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Anniversary...still need to cope

Old 03-10-2014, 09:35 AM
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Anniversary...still need to cope

So I noticed the date. It's been a year.
A year since I found the strength to leave, to move across the country with two kids, to forever walk away after two decades.

In many ways I was better a year ago.
I was still so buried in denial.
I thought...once I make it "home"...it will be fine.
But UGH. It feels like it's never going to end.

So here are some positives:

I don't miss my A at all. I am so much happier without him in my daily life. He was mean to me. Took a while to recognize that.

My kids are attending school regularly. This wasn't possible given their emotional states before we moved.

I still have a good job and can pay my bills.

I have a house.

I have friends and family who surround me and support me.

So do my kids.

I am free.

I have done a LOT. I am proud of "saving" us.

I feel the need to share those blessings because I am really struggling. Yes, I've made a lot of progress. But post moving...simply unraveling so much denial over his multiple addictions and narcissistic abusive behavior is a lot. PTSD at it's best. Coping in addition with his newfound lack of fatherhood and manipulation of the kids, added to my growing fears that he may have abused one of them UNDER MY ROOF, and trying to navigate that carefully, added to his continued spiral (that matters because of the kids)...and his malignant attacks...and ongoing legal custody battles...and my reactions to all of these triggers that frustrate me because I know better...

How can it keep getting worse when you're doing the right things? I keep saying...okay, once X happens it will get better...but then Y comes sailing in.

I know my serenity is based in me and Y can come flying in and it shouldn't unseat me. But dear God how much more?!?

Does it actually ever end when you have kids?
Even if we work daily and try, can we still hit a point where we can't take anymore?
I can't keep fighting the feeling that I just don't want to do this anymore. And I'm exhausted.

I do tons of stuff for me. I run, I exercise, I get outside, I read books, I have hobbies, I do things with friends, I get massages, I buy small things for myself, I go on vacations, I get pedicures, I play hooky, I don't abuse alcohol or drugs, I go to a therapist, I go to Alanon, I have long talks with friends, I read SR all the time... I need more tools for my toolbox, but I've already cleared out the local Home Depot.

One day at a time, I know.

Thanks for listening. Apologies for being a downer on my anniversary, of all things.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:00 AM
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dunno about the downer part . . . .

I read A LOT more good in there than bad.

Congrats. Super You!

But I do understand the weariness of it all. And the reduced tolerance. Seems back in the thick of the mess -- we tend to be in such shock or something, it is surreal. Get some distance and you just do not want to have ANY more of the crap around.

Just keep marching. Sounds like you really are doing great.

Just letting you know how things look from here.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:19 AM
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You are incredibly brave and AMAZING! I don't really have any advice but wanted to send much love and hugs your way.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:15 AM
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Praying-

What you are writing, mirrors my experience.

The denial was hard, because I stayed in it, but it was at time of numbness and really not a lot of clarity.

It was actually for the time after coming out of denial (the second year for me) that was emotionally more challenging.

I found though that I was working on a big project, me. I was tightening a screw here, fixing another leaky pipe/situation there. I was still feeling though not just the present, but having to filter through all the past stuff that had gotten me there. I was not just needing tools, but needing to clean out all the junk that had been stored up for years.

A little further out I turned a corner, and everything started to come together. The big picture started to ge more congruent, and I started to be able to deal with present time life without triggering from the past. I agree that addiction is a family disease, but I came to learn it is a "whole" life disease and the tentacles of addiction impacted me way more than I could understand in the early stages. I did not just have to make changes to myself, but how I do relationships, how I engage at work, with my family etc.

I just want you to know as hard as it is how normal where you are sounds to me.
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:09 PM
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Thank you all. Liferecovery, it's helpful to hear that it eventually got better for you. I've been pretty desolate this week. Maybe someday...

Today was sunny and warm. Tomorrow will be as well, and I'm also going to force myself to go to work. (Un)fortunately that's often optional for me since I can work from home. Went for a walk with a friend, invited another to dinner. I know I'm not alone, but sometimes I still don't want to do this!

I figured something out.

