How to explain it to friends

Old 12-25-2011, 01:51 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Location: New Brunswick, Canada
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How to explain it to friends

Hi @ll,

Christmas is always the time, when u realize how much u lost , how much u don't have and how lonely u really are.

Well I grew up with foster parents, since my real mommy was an AH and she died when I was 12. I lived with my foster family since I was 3 month old and moved out, when I was 21. Because they are really religious and me not so much anymore, we don't have the best realationship and they live overseas, since I moved to Canada 4 years ago. That just to my background.

So, since there is not really family, I kinda depend on friends, to have some kinda happieness and social interacting. And I actually made a few really good friends in the first 2 years, of moving here.
When I met my ABF 2 years ago, I honestly had no idea he has a drinking problem. We simply had fun, went out together, I introduced him to my friends and so on. His family lifes around 1000km from here so far way, but I was able to meet them, at our first Christmas together. Altogether we started great off together. Till things changened. I found out that he was lieing, that he cheated, the he wasn't relaible in anyway, always something else came up. A emotional rollercoaster.
Well in this whole process, l talked to a few friends of mine, about things he did or didn't. But in the end, everybodys reaction was more : "well i wouldn't put up with that" " he is a jerk" "What an as*******" and so on. Well that wasn't really help. After around 4 or 5 month, his sister finally told me, he is an AH. But instead me running away, I really thought, well that explains i know why and now I can help him, I gonna go and fix his problem. I really didn't know enough about Alcoholism at all.

Well that definatly changed, I know now that I was never be able to fix his problem etc. I mean we all know the 3 C etc. I read AA Bigbook, I read all kinda things in the internet, I finally started last week AL Anon, etc. So thats all understood and in work.

I just wonder, how to explain it to my friends. Infect, I almost all of my friends over the 2 last years. Not because I did isolate myself or anything. No, they just stopped inviting me, I wasn't invited to all the parties and dinners anymore etc. Phone calls and text messages slowed down etc. And believe me, i tried many times. But everybody got sick of the BS i went through. Lots gave me advise not knowing anything about drinking either. In the end most think, I am stupid and hang up on him, so why bother.
I once told them, well I am not the AH. I don't need though laugh, in order to go through it.
This Christmas I am so upset, because people who were once so important in my life, are not there anymore. How should I explain or start over again with them? Or should I even. I am upset, because nobody of them, then actually one person, even tried to understand.
Everybody kinda gave up on me, and I hear so many hurtful things. Like the time when my BF got into Detox and started AA and a friend told me, well don't wine about it, if it doesn't work with his quitting. Nobody even believes he could.
I might should have listened 2 years ago and should left him. Maybe i should have done that. But i didn't. Because I thought i do the right thing at that time.
Did those kinda things happend to u too? And how did u handle that.
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Old 12-25-2011, 02:19 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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sprman24, hi and welcome.

I can venture to say I understand your dilemma from both sides. Here's what I've come to find: being in a relationship with someone who's abusive, or A, or untreated mental illness or whatever IS isolating. It doesn't have so much to do with you isolating yourself on purpose: it's just what happens naturally.

I've been on both sides of the equation: from the perspective of friends on the outside looking in, it's hard. I had a friend one time whom I invited to stay with me after her boyfriend knocked her to the floor during an argument. Cops were called, hospital. She went back to him--wasn't ready to leave--which we all know happens with DV, of course. But as a friend it was awkward: no I didn't think anything negative of HER for going through it all, but as a friend how was I supposed to just hang with them again? Sit there laughing at his jokes or whatever? Go over and say hi when I saw him in the grocery store? Finally I had to tell her I would always be there for HER but I couldn't pretend I hadn't seen her bruises. And she got angry at me for a while. She's in a better place now and he's history, thank god.

And then from the other side: as the partner of someone who's an alcoholic, I've felt the same hesitancy to be totally honest with friends about it. Because I mean, really, unless they're also in denial, I knew they'd be like, "Um--you're still there why?" And then hanging out was weird: if we were all out seeing a concert and then they saw him drink one beer and then an hour later be completely out of control, of course they were going to be "busy" the next time I put out an invitation. And then things like: I couldn't have the writing group at my house, because what if it fell on a booze-fest day?

It does help to make a network of friends through Al-Anon or whatever who understand what you're going through.
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:44 PM
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OH! I am so sorry the people you thought were your friends treated you that way! You deserve so much better than that!

YES those kinds of things have happened to me in the past. They REALLY hurt my feelings. It REALLY HURT to have people I thought were my friends judge someone I cared about Ė even if he was an alcoholic, I still cared.

How did I handle it? Well, I cried a lot. I actually yelled at 1 or 2 of them because I was so angry and hurt. But I finally had to decide that people who would treat me that way werenít really my friends at all. I learned how to just ignore the MEAN ďADVICEĒ they would try to give me. I met new people who liked me just because Iím ME.

