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Emotional Robot?!

Old 05-04-2011, 09:53 AM
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Emotional Robot?!

Had a short run-in with the RAH last night...he came by when I was out and left a load of stuff in my garage from his house. He did call first and left a voicemail...that wasn't the issue. The issue was that it triggered me... and the things he brought over were small things...miscellaneous stuff from the closets and girls' bathroom. Like he's sweeping through the house gathering every single freakin' item and throwing it in a box. I had already told him once it bothered me a little and I would finish this weekend (have a very busy work week and have to travel tomorrow and Friday).

The thing is - there has been a feeling of awkwardness and distance between us since we went on a "date" Saturday - which was actually a lot of fun! I feel it, and I am through not trusting my intuition here. I know when something isn't right. He also snapped at me yesterday morning when I swung by his house to pick up the last of my shoes on my way to work (I am trying to get my stuff outta there!). I said on the phone last night that something didn't feel right between us and he EXPLODED and said "NOTHING IS RIGHT HERE!!!" and proceeded to start telling me off...I ended up hanging up mid-rant.

But what I did hear was these two things:
1. He is NOT RESPONSIBLE for my feelings.
2. He does NOT HAVE TO JUSTIFY HIS ACTIONS.

It took me back to the old pattern...Tuffgirl can only have one emotion - happy - and everything else is wrong and not his responsibility. Tuffgirl is not allowed to ask him about his feelings (take the temperature, so to speak) nor share her own feelings unless they are happy. He can be a remote, distant, jerkface and he is not responsible for the consequences therein. Tuffgirl's feelings are a manipulation, beware!

I remember, especially toward the end of living with him, trying so hard to control everything (me, the girls, life, the dogs, and so on) in order for things to be happy and nothing else. I was exhausted by trying to be a robot and stuff my feelings, unless they were happy. I am tired of only being allowed to feel happy around him, and don't ever want to hear him say again that he "only wants to make me happy".

As a matter of fact, happy has lately really made me feel crappy!

So anyway, I did hang up on him because I refuse to subject myself to these attacks anymore. I was attempting to communicate with him and he got instantly defensive (as usual). Hanging up wasn't the most mature way of handling the run-in, but I couldn't get a word in edgewise so it seemed like the only way to back out of that.

It's been close to 6 months sober for him. When do the 12 steps kick in? Sheesh - another reminder of just how angry this man is, just under the surface. I know what he is telling me is a warped version of what he gets at AA. "Not responsible for your feelings" is NOT PERMISSION TO ACT AS YOU PLEASE AND DISREGARD OTHER PEOPLE'S FEELINGS! DO they ever get that?!

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Old 05-04-2011, 10:20 AM
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Lets try to be HAPPY for YOU!!! That is what I tell myself
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:26 AM
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Things that popped into my head...

Do you think the extraneous things he had to bring over were just a way to interact?

Do you think that the tension from the date that went well Sat is bc he might have hoped it would be enough for you to return to the status quo with him?

I've had that same "something doesn't feel right" conversation with my AH far too many times to count. It results most of the time in pretty much what you describe. I think that I hope, in saying that and sharing how I feel, that he will also want to identify what he's feeling and like normal people we'll figure out the cause of the tension and can resolve it. That has never happened.

Instead I get told precisely what you were told or I get told I am imagining things and am crazy.

It took me back to the old pattern...Tuffgirl can only have one emotion - happy - and everything else is wrong and not his responsibility. Tuffgirl is not allowed to ask him about his feelings (take the temperature, so to speak) nor share her own feelings unless they are happy. He can be a remote, distant, jerkface and he is not responsible for the consequences therein. Tuffgirl's feelings are a manipulation, beware!
Wow- exactly my life with AH. EXACTLY. You've described this so well and brought clarity for me about things with myself just from reading this-- thank you!

I remember, especially toward the end of living with him, trying so hard to control everything (me, the girls, life, the dogs, and so on) in order for things to be happy and nothing else. I was exhausted by trying to be a robot and stuff my feelings, unless they were happy. I am tired of only being allowed to feel happy around him, and don't ever want to hear him say again that he "only wants to make me happy".
You just described me to a t... You said it so well. Trying to force everyone to be happy and being more miserable than ever bc of it... I can't think of the last holiday that wasn't miserable in my home and the reason for that is bc I'd try so hard to force the girls and I to be happy, that none of us were and it was a nightmare...

