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Old 10-20-2010, 10:01 PM
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Anyone want to read a novel? New poster

My story:
I was involved in a LDR relationship for 1.5 years Ė he travels for work, and Iím a graduate student in my second career, and weíd been able to spend one week a month together. For the last year, itíd been dysfunctional enough to make me unhappy. Heíd pick fights at night over random, innocuous things, and I could never figure out the triggers. This would always be followed by a sweeping apology and some sort of grand gesture plus promises ďnever to do it againĒ. Add to that a liberal sprinkling of broken promises and everpresent excuses, and this relationship was following a sadly predictable pattern in my life. All the danger signs and red flags were there in the beginning, but I could not or would not heed them. After exiting yet another relationship with an emotionally unavailable man, Pís statements of love and promises of what our life would be were exactly what I wanted to hear. So what if he fell in love instantaneously? So what if this is exactly what happened when he started dating his ex-fiance? Of course SHE was the crazy one! Of course he didnít have a drinking problem! So what if all his friends were heavy drinkers? He was athletic: a mountain climber, runner, biker- this man lived for the outdoors and I thought this meant he took care of his health.

For the last 6 years, Iíve had a history of dating men who didnít treat me very well. The emotional abuser. The liar. The one who had to make sure he always won. The manipulator. The emotionally unavailable. My friends and family, at first, couldnít believe my bad luck. Then they began to worry each time I started seeing someone new. I began to wonder if there just wasnít anyone for me. Never mind that Iíd rejected my best friend when he fell in love with me- he is bright, kind, curious and loved me for over a decade. We donít talk anymore, and I canít say I blame him. I was shy as a kid- loved to read, loved school, but felt horribly awkward and socially unloveable. My parents grew up in emotionally distant or alcoholic homes and although they did neither one of those things, they are both very controlled people. Although we are close now, I was relentlessly and pathologically tormented and teased by my older brother- he was everything to me, and he hated me and after years of it, I thought I deserved it. My parents didnít stop it- they just told me to ďignoreĒ it. Thus, I learned to deny that anybody or anything could hurt me. I learned not to trust that I felt bad when in fact I felt guilty for existing at all. I never learned to be honest with others how I feel, because I thought I wasnít supposed to HAVE those feelings. I was supposed to be the good kid, the perfectionist, the athlete- and I was. Still am. Iím also very critical of myself and find it much easier to be kinder to people who really donít deserve it than to be kind to myself.

I didnít realize the full extent of Pís drinking until August and September, when we briefly worked and lived together for a job. He didnít hide it anymore. He drank on stressful days, on happy days, on days off and in anticipation of days off. He quit running. Went to the gym once or twice, but drank a beer beforehand. Heíd start with cheap beer at 5 and drink till 11. Iíd come home from an evening class and find him already lit on nights we were supposed to go do something. This didnít stop it- just fueled it. When I put the dysfunction and drinking together and realized what I was dealing with, it hit me like a 2x4 across the face. This was three weeks ago.

I moved on- to a small city where Iíll be living for 3 months on an internship. I didnít give P my address- he made excuses about why he didnít want to help me drive across the state, and spend the weekend drinking with friends. I sought information Ė lurked on these forums, read as much as I could, talked with the people I love and trust in my life as best as I was able to. It broke my heart. I knew, deep down that I could not stay with an active alcoholic. I want kids someday, a partnership, someone I can trust. I talked with P and told him what Iíd observed, knowing that there was absolutely nothing I could do to change it. His denial was textbook: those moderate drinking guidelines were clearly unreasonable and not applicable to him, so no, he didnít drink too much. He couldnít see ďany problemĒ with a nightly six-packer. After all, he was only affecting himself, right?

I found myself saying very calmly and directly that although I loved him, I just could not live like that, and I was done. Hung up the phone and cried for an hour. Cried for days. Cried all the way through my first Al-Anon meeting, and like a classic codependent, apologized for it.

And I donít know where to go from here. Iím seeking a counselor to help me, because I clearly am hurting myself with my choices. I feel like Iím doomed to repeat the pattern, or doomed to stay alone. And if I had to choose, Iíd rather be alone.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:22 PM
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Welcome...

