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He says he will get help!

Old 12-10-2010, 01:01 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by jds0401 View Post
I know you are right, but still I really want that picture we all grew up with...the happy home and family.
You make it sound like it's something you already have and you would be giving it up if you left..........

So, in other words, you're scared to leave because you might never have what you already don't have?

L
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:25 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Heh heh. Those last couple of posts made me chuckle. I know it's not funny, but reminders of the knots I tied myself make me smile. Real "D'Oh!" moments. I didn't live that image (although I probably did to outsiders) and I was preventing myself from ever living that dream by committing myself to an active alcoholic. Talk about self-sabotage.

Of course, now that I have examined that image, I don't like it anymore. So all that heartache over an illusion.

What is your image? And is it really yours or one that you've picked up from the world around you?
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:02 PM
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jds, you have written:
"Take my children. They depend on me, but to a degree I source my happiness from them. When they are happy, I am happy. I want to be with them, to be there for them, to help them, to pick them up when they fall. Does that make me co-dependent?"


As a lifelong codie, I do hear you, jds, on the whole "co-dependency" thing. . . to some extent, parenting is a "co-dependent" enterprise. Before I decided to examine myself, I would find the "co-dependency" label a bit annoying and frustrating. I'm trying to figure this out too. I want to nurture healthy attachments (which I assume differs from "co-dependency) with my daughter. I certainly don't want to raise her to become a codie/enabler/savior the way I was. I don't want her to be me and to make the kinds of choices I've made. That was what really motivated me to separate from my AH. I couldn't leave for myself but as I watched my AH's interactions with our daughter during his active alcoholism, it frightened me that she would grow up to feel responsible for his feelings, his pain, his sadness, his loneliness, his addiction. I believe there is a difference between being "co-dependent" on our children versus helping to raise them to feel their emotions and assist them with their own solutions (age-appropriately). Yes, it really hurts me when my daughter is emotionally hurt. I just want to make it better for her so she doesn't feel any pain! Rather than try to fix it so she won't feel it, I'm working on acknowledging when she hurts, letting her express & feel her pain, and help her figure out for herself what solutions work for her. I want her to feel empowered to find her own solutions. It's tough! I struggle with this everyday. I have to pray to my Higher Powers everyday asking to guide me. I feel the tremendous weight of responsibility to do right by her, *not* to reproduce another generation in my family negatively impacted by alcohol addiction.


LaTeeDa has posted:
There is healthy interdependence and there is unhealthy codependence. As I see it, the main difference is boundaries, or not having a clear definition of where oneself ends and the other begins. To use an analogy, if the relationship is your sustenance, your dinner, that is unhealthy. If it is your treat, your dessert, it is healthy. Relationships are an enhancement to an otherwise whole and fulfilling life, not a necessity just to have a whole and fulfilling life.

What I've found is regardless of whether it's "co-dependence" or "interdependence" (If these were the two poles, most of us would be sliding somewhere between the "Interdependency - Co-dependency continuum" heavily toward the co-dependency side in most areas of our personal lives). I found that the adjective "healthy" didn't exist in my life so long as active (or untreated) alcoholism/addiction remained present.

LaTeeDa has posted:
I believe that loving unconditionally also includes the ability to let go. Clinging to someone who wants to leave is not unconditional love--it's dependence.

Wow, LaTeeDa, so beautifully & insightfully put. Thank you so much.

jds, you've also written:
I am trying to find out as much information as I can on alcoholism not so I can fix my ABF's problem but so that I can understand. I dont understand WHY he has to withdraw from me to HEAL. Again my therapist says that he can still have contact with others because they dont have a vested interest in him - he can do what he likes and is not threatened emotionally by them. I know his truth and so he cant wear his different masks with me. He is able to relate to his children (little ones) as they are his responsibility and obligation and dont necessarily make emotional demands on him at present. It is so confusing. I mean is alcohol THAT powerful that he throws everything that he KNOWS is good away? I guess I just dont understand the intensity of the whole disease.

ABF says he is not shutting me out - but he is NOT contacting me.
He says he does not want to hurt me - but he is.
He says he loves me - well I have no answers on that one.

