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Old 06-15-2012, 12:39 PM
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Really Down

I've been working really hard with a therapist and putting together the pieces of how I got here and why. I've had epiphany after epiphany, which is great. Progress, right? But I've also realized that my family is distant, cold, and unloving, I've married an emotionally unavailable alcoholic (while clean, he's still not a partner), and I've either cut off or grown away from all of my friends. I also let go of the hard-ass mask I've been wearing for the last decade and realized I have ridiculously low self-esteem. I realize I'm afraid everyone is going to "find me out" and discover I'm not put together, confident or calm. I feel old, screwed up, and embarrassed about who I am and the time I've wasted trying to please people like my parents and husband who don't even see me. I also got a lot of clarity on how I get in my own way, limit myself, and have pinpointed times that I self-sabotaged when I could have flown.

This past weekend, I got caught up in a conversation with my whole family that made me realize that none of these people have, or ever had, my best interests in mind. They're all concerned with me to the extent I will stay in my place and not rock the boat. I wanted to run out of the room screaming. I have to interact with all of them most every day, and ever since that moment my skin crawls every time I talk to my mother, my husband, my father, my in-laws, my sisters. This started when I was a kid, the push and pull of me trying to be a perfectionist so they'd love me, then failing and blaming myself, then saying screw this and rebelling and trashing the relationship. I just don't know what to do. Do you walk away from your family?

I'm also coming to the conclusion that this marriage is essentially over. My husband is clean, but his program is off and on, and I feel like I'm just here to provide the everything-is-awesome cover for him, along with food and shelter. I'm getting nothing from the marriage anymore except help with the kids, but I feel like his judgement is sketchy. RAH thinks recovery will just happen to him if he's patient. He doesn't realize that it's an active process, and I'm tired of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm not ready to do anything about it until I feel a little more stable, but I don't see this lasting much longer.

I don't know what I'm looking for from the SR group. Some reassurance maybe. I feel so alone right now. I've been on the verge of tears every minute for days. My therapist is encouraging me to concentrate on comforting myself, but I'm not even sure what that looks like.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:48 PM
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I understand how therapy can be tough. I once told my therapist that I felt like melted cheese after a particularly intense session.

As for your question about walking away from your family--yes, you absolutely can, if that is what's best for you. But, you mentioned being a perfectionist, which I can relate to as well. Sometimes perfectionism manifests as black/white, either/or thinking. It sounds like you are somewhat enmeshed with your family. So, while walking away completely is an option, it's not the only option. You can create some space in the relationship and set some boundaries as well.

You don't have to figure everything out at once. Just do the next right thing for you and your little one. Keep doing that, and the rest will fall into place.

L
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:59 PM
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Oh I have been there on both accounts. It is so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when I am there.

Therapy to help me feel better at times has is such a struggle. I have always come through it better on the other side.

I am learning to have emotions in therapy, but I am having them with no coping skills in place. I have a lot of tears, anger, and even physical symptoms after sessions (I had one episode of four hours of burping....).

About the family stuff. I am starting to realize that even when I get healthy I will not be able to live by them again (a dream I have always had). Or at least I won't be able to for awhile.

I had to make a list one time of how to take care of myself. My list included but was not limited to:
Getting a pedicure
Taking a bath
Not setting an alarm clock
Warm drinks (non-alcoholic)

I had to post them all over the house so I would remember.

Just sending warm thoughts your way.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:59 PM
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Yes, I do understand how difficult this entire process can be. I have walked away from
my mother three times in my adult life, 10 years, 4 years and now heading into 6 months.
She is a toxic alcoholic and it was her or me, I chose me.

Sometimes just a long break will resolve some of the issues, after the last 10 year stint with my mother, she was better for several years and she understood my bounderies..then she started to slip yeat again.

Have you considered therapy? Might help you sort through all the issues at hand.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:08 PM
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No advice Florence. Just wanted to send you some support. You are such a strong person. Just being able to reach out for support when needed is testament to your continued growth.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:24 PM
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I'm just trying to put one foot in front of the other at this point. I feel like a wrung out dishrag. I know I'm going in the right direction but I don't feel like I have any coping skills. It's like I'm standing in an open field in a thunderstorm, just me and the elements and my fear and discomfort. I hate it. I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing, but I hate it. I know too much now to go back to the way things were, but I have no idea what the hell I'm doing.

LifeRecovery, I go home and just sleep and sleep. It feels almost like a grieving process.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
I know too much now to go back to the way things were, but I have no idea what the hell I'm doing.
Truer words were never spoken! I know just how you feel! You desribe it so well!

:ghug3

You've got to be extra loving and kind and patient with yourself right now. Baby yourself. Do whatever it takes. Try and remember what you used to do that brought you joy before life with an alcoholic sucked it away. For me, working out, music, gardening, long walks, and lots of al anon meetings have been the ticket. Do what you need to do and keep going...I think you sound incredibly strong and headed in a great direction of growth and improvement...

Hugs...
Mary

Last edited by DesertEyes; 06-15-2012 at 07:14 PM. Reason: Fixed broken quote
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:40 PM
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Florence, enlightenment is very painful and very tiring. You have been doing a tremendous amount of work. Just keep going, if counseling is wearing you out take a week off, see how that feels, or two, I am not suggesting that you stop, but sometimes a break gives you a chance to process and the new stuff starts bubbling up. You have hit some pretty big clarity about your family of origin, you will move through that and figure out what is best for you and how you will continue with them moving foward.

And please Florence, pat yourself on the back, don't let anyone rain on your progress, taking on counseling and attacking the really tough issues is one of the most courageous things a person can do, I applaud you.

Have some compassion for yourself, go get your nails done, or get an ice cream cone, a massage, whatever you can do to give yourself a gift for fighting for yourself and getting to your peace and happiness. I am in so in awe of all the work you are doing, self care honey, you need some self care.

Eventually your authentic self will shine through, lol, won't they all be suprised when you get some rest and show them who you really are !!!!!!

Sending you a big hug, Katie xo
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:05 PM
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Sorry I need to read slower, I see that you are in therapy.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
LifeRecovery, I go home and just sleep and sleep. It feels almost like a grieving process.
When I can step back and remember what hard work I am doing the sleeping make sense. I slept A LOT for six to eight months in the last few years as I have been healing.

Sleeping allows the body and mind to heal in many ways. It truly is restorative. I made a deal with my therapist that I was not going to be concerned with how I was coping (including sleep) with all of this until she was. It helped to take one more pressure off (I trust her to be honest with me).
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:49 PM
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Florence, how about a list of all the great things about yourself and your life? I do this when I really get down...and turns out I have a lot to offer others! Imagine that! ; )

Big hugs today,
~T
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:50 PM
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Duh I am not being very mindful and trying to multi-task (unsuccessfully).

For me recovering from this experience has been a grieving process. I went through all the stages but acceptance in the first year. This year I have not had denial or bargaining, but have had a lot of anger and depression kind of oscillating back and forth. At the moment I am holding a bit of both....especially for old and familiar things like my family growing up. I have not really had a lot of acceptance yet.

I am trying to look at it like I am a plant. It hurts to grow, but one of the things that helps me to grown is fertilizer....we all know that good fertilizer is a bunch of manure. I have to wade through a bunch of manure for my growth to happen. I think I need fishing waders that come up to my chest for my wading right now.
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:45 PM
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I'm sorry for what you are going through and have gone through. I am so encouraged for you by your obvious growth (epiphany) and how level headed you sound. Thanks for sharing.
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