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My 5 Month Lesson on...Detaching physically vs Detaching emotionally

Old 04-15-2011, 08:01 PM
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My 5 Month Lesson on...Detaching physically vs Detaching emotionally

Detaching physically vs Detaching emotionally

When I first started Alanon & SR, I always wondered what the heck
everyone was talking about "Detaching" What did that mean? Why
do they always repeat themselves? It felt like Chinese math to me..


When my RAH came home from his rehab, I would throw my hand up in the air, like STOP RIGHT THERE.
He would ask me what I was doing..I said, Detaching from your craziness, talk to the hand.

He moved out of state after being home for 3 weeks after rehab. Said he couldnt stay sober here with me and in this town. In 5 months I have only been with him for those 3 weeks.

While he has been gone, I have been working the program hard. Like day
and night.

I was always asking questions, and getting the same reply from everyone: DETACH...
I thought to myself, I am detaching. I live by myself, what are these
people talking about, how much more can I be detached?

Every Friday is my RAH day off from work. Of course, I think he is back to drinking. His behaviors on the phone, are the same as when he lived at home.
Mean, mussey, bullcrap phone calls.

The phone calls that tormented me mentally. The phone calls that had me crying all weekend long. The phone calls that made me wonder why I am even living on this earth.

Someone commented to me: Detaching is just not physical, it is also
mentally/emotionally...I thought about that for a week and it never really sunk in.

The following Friday, on his day off. His phone calls began. I shuttered
inside. Actually had butterflies.
I told myself I was not going to allow this anymore. I was going to enjoy my
weekend and not spend it in bed crying. I promised myself I was going to
have a weekend, that was ALL ABOUT ME for a change. So I told him, this is your last phone of the weekend, my phone will be shut off. If you need to talk to me, send a smoke signal.

Today is (FRIDAY) guess what, the phone calls started again with my phone on vibrate..But oh, I did get one text that said, he went to a AA meeting today..
(My thoughts were, well good, you only have 9999,999 more to go to)

So for the past 2 weekends, I can proudly say...I have not cried
over a phone call.....I have enjoyed my time, understanding who
I am, without all of the drama, destruction to my mind. It is
peaceful and Im really beginning to like it...

I might be a slow learner, but I now understand the word DETACH!!

Many Thanks To Alot Of You ~ My weekends are coming alive!!!!
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:31 PM
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Yeah, BobbyJ! That's detachment. Being able to side step the perpetual drama and go on with your life and be content with that, regardless of what he is doing.

And I hear you on the Chinese math...I had a hard time with the concept myself.

I am smiling tonight - nice to hear you feeling more grounded and more alive!

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Old 04-16-2011, 07:35 AM
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I just started to really get the chinese math equation, too, LOL

I keep posting here about it, but, really it is for me, a lot about not jumping into HIS experience of his day, his mood, his state of sobriety.
Its about not worrying, not allowing the butterflies when the phone rings.
Its about watching and listening to what he is dealing with, going through, or projecting without needing to correct him, challenge him, soothe him.

I just watch and try to keep my side of the street clean. I am not perfect at it, but it is getting better, and just like anything worthwhile it is cumulative!

So, the more I do it, the more I do it. Like yoga, or meditation. Or exercize..All good things for me!

I am also learning to not judge myself for not being perfect at it. I still question, but. hey/...Im a work in progress...

What a revelation!!

Just to not have to take on his day, his moment, his mood.
Realizing I have the choice to say, "I dont want to talk about that. "

"I dont want to argue." period.

"Im sorry that you are feeling____."Then hanging up, or walking away, and knowing my day lays ahead with MY MODD< and MY actions to deal with, and thats it.

My choices. MY realization that I really cant do anything FOR him, and that I usually dont want to, and if I do try to soothe him, help him see something, or quell some irrational fear, it usually bites me back, then I resent myself, and thats my side of the street..

Not even his fault if I CHOOSE to dance with toxicity.

The best part:
If I am successful, it shuts him right up, and seems to make his toxic thoughts that much more obvious to him. Then he can sit there, and choose to deal with that---OR NOT. NOt my problem!!!

tee hee. giggle. It does make me feel giddy.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:50 PM
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:ghug3

It's so magically when it starts "clicking", isn't it?!?! I'm so happy to read your post and to see your recovery in action. Simply wonderful!

I hope you are continuing to have a great weekend... Focused on YOU!!
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:24 PM
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I need advise & only have 2 days to figure it out...

OMG..I just wrote a post on how wonderful my 5 months of detaching has been..

I go to my Alanon class tonight, Come out & check my phone..

ITS HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY AH...... he says RAH....

He texted me and said..."I'm Coming Back"

I am so not ready for this!!!

Dont know if he was just drunk, or if he really is.

I own the business and he was basically an employee.
So I consider it to be: He has no job!!

Another $2 Grand down the toliet of his travel expense
to get home

He went to one AA meeting on Friday, and I guess he thinks he
is healed again....

