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Selfishness of an alcoholic

Old 12-31-2010, 02:54 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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My ex used to do the total control with the remote thing too.

I had a studio back then
and would do a lot of work at night in my favorite chair
while watching tv.

I finaly went and bought
(breaking technology for back then)
a CD walkman.

And I sat , drawing, painting, beading or whatever
in the chair right next to him
and never looked up.
Justy in my own private Idaho

and you know what?


He never flicked channels again.

It proved to me
it was nothing more than a control thing.

He'd just sit, drink, and pass out.

Then - I'd tune the tv into what I wanted to watch.
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:05 PM
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I used to sit in the living room with my laptop or a book. I'm too laid-back and enabling for my own good. I decided that well...if he must control the remote, I don't care as long as I can surf the web here or something.

Nooo....that didn't work. He who never would speak to me during the tv shows would keep engaging me in the stupidest conversations. On one particular occasion got angry when I didn't give enough of a response to something he was pointing out on the tv, a woman's low cut skirt. "Turn your f*king head and look at the f*king skirt!!!!! My God I can't even have a conversation with you!!!"
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by goldengirl3 View Post
I was having some thoughts today about selfishness. At the end of my relationship, I can 100% say that I got nothing out of it and I felt like a slave, a prisoner.

I was being manipulated for money. I stayed sober a lot and drove "us." I was being emotionally abused. We couldn't even go out to a restaurant that I liked when I was buying. I couldn't even watch a tv show for myself. He was always selfish but it was not so extreme in the beginning.

The selfishness on his end was crazy.

We went to counseling for one session together. The counselor had called him out on a few things saying he didn't see how I was considered. My ex stumbled, he couldn't figure out what to say.

I assume that everyone else here has found the selfishness just as baffling as me. I just don't understand how someone cannot see how unreasonable they were being. My counselor said, "He cannot "see" you. He can't see outside of himself."

Part of me wondered, when you are in a relationship, both parties have needs and wants. You spend time doing things each other wants or needs and some time on your own. Is it that this person expects their needs and wants met just like you and then spends the time that would be spent on you getting drunk? And so during that drunk time they aren't in reality to be aware of what they are doing? Essentially there is "no time" for you? Or is it just brain sickness that goes with alcoholism?

Anyone else care to share their thoughts?

WOW, yours actually showed up for a counseling session?

I agree with you about the selfishness. What your counselor said was right on the money. I bent over backwards trying to figure out what I could say or do and how to reword everything to make him "see" and "hear" me. There wasn't anything. I do believe it is a sickness of the mind and spirit that accompanies the alcoholism.

I'm glad you are no longer a slave and a prisoner. Freedom takes a little time to get used to, doesn't it? But take of YOU, please--that's important!!!
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:45 PM
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"Imagine you are walking with someone down a beach. Beautiful. The waves are crashing. The sun is setting. Seagulls. Looking at your partner and smiling. Hand in hand. Then...you accidently step on a sharp rock. Your foot is bleeding. The pain is intense. Suddenly, you can't see the seagulls. You aren't hearing the waves crash. You don't notice the sunset. All you can see and feel is the pain in your foot."

Oh, this is how life is for my husband! I don't understand for the life of me how he can be so depressed. We had a really good relationship until all of this, we have two incredible kids that he adores, he has his own business that is not that stressful and makes over $100k a year, his parents are wonderful people. There is no outside, obvious reason for him to be miserable! It's so frustrating. His brain is just completely messed up and he can't be happy, that is just the way he is and he says he remembers even being like this as a young child. What a tragedy.
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:55 PM
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WOW, yours actually showed up for a counseling session?
Hahahahah! That made me laugh out loud.

yes ladies and gentlemen mine agreed to go to ONE, just one counseling session and then he quit. Once the subject of the drinking came up, my counselor's attitude changed and my ex knew he didn't want to quit and I'm certain that's why he didn't want to return.
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by goldengirl3 View Post

The selfishness on his end was crazy.
called EGO or the alcoholic I.S.Ms.....
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:24 PM
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Sobriety has not ended this, entirely with my A.
He is still outrageously selfish. To shocking degrees, at times. I am still, even shocked at myself sometimes for thinking that he may act differently.

Something has been said to me from time to time about a few extremely selfish people in my life, it goes like this...

"you cannot take that behavior personally. They would treat anyone that way.."

Now, I have found that to be true, to varying degrees. My A will be super selfish when he knows someone else will pick up the slack. He also can be very helpful to people if it will give him an image boost up.

My A has a cold. He expects me to be falling over with compassion and just distraught over it. Yet, when I had a flu, and our son was up at 7, after I was up all night, he was very unconcerned. When I said I was sick, and asked him to help after he slept in for 7 hours, he was annoyed.