I hope you will feel at home here.

Good job on recognizing what the situation was and moving on!

Are you planning to continue in al-anon?

I think that as we pursue our recovery we are able to come to terms with the past and go on from it ...

Many of us have or have had low self esteem....even when we were succeeding in life.

You might want to spend some time with yourself on these things so that you will have the confidence to be with a good man.

Read around and post all you like!

There will be others along in a short while.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:05 AM
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hi and welcome trickytiger-

whew! glad you are out of the eye of the storm so quickly.

it took me a long time to put together that many of our relationship problems were fueled by his drinking.

i hope you find that counselor. i went to therapy dragging my feet (mainly only because everyone here said it would help)...it's been a blessing...

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Old 10-21-2010, 03:41 AM
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Welcome trickytiger. We're glad you are here!

I can identify with the relationship you had growing up and now have with your brother. My relationship with my brother was and is much the same.

We've all been through relationships similar to what you described with your boyfriend. I made the huge mistake of marrying mine. I loved and still do love him but I had to save myself and divorced him in Jan. after six years of marriage. Be thankful that you had the insight to realize what was going on. I guess I was partially in denial and also not educated on alcoholism. I had never been around it and didn't have a clue as to the insanity that would become my life. Now I'm working on me and life is much, much, better.

The fact that you know you need help to work through it is commendable. This board saved my life and AlAnon is now a source of constant support.

It sounds like you have a bright future ahead of you. The time you are investing in your education will pay off for decades. Spending time now working on YOUR recovery and learning to make better choices will have an even bigger payoff. We're all works in progress on here.

Hugs to you.
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:23 AM
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Welcome to the SR family!

Thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself. Please make yourself at home by reading and posting as much as needed.

We are here to support you.
Wishing you peace as you begin your recovery journey!
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:55 AM
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Welcome, trickytiger. You've found a great place for support. I hope you stick around!

When I first showed up here, a couple of people recommended a great book, "Women Who Love Too Much" by Robin Norwood. I finally got a copy, just finished reading it. It is excellent. Your entire paragraph about your 6-year dating history tells me you would benefit from it, too. Cheap copies are available through Amazon.

I left my XABF too, after the reality of the relationship kept slapping me in the face. You have made a choice to remove yourself from a dead-end situation. Good for you. I know how deeply painful it is. But there truly is light at the end of the tunnel. Stick around here, keep going to Al-Anon, read all you can, take care of yourself, get to know yourself, honor who you are -- it's okay to do that.

Glad you're here!
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:41 AM
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There's more

Thanks everyone- I have a Kindle, and after a little visit to Amazon, I downloaded Codependent No More and Women Who Love Too Much, and it's pretty eye-opening and more than a little scary. I also called a counselor who deals with relationship issues, and left her a message that I'm interested in talking with her. This is a pretty small town, so there's not a whole lot resource-wise. I'm continuing with Al-Anon twice a week, and I'm finding the women-only group to be most to my liking. I also realized that since my career is in health care and I work pretty extensively in rehab, I can use some of the tools from Al-Anon to help deal with the emotional aspects of my job as well, especially detachment.
After about 10 days of no contact, I realized that he didnít pay his half of the cell phone bill on our shared plan. It was odd to me that when I told him I was done, he said ďso what, do we just pay our own half of the cell bill?Ē and I said ďsure, yes, Iím not worried about that.Ē Because I was thinking about the larger picture, and things like cell phones seemed sort of irrelevant at that exact moment.

Until I went to pay my part, and realizedÖ.. can you guess? I had to pay the whole thing. The account was originally mine until we transferred his number in to save money, and as the primary account holder, I was considered by the company to be the financially liable one, which hadnít been a problem in the past. Pís never been one NOT to pay a bill, so this seemed pretty telling. Given the no-contact clause (requested by P, actually), I took action based on the facts in front of me and called the cell provider to change the account to separate lines. In order to do that without his input, I had to suspend his line so that he would have to call them himself and take financial responsibility for it. This was the only way I could protect MY account from him without having to call him and ask him to voluntarily do this- I could see that would probably be a mistake. The resultant email exchange happened. Note the twisted logic, and remnants of MY issues as well (ie apologizing, etc.). Bleh. I have no intention of talking to him after this, and I hope I still mean that as time goes by. Thoughts?

