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MAJOR steps backward.....can't seem to cut the ties... addiction counselers..--HELP.. thedogsmom
July 18, 2007
4:33 pm
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thedogsmom
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Well, I was and still AM doing SO much better since I finally found the strength somehow to make my addict b/f move out.

I know the BEST thing for ME right now would really be the NO CONTACT...route... but..
1) he is not making that easy
2) I'm still finding it hard to let go and truly move on.

At first he found several reasons to come by the house for things he had left and to get his cars.....etc...
then he got hired by our next door neighbor for yard maintenance, sprinkler repair and yard clean...

Now he is working on painting another house across the street for extra money which he needs... but I'm sure he's also doing it to stick around and in my face.

When he first came around me...after the ugly stuff of kicking him out and letting him sleep outside in the backyard...etc...
He seemed so 'sheepish' and 'shy' and afraid to look me in the eye . He didn't know how I would react to him.....since I got real ugly and became a screaming-mimi in the end.

I was only able to terminate it and FORCE him out after getting sick and tired...and then really ANGRY. I was cold to him at first..and held on to that to make me go through with finalizing the break-up. When he would come by-- I would talk to him through a crack in the front door and did not let him in.

The anger faded...as it always does with me...after I had some time apart..and peace was settling in.. I began to feel sorry for him seeing him so skinny and sad...and one day after listening to a Wayne Dyer CD...about his experience with his drug addicted daughter...I reached out and gave him a big hug when he was saying goodbye-- I couldn't bear to see him so uncomfortable around me and seeing his skinny body- just withering away with the drugs and stress just kills me.

Then, this past weekend--I had some friends visit me from out of town. These are friends of his too that we used to vacation with. My best friend is the one who introduced me to him- she's known and loved him as a friend for over 20 years.

When he saw them at my house while working accross the street he came by to say hello.
He sat with us in the yard and hung around for a while before going back to work. He came again the next day and again hung out with us -- this time-- neglecting his painting and acting as If he'd never left my side.
I too-- enjoyed my company -including his-- and I let him spend the night. No- I didn't sleep with him... but we were all drinking and it got real late and he had planned to return the next morning to work again across the street -- so I let him stay.
The next night he stayed again and this time slept with me (no sex) but we cuddled and I felt his body which has turned to nothing but skin and bones. Since my company left, he has been working across the street daily and dropping in to say hello and clean his instruments in my garage, but he has been going back to his room he is renting from some guy he found in the newspaper.

I know I now need to set some boundaries again.. I know I don't want to give him mixed signals.. and I know I am NOT ready or willing to give him another chance at this time. I know he has not even begun in his journey to self-improvement and even though he says he quit drugs...I don't believe him.

I'm worried about him.. He missed two appointments for a biopsy of his lymphnodes as his physician found two lumps in his right gland. I do still love him and I do still care...

Is there something I should say to him to set new boundaries and help me step away?
Is it okay to help him ? to support him? to encourage him? to feed him or give him food?
I also have been feeding him a sandwich or leftovers when he is there painting late?
Is it still enabling? if only to feed him?
How could I encourage him to see he needs help? Would it be wiser and more helpful to him to show him LOVE as Wayne Dyer suggests or to make him suffer and think he is all alone?
How do I backtrack now? Why can't he be a mean talking a__sh_le.. and make this easier for me?
TDM

July 18, 2007
5:57 pm
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Honolulugal
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Wow, TDM, you sound like such a lovely, caring person. What a heart you have.

I'm in frequent contact with my exN since May, so I'm in no position to counsel you.

Maybe Rising could chime in here? She's really on the ball with these issues.

H-gal

July 18, 2007
5:58 pm
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StronginHim77
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Something you should SAY to him? Actions speak louder than words. Your actions have communicated to him that you want him back in your life. Whether you are "ready" or not, you have, indeed, let him back in which means that you are WILLING.

You still "love him." You still "care." You are "worried" because he has missed two doctor appointments. This is the old, codependent pattern you had with him.

HELLO? This is not a child. This is an addict. This is the SAME MAN you had to throw out of your home. And you have let him back into your life. Now, you have to choose: do you want to sever the relationship again? If so, you must initiate No Contact. That is the only way. It is the only language a user/addict speaks. Cut him off, cut him out or REMAIN ENMESHED WITH HIM.

