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Closure?

Old 05-14-2011, 05:45 AM
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Closure?

About two, maybe three months ago, I posted my boyfriend of seven years was an alcoholic. Drinking a lot, unable to stop drinking once he started, explaining away the problem, blaming it on atmosphere (I live in a college town well known for it's drinking culture) and family culture (he's Irish), even wetting himself if he drank too much. I tired for years to wrap my head around it, but finally I just couldn't deal with it anymore, and I left him in the beginning of March. It hurt like hell, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to go back every single day, but it had to be done. Nothing else was working. I was falling into the patterns of a partner of an alcoholic: denial, threats, bargaining, begging, codependency, co-drinking, and finally detachment.

I was hoping that my splitting with him would be his bottom. We grew up together in our relationship and as a result, we were very, very close. Many people described us as the same person. When I left him, he told me he was going to give up alcohol for good because it wrecked his life. That lasted a week, according to his friends, and now he's even worse. He feels like he has no one to hold him accountable. He's stepped up to drinking and driving, even with passengers in the car. He has yet to avoid an accident, or a ticket, but we all know these things are not avoidable. Even after he told me he wanted to work on things, to work through the problems that broke us up, he's still drinking like a fish, like I don't hear about it.

He's isolating is problem from everyone except for his enablers. The people he drinks with, though even they have become disgusted with this drinking. He does not want his mother to know (which admittedly she has an amazing ability to make things worse and I can easily imagine her doing just that, being a helicopter parent she's prone to being) nor his family because he feels like a failure to them already, as he dropped out of college do to sheer apathy. He needs a therapist, but that is up to him.

My issue? I can't seem to find closure in this. All my past relationships had closure, like one of us relocating, or distinct irreconcilable differences that we both realized, but this does not. I feel like there was something I could have done, I could have tried harder, but I realistically know that I did all I could. I deserve better, and he is not my responsibility. I love him, but all the love in the world cannot fix a person who does not want fixing. I just feel like this hurt will always be open ended. Is this common for ex-partners of addicts?
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:30 AM
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sometimes there is no answer...enough said...

keep going to AL ANON meetings...you will find alot of wisdom in those meetings...and maybe just maybe understanding YOU will come to light...

dont make this an issue about him anymore...grieve him...he is not the same person you once know...he needs to hit his own rock bottom .....

also no expections.....LET GO AND LET GOD
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:46 AM
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I feel that way - yes. And my husband is supposedly active in AA. Closure doesn't have to be something we get from them. It can be something we provide ourselves.

As long as your guy is an active alcoholic, you and the relationship you had with him will not come first. You will not be a priority, your feelings will not be taken into consideration. The addiction wins, hands down, every time. You are a rival to this love of his and this love will win over you, and subsequently beat you down in the process.

And...the big if...he gets sober anytime soon, he may not be able to deal with the aftermath for a long, long time. Does that sound like a life you'd be interested in? If not, then let that be your closure. Write him a long Dear John letter and burn it. That could be closure.

But the hurt we will always carry around inside of us. It will get smaller and duller as time goes by, but I know this is one hurt that I will never forget. I just refuse to let it dominate my life anymore. He has taken up too much space in my head and that ends now.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:12 PM
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Closure--that was the thing that kept me hanging on to have contact with him... and it never occurred. I think i even remember him drunkenly telling me he wouldn't give me one, when I was finally just begging him for one. So, don't go looking for closure with him actively involved in your finding it.

I began seeing a therapist somewhere toward the end of us... or "the beginning of the end" of us... and she told me that I CAN find closure. It's going to come from myself--remembering who i am, what i deserve... it's going to come from positive people in my life--supporting and reinforcing my sense of self... and for a while, like it's doing for me right now... it's going to come from the bits of news we hear regarding the ex--because he'll cling onto the pattern of alcoholism destroying his life and everything around it, and this will again, reinforce our decision to leave.

