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Old 12-04-2019, 10:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Visiting this forum or hanging around for a while?


Something dandylion said this morning in another thread is something I have been thinking about for a while.

Many people post here, receive great advice and then we may not hear from them for months and months, if ever.

I am wondering why they don't stick around? This forum relies on people like you to contribute your wisdom and care and you have lots of it! So many people here who are going through the trials of a friend or family member that is addicted. The knowledge you gain, the steps you are taking, can help someone else out.

The second thing is, even if you have left your qualifier, as many here have, or are about to, there is a new learning curve and support here for you as you go forward. Again, your experience taking those steps is really valuable to those who are new to the forum or who are going through similar things.

So I hope you will stick around, become part of this community for as long as you would like to and share what you know. Your views are important, your perspective and experience is invaluable and welcome.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Iíve thought about that as well.

I have a feeling that many people return to their qualifier, many times over... even after lots of advice/support... and thatís why they donít respond again.

I mean, I came here off and on for years (not posting) but I had guilt because I kept returning to my toxic relationship. It took 5 years to gain enough courage to post, accept advice, leave my qualifier, and remain NC. Thatís very hard to do.

Itís been 8 months and I go through waves when I need to post or read... and times I donít. As odd as this sounds, in some ways I miss my ex more when Iím on here, than when Iím not. Just like Al Anon. Itís somewhat a trigger for me. All depends.

Interesting topic though. Yeah for awhile we had a few folks posting every few hours for months! Then, they disappear.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
Many people post here, receive great advice and then we may not hear from them for months and months, if ever.

I am wondering why they don't stick around? This forum relies on people like you to contribute your wisdom and care and you have lots of it!

So many people here who are going through the trials of a friend or family member that is addicted. The knowledge you gain, the steps you are taking, can help someone else out.
Well, I happened to take a look online here today, so I will take a stab at this....and remember, I'm speaking as the ex-partner of an addict, not as a parent or a family member, which I imagine would be very different.

My meltdown happened about 6 years ago, and I've made a lot of progress in my life since then. It seems so long ago, and I really don't think about it very much except when I notice old patterns arising in myself. I don't like to dwell on the past, but I very definitely want to learn from it.

I think, for me, what also happened is that, as I grew past my own codependency, I have become more reluctant to "help" people by agreeing with them, by sugar-coating my words and validating their perspectives.

Especially since, when I was deep in the codependency that arose from my own relationship with an addict, it was the people who were very honest and direct with me and who confronted my faulty perspectives who helped me the most, even though I sure didn't like hearing what they had to say at the time!

Things are what they are, no matter how much we want them to be other than they are.

Recovery programs talk about addictive patterns of thinking. AA even has a name for this, "stinking thinking." And people on the "addict side" will often call each other out when addictive thinking arises.

We loved ones of addicts also develop dysfunctional ways of thinking. These thought patterns are central to our own unhappiness. They hurt us and keep us stuck. And they do nothing to help our loved ones.

While I understand that this forum is meant to be a place of support, I think people tend to sugar coat their words a bit to be supportive, which unfortunately can lead to an echo chamber of codependency. This can serve to reinforce the negative patterns and "stinking thinking" that people come here with, rather than to help people break free of patterns that are holding them back.

It is hard to find that balance of honesty and kindness. I'm not patient enough to do it, so I generally hold off on posting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
The second thing is, even if you have left your qualifier, as many here have, or are about to, there is a new learning curve and support here for you as you go forward. Again, your experience taking those steps is really valuable to those who are new to the forum or who are going through similar things.
Again, the biggest lesson I learned from my experience with an addict was that I was the one who chose to put myself in the position of loving and living with an addict and putting up with his behavior. No one else was responsible for this. It wasn't until I took a good hard look at my own life, and started working on my issues, that I was able to grow and move on.

