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HELP, PLEASE HELP!
July 16, 2007
11:19 pm
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Anonymous
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Off to bed now... completely drained from this day... but I can see I'm on the path over recovery.

Ex has emailed me this evening and maybe he's reading on this forum? Because now he's taking the time to ask how I'm doing and ASKING me what I want. Which... that's all very well and very sweet and all, but I'm just exhausted with trying to decide whether or not to respond and whether or not I'M the one who's being ungrateful and inflexible and if maybe I'm just not suited to be in a relationship (why would I choose partners that I KNOW deep down are not relationship-ready to begin with? is it because I know I'm not either and just sabotaging myself and hurting the poor guys in the process?) and I just end up torturing myself to the point of complete agony...

So instread of spending more energy on responding to him or trying to "figure things out", I've taken the time to read this entire thread again and omg... has it only been THREE days? Feels like forever ago since I posted that original cry for help... and there's been such an AMAZING outpouring of support...

For the record, i just want you all to know that I am so very grateful for your generosity in sharing your stories and your insights... lisa-ann, mammacinnamon, taj, sad, marypoppins, healintime, turnabout, and ella... all the others... THANK YOU. Thanks... for being there and offering your time and understanding (and your typing skills!)...

ok. I'm rambling. And I'm about to pass out from fatigue. What a rollercoaster ride indeed!

G'night all... and BBBIIIIIIIIIIIGGG hugs all around.

sg

July 16, 2007
11:21 pm
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oops! interesting freudian slip!
I signed "sg". That's shorhand for single gal... which I used as a pen name at one point...
ha! old habits die hard! 😉

gf

July 17, 2007
12:13 pm
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Nightmares all night again. Waking up in the middle of the night with that anxious feeling, pain in my tummy that won't go away. I wonder if it's a side effect of the meds maybe? Or heartburn related to heartbreak?

He sent me an email yesterday asking if we would ever see each other again and I so want to respond. Actually... dying to talk to him. No. Actually... want to see him, that's what it is. I keep thinking to myself "maybe just this ONCE, just to see if it could maybe work out or not? Maybe we can come to some kind of agreement?", but how can it? Do I really want to be his saviour? Maybe.

Oh, I can't stand this. Off to do some breathing exercises, yoga, meditation. Which I know is wonderful and good for me, but just stalling the inevitable. Because I know I won't be able to get through this day w/o getting in touch with him.

July 18, 2007
12:34 am
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macs
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Hi,

My suggestion would be for you to find an Alanon meeting to attend. You will find you are not alone, and will be able to speak to others who have been through the same types of things. If he has been through treatment, he is probably familiar with AA or NA. Maybe you could suggest attending an open meeting with him? I have been married to a recovering alcoholic for many years, and this is what worked for us.

Good Luck!

July 18, 2007
7:00 pm
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I've made some huge progress today. Took care of myself, my health, my own wellbeing by doing some exercise and meditation, seeing doctors and getting new meds prescribed.

Also got Codependent No More and it's proving incredibly helpful. I just got done reading all about "detachment" and I'm very glad to report that at this juncture, I'm more than happy to just let go and let the ex sort out his own life without me in the picture.

I've got plenty on my plate with taking care of my own mental health and career decisions. Why do I want to be weighing myself down with T's problems? And besides, I don't know if I'm just going through one of the stages of mourning or whatever, but I've been remembering all the crummy things he's said and done in such a short amount of time and thought to myself... is that really how I want to start a relationship??? Don't I deserve better than that? And the answer is: YES, I MOST CERTAINLY DO.

Am completely exhausted, but I can see there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and that, in and of itself, is worthy of mention.

July 18, 2007
8:55 pm
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StronginHim77
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When you remember the crummy things he's said and done to you, JOURNAL them. Write them down and then you can read it, every time you are tempted to contact him, or start missing him.

- Ma Strong

July 18, 2007
10:56 pm
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Girlfriend, you are doing some great stuff already! And...I agree, journaling is good. So is the site for that...

