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Breakthrough and breakdown... :(

Old 03-13-2011, 03:55 PM
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Unhappy Breakthrough and breakdown... :(

Well, I guess I was just setting myself up for disappointment. After an encouraging phone call that my ABF was thinking about Antabuse and increasing his MD/counsellor visits, he got trashed on Friday night. Called me at 4 on Saturday, having just woken up from his hangover. He asked if I wanted to come over and watch sports. I asked if he could do it without drinking. He didn't reply, and we haven't talked since.

Intellectually, I know that he is powerless over his addiction, and that is why he "chooses" alcohol over me. Although he always said he would never put anything before me, beer has, again won. And that breaks my heart, because he is the love of my life.

I have been seeing a therapist who said that I (and other ACA) choose alcoholic partners because we are looking to "fix" our childhood. When I told her last week that I felt I had been grieving him and the imminent loss of our relationship, she said maybe I'm grieving my childhood, too.

Today, in a moment of sobbing and grief, I had new clarity around that statement. I have always been seeking someone to pick me over alcohol. My dad picked alcohol over me, and it let him molest me. My mom picked alcohol over me, so she could turn a blind eye to my dad's actions. My brother picked alcohol over me, so he could hide from the abuses in our family, and it let him beat the **** out of me, and tell me that I was worthless. He broke a table on my ankle once. My ABF has actually been the first person to value me, and teach me to value myself, but he can't choose me over alcohol. Sadder still, he can't value himself the way he has valued me.

I will never win over alcohol because it is so much stronger than anyone. Which led me to the realization that I have to be stronger than alcohol. I have to pick myself over alcohol. I guess that is the whole point of recovery, to heal ourselves. I just wish it didn't hurt so bad Another weekend spent in tears. But I guess that is healing, too...

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Old 03-13-2011, 04:39 PM
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I'm glad you're in therapy, but I'm sorry this hurts so much. I've found that the times I've learned the most, it came after a lot of hurt and pain, or bad times.

I wasn't raised in an alcoholic or codie family, yet I think I was born codie. I've only had relationships with men who were addicted to something...developed my own addiction along the way, in order to numb out the pain.

It's taken time, but we do get better and believe that we deserve more than what we've always gotten/accepted.

I've been taking time out, for me, to learn about me and disprove those thoughts that have been rampant in my mind, for years and years. Working on getting out of what one of my friends calls my "uncomfortable comfort zone"...meaning I get miserable, but stay in the same frame of mind because it's what I know.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:53 PM
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My AH has also been the love of my life.

But now I don't really know what to think about that since a conversation I had last week.

"He was the love of my life," my good friend said about her ex-husband , a mean spirited, verbally abusive man she'd been married to for 29 years). Her ex was not an alcoholic. She spoke with emphasis on the word was.

I have a new love, she said. "It's me." I've been thinking about what she said all weekend.
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:27 PM
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Courageous, take care of that grief--be grateful you are acknowledging it so you can move on. The whole thing is horrible, it's tragic and it just sucks, doesn't it? I hear you--someone once told me that I could never move on until I got over the sadness of my Dad's choosing alcohol over his family. I'm trying--but I probably haven't cried enough tears yet--can I borrow a few of yours? .

So, I'm sorry your weekend was so painful, but it sounds like you are going to come out the other side stronger.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:06 PM
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Exclamation Book recommendation alert!

I just spent the weekend enthralled with a new book I found in my amazon recommended list. I even quoted from it on another post today, and after reading this post thought it may be a good recommendation for you, courageouscrane, and for all of us, for that matter.

Emotional Unavailability: Recognizing It, Understanding It, and Avoiding its Trap, by Bryn C. Collins, MA, LP

It includes the 'holics, but is far more broad in scope. And includes practical advice for us regular folks plodding along through life and seem to get blindsided by certain types of people.

I walked away from this weekend of reading and self-reflection knowing I have spent my entire adulthood trying to get men like my own father to love me, and he was completely emotionally unavailable. I have kept trying in each relationship I've had. Trying to change them with the "love of a good woman". I am not upset about this realization, just kind of relieved that I can become aware of this pattern now so it stops repeating itself.

I also recognize now how I have played the game and been emotionally unavailable at times, too. One chapter even covers conversational tools to remain emotional available while protecting oneself from attack from those who are not. Pretty good stuff.

