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Is enabling/controlling a bit like abusing the Alcoholic?

Old 03-31-2011, 11:56 AM
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Is enabling/controlling a bit like abusing the Alcoholic?

My ex. alcoholic bf moved out at the end of February a month ago. Three days later, I received frantic calls from his sponsor and coworker because he hadn't shown up to work for 3 days. It was another of his once a month, 1 liter of vodka/brandy/whisky a day without food or water, for a week straight, benders. And it was a long line in 1.5 years of the same pattern out of 2 years.
He was a supposed "highly functional" alcoholic, in law, a profession saturated with alcoholics. He moved in with me a year ago because his benders got so bad he couldn't even hold down 3-day temp contract law gigs.
I did all that enabling partners did. I called for help when he was drunk and suicidal, and was living in an empty apartment on the last month of his lease, no money, no roommate, no job...and he ended up instituted for 2 weeks in the psych. ward of the intake hospital.

Instead of realizing how low he had gotten, he picked up a young woman in the psych ward who was there working on her low self esteem and validation through unavailable men issues. Obviously, she developed feelings for him, but as the older party, he didnot draw the line.
After he got out, since he had nothing, he moved in with me and lived rent free while on unemployment. Even when he found work at the premiere law firm, he didn't contribute to rent or take responsibility for shared costs, or even acknowledge my birthday---until months later when I finally asked for his share of the rent, food, and bills.

He blamed me for the humiliation of the hospital and money issues. He had over 100k in debt from impulsive and what to a rational person is "insane" financial mismanagement (losing all his savings in stocks, using his ex's home loan to re-invest and lose that as well, use credit cards to buy more stocks and lose them).

After he moved in, for the first few months, I enabled it and didn't nag, criticize or scream---and did everything--laundry, bills, rent, food, walking on eggshells thinking he was getting better and it wouldn't be a "take, take, take" relationship.

He blamed me for my audacity at getting angry at trying to have an affair with the girl he met in the psych ward. Ultimately, she cut the cord and he expected me to understand as he grieved losing her, and would contact her.

Turns out, once he started working, he was cheating on me with coworker while he claimed he had no time for me, no time to fulfill basic "how was your day honey?" talks, and he used the excuse "You put me in the psych ward" as an excuse to do whatever he wanted to do, whenever, without respect for boundaries or rules or my values--or even basic gratitude.

So when I thought he was slaving away rebuilding his life at work, he was strolling across Central Park every evening with her, taking her out to dinners when for me, he would never share a meal with me anywhere but Burger King and the only way I could get him to go out to a proper restaurant with me was for places with cheap cocktails.

But the whole time, he nitpicked at me and I realized once I found out about her, he had been comparing me to her, where I am "bad' and she is "a saint" which excuses his guilt.

Needless to say, he didn't move out for the next eight months---and whenever he was cheating or felt that he was leaving that month, he wouldn't pay his part of rent or contribute but continue eating my food, using my home, and using me--and expected me to drop everything in my life to tend to him when he had benders and the DTs and shaking and hallucinations and heart palpitations.

I discovered there were always other women. And even me at home, a woman or two at work, wasn't adequate---there were also email liaisons.

I realized now, for the past year, after the hospital, he has been a dry drunk--which explains the abusive treatment, the emotional withholding, the extreme defensive anger and impatience at even having to listen to me say "I had a bad day at work" or "I went to the doctor and I have endometriosis and there maybe a cyst," Your drinking/destruction of apartment/keeping me up for 48 hours to 96 hours with 3 hours of sleep a day when you go on benders and drag me out of bed at 3 AM for sex/booze money/ food, I started having nonstop migraines and had to see a neurologist who confirmed my pituitary gland is swollen and could be in a cystic stage or in extreme stress."

None of it registered. I could be sick and he didn't care or fulfill the needs of some alcoholics who at least show some effort at love and care when they aren't actively drinking. So holidays, birthdays, anniversaries---new year's, were all spent with him looking forward to seeing Eileen at work---the woman who was one of a trail of women he tried to betray me with---but of all the women, they both hurt me, directly and indirectly becaues she persisted after she became aware of me.

