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Absolution

Old 01-06-2003, 12:17 PM
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Absolution

I was just reading Tara's "if you can't beat 'em join 'em" thread. Actually I was rereading it, because it was haunting me this morning.

How tempting it is, the thought of just putting down all the responsibilities and wandering in some bleary oblivion. How luxurious it seems for Rasputin to have been able to stay alive for years on the back of some hardworking saps. Then I review all the hardships he went through. Loneliness, hunger, cold, fear. I spend time thinking about how miserable he is. He pulled a little scam on me right after Christmas. Once I plugged the holes, my mind went right back to feeling sorry for him and his condition. But the blues have been creeping up on me. As I was in a very disorganized way trying to make myself ready to tackle the day, I came to the strange realization that my face and neck were wet. Dang. I'd been crying and not even realizing it. What was that all about? "What the hell's the matter with ME?" I ask.

I'm cold. I can't afford to run the heat because I can't pay for it. I'm hungry. I filled the scam holes with my grocery money. I'm lonely. Something in me still demands that I be everyone else's brick. I can't bring myself to ask my friends to listen to my terrors. I'm scared. I don't know from day to day how I'm going to keep all the plates in the air.

In the middle of all this self pity, the marquis of the liquor store up the street keeps flashing through my mind. How easy it would be to make it all go away. How easy to just lie down and die. This isn't the first time I've been here. I wonder vaguely how many hundred times I've felt this way and got dressed and went to work.

I luxuriated over the holidays. I bought five 50cent novels at the thrift store and read them every one. For the most part, it was lovely to be nowhere near me while I was reading. But in one of them, a passage exploded in my head.

"I felt gratefully that he was generous, but I felt nonetheless still guilty. Absolution, it had always seemed to me, was a fake. To err was human, to be easily forgiven was to be sentimentally set free to err again. To be repeatedly forgiven destroyed the soul."
"Tony" from PROOF by Dick Francis

I recognized the way I think. I wondered how I can keep forgiving, when I don't expect or want it for myself. I can't lie down and drink. I don't believe in absolution. What kind of saint complex must I have that I would repeatedly give to someone else what I don't ask for myself? What the hell's the matter with me?

Now some of you good people are going want to grant me absolution. You might even want to say that I have not been sanctimonious at all. You might consider, as I might if I read this from someone else, that it's some higher goodness that makes me put myself and my feelings last always. Just at the moment I'm thinking that's wrong. There's some kind of arrogance in a double standard like this. I have to toe the line, but I will forgive the poor weak incapable schmuck who's not as strong and honorable as ME over and over. His pain must be greater or more significant somehow.

Now I don't know what to do with all these thoughts. I don't know how to quell the part of me that absolves. If I take things in the other direction, and decide it's okay for me to have a go to pieces, where would we be?

This is just me coming unglued... a little. Now maybe I can work on the notion that not everything Rasputin does that hurts me, no matter what desperation it's born of, is always and infinitely and indefinitely forgivable. A little.

Thanks.
Dop
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Old 01-06-2003, 12:30 PM
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Thank you.
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Old 01-06-2003, 12:35 PM
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Old 01-06-2003, 04:12 PM
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absolution

What you are feeling is what every co dependant feels. The statistics are for every two addicts hospitalized one co dependant must be hospitalized with health problems. This comes from the incredible stress which your post shows. My grandmother wanted to jump off a bridge most of the time because she had to cope with too stressful life with a much too alcohol addicted husband.
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Old 01-06-2003, 04:39 PM
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Dop

I am sorry you are feeling so blue, and hope your days get sunnier soon.

So for now I will just send you my love and hugs.


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Old 01-06-2003, 04:41 PM
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what an amazing post. i will reread and reread and maybe consider myself capable of responding. i think i feel self=honesty and wonderment and discovery. i will come back to give a better reaction.
hugs from sugar
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Old 01-07-2003, 12:58 PM
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My grandmother wanted to jump off a bridge most of the time because she had to cope with too stressful life with a much too alcohol addicted husband.
I'm scared of bridges... make mine the Humana Building.

But seriously folks... what stands out to me about that sentence is the phrase "had to cope". I think one of the things I'm struggling with is the bald realization that I don't have to cope. I've said it. I've believed it in my logical mind. It has not, however, really ever settled in my heart. Before he was my anchor, Rasputin was for many years one of my heroes. Having him live at a distance has not removed the feeling of belonging that I have with him. But every time he walks in and out my door, he takes more than he leaves behind. I understand that he is ill. He is troubled in his mind and body. But so am I. I have been a poor swimmer in deep water concerned that someone else may drown. In his panic he has grabbed onto me instead of the life preserver, and I have floundered and complained, but I have allowed it. How much salt water and I going to breathe because he won't so much as dog paddle? And why have I felt that I had to? Arrogance is all I can come up with. He needs ME. Next time he comes splashing my direction I hope I have the sense to point to the boat and swim for dear life. It can take us both.

Thanks for the hugs.
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Old 01-07-2003, 01:33 PM
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I'm going to try too Dop.
I have been thinking about my issues
lately and how I fit into this puzzle.
I don't like what I am coming up with,
it is about me.

Hugs,
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Old 01-07-2003, 01:38 PM
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Wow Dop, you have such a beautiful and expressive way with words.

