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can anyone help me understand how my ex gf. ? she was sexually abused as a young teen by her father and abandoned by her mother at an early age.
February 19, 2006
11:38 am
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Bazil
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She does everything for me, gets up at 5 am brings me a coffee in bed,makes me a denny's breakfast, makes my lunch for work, pays for just about everything she can, does my laundry and takes care of everything. I found this very strange in the beginning of our relationship because it was instant. She found it quite amazing that i wanted to do my own laundry, i vacuum and clean up regularly also and bring her coffee in bed on my days off. I also couldn't stand that she did all the dishes by hand so i bought a dishwasher( probably more for me than her). From the age of 7 i could make pancakes from scratch and am very capable of taking great care of myself. but i loved how she looked after me from day one of our relationship.The only problem was early on i found this strange....like the relationship was more important to her than "we" were. An emotional connection is the most important thing to me. I just found her to be trying way too hard in the beginning and that put a red flag up. Then when i wanted to talk about anything, she never wanted to...i think the idea of an argument or disagreement to her meant that the relationship would be in danger. so we didn't accomplish anything talking. I found this to be distressing, because normally people can talk about things that are issues, big or small, but for us she seemed to be very threatened by any discussions and would shut off. Can anyone gimme some insight into this...or is it the way i was being?

February 19, 2006
7:19 pm
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hopeful for change
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well she sounds like alot of us here. I can tell you my thoughts of this. I to was molested and abandoned as a child.

We try to think that if we give our all to someone and prove that we are worthy of their love. I personnaly had only felt self esteem or self worth if someone else was giving it to me. So I would take care of everything and everyone but me. I want the good stuff other people have on the inside the love, the happiness the peacefullness. I always felt like damaged goods and that I didn't matter. I felt scared and alone and thought I had to prove myself to others. I had to be perfect. I tried to recreate the childhood of my dad, and hope this time I wouldn't be abandoned or abused. However I seem to find the ones just like him.

It's just screwed up - when you are a little child and things like this happen...its bad. These are the years you are forming your self esteem and self worth. You are finding yourself. In this time when you are abandoned and abused, you really grow up believing that you deserve that. I don't know if I am saying this clearly.

I can be the caretaker of the world, take care of every friend and man and child and dog, the business the house my yard the bills everything. Eventually though I turn it all around and feel like a victim again, because really I set myself up to be used or treated like a door mat, I let other people function below their capabilites and take on their responsiblities. The hole in my heart can't be filled by any man or person. I just finally figured this out. I have to fill it.

The hole is to big and to deep another person isn't capable of that sort of repair. It's really between me and god.

This may be way to much or scattered information. I would venture to ask if your girlfriend had read the book codependent no more?

I have found the book homecoming to be a remarkable tool right now of healing.

February 19, 2006
7:57 pm
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Bazil
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hopeful for change, thanks so much for that. i find it incredibly painful to hear that the woman i love feels this inside and also believes its my fault for her feeling this way right now. what is she likely thinking of me right now....i have had trust issues with her because she was always trying to hide everything from me that she thought would bother me. I broke up with her 3 days ago. Does it mean we shouldn't get back together because she's a drug and alcohol abuser and can't control her money? I love her so much and want to help her. I hate seeing her suffer like this. What does she need from me right now? what should i do?

February 20, 2006
7:47 am
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Thats tricky for me because if she's an addict, she also sounds like a codependent. I read a thread on this site about being both. I am married to an alcoholic and the stand I am taking is that I can not be in a relationship with you unless you are sober and getting active help. Maybe you are codependent to? I don't know, do you? I mean it's hard to be in a relationship with someone who is using, it doesn't matter what we say or do we can't change another persons actions, thoughts, patterns or anything. When I find myself in a relationship with an addict, I then find myself consumed with trying to help them....and their problems..and I can't help or change them. I loose myself and forget about me.

have you read the post what addicts do? This is very enlightening to me. Also, I think addicts drink or do drugs to forget the pain and emotion. Obviously you already know what she is trying to forget and not deal with. But you can't save or change her. You can simply tell her that you can't be in a relationship with her if shes activley drinking. You can't trust her, she can't trust herself. She will lie to you, she lies to herself. Just like that thread what addicts do. I think they are in pain but they are the only ones who can fix it.