These aren't words that people who are dealing with an addicted partner like to hear, and if you are reading this, you may find them triggering. But all I can recommend is that you take a good look at your triggers and the reason for them. What is the pain that they expose? Why are you holding on so tightly to someone who hurts you and can't give you what you want? Why are you holding on so tightly to a potential positive outcome with someone who is ill-equipped and unlikely to give you a positive outcome?

Read widely, here and elsewhere. There is a ton of good information on this board if you look through old posts. This board has been around since the early 2000s, and so are all of the posts that have been written since then.

Learn about attachment theory, look at your early childhood, your family, your upbringing, with honest eyes, keep reading and learning. It's exhausting, painful work, but the rewards are huge.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Great post, Trailmix. You have been beyond helpful to many posters on this forum, including me. I have even posted a few of your comments near my desk! While I had already left my XAH when I joined this forum, it was immensely helpful as I worked to overcome the guilt about leaving and the depression. Yes, this site is helpful long after the chaos ends and a new life is beginning. Those who have been through it all can offer such wisdom and insight to newcomers struggling with the trauma of a family member's or friend's addiction. This support is something GOOD and POSITIVE finally emerging from the darkness of our experiences.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I found this group in November of 2015. I was in a place worse (yes, it is possible) than what I am in right now and attended my first AlAnon meeting instead of Black Friday that year. My AH found out shortly after and flipped his lid. I didn't have the tools yet to stick up for myself, so I abandoned ship to "support" him and "help" him get sober. I was so afraid he would check my computer that I didn't take a chance. I would pop on the library computer or a friend/relatives but never my own and never to post. This year, when the proverbial **** hit the fan, I came back and vowed to myself NEVER to leave and to NEVER be afraid of him knowing that I am seeking support for myself.
When that fear expired, I felt like I had experience to offer here. I am still dead center of this battle and do not feel like I have come far enough away from my own codependency issues to offer much advice but I can say what did and didn't work for me.
I really wish I had stayed round 1. I don't think I would be in the situation I am in now if I had just stuck around....
Also, some of the comments in the beginning came off as negative. I know now that they are not meant to sound that way. That the harsh reality of this journey is that it sucks and you feel compelled to tell it like it is but it was hard to hear. I have since found that I can just ignore the comments of those users. I see their icons and just skip right by...it's like a subliminal trigger warning.
Not everyone can get divorced. Not everyone can just leave. In a perfect world, yes...this would be the best plan but before you suggest these things maybe ask more questions...I can only speak for myself here of course but this is how I have felt coming here for the past 4 years.

I should also mention that I am the daughter, granddaughter, wife and mother of addicts/alcoholics. My experience is not limited to my partnership.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi All,

For me, it has taken a lot for the advice to sink in. To be honest, the collective advice I have received has truly been spot. It just takes time, experience and subsequently wisdom, for it to truly sink in to the point where one can "walk the talk". I will say that some of the advice has helped me walk the talk. By no means am I out of this and the hard work of looking at myself is hard and painful.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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One thing I’ve noticed since being on forums since the early 2000s (regarding abusive family dynamics/ addiction), and in groups in real life (including group therapies in college, 12 step, yoga commmunities, etc), is 1) some people stick around long term 2) some linger briefly and then leave 3) some come & go. That just seems to be the nature of forums/ groups.

Since these issues are sensitive topics, I try to keep in mind that you really have no idea where people are coming from, what their life experiences have been, what else they might be dealing with. In real life you have the person right in front of you so you can read body language, but on forums you can’t. Also with groups, you do tend to get a certain perspective that dominates, and it’s important to keep in mind, I think, that you really don’t know if that’s the best course of action for that person. You can share your life experience or what you think or learned, and whoever you are sharing with either will take something away from that, or not.

