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HELP, PLEASE HELP!
July 15, 2007
12:16 pm
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Anonymous
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Healintime, thank you so very much for sharing your story and your insights.

I'm... all things considered, am doing okay today, thought the nightmares from last night have left their mark and I still have that knot in my stomach which doesn't seem to subside. I also just found out from a dear old friend that his mother has passed away after months of being sick in hospital and the sadness I am feeling in general these days along with my natural "gift/curse" of empathy have started up a new flow of tears, but at least I'm feeling the will to live, the will to get better, the will to heal myself and help others through my own healing (as opposed to helping others first and tending to myself second).

The ex is up to his antics again. After not receving any news from him at all yesterday, he's just sent me 3 text messages in a row, telling me how much he misses me, how much he's cried over me, how beautiful I am (the most beautiful human being he's ever known, aparently - big woop), how he wants me body and soul. Even made some sexual references, which I find incredibly inapropriate on his part, but not surprising, since he doesn't seem to have a notion of boundaries that way. And besides... TEXT MESSAGES???

I know what I have to do, which is not respond in any way, but at the same time... the more I delve into this co-dependency issue, the more I'm realizing that those cycles are perpetuated through generations and that we are ALL, whether abuser, victim, user, or enabler, a part of the very same cycle of abuse, and that we are ALL needing to be heard and healed.

Definitely not saying I intend on being the ex's moral punching bag any longer, but then again, nothing is stopping me from writing and sharing my insights with him or anyone else I choose... as long as I keep my distances from him. Or is that also potentially hurtful to me too?

I don't know what to think anymore. I just don't. Call me naive, but I really do think that if we can all stop with the blame game and help each other heal ourselves, the world can and will be a better place.

July 15, 2007
2:00 pm
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turnabout
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Yeah, text messages at a time like this ... a coward's communication.

If you delete them, you'll be less tempted to respond to them.

I notice none of his messages asked how YOU were feeling .... ?? or showed any awareness to how you were feeling ... ??

One thing that has been missing from your descriptions of him and his attitude about rehab is an acceptance of accountability to everyone else's feelings. His world is still very self-centered, and as long as it remains such, his sobriety will be very untrustworthy.

I've never been an addict to drugs or alcohol, but I know from personal experience that the one sure sign that a person has changed is when they stop expecting you to accommodate them. I was severely depressed throughout most of my college years, which was a hardship on my parents as well as me. They couldn't trust me to attend my classes. They couldn't trust me to follow through on my promises.

I didn't really start changing into a different person, one that they could rely on, until I acknowledged in my own heart that they had no reason to trust me, and so I had no right to expect them to. It was then that I slowly began working towards becoming worthy of their trust. When I backslid, as I often did in the early days, I accepted it that they backslid also into mistrust and anger, because I knew I was on my way out and in time I would fully be worthy of their trust. I didn't selfishly try to defend myself. They had a right to their feelings, and I just had to stay focused on what I needed to do to get better.

And that's the kind of attitude I DO NOT see coming out of your ex's behavior. He's expecting you to be there for him, hurt that you aren't, without considering how you must be feeling. That's unfair. You're thinking of his feelings ... you keep posting of it here, but is he thinking of yours? It doesn't seem so, and if he genuinely loved you with a GIVING love, then he would be offering you understanding for your feelings just as much or more than he'd be asking for your help and understanding.

((((((((girlfriend))))))))

July 15, 2007
2:01 pm
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turnabout
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Healintime,

Great story.... very well said.

July 15, 2007
2:31 pm
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the girlfriend,

Hi. Glad to see you're still posting and that people are giving you such thoughtful responses.

For what it's worth, I can understand how difficult it is for you not to respond to him. You told me your guy sounds like my friend - passionate, intelligent, witty, and so on.

I am very susceptible to an intelligent man who knows how to use words and seems to reach right into me. I promise you, that is a skill they've developed. They can make women feel they're truly being heard and understood. They will reassure you about whatever you're insecure about - physical appearance, intelligence, and so on. Most definitely, if you have any doubts that you're loveable, they will assure you are. Also, they are wounded. My friend found his mother hanging in the bathroom. He was 7. She had also sexually abused him. I challenge any woman, especially a mother, to not have sympathy. But, of course, I had more than sympathy. I too had childhood injury.

