Hello, my name is Susanne, and I am a sugar addict.
Well, only a couple of weeks ago I would have said there is no such thing but then I had to admit it.
Those conversations with my husband during the last few weeks were not all about gazing into each other’s eyes, holding hands, and declaring our deep and unconditional love; we also had to face some things about ourselves that we didn’t want to face before. We were certain our relationship was sound and extraordinarily happy, yet I felt compelled to buy books like “Getting the Love You Want”. A couple of days ago my husband threw the word codependency in and addiction and something in me clicked.
When I wrote about my depression (and I’m still reluctant to call it that because it is so mild) Esereth said there had to be a deep cause for that. It hit home with me but I didn’t see a cause. I have been thinking about it, trying to unearth something but all I got was “Depression is anger turned inward” on which I started writing a blog post until I remembered that Flylady had already written about that. I know that I am a very aggressive person. Mostly it stays put, I’m mild and polite and smiling and turn on myself with the things I do compulsively. Like eating and reading and computer games (which I had to give up) and watching TV and reading blogs. So most things I do compulsively are things one can do in moderation for fun. And cutting out all of them is not the point because then I’d find something else instead.
What I never thought about was what I am so angry about. Why am I aggressive? And then my husband said “codependency” and I remembered that I already knew that my father is an alcoholic. I just didn’t think about it anymore.
I thought a lot if I should write this or not. I try to only write things I’d tell people in person too but I wouldn’t like my parents to read this. I thought that maybe I should talk to my father first before telling it to all the world but I didn’t. I think I will have to confront him with it eventually but I don’t think this will change anything for him.
And before you all start feeling sorry for my poor mother who is married to an alcoholic in denial let me tell you that she has issues with addiction too. Just try to come between her and her nicotine. So I have to face it I inherited an addictive personality and the psychic wounds that go with growing up in a dysfunctional family.
Not visibly dysfunctional though. I don’t have a father who drinks himself into a stupor and passes out. He never lost a job because of it. When recently somebody said, “Well, every family has a secret.” I thought, not mine. Obviously I’m very versed in denial.
Now I remember how much my parents fought over putting like little fences and rules around the alcoholism. How my father wasn’t allowed to drink before he ate something. How he wasn’t allowed to have the cognac bottle on the living room table but had to put it back every time. How when my father was still working and I was still living at home the top priority of every family member was to feed him dinner as soon as he came home. So he wouldn’t drink his dinner. He never ate at work. He’d leave the house in the morning without breakfast, spend the whole day drinking coke, and come back home where he’d often end the day on beer and cognac before falling asleep in front of TV.
My father is mild, polite, intelligent, a little distant but very caring and emotional underneath. Once in a while he explodes. All his frustration and anger, all those repressed feelings come out in a burst and then that’s it. Only this week did I find out how frightened I am by the least bit of aggressive behavior. I accused my husband of talking to me in a way that I felt as if he hit me, and all he did was tell me things I didn’t want to hear in a very calm and reasonable way. Only then did I think of the two incidents where my father completely lost his temper with me and hit me and then sent me up into my room where I cowered in a corner, wept and thought the world was about to end. Only this time did I realize that I must have been only two years old, three at the most, and that the most hurtful thing about that probably was that nobody came after me to console me afterwards. Now I know why I often have the feeling to expose myself and make me vulnerable when my husband has the feeling that I’m distant and withdrawn.
Now I know why I never drank a drop of alcohol when I still lived at home and never started smoking at all. I’m really, really angry at my family for pretending that all is well.
Alcohol is not the problem for me. I have a couple of addictive behaviors that I might have to give up or not. That’s not that important right now, but my relationship with sugar is worrying and so I decided to give it up.
And since this already is too long, I’ll write another post about that.