Blogs


Notices

Crazy How Much Like Addicts We Become

Old 05-27-2011, 01:23 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 187
Crazy How Much Like Addicts We Become

I still can't let go of this relationship emotionally. I haven't even been with XABF that long, and we don't have any children or mutual expenses, etc. We don't even live together anymore. No real ties.

So, that coupled with knowing how toxic and destructive this relationship was, and how I was abused and betrayed, etc., WHY ON EARTH do I still want to be with this person? Logically, I know I can't and won't be with him, and even HE won't at this point (he's demonized me and blamed me for all of his life's problems), so WHY can't I let go of this emotionally?

Never had trouble letting go of healthy romantic relationships in the past when it became clear that it wasn't working...

I believed my XABF had borderline personality disorder for a long time, but have read often that long-term addiction mimics the symptoms of BPD, so I didn't really know. Maybe I'm suffering a harder emotional fallout because of a personality disorder comorbid with addiction. Whatever this is, it seems stronger than me.

Did you guys feel like this? Like no matter what this person did to you you still couldn't leave? Are we addicted to the adrenaline from all of the chaos? Do we like the pain? Stockholm syndrome? I feel like such a sick masochist. I begged him not to leave me both times we broke up...

My life is totally out of control and I just can't break my addiction to this relationship.
nicam is offline  
The Following 15 Users Say Thank You to nicam For This Useful Post:
barb dwyer (05-27-2011), BobbyJ (05-28-2011), bookwyrm (05-28-2011), bruingirl (05-27-2011), cagefree (05-29-2011), CatLover1234 (05-27-2011), CXR (05-27-2011), forgotten1 (05-27-2011), Impurrfect (05-27-2011), Linkmeister (05-27-2011), lockedout (05-27-2011), pennywistle (05-30-2011), queenie123 (05-29-2011), tinabanina (05-30-2011), Tuffgirl (05-27-2011)
Old 05-27-2011, 01:45 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
LaTeeDa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: behind the viewfinder...
Posts: 6,278
To say that therapy helped me would be the understatement of the century. It literally changed my life. But, then again, maybe it was much like the addict's bottom. I would have done anything at that point.

L
LaTeeDa is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to LaTeeDa For This Useful Post:
cagefree (05-29-2011), Impurrfect (05-27-2011), lillamy (05-28-2011), nicam (05-27-2011)
Old 05-27-2011, 01:50 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 187
My therapist alludes to the feeling of being needed as a motivator. While it doesn't seem like that on the surface with all of the chaos, maybe she's right... Just wondering if others dealt with this sort of dynamic, and what kind of insight they've gathered along the way. Is psychological abuse very common among addicts, or is there something else at work here maybe?
nicam is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to nicam For This Useful Post:
barb dwyer (05-27-2011), Impurrfect (05-27-2011)
Old 05-27-2011, 02:20 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 187
Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
nicam, your energies are better put towards getting OUT NOW, rather than trying to psychoanalyze what HIS problems might be. abuse is abuse period. and it's NOT acceptable ever. abuse always gets worse. and the victim becomes conditioned to accept it. you keep diffusing the topic, and moving around the REAL CORE ISSUE, which is you are in danger. and nobody can get you out of harms way but you.........
Thanks anvilhead, I am out. Just left with all the pieces and kind of ruminating on it all. I've accepted the truth, I know there's no turning back. We are NC and it's going to stay that way.
nicam is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to nicam For This Useful Post:
barb dwyer (05-27-2011), bookwyrm (05-28-2011), desertgirl (05-27-2011), Impurrfect (05-27-2011)
Old 05-27-2011, 02:29 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
LaTeeDa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: behind the viewfinder...
Posts: 6,278
Time to turn that energy toward figuring yourself out. The need to be needed. Ah, yes, I have that, too. So where does it come from? What does it mean to you to be needed? Is need equal to love? If you are not needed, does it mean you are unloved? Unlovable even? Time to start digging deeper.....

L
LaTeeDa is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to LaTeeDa For This Useful Post:
Impurrfect (05-27-2011), nicam (05-27-2011)
Old 05-27-2011, 02:56 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
same planet...different world
 
barb dwyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 10,944
Blog Entries: 7
nicam -

what you're describing and asking is what,
for me
was the start of the greatest and most eventful
and beauty - filled journey
of this busy busy life -

"Why do I think *this* is love?"

In a way - I'm STOKED for you
because your posts
reflect a real desire to know.

You're asking ... in a way that gets answers.

I personally see that as a great thing.

