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Old 05-27-2011, 11:00 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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My belief is that it is better to come from a broken home than to live in one. Removing them from such dysfunction gives them a chance to overcome it. If they are forced to continue living in it, they don't have that chance until they are much older, and then their childhood is gone. You are doing the right thing, shellcrusher. Staying for the sake of the children is a myth. Leaving for the sake of the children is the right thing to do in most circumstances.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Shellcrusher View Post
I know there are many kids from split homes that are doing much better off with their parents apart than together. I guess that's why it's really a loss/loss.

This one can be debated based on how each person views their end result. It's a tough one, wanttobehealthy.
In my situation, the effects of living with the alcoholic severely impacted my ability to be a good parent. I didn't recognize it at the time, but in hindsight I can see it.

So, at least in my case, having one relatively sane parent present for most of the time was much better than having two insane parents 100% of the time.

L
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:18 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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It sounds like you will come out of all this on top of the chaos. I keep telling myself to take it slow, don't rush into anything, view all aspects and even though I would love to put all the blame on AH I just can't because the recorder in my head plays back some of the ugly things I've said and the mean things I've done that no matter what AH is like I can't justify my actions. It sounds like you're working through this on a good level, you and your son will be all right.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:31 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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Shell, the anger you are feeling towards your AW is normal and I am willing to bet all of us here are struggling with that. I know I am.

When standing in front of me, struggling with alcohol, how can my wife get any support she needs from me when I'm as angry and destructive as I am?
To me, this is your codie talking. You are not responsible for her drinking and you are not responsible for her recovery. It took me 13 years of living with an AW to realize that. She is in rehab (again) and I still moved out. I did it for me because I could not recover while being around her. Even when she is not drinking or abusing prescriptions I found that my anger with her was just below the surface. I moved out because it was a toxic environment for me and I would never recover while I still lived with her.

Focus on yourself and your son. Let go and let god.

Take care of yourself bro.

BTW, I have been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the last year. It is a great way to relieve a lot of the anger. You said you used to be a fighter well maybe its time to start doing something like that again as part of your recovery.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:06 PM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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Dang...Dont know what to say.

Except I think your one hell of strong man....

Thanks for sharing
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:32 PM
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I was not exactly thrilled with her commitments. She does not want AA, does not want a sponsor, did not want to discuss a 12 step program. This is how she viewed things prior to last night. As of last night, she has changed ever so slightly. It could be a quack.
It could be or maybe not. There is really no way to tell other then to wait and see what happens. It is a long wait.

The trick is to make your decisions based not on what she says, promises, considers, or does - but on what you need. IME that is the only way anything works.

There's two sides to every story and so I believe that I can't walk away from her because of her problems when I haven't fully addressed mine.
There are two sides yes. We all must own our own issues before we can work through them.

The thing I found out is that in order to work through my issues - I had to make *that* my goal. When I had a pre-determined destination (two parent household was mine) I made decisions based not on what felt right or addressed issues, but on what I thought would get me to that place. That failed miserably. It actually amplified my issues. When I tied myself to a decision based on something other then what was right for me (such as being fair, empathetic, compassionate, caring, etc.) I did not move forward in any meaningful way. Once again, my issues got even bigger.

When standing in front of me, struggling with alcohol, how can my wife get any support she needs from me when I'm as angry and destructive as I am?
Perhaps your wife doesn't actually need your support. Perhaps she can recover even if you just step out of her way. Perhaps stepping out of her way *is* support. I don't know - I'm just giving some food for thought. Perhaps you will not be angry and destructive if you let go.

In your mind, let got of the pre-determined destinations. Let go of 'obligations'. Let go of any ownership of your aw's addiction and recovery. Push away the voices of all the others (including mine ;0) Let go of tomorrow. Breath deeply and think about what you need, for yourself, for today. Walk towards that. Take your time. You don't have to be frantic about making decisions. Tomorrow is brand new. You do it over again tomorrow and you are free to make any decision you need to, on any day of the week. I still have to work very very hard at this. Doing the right thing, for myself, just for today, is certainly very different from how I've lived my life up until recently but I have found that it works. It works better then anything else I've done.

I hope you read this in a frame of mind that I am NOT gunning for divorce. I really am not. I am only sharing with you how I re-framed the way I approached things that made a big difference in how centered I felt.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:50 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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Many great points being made here.
There's certainly codie talk going on. There's definitely ACOA stuff here. I haven't stepped foot in that forum yet. Maybe I need to. I know there's some shifting going on inside me. For those following, you know I'm learning how to crawl with a HP. To me that is the beginning of letting go and letting god. That's living each day to the best for me.