Iím happy to hear youíre giving Al-anon a try! Iíve met some great people there Ė people who understand and who WONíT judge.

Donít beat yourself up with thoughts like ďwell I should have done this or I should have done thatĒ. We all do the best we can at any given point in time. What you did was just right for YOU. I donít think that we ever have to explain ourselves to our REAL FRIENDS.

Iím glad youíre here! Keep posting!
Best Wishes!!

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Old 12-26-2011, 02:21 PM
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Thank u very much, both of u

I have to say, after I felt, that my friends judge him for drinking, and he defintily isn't that kinda guy, who fells drunk around at a party ( he handles the booze to well ) , I not even took him with me anymore. I had a few friends, the drunk alot as well, so we went to those partys together and nobody said a word bad. But I never saw those friends as friends. More as buddys. We met to have fun, go out to a bar dancing and those kinda things.
No actually my close friends, where those, who not even invited me anymore, even knowing, that he wouldn't be with me. If i would invite them to my house, well they asked if my BF is home and usally they found excause. Most of the time they didn't show up.
I understand, that they are frustrated as well, seeing me going to all this.
Still sometimes i wish i could talk to them again and tell them, why I did what I did and why I am still doing it.
I have in the end one close friend, who is a guy, who is almost 20 years older then me. Maybe more like a father figure, I never had.
All others are loose friends or coworkers.
I'm sure Al Anon will help me in the future as well. Getting really friends out of it? Not so sure about that yet. When I went to the meeting, the people where all quit a bit older then me. I am just 33 years old. Not saying i can't be friends with an older crowed, but some in my age, would be nice as well lol

Anyways thanks for those nice answers it is much appreciated
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:57 PM
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(((sprman))) - I lost a few really good friends because I was so wrapped up in the XABF#1 yeah, I had 3 - really slow learner). I eventually developed my OWN addiction and went to a really bad place.

Though I couldn't understand it at the time, I do realize why the friends got distant. I was all about him, complaining, whining, but didn't do anything to make MY life better. Now, I'm more on the other side of the fence as I'm in recovery for addiction and codependency. I'm living at home, thanks to the financial/career mess I have from using, and am in a house full of codies. NOW, I see how draining it is, but I really didn't get it back then.

I was totally amazed when a few of the "old friends" I hadn't seen in over a decade, found me on FB, and I'm hoping to visit with them in a couple of weeks. I'm also making new friends, people that didn't know me back then, but I've told them about my past, and it's cool - all they see is who I am today. I've been pretty slow to make the new friends (I've got 2!!) but I think that will get better. I don't know if your friends will come around, but I know that just working on me opened me up to old and new friends.

Hugs and prayers,

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Old 12-27-2011, 09:54 AM
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Dear sprman24,

Welcome to you, glad you are here.

I think it's really hard for some people, I know it was for me, when a friend was in a bad relationship and asked for advice, you give advice and they ignore it, they whine and bitch about the significant other all the time, you say, buck up, treat yourself right, and they still ignore you. For me I had to distance myself from those people because their drama aggravated my own fragile emotional state.

As a child I was the victim of physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse (family and stranger), my mother is an alcoholic (40+ years), my dad is a serial cheater, it was hard for me to listen to people who had the option to just walk away from an abusive relationships, who would do nothing to help themselves.

Also, some people are just not capable of empathy, many times I think this is because they just absolutely cannot relate to your circumstances, you hear these idiots say "I know how you feel" they eqaute the loss of their gerbil to the loss of your parent. Other I believe have know idea what it really means to be a friend, I have so many aquaintances, there are very few people who I know would be there when it hit the fan.

There are people on this site that I consider friends and family, they have been there when I really really needed them, I have shared things here that my "acquaintances" would recoil from.

Please come back often, if you want to vent or talk, need a hug or some propping up, I will be there for you.

Best of luck to you,


My dad had the nerve to equate my sexual assaults by a stranger and my cousin to a gay man trying to pick him up in a bar. I just sputtered at him, "how can you even begin to compare the sexual assault of a child with a pickup line in a bar".
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:13 AM
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As someone similar in age I have experienced some of what you write about.

A couple of things. First I know I am one of the only ones in my age group that regularly attends Al-anon. Give it some time though....I have still made some great friends through the program...and others come in that have been closer to me in age in teh last 18 months. Also I have at times attended larger "group" meetings and have met people closer to me in age.

Secondly I don't know if this is part of it or not but it is not alcohol related. My friendships have started to change in the last 5-7 years in addition to the changes with a loved one in my life with alcohol because of many of them having young children and their social life changing. It is not that we are not close....there is just only so much energy to go around.

Finally I have found when I started being honest with what I was experiencing I got a lot of support, and sometimes from unexpected sources. Some relationships were strained (and some continue to be in transition for me), but the relationships I do have now are more supportive, healthy and appropriate. They work for me! I have not always had that as often I set up relationships about helping someone else.

Good luck. Being in a hard spot can be so hard and feel so isolating.
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