Detaching with love was a behavior I assumed would never be part of my recovery, even though I knew my resentment over having a dysfunctional parent was destroying me. In spite of the negative effects of my bitterness, I couldn’t imagine living without it. Without resentment, who would I be?
When I finally became tired of hurting, Al-Anon offered me tools to incorporate into my life. Listening to others in meetings, reading Al-Anon literature, becoming involved in service, and attending Al-Anon workshops and conventions lent me a new perspective. This outlook gave me the opportunity to become a different and better person, one who enjoyed the serenity of acceptance. Simply put, I slowly came to the realization that my parent had been incapable of meeting my particular expectations. In his own way and to the extent of his abilities, he had provided me with love, life’s necessities, and support in all my endeavors. Finally, instead of seeing a completely empty glass, I saw that my glass was partially full. I realized that my growing up years could have been so much worse that they were.
My father’s recent death showed me that, at some point, I began loving him with detachment. A sense of release washed over me as I realized I had to let go of the bitterness and resentment I once thought was permanent. In their place I have a new-found sense of freedom from resentments and hope for the future.
Thought for the Day
What role do my expectations as a child play in my difficulties as an adult? “Relationships distorted by dysfunction and its effect on our loved ones and on us are not healed overnight, it is not wise to expect too much too quickly.”
Bill T. is a recovery blogger from California. His experience, strength, and hope continue to provide inspiration to many people every single day.