Does An Alcoholic Care About Who They Hurt

Question Sent In By: Amy
I just have a question and want to know what others think. Do you think alcoholics care who they hurt?. When they break plans, leave you alone, choose alcohol over everyone and everything in their lives etc. It sure doesn’t seem it. I can’t help but wonder if they even feel a pang of guilt over the things they do! Just a question that I am wondering what others think and feel about this subject?

JC: Thanks for sending in your question Amy. The substance abusers I have been in close relationships with were very caring people when they weren’t drinking or using drugs. It seems to me that an alcoholic will drink more in an attempt to cover over the guilt, shame and pain that is associated with them letting those that are closest to them down because of their drinking habits.  When a problem drinker  gets sober, they have to feel everything because they no longer have the alcohol to numb their feelings. This is why it is so important for them to stay connected in a program like AA;  they have to  learn how to deal with the uncomfortable feelings without stuffing them down with the use of drugs or alcohol. When I met my now ex- alcoholic spouse, initially,  she was a very caring person at heart. As she progressed in her addictions, she certainly treated those she was closest to as if she didn’t care about them at all sometimes.

Please feel free to leave a comment below.

You might also enjoy reading:
Why Are Alcoholics Thieves
Why Should We Be Nice When Alcoholics Are Mean
Alcoholic Relationship Solutions


132 comments to Does An Alcoholic Care About Who They Hurt

  • Amy

    Yeh I feel very alone right now and upset but this has got to happen..I simply cannot take living like this one more day..I am so drained from all that has went on here I cant even think anymore..I have stuck around waiting for a miracle ..hoping one day he would wake up and see what we see and get the help he needs..I am hoping I will feel alot better when I am out of this house..with everything that has went on and for the first time in a very long time he is not here the chaos is gone and I am just sitting here feeling a million different feelings I just cant even understand why I would let things get to this point and why I stayed so long in a terrible situation like this..I put everything I had into this house and the relationship and all I got in return was a mean ,angry,lying drunk..I have so much to get out of here both inside and outside it is overwhelming me to the point I just wish everything I owned would just vanish into thin air so I dont have to deal with it and magically appear all in order at our new place. After all he has put us through I dont even care if we get everything out in the next 3 weeks…he can be inconvienced and suffer for awhile. The way he has made all of us suffer.I just found out yesterday he has a past history of abuse and has been charged with domestic assult before..my life was so much better before this I took care of myself,didnt dread going to work everyday,had friends, was a runner,painted,etc,,now here I sit looking like something the cat dragged in a shell of the person I use to be…I just sit here with all this half packed mess all around me up at 4 in the morning thinking ..how did I get so caught up in all this to the point that until now sitting here in what is finally a quiet home..I was unable to see how bad this situation has become as if I was in denial as well..

  • Pez

    You Were! So was I and many others. Your situation is similar to mine as I invested in HIS house, I stopped after awhile cause I was “feeling” used. After awhile I gave less and less as he did not prove himself. Good thing I stopped investing things cause he ended up jumping into an instant live in relationship with another girl and all I invested was “lost”. They appreciate NOTHING! Take all you invested out of the house. If you don’t want it give it to GoodWill or to someone who will appreciate it. He will have another victim in there asap. They are afraid to be alone with themselves. When you get out and get settled, find a support group for abused women. You will need to talk, a lot! Your brain is trying to figure out what the heck happened. Plus you will have to deal with the Trama Bond or Stalkhome Syndrome–A strong attachment common in abuse situations. I am still baffled that I did not see him for what he was. But lots of research has helped me understand WHY. It is still hard at times and I go back and forth from anger, to pity for his disease, to disgust, To crying because of a loss of love and investment–But now I know what’s happening which helps me deal. Thank God for all my good friends who listened to me for way too long through my healing and trauma.