I know how bad it hurts to watch someone destroy themselves. I would suggest you turn your focus to you and what you need. Their simply isn't anything else to do.

February 20, 2006
9:11 am
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loverbee
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here is what I would say, I think she is trying to prove to herself that she can be loveable. That is why she is doing all the things for you that she does. If you broke up with her, here is what I recommend...First of all, do you want to be in a relationship with her??? Because if you don't, I can guarantee she could really use supportive friend right now. I was raped as a child and my father kicked me out of my house as a teen. I can tell you right now that the thought that always went through my mind was that I was a mistake, unloveable and would be better of dead. Now I don't tihnk that anymore, but it took someone really loving to help pull me out of it. So be a friend to her which it sounds like you are already doing because you seem to love her very much. Help her with her addictions and make her know that you are always there. And be patient with her. If you ever want to get back into the relationship again, you have to make sure she has started being able to love herself first. But don't just sever all ties with her. Not if you love her. It is hard to understand people sometime, but sometimes, if you listen, what they aren't talking about is the loudest statement they ever made. So every time she says she doesn't want to talk, she is actually screaming for help. I hope this helps..

Loverbee

February 20, 2006
7:13 pm
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Bazil
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Loverbee, your putting tears in my eyes. I'm so hurt and missing her. I emailed her and told her all the hard truths about her addiction and future bankruptsy and hitting rock bottom. And she blames me for it all, including that she's a drug abuser. So its hard for me too. I want to stick by her side and be her friend, i know she loves me like she has no other guy. But i'm stuck in the way that i wanna help her but....she's probably gonna meet another guy online or a guy who deals drugs in order to support her habit cuz now she's outta cash and i don't wanna be around for that hartbreak. She tells me she hates me and doesn't want us to be a couple ( even tho i broke up with her) but i know she wants me back, she's just frustrated cuz she doesn't know what to do or how to get along. She's in major denial i guess...? does that sound right? Her world is about to come crashing down.

February 20, 2006
7:50 pm
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gingerleigh
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It's her world, not yours. By continuing to step in and help her and advise her, you're actually insulting her. (Hear me out here.) You are treating her as though she is incapable of taking care of herself, of being a functional adult.

Listen to what she's telling you.

"She tells me she hates me and doesn't want us to be a couple ( even tho i broke up with her) but i know she wants me back, she's just frustrated cuz she doesn't know what to do or how to get along."

Even though "you know" that she wants you back, you're still making assumptions about what she is thinking. Step back and let her make her own mistakes and have her own successes.

February 20, 2006
8:08 pm
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Bazil
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gingerleigh, i agree with you, she's always said that she doesn't need me to help her , she's perfectly capable. But she is going to lose everything....do i let that happen?
should i just hang in the back ground if she needs me.....i can only take so much of this too...it hurts me to see her this way.

February 20, 2006
8:19 pm
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gingerleigh
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If you rescue her again, she's going to continue to create drama until she is forced to rescue herself. Why prolong her agony? She's coming to a turning point now. She will have to choose a course of action and follow up on it, reaping the consequences of whatever choice she makes.

I spent years of my life and thousands of dollars rescuing men who didn't want to be rescued. And you know what thanks I got? A swift kick in the ass on the way out.

I understand that it hurts to watch it happen. For that reason, I say to turn the focus on yourself now, and remove yourself from the situation. By setting her free, you're also setting yourself free.

I have a question for you... I hope it doesn't come off as rude, it's not meant that way. You are expressing fear for her. Could it be that you're not really afraid for her, but more afraid for yourself and what the future holds for you if you're not constantly trying to rescue her? I could be way off base though, feel free to set me straight!

