Left ABF - how do i stay strong?

Old 05-17-2012, 01:33 PM
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Left ABF - how do i stay strong?

Hi there, I havent been on here since last year when i left my ABF. Im quite ashamed to say that i went back to him when i shouldnt have, my condition being that he didnt ever get 'drunk' or abusive/aggressive again, and if he did i would leave for good. ive left him again following him trying 8 months of 'moderated' drinking, he had drink/drug binge 2 weeks ago which resulted in him going crazy and me calling the police, him getting arrested and cautioned but no charges pressed as he didnt have a record. The thing that did it this time is that my child and his brothers 2 children were present and i was shaken up more than any other time this has happened. In the past my daughter has never been witness to any of it, and i know its not accceptable for me to be within that kind of relationship but i stayed. I know that i have to protect my daughter from ever being part of this nightmare again.
But what i am finding hard even though i know i have to do this, is why i still feel a certain amount of guilt? Because he says that he will stay sober this time, that he will never pick up a drink again, that he is getting counselling (last year he only did 2 wks in a recovery clinic which i know is not enough and never went to aa etc) and trys to make me feel that i should be giving him another chance because of the promises he makes and im sure believes himself, that we could have a different, happy life. Whats strange is i know this is what i have to do for my daughter and for myself to have a better life and feel safe and secure. But i still sometimes feel the guilt or questioning of myself to my decision. It doesnt help that his family play down whats happened over the last few years and truly believe this time he is going to stay sober. They also blamed me partly for what happened this time as i was present and didnt stop it? And they try to make me feel bad about adding to his problems/illness by leaving him and taking his daughter away. He took an overdose last year when i left and they express their concerns that he will do this again. i know in my head that if he did it wouldnt be my fault, but i still worry that he will. He still believes that he can prove to me that he can stay sober and get our family back together. Im scared of how i am going to deal with all of the manipulative ways that he will use to try to get us back or make me feel bad, and i know i am not that strong at the moment that i cant deal with it. Ive just started to feel a little better and a little stronger in the past 2 days, im not shaky now, but im still not sleeping or eating much, ive been to one al onon meeting and plan to go regularly, but scared of how i will manage to stay strong on my decision when the manipulations start coming my way again.
How do i stay strong and deal with the stress that i know is going to come from him and his family when i feel quite worn down and weak? I will go to al anon but in the group i went to all of the members were still with their partners or husbands/wifes and i find it hard to relate as i wonder why they choose to stay and support their partner, and ive chosen to leave. Would it be beneficial for me to have one to one counselling?
Sorry if i have rattled, would be nice to have some advice from anyone who can help.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:09 PM
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Nobody can manipulate you without your cooperation. No contact is a way to avoid being manipulated.

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Old 05-17-2012, 02:10 PM
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counceling is allways good...

a persons family is a big part of recovery, if his isn't taking this seriously than that is a huge problem, i think it sounds like you know what has to be done because you have a daughter, and nothing is more important than her having a happy childhood, it is soooo short and special and will shape the way she deals with problems when she becomes a woman like you it is verry important that you communicate with her no matter what age she is its more important for you to know what she is thinking about all of this and go from there because adults always have there own best interests at heart like your ABF and his family but children usually are much more caring and observant than we give them credit for. as for all of them it doesnt sound like they are on your team, im just a voice on the internet but , if he is serious about being sober than he will understand that you and your daughter live in a safe neutral zone close enough to support the father of your child without being so close that his problems can damage her. it takes time and it is sooooooooo much more than just a promise. my father was an abuser of alchohol and my mother, and unless you want your daughter ending up on one of these forums like us you gotta do what is absolutely best for her. even if that means custody battles and supervised visits until he cleans up his act, he will allways be in your lives as the father and that is important, it is important that your daughter knows how much you both love her and that she doesnt see you two fight, and dont let his family or the couples at the aa meetings discourage you because each life sittuation is as different and unique as a snowflake in a blizzard. definitely tell him you love him and dont want to leave him but the three of you cant do this alone see a marriage councelor and a substance abuse councelor and a priest and get you and your daughter to safety first then worry about the rest. one day at a time. it is a battle you will allways be fighting but it will be ok.just keep her safe and that will make you happy.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:15 PM
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Glad you are doing what feels healthy for YOU ~ You deserve it

What helped me was to remind myself often to focus on what PEOPLE DID - not what people SAID they were going to do and not what people INTENDED to do ~

Actions speak so much louder than words and are so much healthier for us to base our decisions upon ~

sometimes if we do have to discuss things with the ex ~ it's better to make a quick call to a sponsor or trusted al-anon friend before we talk to them just to "beef" up our recovery before we jump into the "fire"

Take that deep breath and THINK before we react helps

also remembering that sometimes "talking to a PINE tree" is easier than trying to get an active A to understand and see things from our perspective ~

sometimes you just have to say nothing at all . . .

