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Does anyone else do this?

Old 02-02-2011, 09:14 AM
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Does anyone else do this?

Been doing a lot of thinking about how life has changed. One area that I see is I live life not trying to rock the boat. I dont go places because I dont want to deal with all the questions. I turn off my cell phone because of all the questions of who might be on the other end. I dont attend certain functions or gatherings because I dont want to enter a discussion. I mentioned in another post that things have been leveling off for awhile and I realized part of the reason why...I am a shadow of who I used to be.

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Old 02-02-2011, 09:35 AM
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Yes and no.
I've always been a person who doesn't really go out to places. The places I do go, probably know the situation and if they don't, I don't necessarily beat around the bush. I'm up front. If people can't respect my situation at home then I don't have time for them.

But yes, I am certainly a shadow/shell of who I used to be. See my forum name for clues.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:37 AM
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I am talking about all the stuff to deal with when I get home.

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Old 02-02-2011, 10:34 AM
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When I was with XABF, absolutely, yes!
I stopped talking to my parents because he always told me that I was mean and self-centered for days afterward.
I didn't go to my best friend's wedding (I was going to be a bridesmaid) because he complained he didn't want to be around my family, what would he do while I was participating in the wedding, of course he was going because I was invited so he had to go, no this weekend was a bad weekend to try on dresses, etc, etc, etc.
I kept my phone off whenever I was with him.
I stopped driving my car anywhere because he freaked out when I wasn't with him.
I had to announce whenever I was going to a different room, whenever I was going to the bathroom, what I was doing on the computer that was taking so long, etc, etc, etc.
The list could go on forever.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:54 AM
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Like Shellcrusher, I didn't go out too much before XAH anyway. I was pretty happy curled up in a chair reading. But, if a friend called and said "Hey! We're hanging out here." I'd go. After living with XAH, I didn't go. I stopped seeing my family, for much the same reasons that StarCat mentioned. Plus it was too draining to make up excuses for why XAH wasn't there, or why XAH was being an a-- if he was there.

I became the master of "I'm doing great! How's you're day going?" with a smile on my face when co-workers would ask how I was doing. I became an even better listener than I already was and would manuever any discussion back to their weekend, their week, their plans rather than actually answer any questions about mine.

I definitely feel like a shadow, but I think I'm s_l_o_w_l_y re-gaining my substance, my solidity. It's taking a lot of work and some days I really do not want to do it, but the alternative is fading away again. I didn't like it when dealing with XAH made me feel like nothing and I don't want to make myself feel that way.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:26 PM
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My life was fairly balanced and my partner actually encouraged me to do things I loved to do and if that didn’t include him, that was ok. We both worked at having our own separate things in life knowing that was healthy.

It was much different when he would be in active addiction. He became more smothering and needy, didn’t like me being gone for long periods of time, etc.
Then there would be times when he didn’t mind at all if I was out at a meeting, meeting a friend for tea, shopping….but I recall getting numerous phone calls – when are you coming home? I think part of that was him wanting to know just how F----ed up he could get but more his insecurity.

Another response I did to his active addiction was limiting my outside activities out of fear of him being alone for too long and possible ODing, driving in that condition, etc.

I learned pretty early that talking to my “normal” friends caused me further distress when dealing with the issue of addiction, I learned to stick to those kind of talks to my al-anon friends.

I do think we lose a part of ourselves to their addiction, their issues and as their isolation grows from life our response does too.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by atalose View Post
...I learned pretty early that talking to my “normal” friends caused me further distress when dealing with the issue of addiction, I learned to stick to those kind of talks to my al-anon friends...
I understand what you're saying now, grizz. So yes. My life is very different and I quoted atalose because my very close friends really don't talk to me anymore. They don't understand the issues with my AW or me. They try to sympathize but in the end, they're thinking, **** no!, this guy is a downer and so is his AW. We won't be asking them over anytime soon. Or gosh, we can't even enjoy a beer anymore without it turning into some major discussion about the AW. I'm no fun anymore.

Damn!
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:00 PM
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Well Shellcrusher,
I can understand what your saying. But what I am learning is that we have to have a life anyways. It may be that we are alone more, but for right now I am enjoying a bit of solitude. I am doing some things that I have always wanted to do but couldnt. We never did go out with friends much so they have no idea of what is really going on. That is why this site is important. I bet though as you find the new normal you will realize that you have a lot to offer....you do on this site anyways, keep it up.

