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Need support....alicat
December 23, 2005
11:55 am
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mamabear - I do not KNOW who I want to be! Does that make sense?

I know I want to be someone that can have friends and a social life and someone to love, without all the chaos and drama and pain.

So - I need to look at why I haven't.

Another thing I thought of - is the idea that I have been "existing" for so many years, and I do not know how to LIVE.

And I am sure that is part of the equation of loving yourself.

I literally roll out of bed, get dressed, go to work, and come home and go to bed again. With some chores or errands in between.

I don't know what "life" is.

But I know I gotta figure it out.

One of the part of the equation is thinking about my health - and starting to use that treadmill that is collecting dust - and drinking more water and eating better. And learning how to pray - and making time for it. And making time to study my books, and journal.

I know I waste alot of time doing not much of nothing in the course of a day - so I will start using it wisely and making me a better person inside and out.

December 23, 2005
12:07 pm
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turnabout
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Ali, I know what it's like to go looking on the web for affirmation that HE is a terrible, disturbed human being only to find descriptions of traits that could just as easily be applied to yourself. It can all be very confusing. I did it, too, and came away with the terrible fear that **I** might be the bad guy in all this instead of him. I didn't want that to be the case. I wanted it to be all his fault.

But the fact of the matter is that it always takes two in a relationship. Even in an extremely abusive one, it takes one to abuse and one to receive abuse. And in the more commonly tumultuous ones, it takes two reacting against each other to contribute to the discord.

So, what you're saying has some truth to it, BUT your perspective is still from INSIDE the tumult and therefore not objective.

When I returned to those websites after gaining detachment from him and the whole situation, I saw how I gained many of the traits of BPD directly through my relationship with him. That isn't to say he caused it or it's his fault. I chose my own unfortunate reactions to him. But that is to say that the situation clearly became bigger than I could handle in a healthy way. I would be very wary of self-diagnosing while in such a state of confusion, b/c it's your FEAR (as Lolli insightfully pointed out) that is guiding you, not true objectivity. I'm sure you did find some truth in those websites, but finding something that applies to you here or there doesn't mean you have to swallow the whole thing. You have reacted badly to E. You have. You've participated in this sickness that has permeated the relationship, but that doesn't mean you are responsible for it. You can only be responsible for your participation in it.

And that same quote that stood out to Lolli stood out to me ....

"On the other side, though, without a partner to "practice on", I won't know if I am truly fixing myself, until I find another partner and the situations come up again"

Do you realize how contradictory this sounds? You are fixing yourself but you need someone else there to SHOW you that you're fixing yourself. This is nothing more than an excuse to remain codependent. I'm sorry, but it is. Fact is whether E or anyone else is there as a romantic attachment, you have relationships going on all around you. Your family, your friends, your work relationships. And every trait you have that is affecting this relationship with E is affecting your relationships elsewhere. Practice on THEM, where you feel more stable, nurtured, or at least less codependent. You don't need E to practice on, that is just an excuse.

Ali, I had something I wanted to tell you a long way back in the thread, but the topic had changed before I read what I wanted to respond to, so I let it go. Honestly, it appears to me that you have "caught" E's confusion and indecisiveness, taking his issues on as your own. This is a sign of deep enmeshment, when you start exhibiting many of the same emotional "symptoms" of your partner ... like when you were questioning whether his "away" message would have bothered you if you had loved yourself. When you love yourself, you accept your feelings -- accept that it bothered you, instead of questioning whether you "should" feel this way or that. When you love yourself, it isn't your feelings that change, second guessing your feelings that changes. That's what is causing this confusion.

You know you've wanted this relationship to work (and WE know this b/c you have stuck it out so long, even after he cheated) and have followed through by doing the work. DON'T compare your effort to his, that isn't fair to either of you. The fact is you have put in a STRONG effort. But he has acted contradictory for a while now, and you, by responding to all of his contradictions, have become contradictory in your behavior as well. This is what I mean by saying that you've "caught" his confusion. And you will remain confused as long as you allow yourself to react to his contradictory behavior, thereby enabling it and becoming contradictory yourself. This is what I think you are seeing when you go to these websites about BPD and emotional abuse. After becoming enmeshed with someone, we begin reflecting their character traits back to them. Sometimes that's good, but often not.

That's not to say you're all innocent and he's evil. Not even close. But some of the stuff you're blaming yourself for just isn't your stuff. And in order to really know how to "fix" yourself, in or out of this relationship - whatever you choose, you'll need to isolate what you are choosing out of your own issues from the choices that are coming directly from the issues of this situation. You aren't going to be able to fix yourself by trying to fix this situation.

And listen to Lolli. She has her finger on the pulse of this thing.