It's like spokes on a bicycle wheel.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:07 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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Shellcrusher, I just want to touch on one thing. Until this week you thought you were living with an alcoholic. Now you have found out its cocaine. The worst mistake I made was thinking that cocaine/pill addiction was the same as alcohol. When he switched, we didn't switch anything in our response to his attempts at recovery. He still went to AA, etc. That doesn't work. By the time I finally bottomed out, he was doing heroine.

Realize that cocaine/pills throws her into a whole new territory in terms of recovery/rehab. Biggest mistake I made was thinking that they were the same. It effects the brain differently. Also, the courts take a much dimmer view of a parent who lets their child live in a house with illegal drugs, than they do with the parent who lets their child live with legal drugs (alcohol). *both* of you bear that responsibility. They don't say "oh, but he didn't want her to do cocaine...." They hold both parties responsible if anything happens. (and with toddlers...how quick and into things they are...well, things can go wrong).

I'm not saying you have to divorce her. I'm just saying realize the addiction has escalated/changed and the legal consequences are much higher for you now. Imagine if you are in the car with her, get pulled over for whatever, and they search the car and she has a stash in the car?

Also, financially, she can burn through a whole lot more money in a relapse. Mine went through $2k in 24 hours. After I left him, I was still responsible for 1/2 of all the money he'd spent on drugs. It was a lot. It was really a lot.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:19 PM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
that's a very valid point Banish! the "but it's not MY cocaine, officer" doesn't work so well. equally poor is "oh that belongs to my wife, sir"...........
Plus, while they straighten out which parent is telling the truth, the child goes into the system. Not pretty, not pretty at all.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:33 PM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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hmm. Well things seemed to be okay and I felt okay. Doesn't feel that way now.
I also got a little "feedback" from my family. They have nothing to say about it anymore and they've decided they're going to pack up my boys birthday presents and UPS it to the house. They live an hour away. They don't want to be around my wife or her parents, therefore they won't be around my son. I don't feel okay with that. The rug really got pulled. It happened a few weeks ago with my Dad in a similar fashion and I'm left without their support.
Right now, all I have is this board.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:36 PM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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Sorry Shell...

...that's a pretty crappy feeling and I'm sorry to hear it. I'm pulling for you my friend.

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by Shellcrusher View Post
hmm. Well things seemed to be okay and I felt okay. Doesn't feel that way now.
I also got a little "feedback" from my family. They have nothing to say about it anymore and they've decided they're going to pack up my boys birthday presents and UPS it to the house. They live an hour away. They don't want to be around my wife or her parents, therefore they won't be around my son. I don't feel okay with that. The rug really got pulled. It happened a few weeks ago with my Dad in a similar fashion and I'm left without their support.
Right now, all I have is this board.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:38 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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There has been many a time
that all ALL ALL I' had
were the people at SR.

It's a FINE backup support system.

In the five years I've been coming here,
I've made good solid friends
who call, who email who know me
and know when to ask if I'm ok.

This is the BEST support crowd to have, IMO.

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Old 05-27-2011, 01:43 PM
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Shell,

I'll try to put this as gently as possible. While your decisions are yours to make, you can't really expect support for decisions others disagree with. It's on you to decide whether that matters to you or not.

My sister and some of my close friends became distanced from me in the final years of my marriage. No doubt it was because they just couldn't bear to hear me moan and complain about the state of my marriage while doing nothing to change things.

On the other hand, once I made the decision to separate, I lost the support of my mother and his parents. There will always be someone who will disagree with your choices. They are still your choices to make. Same as it is the alcoholic/addict's choice to find recovery.

And, once again, I have to say that this is not an all or nothing situation.

L
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:45 PM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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I'm not sure if I can anything but support, which you certainly have. My situations a lot different an my children are grown.

The points about the cocaine seem good to me. She has crossed into something much more serious from a legal point of view. Is there anywhere you could go to like your parents while you get your head together? Don't make a big deal out of it, just pack up some stuff and get out of town for a while.

I really feel for you but the situation is now about your son and what's best for him.

Best of luck with this awful mess.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:11 PM
  # 55 (permalink)  
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Yes Barb. The hard things are asked, the tough points are made but in the end, you guys have been nothing but the best thing for me.