When I was sleeping with my friend (not sure why I continue saying that), I was on a high like you wouldn't believe. No one had "adored" me like that before. However, as soon as I put my foot down about drinking, he was gone. We still talked, however, because I couldn't let go. He went on to "adore" other women and seduce them with his charm.

In the last three years of the the 16-17 years I've known him, he has been in recovery and stayed sober. He still attends a weekly group meeting. But he's still manipulative and untrustworthy. Yet now, he uses recovery words. He strung me along with the hope that sometime soon we could be together, but once he'd met a younger woman, local(I'm long distance, who is completing a master's in creative writing, has a novel coming out, etc., he began pulling away and then telling me he couldn't be with me because of my "issues". In fact, rather than tell me up front what was going on, he was willing to end contact with me and let me accept all of the blame. A friend wouldn't do that.

My point is, these men will say and do what is necessary until it no longer serves them well. The other women my friend dated all left him eventually. I imagine this new woman might also. He's sober (maybe), but he is still stuck in a low-paying job, he's always broke, he doesn't have even a BA, and though he has begun writing a bit, (did I mention he wants to write?), he still doubts himself too much to let anyone look at his work. He'll be 38.

Have you ever seen the movie Surviving Picasso? Anthony Hopkins plays the lead role. Picasso was known for his misogyny, yet women couldn't let go because of his genius. At least he was actually producing something. Survive this guy. Don't give away more of your life to him than you already have.

Now, if you're still with me, I want to respond directly to this excerpt from your post.

Definitely not saying I intend on being the ex's moral punching bag any longer, but then again, nothing is stopping me from writing and sharing my insights with him or anyone else I choose... as long as I keep my distances from him. Or is that also potentially hurtful to me too?

YES, YES, YES. Writing and sharing your insights with him will automatically bring you closer to him. He would probably respond positively. Then you'd feel so good because 1) you'd think you'd helped him, 2) you want to be understood and appreciated.

Send your writing to a publisher.

All the best,

mpoppins

July 15, 2007
3:08 pm
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the girlfriend,

I wanted to say that my friend may have a very successful relationship with this younger, soon-to-be-published writer, and my issues without a doubt contributed to us not getting together again. He deserves to be happy - we all do. However, it is coming up on 16 or 17 years. I watched him drink until passing out, watched him try to stop, went to his apartment and picked up beer cans and cleaned up, talked with his parents, looked for treatment centers, therapists... It wasn't until HE was ready to stop that he finally did. Even after getting into recovery, it is still a long process. I'm only saying, once you get involved, it's harder to get away. Up until a few weeks ago, I could not even imagine my life without my friend in it. Looking back, I see that the connection cost me so much.

mpoppins

July 15, 2007
3:13 pm
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turnabout, just read your post... again... thanks so much for the loving support, and the hugs too. I can use those.

I totally see where you're coming from with the story of how you had to rebuild trust following your bouts with depression. Because of course, when we are in a place of hurting, we hurt others around us, if only for the fact that we are so self-centered... but then what other options do we have? We have to heal ourselves FIRST, before we can reach out, right?

Through all the pain and agony I go through with my own mental disorders... I do try to be there for others, but I also see how selfish and self-centered I can be and so I sometimes overcompensate... It seems either way, doesn't really work, because people always feel it's not 100% sincere, no matter what.

Sigh. In the meatime, have recevied more text messages from the ex. Now he's worried about me, he says. Won't I please call him or email him to let him know how I'm okay? He misses me so terribly, he says.

Can he not pick up a phone? Can he not call or email me himself? That just tells me he really IS a coward, and he must very well know the pain he is causing.

And the fact of the matter is you're absolutely right about him not wanting to deal with the consequences of his actions. I found out the final steps of the rehab program he was going through involve calling people to apologize for the pain they've been put through because of the addict's actions, and I find it interesting that he has not found it to be an important part of his recovery, in fact, avoids it every time.

