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Old 03-04-2011, 06:33 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
Tonight I am full of resentment and hurt. I hate my mother for destroying my spirit from birth onward (literally on the day I was born she wrote a letter to me which she gave me years later telling me she regretted having me and that I'd already stolen my father away from her simply by being born). I hate that I never had a chance growing up and that no one stepped in to help (bc of fear of my mother's wrath on them- grown adults who knew she was abusing me turned a blind eye). And then when I left home and gained some self esteem over many years, I wound up falling in love with someone who IS my mother but in a younger, male form.
I would like to twist this a little bit, and take a different perspective. Let's replace the word "hate" with "I'm very angry that."

Now, let's look at anger, in this context. I'd like to point out that anger is a GOOD THING. Not that we want to live life angry, or let it fester. But the presence of anger indicates the mounting of a self-defense against something that is damaging you. The fact that your inner self is mounting a defense, and it's coming out as anger is GOOD. This indicates that inside your psyche, you believe you are valuable enough to merit defense. Imagine if you took abuse, and never mounted an anger response, because your self-worth was so low your inner self didn't believe you were worth defending... see what I mean? So the ability to get angry at things that damage you is A GOOD THING.


Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I guess maybe I deserve these circumstances since I was stupid enough to leave the frying pan (my mother) and jump right into the fire (husband). Thinking I would ever be happy, find someone normal and that I deserved any of that was just plain foolish of me...
Here I would like to gently point out that you were a defenseless child, brought into a damaging and dysfunctional dynamic. It is not your fault that you sustained damage from this. It is a very good thing that now, as an adult, you are beginning to see this damage for what it is, what it created in you, what it has done to your perspectives and life choices. Now, as an adult, you are doing a terrific thing - reaching out to change. You are here, on a board, looking for information, support, perspectives. This is a wonderful step, utilizing your now adult abilities, to start to look at your life and make changes, both for yourself, and for your children.

You deserve a lot of credit for these positive things... keep going, change is a long road and very difficult, but you ARE moving in that direction, and are doing things to get you unstuck!

Sending encouragement!

CLMI
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:37 AM
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I get tjp's point, and I understand wanttobe's, as I have a friend who is barely speaking to me now because I repeated back to her what she was saying in different language. Re-framing is helpful - especially when we have been raised in crazy and can't tell which end is up sometimes.

Sometimes we really CAN'T hear ourselves and it is helpful (or motivational through anger or reaction) to another interpretation of our words.

wanttobe, I had a husband from a well-regarded family. Only I knew that they were all crazy and vicious. I am still hearing crap (as recently as last week) about how awful I am and how I ruined his business by the things I said. What's true is that his behavior ruined our marriage and his business is failing due to the way he has been handling things, and I just got out. And now everybody's mad at me for getting out and ruining the "happy family" facade.

What IS true? My kids are happy, healthy, peaceful, and free to just be children. I am on my own. Making big decisions and not always enjoying every single minute, but doing it. And not living with abuse.

You know what's right for your children. Even if it's hard for you, you will do what's best for them.
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:23 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I really do want feedback and to be challenged and am open to hearing (bc I know it's true) that my perspective is not healthy.

I just really could do without the tone of tjp's post... There's a lot to be said for how you say things.

I also know that I am particularly sensitive and struggling right now, which was precisely why I asked at least initially, that people be gentle.

There's a fine line between enabling and saying real truths but in a kind way.

I am very appreciative for all the thoughts, perspectives and compassion (as well as nudging to rethink things) that you all have offered.

A bit more history. I am the oldest of 6. I am the "black sheep" but didn't see that until a few years ago. What I believed my entire life was what I was told (and when you are told it from childhood on, that is what you know as face) and that was that I was bad.

When my husband started to be less able to hide his drinking and was also diagnosed with bpd, I left. That was last Spring. I took the girls and went to my mothers bc that was what I had for options. Instead of support, I was told I was the cause of all the problems in my marriage. And at that point I got into therapy bc I thought I might lose my mind.

My therapist recommended I read about bpd and I nearly had an aneurysm when I realized that what I grew up with wasn't just sucky and a bit off, but was quite abusive and insane (quite literally).

At 38 yrs old I started remembering parts of my life that I hadn't previously been denying but honestly didn't think existed. Up until last year my "memories" of growing up were largely the stories my mother repeats over and over (all happy, fun) and I've never felt at ease with these "memories" bc something didn't feel right about them. Despite that of course I vigorously repeated the stories to friends over the years when talking about our childhoods and nearly convinced myself that these moments were real.