I've decided to cut all contact with him. Enabling him and keeping him from hitting homeless/debt ridden/rock bottom when he shows such potential hasn't worked and I should never have let him move in or mitigated the consequences of his actions by providing for him. Everytime he's sick, he needs me and loves me. The after the worst of the DTs are over, the arrogant, inflated, anxious, angry, irritated, blaming, "don't want to talk about emotions or the past or how hurt you feel or what illnesses you have while I was knocked out in booze oblivion. I don't care. It's all in the past and I can only think one thing at a time," was the excuse.

But my question after this very long post is---
with normal people (normal in the sense their relationship isn't clouded by alcohol), much of what friends/wives/gfs/bfs/partners/children of alcoholics do to "control" the destruction of the alcoholic is abuse.

You control their finances, hide their wallet when they're on day 4 of a 1 liter a day bender and you are fed up with patiently detaching because there's no way to escape if he's living in your home--you're anxious when you're not home for fear he's burned the place down, you're anxious when you're there for fear if you go to sleep and he leaves the front door wide open, your safety is at risk. And you need to know their whereabouts, and after a while, when you're burnt out and the "walking on eggshells" gets to be too much and you feel like a doormat, you do get angry and scream, nag, call them every name in the book (cheater, liar, inhuman,emotionally bankrupt, unhuman, unfeeling, talking to a wall, selfish, cold, user, scum. disgusting, etc.)---and all you can associate them with is the drunk, dirty, unshowered wreck who made effort to get up only to get more booze---but would literally lie naked for days in filth drinking and waiting for you to come home so they can be fed even if food is in the fridge or left on the table or floor-----like they're wild beasts.
I also used to check his phone which he called total invasion of his privacy. But everytime there were women distractions---Tam Tams and Cecilys and Eileens and Vanessas and a whole trail of women both totally clueless and not so clueless of my existence, he brought the resentment home to me which would eventually lead to drinking. Or they'd encourage him to drink with them in the middle of the day at work, so by 6 PM, he wants more and by the time he gets home, he uses being able to drink whisky in a flask at work with his coworker as the sign that he can drink responsibly at home.
And as for real friends----alcoholics have no concept of priority setting and values. They don't think like functional people---they'll drop everything, even a sick grandmother at the hospital or a loving girlfriend because a woman they just met 2 days ago "needs them." Functional people know there are varying degrees of priorities for friends, family, loved ones who are integral parts of your life, and friends at work who leave with the job and aren't fully ingrained in your life, and people who are not friends.

In his case, he didn't get the concept of basic priority setting of relationships and energy to invest. So he always made it clear these women came first. After his mistress was found out because I contacted her and demanded that she come and pick him up if she wants to be with him, she can do the work involved too in babysitting him---he spent the next six to eight months of the dead end of our relationship blaming me for losing the woman he was cheating on me with, and constantly reminding me that she was a good woman, she was kinder, smarter, better than I was, that she was beautiful and supportive (honestly, the support was more on the lines of "get better soon" from afar).
And abuse is also defined as isolating a partner from their social circle. He didn't have much friends to begin with. Only colleagues who came and went he developed unrealistic attachments to...especially toward the women.
And he had no connection with his family or the sort of long term support network of friends---it only brought shame and guilt to reach out to friends he hasn't contacted in years.
And as much as I supported him when he reached out to friends, I threw epic fits when he tried to go out with people who are active drinkers, to whom he hadn't admitted his problems, who were fellow lawyers who drank during work hours, pooling money together on Thursdays to split a small bottle of whisky for the afternoon while in the office.
And these were women who would call and text at 6.30 or 7 AM-- Is that even appropriate when you know the other person is still in bed with their girlfriend, to text with 'Wake up sunshine." His mistress Eileen never admitted it--but there were nonstop texts about looking forward to one another's kissable lips and gazing into his eyes, and her wanting 110% out of her man"
and the fact that they were kissing and holding hands during work hours and after work.

