At my bottom

Old 05-23-2005, 09:20 AM
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At my bottom

Warning- the following post is long and full of self pity and whining. I am at my bottom and can’t find my way out.

I have not been here much lately as I really do not know where my head is at. I feel so bad that I have nothing to give. I am writing this on a word document so that it will maybe make some sense by the time I go through and edit it.

Things are so out of control for me that I don’t know what to do. How do I make things better?

A little background here, as usual. I met my husband almost 16 years ago. I was 25, good job, OK self esteem. He was in the marines, and planning to go home to Illinois when he got out. Due to other things, I decided to move to IL from PA. My roommate was getting married, my family were all starting families, and I was able to get a job transfer.

Sure, he drank a lot , but I also liked to go out and party. After 4 years, we got married and I got pregnant immediately, with twins. He would still go out and sometimes I did also, although I did not drink. Then I started having pre term labor and was put on bed rest. He continued to go out, and was free of constraints. The partying got worse, all nighters were common. This is the time that I realized there was a problem. Of course, I would yell and scream and pout about what a jerk he was, etc etc.

The babies were born and the drinking continued unabated. After 1 ½ years, I moved back to PA, with the kids. He followed and took care of the kids for about a year. He then went back to IL. It was supposed to be temporary but turned out to be over a year. He did send money, but that all went to day care for 2 toddlers. I was struggling and having problems with my job. Due to performance, I was offered a buyout. I took it and moved back to IL.

Right now, my self esteem is in the negatives. I have since had trouble with 2 other jobs and am now currently underemployed and making barely any money. I feel so worthless that I do not think I am worth any better. I hate myself. I hate the way I look, I hate the way I act. I hate everything about myself. For some odd reason, I was responsible for family finances and I suck at it. We are in serious financial trouble. I t wasn’t so bad when I had a decent job and could get things taken care of, but now it is a crisis. And do I discuss this with husband? Nope. He knows that I am not good at it, but also prefers to not acknowledge it, either.

In the detachment part of it, I have detached so much that I really don’t care about anything. Except my kids. I know I can’t control my husband, but I have gone so far in the opposite direction that I feel I can’t control anything at all. However, I am so powerless now, that I don’t know what to do.

How do I get back on track? WHAT is back on track?

This is what I want– I want to get a good job. But what? I just can’t go back to my former field. How can I find out what I want to do with my life? I am 41 years old and have nothing. We rent, we have 1 car and that is old and will likely die soon. I am financially dependant on my husband now, and that scares me. He does contribute more to the household than he did before, but he does spend a lot of money on himself only. Last week I came across a pay stub of his, and he makes more than I knew about. Plus, he can work a lot of overtime. We should be doing better than we are, I am so stressed out that I can’t even think clearly.

I had always thought of marriage as being a team. That a couple works together to make things good. I learned early on that we are not a team. His drinking and drinking buddies are more important than anything else. We spend no time together, just us. He saves it all for the bar and his buddies. When he is home, he sleeps it off. Everything fell on me, and continues to this day. I am cracking under the pressure. I have so much guilt and fear about everything ,because I have failed. I am a failure at everything.

I have tried talking to him before. I have begged him for help. I don’t bother anymore, as I have said it so many times.

What are my options? I can’t leave him as there is nowhere for me and the kids to go. And he is not a bad person- just incredibly self centered and selfish. But I have contributed to that also. I need to get my self respect back but have no clue how to do that.

I know that this post is long and rambling, but that is how I feel right now. My mind is in such a bad place. I am in tears writing all of this.

1 positive thing I have done is contact my counselor. I have not seen her in a while and hope she can take me back. Today is her day off, so I likely will not hear until tomorrow.
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Old 05-23-2005, 09:39 AM
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Welcome back. Your post broke my heart but please know you do have options. I don't know what city or state you live in but there are non profit organizations that exist that help women become self sufficient and independent. I currently volunteer with one here in AZ and it offers legal services, job leads, helps with housing etc. You may want to call some of the domestic violence shelters - I'm sure they can tell you the names of similar places. It may seem hard - but there are options, choices and opportunities out there. I have mentored other women in similar spots and they are doing wonderfully.

I'm glad that you contacted your counselor..I'm sure you know that Alanon also offers support..

Please hang in there and post again.

Big hug,

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Old 05-23-2005, 09:39 AM
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I'm sorry this is such a bad time for you. Sometimes, when we get overwhelmed, it is good to just break everything down into "do-able" pieces.

Maybe start by taking extra care of yourself, so you look a little better outside which may help you feel a little better inside. Maybe take a course in something that would help you get a career going again. Even baby-steps will get us there sooner or later.

Live meetings may help you find real live people in your area who could also offer suggetions and perhaps help you along the way. And working this program will help you feel better about yourself and more balanced in your life.