When you start to thinking those thoughts of "i could have done this" etc etc... go with the thought and pretend you did do it--then further the thought to what his reaction would have been (because if we know one thing--it's that addicts have very predictable behaviors)--this should then reinforce that yeah, nothing would have changed... even if you had done something differently... reacted to a situation differently... etc.

i'm sorry for your pain. yours ended in march--mine ended in january... emotions are going to be a roller coaster for a WHILE... just remind ourselves that
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:13 PM
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I was having a hard time with it because it seems like I don't even know him anymore. I couldn't wrap my head around it, that alcohol has consumed the love of my life, right long with my mother, my father, and some of my friends.

Right after I posted his message, his friend called me to inform me that he flipped out on the people he had given a room to until they could move back home to Seattle. It was the male half of the couple's sister who had thrown my XAB out last night when he became too drunk and belligerent. He started freaking out, even throwing things (I'm not sure of any damage) which suitably scared them enough to pack up their things and leave, even though they were slated to stay another week before they moved. To me, this is the final straw, and I simply cannot take it.

My mother (a recovering alcoholic and the current spouse of a severe alcohol dependent individual) told me I need to sit him down, tell him I feel he needs help, offer to help him get help, and let it go. If he wants to genuinely get help, then help him but do not date him. If he does not get help, I've done all I can, and I should back away. His mother should be alerted to his behavior, then I should walk away for a while. Is this a good strategy?
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:24 PM
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This is very common, I would have to say from my own experience. I kept thinking, there was something I could write, or say, that would help the closure process, but all it does is open up communication for my exabf to try to suck me into his drama again.

We all tried EVERYTHING to get our As to stop. I too have felt guilty at times for some of the lengths I sank to. Esp the anger-I regret the anger. But now I'm in al-anon, and I understand that it's because I wasn't in my own recovery program. I had my own sickness.

I suggest you check out an al-anon meeting if you haven't already. It has done wonders for me-when you start working on your own recovery, you pretty much give up on the need for closure, but it's because you're looking at things so much more healthily than when you're wiht the alcoholic. This is because you learn to give up the A to his/her higher power.

Like you, I too was hoping my breakup would be my exabf's bottom. NOPE. He just moved on to his potsmoking, fellow alcoholic ex. She's his new enabler. And he's still hanging out with the same old alcoholics and addicts, drinking it up.

Nothing I can do. He will come up with rationalizations, I'm sure-actually, I know he has done this-rewriting history to make our breakup about everything BUT his drinking. What can you do? Nothing. Move on and work on your own healing. Anything else is nothing but pain and frustration.

Originally Posted by Mimic View Post
About two, maybe three months ago, I posted my boyfriend of seven years was an alcoholic. Drinking a lot, unable to stop drinking once he started, explaining away the problem, blaming it on atmosphere (I live in a college town well known for it's drinking culture) and family culture (he's Irish), even wetting himself if he drank too much. I tired for years to wrap my head around it, but finally I just couldn't deal with it anymore, and I left him in the beginning of March. It hurt like hell, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to go back every single day, but it had to be done. Nothing else was working. I was falling into the patterns of a partner of an alcoholic: denial, threats, bargaining, begging, codependency, co-drinking, and finally detachment.

I was hoping that my splitting with him would be his bottom. We grew up together in our relationship and as a result, we were very, very close. Many people described us as the same person. When I left him, he told me he was going to give up alcohol for good because it wrecked his life. That lasted a week, according to his friends, and now he's even worse. He feels like he has no one to hold him accountable. He's stepped up to drinking and driving, even with passengers in the car. He has yet to avoid an accident, or a ticket, but we all know these things are not avoidable. Even after he told me he wanted to work on things, to work through the problems that broke us up, he's still drinking like a fish, like I don't hear about it.

He's isolating is problem from everyone except for his enablers. The people he drinks with, though even they have become disgusted with this drinking. He does not want his mother to know (which admittedly she has an amazing ability to make things worse and I can easily imagine her doing just that, being a helicopter parent she's prone to being) nor his family because he feels like a failure to them already, as he dropped out of college do to sheer apathy. He needs a therapist, but that is up to him.