I didnt answer his phones call yesterday or today,or last weekend,
so he can not mentally handle it..

I was honest with him and told him I needed my time and did not
want to deal with him every weekend...

OMG...I dont know what to do.......Did not expect this!!

Talk about a fricken roller coaster!!!
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:10 PM
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Hi Bobby

I think you have a absolute right to stick to your detachment and do whats good for you...if you're not ready, or unwilling, for RAH to come home...then stand your ground.

Can you change your number? block his calls?
Would you feel safe doing that?

What does your sponsor suggest?
D
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:16 PM
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We own a house and it is up for sale.

I went into a major paniac attack, so not ready for this...

I dont have a sponsor.

Im going to try and calm down and call him in the morning.

Hopefully, he will change his mind, but doubt it...

I guess if all else fails, I will find my own place and he
can have the worries of taking care of this big house & yard.

Im worrying, maybe for nothing. But OMG...the vision of him
drunk again in the same house or even the same town as me
FREAKS ME OUT!!!
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:19 PM
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Call one of your Al-Anon fellows...they should have given you a phone list. Call until someone is available to talk.

And give it a few days - see if he is quacking or serious. If the former, ignore it. If the latter, be thinking of how you want to handle this. Remember, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do. That includes having him work for you, or live with you, or even associate with you. These are your choices - this is your power.

Keep us posted, and good luck! Stay strong!
~T
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:42 PM
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Is there anything normal about an alcoholic??

Your right tuffgirl: Quacking or Serious or DRUNK???

He goes to one AA class and its the Miracle Cure...WTH!!!!!!
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:22 PM
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Sustained change.

This applies to him, for himself, and any recovery he is embarking on.
This applies to you and your recovery, your detachment.

Keep your eyes open, and dont forget what you have learned!
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:34 PM
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Sustained change

More details please!!!!!!
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:00 PM
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Meaning one time ain't it.
In other words, you had a good start with your first post being detached. When he called, you went into a spin. You're working on recovery, but you are fragile. You're still easily sent into a tailspin (and no longer detached).
Same with him. One day of sobriety isn't enough. One week of working on his issues isn't enough. To show he is truly recovering, it's going to take a long time of repetitive examples of him staying sober, working out his issues and growing before you can believe it's the real deal.
Both of you have your own work to do.
p
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:18 PM
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It is hard not to get into this cycle because of what you've been through with him. It is like a response from a deeper place of pain. But try not to overthink or stress unless he actually DOES the things he talks about.

Another way to detach is just to assume whatever he says is quacking unless proven otherwise.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:26 PM
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Sustained change means pretty much EVERYTHING out of your addicts mouth is a swing on their pedulum, or quacking, or manipulation, Unless....

They stay on it, with by and for themselves. You can be there in support of their health, but if they are doing it FOR you, then I would be suspicious.

If he is talking about rehab while physically drunk or drinking: no dice.

I was supportive of my RAH, everytime he "talked" about going to rehab, or changing his life, and now that he is sober, the same holds true. BUt, I must look at his actions over time, because,

There were so many times he talked and talked, and I wanted the change so much, that I caved, and he abandoned his plan...Why?

Because it was not an authentic decision for himself.

Think about if you try to diet because someone wants you to. Not going to work, unless you make a commitment to yourself to chnage your life. Then you may falter, but eventually, if you have truly committed, you DO change your life.

My RAH can talk a blue streak, and he used to keep me on a string of hope, until i wised up.

My stock response, until he came OUT of rehab?

"Good for you. "

"That sounds great."

Detachment. It is a work in progress.

Now, he is sober, and he is still really needing to affect some more very real change. He is doing a lot of good for his life, and he is on his own timeline, but he will need to continue.

he earns time with me, he earns time with our son. With consistency.
When I realized me being angry at him and perhaps cutting him off, going no contact would probably NOT send him to a bottle, that was one of the first big signs of his sustained change.

i realized that he got sober for himself, and my actions are not going to capsize him, they may wobble him, but he is sober and he WANTS to be. WHether I "cave" on something or not.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:45 AM
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That's detachment. Being able to side step the perpetual drama and go on with your life and be content with that, regardless of what he is doing.
Yes. And when I master it, I will be sitting on top of a mountain and people will come to me and ask "oh great guru, how did you get here?" and I will tell them, "one step at a time, my child, one step at a time."
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:29 AM
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Good morning BobbyJ!

I hope you were able to settle a bit and get some sleep last night. Things always seem so dismal for me at night, but that after some sleep... I always seem to find hope. Maybe not a ton, but enough to realize that today is a new day!

You don't what shape your husband is going to show up in. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst (ie. Make a PLAN!).... and then let go. When he comes home, you'll know which one you have to deal with and then put your plan to action.

Just remember... You don't HAVE to engage in a conversation. He can throw out bait all he wants, and you can walk away, or say "you may be right!".

Deep breaths, and YOU CAN DO THIS! One step at a time.

