I messed up last night ... Ready for my lashing

Old 04-09-2011, 06:47 AM
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I messed up last night ... Ready for my lashing

I messed up. I browned out or whatever it is called for the Al-Anon.

I started off without anger. He hadn't talked to me in almost 24 hours and I went downstairs with one simple question after considering it for much of the day. Based on his actions, based on our therapy appointment the night before, based on what his therapist said and what he said, how could he want to be with someone so critical, so judgmental? So I went downstairs and asked "do you want to be with me?"


"Are you sure?"

"Things might be bad now, but I don't think they will always be this way. I am early in my recovery."

I guess I needed to get it off my chest. I got angry. I told him how I felt. Betrayed, lied to, taken advantage of. Understandably, he didn't like hearing it.

"Just go ahead, lay down all your anger ... Tell me why you hate me." I took the bait and gave him about 15 things I hate him for.

Shouldn't have done it. Dammit.

He left. Spent money at Starbucks. Went to his meeting. I wrote him a letter. It was truthful. It was honest. I used I statements for the most part. I wanted him to understand how I was feeling in a raw form. I told him about the man I had fallen in love with. The ambitious one who used to drive 40 miles round-trip just to see me for 20 minutes. The one who was there when my father died. The one who was vulnerable with me and knew that I could hurt him emotionally but it was worth it for him to share anyway. I told him I missed that man and I wanted him back, but if he wasn't him anymore or had no hope to get back there, then I needed to go. It isn't a threat, it is just the truth.

I have no idea if he read it. He came home. I walked downstairs and said exactly this:

"I am sorry for the way I acted tonight. I am struggling right now and it is not fair to take it out on you."

"All right."

He went to bed much later than me. Woke up this morning and went to his work meeting and then AA. I leave on my business trip tomorrow.

Ball is in his court. I have done what I can. I have been honest. I didn't necessarily do it like I should have, but the past is the past.

Ball is in RAH's court now. Off to read Al-Anon stuff. I have so much to learn. I didn't like myself last night ... The way I acted.

Thanks for letting me share.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:51 AM
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(((HUGS))) Hon, we are human. We aren't always going to do everything by the book. You had some things you needed to say, so you said them. Now he knows exactly how you are and have been feeling. Whether anything positive comes from that, only time will tell. Don't feel badly for letting him know how his actions are hurting you. It's a starting point and now everyone is on the same page. More will be revealed.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:57 AM
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He is who he is now. He's right about being early in his recovery. If you really want him to heal may I suggest backing, way, way, off and give him a year or so to get his **** together?

I rarely defend the alcoholic, and boy do I understand your pain, but in this case I don't think you are helping him one bit. In my opinion you help by doing nothing-- and nothing means not helping, but also not hurting.

Take what you want and leave the rest.


P.s. There is no scenario in which I believe these letters are ever a good idea. I write them all the time, but I NEVER let my wife see them. She doesn't even know they exist, and they are saved digitally where she can't get to them. I NEVER print them out.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:01 AM
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I definitely hear you. I know he needs to heal, but the selfish part of me still wants to hear "sorry" and have him mean it. That is where I am struggling. I am also struggling with the long-termedness (if you will) of backing off. Keep to myself for a year? Staying in the same house? You get my struggle.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:13 AM
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I sure do...

...but if you are staying, then stay with the idea that you are going to stay and live that way.

Or, if you are going to leave... then leave.

Or, if you are struggling with it as I did for so very long, do your best to "first do no harm."

None of us is perfect, that's for sure, but there's that old saying, "when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." I believe lashing out at our alcoholics is a form of digging, despite how good it feels at the time.

The one year thing goes to my personal experience and is somewhat arbitrary. When wife was early in recovery she was almost completely absent from our lives. It was all about AA and her treatment program all the time. She told me up front that if we were going to stay together that was how it was going to have to be. I accepted it, and a year later she came back into our lives and has been sober ever since (8 months now).

Will it last? I don't know. Am I happy? I can't believe I'm saying this but I kind of am. I'm still getting used to the feeling. It's been ten years since I felt it.

Take care,


P.s. She still hasn't said she is sorry. She's on step six. Sorry's coming in three more steps and I'm kind of scared to hear it. I sort of don't want to now. I just want to go forward from here. I can say, definitively, that I know she's sorry and I don't need or want to hear it.

Originally Posted by putmeontheair View Post
I definitely hear you. I know he needs to heal, but the selfish part of me still wants to hear "sorry" and have him mean it. That is where I am struggling. I am also struggling with the long-termedness (if you will) of backing off. Keep to myself for a year? Staying in the same house? You get my struggle.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:45 AM
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He might not be able to heal his life and let recovery take hold in the home with you, and that means YOU may notbe able to heal your pain and anger...with him there, and that may even mean, you have not even been able to put down the gun, throw down the shield, and feel out how much non reactive pain there is, whether it is surmountable or not.

You two are at each others throats with a lot of sniping, back and forth. It does sound like a physical space between you, and some time for BOTH could not do anything but help.
Im sorry its been so hard. BTW, your outburst doesnt even sound that rough, to me. Its just sounding like a part of you who feels she has been done too much injustice, and she kind of doesnt really WANT to try to trust or give him time. She sounds like she needs some space.

I dont think that is the least bit confusing, weird, or unfair on "her" part...
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:56 AM
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I have to second Cyranoak on this one. Early recovery is not a time to be airing your pain to him. Take it to an Al-Anon meeting or your sponsor if you have one. Write it out (I do, too, it really helps).

I had to let go of the need to be validated by my RAH. But I also chose not to live with him because of how hard it was the first two months. These last three have been so much better that I bought my own house to live in. Why? I can't deal well with the early recovery stuff. I need my own space, my own time to heal. I needed to remove myself from the stress and chaos. He needed that, too. I know now that I am just as toxic to him as he has been to me, and neither of us have a chance in hell at recovery if we are living together.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:58 AM
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Hey may not be ready to say sorry yet. He may be sorry but he is afraid to express it with you. You are supporting him and you are not enabling him, that is the important thing. I am sure he is very appreciative of you, I would be. I think you are doing great, it's ok to share your feelings, no matter what they may bring you.

**** Luck to you,

<3 Stacy
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:03 PM
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I say take it easy on yourself. You are assuming that going to Al-Anon and reading the literature means you are going to have the patience, control, and emotional range of a learned monk.

And for that matter, just because someone is in early recovery from alcoholism doesn't mean that they get to be in a bubble and the world must tiptoe around them. People have emotions and sometimes those emotions are going to get directed at him. Considering the strain his addiction has placed on others, it's going to come back to him at some point.

You lost your cool and a lot of sewage bubbled to the surface. You apologized for your behavior and you are right, the ball is in his court.

He has to learn in his recovery to deal not only with his emotional baggage but the baggage of those he's hurt over time. Is it a lot to ask of someone new to recovery, sure. Is is a lot to ask for you to never let your feelings get the better of you, absolutely.

If you are both working your programs, you both have tools and support to weather this.

Best wishes,
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:09 PM
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You messed up?

How exactly did you mess up?

I think I am coming to a point where I refuse to beat myself up when I overreact or do stupid things in relation to the A because I am just trying to make sense out of a baffling situation.

You didn't mess up.

You are human and we may not always do things in a productive way but I'm sure you didn't walk into this relationship saying 'I love being involved with Alcoholics! Treat me as badly as you want to!'.

Go easy on yourself sometimes.
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