Anyway...just thought I'd pass this along. I hope your week gets better from here. My experience is that once the grief lifted, I felt even better than before. What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger, right?!

Take good care,
~T
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:16 PM
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Your post really touched me as I'm right there beside you sitting on the couch, passing tissues...

Originally Posted by courageouscrane View Post

Intellectually, I know that he is powerless over his addiction, and that is why he "chooses" alcohol over me. Although he always said he would never put anything before me, beer has, again won. And that breaks my heart, because he is the love of my life...

I have been seeing a therapist who said that I (and other ACA) choose alcoholic partners because we are looking to "fix" our childhood...

I guess that is the whole point of recovery, to heal ourselves. I just wish it didn't hurt so bad Another weekend spent in tears. But I guess that is healing, too...
My AH of 8 years is the love of my life. I've never been with anyone as long as I've been with him. I've told him things I never told anyone else on earth. He's always telling me how he loves me more than life itself, I'm all he has, all he loves and cares about and then gets drunk and calls me everything but a child of God & at times has gone into a rage that had me running out the house, only for him to wake up in the morning wondering where his wife is... When he came home from detox he said all he wanted was to be sober so he can go back to work and take care of me and give me the things I deserve after all these years of me taking care of everything. Well we're separated again less than 4 months out of detox and he's drinking and blaming me for it. I've sat back many a day trying to understand why he chooses to drink when it makes him crazy and abusive. Am I not a good woman who meets all his needs? He says I am but then he says I'm not. He even went so far this week as to tell me to put my wedding rings up because until he can "have his wife back" I don't deserve to wear the rings HE bought!!

I called Friday to go back into therapy after a week of verbal assaults that left me exhausted. I realized today that he left me so emotionally & mentally spent that I didn't make any F2F meetings and I definitely notice the difference.

I'm also looking at my childhood, my abandonment & rejection issues from my father; my controlling codependent mother and the slew of traumatic and abusive episodes/relationships that have riddled my life. In addition to reviewing Steps 1-3 I'm starting Step 4 to better understand the connection and why after 8 years of instability and insanity I still hope to make my marriage work.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:36 PM
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someone once told me that I could never move on until I got over the sadness of my Dad's choosing alcohol over his family.
My dad was a abusive alcoholic too. How does one get over that hurt and sadness. I've also felt guilt over feeling free an relieved when he died in a car crash when I was 14. Of course I mourned and was in shock but I felt really free and have had guilt over those feelings because no one should feel 'free' when their dad dies. Maybe its different for men / women?
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:50 PM
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good work on here!

yes it's sad and yes it's anger time -
but that will pass.

ANd now you know for certain what love isn't.
When we get to that place where we understand
that what we were feeling wasn't 'meant to be'
instead it was 'what we've always known'....

that ... my dear - is the beginning of power.

sometimes in order to discovery what something is
we must first completely understand what it is not.

that makes the space for something far more enriching
and far more beautiful.

I am not minimizing the pain and grief for what never was
but instead am focusing on the new beauty
that is now free to find you.

It will pass.
Just let it flow.

Well done.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:09 PM
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Sorry for so much pain, today.

It CAN be healing to feel it, though. I drank for a long time because it was scary and upsetting to feel stuff. But until you feel it, you can't really heal from it.

Many hugs to all who are hurting,
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:39 PM
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I am going through many similar discoveries as you in counseling.
I am also an ACoA. Although my last relationship with an alcoholic ended over 2 years ago, I had another relationship that was equally unhealthy. The counseling is helping me be a better parent and eventually be an equal partner in a healthy relationship.
Working through my history is hard, but so rewarding.
It sounds like you are already making choices that put you first. Congratulations! You can do it!
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:22 PM
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Thanks to all

I agree with everyone that digging up the past uncovers new skeletons, but at least then we can put them to rest the right way, and start rebuilding. I guess that long and hard process is how we start to feel better, and even feel good. It does feel better to grieve, and I am slowly, painfully, learning that. And learning that there is a lot to be grieved, and it only gets worse if I stray from my path. I guess that's the point of the DABDA idea: denial, anger, betrayal, depression, acceptance. You can't reach acceptance until you've gone through all of the other muck. I actually feel better to be slogging through it, with my feet firmly planted, than to be spinning my wheels in the mud and crapstorm of emotions.

