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Old 04-30-2003, 04:00 PM
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JT
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I have a headache...

...and if I don't say this I will implode. Instead of running around answering posts it is so much more efficient to climb on Smokes soap box and rant.

The subject is trust. Alot of you wonder when you will trust again and why you can't. Now let me remind you that my opinion in no way expresses that of the management...

What is there to trust and why would you set yourselves up again?? In my opinion and also in my life trust is something that is earned, not given out of obligation. It doesn't say it on a marrage license or a birth certificate. After 21 years of marrage to Ward I don't trust him 100%...why would I do that? There is always the possibilty that he could lose his mind and run off with a floozy. He could do something morally objectionable to me without even thinking about it. Until now he has proven to me that he can be trusted so I do, but not blindly.

The Beav has never had my trust and will probably never have it. First and foremost he is an addict and he has done alot to make me me not trust him. But even before that I didn't trust that he do his homework, I asked. I didn't trust that he was where he said he was, he was a teenage boy. And into adulthood he has lied and manipulated me to the point where I may never trust him. Not my problem. If it happens someday great. If not, oh well. But it will always be conditional on his behavior. HIS behavior.

Trust needs to be earned and I, for one, refuse to give it any other way. It is the recovering addicts responsibilty to live out his sobriety in a manner that does not leave any room for suspicion. Trying to force trust is suspiciously similar to denial and that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. So what if they get their feelings hurt if we wonder aloud if they REALLY went to that meeting. After all, they were an hour later than usual. We have alot of experience to base that assumption on and very little to refute it.

Bottom line?? I refuse to feel any guilt about not trusting anyone who has not earned it. And especially those who have damaged what trust I did have. I trust me!

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JT
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Old 04-30-2003, 04:06 PM
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JT - I trust you, too!

Hugs and thanks!
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Old 04-30-2003, 05:06 PM
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I hear ya LOUD and CLEAR! I also believe that trust HAS to be earned.....my parents preached it to me when I was growing up! As long as I was where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to be doing I had freedom, but let them find out that I wasn't doing either of the above and the trust was GONE. I remember my mother telling me I would have to EARN it back and that would take time. Repeatedly showing her that I would do what was expected of me. Believe me.......I learned the HARD way as most teens do.

We shouldn't feel guilty for not totally trusting! After all the trust has been violated time and again.

Outside of this forum, I only have a several (can count on one hand) people that I really trust one of whom is my Mom.

Hope that you get relief soon from the headache!!!

Constant
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Old 04-30-2003, 05:22 PM
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Bottom line?? I refuse to feel any guilt about not trusting anyone who has not earned it. And especially those who have damaged what trust I did have
JT

You did it AGAIN!!! It's not just the not trusting, because like you I have no reason to trust, but the word "GUILT". You got me right on the nose. I didn't even realize that I felt "guilty" about not trusting, and now that I see the word right in front of me I recognize that I did feel guilt about it. But right here, right now, I hereby declare that all "guilt" about not trusting is bannished, never to appear in this anon's heart again. There isn't a reason on earth why I should trust, and that doesn't mean that I can't love him and have a good relationship with him, it just means that it will take years of showing me that he is trustworty before I ever take that journey again. And in the meantime....NO guilt.

I love you JT, you can read my mind!!

P.S. I think that maybe the "guilt" was hiding behind the elephant of denial. It feels good to get both of them out my heart.
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Old 04-30-2003, 05:57 PM
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Hi
If there is one thing that we lose (or never gain) in a relationship with an addict, it is trust. But sometimes I wonder if we NEED trust as much as we think we do. We cannot predict the future; therefore, we can never trust that "everything will be OK". We cannot control other people thoughts and behaviors; therefore, we cannot really TRUST any one person 100%. The only trust I need to have in my life, is the trust in my HP... Knowing in my soul, that my HP is holding my hand thru my life.
And even tho I get upset that I cannot rely on my A in many ways, I try to not let trust be an issue. I can only take care of me
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:01 PM
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Ann,

I am glad you brought that up because it was just under all I was trying to say. There is enough unfounded guilt to work though without adding the guilt about not trusting someone who is untrustworthy.

Ward says I am gullable and he is right. You said something somewhere else about trusting too soon and that is something I am guilty of myself. I am trying very hard to find the line between paranoia and gullability.