So am I an abuser to the alcoholic? Does all the crazy things which turn loved ones into codependent enablers (hiding wallets, hiding bottles, tracking money, hiding keys, interrogation on where he was, if he ate anything today beyound booze, counting hidden bottles, etc.) abuse?


Or is it part of the standard dry drunk tactic of manipulation, smooth talking, blame projection, turn the tables on you and attack you with insecurities and admittances they don't want to see in themselves?

He left because he said toward the end, my screaming and explosive violent tantrums became too much and he couldn't breathe because he had no privacy at home with me, or at work with coworkers constantly asking him about alcohol and constantly bringing up AA. That he didn't want to deal with us anymore. It started with me nagging when he got drunk and lost my cat, left the front door wide open (we live in Spanish Harlem--not a safe place to leave doors wide open) while I was asleep, and when sober, he just brushed it off as "a normal mistake anyone can make"---and didn't seem to care that he put my safety at risk and our home could have been robbed and raped by total strangers who saw a wide open front door. Or expecting me to run out at 2AM to search for him in Central Park--how dangerous that is.

Once I started vocalizing by screaming at him, he started slowly using physical force--choking, shoving me so I'd land on the floor and sprain my shoulder blade and limp, mostly--it was choking and slamming me around.
And he'd deny it later saying he only did it to shut me up---that he was not an abusive person.
And once he started hitting me when drunk, when I'd find him dead drunk spouting abuse while complaining about how much he missed Eileen or had stayed sober enough to see her the day after New Year's, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. and every ******** excuse in the book where in the end, it was me, not Eileen, cleaning him up, exhausted---while I had to listen to her talk about her and how badly he wanted her, I'd lose it and throw whatever I could grab at him--books. The day he told me he had kissed and admitted he was involved with her, was the day he said he was leaving--and it was the day of our anniversary... and I sat there and ended up throwing a bottle at him. When he'd lie there drunk screaming abuse, at times, I'd lose control and throw a soup bowl at his head.

I've been to Al anon meetings but my anger and rage at how crazy it is that alcoholics think their behavior is normal and their treatment of people is normal---it's a very different thought process from other Alanonics who continue feeling low self esteem at being compared to other women, and that self esteem low and inability to say no extends to all walks of their life--even not being able to say "i didn't order a coffee with milk. I ordered tea." Mine was definitely enabling. I developed codependent traits as a result of living with him. But since cutting all contact with him, the myriad of women I come across and wondering if he has slept with any of them or if he was there with me, he would say "mmm..she's hot. Honey. can I sleep with her?" or other crazy things he'd say included "Honey. There's a girl at work who wants to sleep with me. Can I sleep with her? Is it okay to sleep with her?" And I'd say "No" And he'd repeatedly and drunkenly ask again and again and again like a child asking for candy.

It's not just at him. This rage I feel is also for women who don't care that he's an alcoholic and is a total mess. All they see is an attractive, handsome lawyer with a prestigous job...having no clue that a 29-year-old earning half of what he earns is supporting him, caring for him, and even the bag he carries to work is mine---and that he's a classic addict with high functioning sociopathic social charmer personality traits--it's either alcohol, women, or gambling with him.

I thought there was some semblance of the man I loved in there and now that we're apart, perhaps in a year once the chemical fully leaves his body and he is immersed in treatment, I might see the person I once loved.
But he stopped going to AA and regressed back to workaholism and social isolation (work for 16-hours, go home to read and sleep, no exercise, no healthy diet, no long term friends to contact routinely)---and with stimulation probably coming from new female temp lawyers and new colleagues he's befriended who only see the side of him he wants them to see.

I cut contact with him altogether because I got fed up with the angry, defensive, I want you on my terms---but I am not available once I no longer need you to pick up my call whenever I want when I feel tempted by booze.
It was like a take-take-take brick wall. He wants but there's no "How are you? How have you been?" with explosive defensive grandiose statements if I even mention anything of the past---yet he won't engage in current or new basic human communication 101, but expects me to be there still.

