Monthly Archives: May 2014
That is why…
I do the same dysfunctional things over and over, because I learned something bad would happen if I didn’t.
What bad will happen if I don’t respond to G? If I don’t make him think that I agree with him or want to do things when and how he wants to do them?
I am frustrated in the moments where there are not the words to describe my experience or what I am feeling or the mixture and shifting or change or evolutions of feelings and understandings.
I had group therapy today. It started out being me and the 4 guys along with the two facilitators. And then this girl arrived who has not been to the meeting in probably two months.
This girl is interesting, in a good way I guess, but I have cringed hard a few times in reaction to what she has said. She has a seriously volatile reaction to people acting in ways that are not consistent with the way she thinks she learned to ‘do things’ in her life. Someone is an ‘asshole’ if they are not responsive to her. Someone is a ‘bad person’ if they do not react in a way that makes her think that they are ‘caring’. People deserve to be called names and flogged if they do not meet her standards or do not do what she would do. Yet she says she was taught to be ‘polite’ to everyone no matter what. She makes me cringe. She is one of those people who is a trap. Like G. Things have to be ‘fair’ or ‘done right’ or someone gets blamed. But she is so ‘nice’…Just always for a price…
I find a lot out about myself if I make the effort to observe my reactions to what this girl says. And I learn a lot, period, if I listen to other people in the room responding to her or asking her questions or explaining things to her. I get to learn how I am thinking, and also how I am NOT yet capable of thjnking.
I absolutely have a huge fear of sounding or coming across as narrow minded or simple minded…making snap judgments about people, because I am super scared of being scrutinized or judged myself. So this exercise of getting to know people at group therapy and having them get to know me and learning how people think…and learning how I think about how other people think, and learning what other people think about how I think…Super amazing experience. Even though the process can make me cringe at moments and scare me often, I come out of there often, like tonight, feeling more human and less alone. Others affirm my perspectives or help me to see new ones (with or without trying) and I somehow come out of there with a sense that I am growing. I am 41 and I am growing…growing hugely as a person That may be the most comforting thing.
Because going to therapy or getting any kind of ‘help’ happens when we are in a rut or a bad place or desperate for comfort or care. These group sessions help me to see that things can change. And at this point of my life, with the circumstances of my life right now, any change is Grrreat.
I relapsed last weekend. I am feeling out of control today. I am only human and need help with these challenges. I allow myself to stay in situations that are uncomfortable for me and where I do not receive the gentleness and appreciation I deserve for who i am.
I feel sad and want to cry today, a lot, because I feel in some ways like I am back at square one. In other ways I know I am not but I am more and more aware that i must learn to live my life according to what will allow me peace, and according to my ability to allow myself peace and love.
I can not help another with their problems if they are not at the point of asking for their own help.
I can not even handle my own problems if I try to do it without help.
Please guide me, you, beautiful power that gives me life and breath. I need guidance. I will try to step aside today and recognize the guidance you send my way.
I am still lying in bed. My mind boiling madly over yesterday. Trying to resolve the conflict within myself. Looking for the core problem within myself…The reasons why I:
– played the helpless victim face-to-face with the traumatized alcoholic in my life.
– allowed myself to get caught in the a vortex, a vortex of flying distractions and ‘bones’ that he threw out there to get my ‘compliance’, so that he could control what I was going to do… He. Did it over and over yesterday.
– tried to see his ‘reasoning’ (when he really has little if any such skills), negotiated about things that inside me are not negotiable…
All because I thought…learned to think a long time ago, that my happiness, the love that I will get in this world, comes from finding a way to give someone else what they need…
If I make him feel cared for, I will be guaranteed the same…
Then after a day like yesterday I wonder why I feel so stripped of…my own happiness, my interests, the beauty of my caring intentions. After all of that listening and compromising and conceding…
Conceding…giving it all away…
Holding onto myself can not include giving anything away… With him…?
Amazing outpouring of gumption. I really needed to read something like this today… Please see my post “Yesterday”, that I am writing today for a related outpouring… 🙂
I build me.
He builds him.
And then maybe we stand strong together.
How does one hammer into one’s head that NOTHING they can do will ‘help’ there alcoholic counterpart. Nothing they can do will make them the kind of happy that will save their life. Nothing I can do will effect his desire to be honest with me or with themselves. NOTHING I do can fill him up enough to give him the courage to face his own fears.
It is what I will NOT do…
So he will consider that he can do for himself.
Trying to make HIM happy will not make me as happy as I need to feel.
And it is what I WILL do for me.
Discover MY needs and fill them.
Allow him the space to do the same.
Because that’s the kind of love I hope he will feel.
The other day, before I relapsed and went over to my ex’s to spend time with he and his kids, my sponsor advised me to remember, when I get there, as I was paying attention to my experience of being there and thinking about how to interact with him…that he is NOT in recovery.
When she reminded me of that I relaxed a bunch. It calmed me because if I knew that, then I knew what to expect, I think. And because my expectations of a respectful, loving partner were adjusted to reflect what I CAN expect from someone who not only feels as though their life is a constant struggle that threatens to overwhelm them constantly, but also someone who is in denial about that and who will simply respond to every situation by drinking, and/or getting irritated, tired, blaming… I could depend on what I knew instead of what I was desperate for from him. And I felt more secure and had empathy right away. Before I had decided to start asking for my own help and reflecting on and changing myself, I was clueless and on the edge all the time…desperate and unpredictable. He is clueless and scared and wants to be happy but does not know why his drinking and codependent efforts keep failing.