My issue? I can't seem to find closure in this. All my past relationships had closure, like one of us relocating, or distinct irreconcilable differences that we both realized, but this does not. I feel like there was something I could have done, I could have tried harder, but I realistically know that I did all I could. I deserve better, and he is not my responsibility. I love him, but all the love in the world cannot fix a person who does not want fixing. I just feel like this hurt will always be open ended. Is this common for ex-partners of addicts?
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:28 PM
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I know we're not supposed to give advice, but no, IMO I feel this is NOT a good strategy. For many reasons:

1) Why involve him in your life anymore? he is clearly a train wreck heading off a cliff.

2) Sitting down and telling someone they need help does little if any good. An alcoholic may get help when he/she hits bottom and in their own good time. Nothing anyone says or does makes a whit of difference.

3) Maybe THIS will be his bottom. The more you all let him fail, the more he has to experience the consequences of his actions, and many alcoholics say, experiencing bad situations like people leaving them, being put in jail, being homeless...were the only things that forced them ot get help.

Please take this time to focus on you. You've been thru a lot. I was only with my exabf 3.5 yrs and I have some PTSD, I'm sure of it. I no longer can afford to spend energy on him; I will end up in the nutty ward if I don't work on myself-which is the only person I can CHANGE.

Oh, and btw, BEEN THERE DONE THAT on talking to my ex's parent. Worthless. Useless. They were in denial. All it did was give my ex fuel to make me look like the one with a problem.

Originally Posted by Mimic View Post
I was having a hard time with it because it seems like I don't even know him anymore. I couldn't wrap my head around it, that alcohol has consumed the love of my life, right long with my mother, my father, and some of my friends.

Right after I posted his message, his friend called me to inform me that he flipped out on the people he had given a room to until they could move back home to Seattle. It was the male half of the couple's sister who had thrown my XAB out last night when he became too drunk and belligerent. He started freaking out, even throwing things (I'm not sure of any damage) which suitably scared them enough to pack up their things and leave, even though they were slated to stay another week before they moved. To me, this is the final straw, and I simply cannot take it.

My mother (a recovering alcoholic and the current spouse of a severe alcohol dependent individual) told me I need to sit him down, tell him I feel he needs help, offer to help him get help, and let it go. If he wants to genuinely get help, then help him but do not date him. If he does not get help, I've done all I can, and I should back away. His mother should be alerted to his behavior, then I should walk away for a while. Is this a good strategy?
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:30 PM
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Amen

Originally Posted by tuffgirl View Post
i feel that way - yes. And my husband is supposedly active in aa. Closure doesn't have to be something we get from them. It can be something we provide ourselves.

As long as your guy is an active alcoholic, you and the relationship you had with him will not come first. You will not be a priority, your feelings will not be taken into consideration. The addiction wins, hands down, every time. You are a rival to this love of his and this love will win over you, and subsequently beat you down in the process.

And...the big if...he gets sober anytime soon, he may not be able to deal with the aftermath for a long, long time. Does that sound like a life you'd be interested in? If not, then let that be your closure. Write him a long dear john letter and burn it. That could be closure.

But the hurt we will always carry around inside of us. It will get smaller and duller as time goes by, but i know this is one hurt that i will never forget. I just refuse to let it dominate my life anymore. He has taken up too much space in my head and that ends now.
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:22 PM
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Hi Mimic, hugs to you during this hard time right now. I have been where you are, and would like to share my experience with you. twyl&ltr.

I recently separated from an A. I do know how hard it was for me at first to move past it, and let it go, let him go. I had tried to separate from him numerous times before, and none of them worked, because I didn't go 100% no contact. It was how I got sucked back in every time.

