Still Working on Me

Old 03-16-2009, 10:28 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Georgia
Posts: 341
Still Working on Me

Doing much, much better now. I still talk with my STXAH, and the conversation goes well, until he starts to pity himself. That's when I usually cut it short and he knows this and usually says "well, I don't want to sound like I'm bringing on the pity party BUT ...". That is my cue to say goodbye and hangup calmly. Quacking is not intelligent or mature conversation to me and I've attended his pity parties for enough years to know how they always turn out.

He has been going to therapy for a few months and just announced that his psychologist does not think he is an alcoholic. They went through some checklist in a book as she doesn't seem to be an expert in the area (very bad sign here), I doubt that he will get the help he needs. That is sad.

My communication skills have improved a lot. I actually tell him what I am thinking and let him know my emotions and what I need. He always says he wants to know, so I tell him. Before I thought he should be able to know automatically why I was sad or upset and maybe if I gave him the silent pouting treatment he would get the message and figure it out. Well, that is so immature and unrealistic and co-dependent. I am actually voicing my needs now and how I am feeling even when I am scared that he will get mad.

Even though we seem to be working through our communication issues, he is still drinking and seeing his single female "friends". When I started to blame myself (again) for his drinking my therapist said that no matter what I did, I was not the cause of his drinking and that any healthy person would not go to the bar and other women if there were problems in the marriage or on the job. So true.

I have come to realize in the past few months of al-anon, therapy, and daily reading a few things:

1. It is OK to be angry and I'm not a bad person if someone is angry with me or I am angry with someone.
2. I did not cause my STXAH to drink or run to other women, and I can't control him or his drinking.
3. I have needs and I need to make sure that those needs are met or to let someone know what I need if they can meet that need for me.
4. People can't read my mind and I need to tell them what I am thinking and feeling if they need to know.
5. I shouldn't take everything so personally (still having a bit of a problem with this one, but working on it).
6. If someone around me is mad I should not automatically assume they are mad over something I have done.
7. I have a HP that is control of everything. I've gone back to my old church and re-established my relationship to God, that is what works for me.
8. That, for me, living with an active alcoholic or a dry drunk is not the way I want to live my life - I have choices.
9. I don't have to respond or listen to quacking, as it never makes for an intelligent conversation anyway and I only end up frustrated.
10. I am not a bad person for leaving my STXAH (as he sees it, it is all my fault of course), I made the choice to leave so I could get out of the insanity and start to rebuild and live my life again as it was meant to be lived.

I am feeling more and more like myself. I have taken up needlework again (something I gave up a while back) and reading and I am thinking about going back into art. I feel confident enough to start looking for work (bad time to do it in this economy, but I can try). I've actually grown my spine back as it disappeared. I look back now at the person I was when I lived with my STXAH. I can't believe I LET somebody treat me that badly and felt obligated to stay and take more for 18 years! I was a mess. I didn't like the person I had become at all. Who the heck was I??? My life was unmanageable. I can't wait to start on step four - that's when I can really focus MORE and change myself in a way that will be healthier for me. The sky is the limit!
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:41 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Taking5's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: LA - Lower Alabama
Posts: 5,069
Before I thought he should be able to know automatically why I was sad or upset and maybe if I gave him the silent pouting treatment he would get the message and figure it out.
Don't feel bad, every woman I ever had a relationship with had the same ideas.

my therapist said that....any healthy person would not go to the bar and other women if there were problems in the marriage or on the job. So true.
I disagree 100%. You end the marriage first, then go chase other women. And you do not need to go into a bar to do it.

Keep working on yourself, but don't beat yourself up.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:47 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
catlovermi's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,294

One of the startling things I learned in recovery was that anger is a good thing, when balanced.

When one is able to generate, and feel, anger in appropriate circumstances (such as when one is wronged or threatened or disrespected), it means one holds a level of self-worth, and the anger is generated in protection of self. People who never generate anger don't have enough self-worth to want to defend themselves.

I used to stuff anger down, unless it was someone else's anger aimed at me, then I let it melt me and distort me. Through recovery I have learned to "balance" anger, which means I can have it, and you can have it, but there are healthy anger responses and unhealthy ones, and anger that is appropriate and proportional, and anger that is out in left field and out of control. My recovery has given me permission to have and feel anger, and learn how to manage it and get it right-sized and balanced. And permission to express it, appropriately.

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