Furthermore, it’s up to the individual to decide what’s best for them, and whose perspective they admire or take away from. Just like in real life, the person (in whatever group you are in) might be coming at you with the best intentions or advice, but it’s up to you to decide if that’s what’s best for you. And you as the individual also have a right to your own personal autonomy, if you don’t like the way someone is talking to you, or they are getting too personal with you, it’s a forum after all, and we don’t know each other personally, so I can understand why people back off sometimes (on any forum, I’ve seen this a lot over the years).
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree, yes. I just hope that people feel comfortable sticking around if they choose to.

I think sometimes it can seem like, well those people have all this history and information to share, what do I have to share? Being through any of this and bringing your perspective is such a great thing.

Also as NYC mentioned, I hope people don't feel they will be judged if they return to their qualifier (even again and again!). I hope we are here to support, not judge (although there can be some judgement sometimes, just take what you like and leave the rest as they say). That experience can be pretty universal, I get the omg I'm doing this again I can't tell them! part of it, but the understanding is here for all, if they choose it, of course.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think sometimes it can seem like, well those people have all this history and information to share, what do I have to share? Being through any of this and bringing your perspective is such a great thing.
Many people won't be receptive to this history and information until they are ready for change in their own lives. Instead it will just disturb them and make them angry. And I don't write this with judgment, because it took me a long, long time during which I frustrated a lot of people before I was ready to change my own situation.

As far as what you have to share, Trailmix, you share a ton of wisdom and compassion here, which is something that many people need. Don't undervalue this. And I'm glad you raised this thread.

I hope other people who have been through this and come out in a better place chime in.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I started coming to SRF&F about 2010. I lurked and left, rinse and repeat for a few years. I didn't post until 2012 when the wheels really started to come off. I rarely posted but I read a lot... A LOT, a lot.

I didn't post because I saw people in similar situations getting what I deemed "harsh" feed back. I know when I read the replies to my first post, I didn't think people were understanding that my AH and I were "different" and our marriage was extra "special", our love was one so "deep" people in "average" relationships could not possibly understand that it was worth risking everything for.....and I was his wife!!!! It was my JOB to try and fix him when he was broken, why don't the people here understand that!!!! ( Yes... I know, I want to hop in a time machine and go give myself a shake too)

When I see some of the tell-it-like-it-is posters...tell it like it is.... sometimes I cringe. I know they speak the truth. I learned those thruths the hard way. But I also know some people aren't ready to hear it, deal with it or do it. They are still just too raw yet. I try to just relate the truth of my own story and hope they learn from it. I am always so happy when I see new people hear the tell-it-like-it-is posters and thank them for the tough love. Seeing those light bulbs come on and people taking action to right their own lives right away is awesome. When other new people have highly defensive reactions, I worry they will be scared away...BUT... I also know that it is the things we don't like to hear that are the things we need to learn from the most. I feel torn because I want to defend my best intended tell-it-like-it-is peeps without alienating the fragile and in pain newcomers.

I think some people just got what they needed and moved on with life. Maybe watching other people stumble their way here in such pain is too much for them to bear as they are trying to rebuild.

Some people just aren't inclined, or equipped, to keep sharing of themselves.

I am sure some return to the chaos. That makes me very sad.

Hopefully some peoples' addicted love ones saw the light and they are off healing and loving life in healthy ways.

For me, still being here at SRF&F years after my crisis situation, is like a maintenance program. It keeps me and my codie tendencies in check. Watching people turn their lives around is so rewarding for me. It's such a blessing to be able to offer a hand up and a hug to a person in pain as they struggle forward out of the F.O.G. My wisdom was so woefully hard won, I feel it would be a shame not to share it with someone who wants to hear it.

I am so thankful for the people who were here to help me when I needed it. It feels right for me to be here to offer that same kind of support to others who seek it.

