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What about me??

Old 10-04-2010, 06:48 PM
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What about me??

I'm sitting here crying my eyes out, feeling a bit confused and sad.
ABF is entering rehab tomorrow morning and all I can say to myself is, 'what about me?'. He gets a cozy place with meals and support. All his buddies and family is going to come out of the woodwork to cheer him on. But where were they when he was going through this relapse? I'm sure they did the right thing for their lives in that they knew they couldn't help him but I stuck by him.

I did feel (in his more functional moments) that he truly appreciated me and loves me. He never asked for a dime nor did I give him one. I lived my life
but still stuck by him. He did respect my boundaries which is suprising given everything I read here about addict behaviors.

So now I feel like, that's it? After all that, I am alone for months? After everything I felt and the anxiety I felt every night worrying if that would be the night he kills himself, Poof he is gone behind those walls? It is almost like shell shock. The bomb hits, the dust settles and I'm standing there dazed.
That is how I feel. I am happy he will be safe and getting the help he needs but part of me is feeling completely abandoned. Sad and abandoned.
I am an adult and no one forced me to stick by him. I did so willingly. I don't regret it at all. But why can't I feel ecstatic that he is in treatment? Maybe I am just too emotionally worn down to celebrate.

I did it because I love him. I have no intention of ending things but I don't think I can go on another one of these rides again with him. (I picture all of you experienced folks shaking your head at me but I wanted to go through it because I had to see for myself what I was signing up for.) Thanks all for sharing your wisdom either directly or indirectly btw. I don't think I could have gone through this if it wasn't for SR.

But I still am sad. So sad. And I should be happy he is getting the help he needs but I all that is coming up for me are tears. Maybe I held it in emotionally for so long and now I can let it all out. I thought of yelling at him finally (I never did, seemed pointless) but what good would that serve. Part of me wants to scream at him "How dare you put me through all that and then leave me". It just seems so unfair.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:05 PM
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But he'll be back right?

I get what you're going through tho. Let me shine some perspective on it if I may. I have a friend whose wife is bulimic. Anyway, he spent years holding her up through the depression and the ups and downs. He never pressured her or tried to tell her how to live her life, although inside he felt like screaming and crying at her as he watched her physical and emotional health decline. Finally she went to a rehab centre for eating disorders and came out a brand new woman.

Bu my friend, he was broken, and for a very long time he couldn't figure out why. Then, he spoke to me (doing a psychology minor) and after a long discussion, I think I might have pinpointed the problem and it sounds to me like you're going through very much the same thing.

See, like my friend, you held your partner up all this time. You've had to look after him and be the strong one, and now you're feeling abandoned ... but are you sure that is what you're feeling ... because here's the way it looks to me (and naturally I could be wrong).

This is how it was for my friend. Yes he supported his wife, yes he held her up all those years, yes he'd always wanted her to get help, and yes she finally did and she got better. He couldn't understand why the made him so emotionally broken. But I think we worked it out. It's not that you're not happy for your partner for getting help. The problem, I believe, is that you're hurt that you couldn't fix him.

That's how it was for my friend. He was like, 'how can it be possible, I totally devoted my life to her, everything i could possibly do to make things easier, I did. I gave her everything of me, loved her with everything I had, sacrificed everything I could. But she ... she did not love ME enough to return the favour. She did not love ME enough to sacrifice HER addictions for me.'

So sure, your partner has now sailed off into the sunset to get help. He'll probably get out in a few months and be a changed man. And your subconscious mind is like, 'Sweet, so he can change and get better for a bunch of complete strangers, but he couldn't find the love in his heart to do it for me.'

Anyway, like I said, I don't really have enough of the facts to say this is what you're going through conclusively, but it sure sounds like it. You probably wanted to be the one to fix him. The one person important enough to do so. But you couldn't. And someone else can. And for that you're hurting. On some level I suppose it's like the way you'd feel if you found out he was cheating. You couldn't satisfy him in the bed ... but someone else could. You feel cheated.

Anyway, take from that whatever you will, that's juts how it was for my firend, and only maybe you're going through something similar.

Just try to remind yourself that you are not a professional psychologist or doctor (as far as I know) and even if you were, it's very rare that family can make an impact on an addict. It often takes a stranger, so that people can fully explore themselves without fearing judgement and set themselves free.