Is it ok to "help" him? To feed him? To "show him" what he should do? Sure...if you want to put your own recovery from codependent, unhealthy relationships on hold and take a Giant Step backwards.

He is slithering right back into being taken care of by you. And you are still addicted to feeling "needed" by taking care of him.

You are the only one who can choose whether to put the brakes on this and END IT, or keep the door open to MORE heartache, MORE trouble and MORE sheer fun, enabling an addict.

- Ma Strong

July 18, 2007
10:34 pm
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Loralei
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TDM,

Do you really want to go through all those months of hell all over again?? That is exactly where you are heading.

Feeding him, talking to him, encouraging him, hugging him, letting him sleep in your house -- that is enabling him and it shows your co-dependency rearing its head again. That is not love. That is enabling him.

Don't speak with him because it will do no good. Just lock your door, lock up your garage, close your curtains and don't even look his direction when you come and go. No Contact is the ONLY way to keep from sliding back into his trap. And you were doing so well .....

July 19, 2007
8:42 am
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CAMER
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(((DOGSMOM))) wow, I do have to agree with the other posts, enabling is pretty much doing something for someone that can be done by the person themselves (your bf)...he can feed himself, take himself to the doctor, find a place to live, pay his own bills, etc. HE can do this, even if he has to live in a shelter.

Breaking up is so very hard to do, and its much worse with him working across the street and in the neighbors yard, he is always there.

He will try to worm his way back in, and its up to you to keep him out.

You may feel bad for him, by giving him food, and feeding him etc.....but that's what is called "tough love" if you DON'T DO IT.

Take a few steps forward now TDM, you can do it, take baby steps, set boundaries, and maybe NO contact would be good. HE needs to start his life on his own, and he was kicked out for a reason!

Start with the easy stuff of not giving him food, HE can fen for himself, then try NO contact just for a day, then make it 2 days etc.

(((((((sending you lotsa hugs and support thru this tough time)))))

July 19, 2007
9:50 am
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atalose
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((Dogsmom))

I think you need to step back and away from this situation and gain some insight into what exactely you want. Where do you want your life going, in which direction? Right now it seems to be heading back to a situation that made you so un-happy.

What has changed with him for you to accept him back into your life?

What has changed with you since you kicked him out?

Remember, nothing changes if nothing changes.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

July 19, 2007
9:54 am
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StronginHim77
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TDM -

Most of us have struggled with "No Contact" and waffled back and forth quite a few times. When I broke up with my toxic, borderline fiance last year (after 16 months), it took me several attempts, before I finally achieved complete NC. I would break down and send an occasional email, show up where I KNEW he would be hanging out, etc. It was so hard to sever all contact with him, even though he had mistreated and abused me on an escalating basis for most of the time we were together.

Plus, I had to face the shame and public humiliation of announcing to my church, my family, etc. that the engagement was ended. As I am a minister, this was a HUGE deal and got me alot of raised eyebrows.

But, I survived it. And I found out one thing: NC is something we have to approach like we do riding a horse. If you get thrown, it's important to get back on that horse, as soon as you can, before your emotional reaction immobilizes you.

If you are on a diet and you stumble one day and gorge on an entire package of Oreos, should you give up the diet, or start again the next morning?

OK. You have eaten the package of Oreos. At least, to your immense credit, you were honest and open with all of us and shared what was going on. This tells me alot: it tells me that you are GROWING. Six months ago, you would have simply eased him back into your life without a protest. This time is different: you know he is unhealthy. You have an inner Alarm System that is working!! You have reached out to all of us to reinforce what you already know you want and need to do: nip this in the bud, before he is back in your home.

I applaud you. You are gonna make it, my friend. Don't give up. Don't stop posting. We are here for you. And most of us have been in the SAME predicament. (Rule #42: they ALWAYS try to come back.) And we have to be prepared to handle that with the help of our friends.

God bless you today.

