You know what really stinks?

Old 05-24-2013, 10:37 PM
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Thank you for this thread!!! I've been beating myself up for the past few days because I've had an 'aha' moment in really truly recognizing that I have a LONG way to go and that I allowed myself to be in this position for way too long.

You are always an inspiration to me, girl. So glad you felt comfortable enough sharing this struggle with the board here so that others can respond. It's in their strength and wisdom that I learn and grow and see others who are growing and learning, as well.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:44 PM
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Thank you all. Pity parties are OK (I allow them every now and again but try to limit them to 15 minutes or the length of a chick movie that makes me cry).

I think what struck me so clearly today is that it wasn't just the situation I was in THEN that was my fault. It's the continuing fallout of having married, and had children with an alcoholic. Even after the divorce, he still has power over me through exercising it over the kids we share.

Dealing with the everyday stuff for the kids (realizing they had to grow up way too fast). Accepting that AXH will never be out of my life completely as long as we both shall live (ironic little leftover wedding vow there, eh?). Living with the fact that as things stand, the living situation I have right now? This is as good as it will get for me until my kids move out.

I think it was that thought - this will be my standard of living at least until I'm in my late 50s - that got me. I'll be stuck in a marginal neighborhood worrying about if my beater car is gonna make it another winter and telling the kids there's no shame in buying clothes at Walmart for the rest of their lives at home.

I wish it wasn't like that. I wish at least I could blame someone else. But I can't. I put us here. I can't fix it. But I can do the best I can with what we have. And remember (like I constantly remind them) that while we may not ever have everything we want - we actually do have everything we need.( And it's still better than living in the big fancy house and in constant fear.)
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:53 PM
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Oh and don't worry about me taking on too much if the responsibility. No risk of that. I'm über conscious of how much damage the father of my children has caused them AND me. Every single day. But I'm working hard on letting it go. I can't do anything about it. So why carry it?

I think of the story of the two Buddhist
Monks who came upon a woman needing to cross a stream. Their brand of Buddhism forbade them from touching women. The older monk thought for a second, then lifted the woman up and carried her across. Then the monks continued in silence. Until the younger one could stand it no longer and asked "How could you touch that woman and break your vows? She was unclean!" and the older monk just smiled and said "I set her down way back there on the river bank - are you still carrying her?"

I don't for a moment claim to have victory in that struggle - of letting go of the hurts of the past. And it's not so much about forgiveness as it is about self-preservation: I simply do not have the energy to carry it all. So I've got to lighten the load emotionally somehow. Might as well drop the anger, because it weighs a ton...
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:18 AM
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I'd say every one of us on here was a dumb*ss, that's why we're on here.
We all did it to ourselves. The good thing is that we all realised it and we're doing something about it. Welcome to the club....admitting you have a problem is a great first step. Good luck!
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:26 AM
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LOL Talana - I wish it was a first step!!! I should have taken it eons ago!

Maybe the steps are really an Escher painting... So when you get to the top you're back at the bottom... And that's why recovery is a lifelong process???

(Imma go to bed now...)
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:45 AM
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I think of the story of the two Buddhist
Monks who came upon a woman needing to cross a stream. Their brand of Buddhism forbade them from touching women. The older monk thought for a second, then lifted the woman up and carried her across. Then the monks continued in silence. Until the younger one could stand it no longer and asked "How could you touch that woman and break your vows? She was unclean!" and the older monk just smiled and said "I set her down way back there on the river bank - are you still carrying her?"

this is such a great story thanks for sharing. I love little quotes that remind you to step back on the right path or to do the next right action.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:36 AM
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I love that story about the monks. One of my favorites.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:15 AM
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ya know, taking responsibility for where we are now can be overwhelming, but it can also be massively encouraging.

if I made the choices that got me into this crappy situation, and now I can see what they are, then it never has to happen to me again. It doesn't mean my choices at the time were bad, or stupid, or that I am responsible for the actions of others: we aren't born with knowledge, we pick it up on the way through the journey.