On Oct 20, 2010, xbf wrote:

Trickytiger, please call the cell company to release my #.

On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 2:36 PM, Trickytiger wrote:
Just did. You can call them back. It was the only way I could get my own plan without being financially on the hook for you, as I just had to pay the entire $150 phone bill, and I don't want to keep doing that. Sorry, it wasn't meant to be mean.

On Oct 20, 2010, at 3:41 PM, xbf wrote:

Thank you. will send 75 to you. thanks for informing me after the fact. i missed 2 important work calls.

On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 Trickytiger wrote:
Sorry you missed work calls. You asked for no contact and I had to make a decision.

On Oct 20, 2010, at 4:11 PM, xbf wrote:

you said you were not worried about the phone plan. guess that was a lie. please leave me to my drinking now.

On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 Trickytiger wrote:
I wasn't worried because I thought you were planning on paying your half. Once that didn't happen and I didn't hear of any plans from you to pay it, I had to make a choice. There's no lie, just a mistaken assumption on my part. Fortunately, even the single rate plans are cheaper than what you were paying with your other provider, so you're still better off. I don't hate you and I don't want to fight. Let it go.

On Oct 20, 2010, at 4:33 PM, xbf wrote:

i dont hate you either and i am over fighting. maybe we can talk civililly sometime?

On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 Trickytiger wrote:
Maybe we can, but judging from this conversation, we're not there yet. Maybe give it some time? I'm working on putting myself together again and I'm still a little raw.

Xbf wrote: this was all about lack of communication, which has been our problem for a while. yes lets give it sometime. i syill love you and all this makes me sick. please take care sweetheart. how about in a couple weeks?
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:53 AM
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Yes! Good job!!

Keep taking care of you and it only gets better from here!
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:09 PM
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Wow trickytiger, I'm impressed by how quickly and neatly you handled things with your XABF.

As for the email exchange..."meh" is what I say. He's hoping that in a few weeks, you'll have forgotten his drinking and that he can rope you back in. Perhaps when he does contact you again, you can politely say "No thanks, not interested".

Keep posting!
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:04 PM
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Thanks- but in honesty, you're seeing the tail end of a year of turmoil. My realization of xabf's issue with alcohol was the proverbial straw that broke the camel, but what really gets me is that the associated behaviors that go along with it- the broken promises, the fighting, the interrogations were present for a while, and I always took him back. This just kills me, and I'm trying to figure out why I put up with it and why I believed him. THAT is the codie part, I think, for me.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:10 PM
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okay, now it becomes a learning experience that will enrich your future.

I am sure the past was nasty..been there done that..but I can't afford to beat myself up over it.
That would help set me up for another bad relationship and the cycle continuing.
blech.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:30 PM
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Yes a year of turmoil sucks balls, but you go out of it with your wits intact. It took me 5 or 6 years to figure out the puzzle that XAH was.

In answer to your question....you probably put up with his b.s. because it didn't start out ALL bad in the beginning. It got progressively worse as the months passed by, and you tried to rationalize things by saying "well it's not THAT bad". Thankfully you gave yourself a kick in the butt and left early. Yay for you!

And, as always, what we're willing to tolerate in our relationships is a startling reflection of our sense of self-worth...
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:16 PM
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tricky,

just falling off to sleep, but wanted to say a big WELCOME to sober recovery forum.

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Old 10-21-2010, 08:31 PM
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Rayn- we ARE a lot alike- I checked out your postings. We're even the same age and left the xabfs at the same time. Um, welcome to the club?

I'm countering the "alone forever" thought with realizing that if I can actually be okay with that prospect, I literally have nothing to fear, at least not in that department. And life on my own is actually pretty rad, so far.

Nice to have met all of you- so far, this forum has been incredibly helpful and insightful. I'm choosing to see this as the universe slapping me in the face and telling me to wake up! and giving me the opportunity to get reacquainted with ME again. And that's never a bad thing.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:02 PM
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Hey... I love the dancing banana!! I have been around here 2 years and didn't know it was there, lol. Expect me using it A LOT

I am very impressed! you are doing everything right! lots of good self introspection.

