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Actions speak louder than words...

Old 04-21-2011, 08:56 AM
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Actions speak louder than words...

Early Recovery: Part 2

Moving day...I am so excited and scared all at the same time. It's my re-do, and I want it to be everything I hope for...

That said, I learned another lesson yesterday. RAH has been helping me with the move and initial home repairs. We've also been fighting. The daily contact has been overwhelming and our mutual resentments get the best of us.

Yesterday, while making a dump run with junk from the repairs, I finally spoke (after two days of silence) and told him I was simply trying to communicate the other day. I didn't mean to set him off, make him feel guilty, etc. Just trying to share where my head is at and how hard this whole situation is on me.

I asked him (again) why is insists on helping me with this and shared that it makes me really uncomfortable and I am questioning my actions everyday...

He responded (and I am paraphrasing here) that he is trying to do the "right thing" and he understands his words mean nothing to me so he is trying to show me I am important and he has the beginnings of an understanding of the chaos his drinking caused me and my kids, through this action. Even though this action is the LAST THING HE WANTS TO BE DOING RIGHT NOW. It was one of those moments where I realized I was getting action but not recognizing it for what it was. I have been so focused on a certain kind of action that I want to see that I was missing the action he is able to give me right now.

He said that by helping me create my "new normal", he may have a chance to be a part of that someday in the future. He acknowledged he is learning a lot of new concepts now that his brain is no longer in an alcoholic fog. He even said he has so much time on his hands he really has no other choice but to face some things, and in helping me move, he is trying to make some amends through action, not words.

I would have not seen it that way, had he not told me. It is much easier to wallow in my own hurt and think he just really wants me out of his house pronto and his helping is showing me that. And I would be wrong.

We talk here a lot about actions, not words. I guess my point this morning is to be careful not to overlook actions because they are not the actions we want to see. I almost did, and I am so grateful this morning for having a mind that is becoming more open to seeing reality, not just cherry picking what I want to see.

One baby step forward...progress...not perfection.

Now - onto moving - and reclaiming my "new normal".
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:16 AM
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Good point, Tuffgirl.
Where does consistency play in recognizing our A's positive activity?
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Shellcrusher View Post
Good point, Tuffgirl.
Where does consistency play in recognizing our A's positive activity?
My first thought was "I have no flippin idea" but then I thought "time". Time is the only thing that can provide consistency. And that is why I bought a house. Because I think this is going to take a long time. Long. Time.

If ever...I have to add that because you know, we may not recover from this. His timeframe and mine may not match. Our resentments may run too deep. I just don't know today what the future holds, and I retired the crystal ball when I realized my magical thinking was getting me no where but anger.

So that is a very good question that I am not sure I can truly answer today, because although 5 months feels like a long time to me, in the whole picture of drinking vs. sobriety for the RAH, it is a drop in the bucket.

What do you think, Shellcrusher?
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:27 AM
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Great advise! It is those moments when our AH/RAH say something that is just so perfect that we just want to open our hearts back up to them. It is those moments when they get it. We just need them to keep getting it consistently and continue to show us that real change has happened. Someone ask how do we trust them again? I think this is part of that road to trust.

Positive communication... got to love it!
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
...What do you think, Shellcrusher?
Truth be told, I didn't want to rain on your party. I like reading your "progress" reports because you're constantly moving in what I consider to be a direction I want to go.
What I really wanted to say was that I find these moments of positive activity, at least for my AW, seductive moments and I don't like that. Sometimes my AW is overly nice to me, which is not normal. Or she does "the right" thing in my eyes and I find that behavior suspicious at best. I guess I kinda got scared for you and I don't want to project my stuff on you.

His answer was he was trying to show you how important you are to him. In my world that screams seductive quacking and my hairs stand up. Honestly, it was my reaction to your story. Perhaps even a trigger. At first you thought he was trying to get you out of the house faster and it sounds like you didn't like that thought. Then you had a breakthrough which is good but did you also have that questioning suspicious feeling beyond him getting you out? Did you feel any disbelief in his actions?

Again, I didn't want to rain on your party and progress or present a fear based opinion. Since you're living the changes, I'm that much more interested in how you're processing these things.

I agree with you that time is the answer.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:24 AM
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I see your point SC. It really does get to the point of having no clue if what they do and say are genuine and trustable or just part of the dance and manipulation. When you/I have been burned so many times in the past trust is just GONE. Just yesterday I was talking to my therapist about genuine vs. manipulation and that I flat out don't know anymore. She told me that my AH may not know either if his own actions are genuine or not. Crazy.

But to Tuffigirls point we need to be able to see the change too. If we always just assume the negative how would we ever see the positive if it really is?

Sustained change... over ( a lot of ) time.... is the only way to know.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:27 AM
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First off, congratulations! The journey to this point hasn't been easy, and I'm only ... 5 days ahead of you!

