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|11-17-2009, 08:50 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Another Confusing Relationship with a Recovering Addict
I've been two months broken up with my girlfriend of 6 months and it's
been one of the hardest break ups I've been through, perhaps harder
than my break up two years ago with my girlfriend of 8 years. Mainly,
due of the power struggle she imposed, games, and lack of explanation.
Yesterday I found some information online on narcissism and addiction and it really hit home. I don't need to diagnose her, but I suppose I am looking for answers--all of my ex's unexplainable, hurtful behavior fits the narcisstic personality write up I found online. I've considered that my ex was emotionally abusive (hot/cold, rubberbanding, manipulative, berating) and my sister and friends discount this idea. Maybe because they knew her or because people
are reluctant to use the word 'abuse'?
I've been depressed, obsessed with finding answers, and grieving for
the past two months and I want to move forward from this cycle. I know
at this point that I'm not getting anything from her as far as closure
goes, but I would like to better understand my situation and move
forward. I've been to a few initial some al-anon meetings and am seeking therapy, but have not had luck yet since I am uninsured.
My girlfriend and i were together for a little over 6 months, starting
last February. We are 30 and 31 and I'd known her as an aquaintance in
my early 20's. I had a crush on her in 2002, during a break in my 8 year
relationship but she was a party girl, I wasn't, and our worlds were
different, so we never got together. Recently I found out she was addicted to cocaine and alcohol all those years, until three years ago.
I ran into her again on new years this year
and found her on facebook. She so-happened to answer my personals ad
on craigslist the same week. Once we confessed our mutual feelings to
each other, over IM's, she was immediatly super intense. She texted me
the moment I gave her my phone number that she hoped work was going
well and called me a day later, on Friday night at 11pm when I was home sick. I've never had someone be "available" at the
beginning of a dating situation and it was refreshing. Before our
first date, she texted me that she was looking forward to it... several times.
Over IM's, she confessed to me that she was almost 3 years sober after
a 14 year problem with drinking and cocaine (and a brief period of
heroine use, which she quit on her own in 2002). She later told me that when she was hospitalized in 2006, she'd
wanted to kill herself, committed herself to the hospital, and then
went to rehab. She'd attended AA meetings for awhile after rehab but hadn't
finished her 12 steps and no longer attended because they "weren't for
her" and she didn't like all the talk of God. She seemed to think she was better than them.
I later found out that, while in her 28 day rehab program, she
was diagnosed as bi polar and put on meds. She stayed on them for two
years and weaned HERSELF off of them (without the help of a doctor) a
year before we met. She said that she didn't think she was really
bipolar because she'd been coming off of so much when they diagnosed
her. She said her high moods were just "good moods". She considered herself healthy, but rationalized eating food that
wasn't good for her all the time because she'd "already given up so
much". She hang out with friends who still used, drank non-alcoholic beers occasionally, and more so when
These are all the parts of her history that made me incredibly
nervous. But, she was INCREDIBLY sweet to me. I was in therapy at the
time and my therapist rejoiced with me over the fact that I'd found
someone who was so nice and giving. She was more affectionate than
anyone I'd been with and the sex was intense and unlimited. She just
would not stop. It almost occurred to me that she was addicted to sex in the beginning.
She was very needy. The first time I slept with her, I made a point to
leave somewhat early. She would sleep in until 1pm on her days off,
but I tried to leave out at 10am. She literally cried that I was leaving, which I thought
was really strange, since we'd only dated for two weeks! I just
figured this was her separation anxiety issue and nothing about me.
