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Resentment Towards Your Parents and How To Deal With It

Resentment Towards Your Parents and How To Deal With It

I have yet to meet an addict or alcoholic in recovery that does not harbor some kind of resentment towards their parents when they come into the rooms. Parenting isn’t easy, parents make mistakes, and we often hold our parents to higher expectations than we do other people. For these reasons, it can be easy to hold onto resentments towards your parents.

Resentment Towards Your Parents and How To Deal With It: Let Go of The Past

One way to deal with resentments towards your parents is to realize that the past is the past. You can’t go back and change anything, and holding on to resentment is a good way to ruin your present happiness. In most cases, parents are good people who tried to do the best they could with what they had. There is no playbook for parenting, and your parents are people too. They make mistakes. But the past is the past. You can’t change it. Let go of it and embrace your future.

Resentment Towards Your Parents and How To Deal With It: Realize That Resentments Are Dangerous

When you hold onto resentment, you are hurting only hurting yourself. For the alcoholic or drug addict, this can be extremely dangerous. Consider this quote from the Big Book:

“It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.

If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.”


Resentment can be fatal to the alcoholic. We do not have the luxury of holding onto those negative feelings. In order to recover, you MUST let go of resentment towards your parents.

Resentment Towards Your Parents and How To Deal With It: Recognize Your Part

One great thing about the fourth and fifth steps of a 12 step program is that you get to see your part in any resentments you may be harboring. It is not always easy to see where we may have been at fault in a given situation, which is why you do these steps with a sponsor. Even if your part is simply holding onto the resentment, you always have some way to “clean up your side of the street.” This can be one of the best ways to deal with resentment towards your parents: realizing that you, too, are at fault.

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