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Old 01-21-2011, 04:04 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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But sometimes it feels like when I post certain things on these boards, people just start diagnosing "CODEPENDANT!! AHHH" to every thing you post.
I don't think anyone used the word codependent in this thread yet.
Anyway, I believe my sister is undiagnosed as a narcissist, I did not see it until she came to live with me.
She was abusing oxycontin, but also, looking for ways to get between me and my teenage daughter.
It did not end well. A court order to get her to leave, and her stupid boyfriend called my daughter and told her not to be such a bitch to me.
Incredible.
Now, when I look back when we were youngsters there was always something different about her. No sense of humor at all. Everything was about her.
I am sorry I cannot talk with her or see her. She is my sister. We grew up together with an abusive alcoholic father. We are comrades in arms. But, no longer. It is incredibly sad. But, I must leave her out of my life.
She is dangerously selfish.

Beth
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:11 PM
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My two bits.....Take what the therapist said with a HUGE grain of salt. In fact, I'd discard it altogether.

A therapist who would even attempt to diagnose or label someone with a personality disorder that was NOT one of their clients is suspect for me to begin with. It really isn't kosher at all.

For this exact reason.. it is setting you up for distress when he may or may not have it.

I think the point about scrambling to label others is it really doesn't address the underlying issue which is the damage he caused you WHATEVER diagnosis he had or didn't have. The focus should be on you.

Maybe that is the discord here?
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:36 AM
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Hi GoldenGirl,

I relate completely to the "trying to understand" your ex. My XABF absolutely had a drinking problem (arrested twice in the space of 12 months, he eventually lost his job over repeated absences etc. etc). But I'm a recovering alcoholic, my Mother was a recovering alcoholic - I know lots of active and recovering alcoholics and this was like nothing I had ever experienced. I have a fantastic therapist - and when I described some of his actions towards the end she pointed out (and made it clear first that it -wasn't- a diagnosis) that his behavior showed borderline and narcissistic traits.

They did. I know this because I started reading up on both and it was like finding an oasis in the desert. I devoured everything I could (there are also some great boards out there on narcissism). Many, many people who abuse alcohol have cluster B personality disorders.

Why does this matter?

It matters because when you start a relationship with a person and sail along for months before "the shoe" drops and they, literally, turn into Mr. Hyde (and I don't mean when he was drinking, I mean sober) and then back to Dr Jeckyll again the next hour, or minute, or day - it's like living in a hall of mirrors. If a normal person who isn't affected by alcohol does a 180 in their attitude and behavior towards you, usually something has prompted it. Not so with borderlines and narcissists.

But if an alcoholic parent raised you - you're used to feeling like you caused "IT" - whatever "IT" is.

I know some alcoholics who struggle with this disease but under normal circumstances have a working moral compass and genuinely love their loved ones. Narcissists don't really love - they don't have the capacity. That was important, really important, for me to understand. I was absolutely determined NOT to date an alcoholic and I had two previous narcissistic boyfriends (only found this out when I started researching the disorder) who were every bit as unavailable as my alcoholic parent and my alcoholic boyfriend.

Again, why does this matter?

It matters because I now now (with the help of alanon) that there are a whole range of reasons that people can be cruel, create chaos or be emotionally unavailable. Alcohol is one of them. Narcisissm is one of them. I don't have a great grip on what "normal" and "healthy" are because I wasn't raised around it. But I'm trying.

If I hadn't questioned - if I hadn't read up on narcissism and BPD and passive aggressive men and you name it (I soaked it up like a sponge) my codependent (there you go, I used the word) brain might think, yet again - well, if he's not an alcoholic and he's still emotionally abusing me then I -really- must deserve it/have caused it/can find a way to "cure" it.

Yes, some behavior is unacceptable - and these days I call it, detach, remove myself and draw a boundary. But I think I needed to understand that many, many people have different reasons for the same characteristics - be they selfishness, infidelity, abusive tendencies, manipulation, dishonesty, taking advantage of others. None of these comes from a healthy place - but that unhealthy place isn't always "just" alcoholism and I need to keep my eyes peeled for more than just empty bottles or beer breath. That's simplistic but you get my drift.