He also will expect sympathy, or a "sorry" for something that he experiences that hurts him, but, if I express wanting him to have my back in the same way, he says I am needy, and codependent.

He is learning, though...VERRRRRY slowly, LOL>
I can see his A-HA maoments, and I do feel bad, sometimes, because if it was me, it would truly really crush me to see myself being that much of a selfish person. ALmost too much to own, too much to feel.
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by goldengirl3 View Post
Hahahahah! That made me laugh out loud.

yes ladies and gentlemen mine agreed to go to ONE, just one counseling session and then he quit. Once the subject of the drinking came up, my counselor's attitude changed and my ex knew he didn't want to quit and I'm certain that's why he didn't want to return.
Glad I could make you laugh! My counselor said he wanted to see us each individually first. I went first, and after I told him my ex wouldn't look for a steady job (it had been five years), he was at the bar every night, developing a worsening coke habit, was a compulsive gambler, watched porn all day long and that I was supporting the family but was falling behind due to his habits and cracking up cars and whatnot, the counselor said he didn't think there was much hope for the marriage. I asked him to please give my husband a chance and made an appointment for him. Husband just didn't go to the appointment.

By the way, my husband's take on our marital problems was that all would be well if I would just dress up in sexy lingerie and dance for him once in a while.

From the distance of years I can now just LAUGH.
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:33 PM
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these As have no idea HOW LUCKY (at that time) TO HAVE IT...funny, us enablers now have the power back....sorry for their luck...!! and proud of it...
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:13 PM
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Ha ha, mine only went to one too....There's no point going to joint counselling when they're still drinking...
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by fourmaggie View Post
these As have no idea HOW LUCKY (at that time) TO HAVE IT...funny, us enablers now have the power back....sorry for their luck...!! and proud of it...
I just LOVE that statement...thank you, that made my night!
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Buffalo66 View Post

My A has a cold. He expects me to be falling over with compassion and just distraught over it. Yet, when I had a flu, and our son was up at 7, after I was up all night, he was very unconcerned. When I said I was sick, and asked him to help after he slept in for 7 hours, he was annoyed.
This reminded me of the 'man cold': YouTube - Man Stroke Woman - Man Cold XAH did this too! Any time I was ill, he was feeling worse! I got a headache, he had a migraine etc.
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:36 AM
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By the way, my husband's take on our marital problems was that all would be well if I would just dress up in sexy lingerie and dance for him once in a while.

From the distance of years I can now just LAUGH.


bwa ha ha ha ha ha!
mine too, i wasn't giving it up enough.
well, sure, big boy, you stink, you dont brush your teeth, you smell like the bottom of the garbage container on a hot august day!
let me get out the victorias secret!

hehehehehehehe
Beth
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:54 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by goldengirl3 View Post
My counselor talks in a lot of analogies. I continued to ask and say I don't understand. So he gave another.

"Imagine you are walking with someone down a beach. Beautiful. The waves are crashing. The sun is setting. Seagulls. Looking at your partner and smiling. Hand in hand. Then...you accidently step on a sharp rock. Your foot is bleeding. The pain is intense. Suddenly, you can't see the seagulls. You aren't hearing the waves crash. You don't notice the sunset. All you can see and feel is the pain in your foot."
Of course, if the person is PURPOSEFULLY stepping on the sharp rock over and over and refuses to stop inflicting pain on themselves, well... that's different, isn't it?

There's hardly an alcoholic who doesn't truly know s/he's got a problem. It's kind of clear with the being sick all the time, lost jobs, the lost relationships, the bitter fights with loved ones, the mounting failures, and the people telling you straight out: you need to stop drinking. There's a clue of some sort. "Denial" is never so strong that the truth/realization doesn't break through eventually: "This pain is caused by stepping on sharp rocks."

Alcoholics may accidentally get themselves addicted, slide into it unaware, I acknowledge that fully--nobody drinks with the goal of becoming an alkie--but eventually every alcoholic I've ever heard of admits, if only for a few moments that they have a drinking problem and need to get it under control. And then they choose "denial", ie, choose not to enjoy the sunset, beach, hand-in-hand partner, they chose to step on the sharp rock again, they chose to be oblivious to the good stuff around them, they choose the pain, blood, and sharp rock.

And when it gets to that point, is the loving partner really expected to muster up continual sympathy and halt their own journey along the beach to tend to the endless, pointless, crisises of the other who insists on stepping on that rock over and over and over again?
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:38 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Bucyn View Post
Of course, if the person is PURPOSEFULLY stepping on the sharp rock over and over and refuses to stop inflicting pain on themselves, well... that's different, isn't it?

