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I don't want the excuses

Old 11-10-2010, 08:27 AM
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I don't want the excuses

My XAH has sought treatment through our local Addictions Foundation. I've been optimistic and hopeful that he hit his bottom a month or so ago and is finally taking the steps to get the help he needs.

He called me yesterday to ask about seeing our kids this weekend. I'm not going to keep him from seeing the children as long as I feel it's in a safe environment.

While we were on the phone he mentioned that he learned something interesting while in counselling last week. He said that when he tried to quit drinking the first time (Feb of this year) his doctor made a mistake because he didn't take him off Lorazepam. He's claiming that the addicted part of his brain was still addicted because he was taking this. I don't know if this is true, however my first reaction was to say that even if that is true it doesn't excuse the fact he hid his drinking and continually lied to me and put our children in danger. Then he said he's learning that an addicted person doesn't think the same as others and they're learning lying and other things are very common because of this.

I don't want to get caught up in his recovery again. I want him to get better of course, but I admit the excuses really bother me. When he makes excuses of why he's relapsed in the past it really just reminds me that it can happen at ANY time.

I know I don't have everything figured out yet, and it sounds like I will be learning and growing for years to come. I am so glad I found this site and although I don't post a lot I read other threads and really appreciate the wisdom of many people here....

Thanks for letting me vent. Any comments/suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:37 AM
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Perhaps it would help to keep the phone conversations limited only to discussion of visitation, and if he can't adhere to that, then end the conversation and hang up.

Fortunately I had no children with my EXAH. After I left him, he continued to call, which would leave me in a tailspin for days.

This was back before the days of caller ID, so I would answer the phone.

I started hanging up on him as soon as I heard his voice.

Eventually he got the message and quit calling.

You don't have to hear his excuses if you don't want to.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:42 AM
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I feel your frustration...have been there, and it is completely understandable.


That said, You have your focus right where it should be: on yourself, and on the well-being of your children. Day by day, just make sure they are safe and well supervised. Don't concern yourself with anything your EXAH says...just see what he does.

You are a good mom to have gotten your kids away from active alcoholism. What happens now is in your exAH's and his HP's hands. Take care of you
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:14 AM
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Excuses drive me mad.
This one sounds more sane and grounded than others I have dealt with.
If you are at the end of your tether with it, disengage from the phone call.

They will justify and justify. They have had a lot of practice making excuses. You dont have to listen to it. And you don't even have to explain why you won't.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:44 AM
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When he was drinking but claiming he was sober I was doing better and not listening to him and dealing just with the visitation and supervision. With knowing he's working hard on his recovery and knowing he's not drinking I find myself more willing to listen to him. I know I don't always make the best choices, but I'm just trying to find the balance. I have children with this man. I have to figure out ways for him to see the children, but have their safety guaranteed. The best way to ensure that seems to be being civil and somewhat amicable.

One thing I've succeeded with this time which is different than in the past: I have made no effort to help him seek recovery. In the past I have booked the appointment and taken him to his doctor, I've taken him to the hospital...all SINCE I divorced him. This time all I told him was that I'm not helping. If he's ready to get help then he will take the steps to get the help - which he did....on his own.

He's asked me to see a mediator through the addictions foundation because they provide counselling/mediation at no charge. Visitation is going to be an issue for us, and I've told him I'm open to mediation. I'm thinking that if this place has dealt with all forms of addiction then hopefully they can think of solutions that I haven't thought of.

I'm done being bullied. I'm done letting anyone make me feel like I'm stupid. I'm an intelligent loving mother who just wants my kids loved and safe. I love them and keep them safe every single day. He has a long way to go to prove to me he's willing to keep them safe. When your "partner" in parenting has breached the trust it's going to take action (not words) and time to repair that.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:02 AM
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You sound very clear, and strong!! Kudos! Good work!
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:04 AM
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It sounds like the mediator may be worth a try. Bless you for caring for and protecting those precious kids.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:23 AM
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I think a mediator is a good idea. You are such a good mom. I also think it is reasonable to tell him, through the mediator if necessary, that you do not want to be his recovery sounding board. You are working your own recovery, he can work his own, separately.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:32 AM
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Sounds like a great opportunity and situation for practicing setting and communicating personal boundaries
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:57 AM
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I feel like my ability to listen to that kind of stuff went through phases with my brothers too!

Phase One: Listened to it all, ate it all up, believed, was betrayed over and over = suffering and pain.

Phase Two: Tried to detach, change the subject, but when the attempt at recovery seemed REAL to me I let myself get sucked in a bit and felt I was "helping" or being "supportive" by listening or encouraging. Discovered it didn't make a difference to their recovery, sometimes they stay in it and sometimes they fall off and lie and start the BS all over = an unsettling feeling, like I have no control over my anxiety & resentment.

Phase Three: Actually detached. Achieved by practicing the wonderful art of the non-reply. If the conversation veers down those old familiar lanes again I just don't travel there with them anymore! I say "Hunh." and "Oh." and "I see, good for you." I am not cold or anything - just not engaging. I save my enthusiasm for topics I can have a valid conversation about. And when there is no engaging in any drama or what I might interpret as excuses or justifying etc, and my hackles don't get up, the whole topic goes away pretty quickly. I just can't help them get or stay sober so I have found it helps my serenity to just step off = peace of mind and not keeping track of anyone else but me!

It really did take practice.

Good luck-
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:04 PM
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It is such a burden when you start to finally feel your wings and then someone comes along and DUMPS their issues on you. It's so easy to fall right back into the old role. I've done it so many times. Isn't it great when you have taken a step back 4MyLittleOnes and can see what they are doing? Good for you!!
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:22 PM
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I know I have a long way to go in my recovery, just as he does in his. I admit it's tricky to not get pulled back in. Bernadette, you totally make sense - detaching is better. I did react to his "excuse". Maybe he will justify this to himself and others, but I don't have to react or really care either way. I can just go to mediation and figure out how to best keep the kids safe. Unfortunately sharing children does make it impossible to have no contact with him, but I have to learn to do the best I can to keep it just to the kids.

On the positive side none of this affects me like it used to when he lived with us. If I could deal with all of that then this should be a piece of cake

Thank you for your input and support. It's good to have a place to vent where people actually have an idea of how awful this disease can be!
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