So anyway, I did hang up on him because I refuse to subject myself to these attacks anymore. I was attempting to communicate with him and he got instantly defensive (as usual). Hanging up wasn't the most mature way of handling the run-in, but I couldn't get a word in edgewise so it seemed like the only way to back out of that.
Attempting to communicate with my AH and anyone who I gather isn't serious about living as a healthy human being ='s waste of time. I've had to hang up on AH too at times bc trying to end the conversation appropriately isn't possible. Typical rules of behavior don't apply I guess at times when dealing with an A.

It's been close to 6 months sober for him. When do the 12 steps kick in? Sheesh - another reminder of just how angry this man is, just under the surface. I know what he is telling me is a warped version of what he gets at AA. "Not responsible for your feelings" is NOT PERMISSION TO ACT AS YOU PLEASE AND DISREGARD OTHER PEOPLE'S FEELINGS! DO they ever get that?!
I've gotten the warped, fitting the rationalizations he wants it to fit version of what he gets from AA too. Except I didn't figure out that it was a wacked out version for a while so I got pretty upset with AA for a time... I thought "really? AA is telling you to come back and blame me?" and I believed it... Idiotic huh? I love what you put in bold- I ought to get a t shirt that reads that so I can remember it...
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:39 AM
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Do you think the extraneous things he had to bring over were just a way to interact?

I don't know - maybe. But that seems so immature - ok I forget what I am dealing with on occasion - but wouldn't it be easier to call and say "hey..want to get together?"

Do you think that the tension from the date that went well Sat is bc he might have hoped it would be enough for you to return to the status quo with him?

I don't know...i bought my own house...i am revising our status quo from this point forward. Maybe that's the underlying issue. Maybe I forget the anger too easily when he's being nice and we are getting along.

Good questions, thanks!

And after writing this out and rereading it - I felt HAPPY that I don't have to live with him anymore!
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:30 AM
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Anvilhead hit the nail on the head...

What has helped me alot is meeting "REAL RECOVERED ALCOHOLICS"

I have a male friend, who use to be the most "WILDEST" man anyone
could have ever met...
He has been in a Christain based recovery program
for 1 year now and I all I can say is..."WOW"
He hasnt changed 100% - he has changed 500%...

I asked him, what has made such a big difference in you, compared to my AH
that just spent $10 grand in rehab.

He told me a spiritual story of how he see's who is the Black Dog & the White Dog.

And which one is HIS master now!!

He said, if you think about it on a spiritual level, it will help you understand
why 2 forces keep on fighting each other..Why you cant see eye to eye.

6 Months sober....What do most recovered alcoholics tell you for a good recovery time?
Isnt it closer to 12/18 months, when they begin to really get it..

"IF" he is actually working the steps.

Mine can quote & read the blue book real good..

But does he actually work it? (no) -

Could be denial on your part, like it was mine...

Keep Up The Good Work...Your "AWESOME"...no matter what he says...LOL
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:30 AM
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and the things he brought over were small things...miscellaneous stuff from the closets and girls' bathroom. Like he's sweeping through the house gathering every single freakin' item and throwing it in a box.

My dad did this when my mom left him and we moved out of state. i never understood why he sent us all that unimportant crap...tampons, toys (we were teens at that point), empty notebooks, it was all just stuff we left in closets in boxes to be thrown out. i still don't get it. (ps-my dad is an alcoholic and a crack addict...his behavior is always pretty weird.)


.

It took me back to the old pattern...Tuffgirl can only have one emotion - happy - and everything else is wrong and not his responsibility. Tuffgirl is not allowed to ask him about his feelings (take the temperature, so to speak) nor share her own feelings unless they are happy. He can be a remote, distant, jerkface and he is not responsible for the consequences therein. Tuffgirl's feelings are a manipulation, beware!

I remember, especially toward the end of living with him, trying so hard to control everything (me, the girls, life, the dogs, and so on) in order for things to be happy and nothing else. I was exhausted by trying to be a robot and stuff my feelings, unless they were happy. I am tired of only being allowed to feel happy around him, and don't ever want to hear him say again that he "only wants to make me happy".