During my split, there was the horrible pain of the breakup, the loss of dreams, the unknown, the agony of "failing" and giving up. One level of pain that wrenched my soul.

Now, it's the agony of meeting myself and my life without the denial, more every day. Looking in the mirror and accepting every new piece that's unveiled. Wondering what happened to the last 20 years and how I got here. Hoping to shed the last bits of the nightmare and unable to because of the kids. It's a whole different level of agony, because while I wasn't drinking or drugging with my A, I realize was still quite numb for a very long time. Can I say OUCH? And this is only about me, so there's no pretending to hide.

Thanks again.

This time next year...?
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:16 PM
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Hi Praying, I'm sure your hard work will pay off in buckets. A lot of what you're coping with is generated from outside you, and I'm sure it will play itself out eventually if you stick to basics. At least you are coming from a position of sobriety and positive actions.
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:32 PM
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Praying, you have come so far and I hope you acknowledge that more.

You may just have discovered the "unthinkable" and it is understandably rocking your foundation. Please be more patient with yourself. Gods got this! Trust HIM!!
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:02 PM
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Thanks. You're right. I'm rocked again...questioning my world, my sanity, everything. I can feel that, and it's a direct result of everything going on. I do need to cut myself some slack and really recognize how far I've come. I want to be super "healed". But a year ago I wasn't quite divorced and I was barely getting me and the kids out of a very bad place...the entire time questioning if I was doing the right thing. Well by now, that question is answered, and we are safe. Maybe that's enough for year 1. Lol.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:39 AM
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What finally got me dealing was an affair my husband had. Finally I started to deal with the alcohol.

In affair recovery 2-5 years for recovery is considered the standard healing time. Though overwhelming to hear I latched onto that as a guidepost for where I was in the healing process. I have in general had a much harder time dealing with the alcohol use than the affair (I had some boundaries about the affair that I did not have for addiction).

For me year one after the affair was numb with denial. I also got divorced right about the end of year one. Year two was cracking me open. Year three was starting to knit together and heal. I took vacations, I started to connect again with friends and loved ones. 2014, and just coming up on year four. I finally feel like I have my feet underneath me again, and I am finding I can relax for the first time in my life and have a confidence I did not have before....in my own being. I have been skirting some serious anger which I need to look at but I kind of feel like when I get through the other side I will not need quite as much support as I have been getting.

For me this has been more than about living with an addicted person....it has been about healing from what got me into the situation....I have had to build myself a new foundation.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:47 AM
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Hi Praying,

I can totally relate to your comment, "Now, it's the agony of meeting myself and my life without the denial, more every day. ... while I wasn't drinking or drugging with my A, I realize was still quite numb for a very long time. Can I say OUCH? And this is only about me, so there's no pretending to hide."

You've tackled a lot. But it seems like you look at that impressive list and feel like the boulder is about to sweep you off the trail... Have you thought that you are just battle fatigued? I had some depression this winter. I think I finally trusted my H's sobriety enough to let myself realize that I am worn out and I need to regroup for my own well being. This time instead of dealing with DS and H, I am working inwards on me.

Today at lunch I plan to go outside for a 15 minute walk just to be sure I get a bit of Vitamin D the natural way. If you are where this warm front is, sit outside in the sun for 10-15 minutes and just try to empty your mind. It has been stretching and accepting, learning and adapting, pushing off stress and making a lot of decisions. Your mind just might need to rest a bit. Have you talked to your MD? They might be able to help you discern if an antidepressant or herbal OTC might be worth trying to help you push through this worn out feeling. It could be even something off in your labs from dealing with too much stress (thyroid, hormone imbalance, adrenals off, low D, etc.). I did start a SSRI antidepressant and it has helped me considerably.

Hugs. You have come so far. It is OK to rest a little here and there on this journey. Resting is not denial. Rest is just rest. Its like stretching your legs at a rest stop on a long drive. You go to the bathroom, empty the car's trash, get a fresh drink, walk around, people/dog watch, then eventually settle back into the driver's seat and drive another few hours on your journey.

