Blogs


Notices

Selfishness of an alcoholic

Old 12-30-2010, 11:38 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 375
Selfishness of an alcoholic

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?
goldengirl3 is offline  
The Following 12 Users Say Thank You to goldengirl3 For This Useful Post:
barb dwyer (12-31-2010), Carol Star (01-03-2011), chicory (12-31-2010), CSHNow (02-01-2011), freefalling (01-01-2011), Jadmack25 (12-31-2010), kilt (01-02-2011), lillamy (02-01-2011), LS2 (02-02-2011), Redheadsusie (12-31-2010), reefbreakbda (01-03-2011), westbank (12-31-2010)
Old 12-30-2010, 11:41 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
keepinon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: central coast, ca
Posts: 1,652
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.
keepinon is offline  
The Following 17 Users Say Thank You to keepinon For This Useful Post:
Babyblue (12-30-2010), Carol Star (01-03-2011), chicory (12-31-2010), Fandy (12-30-2010), freefalling (01-01-2011), Hadassah (02-02-2011), Jadmack25 (12-31-2010), JustBeaches4me (01-04-2011), lillamy (12-30-2010), MamaDuck101 (01-01-2011), MovingForward (12-31-2010), seekingcalm (01-02-2011), theuncertainty (12-30-2010), Thumper (12-30-2010), vujade (02-01-2011), westbank (12-30-2010), yorkiegirl (01-02-2011)
Old 12-30-2010, 11:48 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Today is a New Day
 
StarCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,766
G has always been concerned with himself, even when sober. It's to the point where I have informed his sister to stop referring to his lung disease and trying to help him with it, because while I recognize that COPD is a serious illness, it has become his excuse/enabler for why he can't do anything for anyone.

He loves listening to Kenny Vance, and I love every single song on the CD, but whenever he puts the CD in he'll listen to 20 seconds then skip to the next song, all the way through the CD, so some of the songs I have heard barely at all, even if I comment that I was enjoying listening to it. "So-and-so's version is better. I'll buy you their CD." But he never does.

I figure if he can't even plan the other 60 seconds of a song I like, which is a very easy 60 seconds to spend on something that I'd really enjoy, he doesn't really have any time in his thought process for me, either. He'll do all these great and beautiful things because he thinks that I'd like them, but then he'll hold them over my head when he's drunk... And meanwhile little things that I've told him I need are ignored in favor of frivolous things.

Example? He got me the Christmas-themed earrings I said I'd enjoy because they're frivolous and fun, but I've been telling him I need new bras for six months and he still wouldn't let me get them. "I'll get you some in Victoria's Secret." "But we're in Boscov's, G, they have nice ones over there and they're on sale for $5!" "I'll get you cheap ones at the farmer's market next weekend, then, if you want sale ones."
I spent $50 on bras yesterday, and you'd think it was the highlight of my existence. I just picked out one of everything in the store in my size and then spent an hour in front of a mirror trying them all on when I got home, it was great.
How sad is that? :P
StarCat is offline  
The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to StarCat For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (12-30-2010), chicory (12-31-2010), freefalling (01-01-2011), Jadmack25 (12-31-2010), LexieCat (02-01-2011), LS2 (02-02-2011), Mightyqueen801 (12-31-2010), MovingForward (12-31-2010), Redheadsusie (12-31-2010), wicked (12-31-2010)
Old 12-30-2010, 11:54 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Rangely Colorado
Posts: 80
The good news here is that you state "at the end of the relationship". The End. Close the book. Put it away.

Alcoholism is a horrible, selfish, ugly, and extremely mean disease - and everything you've described is something we've all done ourselves in active alcoholism. We hurt the ones closest to us the most, because they're finally the only ones who will keep putting up with us. And, from the other side, we (the non-drinker) stay in the relationship because we get some kind of perverse pleasure out of trying to "help" the drinker, being a martyr, and sacrificing for them. Thus, the disease affects everyone around it.

You're doing the right thing by getting it out of you - so it doesn't keep festering - and acknowledging it. Just don't dwell on it - it's not your fault, it's not anything you could have changed. Pick up your tent and move to a more safe campsite - accept yourself for your part in helping or enabling, and realize that selfishness IS the main defining feature of alcoholism. It's not a "positive" selfishness, either - we eventually just think of ourselves and wallow in our own guilt all the time.
Kadybug is offline  
The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to Kadybug For This Useful Post:
brokenheartfool (02-01-2011), Jadmack25 (12-31-2010), JustBeaches4me (01-04-2011), kilt (01-02-2011), LexieCat (02-01-2011), LS2 (02-02-2011), Redheadsusie (12-31-2010), reefbreakbda (01-03-2011), SteppingUp (02-01-2011), vujade (12-31-2010)
Old 12-30-2010, 11:54 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Middle River, MD
Posts: 12
I am new here so I really can't comment on your post although all I have been doing is reading alot.