Here is my definition of no contact for me: First of all, I don't initiate any communication with him. When I left there were a couple of emails, (very short, to the point) but once I was sure I didn't leave anything behind, and the bills were squared away, I stopped immediately. I don't read his emails, texts, or listen to his voicemails, because they will all trigger me to get involved again. I had the same conversation over and over and over with him when I was hurt or angry, about the reasons I would eventually leave, or my boundaries, and when I DID leave, he insisted he had no idea why. I don't want to get dragged into another dead end conversation. Even though I KNOW I have no intention of responding, I still don't read them. This also includes no facebook, date sites, nothing in the way of "checking up on him to see if he's okay". I did this constantly the first two times... if he was fine, it would hurt me. If he was not, it would hurt me. Either way it's none of my business anymore. Why rent out headspace to someone that is toxic to me, my health, and happiness.

Most important, and sometimes the hardest, is to cut/restrict contact with mutual friends, and leave him out of conversations. Just talking about him, or hearing others talk about him, triggers my emotions as well. Enablers will always do their best to keep the merry go round of alcoholism turning, and by repeatedly informing you of what he is or isn't doing, they are trying to suck you back into a situation that you (i think?) have already left because you were miserable. Sometimes enablers can be just as toxic as the A is. From an outsider's point of view, they don't sound like very good friends, to him or you.

Calling a mother and telling her that her son has problems usually doesn't go over very well either. It's his decision who he wants to disclose details of his life to. Unless he is in serious immediate danger (holding a gun to his or your head) I would warn against involving his family. And even if that's the scenario, call the police instead. They know what to do. I give my ex the dignity to live his life as he pleases, just as I want others to give me. I make decisions for no one. If it is further from my face than the tip of my nose, it's none of my business.

I will say this from experience, the longer I stayed involved in his life, the harder it was for me to move on with mine. The first two times I ended things with him, I found myself pre-occupied all the time with what he was and wasn't doing, had he changed, did my message finally get through, was he "ok". Meanwhile, even though I was physically out of the relationship, my head was in it deeper than before, and it was making me even crazier because I never saw or talked to him... I "didn't know for sure" what was going on. The curiosity almost killed me. Third time was a charm, and I haven't looked back.

There's no time frame, some of us stay longer in these relationships, or leave earlier... when I was ready to do it right, I did it, and it was easier than I thought it would be. I failed the first two times though. Not saying you are 'failing', but I was, and I obviously had to go through more frustration before I was ready to finally move on. I had to hit my bottom with him. I am grateful for my mistakes, because without them I wouldn't have learned my lesson.

Alanon did wonders for me, and gave me the courage to leave this last time, and finally do it right. It was the best decision that I ever made, because I finally put myself and my happiness first. I owe myself that, because no one else will ever do it for me.

I hope at the very least this novel I wrote helps you feel less alone. Thanks for letting me share.

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Old 05-14-2011, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mimic View Post
I was having a hard time with it because it seems like I don't even know him anymore. I couldn't wrap my head around it, that alcohol has consumed the love of my life, right long with my mother, my father, and some of my friends.

Right after I posted his message, his friend called me to inform me that he flipped out on the people he had given a room to until they could move back home to Seattle. It was the male half of the couple's sister who had thrown my XAB out last night when he became too drunk and belligerent. He started freaking out, even throwing things (I'm not sure of any damage) which suitably scared them enough to pack up their things and leave, even though they were slated to stay another week before they moved. To me, this is the final straw, and I simply cannot take it.

My mother (a recovering alcoholic and the current spouse of a severe alcohol dependent individual) told me I need to sit him down, tell him I feel he needs help, offer to help him get help, and let it go. If he wants to genuinely get help, then help him but do not date him. If he does not get help, I've done all I can, and I should back away. His mother should be alerted to his behavior, then I should walk away for a while. Is this a good strategy?
Would it provide you the beginnings of closure? Would you feel like you have done enough for this guy and now the rest of this is up to him and him alone? If there is a benefit to you to do what your Mom suggests - do it. But kicker in her advice is this: do not date him and this: back away and this: walk away for a while. That's the hard part of her advice. The words are easy. Are you ready for that? If so - than good strategy!
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:45 PM
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I did the back and forth thing no less than TEN times.

