Blogs


Notices

Need a reality check- becoming someone I don't like

Old 04-18-2011, 05:45 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I never really thought about this whole trying to save him notion until today and it really hit me hard.... My mom was not a snuggly type either and my dad spent all the time he could away from home having affairs and I wished he'd been around more.


Yes he had and has a good side, but that doesn't lessen the bad side and the destructive behaviors. And all my "helping" has done is encourage him to continue the bad behaviors.

It probably doesn't feel like the loving thing to do, but the best thing you could do for your friend is set some boundaries and either he will decide on his own for himself to get better or he won't. I feel awful for you and your H and how worried you are for him.... Take care of yourselves and your marriage. That's all you can control.
Thank you so much. So...are you my sibling from our childhood that I've never met? My father was off doing the same, Mom was very formal and reserved and my sisters were much older and gone from home. = Lonely.

I have Co-dependant No More and I suppose I should actually read it. I know I'm no help anymore and we are simply hurting each other. He wants to forget his past by drinking and drugging it away and honestly I think, hopes he just dies some evening. My father committed suicide and I think it will kill me if he does the same and that's why I'm fighting so hard for him. Unhealthy, yes, I know it is. But, that's where I am and why I asked for advice.
Grnmtn1 is offline  
Old 04-18-2011, 05:49 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,175
We all have a lot of experience with master manipulators.

I have a son with one.

He also has a lot of potential. He is sober, now, physically, but even physical sobriety brings another mountain of chnge for the addict to climb.
They have to grow up and be their own parent, their own police...

Its an investment.
You obviously have a great deal of love for this chef, but, I feel for your son.
He sounds like he has an otherwise healthy family. And this addict has been in and out of his life, it sounds like for years.

At some point you have to ask this:

I love this person, But, at what COST?
Your post heading says ,"becoming someone I dont like"

This is the statement that initially took me to alanon, and to SR.
I was living in reaction to a VERY unhealthy person, who could not love me, our son, or himself.

I was just one big living reaction to HIM, and his disease.
And I am still involved because we have a child. And because he took the leap toward recovery...

I feel that "becoming someone you dont like" Is quite a COST.
for a friendship.

keep posting
Buffalo66 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Buffalo66 For This Useful Post:
Grnmtn1 (04-18-2011)
Old 04-18-2011, 06:21 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
Today is a New Day
 
StarCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,766

It's impossible to help someone who doesn't want to help themselves.

That said, it also takes time until we ourselves are ready to admit that to ourselves.
In my relationship with XABF (ex alcoholic boyfriend), I did not move on until I felt that I had tried everything I was capable of doing in an attempt to help him.
I ended up in debt, depressed, and emotionally/verbally abused, at the minimum.

In the process, I learned of what a strong person I am.
I also made sure that I could leave with no regrets.
I answered my own "what ifs," and that's what it took for me to be done.

You need to do what you feel you need to do, and then you need to let go, give up the notion that you have some semblance of control over his choices, and give him over to live his own life, unhindered and uninfluenced by our need to decide for them.
He will fall, yes, but it's the only way he will have a chance to pick himself up again.
And until they pick themselves up again, they cannot take responsibility for his own actions and decisions, and they cannot do what they need to do to stay clear of their addiction.


You are in the right place.
StarCat is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to StarCat For This Useful Post:
Grnmtn1 (04-18-2011)
Old 04-18-2011, 06:25 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 344
Yes...this "becoming someone I don't like" bit...elaborate?
This is where the work needs to be done.
brokenheartfool is offline  
Old 04-18-2011, 06:38 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
Forum Leader
 
Seren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,614
Blog Entries: 8
Hi Grnmtn, and Welcome to SR!

You will find a lot of folks here who understand exactly what you are enduring. The good news is, you do not have to endure it any longer. You can put strong boundaries in place for your own safety and sanity and that of your family. You deserve it......your children deserve it.

Originally Posted by Grnmtn1 View Post
I'm sorry that I said something to upset you, I surely didn't mean to. I do appreciate what I have and work hard to keep it. I simply wanted to help a friend in need and was looking for honest advice and I believe you gave it to me. Thank you.
The depth to which your codependence exists was displayed mostly through this post. Cyranoak came down on you with unnecessary force, IMHO.

