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Old 09-15-2010, 06:00 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Look over your last two posts. IMHO, your last two posts reveal how contact with an active alcoholic leads the other partner into a downward spiral.

You seemed confident and determined here:

Originally Posted by Jaguar55 View Post
I definitely don't want to coddle him, but I have done things inadvertently that have enabled him. No more. I suppose just staying in his life and loving him is enabling him. He's been able to rely on me for seven years. He takes it for granted that I will love him and that as long as he wants me he can have me.
And after contact last night you seem affected:
Originally Posted by Jaguar55 View Post
well I talked to him on the phone very briefly tonight. He sounded good, like he was sort of happy. That really freaks me out when he gets like, "oh, I've gotten rid of her and she was the source of my unhappiness". And he acts like now I'm not around he's finally at peace. I guess in a way that's the truth because if I'm not around he doesn't have to feel pressured to give anything or do anything except what he wants to do for himself. He can just kick back and drink, smoke some weed, play video games until he gets tired and passes out. Get up the next day, go to work, come home, repeat....

I hate alcoholism. I really really hate it. It took him away. And he let it, didn't he? He left me. And he even erased all the things about me that are me and replaced them in his head with some bitch that he can hate even though that's not who I am at all.
Going "No Contact" is not something I did to affect or change the alcoholic. Going "no contact" was something I did for myself. I needed time and space to focus on my feelings, needs and life.

It is very difficult to maintain "no contact". It hurts. It put me out of my comfort zone. I was accustomed to sharing my day with my partner of 14 years.

I had to take it one day at a time. I gave myself a goal: I will not pick up the phone for 24 hours. Then I extended my goal. Some days I made it by taking things one moment at a time.
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:27 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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No contact was a blessing for me. I didn't miss the mind bending bs at all. By the time I left and went NC, I knew there was nothing I could say or do that would make things any better with my AH. I kept in mind "actions not words" - which is one of the most important things for us (IMHO) to remember.

I knew that if my AH were truly embracing recovery as he claimed (words), it would reflect in his actions. It did not, and it has not.

NC saved me from continuing to have a front row to his insanity. Not totally of course, as he escalated the abuse in any way he could from afar, but at least I didn't have to read or listen to the blah blah blah blah anymore.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:23 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Hi Pelican, started crying when I read your post. I'm miserable. I see your point. I was doing better until I spoke to him last night. I'm being tossed aside without a backward glance like a piece of garbage. And he even sees it as something I brought on myself. He's done it to me before and he's doing it now. It completely freaks me out. His whole attitude about it makes me insane, like it's so casual for him, so painless. Why doesn't he feel sad? Why am I not valuable to him? Knowing the answers intellectually doesn't do anything for how I feel emotionally right now.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:29 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Jaguar55 View Post
Hi Pelican, started crying when I read your post. I'm miserable. I see your point. I was doing better until I spoke to him last night. I'm being tossed aside without a backward glance like a piece of garbage. And he even sees it as something I brought on myself. He's done it to me before and he's doing it now. It completely freaks me out. His whole attitude about it makes me insane, like it's so casual for him, so painless. Why doesn't he feel sad? Why am I not valuable to him? Knowing the answers intellectually doesn't do anything for how I feel emotionally right now.
As hard as it is to accept, it's not personal. He's not doing it TO you, he's just doing it.

You are magnifying your suffering by making it about you. It's not. It's about him.

L
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:44 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Intellectually I understand that. Emotionally there is still a voice in my head telling me that it IS about ME. From an emotional perspective he may as well be an alien being at this point. It's nearly impossible for me to understand how a person's feelings can be "turned off'. I feel like I'm in an "invasion of the body snatchers" movie.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:48 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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I understand the disconnect between logic and emotions. Have you considered therapy? It helped me more than I can ever explain.

L
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:51 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Jaguar55 View Post
Intellectually I understand that. Emotionally there is still a voice in my head telling me that it IS about ME. From an emotional perspective he may as well be an alien being at this point. It's nearly impossible for me to understand how a person's feelings can be "turned off'. I feel like I'm in an "invasion of the body snatchers" movie.
It helps to remember that an active alcoholic isn't sane. Would you take things personally if a certifiably insane person said them to you?
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:44 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Yes, it is like hearing the rantings of a madman on the street - very good analogy.