Emp
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:12 PM
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I can say for me, it had nothing at all to do with me not being able to fix him, I never thought I could. It was as babyblue says, the feeling of abandonment. You stress and fear and walk on eggshells - then they go off to some expensive spa for misfits ($26,000 worth) while you are left to wipe the remnants of poo off the counter top and get on with LIFE.

While they get cheered on (right on! Good on you getting HELP!!! yay!) we (the families) got told we were stupid codie enablers and we allowed ourselves to be used and abused.

That we were loser magnets. Yes, they actually said that.

Anyway - for me it didn't have squat to do with some sense of indignation that I couldn't fix him and everything to do with what I perceived to be rewarding bad behavior.

For what it's worth.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:16 PM
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Still Waters,

Fair enough, like I said, that was just the experience of a mate of mine. We're all different I guess.

Emp
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Empathetic View Post
Still Waters,

Fair enough, like I said, that was just the experience of a mate of mine. We're all different I guess.

Emp
We absolutely are! I wasn't saying your share wasn't legit, just that for me the situation was totally different.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:29 PM
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Babyblue,

Now is when you need support. Gather in your bestest friends for some TLC of YOU. Let him go do what he needs to do while you relax and nurture yourself.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:30 PM
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I like both your answers. Probably a mixture lots of things. I didn't think I could fix him but I did want him to snap out of it, completely unrealistic I know. Even though I knew he couldn't, It just made no sense to me how a bright, full of possibilities man could P*** his life away like that. And in my more evil moments I'd think "he is sweeter drunk than sober!" Bad I know. But hey, it was stressful. I guess I wanted to be the one he appreciated the most, the one who was there when everyone else had the good sense to detach. So yes, now it is the treatment place that is going to get all the thanks for helping him and his AA buds who are coming out of the woodwork to cheer him on. Fantastic! What do I get? Nada. Not yet at least. Maybe someday but for now, he is locked away in the 'spa for misfits' (love that by the way!). I feel cheated somehow. At least at this moment. He is still in that fog so that could be it as well. The person who really should show me that appreciation can't (yet).
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:51 PM
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The simple old story of how we are living with stress, adrenaline and such from the walking on eggshells, chaos and often hell, of living with an A in full spate. It can be from weeks to years of living on the edge, the insanity of it all can have more than a small effect on the family, and the partner/spouse trying to cope is under immense pressure.

Then the A ends up in rehab, often with accolades from estranged family and friends, while the the survivors contemplate the mess left behind, and feel like lepers. They feel they have lived thru a terrorist attack, while the terrorist is being treated wonderfully and they are ignored, or worse, blamed for the attack happening to them.

Babyblue, it is like a form of shell shock, can be depression or lead down that path, and needs to be taken seriously.

Me, I saw my doctor and got referred for counseling......even with my counseling and psychology degrees, I knew I could not get myself thru how I felt.

Please look at having a good medical check up, tell your Dr you feel this way, and for heaven's sake eatwell, and take care to pamper yourself.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:00 PM
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oH yeah..I would say (at my AD's spa-like rehab) I want to got to EMOTIONAL rehab! I wanted to ahve my own therapist and have nothing to do all day but work on ME and the trauma I had been thru the past 6 years! Seriously, I was jealous! Yes, we are left to deal. Yes, it can feel worse when we "get what we want" and things quiet down and we start to FEEL and REMEMBER. We come out of CRISIS MODE and CRASH. I am going thru a pretty bad relapse in my recovery since my AD went back into rehab.Knew how to deal with addiction, but not recovery..weird. Hang in there I think this is all normal (as normal as we can be!):ghug3
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:32 PM
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I guess it is jealousy. Now he is surrounded by love and caring friends, the same people who wanted nothing to do with him a week ago. Reconnecting with them and here I am crying my eyes out. No one is surrounding me. My life is steady but I live like the rest of us functioning people, go to work, come home.

I feel shut out. I almost feel like calling him and finally losing my marbles after holding it in for so many months but again, no point in that. He needs to take care of himself. I'm glad. No one is going to take care of me, but me. I do a great job at it but wouldn't it be nice if I could 'vanish' for several months. Its just making me so sad. Not to mention he is an avoider of anything hugely emotional and I'm sure he senses that I'm an emotional Mt. Vesuvius about to erupt. I feel like that. Letting off steam here and there but I sense a huge meltdown coming on.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:04 AM
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emotional Mt. Vesuvius that is a great way to describe me!! lol...

