Feeling nauseous and need a hug...

Old 04-19-2017, 11:47 PM
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Feeling nauseous and need a hug...

I stumbled on this site after Googling something like "how to break up with an alcoholic" and found an old post from a girl who struggled with breaking up with her alcoholic boyfriend. I don't know how to describe the feeling when I read it - it was like she was writing everything in my brain and describing incidents that have happened in MY relationship. How is it that I've just read a handful of posts on this forum for the first time and each story is deeply relatable? I started crying while reading them and decided to register.

I've been with my boyfriend for almost 7 years. He grew up with a family where drinking is a big part of life and widely accepted (just like in the girl's post I read). And I did not grow up drinking at all.

We moved in together about 3 years ago. He accepted a job almost 2 years ago that has him working early in the morning. He's always been a night owl, but now he has to wake up at 4:30am... he doesn't fall asleep until midnight or later sometimes... and then on 4 hours of sleep, commutes 45 miles one-way every day. I read somewhere that sleep deprivation is just like being drunk - it makes you behave in similar ways. So he is loopy a lot and it makes it hard to communicate with him. Add on his alcoholism and it makes it IMPOSSIBLE to communicate.
I'm so worried that with all the driving he does, it will lead to a DUI, or worse - a car accident that will hurt him or someone else.

A couple of months ago, around Valentine's Day... he was at the bar with his buddies. (So not only is he from a drinking family, allllll of his friends spend their nights and weekends drinking too. They're in their
late 30s.) I get a drunken phone call from him where he says that he's punched the windshield of his car and it cracked. There's a huge spider crack in the middle of his windshield now. I couldn't get a straight answer from him that night, but later, he explained to me that he was just having fun, showing his friends some moves from his martial arts fitness class, and "didn't realize his own strength" when he busted the windshield. Uh huh. You guys think that sounds normal too, right?

He went to his parents' house after that bar visit and fell asleep, waking up to face an argument with his older sister, who was in town visiting. I know that his family is a huge trigger for his drinking. His father was diagnosed with a disease when my boyfriend was in his teens. Around that time, he started getting in trouble at school and with the law. He even got expelled for drinking on campus. Fast forward to adult years and current times... when his father is having a bad episode due to the disease, or his mom is asking him to come watch his father... he feels a lot of anger and pressure (older sis lives across the country, makes great money, married to a great person with a nice home, and two beautiful boys -- ya know, living the dream)... so he feels resentment that he's the sibling at home, the one that gets called if something happens or if someone needs to watch
his father.
He feels like he's behind in life, and a whole ton of other woe-is-me, my-life-sucks themes that I've been reading on some of the posts here. Ironically, he's got a great smile and an outgoing personality so to everyone "on the outside," everything's fine and dandy.

As far as my relationship with his family, I definitely feel like a black sheep. I'm usually the only person not drinking at the restaurant or Christmas party (maybe one cocktail versus their multiple glasses of wine or beer, etc.) And I've reached out to his older sis and bro-in-law because he looks up to them... I've asked them for help with him, but I just feel like his whole family sweeps things under the rugs and prefers to "laugh it off" and avoid it, not ever really addressing things or sharing what needs to be said.

Last year, after a particularly chaotic event at a big social gathering where they finally noticed that my boyfriend was intoxicated and acting super wonky in front of everyone... they decided to do a half-assed intervention. Did they let me know or consult with me to find out what's really going on with him? No.
They called one of his close friends, a drinking buddy, and invited that buddy and his wife to the parents' house... then invited us over. When we got there and saw the buddy's car in the driveway, we both looked
at each other like "did you know he was gonna be here?" -- I just don't know why they wouldn't reach out to me when I'm with him the majority of the time and I see what happens behind closed doors. The drinking buddy isn't going to see the drinking as a problem! HELLO.
So everyone has dinner and EVERYONE but me is drinking... then later in the evening, the bro-in-law and drinking buddy take my boyfriend into the garage for a talk. BUT YOU'RE ALL DRINKING. So you're going to call him out for his drinking after plowing him with drinks? Needless to say, that didn't end well since no one was soberly communicating. I was so confused and disappointed by the whole thing (that I didn't even know was happening in the first place).

ANYWAY, I digressed. So the days after Valentine's Day and the windshield incident... he was just getting worse. Drinking at work or right after work (around noon)... and then driving the 45 miles home on alcohol and little sleep... it was just terrible and stressful at home. I finally called a local center that held AA meetings and got him to agree to go. That Friday night, I waited for him to get home so we could go. He showed up drunk. I couldn't believe it. So I took him to the very first AA meeting drunk. It seemed to go as well as it could and I was hoping it would affect him positively. Since things were so tense at home, I went to visit a gf of mine out-of-state to let things chill out and for me to try to relax. In the 4 days I was gone, he went to an AA meeting by himself, and even met with our old couples' counselor for a meeting as well.
Things seemed promising. I came back from my trip on a high note and we had a few great days.