Jaguar, I had the same questions when I broke up with an alkie.

His whole attitude about it makes me insane, like it's so casual for him, so painless. Why doesn't he feel sad? Why am I not valuable to him? Knowing the answers intellectually doesn't do anything for how I feel emotionally right now.

I get the feeling. The man I went out with acted the same way. After 2 years I know the answer - it is because he is an addict.

His concerns are

- how to get booze
- how to use others to support his ADDICTION
- how to recover from the hangover

Repeat until death.


It is a good thing to have all these questions - it means YOU are not an addict. We will never "get" them.


By now all I know is that I need to stay as far away as possible from them. They hurt and hurt, and then hurt more. It leaves you shocked. It is a slow dance of death and if they are denying the problem its on you to break the abuse cycle. Sadly many die without ever acknowledging any harm.

But they DO harm others in so many ways. Many of us need therapy to recover from the emotional/physical damage and to know what we found attractive in them in the first place.

This man also seemed to be someone entirely different - but we all show our true colors at some point.
I agree staying with them is enabling them and saying "it is ok, the way you behave and treat me is ok". So why would they change?




What Addicts Do
The Alcoholism and Addictions Help Forums- by SoberRecovery.com (What Addicts Do)

Excuses Alcoholics Make
The Alcoholism and Addictions Help Forums- by SoberRecovery.com (Excuses Alcoholics Make)


Dealing with the anger against them, I have found sports help me a great deal, therapy, and remembering HP/karma - we all pay now or pay later.



No contact restored me to sanity. No contact with him, any of the common friends, deleting the pictures and blocking him from email/Facebook. Talking with people that get it because many people regard them as "just drunks" and have no idea about alcoholism and how incredibly damaging it is for the ones that know them behind closed doors. I spent too much of my time listening to such people and all it did was confuse and hurt me.


This man was verbally abusive and I recently saw a pic of him in a bar. 2 years have passed since we lived really bad nights -you know, when they get angry because they want to drive drunk even if they can't even walk straight -what they are really saying is that they don't care if you live or die as long as you are with them in the passengers seat-, or because they want sex and you don't, or because I dared say I was not happy when he woke me up 20 times during the night, everytime more and more drunk- GUESS WHAT? he is still drinking. He stated he was planning on drinking the rest of his life. Hard to argue with that. And that is exactly what he is doing. Its his life -he is allowed that.

I am glad I didn't stay with the hopes he would give a damn about me.

Active alcoholics don't give a damn about themselves - they can't care about others either. Its not that they have love and don't give it to you - there is just no love in there, not for them, not for you, not for anyone. Alcoholism, and how to sustain it, is all there is in their world. It is sad and tragic but that is their problem - not ours. There is much we can do for ourselves to feel better, find meaning, find joy.

I am glad you joined SR.
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:13 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Intellectually I understand that. Emotionally there is still a voice in my head telling me that it IS about ME. From an emotional perspective he may as well be an alien being at this point. It's nearly impossible for me to understand how a person's feelings can be "turned off'. I feel like I'm in an "invasion of the body snatchers" movie.
Exactly. This is what Detachment is all about. I learned about Detachment by attending Al-Anon meetings and reading about alcoholism and Codependence. You can find an Al-Anon meeting here: How to find a meeting in the US/Canada/Puerto Rico

The "No Contact" you have read about is a form of Detachment. But Detachment, IMO is not like a switch you just turn off and on. For me, it is a process and there are stages and types, for example, physical detachment, emotional detachment, intellectual detachment, etc. I recommend practicing just one at a time. People seem to practice physical detachment first.

