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stunted GROWTH in the A/NA

Old 05-12-2011, 11:11 PM
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Just a question: Aren't fruitcakes usually soaked in alcohol?
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:47 PM
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Ha-I wrote this over a year ago--after one of our break ups... this thread kinda reminded me of it. I never sent it to my A--it was way too full of anger and emotion... but it DID feel GREAT to type out...

YOU ARE AN EMOTIONAL *****... SO QUIT SPENDING YOUR "HARD-EARNED" MONEY ON YOUR PSYCHOANALYST YOU HAVE TO SEE MULTIPLE TIMES A WEEK AND JUST GROW SOME BALLS! THE TRUTH IS YOU ARE A WEAK SOUL THAT WILL ATTACH ITSELF TO ANYTHING THAT GIVES YOU ATTENTION, LIKE A 12-YEAR-OLD BOY STILL PINING AWAY FOR THAT UNCONDITIONAL LOVE YOU LOST.

GROW SOME BALLS, LIKE YOUR COLLEGE FRIENDS TOLD YOU TO DO... LIKE EVERYONE WANTS TO TELL YOU BUT CANT BECAUSE YOUR EMOTIONS ARE SET IN A MINE-FIELD SET UP BY YOUR ABUSED MOTHER.

SO QUIT THINKING THOSE "GOOD FEELINGS" YOU GET FROM WEED, ALCOHOL, AND THE NEW FRIENDS YOU FIND THAT WILL LISTEN TO YOUR SOB STORY ARE REAL. THEY AREN'T. THE ATTENTION YOU GET, THE ONE THAT TICKLES IN THE BEGINNING BECAUSE YOU'RE AS MATURE AS A 12-YEAR-OLD... YOU KNOW THAT THEY'LL GO AWAY AS SOON AS THE HIGH COMES DOWN, YOU GUILTILY WAKE UP FROM YOUR NEXT HANG-OVER, OR YOUR NEW FRIEND STARTS GETTING SICK OF HAVING TO CONVINCE YOU THAT "LIFE ISN'T SO BAD". IT'S ALL JUST DISTRACTIONS BECAUSE YOU'RE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE OR SOMETHING TO EXCUSE YOUR SAD STATE OF EXISTENCE.

GROW SOME BALLS. TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY. AND START REALIZING THAT EXPERIENCES AREN'T JUST IN YOUR HEAD--THAT YOUR ACTIONS SET-UP A WHOLE CHAIN OF EVENTS THAT IMPACT THE REST OF THE ENERGIES VIBRATING IN THIS UNIVERSE! BRING SOME FREAKING LIGHT AND GOODNESS INTO THIS WORLD... INSTEAD OF SUCKING IT ALL UP IN YOUR IMMATURE QUEST TO FEEL SELFISHLY CONNECTED.

IF YOU WANT TO FEEL LOVE, YOU HAVE TO GIVE LOVE. TRUE, MATURE WHOLE-HEARTED LOVE. NOT THE 12-YEAR-OLD KIND.
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:56 PM
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1sweet girl wrote:
My XABF started drinking when he was 13 yrs old! And he was PROUD of that fact. He acted like a 13 yr old through out our 4 yr relationship!!! He'd pull my shirt and bra down in public, broke my temperature control panel in my truck while we were driving and flat out denied he did it to my face even though I watched him do it. He'd pee on vehicle tires in parking lots, fart and burp in public, throw temper tantrums, pout and be loud and really obnoxious when we were out. Oh yeah, and "dutch ovened" me the first time we slept together. We are both 40 yrs old now!!! I acted like the adult... he on the other hand... a child!
godamighty. talk about better off now!

he probably thinks he's a 'catch' as well LOL
yea.
that's a catch all right.
like catching leprosy.

wow LOL that made me laugh, though - thanks!
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:57 PM
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linkmeister I was thinking the same thing - and the phrase 'in heavy syrup'.
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:58 AM
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In recovery I realized how immature I was most of my life. It was quite a humbling experience: I had considered myself to be a mature adult! My expectations and demands of others, especially my family, were self-centered and childish. It is beyond my comprehension how my husband could have put up with me all those years...

I don't know if drinking stunted my emotional growth...but maybe growing up in a very dysfunctional family never gave me the opportunity to grow and learn to be responsible. I am not blaming, but just acknowledging. I didn't start serious drinking until my late 20's...But even back then, when I was reaching the age of 30, I didn't feel like an adult.
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
So... here's a question: Do those of us who develop codependent behaviors in defense of ourselves in alcoholic relationships also freeze in our emotional growth?

(I don't have an answer. Just a question.)
Jmo, I don't believe the majority develop codependent behaviors by being exposed to alcoholics/addicts, I think we're codependent from an early age and just waiting for the other to drop into our lives.

LTD has mentioned Burney, and I finally got around to ordering one of his ebooks, can't say it was an eye opener, had been exposed to some of these ideas a long time ago, think John Bradshaw, Alice Miller.