I got involved with and had children with a physically, emotionally and sexually abusive alcoholic. Go me for choosing great genetics for my kids (he has good teeth though). I won't ever again though. I can trust my gut, protect myself and my children, i know how to draw boundaries, I know how to not get into and get out of a relationship with an abusive person (something we all think we know until we are there and suddenly it really isn't as simple as it looks from outside - go figure).

I didn't learn these lessons at my parent's knees, but I hope my children are learning them at mine. There are lessons I learned from my parents that others learn in late adulthood, so I'm ahead of the game on those bits
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:27 AM
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"It doesn't mean my choices at the time were bad, or stupid, or that I am responsible for the actions of others: we aren't born with knowledge, we pick it up on the way through the journey.

I got involved with and had children with a physically, emotionally and sexually abusive alcoholic. Go me for choosing great genetics for my kids (he has good teeth though). I won't ever again though. I can trust my gut, protect myself and my children, i know how to draw boundaries, I know how to not get into and get out of a relationship with an abusive person (something we all think we know until we are there and suddenly it really isn't as simple as it looks from outside - go figure)."

Exactly!! Well said!
I love the genetics part...A coworker of mine always tells me, "think twice about who you make babies with." So true. I think about the mental health issues on top of the alcoholism that can rear their ugly heads with my sons thanks to dads gene pool and it makes me want to cry at times. Luckily, we have the knowledge and power to take steps from an early age with our children to help them control and understand the addictive personalities they may be genetically carrying around.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:49 AM
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Such a timely post Lillamy! I have done a good job of NOT thinking about my part in the mess that is my life and this weekend with lots of rain, lots of lazy lounging with my girls and lots of questions about when we could have a few friends over I had to face the fact that there are friendships that ended (and the impact on the girls is that their friendships with my friends kids have been all but ended) bc of my unhealthy dynamic with xAH.

Granted some of these friends weren't really in it for the long haul and have their own issues, but you know what? Being around me and being aroud me with xAH made us "that couple" that people did not want to be with.

And my kids are old enough to remember doing things in the summer with some of these friends (vacations with them for several years) and I am having to try and nonchalantly say that's not going to happen. And I can't blame him for it all. It's me too.

It sucks to realize the collatoral damage done being a part of an A relationship and I hate that I have no where to look but squarely at me for the pain my kids are feeling as they wonder why friends can't or don't want to come over anymore... Sure they have new friends and new memories but man it sucks to realize that the ONLY reason for some friendships having changed is bc xAH and I sucked together and made it sucky for others...
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:10 AM
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Of course there are always several sides to everything.

And part if my big bugaboo right now is having compassion with the person I was when I was married to an A.

I made some terrible decisions. But under the circumstances, I believed I was making the less terrible choice of the ones I thought were available to me.

I made decisions that caused me pain. I made decisions that I thought were acceptable - or more acceptable - to me than the alternatives I could see.

I don't know if I was mistaken. I just know that I need to forgive myself. Over and over again. For letting everything go on for so long. For damaging so much. For allowing him to destroy so much of me.

Since I left AXH I've been able to keep moving ahead and handle things in my head. Remember the movie back to the future where Biff gets a whole load of fresh cow manure tipped over his car while sitting in it? That's where I'm at. I've been zipping along in my shiny brain and been on top of things intellectually. And a whole load of manure-feelings just dumped all over me. And I'm trying not to drown in sh*t.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:20 AM
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Dear lillamy, it is necessary to learn from our mistakes--true. And, we need to forgive ourselves for what we did when we didn't know--absolutely.

Look at your past--BUT, don't set up housekeeping there. It is just that --the PAST, and it can't be changed. Dwelling on it takes precious time from today--today is where we make the difference. It is in today that we create our joy (and for our kids, too). Don't let the past ruin your present.

I just posted this as a gentle reminder for you, lillamy.

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Old 05-28-2013, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
And I'm trying not to drown in sh*t.
Oh you don't want to go out this way! What a sucky way to drown! And it would make the news - embarrassing for your kids...