- Ma Strong

July 19, 2007
10:07 am
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lettingo
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thedogsmom,
Do you go to any kind of 12 step group like Alanon or CoDA? I would highly suggest that. I just want to say that Dr. Wayne was probably not talking to CO-ADDICTS when he was talking about supporting the addict. Someone wrote somewhere else "They (the addict) chase the drug and we (Co-Addicts) chase them". I KNOW that feeling of feeling bad and sorry for them BUT WE ARE NOT put on this earth to be their savior. That is just an illusion that they are masters at forming. They somehow make you think you are that majic key, the only one who understand, the only one who can help. Remember, I was there and I PROMISE YOU with or without you he will continue on this way. You even said you don't believe he quit drugs. Quitting drugs is not the answer, if they are not in a program working at program they are not quitting anything. PLEASE, you know in your heart that you are backsliling and as I like to describe it going to go off that cliff. It's still hurts when you hit those rocks!!! Nothing change!

July 19, 2007
12:59 pm
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thedogsmom
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Wow, thanks all AGAIN for your continued support here. I truly appreciate any and all comments.

I know I needed a scolding..(thanks Ma Strong- Loralae). Come on ...! how many times do I need to go through with breaking it off with him??
It only makes it more difficult on myself- and him too- having to set boundaries again.

Guess with me feeling SO much better-- and let me say I am feeling SO much better and stronger than when he was living with me-- that I felt I could step back and look at him as a friend in need-- and with those eyes--- and not a wives' eyes-- that I could possibly help him to 'see the light' and 'save' himself. Guess I still do have that 'savior- co-dependent' mentality {lettinggo 😉 ... and of course the feelings for him are still there.....

but I know... that I would certainly be better off- if he would simply go away--and leave me to no contact...so that I wouldn't have to see him..and then worry about him....

Since he won't go away-- I suppose I must try harder to avoid contact and step back again. Ma-Strong I am adding Ma 'wise' Strong as your middle name. You really gave great advice once again and made me chuckle a few times too!. Yep..I ate the oreos.... fell off my own wagon of trying to lose the addiction to him... and now must find my way back to as little contact as possible.

I must get back to tough love-Camer and Loralei-- are right! It's okay to care-- but not to enable.. I do have trouble distinguishing between what is 'enabling' and actually 'helping'. My other friends who saw him, told me I should feed him- but nothing else. They thought he looked like a skeleton/crackhead
but they didn't say a word to him about it. Only to me! My mother was the only one who saw him and told him he looked bad and needed to enroll himself in a drug rehab. She is feeding him too. Do you think they should have told him this too? Instead of telling me?

Atalose - "What do I want?"
Well, I want for us to live happily ever after. I want him to see he has a problem which is MORE than just using drugs/alcohol. I want him to get help for his problems and to be sober and more responsible.

"What has Changed with him for you to accept him back into my life?"
Nothing. I don't believe he stopped using. Although he says he did. I don't see any changes. He is still his same old nice and gentle self- still hangin out in the drug neighborhood, still being irresponsible missing important appointments, skipping work...etc...

"What has changed with You since you kicked him out?". hmmmmm. I feel happier- more at peace. I get enjoyment from little things- like nice weather-- again. I don't think about him and cry every day-- NON-STOP EVERy time I am in my car. I actually listen to music again and think of other things. My hair and skin are improving. I am eating (gaining weight) again. I put a bit more into my appearance. I clean my house and it looks SO much better! I am spending more time with family again.

lettinggo- okay... I guess it is time for me to put the focus on me again.. and even though they wouldn't let me join the 6 month co-dependent class I could go to the alanon or codependent group meetings to try to learn more about what/how to treat the addict in my life. I did buy that book "addict in the family" but haven't read it yet.
If you can turn down your EX - and be strong enough NOT to go see him in jail.. I can try to make a plan so I won't be home so much and see him. i can go to a few alanon meetings in the evenings or to the gym or to my mothers or to the library... and try to keep myself busy...
I'll jump back on my wagon and mark that line in the sand that he can't cross.
i'll keep ya'll posted. More questions for you atalose.
thanks.

July 19, 2007
3:47 pm
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How long is he going to be working at the neighbor's house? Is this a large, ongoing project?

- Ma

July 19, 2007
4:23 pm
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thedogsmom
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Hi Ma-wise-strong 😉

Well, it seems the painting has taken him some time- He is a slow worker. takes breaks.. etc.. He is supposed to get paid for the job today as it is complete, however mentioned that the guy hired him to do some other home improvement work??? Also, my mother told me he said he had two more houses to paint on MY BLOCK!??
funny. I don't even know my neighbors after two plus years of living there.

