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Breaking the cycle,,,

Old 08-30-2007, 06:54 AM
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Breaking the cycle,,,

As I travel this journey that is my recovery,,,,I am begining to realize how hard it is to break the cycle. And how it is affecting my today.

Maybe those of you who can identify with what I'm about to share, can help me through?

I don't know about the rest of you, but as I begin to take advantage of the clarity in which I can now see, I realize the hold my XA had over me was the ability to whittle away at my core. To take the things in my life that meant the most to me, and twist them to latter use against me to keep the control.

For example, I had a TON of friends when I met my A. As he began to know me,,and later them, he began to "enlighten" me as to how they used me. Now not all at once, that would have been too suspicious, but one at a time, slowly, subtly, till I began to doubt our friendship. I stopped hanging out with them, one by one.

Then it was my family. My daughters, the "life' I gave. My Mom. Siblings, I should have SEEN, when he hated my beloved island.

You beginging to see a pattern here?!?!?!? he,he,he

Isolation

And even worse, a profound sense of self doubt. With all the cunningness of his disease, I had slowly come to realize my lack of worth. Not only to others, but worst of all, to myself. I BECAME the things he convinced me I was. Not worthy of others affection, instead only thought of as a vessel for others gratification, used and left with the overwhelming thought that my life was a lie. Therefore, so was I.


As I have begun to get in touch with my core, I began to realize, there was somewhere in my past, where I was made to feel the same way. Told I was selfish, a liar and would never amount to anything. Punished for being a child. Because truth be known, I was one that never was wanted.

Ya think that's why I WANTED to make an A love me?!?!?!?!?!?

Epiphany

In any case, I'm dealing with it. The help of a WONDERFUL program in al anon, my sponsor AND SR,,,

Because of the blow to my core, I am left with distrust. That little nagging piece of me that still BELIEVES I am unworthy, therefore those that love me must be dishonest, and they are using my emotions to "fool" me into trusting them with my most inner, deepest thoughts and truths.

Up until now, this is the HARDEST part of my recovery. Including detaching, setting boundary's and ultimatly LEAVING my XA. I feel sorta like I'm stuck in a "twilight zone". One foot in the FREEDOM of trusting again, the other in a black abyss of risking never trusting again.

How do I let go and let down the wall that stops me from trusting?

How do I not let it affect my today?


Ok, so you KNOW I'm a native hippie chick. All about GOOD spirits, peace and love. I got my FIRST tatoo when I was, ummmmm,,let's say "older" he,he,he,,The reason why was because I wanted to think about what I wanted on my body permanently. What I choose was a native symbol for continum, a rattle snack wrap around my ankle, biting its tail fiercly. Its a little scary actually, the eye of the snake is yellow, showing the strength and power of its grip as it sturggles desperatly to hold on and not let go. Oh,,and by the way,,ironic isn't it that I choose what is known as a "bad" spirit You know why? Because it REMINDS me to "break the cycle".

Peace
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:01 AM
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Cool tattoo!!! I know how you feel. I had so much more self-esteem before I married my AH. To add insult to injury, he had 3 daughters prior to marrying me. Well, part of alcoholism is to blame, right? So he blamed me for everything, to them. Raised them to disrespect me. He blamed me to his mother. Allowed her to be a huge negative influence in my life. He created a small city of people who thought I was/am a horrible person. He was/is their savior. When the issue of alcohol came up, his kids were in denial and thought I was convincing him he had a problem when he didn't. His mother blamed me for it. She told others I pushed him into it.

UGH!!!!! It hurt so much. I haven't recovered yet. Will take a while. At the time, I thought I was doing an okay job handling it. But now I see how horrible it was. I should have gotten out. It did so much damage to my self-esteem.

We're headed to his family's home town this weekend for a family reunion. I'm staying at the hotel. Why would I want to go visit with him family, either close ones who have been convinced I'm the devil, or distant, who have heard I'm the devil. Forget it.

Trying to break the cycle as well. Good luck and keep up the good work.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by CE Girl View Post
Because of the blow to my core, I am left with distrust. That little nagging piece of me that still BELIEVES I am unworthy, therefore those that love me must be dishonest, and they are using my emotions to "fool" me into trusting them with my most inner, deepest thoughts and truths.
Sis, I could have wrote this one myself. You totally described what I always thought but couldn't figure out how to say. I think the thoughts were always there but living with an active A brought them to the surface. I doubt and fear everyone. It's a hard cycle to break.

I can say, honestly, that there are 4 people in my life now that I trust....2 of them completely and 2 of them I met here at SR.

