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Old 06-06-2017, 05:35 PM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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for me it has always been a part of my life, giving to others, giving and giving and when I don't or I can't, it's a wave of guilt so big it swallows me whole, and when I give or concede, it goes away - and in its place is resentment. I have struggled with it in past relationships and currently struggle with it in my family.
I used to volunteer for a mentoring organization, and one of the very first things they did was teach us boundaries. No visits longer than two hours (first six months). No financial assistance to the family you were serving. When your child discloses X, Y, or Z contact the caseworker immediately. Because I came from a family where boundaries were practically non-existent, I initially resisted them.

Those boundaries were a godsend, because it prevented me from doing something incredibly stupid with my good intentions. And they allowed the relationship between me and my mentee to flourish in a healthy way. We're still in touch, fifteen years later. She graduated from college and she's doing fabulous (yeah, I'm bragging).

Your codie self may rant and rail against boundaries, but they provide a structure for you to hold onto. They allow you to survive and interact with people without resentment.
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Old 06-07-2017, 06:28 AM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Smarie78 View Post
My sister sometimes worries me because she thinks something is wrong with me (it's a huge load of guilt when we talk bc I know deep down for the last two years she has judged me for staying , I don't blame her but it's tough to feel it)

Also...im in therapy and go to Alanon
Not sure if you saw my post about your sister, but she definitely has her own issues with all of this, especially in light of how you describe your brother. Codependency is learned in families of origin and repeated in love relationships unless there is intervention. We codies are addicts just as much as the alcoholics we love (and they are usually codies, as well.) Your sister is likely not in a position to help you with all of this because no matter how it looks on the outside, she sees a lot of herself in you and unless she has gone through her own recovery, is not going to have the capacity to give you much in the way of fruitful support.

You say that you go to Al-Anon, but how often? Do you have a sponsor? Are you in a meeting group that you find emotionally stimulating & fulfilling or are you just attending? Do you set aside time to do your reading and your step work? There is "going to Al-Anon" and there is immersing yourself in all that the program has to offer. There are times when I go to a meeting every day, because I realize that I can't change on my own and sometimes I need daily infusion of the new way of thinking - thinking that is not centered around my ABF, but around my own life. Just as alcoholics, we can't analyze our way out of the codependent thinking we were trained in as children and we can't change on our own. We need lots of support and mentoring. It needs to be genuine, heartfelt, frequent and consistent.

I have an ABF, too, smarie, and I love him with all my heart. Walking away is not an intellectual process and I know all too well that it's not a matter of following logical advice. Al-Anon, for me, is not about getting to a place where I can leave my ABF, but about learning how to create a peaceful life for myself, in the world of my own thoughts, so that I can make decisions based in peace, not in fear and confusion. Decisions made from a peaceful place have a far better unfolding process that decisions made under stress, out of fear and guilt.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:18 PM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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Thanks everyone, I will respond to each when I'm back at my laptop tomorrow (on mobile now!). I definitely hit a bunch of nerves today with him. He came by and I was making dinner and we were casually chatting. He already seemed in a mood as I had shared with him a job I was pursuing at an office he does not "agree" with. Reason being that my sis works there and I use to tell him about all the fun outings and parties she goes to there and he use to say he couldn't handle me doing that. That he feels I'd be out and easily swept off my feet by some client or colleague since he claims to know I like going out and having fun (I'm an extrovert and love to be out and about, but doesn't make me a cheater as I never have or would...now he on the other hand...)

AnywY, as many of you know I am in desperate need of work and when I got a call from the place today I said yes right away to an interview. So him already touchy about that, the night did not start off good. Fast forward to later he showed me a photo of his boy at school and I mentioned to him how I have been thinking a lot about what he said with his son needing a father figure around and why can't he be there. Boy that was NOT the thing to say! I know it was Codie behavior and I had no right to spout out. But I was trying to understand, to help (ughhhh I know...codie language to a T). He barked and got angry, yelled...and then played victim ("thanks for reminding me I'm a lousy horrible person now and a terrible father and an addict...You just pick the perfect time to make this night horrible don't you?" insert blame).