Your reaction was to apologize to HIM for upsetting HIM.....can you see that you are taking responsibility for someone elses happiness? Someone you don't know and to whom you owe nothing?

I hope you will stick around and keep educating yourself on the disease of addiction and it's partner codependence.

Hugs and prayers to you and your family!
HG
Seren is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Seren For This Useful Post:
Cyranoak (04-18-2011), StarCat (04-18-2011)
Old 04-18-2011, 06:47 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
Originally Posted by brokenheartfool View Post
Yes...this "becoming someone I don't like" bit...elaborate?
This is where the work needs to be done.
I think what's happened is that I have lost my patience and he triggers all my buttons immediately. I used to be willing to listen, to guide, to buy books that would support his recovery (he's read some of them) and to simply be his friend. I think the part that I hate is that I just "react" to his antics now. We fight all the time, I'm tired of his BS, his bsing the dr's and saying what he thinks is "just enough" to try and dupe me. I've been around him long enough to know when he's even remotely high, had one beer or is full of it. Bottom line, I believe I'm at the end of my rope too and I hate being some crazy woman who's reacting to his antics. I just want to feel good about walking away and at peace with my decisions. I also want to pray that he doesn't die alone.
Grnmtn1 is offline  
Old 04-18-2011, 07:02 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
Originally Posted by hydrogirl View Post
Hi Grnmtn, and Welcome to SR!

You will find a lot of folks here who understand exactly what you are enduring. The good news is, you do not have to endure it any longer. You can put strong boundaries in place for your own safety and sanity and that of your family. You deserve it......your children deserve it.



The depth to which your codependence exists was displayed mostly through this post. Cyranoak came down on you with unnecessary force, IMHO.

Your reaction was to apologize to HIM for upsetting HIM.....can you see that you are taking responsibility for someone elses happiness? Someone you don't know and to whom you owe nothing?

I hope you will stick around and keep educating yourself on the disease of addiction and it's partner codependence.

Hugs and prayers to you and your family!
HG
Thank you so much. And I did feel he came down hard, but I'm so new here, I didn't want to step on toes or to do the wrong thing. My parents raised me to be very polite and to ALWAYS consider the other persons feelings and never be rude. So...I took it. This is something I'm also working on in my own life and actually doesn't have a lot to do with our friend. I do understand where he was coming from and it's hard to get to know someone through posts, much less all the back history.

I really appreciate everyones sound advice because that's truly what I was looking for. It's all so confusing and hard and I just don't want to have any regrets.

Many people have mentioned our son and I feel like I should expound on this. We are very lucky to have such a healthy home, but, we work at it too. Both my husband and I work, our son is 9 and we have tried very hard to use our friend as an example for many things. He has made some bad choices in life (beyond the addictions) and he has paid for those wrong doings and we don't condone them. We love our friend for who he is, he's from a very different background than any of us are, but he is a human being, just as we are and we shouldn't judge people if they have different backgrounds. He loves our son more than anything, would never hurt him and as I said before, I don't tollerate his bad behavior around our son. We were supposed to spend the weekend with him last weekend, but I could tell he had taken too many pills, so it was cut very short. Our son was none the wiser, our friend very generously gave me $ to take ourselves to the movies and he went home. (Yes, I was incredibly po'd and dissapointed, but what are you going to do?) When he was drinking in the house, he tried to hide it (from me) but of course I knew and once his behavior got out of hand, out he went.

Don't get me wrong, I do worry about all of this. I'm praying that we can and will use him as a teaching tool for many things- good and bad. We don't just sweep it under the rug, we talk about it - A LOT. He knows why our friend isn't here and that he needed to get on with his life. I'm a good mom and my husband is a good dad and I'm sure we've made mistakes, but I'm trying hard to be aware of them and deal with them as they come up.
Grnmtn1 is offline  
Old 04-18-2011, 07:16 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
Today is a New Day
 
StarCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,766
Originally Posted by Grnmtn1 View Post
My parents raised me to be very polite and to ALWAYS consider the other persons feelings and never be rude.
You're allowed to have feelings, too.
You're even allowed to tell people how they make you feel.