LaTeeDa, I completely agree with what you're saying and it was mentioned here already that family and friends aren't always the best source of support simply because they're biased. Thanks for sharing your story with me. It's a tough time for everyone and everybody needs to own their own emotions and I'm okay with that. Oddly enough, just after posting I got a response from my Dad and he really pulled it back in for me. I haven't had a chance to talk to my sisters yet but I'm expecting a similar position.

It seems like it's time for me to take a little break from the family feedback.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:30 PM
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We want our families to be supportive, but sometimes they can't be. It sounds like your wife's mom is not capable of maintaining an objective and neutral view of the problem: to be honest, it struck me as odd that your MIL was part of the "intervention" discussion. It really didn't sound like an intervention for your wife, but an intervention to change your mind about the divorce.

Maybe you should try to use your therapist to work some of this out, such as bringing your wife with you to your therapist, or both of you finding a therapist together.

I would say that it is well within your rights to insist that your wife look for a program. She indicates she won't use AA, that's fine. But if she is serious about recovery, then she has the responsibility to find something else: outpatient rehab, inpatient rehab, smart recovery, a program with the Minnesota method. There ARE alternatives to AA. Some alcoholics are helped by a therapist, some are not. She is using a therapist, how much has that ben working for her? If she is still drinking and using, then maybe she needs to get an addiction therapist rather than a general mental health specialist.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:02 PM
  # 57 (permalink)  
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Shell, I just wanted to let you know I think you are doing awesome. You are looking at yourself, reflecting on your actions, thoughts and feelings and trying to do the next right thing. Remember, like others have commented before me, there are not only two options for you and Shellbaby, there are many.
Sharing your process is helping many people in similar situations. Thanks for your courage.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:05 PM
  # 58 (permalink)  
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Yes littlefish, I can't expect my MIL to maintain a neutral position but there were moments last night where she set my AW straight and she did try and work towards a mutually beneficial outcome, despite the circumstances.
Somewhere in my plethora of posts, I've mentioned that my wife is seeing an Addictions therapist and it's during those times that they discuss alternatives to AA.
I'm shutting down the for they day.

My biggest heartfelt thanks to everyone here. You've all done nothing but help me. The codie in me will keep telling you that SO YOU HEAR ME!
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:49 PM
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You won't leave until you are ready to. And that's all there is to it. It's your decision and nobody else's.

I got some help getting out (a threat to my life and the lives of our children), but I want to tell you this: The things that helped me STAY OUT and stay the course and file the bloody divorce and be DONE with it... were:
  • No Contact
  • An Experienced Lawyer who knows addiction and addicts
  • Stuffing the living hell out of my feelings and IGNORING THEM until the divorce was signed.
Now, I've said before I don't know that I would particularly recommend that strategy to anyone else, but I knew that my feelings were so screwed up, and my then AH had such power over me through emotional blackmail, that if I even met with him ONCE, I would have pulled the plug on the divorce. He tried everything to get to meet with me privately (even breaking a protective order, and me, dumbass as I am, didn't report it) because he knew, too, that he could talk me into dropping the divorce and give him another chance.

One counselor I went to years ago said leaving an addict is sort of like deciding to amputate a limb: You know it's gonna hurt like hell, you know you're going to have to learn how to walk (or write, or whatever) from scratch again -- but you also know that it's losing the limb or losing your life. That stuck with me (although I hated the counselor because he just kept harping on how I had to leave my AH...).

All I'm saying is that we each get to where we need to be in our own time. It's not easy any way you slice it. So go easy on yourself.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:17 PM
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Shell, when you are ready - you'll know it. There won't be any doubts anymore. Life will take on a crystal clarity. I am not ready for the finality yet, either. And mine would be so easy - literally signing a piece of paper and walking away. But...given my current state of mind I know its not the right time.

I will know when it is the right time. I know that. Like I knew it was time to move out and time to invest in my own house. Time to create my new normalcy for me and my girls. I knew.

And you know what - I still love the guy. I am not ashamed to admit that - even though he has been one royal pain in my A$$ for a number of years now. I still have hope. Not much, but enough to keep me married, even if only on paper.

I hope you find some peace this weekend. Even just a sliver. And know that your words made me feel better today when I was feeling really really down. I feel so much better this afternoon! Like this huge weight has been lifted. Thank you for giving me that, and for appreciating it in return from these fine people here at SR. I feel the same way.

Take good care,
~T

Last edited by Tuffgirl; 05-27-2011 at 05:18 PM. Reason: damn typos!
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