So the attitude (I'm seeing is )
therapy- okay
groups - okay
books - okay

whatEVER brings the answers you know?
barb dwyer is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to barb dwyer For This Useful Post:
Impurrfect (05-27-2011), lillamy (05-28-2011), lockedout (05-27-2011), nicam (05-27-2011), Tuffgirl (05-27-2011)
Old 05-27-2011, 08:19 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
 
forgotten1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 82
nicam--i am WITH you... knowing all of the logic and yet still obsessing and being unable to truly move on, like how everyone says to...

mine had depression, which i think was really a personality disorder (since it wasn't really a mood problem, and more like a constant personality he's developed into since he was a child)... and mixed with alcoholism. ive had no contact for 4.5 months now, but just because we haven't had contact doesn't mean i havent been putting energy into him, which i KNOW i shouldn't (and the knowing i shouldn't part makes me feel even more crazy). i dont know what it is about me that makes me keep wanting to psychoanalyze this entire situation (i've read depression forums, things on abusive relationships, obviously SR, etc). i AM a very intellectual person that analyzes EVERYTHING (im a philosophy/science student). it annoys the crap out of me that there are people "out there" that play into his ******** and enable, and probably see me as the blame--hell, when i was with him i remember the vitriol he'd spew about other people that were "making his life a living hell" so i can only imagine what's been said about me, which literally gives me ulcers thinking about. i HATE (and probably aren't ready in accepting) that i could have been the other half to a toxic relationship. i haven't had a toxic relationship EVER... and im generally well-liked, so for me to accept that i was the other half of toxicity makes me feel like i did something wrong--that i should've "known better" how to act, then it wouldn't have been toxic and maybe would have lasted.

but, as my therapist has pointed out--the kinds of problems we were dealing with (mental issues and alcoholism) made it impossible to not be in a toxic environment. we adapted our behaviors in this relationship to "survive" and maybe it made us the other half of toxic behaviors, but if we hadn't adapted--then the relationship probably wouldn't have even lasted as long--we'd have been let go A LOT sooner for some one else that would be able to put up with and adapt to alcoholism.

i am not sure i have much advice. i just want to say YES i completely understand where you are coming from. i DO keep in mind that maybe this is just a form of my getting distracted from my life--so what i AM doing is making sure that i keep my life going forward. so far, this has helped in lessening the frequency of my thoughts about our relationship fall out... since your fallout is more recent than mine, just take it easy--progress on a daily basis is going to seem miniscule. Hell, i still have days where i feel like i haven't progressed... but just keep looking to the future, YOUR future... because every day that you keep looking ahead is another day further from your lowest point. it can only go up from here, right?
forgotten1 is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to forgotten1 For This Useful Post:
bruingirl (05-27-2011), buttercream (05-28-2011), Impurrfect (05-27-2011), nicam (05-27-2011)
Old 05-27-2011, 08:40 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
Tuffgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 4,719
Blog Entries: 4
I've often wondered the same thing. Here's my take today - subject to change as I learn more about my own personal motivations - that we hang onto the hope for change. We know addicts who can change their entire lives. We know what reality looks like without a substance to muck it up and blur everything.

I also think the death of the dream is a hard one to let go of. But everyday that goes by I let go a little bit more. Because I realize there was one person having this dream and it was ME. Hello! Why am I forcing my dream on someone who doesn't want it? Why not go find someone who does?

You aren't the only one who feels this way. Its hard to let go, even without the ties that bind people together. All I need to do is sign a piece of paper and take it to the courthouse. He can't fight me on it - contested is just a word in the file.

I haven't done it yet. I don't know why yet. But I know I will know when it is time to let go, and that it will most likely happen sooner rather than later. Because now I know I will be ok without this. And life will go on and be whatever I choose to make of it.
Tuffgirl is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Tuffgirl For This Useful Post:
forgotten1 (05-27-2011), Impurrfect (05-27-2011), Linkmeister (05-27-2011), nicam (05-27-2011)
Old 05-27-2011, 09:26 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Lola1024's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California
Posts: 182
Nicam,

I can relate to how you are feeling. I was in a similar place - no real ties to keep me in the relationship other than just staying stuck for SO LONG. For me it was a process that took many months then I finally just snapped and it was over - this after several false starts. Keep working on yourself you will get stronger bit by bit day by day.

Find the roots of why you are in and getting out will be easier. I was getting something out of being it the relationship - toxic or not there were benefits. The danger that came with it was somehow appealing too. Took all the attention off the work I needed to do on me. The work I needed to do, and still do is far more difficult than analyzing someone else. The benefits are greater though - I really can fix me but I never was successful at fixing anyone else. Not a chance it would have ever worked.