Lillamy, you are an inspiration to all. When it seems the sh*t has piled higher than your eyeballs, remember how many lives you've touched by sharing your experiences. That has to count for something, right? To me, it seems that this is what life is all about. Sharing our experiences and gaining wisdom from others.

Life is too darn short to beat yourself up over your choices. Shoot, I just made a bad choice myself (ok, so it only lasted two weeks, but still...) and you know what? That is living! Can you imagine what an arrogant human being I would be if I always got it right?! I would never learn anything, either.

Just keep doing the next right thing. Let the past stay right where it is. Go enjoy today, and this glorious Alaskan sunshine. Laugh with your kids. Be grateful that today, you are the person you are.

Peace, friend.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:32 AM
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Thank you. It's all part of recovery, you know? My survival strategy is intellectualizing everything. And intellectually, everything makes sense. And the those pesky emotions come flooding in and mucking things up. Ice floes and stuff. Manure.

I hate emotions. They're messy and complicate things. But I need to swim through this mess. So I will.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:42 AM
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we are bombarded with a ton of information about what makes a good life/relationship/job etc, from parents, schools, religion, popular culture, politicians, friends etc, all contradictory. There really is very little way to sort the wheat from the chaff in all this advice without experience. neither you nor I woke up one morning and thought "hurrah I finally know what I'm going to do with my life!" and dreamed of this scenario and consiously made a series of choices to get us here.

Some people are lucky in that their formative environment furnishes them with the positive loving demonstration of the tools needed for a happy life. To them, the decisions I made must seem like madness.

My formative years furnished me with a work ethic, a love of learning, a respect for the opinions and differences of others, a love of animals, the ability to problem solve and think laterally, to see other people's point of view, the need to give everyone multiple second chances, and an understanding that I have to give until I bleed to hold a relationship together. My parents weren't trying to give me the latter 2, but it was the world view they were brought up in.

from that perspective, the decisions I made make perfect sense. We are lucky if we grow up in a situation that, in positive love, furnishes us with the tools needed for a mistake free happy life at an early age, but it is no more in our control than the financial, intellectual, racial or physical environment that we are born in to.

(Some people have early experiences that are so destructive that the shocking wrong-ness of their environment is recognisable at an early age: these people are not lucky, and it takes a lot of work for them to undo the damage)

The rest of us have fair to middling experiences that give us great tools and mindsets in some areas but wonky ones in others - it can take a lot of experience to work out which are the helpful tools and which aren't. SOme people have wonky tools but are lucky enough never to have to employ them (I doubt the queen can change a tyre or write a cv but i'm thinking she won't have to).

once we have the experience to show us which tools are working, we can make better decisions in future, and in hindsight we can see decisions where if we had done things differently, things may have turned out better (may, because we can't predict the future) but don't beat yourself up that luck didn't play you a different hand to work with.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:14 PM
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Agreed. It helps me to remember that life is a learning experience. I try to do my best to learn the lessons from my mistakes. I realize it is impossible to avoid making mistakes. Beating myself up over my past mistakes is equivalent to beating myself up for flunking the bar exam prior to attending law school. You have to take the classes in order to learn the material.

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Old 05-28-2013, 01:24 PM
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Oh, and the flip side is to remember to congratulate yourself for the choices you have made which DID work out well. I know I tend to brush those under the rug and focus on the down side way too often.

L
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
Oh, and the flip side is to remember to congratulate yourself for the choices you have made which DID work out well. I know I tend to brush those under the rug and focus on the down side way too often.

L
I also want to congratulate you for feeling those feelings as stinky as they are.....

You shared some time back how hard that was and how much you lived in your head.

I get they are crappy ones right now, but I bet they are clearing space for some new delight to quote Rumi.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:50 PM
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Stinky feelings stink! Ah, but they are necessary, aren't they? Here is one of my favorite quotes about this:

"Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced."--Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)

L
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:52 PM
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You guys are golden, you know that?

Thank you for all those pearls of wisdom!
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