My posts on this site go way back into the midst of my relationship with my ex. Back then I posted so many negative things about him and my own experience and you know what? When I would slip back into denial and go through that "But he wasn't thaaaat bad" phase where I would have regrets about leaving him, etc... some people would actually remember and call me on it! Even if that doesn't happen, you will remember writing things down, like you are now, and sharing them with people here. For some reason it aids in giving accountability to one's actions from that point on because you know at one point you saw things clearly. It's hard to go backwards when you have it in black in white.

Also, I have a mental list of things THAT I DID when I was with my ex that I am NOT proud of and wouldn't want to repeat. You know, it's hard to put yourself in certain situations and behave mindfully. Does that make sense? In addictive relationship insanity festers on both sides.

Sometimes when I am lonely (and I can't lie, I feel that way a lot) I force myself to look at all the things that are possible for me to do now in my life- things I'm ALREADY taking for granted- that I just couldn't manage when I was in that high maintenance addictive crazy relationship. Look at the things you had to sacrifice, look at the time you may have wasted waiting for him (literally because alcoholics and addicts seem to run on their own special time but also figuratively... waiting for him to get healthy), and think of how you can focus on the present and yourself instead.

You are already doing it!!! You are open and receptive to this process of recovery, and I think because of that you will find your way.

stay strong,
-ella

July 19, 2007
1:18 pm
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Ma, ella, you've both given me very good advice. I completely panicked yesterday when I lost my internet connection and (among other things) couldn't log on here, so I've just only now read your suggestions.

I don't know what's wrong with me today. Seem to have slipped back into the depression quite a lot. I'm not so much missing him as completely furious with him, and most of all angry with myself for even getting involved with him in the first place. I saw all the signs so clearly from the very first moment I laid eyes on him, and still... I went ahead for it.

I need to be patient because it's going to take several weeks (if not months) before they figure out what meds and what dosages work for me, and in the meantime I just have to figure out how not to be too hard on myself while I'm living with this depression all by myself.

I will take your suggestion and write about some of the bs this man has put me through. I'm not comfortable doing so here, in case him or any of his family members are on this forum, and I wouldn't want any of them to recongnize him or me. It'll be a humbling experience jut even writing about it, but as you say, it'll be good to read back on it to remember... on those days when I'm prone to remembering him fondly and missing his presence.

I did keep an ashtray full of his cigarette butts on the fire escape to that effect. I don't smoke, but he's a chain smoker and I made him smoke outside, and last time he was here, he didn't have the decency to empty out that ashtray. So for now I'm keeping that disgusting mess as a reminder of just how much he stinks - literally and figuratively. And every day those butts are looking more and more disgusting and I just think to myself "that's the state of his life right now".

Anger and resentment are not pretty emotions, but if it helps me stay away, then I'll stay on that till I figure out how to be loving and kind and still DETACHED.

In the meantime, he also owes me some money - I gave him a few small advances so he could get himself some essentials, and it's added up, and he "promised" to pay me back (whatever that means) but at this point, I'm thinking contacting him to ask him for money is just another way of staying in touch, and I know there are plenty of people after him for money he owes, so maybe I'm better off just kissing that money goodbye, even though I could definitely use it, now that my future source of revenue and my ability to work is more uncertain than ever. Not sure what I should do about that. Suggestions?

July 20, 2007
2:18 am
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Girlfriend-

Hindsight always makes us feel like we should have known better, and that we could have done better. Maybe we could have done better, but chances are we were not working with the same knowledge that we have at present. So don't beat yourself up too much for a decision you made in the past, you've learned from it, and you need to move on or you will feel so defeated you won't think it is worth it to change enough not to repeat it.

Allow yourself to go through the grieving process. You are allowed to feel sad, angry, etc... if you don't allow yourself to FEEL now, you will repress it, and drag it out. It will take longer to recover.

About saving his cigarett butts- there may come a point when you find that is unhealthy. My ex visited my folks home when we first started dating. There is a room in their house that they don't use that he stayed in. His ashtray was there for YEARS. I would go there sometimes when we were apart and look at it wistfully. It became some weird sick relic. Hopefully you are not like me. But then, I shouldn't talk, because I save pictures of ex boyfriends (the pictures that survived my shredding sprees each time we had a huge fight). So that's something I need to get over.

