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forgiveness without the steps

Old 04-16-2009, 02:51 PM
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mergirl
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forgiveness without the steps

So I am almost 4 months sober and feeling pretty great. My next hurtle is getting past some old negative feelings. I am looking for the non-AA thoughts on resentment. An example:

I still live in the same house with my husband, but we separated 5 years ago. The night I quit drinking, he (by his own admission) instigated sexual shenanigans with. . .others (sigh) that involved me. I have spent sooooo many years baby sitting him when he drank too much, making sure he didnt screw up too badly. The incident, which took place when I was black out drunk ( a very rare occurrence for me, his twice-weekly condition) was something he should have known I would NEVER participate in sober.


There has always been a chance that we might end up back together. I am dealing with my shame and culpability for the event.

O.k., so get to my point right. AA has steps dealing with my character defects or moral short comings or w/e. I think they even have a step where I have to forgive other people for what they have done. As I am not working the steps, do I get past this? How do you all deal with people who angered you, or let you down? He doesn't think he did anything wrong. I wont even get into the other people involved, but I have totally isolated myself from all of my former friends, and don't care right now if I ever talk to anyone who was at the house that night (both because of my shame, and my anger towards anyone who could have stopped the madness).

From dabbling in these forums, I get that I am not suppose to hold resentment, but how do I just say "its cool, it was a mistake no worries".

I like my husband enough, but I am pretty repulsed at his lack of. . .common sense maybe, or brotherhood, or bleh, what ever is missing where people just dont give a f*ck when bad stuff is going down.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:05 PM
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Resentments are tough and I think they are something everyone, whether they drink or use or not, should probably try to remove.
Although we hold on to them because we think we are punishing the alleged perpetrator we are really only punishing ourselves by keeping these thoughts in our heads.
I have a few resentments and I try to analize these and take ownership for my part in them.
I then forgive myself for what I contributed and then try to see the situation from the eyes of the others involved.
If I can forgive them I do and if not I eliminate them from my life and as far as I am concerned they no longer exist.

I don't do AA either as I think that although some of the things that they propose, like step 4 (this one about resentments and step 8 I think which is the one about making amends can help you have a more peaceful and satisfying life, they have nothing whatsoever to do with whether I drink or not.

Hope that this helps a little.
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:33 PM
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I don't know how effective this is with others but for myself one aspect of forgiveness means letting go. When I catch myself obsessing or ruminating over the past I say to myself 'its over and done let it go' over and over if necessary. Then I think of what I can learn for my past and what am I doing now so as not to repeat it. I know this is seems simple but it works for me.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:03 PM
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Hey, I don't do the steps either, and I think others have already given you some really good advice. I would add to it, that we have all done really stupid things. You need to find a place for it, and let it go. You didn't mean to do it, you would never do it sober. Stop beating yourself up.

I can think of one thing in particular I did while drunk.....horrible to another very dear person...very dear (a close family member). I've finally just told myself I can redeem myself by staying sober. By showing the other party that I truly screwed up, and I'm not going to again. It really has kept me honest, in an odd way.

"I like my husband enough, but I am pretty repulsed at his lack of. . .common sense maybe, or brotherhood, or bleh, what ever is missing where people just dont give a f*ck when bad stuff is going down. " Eyes....this part bothers me....don't get back together with someone, simply for convenience. You deserve a man that loves you.....for you. I've read your posts, you are a caring, compassionate person. Give yourself a chance!


And....I don't think you ever have to say something is cool with you, when it isn't.

I hope you feel better about this, soon.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:13 AM
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mergirl
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He does love me, he loves me more than he loves himself. Maybe that was part of the attraction in the beginning, maybe its part of the turn off now.

There is the school of thought that says "He and I are sober now, we can rebuild" He quit drinking for me, we never argue, if the shoe were on the other foot he wouldn't hesitate to forgive me.

But then there is "too much water under the bridge". In the end, he didn't have my back, and I am just devastated.

Thank you all for the responses. I typed this post in sort of a fog, kind of forgot about it. My "recovery" work has been going so well in most areas, I think all the sh1t between he and I is just leeching out because it hurts to much to rip the bandage off and just look.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:59 AM
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I try to ignore things that pain or bother me. I push them out of my mind. I tell myself that whatever happened is past and that I should concentrate my good will on right now and not waste bad energy on the past. I've found that I never stay mad at anyone very long. I know that I'm not perfect so I try not to judge others. If the others don't fit into my "nice" world I avoid them, and usually forget them.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:06 AM
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The forgiveness I have given has nothing to do with step work, I carried around anger and resentment towards a particular person for decades while I was drinking and it took sobriety to make me understand that I was hurting myself by holding on to the bad feelings. 5 months into sobriety I was forced to deal with the person whom I had not seen in 10 years and I just had to "let it go" and I did. Eyes, the event you resent is still very recent and it may take a long time to let go and you may need distance from your husband.
You mention in this post:
"He does love me, he loves me more than he loves himself. Maybe that was part of the attraction in the beginning, maybe its part of the turn off now."
and have said similar things before but do YOU love him? Just because someone loves you does not obligate you to return that love nor be with the person. I don't know that I could live with someone that betrayed me that way it sounds that you were betrayed.

Judy
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