My ex wanted to spend the whole weekend with me early on and was
willing to pay $20 to take the train from NYC to the suburbs where I
was completing grad school, if I had work to do. She'd just wait
around for me and watch TV, she said. I'd never dated anyone in NYC
who was so willing to come out to the suburbs to see me and had so much time to dedicate to me. She'd text
during the week that she wanted to come over spontaneously and would
sulk and lash out at me if I told her I had too much school work to do. A couple times
she became mad at me because I didn't catch her passive aggressive
"hints" that she was asking to come over, but they were not
She told me she loved me less than a month after dating and said she wanted to
move in together, to wake up together every day. I immediately thought
this was a little fast and tried to put her off. After a week of "I
love you's", I started to say it back, though, and really feel I was
in it. We had similar goals, which was a first for me. we both want
to settle and want kids. The only different was that I was finishing
my Masters and two bachelors degrees and she'd hardly started her BA, had dropped out to do
drugs and party. She'd even attended mechanics school twice, almost
finished, then dropped out. She worked at a chain health food store doing deliveries... seemed really intelligent and came from a college educated family, so it didn't make much sense why she didn't have a degree.
She said she had trouble with follow
through, and perhaps I should have taken this as a warning sign. She'd
always dated--had 10 short term girlfriends before me and had slept with many
more in her party years. I didn't even want to ask how many. I was a
bit jealous and intimidated since she bragged about these years up as her
"hoaring years". She'd been tested for STD's and said she was turned
around since rehab and I figured that's what really mattered.
I'm normally very cautious in relationships. In my 8 year
relationship, we waited 4 years before we moved in together. In April,
my ex pressured me to move away with her in August when her lease was
going to be up. We both dreamed about moving to California. We were in
love, but this all seemed to come fast. She repeatedly wanted to play
the "moving game" and look up apartments in other cities on
craigslist. I kept putting her off and told her let’s see how things go come summer. I was
graduating from grad school in May and ready to relocate, myself. I
suggested we might move to California together but get separate rooms,
until we were together for a year at least, which she later held
The summer went by and I got comfortable.. in fact, I regret it now, but I was completely sucked in. In June,
she started hinting that she was up all night worried. I pressed more
and she said she started feeling guilty because her mom, who had
always been an alcoholic, was drinking a lot and depressed back home,
in Chicago. My ex became depressed and worried, feeling like she
should go live at home and help her mom. I never took this too
seriously– it seemed like an extreme measure and she couldn't make her
mother stop drinking. I was worried about her putting herself in this
situation with her mom, considering her own sobriety and perhaps the
reasons she started drinking at 14. She said that we'd go out in July,
when we'd decide whether she would move there to help.
In July we drove out in my car to visit her family and go to her
friends wedding. Like the nice girlfriend, I made and paid for
necessary repairs on my car (she offered to help out financially but never did), let her drive around town, even though
I'd come down with a bad cold.
Her family situation was indeed
disfunctional. Her mother hadn't cleaned a room for us to sleep in, so
my ex stormed around and acted cold when we got in from our long trip. She
went off to take a shower before me, leaving me with her mother, who
I'd just met. Her mother asked me why ex was mad, and I told her I
didn't really know. How awkward! My ex's 26 year old sister was still
living home and my ex complained that her sister was taking advantage of her mother. She wanted to intervene and get her out of the house and she thought that moving back was the only way she could have control over the situation. What about our plans? She would not answer.
We had to sleep on
the pull out couch all week and I was sick with a terrible cold. One
night, on a drinking binge, her mother got involved in a fight with
her sister and her sister's boyfriend. It doesn't make any sense to
me, but at 4 am, her mother brought her sister's boyfriend to our bed
to "meet the girls". This strange man hovered over me as I tried to
The next day, we were both cranky, but my ex didn't really explain or
apologize for her family's behavior, as if it was acceptable. It was
her three year anniversary of sobriety and she'd been planning to go
to an AA meeting, but when we went to the neighborhood where the
meeting was, she flaked out, saying she "wasn't in the mood to hear
other people's problems".
