Writing a letter to my Stepmother proves to help me understand her more
When my Sponsor and I were working through Steps 4 and 8, she made me create a “Hell No” List. This was the list created of People that I had identified in recognizing my character defects that created upset in me for making amends. The list was made as a recognition of my distress and the lurking Resentment that was inside me. Writing the person’s name on a piece of paper forced me to deal with those feelings. There were 3. The first person molested me and was dead. The second raped me in High School and now has since died. The third, was my Step Mother.
Needless to say, making amends to the dead is less risky, but in the end after I worked through my motives in making those amends, they both seemed unnecessary. The resentment was really no longer there, I had closed the door. Putting them on the “Hell-No” list was a great process to go through.
“She makes me want to tear my hair out and eat it.”
When my Dad was living I would say this often to myself. And when he was dying, she and I sort of “came to terms.” I mentioned that in this blog previously. And over these past 2 years there has been things that she has said that I have found haunt me. I figured I would write her a letter, come clean about my own alcoholism and my belief of my father’s own illness. At my father’s bedside, we made peace for his sake, I felt it was time to make peace for my own.
Once again I am reminded that these “hauntings” “constant nudges” are not mine, they are from someone else trying to tell me something. Until I do something – in my case that usually means write something, it doesn’t go away. That is how our book came about. I kept getting reminded about writing and then writing a book came from that and the rest seemed to fall into place. As of today, it has been submitted to 3 publishers. I do the footwork and my Higher Power does the rest.
Once I started writing the letter it was obvious that it was what I was supposed to do. The words came out and with just a couple typos the letter was ready. I printed it, addressed the letter and drove it to the Post Office. Felt like I needed to do that. (When this happens to me these days I just do it, without question.) When the letter went into the box, I felt a little relief.
I wasn’t sure what to expect
She and I are not bosom buddies but we are not enemies anymore either. We are polite and friendly, but sending this letter to her was not a “slam dunk” resolution. It was a letter reconstructing our relationship and taking my responsibility for the stress and strain that a 26 year old woman (the age they married), may have caused. I believe my feelings for her were much stronger than hers were for me, so the letter did not identify the “he said, she said” or really in much detail of situations themselves. The words were kind, I mentioned a few of the sentences she had said several times, “The drinking had stopped but not the behavior…” “He could be so cruel and divisive…” I wanted her to know that none of this behavior was her cause and that being an alcoholic myself in recovery, I can recognize the “dry drunk” and had in my own father.
The Phone Rang
My Stepmother is one of the most impossible people to reach. When I was drinking I thought this was all part of a GAME she was playing, trying to punish me. Well that wasn’t the situation at all. She just vaporizes. She doesn’t stay in touch with anyone. After a couple of telephone tag attempts we were able to talk. She was kind and so was I. There were no “I’m sorry’s,” there were more, “I understands.” She told me about what she knew about alcoholism and how she thought there were some in her family that were alcoholics. And we ended the conversation with a pleasant “Goodbye.”