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Old 02-02-2011, 01:08 PM
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Hi Grizz,

I know exactly what you mean! This disease is very nasty that way. We tend to stop doing things for ourselves that we enjoy. After a while we spend so much of our time trying to figure out what's going to pi$$ them off, we forget who we are. Which is exactly what the A is happiest with!

When we allow them to 'punish' us when we do the things that make us happy, we wind up spending lots of time huddled up in the corner. It's called 'Learned Helplessness'.

Think of a dog who gets kicked every time he approaches his owner. Eventually, he just slinks away and avoids the owner. To take the analogy a step further, remember (odd as it sounds) that you've got good instincts and a strong back and can stand up for yourself. She's probably far more afraid of loosing you than you are of her reactions to the things you do.

As I learned detachment I started to remember the things I used to like to do and made some plans to start doing them again. This got my wife's attention. She would say things like, I don't think you even want to be around me any more!"

When they see that you're taking care of yourself regardless of what they do, their reactions become theirs alone. Then you see them for the paper tigers that they actually are. You'll say to yourself, "I was afraid of her?"

You deserve to do the things in life that make you happy. The man you once were is still there! Finding him again will give you confidence. And no one has the right to take that from you!
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:53 PM
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Hey SU
You hit the nail on the head my friend. thanks for the reminder. It's not just me either. The kids go to there room and there we sit with a huge elephant in the room and the silence is deafening. I am a rather stoic, quiet person by nature so its easy for me to take it in and not say anything. But I am realizing that my silence = consent. guess I need to work on somethings

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Old 02-02-2011, 02:01 PM
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"A new normal" - good way of putting it, Grizz. My boss and fellow wife of an alcoholic called it "reorganizing my universe". It's very disorienting. I didn't think I had given up very much until I separated from the RAH and it hit me like a ton of bricks how much of a recluse I had become. I wasn't even aware of it - it happened slowly over time.

Now that i recognize my tendencies, I am working toward unburying that woman I used to be. It's difficult and sad sometimes, and strangely exhilarating too. I am remembering now the things I liked to do and the dreams I had for myself once. It just takes time.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:05 PM
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yep. This is part of the plan. The alcoholic tends to try and isolate their partner from the things they used to do, and the friends they used to have. This helps in making it harder for you to leave them, as you don't have anyone or anyplace else to go. Perfect!

So, yes. I am familiar with what you are describing. To a TEE!
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:14 PM
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I can't stand to be controlled like that. I can't let that kind of thing happen to me. It feels like being put into a box and subdued by concrete. I'd have to get away from a person like that. Some people are just stifling.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:31 PM
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It is amazing that every friend you have always has some sort of problem or flaw in there eyes...when there sober there good friends...lol. But when my XAGF would drink she would have to be the center of attention and embarrassing. And that alone is what drives you away from friends and family. I think we are so embarrassed by there behavior that we hide them from everyone...and alot of times im glad I did. They love to belittle everyone you know and enjoy...its a crazy wild behavior.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:04 PM
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Wow, just tonight I dealt with this very thing. My son said I talked to so and so and they said to say hello to you. My heart started racing because AH was there, and I was afraid of his reaction. He can go off on a crazy jealous tangent just because someone thinks of me. Then I was thinking wow this is crazy for me to live this way.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:24 AM
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What I find also happens that when you try to talk to them obout the big elephant in the room, they turn it around and say that it is your fault that they are drinking in the first place. that if I hadnt (you fill in the blank) then I wouldnt be drinking as I do. So I revert back to silence and the whole cycle starts over again.

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Old 02-03-2011, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by grizz View Post
What I find also happens that when you try to talk to them obout the big elephant in the room, they turn it around and say that it is your fault that they are drinking in the first place. that if I hadnt (you fill in the blank) then I wouldnt be drinking as I do. So I revert back to silence and the whole cycle starts over again.

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dangit. There you go again. You ARE definitely spying on me.

this exact same thing happened in my house. over and over.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:10 AM
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In some of my more recent events in the household, I'm met with similar results but I have a new weapon.

I just recite the 3Cs and walk away. I say it directly to her and for me. Helps immensely.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
I can't stand to be controlled like that. I can't let that kind of thing happen to me. It feels like being put into a box and subdued by concrete. I'd have to get away from a person like that. Some people are just stifling.
Yes, but it's much more subtle than that, it's little things, said in passing with calculated results. A subtle, sinister, eroding of our lives and sense of self.

I believe that's why it's so universally effective. Otherwise, I'd be forced to believe I'm some kind of a dumb azz. That's not possible.

Thanks and God bless us all,
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