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Codie Relapse?

Old 05-08-2013, 05:48 AM
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Codie Relapse?

I always hated it when people called it a "codie relapse" and now I think I finally get it.

I've been feeling good, doing well at home and at work, generally detached from the outcomes of my STBXAH's behavior. Yesterday my STBXAH was released from rehab, and I spent the two days leading up to it wound up like a spring. He checked himself in, which I fully supported, after coming to "visit" me and the kids at the house. At that time, he picked up an old cell phone so he could turn it in in rehab and keep his regular smart phone for himself (games, internet, etc). I encouraged him not to do it -- it not only seemed like a bad idea but like a signal that he was not ready to surrender to the program. I still believe this. On his way to rehab he called me a couple of times to "check in" I guess and I encouraged him to do the right thing. He said he would. The phone is still in my name, I still pay the bill (he gives me money), despite trying to get together to change the phone over for months. I should have been more proactive about it.

His parents later revealed that he had called them from the cell phone, which he'd lied to me about, and I thought, you know, I really don't want a front seat to this circus anymore. I was tired of being asked to be complicit with his lying, and punished when I didn't want to do it. Up until recently we were talking about finding a way to reconcile, but I realized it was silly and he wasn't close to ready and I didn't want to wait anymore. I blocked the phone, changed all my social media passwords and took him off my friends lists, and made an appointment with my attorney to file for divorce. When I filed, I felt calm and collected. I know this is the right thing to do.

Still.

It's not just the lying. It's that he still pulls on our heartstrings, me and the kids, to manipulate us. Coming over to "say goodbye" when what he wanted was a prop phone. My feelings were and are hurt, but I have also dragged my feet cutting ties with him and I see how that leaves doors open for him to walk through. I want to close those doors now.

Yesterday he got out of rehab and the phone calls started. I took the phone off of the block with the understanding that we will meet so he can get it put in his (or his parent's -- ha!) name but apparently I didn't do it right and it was still blocked. He called me no less than six times yesterday yelling at me to fix his phone or else he will XYZ. Finally I told him that I wouldn't pick up the phone again for the rest of the night and not to call me. In the meantime, I think I fixed the phone situation, in good faith. I want it out of my name immediately as soon as he is home. If he won't meet with me in good faith, I'm cutting it off and he can figure it out.

He laid into me. In a few short minutes he made it sound like he'd spent the last month in rehab stewing about what a controlling ***** I am. He's amping up the wounded animal factor from my filing for divorce. Of course, this hits all my buttons. Maybe the phone situation was controlling? I'm willing to admit I don't know everything. I am sick of being asked to be responsible for other people's crazy. I have my own crazy to deal with.

I cried and cried last night. It was just exhausting. Some part of me actually thought that this time might be the time he got out stable, humble, with some insight into his behavior and how to get to the life he wants. What was I thinking? Where does this expectation come from? And this is a guy I don't want to be with anymore, in all seriousness, hands down.

Whenever I think I have a handle on understanding this disease, it pops up and surprises me again. Like peeling an onion.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:06 AM
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((((Florence))))). I have no wise words for you, just want to say I'm sorry for all you're going thru and wish you strength, patience and wisdom in dealing w/it all. Again, ((((( to you ))))).
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:16 AM
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(((HUGS))) to you Florence. Sorry you are experiencing this setback and are feeling sad and not peaceful.

You are not a controlling ***** no matter all the ways your STBXAH makes out like you are.

I found once I stated out loud to myself to my RAH and to my therapist that I was not the b**** my RAH made me out to be I shifted in my feelings and reactions and could gain some more of my peace.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:52 AM
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Do you really believe it was controlling to shut off the phone? Because it wasn't! It was YOU setting a boundary for you-- he is manipulating you, stopping by to get something from you under the auspice of saying bye, lying to you about the phone, and clearly doing nothing honest in rehab at all if he went there lying and lied while there.

Don't let his distorted reality which he has to create to justify his antics, define yours.

They tell us we are controlling when THEY are. They tell us we are controlling when we STOP allowing their antics to control us. He is losing his scapegoat and is spinning and throwing darts and hoping something will stick.

I think you are doing what is best and what is healthy and the less contact you have with him, the less opportunity he will have to blame shift.

Just as your NPD ex distorted and blamed and tried to mess with your mind, sounds to me like this stbxah is not too far off from doing the same.