I always feel bummed when long time posters (or new friends who post often)disappear from our midst. Of course I understand life is fluid, I have nothing but well wishes for them, I just wish they'd stuck around! I miss them!
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I first came to this forum a bit over two years ago. I did come back and update a month or two ago. I would say I lurk here every so often. I need to remember how bad it was a few years ago so I make sure I follow through with my goals to be independent financially just in case. So far my addict/alcoholic husband has been working his program and has stayed sober, but I need to remember that forever is a long time and there are no promises with the general situation we collectively find ourselves in.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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FIRST OF ALL: This is NOT intended to be a dig at any specific person or people. My intent is to share some unvarnished thoughts about what F&F looks like to me, at least sometimes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Needabreak View Post
I think, for me, what also happened is that, as I grew past my own codependency, I have become more reluctant to "help" people by agreeing with them, by sugar-coating my words and validating their perspectives.

Especially since, when I was deep in the codependency that arose from my own relationship with an addict, it was the people who were very honest and direct with me and who confronted my faulty perspectives who helped me the most, even though I sure didn't like hearing what they had to say at the time!

Things are what they are, no matter how much we want them to be other than they are.

Recovery programs talk about addictive patterns of thinking. AA even has a name for this, "stinking thinking." And people on the "addict side" will often call each other out when addictive thinking arises.

We loved ones of addicts also develop dysfunctional ways of thinking. These thought patterns are central to our own unhappiness. They hurt us and keep us stuck. And they do nothing to help our loved ones.

While I understand that this forum is meant to be a place of support, I think people tend to sugar coat their words a bit to be supportive, which unfortunately can lead to an echo chamber of codependency. This can serve to reinforce the negative patterns and "stinking thinking" that people come here with, rather than to help people break free of patterns that are holding them back.

It is hard to find that balance of honesty and kindness. I'm not patient enough to do it, so I generally hold off on posting.
Needabreak, thank you for this! While I find something true and useful in each of the posts here, this particular bit sums it up very clearly, IMHO.

Like you, the people who did me the most good were the ones who made me take a good hard look at myself, the ones who gave a kick in the a$$ instead of saying "oh, you poor thing." Also like you, I see that AA members DO call each other out on BS. In fact, the Big Book talks about living sober, using the AA steps and principles, as a “manner of living which demands rigorous honesty.” They also talk about how those who seek an "easier, softer way" don't usually succeed. From my experience on this side of the fence, I'd say that all those things apply to us over here just as much.

I do understand how folks say they can't "just leave." I was one of those folks. It's terrifying to imagine a life completely different from what we've known, life w/o all the little things that make us feel safe and comfortable...wait, isn't there someone ELSE in our lives who we are ALSO asking to start a life completely different from what they've known, minus the thing that makes them feel safe and comfortable?

I'm not saying it's good for anyone to charge off into the wild w/no plan and no safety net. But sometimes when I hear "baby steps", I want to type a reply saying "Baby steps? Would that be good enough from your A? We're always saying that only total abstinence and a recovery plan will work for an A, and that in order to succeed, recovery has to be grabbed with both hands and worked hard. Yet here we are, on this side of the fence, telling each other 'baby steps' and 'you'll be ready when you're ready' and other variations on that theme."

Trailmix, two of my pet peeves are:
1) The person who comes here but only wants people "to support her", which means to hold her hand and commiserate about how awful it is. We've had a few over the years who were very blatant about it. It was disturbing to me to see other members rushing to be ever more “understanding” and “compassionate” when from where I sat, it looked like nothing more than a frenzy of neediness on both sides--or maybe an "echo chamber of codependency"(great phrase, Needabreak!). That’s when I’d remember my friend the ignore button and remove myself from any contact.
2) The person who comes here and only ever posts in their own thread, not seeming to even read any other threads, either. I used to advocate reading/posting on other threads to newbies, saying something like "you might not think you have anything to offer, but at least go to another thread and say "gosh, that sounds rough, I hope you find your way through." Posting on other threads was something I did right from the start b/c it seemed obvious to me that this was the way to learn, as well as out of a sense of "earning my keep." I understood that I had to take part in my recovery rather than be a passive observer; I had to be actively involved; and I had to try to help others in order to try to help myself.

