"alcoholics don't have relationships, they take hostages"

Old 11-28-2018, 11:00 AM
  # 61 (permalink)  
Member
 
atalose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,104
I reached a point where I was no longer a hostage/victim but a volunteer. I continued the choice to remain in the dysfunction out of my own fear, obligation and guilt.

My fear was that if I was not around he might OD and die – truth was I was at work 8-10 hours a day and asleep for 5-7 a night where at any of those times he could have OD’d and there would have been nothing at all I could have done to prevent it so my thinking of not being able to leave because that might happen was very distorted because that’s what living with active addiction does to us.
atalose is offline  
Old 02-15-2019, 07:41 PM
  # 62 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 92
Alcoholics use all their drama and wreckage as the reason why they need money. The parent who gives money to the active alcoholic/addict is held hostage and so is the rest of the family as they are compromised also.
BriarSkye is offline  
Old 02-15-2019, 08:57 PM
  # 63 (permalink)  
Member
 
NYCDoglvr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 6,263
I've heard it put another way: "the victim calls the shots". Alcoholics are self-centered in the extreme and will go to great lengths to hang on to an enabler. The enabler is a (willing) hostage.
NYCDoglvr is offline  
Old 02-16-2019, 03:30 AM
  # 64 (permalink)  
"O you must wear your rue with difference".
 
OpheliaKatz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,146
Originally Posted by loner1968 View Post
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.
Yeah this. Ditto this. Addiction can be very selfish. You end up living your entire life around another person's substance abuse. Pretty soon, there is no YOU left in you, just them. You start becoming hollow -- like they've sucked the marrow out of your bones. And the worst part of it is, a lot of co-dependents don't even know they can walk away at any time.

Before I left my relationship, I often thought, "but what if he DIES?" I mean, it was a legitimate question. But then one day someone put it to me plainly: he could die on your watch too -- that's not in your control; you either stay and be taken advantage of and abused just so that you can try to prevent him from drugging to death slowly (and you will lose that battle), or walk away with whatever is left of your life and he can live or die as he pleases. As it turned out, without a captive audience, even though he continued to drug, he had (to date) no interest in hastening his own death.

Edit: Opps... I've actually replied to this thread before. One of the things that happens to you after years of being with an emotionally abusive active A is... I believe... a subtle level of brain damage. I tire very easily these days... and then I reply to threads I have already replied to.
OpheliaKatz is offline  
Old 02-16-2019, 08:49 AM
  # 65 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,215
Hit the nail on the head.

Here 'epic' and 'monologue' fit almost perfect. The difference is the monologues wind up being more of a diatribe, rant or temper tantrum.
thequest is offline  
Old 06-28-2020, 06:59 AM
  # 66 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 1
[QUOTE=BriarSkye;7062399]The addict/alcoholic is abusing himself/herself with substance abuse
and is therefore abusing all of their relationships.
They are not honest because they cannot be honest about the most fundamental truth
of their addiction/alcoholism. They cannot love because they do not love themselves,
they cannot respect because they have no self respect.
Substance abuse is the ultimate betrayal of oneself
and is therefore a betrayal of every relationship.
Cater to them in any way is tantamount to being a willing hostage.
Either people are willing to get clean and sober and stay clean and sober or they're not. Period.
Many people clean and sober in recovery are proof that AA works.

Grateful to be clean and sober 8 years.
AA member 25 years.[/QUOTe


Wow. This was the insight I needed. Thank you for sharing.
Spouse550 is offline  
Old 06-28-2020, 08:57 AM
  # 67 (permalink)  
Member
 
PeacefulWater12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: uk
Posts: 2,428
Timely bump for this thread full of knowledge and clarity.

Thank you.

Oh yes, saying ANYTHING that is needed to support the lifestyle.

Writing as a recovering drinker and recovering codie. Being on both sides of it.
PeacefulWater12 is offline  
Old 06-28-2020, 10:18 PM
  # 68 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 470
Originally Posted by denny57 View Post
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.
yes!!! And if we didn't do what he wanted, we were abandoning him/rejecting him!!
Wombaticus is offline  
Old 06-28-2020, 11:48 PM
  # 69 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 13
So glad I found this thread! I was involved with an alcoholic for seven months. First, dating, then as "just friends" as he liked to call it. Much of what he encouraged of me later he shift-blamed and kept accusing me of doing "weird things". Not only was it awkward having him encourage my education which was where he worked, then stipulating what I could and could not do because of his fears, but when telling me he was not eating due to his addiction, my bringing him food was deemed as creepy, or even taking interest in some of his activities that I had once been into for thought that it was not money, not taking over chores, but a buddy system. Nope, I was blamed for that too!