SO yes, he will be around after work and on his days off during the week in the neighborhood. There is no way for me to avoid seeing him, right now, but I don't have to be so friendly and accomodating and cook him dinners- if you think that's a bad idea. I usually am happy with a bowl of cereal or peanut butter sandwich. Sometimes In the past few weeks, while he's around I've cooked just so he'd eat- ( He is all skin and bones- looks frightening.)

Also, I realize that I do not have much of a life. No wonder he wandered off with all his other druggie friends. -- I'm a big bore! No hobbies...all I was able to do was work and go home and cook/eat and then plop myself in bed to read or watch tv on the couch.

Even now that I'm happier, I still don't quite know what to do with myself.
So I'll start there, by keeping myself busier. Going out after work to the gym or for a nature walk on our beautiful bike trail by the river. I can go to the bookstores or library. I want to learn to sew and crochet and my mother is willing to teach me- I can spend more time at her house. I love going to the movies and to outdoor concerts.. I can start doing that again.
I can put the focus back on myself and continue trying to be a better, person.
and it sounds like I could also use more help in my codependent issues... learning how to be more assertive, make decisions, make better decisions and to learn on how to help but not enable the addict.
thanks so for caring and helping us all. I often wonder how in the world-- somebody with such insight and experience and smart as you could get fooled and abused by these men?
Guess the men put their masks on and we NEVER really know somebody until after much time!
TDM

July 19, 2007
5:29 pm
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Shaney
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Oh dogsmom...

You've closed the "Bank of Dogsmom", and openned "Dogsmom's Bed and Breakfast."
You're so kindhearted, and it's a wonderful thing... but again, you're not helping him. You've taken SOME things away, but still remain the steadfast and soft cushion that he can rely on. He's managing to survive (which is one thing that had you worried), and he has figured out how to replace the things that you've taken away from him, JUST enough to maintain his current lifestyle. All in all, he's still an addict who hasn't really changed much at all. He's still choosing to support his addiction, rather than getting help for it. Don't feel bad or guilty for the life HE has chosen, and the horrific results of that life. He has had many opportunities to make the right decision, but he has chosen not to. Stop feeling bad for someone who apparently doens't feel bad enough to change. It's sad, but you have to let go of the idea that he needs to be taken care of. Take care of yourself. If you truly want to help him, he needs to have nowhere to turn. He needs to learn to rely on himself, and himself only. As long as he has a cushion, there no real reason to change.

Got me, sister? I know you know all this... you just needed a a refresher course.

And, HOW CONVENIENT that he's painting every house in YOUR neighborhood. Annoying. Whatever the case, he's beginning to wear you down. Keep moving forward, set some hardcore boundaries, and stick to them at all cost. And remember that its YOUR life that you need to focus on.....not his. He's living his life the way that he has chosen to. Love - Shaney

July 19, 2007
5:34 pm
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Shaney
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BTW - you've come a long way, regardless of the fact that he won't go away. You've done what so many will never do. Count those blessings and run :o)

July 19, 2007
5:56 pm
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Hello there Shaney,
I was embarrased and hoping you and Loralei...wouldn't find me here this time..after my recent last post on how great I was doing!
But glad you did find me to give me the 'refresher' course again and to get me laughing out loud with a great big chuckle!!! (believe me- I have a good sense of humor-- but i'm one of those smilers-- who says "thats funny" but doesn't often laugh out loud. You always seem to make me burst out loud with laughs cause you have such a funny way with words.. ..i.e.. this time your bed and breakfast comments.... which is OH so ON TARGET...to what I've been doing!

Well- you know that I know ...what needs to be done here...
stop worrying and feeling sorry for somebody who clearly isn't wanting to change... and to return the focus to me- Again.

I'll start today again. by..going for a nice long walk after work..maybe I should listen to hard-nosed laura schlesinger rather than Wayne Dyer ..;) !

Appealing to my codependent nature..and telling me that It will be better for HIM... IF I don't help him.. IF he has NO cushion to lean on..nobody to run to in tough times... may motivate him more to change..than to let him think..that I still want him and will always be there for him... PLease pray that his biopsy is normal .. FOr his sake.. and mine 😉

feeling good again. don't know what I would do without you all. it's really a good world when people out there really care about people they have never even met! thanks so much
TDM

July 19, 2007
6:31 pm
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StronginHim77
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TDM -

I think Shaney said it best:

"If you truly want to help him, he needs to have nowhere to turn. He needs to learn to rely on himself, and himself only. As long as he has a cushion, there no real reason to change."