Much love,

turn

December 23, 2005
1:05 pm
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I guess the big thing I realize is that I no longer WANT to fix this situation - I want to fix ME.

And perhaps that can be done while remaining in this relationship, and perhaps it can't.

We still haven't decided what to do - and I am not spending a whole helluva lotta time thinking about it. I know the answers will come to me in time.

I understand your points and they are something I will give consideration to.

I realize that a healthy person may not "trigger" these behaviours - or that a healthy person may react differently to me when I get upset about something - which may mean the difference between an all out war and an easy understanding. And I think that's what you are trying to explain - that sometimes behaviours are created because of the person you are involved with.

As far as the whole idea of needing him to "practice" on - I am not looking for someone to validate me or show me that I am fixing myself - and perhaps I don't know the right way to put it - but one of the books I was reading "beyond codependency" mentions how you need to BE in a relaitonship to practice good relatinoship skills. That you can't learn or practice them alone.

Kind of like boxing - you can learn the skills and techniques - build your strength, stamina and endurance and learn all the right moves - but the real "test" to your ability to succeed is in the ring - against a REAL partner.

Again, I don't know if I am making sense here - but in the end, the only way to know if you are truly healed is evidenced in your ability to have a healthy relationship. And it may be possible to BELIEVE you are healed - and then get into a relationship and figure out that you still got alot of work to do.

anyway, rambling, trying to figure out how best to explain it.

And again, I understand your thoughts about taking on traits of our partners, and that sometimes the situation causes me to have those traits.

And I will give it thought.

But one HUGE factor that I have to consider -

These traits have existed within me LONG before this relationship, or even my last relationship happened. These traits I am seeing are something that has existed since I started dating - which was in college. So, we are talking 14 years - it was not something that E caused - it was something ALREADY there.

And that's more of what I am concerned about. And why I think this runs deeper than simply being in this relationship with THIS person.

I could go back and pull out my journals from my first boyfriend - and I will GUARANTEE you that the same control, manipulation and obsession existed then. I know it did.

As far as my feelings about the away message - I DID feel them - and I do NOT think I was wrong to feel them. Nor do I think I was bad for feeling them. They were normal - what was NOT normal was his reaction to me....and the subsequent reaction I had to his reaction.

And that's where HE has to decide what HE can or can't change - what he wants and how far he is willing to go.

I can't make that decision for him. Nor will I be willing to stay in the relationship with him if he won't work on it.

And I talked to him last night about his idea that he won't/can't change who he is, but will compromise. And his explanation is that he believes that everyone CAN change PARTS of themselves - behaviours, thoughts, and such - but OVERALL, it doesn't change who you are inside. I won't argue about the overall part - cuz I don't agree - but was satisfied with the idea that he IS WILLING to change PARTS of him that need work. And that he isn't thinking that he will not change AT ALL...which is how I originally took it.

Anyway - time will tell...my focus will be on fixing ME - that's all I can say.

December 23, 2005
1:29 pm
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lollipop3
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Ali,

You said:

"I think you even said yourself, that you were going to therapy all this time, and only recently your therapist told you the real work begins because you were not focused enough on you all along. So I think you can understand."

You are absolutely right and I do understand, which is exactly why I felt compelled to point out what I was seeing and give my opinion on it.

You also said:

"I am going to consider individual therapy - but the problem is, that I am so good at making people believe that the other person is to blame, that I have been thru four therapists who all told me that I should dump him on his ass - and yet, when I got into joint therapy, and he got to say his piece and she got to see us in action and how we operate - that it was told that ****I**** am the bigger problem. And that most of the problem we are dealing with is from me. Go figure."

My suggestion to you is ....find a therapist that specializes in codependency, emotional abuse and even perhaps alcoholism (family history) and tell her exactly what you have just said here. A therapist CANNOT help you unless you are honest. Turnabout's extremely well thought and articulate response says a lot and I'm willing to bet there is a lot of truth there that may apply to your situation. Find a therapist, be honest and let her help you.

Ali, over the months that you have been here, I have grown very fond of you and I truly just want you have the life and the happiness that I believe you deserve. Give yourself that chance.

Love,
Lolli

December 23, 2005
1:55 pm
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turnabout
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"And I think that's what you are trying to explain - that sometimes behaviours are created because of the person you are involved with."

Yup, that's what I was trying to say.

"I could go back and pull out my journals from my first boyfriend - and I will GUARANTEE you that the same control, manipulation and obsession existed then. I know it did."

And that's what I mean by figuring out what is part of your pattern of behavior when dealing with him, or anyone, and what is initiated b/c of WHO you are involved with. You've got it.

"...but one of the books I was reading "beyond codependency" mentions how you need to BE in a relaitonship to practice good relatinoship skills."

