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How Dry I Am

Old 09-21-2010, 08:58 AM
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How Dry I Am

Im sort of upset.

I have been striving to relate AH as though he is in recovery because hes in rehab at the VA (a VA several states away). Indeed rehab is NOT the holy grail of sobriety. As Still Waters noted a dry (non recovering) sober alcoholic is impossible to live with also. Is there a way to recognize recovery when it is happening? I bet there is and the reason I have to ask is because Ive never seen it.

So I just got off the phone with the words whore bitch echoing in my ears. Not a bulls-eye, but he grazed me. Even though I know its not true, I also know I remain distrustful and scared and dubious about any contact with him and therefore just a tad touchy.

Hark! The phone is ringing. He wants me to call him. He thinks we can talk now. Oh frabjous day.

Originally, I wanted to post in the screaming thread. I am awestruck by my screaming fits. Never been a screamer until the last six months in this so-called marriage. Three criteria from the stickies on abuse explain why I scream (1) discovering one was mistaken in where one stood or what it was about (2) feeling perplexed and frustrated by his responses because you cant get him to understand your intentions, (3) where one assumed good will, ill will seems to prevail. Actually, theres a fourth which I paraphrase in my own mind as NO MATTER WHAT, he doesnt seem to get it. Along about then the screaming starts.

Well. . .I wanted to be there to support his 30 days in rehab, but Im thinking its time to go NC again. After all, it doesnt depend on me in any way. He is killing me slowly and I swear I almost believe its conscious and deliberate. Lately, Ive been noticing that some of us seem to be married to people who are alcoholic, but not mentally ill otherwise. I have come to believe my AH is mentally ill apart from the alcoholism. Any other opinions/thoughts etc on this? Thanks for reading my ramble.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:02 AM
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You have to do whatever you feel is right for you, but, if someone called me that, they would be damned lucky to EVER hear from me again.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:13 AM
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What you have written sounds very very familiar to me. I think my AH would always be a dry drunk even if he stopped drinking for years. I am not sure there is a therapist out there who could fix him - but unless he seeks one out there is no way of knowing. I can't count the number of times I was called a bitch and I think that other word a couple of times too though he denied that one...pretty sure I heard it though.
The feeling that no matter how many times you say the same thing it will be ignored (whether about drinking or not) or that no matter how many different ways you make your point - he will always miss it....Frustrating beyond belief.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:21 AM
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Is there a way to recognize recovery when it is happening? I bet there is and the reason I have to ask is because I’ve never seen it.
You answered your own question. Recovery is, IMHO, pretty obvious. No ***** bitches, no blame shifting, no manipulation, no lies. Etc.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:28 AM
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This is not news to anyone here, but I had to get it through my own head and heart, that there is NO reasoning with a drunk. Their thought process are not what one would call normal. They don't get it because they can't, I personally believe.
I fully understand the screaming, been there done that. They just push you so far with the nonstop craziness. I was starting to feel like I was the one that was losing it. Nope, its him.
I think that you will recognize recovery when you see it. The behavior will line up with the spoken words.
I wish you peace and happiness. H
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:14 AM
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I can truly relate to this. I was NEVER a person who yelled or screamed until i was with an addict/dry drunk.
The crazy making behaviour was totally baffling.
I wondered many times if my ex was mentally ill, and truth be told, I think all addicts have some form of mental illness, whether it be depression, personality disorder, self hatred etc.
And everything is fixable ONLY if the person who's damaged wants to be fixed and wants to stay that way.

Two years ago, my ex said something very demeaning to me when we were out and he was drunk, since I never came from verbal abuse or had any ex vberally abuse me, I left him and went right to therapy 3 days later.
Maybe this helped him realize a few things because that same week, he walked into AA (and I never ever nagged him about his drinking) and he stopped drinking. Cold turkey, and relapsed once for a few weeks and stopped and has not had a drink since.

My ex wants to get well. He has two great kids who need him and the last we spoke after we broke up, he was starting a step group and expressed fully how he wants to get well. Not for me, or us but for him. His actions were the coping skills that were taught to him. His actions are ALL he knows.

Codepdendence can be just as abusive, but we are more covert in our operations.
We scold, criticize, nag, are self righteous and act like superior beings to the addicts.
Everyone has a role in a relationship with an addict.
If both the addict and codie don't get help, then the dance never stops.
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by freebuthurting View Post
What you have written sounds very very familiar to me. I think my AH would always be a dry drunk even if he stopped drinking for years. I am not sure there is a therapist out there who could fix him - but unless he seeks one out there is no way of knowing. I can't count the number of times I was called a bitch and I think that other word a couple of times too though he denied that one...pretty sure I heard it though.
The feeling that no matter how many times you say the same thing it will be ignored (whether about drinking or not) or that no matter how many different ways you make your point - he will always miss it....Frustrating beyond belief.
Yes, exactly!
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:26 AM
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Listen to your inner voice. If that voice is telling you no contact, then go no contact.