And he's still very much in a place of blaming everyone else for his pain, as opposed to taking ownership of his responsibility in all that, and THAT to ME, was the biggest red flag of all. Through the whole time. I just didn't want to see it. The fact that he keeps saying how much he misses his kid and how sad that makes him that he can't be there for him, yet makes zero effort to actually see this poor child (there's always some good excuse), that also, is a huge red flag. I guess I had a huge blind spot to all those flags because my own dad was so irresponsible when I was growing up, that I almost take that kind of behaviour for granted, only at least I have the instincts to FEEL that something is off. Depression is always a sure sign that all is not well with the currents state of affairs.

But at this point, as I keep saying, whether he starts driking or using again doesn't even matter to me anymore, because the fact is I cannot and will not be with someone who is so inconsiderate of other people's feelings and that unconscious of the pain and havock he is causing around him. I've thought of writing him to tell him that... hoping it might open his eyes, but I can see that as long as he's in denial, no matter what I say or do, he'll find a way to deflect it so as not to take responsibility for his actions, because of course that's a very tough reality to face, for any of us, and you have to come from a place of complete humility and sincerity to say "I truly messed up, and I am truly sorry", and mean it.

Been there, done that. In the meatime... may I just say again how amazing you all are and how grateful I am that there are places like this to come to so we don't have to, any of us, face these incredibly tough challenges on our own.

Amen to that.

July 15, 2007
3:47 pm
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mpoppins...

I took my time reading turnabout's post and responding before reading yours and I must say... I am blown away.

About your friend, you say: "he has been in recovery and stayed sober. He still attends a weekly group meeting. But he's still manipulative and untrustworthy. Yet now, he uses recovery words."

That's something that I've been struggling with, and which had me fooled for a while, but now I see just how crafty these guys can get. Instead of actually getting better, they just pick up the lingo as they go along, kind of like idiot savants, or more like chimps in scientific experiments.

In the case of T, it's really complex for me because we come from similar backgrounds, having intellectual and liberal parents who've given us all the "right" things to read from a very young age, including spiritual texts from budhhism to suffism... astrology... you name it. We speak the same language, and that, in and of itself is rare for me to find, and so I got sucked in.

I'm also completely empathetic of his situation because we've suffered similar kinds of abuse and abandonment issues as very young children (babies, really) and so I understand his pain so well... sometimes I think of myself as an abuser too, because the fact is I've let my own depression be a reason to keep people hanging and walking on eggshells, and so it's not always clear to me who is the abuser or the abusee in a relationship like that.

I see T as my spiritual "little brother" in a sense, and I'd so like to help him get better, share some of the tools I've picked up along the way, but then I see there is no sense in doing that, because until and unless he actually decides to start acting with absolute and complete integrity, he is likely to just use the tools to better manipulate me, and everyone else he comes into contact with.

I see now that part of the attraction for me was just how attentive he was to my own spiritual journey. But I didn't realize he wasn't so much wanting to actually heal himself as because he was just studying how to better use that supposed spirituality to fool people into thinking he's such a special, spritual being. Which... is kind of sickening, come to think of it. And I've also been blind to the fact that he's been using sex as a bait all along.

His text messages have been alternating between very sexually explicit comments (how much he'd like to do this and that to me), to how much he misses and worries about me. I find that repulsive, because for one thing, he knows how sexually attracted I was to him (one of the best lovers I've ever had, which is saying a lot since there have been... too many), but then it's so inappopriate for him to be even MENTIONING sex at this point... and did I mention via TEXT MESSAGE???

I'm shaking my head. So upset at myself. And now the afternoon is rushing by, and again, I've spent the better part of the day obsessing about him, if not contacting him directly.

"Send your writing to a publisher."

You have no idea how powerful those words are to me right now. It's what I've been so afraid of doing... because so unsure of myself. Never considered myself a "real" writer because... "my mothers's the writer, not me" and also because... haven't been able to focus on writing fiction so far, though my "real life" reads like fiction anyway... so who knows.