I feel like this is what i'm going through right now with my hubby (the "be happy" part). since he quit drinking i should be happy...all the time.
if i cry or get mad on the phone he just hangs up.
if im sad he says something like "quittt...everythings fine. theres no reason for you to be upset."
he also accuses me of "fake crying to make him feel bad" because i should "be HAPPY now".
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:31 AM
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[QUOTE]
Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
Do you think the extraneous things he had to bring over were just a way to interact?

I don't know - maybe. But that seems so immature - ok I forget what I am dealing with on occasion - but wouldn't it be easier to call and say "hey..want to get together?"
Yes that definitely would be easier. That would also be a sign that he's serious about changing his life. It does seem immature that he'd do that to just come by but my AH who doesn't want to let go or accept what I've told him, seems to have EVERY reason in the world to call, text or come by...

Do you think that the tension from the date that went well Sat is bc he might have hoped it would be enough for you to return to the status quo with him?

I don't know...i bought my own house...i am revising our status quo from this point forward. Maybe that's the underlying issue. Maybe I forget the anger too easily when he's being nice and we are getting along.
Oh it's clear to me for sure that you're changing the status quo but that has no bearing on whether he wants to accept it... I find with my AH that the times he starts to act passive aggressive and I have that "something is not right" feeling almost always come after a particularly nice time. Then when his nice behavior doesn't get a change in my stance about our r/s he turns into the AH I know all too well...
Good questions, thanks!

And after writing this out and rereading it - I felt HAPPY that I don't have to live with him anymore!

Yay!
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:34 AM
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[QUOTE]
Originally Posted by confusedandsad View Post
and the things he brought over were small things...miscellaneous stuff from the closets and girls' bathroom. Like he's sweeping through the house gathering every single freakin' item and throwing it in a box.

My dad did this when my mom left him and we moved out of state. i never understood why he sent us all that unimportant crap...tampons, toys (we were teens at that point), empty notebooks, it was all just stuff we left in closets in boxes to be thrown out. i still don't get it. (ps-my dad is an alcoholic and a crack addict...his behavior is always pretty weird.)
My take? From watching my mom do this with my Dad after he left and she was unwilling to let him go... It was to keep a handle on him, stay in his life, try to suck him back in... And when that didn't work, she started getting evil and nasty... So, I think the reason people do this is bc they aren't willing to let go. But that might just be the experiences I've witnessed-- there might be a million other reasons too...
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:04 PM
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Hanging up in perfectly acceptable and not necessarily immature or anything else. When somebody's being unacceptable on the phone the acceptable response is to hang the **** up. You can soften it by saying, "It is unacceptable for you to be speaking to me this way so I'm hanging up now... CLICK MOTHER******!!!

OK, leave out the click part.

Sorry he's being this way TuffGirl. For some people the steps never click in. A super high percentage make it to step three and then stall. Step four is where it gets hard, because step four requires rigorous honesty. It takes a special person to be able to do steps four though twelve.

Cyranoak
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
It took me back to the old pattern...Tuffgirl can only have one emotion - happy - and everything else is wrong and not his responsibility. Tuffgirl is not allowed to ask him about his feelings (take the temperature, so to speak) nor share her own feelings unless they are happy. He can be a remote, distant, jerkface and he is not responsible for the consequences therein. Tuffgirl's feelings are a manipulation, beware!
I just really appreciated this outright honest expression from you. I don't know why, but it made me smile!
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:29 PM
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Tuffgirl,
I'm kinda confused. Sometimes I play the devil's advocate. It usually gets me in trouble.

Could your AH be venting frustrations because he's confused about your intentions?

I'm asking because you said two things that are polar opposites. In other posts, I've seen you getting frustrating because you feel like he's trying to get you out of the house asap but then you're also doing things to get out of the house asap. Are you frustrated because sometimes the move out is not happening on your terms?

1st -
Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
...Like he's sweeping through the house gathering every single freakin' item and throwing it in a box. I had already told him once it bothered me a little and I would finish this weekend...
2nd -
Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
He also snapped at me yesterday morning when I swung by his house to pick up the last of my shoes on my way to work (I am trying to get my stuff outta there!)....
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:42 PM
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man, did my inner codie/addict ears just perk up for a second! LOL
anvilhead,
sigh.....ME TOO!
:rotfxko
wash him and bring him to my room!

