I was afraid to share my deepest shame...

Even though I had been in Al‑Anon for a few years, I still could not control my anger. After a while, I realized I was angry whenever the alcoholic was drunk—which was much of the time.

One night my daughter and I had a violent argument. There was name-calling, shoving, and hitting. She locked herself in the bathroom and took enough pain medication to do herself serious harm.

She admitted that she took the pills and we were able to get her to the emergency room in time. The doctors called the police and Social Services because of the attempted suicide. Both she and I went for counseling—and still the alcoholic drank. I kept thinking that it wasn’t fair that he wasn’t admitting any blame for this situation.

One evening, I was once again blowing up at my alcoholic for some minor issue. As I lifted my hands to pound on him, he grabbed my wrists and said, “I will not allow you to abuse me anymore.” It was then I realized how far down I had gone; I had become the abuser.

I was so devastated and sorrowful, I cried. I did a lot of soul searching and shared with my counselor. I was afraid to share in my Al‑Anon group, but one night the topic was anger and I shared this story with my group. I thought they would think I was a terrible person, but of course, they didn’t. People even thanked me for sharing. It gave me the courage to tell the story when I spoke at a couple of conferences. It feels good to know I am able to share my deepest shame and I am still loved!

By Cathy T., Wisconsin
The Forum, March 2012

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