One thing I did not do many codependents do is lie for him. I talked, I spoke up, and he didn't like that at all! I also was afraid to leave thought because of how he was being belittled by his immediate family, and blamed for not giving up drinking, yet they were giving him money and telling him he ought to be ashamed of himself. What big red flag finally made me bail? He was buying a home he could not afford and told me even though we were "just friends" he loved and needed me and said it would be "our place". I had gotten myself into counseling by this point and one night when he was manipulating me with suicide, I confiscated his money for fear he would attempt so again as he had three weeks before. I ended up walking back with his property, and giving him back his keys, telling him I'd be there for his life but no longer contribute to his death.

I have found helping people being as empathic as I am is okay as long as boundaries are set. But I found myself complaisant with this man in a territory I never had before. Why? I believe his backstory of having so much childhood trauma I could relate to. And his vulnerability. That is what made it even more difficult. However, if I aided him financially, I would be supporting his disease and not he the person. That is the hardest part, when you know deep down the person you care about in whatever fashion is trapped within themselves. However, the more you "help", you are enabling the disease and going down in between the knife you plunge into the person; simultaneously into yourself. If you truly love the person, starve the disease by not becoming a martyr and help by separating yourself so both of you can heal.
acshore is offline  
Old 06-29-2020, 09:37 AM
  # 70 (permalink)  
Forum Leader
 
Seren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,875
[QUOTE=Spouse550;7468331]
Originally Posted by BriarSkye View Post
The addict/alcoholic is abusing himself/herself with substance abuse
and is therefore abusing all of their relationships.
They are not honest because they cannot be honest about the most fundamental truth
of their addiction/alcoholism. They cannot love because they do not love themselves,
they cannot respect because they have no self respect.
Substance abuse is the ultimate betrayal of oneself
and is therefore a betrayal of every relationship.
Cater to them in any way is tantamount to being a willing hostage.
Either people are willing to get clean and sober and stay clean and sober or they're not. Period.
Many people clean and sober in recovery are proof that AA works.

Grateful to be clean and sober 8 years.
AA member 25 years.[/QUOTe


Wow. This was the insight I needed. Thank you for sharing.
Hello Spouse550, and Welcome to SR!

I'm glad you're here, but sorry you had to find us. You've found a great place for widsom and support!
Seren is offline  
Old 07-01-2020, 04:38 PM
  # 71 (permalink)  
Member
 
Hopeworks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,243
Great Thread

Check out my signature...

The day I finally Got out of the elevator to hell at the lobby and walked out the door it was “Free at Last”!!!

The last I heard the AXfiancé’ 3000 miles away in the finest tent in skid row in LA shooting dope and drinking himself to death. From the penthouse to dropping the basement trap door... the disease is progressive.

its often wise to hit the eject button and pull the cord on your parachute!
Hopeworks is offline  
Old 07-09-2020, 12:11 PM
  # 72 (permalink)  
Member
 
Dropsie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,158
I know this is an old thread, but gotta say that I find the generalisations on this thread a bit OTT. Of course many hold truth, as all generalisations do, but in my experience every addict is different just like very person is different. Many of my favourite people are addicts and many of the biggest jerks I know are teatotallers.
Dropsie is online now  
Old 07-09-2020, 01:51 PM
  # 73 (permalink)  
Forum Leader
 
Seren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,875
I'm sorry you are upset by this thread, Dropsie. Each person's story is unique in the details, but there are some common things many of us have experienced--whether it is a partner, a parent, and child, or a friend who struggles with addiction.

Many of use have not been in this sort of relationship with the alcoholics or addicts we love, but there are those who feel as though their lives have been taken over by someone else's addiction--they've been taken hostage.

The problem for many of us is that we don't realize that we hold the key ourselves to unlocking the chains around us--it's that simple, and that hard--because it hurts so much.
Seren is offline  
Old 07-12-2020, 01:37 PM
  # 74 (permalink)  
Member
 
Hopeworks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,243
Originally Posted by Dropsie View Post
I know this is an old thread, but gotta say that I find the generalisations on this thread a bit OTT. Of course many hold truth, as all generalisations do, but in my experience every addict is different just like very person is different. Many of my favourite people are addicts and many of the biggest jerks I know are teatotallers.
you are absolutely right that every human being is an individual and nothing is cookie cutter…… But addiction is a family disease and there are many similarities in the behaviors.

and you are absolutely right that there are simply wonderful people caught up in the disease of addiction and sometimes you can squeeze the alcohol out of an ass hat and all you have left is a sober ass hat!