Then we didn't speak the rest of the night and went to bed. I tried to make peace, but he wasn't having it. Very dry and child-like. It's like I burst his bubble of the girlfriend he could escape to that let's him forget everything. He comes over, we eat, watch a movie, have sex, go to sleep and all is well. Last two weeks I have challenged him (not on purpose but bc I'm tired of pretending everything is ok) and the same outbursts from him. He seems to be angry at my lack of passivity. He counts on it and it's as though he's finding his safe space is no longer what it was (no judgement- forget the world together comfort zone)
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:13 PM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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You're "dating" someone who is for all intents and purposes a spoiled child.

A spoiled, self-centered, whiny, selfish, two-year-old.

Maybe ask yourself why you find that appealing in a lover? He's not a partner, he's married to someone else, and he throws a tantrum every time things don't go his way.

Why is this something you find so irresistible?
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:45 PM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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Smarie, this man is just a disaster.
Please, please, please pull yourself out of his orbit.
You should have so much better than king baby.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:45 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Ariesagain View Post
Maybe ask yourself why you find that appealing in a lover? He's not a partner, he's married to someone else, and he throws a tantrum every time things don't go his way.

Why is this something you find so irresistible?
I don't at all, hence tonight's fight. I think I've just let it go for so long always feeling it's my fault (like tonight when he said I spoiled the evening). I internalize that and then spend the time where he forgives me or he apologizes for his behavior and then I try to make up for what I take as my fault.

The early days of our relationship were like that too, even before the drinking reared itself. The blame and fear and what I saw as punishment when I did something benign that he thought was grounds for ending the relationship. I remember always trying to repent in a way, in fact I think I even used the word once when he drilled into me about past proclivities that I engaged in before we met ("I've repented those sins forgive me"). Anyhow I just thought tonight was interesting bc I usually keep quiet so I don't upset his expectations (safe zone, intimacy, laughs, love, etc.) It's small, but I guess I felt a little more powerful -
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:02 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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I was wondering if your therapist has helped you work on some "action" steps that you can take to help reinforce some of the feelings and emotions you are trying to change/overcome? I think just like tonight when you had a sense of feeling power within yourself,.. you need more of that. The therapist shouldnt tell you what to do, but can help you create your own set of building blocks that can improve your self speak. And then I think you will be able to see things with the BF from a little different perspective, and when you do that, then you can begin to respond differntly. You will get where you need to go, and the lessons you learn about yourself are really whats most valuable. Time isnt lost, if we can earn life lessons and grow from the experience.
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:28 AM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Smarie78 View Post
That's it....I feel good when he's a good dad. When he goes to see his son (and actually even then I don't feel good because I feel like he is going to go and not because he wants to). And I feel good when he is sober and working a program. And I feel good when he has his own social life, and I feel good when he goes to meetings. But none of those things he does or has. It's the idea of him doing them that makes me feel good. The hope that 'if he just did that' I would feel good. Funny, I always tell him he is white-knuckling through his sobriety - but the fact is, I am the one white knuckling through the relationship.
smarie.... I too kept thinking he is white knuckling sobriety (for days at a time lol), so pathetic.....When I know I'm white knuckling it through this relationship as well... I'm gripping so tightly I may develop arthritis!!!