  • Jule

    Amy, I’m sorry that I’m not able to come and help you pack and move out. There really needs to be a strong network of AH/AW supporters linked up in every city to come to the aid of those who desperately need people to rally round and help them transition out of a hellish situation. Same goes for rescuing abused spouses. Can’t we organize something like that? It’s a shame for people to have to go it alone during a traumatic escape from the alcoholic / abuser / chaos. This is when the person can feel the most alone, rejected, misunderstood, and like not one human being in the community gives a damn that a life is in turmoil. It’s not easy, in any sense. But Amy, I’m glad you are resolved in your decision to move out. It helps when you’re not trapped or torn between two decisions. Get plenty of rest. It will help you to concentrate and focus on what needs to be done now. And pray on your knees often. God will pull you through. There is no shame in having loved and trusted completely. Oh, and hey, take 30 minutes out of your early morning, drive to a quiet country road and start running again.

  • Debbi

    Amy:
    You Did The Right Thing! Be Proud, Stay Strong, & call on others to help you find a new place and move as soon as you can. Jule was right also when she said he is painting a rosy picture of himself and painting you “black”. Don’t listen or ask for help from anyone of his friends, family etc.

    You will get through this. Another site quoted this remark from a woman: “No Girl Who Plays The Role of Hero Stays With A Guy Who Only Uses Her–She Knows Who She Is!

    You can do this & we are all cheering you on. You need to put space between him and you immediately! God Speed.

  • Amy

    Im having moments where I feel down and moments where I feel strong..The mother of his son came down and left him with me and my son for awhile yesterday,while he was here the next door neighbor called my ex nightmare at his mothers and told him his son was here with me..so he kept calling his sons mother over and over on the phone.I can imagine the turmoil that created and I dont really care and neither does she and neither does DHS who was here yesterday to talk to me and my son..DHS feels I did everything I could to protect both of the children and that I am doing the right thing by not seperating the children..I asked his son what are you going to say to him..he said I am going to tell him he will have to deal with it and he should prepare himself to face the consequences of his actions..this coming from a 14 year old boy..His son has been put through so much even by the grandmother who called and told his sone yesterday that I also had done up paper work against him stating he wasnt allowed around us either..she had the kid in tears..these people are so dyfunctional they want to use a 14 year old child like a pawn in a game and hurt him in an attempt to get back at me and my son…I seriously cannot pack fast enough the more and more I pack the more and more I realize how much I invested in the relationship and I am taking it all with me ..His mother told me she will support me go to court anything she can do…and so will her husband…so that gives me a little strength and hope I dont feel so alone in this..even if its just for today

  • Jule

    Amy, the hurt and anger, disbelief and disappointment will come on strong at times. Yes, it’s been that nasty. You have been the dose of sanity and stability in their lives. Perhaps all of this came about because you were meant to rescue his son from repeating the same self-destruction. We won’t know until we stand face to face with our awesome Creator how much of a difference we made in other people’s lives. God sees and knows multiplicities that we never will in this life. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. The morning is more promising than the night. Buy a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Schnuck’s or what ever grocer is in your area. Pick some flowers and put them where you’ll see them often. You need beauty around you, the innocence of a child to remind you that love exists, is real, is abundant. Peace to you, sweetheart.

  • Amy

    I have noticed one thing that has been happening everyday and its strange its as if my body is on a time clock for anxiety everyday an hour before the end of work I would get terrible anxiety wondering if I would be coming home to a angry drunk ..even though when I get here no one will be drunk my body is still getting anxiety filled at the same time everyday…I had 4 awesome people come here and help me pack and take down things today..it felt great knowing people really can be good…I have had nothing but bad for so long I had almost forgotten everyone in this world isn’t mean and selfish..he drove by here last night..This house is on a road he just doesnt have any reason to be on..so I called 911..apparently until he drives by about 10 times in a row..or perhaps comes in here and tries to hurt me no one is going to do much of anything(isn’t that good to know)..if he is going to be allowed to get away with small things ..then it wont be too long before he feels he can get away with more in my opinion…oh and Pez..thats where I got I have put so much into this house and I am taking EVERYTHING..I even had someone remove the shutters right off the house today..I just kept doing and doing .. I did it all…this house is bare..hard lesson learned..NEVER again will I ever let this happen to me..I feel so used and stupid to be honest..and Debbi you are so right I have had people tell me already that he is blaming me for everything, and his dyfunctional mother is as well..he is even making things up…it makes me mad…but then I thought about it..he blamed me and everyone else for his drinking and so does she ..so why on earth would I expect him to actually take any responsibility for this..she actually called customs and made up things about me so I got pulled inside, my car searched,asked all kinds of questions..she will probley be pretty upset when she finds out nothing came out of it..I will just be glad when I have everything packed up and I can leave this house forever…

  • Pez

    Amy, that is 2 people I have helped so far dealing with an alcoholic. You will not regret taking everything you invested out of the house! wish I had! Also helped another girl not to get involved with an alcoholic unless he is clean for 1 year and proves himself. She listened : )Love Pez Thank God for using me.