He had been wanting to try a particular kickboxing class, but was too scared to try it. I made a phone call and went to the first class with him for moral support. Then he continued to go by himself and stuck to it!
He's lost several pounds and is looking better and from what I could tell, FEELING better. Fast forward to current times... he'd been 8 weeks sober, working out several times a week, just... really on a good path.

This Easter weekend, we went to a wedding on Saturday. He said he didn't plan on drinking there because he didn't want that event to be the first time he drank after such a long streak. But... the wedding came and so did the temptation, because he drank that night. Luckily, it was a fun night and there was no drama. The next day, Easter Sunday... we're supposed to have lunch at his parents' house with just his two parents. I hear him get into it with his mom on the phone and something must've been mentioned about his father. I can tell he's not in a good mood. We get to the parents' house and the first thing his
mom says is, "Want a glass of wine?" UGH. Btw, no friends or family know that he started visting AA. They just think that he's watching his diet because he hadn't been drinking the last 2 months.
I start to panic, because what I didn't want to happen was happening... the alcohol that entered his system on Saturday was just the start of the downward spiral again. I really don't think my heart can handle this.

It's now Wednesday night. He is passed out drunk next to me, snoring away, oblivious to how much pain I am in right now... I'm devastated that we had a decent 2 months while he was sober and I really was proud of what he'd been doing with his working out... but now it's like none of that even happened and we're back to where we were... it's like dating Dr. Jeckll/Mr. Hyde. That different personality comes out
when he's drinking and it's maddening.

Earlier today, when he got home from work, he was acting strange again, so I had a suspicion that something was up. He asked for some me-time, so I went to Target to run some errands. I come home a
couple of hours later and he's slurring, telling me he had a beer at work. And I can smell marijuana in our bathroom. I absolutely freak out - I'm asking him why he's sabotaging himself and our relationship and going down this path again... he is saying, of course, that I'm making a big deal and being dramatic. And then come the insults. I'm a ****, he can't stand me, I'm addicted to drama, etc. But then he got really hurtful and started talking about my physical appearance. I can't even type it here without beginning to cry again. In all the fights and nasty things that have been said between us....... I mean, he picked the two things about my body that I'm really insecure about and told me I need to fix them. Ugh. I'm so hurt by this. I feel almost blindsided today, just because I've been focused on how smooth things had been going. I don't know why he is sliding back.

I left the house and drove off to see a friend so I could calm down. I come home thinking he's at his workout class (he's now missed 3 days in a row), but he was at home BLASTING music and just being super out-of-it on the couch.

I try to go to the other room and think of what therapy has taught me about self-preserverance and grounding so that I don't get too upset. But I can't help it... the music he's blasting can be heard in every part of our small 1-bdrm apt. (Not to mention I'm sure the neighbors were loving it.) I come out to have him turn down the music. He tries to have sex with me. WTF. Like, seriously. WHAT. THE. EFF. Of course, I denied him. How could I even feel intimate after being insulted about my appearance, but also... just having so much trust broken constantly?