Keep posting because we are here for you!
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:06 AM
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Thanks for all of the support last night.

It was an emotional ride from hell.

There are parts of detaching, that is not so easy.
Wheter I live with him or not.

I really believe my AH has a serious complusive /obession disorder
topped off with alcohol. I think that disorder scares me the most
sometimes, he totally loses control and doesnt even know what he
is doing at the time. He doesnt even have to be drinking to lose it.
I havent done alot of research on anger issues, maybe that is some
of it too. I dont know. All I know is Im very tired today...

Im damned if I do take his calls and Im damned if I dont.

If I dont take his calls, this is what happens, I get his threat of coming
back home. And Im not ready for that....

Damn, what am I ready for...Wish I had all of the answers. Like NOW! lol


I did call him this morning and asked him what was his plans?
I told him:
"You have no job here"
"I need a 60 day notice, so I can have time to find my own place"
"Where do you keep on getting all of this money"
"I need time and I dont need you to keep putting pressures on me"
"You have asked me 5 times in one week about my alanon class
and that is my business, not yours, and I am not comfortable sharing
that with you"
"You have Fridays off and your phone calls are non-stop, you upset me
all weekend, then you call me at work thru the week and upset me, when Im
the one who has to face the public after your phone calls"
"Your irrational behavior is driving me nuts and it needs to stop!!!"

He said:
"Well I just dont understand why my wife wont even talk to me"
"You wont even return my calls or texts"
"Oh I got your envelope of bills in the mail yesterday, Thank You for sending them"
"Okay, well I gotta get back to work"

No, he is not in any type of recovery program. He has only went to (ONE) AA class
in a couple of months. He did rehab for 28 days in January. Relapsed after 3 weeks.
Packed up and moved away. And still wants to call me "Wife".......Hmmmmm????

Thanks again to all, for your loving support!
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:22 AM
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You are putting the cart way in front of the horse. You are worrying yourself into a tizzy about something that might not even happen. Why do you need 60 days to find your own place? You can get into an apartment in less than a week. It doesn't have to be anything permanent, just a place of your own while you decide what to do about the marriage.

Keep going to alanon. Ask questions. Get a sponsor and put what you learn there into practice. Worry is wasted emotion. You cannot predict the future and you cannot stop him from coming back if that's what he wants to do. Start being proactive in taking care of you.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:29 AM
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And now you know he's quacking. It's a threat to get you to respond, and when you do you reinforce the behaviors. Like Pavlov's experiment with dogs and food - he acts, you react, he acts again, you react again and so on...

Detachment is being able to stop reacting. It's being able to ignore his phone calls, to resist the urge to engage with him in a nonsensical conversation, to lecture him on his drinking, to fall back into the same old patterns of interaction you've had with him in the past.

It's being able to focus on yourself and do what is right for you - whatever that may be (no contact? Al-Anon meetings? a massage? focusing your energy on having a relationship with your kids? living alone? divorce?)

It's being able to redefine your relationship with your husband to fit what it is TODAY. Drop the expectations you may have of what a husband should look like and ignore his expectations of what he thinks a wife should look like and accept what it really looks like today. An alcoholic marriage, which means not a marriage in any real sense.

Detachment also means developing the self confidence to stick to your boundaries and call their bluff. I've been amazed at how many times I have called my RAH's bluff in the last two months. When he would threaten divorce I would go into a tailspin. Now I just say, "do what you think is best" and leave it. And I am thinking while I say that, "QUACKER!" I resist the urge to argue, cojole, explain and repeat things 200x to get MY point across, and I only ask him general questions about his meetings and AA...never direct or personal questions about his recovery. Our relationship TODAY looks like two people very leery about each other but trying to be friends. I don't trust him. He doesn't trust me. We've got a long way to go.

That's why B66 talks about time...time is the key to sustained change. Time and actions. And that's why I chose to remain separated indefinitely. We don't have to rush out and divorce. But live together, no thank you! Tried that and it was a disaster. And I know that we are toxic to each other in early recovery. It's not just him. It's me, too. Hi, my name is Tuffgirl and I am the crazy spouse of an alcoholic.

Alcoholics don't know boundaries. They don't know control. They don't understand how to have an intimate relationship with people, because their addiction takes the priority each and every time. That is their main relationship. It drives them. If your husband is still drinking - there isn't a chance in hell you can have a healthy marriage with him. Let Al-Anon help you find acceptance of your reality today. With acceptance comes a sense of peace.

Lastly, remember to breathe. Slow your thinking down when you get triggered (start spinning emotionally). Don't just react, think first. Expect the behavior you are getting and then you won't be caught off guard by it. The first post on this thread shows you are changing your thinking - keep it up! Progress, not perfection! And when you fall off the codie wagon, think about what happened, what triggered you to react that way, make a pledge to do better next time, and get back on. You are human, its ok!

Will the insanity ever stop? Only when you decide its time to stop, BobbyJ. That decision is 100% yours.

Hope you have a calmer Sunday!
~T
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