Say what you mean, mean what you say, just don't say it mean.
StarCat is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to StarCat For This Useful Post:
bookwyrm (04-19-2011), brokenheartfool (04-19-2011), Grnmtn1 (04-18-2011)
Old 04-18-2011, 07:21 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
Originally Posted by StarCat View Post
You're allowed to have feelings, too.
You're even allowed to tell people how they make you feel.

Say what you mean, mean what you say, just don't say it mean.
Thank you, sometimes I need to hear these things. The part about where I don't like who I've become is that I am starting to say things "mean" and I hate that about myself. Perhaps I do need a break.
Grnmtn1 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Grnmtn1 For This Useful Post:
StarCat (04-18-2011)
Old 04-18-2011, 09:08 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Southwest
Posts: 1,207
I have a friend whose drug of choice seems to be terrible choices in men and the ensuing drama. When we are together now, I find that she gets on my nerves like crazy and all I want to do is snipe at her. And then she says something crummy back to me.

And I have had to physically remove myself from her presence because I no longer choose to fight with people. I own my part in it, but if I can't control my triggers with her, I owe it to the friendship not to do further damage by trying to be around her. Her negativity and constant complaining get under my skin, too, and I get to choose if I want to be around that.

I would LEAVE a friendship that was as overly-enmeshed as the one you describe. None of you is doing any good for the others. Give it a break and maybe when he comes into recovery, you can try again. But seriously? Let this one go. He can sink or swim without you.
stella27 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to stella27 For This Useful Post:
Grnmtn1 (04-19-2011)
Old 04-19-2011, 03:20 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
Thank you ALL for your words of wisdom. I believe I knew a lot of what you were saying already, I needed to hear it. I picked up the book Co-dependant No More (I bought it about 6 months ago and hadn't read it yet) and was quite surprised at alot of the similar traits I have to some of the peoples stories in the first chapter. Most importantly, how I'm trying to steer his ship and manipulate his bad choices and most recently, the area where I am so quick to anger. Stella is right, our friendship is too enmeshed and it appears that some distance would do all of us some good. Now, I just have to say it and mean it. (sigh).
Grnmtn1 is offline  
Old 04-19-2011, 03:31 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 344
We have the 3 C's here...or we borrow them, more appropriately, from alanon--

You didn't cause it
You can't control it
You can't cure it.

I think the last applies to you the most. You've gone so far as to purchase books for yourself and him, you spend a lot of time discussing him, worrying over him, and all this is pointless unless he WANTS to fix himself.
You can't cure it.
It's out of your power. That's another of the lessons we learn here--just how powerless we are over another person's choices and actions.
Which is a good thing really...isn't it? Else others would be able to control you just as you would like to control, or cure, him.
So that we all have the ability, as free people, to make our choices, is a good thing.
But what choices he makes, even if bad, he must make himself. He must find his rock bottom in order to change his mind and decide that he doesn't want to live this way anymore.
His rock bottom will be an ugly painful place...it usually is, and logically so...because it has to be ugly and painful or people wouldn't change, ever.
If we could so easily spare those we care about THEIR rock bottom, then we would be god and we would rule the world.
I'm glad you have found YOUR rock bottom before this relationship became too destructive a part of your life. I think your anger speaks to that---that you have had enough.
brokenheartfool is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to brokenheartfool For This Useful Post:
Grnmtn1 (04-19-2011), wanttobehealthy (04-19-2011)
Old 04-19-2011, 03:54 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
Originally Posted by brokenheartfool View Post
We have the 3 C's here...or we borrow them, more appropriately, from alanon--

You didn't cause it
You can't control it
You can't cure it.
...

Which is a good thing really...isn't it? Else others would be able to control you just as you would like to control, or cure, him.
So that we all have the ability, as free people, to make our choices, is a good thing.

...



If we could so easily spare those we care about THEIR rock bottom, then we would be god and we would rule the world.
I'm glad you have found YOUR rock bottom before this relationship became too destructive a part of your life. I think your anger speaks to that---that you have had enough.
Wow, you have said some really moving things this morning for me and I believe they hit home. It is true, isn't it, the last thing I would want is someone choosing my path for me because life is about choice and even if I make dumb choices, they are mine. I guess because he has filled so many roles (including willing participant to my "guidance" over the years), I have taken it to a whole other level. He is a grown man and he should be able to live his life however he wants to, even if he does end up dead or in prison.