Funny, it doesn't sound like a big number but it's HUGE to me. Maybe that's the secret...to start small--to start where you can. I feel lucky have 2 people that I can trust....trust to love me no matter what. It's not been easy but it's been a learning process.

I don't think the cycle is broken yet, but you gotta start somewhere!
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:20 AM
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I don't think the cycle is broken yet, but you gotta start somewhere
HUGE SISTA!!!!

Thanks for knockin me on the head with that one,,,,

Of course it comes "gradually and naturally". What a concept, others have to EARN our trust?!?!?! AND we have to LET THEM!!!

I missed you sista,,,,thanks for the lightbulb

I guess its a sign of progress not perfection that we can begin to form our boundary's OUTSIDE of life with A. As repectingme points out, why put ourselves in compromising situations expecting a different outcome? Kudos girl for making the decision to remove yourself from the situation. Detachment at its finest.

But how do I bridge the chasm of the abyss.

I find myself wanting, longing, CRAVING to let go and TRUST certain people in my life now. IMPORTANT people, who can help me if I let them. But have that nagging thing going on in the back of my brain, that they will use ANY information against me if I let them in too much. Having a new sponsor, this can be VERY damaging. So it exhasberates the situation, as I know if I am not forthcoming and up front and honest, it could destroy the relationship.

Any one got some insight on that?

Peace
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:50 AM
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CE, I could have written your post too.

"How do I let go and let down the wall that stops me from trusting? "

By looking it right in the eye and taking the walls down day by day, brick by brick.

How do I not let it affect my today?


One word to help you try and make sense is PROJECTION. Your XA had to project his feelings about himself that he burried and refused to deal with onto you to attack his own feelings of self loathing. It is a form of abuse. Many abusers use the same tactics and much like the commonalities of A's, there are commonalities of abusers.

They are very good at tuning into our deepest selves and finding the signals we unconsciously send out to the world. Our own insecurities and fears as well as the negative messages we had instilled in our minds by less than healthy people we trusted through the years, are like beacons they lock onto.

They are also adept at taking our information that we share and hone it into weapons to use at just the right times when we seem to be getting too out of their control. In healthy relatiohsips this kind of interaction is normal and necessary to establish a trusting relationship. With an abuser, it is a manuever to gain the upper hand.

As long as they keep us doubting ourselves and lost in that confusion, we are at a disadvantage. Isolation is a great resource for them because that way the healthy parts of ourselves are never validated outside of ourselves. Good loving people are their nemesis' because they bolster our strengths and our justifyable rights to be treated with respect and love. Their healthy projections of us as wonderful, loving people must never come into the picture least the abuser loses power over us. To turn us into insecure, mistrusting people and paint our healthy support system as toxic, accomplishes this goal.

That you are able to sort something of this magnitude out, validates that you are stronger and healthier than you may think and feel at times. Use this as a gauge when you deal with his negative voice and you are feeling as if his view of you is right. You have the power to silence his voice and turn up the volume of your own strong and healthy one.

It is a slow journey as we create ourselves in our own way. We need not answer to anyone who would cause us pain and oppress growth or limit us to a world in which they exist as our core and we are reduced into non existence.

It has taken me all my years to be able to own that I am the sole reason that I am here today and who I am at this moment. I owe that to my strength and reslience. Many times my personal power has been compromised by others because they pushed my self doubt buttons and I flinched. Though we may slip at times, we have the power to rise beyond all that and feel the beautiful freedom we create by listinging to our own heart songs.

It is a lifelong journey but it's so worth the trip. Never stop looking for the beauty. It is always there.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by CE Girl View Post
What a concept, others have to EARN our trust?!?!?! AND we have to LET THEM!!!
I began catching on to that very quickly. In the past I would trust 100% right off the bat, yeah, dumb, I know.

Nowadays I start everyone off at ‘O’. They either earn plus and minuses as time goes on. I may or may not have the right to judge them, but I do have the right to judge if I allow them closer and deeper into my life.


Originally Posted by CE Girl View Post
…. they will use ANY information against me if I let them in too much. Having a new sponsor, this can be VERY damaging.
This could be a golden opportunity for your to work on your trust issues with your sponsor. But, your sponsor is just as human as anyone else and should earn the status of trust before you give up too much, IMO. Sometimes I’ve heard that people had to shop around for a sponsor until they found someone they could click with...you know, that magical chemistry that seems to make communication so much easier….

It might be a good time to dangle that little toe around in there for awhile and see how if feels before the whole foot goes in. As in baby steps.

Of course, these are just my views on things.