I HATE THIS
.



Well, jds, I read about and studied addiction for years and years. . . it helped, although I'm not sure I liked what I learned. The book that really brought everything together for me was, "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction" by Dr. Gabor Mate. You can also see Dr. Gabor's lectures on Youtube. *However* no matter how much I read, studied, learned and understood addiction (alcohol addiction) both personally and intellectually, it didn't change the fact that there wasn't anything I could do for my AH. In fact, it kind of made me feel even more hopeless that there wasn't anything I could do for him, other than to remove myself from him, to love him from afar, to pray for him that he would find his way, to give him the dignity to make his own "choices" (even if it meant he was hurting himself) & release him from my enabling. I needed to take all of the focus I had on him and to start taking care of myself.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:37 PM
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JW123,

I left my husband a year and four/five months ago because I could no longer take the drinking. We had been married 9 years at that time and together for 14. He was getting worse and worse. At the time our daughter was three and a half years old. I was angry at myself that I wasn't strong enough to leave earlier. It took me three and a half years of my daughter's life to pass (important, critical years of her life) to finally do it --leave. I felt I had no other option left. He certainly wasn't going to leave. I felt like a failure too. I was supposed to be in this "for better or for worse" (and to be there for my husband in his time of need as his addiction seemed to worsen), yet my emotional, mental and physical being was being compromised. I was not liking the person I had become. Most of all, I feared what staying with my AH was doing to our daughter. I had to let go of the "fantasy family" I had constructed in my head and tried to project to the world (all of our annual happy Christmas photos & family Christmas letter I would send out to all of our extended family and friends each year boasting of yet another amazing year we had had together). Leaving my AH was the hardest thing I ever did. I didn't want to be divorced. I didn't want to be a single mother. (I didn't want my daughter to not have a father). The truth is, I *was* alone. I *was* a single mother. My daughter never really had her father. It was all my fantasy --my false hopes-- that we were a family and that those half-days or few hours of sobriety per day gave me enough to fantasize about a sober, responsible life partner & father for our daughter. . . (how it hurts to even think how I rationalized such an unhealthy situation).

Leaving him was not only the best thing for me & our daughter to remove ourselves from active alcoholism, *but* it was the best thing for my AH. Now, I look back and think, "Was I the last enabler standing in his way?" (Yes, I believe I was). We now have a chance at being a family because he and I are both in recovery.

I wish I could say that my leaving was an example of my unconditional love, as LaTeeDa stated in an above post. It wasn't. It was me backed up against a wall scared and defeated, knowing that all the air had deflated from my hope balloon (and desperate to do something different for my daughter. (I was, for too long, doing the same thing over and over, expecting/hoping for a different result. Yes, insane!)

LaTeeDa:
You make it sound like it's something you already have and you would be giving it up if you left..........

So, in other words, you're scared to leave because you might never have what you already don't have?


Again, wow, LaTeeDa. I feel like you are calling me out on my past! Thank you!

JW123, keep posting here and reading. Even though I feel like I'm an expert on addiction, I am learning so much from this forum. There are so many amazing, wise people who speak from their rich experiences & knowledge.

Last edited by yorkiegirl; 12-10-2010 at 02:44 PM. Reason: addressed the wrong person/referenced the wrong person
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:38 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Oops, Sorry jds! Yes, I'm responding to JW123! I'll see if I can edit that! Thank you. (Embarrassing!)
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:43 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by yorkiegirl View Post
JW123, you have written:
"Take my children. They depend on me, but to a degree I source my happiness from them. When they are happy, I am happy. I want to be with them, to be there for them, to help them, to pick them up when they fall. Does that make me co-dependent?"