That's the part that's so hard though, I now believe his rock bottom is death. He's been to prison, been homeless, jobless and suicidal all at once and I can't imagine anything worse. But now I'm starting to see, it's not my problem. It's incredibly sad to see someone go down this road willingly, but I'm also learning it's not something he wants. I know he's miserable and I'm not helping anymore. I'm irrationaly angry at his bad choices and how they affect me and I'm hurting him.

Why is it that we want to so desperately hold on to hope though? And why do we keep believing that the person we knew all those years ago will miraculously come back? Is that my co-dependance speaking? Do you think it's because my father was an alcoholic and I'm still trying to get him back?
Grnmtn1 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Grnmtn1 For This Useful Post:
StarCat (04-19-2011)
Old 04-19-2011, 04:02 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
Member
 
SoloMio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 1,116
Originally Posted by brokenheartfool View Post
Yes...this "becoming someone I don't like" bit...elaborate?
This is where the work needs to be done.
I agree! Interesting how we choose our headlines. Your post is all about your friend, but it was something about you that drove you here.

I certainly know what you mean! There comes a point when you look in the mirror and you don't recognize yourself, and that's where the change starts.

As for iwanttobehealthy's "pop psychology"--I related to that too--I think children are SO DESPERATE to rewrite the family script they make it their mission in life. I know I did. And I'm 59, feeling I've only just now started my own book.

I know now why the Bible talks about the sins of the father lasting seven generations. It probably does take hundreds of years to dilute all that poison out of the pond.
SoloMio is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to SoloMio For This Useful Post:
dbh (04-19-2011), Grnmtn1 (04-19-2011), StarCat (04-19-2011), stella27 (04-19-2011), wanttobehealthy (04-19-2011)
Old 04-19-2011, 04:10 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
Yes brokenhearted...it was finally my utter disbelief in seeing how I was changing and acting just as irrationally as he is. I want to "blame" him for it, but it's my own fault for holding on so long and believing that I can save his life. I'm now starting to see how selfish my thoughts have been and in many ways, all of this has been about me. Yes, of course we love him and he loves us (we're his only family and I see what it does to him when I walk away). It's incredibly hard to lose someone who has been a huge part in our life, but ultimately, he needs to live or die. For better or worse.
Grnmtn1 is offline  
Old 04-19-2011, 04:29 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
You know I throw out there "...ultimately he needs to live or die. For better or worse" like it's some easy thing and it sounds as if I'm so ready to pack it up and walk away. Yet I really know, I'm just not there, emotionally. I sound like such a mess and perhaps I am. Thank you for not "judging" too harshly. My husband has always described me as compassionate and I was always very proud of that. I like caring for others, but now I'm seeing it's at my own expense.
Grnmtn1 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Grnmtn1 For This Useful Post:
StarCat (04-19-2011)
Old 04-19-2011, 04:31 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
Member
 
wanttobehealthy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,095
Thank you so much. So...are you my sibling from our childhood that I've never met? My father was off doing the same, Mom was very formal and reserved and my sisters were much older and gone from home. = Lonely.
We well could be! I'm in NH so we're certainly within geographic distance-- and ummm, my father had lots and lots of affairs so it wouldn't surprise me to learn I had additional siblings! Oh the layers of dysfunction in these families of ours!

I'm the oldest in my family fyi... Even though we all were often home together (siblings and I) it was like we were each in our own bubble trying to protect ourselves from our mom's abuse and more often than not I was the one who bore the brunt of it and everyone else was just glad it wasn't "their turn" and for fear of my mom's retribution never stepped in to help. It wasn't fun. And it sounds like being totally alone, when your older sisters left put you in the line of fire similarly... I'm sorry to hear how things were for you. It sounds sad and lonely.