And so yeah, I'm guessing you're familiar with Julia Cameron's Artist's Way. I've done her "program" several times, but always dropped it before finishing. So that's the rehab program I need to get on.

I see what you mean about that kind of relationship taking up so much time and energy... time and energy that I am better off using towards creative projects... like editing the volumes of writing I've put out in the past year and attempting to get published "for real"... wouldn't that be nice? I'd be sure to put you in the "thank you's" 🙂

July 15, 2007
4:07 pm
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Hi Girlfriend

I am sorry you are going through such a rough time- I have been in your spot quite a few times- it's hard to not contact him, especially if he is trying so hard to get you to respond.

Maybe with the text messages you can send one back that says "I am no longer responding to your texts - please do not call or email me either." Is that something you would consider doing and do you think that would be effective?

Good luck

DM

July 15, 2007
8:33 pm
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Yes well... I finally wrote him to say that we can't be in contact unless and until he gets his life in order. Which... in the meantime buys me time to get busy with my own life and with my track record... I'll have moved on soon enough. Now I just need to learn to stay clear of the next beautiful jerk who comes my way (and the one after that, and the one after that, and so on).

July 16, 2007
1:03 am
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the girlfriend,

The message you sent your guy was very clear. It took courage to send it.

For the record, I do believe my "friend" is sincere about recovery. It would be hard to fake it for 3 years. He has made a lot of progress, and I know it hasn't been easy for him.

I shouldn't have made him sound so calculating. We all want love. If these guys were total dicks, it would be way too easy.

I'm bitter and sad. Still grieving. Still crying. Still torturing myself imagining my "friend" and his new girlfriend. Wondering if he misses me at all. Still hoping for an email or call apologizing for the way he handled things.

I haven't written him in two weeks. That is no small feat considering that we'd had nearly daily contact for 3 years up until 2 weeks ago.

...

Of course you're a writer! How exciting that you have volumes of work.

I can see this as a big turning point for the main character. She decides to focus all of her energy on saving herself...

Well, good luck to you and to me.

I received word a few hours ago that one of our students, I teach at a university, was killed last night in a motorcycle accident. Our department is very close, and this student was a great guy with many friends.

It can all end in an instant, can't it?

Take care.

mpoppins

July 16, 2007
1:04 am
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the girlfriend-

You seem to have worked out a lot just over the course of this thread. Do not underestimate yourself, it takes some people years before they get to the realizations that you have now.

It will be painful if you decide to stay away from this man, a roller coaster ride. As hard as it is you will only get stronger. Think of all the things that have become more clear to you since you have been apart... and extrapolate.

I know you say this man is loving and caring, and at his core, he may very well be a terrific person. But addiction won't allow him to be fully giving of these things and your needs will never be met unless you are willing to take a chance that he will be one of the rare few that stays sober. It does happen, but I would have to caution you that it will hurt you more than help you to wrap yourself and your life around that hope for another person. That is his job. If he can come back to you after a time (you decide what makes you comfortable- I'm not telling you what you should do) you'll know there is something there.

You don't need a spiritual little brother as your partner, you deserve a peer.... someone you don't have to teach and mother. That's not a partner. That's someone who gives you work. And you know why they don't always call when they tell others they miss you, or before they tell you they miss you? Because sometimes during that period... they don't NEED you yet. Addicts are masters of using people for their own needs, even people they love. I do not believe it's possible to quantify another's love and how much they have for someone, including yourself, but what you can judge is the expression of it, and the quality. The quality of an addicts love is quite lacking in countless respects.

One thing that becomes a pattern the longer an addicts relationship progresses is how often they seek out people only when they are in need. It works so that the people who love them the most, and who do not protect themselves, end up being used the most- and sometimes they think that you are such a reliable person in this manner that you will become someone they ONLY seek out when they need something. And it's not a fair deal. But you do not have to allow this to happen. You have a choice. I lived with two addicts (one on and off 7 years, another for 4, plus I am in recovery), and believe me, sometimes I think recovering from the damage of my last relationship is going to take me longer than the relationship itself.