If I look at things at face value that should help. And that is especially essential when dealing with the addiction, recovery and sobriety.

And Meg...way to go!! You are very right!


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JT
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:17 PM
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JT

If we are twins, separated at birth, like we think we are, how did we both end up with all the guilt? I know you got the skillet and I got the bunny slippers, but the guilt should have been divided equally, with each of us only getting half. .

You know, I have been re-reading this post several times tonight, and something I just realized is that my son doesn't even have an issue with this...he knows I don't trust him and that is okay with him LOL. If I buy him something and forget to take out the tags and receipt (like I usually do so he can't return them), he just takes them out and hands them to me.

I remember listening to a NA conference speaker named Mona (one terrific recovering addict), who even though she has been clean over 25 years, still watches her mother hide her purse when Mona goes to visit. Only today, Mona just laughs about it and accepts it.
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:54 PM
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quote
It is the recovering addicts responsibility to live out his sobriety in a manner that does not leave any room for suspicion.


JT,

I love your post. It is something I struggle with daily. I don't know if I will ever trust the addict in my life. It seems every-time I start to, something happens that destroys it. I agree that it has to be something that is earned.

However, not to be a pain in the tushy, but I have to take issue with this statement you made. If I, as an addict were to live out my sobriety in a manner that does not leave any room for suspicion, than I would be living my life and basing my actions on someone else. Eventually, I believe this would cause resentments on both ends. I also think it's impossible to do. For example say everytime the alcoholic were to go on a binge, they would call and say they had to work late. Now in recovery they do have to work late. Do they tell their boss that they can't work late because when they were drinking alcoholically that is the excuse they gave their wife and that if he called and told her that, she would worry. That actually sounds a little codependent to me and most alcoholics don't think in terms of how it would sit best with others. what I do think the responsibility of the recovering alcoholic, is to stay sober and to work on their recovery one day at a time, by doing the next right thing. Also accepting and understanding any insecurities and mistrust his wife has and be willing to work through it with her and reassure her.

It is the responsibility of the anon (in my opinion) to have faith in the process of recovery. Also, to be open and honest about her misgivings and feelings of mistrust. It is not the alcoholics responsibility to take those feelings away but it is their responsibility to stay sober. If the anon has suspicions, which she will, it's within her own recovery that she must deal with the ramifications of being married to an alcoholic in recovery. In the beginning of recovery when he calls and says he has to work late she's going to freak out but the more he stays sober and the more he works late and doesn't get drunk, the more she will start to trust. It's a long process and it takes time, sometimes years. I know my parents trust me today but sometimes I get that old patronizing feeling like they're saying, what do you mean? why would you do something like that? ya know like questioning my actions because they are suspicious. It's on them. I know I am working my program and doing the best that I can. that is all I can do. I can't be responsible for their feelings of mistrust or else it would drive me crazy with guilt and I probably wouldn't want to see them as much as I do.

This is just my 2 cents. I'm no expert on what anyones responsibility is.....I just like to be a pain in the tushy sometimes
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Old 04-30-2003, 07:24 PM
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JT, trust and respect are things

that need to be earned. And when they are, a beautiful relationship blossoms. When loved ones haven't earned trust and respect...but ask for it anyway...quacking ensues. That's when my deaf ear kicks in.
Hugs to you and sincere hope that one day your trust becomes well earned. You certainly deserve that.
Peace,
Gabe
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Old 04-30-2003, 07:41 PM
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(((((Steph)))))

Someone on the boards here said and I've heard it before that trust isn't about trusting another person to behave the way you want, but trusting yourself to be able to handle whatever they choose to do. That's what I've had to learn - to trust myself to make good decisions, not overreact, look out for my best interests, set appropriate boundaries, and stick to them. If I do that, and someone (not just my A) does something that doesn't sit well with me, as long as I react and behave in a way that protects my best interests, it frees me up from expecting my A or anyone else to behave a certain way.

If I'm always focused on everyone around me and I ignore putting myself first, then I can't be trusted to make responsible decisions that are in my best interest around people who aren't trustworthy.

I hope I'm making sense - I'm having a hard time saying what I'm trying to say....

When my A first got into recovery, I didn't trust him, but I also didn't know if I could handle it if he continued to use. I still don't know how I would deal with it if he relapsed, but that's my problem, not his.

