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Feeling Pity for xAH

Old 12-19-2016, 07:30 PM
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Feeling Pity for xAH

So, I'm wondering who else has had this experience...

For years, both while with my xAH and during the process of my divorce I waffled between feeling angry/sad/confused- angry at his behavior and at my tolerating it, sad at the demise of the idea of what I thought life might have been with him and confused by his behavior...

Then the divorce was finally final and I felt relief and still anger -- relief that I was done with the years of legal battles and anger still at his actions and their impact on our kids and me...

And now, a year after it was finally final (5+ years in the making), and a year of his behavior growing ever more unstable, his antics causing great harm to our kids, a year of his bringing chaos to my work place and continued violations of all court orders, I feel mostly pity for him and sad for him ... I almost prefer when I felt angry... feeling sad for him from afar and pitying him and wishing for him that he finds a way to seek the help he needs, feels a lot more uncomfortable than anger...

Is this part of the detaching process? Moving from anger to pity from afar to ???

Today at work a Supreme Court (in my State) Justice came to speak at a staff meeting about recognizing the signs of mental illness in kids and shared a story of his son's battle with alcoholism and how it masked serious mental health issues. I struggled to fight back tears. His story of his sons demise was nothing short of a mirror description of my xAH.

I have had a very hard time shaking how sad I feel since the meeting...

My xAH had such talents, such a bright life before him, such great opportunities, and he squandered it all for alcohol and I believe wholeheartedly that the alcoholism is really a means of self medicating for him-- mental illness runs rampant in his family and carries such a stigma that he always rejected help, even though I suspect he knew he needed it.

The Justice who spoke today explained that his sons only saving grace was that he was sent to prison (for a violent assault against his own father) and it was there that he received the psychiatric help he needed and was diagnosed accurately.

I spoke to him afterward to thank him for sharing his story and he shared with me that statistically, the greatest provider of mental health treatment for adults, occurs in prisons in this country.

I hope that my xAH will get himself help before he dies or lands in jail... I am seriously beginning to doubt that will occur... And it's a rude awakening to realize it I guess...

The antics he pulled several weeks ago with our daughter have resulted in serious legal consequences to him and more importantly, serious damage to our daughter...

Seeing the wake of damage and chaos he has left behind him due to his mental health issues and self medicating alcoholism just breaks my heart for everyone his chaos impacts... Just feeling sad...
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:01 PM
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I know. When I am not furious/frustrated/sad/you name it at my alcoholic sib, I feel deeply sorry for him. His life is cruddy.
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:51 AM
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W,
Just because you divorced him, doesn't mean that you hate them. You still love this man and that's ok. We just can no longer be married to them and live with them. Addiction sucks my friend!! We didn't abandon them, we just finally put on our oxygen masks first!!

Sending hugs!!!!
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:02 AM
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In spite of everything that my stepson's addiction has put the family through, I still love him. He most especially made his sister's life a living he**, and she is not speaking to him but still loves him under it all.

His life, too, is awful...I can't begin to imagine just how awful. But I am not the solution for him. And yes, sometimes the tears come. 'Course I cry all the time right now...I have been walking around the house cradling a hedgehog squeaky toy that I'm sending to my sister for her dog...and crying.

You have been through so much for so long, WTBH. I think it's only natural that as you move forward, there will still be good and bad days. Sending peaceful thoughts your way...
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:05 AM
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Addiction really sucks. My prayers for us all.
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:10 AM
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I'm a little confused. I don't remember anything about his having mental health issues and "self-medicating"--does he have an actual diagnosis?

Most abusive men aren't mentally ill. From everything you've ever posted about him, your ex pretty much fits the classic abuser profile (not that there is a formal profile--I'm just talking my observations/experience with abusers).
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:43 AM
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I was so relieved when we were apart for awhile and I was able to let go of all the anger and resentment and just be. The place where I was not mad at him or myself was a welcome one. I did go through a short spell where I was just sad for him. I was sad that neither of us got that dream life I had held in my head for such a long time. Now there is just nothing really. I have accepted that he is an imperfect being (as we all are) with no responsibility to do as I wish or what is best for anyone but himself. I'm not mad or glad or sad or sorry. There is no love or hate or anger or frustration. I have forgive but not forgotten so I do not trust him with anything (plans or my feelings or sincerity or to not emotionally hurt me when he is hurting) - but that is OK. It is just smart.