When we are ready the next partner will come along. That is how it works. The trick is to already be happy and satisfied and OK with the past and we all know how easy is that

I just came back from group therapy and I realize I have been a Dirt Magnet and no one realizes how great I truly am!! WHY? because I don't fully realize it yet.

No true friends? oh no, because I am far from being a friend to TC999.

We are the creators of our own life. We are SO NOT doomed. We are waking up and I will be happy to share the victories with you.

I left 2 years ago but still acting my depression, codieness, low self worth, etc etc all that misery.

I am getting tired of it all and looking forward to a different TC999.

I am already noticing there are good looking healthier guys that take interest on me. That motivates me. Moreover partners aside, I would like to enjoy MY life, overall, regardless of anything or anyone else. Outside stuff should be mere decoration... I aim for peace within myself and knowing myself for real. At that point EVERYTHING and EVERYONE will be secondary. EVERYONE!
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Rayn3dr0p View Post
I'm not religious, so church is not an option for me. I don't have any social hobbies. And I work ALL THE TIME. Sorry, this seems so random now that I'm typing it...
I've found trying to meet people through online sites completely useless. Went 4 years in a relationship, started in college then long distance relationship after but since that ended I'm at a loss. I'm in grad school but every female (and majority of males not to single out a gender) there is married or engaged. The only mechanism I've ever used to meet someone was school of some form.

I've seen a site called meetup.com where people can create local groups depending on shared interests. During the summer there were a ton of camping/hiking trips open to anyone who wanted to go, mostly 20 & 30 yr olds. At the very least with doing something like that you would get a workout.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by trickytiger View Post
This just kills me, and I'm trying to figure out why I put up with it and why I believed him. THAT is the codie part, I think, for me.
It's human nature to carry on as you have in the past and resist change. I was doing some studying for an exam and came across this in the notes and upon reading I couldn't help but reflect on the similarities between this and individual change.

Some of the reasons are familiar. All change creates winners and losers in an organization, and the caveman part of our brains is still wired to defend against loss above all. So people almost always resist change.

An even more profound problem in companies that make changes: saying goodbye. The late Peter Drucker identified the key management challenge of the 21st century as leading change, and he believed the most important policy for doing that was "to abandon yesterday." By yesterday he meant whatever no longer works.

Yet abandoning yesterday is excruciatingly difficult. Yesterday is comfortable, and the fact that it used to work inspires hope that it will again. By contrast, trying anything new will always produce problems. So companies nurture yesterday far too long.

What's especially insidious, Drucker observed, is that maintaining yesterday is difficult and time-consuming and "therefore always commits the institution's scarcest and most valuable resources--and above all, its ablest people--to nonresults." Which means they're not available to create tomorrow."
I was so determined to continue doing what wasn't working for me simply because I feared change, I feared the loss of something I knew, that was comfortable, that at times in the past was enjoyable. I had a rude awakening that exposed me to the truth of the world I had created for myself. I finally opened my eyes and did not like what I saw in the landscape that was my life. So thus I had to abandon yesterday like mentioned above. It does not matter what past experiences may have yielded me. What became clear is that what matters was where I am and where I want to go.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:52 PM
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Today, I made an appointment with a counselor who deals with relationship and self esteem issues- I'll see her early next week. I'm continuing with Al-Anon 2x week. Also, I had a nice distraction tonight- I'm close with my folks, and went out with them and some other friends for my dad's b-day celebration. It was awesome to get some visitors, and I'm feeling pretty good tonight

I also had a realization that might help me let go of the xabf a little easier, and forgive myself a little sooner. I don't see why I shouldn't acknowledge that I had real love for this person, and the parts of him I loved I don't have to stop loving, even though I fully acknowledge that I'm not IN love with him any longer and cannot and do not want a relationship with him. To me, this means I don't have to try to un-love someone, just that I don't have to involve him in my life anymore. For some reason, this feels a little true-er to myself.
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