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Old 12-09-2009, 08:09 PM
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grateful rca
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Help

sometimes i have the hardest time saying no, when i do, i'm left feeling really really guilty. a lot of times i will actually change my mind and do whatever ask of me even though i really don't want to.

in the past, sometimes i allowed my ah to come home after his claims of doing better simply because i felt guilty, even when i knew he was not doing any better and more than likely still gonna use when he got a chance/when i knew he'd be leaving as soon as he got bored or used.

ok, he's sent the 2 letters and today, he had someone he met in jail(i guess) call me, left message for me to hurry and write him back, i'm beginning to feel really guilty, i don't want to write him at all.

he's talking "work things out between us" and i'm thinking there is no "us". to be honest, i kind of excepted him moving on to someone else. now i can see myself having to go through all that emotional stuff he might want to talk about when he gets out.

this is really bothering me because i know soon i'm gonna have to deal with him getting out. the weather is the only thing i feel comfortable talking to him about. when i think about "us", i feel all panicky.

i'm tired of hurting myself trying to keep from hurting others. can you guys help me to understand why i have to feel this way? i find myself doing what i think others expect of me rather than doing what i want to do and sometime, what i think is best for me to do.

Last edited by teke; 12-09-2009 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:07 PM
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Hi Teke. Wish I could offer you some encouragement. The jailhouse games are never easy. I've been faced with them many time - the same stories, the same delusions. He's not sane honey. You know that.

May I suggest:

A- just writing return to sender on the unopened envelopes.

or

B- tell him the truth. tell him your glad he's found God in prison and you hope he continues to have a relationship with him when he gets out, but his relationship with you has been over for a long time. Wish him well and ask him not to send you any more letters. (and then write return to sender on the next one.) The truth is never easy. And the right choice isn't always the easy choice either. But it's for the best. For him and for you.

Whatever you do, we are here for you. But don't fall for his ********. Stay in the present. Today you are safe because he is in jail. Today you don't have to do anything but take care of yourself and your children. He's a grown man who's been messing with your head for a long time. He can wait.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:45 PM
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can you guys help me to understand why i have to feel this way? i find myself doing what i think others expect of me rather than doing what i want to do and sometime, what i think is best for me to do.
Oh, teke; I understand those feelings. What has helped me is to realize that my emotions are not in charge of what I will allow myself to think and/or do. Sometimes that decision actually trickles down right back to my emotions and I end up feeling differently than I did at the start.

If that makes any sense...I can ultimately (sometimes) change my emotions by telling myself the truth and also from listening to others' esh; which is exactly what you are doing by reaching out for some help. One of my counselors stressed this fact to me: "emotions are my tools" and I can use them wisely or allow them to rule over me.

I also read a great book called "Emotions, Can You Trust Them?" by Dr. James Dobson that helped me see things more clearly that my emotions are a wonderful gift to show me how to change, how to enjoy what is good and most importantly- how to protect and take better care of myself.

It can be a very tricky thing when those negative feelings pop up and I'm conflicted as you describe yourself right now. I'm praying that you will find some peace and come to a decision that works for you.
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by teke View Post
i'm tired of hurting myself trying to keep from hurting others. can you guys help me to understand why i have to feel this way?
Maybe you have a passive personality or low self esteem? The more important question is what will you do about it? You may never feel comfortable with confrontations but you can get through them
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:12 PM
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the truth is, i'm honestly feeling done with this relationship. this is my 2nd marriage so i think i know what i'm feeling. i'm not angry, and i feel that i've basically forgiven him. i'm just DONE. you guys have all said that "when i've had enough, i will know it" and thats how i feel. i've felt this way for a while now. i think he should know already and shouldn't even want to take me through all this emotional stuff.

i know all this jailhouse talk is just that but even if it wasn't, i'm still feeling DONE. why can't we just let it be what it is without going through all this other stuff. i thought he was done a couple yrs ago so why do i feel so guilty when it seems he think we should just pick up the relationship where we left off 2yrs ago. it makes me sad for him when i think he thinks that way because i don't want to be the one to hurt no one. i feel as if i did all i knew to do to make it work in the past, don't want to do any more but i still have this feeling to deal with.. what is wrong with me.
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:39 PM
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There's nothing wrong about you not wanting another person to hurt, as long as you continue to protect yourself. Are you worried that you'll give in?
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:54 AM
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Teke, if you really feel "done" then tell him, and wish him well.

You are not responsible for his actions, his emotions nor what he will do when he gets out of jail. These are all things he will need to learn to grow and move forward in his recovery...or not.