Your first few posts made me feel like they were something I wrote a couple of years back. The part about focusing on sex- well that too- I really hear you. That's 1/2 baiting you and 1/2 because they DO want it more than ever the minute they get sober. It's still all about what they want when they want it, forget anything else that might matter- including your feelings.

My ex went into detox and rehab so many times that we lost count. On one occasion he called, asked me to come see him in the hospital, when I got there (20 minutes later) he was gone getting drugs. They chase the drug (or drink) and we chase them. Do you want to be in that race?

It is so hard because I don't doubt that you feel true love for this man, and even that he may for you. He may very well be a But please know that addiction is bigger than that more often than not. I'm not trying to be a wet blanket, I'm just hoping you stick to your guns, stay the strong woman you are and watch out for your own interests. Be selfish right now. It sounds like you have extended a lot of empathy towards him, but now is the time for you to just focus on you and be firm. You can keep telling him you'll see him some point in the future if you are able if that makes you feel better. No big decisions if you can't make them and stick to them, that's okay. You don't owe him a plan carved in stone, especially if you don't have one for yourself. Plus, in regards to what you tell him- all you need is to be honest here- you just need time for yourself. You are worth it. It's of vital importance.

Wishing you the best.

hugs,
-ella

July 16, 2007
10:29 am
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marypoppins,

so sorry to hear about your student's sudden death. That must have come as quite a shock to you. But also... yes, it's good to be reminded that every day could be our last and to make the most of it, w/o driving ourselves nuts and trying to accomplish too much every day either... because that just becomes another thing to become stressed out about!

Sorry to hear you're going through so much pain over your friend. There are people who have come and gone in my life and with whom I've had some very intense experiences and then... never heard from again, and I think about them occasionally and get a little pang, but it becomes a bittersweet feeling with time. I hope it gets to that point for you eventually. Of course it will. Just give it time.

Then again... you just might hear from him again someday - I've met or gotten news from a few ex-lovers who've contacted me to let me know how well they've done, either kicking their addictions, or moving on from bad relationships or embracing their inner artist. Those occasions made all the heartbreaks and dissapointments seem less important somehow. I wish you the same.

(((((hugs))))) gf

p.s. You said: "Of course you're a writer! How exciting that you have volumes of work.
I can see this as a big turning point for the main character. She decides to focus all of her energy on saving herself..."
That made me smile wide. I guess the very act of writing DOES make one a writer, and goodness knows I can be awfully prolific, yes! "Take care of the quantity, the Higher Power will take care of the quality" as JCameron would say. Thank you so much for the positive reinforcement. That's really what I need to focus on - might just be my salvation! 🙂

July 16, 2007
10:39 am
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ella,

just thought I'd write a quick note for now to thank you for your most thoughtful message. You've made some very valid points. I've got to log off now, but wanted you to know that I will be responding in kind as soon as I am able to later in the day.

take good care,

gf

July 16, 2007
12:18 pm
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turnabout
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mzrella-

"I do not believe it's possible to quantify another's love and how much they have for someone, including yourself, but what you can judge is the expression of it, and the quality. The quality of an addicts love is quite lacking in countless respects."

Makes me think of that Michael W. Smith song that says, "Love isn't love until you give it away."

July 16, 2007
12:50 pm
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turnabout
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Oh, and this comment...

"They chase the drug (or drink) and we chase them."

That's a ringer. I remember telling my binge-drinking best friend/ex-bf that I didn't think any woman would ever be able to get truly close to him because they would have to compete against his true mistress, alcohol. Know what he said to me in return?

"You may be right."

Even he could see it, but he still didn't want to change. Another comment, perhaps in the same conversation, was, "I don't know. I think someday when the right woman comes along, I won't want to drink anymore." That was a knife in the gut as I sat there knowing that *I* was the right woman if he'd open up to it. But I knew that comment was foolishness even as it hurt. No "right woman" or "right guy" exists to make someone stop wanting to drink. And looking for that is just like looking for another drug ... just expecting a person to step in and give them the same escape and "feel-good" feelings they've been getting from alcohol or drugs. Excuse me, but I'd rather be a human being to the person I love rather than just their momentary substance of choice to abuse.