And I guess the 2 situations I just described are examples of what happens when I have expectations about other people, right? I’m bound to be disappointed. Like they say in Alanon, “when I point my finger at someone else, there are 3 OTHER fingers pointing right back at me!”

I’ve seen a number of members for whom I have great respect leave the board, and I didn’t understand it at the time. As I’ve been here longer, I DO understand it. There’s a quote from Albert Schweitzer that goes “Therapy is the boat across the river, but most don’t want to get off.” Those members realized they were across the river, and so they left the boat at the riverside, having served its purpose.

I don’t usually post much in F&F any more, the reasons being a combination of the boat thing mentioned above as well what Needabreak is talking about when mentioning the balance of honesty and kindness. SR was a lifeline for me starting at the time of my joining in March of 2013 and continuing for the next several years. I honestly don’t know what I would have done w/o this community—there was so much learning and growth that came out of this board. But as I did start to feel the boat touch the shore, I started to spend less time and post much less. I had other work that needed to be done, a new chapter of learning to get started on.

That’s still where I am. I come back to read at least a little on a daily basis; SR is still a good reality check and touchstone for me. I post a daily reader thread over in the Spirituality section and subscribe to a couple others over there. It’s where I need to be and what I need to do right now, and since one of the things I’ve learned here is to take care of myself, I don’t feel bad about that.

I’m looking forward to see what others have to say. This is a GREAT topic, and thanks for starting the thread, trailmix.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I came here a little over 4 months ago and was a mess. Everything has sinced turned around. I'm no longer nearly a mess, but manageable. I try and come on here every day if possible. Both my AW and I are doing our respected programs. She 6 months sober in AA and me 3 months in AL-Anon. This combo has made a difference in our communication and healed us a lot. Coming here and reading post and sharing my insight has also helped me greatly. It seems like the more post i read the more I learn how to handle my life. Everybody stay strong.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Needabreak, thank you for this! While I find something true and useful in each of the posts here, this particular bit sums it up very clearly, IMHO.
Thank you, Honeypig. I actually thought about writing many of things that you wrote just now, but I refrained for fear of being deleted for being too outspoken!

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Iíve seen a number of members for whom I have great respect leave the board, and I didnít understand it at the time. As Iíve been here longer, I DO understand it. Thereís a quote from Albert Schweitzer that goes ďTherapy is the boat across the river, but most donít want to get off.Ē Those members realized they were across the river, and so they left the boat at the riverside, having served its purpose.
I love this boat quote, and what you said about reaching the other shore sums up my feelings exactly. Once we have finally gotten off that boat, it's such a relief to leave it behind.

It would be nice to feel that I could help those who are still stuck in relationships with addicts, but all I can do is share what I found to be a truth for me. I didn't HAVE to be unhappy. I was choosing unhappiness through my thoughts / actions. Happiness was / is possible[/B]. We can choose to create a life of happiness, to let go of what makes us unhappy.

But we have to learn to love ourselves first, and to get over the belief that putting our own interests first is somehow selfish or sinful. You have been conditioned to believe this. And the people who try to make you believe this are only steering you toward pain.

This is your one precious life. How do you want to spend it?
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Newbie status here at SR. I wanted to chime in and say how much this site has helped me. Iíve learned soooo much from you all, the good the bad and the ugly so to speak. I am also new to Al Anon (2 months in) and newly separated from AH. I also read in both F&F and Newcomers sections, absorbing all I can from both. I have read tons of old threads, and sometimes get so caught up and then realize, who are these people posting? Never heard of them before (5 years old) lol. I donít always reply to post because I feel Iím still in bad as shape as them, what can I offer!? But I can see how it would be helpful to me and them by just letting them know Iím here, listening, supporting from the nose bleed section. I can also see how people ďget off the boatĒ after a while. No harm, no foul, I enjoyed/learned from you while you were here! ❤️
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I've been hanging around here for about a year and a half. I read a lot more than I post. I find reading other people's posts and the replies very useful and often find answers to my questions without actually having to ask the questions. One of my favourite slogans is "listen and learn" and I find this works for me here in this forum.

