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Old 01-29-2011, 06:21 PM
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Brick by Brick

When I first started dating my XABF, there isn't anything I wouldn't have done for him, and nothing he said that I wouldn't have believed. He just seemed to know the answer to everything, and problems got solved, and I learned a lot about a variety of topics.

Then the alcoholism got worse and worse, and everything went haywire. I just felt so manipulated and unhappy 100% of the time, to the point where anything he said I put through the ringer of "Why is he saying this? What is he trying to manipulate me to do?" The trust that I had in him was destroyed, pulled apart brick by brick, until there was nothing left.

Last week he broke "no contact" by sending me an email. In it, he used all his manipulation tactics - "I had so much I learned about the 12 steps that I wanted to share with you but I never got the chance" being the most obvious manipulation. He also claimed that he got into a car accident the day he got out of rehab, the car was a giant mess and in the shop, and he just got out of the hospital and was driving a rental. I chalked this up to yet another attempt at manipulation, never answered the email, and just shook my head that he believed I would fall for that one.

His sister called today, to see how I was doing. Turns out the accident was true - his cataract got so bad while he was in rehab that he couldn't see well enough to drive, and nearly totaled his car.

So here I am, stuck wondering if I should feel guilty for not believing him, or view this as one more reason why there's too many things wrong in this relationship. I just don't know what to do anymore. In addition, his birthday is on Monday, and the closer it comes the more upset I have been getting. Granted, he was a drunken raving screaming lunatic on my birthday, but still.

It's just too much, too soon, all at once. My head is spinning, and I can't find the "This Side Up" arrow anymore.
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:44 PM
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Ah shoot - the head spinning, overwhelming, completely freaking out moments! I have soooo many of those, I've often wondered if I was LOSING it!

Trust - how can you trust someone who hasn't proven trustworthy? You can't. So you just do the best you can for YOU. If you don't want to talk to him, don't. He's a grown man who can take care of himself (really, they all can if we get out of their way).

Dr. Laura has a saying that really resonates with me. She says "guilt is an emotion you feel when you've done something WRONG. If you've not done anything wrong, then chances are the emotion you feel is SADNESS" I have to remind myself of this regularly that there is a big difference between feeling guilty and feeling sadness.

When my head is spinning, I lie down, close my eyes, and repeat the serenity prayer over and over until my heart rate returns to normal and the spinning feeling stops. Sounds hokey (and is especially funny when I do it at the office) but it works.

Hang in there!
T
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:56 PM
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I'm sorry he got into an accident. That sucks for him.

You decided on no contact for a reason, and there's no reason for you to have responded to his email, whether it was true or not. You couldn't have done anything about the accident, it was a fait accompli. Suppose you had believed it was true--would you have gone running to his side? What would that have accomplished?

You don't have to feel guilty for not believing him. You didn't accuse him of being a liar, you just continued with your no-contact.

I think I'd let the birthday pass. Up to you, but again, if you are not having contact...
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
I think I'd let the birthday pass. Up to you, but again, if you are not having contact...
I want to do something for his birthday. I don't know what.
It will be something he will never know I did, something he'll never know happened, but something that will make me feel better, and feel like I didn't forget him, because I think it would be helpful for me.
I just haven't figured out what, yet.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:04 PM
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My RXABF's birthday is also this week; I've been trying to decide if I should send him a birthday greeting, but have finally come to the conclusion that I will let it go by without acknowledging it. Maintaining NC is more important to me than acknowledging his birthday, so I've made plans that evening to keep busy. Big step for me.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:12 PM
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I hate the e-mails. I want to respond to every single one, but I'm no contact as well. I want to defend myself when he sends accusatory ones. I want to correct his lies when he sends falsehoods. I want to tell him to F off when he sends threatening ones. But the worst are the I'm sorrys or the I'm falling apart ones. The rescuer in me goes into a total tail spin when I get those. I have been strong and not responded, but it is SO HARD not to slip back in to familiar patterns.
On his birthday I hope you do something special for you. Your birthday was ruined by his theatrics and you deserve to be celebrated. If you really feel the urge to celebrate him then make a donation to a rehab or recovery center.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:14 PM
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Lose the guilt. It can rule your life and alcoholics are notorious for laying it on us without us even knowing it.