Then it hit me, of the 2 years, half the year was spent with a dry drunk and his personality mood swings and irrational destruction, poor impulse control, lack of judgement, and self victimization---everything blamed on others, woe is me excuses.

And then overnight, my heart stopped feeling and missing him once I realized that was the man---he never loved me, I was merely a distraction just like everything else in his life he used to avoid self reflection.

No amount of logic can reason the blatant philandering and using of a person, and total lack of gratefulness and loyalty.

Perhaps he's capable of love, but it feels safer to disconnect and say "that wasn't a relationship. that was a dry drunk"

Hope you can provide inputs. Sorry for this loooong post.
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:15 PM
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Welcome VoyagerIsol....

First off, living with active alcoholism and the behaviors that go along with it is not healthy for anyone. When we are stuck in the middle of the raging storm, we develop coping mechanisms. We adapt to the war around us... and that adaption is generally not healthy. We react to the actions/accusations/fears... our reactions range from yelling, screaming, crying, begging, controlling. We know deep down that something isn't right, yet what we don't realize is that there is NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING, we can do to control it, cure, and we didn't cause it.

What they do, it's not our fault. We have only control over ourselves, our choices, our actions.

So, here you are. Aware. Did you do things that are less than desirable? Sure. But we've all been there. Forgive yourself and learn from it. You have choices now. You can continue to use those coping mechanisms and behaviors you learned/developed over those 2 years... or... you can go to Al-anon and recover and learn new, better, healthier behaviors.

As you recover, you will learned how to identify unacceptable behavior... and you'll learn that you don't have to accept the unacceptable. It's okay to look at someone and say, "Your behavior/choices/actions are unacceptable to me. I don't want this for my life." And that's it. NO more arguing, begging, pleading, etc. Plain old, straight forward communication.

Al-anon can help you get there... it certainly helped me!

Take what you like and leave the rest!
Shannon
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:38 PM
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VoyagerIsol, it is good that you found us here.
You are not crazy.
You are not alone.

Living with an alcoholic can turn us into people we never wanted to become, and people we aren't.
From what you describe, it sounds like you have been abused by this man.
I'd like to point you to a few threads:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...out-abuse.html
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-chapters.html
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ht-effect.html


Have you considered Al-Anon?
How to find a meeting in the US/Canada/Puerto Rico
And please call one of the Domestic Violence Hotline numbers:
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...formation.html


You're not crazy.
You didn't cause this.
You're not alone.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:09 PM
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Hello VoyagerIsol, welcome to SR.

You've already received some great responses. I hope you will take a look at the helpful posts recommended by StarCat, they're excellent resources. The threads listed about abuse are very informative. Nobody deserves that kind of treatment.
my anger and rage at how crazy it is that alcoholics think their behavior is normal and their treatment of people is normal
Anger can be just the fuel I need to make necessary changes in my life. One of my counselors taught me to use my emotions as tools instead of allowing them to rule over me. Anger doesn't solve problems but instead makes them worse...and there is no excuse for violent behavior.

it's a very different thought process from other Alanonics who continue feeling low self esteem at being compared to other women, and that self esteem low and inability to say no extends to all walks of their life-
There will always be those who are still learning how to protect themselves and make better choices within their relationships; and there are those who have advanced in their recovery... May I suggest you try several different meetings and introduce yourself to those who _do_ have some more recovery time. I learned from those who had what I wanted....and steered clear of those who were just filling a chair in the room. There are many, many people within the rooms of Al-Anon who can be wonderful examples for you to follow; finding them is worth the effort.

You are worth the effort.
I'm so glad you found us here. You don't have to face this alone, there are so many great people here who care & understand.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:28 PM
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Wow, your post was long, but compelling, because I see myself in so many ways.

Are you really concerned you are abusing your alcoholic partner? Do you really want an answer? My initial impulse is to say, why keep score? According to what you are describing, you shouldn't be worried about being on the negative side of that scorecard.

