DEAR ABBY: Last week I hit my husband. My daughter saw me do it. My parents were violent when they were drunk, and I swore I would never do that, but it happened.
Abby, can my children forget my mistakes, or are they doomed to keep repeating this violence from generation to generation? Can it stop here if I get proper help? How do I prevent my children from following in my -- and my parents' -- footsteps in this regard? -- SORRY MOM IN CANADA
DEAR SORRY MOM: Your children are not "doomed." They can learn better ways to manage their anger, and so can you. Tell your daughter you were wrong to hit her father, and you regret it. Explain that you are going to see a counselor and learn more appropriate ways to deal with your anger and frustration, and that you'll share what you learn with her and your other children.
Make an appointment with a therapist as soon as possible, and locate the nearest chapter of Adult Children of Alcoholics. (They are in your phone book.) ACA is a 12-step group of people who grew up much as you did. They can help you understand the dynamics of your behavior and assist you in overcoming your learned reaction to problems.
If there's no listing in your telephone directory, write: Adult Children of Alcoholics World Services Organization, P.O. Box 3216, Torrance, CA 90510 for the location of the nearest chapter. You may also go to its Web site: � HYPERLINK "http://www.adultchildren.org" ��www.adultchildren.org�.
My compliments to you for acknowledging your problem and seeking assistance. You are two-thirds of the way toward resolving it.