Thursday, June 03, 2004

This Might Hurt

I started taking my "beta blocker" for my prolapse today. When I went in to get the prescription, the pharmacist called me over. "You might not feel well the first five days that you take this medication," she warned me. Which, in doctor/pharmacist lingo, means, "You are going to feel like you've been hit by a truck." Sort of like, "You're going to feel a prick" means "Here comes the blinding, searing pain!"

Speaking of medication, one of Jason's schizophrenic clients decided that she knew a better way to take her meds than the way the psychiatrist told her. He had to go up to the residence center because she was throwing all of her roommate's belongings out the window into the rain. He finally convinced her to go to the hospital, where she informed the nurses that my husband was a Russian and needed to be deported. So what's the lesson to be learned here, besides not messing with your medication? How about...."Crazy can be fun!"

And speaking of craziness, I started reading the book, Grandchildren of Alcoholics by Ann Smith, yesterday. It's never a good sign when, while reading a book on dysfunction, you run out of ink while underlining passages with which you identify. I've been meaning to read this book for years, but only recently found it online. Holy cow. If you are a grandchild of an alcoholic (I happen to have it coming from both sides,) you've gotta read this book. Here are some of the characteristics of an adult GofA:

1) Distorted family image but strong family loyalty.
2) Self-blaming and guilt.
3) Good at forming superficial relationships, but have a compulsive need for intimacy.
4) Difficulty asking for help
5) Struggle with compulsive behaviors and boundaries.
6) Tend to be secretive and fearful.
7) Prone to episodes of depression and anxiety.
8) Over-reacting, under-reacting and extreme thinking.

The big one that I identified with (practically underlined the entire section) was the isolation. Typically, adult children of alcoholics (our parents) created families devoid of alcohol, because they were determined not to have the family craziness that they grew up in. However, to quote the book, "When addiction to chemicals skips a generation, it does not eliminate the environment which is fertile for addiction." Mainly, because our parents did not have normal modeled to them, the dysfunctional, co-dependent problems are just repeated, sans the alcohol. Therefore, the GofA family is just as isolated as the parent's upbringing.

The difference is, our parents grew up knowing what was at the root of the pain and isolation. GofA, generally, had their grandparent's alcoholism hidden from them, so they grow up knowing that something is very wrong...but simply assuming that they are nuts to think it, since their family appears "perfect" to the outside world.

That hit me hard. I totally relate to the isolation angle. My entire life, I felt that my family was a little different than everyone else's. We were very involved in the community, church, school, what have you. But we were also alone, sort of separated off by ourselves.

I haven't gotten to the part of the book where it tells you how to fix it. I'll let you know.


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