Regarding people here calling eachother "CoDependents": It helped me to not look at codependency as a character defect or some other title. It helps me to look at it from the relationship perspective instead. That is, the way I see it, there are three types of relationships:
Dependent,
Codependent, and
Interdependent.
Relationships with alcoholics and addicts appear to move toward being Codependent. I've been in Codependent relationships before and it has never been a healthy, sane, or peaceful place for me.
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:54 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Jaguar55 View Post
From an emotional perspective he may as well be an alien being at this point. It's nearly impossible for me to understand how a person's feelings can be "turned off'. I feel like I'm in an "invasion of the body snatchers" movie.
Yes! He is an alien being at this point. His physical body, mind and soul have become addicted to alcohol. It is his god and he worships at it's throne daily. It is his lover, mistress, comforter. It is his priority. His actions, verbal assaults, motives are all about protecting the alien that has taken over his body, mind and soul.

That is me trying to reason with you about how alcoholism has taken over his life. It doesn't offer much comfort for the feelings of being emotionally stuck, right?

This is a quote from Melody Beattie in "Codependent No More", from the chapter on "undependence":
"Even with all this, you will then say, 'But I love him/her!'
When I respond, 'Tell me, what is so loveable?'
there is no response. The answer doesn't come,
but the power of being emotionally stuck is far greater than the power of reason."

The verbal assaults of breaking up over and over, the blame-shifting, the lack of respect have taken an emotional toll.

Please take care of yourself and love yourself as you recover from this relationship. Keep reaching out for help: here, Alanon, counseling, etc.

We care about you. You are important!
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:01 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Hi Jaguar,
Welcome. I am currently No Contact with the man that I believed was the love of my life. I have felt the enormous pain you describe, but my ex ABF was never ever physically abusive. Even so, I almost lost my own mind dealing with him when he was actively drinking.
It is entirely IMPOSSIBLE to have an intimate relationship with an active alcoholic. We are wasting our time, we are. It's a fantasy.
I recently read something that made so much sense to me. Trying to reason with an active alcoholic about his/her drinking, is like trying to tell a schizophrenic to stop hearing voices. Cannot be done.
I love him and I miss him, but that's ok, I have found peace and calm in my life, and I am holding on to that.
Al Anon and Sober Recovery, and reading the AA Big Book have helped me so much.
I still cannot think of this as forever, but I don't have to. If we are meant to be together again someday, we will be. I don't have to think about it now.

I could leave him, and not worry about anything. And that is a blessing that I have received by learning to let go. Whatever happens to them, when we choose to get out to save ourselves, has nothing at all to do with us. It really never did.
Keep reading and posting, you will feel better. Promise.
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:13 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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I have a counseling appt. for this Friday.

He's still loving and affectionate with his two teenage daughters. He's not going to win father of the year, but all in all he does ok. He's actively trying to be a good dad and his girls love him. He even took joint custody after his divorce so he's not just a weekend dad. He's loving to his two dogs. He doesn't treat them as responsibly as he should (like they didn't get heartworm tested this year), but he is very affectionate with them. In fact he absolutely dotes on them.
So why me? If I got ANY affection at all it was small and far between. We're talking crumbs. I was at the bottom of his list of priorities and his favorite emotional punching bag. And he's nice to other people, polite, even caring, pulls off an excellent imitation of "human". For instance, he'll stop and help people with flat tires or car trouble. He listens to his ex-wife when she's upset about her fiance and he tries to be supportive. So why ME? Why am I the black sheep? This is one of the reasons I have taken it all so personally for so long. He's really good to his guy friends. He's got two buddies he's been friends with since high school and he really loves those guys. When you get down to it I'm the only one he's mean to. Pretty hard not to take that personally. When I look at all that I really question myself. Not only do I wonder what's wrong with me but I wonder if he ever loved me at all.
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:21 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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The important question here is not why he treats you badly, but why do you accept it? What's so great about his guy that he can treat you like crap? Why are crumbs enough to keep you hanging on? To paraphrase a wise poster: Why is he a priority to you when all you are to him is an option?

Get to the bottom of those questions and you will change your life for the better.

L
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:52 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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I know most of those answers.

