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Loved Ones in Prison

Old 07-08-2007, 08:18 PM
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Thanks for the update CMC.. glad to hear your son is doing well. That's inspiring!


Originally Posted by cinderellawkids View Post
and really how can you validate a person you have no respect for.
This is something else I struggle with. I've detached, maybe too much, as all I hear is a lot of quacking when talking to AH. There is a lack of respect there. But, then the co-dependency comes out... thinking maybe its because of my hard heart and lack of forgiveness.
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:16 PM
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Although my wife’s actions had no direct bearing as to whether I continued using or not, she did however take all opportunity for me to use within her life. Is this a foolproof way to get a loved one clean? I think not. My first partner did the same thing with me years and years earlier, so consciously deciding to use alone was a better option than to stay with her and not use at all. Eight-year relationship, eight-year-old daughter and I walked away in a heartbeat rather than start my accent.
So if the question is, will your actions in placing boundaries down effect positive change in your AH behavior, I would give you the answer no, but I can assure you it will make a vast amount of difference in your life sunshine as I would assume it already has.....But what you have gained can be lost in a split second if it is compromised or not protected.
My wife and her actions now at times help me to stay clean, and indecently I return the favor. At the risk of even being a single mother and knowing full well that I have walked out on family before she makes NO compromise with me and drugs or drug related behavior .ABSOLUTLY NONE.
By the time I left prison the last time she had made her identity clear to me and that she her self was in complete control of her life and if I wanted part of it, I had to add to who she was. A person with out identity is easily controlled, try controlling someone who knows them selves.Different ball-game all together trust me.
I knew there was no room for me to move well before I left the gates! I knew there was no room for me to use with her and I knew I couldn't any longer manipulate a place, if that makes sense....and in that way her actions did help. There were a million other reasons sunshine that made this the right time. It was certainly not just because some one else decided to say no to me. It was my time I suppose. All the mistakes made, all the people hurt and all the opportunities burnt out....but it was me in the end sunshine that made the decision that it was over. If there was any room left to move, or one last path to follow perhaps I would still be there! I am always aware that there still may be a path ahead that I have not fallen down before, so it really does never end.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:35 AM
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Hi Gang,

It is good to see you all back on this thread sharing the deep stuff. There was always a lot of recovery here.

I have moved on in my life. My XAH is still in rehab, but we haven't really had any contact since I refused to go get him for furloughs. It is amazing to actually be able to think of addiction as an abstraction, not an intimate part of my life. I can't believe that he has been gone almost a year already!

Now I am working on myself....so that I won't forge any more unhealthy relationships to cause myself hurt. Sadness and grief will always be a part of life, but the deepest pain is the pain we cause ourselves.....and that is the pain I never want to embrace again. Hopefully, I have learned to make healthier choices for myself......thanks in good part to you all.

I love you guys,
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:28 AM
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Hey Babs... good to hear from you! Glad you're doing well. (Dakota had a question at the end of page 5 if you'd like to respond.) I always love reading your responses.

Dakota, thanks for sharing that. I know I can't control him or his recovery, but its helps to hear others point of views. I know I'll have to keep the boundaries firmly in place. Keep working on myself, too. You know my oldest two kids are teenagers, my youngest 10 going on 16. I had told AH a few weeks ago (after I hung up on him about the writing thing, and he called back over & over again... I didn't answer until a couple days later) that I needed a man, not another teenager. Yep, I've got to learn how to stay firm in these little boundaries, else he'll walk all over any big ones I set when he gets out.
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Old 07-09-2007, 04:02 PM
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Ray i have seen the type while locked up that just complain about visits, phone calls, writing, etc. what i have learned , because i went through all this, was that that is usually how people act when they really havent faced the real reason that they put themself in there and have to pay the price themself.( even thought we know alot of others pay along with them) i have never gotten many visits at all, but i do get mail from my mom(mostly all from SR) and i dont really call anyone but her. its a lack of gratitude, and wanting others to feel sorry for you . like dakota said a control thing. iam just so glad that i grew through that.to me it is just a display of selfcenteredness, that can only be worked on by folling some type of recovery program, 12 step/religion etc. i will keep you and him in your prayers. i am nervous about getting out also, but we will both work through it with the guidance of our higher power that i call GOD!
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:28 AM
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Well, Ray, since you asked.....

