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Old 11-22-2008, 10:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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"alcoholics don't have relationships, they take hostages"

I have heard this said: "alcoholics don't have relationships, they take hostages".

As a recovering A also recovering from Codependency, I think I understand what this saying means, but am curious if others could splain it to me real simply.

I think back to my active days when:
I couldn't tell an anecdote, it had to be an epic.
I did not have dialogues, I had monolgues.
I awfulized everything that happened to me, making me feel special.
My bad day was your bad day, too.

Is it kinda like that?

Would love to wrap my head around this better. ThankS!
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Old 11-22-2008, 10:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miss communicat View Post
I have heard this said: "alcoholics don't have relationships, they take hostages".

that statement is so true and exactly how ive felt for the past 7 years
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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How it eventually applied to my life was that we did everything he wanted to. The saying I relate to more than this one is "the world revolves around the alcoholic."

I do believe for the time I stayed stuck I was in a sense a willing hostage.
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd personally say it's a bit of a generalisation.
Probably it's more an underlying personality trait that predates the alcoholism.
I know for my dad, it was fear of loss of control, having been over controlled by his own mother, which led him to be controlling in relationships over a period of some years when he was also severely emotionally ill, but untreated.
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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In AA I heard "alcoholics don't have relationships, they take hostages".

In Alanon I heard "there are no victims only volunteers"

I believe that those are both sides of the same coin

Alcoholics look for "volunteers"

both need help
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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for me, it meant that i lived totallly revolving around his chaos, abuse, problems. it was like walking on eggshells all the time.....everything was about him and his reactions to any incident.

the more i tried to be a good mate, the worse everything became. i became invisible, with him becoming the bright, twisted shining light of the universe.....a very sick universe. which of course, as long as i was willing, dragged me right along on his coattails.
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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great responses. Thank you all
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It was so much "all about me" there wasn't any time or energy left for her or me to focus on her, or focus on anyone else in the world - just ME.
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Old 11-22-2008, 12:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The other thing I once read is that alcoholism is a disease of selfishness. That one has stuck with me for many years.
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Old 11-22-2008, 12:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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To me it means they will do anything to keep their way of life from crumbling. They will tell you what you want to hear and also what they want you to hear. they can break you down little by little so you have no self esteem and you won't want to leave. They need someone, an enabler, to help them exist in their sick bubble. They talk down to you and you believe it.They say they love you and you believe it. They hit you and you apologize later.
Pretty soon your brain becomes just as sick as theirs. everything is twisted. Most times you could get up and leave when you felt like it was getting bad but not this time...you can't leave...there are a million reasons why you have to stay. None of them are real but you are convinced they are. Being a recovering codie I can look back and see that I was a hostage. I didn't think so at the time...I knew something was wrong...but I thought it was all me. I was a prisoner in an invisible jail that I unknowingly helped create.
That's what the phrase means to me.
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Old 11-22-2008, 03:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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In whole hearted agreement.....

Loner,

I can really relate to the things you wrote in your passage....

My father used the example of an physically abusive person.....how guilty they feel......they apologize and you just keep staying there.....like it's all okay.

What baffles me about "their sick little bubble" is that us codies fall for it....crave it even. They have no idea that they're really doing it....and we have no idea that we're falling for it.


"I was a prisoner in an invisible jail, that I unknowingly helped create". YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!!!! You think to yourself.....how the heck did that happen? When did I stop caring about myself, my success, my finances, my friends, my family just to stick up for someone who OBVIOUSLY has a PROBLEM????

Just wanted to thank you for your response.....

K

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To me it means they will do anything to keep their way of life from crumbling. They will tell you what you want to hear and also what they want you to hear. they can break you down little by little so you have no self esteem and you won't want to leave. They need someone, an enabler, to help them exist in their sick bubble. They talk down to you and you believe it.They say they love you and you believe it. They hit you and you apologize later.
Pretty soon your brain becomes just as sick as theirs. everything is twisted. Most times you could get up and leave when you felt like it was getting bad but not this time...you can't leave...there are a million reasons why you have to stay. None of them are real but you are convinced they are. Being a recovering codie I can look back and see that I was a hostage. I didn't think so at the time...I knew something was wrong...but I thought it was all me. I was a prisoner in an invisible jail that I unknowingly helped create.
That's what the phrase means to me.
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Old 11-23-2008, 12:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yes, this is the very nature of chemical addiction. Doing "whatever it takes" to keep using, keep enablers to support your using and clean up the messes you make.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Ago View Post
In AA I heard "alcoholics don't have relationships, they take hostages".