To me its the acknowledgment (well, lack of) that hurts most. People acknowledging I have had a bad time-and the dimension of it?

Nope. No one in my real life. Maybe that is why SR is so healing, here we all get it, there is no minimizing.

But as you mention, normal functioning people like us have to go to the groceries and work and there is no pat on the back or nowhere one can go for A COUPLE OF HOURS to get some rest and real help.

Anyway The Payoff for me has been:

Distraction from My Issues, Knowing Myself and Exercising My Right to Joy in this World

If the alkie goes to rehab
I would feel bad
If the alkie is still drinking
I feel bad
If the alkie is drinking more
I feel bad
If I don't know about the alkie
I obsess. And I feel bad
If the alkie smiled at some point during the day
F*** a******, HOW COULD HE. I am enraged. And I feel bad

I never win. NEVER. That is My Payoff. The distraction and the depression, something I know and feel comfortable with.

Letting go for real I could feel much better. I can already feel, when i finally let go, it no longer hurts. But doing it, I also have to see how I abandoned myself all this time and its so painful I don't want to see it. How I disrespected myself- damn- I don't want to see it. Etc. etc...


Have you tried putting a chair infront of you and imagining he is there, and "telling him" how you feel? writing to him a letter, with EVERYTHING, then burning it or trashing it, helps a great deal. The mind doesn't make a difference between that and saying it to the real person. So the next day its as if you already did it and that business is done and a weight lifts. Those can be repeated as long as you got something to say.





When I fight or deny my feelings they get stuck. Its been hard, for me, to no longer judge if a feeling is right or wrong.

When I am able to say "YES WORLD, I'M STILL ANGRY, RESENTFUL AND HOPE ALL THE WORSTEST FOR Y" its like something lifts and I am able to work it somehow.

With exercise.
With an "unsent letter".

And/or I can hand it to HP say "HP, you know I don't REALLY hope for the worst-its just how I feel. Here it is, this Resentment, please help me trascend it"




After that I find acceptance. Of me, of the other, of the past, of the present, and suddenly none matter as much but NOW, TODAY... a now, and a today for ME... and even TOMORROW... whew!! so freeing.


BTW A therapist is very useful for such "letting go" exercises. Whatever we resist, persists. I have so many exercises scheduled like that, I think they are over 40 under her program - so better get started ! that's the good stuff about feelings, they are material one can work on, and trade them for something better.... and there's help along their way, your own entourage cheering you up, seeing for you to finally become free and allow Life to send you all the Great Stuff you are so reluctant to receive.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:10 AM
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Very useful thread. I really get the "rewarding bad behaviour" part.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:35 AM
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Go ahead and scream! Yell and curse at him too!

Write a letter blasting him for all the things he didn't do, did do, etc... (but don't give it to him). Use it as a means of getting all that emotion out. No more stuffing your feelings!

Have you tried a face to face Alanon meeting for support? There will be people in the meeting that have felt the same feelings when loved ones enter rehab. It is a great feeling to know that you are not alone in these emotions.

As a recovery buddy, please be aware of your natural grieving emotions at this time: anger, denial, bargaining, acceptance, and depression. Your relationship (as it was) is ending, and you are naturally feeling a sense of loss. Notice your feelings and please get help if you feel stuck in anger or depression.
(((hugs)))
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:01 AM
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Pelican gives good advice, let it out, yell and scream all you need, and if you write do NOT be polite, let him cop it as it is for you.

I give you permission to ERUPT.

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Old 10-05-2010, 06:42 AM
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Far out these guys give some great advice. I especially loved the bit about writing a letter but not giving it to him. What an awesome way of helping you to deal. I did something like this when my family abandoned me. I wrote out all my feelings. I wrote several drafts and perfected it, but it never went anywhere except into the bottom of my sock draw. Eventually, when I was ready it got binned.

But that's important too I think. Please ... don't give it to him. Yell, scream, kick something, write an abusive letter, call him a dick head in you mind. But don't actually lay that on him, not yet. Maybe in a few years when everyone has calmed down. But for now, let it out of yourself so that it doesn't poison you, but DON'T stick it inside of him. I say this because, as upset as you are, if you do that, you may only cripple his recovery. Sure, right now you may feel like he's a selfish *****, but if this is his one chance to get better and become a great man, you don't want to be the one to destroy that.