The last time we broke up, for 2 months he was still trying to get back with me, asking what he needed to do. I said STOP DRINKING. Probably 10 times.

In oh so many words.

STOP DRINKING STOP DRINKING STOP DRINKING

It didn't register. He ignored me and continued to ask.

Finally, my therapist said, tell him you do not want to hear from hiim unless and until he gets sober.

I did this. He walked.

Later I found out from an ENABLER, that he was back with his pothead, drunky exgf. *shakes head* I had a codie relapse and texted him for about a week, emails, the whole 9 yds. Made myself look crazy.

thank god for al-anon or I'd still be on the crazy wheel. Seriously. WITHOUT AL-ANON, I could not have detached. This disease makes you too nutso; you end up needing help.

Originally Posted by kittykitty View Post
Hi Mimic, hugs to you during this hard time right now. I have been where you are, and would like to share my experience with you. twyl&ltr.

I recently separated from an A. I do know how hard it was for me at first to move past it, and let it go, let him go. I had tried to separate from him numerous times before, and none of them worked, because I didn't go 100% no contact. It was how I got sucked back in every time.

Here is my definition of no contact for me: First of all, I don't initiate any communication with him. When I left there were a couple of emails, (very short, to the point) but once I was sure I didn't leave anything behind, and the bills were squared away, I stopped immediately. I don't read his emails, texts, or listen to his voicemails, because they will all trigger me to get involved again. I had the same conversation over and over and over with him when I was hurt or angry, about the reasons I would eventually leave, or my boundaries, and when I DID leave, he insisted he had no idea why. I don't want to get dragged into another dead end conversation. Even though I KNOW I have no intention of responding, I still don't read them. This also includes no facebook, date sites, nothing in the way of "checking up on him to see if he's okay". I did this constantly the first two times... if he was fine, it would hurt me. If he was not, it would hurt me. Either way it's none of my business anymore. Why rent out headspace to someone that is toxic to me, my health, and happiness.

Most important, and sometimes the hardest, is to cut/restrict contact with mutual friends, and leave him out of conversations. Just talking about him, or hearing others talk about him, triggers my emotions as well. Enablers will always do their best to keep the merry go round of alcoholism turning, and by repeatedly informing you of what he is or isn't doing, they are trying to suck you back into a situation that you (i think?) have already left because you were miserable. Sometimes enablers can be just as toxic as the A is. From an outsider's point of view, they don't sound like very good friends, to him or you.

Calling a mother and telling her that her son has problems usually doesn't go over very well either. It's his decision who he wants to disclose details of his life to. Unless he is in serious immediate danger (holding a gun to his or your head) I would warn against involving his family. And even if that's the scenario, call the police instead. They know what to do. I give my ex the dignity to live his life as he pleases, just as I want others to give me. I make decisions for no one. If it is further from my face than the tip of my nose, it's none of my business.

I will say this from experience, the longer I stayed involved in his life, the harder it was for me to move on with mine. The first two times I ended things with him, I found myself pre-occupied all the time with what he was and wasn't doing, had he changed, did my message finally get through, was he "ok". Meanwhile, even though I was physically out of the relationship, my head was in it deeper than before, and it was making me even crazier because I never saw or talked to him... I "didn't know for sure" what was going on. The curiosity almost killed me. Third time was a charm, and I haven't looked back.

There's no time frame, some of us stay longer in these relationships, or leave earlier... when I was ready to do it right, I did it, and it was easier than I thought it would be. I failed the first two times though. Not saying you are 'failing', but I was, and I obviously had to go through more frustration before I was ready to finally move on. I had to hit my bottom with him. I am grateful for my mistakes, because without them I wouldn't have learned my lesson.

Alanon did wonders for me, and gave me the courage to leave this last time, and finally do it right. It was the best decision that I ever made, because I finally put myself and my happiness first. I owe myself that, because no one else will ever do it for me.

