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wanttobehealthy 01-25-2012 12:29 PM

anvil- here's me being as honest as possible... know what i think right now? i think that the problem IS me. i think that it's possible that if i have this many issues (with AH, his family, now these friends) that the common denominator is ME and they are right.

not all of me thinks this but it's this thinking that i can't shake right now.

insane, i know. but a good part of me believes the problem DOES lie in me.

why is it that no matter how far i feel i am getting in recovery, i can get this down about myself this fast based on what others say?

i think i am a good person but frankly am surrounded with people who i have trusted and shared personal things with who think otherwise and can they really all be wrong?

wanttobehealthy 01-25-2012 12:30 PM

freedom- i will remind myself of that statement often today/tonight... thank you!

laurie6781 01-25-2012 12:30 PM

They sound VERY TOXIC, of course, when they were drawn to you, you were also VERY TOXIC living in the 'drama' of addiction.

You are no longer TOXIC, you are CHANGING and HEALING and they just DO NOT FIT in your world now like they did before.

Time to put their emaiis in Junk and take their email addy's off your contact list, then you see their emaiis until you empty your junk folder, and just clean the whole file.

Start finding some new acquaintances at Alanon, maybe at a Book Club you belong to, or the gym, or some hobby you like doing, etc

You do have 'friends' here, but we are cyber space, but we do respond, lol

Don't forget that we are walking with you in spirit.

I'm sending you a PM.

Love and hugs,

m1k3 01-25-2012 01:31 PM

Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy (Post 3256099)
anvil- here's me being as honest as possible... know what i think right now? i think that the problem IS me. i think that it's possible that if i have this many issues (with AH, his family, now these friends) that the common denominator is ME and they are right.

not all of me thinks this but it's this thinking that i can't shake right now.

insane, i know. but a good part of me believes the problem DOES lie in me.

why is it that no matter how far i feel i am getting in recovery, i can get this down about myself this fast based on what others say?

i think i am a good person but frankly am surrounded with people who i have trusted and shared personal things with who think otherwise and can they really all be wrong?

WTBH, can they all be wrong, you betcha. Simply because they don't know or understand what is going on inside of you.

It took me a bit into recovery to realize that I had serious self esteem issues. I didn't believe in myself, I didn't trust my decisions, I would give into to anyone else because I believed they were probably right and to be honest I didn't love myself.

I started doing affirmations like "I love me", "I am enough just as I am" and "I give me permission to put myself first.". I wrote these everyday, I used them as part of my meditation and when doing aerobics I still use "I love me" as cadence.

I can honestly say I notice a BIG difference in my attitudes since I have started doing that. As I said in another thread today I reached the point where they weren't just affirmations anymore, they were facts.

For me doing self esteem work had a huge payoff. I am now comfortable in my own skin.

Your friend,

wanttobehealthy 01-25-2012 01:31 PM

Anvil- you're right ... Those questions you pose really made this clear. I'm on my phone but will post later. Suffice to say their r/s are both a wreck. I think I am just a bit thrown that to these 2 friends our friendship was so contingent. I dont think I've ever been a friend like that & it doesn't compute in my head. I guess this sure is a case of practicing al anon tools w others than ah.

This is behavior I expect(ed) from ah, not friends & it's hard to accept that I put energy & trust into r/s that are so toxic. I assumed the initial rudeness was unintentional & just sent self up for more hurt/insults by assuming they could behave rationally & cares about the friendship too.

stella27 01-25-2012 01:35 PM

Give them no more of you. No more good advice, no more confidences, no more funny stories, no more of your heart. No more explanations of how you are just trying to UNDERSTAND (that's what I do) and EXPLAIN that my motives are good.

I have learned to reserve those things for people who are good to me, and I won't act ugly, but I won't try to be friends with people who don't like me.

That's where I am learning to draw my line.

fedup3 01-25-2012 02:03 PM

I'm with anvilhead, when I read your post it was the first thing I thought of was that something was probably very wrong in their own marriages.

lillamy 01-25-2012 02:33 PM

Anvil's got your back, babe. I bet that's the answer: Your change is challenging their status quo, and that scares the everloving sh*t out of them.

LifeRecovery 01-25-2012 03:54 PM


I had a similiar situation in how I felt yesterday with my boss. I really struggled to not take it on I think what he feels about himself as if it was mine.