My ex was never abusive in the way yours is and he is not part of my day to day or week to week life. It makes it easier. We've also been divorced for 6 years now.

Long winded share to say that I think it is normal, or at least it is in my experience Just don't get caught there. I did a lot of reminding that feelings are not facts, except what I know is true, look out for myself no one else is, stay in my own hula hoop and not ponder over his feelings/thoughts/motivations/ etc. etc.

Turns out that even if he does have some mental health issues (my ex has been diagnosed and spends as much energy managing them as he does the sobriety) he can carve out a decent life in this world, no pity from me needed.
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Old 12-20-2016, 12:27 PM
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I can completely understand. I've gone back and forth on feeling sorry for AXH (he's missing out on so much) - hating him - just being angry at him... The feelings are just feelings. They aren't wrong or right; they just are. Eventually they pass, or change, or recede into the background.

Whenever I get to thinking AXH is missing out on so many wonderful things, I remind myself that I'm basing that sadness on how _I_ would feel. It doesn't mean that AXH feels the same way.

AXH had a lot of potential. He's really good at things he sets his mind to: rugby, rebuilding motorcycles or cars, underwater welding. He could have been a great sports physio if he set his mind to it; he had the practical knowledge and looked at going back to school... But the short of it is, he didn't keep up with any of that. Which is unfortunate, but nothing I can change. And to quote Margaret Atwood in Cat's Eye, "Potential has a shelf life."

And honestly, when the sadness-for-the-mess-he-made funk starts kicking in, I log into the child support services account and look at that unpaid balance or go peek at his FB page and see the photos of his new motorcycle or pics of him and his current GF at a pub and just like magic, that sadness changes yet again.

One of these days, I may reach what I see as the pinnacle of getting past him: indifference. I'm not there yet, but I get stretches of that the longer I'm away from him. Sending hugs for you and your kiddos.
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Old 12-20-2016, 01:14 PM
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Love the Margaret Atwood quote, theuncertainty. Thanks.
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Old 12-22-2016, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
I'm a little confused. I don't remember anything about his having mental health issues and "self-medicating"--does he have an actual diagnosis?

Most abusive men aren't mentally ill. From everything you've ever posted about him, your ex pretty much fits the classic abuser profile (not that there is a formal profile--I'm just talking my observations/experience with abusers).
He saw a therapist 6 yrs ago during a period when he was in and out of rehabs and she diagnosed him with characteristics of BPD/NPD...

He saw her for DBT therapy and had these workbooks etc... and then stopped just as soon as he started...

I am convinced he is not well mentally ON TOP of being an abuser and an alcoholic...

Or maybe it's the years of drinking that have permanently damaged his brain...

I am no doctor so who knows... but he did have that diagnosis at one time...
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Old 12-22-2016, 06:16 PM
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Any diagnosis that includes NPD (sorry, but there is NO hope for that one) would cause me to run as fast as I can in the opposite direction. Add BPD and addiction on top of that? OMG that is a nightmare scenario.
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:26 PM
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i think you've done this before....start to soften towards your abuser. he has perpetrated such violence and insanity towards you and the girls......IMHO he doesn't earn the right to pity.

don't go there. don't feel sorry for him. you all have suffered too much.
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
i think you've done this before....start to soften towards your abuser. he has perpetrated such violence and insanity towards you and the girls......IMHO he doesn't earn the right to pity.

don't go there. don't feel sorry for him. you all have suffered too much.
Yeah no feeling sorry for him in a caring for him way-- I think it is more, pity that he has wasted his life and that his wasted life means pain for my DD's...

I feel pity for him throwing his life away and anger that his wasted life means pain for my innocent kids...

I guess my pity is more selfish than concern for him-- I think I have sorted that out over the last week-- when I first posted it was more pity for him-- I think the bigger issue is pity over the wasted life and the fall out that that means for others around him...
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