Make yourself clear and then cut communications if necessary, because this isn't your burden to carry.

I see such good changes in you, and giving up your better path won't change his.

Pray on it, know that it's okay to feel compassion, just don't let what he wants take away what is good in your life today.

Hugs
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:28 AM
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Hi Teke,

I guess being 'done' is different for everyone. When my first husband and I divorced, I was done. The guilt was immense, because we just 'grew apart', and I felt 'bad' that I didn't feel the way I used to. I would acutally pray that he would find someone else, just so that I didn't have to feel guilty/bad.

I have had many different relationships since then, and all I can say is that I use that as a barometer for whether I'm done or not 'really' done. With my abf, I can't pray that I hope he finds someone else.......... because I know it would hurt me to the core, this tells me that I'm not done.

I don't think guilt is healthy, yet it is a part of our sub-conscious that can guide us as to what's right or wrong for us.

When I look back at feeling guilty for my first marriage, I know it was because I really was wrong.

If I were to get 'done' with my abf, I'd have NOTHING to feel guilty about, because I really did give it my all.... but I'm just not done.... there is a difference.

(side-note) my second marriage, was emotionally-abusive. When I left, I was sad, despodent, and cried a lot. I wanted it to work... but KNEW I was done. He did try begging me to go to therapy while we were seperated, blew up in the therapists office, (tried 2 different ones) and it confirmed that I was DONE. I never felt guilty then either.

Search deep inside you and decide if the guilt is telling you that you truely aren't doing the right thing, or if you just haven't ever know how to do what is right for you.

I think when we are healthy, guilt guides us.
I think when we are NOT healthy, guilt is a sinister little emotion, that can mess us up further, and keep us unhealthy.

Hope you understand what I'm trying to say.

Love,
Cess
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:02 AM
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((Teke))...I have no advice, just wanted to thank you for posting this today, as I am feeling the same way about xabf being in jail, especially over the holidays. He is not allowed to contact me, so I do not have to deal with the letters, but he did try and contact me here at work the other day, but calling collect (he knows I can't take the calls). I feel bad for him, so bad. Good for you for knowing you are done with him. Try and remember the bad things he did, maybe that will help you to feel not as bad, it helps me sometimes.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:49 AM
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Feeling guilty is not the same thing as acting upon the feeling.
Not acting upon our emotions is the begining of mastering our emotions.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:10 AM
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CHINO, no i'm not worried that i'll give in, i've actually tried to think/imagine "what if"" but i just can't see myself going that way again. i do still have esteem issues since being with him but i believe i've gotten better since he's been away from me. i think maybe i am kind of passive until i find myself backed in a corner then i'm coming out.

CESSY, i could better understand it if i felt as if i was wrong all these yrs, i tried to be there for him. i purposely did all i could do to make sure i kept my side of the street clean because i felt partly wrong when my 1st marriage ended. yeah, i argued about him not coming home for days, him lying, cheating, stealing, using drugs and being abusive, what wife wouldn't. i eventually learned not to argue so much but that still didn't stop his abuse of me or drugs. i guess in the past, i haven't felt strong enough to do what i knew was best for me.

i never prayed that he'd find someone else because my gut feeling told me that he was doing that anyway, every time he moved out (sometimes for yrs). i think he's one of those addicts that think drugs and sex go together.

for yrs, i worried and kept trying to work things out with him whenever he came back around. you know, "for better or worse". i honestly thought that was what god would want me to do. i finally feel free from that thinking and know that god had nothing to do with that, if anything, he was sadden that i would allow myself to be treated that way at all. 2yrs ago, i accepted the fact that he was gone and probably with someone else and began to work through that pain.

ANN and KITTY, after i think about it, i told him just before he went to jail that i was done going through all of that, that me and the kids were ok now. either he forgot, was not listening or just thinking i've said that before and is not paying me any attention.

OUTTOLUNCH and CMC, i guess i must be at the beginning of learning how to master my emotions because for me, acting on them is not an option. this really caught my eye. the feeling guilty of possibly causing him pain is what i just don't understand. whenever he left, he would just go away, like he forgot about we ever existed so why can't he just go away now. i guess i feel guilty too because i don't feel the way i use to feel. what kind of sense does that make?
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by teke View Post
the feeling guilty of possibly causing him pain is what i just don't understand.
If you've always been like that it's probably a personality trait and there's nothing wrong. Some people are very empathetic.

I know when I honestly love someone, whether from afar or nearby, I can't stand to think of them in pain.