I am in recovery and as long as I am, I know that I am good person and can continue to become a better person. I do not feel as useless and as vulnerable to others’ neglect or disrespect. And I am learning that the love I can feel comes from many places, not usually including someone who can not yet love themselves.
I could go see my ex with appreciation for ‘where he’s at’ and respect and empathize with him, feeling ok that nothing I do can make him feel better in his state. In recovery I am experiencing becoming a more complete person, believing that everything I am and everything I give is super awesome withOUT his affirmation…and without seeing signs that he is getting better.
I think that is one of the most debilitating things I am feeling today…is the devastation from my attachment to an outcome that I wish was there, that ‘should’ be there considering the effort I make, considering the parts of myself I freely give. Considering how much I love him. I freak out when I believe that he loves me less because he cannot reciprocate.
I am learning that I must remind myself that he is NOT in recovery, he does not want it yet, AND that my contributions to him, to us need to reflect that understanding. That understanding will free me from these emotional falls from grace. Figure out what kinds of ‘giving’ I can dole out without feeling like I got ‘taken’, if any. AND ask myself what it is I think will be the outcome of my ‘giving’. Do I expect a miraculous Change in him as a result of my gestures of love and forgiveness? If I do, I should hold onto those gestures until I don’t have those expectations OR until I am assured he is on the same page – probably the recovery page. Exercise my freedom of choice, and freedom to love myself.
That is the freedom that understanding both recovery and lack of recovery are going to give me.
I want that comfort every moment of every day.
I don’t quite yet have enough recovery, however to survive too long of a period of exposure to my ex…
He is a manipulative pro. And he doesn’t even realize. And I forget – putting on my own blinders and taking a leap of faith that my gestures will work miracles… He acts like they do until he needs another drink.
It’s is difficult and sad…these moments when he feels so far away in so many ways.
Luckily I am becoming aware that there is more to life and happiness now. Love is everywhere. And There is more to discover.
And I pray.
I think I am embarrassed about my own feelings today. I am feeling weepy and fooled and taken for granted. I am embarrassed to admit that. I am embarrassed because of the thoughts in my head that, ‘I knew he would only take what he can get.’ He does, as a habit, take what he can get and no more, and then he runs off with that temporary fix because he is afraid to ask for more in case I say no, and feels incapable of really committing himself and reciprocating because he knows that would move alcohol way down his priority list.
I know in my head that that is all about him; he wants to be free to drink on his own schedule, I does not want to feel shame for hurting my (or anyone’s) feelings, he needs to control his surroundings completely, or mostly, so that he can handle his own panic and anxiety and so he can self-medicate when it suits him.
But my codependence tries to trick me: 1) into thinking that him trying to control the whole situation is because I did something wrong, 2) that he can actually blame his own actions on me. 3) that I have no leg to stand on.
The fact is that I hate the reality/fact that I can not have closeness with him on my terms as well as his. As long as he is keeping drinking firmly integrated into his life our togetherness is ruled by his drinking or by my willpower, or both…and then explosion.
But I am trying to give my will over to my higher power.
And that effort, my recovery, is battling with my hope, vision, belief in, and love for him. I am trying not to let the reality of his actual state break my heart…
Belief in him, and cherishing me. Can there be both…? It’s like I can believe in him but should not act on that belief. And to cherish myself I have to put aside my belief in him oftentimes. Maybe even put it in a box… And close the lid. And then I must take action to cherish myself. Most times doing things for myself feels like I am…burning myself on a hot stove, or something of the like.
Embarrassed or what! “Silly! Don’t put yourself out there for someone who is not going to treasure or cherish or appreciate that self…Even if you believe in him. Interaction must be conducted on a moment-to-moment basis… Taking account of how reciprocal the exchange has been. Stopping when it is only one way.
And also, ask yourself, Shantelle : Is he in recovery? No.
And what does that mean he is going to do…EVERY SINGLE TIME…?
Drink first. Drink last. Lie to drink. Lie to do things and hide them. Pit people around him against each other. Hide how he feels except if he ‘loses it’ while he’s drunk – then his feelings will come out distorted…
I will have to leave him to his own devices. Remind myself every day…
See next post…
Is there such a thing? Can I really claim to Love and Loathe someone at the same time? Can I miss him with all of the vibrations in my body and my gut wrench with disgust and profane ire at exactly the same time? Can I care about someone who is so super-dedicated to preserving his addictive habits and care about myself at the same time? Can I actually say that I feel love for he or I while I resent and hate him for the manipulative web he constantly tried to weave me into so that he could indulge his own guilt, loneliness, desperation, deceit, etc., etc., etc…?
I hate right now that I can not have any tender memories of him without ‘asides’ of regret and of horror. I hate that the tenderness I gave may always have been because he was in such a bad way. That my love is a bandaid. And therefore that kind of love, my love, is really unnecessary, obsolete, in a world where the love we actually need comes from ourselves and from, for those who believe, in our higher power.
If I had loved him properly from the start…Perhaps it never would have started…