Peace and hugs!
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:51 AM
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I, too, read a LOT more good and positive things in there than negative... but what stood out to me was... the NPD side of things you also had and have to deal with in him. And having kids together, he will have a connection with you (and USE it) for the rest of your life while you or he are on this earth. I totally understand what you mean by PTSD from it. I, too, had to endure an entire lifetime of it with my sister and up until our Mother died 4 years ago, I had to have ties to her. Now I don't and the detachment and no contact has set me free. You, ont he other hand, can't do that because you will always have the "kid connection". If I were you, I would see a therapist that can help you recognize and cope with the NPD part of things. You may find yourself laughing on day at his antics when trying to tear you down (I know I got to that point... finally!)
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Praying View Post
Now, it's the agony of meeting myself and my life without the denial, more every day. Looking in the mirror and accepting every new piece that's unveiled. Wondering what happened to the last 20 years and how I got here. Hoping to shed the last bits of the nightmare and unable to because of the kids. It's a whole different level of agony, because while I wasn't drinking or drugging with my A, I realize was still quite numb for a very long time. Can I say OUCH? And this is only about me, so there's no pretending to hide.
I can relate to this, Praying. Only, I can extend it to my whole life... starting in my childhood as the child of a workaholic/alcoholic father and a codependent mother. This past year, I feel like the denial that I've lived with my whole life has been stripped away, layer by layer. Each layer, I think I'm finally at the final truth... only to find another layer of denial. Like LifeRecovery said, I'm having to rebuild my foundation brick by brick. I've said many times this past year that I feel like the roadmap of my life was turned upside down and I can't reorient myself because it just keeps shifting

Some days I can't help thinking how much easier it would be to go back to living in denial and numbness I understand why our alcoholics would choose that! I have a lot of non-A family members who choose to stay in the denial and dysfunction because it's easier to numb yourself than fix yourself. But, then, I look at where I've been, where I am, and where I want to be and I know that I'm on the right track. I've stopped thinking about the recovery process as a temporary thing. It's not. It's a new, permanent way of living and evolving. That takes the pressure off of me to feel like I'm 'not where I should be' or 'haven't made enough progress yet.'

Hugs, Praying. I think you're doing great
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:09 PM
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I truly understand. I too have been diagnosed recently with PTSD. It is a tough road. I think you are doing great. I don't have the answers, it sounds like you are very aware and working hard. Keep up the good work, let yourself ride the emoations and know they will eventually get better. Time does indeed heal alot of things.

Tight Hugs.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:13 PM
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Can I just say...this is such a helpful place for me. You all have such helpful things to say. I was really in a dark place a couple of days ago. Life hasn't changed, but I know I'm not alone...and there are plenty of other people out there making it through the same stuff. I feel much better.

Thanks for continuing to support me.

Today I said...I am NOT standing still.
I HAVE come a long way.
Yes, things still stink. But it's "new" stink, even if it's due to the denial/fog lifting. I HAVE progressed. I need to be patient.

I need to forgive myself.

I just tire of finding new things I need to forgive myself for.

Kind of like at dinner when you swear you've eaten your vegetables, and your mom points out all the brussel sprouts that fell off your plate. Darn it. Those are mine too. Wait, the whole table is littered with my brussel sprouts. And they totally make me nauseated.

Hand me another fork, I guess.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:18 PM
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I can only imagine how hard it is, but you've made it REALLY far. I am preparing to be where you are, and I am fully aware that once I am gone, all of the years of chaos, hurt, verbal abuse, and lost time will hit me like a ton of bricks. But on the bright side...getting away from that negative, soul-sucking influence. It probably takes some time to heal. But you're out of there! That's something to be proud of. Dealing with all of this beats you down so much. Sometimes I want to completely fall apart and just be sedated and lie in bed, but my kids need me and we are trying to be good moms, aren't we? It's not fair, but you have a lot going for you. I do, too. I'm fortunate that I have the ability to support myself and the kids when I leave. I cry thinking about those who don't. It's hard but you can do it : )
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:18 PM
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Give yourself a big pat on the back because you are a remarkable person who has come a long way.
Yes one day at a time. Keep doing what you're doing.
Sending big hugs.
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