Not sure why I chose to ignore it for such a long time.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:52 PM
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thank god i am not stunted...growing every day...thanks for the replies even if they are FRUIT CAKES!!
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:29 PM
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OMG, my exabf was the same way. He wanted to do stupid things like put laundry detergent in public fountains...have temper tantrums and throw things when drunk..be loud and obnoxious and insult people..once, he almost got into a fight with a homeless guy..him and his friends jumped out of the car and almost attacked him with a Mag Lite...ugh

Originally Posted by 1SweetGirl View Post
I so agree with this post. My XABF started drinking when he was 13 yrs old! And he was PROUD of that fact. He acted like a 13 yr old through out our 4 yr relationship!!! He'd pull my shirt and bra down in public, broke my temperature control panel in my truck while we were driving and flat out denied he did it to my face even though I watched him do it. He'd pee on vehicle tires in parking lots, fart and burp in public, throw temper tantrums, pout and be loud and really obnoxious when we were out. Oh yeah, and "dutch ovened" me the first time we slept together. We are both 40 yrs old now!!! I acted like the adult... he on the other hand... a child! I LOVE the IMMATURE FRUIT AND FRUITCAKE references. Made me giggle.
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:11 AM
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^^^yep stunted...
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:18 AM
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Bumped this today- as I was questioning whether I was emotionally stunted in my codependency-
as well as my RAH- who I secretly consider my fourth child, my 15 year old portrays far more maturity in everything- in fact as my RAH tries increasingly to interact with our son, his immaturity shines brightly.
However since questioning my own levels of maturity- I do recognise that I too do suffer from immaturity too- which I am trying to work on.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:51 AM
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Loopy, I read your blog too. And I think you are definitely onto something. I, too, had to take a close look at my own behavior and weed out the ways I was behaving immaturely.

It's immature to choose people who are not at my emotional maturity level, and then expect them to act differently. I didn't know I was doing that until it was pointed out to me in my marriage to an A.

It's immature to berate people into respecting my boundaries if I didn't do the steps to enforce them. I think I operated from a place of allowing my boundaries to be challenged until I exploded and then reacted like that game at Chuck E Cheese, the one where you beat the rodent with a big mallet when they pop their head up out of the hole (why can I never remember that game? I played it so many times with my kids when they were little!) I was that person, banging people on the head, often without warning. I am much better at this now!

My exAH acted very immaturely last spring, and I do believe it contributed to the divorce this summer. His boundaries never changed from the absolute rigid ones he decided to hold back in 2011, when I first posted on this thread. My "violating" his boundaries was one of the reasons he gave me for needing to divorce, yet he couldn't describe where it was that this happened, except to point to things long since passed. It was the typical resentment festering for long periods of time. That is a big sign of immaturity - the inability to let things go.

It was also a realization for me that sobriety doesn't mean much, not like I thought it did when I first came here. It was the answer to all our problems! If only he would get sober...

Sadly, it can take years, if it even happens at all, to grow emotionally and make up for all those lost life lessons the rest of us have had to learn along the way. I see that now, and recognize that this relationship was doomed from the get-go.

Thanks for the bump!
~T
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:05 AM
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I think my X was both stunted and did some growing. He wasn't drunk ALL THE TIME.
He is more intelligent than average, which probably helped.
Sometimes he was three years old, sometimes age appropriate.

What I needed to focus on when I was in the thick of codependency--and didn't until years later--was that my pain was caused by my own lack of growth during that period. I was so focused on the behavior of the A that I couldn't see the forest for the trees.
My growth was stunted, horribly. I was in absolute misery and pain. It sucked to be ME.
I kept doing the same things over expecting different results. Ergo, I was insane.
I am so glad I don't live "there" in my head anymore. Too bad I had to move out from living with the love of my life to come back to sanity. That, he owns, whether he ever admits it or not.
There is no "finding your own serenity" while living with an alcoholic. That's a myth, imho, told in the big book written during a time when divorce often wasn't even an option, or at a minimum, terribly looked down upon by society.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:53 AM
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(TuffGirl - it's Whack-a-mole)

(and back to this awesome thread)
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:26 PM
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Was she extremely immature when she was drinking?
Yes! But it was the alcohol.
Did she often act immature in public?
Yes! But it was the alcohol.
Did she often forgo paying her bills? And end up in a financial mess?
Yes! But it was the alcohol.
Did she often call in sick to work? And eventually get fired?
Yes! But it was the alcohol.
Did she act in an irresponsible manor when it came to caring for her dog? Apartment? Car? Herself? Me?
Yes! But it was the alcohol.
Did her behavior mimic that of a child rather then an adult woman?
Would she throw tantrums and pout when she did not get her own way?
Yes! But it was the alcohol.
I could go on and on.
This is what I would keep telling myself.
So much of this childish behavior was directly related to her drinking.
If only she could stop. She would instantly become an adult.
She is now approaching 4 months sober.
And guess what?
When it comes to her behavior, not much has changed.
She often acts at the same maturity level as before, just not drunk.
She is living in a sober living facility and has made many new friends.
All of them at least ten to fifteen years younger then she is.
I asked her why she has not made friends with any of the women her own age?
She said "because they are no fun."
She started drinking hard in college.
She now lives in a dorm again and loves it.
She started getting tattoos and piercings, just like all her new friends.
She even now talks like they do.
Oh, and by the way she broke up with me two weeks out of rehab.
Then started dating a boy also in sober living who is much younger then she is.
So has she regressed back to the age she was when she started drinking?
Yes!
I guess it was the alcohol.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by barb dwyer View Post
1sweet girl wrote:


godamighty. talk about better off now!