Please try to take good care of YOU ~ you may need all your physical, mental & emotional health to get thru this - but YOU can do ~ we have faith in you!!!!

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Old 05-17-2012, 02:18 PM
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First I'll start with a reality check- I lived with my alcoholic/addict ex until our daughter was 17 months. I moved when social services became aware of the domestic violence and drug abuse going on in our home. They told me it was him or my baby, if I stated they would take her away. That is a very very real risk in this situation, it only takes one event to trigger the social services involvement. I don't mean to sound harsh and you might not even accept this reality, but for me it became very real. Even more real this week when I met ladies who have lost their children to the care system because of these very situations.
Have you seen a counsellor or gone to a meeting? I see you're in the UK, I attend families anonymous and it's been AMAZING. It's seriously changed my life.
His family don't live in your home and don't know the reality of your life. Dont let them manipulate you. You're not responsible for the actions of a grown man, he does exactly what he wants to do. You are not powerful enough to make him drink or not drink.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:24 PM
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my father was an abuser of alchohol and my mother, and unless you want your daughter ending up on one of these forums like us you gotta do what is absolutely best for her.
Yep, that is for sure.

Your daughter is learning from you about relationships.
Guilty? I feel plenty of guilt for neglecting my kids while I was drunk.
Guilty? You bet I felt guilty about the fights my children witnessed between their parents.
Guilty? Yes, for staying drunk and in that marriage one day longer than I needed to to get the message it was not good for me or the children.
I am working hard on that guilt, I got sober over 15 years ago, and that guilt is still there. My kids have forgiven me, but I struggle with forgiving myself.

So, if you are feeling guilty, maybe it is not over the abusive alcoholic that you are subjecting your children to.

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Old 05-17-2012, 03:56 PM
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Gosh Anvilhead, yes you are right with your advice (as freakin' usual)

I am struggling with this today myself wanttobehappy. I feel totally controlled and manipulated by my ABF's mom and it is because she thinks I am going to take away her only grandchild if I leave. She guilts me into thinking I am some terrible person and makes it seem as if she will empower my ABF into some huge custody case if I leave, however, if I stay, I am such a 'nice girl'.

It is manipulation but it still scares me! And I haven't been to Al-Anon except for one meeting but I also don't just want to learn to cope with alcoholism. I want my son to have a normal freaking father. I don't like to fight and argue but I set myself up for it. I think I just have to get over the fear. Put one step in front of the other and just know that I am a good person and doing the best I can for me and my son.

I so understand your pain today. Sending you virtual hugs.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:12 PM
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You choose to stay strong for your children, you are responsible to do the right thing for them.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:02 PM
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Going NO CONTACT will help a lot. No contact, means No Guilt. Only
having any contact if it is about your daughter. Should the conversa-
tion stray and it will, he will try, you can have a "PAT" answer ready to
repeat EVERY TIME like a broken record:

"I don't believe your words, only your actions over time will show me."

Say that and only that, over and over and over and over.

Eventually, he will figure out that his manipulations are no longer working.

His past ACTIONS are predictors of his FUTURE ACTIONS. Therefore, for
the protection and safety of your daughter and yourself it would be wise
to separate for as long as it takes.

If, he becomes SERIOUS about recovery and starts working some type of
program, daily, you will KNOW BY HIS ACTIONS. He will change. His
attitudes will change, his actions will change.

BUT, all of this TAKES TIME, lots of time, and you and your daughter do
not need to be in the front row. You can watch from a great distance,
get on with your life, ENJOY your daughter, have fun with your daughter,
and KNOW by YOUR OWN ACTIONS that you are doing what is best for
the both of you.


Love and hugs,
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:52 PM
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But what i am finding hard even though i know i have to do this, is why i still feel a certain amount of guilt?
Probably because it takes time to get deeply that we're only responsible for ourselves. Codependents put the focus on other people instead of dealing with our own issues. The best advice: NO CONTACT.

You and your daughter deserve so much more, a warm loving home instead of the chaos and insanity of alcoholism.
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