Your accident sent chills through me when I read your post. It is a huge warning flag I hope you can take advantage of. You can get away from this life of chaos it just takes time, commitment and patience. If I can do it you can too! Keep at the therapy, groups, books anything to bolster your confidence to keep away. You deserve better.

Lola1024 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Lola1024 For This Useful Post:
Impurrfect (05-27-2011), nicam (05-27-2011)
Old 05-28-2011, 08:59 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
Florence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest, USA
Posts: 2,899
I've often wondered the same thing. Here's my take today - subject to change as I learn more about my own personal motivations - that we hang onto the hope for change. We know addicts who can change their entire lives. We know what reality looks like without a substance to muck it up and blur everything.

I also think the death of the dream is a hard one to let go of. But everyday that goes by I let go a little bit more. Because I realize there was one person having this dream and it was ME. Hello! Why am I forcing my dream on someone who doesn't want it? Why not go find someone who does?
Oh you guys, thank you for talking about this today. I went to my first Al-Anon meeting the other day and had an epiphany. I don't want to talk down Al-Anon or imply that I'm better than anyone at all. It's just that some of the stories told in that meeting scared me inside-out. I don't want to be married to an active alcoholic for 40+ years in order to "preserve" my marriage. I don't want to take on my husband's addiction as MY identity. I don't think it's progress to learn how not expect normal behavior from a spouse. Hell, I don't want to have to be in a support group just to survive my marriage. No way, not my life, I don't want it.

So I left the meeting resolved in what I need to do, continue to plan to leave the relationship, but come home to AH who isn't using (at the moment) and who is cute and charming and funny and find myself regretting my resolve and thinking well, maybe it isn't time yet. Making excuses as to why I should stay in this thing. Even though I know it's temporary. Even though I know he's reeling me back in as part of the addictive pattern so he can use me and my affection for him to preserve his addiction that much longer.

My lizard brain and my rational brain are in this argument and I'm not sure which side I'm rooting for.

THAT is insanity.
Florence is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Florence For This Useful Post:
blueblooms14 (05-29-2011), CatLover1234 (05-29-2011), gerryP (05-29-2011), nicam (05-29-2011), sandrawg (05-29-2011)
Old 05-29-2011, 05:48 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
I Finally Love My Life!!!
 
cagefree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 648
Nicam - you're so right. It IS an addiction.

My addiction to XABF was powerful as I defined myself through him. Everything about him felt right and familiar, even though right and familiar equated to painful and hurtful. Through therapy I found out why and it helped my heart and my head think as one. This balance is something I still find challenging and continue working on to this today.

I know this may sound weird, but it reminds me of the end of the movie ET where ET is dying and Elliot is as well because of his attachment to ET. I was Elliot, dying in my own way.

I finally realized that I had to find a way to let go of him to save myself. It was painful. It was my bottom. I think the pain I felt was the motivation I needed to say...enough. It was difficult, but necessary and exactly where I needed to be.

The best part of all, it wasn't permanent and got better...

Sending good thoughts your way
cagefree is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to cagefree For This Useful Post:
bruingirl (05-29-2011), nicam (05-29-2011), sandrawg (05-29-2011)
Old 05-29-2011, 09:19 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,103
Yes, I definitely still feel like this. I was talking to a friend about this-it seems like, normal rel'ships are much harder to let go of because tere's more closure. It's 2 adults who are facing reality letting each other go because of an incompatibility or loss of love, or something that is within THEIR control.

In this case, you have an extraneous factor-alcoholism-that comes wrapped in a big mess of implications. There's usually lying, projection, denial, abuse, and it gets very complicated. We can never really have closure when we leave. Often, we still LOVE the person but hate the disease and it becomes hard to accept that the 2 are intertwined.

I've been reading about love addiction.I think it fits me, personally.

Love Addicts Anonymous

I hope you find that link helpful. For me the only thing that gets me through is al-anon and working the steps with my sponsor. My ex is still unhealthy, and it tears me up. Maybe I still harbor some illusion that I could have done something/could still do something. I have to keep going back tot he 1st step that I am powerless.

Originally Posted by nicam View Post
I still can't let go of this relationship emotionally. I haven't even been with XABF that long, and we don't have any children or mutual expenses, etc. We don't even live together anymore. No real ties.