Nowadays, I don't give to hoots what his "problem" was. As long as he's as far away from me as I can keep him, I'm a happy camper. But that need to know, to understand, where the crazy behavior came from was part of my -really- accepting that it wasn't my "fault." And it took about four months for that phase to pass. I think that obsession, with reading recovery literature, with getting into the program, with reading everything I could on everything that might apply - was a necessary part of my detachment. I wasn't focusing so much on "him" as focusing on why what was up with "him" might have nothing to do with me.

Then I got into looking at the broken parts of me that wanted to give him a second, third, fourth chance and to keep (mis)placing my trust and faith in someone who for -whatever- reason couldn't participate in a relationship. then the fun really began :-)

Hope this helps - does it matter "why" someone treats you badly? Maybe not. But if you've been consistently treated that way, maybe you need to look at a mountain of reasons why it might not have been about you after all to start to get the distance you need to begin detaching.

Take what you like and leave the rest on this one, folks - I know this thread has gotten a little heated and this was just my personal experience.

Hugs,

SL.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:22 AM
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Stilllearning explained this beautifully. For me as well, part of Step One--accepting that I am powerless over alcohol--is tied up with understanding alcoholism (etc.) and coming to the realization that the behavior of an alcoholic has nothing to do with me. It has nothing to do with me...therefore, I can't control it.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:35 AM
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Still Learning, I agree with buttercream, you explained it beautifully and I get what you're saying 100%. Maybe because I'm also an ACoA and I did exactly the same thing. It was my way out of the fog and into recovery. And, at the end of the day, if the result is discovery/recovery, well what does it matter how we get there? (as long as we're not harmful to others in the process). Thank you for your post....
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:25 AM
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still learning,
thank you for your excellent post. yes, that is it exactly.

goldengirl,

you do not have to answer this, but i had this problem too.

do you think defective = codependent?

I did too. As a matter of fact, I was sure I was independent, I had to be. I was the oldest of four with an abusive alcoholic father, but my mother, well my mother was depressed. She was not diagnosed, I just figured it out after I was diagnosed with a major depressive disorder.

I went to rehab with my second husband. I stopped drinking in August, he stopped when he came for two weeks of family counseling. That is when he admitted he had a problem. At the end of two weeks, one of the counselors who knew me well said,
"Beth, S will not get any better, this is the best you will get out of him, and I doubt he will be sober for long after rehab." After 4 more weeks of treatment, he might have stayed sober for two weeks, maybe less.
For some reason, I decided to save S. I was the hero child, so I will be the hero wife.
I will provide all the housing, food, child care and transportation, and save my ex from himself. I did not see myself as codependent, I saw myself as a lifesaver.
I was strong, I could do anything and everything, all while staying sober.
Uhmmmm, nope.
Codependents are not weak, I certainly have not seen that. I have seen people deal with more misery and pain than any human should have to deal with and still hang in there, waiting for the potential to come back.
It takes a great deal of strength to be codependent, and it takes a great deal of strength to give it up.
My ex did not get better by my attempts to save him. It actually annoyed him that I wanted him to stop using. He moved on to cheating.

It was difficult, and it took years to give up on him. I am still working on letting my daughter make her own mistakes, so far she is hangin tough being sober, and I hope I have the strength to put her out if she uses (like I said I would).

Beth
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:49 PM
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No I guess I am confused as to how I am trying to save someone by wondering if they have a personality disorder or not. I haven't mentioned wanting that person to get therapy, thinking I could talk to them to convince them of their problems and get them help, nothing to that affect. I don't feel I am this person's life line at all. I don't think anything about my question had anything to do with trying to change him, save him, etc. The last sentence said, "That scares me." It just scares me think that I spent that much time with someone that could have such a label and gives me the jeebies. It's like saying, "You've been sleeping next to the devil for 4.5 years." Ick.
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:54 PM
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Sadly, goldengirl, there's a lot you don't know about people until you get closer and closer to them.