Two days after we got back home from our long trip, she announced to
me out of the blue that she’d put in for a transfer with her job and would be moving
home to take care of her mother. She would not say what she wanted
with the relationship. she didn’t want to break up and would “always
love me” but basically would not have the conversation about our next
steps. She reprimanded me for mentioning the idea of breaking up
My lease near my gradschool ran out and i had to stay with family for the
summer. My girlfriend invited me to live with her for her last month
in town, but I was hesitant. what would that be like, living with her
and then having her leave? It didn’t seem to phase her at all when I
brought it up! She said she wasn't worried about taking things fast,
since she'd be leaving anyway. Instead of fully moving in, I ended up
crashing with her 4 days a week, then with my mother the other three. My mother is emotionally unstable (and perhaps bipolar, tho undiagnosed) so this only complicated the situation. It was more comfortable to be at my girlfriends, but the underlying issues were intense.
All month I struggled to have a conversation with my girlfriend about
our future. When things were fine, they were great: lots of "i love
yous", "what will I do without you?", lots of affection. But when i
brought up talking about our relationship, she would get volatile.
she’d raise her voice, grow angry, shut down. It was a side of her I’d
never seen--and a side I was surprised to see because her usual
demeanor with me and friends was sweet (she's considered a "sweety pie" by all of her friends).
After two unsuccessful
attempts to make a decision about what we would do after she left, she
called me on one of our off days and threatened to not see me anymore
if I brought up the relationship the following weekend. But we still
had not reached any sort of decision.
Two weeks later, i was house
sitting for a friend, she was acting cold with me and wanting to leave
to play video games (her other addiction) in the morning. I tried to have a talk with her,
and she blew up. I grew needy and had a panic attack, begged her to
stay and talk to me, but eventually she walked out on me. I didn’t
hear from her for two days but called several times. When she finally
picked up, she said that my "hysterics" and that she
couldn’t handle the stress of talking about our relationship, so we
could stay together if we didn't talk about it. I tried to address her
blowing up and yelling at me and this was the one time she apologized
for it (every other time, she would deny she'd even raised her voice).
After the fight I said we should take a few days off. During that time
off, she'd text me telling me I should come over and get some mail
that came for me. I'd give in on our agreement to take time off and
say she could come over to me and she'd say "maybe", then she'd back
out an hour later and say its for the better we don't see each other
yet. She did this three days in a row. It was like she wanted to lead me in and then disappoint me just for the fun of it.
We saw each other that Friday
as planned finally talked after this fight. We explored ideas of
breaking up, me moving with her (she said she didn’t want me to
because she wanted time to focus on her mother and didn’t want to take
out the stress on me). I didn't really understand her lack of present
commitment because she said she wanted to spend her life with me. I
knew that this wasn't how you did a relationship (I'd been in an 8
year relationship myself!), and was afraid it wouldn't last without
any sort of negotiation.
Frustrated, I finally decided to attempt move cross country to
California on my own for a month, to see if I could get work...
because I wasn’t getting anywhere with her. I got a round trip ticket
and sublet and planned to return to NYC for my sister's wedding. My ex
wanted to move there too and said she might follow after a few months.
We also explored the idea of me following her to Chicago after she was
settled there. We decided to keep in touch and see each other in
October at the wedding, when hopefully she’d know better what her plan
She danced around the subject and never got the time off from
work or got her plane ticket. She swore she was committed to going and
meanwhile made excuses because it was a new office and she didn’t want
to step on toes. She grew madder every time I asked her if she'd
gotten the time off and eventually blamed me for her not attending the wedding.
I felt like I was walking on eggshells with her around the topic of
our relationship. It was so hard to tell what was "okay" to say.
Sometimes expressing that I was going to miss her was okay, and at
other times a simple sentiment would cause her to blow up and she'd
ask me to leave (I never did comply and walk out on her,
it's not how I wanted to end things).
I got her going away gifts--a nice card, a necklace with a sentimental
charm, and a web cam. I wasn't sure how she'd react bc of her
ambivilance, but she glowed at the gifts and told me she planned to
make a "TV Show" starring herself just for me on the web cam and would wear the
necklace and think of me. She felt bad she didn't have gifts for me
and said she'd have one at the wedding.
