Any adult child of an alcoholic or any adult child of an emotionally manipulative parent would tell you that the slightest conversation about the most mundane thing is enough to cause a total breakdown in communication with one of or both of their dysfunctional parents.
Whether it is a conversation about the weather, or about a news story on television, when trying to communicate with an alcoholic--or emotional manipulator--even the most simple conversation topics are enough to start what feels like a cold war.
Because non-alcoholics and non-emotionally manipulative people tend to communicate clearly--it is easy to become frustrated when attempting to converse with someone whose intent is 'not' to communicate clearly.
Anyone who has had the unpleasant experience of needing to speak to an alcoholic about a specific topic, with the intent to get to the bottom of some dynamic--will tell you that it is like trying to communicate with someone who speaks a different language. What boggles the logical brain is--the idea that the person before you speaks the same language you do--so it is unfathomable to imagine that communication can be so difficult. The logical mind thinks, "Why can't I make him/her understand what I am trying to say? Maybe it's me. Maybe I am not being clear enough."
The logical mind cannot comprehend the idea that what he/she is trying to communicate is being thwarted. Rather than disengage from the dysfunctional, illogical alcoholic--many people become fixated on trying to drive their point across--and in doing so--enmesh themselves in negative communication styles with alcoholics.
A truly healthy person--who has no codependency issues--would recognize that the person they are talking to is NOT interested in clear, direct communication--and would detach from the individual, understanding that the alcoholic is the one with the problem. A truly healthy non-codependent--would chalk the conversation up to experience--and in the future--would probably steer clear of having to deal with the illogical alcoholic. But when the alcoholic is your mother or your father--detaching is not always a simple thing to do.
If you are an adult--or even if you are a younger child who has wisely begun investigating what it means to have an alcoholic for a mother or a father--know that you are not crazy--although--you probably feel crazy most of the time.
Because alcoholics are addicted to alcohol--their minds are never free enough to think logically--as there are many psychological filters at play.
Most alcoholics filter all conversations with others through the lens of denial. Because on some level they may know that their drinking is an issue--especially when they are hiding their drinking habits from you--their agenda is to thwart self responsibility--so any conversation you wish to have--about their drinking--will first be filtered through the thick, obnoxious lens of denial.
Your alcoholic will tell you all sorts of ridiculous things to get you to stop talking to them. They will insult you--tell you you are crazy--accuse you of being paranoid--and call you all sorts of names--in the hopes of hurting you so deeply emotionally--that you will be too crippled to confront them any longer about their drinking.
Know that--this type of communication is abusive.
If you live with an alcoholic, your needs are not--and cannot be met by the alcoholic.
If you wish to feel seen, heard, validated, and understood--you are barking up the wrong tree.
Alcoholics tend to be defensive, self absorbed, egotistical, verbally abusive, manipulative, and selfish. They cannot see you. They will not hear you. They do not want to see or hear you. But they do want you to stick around. They want you there--but they don't want you calling them out on their drinking.
So what can you do?
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