but sober ass hats can even transform and change if they are willing to do the hard work of a thetic recovery…… And I have often said in many believe that the world would be a better place if everybody breathing actually did the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous… It’s just not for alcoholics and it’s about healing and transformation...And we are all on life’s journey of self discovery, transformation and finding that serenity and shalom!
Hopeworks is offline  
Old 07-16-2020, 03:51 AM
  # 75 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 51
This is so true I found everything was about him was never ever about me... his drama that he had caused but his drinking ...his stress his anxiety days where I had to support didn’t matter i suffered With anxiety.
his angry outbursts where everything was my fault I was the one that was making him stressed it was all my fault in his eyes.
the days he wasn’t drinking I’d be ignored while he sat there stuck to his phone and I’d think why am I even here it’s souls destroying and draining
B1ueEyes is offline  
Old 07-16-2020, 04:37 AM
  # 76 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 51
This is so true I found everything was about him was never ever about me... his drama that he had caused but his drinking ...his stress his anxiety days where I had to support didn’t matter i suffered With anxiety.
his angry outbursts where everything was my fault I was the one that was making him stressed it was all my fault in his eyes.
the days he wasn’t drinking I’d be ignored while he sat there stuck to his phone and I’d think why am I even here it’s souls destroying and draining
B1ueEyes is offline  
Old 07-24-2020, 09:11 AM
  # 77 (permalink)  
Member
 
suncatcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 1,099
Originally Posted by B1ueEyes View Post
This is so true I found everything was about him was never ever about me... his drama that he had caused but his drinking ...his stress his anxiety days where I had to support didn’t matter i suffered With anxiety.
his angry outbursts where everything was my fault I was the one that was making him stressed it was all my fault in his eyes.
the days he wasn’t drinking I’d be ignored while he sat there stuck to his phone and I’d think why am I even here it’s souls destroying and draining
Yes my ABF is self absorbed like this. In the morning when he is sober, he sits and plays solitaire over and over until it's "beer thirty" for him. Very little talking and I had learned to adapt to all of these behaviors! Very sick and twisted we become without even realizing it. This has been the best thread and I plan to read it often!
suncatcher is offline  
Old 09-07-2021, 09:55 PM
  # 78 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by prairiegirl View Post
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.

what if he did ask me to do that? what if he said that I was the reason he was getting sober because that’s how much he loved me? what if he begged me not to go back home during the semester we lived together, when I had become really depressed and was going through family issues? He told me that he couldn’t keep up his sobriety without me and asked me to stay at school for him.

I think we’re willing hostages to an extent, but there’s often a certain amount of coercive manipulation that we’re subject to as well. I was the only person at school who knew he was dealing with this (he was high functioning and wouldn’t tell anyone else, even though I practically begged him to), and so I guess I did have the choice to leave, but I was genuinely scared he’d really hurt himself, if not worse, had I decided to leave. His life shouldn’t have been my responsibility, but that’s so much easier said than done when you love someone.

(He ended up breaking my heart 6 weeks later and blamed me for his problems and the breakup, so that was awesome!)
Lostandsadgirl is offline  
Old 09-10-2021, 11:37 AM
  # 79 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 248
Lostandsad and prairiegirl, I see actually how the two things being said really are the same thing! Or at least, have a lot of overlap.

Lostandsad it almost sounds like by asking you, the subtext was he was asking you to be his hostage. “Please be the woman I pin my hopes and dreams on, please put me first at the cost of your own health, please jump on this crazy train, please be my hostage instead of my partner.” It’s still up to us if we accept that offer or not. And it’s up to us how long we stay.
edoering is offline  
Old 09-10-2021, 11:45 AM
  # 80 (permalink)  
Member
 
trailmix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 7,453
Originally Posted by Lostandsadgirl View Post
what if he did ask me to do that? what if he said that I was the reason he was getting sober because that’s how much he loved me? what if he begged me not to go back home during the semester we lived together, when I had become really depressed and was going through family issues? He told me that he couldn’t keep up his sobriety without me and asked me to stay at school for him.

I think we’re willing hostages to an extent, but there’s often a certain amount of coercive manipulation that we’re subject to as well. I was the only person at school who knew he was dealing with this (he was high functioning and wouldn’t tell anyone else, even though I practically begged him to), and so I guess I did have the choice to leave, but I was genuinely scared he’d really hurt himself, if not worse, had I decided to leave. His life shouldn’t have been my responsibility, but that’s so much easier said than done when you love someone.

(He ended up breaking my heart 6 weeks later and blamed me for his problems and the breakup, so that was awesome!)
Yes and sadly, this is where codependency (I don't even like that word) can creep in. We can't really ever be responsible for the decisions of another adult. We might talk to them, we might give them our opinion (hopefully only once), but we really have no control over what their decisions are.

I'm sorry you got hurt Lostandsad

trailmix is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:55 AM.