She'd asked me to drive the
truck to Chicago with her, but I had a bad feeling about it. Plus, I
had my own move to do! I helped her move out of her place and saw her
off on her last day. Actually, I was one of two people helping her
move and it was a LOT of work. She hugged me goodbye and said she
hoped I'd be "okay". I got several phone calls on her 13 hour drive to
Chicago, saying she loved me and missed me so much.
I took a plane to CA a few days later, to try to find work and a home.
I got a few calls from my girlfriend in the first few days saying that
she loved me and missed me. We planned to talk on web cam once she was
set up at her mom’s and she was still planning to get her plane
Unfortunately, I totally broke down and got depressed after my third
day in CA. I was in a new place, hardly knew anyone, and felt like I’d made the wrong decision. I felt more
depressed and panicked than I had in ages. I called friends for
support, and called my girlfriend. She was rude with me. She told me
she’d bought a $500 mattress for her room at her mom’s, and another $1000 installing wood floors. I asked her
if the investment meant she’d decided to stay long term, because it didn't seem like something someone would do if they planned to move to CA in a few months. She blew up
at me, saying it was none of my business and said she’d call later.
Later that day I had a panic attack and tried to go to the public
hospital to get counseling or meds. It was kinda silly now that I think of it,
but I was panicked and disoriented and it seemed the thing to do. I
had trouble finding the proper building and my friend called during
the fiasco and told me to come over.
I didn’t hear back from my ex for two days, until she called one night to
“see how I was”. She was cold, condescending and said she needed
space. It was as if she'd shut me out. I told her I'd felt really
depressed, tried to unsuccessfully go to the the public hospital to
get counseling or medication. She didn't ask more.
She said don’t call her, it’s nothing
personal, but she needed time to settle and would call me in a few
days and loved me. The next day she deleted our relationship on
Facebook, the social networking site. I called her even though I
wasn't “supposed to”, to ask her why she canceled our relationship and
she blew up at me. It didn't seem the way to break up, especially into your 30's. She said she didn't want me to get "the wrong idea". She put all the blame on me, saying she thought she
could keep in touch, but it was my fault that she couldn’t and claimed
that she’d said all along that she couldn’t "do long distance" but that I was in denial.
She said that I'd lied about "being hospitalized". I told her that I
never said I was hospitalized, only that I had gone to the hospital to
seek counseling in my panic. If she was concerned that I was
hospitalized, why hadn't she called to clarify with me? She said that
I need to watch how I spoke, then, and that she had analyzed the situation with
her mother and friends to make she she wasn't crazy, which they'd confirmed. When she'd been
hospitalized before rehab, they didn't let her go the same day, so
she'd decided I was lying to manipulate her. I tried to defend myself, but she wouldn't hear
She kept insisting that she had to go meet her sister
and eventually hung up on me and told me to "go get over it however I
I didnt hear from her for a week and didn’t call after the volatile
conversation. A week later, I got an email in response to a nice postcard
I’d sent before our last conversation. She said the postcard I sent
was “sweet” and that she missed me and hoped I was finding everything
I wanted. she said she’d love me always and hoped we could be friends
and "forgive each other" someday. So that was it–as if it was final
and she was taking no responsibility.
I called her twice in the next month. I figured if I got her on the
phone it was meant to be, if not then it wasn’t, so I didn't leave a
message. I was INCREDIBLY nervous to call, for fear she'd blow up
again. I felt near panic, and probably should have listened to my body. I've never had so many panic attacks in the past as I had with her when she was raging at me.
Noticing she missed a call from me, she called
back and making it clear that she was "only calling back". The first time we talked, she still raised her voice over mine
and demended that we “Weren't to blame anyone” and that she’d take
responsibility for nothing but moving away to Chicago. She said there was nothing
to go over and nothing to talk about.