Again CE Girl, what a thought provoking topic and such wonderful replies as well. Great thread! I’ll be following this one for sure.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:01 PM
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I haven't posted in a while and I haven't lurked either. This is why i've been in a funk with a weak spirit. Thank you CE Girl. I needed to read this. It reminds me of the little voice in my head that I thought I had dealt with. Its that little voice who tells me i'm not worth enough to fix, that i'm ugly, that i don't have the right to ask for what i need, that sabotages my everything, that directs me to seek love in unavailable people, that gets me stuck in a funk, that keeps me from asking for a freaking raise, that tells me that if I fixed the bathwater too hot then I need to keep my foot in it because I deserve that for being so inefficient........

The voice creeps back in so quietly but its commands are natural, i've heard it all my life. I don't know where it began or when it began. I've only begun to "hear" it recently. Looking back I can see where the voice pointed me in the wrong direction so many times.

...and when I discovered this voice I thought awareness alone would defeat it. I was invincible and dammed this voice to oblivion.....

....but I became complacent because i'm not recovered enough to just hear the voice and dismiss it...so it crept back in, silently. that's the funk. that's the reason I cannot manage to see the sun although its bright outside. that's the reason I want to curl up into a ball and hide from everything. that's why I want to deny myself pleasure and fear so many things i shouldn't fear.

that's why i'm codependent.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:26 PM
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You know JillyBean, my XA used to tell me all the time, in the rare moments of the lucididy of short live sobriety, that he "reflected" his own self loathing and shame on to me, because I was so "good". He was envious. Makes ya wonder about the sanity of shooting yourself in the foot hey?!?!? But agree, walls tend to come down better if you tear them "brick by brick". You mean there's no "instant cure". Again, the ironicness (is that a word?, it is now, consider it in the cegirlism dictionary) of the similarities of the diseases. Alcoholism and co dependant

Which is why, I have decided its time to read the BB?!?!?~gulp~ If you told this codie, I would EVER read that book, I woulda told ya you were NUTS!!! he,he,he,,,,

In the past I would trust 100% right off the bat, yeah, dumb, I know.
Same with me ICU. And I beleive its part of my core. I'm upfront and honest, you never have to guess what I'm thinking or what my motives are. I'll TELL ya!! LOL. Was it "suppressed" for a while? Darn tooting!! But that's because of the damage done in my disease. Ok, notice I DID NOT blame my A?!?!??! Ultimatly, I am responsible for my own destiny. The spirits have shown me that through the example of life and death on this earth, we enter and leave,,,,,alone. No one to blame or answer our excuses. We are left with only reason.

I tired the 0% trust thing. Only one problem,,that "core" thing. It doesn't feel "right". I can not be ME!!


Appleblaster(THANK YOU love for posting, and welcome back), your words took my breath away. Thank you from ALL of us, as I think you voiced a "common thread". Bunch of misfits ain't we?!?!?!? LOL. EXCEPT,,,personally I think we are EXCEPTIONAL mortals. Capable of GIVING so much, unconditional love, and genuine CARING for other mortals on this planet. WE have cores that shine. Trouble is, they are fragile, and all it takes is the darkness of anothers core to snuff that shine out.

I for one, REFUSE to allow anyone to take away my being,,,

But I'm still left with the dilemna,, I'm honestly struggling with this. How do I find the "balance", protecting my core, yet being true to it?


And its IMPORTANT guys,,,someone I am growing to care very much about, will notice if I don't "trust" and come from the core,,,

Peace
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:36 PM
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I'll share with you a nugget of wisdom my therapist bestowed on me a few months ago, CE. It's not about trusting others, it's about trusting YOURSELF.

Yep. That's it. Simple, huh?

It means you can go ahead and open up to someone if you feel that it's the right thing to do. And then you can change your mind if you find out you made a mistake. That's right--you trust yourself enough to get out of a situation before it becomes unhealthy for you.

Did I mention I have a very wise therapist?

L
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
It means you can go ahead and open up to someone if you feel that it's the right thing to do. And then you can change your mind if you find out you made a mistake. That's right--you trust yourself enough to get out of a situation before it becomes unhealthy for you.
i LOVE that. your therapist is very wise!!
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by appleblaster View Post
Its that little voice . . . that tells me that if I fixed the bathwater too hot then I need to keep my foot in it because I deserve that for being so inefficient........
That is one of the best descriptions of beating up oneself that I have ever seen.

You are beautiful and I hope you find a way to get that voice to shut the heck up.

((()))
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by CE Girl View Post
How do I let go and let down the wall that stops me from trusting?

How do I not let it affect my today?

Turn the wall into a pretty, wooden garden gate with ivy and white blossoms. You open the gate as others display actions that you can trust. Close the gate for those that don't.

Your gate is made of boundaries you create. You won't ever have to "force" yourself to trust another ever again.
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