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Can't let him go
December 27, 1999
12:10 pm
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Toby
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My ex boyfried and I were together (this time) for about three years. Brian and I first met in 1979 and that began years of an on and off again relationship between the two of us. I was involved with someone else, but Brian and I hit it off really good. Except he lived a very fast life (night life, drinking, some drugs) and I wasn't quite into all of that. I kept seeing him, along with the other person. Brian and I broke up after about a year. But, I knew then that he would always be in my heart. We began seeing each other again in 1985. He moved in with my two children and me. I was somewhat happy with this arrangement, but it proved fruitless, as his wild ways never ended. We broke it off again. Throughout all this time, I was with this other person, and he began treating me very, very badly. I ran into Brian in October of 1997. He looked great, he said he had beaten the drugs and was ready to start his life anew. Well, at the time so was I. I was ready to get out of my relationship. I needed love, and Brian was there to give me that love and care that I longed for, for so many nights.

Again, he moved in with me and my (now) three kids. He treated me like a queen. We went out all the time, we loved to get dressed up and go out dancing. We loved going to the movies and dinner together. We just enjoyed our lives together. We even talked a great deal about marriage. Then, after almost a year of living together, things started going sour. I couldn't believe that the drugs had taken him over so badly. I tried in vain to help him. He was also dealing with a lot of health and mental issues. I knew that if I just hung in there with him and stood by his side, we could beat this demon. I was brought up to believe that you don't walk out on someone you love because they have a problem, you should always stick by a person and help them get through the problem.

Needless to say, I was not strong enough to help him. My every effort failed and we had a big blow up and he left me. That was three months ago. I have seen him since then, but haven't spoken with him in a month.

I keep asking myself what did I do wrong. I thought I was enough for him, but I was wrong about that. He left me, and I can't understand why. I can't seem to get the memories of all the good times out of my head. I can no longer sleep in the bed we shared. Almost every song I hear reminds me of us. I can not go out and dance with someone else. I actually feel guilty, like Brian is watching me. I have gained a great deal of weight. I am always tired and out of sorts. Although, I just landed the perfect job, it seems like I have no one to share that with me. If Brian was here, I know he would be so happy for me, but I can't even call him and tell him about this new position, because I don't know where he is.

I know I am going to have trouble forming new relationships, because I feel so damaged. I am only 42 years old and feel that my life is over because I don't have Brian here with me. I wonder if I will ever get over him.

I need someone to talk to or someone who can help me. My life is at a a stand still.

December 27, 1999
6:24 pm
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Huh, I have a girl-friend named Toby. Huh?

Anyway, I hear and feel your pain. I am in a long debate in another thread regarding codependency, which is what you have.....bigtime!

There is a book called, "Woman who love to much" by Robin Norwood.

God, READ IT READ IT READ IT! You will shit yourself. Your in there. And you know what? It will help relieve some of your suffering. There are, oh, about 50 million men and woman out there right now in your same shoes.

Classic codependency. Plain, simple. Caretaking is the most common form. Man, I could write a book on this.

Tell me more about the other guy. Whats his m.o? Into alochol, drugs, sex? How about mom and dad?

Answer these questions, and READ THAT BOOK! YOU WILL LOVE IT!

Until then, know you have come to the right place!

Broc

December 28, 1999
12:52 pm
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Toby
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Thanks for replying, Broc. Codependency? What is this? I'm very interested in learning more. If you have already diagnosed me, then give me a bit more detail, or anyone who can explain codependency. I thought I was just crazy in love, but apparently there's a lot more going on here.

And, the other guy is not an issue. He is, however, the father of my three children and is only in my life to that extent. He has been a good friend throughout the years, but there is nothing there. But I know that he would take me back at the drop of a hat. But the thought of another man in my life makes me sick on the stomach. Like I said, I would feel like I was cheating on Brian, like he was there watching me. I could never do that. -- Toby

December 29, 1999
4:10 pm
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BROC
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Toby,

It sounds like its codependency. Read the thread, "Should I stay or should I go,....." Angelwings gives much info. on codependency.

I asked about your ex. to help you, also your family. I can't tell you why, because I don't want you to bias your answers. Can you tell me about them? Alcoholics? Any addictions between your ex, mom, or dad? Give me the low down. Then I will give you my two cents.

Broc

January 3, 2000
10:31 am
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Toby
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Hi Broc. Actually, after reading your reply, I researched co dependency on the web. There was a great deal of similarity with the definition and what I am going through myself. This will assist me as I move on toward obtaining the professional help I know I need. You see, I also have signs of depression. I'm moody, can't sleep at night, and just down right unhappy. It took a lot just to gain the strength to try and enjoy the holidays with my children. I did, however, receive a lot of support from my family and friends. I am grateful for that.