The thing about the money... I would let it go, as much as you can use the money, there's no guarantee that you will get it back. Funny, this is a common thing that codependents go through. But I think it's truly got other motivations behind it, and you shouldn't be ashamed of that. However, you should let it go if it means seeing him again if that's the only reason. Consider it the cost of your mental health. It's okay and normal that you miss him. You were in love with him. But you can watch your behavior presently and protect yourself by not falling back into old patterns. You are doing well at this point, you should be proud of yourself.

be well,
-ella

July 20, 2007
12:19 pm
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Hi Ella,

I completely agree with the point you make about hindsight, but what about when... you get in a situation and you KNOW that it's a bad idea from the very beginning? Kind of like... an alcoholic who'se sobered up KNOWS he can't have that first drink but still goes for it? So yes, I agree that I can't dwell too much, or be too angry with myself, but I also have to face the fact that I've been using relationships and unhealthy dynamics to avoid facing my own issues, and THAT has to stop.

Otherwise... regarding the cigarettes... it's only been a couple of weeks, and they ARE outside the house, but you're right, at this point, I probably don't need to be keeping them around anymore, since I've got plenty of other reminders and reasons as to why I can't pursue a relationship with ANYONE at the moment, let alone a newly recovering alcoholic (if he is in fact staying sober, which I have no way of knowing about and which is irrelevant at this point anyway).

And about the money... you're right there too. It certainly would come it handy, and I could arrange to get it back without seeing him, but it's probably not even a good idea to contact him to ask for it. And as you say, I've already more or less writen it off as the price to pay for a very valuable life lesson and recovering my own sanity.

It's okay and normal that you miss him. You were in love with him. But you can watch your behavior presently and protect yourself by not falling back into old patterns. You are doing well at this point, you should be proud of yourself.

Thanks for understanding, and thanks for the encouragement. Be well today... and don't forget to take care of YOURSELF too! 🙂

July 20, 2007
6:06 pm
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This is so hard. He's contacted me several times today. He loves me, misses me so much, don't I miss him, don't I love him, don't I care, and if I care, then why won't I see him?

And of course I do, of course I miss him, and of course I'm happy he's staying sober, but what about all the rest? What about trust? What about the fact that I don't want to settle if he doesn't have his life in order yet? What about my need to be with someone I know I can rely on? What about that?

Is that me just being selfish and "fearing commitment"? He keeps saying "why can't we just BE together?" and... I just don't know anymore. All I know is I'm scared. Scared to be let down and dissapointed... which is how I feel about just about everybody, not just him.

What if I'm pushing away the one man who is genuinely wanting to be there for me???

July 20, 2007
9:04 pm
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Dear Girlfriend,

Sorry I don't have much time right now, but I wanted to say hello and give you some support.

His pleading is not respectful of the boundaries you're trying to set. If he wants to be there for you, be the kind of friend you need, he has to consider what you're telling him you NEED! And he's not.

IF he misses and loves you, okay. If that is genuine, it will not disappear if he gives you space to address your own life and he works on himself. Damn! He just got out of rehab! Can we just BE? I must admit, I've used that. Don't you love me? I've used that, too. Those questions don't come from a strong place. If he doesn't want to work on himself, that's out of your control. But don't let him use you to avoid the work he needs to do.

I know it must be hard. It would feel good to be held and loved. But you are closer every day to loving and accepting yourself. And it really seems quite impossible that he could be in a position to give you support right now.

I know a lot more about beating myself up and running away from my problems than I do about self love and acceptance. But I'm here to change that.

Love yourself. What would you tell one of us in your situation?

mary

July 20, 2007
10:16 pm
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jasminum sambac
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Girlfriend, here's a sentence you wrote at the beginning of the week:

"for once, here's someone who "gets" me and loves me exactly as I am and doesn't ask me to change. And it's just so hard."