I'm still holding my breath. ABF is starting to ask for definitive answers, and I don't have any. I keep saying, 'I love you, I won't live with you as long as you are an active alcoholic. We'll see what happens over the next year or two.' He cried all day long yesterday, after an all-night binge, and said he'd go to AA. This morning when I asked his plans for the day, he said he had none, he had the whole day free. I kept quiet, squashing my sarcastic, unhelpful, knee-JERK reaction.

Back to thinking about my values, my plans, what I want in a relationship, if I want a relationship. Yesterday's meeting was on Step 4: "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." le sigh. It's time for me to get a workbook.

I love your questions - they're the same as mine. You just know how to express them ~ thank you!

- Sylvie
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:30 AM
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He responded (and I am paraphrasing here) that he is trying to do the "right thing" and he understands his words mean nothing to me so he is trying to show me I am important and he has the beginnings of an understanding of the chaos his drinking caused me and my kids, through this action. Even though this action is the LAST THING HE WANTS TO BE DOING RIGHT NOW. It was one of those moments where I realized I was getting action but not recognizing it for what it was. I have been so focused on a certain kind of action that I want to see that I was missing the action he is able to give me right now.
I may be jaded given how well things are going in my own life (note the sarcasm) but does it seem a little odd to anyone but me that if your AH is helping you to show with actions that he's trying, that he'd say "even though this is the last thing I want to do". That sure sounds like a passive aggressive, baiting, snarky thing to say and it sounds a bit to me like he's helping you but developing a nice resentment around it too with a remark like that...

Am I mis reading it?

Before you jump all over yourself Tuffgirl for not seeing this as an action (plus, in my opinion, someone whose actions are sincere doesn't feel the need to point out how their actions are a way to "show" how serious they are) of progress, consider that he may be playing martyr and trying to play on your guilt....

That interaction sounded way too familiar to ones I've had lately (including yesterday but focussed around AH driving the girls to school and being willing and "happy" to do so then throwing in my face that he was doing this and getting no praise)....
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Shellcrusher View Post
Truth be told, I didn't want to rain on your party. I like reading your "progress" reports because you're constantly moving in what I consider to be a direction I want to go.
What I really wanted to say was that I find these moments of positive activity, at least for my AW, seductive moments and I don't like that. Sometimes my AW is overly nice to me, which is not normal. Or she does "the right" thing in my eyes and I find that behavior suspicious at best. I guess I kinda got scared for you and I don't want to project my stuff on you.

His answer was he was trying to show you how important you are to him. In my world that screams seductive quacking and my hairs stand up. Honestly, it was my reaction to your story. Perhaps even a trigger. At first you thought he was trying to get you out of the house faster and it sounds like you didn't like that thought. Then you had a breakthrough which is good but did you also have that questioning suspicious feeling beyond him getting you out? Did you feel any disbelief in his actions?

Again, I didn't want to rain on your party and progress or present a fear based opinion. Since you're living the changes, I'm that much more interested in how you're processing these things.

I agree with you that time is the answer.
Did I mention in the first post how uncomfortable I have been?! No, I don't "believe" in anything right now. But this is me trying.

I am so leery of everything and anything he does that I can hardly see beyond my own emotions. But...I have to acknowledge his actions as positive because today, this is what they are. Now...what he does AFTER I get settled remains to be seen. I suppose that's the consistency part of it all.

I don't trust him. But the beginnings of regaining trust have to start somewhere. And today that means to him, helping me move, and to me, letting him without constantly looking for the subconscious motivation that may or may not be accurate. I think looking for that is what keeps me in the anger mode...always questioning everything he does as quacking or genuine. So today, I am not going to question it. Just accept it as graciously as I can.

If I come on here next month and post HE IS MOVING INTO MY NEW HOUSE WITH ME NOW - you all have permission to give me the virtual a$$ whooping!

Oh - and yes, we are all jaded and mistrustful and that's normal - who wouldn't after the crap we've been through? I don't know about you all, but I am pretty darn crispy these days. All I can say is...more to be revealed...and you know I'll share it with you!

Last edited by Tuffgirl; 04-21-2011 at 10:51 AM. Reason: added a bit more!
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:01 AM
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If I come on here next month and post HE IS MOVING INTO MY NEW HOUSE WITH ME NOW - you all have permission to give me the virtual a$$ whooping!
don't make me come to your house tuffgirl!
:rotfxko
no, i will just move in.
teehee

Beth
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:20 PM
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I so would too IF I COULD ... lol!

I am also leery of the whole thing,
just from reading all the other you know.

But I'm fairly jaded as it is.
So often we we'll let one or two nice gestures
counterbalance years and years of crap
that I get itchy
and don't believe anything anyone says sometimes.

I still think it has that
'you're only going to get what I want to give and I'm not going to let up till you tell me you like it'
feeling to it
but I'm glad to see
you taking the time
to see through your own expectations
at the same time.