You are doing great and I think that the hardest times come when we have to interact with their craziness because any interaction at all becomes an opportunity for them to project/distort etc... I think your plan to have as little contact as possible is best.

And you are reading this from the queen of "I hoped he might have some breakthrough etc..." So I totally understand and empathize with your sadness and confusion...

xoxoxo
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:01 AM
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oh honey...it's a PHONE for pete's sake. if HE was that concerned about it, he could have easily gone and got himself a new one. they sell them at 7-11!!!! I hardly see your actions as a big power play - but I am sure how he is behaving must be very unsettling. he's acting like a teenager....I want what I want when I want it and I want it NOW.

be good to you. weebles wobble but they don't fall down.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:02 AM
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Sending you big hugs and tons of support Florence.

These painful moments are pure hell.

Sometimes we just have to cry.

You are not alone, we are right here with you.

Remember, just breathe.........
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:39 AM
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Dearest Florence,

weebles wobble but they don't fall down.
Exactly. It has nothing to do with this phone. It has everything to do with CONTROLLING you!
Florence, this is a process (as you know). Everything I am about to say - you know already.
He is using the phone to push your buttons that he knows so well.

(The song called "Black Magic" just came to me, very old stuff, one of the Rat Pack did it so well. Witchcraft, that wishcraft that you do so well. )

Anvilhead has it down exactly, he can pick up a phone for free! (around here anyway). Pay monthly for about fifty bucks for UNLIMITED service. Hell, you could actually be saving him money (and most importantly save your sanity) by allowing him to act like a man, and buy his own god**** phone!

he was not ready to surrender to the program. I still believe this.
I am going to tell you something from the bottom of my grasping, controlling, manipulative and self-serving alcoholic heart.
He has not surrendered. When he came for that phone, I knew the trip to rehab was like a con going to prison. He learned some new tricks to continue his illness and not taking responsibility for himself.

He is terminally unique. His parents think so too, so that makes it even harder for him to see it. As a recovering alcoholic, I do believe all can be productive human beings, and I pray for those who still suffer.
But Florence, he is not getting it. He is so far away from getting it, that even with a map, a flashlight and two hands he could not find his own butt.

when he does get it, there will be no questions. there will be no controlling. there will be no name calling. his parents will not be calling with excuses and pointing fingers.
When he does get it, it will shine like a light. You will hear humility and gratefulness for being alive.
Until he gets it, he must have as little contact as possible with you.
when he gets it, he will respect your boundaries, and be grateful for them.

I do not think of it as a codie relapse. I think of my codependency is like being in a dark room. One issue at a time, a light comes on and that little roach scurries away.
this is not a relapse, you found another light switch.

When he gets it, he will be able to come into a fully lit room without recoiling.
Ah, this is for me as much for you Florence.
You have come so far, you do not even sound like the same person.
I am amazed at the strength and courage you have shown and continue to show to others here.

Hang in there. I am crying some. A light came on for me too.



Thank you Florence.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:39 AM
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Wicked,

Wow, thank you for your reply. I get so caught up in tiny moments when my husband acts appropriately and doubt whether I am doing the right thing. And like the original poster, I second-guess constantly whether I am the one causing any given problem.

I am filing for divorce next week. Because I recognize this crazy drama over little things like a cell phone. And I need to as much distance as I can (or as much as having two toddlers with the man lets me get).

And I read your post and thought, maybe I don't need to worry about him anymore. I am not going to miss something. If he ever truly decides to turn this around, it will be clear. Besides, it may well never happen - and I have to stop holding my breath. It's hard to live without oxygen all the time.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:53 AM
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Wicked,
I am printing what you wrote and carrying it with me... I have about 10 pages of diffferent soundbytes of wisdom from here that I keep in my car and remind myself of when I am really struggling. What you wrote about what it would look like for someone to "get it" and the light switch for us and really all of it is beautiful and powerful and hit me between the eyes. Thank you for your eloquence.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:43 AM
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Florence, I have heard: If you want to k now if an alcoholic's behavior is "real" or not----just tell them "no" about something."

Yes, it is unrealistic to have expected deep change in him---rehab, basically, points them in the direction of recovery---but, real recovery comes from working the program honestly and intensely and it takes big effort for a long time.

You are doing waaay better than you think you are. Stick to your program---it will get better for you.

sincerely, dandylion
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:52 AM
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(((((Florence)))))

I don't believe what you described is a relapse. More of a 'standing still for a moment' in your recovery, 'digesting' what you already practice and then once again moving forward!!! Good job!!!!!