And here's what you wrote in your most recent post which I think was today, Friday: "This is so hard. He's contacted me several times today. He loves me, misses me so much, don't I miss him, don't I love him, don't I care, and if I care, then why won't I see him?

And of course I do, of course I miss him, and of course I'm happy he's staying sober, but what about all the rest? What about trust? What about the fact that I don't want to settle if he doesn't have his life in order yet? What about my need to be with someone I know I can rely on? What about that? "

What about that, is right, you're right. What I'd point out is that from what he's doing today, he DOESN'T look like he gets you and IS asking you to change. He IS asking you to do things that scare you, and is insisting you do what HE wants regardless of what you've said or done all week.

If he does love you for who you are, and respect you, your feelings are as good and important as his, 24/7, and your need to be able to trust him is as good as what he wants for himself.

If he thinks he's more important than you, that's going to be a big problem, no matter how sweet he is.

Hang on. You matter. Your fear and concerns matter. You know, once upon a time, guys had to wait for what they wanted with women they loved enough to be intimate with. They had to wait until she allowed it. Some had to wait until they worked and built a house before they got together.

If it's love, this guy's love won't die if more time is taken and some steps are taken to deal with your trust and fear issues to your satisfaction.

Not now but when you have time, if you haven't read it, you might read Gavin De Becker's The Gift of Fear. It's about trusting intuition, trusting your feelings.

July 21, 2007
11:58 am
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Hi Girlfriend,

It sounds like your bf is pulling out all the stops to pull you back. I know recovery is difficult for these people. This is when it is suggested these people not have a relationship for a period of time until they have gotten the rest of their life in order and are able to stay clean. Whould you considered not seeing him for a long while, and if he can continue his recovery without you in his life then maybe you two could start again in a healthier way? I have heard time apart allows room for both people to focus on other things in their life, not just each other. If you two truly love each other, don't you think that will still be their after being apart for six months or a year? If not, that means it was never there to begin with, it was just a bad deal from the start.

But I think it's worth it if both of you really do love and respect each other enough. The proof isn't in what he is telling you now, it's what he is willing to go through that shows you not only are you worth it, but that he is worth it too.

DM

July 21, 2007
2:07 pm
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Mary, JS, DM, great insights all around. I HAD already decided that I was going to give us a good long break until he'd cleaned up his life and gotten things in order.

He's been saying he'd do ANYTHING to be with me and so I thought "fine, then I'll set my conditions". And so I did. It was a hard thing to do. I've always believed you have to find someone you're happy being with, AS THEY ARE. Never been one to try to change someone. Still think that now. But I figured since my conditions are the kind that take TIME to work on and I'm not attached to results either way, then may as well speak my peace and if anything, learn to clearly set boundaries in the process.

I thought I was being very clever and kind to both of us in doing so. He was very receptive. He said he completely understood. What I was asking for was so very basic (to me) that I had to laugh at myself afterward when I asked myself: "would you ever consider dating a guy who DOESN'T already meet those very basic needs? And the answer was "OF COURSE NOT". So why would I make an exception for him?

Anyway, long story short, he contacted me today to let me know that while he understands my needs, he's not comfortable with not seeing me in the interim. That apparently doesn't work for him. I almost laughed when he said that. So blatantly selfish.

Fine. I guess that makes my decision easy. I don't want to be with a man who can't respect my most essential needs and won't respect my boundaries. Period. And since I've already gone through all the other stages of grief at this point (denial, anger, bargaining, depression) that just leaves... acceptance. I'm not quite there yet... still going back and forth between all the other stages... with depression heavily featured on the menu... but I can see am on my way there.

July 21, 2007
2:15 pm
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Girlfriend,

Good for you for sticking to your boundaries! And if he's not comfortable giving you space that just tells me he will replace you with someone else who will meet his needs, which means his proclomations of love are simply a fallacy. And of course you are not deserving of that. I am sorry you are going through so much, making changes is never an easy road, but the work you put into change makes you a stronger person. And you are stronger already. Hang in there!

DM

July 21, 2007
2:16 pm
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bravo!

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