You sound like you have so much stuff to unload and process and so I'm glad you are going to Al-Anon. Their situations may seem different to you, but believe me, they (and we) are all in the same boat.

I particularly connected with this:

This rage I feel is also for women who don't care that he's an alcoholic and is a total mess. All they see is an attractive, handsome lawyer with a prestigous job...having no clue that a 29-year-old earning half of what he earns is supporting him, caring for him, and even the bag he carries to work is mine---and that he's a classic addict with high functioning sociopathic social charmer personality traits--it's either alcohol, women, or gambling with him.
Yup, been there done that (actually not the gambling part--he says that gambling is the only vice he doesn't have). In fact, I KNOW that I have to accept the fact that what he says is partially true, "Women LOVE me! You're the only one that hates me!" (I don't hate him BTW, but I sure hate his alter ego). I also have to accept that my own children will feel sorry for him if I leave him for good (I'm in a short-term get-away now). He's that charming. I just hope that they can feel sorry for him but not blame me--but if they do, I have to accept that, too.

Please keep coming back and venting. Don't worry about if you are being abusive, but it is true that enabling can harm him, and you, too.
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:15 PM
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Welcome to SR!!! I was a raging codie who developed an addiction because I couldn't deal with the codie-crazies. So, I'm both a recovering codie, I'm an RA (recovering addict).

In BOTH situations, I turned into a person I didn't even recognize. I look back at all the years I spent with XABF#1 (he also always had other gf's, was high functioning, etc.) and I just can't believe the person I was. I don't think I abused him, I think we were both sick and didn't know, or want to learn, healthier behaviors. I had to go onto two more XABF's, develop my addiction, hit bottom before I finally decided I wanted to be healthy...not just physically, but mentally.

That's when I finally signed on here (had been lurking for a year). I was drawn to the F&F forums, and am very grateful for the people here. I'm not "cured" on either account, but I've learned so much that my life is totally different, and better, than it ever has been.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:58 PM
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Welcome to SR!

It's good to get it out, isn't it?

I was three and a half years in a law firm
and can tell you that =- to this day -
I'd flip burgers at McDonalds before ever returning to that world.

Odd how such sick individuals can pass the bar, isn't it?
Considering the OTHER bar - never ever gets passed.

You're going to be so much better off out of this mess.

I hope you'll make friends here
and find the support and information
you need to get through this and
avoid making the same decisions again.

There's a lot of self - examination in all this stuff
and your post shows you've already started.

Understanding 'how did that happen?'
'where did THAT come from?"
along with the classic 'what was i THINKING'

Is the kind of understanding
that comes within the realm of Alanon.
I think if you had the few encounters
maybe you were either at a group that just
wasn't for you, or like you said
the rage was so high level at that time
that it just couldn't sink in.

I urge you to try again,
because I know what an isolated place NYC is.

A circle of resource and support is so very fundamental
when we're asking these questions.
SR is a wonderful place to be
but when we immerse ourselves in recovery
that is when the very real very permanent changes happen.

Again -
welcome to SR!
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:41 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
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Hi, welcome!
You've come to the right place.

You are obviously a smart, thoughtful and observant person.

Codpendency doesn't make us abusive, necessarily, but it does show our addiction.

Your man is addicted to alcohol (and everything else) and you are addicted to him.

This whole post is about him and his issues. His abuses. His unfairness. His addiction. His mental process. His him he his him he.

That's how we start here. So wrapped up in our A partners that we can't even find OURSELVES.

Normies (non codependents) are inside themselves. They feel their feelings. They value themselves.
They would look at our partners and say, "Oh, HELL no!" and be done with it.
We look at our partners and say, "that's awful" and stick around!

That is lunacy. Or better put, addiction.
Same difference, really.

This is a place where we will support you in finding you.
As Bernadette (an SR member who was around when I showed up) said, "It's time to put down the magnifying glass and get out the mirror."

Do you get how deep that is? She said that to me. Because I was sooo wrapped up in (an excellent job if I do say so myself!) analyzing him that I couldn't see ME.