July 16, 2007
1:12 pm
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Turn, I love the line...."They chase the drug (or drink) and we chase them." We did you get that one from. It sounds so familar. I think it is funny how they know what they are chasing but we call what we are chasing "love".

July 16, 2007
1:41 pm
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turnabout
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mzrella used it above. it's a great line, isn't it.

July 16, 2007
2:31 pm
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Turnabout,

You are so right - that person cannot and will not change until they are ready. When they are ready, it's not for someone else, it's for themselves. So, until they can see that they are a good person and that they have what it takes to be happy without alcohol, they will struggle with this disease. I have been in recovery for 6 months and I have learned so much about myself. Alcohol was what took me away and protected me from my feelings. I have found that I have a lot of different feelings and emotions that I need to deal with. Some are good, others are not so good, but in dealing with them, I am learning a lot about who I am and who I want to be.

I am sure you are a great person and please realize that this disease of alcoholism is terrible and it's not you that is the problem, it's the disease talking.

July 16, 2007
4:01 pm
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Hello,

Most likely I got the "chase" line from somewhere or someone here or in alanon (the few times I went). I think it's something I heard tht just stuck with me.

Turnabout-

My ex kept telling me I was the woman who would inspire him to stop doing drugs. What an ego massage. Who can resist but at least TRYING to believe that one, right? Maybe he thought it was true, but after a while, evidence proved that this doesn't work. If he truly was doing it for me, he wasn't doing it for the right person. The flipside of them saying that you are their reason, is that they can turn it on you when they relapse- "If YOU did X, Y, and Z I wouldn't have felt like using..." Sad. I hope for my ex's sake I am wrong, but now I kind of think he may be a hopeless case.

-ella

July 16, 2007
4:02 pm
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Darth Seder
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There seems to be a consistant theme,

it appears if you choose to go back into the chaos of addiction it will be with knowledge of the potiental consequences and pain.

Maybe you like pain and trama. Sow into the wind reap the whirlwind.
Just a thought, mine as worthless or worthy as I might or might not be.

July 16, 2007
4:12 pm
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Sometimes I think it's just the fear alone of not knowing how to survive without a crutch, be it drugs or a partner (no matter how sick and addicted). Sometimes we fear being alone and facing the world and it's risks. Maybe we know no different. Unfortunately, if this continues it means one never really lives to their potential... without risk, there is no fulfilment.

July 16, 2007
5:18 pm
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Hi Ella, well I said I'd get back to you later, and here I am. I see there's been some activity here during my absence!

You know that thing about... a life lesson repeating itself over and over again until you GET it? Well I had a very clear example of that today, and it's quite funny because I've just gone back and read your post again, and I found the following portion to be especially descriptive of the situation I'm going through at present:

"You don't need a spiritual little brother as your partner, you deserve a peer.... someone you don't have to teach and mother. That's not a partner. That's someone who gives you work. And you know why they don't always call when they tell others they miss you, or before they tell you they miss you? Because sometimes during that period... they don't NEED you yet. Addicts are masters of using people for their own needs, even people they love.... The quality of an addicts love is quite lacking in countless respects."

In any case, I went out to meet an acquaintance for lunch today, and just as I was about to leave the house, T tried to call me. I dutifully ignored his call, though I did listen to the message he left. He loves me, he misses me so much, he so wishes he could be there for me right now (he uses that line a whole lot), he's so torn up about this break-up, HE doesn't want us to stop seeing each other, etc etc. I did take notice the fact that everything he said had to do with what HE wants and needs and there didn't seem to be any room for acknowledging that I need my space right now. At all.

Still, I went to my meeting thinking "maybe I'll give him a ring when I'm done with lunch... he does deserve the benefit of the doubt..." Famous last words. I've used those words over and over in my life to justify staying in very unhealthy dynamics, and here I was using them again. "Oh well, don't be too hard on yourself, we're all aloud to waver and make mistakes". Indeed.

As I was sitting there with my lunch companion, the phone kept ringing, and text messages kept coming in. Guess who? It got quite distracting, so I ended up switching off the mobile so I could concentrate on the conversation we were having.