It got worse gradually.
I thought things would gradually get better.
When things were good they were absolutely amazing.
I don't meet many men that really interest me. He has many of what I consider desirable qualities, more than I have ever found all in one package before. So I've always valued him as special. He's like a rare gem, except one that's been exposed to massive radiation and is now toxic. Pretty to look at, deadly to hold. I feel like it's the universe's joke on me that I found this incredible man but he has this enormous flaw.
I don't think I'll ever find another guy who measures up to him. Enter denial. I'll just try to ignore this big problem of his.
I've watched my mom and other women who were middle-aged and thought they'd meet someone new but then never did. I've seen these horrifying marriage statistics for women of my age, level education, etc. I know there's a good chance I'll end up alone and I was really hoping I'd have a man to share my life with. My divorce was a decade ago now. It was actually a good marriage and I never should have left. My ex was my best friend. I really miss that.
I didn't try nearly hard enough when I was married. In fact, I was a pretty awful wife. I didn't want to make the same mistake again and not try, not value the man I'm with.
And then there's the "I already put ____ years into this and did this and gave up that and want a return on my investment".
Doesn't help that even after seven years we have an enormous sexual desire for each other. That makes it very hard to resist seeing each other.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:02 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Wow. You sound so much like me a few years ago. I could write a book to you in regards to just that last post. But, instead I will just say, ask your counselor if he/she has experience with codependence and addiction. If so, you are in good hands. If not, find another counselor.

I'm living proof that life can be sooooo much better post-alcoholic-relationship. You cannot change the past, but if you learn the lessons from it, your future is indeed bright.

L
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:53 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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He even erased all the things about me that are me
This is a very astute observation and worth more in-depth exploration, but I believe you may have the formula backwards. I know I did. I have a tendency to partake in obsessive/compulsive behaviors. I always have. I am a compulsive overeater, I am compulsively neat, I was compulsively obsessed with my ex boyfriend's behavior and drinking, and more.

I've learned that my obsessions are a way that I abandon myself--not the other way around. I used my obsessions to erase all the things about me that were me. I used them to disappear, to avoid being fully present in my life.

My boyfriend and his drinking didn't erase me; I erased myself. Imagine living for 50 years in the background of compulsions, using my obsessions to avoid living my life.

That's no way to live. My obsessions started out as self-protective behaviors meant to shield me from harm, but over the years as they grew in intensity and frequency and as I nearly ceased to exist, they became the biggest obstacle in my life.

My boyfriend, his drinking, his behaviors--they weren't enemy. The enemy was me. Finding the key to my self-created prison was the first step in living a happy life. You hold the key to happiness in your hands. Your boyfriend does not.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:02 PM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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What I'm trying to say is that I feel he "forgot" me and his feelings for me, erased me from his memory. I mean, he demonized me. He built me up in his head as someone to hate even though he had loved me so much before. He didn't just break his promises to me, but those to himself as well. I guess he forgot himself too.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:02 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Remember he is not "sane" so he doesn't "feel".. Just try to focus on YOU - what can YOU Do to feel better about YOU: exercise, listen to music, go shopping, coffee or lunch with friends, etc.. etc..

Sorry this is so painful. Its really a dowhill spiral with the addict.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:05 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Jag, like you I met a good man that was "exposed"
I too had a very long term relationship that failed as did my ex and we wanted this to me our last ride and be together.
I'm 44, and though I am hit on a lot, I am not interested in other men. I don't every worry I'll end up alone because I am a relationship person, but I need to take my alone/single time to look out for me now
To get healthy so I can meet a healthy man.

It's all based on fear. If I could make my ex's addictions and abuse just disappear, I would, but I'll settle for self love, self respect and sanity right now.

I know how you feel though
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:09 PM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Summerpeach View Post
It's all based on fear. If I could make my ex's addictions and abuse just disappear, I would, but I'll settle for self love, self respect and sanity right now.
That's quite a bit to say in just a few words. Yes, it is all about fear. And, yes, we would change them if we could. Thing is, though, it wouldn't make everything all better. As long as we make our happiness dependent on someone else (or something else, or situations, or possessions, or whatever) we guarantee ourselves that we will never be happy.

You are completely going in the right direction by focusing on self-love, self-respect, and sanity. No matter what changes in the external world, as long as your internal world is in order, the boat may rock a little, but it won't sink.

L
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