There's hardly an alcoholic who doesn't truly know s/he's got a problem. It's kind of clear with the being sick all the time, lost jobs, the lost relationships, the bitter fights with loved ones, the mounting failures, and the people telling you straight out: you need to stop drinking. There's a clue of some sort. "Denial" is never so strong that the truth/realization doesn't break through eventually: "This pain is caused by stepping on sharp rocks."

Alcoholics may accidentally get themselves addicted, slide into it unaware, I acknowledge that fully--nobody drinks with the goal of becoming an alkie--but eventually every alcoholic I've ever heard of admits, if only for a few moments that they have a drinking problem and need to get it under control. And then they choose "denial", ie, choose not to enjoy the sunset, beach, hand-in-hand partner, they chose to step on the sharp rock again, they chose to be oblivious to the good stuff around them, they choose the pain, blood, and sharp rock.

And when it gets to that point, is the loving partner really expected to muster up continual sympathy and halt their own journey along the beach to tend to the endless, pointless, crisises of the other who insists on stepping on that rock over and over and over again?
Yes Bucyn. And maybe this is the reason that I keep asking again and again and the counselor keeps trying to explain. His analogies are great but at the end of the day, it's still an analogy.

I was not married to my BF. But he was married and his ex-wife left him before me because of the drinking. I don't understand that part of the disease. You have important people in your life leaving you and you continue to drink yourself into oblivion and not care about anything. You risk losing your job, friends, kids, house, everything.

And my ex seemed to want it all without giving anything back. All his way and be mean even when he got his way. Just makes no sense.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:33 PM
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Hi there goldengirl

I was married 20 years, to a wonderful, charming and caring woman. The first 15 years were perfect, or as perfect as two humans can be. Then she became very ill. Very, very ill. Long story. In the end it turned out to be bad meds, and when we got her on the correct meds she was back to normal in a matter of weeks. Unfortunately, several years of being on pain pills got her addicted, and she _liked_ it.

She became an addict, her personality changed into the standard "qualifier" everybody talks about here.

Originally Posted by goldengirl3 View Post
.... when you are in a relationship, both parties have needs and wants. You spend time doing things each other wants or needs and some time on your own. Is it that this person expects ....
See, that's was where I got stuck. I _had_ been in a relationship. When the drugs took over the relationship vanished, I just didn't notice. Addicts and alkies don't _have_ relationships, they have hostages. I _fantasized_ that I was in a relationship, but the truth is all I had was a roommate. Addicts are addicted to chemicals. Me? My "disease" of codie-ism is that I am addicted to fantasies.

As long as I tried to understand my ex-wifes' behavior as if she were my partner in a relationship, it made no sense to me. Once I gave up that fantasy, and looked at her as just another addict that happened to live in my house, then it made perfect sense.

Mike
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DesertEyes View Post
Me? My "disease" of codie-ism is that I am addicted to fantasies.
Thank you for this post. That really struck me. People talk about the co-dependent partner being addicted to the drama or to the other person and I have a hard time identifying with that. I wanted out for so long. I loathed the drama. I accepted so much in order to avoid drama. Once I left I did not go back, have never been tempted to go back, to be honest I don't even miss it much (because I waited to long probably).

But oh yes, I was definitely addicted to the fantasy. That I can identify with. I still spend way to much time fantasizing about life. That part really rings true for me.
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:27 PM
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Yes, it's wonderful that you are at the end of this sad relationship.

"Civilians" try to figure alcoholics out buy using logic and it never works. Alcoholism is a mental disorder, we think differently. "His highness the child", "enormous ego and low self-esteem", these are a few ways of describing an alcoholic. Addicts are only involved with one thing: our drug of choice, whether it's alcohol, pot or pills. We're destructive, self-destructive, self-centered in the extreme.

Some of us do change, we become good friends, lovers and spouses. But it takes a lot of hard work.

The only thing that matters is that you've started recovering yourself and have an excellent shot at having the life you so richly deserve.

Happy New Year!
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by keepinon View Post
In my opinion with someone in active addiction you can have a very limited relationship.It will not be a 2 way street, you will not get emotional fufillment as they are unable to give it.There may be brief fashes of kindness or emapthy that we cling to, but that's it.

I am experiencing this almost everyday now and I am mentally and emotionally drained, how weird considering the lack of fulfillment. How can one be drained when there is lack of what you crave
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:51 PM
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How can one be drained when there is lack of what you crave
You know mamaduck, I felt drained, and I think it was I was on constant alert.
Both for the addict and the regular guy.
Then, it became only the addict. I was so tightly sprung that a car backfire could make me jump.
It is exhausting to be on alert always. Even in sleep.

Beth

Last edited by wicked; 01-01-2011 at 05:52 PM. Reason: spelling
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