My Dad and Step-mom have their whole church pray for me and my children every week, that we might all be saved by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. Sigh. This is a resentment I've been working on my entire life, as I questioned pretty early on much of the dogma they tried to spoon feed me. The particular Christian sect I was raised in, Seventh-Day Adventist, was founded in the mid-19th century by a group of old white men who took the visions of an uneducated, probably brain-damaged, teenage psychic and turned them into secondary gospel. (Much as the Mormon church, founded around the same time, did.) "The Elders" are all revered, though less so than when I was a kid. And they think my ideas are "of the Devil." They see nothing to doubt in their own views. Craziness. OK, so on the one hand, never accepted and loved for who I am by my parents. That's never going to change. And I've had years of practice letting go of that resentment. Though I find myself having to revisit the letting go part once in awhile, like now, in the aftermath of their visit. And on the other hand, I'm really noticing that only a couple of my long-term friends are willing to see that I'm completely different than I was during the unhappy years of my marriage and divorce. I notice that my cheerleaders are the ones who have been through a lot themselves, and come out stronger for it. My sobriety coincides with recovering from a lot of emotional trauma. Which trauma, of course, I was 100% complicit in subjecting myself to. Can't blame your parents for anything at this late date, but I can see where the patterns started. I was just too blind, lazy, afraid, or something like that, to confront all the changes I needed to make, both in my own self-talk and environmentally. So I dove to the bottom of a bottle and stayed there for quite some time. Now that I'm finally making those changes, I feel like I'm right in the middle of an important shift, and I don't know exactly where it's taking me yet. I'm trying hard to be brave and fling myself towards it, rather than run away. It helps that I finally like myself again. Makes it a lot easier to let go of the naysayers. I just don't want to be around people who don't fully embrace my awesomeness. There are a few people I really care about who I've chosen to love from afar. I would imagine there are a lot of others in recovery who are finding the same thing. I think some people feel better when you're a drunken mess. That means they don't have to take a look at themselves, because, at least they're better than you. Those are the ones who have a lot of trouble accepting the shiny, sparkly being you're revealing under all the booze and unresolved emotional baggage.