I have also found that my friendships are really changing as my recovery progresses.

My counselor told me once that often others don't like it when our "codie" ways is a big threat to what they perceive as their wellbeing. In my case I was not willing to be a doormat anymore, but no one was used to me standing up for myself.

This excerpt is posted in multiple places around my world and I use it when I am struggling to gain footing for myself. I don't know if it will strike you the same way. This inspires me to keep working on me.

The Individual has always had
to struggle to keep from
Begin overwhelmed by the tribe.
If you try it, you will be
lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is
too high to pay for the
privilage of owning yourself.


LostinBA 01-25-2012 04:01 PM

One thing I have learned as I'm going through this is that it seems like there are levels of interest at times for what your "friends" want to hear and how they want to participate/interact with you. I'm not defending the women, but I'm starting to see that there are only a few people that I can truly share what I'm feeling with, and one of them is my therapist. At times, I feel like I'm burdening my friends with my issues, so I pull back from anything intimately personal and reserve that for therapy. Honestly, what we are going through as a group here, is very uncomfortable for others to hear and deal with. They put up defensive walls and take attitudes that are suprising. You have the choice of continuing to interact with these women, or not. You now have the knowledge to know where they actually stand in your "friends" department which should protect you. That's one of the good things about this place (SR). It's somewhat anonymous, but the people here understand. If I feel like there is something that I have to get off my mind, this is a safer place to do it than with "friends". Don't let it get you down, it's not you, it's the situation.

Cyranoak 01-25-2012 04:17 PM

You no longer speak their language, and they don't speak your new language. Also, people outside of recovery are often very, very, very uncomfortable with truth. They can't handle the truth.

That said, it's about them, not you (even though it hurts). You now know what you need to know for the future.

When I entered recovery many of my friends turned out to be people I wanted to keep, and others turned out to be people that in the long run I'm glad I moved on from.


wanttobehealthy 01-25-2012 04:23 PM

I have gone from wanting to cry bc I was so frustrated and feeling attacked this morning to wanting to cry bc a) you all make soooo much sense b) i can't believe i am not alone in experiencing this and c) i actually can see that i am getting healthier and not doing the codie friend dance and while the growing pains hurt and the hurled insults are crap, it's ultimately good bc it means i am way healthier than i thought.

So, to answer in more detail to the question of what are their r/s like... You know, before you asked that Anvil (I think someone else did too and I am sorry I am not recalling who) it had not occured to me that this was really about THEM and not me. I'm still the good target I guess bc I continue to so easily take things so personally...

So, their marriages. Both are married to men with issues. One has a spouse who "had" drug issues and is recovered (doubtful) but who continues to have sex addiction/cheating issues (thus the spyware he is unaware of on his phone). The other is in a long term/non married relationship with someone who tried to strangle her last year but is now working hard on his anger. He has children with an ex wife and is not allowed to see them. I have believed my friends interpretation of why this is but truthfully it never really sat totally well. And there was me. Married to AH, and often looking to these two women to explain to me how to make it work with him. Both women have been married before I forgot to add. They often compared their first r/s to AH and I and encouraged me to leave and be strong etc... But when I did, and could not relate to the constant talk of r/s problems and how they are helping their SOs work through their issues (codie red flag) there started to be a little strain. I kind of pushed it out of my mind and told myself I was being overly sensitive (see how I accuse myself of the nonsense they said long before they ever said it). It really is apparant in hindsight that the only time I felt valued or well liked/accepted was when I was in need of their sage advice and superior wisdom/experience. That is NOT friendship.

What I see now is that they are both consumed (as I was) with their SO's. The more I was interested in talking about myself and us as separate from the r/s and men, the less we had to talk about.

I am so grateful to you all. I've been busy living life, not here really at all, mostly bc I thought I was fine without it and there's limited time in the day to be here. But talking with you all today has made me realize that I need the comraderie of a group of people who really do "get" it.

I can't describe the weight that I feel has been lifted from my chest. I was so distraught over this this morning and I will certainly miss some things about my friendships with these 2, but in retrospect, it really hasn;t been much of a friendship for a while and I think much like I fooled myself into thinking I had a marriage when I didn't, I have tried to tell myself these were real friendships, when in fact they weren't.

