argument with my ex husband with me. Upon reflection I can see where a bit of his philosophies rubbed off on me. Particularly this one, because in my mid thirties I do not need words of affirmation so much. When I hear things, they go in one ear and out another. It is more about what I see that speaks to me. Words are just words.
As I went from a girl to a woman I adapted to the philosophy that actions speak louder than words. Instead of needing lip service from others, these days I am more about: Don’t tell me that you love me, show me. Don’t tell me you will be there, just be there. Don’t tell me that I can trust you, instead display that you are worthy of my trust. Don’t tell me you are there if I want to talk, call me for once. Don’t tell me to come over and see you, you can come see me too.
It is amazing how much more clearly you can see with this motto. It eliminates a lot of garbage. People weed themselves out because its obvious who cares and who doesn’t. There is nothing left to question.
“While some words are merely whispers, people’s actions will always manage to shout out the truth.”
For today: Observe the actions of others and compare it to their words. If one’s actions do not coincide with their words, take a deeper look. Sometimes the answers to life’s problems will appear by just sitting back and watching, quietly. Make mental notes as needed and then begin applying the necessary changes.
Be Careful Who You Trust
© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.