I hope at the very least this novel I wrote helps you feel less alone. Thanks for letting me share.

More hugs
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:22 PM
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Yes this seems to be common. In other relationships it is the loss of the connection but in the case of A's, it is that PLUS knowing that a person is slowly killing themselves and destroying good things in their life.

That is the part that I don't think ever gives a person closure. It is hard to watch or know that is going on when you care about them. But it is ok to not have closure. You make peace with it, it is about acceptance and not feeling you are responsible for his choices, or his family's denial.

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Old 05-14-2011, 08:20 PM
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HI Mimic,

Another post from another survivor here, one who just left their ABF of three years. I called it quits after finally being ready to do it after many, many, many times going back to him, thinking each time that this is the "time" that he gets it. Sadly, a good majority never do, in spite of our best efforts, words, actions, intentions, begging, pleading, whatever. Until they are ready, it won't happen.

Your A sounds a lot like mine-isolating himself from all who love him - my EXABF has burned all of his bridges with everyone in his family from sisters to kids and now, me. The irony is-I moved across the country to be with him and here I am with people who I can go to for support and ESH, while he has to resort to finding friends, companionship and love on-line.

Like Sandra, tuffgirl, kitty and others, I kept going back, thinking that each time would be the time he got it. He never did and around six weeks ago after yet another relapse, I knew it was time. I knew deep in my heart that as much as I loved him (and still do), that it was time to let go and let God.

The closure part is not easy and as long as they are still in your life whether through friends or family, they will always be there in your mind. You'll always wonder if this is the time they get it. As much as you want to jump in, try and talk to him, tell him he needs help, they cycle will never end. My ex has been through three rehabs, countless group therapies, individual therapies, stop-drinking medications medications such as naltrexone and Baclofen, anti-depressants and AA. Nothing worked because he wasn't (and still isn't) ready. Each and every time that I wanted to make a change in my life - a change where I would be out of his sphere of control was when he would relapse and make my life miserable.

Whether it was me returning to school, work, going to Al-Anon, a visit from my mother back east, me bonding with his sisters-all of those events triggered him and each and every time, I went back, thinking that things would change, letting him know that I would not abandon him. (He's ACOA) What I ended up abandoning was me, all in the name of love, all in the hopes that he would "get it" this time.

At my Al-Anon meeting today, the topic was "Grief." For me, this topic was just what I needed to hear, as I finally pinned down what was bothering me for the past while and yes, it's a grieving process we are all going through. When I did the reading today at my meeting, I could barely get through it because of the overwhelming feeling of loss I was feeling - crying, remembering, thinking and grieving. Grieving for for the loss of the relationship, of what could have been, of what could be and it's a process we are all going through. What struck me today in the sharing was how not just we who are fresh out of a relationship are grieving; one member talked of how her marriage to an A ended 30+ years ago and how hearing a certain song from all of those years ago could trigger her grief all over again.

With grief, with letting go, comes acceptance - acceptance that we are powerless over others and the decisions they make in their lives. My head is at that stage, but my heart is struggling with the acceptance of this. What is helping me cope is Al-Anon, Al-Anon friends, literature and coming here to SR. I've returned to school and am making friends there-HAH! I got hit on by a man in my class-even though nothing will happen there, that was a confidence booster to me. I volunteer at a local used bookstore and because I am a book lover extrordinairre, I feel like I have died and gone to heaven when I walk in there. I have a mom who loves me and supports me and a dog who is my best friend, who I love more than anything and he loves me back unconditionally. My Al-Anon friends here where I live and cyber-friends here on SR gave me the tools to make the decision to finally walk away. It wasn't an easy decision, in fact, it was harder to walk away from him than it was to end my marriage to a non-A.

Posts like this help me with closure and acceptance. It's a process, one that does not happen overnight, sometimes, ever.

It's One Day at a Time for all of us.