And you feel better about it is the important thing as well.

I like to see people
moving around their perceptions
if it's in the forward movement.

And this is.
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
If I come on here next month and post HE IS MOVING INTO MY NEW HOUSE WITH ME NOW - you all have permission to give me the virtual a$$ whooping!
Please don't make me waste $$ updating my visa to US for a not-so-virtual whooping lol !!


I am going through something similar with my DAD... today he says he is worried I won't be getting $$ from his sold house.. and I am thinking "THAT WAS YOUR DECISION! to give everything to mom... duh!! tell me right away, if you care or not about ME... !!"

Anyway I decided to take it in the best way possible, doesn't mean he has changed or that the future will change at all... or that I love him more or hate him more... it just means that RIGHT NOW I feel slightly better.... thinking "he may care, deep down"..... and yes, more will be revealed.

Today its about ME. And about YOU, Tuffgirl!! good luck in your move!! its so exhausting and draining to move.... and emotions are all over the place... but remember there are prizes and gifts you deserve, awaiting for you already.
This is just a transition!
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:17 PM
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PS YOUR actions are speaking louder today, Tuffgirl
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:38 PM
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Always keep that though: actions speak louder than words. Talk is cheap, meaningless when an active alcoholic says things.

However, I can say this because I'm a recovering alcoholic with many years under my belt: a leopard doesn't change his spots. To start: if you take the alcohol away from a drunken horse thief you still have a horse thief. It takes decades of hard work to change many things. Add to that what typically pops up for most alcoholics in early sobriety (first five years) is a great deal of rage. Hey, we drank to put a lid on the rage and now it's out. Working with a sponsor and a good therapist the truly motivated person can grow.

It takes many years and lots of recovering alcoholics are only interested in putting down the bottle.

I wish you the best.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:48 PM
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I'm so glad to know this! Thank you!
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:36 PM
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Just let me know, I'm within a$$whooping distance.

You know, I don't know if this makes any sense to anyone, but here's what I see:

I follow your journey and compare it to mine. I see your X showing action where mine never did (he kept talking about how much he had changed, but I never saw any change). The "last thing I want to do" raises a red flag for me and makes my BS detector activate. But that's because my A was and is a BS artist of incredible talent.

But what I think I see is him trying. And that is worth acknowledging. And I also see the oceans of difference between an RA who tries and one who has figured out what behavior is desired from him and displays that behavior until he gets what he wants and can go back to being his alcoholic self again.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:46 PM
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My first reaction is that you seem like you were in a good place this morning. I think sometimes we are so full of anger and resentment that we can't see the gifts that are given us. Whenever I can be grateful for someone's kindness I feel like I am making progress.
However, I also see how others might be afraid that you will be "deceived" by a brief moment of what could very well be "quacking".
What happens to me is that my AH will be nice. I feel good. And then the next time he is his irrational self I am disappointed that he goes back to being his ranting, angry, blaming everyone but himself person.
You sound pretty realistic about what you need to do and what the worst case scenario is.
If you see the good in the action of your H without looking for an ulterior motive or believing it means more than what it is then I applaud you.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:20 AM
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It's very hard to redefine my marriage in my own head to make it fit what it is today. Having to let go of being his "wife", which means stop acting like a wife, is something I have to remind myself of each and every day. Sometimes I am successful at it, and other times not so good at it. With social roles comes expectations, its normal and natural to expect to be treated a certain way and when we aren't, we are hurt and disappointed. Each morning I wake up and remind myself that just for today...I could do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I had to do it for a lifetime. Like moving furniture (ugh I hurt all over today), or being really sad and unfocused (had those days a lot in the not to distant past) or being sick, or angry, and so on. Just for today, I am going to be kind and trustful that the RAH will follow through on his word. So far, he has shown up everyday when asked, with tools and a trailer, and a relatively good attitude (so long as we don't get too 'deep' into resentments).

It's not a big thing...but it's something, you know?!

And I know I tend to get wrapped up in wanting to see the big things - the apologies and acknowledgments of my suffering and his wrongs and actions that show me he wants to have a relationship with me (the big sweeping actions) - that I overlook the little things. Does this change things between us? Well, just for today interactions are peaceful. And that is change, right? It means nothing more than that.

Thanks all for weighing in and I do appreciate the differing views and experiences. It's that kind of feedback that keeps me grounded in reality and not flying off into "he's being nice to me everything is back to normal again" land.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:38 AM
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geniune=manipulation=trust..?? i am still figuring all of this out...do we still THINK about how to do this with some trust if its geniune? or is it all manipulation...do we give that fact that he is in a good place of recovery?... when do we start thinking, i can trust him?....see confused??

my A (In the end) was good at manipulation, and that he was active in the drinking...

I guess all in all, i still have to trust my gut feelings...RUN LIKE HE!!
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