Thanks again everyone for your words and support. I needed it today and you helped me more than you know.

lillamy 01-25-2012 05:22 PM

Holy snapping ducksh*t. Well no WONDER they've got their panties all in a wad about you getting away from a bad situation and taking charge of your life!!!

wanttobehealthy 01-25-2012 05:29 PM

I am actually laughing ( undoubtedly sounding totally unstable since I am crying one minute and laughing the next-- welcome the world of middle age and hormones I think! ) at how unbelievably ridiculous it is that I did not put into black and white sooner, just what the facts were and OBVIOUSLY they both share serious issues with their partners and it's a no brainer that my being free (though I was following their advice!) would throw the whole equalibrium off. Maybe they thought that once AH was gone I'd continue to be down and miserable and needy and they'd still be able to fill the gaping holes in their own lives by focussing obsessively on mine (not that I;d know anything at all about behaving that way or anything! LOL!).

It seems like such a no brainer that of course I'd be so much better off with AH gone, but I guess it came as a shock to my frienemies and their true colors came out...

I would not want to be them for anything in the world and I can't believe that there were points earlier today that I actually considered apologizing for the made up crimes I committed (sticking up for myself?) so that they'd be nice again. That was pre-coffee and pre-SR!

stilllearning 01-25-2012 06:14 PM

Hugs, hugs and more hugs WTBH.

I shed an awful lot of friends when I got sober and an awful lot more when I started recovering from adult child issues in al-anon.

A couple years ago my therapist told me something that changed my life (that's a kind of throwaway phrase these days but I really mean it).

I was in deep, deep pain over the ending of my relationship with XABF and he was the third relationship in a row where codependency or a disorder/addiction had been at play.

I told her I was the common denominator - it was my fault and I had some kind of chip that magnetically attracted these people to me. This is what she told me:

"You don't attract them - you just don't REJECT them. They'll try their shennanigans with any one at all but at the first sign of the shenannigans, most healthy people say "see you later" and run for the hills."

She then listed "tests" from the beginning of my relationship that I had "passed" - pretty much showing that I was willing to accommodate his disease.

The news that I was ALLOWED to reject, or not interact, with people who were sick was a complete revelation. I'd been raised to accept drama and care for people who were in the grips of addiction - therapy and al-anon taught me I have every right to detach from people whose issues, illnesses and agendas mess with my serenity. Now I'm pretty good at even keeping some people in my life and just letting all of the above be their business and none of mine.

I'm pretty militant about my serenity now that I have it and at the first whiff of spyware and strangulation I think (hope) I would have said "good luck with that!" and put a whole heap of distance between myself and these women.

There was a time that kind of drama would have attracted me - it honestly doesn't anymore. And a lot of friends didn't like the change in me one bit. Some friendships fizzled, some came to a head but they ended.

I'm sorry that you're going through this awful situation but my two cents are that it's a great sign your recovery is progressing and I hope that you can see past the yuck to feel that.

Hugs (again)


wanttobehealthy 01-25-2012 06:23 PM

Still Learning-- that is brilliant what your T said. I am going to print these 2 pages out I swear to god and carry them with me and read them when I am next tempted to engage in any way with b.s. behavior from anyone. I do choose to interact with people who I know deep down aren't great for me. I need to start learning and being ok with rejecting/walking away from r/s of any kind that are unhealthy. Thanks so much for sharing this!

cb12 01-25-2012 09:23 PM

This thread has been so helpful to me. I'm sorry for the situation, wanttobehealthy, but the wisdom in the responses has helped me tremendously.

skippernlilg 01-25-2012 10:57 PM

Being able to identify good relationships, all of them, has been an ongoing part of my recovery, too. The one common denominator I found with myself is that I did make some choices in friends 'before' that I wouldn't necessarily make today. Those 'friendships' have run their courses, and today is a new day for me to do the Right.Thing. for me and my little family.

I have found my new, improved choices are much easier to breathe in!!

Keep up the good work WTBH, you're doing GREAT!!!

This situation is just one of those "THANK you for showing me the truth" situations. You can even celebrate these women showed you who they really are and don't hold any grudges toward them. They gave you a gift. Truly!

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