As a lifelong codie, I do hear you, JW123, on the whole "co-dependency" thing. . . to some extent, parenting is a "co-dependent" enterprise. Before I decided to examine myself, I would find the "co-dependency" label a bit annoying and frustrating. I'm trying to figure this out too. I want to nurture healthy attachments (which I assume differs from "co-dependency) with my daughter. I certainly don't want to raise her to become a codie/enabler/savior the way I was. I don't want her to be me and to make the kinds of choices I've made. That was what really motivated me to separate from my AH. I couldn't leave for myself but as I watched my AH's interactions with our daughter during his active alcoholism, it frightened me that she would grow up to feel responsible for his feelings, his pain, his sadness, his loneliness, his addiction. I believe there is a difference between being "co-dependent" on our children versus helping to raise them to feel their emotions and assist them with their own solutions (age-appropriately). Yes, it really hurts me when my daughter is emotionally hurt. I just want to make it better for her so she doesn't feel any pain! Rather than try to fix it so she won't feel it, I'm working on acknowledging when she hurts, letting her express & feel her pain, and help her figure out for herself what solutions work for her. I want her to feel empowered to find her own solutions. It's tough! I struggle with this everyday. I have to pray to my Higher Powers everyday asking to guide me. I feel the tremendous weight of responsibility to do right by her, *not* to reproduce another generation in my family negatively impacted by alcohol addiction.


LaTeeDa has posted:
There is healthy interdependence and there is unhealthy codependence. As I see it, the main difference is boundaries, or not having a clear definition of where oneself ends and the other begins. To use an analogy, if the relationship is your sustenance, your dinner, that is unhealthy. If it is your treat, your dessert, it is healthy. Relationships are an enhancement to an otherwise whole and fulfilling life, not a necessity just to have a whole and fulfilling life.

What I've found is regardless of whether it's "co-dependence" or "interdependence" (If these were the two poles, most of us would be sliding somewhere between the "Interdependency - Co-dependency continuum" heavily toward the co-dependency side in most areas of our personal lives). I found that the adjective "healthy" didn't exist in my life so long as active (or untreated) alcoholism/addiction remained present.

LaTeeDa has posted:
I believe that loving unconditionally also includes the ability to let go. Clinging to someone who wants to leave is not unconditional love--it's dependence.

Wow, LaTeeDa, so beautifully & insightfully put. Thank you so much.

JW123, you've also written:
I am trying to find out as much information as I can on alcoholism not so I can fix my ABF's problem but so that I can understand. I dont understand WHY he has to withdraw from me to HEAL. Again my therapist says that he can still have contact with others because they dont have a vested interest in him - he can do what he likes and is not threatened emotionally by them. I know his truth and so he cant wear his different masks with me. He is able to relate to his children (little ones) as they are his responsibility and obligation and dont necessarily make emotional demands on him at present. It is so confusing. I mean is alcohol THAT powerful that he throws everything that he KNOWS is good away? I guess I just dont understand the intensity of the whole disease.

ABF says he is not shutting me out - but he is NOT contacting me.
He says he does not want to hurt me - but he is.
He says he loves me - well I have no answers on that one.

I HATE THIS
.



Well, JW123, I read about and studied addiction for years and years. . . it helped, although I'm not sure I liked what I learned. The book that really brought everything together for me was, "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction" by Dr. Gabor Mate. You can also see Dr. Gabor's lectures on Youtube. *However* no matter how much I read, studied, learned and understood addiction (alcohol addiction) both personally and intellectually, it didn't change the fact that there wasn't anything I could do for my AH. In fact, it kind of made me feel even more hopeless that there wasn't anything I could do for him, other than to remove myself from him, to love him from afar, to pray for him that he would find his way, to give him the dignity to make his own "choices" (even if it meant he was hurting himself) & release him from my enabling. I needed to take all of the focus I had on him and to start taking care of myself.

Edited
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
. And, currently, at the age of 48, I'm enjoying the absolute best romantic relationship of my life. So, being too old to find anyone else--well that's just not so.

But, more importantly, why does it matter. Who says you NEED to find anyone else? You are whole and complete and have a contribution to this world whether you are romantically involved with someone or not.