February 20, 2006
8:37 pm
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Bazil
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gingerleigh, i understand the question and i think its normal to help the one you love like i wanna help her. She's just short of given me the world. But i do understand where you're coming from and you're right...she really does need to learn for herself. I guess in a selfish way i want her for myself too....so i wanna help her. but i know i shouldn't. I can't say that i'm an actual codependent....but i could be. I've always helped my girlfriends out in any way i could...some needed more help than others, but they gave me he;p when i needed it too.I know i have a fear of abandonment issues thats for sure.but your question is really making me think. I used to try and help my high maintenance mother all the time....my dad was in the military. But i never would want a gf like that. Can you tell me more......i'm listening

February 20, 2006
9:30 pm
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loverbee
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She doesn't hate you, she hates herself. Sometimes the people that you want to help the most are the people that you cant. Once a drug addiction becomes part of the problem things can get messy. But even if she doesn't accept your help, one day it will be a really good thing that you offered. I don't think she has hit rock bottom, because when she does, she will never want to stay there. You have to let her crash and burn so that she can see that she needs help to pull herself out of it. Right now it sounds like things aren't bad enough for her to want that right now. Or she really hates herself. You should feel good knowing that you tried and are trying to help her and know that IT ISN"T YOU THAT SHE HATES. She loves you the most that is why she is not afraid to express her hate, because she feels safe enough with you too get angry. IT ISN"T YOUR FAULT THAT SHE IS AN ADDICT TOO. no one can make you do that.

February 21, 2006
6:51 am
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I have copied and pasted a post below, It brings me such clarity in my situation.
================ What Addicts Do

I'm an addict. And this is what addicts do.

You cannot nor will not change my behavior.

You cannot make me treat you better, let alone with any respect. All I care about, all I think about, is my needs and how to go about fulfilling them. You are a tool to me, something to use.

When I say I love you I am lying through my teeth, because love is impossible for someone in active addiction. I wouldn't be using if I loved myself, and since I don't, I cannot love you.

My feelings are so pushed down and numbed by my drugs that I could be considered a sociopath. I have no empathy for you or anyone else. It doesn't faze me that I hurt you, leave you hungry, lie to you, cheat on you and steal from you.

My behavior cannot and will not change until I make a decision to stop using/drinking and then follow it up with a plan of action.

And until I make that decision, I will hurt you again and again and again.

Stop being surprised.

I am an addict. And that's what addicts do.

Anonymous

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have myself always tried to save these addicts, I can see the good in them, I can see what their lives could be. I can see they are hurting. I want to fix it all. I just end up hurt, abandoned feeling worthless and unloved. When I help these addicts I am enabling them. I am helping them stay stuck, if they don't have to face the consequences they will never change. This is very hard for me to do, it's in my nature to help people. However I am helping people who can help themselves this is different and I am trying to learn the difference.

Make sense?

February 21, 2006
9:02 am
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Bazil
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Thanks for all that you guys. I want to clarify something and ask a question too. She has a friend who is actually an addict but she has a daughter and takes care fo her seemingly ok...you'd be surprised. But the woman never goes out. She does have a job online with a legitimate skill. My girl friend ( ex) i guess is trying to save this woman and a lot of her daily energy and efforts are wasted on her at my expense also. But my gf ( ex) doesn't use nearly as often as her friend, so i can say with certinty that my ex is a drug abuser but not a hardcore addict like this other girl.....soes this matter? Is there still a chance for her ( if i help)?
I do understand what you're saying.....but this is like putting an animal to sleep ( euthenizing it). Its gonna be so hard to do just let her crash and burn. I love her so much. Thanks for all the help.

February 21, 2006
12:28 pm
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gingerleigh
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If you love her, then show her some respect and let her take care of herself. She's not a child that you have to care for. The more you smother with help, the more she will push you away. Let her be.

February 21, 2006
1:25 pm
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I know it does suck watching someone crash and burn. I am currently doing it myself. I can see the possiblity of what life could be life if they changed. I can see all the good. I just don't have that kinda control. I think its great to try to help people, however usually in this sort of situation the help doesn't help.

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