In Alanon I heard "there are no victims only volunteers"

I believe that those are both sides of the same coin

Alcoholics look for "volunteers"

both need help
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Old 11-23-2008, 03:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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After reading all the posts it reminded me of what Id say every time my ASis gets a new boyfriend.

Here comes another victim.... and Id say why are they putting up with all that crap? What 'normal' bloke would put up with that? But you know what - I did!! for years.
Its like a spider slowly spinning a web and it slowly sucks you right in. We are both hostages in this disease.
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Old 11-23-2008, 03:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
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"alcoholics don't have relationships, they take hostages". yea and

everyone I let go of has scratch marks all over them.
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:05 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I agree with that phrase.

My experience was being overwhelmed with flowers, dinners, love notes and doing any and every thing I wanted to do...for a while. I remember pulling away at times thinking that this was too much. He needed too much attention. Every little thing would create an emotional tidal wave that I would try to help him figure out and make better. The seas would calm and if there was nothing to freak out about, then he would create something to fuss over. He always cried to me about whatever was happening. Only I could help him. I used to believe this, and felt bound to him. If he was okay, then I was okay.
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:19 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I see the truth in that statement, m.c., but personally? I don't find it useful. Not only is it a generalization, it reinforces the thought that we are victims and we can't leave our captors.

The difference between me (as his 'hostage') and a real hostage is that I could walk away any time. No guns trained on me, no locked cells.

But I FELT like I couldn't, so really, I was a hostage to myself, to my own screwed-up thinking that said I should stay and take this really horrible treatment. When I finally walked out of that jail, I blinked up at the sunlight and thought, "You mean I could've left any time? Jeez, who knew?"
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:59 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The statement makes sense in that we do become hostages, without realizing it, but willing hostages. Like GiveLove mentioned, it's probably not useful to focus on that statement because it's a prison of our own making and we can walk away at any time; it just may not feel like we can. We can easily start to feel so responsible for their recovery and happiness that we come to believe we are the only ones that can help them We often are doing everything for them which just makes it easier for them to keep doing what they're doing. When I look back on my relationship with my XAH, I can see that I willingly made myself indespensible to him and started to focus more and more of my life on helping him get sober, rather than putting that energy back where it belonged - on my life. He never at any time asked me to do that. So, if we become hostages, we are willing hostages.
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Old 11-23-2008, 12:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I am also not sure I agree with the 'hostage' part, as we chose to go along with the alcoholic. In my own case I chose to maintain my codie state of mind many years past the passing of my parents. Only recently (since logging on here) have I seen my actions as a choice, and other healthier choices are available.

As an analogy I have often thought of alcoholism (not the alcoholic) as a sort of black hole that warps and twists everything nearby (emotions, relationships, health, the truth) to serve the single purpose of perpetuating the addiction. And one is blinded to the actual cause.

Analogies only go so far. Communicat, you really hit me over the head with these statements:
Quote:
I couldn't tell an anecdote, it had to be an epic.
I did not have dialogues, I had monolgues.
I awfulized everything that happened to me, making me feel special.
My bad day was your bad day, too.
Especially the 'feel special' part. That got me right where I live. It is statements like this that keep us on the right track. Thanks.

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Old 11-23-2008, 12:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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A willing hostage......that sums it up pretty good.
Soo many things get put on hold thinking the situation will improve that the AH will improve.....but it never does....it all falls on deaf ears.

Until there's a consequence of the person's drunk driving that they cannot ignore....like back fusion surgery where 5 vertebrae are fused with 10 screws and 2 rods.
Yeah....that got his attention.
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Old 11-23-2008, 12:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Reminds me of Stokholm Syndrome.

Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger (or at least risk) in which they have been placed. The syndrome is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg, Stockholm, Sweden, in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28 in 1973. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their victimizers, and even defended their captors after they were freed from their six-day ordeal.
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