I have a feeling that once you begin to feel better about yourself, once you regain some of your self-esteem, that the rest of your recovery and health will fall into place.

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Old 05-23-2005, 09:44 AM
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the girl can't help it
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I am sure that you are a valuable human being! You have done as best as you have known how to do. Please stop beating yourself up. Do one thing that is just for you and that you enjoy make it simple. Take a walk or, a warm bath with some scent that you enjoy. Relax breathe deep you deserve to feel peaceful.

Going to your therapist sounds like a good idea too.
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Old 05-23-2005, 09:48 AM
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Im sooooo sorry and trust me I feel for you.

About 1 1/2 years ago I put my independant life into my ex-ABF hands to help him build his business, I was totally financially dependent on him and much the same happened... I came last, to make it worse after I asked him to leave he "said" he was going to counceling and would get help so I went back to him and then put my daughter into the situation.... needless to say it did not work. He decided to get sober and went to AA and it was downhill from there, my daughter and I moved out 2 weeks before Christmas while he was sleeping with is new AA girlfriend who understood him.

You have taken the first step..... your looking for help, you seem to know what the problems for you are... now you just have to break them down and fix them one at a time... though Im new to Al-non and AA... I cant hurt to give it a short, at the very least you will find that your not alone and others have gone through it and survived.... you will too.

I like what Minx said to start... go out and get a haircut, and do one thing or two that makes you feel "good" then go to an Al-non meeting /theraphy.....

We are always here to help and listen, and you inspire us more then you know.

Take your life back hon.... its yours to live
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Old 05-23-2005, 09:54 AM
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I am so sorry that life is difficult for you right now, sounds like it has been for awhile really. Contacting your counselor is probably the best thing you can do for yourself at this time. I don't know if you go to Alanon or not but that is also another good resource for you. I have felt similiar to the way you feel before, I know how lonely and unbearable it can be. Take some time to relax, enjoy your children and fill your lungs with fresh air....breathe....
Love, Patty
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:10 AM
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sdp - you aren't a failure at everything. you are posting here and looking for help and you also contacted your counselor. someone that doesn't care would not evern bother doing that! minx made some good suggestions. it would be good for you to get to a face-to-face meeting just for the sake of being out amongst folks that support you. we care and we'll be here to listen!!!

hugs - chris
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:41 AM
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Thank you all for your nice thoughts. There really is no one in my life to say nice things to me, except my kids, and they have to! I also don't ask anyone, either. I keep everything inside. People who know me would be shocked by what I have said.

No haircut for me- I have hard to control frizzy hair. I keep it long and all one length and just pull it back in a clippie. That is what works best for me. Maybe I will get new contacts. I wear my glasses all the time,as the contacts I have are, well, old.

I well know what I SHOULD do- eat right, get more exercise, lose weight, etc. It is the doing it I have trouble with.

Minx- thank you. Could a domestic violence shelter be called even if there is no violence?? (thankfully that is not a problem here-1 good thing)

Ann- you are right. My counselor is really an addictions counselor who works with social services. Maybe she could direct me some place.

Splendra- beating myself up is something I do very well. When I feel good about myself, I don't do it, but when I'm down, well, I give myself serious inner bruises.

Cynay- that is a sucky thing to happen. Kudos to you for taking care of yourself. That kind of attitude is exactly what I need.

Pmaslan- I do need to breathe . Hopefully, the counselor will be able to figuratively knock some "give a damn" back into me (stealing from another poster)

CW- thank you also for your kind words.

I do feel better for having posted about my secret thoughts. I won't be on much more today, as I have to work at my crappy job tonight.

Good things about me- I am smart(I can really kick butt at trivia games) I am kind. I am not judgemental(which I think p's me off, as I am judged so often)

Again, thank you all. hopefully, in the future I will be able to make more sense. I'm still freaked in the head.
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:45 AM
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Almost four years ago, I could have written a very similar post. I felt ugly, stupid, unemployable, unworthy, know the list.

A friend from Italy has a great expression when he speaks of his friends and family. He says, "They are dear to me." You are dear to many-- those in your real life as well as your virtual one.

My climb back was slow yet steady, I'll share the steps I took in hopes that it may give you some ideas.

I made a list, much like yours. I had headings like JOB, LOOKS, FINANCES. Under each I formulated a plan. Under job, I knew I needed more training. I enrolled in computer classes (through a not-for-profit) and I now have a wall full of microsoft certifications. I have come full circle, I now teach those classes. Yes, it took time. But day by day and small step by small step, I made progress. Within 6 months of starting them, I had a better job. 6 months later, yet an even better job. I finished the classes. Yes, yet another job...and now, almost four years later, I'm an officer for my company, I am a notary and will soon have my real estate license.

