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Alcoholics and addicts don't have relationships, they take hostages.

Old 10-31-2007, 08:25 PM
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Alcoholics and addicts don't have relationships, they take hostages.

This is one of the slogans of AA.

I have been thinking of this slogan and realized that while as little children we may suffer so much and be unable to leave, but when we reach adulthood, and move on to our own families, we have been given a get out of jail card.

The problem is we don't leave the jail. We stay in it not even knowing we can leave!
This is where I have been for most of my life before finding this message board.
I have done a lot of alanon, but I mostly never applied anything I learned to my mother, just my xh and my son. Isn't that sad? It is to me now that I realize it.

Well, I don't have to be a hostage any more! I CAN be free. I just have to pack my old baggage, throw it in the trash, and leave!!
No longer do I have to suffer through endless nights of whining and complaining! I have control to hang up the phone! I do not have to feel responsible for my mothers mental well being! I do not have to listen to criticism or sarcastic comments about how I am not good enough. I AM GOOD ENOUGH!!

I am learning how not to allow myself to get locked up again. And, isn't it FUNNY that I HOLD THE KEYS TO THAT JAIL!!
I can stand up for myself. I can be calm. I can keep my sanity. I can detach with love. When the alcoholic begins to criticize me, I can ring my own doorbell and say there's someone at the door and I have to go. (thanks GingerM)
But I do not have to be a hostage to alcoholic behavior. Not any more.
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:58 PM
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thanks for sharing wabbit.

Trying to break away from the stockham syndrom myself.

mmm... never thought of it like that before, ringing my own door
bell.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:14 PM
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Very well said, Wabbit. I think the fancy, psycho-babble word is "empowerment". You have empowered yourself

Doesn't it feel good?

Mike
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:33 AM
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Love the title of your thread. "Free at last, Thank God Almighty I'm Free At Last"
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:13 AM
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Isn't it liberating? I never visit or talk to my parents unless I have an "exit strategy" like ringing the door bell. If the phone rings and I know I don't have the energy - I let it go to voicemail. Ah, technology and caller ID, how I love thee!

Thankfully, most of the time, the calls are short and not uncomfortable for me. But on those occasions when things are getting a little intense, it's always nice to have a back door to slip out through. Or a front door bell to ring. It protects me without causing any further problems.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:26 PM
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Thanks for that header, wow, what a way to put it in words, Alcoholics and addicts don't have relationships, they take hostages-it's a choice to stay on the cycle of craziness or to use the get out of jail card and be free. I need to use that card. Thanks
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Old 11-25-2007, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Wascally Wabbit View Post

When the alcoholic begins to criticize me, .
Oh, this has so hit the nail on the head for me! I just posted about hanging around with a group I'd rather not really be with and can't figure out why, but its because I'm waiting to be criticized AGAIN and then hoping I can go back and change the outcome! The scene is going on in my head and I'm just waiting for the chance to play my part...I guess walking away and accepting the script has already be acted out and is the past...
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:57 AM
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When we learn, we learn by doing a behavior, seeing the outcome and seeing if the outcome is what we hoped. If the outcome is not what we hoped, we try again, and hope for a different outcome. In psychology, this is called "repeat until resolved".

In toxic relationships, this inherent form of learning becomes self destructive.

You do not *have* to repeat it. It will not resolve. All you need to do is accept that a lack of resolution is resolution in and of itself. When that acceptance happens, you may find that you no longer feel the need to be drawn in to the repeat cycle anymore.
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:03 PM
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This is an old one, Trying, but it has bearing on what you're talking about. Are you at #2 or #3?


1.
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost .... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2.
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit ... but, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5.
I walk down another street.


Hugs to all,
GL
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:40 AM
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ohhhhhhhhhh I think maybe No. 4....you know I remember this from when I first got into recovery, never felt it related to my life LOL! ooooohhhh how it does!
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:02 AM
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ops I mean 3
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Old 11-26-2007, 01:21 PM
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Confucius also say: "The way out is through the door; how is it so few even consider trying this method?"
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:42 AM
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I wish it was a simple as knowing the answer immediately.
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Trying. View Post
I wish it was a simple as knowing the answer immediately.
Well, actually I found that Confucius quotation one day when I was about 5 1/2 weeks into what was shaping up to be a very abusive relationship with a friend who I dated briefly when I was separated from my partner. This person was also a recovering addict/alcoholic who came from an extremely absuve-in-every-way family. We had been really good friends but as soon as our relationship became romantc/sexual, it was like someone flipped a switch with her and she went from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. I realize looking back on it now, that she had no healthy model for a relationship and, in her mind, if there was a relationship going on someone had to be the abuser -- and, since it clearly wasn't going to be me, she very generously stepped up to the plate.

So, like I said, about 5 1/2 weeks into this BS, after she had behaved particularly badly one day (emotionally, I'm not talking physical here because I would have been so gone immediately) I was doing my usual trying-to-figure-out-it-and-what-I-should-do-about-it crap and I just off-handedly picked up this daily reader (not a 12 step one and one I very rarely look at) and opened in up and there was that Confucius quotation like BAM! Right in my face!

Persoanlly, I figure that when HP tells me someting that directly and that strongly, not paying attention is just like daring Him to get out the 2x4...which, really, is an experience I prefer to avoid if at all possible....So, I did what I was told and headed for the door post haste.....Now, 5 1/5 weeks may not qualify as "immediately," but, for me, when it comes to relationships, it's pretty d*mn close!

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