The lunch went quite well, and I was able to discuss some of the issues I'm facing with my career at the moment. When lunch was done, I listened to my messages. There were TWO more. T sounded like he was in agony over my decision. I did think to myself "what a drama queen", but still I thought, "call him and see what he has to say for himself in person".

When I called, he sounded completely detached. And still, he was going on and on about how he misses me, how it's tearing him up iniside, and so on... but at this point... I just saw it for what it was: a bunch of empty lines. Like an actor half-heartedly going through a script.

He had some other engagement to attend to, so he ended the conversation by saying "I really have to go, but just know you mean the world to me, and I can't wait to see you again" and I was kind of... just had this completely empty feeling. Not sadness. Not anger. Not disapointment. Just empty. And wondering to myself... "and I was into this guy because... WHY, was I into him again???". Oh right. Because he said what I was desperately wanting to hear and he's incredibly sexy and an amazing lover.

Only now... I don't believe a word he says anymore, so that's not enough to keep me hanging (that's one BIG step) and I'm finally realizing how incredibly immature and tactless he is, what a huge drain on my resources he's been - and would continue being if I were to continue seeing him, and also...well sex isn't a good enough reason to want to be with him, since I'm not comfortable with casual sex to begin with... and then when I break it down... just how sexy is an unemployed alcoholic who lives with, and gets fed by his parents, really?

So. Am I proud of myself for calling him again? No. But then again... is it helping me see more and more clearly just how wrong he is for me at the moment? Absolutely. Am I trying to get a perfect score on the "No contact" report card? No. Am I trying to regain my sanity, slowly but surely? Yes. You just have to keep trying until you get it right.... much like an addict has to keep trying to stay sober, I guess.

I think I'm making progress. And T is doing me a big favor by being so obviously inadequate as a partner, which tell me... I'll have to be that much more vigilant not to get ensnared with the next manipulator who comes along, so my best bet is to stay single for a while. Which... one day at a time.

Btw, I did try to find "Co-dependent No More" at the bookstore and library today, but they weren't carying it at either place, so I'll be ordering it on Amazon today.

July 16, 2007
9:40 pm
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the girlfriend,

Hello.

I like what you said about not trying to keep a perfect no-contact report card at this point. It's very important not to set unrealistic goals for ourselves in the begining because we are likely to judge ourselves too harshly if we don't meet them. And disappointment in oneself is not something you need at this point when you need to focus on your progress and your strength. It's too easy to go "Well since I totally messed up by SEEING him today, we might as well have sex, if we had sex than he might as well stay the night, if he stays one night..." and so on. Giving him sort of "stalling" type statements instead of seeing him when he asks is okay. If you can't say no, there are still ways not to say yes. "Not today" is one. It also will help you not to feel like you are making a rash decision you might regret- no matter your ultimate goal. I'm not telling you something you don't already understand. Go easy on yourself, but keep your guard up. Keep those things you noticed in mind, keep the vision clear. I have to say, the less you see the guy, the clearer things become. But you already seem to know that instinctively.

Have you thought about support outside this site? I had different kinds. I didn't go to too many alanon meetings because I had similar groups to go to, and therapy. But people love that and CODA and swear by them. It's another place to hear other people's stories and then when your defenses are down, you start to have realizations about your own.

You are doing great today! Take it in babysteps and before you know it you'll look back and see you've walked a mile without realizing it. Find things to amuse yourself and look for things to make you smile. Be extra nice to yourself during this time.

hugs,
ella

July 16, 2007
10:15 pm
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Remember to go to the used section on Amazon it's cheaper.
AQueen

July 16, 2007
11:05 pm
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ella, thanks so much for that latest message. I tend to be my own toughest critic. I set up these incredibly tough goals and challenges for myself and then when I invariable "mess up" (how could I not, I'm only human!), then it's almost like my inner critic is even harder to deal with than whatever the original situation was. Not sure this is making sense... but do you know what I mean?

So yes. Nice to know there are others out there like yourself who don't hold back on the encouragement and loving kind support.

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