You said you've forgiven him so maybe it's just compassion?
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:50 PM
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maybe so chino, yes i think i'm that way about people in general. i can't stand to see a hurting heart, any hurting heart, it literally breaks my heart too. i think im just co dependant to the core, i guess. i wish i could take away the pain of the world. i know sometimes it feels like my kindness is taken for weakness and maybe it is a weakness but i really don't see it that way because i think i'm aware of my intentions regardless of how others may see me.

i think i do forgive him partly because of own personal esp with addiction, i know what its like to be lock in addiction so if i'm feeling compassion rather than guilt, i guess i really didn't know the difference. either way, i just don't like feeling this way.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:38 PM
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Empathy crosses into co-dependence when we feel responsible for fixing others pain (doing for others what they can and should do for themselves). If you feel guilt while maintaining your boundaries, then you're a compassionate person moving away from codependency.

Those are growing pains you're feeling
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:59 AM
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Teke, when in jail they all talk the talk. Then for some reason when they get out, they forget what they said, and all the old behavior starts again.

If you are truly over this relationship, just write one last letter telling him just that. I wouldn't be hateful about it. I would wish him well, but make it perfectly clear you have moved on.

Nothing to feel guilty about here. He made his choices, now it's time for you to make yours.

Hugs, Devastated
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:20 PM
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teke,

one of your original questions was WHY are you this way? i, too, am a very compassionate person, easy to forgive, and loving to pretty much all people. but i think at the root of how i get with my man, even when he has wronged me, is that my need to be loved is so strong, it trumps everything else. perhaps you too have this tremendous need in yourself - we sometimes let people treat us badly because it is so hard to put up a boundary. because if we put up a boundary, then we might hurt their feelings, or we might feel like we are being "mean". i think, for me anyway, it's always about "but will he be MAD at me? i just wanna be liked!" i know it's pathetic, but that's what i got when i was brutally honest with myself

i personally like the idea of a short, gentle but to-the-point letter saying that when you said you were done, you actually meant it. good luck
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by coffeedrinker View Post
teke,

one of your original questions was WHY are you this way? i, too, am a very compassionate person, easy to forgive, and loving to pretty much all people. but i think at the root of how i get with my man, even when he has wronged me, is that my need to be loved is so strong, it trumps everything else. perhaps you too have this tremendous need in yourself - we sometimes let people treat us badly because it is so hard to put up a boundary. because if we put up a boundary, then we might hurt their feelings, or we might feel like we are being "mean". i think, for me anyway, it's always about "but will he be MAD at me? i just wanna be liked!" i know it's pathetic, but that's what i got when i was brutally honest with myself

i personally like the idea of a short, gentle but to-the-point letter saying that when you said you were done, you actually meant it. good luck
i've read this and re-read this over and over, i see a lot of truth in what you are saying but i can't seem to put my finger on just what it is. i know that i don't want to feel like i'm hurting someone's feelings but i'm not worried about my ah being mad at me. i do get concerned when i think i've made someone other than him mad.

i feel like i want to "matter" rather than be loved or liked. i takes a long time for me to set boundaries and in the past, i caved so many times until i just don't think ah is taking me serious, even after 2yrs.

he wrote yet another letter with a self address envelope then called to see if i got it yet. don't know how he called, it wasn't a collect call. i told him again that i don't want to go through all of that again and that i don't think i'll be writing. seems as if he's not hearing me or just not paying me any attention.

the hard part about all of this now is that we have 2 kids together and i kind of hate to tell him not to call at all, because of the kids, especially since i don't feel the same way about him or this relationship that i use to. until now, it was no contact and i believe i have worked through most of that pain. i sure hope i'm not in denial here. i honestly don't think so but then again most people in denial don't think they are either. right?
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:14 PM
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I loved this - I want to cut it out and tape it to the fridge -

i'm tired of hurting myself trying to keep from hurting others. can you guys help me to understand why i have to feel this way? i find myself doing what i think others expect of me rather than doing what i want to do and sometime, what i think is best for me to do.
I doubt anything I'd say would help you, but I'm happy to hang out with you and support what you decide. Even good for the occasional 'pep talk' when you need it!
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:15 PM
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you wouldn't happen to be an only child, would you?
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:36 PM
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barb, no i'm not. i'm the oldest of 6. my dad passed away when i was 7(alcohol related death), with 5 siblings and a really over protective strict single mom, i had to grow up really fast. my mom was a stay at home mom but had to go to work and i had to help with the little ones. i think i was always seeking her approval. i feel it was a little harder for me simply because i was the oldest and a girl. i do think i still have some issues rooted around my childhood. not that it was a bad one, it was basically a good one but just kind of hard for me.
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