Fast forward to reading some literature on BPD and therapy and it was like a connect the dots game taking place in my head. All these disparate events, feelings etc that I never understood and couldn't make sense of, started to make sense.

And at the same time this was occuring my husband's alcoholism was growing. I started trying to set boundaries for myself (and did so) and the response from him was an all out attempt through any means necessary to get me back into the same patterns as before.

Also occuring at this time, my husbands' father (severe alcoholic) and mother were both hospitalized with life threatening medical crises. My husband's siblings and parents are, to say the least, toxic. When he started spending more and more time with them during the health crisis, they fueled his resentment toward me for changing. So instead of just his own mind justifying his behavior he had several people telling him day in and day out that I was the sole problem and this was repeated to me. My mother was also still telling me this.

So, it's really hard, even right now, a year later, to believe with 100% certainty that they are not all correct....
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:33 AM
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Ugg. I could be writing this story. My XAH did 30 days in-patient (after a forced intervention, which is another whole story-I don't reccommend them) Within days to a week of being out he was sneaking and drinking. He blamed me, of course, saying I wasn't supportive enough and it didn't matter if he was drinking or not things wouldn't change and blah BLAH BLAH. That talk is what we here at SR call Quacking. How can we expect to be happy and act like none of it ever happened because he has been sober for 30 days in a controlled environment? Really? Hooray for you and your vodka 3 days later.
Just realize, he is trying to manipulate himself back into your life. He will say anything right now to make that happen. My advice would be, at least for now, is to not answer the phone. Delete voicemails and texts. Don't allow him to do this to you. Good luck and keep posting and reading here. I dare say that this site has helped me even more than Al-Anon!
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:48 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Hi & welcome Wanttobehealthy.
Your story is similar to mine & my experience has been that once you start to awaken hold onto your hat. As you're already finding, there is enormous pressure from everyone to step back into the old dance. It will take everything you've got not to do that. When your internal compass was messed up in childhood so that North is South & East is West & hot is cold & day is night & torture is fun & really horrible weird stuff is normal - it takes a Herculean effort to untangle the past before you can even start on the current problems. Please don't ditch this forum, no matter how challenging or confronting or even sometimes rude the responses may be. To find your way out of this nightmare you'll need to gather all the resources you can. You're obviously intelligent & you sound like you've got a pretty good handle on reality. If you can find an excellent therapist, that will be an invaluable asset. Good luck with your journey.
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Helenlee View Post
Hi & welcome Wanttobehealthy.
Your story is similar to mine & my experience has been that once you start to awaken hold onto your hat. As you're already finding, there is enormous pressure from everyone to step back into the old dance. It will take everything you've got not to do that. When your internal compass was messed up in childhood so that North is South & East is West & hot is cold & day is night & torture is fun & really horrible weird stuff is normal - it takes a Herculean effort to untangle the past before you can even start on the current problems. Please don't ditch this forum, no matter how challenging or confronting or even sometimes rude the responses may be. To find your way out of this nightmare you'll need to gather all the resources you can. You're obviously intelligent & you sound like you've got a pretty good handle on reality. If you can find an excellent therapist, that will be an invaluable asset. Good luck with your journey.
Helen
Thanks so much Helen.... Hold on to my hat is just how I've felt and it's been 8 or so months since I started in therapy. My therapist is very good and challenges me (harshly at times but it's okay) but I have been thinking lately that I might need someone who can let me go back and revisit the past bc in order to get past it I think I have to address it, you know?

Sometimes I feel like my mind will explode with all that is swirling around. I am trying to find healthy ways to live today, with an alcoholic husband, but I feel stuck at the age my daughters are to a certain degree in that I never learned any skills to deal with hurt feelings other than to stuff them deep inside, and I never felt I had a right to say I was hurt since the few times I did/have recently I am told I caused the event that hurt me or that it is all in my head. Trying to wrap my head around what is and isn't real is quite overwhelming.

I will keep coming back bc reading others threads and reading on the alcoholic board is really helping me understand...
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by nodaybut2day View Post

Eventually, I realized that there's no prize for who suffers the most.

.... I realized that if I died then and there, there would be no note on my tombstone saying "Here lies NoDay. She was a saint 'cause her hubby was a pain in the @ss to deal with".
Love it, NoDay....LOL...because I believe that has been a subconscious driver in my putting up with all kinds of stuff. Wow, I get a pat on the back for being so "nice", his friends even tell me I'm a saint, and you're right--who cares?? As you eloquently pointed out, if you truly want to inspire people it's not going to be with long-suffering and a hair shirt.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:46 AM
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I am not seen as a saint for putting up with my husband, in fact I am seen as the problem and it is he with the saintly reputation (yes, even after being arrested he is the victim!).