Now, THOSE are wise words. If he doesn't change, he will die prematurely. It's that simple. So, if you love him, (and I believe that you do), then you will stop enabling him, let him bottom out and face the consequences of the choices he is making. To help him live.

Stop feeding him. Stop letting him into your house. Stop being his caretaker. Let him face adulthood. Let him suffer consequences. If he doesn't eat, he will end up in the hospital. Consequences. If he spends his money on drugs, instead of necessities like food & rent, he will not have those necessities. Consequences. Without consequences, he will never, ever face his addiction(s) and change. And he will die prematurely from malnutrition, a compromised immune system and/or an overdose. That's the way it works.

Want to save his life? Stop "helping" him. It is not helping. It is enabling him to continue on the path to destruction.

HUGS.

- Ma

July 20, 2007
12:42 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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TDM....he is getting paid, no?

so HE can afford food, HE can afford to take care of himself.

If he doesn't, that's HIS problem, and not yours to fix.

My guess is, he WANTS you to care for him, like a mom would...he WANTS you to notice how thin he is...he WANTS you to be there for him...he WANTS you to encourage and support him.

But hell if he's going to do anything for himself, OR for you.

He is only in the neighborhood to get your attention, which is downright manipulative and controlling.

He is WAITING for you to be weak and so he can slither back in the door.

Don't give him the satisfaction.

If he has work, he can fend for himself.

If he has doc appointments, he can attend them.

If he is sick, it's his job to attend to his own needs.

It's not your job or anyone's job to take care of this GROWN MAN.

Be strong, be wise and don't worry about "boundaries", build a damn FORTRESS around your home and keep him out.

He is an addict..he does not know what a boundary is...he will cross it whether or not you like it...and he will push the envelope, push your buttons and push the limits....he will cuz he can, cuz he did and it worked.

So, build a damn fortress, forget boundaries...this is not a person to "practice" setting boundaries with. You can only set boundaries with healthy people that will respect them...not addicts who are built to tear down boundaries to get what they need.

Get to some al-anon or coda meetings, this will help you on your day to day struggles and give you some local support when you feel like slipping, plus, it will give you some real life stories of how life with an addict is just a complete cycle of the same old same old.

Be strong and be wise...and when you feel weak, go back and RE-read all your previous posts as a reminder of why you had to let him out of your life.

He's gone for a reason...remember that.

July 20, 2007
1:35 pm
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thedogsmom
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Thanks Again Ma Strong and All.
YOu are so right. He is a grown man and needs to face his own consequences based on his own actions- even if that means getting ill or going hungry. While I don't wish that for him..maybe it will take something drastic...like sickness or jail...to get him to wake up and smell the roses.
Then again..maybe he never will. and I sure don't want to waste more of my life and love on somebody who doesn't seem to love themselves. (is love ever wasted?) Isn't it always a good thing?)

Rising....LOL at your post. funny-- sad.... but funny and sad cause it's true!
"don't worry about boundaries...build a damn fortress around your house!""
I'm still laughing!!!

"So.. forget boundaries...this is not a person to "practice" setting boundaries with. You can only set boundaries with healthy people that will respect them...not addicts who are built to tear down boundaries to get what they need. "

You are right. I don't know why I expect him to suddenly DO THE RIGHT THING.. when he has been someone who takes advantage..all along.. He does give back..and is ready and willing to also do things for me and my family and somehow..when we need him to take care of business ..he can be relied on to do it..without flaking out... i.e.. he can be counted on..

but ..I don't want just a part-time handyman.. IF I am going to give my love to someone I want someone who does not take advantage of my kindness..and who recipricates out of love..and cares about my feelings.
He has proved to be untrustworthy..
and so I guess it's time for ME to wake up and smell the roses...ha ha.
and keep moving forward...

I think I could use a few lessons on how to handle the manipulative addict-charmer...from alanon or coda.. You guys have been my only counseling on this stuff...and I must say you are doing a great job..cause at least he is not LIVING with me..even though he is frequenting my free "bread and breakfast! " LOL...

Thanks for the Great advice and laughs!

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