Now I do agree that trust has to be earned, but for ourselves too, not just for others.
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Old 04-30-2003, 07:54 PM
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Journeygal,
Yup... I agree. For some reason, I used to put so much emphasis on the "trust" in our marriage; if I couldn't trust him, than he had to go. But you are right (or whoever said it was right )... We have to turn this in on ourselves. Of course we cannot trust our alcoholic; the disease is so sly and manipulative, whether they are drinking or not. But it has more to do with US. It is more important to trust that WE can take care of ourselves. As long as WE are being open and honest, that is we really need to worry about. And of course in the end it is a matter of what we chose to accept in our lives; if the lies, deceit, manipulation etc are not something we WANT... we can chose to leave, or let live.
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Old 04-30-2003, 08:14 PM
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Thanks Journeygal

I have seen it a million times. The alcoholic finds recovery and the anon gets sort of stuck or confused. The alcoholic's life is suddenly becoming much better where the anon is left with all the wreckage and it doesn't seem fair. However, the alcoholic can't fix it either. The alcoholic, in time, has to deal with his own wreckage. Some of which, of course, is the loss of trust and respect from family and the repreciussions of that. It sucks, but a pity party is very dangerous for a newly sober alcoholic. I was told by my sponsor, when the time came, not even to make a formal amends to my parents, too much damage. My ownership of what happened and my apology would really mean nothing. They've heard it all or seen it all before, even if this time, it's sincere. My sponsor said the best thing I could do to make amends to my parents was to stay sober and do the next right thing. Eventually, over time, an amends like that means more than anything because we are all building trust back......one day at a time. For the alcoholic, it's important for them to feel like we are making that amends, it motivated me to stay sober. I was sorry and my staying sober helped me to feel good about myself and when you like yourself, you're less likey to lie, be decietful, etc.
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Old 04-30-2003, 08:20 PM
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I like this thread.

Can I throw a wrench in the works? I wish Dino would learn to trust ME. How long do I have to go around being levelheaded and unintrusive before that gets accepted as the norm? How long is he going to be surprised when I don't react to him like the girlfriend he had 8 years ago... which I have never done?

His guard is up perhaps even more than mine. Now is that fair? Oh, probably.
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Old 04-30-2003, 09:28 PM
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Well.....

JT-

I had a real cool reply written out, but when I hit submit, it got erased.
So now I'll just say..

Having been on both sides of this issue myself, I agree with your thoughts on it.

Just wanted to share.
 
Old 04-30-2003, 11:45 PM
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Trust is a big word with lots of categories. It can be confused with control too. I know for myself and my codependency that my expectations at times have been so high that no one could fill them. Therefore I could trust no one. The first step for me was getting my expectations in order. They're still not in order. I know I would still expect way too much in a relationship and that's why I have stayed away from a relationship. Sad, but true. I know that I can't trust yet that my expectations are realistic.

My expectations with my son are pretty good now. They are realistic. Trust is not an issue most of the time because I can trust my expectations now. If I were to send my son money that he says he will pay back then I am giving him my trust. I won't do that so trust is not an issue. We still have a relationship even though I have these boundaries. Boundaries don't end a relationship. They just define it. My son has boundaries with me too. He can't trust yet that I won't be critical of his actions. He doesn't tell me much about his personal life because I have been critical. Do I have the right to be critical. Yes. Does he have the right to drink. Yes. So we both have to establish our boundaries to protect ourselves from each other until we change and the relationship grows to a new level. We also both try to invade each other's boundaries at times.

Just a little thinking out loud.

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MG
 
Old 05-01-2003, 05:23 AM
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Steph,


It is the recovering addicts responsibilty to live out his sobriety in a manner that does not leave any room for suspicion.
I think we agree in theory. The Addict cannot be responsible for his spouses reactions but in the end he/she IS responsible for a partners suspicions. An evening of working late can be handled differently than it was in the past. A simple change like a second phone call on the way out the door might be enough. I don't want to qualify that statement because I think it is true.

When I went into recovery and began to realize what I had done, like you, my amends had to be in the way of behavior. A simple "I'm sorry" would have been meaningless. It was not always convienient or pleasant but I needed to do it. One day at a time I had to prove to my husband that he could trust me to not go off like a crazy person.