My ex b/f is a recovering alcoholic and his brother & sister in law have told me that he is selfish. I never saw that in him. I know some people will say I chose not to see it in him, but I can honestly say that he always took my needs, wants and emotions into consideration. He was actually quite considerate. Flowers and cards for no reason, sweet text messages during the day while he was working.


He was extremely happy when his 4 year old son "took" to me because then he knew he could enter into a relationship 100% and he did and it was wonderful. He even told his family that we would be moving in together within 6 months.

I did not see his selfishness and emotional immaturity until he ran into an old g/f from 23 years ago. He struggled with why he was having feelings for her if he was in love with me, not to mention she lives 400 miles away. After 2 weeks of struggling emotionally with his decision, he decided he had to follow his heart where his ex g/f was concerned or he would hate himself. He completely ignored the relationship he was in, the level of comfort his son came to depend on with me, the support & stability that we had, and the open and honest communication that we shared...all for an old g/f who lives 400 miles away and that he has not seen in 23 years.

Seriously scratching my head over this one, but I guess it is my lack of understanding the whole recovery thing. Just wanted to share.
Snack4 is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Snack4 For This Useful Post:
chicory (12-31-2010), freefalling (01-01-2011), Jadmack25 (12-31-2010), seekingcalm (01-02-2011)
Old 12-30-2010, 12:04 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 375
I did not see his selfishness and emotional immaturity until he ran into an old g/f from 23 years ago. He struggled with why he was having feelings for her if he was in love with me, not to mention she lives 400 miles away. After 2 weeks of struggling emotionally with his decision, he decided he had to follow his heart where his ex g/f was concerned or he would hate himself. He completely ignored the relationship he was in, the level of comfort his son came to depend on with me, the support & stability that we had, and the open and honest communication that we shared...all for an old g/f who lives 400 miles away and that he has not seen in 23 years.
Eww and ouch. That had to feel very emotionally abandoning!
goldengirl3 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to goldengirl3 For This Useful Post:
chicory (12-31-2010), freefalling (01-01-2011), Jadmack25 (12-31-2010)
Old 12-30-2010, 12:08 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 375
He loves listening to Kenny Vance, and I love every single song on the CD, but whenever he puts the CD in he'll listen to 20 seconds then skip to the next song, all the way through the CD, so some of the songs I have heard barely at all, even if I comment that I was enjoying listening to it. "So-and-so's version is better. I'll buy you their CD." But he never does.
My ex did that too and it drove me nuts! The more drunk he was, the more he would do it. I remember once we were on a group road trip with him and his drunk friends and the entire car was yelling and telling him to "shut the f* up!" lol. He kept trying to take the ipod and change the song or continually interrupt the song.
goldengirl3 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to goldengirl3 For This Useful Post:
Jadmack25 (12-31-2010), MovingForward (12-31-2010)
Old 12-30-2010, 12:28 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Today is a New Day
 
StarCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,766
If he would limit it to when he was drunk, it would be "fine" (relatively speaking), but he does it when sober, too, so I still haven't heard the songs...
StarCat is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to StarCat For This Useful Post:
Jadmack25 (12-31-2010), MovingForward (12-31-2010)
Old 12-30-2010, 12:32 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
lillamy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: right here, right now
Posts: 6,523
I think "reality" is a relative concept when it comes to addicts. I think they create a reality where they can live with themselves, and the rules that apply to the rest of the world don't apply to them because their situation is unique.

In my case, I was supposed to be the supportive one and selflessly keep giving of myself because he had had such a hard life. It was all about him, always. One of our kids asked me once if Dad really believed he was the center of the universe. And that's pretty much how it was. If I had a headache, he would explode in "so I guess I'm not going to get laid today then, huh, is that it?" If I had a bad day at work, his was worse. If one of the kids was sick, he was sicker.

So when you talk about a two-way street in a relationship? I don't think there is such a thing with an addict.
lillamy is offline  
The Following 13 Users Say Thank You to lillamy For This Useful Post:
chicory (12-31-2010), jackien41 (02-02-2011), Jadmack25 (12-31-2010), JustBeaches4me (01-04-2011), Ladybug0130 (12-31-2010), LS2 (01-03-2011), MovingForward (12-31-2010), Redheadsusie (12-31-2010), reefbreakbda (01-03-2011), Snack4 (12-30-2010), StarCat (12-30-2010), theuncertainty (12-30-2010), vujade (12-31-2010)
Old 12-30-2010, 01:10 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Today is a New Day
 
StarCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,766
Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
If I had a bad day at work, his was worse. If one of the kids was sick, he was sicker.
Thank you so much for writing that.
He has always done the same thing to me!
When he complained that I didn't talk to him anymore, and I tried to tell him how he always tried to "one up" everything I did, he just did it again about how hard a time he was having, hive him a break, etc, etc.