Can you just tell by this post that I'm overwhelmed and I'm sad and feeling lost and in disbelief... I know this is a toxic relationship and I don't want to expose myself to any more of this unhealthiness..... BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LEAVE. I literally cannot physically make my body take action to pack up and move out. All I've been doing is holding on to the good moments (because as you all know, when the highs are high, we're on cloud 9... until the lows are low)... I hold on to the good moments and the potential of things, but I'm denying the REALITY of it. I don't know what to do.
I really feel sick every time I think about leaving the relationship, even though I know in the end, it is supposed to be the right thing to do. I know what I should do, but I don't know HOW.
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:09 AM
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PC- hi, welcome. A brave post and a good place to find answers. SR is a supportive community. I can only give you my perspective from my point of view- one whose alcoholism tore my family apart. The long story is in my narrative- in a thread. Upshot is I am alone- leave my family alone out of respect- going thru divorce and 14 months sober. Work very hard at this stuff. I learnt a lot here. So now I have explained all that:
Alcoholism is an addiction., When it takes over a person- all logical thought goes out the window. All that matters is the next reward- from that next toke/hit/drink. Anything that gets in the way is fair game. So challenging an alcoholic- who actively drinks and does not even understand how destructive their behaviour is- they defend by attacking. This seems logical- I did this. Lots of emotional and verbal abuse. They did not understand, I am trying, I will go to a meeting tomorrow, it is all your fault (turn it around and make you the problem).
I had to hit a rock bottom.
All I can say is do not put your life on hold- orbiting around an alcoholic world- in circles. Whatever plans you have- study, travel, job- do not give them up for his recovery. He needs to do that for himself. Any 'support' is enabling if he is not actively getting sober- with proof and action. Over time. Not just 4 meetings- but long term- life. Keep an eye on finances. The driving bit is out of your control. He will have to suffer the consequences of that- otherwise you will always be the rescuer- him the vulnerable child- you his mum. Al- anon is good for support. Perhaps legal advice. Most importantly- DO NOT TOLERATE ANY FORM OF ABUSE- verbal ,emotional, financial, physical. There is a family and friends thread in Newcomer's. Also a women's only. Read around- you will find many useful ones.
I give you my compassion, support and empathy from a regretful boozer in recovery. You are not alone- a common story. So lots of support.
Keep posting. PJ
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:48 AM
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Peachcobbler....I know what that nauseaus feeling is like. It is pure fear. It is your autonomic nervous system going into the "fight or flight" mode....
I know that you must be existing in a lot of stress.....

It is also a big price that you are paying for the good times. For you, they are not "free".... In healthy, stable, non addicted relationships, the really good times (the cloud 9 times)...are just enjoyed and savored...there is no having to "pay" for them by suffering through the bad times that are going to follow....
No having to "hold on to them"....because there is the knowledge that they will appear, again and again....with no horror stories in between...

Since you acknowledge that you are not able to make a split....I suggest that you use this time to really educate yourself about alcoholism . I believe that knowledge is power...and, the more you know...the less helpless and trapped you will feel....
You are lucky, because this forum contains as much concentrated information about alcoholism and co-dependency that you will find anywhere. It is a virtual boot camp on these matters.
Notice the stickies that are listed above the threads on the main page .....
Especially, go to the one called "Classic Reading" and begin to read the articles that are of interest to you...read some, every day....
Also. consider going to alanon....alanon is for YOU...to deal with the effects of being in a relationshio with an alcoholic....and to focus on yourself and your own feelings and development. You will find understanding and validation and support there....this is so vital....

Welcome to the forum! I hope that you will hang around and continue to post and learn....
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:06 AM
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Hi, and welcome! I think most of us here can relate to everything you posted. We get it--all of it. How the drinking makes you feel, how you care about him, how hard it is to think about leaving.

No time for a long post right now, but you've gotten great feedback already. Learn all you can about alcoholism (just to help you look at what you're seeing, realistically), and get thyself to Al-Anon. Everything is spinning right now. Al-Anon will slow things down and help you get your head clear so you can take care of yourself and, ultimately, make whatever choices are best for you.

Big hugs, glad you're here.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:53 AM
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Just wanna add one more thing. The drinkers in his world--family, friends--more than likely do not feel that he needs to quit drinking. Dollars to donuts, their conversation was all about how he drinks "too much"and has to get it "under control." They want him not to be so crazy when he drinks, to quit acting like a jerk when he drinks. NOT to "stop drinking and learn to live sober for the rest of your life."

Of course, they are asking the impossible, but that's the reaction of normal drinkers (even the ones who party down), because they do not understand alcoholism.

It's not your job to run interference for him. Normal drinkers (or even other alcoholics in denial about themselves) are part of the world he will have to navigate when/if he gets sober. When he's really ready to get serious, he will listen to the advice of other sober alcoholics about how to handle these situations.

I just wanted to mention that because one of the things lots of us do is to try to manage the alcoholic's social activities in the interest of trying to keep them sober. It is doomed to failure and may make the alcoholic resent you, which isn't particularly helpful to anyone.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:55 AM
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Hey there. You have made a great decision in seeking out information here on SR. So sorry you are having to deal with this. Keep posting and reading on here. You will find you are not alone in what you are going through. Life stinks living with an alcoholic. HUGS!
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:48 AM
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When the pain of staying in this situation becomes greater than your pain of leaving you’ll do what’s best for YOUR life.

In the meantime you might want to pick up the book called “Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie and see if there are any al-anon meetings in your area.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:21 AM
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Sending you a hug.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:33 AM
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Happy you reached out! Like me, you logged on and said "oh my God other people are suffering around the alcoholic just like me?!"...your stories are a thousand times relatable to all of us. Like the above commenters - get thy self to Alanon STAT. It's awesome you took him to a meeting and awesome you went with him to his first martial arts class, but as you see, he retracted backward and it didn't matter a hoot what you did for him. As you will learn in Alaon, you didnt cause it you can control it and you can't cure it. It has to come from him a 10000 times over.