My experience is that I wanted my now xah to live seperate from us for 6mos after getting out of rehab. If he was sober at 6mos I would re-evaluate. I have a long history of not even recongnizing much less hearing or listening to my inner voice. This time it was screaming. In the end my xah basically refused and I did not uphold that boundary. The result was untold heartache and chaos. I regret not listening and honoring my inner voice at that time. Perhaps it was a lesson because I didn't get 'inner voice' before, but it was a hard one.

Wishing you well. I know this is an extremely difficult road you are on right now.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:11 AM
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Suki, you crack me up.

Thank you for all the confirmation and validation and no nonsense responses. Bumping up against the concept that being sober is not the same as being on the path to recovery is fairly new . . .need to let that soak in, I think -- so it can inform the way I deal -- or don't -- with Mr. Destructo.

As for the name calling -- it reflects his deep down opinion of all women. It's always slithering around under the surface. His mother, according to him and his two brothers -- unanimous -- made her way in life by using men, one after another. (I haven't heard her side of it -- she's dead.) I think men -- little boys --- never really get over a whorish mother.

Honestly, I have given up the idea of marriage to this man, but have sought to stay a friend because he truly is so alone and so afraid of abandonment. It's him or me, though. . .I haven't really accepted it so I won't try to kid you. But I keep coming here because it's a bucket of ice water in my face -- and I WILL reach complete acceptance. Once I'm utterly exhausted from bargaining. Man, I'm verbal today. Sorry.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Summerpeach View Post
Codepdendence can be just as abusive, but we are more covert in our operations.
We scold, criticize, nag, are self righteous and act like superior beings to the addicts.
Everyone has a role in a relationship with an addict.
If both the addict and codie don't get help, then the dance never stops.

You just hit the nail on the head so hard that it came through the other side of my wall!
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by freebuthurting View Post

You just hit the nail on the head so hard that it came through the other side of my wall!
Yeah, it took me a while to accept this, but thanks to my good friends at Al Anon, I see my side of the street needed a good cleaning too :-) (sweep sweep)....heheh
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:24 AM
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Daybreak - 2 things:

1) If you go no contact now, he will not have you to spit on and will have only himself to look at.

2) If you have not already done so, please do yourself a huge favor and read the book Why Does He Do That? It's an awesome book that explains the behaviors and thoughts of "angry and controlling" men. It also gives you some insight into who can be helped and who can't....and what has to happen to make things better. You will understand so much more about him and will be better able to make your decisions with ALL the information.

God Bless You.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:39 AM
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You know, Tip -- you may be onto something. I just got back from Amazon.com -- reading reviews -- I'll see if the library has the book first, though.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:35 PM
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that is an excellent and very important book! Please do read it...I have a feeling once you start it you won't want to put it down.

There was a lady here who used to say "You can call me names but it will be from the other side of the door." LOL

I don't care what this guy's past is, what kind of person his mother was....those are excuses he uses.They may explain some issues he needs help with but they do not ever excuse current abusive behavior.

I have been verbally abused, demeaned, humiliated...all of it.
It was one of the harder things in life to do...to get help and recover from it.
Today I respect myself.
I can't imagine spending any time with someone who would call me names...but if someone did, I can tell you right now that they would only get to do that once.
ONE TIME.
I would hit the eject button on them so quick their butts would be flying over faster than their mouths could keep up.
I have a very firm no abuse boundary in my life and there is no room for negotiation on that one. None.

Now don't think I am uppity and just don't know what things are like...I can't think of a single name or ugly insult I haven't been called. That man was a very creative and intelligent person and I think he has his PHD in verbal abuse.
It shredded me. And I stayed. I tried to understand, to help, to stay calm and repeat very repetitively "what you say is simply a reflection upon you"...I had this idea I could just not take any of it personally.
But it is personal and it is abuse and it will over time reduce you to feeling like less than a dishrag and even more helpless to get help and to be able to stop it. It breeds hopelessness inside.

I'd bet you haven't been in touch with yourself real well about taking very good care of you and your one very precious life. You've built up walls to defend and guard against the hurt. But inside those walls is a lovely woman who is starving. And that's just not fair.
You've been doing what you needed to do to survive, I understand that.

I am going to ask you to believe me...on faith...that you can have a happy, glorious life.
You can have love that doesn't hurt.
First you will have to let that lovely woman out of the hostage situation.
I got domestic violence counseling and will forever be grateful for some of the best (and free) help I have ever received.
That gave me the building blocks to first give myself dignity and then to treat myself as my own beloved one. I don't think there is any greater gift than that. And I believe we and life are meant to be that way...cherished.

I wish you the very best and hope you will continue posting.

((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))))
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:31 PM
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Thanks for the reminders, Live. I've never been in denial about the man's alcoholism, but I have about his abusive behaviors. The concern I'm hearing from all of you both warms my heart and firms my resolve.
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