(((((Wicked)))))

What a GREAT description of even early recovery in an A!!!!! You are so correct. Time after time, I have seen this in people I sponsor, and have been told enough times by those who were around when I found recovery that it also happened to me. They could almost describe the day, the hour and the minute, that the 'light bulb' finally went off in my head, and I 'got it' and surrendered and started WORKING on my recovery. This gave my heart another reason to smile!

I too have printed out your response and added it to my "AA GEMS" folder which I do refer to when working with sponsees or working on me, lol

Florence you are growing and changing. You just gave my heart another reason to smile along with Wicked!!!!!!! You go girl!!!!

Love and hugs,
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:17 PM
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Well...

First of all...

I gotta say wicked, that was a great post. Thanks for putting into words so well and so eloquently what it took YEARS for my heart to learn. Real recovery is unmistakable when it happens. We codies spend soooo much time and energy looking for subtle clues of recovery and in doing so we are so easily manipulated and twisted around by the addict or alcoholic. Thanks for your ESH and your wisdom...



And Florence....ya know....you really cut to the chase here when you said....

Originally Posted by Florence View Post
I cried and cried last night. It was just exhausting. Some part of me actually thought that this time might be the time he got out stable, humble, with some insight into his behavior and how to get to the life he wants. What was I thinking? Where does this expectation come from? And this is a guy I don't want to be with anymore, in all seriousness, hands down.
I know exactly what you are saying. I know that even though I acted all tough and detached when dealing with my exah, deep down every time he went into a new rehab program or ended up in jail again, I lit a tiny little candle in the recesses of my heart that maybe THIS time would be his bottom. And then when it didn't happen...when he got out of rehab or jail and started in with the usual manipulation and bs, I felt sad all over again. I dont' think this should be looked at as a 'relapse'. I think it makes us human. These men are sick. They are very sick. And we have children with them. They are our childrens' father for pete's sake. So on some level, we are always going to hold on to a little bit of hope. And even though it hurts, I don't think that means we are weak or stupid or relapsing. I think it means we are compassionate despite all the hell we have experienced. We can still care and have hope but we don't have to be emotionally invested in their choices.

No contact has been a HUGE help to me in this regard. Every morning I say a prayer for him and turn him over and then I go on with my day and I can honestly say that thoughts of him very rarely cross my mind anymore. I have a restraining order so the no contact thing is easy for me. People who have to find this balance while still dealing with the exah due to custody and visitation issues have to work alot harder at it.

I think you're still grieving the end of your marriage. It takes a while. It goes in stages. The only thing I know for sure is that it WILL get easier with time.

You're doing great.
Keep moving forward.
Eliminate contact as much as you can...
You need time to heal....

Big hugs of understanding...

Mary
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:53 PM
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I have read this over and over today. Thank you all for your kindness and wisdom. Thank you especially to Beth and Mary for your eloquence. You put into words what I was feeling and it always helps to know I'm not alone.

Thankful for SR tonight.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
it always helps to know I'm not alone.
Aint that the truth!!
Love yourself Florence...and be extra nice and gentle with yourself right now. Try to do something that makes you happy today...even if its just a short walk to look at the blooming spring flowers or a short nap. This stuff can be so draining.

Hugs...
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:02 PM
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This post (and the amazing replies... especially from Wicked) describes VERY CLOSELY what I am going through with my STBXAH. I am feeling like I am also "relapsing" to some degree b/c I know he is drinking again and swears it is not when he has our 2 kids in his care. I care mostly for their well-being and am so nervous he will make one bad move and put their safety in jeopardy. I know I have no real control over him or his disease... but it consumes my thoughts! (I had been doing so great too... moved out with the boys and really have turned over so many new leaves).

Stay strong... and your post gave me inspiration.

Meg
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:10 AM
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Ok, sometimes we cant see the trees for the forest in front of us. I know your post was about the relapsing, and what you are feeling, but I also see another issue in it... You keep looking for a solution for the phone situation, (I think it is your way of holding on), so here is the solution. Turn it off. He can buy his own darned pre-paid smart phone at Wal Mart, 7-11, or where ever. This phone is NOT a problem. Turn it off. Cut the string. Let it go. Once you do that, he wont have that string to keep tugging and yanking on!
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