Originally Posted by dakotaboyd View Post
when do the words I here take effect in my life?...................... What is the catalyst from words to effect?
For me it is like my piano teacher sponsor tells her students......."Practice makes permanent." There is no magic involved.

In the beginning, I heard the slogans and read the steps but they were abstractions. They weren't part of my automatic response reflex. After being around people in recovery for a while, I kept being asked the question, "Now which step applies to this situation?" or "What slogan can you use here?" I would literally sort through them, one by one, until I found the one that gave me direction or solace. It took work to change my thought processes. I had to practice, practice, practice.

And it didn't happen quickly. I had to make the choice to make it happen. I attend meetings.... LOTS of them. I read strong, spiritual literature....daily. And a huge one for me is that I listen to speaker tapes in my car whenever I am driving. I inundate myself with their healthy words. I started to find myself quoting them to others.

At first they were other people's words, but in time they became MY words. Slowly but surely, my thoughts started following those words. The healthier word patterns led to healthier thought patterns, and the healthier thought patterns led to healthier actions.

That is how it is for me. When I do the work, I get the progress. I wish I knew of an easier way, but I don't.

I love you guys,
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:08 AM
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Babs, Thank you. You put it so well!

Sean, It's good to hear you doing so well now. I think it is self-centeredness too... and it's not just me, he does his family that way too... mom, dad, brothers & sisters. I prayed alot for a miracle before he was arrested last and his sentence activated, so I feel like I have to give it one last chance in case this is his time to change. But I have no expectations this time and because of his actions not alot of hope.


Well today I received a letter from AH, at my work, which he's been told several times I don't want to receive mail from him at my work. So, there's another disregard for my feelings/ boundary. He started out by saying, "I know you said not to write you at work, but I know you've been having a hard time lately and I thought a letter would cheer you up." The letter was sweet overall and might have meant something if he had mailed it to my home address. It just really frustrates me. And he is working the 12 steps at his NA meetings. The letter says he's just been appointed chairman. But what about just overlooking the little things I've asked? It's just speaking so loud to me that he is going through the motions but not really changing?
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:15 PM
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Thanks for your input Babs. It re-enforces both the replies I received from sean and Ray. I agree with you all on this topic, but I will also add to it, that words to me, must be felt before they will have effect. When I say the word no to my children, the word 'no' itself is actually a boundary that I have set for them. It must be respected, but it is only a word to them,,,,,,,untill I attach a consequence that they feel. If they do not feel the consequence after disrespecting my boundary the word seems to have little if any effect when I use it again at a later date.
Now a consequence given to either of them that produces genuine bad feeling within them, believe me the word no suddenly has meaning to them, and change in their behaviour takes place.
Thanks for the input guys.
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:07 PM
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I am struggling, I have drowned in letters from prison. My ex-abf, writes me at least two letters a week....all saying the same things...I love you, I am clean and sober, I am a changed man, I realize what a mess I've made of everything, asking for another chance and on and on.

This has been going on for a year, I read some of the letters, I toss some of them without reading...I have not responded to any of them...I have written a few, but, I put them aside for a week, and then decided not to send them.

Then, there are the collect calls, which I refuse, at least 100 of them.

I just don't understand why he keeps writing/calling, I feel like I am sending him a message by not responding, he doesn't seem to get it.

The worst part is that he is getting out soon, I know he'll come a knockin and I really don't know how to handle it, talk to him and tell him to get lost, or just not answer the door and continue my no response senario and hope he will go away.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:28 PM
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Dakota,

What I take from your post is perhaps not exactly what you meant. If I say 'no' and don't mean it and/or am not ready to consistently back up what I say...it becomes meaningless. There is a term for how these two things, word and action depend upon each other. It's circular and they are dependent on each other. (symbiotic?) What I'm trying to say is that I think action does come first- and words and feelings are just a part of it, because the feelings and the words are meaningless without the action- or the promise/threat of it.