Early recovery is and should be very selfish but as time goes on and the edges smooth it changes. That is the point where consideration of my part in the other's behavior comes up. I could have gone along saying that Ward's actions are his problem (which in truth they are) but knowing my responsibilty and owning it caused me to go out of my way to earn his trust again.

When my son stayed with us I could pretty easily separate his behavior when he was working hard and when he was faltering but I have the benefit of years of recovery. There are many spouses who don't have that and have no intention of going there.

My point in all of this was to make the statement that there is no reason to feel guilty about not trusting. That trust was stolen in many cases right along with the VCR. Regaining my trust belongs to the thief.

Hugs,
JT

That sounds harsh. I am assuming that you all know I am recovered enough to not browbeat or punish. I don't need anything kissed. I am not better or worse. I just happen to be in the passenger seat.

Last edited by JT; 05-01-2003 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 05-01-2003, 05:37 AM
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JT--

Love this thread! You have really made me do some thinking.

When I first got married, I trusted "Squinty" in every way. I guess I never thought of the many ways a person trusted someone. I trusted him with the area of building me up--then he tore me down! I trusted him by believing everything he said or did!--then he lied to me, and did things behind my back that I found out about later. I trusted that I could talk to him about anything and he would listen--then he started chewing up everything I said and spitting it back at me. Guess I never thought of it that way--but that's the way it is. Now, I know he lies, I know he hides things behind my back, I know I cannot communicate things with him in a normal manner, and I know that he will not lift me up in any way, because he's intent on pulling me down with him. However, that doesn't mean I can't read books that will build myself up. Who cares what he does behind my back--I don't have to own it! I have God to communicate my most intimate thoughts--He listens to everything I say. I use to think I was an extension of Squinty--but found out I'm really not! I think it helped!

I use to think he hung the moon--but I guess he's just really a human being with human frailties.

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Old 05-01-2003, 06:32 AM
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Lyn!

LOL... you really are calling him squinty.

Gottza run... the cat has the twine AND the scissors... what can this be about?
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Old 05-01-2003, 08:19 AM
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My point in all of this was to make the statement that there is no reason to feel guilty about not trusting. That trust was stolen in many cases right along with the VCR. Regaining my trust belongs to the thief.



If this was in fact your point then I agree 100%. Here's a little example. A friend of mine's husband cheated on her and she didn't trust him after that. (both recovering alcoholics) She always felt bad if she snooped or felt suspicious of him to the point where she wouldn't even confront him about it. He was kind of annoyed by her constant insecurity about it. Well, hello...welcome to what you've created....yeah, and in my opinion he owes it to her to listen and provide understanding and reassurance.

****This is just my experience and in no way is a reflection of men in general.****

The problem is that if the person is male and alcoholic, unless they are really working a program and being diligent about it, they are never going to admit they're wrong or that they owe you anything. I think they will initially say they are sorry for something as serious as adultry but probably not cut you very much slack after that when we coninue not to trust. My experience has been (and of course it may just be the men I pick) but they usually try to make me feel like I am dragging it out and focusing on the negative or I'm the one causing the problem because I keep focusing on it.

having said that, and of course you all may have a different experience than I do, but I have learned not to have expectations of what someone is suppose to do. In a perfect world it would be nice. I certainly don't feel guilty for not trusting because they have not earned my trust. However, I am focusing my efforts on dealing with whatever feelings come up for me with myself, my program, my sponsor, and you guys.
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Old 05-01-2003, 09:44 AM
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Just wanted to add my two bits

Steph,
What you were speaking of sounds very familiar to me... and I figured out why. In Melody Beatties book "Codependant No More", she refers to how we victimize ourselves, and specically to the "Karpman Drama Triangle"; to rescue, then persecute, then feel victimized.
Sometimes, as codependants, we misuse trust. We HAVE TO give them trust, so in the end we are justified when they deceive us. We thrive on being able to "take care" of our loved ones... our enabling behaiors, our cover-ups, our TRUST - our rescues. This provides great leverage for us when inevitably they "do wrong"; we persecute them... make them feel shame (Oh, the control we have! ). Our loved ones may react in anger or spite, or perhaps nothing changes and the cycle is set to go around yet another time. We end up paying the price in the end, as we have created vicitims of ourselves.
So many lightbulbs have gone off in my head since I have been reading this book... I'm sure I must be glowing :p
Meg
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