So, I wish I could pin my reasons for staying on that martyr issue but I think my reasons are bc of fear of the unknown, fear of what if this is all I do deserve and fear that I won't find anything better.

I KNOW that is sick thinking... but it has taken me a LONG time just to figure out that that is what I think so acting to change it isn't going to happen tomorrow...
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I am not seen as a saint for putting up with my husband, in fact I am seen as the problem and it is he with the saintly reputation (yes, even after being arrested he is the victim!).

So, I wish I could pin my reasons for staying on that martyr issue but I think my reasons are bc of fear of the unknown, fear of what if this is all I do deserve and fear that I won't find anything better.
Yeah, have had all of those problems at various times, the last two were the things that I really got hung up on.

But it finally got to the point where I realized that there was absolutely no future in continuing down the road I was on. What we call a bottom.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:01 AM
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I thought I'd reached the bottom when he was arrested and had to be out of the house due to a no contact order for a period of time... The first days were awful and I literally thought I would not be able to function without him around (real healthy I know!)... But then I realized I was more relaxed, happier, more peaceful (but still sad).

Then I believed the words and actual changes I did see and let him come home and I'm right back where I started; except this time I DO know that I CAN do it on my own if I get to a point that I decide to do that... So I guess maybe we, like they, learn a bit more with each "relapse"?
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post

I have stayed (and I haven't EVER been this honest about this so be gentle with me!) because I don't want to face the consequences of being painted as the crazy one...I have selfishly stayed in large part (though there is love in my heart for him as well) because I don't want to be viewed negatively by our community and he has already demonstrated that he will destroy (or try to) my reputation if I leave...
The fact that you can clearly see this dynamic in your life is HUGE, and will go a long way in helping you get better. We cannot change the things we are not aware of.

I cannot say this better than CatLover did:

"It is a very good thing that now, as an adult, you are beginning to see this damage for what it is, what it created in you, what it has done to your perspectives and life choices. Now, as an adult, you are doing a terrific thing - reaching out to change. You are here, on a board, looking for information, support, perspectives. This is a wonderful step, utilizing your now adult abilities, to start to look at your life and make changes, both for yourself, and for your children."

Yes, yes, yes!
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:17 AM
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Just wanted to offer my support and understanding. I have only been on this site for a week, and am in the same position as you are. ( right down to the same mother issue) It's hard. 2 days ago I was ready to leave, and today, not so much.
Like you said, it would be easier if it was always bad. But just yesterday, my AH went out and took care of all the reasons I had for leaving, even though I had yet to have a conversation with him about it. All except one that is.

Anyway, you are in my thoughts and prayers. And keep posting, and reading. I know its helping me tremendously.

I'll leave you with this..... Yesterday, it was really hot in the house, because the stove was going, and my AH asked me how I could sit so close to the fire with a sweater on, to which I replied " I'm used to living under adverse conditions."
I think that sums it up for many of us right there!
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I guess maybe I deserve these circumstances since I was stupid enough to leave the frying pan (my mother) and jump right into the fire (husband). Thinking I would ever be happy, find someone normal and that I deserved any of that was just plain foolish of me...
No. No one ever deserves to be abused or live in fear.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
So I guess maybe we, like they, learn a bit more with each "relapse"?
The thing I finally 'learned'-in the process, anyways-is that the only person that has to change is me.

It took some very painful lessons for me to learn that.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:33 AM
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What has helped me get through the abuse, the separation, the threats that came after, the custody and divorce proceedings was coming to the realization that everything happens for a reason. Yes, there is great suffering to be had living with an abusive A, but for me, it culminated in an eye-opening moment that I didn't HAVE to be involved in toxic relationships anymore. Until my relationship and marriage with my XAH, almost all my relationships, romantic or otherwise, were unhealthy in some way.

Once I realized that there was an element of *choice* in my pattern of behaviour, I started to see how I could start my life over. It was lonely, and sometimes painful, but again, SR held me up and made me realize that no one ever died from being uncomfortable. The pain does pass and the clouds do part.

So, yes, I agree with you wanttobehealthy...you learned something from your AH's latest relapse. You learned not to trust words but to look at actions instead. And somehow, your journey lead you here, which I see as yet another awesome step in the right direction.
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