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Al-Anon Forum Magazine Featured Article

How Deep is My Anger?
I've been coming to Al-Anon for 14 years, and I've often wondered, "Where is my anger toward my parents?" I don't feel any anger. I know my childhood was weird and uncomfortable in my alcoholic home, but I believe my parents did the best they could.
I've heard in the rooms that we have to "feel the feelings" -- that we can't get from A to C withhout going through B -- but I look inside myself and I don't feel any anger.
So, what's wrong with me?
Why am I different from other Al-Anon adult children? Did something horrific happen in my childhood that I've blocked from my memory? Is my anger buried so deep that I can't even reach it?
Then, in one of those 'aha moments', I realized that defiance is my way of expressing anger. Even though I don't act out my anger very often, my thoughts are often defiant.
When anyone even hints at what I should do, my immediate reaction is "Oh, yeah?" I have a knee-jerk reaction to authority. Therein, I believe, lies my anger.
It's normal and good to question authority. I should question and know my own mind. However, in my immediate, suspicious, defiant reaction, I am recognizing that my response to a given situation is usually out of balance.
So, now I'm trying to remember feelings and circumstances from long ago that contributed to my instinct to react with defiance. What has survival cost me? It has cost me buried feelings, loss of trust, and a need to control. What else?
Recovery is an amazing process. It's not always fun or easy, but my life is worth it -- one piece of the puzzle at a time.
Jean F. - Pennsylvania
Published January, 2007
Alcoholism is a family disease. Those of us who live with, or have have lived with, this disease as children or adults sometimes have problems which the Al-Anon program can help us to resolve. If you have answered yes to some of all of the above questions, Al-Anon may be of help to you. You can contact Al-Anon by checking your local telephone directory, or from the Resources page. Phone numbers and Contact Information for the Austin Area are listed on the Contact Page of this website.
These articles were reproduced with permission from 'The Forum', the monthly inspirational newsletter of Al-Anon. Al-Anon World Headquarters, Inc. is located in Virginia Beach, VA. See www.Al-Anon.org for more information.