When children are in the mix it's hard to let go and give up, but just like a lot of people in here, I have hope that maybe one day I will be on my own not having to worry about living with this dysfunctional thing called a relationship!
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:49 AM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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On 6/6/17 you posted

Originally Posted by Smarie78 View Post
Thankfully therapy is tomorrow!
Then took the time & patience from your mobile on 6/7 to update us all about HIM (with the exception of the italicized, overtly Codie behavior on your part to "poke the bear"):


Thanks everyone, I will respond to each when I'm back at my laptop tomorrow (on mobile now!). I definitely hit a bunch of nerves today with him. He came by and I was making dinner and we were casually chatting. He already seemed in a mood as I had shared with him a job I was pursuing at an office he does not "agree" with. Reason being that my sis works there and I use to tell him about all the fun outings and parties she goes to there and he use to say he couldn't handle me doing that. That he feels I'd be out and easily swept off my feet by some client or colleague since he claims to know I like going out and having fun (I'm an extrovert and love to be out and about, but doesn't make me a cheater as I never have or would...now he on the other hand...)

AnywY, as many of you know I am in desperate need of work and when I got a call from the place today I said yes right away to an interview. So him already touchy about that, the night did not start off good. Fast forward to later he showed me a photo of his boy at school and I mentioned to him how I have been thinking a lot about what he said with his son needing a father figure around and why can't he be there. Boy that was NOT the thing to say! I know it was Codie behavior and I had no right to spout out. But I was trying to understand, to help (ughhhh I know...codie language to a T). He barked and got angry, yelled...and then played victim ("thanks for reminding me I'm a lousy horrible person now and a terrible father and an addict...You just pick the perfect time to make this night horrible don't you?" insert blame).

Then we didn't speak the rest of the night and went to bed. I tried to make peace, but he wasn't having it. Very dry and child-like. It's like I burst his bubble of the girlfriend he could escape to that let's him forget everything. He comes over, we eat, watch a movie, have sex, go to sleep and all is well. Last two weeks I have challenged him (not on purpose but bc I'm tired of pretending everything is ok) and the same outbursts from him. He seems to be angry at my lack of passivity. He counts on it and it's as though he's finding his safe space is no longer what it was (no judgement- forget the world together comfort zone)
This all must have taken place after your therapy session then?

With all due respect Smarie, I really don't think you WANT to get better, not yet. I think you WANT to want it because you know it's the right thing for you logically speaking, because you are getting embarrassed at what you feel is the judgment of others (like your sister) & because deep down, there IS a part of you screaming for this self-inflicted torture to stop.

But I just don't think you're ready yet. And after 7 years of still jumping the same hurdles in therapy, *I'd* be seeking alternative methods/thought processes/therapists. It is no reflection on this particular therapist, but somehow, he or she is not really helping you OR you aren't being consistent in your therapy actions.

Either way Smarie, it keeps coming back to YOU. I can't help but repeat another SR classic: You don't have a problem, you have a solution that you do not like. Not the same thing at all.
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:49 AM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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Smarie...He doesn't want you to take a job where you will have a social life and do some fun things.....and he doesn't like it that your sister will be there

He wants to clip your wings...so you won't be able to fly....
Worst of all....you are an extrovert.....how cruel....
A sad bird with clipped wings, passively sitting in the corner of a cage, even though the cage door is open......
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:55 AM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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this was your reply to this question posed to ya:
"Why is this something you find so irresistible?"

Originally Posted by Smarie78 View Post
I don't at all, hence tonight's fight. I think I've just let it go for so long always feeling it's my fault (like tonight when he said I spoiled the evening). I internalize that and then spend the time where he forgives me or he apologizes for his behavior and then I try to make up for what I take as my fault.
im not the brightest bulb, but sure reads right there some rationalizing why you feel he isnt irresistible. a fight and no sex makes him irrestible,
yet you allowed this man into your house and you made dinner for him and then slept with him. after EVERYTHING thats gone on over the years.
if it isnt something like irresistable, what is it?
i mean, other than insane.

smarie, arent you tired of going around the same mountain?
it seems likes its been a few years youve been going around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around
the same mountain.
i found it amazing that when i got me some courgae and just went over the mountain, the mountain was in my rear view mirror and i felt better.. had me some aches and pains for a while, but they healed.
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Old 06-08-2017, 09:01 AM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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I'm glad you feel more powerful after the incident.

