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Bitsy's update on one of the people in her life
September 6, 2009
9:05 am
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Some 't know of you remember and some just don't know to begin with about C. C was the alcoholic ex-girlfriend that R moved down here in June of 2007. C was a big alcoholic and had gotten arrested and spent time in jail for possession of drugs, and the list goes on. During all of this I continued my twisted strange relationship with R and somehow C ended up on my side. She stole from him. She created all sorts of drama and I was right in the middle of it trying to fix her too. I kept begging her to go home to her family and get her life straightened out. In June of 2008 she entered a drug and alcohol treatment facility. She contacted me in February to let me know that she had 9 months of sobriety. I sent a terse email saying congratulations. She has ended up working for the treatment facility she went through. She is still there and every now and then will call to check on me. When I am feeling low I sometimes call her for some "therapy". She has been good for me and it is good that she is 7 hours away from here. She has done more to help me get over R than anyone else ever couold have. She was married in 1995 when he turned on the charm and destroyed her marriage. She admits she was a willing participant but says the hurt and heartache he caused in her life and the wanting to ignore it was probably the first step along her path to becoming an alcoholic. She has pointed out to me that which I had been unwilling to admit. R is an alcoholic himself. She has begged me not to become her. To learn a lesson from her life. I am so proud of her along her path of recovery. Last week she and I spoke. She told me she has met a nice man at Celebrate Recovery. His wife had committed suicide. They have been to dinner 3 times. We chatted about a few other things. I received an email from her telling me that there was a Celebrate Recovery meeting just around the corner from my house on Friday nights at 6:30. I went.

All this to say that this woman caused me a lot of pain and heartache in the past, but she has/is making atonement for it and in the process is helping me learn how to heal as well. Isn't it strange how sometimes the very people we think are part of the problem in our lives turns out to be the most helpful.

I obviously do not advocate keeping toxic people in your life. She was toxic at that point but now she is trying. As a matter of fact she is a big college football fan and was on her way yesterday to meet her parents to watch their team play. She and I spoke briefly on the phone. She told me that eventually we needed to have a conversation about the past but it wasn't one she wanted to have over the phone. She wanted to be face to face with me so that she could truly apologize.

What I think is most healing about this experience with her is that I often compared her to my mother in her alcoholism. Even my father, before he died, told me she was the worst sort of alcoholic he had seen since my mother. It is good for me to see C working the program and rebuilding her relationship with her own two daughters, unlike my mother did with me.

I am sure there is something revealing in this post and I await your responses to help me sort it out. I feel like I am starting a new phase on my own path to recovery. I am searching. I am searching for something and cannot quite put my finger on it. It is out there. I know it is. I just can't quite see it.

I know religion is off limits on this side but I have begun attending a Wednesday night mother's program at a local church and Cat is involved. Lot's of children she knows from school. I never could find a CODA meeting in my area, but through C did hear and learn about Celebrate Recovery. I could not stay for the whole program this past Friday night but I am going again next Friday night. It is like that "elusive butterfly". Eventually it will come to me.

I think it is probably true that people come into your life for a reason or a season. Just trying to sort it all out.

Bitsy

September 6, 2009
1:13 pm
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I called my an aunt today. She is married to my father's older brother. I am going to see them sometime this week. I told her I wanted to hear funny stories about my father. She told me that she was old and had advice for me. Keep the people who are good in my life and let all the rest go.

Bitsy

September 6, 2009
6:14 pm
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When we need to learn a lesson the teacher will appear. Going to celebrate Recovery is a giant step onto the path of your recovery. IMHO churchs can be a wonderful resource in communities. I know that the churches in my community and the programs they offer were life savers.

I found out that all of the people in my life that I blamed my problems on were not the cause of my problems. I realize now that all my problems were caused by me and my bad choices.

September 12, 2009
5:43 pm
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Dear Bitsy,
It sounds like you are trying to sort out how far into your life to allow this person who has a history of not being a person you would normally want in your life.

I hear three themes:

1. Can people really change?
2. Can/Should I forgive her?
3. Can I trust my own judgment?

1. In order to believe that you can change, it may be necessary to believe that others can change. OR In order to believe that others can change, you may have to realize that you have changed.