Dolly-

What you ask relates to what dakota just shared. Why would you want to initiate any contact with him about how you feel? I would think that the only reason for it would be to just state your intentions/boundaries, and I think you have already done that by ignoring his letters and calls.

A bad side of communicating with him is that it opens the door...and invites him to respond which is something you don't seem to want.

Maybe it's best just to ignore him until or if there's a problem and deal with things as they arise?

Last edited by cmc; 07-10-2007 at 08:30 PM. Reason: typos all over the place!!! arghhh
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:05 PM
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Cmc,

Yes, if I communicate it would open the door, this I do not want to do, yet sometimes it so very difficult not to respond, to let go of of those pent up feelings of anamosity I have towards him.

I know it would serve no purpose, for him or me, mostly me.

Thanks
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:20 PM
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I will spend some time processing what you have written CMC. Need to get my head around it. Thanks mate.
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:25 PM
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Does it make sense that words can't stand alone and neither can feelings? That is where my thoughts are on this. Action is a concrete real thing and though I may feel strongly about something- I may still choose not to act on it. That can be a good thing- especially if my emotion is offbase. I may also use words to communicate but not really feel or mean them- nor back them up.
I'm just rambling here and that's what makes sense to me. I don't mean to blather!
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:29 PM
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Dolly,
Just a question for you, If of cause you don't mind answering it.
If for some intervention of magic, miricle or just plain hard work your partner has changed for the better and by all purposes has progressed to the man he now claims to be, and this could be proven, where would you stand if he come knocking on the door?
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:33 PM
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Are you saying CMC, If I can get my head sround it, That words are only felt if an action is applied? If so I do agree.

PS Please feel free to blather cmc
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:54 PM
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That words are only felt if an action is applied?
Dakota,
I'm so glad to have this go round of ideas!! You have given me much to consider!
I guess in a way that is what I mean-- There are a few sayings about this: "say what you mean and mean what you say- just don't say it mean" and "actions speak louder than words"
here's some more blathering ...(you asked for it! )
I might have a genuine feeling and choose not to back it up with action...does that make the feeling unreal? Maybe not, but for sure that action is proof of a feeling...unless it's been done to manipulate!! Now I'm confused!! lol
A better way to describe if the words are felt...is maybe to ask myself if I am willing to back up those feeling/words with action.
I was taught that emotions are my tools and I must choose and use them wisely- not allow them to use me. I'm working with two things here- feelings/emotions and thoughts/decisions. Feel a feeling- use it to learn and express what is needed and then act upon that decision. Whew..my thinker is tired!

Last edited by cmc; 07-10-2007 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:57 PM
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CMC
I think I know what you are saying. Can you give me a practicle example to help simplify?
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:12 AM
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I'll try--- 'Susie' is rude to me...so I feel angry. That feeling brings to my attention that I typically allow her to do this to me. I take the feeling and use it- to be healthy. I can detach from that person, confront her or choose to drop it and let it go. If I choose to confront...then I can say "Susie, when you told me that my hair looks like ___, that hurt my feelings."
The action (confronting her) was taken and it all started with an emotion. An emotion is not typically a rational thing...to let it drive me without thinking is not productive or safe.
Dakota...I think that context has everything to do with what we are discussing. Context being...who is Susie? and what role does she have in my life? If she's my boss...or my sister or my next door neighbor then the feelings will be acted out much differently. Does that make sense?
These ideas are a part of my recovery. They are tools I have learned by reading and in counseling.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:23 AM
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Hold the Phones, I think I got you.
Here we go, words are just words until an action is applied, the action usually being responsive from emotion. (I agree that 'a healthy set mind filter' must be put in place before reacting from emotion.)
Do we have a bingo on this cmc?
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:29 AM
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badda bing, badda boom! My codependency involves misuse of emotion... hence the much needed lessons!
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