Tuffgirl,

This going on a date business is perilously close to me and Barb coming to your house!
Take care of yourself, these are especially tough times, and having any kind of "friendly"
contact could be easily, or even deliberately misunderstood.
Be easy, and take it one day at a time.

Beth

Last edited by wicked; 05-04-2011 at 01:43 PM. Reason: add mis
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:50 PM
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Thanks, all. This is very confusing in general. Part of me - a big part - would like to trash the whole thing and walk away. The other part of me (the rational, intellectual part) understands the situation and chooses to honor my vows right now and give this a chance, as I stated before, for at least the first year of sobriety, as long as he was sober and participating in AA... but my boundary was not living with him. That was not an existence that was healthy for me or my daughters.

I know this isn't the marriage I envisioned (or he promised). And I see little changes that lead me to believe he is slowly learning a new way of living. It's not all bad - but certain things trigger this kind of interaction and it usually has to do with any talk of "feelings". That's like the dirty word to use if you want to have a brawl.

But he is sober (as far as I know) and he is attending AA (this I do know) and participating to some degree (I can hear the program coming out of his mouth). Some behaviors will be much harder to give up than others, I suppose. Some may never go away. I may not be content with that, either. I may very well be delaying the inevitable.

Some days, it all just makes me mad as hell. I think today is one of those days!
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:04 PM
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Nothing wrong with being mad as hell. If anything, the trigger is nothing more than a reminder of your boundaries and talking about feelings is a closer type of contact.
Hang in there. Moving is a PITA in itself. I can't imagine doing it under your circumstances.
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Shellcrusher View Post
Tuffgirl,
I'm kinda confused. Sometimes I play the devil's advocate. It usually gets me in trouble.

Could your AH be venting frustrations because he's confused about your intentions?

I'm asking because you said two things that are polar opposites. In other posts, I've seen you getting frustrating because you feel like he's trying to get you out of the house asap but then you're also doing things to get out of the house asap. Are you frustrated because sometimes the move out is not happening on your terms?
I appreciate everyone's honest and forthright opinions. I wholeheartedly prescribe to the "take what works and leave the rest" philosophy!

I am frustrated, that's for sure. And it is partially about the move. I feel pressured by him right now, and for cryin out loud I have my crap at 3 different places and I have teenagers and a full-time job and a class to finish this semester and a 17 yr old who is refusing to go to school and a 14 yr old who can't seem to get her ass out of bed to got to school...what is left at his house is minor and I feel this tremendous pressure to GET IT NOW! I am moving as fast as I can...ya know?! If I could have had my own way, I would have taken more time and separated things based on need instead of ownership - I would have probably thrown away the box of tampons with two left, the old towel with hair dye all over it that someone probably also dropped in the toilet and threw in the bottom of the linen closet. I didn't need that broken hairbrush. The rush feeling is coming from him through his actions, and when I comment on it he bites my freakin head off.

He literally stripped his house of ANYTHING that was mine or ours. I actually stopped him at one point and said, "are you going to file for divorce?"

And then I remember he is a "relationship eradicator". Seriously - no left over anything. I think he'd even get his memory erased if he could. And yet - he still wears his wedding ring every day and refers to me as his "wife".

Talk about mixed signals.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
... I said on the phone last night that something didn't feel right between us and he EXPLODED and said "NOTHING IS RIGHT HERE!!!" and proceeded to start telling me off...
I have to say, that I am a bit confused as well. You're moving out, and can't wait to get your stuff outta there, but still going on dates with him, and bringing to his attention that something isn't right with your relationship...Sounds like mixed signals to me, I can understand why he is getting frustrated. Granted i'm sure I only know a small part of the situation.

I know how hard it is to focus on recovery while trying to keep parts of your previous life the same. Maybe trying to be what you want him to be, as well as work his recovery, is why he hasn't shown the progress you seem to be expecting. Thats alot of pressure. It's only been 6 months, right? Some people take years to go through the steps. Are you in alanon? what step are you on?

Expecting massive changes in early recovery is a setup for disappointment. Expecting anything from an A leads to disappointment, in my opinion.