It sounds like he's setting up to drink again - what better reason...a girlfriend that ruins evenings, and drives him to drink again - *eyeroll*

You have a lot of power here, my dear.
You can stop this rollercoaster at any time.
You've paused it before....time to blow up the tracks.
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Old 06-08-2017, 01:04 PM
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Last two weeks I have challenged him (not on purpose but bc I'm tired of pretending everything is ok) and the same outbursts from him.

Then we didn't speak the rest of the night and went to bed. I tried to make peace, but he wasn't having it.

but you STILL let him in, you STILL listen to his opinions as if they are coming out of some flaming bush, you still try to molly coddle him, you still feed him, have sex with him, let him sleep in your bed.

you can psychoanalyze HIM all you want here, but you are missing the point.......this isn't about HIM. what he thinks, feels, how HE reacts, it is supposed to be about you.

no matter what he does, YOU let him in.
no matter what he says, YOU let him stay.
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:04 PM
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This. 100%.

I was married to a man who hated for me to do anything. If I did he was calling me constantly. It was miserable. I am a lot the same, extrovert, like to have fun, want a life. It was not possible with that million pounds around my neck, that is for sure.

Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Smarie...He doesn't want you to take a job where you will have a social life and do some fun things.....and he doesn't like it that your sister will be there

He wants to clip your wings...so you won't be able to fly....
Worst of all....you are an extrovert.....how cruel....
A sad bird with clipped wings, passively sitting in the corner of a cage, even though the cage door is open......
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:07 AM
  # 55 (permalink)  
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Thank you all for some thoughtful and whip smart responses.

hopeful - How interesting. you also just made me remember the last couple boyfriends I have had. While none were addicts, they all seemed to hate my nature of being extroverted. It was odd - just like with Abf there was always this kind of virgin/madonna complex they seemed to bestow on me. As in, the thing that they fell in love with about me, they also hated to the core. Before ABF I was involved with a man for a couple of years who loathed my genuine love of fun and being out and about. Mind you, I have never been disrespectful to any of them - but my nature has always been to be out and about and loving life, life of the party, etc. He was very emotionally abusive - telling me (even back in my 20's) I was too old to be dancing and I would do it only for attention. Or during a very difficult time in my life of deep depression/anxiety I tried to do more fun things to help me and how he would attack me for it (that it was my fault for bringing him to a boat/swim party because he was an overweight child and how I was putting him in a position where he would have to take off his shirt, despite him being slim now but heaven forbid I force him to expose his emotional scars!).

So yep - I have a history of being with controlling and abusive men. Oddly, while the above jerk was not an addict, he had a LOT of similarities to Abf. Anyway, I just interviewed for the company my sis is at that Abf doesn't want me to work for and low and behold, it went great! I told him and he is not happy about it and says "just letting you know if it ends up being similar to what your sister did and going out to lots of events, I may not be able to continue this relationship". I said, "okay cool" . Amazing, you'd think I would be going to work at a strip club!
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:10 AM
  # 56 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
i found it amazing that when i got me some courgae and just went over the mountain, the mountain was in my rear view mirror and i felt better.. had me some aches and pains for a while, but they healed.
That's exactly it. Courage. You said the perfect word. This is where I continue to falter. I will build it up and it takes a millisecond for him to say one word or do one thing and I find myself cowering with my tail between my legs trying to make it better (for him). Courage....I have none. Never have when it came to other people.
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:30 AM
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many years ago i decided to take up skiing - my bf at the time skied, my bf before that skied and so it seemed like the thing to do. it sounded fun.

however it was also absolutely terrifying for me. the chair lift scared the hell out of me - getting ON and getting off. one time i was so locked up that i forgot to get off and was still IN the chair when it started back down the hill. the nice chair operator stopped the lift and helped me get off.