You will learn soon if you haven't already, that all your efforts are futile until he recognizes he has a problem and doesn't want to live this way anymore. It doesn't sound like he is there yet even remotely. He doesn't think he has a problem, or if he does, he certainly doesn't care and it shows loud and clear. Until the people around him stop enabling him and accepting the behavior, he really has no reason to want to change (unless he gets a clue what he is doing to you and himself and everyone else). In my case, my A goes to meetings and waxes on about changing but relapses all the time. When I finally put some boundaries in place I realized my life was much more peaceful. I am still struggling to let go of him but my detachment has been a life saver. Now instead of panicking and getting nauseous when he uses I cut contact with him and take care of myself. And when he's not using and saying he is going about recovery, I just let him do what he will do and I keep doing me. Read some books on codependency - Melodie Beattie's Codependent No More or Robin Norwood's - Women Who Love Too Much. These have been lifesavers for me in learning how to deal with an Alcoholic partner.. I too have spent many a days and now years with the sick sinking feeling that he is out of control and there is not a damn thing I can do about it. Alanon and education on the addiction will teach you that the only person you can control and help is yourself.

I related a lot to the last part of your post where he tried to be intimate with you and you were like, WTF? It's amazing how they expect you to not be impacted by their reckless behavior. My boyfriend still gets shocked that I am different toward him and that 'something has changed' with me. It's like....really? You are...shocked?Gotta love it. Anyway, either buckle yourself in for a very long and tireless fight of emotional turmoil and exhaustion, or ...well, unbuckle yourself and get out of the car. I don't say this as though it is easy. I still struggle with this and remain buckled in because all the sober "moments" tell me it isn't bad (unless he's drinking which he does every couple months and it's an absolute nightmare). Do as I say, not as I do. Go to Alanon...keep posting. Best of luck and *hugs*
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:29 AM
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Oh my goodness, thank you all so much for replying.
I responded to everyone below.

Today is a new day and I woke up still feeling overwhelmed and sick to my stomach. But I logged on immediately since I posted this last night and can feel your virtual hugs - I still feel so alone in this, but I'm really glad I have found this forum and can read your words and take them in. Thank you all for the welcome...

abbccj03 & ariesagain, I appreciate the welcome and the hugs.

So many of your statements resonated with me:

That challenging an alcoholic and "getting in their way" of drinking will make them defend by attacking. (PhoenixJ)
This unfortunately makes sense, but I can't help challenging because I don't understand why it's like this in the first place. I get that it's their addiction, but I cannot comprehend how I can be treated like that from someone who is supposed to love me?

That this sick feeling in my stomach is fear and my autonomic nervous system is in "fight or flight" mode.
That I'm paying for the good times and they should be free. That I shouldn't have to suffered through the bad times for the fleeting good moments. (dandylion)

You're so right... I should be in a healthy relationship where good times are a-plenty and where the good times outweigh the bad. Is there such a thing as a relationship where the good times keep coming? Everything you said makes sense - so why can't I bring myself to leave, move on, heal, find the happiness in my life?

That the drinkers in his world don't want him to quit drinking - just to keep it "under control" or "not be a jerk" when he is drinking. (LexieCat)
Wow... I feel like I knew this, but just to have someone else articulate it to me like you did... it's such a sad reality. I've been struggling because I feel like there is NO ONE ELSE to help and no one to talk to in either of our circle of family and friends. Can't talk to his side because they don't see the severity of the situation and only see him for a few hours at a time, whereas I get the brunt of the drunken episodes... and can't talk to my side because I am ashamed that I haven't been able to leave and don't want to admit to my side how bad it gets.

When the pain of staying in the situation becomes greater than your pain of leaving, you'll do what's best for your life. (atalose)
I've heard this quote before and it helped me during a college breakup. But sometimes, I feel so dumb - like... how many red flags and final straws do there have to be for it to make me take action?? There's been things said and done where, if I was on the outside looking in, I'd clearly tell me to get the hell out. So I would THINK that the pain has been too much, and yet I'm still here. How much more can I take??