he probably thinks he's a 'catch' as well LOL
yea.
that's a catch all right.
like catching leprosy.

wow LOL that made me laugh, though - thanks!
Mine still tries to remind me of what I am giving up. He began his chemical foray at 15 and that's what I got-- a boy. He was overtly sexual, knows it all, no coping skills and a spoiled brat. Add alcohol and he went from this to a monster. Un-ripe fruit rotting on the tree for me! lol
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:57 PM
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Not sure that I agree with this theory.

I have thought about it a lot.

It sounds good, at first glance, and is an easy enough explanation, but I think I would need a more scientific explanation to solidify that opinion.

Some of us, while drinking, had to maintain relationships as well as function in society.
Alcohol will make you behave foolishly, and I am sure it stunts some of the ways of dealing with tough emotions, but totally stunted maturity, I think, may be due to other issues, and maybe the alcohol is just one of them.

Certainly alcohol appeals to base desires, and people who drink too much tend to not want to deal with reality on its own terms (obviously)

But looking at one post,
Acting like a college kid, and still drinking like one, sounds like a chicken and the egg kind of thing. Did she drink like that because she was immature, or did her drinking keep her in that mindset?
Im not sure.
Just food for thought. Some of the ideas are pretty broad brush to me.
I just think that there are probably a lot of people who are alcoholics who have underlying personality problems. Not always the other way around.

Some of the things that the previous posters have mentioned sound like drunk uninhibited and stupid behavior. Did all of that remain the same when they stopped drinking? If you don't know, I don't see how you can be sure its not just the booze in many cases.

I have seen people who stopped drinking, and were fine, and I have seen people who stopped drinking and were still immature, boorish, selfish asses who happened to be sober.

Respectfully.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:44 AM
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funny, i was thinking about the co dependency thing...and my old post bumped up...

its not like co dependency was a sticky note on the fridge...
for me, it was a learned behaviour from my parents...yes or no?...i got growing up that something was off...and even with all the alcoholism in my life...

or something tragic happened in their life?...my Uncle was 8 when my grandmother died...grandpa went str8 to the booze, my mom went to str8 into the caretaker role (well, someone had to do it, "she said") their lives went choatic because nothing was taught that is was ok to grieve...dunno...my Uncle has temper tantrums, evil looks, dresses back at that era of his life....and to me, being the niece, 9 years difference in age...he is weird...(lol)

stuffing the feelings really makes us sick...i get that now...

just rambling...
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DoubleBarrel View Post
Alcohol will make you behave foolishly, and I am sure it stunts some of the ways of dealing with tough emotions, but totally stunted maturity, I think, may be due to other issues, and maybe the alcohol is just one of them.
I don't think it's only alcohol, I think anything can make someone get "stuck".


Think of a student who stops going to classes. They may pick up some new knowledge about the coursework here and there, but it's nothing like they would if they kept going to school. If they drop out after 9th grade, then they can only say they've been through the 9th grade. Likewise if someone still goes through the motions but doesn't pay attention, doesn't study, doesn't do the homework, doesn't take the tests... Well, they can say they're going to 10th grade, but they're not going to pass beyond it until they start paying attention to the lessons.


I think life's lessons are like that. Anything that makes us stop paying attention to our own lessons in life means that we're not going to pass to the next level of our own maturity. Addiction to drugs and alcohol stop people from paying attention, but they are not the only thing. Getting too wrapped up in someone's life will cause us to stop paying attention to our own lessons. Deeply grieving a loss can cause us to stop going to our life's lessons. Spending too much time goofing off means we won't learn what we're supposed to learn. Becoming obsessed with one particular course in the study of life can cause us to fall behind in the others.

Some distractions are smaller than others and can be overcome, much like a student returning to school due to a bout with the flu. These would be the normal stumbling blocks of life - a bad manager at work, terrible rush hour traffic, even bigger things like the loss of a loved one. Things that happen, things that we don't really want to happen, but things that the average mature person can work through. It's not something we want to happen, but we can move on (sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but we can keep moving forward), and frequently become stronger because of it. And then we pass the course.
Others are great and cause us to miss out on many of the lessons, and then we have so much to catch up on, much like a student awakening from a three-year coma discovering that all their classmates are graduating while they're only starting the 10th grade. These are things like addictions (physical, psychological, emotional), or someone getting "stuck" on something that should be worked through and instead refusing to let go.

But the world moves on even if we stop moving.


And then at that point the ability to catch up to "where I would have been" depends upon both the willingness and the abilities of the student to put in the necessary effort. Some will work extra hard, some will take the fact that they're so many years behind and just stay that many years behind, and others will give up entirely.


Just my thoughts.
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