every time we drove up the mountain, i felt like throwing up. i quickly learned that a big bowl of oatmeal solved that. i took lessons. i perfected the snow plow. i took hours getting down a run.

in year THREE we were over at Silver Mountain in Idaho. the guys would ski ahead, wait, ski ahead, wait, and it really started to p!ss me off. i finally used my ski pole like a weapon and told them to just go ski and leave me the hell alone!!! i got to the bottom of the hill, got back on the lift, and went back up the same run. over and over.

and then the most magical thing happened.....i was leaning forward on my skis, not hugging the hill, ankles loosened up and i started rolling between the edges, and i was singing! i wasn't making sharp almost diagonal runs ACROSS the hill, i was doing some really nice "S's" weight shifting between my feet. so i tried it again! and damn, I WAS SKIING!!!!! i got to the bottom and the guys swooshed up behind me, they said DAMN Anvil, we tried following you down the hill and couldn't make turns nearly as nice as you!!!!!

only took three years and death threat. if i had waited until i HAD the courage, i never would have made it into ski boots. i had to be afraid and just DO IT ANYWAYS.

you wanna BE different, you gotta DO different.
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Smarie78 View Post
That's exactly it. Courage. You said the perfect word. This is where I continue to falter. I will build it up and it takes a millisecond for him to say one word or do one thing and I find myself cowering with my tail between my legs trying to make it better (for him). Courage....I have none. Never have when it came to other people.
If this isn't something you have talked about with your therapist, or even if you have, I'd definitely suggest it be explored.

Last fall I went skydiving for the first time. I kept waiting for the fear or anxiety to hit.. it didn't. I actually remember thinking as that tiny, rattley airplane kept getting higher into the sky, "Leaving AXH was the hardest, most painful, and terrifying thing I ever experienced... jumping out of this plane will be a piece of cake compared to that!!!" And it was... because I took that leap I had an amazing experience....and I'm not just talking about the skydiving....
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:11 AM
  # 59 (permalink)  
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Anvil - what a wonderful story! you have the greatest analogies.

Thanks small - okay now this got me thinking whether are you typically fearless with other things?? Skydiving sounds pretty scary to me! I ask because you made me ponder my own fears. In many ways I have been called fearless by others, but the one place I have the greatest fear and cowardice is toward other people. Not neccesarily actions (well, maybe except sky diving! ugh...and flying lol so ok maybe I am cowardice all around!)
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Old 06-09-2017, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Smarie78 View Post
Thanks small - okay now this got me thinking whether are you typically fearless with other things?? Skydiving sounds pretty scary to me! I ask because you made me ponder my own fears. In many ways I have been called fearless by others, but the one place I have the greatest fear and cowardice is toward other people. Not neccesarily actions (well, maybe except sky diving! ugh...and flying lol so ok maybe I am cowardice all around!)
I don't think you are a coward. I think you have fears just like any other human being. Being courageous means doing those things that make you uncomfortable but knowing they need to be done so you do it anyways.

Honestly, I've always been a bit of a thrill seeker...I love a good adventure, exploring some place I've never been, roller coasters, parasailing, that kind of stuff...(even when it's scary I enjoy conquering that fear) I've never been afraid to fly( probably a million air miles beneath my wings, not even kidding) and I love to be on a boat or swimming in the ocean. Camping in a remote area with just another female friend along for company, no problem!

BUT

I am an introvert. I'd rather be at home with my book then out being social. Peopley situations can cause me serious anxiety. I don't mind crowds so much, as long as I'm not expected to interact with people I don't know. I mean I CAN.. and I DO.. but it's uncomfortable for a while until I get used to the specific situation. I have to force myself sometimes. At least now I can give myself the "you survived all that crap with AXH, you can do this!" talk. As a matter of fact, I have been telling myself that today, because I have a 'thing' I have to do tomorrow that I am dreading, but seriously, it will be a cakewalk compared to the hell I went thru with my ex.
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