If you had told me 5 years ago that my XABF was an abusive alcoholic I would have laughed in your face - but here I am.

The important thing is to recognize that it's not your fault. You took them at face value, and gave them the benefit of the doubt. With the average person that's a good thing to do (otherwise you'll alienate everyone), but with some people it doesn't work out, and it's hard to tell until you invest the time.

Now that you recognize it, though, you'll be prepared to prevent any "next times"!
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:56 PM
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I guess that hurts because then I wonder...did he ever really feel a connection with me at all? I really thought so but as the disease progressed, he was less "there" and seemed more selfish.... Just makes me wonder if I was a piece of Supply from day one.

Which would hurt. Is there anyone out there that isn't out to use me....
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:00 PM
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The last sentence said, "That scares me." It just scares me think that I spent that much time with someone that could have such a label and gives me the jeebies. It's like saying, "You've been sleeping next to the devil for 4.5 years." Ick.
Ah, I see. Yes, I do get that.
Yes, I was scared I would pick another one just like the first two. Either an active A and verbal/emotional abuser, or a misogynistic mommy hater.
Yep, I am in a long distance relationship and moving slowly. I have asked him about his drinking habits a few times.
So far, so good.

Hang in there goldengirl, you will get it. And, narcissists are very charming, try to be easy on you. Okay, advice you don't need, but I think I am getting what you are talking about now.

Beth
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:03 PM
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He felt a connection with you, or he wouldn't have decided to be with you.
People with this disease feel entitled to things, and so they don't decide to spend time with people they don't have any feelings for "just because".

He thought it was love, but if he has a narcissism, issue, they don't know how to love.
So you filled the "hole" in his soul, at least for awhile, because that was what he was looking for.
My XABF with similar issues was interested in looks, intelligence, and youth, so at least I know I have those things going for me. I suppose I can take it as a compliment.

I'd suggest figuring out his "tastes" if you can - the things he seems to notice about you or others - and then just take it as a compliment that you have those qualities.
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:03 PM
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Which would hurt. Is there anyone out there that isn't out to use me....
That would hurt. I am sorry goldengirl.
I am sure there is someone out there that isn't out to use you.

Beth
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:18 PM
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gg3 - I wonder too what I meant to my AH from day 1 and sometimes that gets me really down and it does hurt just thinking that we might have never really been connected.

I have come to accept that this may be true and each new day I realize I may choose to connect or disconnect with many people throughout the day. Some days I share a laugh with a family member or friend I've known forever or a coworker and some days it's with a stranger passing by or a new friend. Other days I may choose to step away from someone's problems be it family, friend or coworker.

Each moment is my choice and I get to benefit from my choice and I believe this is the way my HP brings the people in my life that need to be there and helps me enjoy my life and keep myself safe.
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:40 PM
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Now that I'm thinking - his big attracters to me were smart and fun. He thought I was pretty but I don't think he was looking for a certain look, or wealth. That actually makes me feel a little better because smart and fun isn't necessarily shallow. Thanks guys.

Wicked...to further answer your question - am I thinking codependant = defective? hmmmm. I feel like everyone else does.

I guess I do think that to a degree. It is really hard and embarrassing when you grow up with a self-centered single parent who has abused you and shoved into your psyche that it's your job to caretake them and if you don't, they abuse you and neglect you and abandon you. it's all you've known. And then here you are in your 30's trying to understand that someone else's problems aren't your fault and aren't your problems to take care of and it's like the old movie "Invasion of the body snatchers." People point and scream "AUUUUUGGGGGGG codependent!!" lol.
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by goldengirl3 View Post
I guess I do think that to a degree. It is really hard and embarrassing when you grow up with a self-centered single parent who has abused you and shoved into your psyche that it's your job to caretake them and if you don't, they abuse you and neglect you and abandon you. it's all you've known. And then here you are in your 30's trying to understand that someone else's problems aren't your fault and aren't your problems to take care of and it's like the old movie "Invasion of the body snatchers." People point and scream "AUUUUUGGGGGGG codependent!!" lol.
It's hard to unlearn things like that. My parents weren't alcoholics, but they had all the "isms" anyway.