So who are YOU? What is acceptable behavior for a partner for you? What is your dream relationship? It isn't this b.s., clearly. So what is it you DO want?

Try to start shifting all that wonderful observation toward you and the good you will begin to create for yourself.
He is a bunch of drama you get to walk away from and that would leave space for you to create a good, new world for you.

Again, welcome.

ps check out Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. It really helped me.

peace
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:46 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
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Thank you all for your helpful support and comments! Solo Mio---yes, he too would say "Women want me." Maybe there's a class they all take which teaches them to say standard excuses to deflect any guilt?

And Barb Dwyer,thank you too. Contract attorney pools contain the biggest influx of addicts and people with arrested social development skills. Corporate law firms are the worst enabling places for addicts. In the end, it's a bunch of ******* temps with ivy league degrees sitting around getting paid 6 figures for reading mountains of emails and wasting client money.

There are great people in the law profession as well---I find those tend to be in the public sector as Assistant DAs in courts who have a sense of purpose or in human rights law. He was the first private sector attorney I was involved with, and my last. I think I'll stick to my own sector from now on. There are places codependent traits thrive healthily, like professions where you help others or fix problems. I just have to set boundaries and leave the "fixer, saver" at work at the end of the day.

I have been seeing a therapist every week for the past month, and have just started physically attending Al-Anon meetings but have been reading al anon forums, Codependent No More and clinical research books...and even feel good self inspirational books like Eat, Pray, Love.

The therapy addresses root issues---why the pattern of unavailable men, why stay for so long? Parents' relationship and how it set into motion, my relationship patterns. etc.

So right now I'm to work on boundary setting, sleeping it over and thinking of what the consequences of being a "fixer" without looking ahead at the risks.

First and foremost is to cut all contact and stop feeling any concern for him.

Al-anon helps with knowing that I'm not alone, others have been hurt before and been in my shoes, and I'm not crazy. Al-anon helps with bringing the focus back on me and protecting my core needs and boundaries, not the alcoholic's.

And there's healing from love, which requires time as with any break-up.

I'm literally purging and erasing him from my home. I'm ridding myself of the wine stained walls, curtains, and couch. Walls punched in by drunken rage. New perfume. New haircut. New routines. Doing all the things he hated which I refrained from and relishing coming home and finding everything in place as I left it.

Re-inventing one's self helps. It helps to basically delete and erase everything that triggers an emotional sentiment--call it running away, detachment, shelfing it---for the first few months, erasing helps, especially if your home is trashed and has signs of alcoholic damage.

I'm starting to catch up for lost times by doing all the self development things I put on hold for 2 years tending to him. I'm spending money on me, not spending hundreds of dollars on sick people's food for sensitive stomachs of alcoholics during bender weeks and DT weeks.


Since he left, I no longer feel every woman I see is a threat, and looking back at the quality of women he cheated with, they were not women I should have felt intimidated by. I am beautiful, intelligent, educated, have a great career and it was him who was out of his league. If he thinks $2 tacos from the taco truck is reconciliation for a woman who cooked him coq au vin, maybe he should settle for a woman closer to his league, like someone who loves $2 tacos and cooks him hot dogs, welcomes dismissive neglect, and relishes emotional abuse knowing that the other woman gets fancy dinners, effort, and "happy birthday/you're sick and I'm worried" acknowledgments.

Thanks for the Al-anon "bring the focus back on me" mantra.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:56 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
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V, what a difference between your first and second posts! Good for YOU!

And yes - reinvention can be wonderfully empowering. I found just simple changes...driving a different route to work, buying some new clothes, taking up a new hobby or sport, made me feel much better and brand "new" in that sense. Then I started taking bigger steps...and bigger. And it keeps getting better and better!