As for my ex, the father of my children, he has been an extremely good friend through all this. He has been there to listen to me. He has laughed with me, and he has offered his shoulder for me to lean on. As far as he is concerned, yes there was an addiction problem with him also. But, this has long, long passed. I was there for him during those hard times, and he was much more receptive to my help than Brian.

As far as my parents, there were no real addictions in their lives. My mother did drink a bit too much, and at one point she went through this thing with prescription medicines. She was ill a lot and I think that is what caused that problem. She is now in a nursing home with Alzheimers. My father passed away in 1984. I was never as close to him as I really wanted to be. They were divorced for a long time, and my mother pretty much kept me to herself.

I have made one decision to help me heal though. Brian was a gift giver. He loved buying me gifts and surprising me with jewelry. I have a lot of jewelry that he gave me. I feel really weird wearing it though. So, today, I am going to take everything back to the jewelry store and trade it in for something that I'll choose myself. I don't know if this will help, but it is a start.

Thanks for your help.

Toby

January 3, 2000
11:27 am
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hazza
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Hi Toby,
Im sorry that you are having a tough time. many of us here are co-dependents in various stages of recovery so you are among friends.

I think you have a good friend in the father of your children, that is great.
It is also a good idea about the jewellery, it is a very cleansing thing to do when you remove reminders of painful situations from your life, it really helps you to move on.

Peace to you
Hazza

January 3, 2000
1:57 pm
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BROC
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Toby,

Good idea on the gifts. The depression, well, I know that too. Mine was chemical, and if yours is too, there are wonderful new drugs that can kick its ass!

In nearly ever home, there are very specific roles EACH of us play out. There is the dependent, which in your case sounds like your mom. There is the enabler which sounds like your dad. And there is you. You didn't mention any siblings, so its difficult to label your role, but if your an only child, you will usually adopt the role of the hero.

Typically, the dependent (mom) the addict is whats called the elephant in the home. In other words, she is the rather large problem that the family tries to ignore.....they bury, hide, lie about the truth. Look at the way you described her drinking.... "a bit too much". Now, someone else would more that likely tell me, if they had seen what you had, that she was a raging alcholic, or something to that effect.

You hid it from your friends, teachers, etc. Probably didn't have friends over a whole lot. Didn't want mom to be seen when the drugs and alcohol were flying??!!!

Anyway,the bottom line is that you learned the role of the caretaker. Cleaning up the mess she left behind. You have carried that into your adult relationships.... taking care of these men. Watching there every move, PREDICTING their responses and actions, becoming obsessed with it.

So, what to do now. One word. Therapy. One way out. Therapy. ONLY a therapist can dig down (help you to dig down) and find the ROOT of the problem. Then AND ONLY THEN can you fix that problem. Once that is done, your 50% home free. The remainder is "learning" new behaviors to relace your old codependent ones. I would recommend you ask your therapist about CoDA... Codependents Anonomoua (sp?). That will really help.

Boy, all I can tell you is if you do that, like I and so many others have, you will experience a new joy and happiness you never thought to be true.

Remember this. Everything you are now you learned as a child. Much of the way you behave is like a child. You never fully grew up, and that is what has caused your dysfunction. It is fixable, that I promise you. But you better roll up your sleves, because changing YOU is hard assed work, but the rewards are unbelievable. Don't do like most and give up. You will only go back to your old ways and be back here in six months crying the same tune. That I promise you too.

You get right with you, and everything else will AUTOMATICALLY take care of itself. You will become "healthy", and you will attract other relationships, friendships, etc. that will be healthy too!

Broc

January 3, 2000
3:40 pm
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Toby
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Broc,

I feel like I know you. Thank you for your infinite wisdom. I am the last of 11 children, and always to this day, have wondered why my brothers and (especially) sisters were so bitter with my mother. I have accused them of making up so many lies about her, because I honestly don't remember all the unhappy times they refer to. I do remember, though, not having friends over at times when she was unstable.

I wonder if this could actually be part of my problem, if I have 'blocked' out the unhappy times in my childhood. My insurance has kicked in, and I can finally take the step towards getting therapy. I'm not sure where to look, but I think I'll just start with our Employee Assistance Program.

Thanks for your help. And to Hazza, thanks for your input as well.

Toby

January 3, 2000
4:47 pm
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BROC
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GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!

Trying to fix this yourself, or ANYONE for that matter, without therapy, well, forget it.