My point is that we are ALWAYS in relationships where we can practice these skills. Chances are that you interact with MANY people in ways that resemble to some degree what has been going on in your romantic relationships. It's just b/c those relationships aren't as intense or carry a different dynamic that the manifestation of your own issues may have gone undetected for the large part.

Example: When we were breaking up, my ex accused me that I couldn't ever be wrong. Of course, that was like the pot calling the kettle "black", so I dismissed it. (Well, almost. It still stuck in the back of my brain.) Then, a short while back a couple of close friends really let me down. I let them know how upset I was about what they did, and then, when they didn't give me the reaction I wanted of regret and contrition, I KEPT letting them know how upset I was, which, of course, distanced them from me even more than the original issue had. I recently realized how my actions, which were motivated by a need to be heard and understood, are perceived as an insistence that I was right and they were wrong. My methods don't communicate. These are behaviors I learned from my parents and they infiltrate EVERY relationship I am in. If I can fix this behavior trait in my friendships, I'll be better prepared for a more serious relationship.

Some things just aren't going to come to your attention until you are in an intense relationship, b/c it is the intensity which brings it out. I know I would not have noticed my own behavior pattern if I hadn't been involved with the ex, even if it did come round-about through my friends. My discovery of it really started with him. But now that I am aware, I know it affects my whole life and not just one aspect. I think that's how fixing yourself really works. When you get down to the SOURCE of your behavior, you find that it affects far more than the part of your life that originally started your investigation.

"And his explanation is that he believes that everyone CAN change PARTS of themselves - behaviours, thoughts, and such - but OVERALL, it doesn't change who you are inside."

And why would anyone WANT to change who they are inside? And why would anyone want to change who someone else is inside? The point of working on yourself is to bring that person OUT, not to change him/her, so that you aren't acting and reacting out of fear anymore. You don't want to CHANGE him, you want to get down to the TRUE him, right? So why does he need to put up his guard against being changed? I have to say, Ali, that I'm afraid this is another dodge. It sounds like he's giving you enough to bait you back, but providing himself an out so when things go wrong, he can say, "I told you I can't change who I AM."

And, I'm not saying that to convince you of the rightness or wrongness of any decision. I just think you need to be AWARE.

You're doing good, Ali. Just keep working.

December 23, 2005
2:09 pm
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I guess I am LESS concerned about his changes at this point - and more concerned about MY changes.

If he doesn't change - and continues to behave the way he has - then he really needs to go.

But I am not ready to make that judgement just yet.

My focus is on ME.

And you mention how your behaviours infiltrate all your relationships.

Well consider this - I work in an office - and I work pretty much alone - my bosses are here sporadically, and the guys in the shop don't interact with me much at all. I have ONE best friend - who I pretty much act the same with. And I have cut myself off from my parents who live next door - cuz dad is toxic...and I see my brother once a week to work for him for a few hours. I go to church - but don't get involved. And I go to my Coda meetings - but don't have a sponsor yet or made friends with anyone.

I have don't have the interaction you speak of - it doesn't exist for me. And that's part of what I plan to do - MAKE FRIENDS. Healthy ones.

You see - I always thought people were worthless - that I couldn't find people to be friends with - and pretty much, the issue was finding friends who wanted to be friends WITH ME. I did little to instigate friendships, and nothing to maintain them if I met someone. I simply chalked it up as not having the time or energy to deal with anyone. And I liked my "alone" world. But practicing close/emotional interaction is hard to come by in the world I have created for myself.

does it make any sense that I am unhappy? you think a smart person like myself would have figured this out a LONG time ago!

December 23, 2005
2:20 pm
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turnabout
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Yup, so that's your pattern. Looks like you have a starting point. 🙂 And every single situation you pointed out is a unique opportunity for self-discovery.

December 23, 2005
4:00 pm
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Just got off the phone with my best friend.

Told her what had transpired.

Asked her to look up borderline personality disorder - and tell me what she thought.

And she said "Oh my god, I thought you knew this already".

I was like "what?".

She said that she thought I had already figured this out - and that's why I was in therapy.

Apparently, about a year ago, her son was diagnosed as BPD, and automatically she thought of me. But never told me - and thought I had figured it out. She thought I knew all along.

I thought I was codependent - but I always thought I was "not" codependent because I wasn't so much of a rescuer - as I was a prosecutor and victim. I said I spent more time as a prosecutor and victim than I did as a rescuer. Well, I think that's where the difference between codependent and BPD exists. I think the codep. people typically give TOO MUCH of themselves - and I never saw myself doing that. But I did see patterns of allowing myself to be treated unfairly by past relationships. And tho I DID stand up for what I wanted and my needs - HOW I did it was unhealthy.