Thanks for sharing your experience Lexie. I have struggled very much with the same problem feeling hard emotions, so much so that I wondered if there was something wrong with me. It's ironic, because a few weeks ago, I wished I could just feel them rather than burying them, and lo and behold, I'm a sobbing mess! But at least appreciating it.

Indy, I don't think there's any reason to feel guilt about feeling relieved. Part of my practice, in addition to delivering babies and prenatal care, includes abortion care. Pretty much all patients having an abortion feel guilt for making that heartwrenching choice. But the truth is, it is a choice that they make that is compassionate and selfless, whether because they don't have the time, resources, etc. to have (another) child, because their partner is abusive, or because they were raped. That is, I think it is completely normal to feel relief after something traumatic that we want to, and are ready to, move on from. I imagine that, when my father dies, I will have much of the same. He was a monster to me, and it is something that I carry with me like an albatross. I think that men and women have the same emotions, but probably process them differently. Have you had any sort of counseling to unpack the issues surrounding your father's death and your childhood? Because you were so young when it happened, you probably didn't have enough tools in your kit to really process it all.

Destiny, thank you for sharing your story with me. I am so sorry that you are going through what you're going through. I hope that you can make it to a F2F meeting soon. It sounds like you are doing good work, and I hope that you can keep it up and maintain your sanity. I know what a hard and complicated road this is. Wish I didn't, but at least we have someone to share tissues with

Tuffgirl, thanks for the book recommendation! It sounds like a gem, and so appropriate. I will check it out ASAP. Glad that you got such good stuff from it.

Solomio, thanks. Sorry you had to deal with an alcoholic home, it really sucks. But I bet by being here you are getting stronger every day.

Verbena, thanks for sharing your friend's thoughts. I think that is a really great point, and kind of the conclusion that I am drawing. Now I just have to figure out how to actually be a good friend to myself, and fall in love with me.

Amy, I totally know that "uncomfortable zone." It is my worst nightmare, and it is a trainwreck every time. For me, it is a downward spiral aggravated by an overactive imagination and a deep self-loating. Haven't figured out a good fix yet, but I am hoping that all this grieving will do something good for it.

Thanks again to everyone. I am so grateful for this board, and for all of its members. Hope everyone has a good week.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:21 PM
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Barb ... amazing. Thank you for putting these crazy emotions into words!!! Very uplifting and inspiring - i LOVE your perspective!! Thank You!!

Originally Posted by barb dwyer View Post
good work on here!

yes it's sad and yes it's anger time -
but that will pass.

ANd now you know for certain what love isn't.
When we get to that place where we understand
that what we were feeling wasn't 'meant to be'
instead it was 'what we've always known'....

that ... my dear - is the beginning of power.

sometimes in order to discovery what something is
we must first completely understand what it is not.

that makes the space for something far more enriching
and far more beautiful.

I am not minimizing the pain and grief for what never was
but instead am focusing on the new beauty
that is now free to find you.

It will pass.
Just let it flow.

Well done.
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Verbena View Post
"He was the love of my life," my good friend said about her ex-husband , a mean spirited, verbally abusive man she'd been married to for 29 years). Her ex was not an alcoholic. She spoke with emphasis on the word was. I have a new love, she said. "It's me."
Wow, that's powerful. Something to strive for, for sure.
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:59 PM
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My heart goes out to you CC. In reading your posts it is clear you've put a lot of yourself into trying to support him and understand who he is. It must be hard to realize that all that emotional effort didn't give you the results you hoped for.

But perhaps your journey is just beginning into understanding who YOU are and how the past shapes us but does not determine who we ultimately become. Sometimes very painful things give us the most growth. Small comfort while you put those dreams with him away I know. Something tells me you'll get through this wiser and stronger
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:22 AM
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Have you had any sort of counseling to unpack the issues surrounding your father's death and your childhood? Because you were so young when it happened, you probably didn't have enough tools in your kit to really process it all.
CC, Nope, Just dealt with it with the family. We all moved on. I feel sorry for him now. He has no legacy. Us kids just knew him as an abusive drunk. I do relate my experience with others when the topic is brought up at meetings. Like you said I realize a burden is painful but when its lifted is a relief. So, no need to feel guilty or wrong for feeling naturally relieved. TY
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:20 PM
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The pain you are feeling now is spurring you on to want to change..and what a gift that is...stepping off the merry go round of addiction (waiting for someone to get help, excited when thay say they will,crushed when they inevitably don't) is very freeing and grounding at the same time..loving detatchment restored my sanity..
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