You know, we humans are pretty damn smart. The great majority, I would say 95% are to smart. They think that they can just fix it themselves; if I just "find the right mate", or if I get that job promotion my life will be great, or if I had bigger boobs, or I was more muscular, etc. then my life would be GREAT! Or, that it will just "fix" itself "in time". If, if if.

Codependency - Looking "outside" of ones self for happiness.

With codependency, boy, its a dangerous and cruel animal. You see, when we look outside of ourselves for our own happiness, we will ALWAYS be disappointed - 100% of the time, guranteed, no way in hell I am wrong, I promise, etc. FACT. Why? Because humans will NEVER EVER EVER act the way you want them to. They will never change. (ie - stop drinking, overeating, stop smoking, quit cheating, ...... the list goes on and on to infinity) To expect them to, trick them into, or any other gimmick is nothing but CONTROL, and that is at the top of the list of no no's for codependents. But I don't control! You don't? Sit back and that about that for a second. How about Brian. How many things, times did you "try" to get him to behave in a manner acceptable to you? 1000, 2000? Don't worry. WE ALL HAVE DONE IT. And to some extent, I still do. This is one of those "behaviors" I mentioned in my last post that has to change. One of many.

Anyway, I am rambling again. And yes, your childhood DIRECTLY affects your actions now. As for "blocking" out those memories, I don't know how that works, so I won't comment.

Broc

January 5, 2000
11:08 am
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Toby
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Broc,

I made an appointment for consultation for next week. I wanted it sooner, but my work schedule didn't work out.

I'm having a really bad day today. Rough night last evening...crying too much. Also, I can't get away from the self-destructive behavior I have been engaging in (I can't elaborate now). I keep drawing myself towards people who drain all my energy. My self esteem is really low today. I feel like a nobody. I need to shake this, but I just feel like crawling into a hole.

Toby

January 5, 2000
12:03 pm
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BROC
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Boy, I know how you feel. I did, several times, feel like that and worse.....wanted to end it all. The pain, excruciating (sp?) I cried as well, over and over. Never thought it would get better. But it did. I did what my mom told me to do.... tie a knot in the end of the rope and just hung on. Hour by hour, day by day, month by month.

But, how to do this? For me, therapy was the key. Can you take some sick time off at work so you can go sooner? Try anything you can. Your sanity is the most important thing right now. Also, I read. Spent hours at Barnes and Noble. Reading rel. addiction, codependency, etc. Over and over. Codependents anonoymous - group meetings. Call your therapists office. The recepetionst should have a number for you. Call them now. You will be in a room full of people JUST LIKE YOU. It is comforting.

Education, at least for me, was the key.

Listen to this. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are many many people out there, literally millions just like you. Each in their own phase of development. This is YOUR chance to change your life once and for all. You will come across challenges... work through them. (ie - sleeping around, jumping back into another rel., possibly alcohol, drugs, etc.) SOME type of addiction, watch for it.

Bottom line is this: Get doing someting. Coda meetings for me REALLY helped. I believe they saved my life.

Give me a heads up. Write as often as you want. I will make sure to chekc several times a day to see how you are doing.

(((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))

Broc

January 6, 2000
4:54 pm
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Toby
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Broc,

Thanks for the hug yesterday...I really needed that. I'm feeling a bit better today. My problem yesterday was plain old depression. I had gone out Tuesday night with someone I met for the first time and he was very agressive. The thing is that I actually liked it. Now, that's not normal. This guy was not my type and this was our first time ever meeting. Well, nothing really happened. But, I couldn't believe that I almost did.

But, I must tell you that I did trade in my jewelry. Well, Brian was not cheap, and I made out pretty good -- new jewelry and money, too. How's that for therapy? I also wrote him a long letter. This is the sixth letter I've written (haven't mailed any) but I'm actually thinking about mailing this one.

I'm getting through this very slowly, but I know that with yours and the others help and a good therapist, I will one day walk out of this gray cloud I seem to be caught up in.

Take care.

Toby

February 2, 2000
11:21 am
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Toby
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Hello everyone, Broc and Hazza especially. It's been a while since I've written, but I have made a lot of progress. Much of my progress has been on my own. I was going to see a therapist but decided not to when I started feeling a lot better. I have gotten a lot of support from my families and friends who understand that I am trying my best to get over my heartache and co-dependency. I have even stopped crying...that is until last night.