And, BTW, it was that revelation that got me past the fear of never finding anyone. It didn't matter to me, and then guess what happened? LOL
Oh absolutely true. I am 49 and am having also having absolutely the best romantic relationship of my life as well. Who'd have thunk it? And he's not and never will be an alcoholic. He divorced an alkie back in 2002 after 17 years of marriage. I feel safe with him, feel at home with him, and he says the same about me. We have fun. No drama. Easy understanding. And most surprising, an exciting future ahead of us. Who'd have thunk it. 2 years, 18 months ago (XAH and I split 9/2009), all the wanted was peace and sanity. I wish I'd dumped the guy earlier.

Life is so much better. I hope all of you find the way out too and build happier lives for yourself. It's never too late. Amazing things can happen when you unhook yourself from sick people.

BTW, I also wanted to say, it's not like I was a hot babe; I was an overweight, dull, anxious, stressed out, exhausted middle aged woman. The weight fell off, the circles disappeared from under my eyes, my hair grew lush, my skin and eyes brightened, I walk with the bounce in my step, and now, now months away from 50, I AM a hot babe. Loved women are pretty women. Happy women sparkle. I look better than I have in a decade. It can happen to you too.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:11 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Bucyn View Post
Oh absolutely true. I am 49 and am having also having absolutely the best romantic relationship of my life as well. Who'd have thunk it? And he's not and never will be an alcoholic. He divorced an alkie back in 2002 after 17 years of marriage. I feel safe with him, feel at home with him, and he says the same about me. We have fun. No drama. Easy understanding. And most surprising, an exciting future ahead of us. Who'd have thunk it. 2 years, 18 months ago (XAH and I split 9/2009), all the wanted was peace and sanity. I wish I'd dumped the guy earlier.

Life is so much better. I hope all of you find the way out too and build happier lives for yourself. It's never too late. Amazing things can happen when you unhook yourself from sick people.

BTW, I also wanted to say, it's not like I was a hot babe; I was an overweight, dull, anxious, stressed out, exhausted middle aged woman. The weight fell off, the circles disappeared from under my eyes, my hair grew lush, my skin and eyes brightened, I walk with the bounce in my step, and now, now months away from 50, I AM a hot babe. Loved women are pretty women. Happy women sparkle. I look better than I have in a decade. It can happen to you too.
What a great post. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by yorkiegirl View Post
I left my husband a year and four/five months ago because I could no longer take the drinking. We had been married 9 years at that time and together for 14. He was getting worse and worse. At the time our daughter was three and a half years old. I was angry at myself that I wasn't strong enough to leave earlier. It took me three and a half years of my daughter's life to pass (important, critical years of her life) to finally do it --leave. I felt I had no other option left. He certainly wasn't going to leave. I felt like a failure too. I was supposed to be in this "for better or for worse" (and to be there for my husband in his time of need as his addiction seemed to worsen), yet my emotional, mental and physical being was being compromised. I was not liking the person I had become. Most of all, I feared what staying with my AH was doing to our daughter. I had to let go of the "fantasy family" I had constructed in my head and tried to project to the world (all of our annual happy Christmas photos & family Christmas letter I would send out to all of our extended family and friends each year boasting of yet another amazing year we had had together). Leaving my AH was the hardest thing I ever did. I didn't want to be divorced. I didn't want to be a single mother. (I didn't want my daughter to not have a father). The truth is, I *was* alone. I *was* a single mother. My daughter never really had her father. It was all my fantasy --my false hopes-- that we were a family and that those half-days or few hours of sobriety per day gave me enough to fantasize about a sober, responsible life partner & father for our daughter. . . (how it hurts to even think how I rationalized such an unhealthy situation).

Leaving him was not only the best thing for me & our daughter to remove ourselves from active alcoholism, *but* it was the best thing for my AH. Now, I look back and think, "Was I the last enabler standing in his way?" (Yes, I believe I was). We now have a chance at being a family because he and I are both in recovery.
Yorkie, wow. I could have written this with only 'minor' changes. Married almost 10, together over 16; we left when DS was about 3. Realization that I was already a 'single' mom, that it was my fantasy of our life that kept me emotionally chained to XAH. My family does not look the way I fantasized; not with XAH, but DS and I are surrounded by our family and by love and peace. That is so much better than trying to hold the fantasy in front of what really was.

Wishing us all peace and continued strength.
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