So, that coupled with knowing how toxic and destructive this relationship was, and how I was abused and betrayed, etc., WHY ON EARTH do I still want to be with this person? Logically, I know I can't and won't be with him, and even HE won't at this point (he's demonized me and blamed me for all of his life's problems), so WHY can't I let go of this emotionally?

Never had trouble letting go of healthy romantic relationships in the past when it became clear that it wasn't working...

I believed my XABF had borderline personality disorder for a long time, but have read often that long-term addiction mimics the symptoms of BPD, so I didn't really know. Maybe I'm suffering a harder emotional fallout because of a personality disorder comorbid with addiction. Whatever this is, it seems stronger than me.

Did you guys feel like this? Like no matter what this person did to you you still couldn't leave? Are we addicted to the adrenaline from all of the chaos? Do we like the pain? Stockholm syndrome? I feel like such a sick masochist. I begged him not to leave me both times we broke up...

My life is totally out of control and I just can't break my addiction to this relationship.
sandrawg is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to sandrawg For This Useful Post:
Sylvie66 (05-30-2011)
Old 05-29-2011, 09:24 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,103
You're so right, but oftentimes, we need to totally let go of them. They need to lose us, hopefully to see that there are consequences to their drinking.

My exabf probably never will because he's deluding himself into thikning that he was just done wiht me. That he'd "tried everything" (haha! funny-he never tried total sobriety)

And yes, I saw his best drinking buddy get sober in AA, so it gave me hope that would rub off on my ex, or the drinking buddy would help him get sober, but...his friend has no more impact that me but is smarter than me and works his program better, so he knows he can't do anything for my ex.



Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
I've often wondered the same thing. Here's my take today - subject to change as I learn more about my own personal motivations - that we hang onto the hope for change. We know addicts who can change their entire lives. We know what reality looks like without a substance to muck it up and blur everything.

I also think the death of the dream is a hard one to let go of. But everyday that goes by I let go a little bit more. Because I realize there was one person having this dream and it was ME. Hello! Why am I forcing my dream on someone who doesn't want it? Why not go find someone who does?

You aren't the only one who feels this way. Its hard to let go, even without the ties that bind people together. All I need to do is sign a piece of paper and take it to the courthouse. He can't fight me on it - contested is just a word in the file.

I haven't done it yet. I don't know why yet. But I know I will know when it is time to let go, and that it will most likely happen sooner rather than later. Because now I know I will be ok without this. And life will go on and be whatever I choose to make of it.
sandrawg is offline  
Old 05-29-2011, 09:29 AM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,103
You say here that you're out-you may be out physicially but obviously, not mentally or emotionally, or you wouldn't have posted this thread.

Originally Posted by nicam View Post
Thanks anvilhead, I am out. Just left with all the pieces and kind of ruminating on it all. I've accepted the truth, I know there's no turning back. We are NC and it's going to stay that way.
sandrawg is offline  
Old 05-29-2011, 09:31 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,103
It's good that al-anon stories scared you. Frankly, I go there for peace and comfort, but if you hear scary stories, then great. It might help shake you into action. My sister wasted 30 yrs of her life with 2 alcoholic exh's. I hate to see anyone else do the same. It's soul sucking. They are like leeches. For now your alcoholic can stilll be sober at times enough to be charming and nice but alcoholism is progressive. At some point, that will stop. Do you really want to be around for that?

Keep going back to al-anon. It works if you work it.

Originally Posted by Florence View Post
Oh you guys, thank you for talking about this today. I went to my first Al-Anon meeting the other day and had an epiphany. I don't want to talk down Al-Anon or imply that I'm better than anyone at all. It's just that some of the stories told in that meeting scared me inside-out. I don't want to be married to an active alcoholic for 40+ years in order to "preserve" my marriage. I don't want to take on my husband's addiction as MY identity. I don't think it's progress to learn how not expect normal behavior from a spouse. Hell, I don't want to have to be in a support group just to survive my marriage. No way, not my life, I don't want it.

So I left the meeting resolved in what I need to do, continue to plan to leave the relationship, but come home to AH who isn't using (at the moment) and who is cute and charming and funny and find myself regretting my resolve and thinking well, maybe it isn't time yet. Making excuses as to why I should stay in this thing. Even though I know it's temporary. Even though I know he's reeling me back in as part of the addictive pattern so he can use me and my affection for him to preserve his addiction that much longer.

My lizard brain and my rational brain are in this argument and I'm not sure which side I'm rooting for.

THAT is insanity.
sandrawg is offline  
Old 05-29-2011, 11:44 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 187
Originally Posted by sandrawg View Post
You're so right, but oftentimes, we need to totally let go of them. They need to lose us, hopefully to see that there are consequences to their drinking.