I met a wonderful person this past weekend. We seemed to have so much in common. He and his wife divorced in September, the same month that Brian and I broke up. He has joint custody of his children, he lives near me, and we both even drink several diet pepsis throughout the day. I was very lucky to meet him. This was actually a surprise blind date that my loving girlfriends hooked up for me. Well, we went out last night and went over to his house afterwards. Needless to say things got pretty hot and heavy and I thought the atmostphere was mutual. But, he stopped stone cold and said he couldn't do this. I left, and called him when I got home. He told me that he just want to 'be friends'.

I have no problem with being just friends. I just wish he had been more upfront with me and not lead me on in such a way.

Needless to say, I am feeling really bad right now. The feeling of rejection is so intense that I can barely function today. I am down really low. I feel sorry for myself, and I feel angry at myself for allowing things to go so fast. But I also feel betrayed, dumped upon, and every other negative adjective I can think of.

I could really use some support and some hugs today.

Toby

February 3, 2000
12:21 am
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KTHOMAS
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Toby,

We have never talked before...but I want to send you hugs and encouragement that this shall pass and you will grow from all the hurt you are experiencing at this time. My heart hurts for you.

I don't know what your beliefs are but I am praying for you sweetie.

Karin

February 3, 2000
12:35 pm
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infaith
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well Toby, YOu are creating the negative feelings not this fellow and isnt it too soon for both of you to be getting involved in a relationship?
Don't eat yourself up for something that may have NOTHING to do with you personally, he is probably still in love with his ex which would not be suprising since he has only been apart from her for four months and same with you.......
Dont let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy.....
also think of the children, what a shock it would be for them to see their father with another woman so soon after leaving their mother...it saddens me how many people neglect to put their children first....take it slow toby, life will wait.

February 6, 2000
11:30 am
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HI toby,
glad to hear that you are getting over Brian.
Who knows what the deal is with this other guy? You could phone him and say look i need to know for my own peace of mind why it was you froze up on me? that might work but he may not understand it himself anyway. I would agree that it was a bit too soon for both of you that is all. You will meet someone else who doesn't have a recent divorce or other baggage and find that things will run smoothly and that is what you want. If this other guy has issues on the first date, then save yourself hassle and leave it there! take it from me, if the first date has wierd feelings then it aint never gonna work. He could have told you last night why he froze but he didn't and that shows me that he is not that worried about how you were feeling is he? He could have said hey i like you but this is to soon, but he didn't.
Wait for someone better, many people drink diet sodas, its not enough to be worth getting involved with someone, try to develop friendships at this time and take a little more time and you will be able to get to know potential partners before they end up hurting you.
Take care and its good to see you again!
Hazza

February 7, 2000
11:53 am
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Toby
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Ok, Hazza and Infaith, I am learning some life lessons here. Wait and be patient is the key. I should know that better than anyone. After finally beginning to get over Brian, I never thought I would get to this point, but I waited and I know it's going to be alright. This new guy is turning out to be a good friend. And after talking with him so much over the past week, I realize that he is not ready for a relationship...and neither am I. I'll keep you informed. Thanks for your encouraging and very candid words of wisdom.

Toby

February 8, 2000
8:40 pm
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BROC
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Toby,

Been away, but dropped in to check on you. Up, down, up, down, up, down. Its a roller coaster. Well, I want you to do me a favor. OK? When you are finally sick and tired of being sick and tired, I will let you in on secret that is guranteed to stop that shit once and for all.

Hugs.

Broc

February 9, 2000
8:41 am
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hazza
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Hey Broc, don't tell me? Councelling for co-dependency? Right?!!!!
😉
Hazza

February 9, 2000
10:37 am
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Hazza's above comment just brought a 'framework' to my mind about codependency.

I think of codependency counseling/feedback like, "Chicken soup for the self-esteem"…that's really what codependency therapy/diagnosis is all about.

It has to do with getting ourselves back on track from clinging to others for fear that we are not good enough. Healing is achieved when we are able to hold onto, nurture, and love ourselves, and let go of the false starts/attempts to bypass ourselves by going through back doors (holding onto others through games, control, hoping, struggling, etc).

It's vital to all humans to love ourselves, that's the most fulfilling success we can achieve.

- SC

February 9, 2000
10:47 am
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Toby
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Broc -- I'm glad you're back, I've really missed you. I am trying hard to get myself back on track...and actually believe I am headed there. I know that I must think about myself and put myself before anyone else. This has always sounded selfish to me, but for so long I catered to Brian and his needs and forgot about my own needs and wants, so it is now time to make up, both mentally and spiritually. You are all great. I am on the road to a better me, thanks to this thread.

Toby

February 9, 2000
4:46 pm
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infaith
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Good for you Toby! Great comment SC!

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