LOOKS was, to my surprise, easier than I thought! A new haircut works wonders. A box of hair color covers my gray! Manicures. (yes, I usually do them myself but when I yearn to be pampered, I go out and get one). Self-care. I was more careful about what I ate. Drank more water. I became reaquainted with make-up. Walked more. Remembered to get the brows waxed regularly. Got more into "girlie" things. Slowly, my self image changed. I'll never be beautiful. No one will ever regard me as "eye candy". But I am okay, and even more important, feel great. And now, as I've mentioned before, I'm working on new teeth.

FINANCES. I took a seminar at a local community college. It had a title like Financial Boot Camp for Women. I think it cost me $20 or $30, it was all day on a saturday. WOW, did they pack in the info. From basic budgeting to investing, to how-to-get-by-on-less to using grocery store coupons! I left there with STACKS of worksheets and printouts and guidance. It changed my financial life.

I joined al-anon. I sought counseling. I took a HUGE mistep with this man, but am remedying that now. Made some other wrong turns. Figured it out, turned back around. Now, in my 50s I am still very much a work in progress. My life is far from perfect, but I get up each morning looking forward.

I learned that I needed to LEARN. What I knew to do wasn't working, so I went looking for more information.

You are valued by many. Your children. Family. Your circle of friends. This online community. Talk to us, talk to them. Take one small step each day and the journey will become a great source of hope and add a keen sense of adventure!

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Old 05-23-2005, 10:52 AM
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Walking the line-
Thank you for that. I think I need a little more time to digest what you wrote, but it is inspirational.
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:46 AM
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sdp- keep posting - the support here will help you get through some of your worst moments and help you catch your breath!
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:52 AM
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How do I get back on track? WHAT is back on track?
The self esteem, the abilities, the qualities you've seen in your life are all still inside you. Where else could they go? Where else did they come from except from YOU?

I know what it feels like to lose a whole heap of confidence and have to trawl it back inch by bloody inch. Perhaps now I have too much but it feels a lot better to me. I feel as though I'd simply got out of practice, I had stopped practicing confidence, I stopped thinking good things about me, I'd stopped seeing the successes in my life. Instead I'd practiced picking out my own failures, looking at the physical, intellectual and emotional flaws I had. I practiced telling myself off, I practiced thinking I would fail, I concentrated on all the things that I couldn't do or achieve. AND I felt like POO!!

I don't know exactly when but a penny did drop - I hadn't changed but what I said to myself had. Slowly I retaught myself and worked on practicing confidence, making myself look at anything no matter how small that I COULD do, and most of all remembered my own successes rather than wiping them out by saying I'd changed for the worse.

Recently I went for counselling which helped me IMMENSLY polish up what I'd begun.

Everything you ever were is still there and is still YOU. It's hard but it is possible to start walking back to that way of thinking.

Your post rang so many bells for me - only I managed to get myself into a mess without any help from alcoholism, no major trauma - just for some reason I lost my 'Umphhh' then made it worse by being horrible to myself.

BTW - I'm crap at bills, I still am, I always have been, thankfully they are on direct debit now!! PHEW!!!!
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:54 AM
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I have been thinking and thought of more (I always do, sorry)

There is another issue that may be rearing it's ugly head... infidelity... POSSIBLE...

I had posted before about the Party Palace- a house owned by people we know where hub always seems to end up. These people are also relatives, sort of- the Queen is the twin sister of my hub's late brother's widow. Brother died 2 years ago. In the infamous bowling team the team is the King and Queen, Queen's sister and my husband, who took his dead brother's place.

After bowling, they would always end up at the PP. and many other times also. Well, there is a Princess. She is 24 and has 2 kids, 1 who is 7 and one who is 1 or 2. Let me say she is a very pretty. She married the father of the youngest child , who is in the military and who, incidentally absolutely ADORES my husband- really looks up to him. Anyway, I had previously had suspicions of Princess, but hub assured me there was nothing going on. Princess and her hub move out of state. There are rumors of problems, and suddenly Princess is back, talking divorce. Now, hub and I are rarely intimate.. 1 reason is my lack of self esteem. Another is that he is frequently out and even when he is home, there are, ahem, performance issues.

Last Friday, I went to his softball game. The team is for the bar he frequents. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the Princess was on the team. I had not heard a word about that... Another odd thing was that she did not say anything to me at all. Seemed like she was avoiding me. I am wondering if there is anyhing there (i do want to say that she only played a little and she SUCKED- this is mean but she did put on some weight and is not as pretty as she was. Still, she is 24...)
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Old 05-23-2005, 01:14 PM
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SDP - you could also ask your counselor for resources but yes - usually the domestic violence shelters have the information you will need. It is always a good place to start. I have a few gf who get free counselling through a d.v. shelter even though they too are not victims of d.v. One has an exbf who was a verbally abusive alcoholic...part of what the shelters do is help women get on their feet so they will be able to be self sufficient

I am glad to hear that d.v. is not a problem in your situation!
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