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You’re not in high school anymore.”Part of me knew that this jerk didn’t deserve an apology or a phone call but I called him anyway, a few days after the incident, hoping to patch things up.Unfortunately, he used the call as his opportunity to berate and shame me.In addition to attending weekly Al-Anon meetings I also sat in on AA meetings.I studied every piece of Al-Anon literature available and after I blew through all of those books and pamphlets I turned to the Self-Help aisle in my local Barnes and Noble. Not different as in I had some amazing athletic ability or that I was blessed with a brand of intelligence that made me a shoo-in for Harvard but different in that I came from an alcoholic family that most people I knew couldn't relate to.I remember once at a sleep over, in middle school, where I decided to open up to a select group of friends about my brothers’ heavy drug use.He spent a good 20 minutes going on about how much of a paranoid freak I was, how all of our mutual friends thought I was crazy and how I had too many issues for him to deal with.
As a result, I became a Nazi of a perfectionist and even today, as an adult, I am prone to beating myself up over things that are as inane as losing my pin number.3.Which led me to believe that maybe, despite being both raised by and related to a bunch of addicts, that I really wasn’t that different after all.Unfortunately, my high fizzled as soon as I found out, a few days after my confession, that my friends had unanimously decided that I had made up everything I told them.A few months ago, I flat out forgot my debit card’s pin number and after tearing through every drawer in the house, several times over, I couldn’t find the slip of paper I wrote it on.I could have easily solved the problem by calling my bank and setting up a new pin but instead I sat crossed legged on my living room floor, buried in a pile of random papers, and proceeded to berate and mercilessly judge myself.
Eventually I realized that I didn’t owe this guy anything and I certainly didn't need to put up with his verbal abuse just because his massive ego had been bruised.