My father committed suicide and I think it will kill me if he does the same and that's why I'm fighting so hard for him. Unhealthy, yes, I know it is. But, that's where I am and why I asked for advice.
I am so sorry. That sounds so painful and it makes so much sense that someone whose potential you see and who you love as a friend would be someone you'd want to help avoid the same fate as your dad.
wanttobehealthy is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to wanttobehealthy For This Useful Post:
Grnmtn1 (04-19-2011)
Old 04-19-2011, 04:36 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
Thanks wanttobehealthy. I never realized how lonely it was until 6 months ago and that's a whole separate matter. It is incredible how psychology works and that so many of us who have the same histories, repeat the same patterns over and over again. I guess that's why there's ACOA, Al-Anon etc. It's all so clear to see, yet feels so muddy to wade through.
Grnmtn1 is offline  
Old 04-19-2011, 04:48 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
Member
 
wanttobehealthy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,095
Don't get me wrong, I do worry about all of this. I'm praying that we can and will use him as a teaching tool for many things- good and bad. We don't just sweep it under the rug, we talk about it - A LOT. He knows why our friend isn't here and that he needed to get on with his life. I'm a good mom and my husband is a good dad and I'm sure we've made mistakes, but I'm trying hard to be aware of them and deal with them as they come up.
The difference bw your son learning healthy things from the mistakes you and your H make and those that your friend makes is that you and your H are aware, conscious, in tune with and learn from your mistakes and take active steps to not repeat the same patters. Your friend, as a non-recovering addict may know that he's made mistakes but doesn't seem to be demonstrating any desire to learn from and actively change those mistakes and not keep repeating them.

I worry about your son seeing not just unhealthy behavior from your friend, but seeing how co-dependent you and your H are (even though your heart is the right place and you have the right reasons for wanting to help) and growing up and getting into relationships himself with people who suck the life out of him.

Read the stories of those of us with spouses or parents with addiction issues... I'd wager to say that most of us grew up with unhealthy models of behavior from our parents and even though you are a loving mom and your H a loving dad, your willingness to put your welfare second to your friends' addiction is teaching your son to put others before himself.

I grew up with a fairly religious family (my father had been a priest before marrying my mother, my mother was raised in a strict religious family) and I grew up believing (despite what went on in my own home) that loving and good and kind people put others first and that you felt joy when you gave instead of taking. And to a certain extent this is true. But taken to an extreme and feeling (as I have my whole life) that ANY need I had, any desire to take care of myself made me a selfish person has set me up to be a very unhealthy person.

You want your son to be a caring and kind person as you and your H clearly are but not to the exclusion of being able to care for himself first and see that sometimes love means having to set a boundary and hope that the person you care for takes the opportunity to examine their life and do what they need to. All that will happen if you continue on the path you are on is that you will become increasingly upset, it will probably spill over into problems with your own H and family and your son will grow up thinking that the needs of those who are ill and who have no interest in helping themselves, take precedence over the needs of everyone else.

I'm making some really tough decisions in my own life right now not bc they are comfortable or bc I really want to but bc I need to for my D's sake (and mine). I don't want to deal with the anger I know will come from my AH as a result of my choices and the status quo is, in a lot of ways, easier in the short term. But I want my D's to grow up healthier than I did and I want to still have time in this life to be happy and healthy and being with my AH right now isn't allowing for that.

It's okay to feel upset about setting a boundary with your friend and yes, he will probably manipulate, guilt trip, be upset etc... Expect it and that will take away some of the power of it all.

Last thought- I promise-- think about the man you hope your son will become based on the lessons you and your H are teaching him and the values you try to instill in him and ask yourself if having your friend in your life and your sons is compatible with what the kind of man you want your son to be? Sounds to me like your friend demonstrates abusive behavior toward you and intimidates you into apologizing for HIS being upset. Your son shouldn't have to see his mother treated that way- ever.
wanttobehealthy is offline  
Old 04-19-2011, 05:06 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Grnmtn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 57
Thanks wanttobe for that. It's hard to hear, but I know is right on. Our son is very compassionate too and already thinks of others- a lot. Your post was perfect and brought to light something I should take a sharp look at with him NOW, before he gets much older. I'm sure my anger must spill over and the last thing I want to do is hurt him. So, I have to take a hard look at my choices and make some tough decisions, for my son's future, and ours.

ps how do you teach that? How do you teach someone to put their own needs first and not appear selfish?
Grnmtn1 is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:58 PM.