Keep it up...life is so much better now for me and my daughters being away from that tornado.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:32 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
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Enabling is helping an alcoholic stay in his/her disease.
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Autumn9 (05-09-2011)
Old 05-09-2011, 12:48 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
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I feel like your life has mirrored mine. My bf not only is an alcoholic, but has health issues associated with it. He began to get pains on his left side in February. After a days of not being able to keep food or fluids down, I took him to the hospital. He has a fatty liver, and pancreatitis. He went through DT's, and kept saying "no more drinking, no more drinking". Upon coming home, he tried eating a little. The pain would come back, and he couldn't sleep. He asked me to get him nyquil. So naturally after being in the hospital for "alcohol" pancreatitis, I bought alcohol free nyquil. He raised a fit, and eventually went to get the original nyquil. After that, he gained his thirst for alcohol back. He would drink a fifth of vodka daily, and until April 20th, he hadn't had any other pancreatitis episodes. I noticed that he wasn't eating as much one week, and the trend from February continued. The pains came back, he couldn't eat, couldn't keep fluid down. So back to the ER we went, and he was admitted again for pancreatitis. It's been 2 weeks now, and as of last Tuesday he hadn't had any alcohol. (to my knowledge of course). I then noticed last Wednesday the smell of liquor when he went to put gas in his car and rent a dvd. He was calm when I mentioned it, and we hugged as he said he never thought he'd be like this. That he never wanted to be like this. I told him we were a team and I would support him as much as I could. Now being an enabler in the past, I feel for the routine. Since his last visit to the hospital he was as you described "a dry drunk". {I realized now, for the past year, after the hospital, he has been a dry drunk--which explains the abusive treatment, the emotional withholding, the extreme defensive anger and impatience at even having to listen to me } This past weekend, he drank at his catering job and attempted to bring two bottles of wine into the car. I threw them in the vineyard, told him to get into my car, and the abuse went on through Sunday. I am acknowledging that I was an enabler, and have not been since Friday. So much more could be written, but I am so tired....The arguing, the fighting, throwing stuff, and verbal abuse has taken a toll on me the past day. I need to let go of this person, get him out of my apartment, and move on if he doesn't seek the help he needs. It's so hard..... I truly thank you for your post, and knowing "I'm not crazy" that this isn't normal has put so much into perspective.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:34 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
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You had a hole put in your wall, too?? Let's see, I've had a smashed phone, a hole put in my wall, and my door chainlock broken.

I was telling a friend of mine today that my appliances are grateful I'm not with him anymore.

Originally Posted by VoyagerIsol View Post
Thank you all for your helpful support and comments! Solo Mio---yes, he too would say "Women want me." Maybe there's a class they all take which teaches them to say standard excuses to deflect any guilt?

And Barb Dwyer,thank you too. Contract attorney pools contain the biggest influx of addicts and people with arrested social development skills. Corporate law firms are the worst enabling places for addicts. In the end, it's a bunch of ******* temps with ivy league degrees sitting around getting paid 6 figures for reading mountains of emails and wasting client money.

There are great people in the law profession as well---I find those tend to be in the public sector as Assistant DAs in courts who have a sense of purpose or in human rights law. He was the first private sector attorney I was involved with, and my last. I think I'll stick to my own sector from now on. There are places codependent traits thrive healthily, like professions where you help others or fix problems. I just have to set boundaries and leave the "fixer, saver" at work at the end of the day.

I have been seeing a therapist every week for the past month, and have just started physically attending Al-Anon meetings but have been reading al anon forums, Codependent No More and clinical research books...and even feel good self inspirational books like Eat, Pray, Love.

The therapy addresses root issues---why the pattern of unavailable men, why stay for so long? Parents' relationship and how it set into motion, my relationship patterns. etc.

So right now I'm to work on boundary setting, sleeping it over and thinking of what the consequences of being a "fixer" without looking ahead at the risks.

First and foremost is to cut all contact and stop feeling any concern for him.

Al-anon helps with knowing that I'm not alone, others have been hurt before and been in my shoes, and I'm not crazy. Al-anon helps with bringing the focus back on me and protecting my core needs and boundaries, not the alcoholic's.

And there's healing from love, which requires time as with any break-up.