I hope things calm down for you soon, and you can get a better view of the situation.
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:38 PM
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Hugs, TuffGirl. *sigh* Not sure what else to offer. Hang in there and don't forget to take time for yourself once in a while.
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:43 AM
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tuffgirl, WOW... im new to this whole thing so reading something so like my experiences helps to put things in perspective.

the --> "But what I did hear was these two things:
1. He is NOT RESPONSIBLE for my feelings.
2. He does NOT HAVE TO JUSTIFY HIS ACTIONS."

was just as confusing to me too after he started therapy... there's truths to what those mean... but they apply it in a manipulative way. i remember ALWAYS making sure i had a smile and a hug for him when he came home from work because mid-relationship, when the "something's not right" feelings about my relationship started coming... he said i made him feel horrible when i wasn't happy. it's like, wait a minute--doesn't that mean you should actually try and actually figure what makes me happy and do them instead of me being happy just so you could be happy [and thus, making me base my happiness on if id made u happy or not?!]. the end of my relationship ended in my getting yelled at many times for crying... that i was just being a manipulative girl... at that point he had taken away ALL of my power... i was to the point where i was "convinced" i wasn't allowed to have feelings either.

i feel like them "wanting us to be happy"... and those weird feelings we got after an actual good date/day... stems from the underlying realization that "this isn't a good relationship" and both people keep wanting to deny it. on our part, because we still want to believe... and on the As part because to admit it means to take responsibility on their shortcomings... like the fact that they really have no clue on how to make us happy and even if they did they're too drunk to follow through with it (which ends up giving them that vicious cycle of guilt and binging)... and on those good dates/days... they wake up the next day knowing that it's eventually going to be their undoing that'll take away that good vibe from a good date/day... that it's too much effort on their part to keep it up... so their doubting their abilities just creates that vicious cycle of passive aggressiveness... that eventually leads back to the same story over and over again... because they already feel like a failure and to not be is just too damn hard and impossible [from their end]
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by forgotten1 View Post
i feel like them "wanting us to be happy"... and those weird feelings we got after an actual good date/day... stems from the underlying realization that "this isn't a good relationship" and both people keep wanting to deny it. on our part, because we still want to believe... and on the As part because to admit it means to take responsibility on their shortcomings... like the fact that they really have no clue on how to make us happy and even if they did they're too drunk to follow through with it (which ends up giving them that vicious cycle of guilt and binging)... and on those good dates/days... they wake up the next day knowing that it's eventually going to be their undoing that'll take away that good vibe from a good date/day... that it's too much effort on their part to keep it up... so their doubting their abilities just creates that vicious cycle of passive aggressiveness... that eventually leads back to the same story over and over again... because they already feel like a failure and to not be is just too damn hard and impossible [from their end]
Thanks, forgotten1, this was well said! It IS a cycle and it IS maddening. Most days I am good about stepping away from it. Seems the days when I am most overwhelmed and stressed is when I engage. And I shouldn't engage. I know better now. *SIGH* Progress, not perfection!
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:07 AM
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It took me back to the old pattern...Tuffgirl can only have one emotion - happy - and everything else is wrong and not his responsibility. Tuffgirl is not allowed to ask him about his feelings (take the temperature, so to speak) nor share her own feelings unless they are happy. He can be a remote, distant, jerkface and he is not responsible for the consequences therein. Tuffgirl's feelings are a manipulation, beware!

I remember, especially toward the end of living with him, trying so hard to control everything (me, the girls, life, the dogs, and so on) in order for things to be happy and nothing else. I was exhausted by trying to be a robot and stuff my feelings, unless they were happy. I am tired of only being allowed to feel happy around him, and don't ever want to hear him say again that he "only wants to make me happy".

As a matter of fact, happy has lately really made me feel crappy!
Here's what it sounds like to me... like you want him to acknowledge that your relationship has been hard on you. Hard, hard, hard, and difficult. You want him to acknowledge that -- from his perspective of being sober. You want him to get to "making amends" and sort of give you your due. Let you know how much he appreciates the emotional hardship you have gone through.

And he's not there yet. And it hurts. And because you're Tuffgirl and you have to keep going because there's so much logistical and other bs to deal with -- you don't get sad, you get mad.

Am I close? (((hugs)))
lillamy is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to lillamy For This Useful Post:
dancingnow (05-05-2011), StarCat (05-05-2011), Tuffgirl (05-05-2011), wanttobehealthy (05-05-2011)

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