You have to move forward the best you can. Your way and someone else's way don't have to be the same.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:24 PM
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~> Wicked "It takes a great deal of strength to be codependent, and it takes a great deal of strength to give it up" <~ I had never heard that. It is sooo very true.

~> goldengirl3 ~ your #29 post is sooo very true. I have fealt that way for 8 years. for some reason that feeling never seems to go away.

~> starcat ~ your #39 post ~ in my xperience, i dont think it was ever a "connection" as much as it was "control" for him. He has never fealt "entitled". I was an opinionated, strong woman (still am) and he thought he could change that and control me. Especially when he is drinking.
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Jakers View Post
He has never fealt "entitled". I was an opinionated, strong woman (still am) and he thought he could change that and control me. Especially when he is drinking.
He felt "entitled" to a woman who would do what he wanted her to do.

My XABF insisted on driving me to work, and started to drink if I even suggested taking my car somewhere. He would give me choices, then get furious (and verbally and emotionally abusive) when I picked the thing he didn't want me to pick. When I didn't get as upset as he wanted he'd make it a point to make me MORE upset. Everything was my fault, not his. At work he monopolized my time working on HIS projects (which I didn't have authorization to work on) to the point my boss started noticing and kept sitting me down for little "talks" - but I was more afraid of XABF than of losing my job. He decorated my entire apartment, and any input I tried to make was met by drunken screaming matches. He spent more than we could afford, so I stopped buying things for myself because "we" couldn't afford them.

Now that he's out, I can afford them, although not as many of them as I used to be able to afford right now, because I have to pay down quite a few credit cards and loans first... What a mess.

But I'm free! No more drunken tyrants.
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by goldengirl3 View Post
Is there anyone out there that isn't out to use me....
Yes, there are plenty of good guys out there.

The thing I've been trying to say in this thread is, it's not so important to figure out why he was attracted to you. The $64,000 question is, why were you attracted to him?

As I look back at the reasons I was attracted to my XAH, and honestly bring them out into the light. I can see that there was a big hole I was trying to fill. My beliefs and behaviors were what needed analyzing, scrutinizing, and questioning. That's not to say there was something wrong with me. It's more like saying if I wanted different results, I might have to change the way I operated.

It doesn't matter too much if you use the label "codependent" or not. (I don't mind it for myself, because it sort of gives me a baseline to work from. I don't have to start from scratch to figure out the work I need to do, because there is already a definition to begin with.) What matters most is the willingness to examine beliefs and behaviors, and the courage to discard harmful beliefs and modify harmful behaviors. Trying to figure out my XAH didn't help me. Trying to figure out why I was attracted to him, and even more so why I stayed so long, now that was helpful.

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Old 01-23-2011, 01:36 PM
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Yes, there are plenty of good guys out there.
I was actually thinking of my mom LaTeeDA. Because I consider that and my ex the two most important relationships of my past at this point. I know you are only trying to help, but I FEEL like you are trying to project your own situations and thoughts on to me.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by goldengirl3 View Post
I was actually thinking of my mom LaTeeDA. Because I consider that and my ex the two most important relationships of my past at this point. I know you are only trying to help, but I FEEL like you are trying to project your own situations and thoughts on to me.
I'm sorry you feel that way. The mods often lecture us about sharing from our own experience, strength and hope, rather than telling people what to do. That is what I've been attempting to do. In fact, if you look back at all my posts in this thread, I have shared about me, not told you what you should do, or diagnosed you as a codependent or anything else.

Obviously, there is something about my experience that rubs you the wrong way, so I will step away from this thread now.

Peace,
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