You know what you should do for his birthday? Go out and buy yourself THE BEST birthday present ever! Spend the money you would spend on him (and I know it would be a relatively large amount) on YOU! And while you're buying it, you can say out loud, "Happy birthday Bob." and it will meet your criteria that he not know Treat yourself just as good as, or better than, how you would treat him. You deserve that.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:09 PM
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L2L, your post made me cry. Not exactly what I was expecting when I read it, but maybe because it's just so true.

I put so much on hold, due to his spending and his constant over-scheduling and his drinking...

I feel sorry for him, that he was in a car accident. I'm glad he's gotten out of the hospital. I'm grateful that he was in there, because it's more time he wasn't able to drink, and maybe more time for him to think about things. I'm sorry that our relationship degraded from the lies and manipulation so badly that I didn't believe him when he said he was in an accident.

But you know what? And this is how much this threw me for a loop, but I just realized this now. I am grateful that I did not pick him up, and kept the no contact going, because if I hadn't, I would have been in that car.

He always drove, unless he was completely drunk, and if I picked him up he would have driven starting at leaving from rehab, including some very major highways, rather than on the "neighborhood" roads near his house.

I would have been in the passenger seat. I might not be sitting here typing this right now.

...I have a lot of things to be grateful for. (You guys are also near the top of the list). Thank you.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:31 PM
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no contact means not opening and reading the emails. when you open and read them you are breaking not contact yourself. you can also set your email system to route his emails directly into the trash (and you will never see them unless he changes email addresses).

take care,

cyranoak
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:11 PM
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Remember the story about the boy who cried wolf?
Yeah. You're the people in the village, who had heard the cry so many times that when it was actually true, you didn't believe it.

And that's OK.

I love L2L's idea for a birthday celebration. And next time, I agree with Cyrano, just archive his e-mail without reading it. You'll save yourself a lot of grief that way.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
Lose the guilt. It can rule your life and alcoholics are notorious for laying it on us without us even knowing it.

You know what you should do for his birthday? Go out and buy yourself THE BEST birthday present ever! Spend the money you would spend on him (and I know it would be a relatively large amount) on YOU! And while you're buying it, you can say out loud, "Happy birthday Bob." and it will meet your criteria that he not know Treat yourself just as good as, or better than, how you would treat him. You deserve that.
L2L, I like the way you think.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:54 PM
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I have to agree, opening and reading the email is breaking your own boundary of no contact but as codies I do understand your deep desire to “know” what’s going on with him.

Was there any substance in this email regarding you? Was there any apologies for his behaviors prior to rehab? Any mynute morsal of remorse or was it all about him like usually?

Much like Kryptonite that can injure or kill superman……….guilt is a codies kryptonite.

Try working on getting control over your guilt… when guilt is running our lives we’re in big trouble!
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:14 AM
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Send a birthday card and leave it at that. We all need support. A card costs you $2.00. It will probably mean alot more to him. Make it an annual tradition and leave it at that. Not everything someone does is manipulation. Sometimes people are just in pain.
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:44 AM
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If you want to maintain no contact but buy a gift that is altruistic and isn't for you, how about giving to charity instead? In the UK we have Oxfam who have the most amazing gifts! Charity Gifts - For People Who Need Them Most | Oxfam Unwrapped
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:52 AM
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Three weeks ago I was at home enjoying my evening with my cat in my lap. A friend had invited me over and I declined because I was so much enjoying just being home. The phone rang and it was my XAH. He was in the ER, had fallen and broken a bone and asked me to go check on his pets. He was afraid they had run outside when the ambulance came. I went over and his pets were fine. The minute I went in I saw two empty George Dickel bottles on the counter. One minute I was home enjoying myself and the next minute I was sucked back into his alcoholic vortex. Please be careful and don't let this happen to you.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:29 AM
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Nothing more to add.....just adding my support to the pile! Lots of great insights from posts above.......

