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Refusing to believe....

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by MrsJones, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    I would appreciate the forum's feedback with the following questions:

    How do you address someone who doesn't believe that they have done the things people have told them they did when they were using drugs and alcohol?

    Is this something that happens from the substance abuse?

    Has anyone experienced this?

    How was their behavior?

    Do you think that this is yet another aspect of recovery that needs to be added to treatment?
  2. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    When my old man was an alcoholic he'd do a lot of stupid things. Next morning he'd pretend that he had no recollection of what he'd done. I don't know if addicts actually forget things they've done or the shame of it compels them to pretend they suffer from temporary amnesia.

    An apology can balm virtually anything the addict did but any denial is far more annoying than whatever they did.

    Having observed a few addicts and realized that many of them only pretend not to remember things they did when they were intoxicated, high, etc, I don't think [treating] their "convenient memory loss" should be even be considered [as part of treatment].
  3. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    @ Rainman.

    I understand 'convenient memory loss' but what if the addict can't remember after treatment or they have been in recovery for one, two years or even longer?

    I'm understanding that one of the twelve steps is to make amends for any wrongs done to others but what if they don't or can't remember every wrong they have done?
  4. My best friend refuses to believe any of the things that I tell her she has done when drunk. In my opinion this is a form of denial that comes with not wanting to admit that you have a problem. After several stints in rehab she still will not allow me to discuss with her the bad choices she is making by going back to alcohol and drugs. I think that the addict finds a way to cope with their addiction by pushing the unpleasant memories out of their mind. This may well be an adaptive defense mechanism, but I cannot say for certain.
  5. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    @jumpergrrl1979 Thank you. I read an article online about the adaptive defense mechanisms. Examples given seem like brick walls that are difficult to break through.

    So a defense mechanism sounds as though it stops the person from even wanting to remember, wow, that is deep.
  6. jbbarn

    jbbarn Active Contributor

    Videotape them, or at least record them. I think most of the "memory loss" is bs.