Thank you.
StarCat is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to StarCat For This Useful Post:
chicory (12-31-2010), Jadmack25 (12-31-2010), Ladybug0130 (12-31-2010), MovingForward (12-31-2010), Redheadsusie (12-31-2010)
Old 12-30-2010, 01:50 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Middle River, MD
Posts: 12
Goldengirl3,
It did...trust me, however for 2 weeks I watched him struggle with the emotions that went along with the decision he has to make. I make no excuses for him, but I know it was a hard thing for him to do. So now, it is patience, take care of me, and leave it in Gods hands. Not sure about anyone else, but I ceratinly would not be content being in a relationship with someone who was 400 miles away and I could only see 1 weekend a month at best~
Snack4 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Snack4 For This Useful Post:
Jadmack25 (12-31-2010)
Old 12-30-2010, 02:06 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
Carol Star's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,334
Blog Entries: 2
When you said "he wouldn't let me".......I got real grateful to not have anybody controlling me anymore.......My XAH wouldn't "let me" have the pets in the house.....that hurt.....and wouldn't "let me" have my Mom's beautiful antique furniture in the house when she passed away.....WHEW....thanks for the gratitude. I am sitting here with my pets sitting on Mom's chair.
Carol Star is offline  
The Following 12 Users Say Thank You to Carol Star For This Useful Post:
bookwyrm (12-31-2010), cheekystrumpet (01-05-2011), chicory (12-31-2010), goldengirl3 (12-30-2010), jackien41 (12-30-2010), keepinon (12-30-2010), lillamy (12-30-2010), Mightyqueen801 (12-31-2010), Redheadsusie (12-31-2010), seekingcalm (01-02-2011), Tuffgirl (02-01-2011), vujade (12-31-2010)
Old 12-30-2010, 08:43 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4
The person I'm with has been sober for almost 20yrs but displays a lot of the behaviors I'm reading about from different people on this site. The self centeredness, stingy, closed off, irrational behavior seems to me to be part of the alcoholic wether they are drinking or sober or 20yrs sober. I'm beginning to think there are traits with the alcoholic that make them very difficult to deal with. I hope I'm wrong because this whole realization that I'm starting to have is scaring me and I think that I may be in the middle of something that has no resolution.
truefiregirl is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to truefiregirl For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (02-02-2011), CatLover1234 (12-31-2010), Jadmack25 (12-31-2010), reefbreakbda (01-03-2011), seekingcalm (01-02-2011)
Old 12-31-2010, 08:57 AM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Today is a New Day
 
StarCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,766
G thinks once he gets out that everything will be "all better" and go back to the way it was, because he won't be drinking anymore.

He has a lot of behaviors to unlearn (as do I) before anything can be called "healthy" again, and he needs to recognize this in addition to me recognizing this, or it can't work. I don't know if he had the behaviors from before he drank, or if he learned them as coping skills to hide his drinking, but they're ingrained in him now, and they need to come out.
StarCat is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to StarCat For This Useful Post:
barb dwyer (12-31-2010)
Old 12-31-2010, 09:06 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 375
I think the most annoying part of everything was his obsessiveness to concentrate on my issues. I noticed he would focus on other people and then eventually it seemed like he was very focused on me instead of his own issues. And his "list" that he created of me are issues that aren't the real issues anyway. It was a list of crap that he wanted me to change because maybe it inconvenienced him, or a personality defect or his perception of one anyway. Never ever concentrating on himself and his own inventory.
goldengirl3 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to goldengirl3 For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (01-01-2011), JustBeaches4me (02-02-2011)
Old 12-31-2010, 09:08 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
same planet...different world
 
barb dwyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Butte, America
Posts: 10,946
Blog Entries: 7
Originally Posted by StarCat View Post
G thinks once he gets out that everything will be "all better" and go back to the way it was, because he won't be drinking anymore.

He has a lot of behaviors to unlearn (as do I) before anything can be called "healthy" again, and he needs to recognize this in addition to me recognizing this, or it can't work. I don't know if he had the behaviors from before he drank, or if he learned them as coping skills to hide his drinking, but they're ingrained in him now, and they need to come out.

I think this would make a great thread in itself.