Speaking of bridges, when I was a child I had a recurring nightmare about a bridge. Not just any ole bridge, but a haunting bridge, higher than any man-made one, way up into the clouds. It terrifed me to look at it and I never could see the other side. My brother also had the same recurring dream as a child and interestingly enough, so did my alcoholic father, but his were during his drinking years. Around the time I moved out of my parent's house, I stopped having the dream. Years later, when I told my shrink about it, she said it's a common dream that people have who live in traumatic or unhealthy situations. It's the subconscious mind saying "I need out of here!" but at the same time acknowledging that there's no easy way out, if any way out exists at all. That's why I could never see the other side of the bridge. I thought I'd share that, in case others ever had a similar dream.

Many hugs to you Dop - we're all trying to dog-paddle our way to the same boat.
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Old 01-07-2003, 01:39 PM
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Wow, what a deep post that describes my struggle exactly. I am still realing from the implications of what you said. Yes, sometimes I am a drowning person allowing myself to be dragged down for the last time so that I can "save" someone else.

When I was a child, maybe 4 yrs old, my sister and I went swiming at a hotel where we were staying with my grandparents. We were playing on the steps in the shallow end, jumping down to the bottom step where the water was over our heads. One time we jumped down together and were a little farther from the handrail, when my sister (who is 2.5 years younger than me) started struggling, I grabed her legs and held her so that her head was above the water. I was standing on the bottom below the water and looking up at the surface. I remember thinking very calmly that this was not good and that I needed to get above the water. But I couldn't figure out how to do that without letting go of my sister. And I wouldn't let go of her, it was a simple decision. I was still considering what other alternatives might solve the problem when the lifeguard jumped in and pulled us both out of the water.

So your thoughts affected me deeply. My co-dependant ways started very early in life. But now is the time to make a change for the better - I guess I am still looking for the other alternative to present itself. How can I save myself and not jepardize my husbands fate? Thanks for your thoughtful post.
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Old 01-07-2003, 01:48 PM
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Sorry you're hurting Doppelganger

There's something I heard in an alanon meeting that I've repeated here before but it bears repeating again.

"Take responsibility for the choices we have made in our life"

In that phrase you quoted from openseason "she had to cope" I tend to believe the reality is She chose to cope, and that's ok.......unless the situation is so unhealthy that it negatively effects your life. I have chose to cope too because the positives out weigh the negatives for me right now. There's still a lot of struggles but I am trying to take responsibility for the choices I have made. I'm doing this by working the program and trying to look at myself. It's of course very hard when, in my eyes the A is always screwing up and I'm carrying more than my fair share of the load. I also get very upset about it. When this happens I try to look at my motives, what I'm getting out of it, why am I so upset and how can I constructively deal with it. There's a lot of stuff with the $ too. With each mistake I make, I'm learning how to do it different the next time. I hope I follow thru.

I loved what you said about him using you as a life preserver when you are both bad swimmers and complaining about it but that you allowed it. I believe it's OK to forgive people because you want them to be a part of your life. God chose you to be a strong soul, it's your fate. If you want to keep him in your life then look to others for things that he can't provide. I have learned the limits on some of my relationships in my life. For example I have a friend who is a lot of fun but has the biggest mouth of anyone I've ever known. I truly love this friend, I just choose not to tell her anything too personal and I have put up a boundary that I don't want to hear about anyone else. We get along beautifully and thank goodness I have another friend I can trust implicitly.

Know your limits with certain people and take responsibility for the choices you have made. If those choices are not working for you anymore than it may be time to make some new ones. Maybe this is one of the times JT talks about. She says, you don't have to do anything and when it is time to make a decision, you'll just know.
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Old 01-07-2003, 01:58 PM
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Dop,

First off you aren't around much. Maybe sharing a little more might help.

Secondly, about your feelings of arrogance I feel arrogant too sometimes. I see it as a wall...a suit of armor. I know what I know and you can't tell me I don't. We tighten our jaws and keep our mouths shut, and forgive, and pick up the pieces and continue to allow them into our lives. Maybe it is compassion run amuck. Maybe we just don't want to look them in the eye and tell them to go. We don't want to be the last soldier standing while they walk off into the sunset...alone.

Acceptance, to me, is at the very core of this program. To paraphrase..."if there is a person, place or thing that is troubling you it is because you have not accepted that that person place or thing is exactly the way it is suppose to be today." So maybe that person is you. May be you are becoming aware of a part of you that you were not aware of before and until you accept that part of you, you cannot take action on it.

I wouldn't let this pass, because if you do it will only jump out and get you again...until you tackle it.

Hugs,
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Old 01-07-2003, 07:30 PM
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Dop,

I was thinking about you some more and it came to me that we think we are invinsible. We work hard to get to a point where we CAN cope and then it is almost as tho we test ourselves. We push ourselves to the limit.

Right now the Beav is staying with (I won't say living with) me after 8 years of him being out there and I think I am strong enough to handle the worst he can dish out. What is up with that? Who in the heck do I think I am? The worst he can dish out is way beyond my capabilty to handle, and why should I have to try? I must say, so far so good, but it is like I am hanging around on the train track at the end of a tunnel watching for that light. Listening for the rumble of that engine knowing it is out there.

We are human...not superhuman. Maybe Kryptonite really does exist.

Hugs,
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Old 01-09-2003, 04:53 AM
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JT,
You are amazing, I just put that quote on my white board in my office this week. The one at the bottom of your posts. It speaks to me powerfully...............
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