My exabf probably never will because he's deluding himself into thikning that he was just done wiht me. That he'd "tried everything" (haha! funny-he never tried total sobriety)

And yes, I saw his best drinking buddy get sober in AA, so it gave me hope that would rub off on my ex, or the drinking buddy would help him get sober, but...his friend has no more impact that me but is smarter than me and works his program better, so he knows he can't do anything for my ex.
Yeah, my ex said the SAME thing. He's "done with me", and "tried everything", and it's just that I am toxic for him.

I found out he has already moved on to the next girl. I saw his facebook page last night on a mutual friend's computer and his status update was, "So tired of women who play games. **** or get off the pot!", and this was written 1.5 hours before he dialed me drunk and hysterical because SHE rejected him (he didn't say this was exactly why he was upset, but it was obvious). When I called him out the next day on callously using me like that he couldn't even deny it, and just apologized.

I'm glad I saw that facebook update, it just showed me that he cares NOTHING for me, has NO remorse for abusing, using, and utterly defiling my soul. He uses people, much like a sociopath or narcissist, and just like he uses alcohol. His behavior fits the descriptions of ALL cluster B personality disorders. Not to mention if this new girl has ALREADY made him that angry he will only abuse her in time, like he did to me. Or, she will be smart enough to run for the hills before it gets to that point. No healthy woman would engage in a relationship with him the way he is, he's not capable of anything resembling a healthy relationship (I'd bet addicts can't even have healthy friendships)!

Sick! This could have been the rest of my life... It's going to take a while to recover from this insidious abuse, but at least it won't hurt like this forever. It just leaves me so empty inside to think that someone I spent all this time with never even loved me at all. I feel like such a target, a pawn, not even a human being.
nicam is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to nicam For This Useful Post:
bruingirl (05-30-2011), CatLover1234 (05-29-2011), Florence (05-30-2011)
Old 05-30-2011, 10:30 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
 
kittykitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: carolina girl
Posts: 578
Blog Entries: 1
I wish I could scream to the world that checking on ex's facebook pages or keeping up with whatever they are doing after a break-up is the equivalent of putting your hand in a fryer at macdonalds. Ha, I've done both, and it really is the same thing.

No matter what you see/hear it will hurt. What you see will burn itself into your mind, and cause you sleepless nights, angst ridden days, emotional ups and downs, and more wasted time and energy of "why did he" and "how could he". It might seem to help at first, seeing someone for who they 'really are' might make you feel better, but eventually it feeds resentment, bitterness, hatred, and martyrdom. No one can be truly happy and healthy with these emotions in their life, even if the person they are aimed toward deserves every one of them.
The same way someone would say "don't coat your hand in hot oil", I am saying "don't, in any way shape or form, follow the life of someone you no longer want in yours". That road leads nowhere, I promise you.

You're aware that the relationship was toxic (and still IS toxic, if you are still involved in any way, emotionally or mentally). You've accepted YOUR addiction to it, so now is the time for action. Al anon helps a ton for alot of people, and Melody Beatty has some great books out there about codependancy, so does Robert Burns, and Scott Peck is another good writer. Finding a therapist that specializes in what you're dealing with is also a great step in the right direction.

Just the fact that you see a pattern is an awesome sign, that you are ready to face things head on and fix them. Sounds like you hit your bottom, so there's no where to go but up.
kittykitty is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to kittykitty For This Useful Post:
bookwyrm (05-30-2011), Leise (05-30-2011), nicam (05-30-2011)
Old 05-30-2011, 11:23 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 187
Originally Posted by sandrawg View Post
Yes, I definitely still feel like this. I was talking to a friend about this-it seems like, normal rel'ships are much harder to let go of because tere's more closure. It's 2 adults who are facing reality letting each other go because of an incompatibility or loss of love, or something that is within THEIR control.

In this case, you have an extraneous factor-alcoholism-that comes wrapped in a big mess of implications. There's usually lying, projection, denial, abuse, and it gets very complicated. We can never really have closure when we leave. Often, we still LOVE the person but hate the disease and it becomes hard to accept that the 2 are intertwined.

I've been reading about love addiction.I think it fits me, personally.

Love Addicts Anonymous

I hope you find that link helpful. For me the only thing that gets me through is al-anon and working the steps with my sponsor. My ex is still unhealthy, and it tears me up. Maybe I still harbor some illusion that I could have done something/could still do something. I have to keep going back tot he 1st step that I am powerless.
Thank you for this.
nicam is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:55 PM.