It's awesome that I took him to a meeting and went to his first class with him... but he retracted and it didn't matter what I did for him. (Smarie78)
OMG. How absolutely true and painful is that???? That felt like a stab to the heart, but it's so true. I have been trying to take care of him, but he is not wanting it for himself and he chooses to go back to drinking over continuing on a better path.
That my efforts are futile until he recognizes he has a problem and doesn't want to live this way anymore. (Smarie78)
I'm starting to be really frightened that this is just showing me, after starting AA 8 weeks ago and 8 weeks of sobriety... that this episode of sliding back isn't going to be the last. *sick to my stomach again*
How they expect us to not be impacted by their behavior and just be intimate with them. (Smarie78) I want to hug you just because I hate that feeling when it happens and you know what it feels like too.

OVERALL - what I've taken from all your replies is that I need to keep reading and educating myself. And I will for sure look up Al-Anon meetings in my area. I wasn't aware of their purpose, but I need to find a group to help me non-digitally!
Please don't leave me. I don't want this thread to die, because I feel like I'm going to come running back here often. I need to feel like I have support and someone is listening.
Thank you.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:49 AM
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We'll be here, don't worry. And feel free to start new threads anytime--you're not "assigned" to this one.

You also might find it helpful to post on other people's threads, too. It helps to feel more a part of the community here. You don't have to give anyone advice or feel "unqualified" to post just because you're new--you can just say "I've been there, too," or simply "I hear you." And in my own experience I often find that in posting to others I get new insights applicable to my own life.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:50 AM
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I am pretty new here. I asked if I should update in a new thread or in my original post. Most said to keep with the original. So just keep posting here and we will keep responding. My AH is surrounded by family and friends that drink. I can take it or leave it and kept an alcohol free house. Then AH was sneaking and drinking outside away from us. It is tough. It is hard. It is painful. I love my AH with all of my heart. But I have to love me and my kids more bc his addiction is dangerous to our family. Much support to you as you are going through some very tough times. If he is physically (this includes ANY kind of action- pushing- shoving or even raising a fist just as a threat) or verbally abusive- make sure and seek help and advice bc this kind of behavior is a separate issue from alcohol.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:58 AM
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The main reason I suggest new threads when there's something new to discuss is that some of the long threads get pretty hard to navigate. In addition, people sometimes read the first post and respond to that, without reading through the entire thread to see what's happened since.

It just makes it easier for the topic to stay focused, IMO.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:13 AM
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Yes- I understand. Or they don't know to click on the last post so they don't have to read 10 pages. I have seen a few where people posted a response without first reading the entire thread.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:39 AM
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Welcome Peach Cobbler <3 Your story is almost exactly like mine, minus the family issues. He cut his alcoholic family off prior to becoming an alcoholic himself. The part where you talk about the music made me laugh out loud because my AH blasts music like it's a rock concert whenever he's drunk. We have a house and our neighbors can still hear it (and all the animals hide because they hate the noise)

I'm glad you found us, keep posting and go to some al-anon meetings. You are strong, smart, kind, beautiful, and lovable. Don't let him make you feel like you're anything less.

I thought you might like this quote, I hold it pretty close to my heart and try to channel the fire whenever I feel beat down or when I need the extra strength:

"Some women fear the fire, some women simply become it." -R.H. Sin

Be the fire sweet girl.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:59 AM
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SaveYourHeart... <3 <3 <3 Thank you. I really need to keep remembering that.
And the music thing drives me nuts! It's a loud and clear sign that he is definitely drunk and there's no questioning it.

I've been strong about everything else in my life - left jobs that made me miserable, left friends that were toxic, tried therapy, traveled on my own, etc. It's this one thing... this blind love I have for him, that is preventing me from being the fire right now. BUT I WILL TRY.


Yesterday, in the heat of the fight and when he was saying all those nasty things about me and I was crying... I said "In 24 hours or less, you are going to apologize to me. I know you are. This isn't right. You can't just say these things to me and sleep on it and apologize over and over again."
He drunkenly said "Then I won't apologize." And what happens this morning? I must be damn psychic. "I'm sorry for everything," he said.

...I'm not ready to forgive. I'm so sad.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:30 PM
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Hi, Peach, ((((hugs)))) in case you still could use some.

Forgiveness is letting go of the hurt and anger and it takes time to get to that point. Taking time to work through your feelings is a good thing. I also think it might help to keep in mind that even when you do forgive his actions, there isn't an automatic reset button. It'll take time to rebuild trust even after you've let go of any hurt and/or anger.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:10 PM
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I don't have an eloquent reply to OP, other than I very much relate to your background story. Hugs
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:04 PM
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Sending you a big hug.

It's hard to get over mean things that are said. Hard to erase insults. They stick in our minds and cling like leeches.

Remember, what he says about you and to you is coming from his own distortion of the truth. Remember that. You are a wonderful, beautiful person.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:29 PM
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Welcome to SR, glad you found us.
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