Help! Long distance family relationship problem
I come from a family where alcohol abuse, and abuse in general, occurred. I'm now in my mid 30-s and have a 2 year old boy.
In my past, I used to drink too much alcohol and act like a dick.
My family always saw me as a black sheep, and abit of a joke.
I moved interstate a few years ago, and long story short my gf got knocked up and we had a kid.
I eventually got my shit together and quit alcohol/cigs 12 months ago, as I feel a tremendous responsibility for my son.
Unfortunately, my family refuse to see/believe the new "me".
I try to explain to them that we never really "knew" each other really, since we only saw eachother 2 or 3 times a year (we live interstate), and all they say those 2/3 times was the "drunk" me.
I tried to reach out to them individually, but was dissapointed with the response I got.
I believe that they used to use me as an excuse for adressing their own problems and alcohol issues, and get the sense (from my father especially) that my not-drinking makes him uncomfortable (for obvious reasons to me)
I find it hurtful that my son has to see his father be disrespected by his family like this, and feel dissapointed that I've been cast into some person in their heads that they think I am, but is far from the truth.
Any advice would be HIGHLY appreciated 🙂 thanks guys
Welcom to the forum and thanks for your post.
I can think of a couple of things to say, the first being you have done a simply amazing job, having been off alcohol and cigs for a year. That is a mighty thing. This is made even more impressive having come from a family where it is normal to drink and smoke too much.
That sense of responsibility and love for your son shows you are a pretty decent sort too.
I guess maybe being away from your family was one of the things that let you stop. I know myself even giving up the smokes would have been impossible if there had been others around that kept on going.
Once an impression is formed it's hard to get people to see things differently. If your family has seen you under the weather each time you met over the years then that would tend to be their normal 'impression' of you.
If you were around them on a daily basis all the time nowadays I expect thongs would change, but you live interstate, so that is not going to happen.
You hinted that one of the reasons they did not want to accept things is because of their own problems and maybe you were 'showing them up'. That's hard to beat. There is of course the possibility that another family member will want to follow in your footsteps and give up the booze. That could make for a common bond and at least one member would see you differently.
You said you thought it hurtful that your son has to see you disrespected. I'm not sure I agree. To have a sober loving dad is a big thing, if your son has that you have done something pretty marvelous. If as time goes on he sees others with obvious faults don't treat you with the respect you deserve then I think you will be able to help him draw the right conclusions about them.
In time things may change. I'm speaking for myself when I say having a grandson is a pretty good means of getting a family together.
We'd be interested if you posted some more and said how you were going
Welcome to the forums and thanks for your post.
First, congrats. It sounds like you've made some big changes in your life and I'm really glad that you're doing well now.
I am sorry to hear that your family refuse to see/believe in the new you. I can only imagine how frustrating that must be and I can see that you really want your son to play a big part in his family.
My only advice would be to control what you can;- unfortunately you cannot change people's opinions, and ultimately if you've changed then you're the better person for it. It will be their loss if they aren't able to accept this and welcome your son into the picture. You may find that over time your family will be able to get past this and see how much you've changed and want to be apart of your son's lives.
As hard as it sounds, I think if I were in the same boat I would want to try and invest everything into your circle; you, your girlfriend and your son. Trying to include others who don't want to be included (while it completely makes sense and is very sad) is sadly a waste of your time and energy.
Croix, thanks so much for listening and for your reply. I really enjoyed reading it.
I especially like what you said about my concern that the disrespect may harm my son. Your point made sense to me and brought me some comfort.
Im reading this at 4:30 am on an interstate family trip atm so reading this is super helpful for me today 🙂 cheers mate