Big hugs coming from me (and puppy dog) to you-know you're not alone as you go through this.
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:33 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Linkmeister View Post
HI Mimic,

Another post from another survivor here, one who just left their ABF of three years. I called it quits after finally being ready to do it after many, many, many times going back to him, thinking each time that this is the "time" that he gets it. Sadly, a good majority never do, in spite of our best efforts, words, actions, intentions, begging, pleading, whatever. Until they are ready, it won't happen.

Your A sounds a lot like mine-isolating himself from all who love him - my EXABF has burned all of his bridges with everyone in his family from sisters to kids and now, me. The irony is-I moved across the country to be with him and here I am with people who I can go to for support and ESH, while he has to resort to finding friends, companionship and love on-line.

Like Sandra, tuffgirl, kitty and others, I kept going back, thinking that each time would be the time he got it. He never did and around six weeks ago after yet another relapse, I knew it was time. I knew deep in my heart that as much as I loved him (and still do), that it was time to let go and let God.

The closure part is not easy and as long as they are still in your life whether through friends or family, they will always be there in your mind. You'll always wonder if this is the time they get it. As much as you want to jump in, try and talk to him, tell him he needs help, they cycle will never end. My ex has been through three rehabs, countless group therapies, individual therapies, stop-drinking medications medications such as naltrexone and Baclofen, anti-depressants and AA. Nothing worked because he wasn't (and still isn't) ready. Each and every time that I wanted to make a change in my life - a change where I would be out of his sphere of control was when he would relapse and make my life miserable.

Whether it was me returning to school, work, going to Al-Anon, a visit from my mother back east, me bonding with his sisters-all of those events triggered him and each and every time, I went back, thinking that things would change, letting him know that I would not abandon him. (He's ACOA) What I ended up abandoning was me, all in the name of love, all in the hopes that he would "get it" this time.

At my Al-Anon meeting today, the topic was "Grief." For me, this topic was just what I needed to hear, as I finally pinned down what was bothering me for the past while and yes, it's a grieving process we are all going through. When I did the reading today at my meeting, I could barely get through it because of the overwhelming feeling of loss I was feeling - crying, remembering, thinking and grieving. Grieving for for the loss of the relationship, of what could have been, of what could be and it's a process we are all going through. What struck me today in the sharing was how not just we who are fresh out of a relationship are grieving; one member talked of how her marriage to an A ended 30+ years ago and how hearing a certain song from all of those years ago could trigger her grief all over again.

With grief, with letting go, comes acceptance - acceptance that we are powerless over others and the decisions they make in their lives. My head is at that stage, but my heart is struggling with the acceptance of this. What is helping me cope is Al-Anon, Al-Anon friends, literature and coming here to SR. I've returned to school and am making friends there-HAH! I got hit on by a man in my class-even though nothing will happen there, that was a confidence booster to me. I volunteer at a local used bookstore and because I am a book lover extrordinairre, I feel like I have died and gone to heaven when I walk in there. I have a mom who loves me and supports me and a dog who is my best friend, who I love more than anything and he loves me back unconditionally. My Al-Anon friends here where I live and cyber-friends here on SR gave me the tools to make the decision to finally walk away. It wasn't an easy decision, in fact, it was harder to walk away from him than it was to end my marriage to a non-A.

Posts like this help me with closure and acceptance. It's a process, one that does not happen overnight, sometimes, ever.

It's One Day at a Time for all of us.

Big hugs coming from me (and puppy dog) to you-know you're not alone as you go through this.
Wow. This is my life today. Thank you for sharing this Link. It helps me feel a little less lonely in the world tonight.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:18 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
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I am getting closure by going to therapy. I recommend therapy. I have got so many things out of it. Clarity, peace, and a deep understanding of myself and why I feel what I feel and have done what I have done. Well, I didn't have that last week LOL but when I feel uneasy or attacked its easier for me to identify why, which takes me to "what can I do to protect MY peace?", which is something wonderful.

But yes, this ex is different to all the others. I could talk to ALL the other ex's. In fact I just chatted with one and it was great.
I wish them the best, and am sincere.