I told her that she was volatile
and rageful with me and I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. She
said that I must be "too sensitive" because she didn't think she was
raising her voice. I agreed we should break up because I didn't want
to be treated that way. She wouldn’t let me talk much more and put
down most of what I said. I was forced to have a cordial conversation
with her for another hour and go. She promised to keep in touch via
email or phone. She never did reach out or call.
It was still bothering me, so two weeks later I tried again hoping
she'd calmed down and would be about to talk about why she broke up
with me. Again, when she called back, I asked her why she broke up
with me and she said “it’s only the distance”. I asked if it was
because i was depressed and she said no. I said that i don’t feel like
she’s giving me the real reason and she condescendingly said “that’s
because you are depressed, things don’t make sense when you are
depressed”. I said that it hurt and she responded that she was
basically over it and that she didn't think about me, only felt sad when she
stumbled on our photos on facebook. She quickly said she had to go
because her take out food was coming. I asked
her to call me and she said she would, but was "busy".
I called her again last Sunday, about two months after the break up,
and I regret it. I started crying right away because it was
upsetting just being on the phone with her. she said she had to go out
dancing (at 12:30 on a Sunday night, mind you!) so she kept trying to
keep the conversation short. She said she didn't want to talk about
the break up, there was nothing to talk about. I said I'd never had a
break up like this, with no explanation or conversation.
She told me that frankly, she was over it and had moved on. She said
"some people take longer to get over things than others and I don't
want to be part of your process". I asked her how she could flip the
switch just like that, did she care? She said she did care. I asked
about what? She was unable to answer. She said she was happy and had
moved on with her life, basically just rubbing it in when I said I was
in pain. She said she wanted to be friends, but we couldn't talk about our break up. I said I wasn't ready for that. So, she said she'd call me in a few months. I said "don't
call me, please. I will call you!". I was tired of her being in control of everything.
I deleted her on facebook so I wouldn't get updates. It's hard not to feel bad for
making the boundary, because it seems everything I do to take control
of the situation, she lashes back in some way (deleting our photos,
in this case).
the good things about her and don't understand how someone can just
"switch off" like that... not taking any
responsibility for their actions. I know that she is dating again,
also (which is why I wanted to delete her from facebook--because I
didn't need to get this news!).
I know that I have codependence issues I need to deal with, but I am
so afraid to trust and move on in this situation. This person seemed
perfect in every way and turned out to be so bad for me. It's hard not
to hold on to the good memories even two months later, to miss the
affection, the future we planned. I don't trust my own judgement, at
this point and am scared to get close to someone else and get
similarly disappointed. I've been reading a lot on narcissistic personalities in addicts and it seems to ring true. I've never been in a situation like this before and don't use drugs or alcohol myself much at all. I gave her the benefit of the doubt when she talked about her recovery, but now I don't know if I can take the risk of dating another addict. Obviously there were some deeper issues of not dealing with her problems, even if she still is sober.
|11-17-2009, 09:23 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Bristol TN/VA
Blog Entries: 5
Have you considered al-anon?
Or perhaps counseling to help you uncover why you want to be with someone who treats you so badly?
You deserve good love!
Each small candle lights a corner of the dark....Roger Waters
|11-17-2009, 09:28 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Yup, I've been going to both--thought I mentioned it in my post. Trying to get a new counselor, but my health insurance ended in Sept just when this all started. I was in counseling until late August though... and have been for years.
Al-anon has been a good free alternative for the meantime... still waiting for my apointment with sliding scale counseling place. I'm also reading a bunch of books-- "Codependent No More", and some on break up recovery...
I guess I'm just looking for answers...
|11-17-2009, 09:37 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Bristol TN/VA
Blog Entries: 5
You might want to read the stickies at the top of the forum, also.
Please make yourself at home....others will be along shortly!
Each small candle lights a corner of the dark....Roger Waters
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