My parents are in town. They live a few hours away from me and they are visiting this week. I was very excited to see them, especially my mom who I hadn’t seen since Christmas. The excitement kinda dissapated when it became reality. Not all the way, it is still good to see them but it has been a reminder why I do have to keep boundaries for my own sake. For my own sanity! On Wednesday when they got in the first thing I did was lock my keys in the car so the first thing I did was ruin dinner because they had reservations and instead they drove all the way across town to rescue me. I hate that I asked them for help. I’m 25, the oldest of 4 kids, and I feel so inadequate in their presence. They gladly came and picked me and my girlfriend up and drove us all the way home to get the spare key. They were taking us to dinner for our birthdays (mine was in March and hers is in April so they were having a joint bday dinner) and my Dad took us to a steak house, my girlfriend is a vegetarian and I only eat fish and that irritated me. It was a nice gesture but since this happens often I cant help but wonder if it’s a control thing. Then he brought up the vegetarian thing and it felt like it was just to pick on my girlfriend. I said ” really? do we HAVE to bring it up EVERY time we eat? ” I think my assertiveness took him back a little bit. That night I was in the car alone with my Dad and he belittled my relationship again. I’m so exhausted by it, it was like a kick in the gut, a reminder of how they don’t approve of my relationship. They never will, it goes against their religion. My dad said in the car that night as well that I’ve always been so sensitive and that he tried to use it against me to toughen me up a little while growing up, help me get some thicker skin but he realizes now that where it worked for my brother and sisters it has only hurt me. That was weird to hear him acknowledge. Yesterday I was supposed to have a therapy appointment in the morning but there was a big miscommunication and I wasn’t able to have that session and I was very upset. I had a lot of important life things to talk about and I felt let down. Still she did meet my parents, and my AA sponsor met my parents, and the other therapist that are a part of my “treatment team” met my parents. I was SO uncomfortable. I become this pathetic, timid, little girl around them. My AA sponsor pulled me aside and asked if my mom was high…it was THAT noticeable. I can’t explain it, they were polite to everyone but it seemed to me like they were weirded out and not open to it. I understand how it could be weird though for them to meet all these people who are such a big part of my life in recovery from addictions and behaviors they didn’t even know I had until I was already in a hospital. Everything always looks normal to people on the outside, but it’s just not. I was going to lunch with them after we left the treatment center and after all of the introductions and them meeting with my therapist and maybe it all being real to me that they KNOW now-I wanted to RUN. I did not want to walk out the doors and be alone with them. We took separate cars to lunch and driving alone on the way to lunch is when it hit me in the face. It was too much to feel, too much for me to take in so I called my sponsor and told her I wanted to get drunk, skip work, and not go home to face my girlfriend. We talked it through a little and I had lunch with my parents. I can’t explain how I feel with them sometimes things just feel forced. I’ve gained some weight since I last saw my mom, and in a sneaky way she said “so have you still been working out…?…have you been practicing things you learned in rehab about your eating disorder…?…your brother is so toned, your sister has been working out and had lost ** lbs…” This bothered me a lot because it’s something I REALLY struggle with and have as far back as I remember, at least 10 yrs old. I know I am changing though, I know I’ve made some progress because yes it bothered me and yes I started getting down on myself but then I remember it’s OK. I am where I’m at right now, my main focus right now is to stay clean and sober and SI free-working out is not # 1 to me. I’m not saying it’s not important, it so is. I need to get to a healthier weight and I need to be more active.But right now today I can only do so much!!! I have to challenge almost every thought that comes through my head in reaction to things. My first reaction is to act out by SI or abusing substances when anything feels uncomfortable. So I chose to not hate myself yesterday when the weight issue was brought up so discretely. I want to keep liking myself. When I got home after lunch the urge to drink had subsided but the urge to self harm swept over me. I was alone, full of feelings, and had all my old tools and stuff at my disposal. Then I just breathed, laid down for a few minutes, I remembered that I don’t actually want to hurt myself, I just want to not feel what I’m feeling. My mom and I were supposed to have a mom/daughter thing this afternoon and go see Titanic in 3D like we did 15 years ago…kinda like a special thing, ya know ? I texted her and she said she’s not feeling well, that she’s resting. Had this not been her excuse for doing anything special with us for years, I may believe it, but I don’t. I’m not surprised, and I’m not angry anymore (I think that is because of the work I’ve been doing in therapy and in the 12 steps), I’m just let down. So that’s my last couple days and that’s how I’ve gotten through them up to right now. The voids I’ve felt in me from my biological family are slowly starting to be filled by the unconditional love and acceptance and understanding I get from my friends and mentors in recovery, therapist, and AA. It doesn’t necessarily make the pain I feel with my parents less, but when I do feel this pain, I don’t feel empty or alone in it anymore. I have a whole new family on top of my biological family. My recovery family feels more like home than anything ever has before.