The alcoholic ex was just pain and more pain and I am not sure if I will be able to remember the good times. I do not think I will relate him to anything good. The incredible pain will always be the first thing to attach to his name. Or at least that is how it feels like two years later, after breaking up.



But this "open end" can be seen as a blessing. This hurt reminds me everyday I need to be conscious NOT to do what I did then. It keeps me from going back to my old self, a doormat, someone invisible, without personality, feeling worthless and unloved.

So I guess it is my rock bottom. With other ex's I was able to let them go eventually, but as I felt "good" again, I did not notice I was going to the same person in a different body. Pain is a reminder of what I do NOT want anymore in my life...this pain is needed for me to live different things, and THAT is exciting! and where I need to pour my energy on.





Pain is an overwhelming master. Zen books help me embrace it, too (and any other feeling). If I find meaning, if I open my heart to its message, then I get closure. Don't let a thorn distract you from the rose. This is part of being human beings, learning and growing.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:32 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
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Great thread about closure

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...6-closure.html
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:59 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
Wow. This is my life today. Thank you for sharing this Link. It helps me feel a little less lonely in the world tonight.
That's the wonderful thing we all have here at SR, tuffgirl-while we may not be in the same geographical area, we all have each other to feel a little less lonely and walk this road together. That's something for me to be grateful for each and every day.

Hugs from puppy dog and I coming your way.....
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:15 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
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Good advice
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:04 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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Thank you everyone. As It stands, I started to withdraw from my AXBF, but last night he had it out with his best female friend and myself over text messaging. He said very hurtful things to both of us, in an attempt to get us to leave him alone (at least that's my thoughts) but We both extended our help if he wants it, but we will not be hovering over him because it hurts us both too much. I feel like his is rapidly approaching his bottom, evidenced by his friends backing away very suddenly in a short period of time. Even a mutual friend of ours, who is an admitted alcoholic, has told him he will not drink with him because he is afraid for him. My AXBF is severely depressed and has contemplated suicide, by his own admission, and tells me his mom and the lack of guts is the only reason he's still here.

I still have no idea whether I should inform his mom on what's going on. He tells me he is going to be moving back to his mother's house as soon as possible, which may be a good thing because it will get him away from his triggering surroundings, but i'm afraid the isolation will deepen his depression. I feel if his alcoholism is as deeply set as I suspect, she will find out how bad his drinking is in short order. (Though having someone to be accountable to might be something he needs) It's not up to me, though, to think this out for him. I've looked up my local Al Anon meetings and even found a Skype Al Anon (because much of the local meetings conflict with m work schedule) and I am ready to move forward, even if he won't. Thank you everyone, for your support.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:42 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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Hi Mimic, just wanted to say I understand where you're coming from. On the day I left my AH I called his mom and told her what was going on. When he found out, he sms me telling me horrible things, basically that I was a mean person and that I was the worst thing that had ever happened to him. It hurt like hell, but I didn't react to his offenses. I just told him i hoped some day he'd come around and understand why I did it. I felt it was my responsibility to make someone aware of the situation. I couldn't just leave and let him drown himself in alcohol until someone found out, because I knew that time could never come (he's really good at deceiving and lying about his drinking habits). I'm not sure if I did the right thing, but if I went back I'd do it again. And just as I thought, soon after he came around and apologized for all the things he said. His family spoke to him and have him support and he started looking for help.
Now I've found out he is still drinking, and I feel bad cause I'm pretty certain I'm the only person who knows what's going on (I'm pretty sure his family is buying the whole "I'm doing better now" story). I felt like telling someone again, but then I decided it is not my problem anymore. Of course I care about him and sometimes feel frustrated to see that he hasn't changed (though he thinks he has). But I think at a certain point we have to realize that we've done all we can and that the only thing left for us to do is leave. And I think when we realize that we get closure; when we admit that we did all we could and that there's nothing else we can do for the other person or for our relationship.
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