2. Forgiveness is about the one forgiving and not about whether the person being forgiven deserves forgiveness. Are you ready to forgive? Are you ready to announce this part of yourself far enough along the healing process that you no longer require protection from reminders of the pain? Can you forgive yourself? If you forgive her, what does that mean for potential reconciliation? By reconciliation, I mean opening the door to returning to an old friendship. Understand that you both have changed and you are possibly moving on to a NEW friendship. Only you can decide if who she WAS is very important to deciding if you can be friends with her now.

3. You can trust your own judgment. When you spend time with her, do it only because you want to, and not out of obligation. I sense you don't want to hear out her apology because it may take you back to a place you don't want to go. Its possible that you have already forgiven her and you have moved on. She may want to apologize so she can move on - but you don't owe her that space, unless you want to give it.

There may be a fourth theme. You drew the comparison to your mom. Are you living out a reconciliation fantasy about your mom through this friend? If it is helping you forgive and let go so you can be in a better place, then good for you.

I believe that you have good judgment. You tell me what you think, when you are done reading my summary of what I think I heard you type.

love,
bonni

September 12, 2009
6:05 pm
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Bonni, I think you hit the nail on the head in all areas EXCEPT I DO want to hear her apology. No one in my life has every apologized. I have forgiven almost all of them because it just happened over time. Even at her drunkest C was begging me to not be her. Walk away from R because she never did and she was an alcoholic. She told me over and over that she was my warning. Yes, she did some terrible things in her alcoholism to hurt me but she out of everyone could tell me the faults of R and what all was wrong with him. She has taught me the saying that "Hurt people; hurt people. She has made me face that he is an alcoholic and that an alcoholic doesn't love themselves because she is/was an alcoholic and she didn't love herself. All in all I think she has been good for me. She listens and tells me I deserve happiness. She tells me that if she can forgive the man who caused her to spend time in jail that I can find it in me to forgive R for cheating on me. I do like knowing that there are two young women out there who will continue to grow with a mother who is sober and they won't be like me.

I also think you are right that I am not quite at the point I am willing to trust my judgement. I need/want someone to tell me that I seem to be on the right path.

My ex husband and I had a long talk one night about something that happened when we were married that is a terrible embarrassment to me. He apologized for driving me to it. Just yesterday he said that he felt like he stole my church from me when we divorced. So in his way he has apologized for the hurt he caused.

My mother never apologized for ANY of the multiple things she did to cause me pain and heartache as I was growing up. My father hurt me as well through indifference or just being a man. He never apologized. My half brother who molested me at least explained why he did it but he never apologized. Yes. I do want to hear C say.
Bitsy, I was wrong and I hurt you and for that I am truly sorry. I think in my heart I have already forgiven her but I just want to hear the words.

Does that make me a bad person? I don't think so.

This afternoon I am sad and lonely. I have started attending Celebrate Recovery, which I have written about on the other side since it is Christian based.

Bitsy

September 13, 2009
9:17 am
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bonni
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((Bitsy))
Its ok to want to hear the apology. I think what I sensed was the discomfort, since it hasn't happened yet. It will be an entirely new experience.

There's something about worthiness in there, but I'm not able to quite articulate it this morning. I think it must feel really new and kind of overwhelming to sense that she WANTS to apologize and intends to and that she takes it so seriously that she wants to do it face to face.

You deserve to be treated well by the people you allow in your life.

bonni

September 13, 2009
11:21 am
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Thank you Bonni. It is amazing how well you "read" me. When you can come back and articulate what you are wanting to say about worthiness I am interested in hearing it. I think sometimes my "unworthiness" or inferiority complex holds me back. I hardly ever tell anyone who my mother ws because she was such a notorious drunk and caused a lot of destruction.

Bitsy

September 13, 2009
1:55 pm
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((Bitsy))
I struggle too with not feeling worthy. We project that out into the world and seek signs that it is true. I think the opposite is true, if we believe we deserve good things in our life, we more likely to hear those messages from the world.

Thats why affirmations are such an important part of the healing process. I need to embrace them more.

bonni

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