Love L2L's birthday idea too!!

Take care Phiz
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:36 AM
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L2L, your post made me cry. Not exactly what I was expecting when I read it, but maybe because it's just so true.

I put so much on hold, due to his spending and his constant over-scheduling and his drinking...
It is true! I am sure there is a gorgeous pair of shoes that you will love, and that will go a long way to bringing you small bits of joy every time you wear them, just calling your name. Or perhaps a pretty dress? A new handbag? Some new, expensive make-up from the department store? Maybe I should start a new thread to give you some ideas of things you can get yourself instead of wasting more money on someone who does not treat you the way you should be treated. I always took care of others and did for others, over the top, mistakenly thinking in the back of my mind that if I did these things, they would do the same for me. It's just not so. We have to take care of ourselves the way we want others to take care of us.

I feel sorry for him, that he was in a car accident. I'm glad he's gotten out of the hospital. I'm grateful that he was in there, because it's more time he wasn't able to drink, and maybe more time for him to think about things. I'm sorry that our relationship degraded from the lies and manipulation so badly that I didn't believe him when he said he was in an accident.
Whatever it is he has going on in his life, StarCat, whatever is wrong or sick or sad, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. You are NOT responsible for this. And feeling sorry for him does not help him at all. He has to learn to stand on his own two feet. To face his demons and the problems he has created for himself. That is what ALL men have to do. But when there are women (and yes, other men) who step in for him and take care of those things, he never has the opportunity to do it for himself. We have to give them their dignity back. And if he chooses to sink, that is his choice and not our fault. Also, he has his own Higher Power. And you have yours. You have to step back and let his Higher Power handle him. You work yourself out with your own Higher Power. If you have guilt, don't act on it, take it to your Higher Power instead.

Keep up the good work. You can do this. No Contact.
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:08 AM
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In reflection on my history with AH, these moments occur for various reasons. We find ourselves having to stop and think about our reactions -whether to listen to them or not - trying to guess at the right answers. What does that tell you about the relationship?

The rest of the world doesn't know what we go through and cannot see situations through our exp. They know what normal is and our sense of it changes living with them.

Something in the relationship took you to the point of separating and no contact - remember why. I agree with something mentioned earlier - do any of his contacts begin with "I am sorry" / "I messed things up"/ "I want to make things right" followed by what he will do for you?

I do understand the anxiety about the BD so close to the break up. For two years through our separation and on/off contact I have sent a card. The reason for it is this: we are still married and see each other everyday- if I wasn't married I wouldn't send one. BTW - he did not ever remember my BD through all this. This year I will not be sending one and it will be strange but I am not wasting my time.

I do like the suggestion of buying yourself something with the money you would have spent on him. Buying him a card or anything only keeps him in your life and is that what you want to do?
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:42 PM
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he said one thing that turned out to be true according to his sister. whoop-de-do. and you are feeling guilty because he said one thing that you thought was probably another lie? you didn't scream LIAR at him all you did was think that on past experience he was probably lying.

and I know cataracts can get worse gradually so that you get accustomed to them, but it is still our responsibility, especially when we know we have a medical problem, to ensure that we get it checked/treated regularly and don't put other people in danger by driving when we can't see properly. I'm sorry he was in a car crash but I'm very happy you weren't sitting in the car and I hope no-one else was hurt.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:59 PM
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Am I the only one
who just sees this as a major manipulation?

I mean -

you were no contact
so he manipulates his sister into calling you

which is contact by proxy.

And sure enough -

all that old stuff comes flooding back in.

Just as he planned.

His birthday?
I know what to do for his birthday -
Go out and buy YOUSELF something.
report his email for spam

and don't answer any of his sister's calls.

He'll be manipulating the Pope into writing you a letter of something next.


You're doing so well with moving on.
But this ... isn't moving on.
It's being a puppet stuff.

Maybe I'm the only one who sees it this way.

If I'm wrong, ignore the post.
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