Posting is a big deal for me. I have never done social media or blogging or posted anywhere on the internet and I was very, very uncomfortable when I first posted on sober recovery, it being the first time I had ever posted anything on the internet. I am still not that comfortable with it but it's getting easier. I also don't understand a lot of the abbreviations and I find that a bit frustrating.

When I do decide to post something I usually write it, delete it, write it again, delete it, procrastinate a bit more, write it and then delete it and go to bed. I guess I'm just not confident with anything I have to say. I'm not in a place where I feel like I have any wisdom to offer. I do try to share a bit of my own experience where I think it might be useful.

I'm so very grateful to all the people that do take the time to answer posts and the time they dedicate to thoughtfully and generously share their wisdom.

I'm also very aware that this type of thing only functions because people participate. If it was full of only readers and no writers it would cease to exist.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I also don't understand a lot of the abbreviations and I find that a bit frustrating.
No intent to hijack, just posting this in case it's useful to other folks besides Amaranth.

There is a thread in the stickies that covers the abbreviations. Here's a link: https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...-acronyms.html (Understanding Acronyms)

I think newbies are often urged to read the stickies, the reason being to find info like this and make them more at ease both reading and posting. I know dandylion is a real stickler for getting that information out to newbs-- dandy!

The link to the Newbies section of the stickies is here: https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...sts-first.html (Are you new to this forum? Please browse thru these posts first.)

All the stickies can be found at the top of the page, above the active threads where we post.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'll write a more meaningful post soon but I just wanted to quip in and say forums by and large are "outdated". I am very glad that this forum is here but I think alot of people do migrate to reddit. I know I have used reddit!

2 cents.
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I joined in I think 2013 for help/support/info concerning both a sister as well as a friend of the family who were both Aís. The sister ended up being dual diagnosis Narcissistic Personality Disorder + A and the elderly friend ended up in a nursing home due to her mental disorders. I learned a lot here and went NC for the 2nd and final time with my sister this summer (fool me once, fool me twice thing). With a Narcissist, you will NEVER have a mutually beneficial relationship. I learned so much about codependency and its harm. When i saw a few posters returning and returning and returning with no changed behaviors yet expecting - sometimes demanding - different outcomes from their predicament is the definition of insanity and I would sometimes become very triggered by this and I felt it better that I just donít post. I also feel like I probably donít have it as bad as the other posters, so who am I to post. Anyway, just my reasons for not being a super-poster.
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Iím a little slow on the uptake, been a long day, reading the OP are you trying to figure out why people just read and not post, or wondering why people donít post updates? I post in stories similar to my story, just because I had the classic progression time line. My qualifier is out of my house now and I havenít posted an update because Iím not sure anyone would be interested, could just be my low self esteem thinking I was being boisterous about my story.

I had the quickly escalating progression from my EXAB, he went to rehab for 3 months, I took him back, he didnít follow up with treatment, within 3 months he ended up in a psych hospital then detox for 3 weeks, I wasnít going to allow him back but he had a treatment plan in hand, he came home, didnít follow through with said treatment plan and within 3 weeks was carted off to jail for domestic violence. He spent 3 weeks in jail, didnít have a place to live, I allowed him to stay on my screened in covered patio for 3 weeks, he got a job and with his first paycheck celebrated by drinking, which violated probation. He got scared I was going to call police and he left. He since lost his job he only had for 3 weeks. Now heís at his fathers friends house and he wants him out so heís thinking about heading back into a rehab, waiting to hear from probation if he will be in violation.

So itís either back to jail for him or a lengthy rehab. I have since called it quits with him, he is not welcome back at my house. I still come on SR daily to read an sometimes chime in because it is still helpful.
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