Keeping my Side of the Street Clean



I am at my mother’s.  As I have stated before I find this relationship to be difficult, she apparently does not.   She has no cognitive awareness of how mean and nasty she is.  I have always known, but was usually have in the wrapper so the vision of it had blurred edges.

Now I am sober, and I am seeing it with sharp, clear eyes, and it is really ugly.

Her responses to the most mundane questions are sharp and filled with anger.

I knew this would be the case, so I asked my sponsor how to handle these situations.  She told me that no matter what happens, keep my side of the street clean.  I am.

I am responding to every caustic remark with:

Why are you speaking to me that way?

Why are you so angry?

Why don’t you CALM DOWN and we can talk about it.

So far it has diffused her.  It has been a lot of work, but it is working, and I am riding the street cleaner to victory, SO FAR.

I am in the midst of working on my fourth step, so this visit is coming at a fortuitous time.  It is showing me so many reasons why I carry many of my resentments and fears.

As I have said before, my mother is an active alcoholic.  I learned all I know about how and when to drink from her and my father.

The first night here, it hit me like a load of bricks WHY I drank while sitting in front of stupid, blathering television shows, it is because SHE does.  It was like someone walked into the room and hit me in the head with a wine bottle.  DUH!!  It was so CLEAR  and scary, that I had to leave the room and retire. I visualized  myself sitting in that chair, age 79, sipping from that same overflowing wine glass, staring glassily at the television.  I shuddered.  That WAS me.

It no longer is, thanks to my HP thanks to AA, thanks to my continuously supportive sponsor, M, and all of you wonderful sober bloggers.

On to another day of trying to be a better person, and picking up the trash as I go.



16 thoughts on “Keeping my Side of the Street Clean

  1. It is amazing what we learn from our parents. In my case it is sitting on the back deck night after night drinking beers, smoking cigarettes, and talking on the phone like my Mom. Glad you came to the realization and shared it…I am sure it will help others see their own dysfunctional patterns better! xo

  2. The things learned while actively working on the 4th step are quite eye opening. Once finished and you carry on with the steps that follow you will continue to be amazed at what you find out about yourself. I’m so happy to hear when someone begins to see the truth about their past selves and continue to forge on with the journey of discovery. It’s worth the various emotions that come along with the end results. Kudos to you for the work on yourself that you continue to do!

  3. You are doing an awesome thing for your recovery! Putting yourself in this situation with your mom, where you learned your habit, and looking at the dynamics with sober eyes is HUGE. Good for you. It’s not easy to change how we react to family members but, really, all we can do is change ourselves. Treat yourself to some fancy bubbly water (I like La Croix or Pellegrino) and enjoy the good things going on around you. To thine own self be true.
    xo hugs ~ Fern

    • I am enjoying the fact that this is my last night here. It amazes me how differently we see our relationship. After some things she has said over the last few days I honestly think she is mentally ill.

  4. What a wonderful post. i am so happy for you. This is pretty big stuff… sounds like you are doing just great.. and I love that saying.. like LOVE it. It applies to so much of life.. if we keep our side of the street clean, then hopefully everything will follow suit.. and if not then at least we feel happy and secure in the knowledge that our side is clean. Great to read this today, thanks xxx

  5. It takes work this whole recovery thing at times, esp at first and you’re doing a great job. Diffusing your mother is a great tactic in keeping your serenity and keeping it on her and her reactions, rather than engaging her in her ill thinking (we all had ill thinking!) Continue the work, my friend, you are doing fabulous. 4th step is where we see so much about ourselves…and remember it’s not about beating ourselves up – it’s an inventory, not a wet noodle to lash ourselves.

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