like looking in a mirror...

Old 10-11-2011, 12:52 PM
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Location: NJ
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like looking in a mirror...

Hi everyone. Wow. I've been engrossed for the past two days in the words and stories of the other members here. Your words are bouncing around in my head, and all of them resonate deeply within me.

It's like half of what I've read was written to describe exactly what I am experiencing and feeling, and the other half is as if the OP reached right into my heart and plucked out my worst fears and suspicions about my future and put them into words. Your experiences are exactly what my nightmares anticipate for me.

My situation is unique in its own right, but my feelings and responses seem to be shared by so many others. Such an odd dichotomy, really -- I have this newfound comfort and feel so surrounded by encouragement and the support of others' success... and at the same time I have never felt more terrified and alone, as it seems my "worst case scenario" is probably a foregone conclusion.

I have always considered myself to be a smart woman, sensitive and giving, self aware, open to communication and honest confrontation of my own flaws. Yet as I glimpse into the hearts and minds of the other members, the past five years of my life shatter into thousands of little video clips, cluttering my head with memories that I now recognize as my own moments of justification, fantasy, undeserved guilt, walking on eggshells, enabling, excusing, concealing, restraining, damage-controlling, and sheer and utter desparation and loneliness.

My head tells me that my APartner (who I "married" in NJ 2 years ago) is so far from being ready to confront her illness that I will have no choice but to walk away before my entire family-starting opportunity is gone (along with the last shreds of my self-esteem/respect, friends, hope of financial security...). At the same time, I feel myself recoil at that thought -- the idea that it is hopeless. I want desparately to learn from others' experiences but I dont know how far I'll need to be pushed before I can truly let go of what I believed our life together could be. We both want children, but I will not bring a child into a family with an active alcoholic, not when I have the chance to avoid it. But even if she got treatment and was sober for years, can I knowingly expose a child to the chance that she relapses?

I'd like to believe that I didn't walk into marriage lightly. I do love her, with all my heart. There's not a doubt in my mind that I meant every word of "in sickness and health, as long as we both shall live." And only two years later... I'm ashamed and frankly, furious that I have to even wonder about abandoning those vows. But at the same time, the woman I made those promises to... I don't get to see her much anymore. Theres that small window around dinner time on most days where the lethargic, sullen, depressed body on the other couch perks up and becomes the life-filled, smart, funny, beautiful woman I fell in love with. I suspect it's around that "gentle buzz" point. Then one of two things happens: an hour or two later, she gets sleepy and takes one last drink to bed, or the newfound energy escalates to mania, which builds to foolish ridiculousness, right before that moment when the twinkle in her eye turns to a black hole... I guess some of you may know what that means. The hypersensitive, agressive, and downright nasty b*tch takes up residence in my home until they stagger up as if they were actually wanted in my bed. God, I hate that girl. she's not violent with me (and though I'm also a woman I am physically larger and stronger than she is), but she is very clumsy and reckless, hurts herself, and I am forced to try to anticipate and remedy all the safety hazards created by her manic antics. And she's pretty mean from time to time. Especially if you're spoiling her fun.

We've talked about it. Her dad is an alcoholic, they don't speak. Her younger brother was in AA within a year of taking his first drink. Though we've never had a full-on confrontation, lay it all on the line kind of episode. Just bits and pieces that are often tempered to keep her from shutting off entirely.

God, it seems so obvious when I put it all down like that, huh?

It's been suggested from time to time that the drinking is my fault in some way -- she stayed at the bar after work when I was working long hours and making lots of money because the house was lonely.... then after I got laid off and we were living on my severance and unemployment for a year she could enjoy her "happy hour" any way she damn well felt like because, of course, SHE was the only one working...then when we had to move in with my parents to get back on our feet it was to cope with my mother, who is admittedly difficult to live with, and it was "better than her wanting to die". Now it seems it's because she's finally noticed that theres a disconnect in our marriage...(i.e., probably me starting to set boundaries and not participating in many activities that involve alcohol). Anyway, I know it's not actually my fault.. and I could go on forever (eek, it seems like I already have)... So I guess I just wanted to say "Hi" and to thank you all for sharing and inspiring others to take those first hard looks at themselves and their lives and hopefully moving towards a recovery...without or without their alcoholic loved one.
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:18 PM
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I'm sorry for what brings you here, but so happy you found us.
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:39 PM
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Welcome! I can empathize with your horror at having to walk away from vows that meant everything to you to save yourself from someone else's self destruction.

I hope you keep reading and posting here and it helps you find some peace in the madness.
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:22 PM
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I, too, am sorry for what you are going through, but glad you are here.
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:50 PM
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partysover, Welcome, I am sorry to hear what you are living. You will find amazing support here, just knowing I was not alone, gave me such strength and comfort. It has been a journey to get today, but I no longer choose to live with an active alcoholic.

I chose to make changes, I no longer accept excuses, I will not be manipulated.
I listen to my inner voice. I will continue to make changes, no excuses.

Sending you warm thoughts.
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:10 PM
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I have found the phrase, "Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean," really, really helpful.

When I understood that if I do that and the reaction I get is still bad it was even more helpful. I had held up my end of the bargain.

Al-anon helped immensely in all of my relationships, not just with my loved one that got me there (admittedly a lot of addiction in my family). My relationship with me has thrived.

I chose to not have children with my exAH and though I am concerned that at 34 I might not have that opportunity I am at peace with the decision I made.

Sending kind thoughts your way.
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:28 PM
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"Partysover"... I am so sorry for the reason you have sought us out... the journey is not an easy one. I too am in an extremely similar situation so, I feel your pain. Keep gather strength and affirmation from this site... it has been a life saver for me thus far. There is much to learn and much work to be done and I wish for you success in figuring it all out. We are here for you...
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:56 PM
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That first step is a doozy, but it sure opens the doors to all sorts of fantastic opportunities for you to heal and to grow.

Early in my recovery, reading the Big Book, reading "Codependent No More" and trying out a few different Al-anon meetings until I found one that fit were a good start for me.

I hope you find your recovery niche, and go for it!
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:02 PM
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welcome. it seems like you have the tools and awareness to get better. Be patient with yourself, remember it's not a race, and try some Alanon meetings and see what you think. At least six, some different, before deciding if it's for you. It saved my life.

Good luck,

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Old 10-11-2011, 10:04 PM
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Thank you all for your kind words... I will be visiting often, and plan to try a local al-anon mtg this week. I know it'll be a long road...i can already feel myself clinging hard to the "good times" with bits of hope that the relationship can be saved. In the meantime, thanks for the welcome i'm very glad to have found you all.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:06 AM
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Posts: 2,708 takes two to tango, and it takes two to "save" a relationship. You cannot do it alone, nor can you change/help/cure/control her. That's under her control alone. All you can do is decide what YOU are willing to live with.

Hugs to you. Keep posting. SR is always open.
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