So many alcoholics come out of treatment/rehab/prison/jail

and think that the time they just HAD sober
makes them a 'sober' person.

They think they've done their 'pennance' of their alcohol rongs
and that the absence of a substance
somehoe makes them 'good'.

What is shows me is
just how dismally
most 'treatment' programs fail
to instill the need for 100% change

or the 'rehabilitated' world they re-enter
is just a temporary one.
barb dwyer is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to barb dwyer For This Useful Post:
MovingForward (01-01-2011), reefbreakbda (01-03-2011), wicked (12-31-2010)
Old 12-31-2010, 09:50 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: England
Posts: 741
I can relate to the music thing myself, except he wouldn't play ANY THING I liked, it would be his music ALL night, as he got drunker he would turn up the volume each time a new song came on until it was blasting.
It would be so loud my daughter would come down the stairs, woken in the early hours and ask for the music to be turned down only to be told by him to go back to bed. I would then insist the music be turned down as it had woken DD, instead he would turn it off altogether and stop speaking to me. He would rather turn it off completely than turn it down a little, that's how selfish he was. Then he would sit in silence, drinking faster and getting drunk quickly and eventually we would fight and he would tell me how awful I was and how I had no sense of adventure and was no fun.

That happened about 3 times a week for 2 years, until I found SR at least.

After he stopped drinking he would reminisce about how great those nights were, getting drunk and listening to music. I would point out that I hated those nights, that he wouldn't play any of my music, would turn the volume up too loud, wake my daughter, turn the music off cos I asked him to turn it down a little and then he'd stop speaking to me until we had a fight. I told him they were no fun at ALL for me, that I dreaded them. He told me I was no fun and should lighten up. Lol.

Thank god I will never sit through one of those nights again. However, me and my daughter had a boogie night last night, we played OUR music loud, sang along and had great fun together. It wouldn't have happened if he was here.
Tally is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Tally For This Useful Post:
chicory (12-31-2010), coyote21 (12-31-2010), JenT1968 (12-31-2010), MovingForward (01-01-2011), Redheadsusie (12-31-2010)
Old 12-31-2010, 01:54 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
I AM CANADIAN
 
fourmaggie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Niagara Region, Canada
Posts: 2,578
Blog Entries: 45
He cannot "see" you. He can't see outside of himself."

I so love this quote...and its soooo true...how can someone love YOU if he can not love himself....that is why they drink/drugs...etc...

they have some terrible issues to look at themselves if they really did love you...that is alot of work..honest (program) work...honest with himself?? hummmm
fourmaggie is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to fourmaggie For This Useful Post:
brokenheartfool (02-01-2011), Redheadsusie (12-31-2010), seekingcalm (01-02-2011)
Old 12-31-2010, 02:02 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 375
Originally Posted by fourmaggie View Post
He cannot "see" you. He can't see outside of himself."

I so love this quote...and its soooo true...how can someone love YOU if he can not love himself....that is why they drink/drugs...etc...

they have some terrible issues to look at themselves if they really did love you...that is alot of work..honest (program) work...honest with himself?? hummmm
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."
goldengirl3 is offline  
The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to goldengirl3 For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (01-03-2011), CatLover1234 (12-31-2010), chicory (12-31-2010), fourmaggie (12-31-2010), Ladybug0130 (12-31-2010), Mightyqueen801 (12-31-2010), MovingForward (01-01-2011), Redheadsusie (12-31-2010), reefbreakbda (01-03-2011), seekingcalm (01-02-2011)
Old 12-31-2010, 02:40 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Member
 
Thumper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,444
Originally Posted by fourmaggie View Post
He cannot "see" you. He can't see outside of himself."

I so love this quote...and its soooo true...how can someone love YOU if he can not love himself....that is why they drink/drugs...etc...

they have some terrible issues to look at themselves if they really did love you...that is alot of work..honest (program) work...honest with himself?? hummmm
It is a good quote. Says a lot. My xah is in major crisis. He says this crisis is because he moved away from the kids, misses them, lost his family etc. When I speak to him on the phone now (no longer has email) and try to talk about the kids he really doesn't hear it. He talks about how much he misses them, he talks about how devastated he is, how his life sucks, but he doesn't actually ever ask about them. If I talk about them he cuts me off to talk about himself about 85% of the time.

As with the other stories it was a theme in our relationship. It is pretty mind boggling.

He checked himself into the VA so maybe this is his bottom. I hope he finds recovery.
Thumper is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Thumper For This Useful Post:
Carol Star (01-03-2011), chicory (12-31-2010), coyote21 (12-31-2010), fourmaggie (12-31-2010), Redheadsusie (12-31-2010)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:31 PM.