  • Amy

    With each day things seem to be better..It is so nice not living like that anymore…Ive still got alot of packing to do..but I have decided I need a break from all of this and am going to go work on starting my NEW garden…life can only get better from here …I cant believe I stayed this long..I know somedays are not going to be easy, and I am going to be dealing with ALOT…but if I can live through what I just spent the last year living through, in the end I should make out just fine because if I managed to survive this I should be able to get through anything ..

  • Julie

    Amy you are doing wonderful! I am happy you are taking the steps to get away. I lived thru 21 years of marriage to an alcolholic and abuser and it took courage, help from others and a lot of learning what reality was in order to break away. Even after a hard divorce, my children and i are still going thru his abuse because the courts granted him visitation and we are fighting it. He has kept the same behaviors even as he claims he has changed. But he is losing everything and still blaming me. he lost his job because he was caught drinking at lunch hour and he blames that on me. He got a ticket for drug paraphernalia and drinking in a parked vehicle in a metropark where there is no alcoholic beverages allowed. And somehow that is my fault too. But…I am not living with him and can ignore his calls and texts so I can get away. My life is so much more peaceful because i changed my behavior and my reactions to his bs. He has not changed and sadly i am finding it hard to believe that he ever will. But that is his choice and he could still win if he embraces the Lord’s help. But that is no longer my concern. I have three children who need me to help them, care for them and protect them and that is what i focus on now. Stay strong because he will find people to complain to to make you sound bad. I see it and hear about it but the people who believe him I don’t even know so I don’t care what they believe. The truth comes out even if it takes a very long time. God bless you and stay strong. You are doing the right thing.

  • Julie

    Pez that is awesome! That is what life is all about. Helping eachother. :)

  • Debbi

    Amy:
    You are doing great–keep up the good attitude. When I made my move I got lots of energy like you did but I will warn you when it calms down you may find you start to feel depressed–it happened to me. If it does, please remember this–
    No contact-no matter how much you might want to talk to him or any of his friends or family–do not do it. He has lied about you and you will not get sympathy or help–he & family will turn your words around. He lies, they enable. Stay quiet and if you need to talk, call your family, friends or come here. The only time you need to talk is regarding children–make it always by text or email and document everything from this point forward and be careful what you write & say. Remember: sometimes in the game of last words–the winning play is silence.
    Stay strong-you are a hero!

  • Amy

    I know inside thats how it is going to go….once this all calms down..when I have ever ended a relationship it feels good at first…but then all the feelings come around and even if you try to ignore them it seems they are right there waiting for you…I have come up with an idea..I am going to get a notebook and in that notebook I am going to write all the terrible things he did or said..etc..in that notebook.,,,it seems in situations like these we tend to want to remember the good, and push away the bad,,and when those feelings creep in..I am gonna open that bok and dose myself with a taste of reality..that there wasnt anything good about anything that has gone on here…its been nothing short of a nightmare…I actually did really well today at the new place..but as soon as I walked through the door..for the first time I feel down..I am here alone,the house is almost bare and here I sit realizing how much time,effort,money I put into this place and for what NOTHING..to deal with a mean,selfish, heartless, angry drunk…I just wish I could understand why on earth I stayed here for this long..I feel like a used fool..why on earth do we even get involved with these people ,,I wish I could understand myself..

  • Pez

    That is what I wanted to know and found the answers in “How to Spot a dangerous man before you get involved” by Sandra L Brown. We are raised with a set of beliefs such as: People can change; there is good in everyone; everyone deserves a chance; and more! I highly recommend the book