I wish you well. And I respect you on so many levels that I cannot begin to explain it. Because my wife is like you. She had to pick up after me, in my addiction, through all my lies. But you know what ... I can't speak for your partner, I really can't. But if he's anything like me, he appreciates it more than you know, and more than he knows how to express. My wife gave up her life for me and my ****, and I'll dedicate every waking day of the rest of my life to her to make it up to her what I put her through. Your man might not be ready for that now, but when he's sober for a while, he might just realise what a beautiful person he's ignored for so long.

Stay true to yourself and read my signature. It's not about the recognition you get, in the end it is what you were that matters. And from where I'm standing you sound like the best kind of person.

Regards,
Emp
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:06 AM
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I totally understand. We go crazy (quite literally) trying to hold up a house of cards and when it falls, the drunk runs off to rehab, where they have 8+ hours of personal attention, people listening and teaching and helping, making their meals. Where are we? Picking up the damn cards. Working, raising kids, finding daycare, going to the schools, doing the laundry, making the meals, answering questions, dealing with the aftermath of the house falling in. Doing it all. Still. And no one gets it. Find at least one IRL person that gets it. They will be like a life line. My Al-anon group was at a much different life position so they didn't really seem to get it, or they didn't share if they did, but I had two other people in my life that did - or at least they were on my side and recognized my position. It made so much difference.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:56 AM
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This thread is awesome...I have felt worse since my AD got treatment..I have so much resentment towards her and the devastation she has left behind while she goes off to make a new life (which is really waht I want for her! I'm so triggered that we are NC now at the advice of her therapist. I want immediate healing, amends , and a complete change inher behavior..unrealistic I realize. I too want to erupt, hit and throw things, scream in her face and make her listen. Think I hear my recovery calling! fEELIN YA!
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:47 PM
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This thread IS awesome. It is really helping me a lot. Good to know that what I'm feeling is felt by many at times.

And thank you so much Empathetic. I read what you wrote and got really teary eyed (again). I have figured out that my really lashing out at him is of no avail. It would really harm him right now. I need to wait until humpty dumpty has put himself back together before even going over some of how I've been feeling.

I know he appreciates me. Maybe he will see it at some point, the worry and sadness he put me through and how I didn't abandon him. I couldn't. It isn't about recognition, you are right. I did it because I love him. It was that simple and it wasn't that difficult for me to do, I wasn't about to shut him out. I truly believed he would end his life on purpose because he was in it that deeply. Now I can exhale, he will be looked after, and work on some really serious things. So no, I wouldn't dump all this on him. It would sabotage what he needs to do for himself and for us. He has more than enough self loathing to sift through without my dumping more on him.

Writing letters is a wonderful idea. Just let it all out. I'll do that.

Like I say, it is a mix bag of sadness, relief, anger, love and understanding. I just need to process it and let it come out (constructively of course). Maybe use puppets to act it out
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:57 PM
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Yes puppets! or the pooch! Good ideas!
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:48 PM
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Babyblue,

The first time my husband went into treatment ~ I remember feeling absolute relief. I was so thankful that the nightmare was over. I thought that he'd do his 28 days and get cured and we will live happily ever after. About halfway through this treatment, I started feeling resentful that I was at home slogging through all the crap of daily life while he was focusing on himself.

The second time he went into treatment ~ I was relieved that he was somewhere safe. He couldn't do any harm to himself or others and it felt good to sleep at night. I also remember hustling back and forth to the treatment center (an hour each way) because I felt sorry for him. I brought him clean clothes and snacks and visited him twice a week. He started to p*** me off about halfway through this treatment when he would call in his "snack order" for the week, but I was so happy when he came home ~ all was going to be well!

The third time my husband went into treatment - I really thought this might be the one. I visited him once a week and I attended another family program. The focus this time was me. It was a spiritual based program and I was so hopeful that it would work... it didn't.

The fourth time my husband went into treatment - I was just happy he was gone. He did his own laundry and bought his own stinkin' snacks. I didn't really want him to come home, but they had to let him out sometime.

I won't be around for the 5th treatment. It's a pathetic story and I am embarrassed to tell it. But I will say that I have learned a lot about myself during this 8 years and I am feeling stronger than I ever have.

I hope you will find support for yourself during this time...
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