I'm literally purging and erasing him from my home. I'm ridding myself of the wine stained walls, curtains, and couch. Walls punched in by drunken rage. New perfume. New haircut. New routines. Doing all the things he hated which I refrained from and relishing coming home and finding everything in place as I left it.

Re-inventing one's self helps. It helps to basically delete and erase everything that triggers an emotional sentiment--call it running away, detachment, shelfing it---for the first few months, erasing helps, especially if your home is trashed and has signs of alcoholic damage.

I'm starting to catch up for lost times by doing all the self development things I put on hold for 2 years tending to him. I'm spending money on me, not spending hundreds of dollars on sick people's food for sensitive stomachs of alcoholics during bender weeks and DT weeks.


Since he left, I no longer feel every woman I see is a threat, and looking back at the quality of women he cheated with, they were not women I should have felt intimidated by. I am beautiful, intelligent, educated, have a great career and it was him who was out of his league. If he thinks $2 tacos from the taco truck is reconciliation for a woman who cooked him coq au vin, maybe he should settle for a woman closer to his league, like someone who loves $2 tacos and cooks him hot dogs, welcomes dismissive neglect, and relishes emotional abuse knowing that the other woman gets fancy dinners, effort, and "happy birthday/you're sick and I'm worried" acknowledgments.

Thanks for the Al-anon "bring the focus back on me" mantra.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:19 AM
  # 14 (permalink)  
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Yes, I have several holes in my holes. As of Saturday night, our phone was smashed on the closet door so that I couldn't call the police on him. He even hide my cell phone. He has been slowly moving his belongings back into his parents house. I went there yesterday to speak to him about getting help, and he pulled my arm asking how I got in. First off, his mom gave me a key. From there, his dad proceeds to tell me I have 15 minutes to get out. That he is tired, and tired of hearing about it, and to leave his son alone. That maybe in 2-3 months, things will be better. Are you kidding me? He has no clue what recovery is.....I went out side to talk with his mom, and my "bf" came out there and said "didn't you hear, you have 15 minutes. Now get the [email protected]@k out!". He needs help! He has said he'd talk to a counselor and take antibuse, but he hasn't yet. His dad doesn't get it. One of the reasons is that he is following in his dads footprints; except one thing, he drinks vodka, and his dad drinks beer. I still have yet to get the wine out from all over my car, when he poured it all over me and the inside of the car on Saturday.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:25 AM
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Our poor dogs have no idea what is going on. He told me last night to take the dogs too. How sad is that? He doesn't care. I haven't gotten a valentines day card, or a birthday card (which was just a few weeks ago) He didn't even open the card I bought him! He didn't go to get his mom a mothers day card. He just sat there, in his parents house, in his old room, I asked him if he was ready to go, he just sat there and was a brink wall. I said isn't your mom worth buying at least a card for....So I left, got her roses, and a card.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:38 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
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Voyager--

Welcome to SR, and thank you for this post! I have gone through so much of the same...I stayed with my ex for 7 years and am now in the 'What in God's name was I thinking?' mindset. I also have been experiencing a sense of guilt now and again for enabling him for so long. But then I remember all of the abuse that I endured in that relationship, and I'm able to release the guilt. Yes, I helped him to perpetuate his addiction. But I was not in a healthy place, physically or mentally. The relationship was negative on both ends. Reading this brings back so many incidents I never should have put up with. But one thing I have learned is that 'should have' is a waste of time.

I have found that recovering from a codependent relationship involves a plethora of emotions. Anger, guilt, low self-esteem, undersanding, forgiveness, etc. They come and go, and change. Even if you are not dealing with a low self-esteem level at this point because you are feeling a rush of anger and indignation, you may have to face this demon eventually. Condependency, in my experience, implies a certain lack of self-esteem, whether it is immediately obvious or not. (A person with high self-esteem wouldn't have stayed.) You may eventually get something out of hearing other peoples' experiences at Al-Anon. If you feel comfortable, you can share your story there, and guaranteed there will be others there who know exactly what you are going through.
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