Anyway - I thought being codependent was bad - but being BPD seems that much worse. But I won't let it stop me...I know there is hope and I will pursue therapy - and I will stay with a therapist long enough so they can see it and work with me on it...cuz therein lies another problem/symptom - dropping a therapist cuz my problems weren't fixed immediately.

Anyway - I know there are risks associated with self-diagnosing - but when your best friend tells you that she figured it out way back when...you gotta wonder if I am on to something.

December 23, 2005
4:52 pm
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Ali- Just had a chance to read all of this and I think you have had a bit of a breakthrough and are now really looking at taking care of yourself first and that is the best thing you can do. E has some things hee needs to take care of himself as well. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I wll check in with you later! Gayle

December 28, 2005
7:25 pm
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mamabear
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Ali,
Hey, I know it's been a while and your thread has gone 5 days without a post. Is there another I am missing, are you out there somewhere?

The post that was addressed to me? Wow. I hear you there. I think that perhaps why I am drawn to you so much is because I see so much of myself in you. I am working on being who I want to be, but along the way, I am having to learn who I want to be too. I want the same things you want.

When you said " I know I want to be someone that can have friends and a social life and someone to love, without all the chaos and drama and pain.

So - I need to look at why I haven't.

Another thing I thought of - is the idea that I have been "existing" for so many years, and I do not know how to LIVE.

And I am sure that is part of the equation of loving yourself."

I think you really hit the nail on the head. It sounds to me that you know who you want to be, a person who loves and is loved. You are just having to find out what love means to you, and how to go about giving and recieving it.

My love to you,
Mamabear

December 28, 2005
8:05 pm
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mamabear -

I think that for the most part, I do not have much to say.

Plus, my computer was down until last night.

But overall, I am "surviving".

I am waiting on the therapist to call back and schedule me in. I am waiting on companies to schedule my interviews. I am waiting on my (potential ex) BF to decide how he wants to proceed.

I am in wait mode. And for once, I am okay with it. Takes alot of effort to be "ok" with it - but it's a new skill I am learning.

I have the week off this week and I am taking the time to relax and recharge and be lazy and do nothing. Spending alot of time considering how I want 2006 to go and what I can do about it to make it a successful one.

Thanks for checking in on me.

December 28, 2005
9:56 pm
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mamabear
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Ali,
Thanks for responding to me. I am glad you are not pissed at me..for a while I thought you were *back when we went upstairs* and you're welcome for checking on you, I feel to a certain extent that this site is crazymaking for me, but there are so many people on here that I have made a connection with and think about, you being one of them, that I just keep hanging around.

I guess what it all boils down to for me is that there are people even in cyberspace that I do not like! LOL... but you are NOT one of them, I really like you and feel like you may be a kindred spirit, or as Anne of Green Gables said, a bosom friend.

You ever see that movie? Maybe you would like it, your daughter probably would. It was my favorite book when I was in the sixth grade, and I remember that she is somewhere close to that age.

Recharging is good. Enjoy yourself.

Love,
Mamabear

December 28, 2005
9:59 pm
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no, the whole church agenda got put on the back burner during the holiday craziness. And realistically, when life is crazy is when we need to turn to "him" the most - but I seemed to abandon that plan along the way. I even totally forgot to go to my coda meeting last saturday - woke up and went about my day, forgetting it was saturday!

Anyway, not pissed at you - everyone here has been ultra supportive - and for that I am thankful and grateful. I welcome opposing thoughts and viewpoints and like to see some healthy debates going on.

I don't like to see abuse and other crazymaking going on - tho, as I learn more, I realize just how prevalent it is in this world - stuff I always thought was normal is no longer.

Anyway, thanks for thinking about me....it's appreciated.

December 29, 2005
1:29 pm
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Shaney
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Hi Ali :o)

Just thinking of you, my friend. I'm glad you're off work and relaxing. I wish I had taken this week off too, instead of last week. What a waste last week was - I would rather have been at work!

I was thinking about the new year coming up, and what I want to change. Here's all I have come up with so far:

1. Attend church more and sign up for a bible study. (I used to go to a bible study once a week, without fail, and really benefitted from it - it kept me grounded as well as accountable).

2. I'm cleaning house in the friendship department. There are those that don't deserve the time and effort that I give them - and I suffer in the long run. No more of that.

3. I need to be healthier - physically, emotionally and mentally. a) work out b) maybe find a therapist to unload on once in a while c) eat well and take supplements

4. Quit being a slave to my home. Take small day and weekend trips away from home with M. We need the time away together, for every reason imaginable.

What are you coming up with, Ali, as far as changes you'd like to make happen in 2006?

December 29, 2005
3:00 pm
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That is a GREAT question - and because it's so great, I am going to start a new thread so we can get everyone's input!

January 1, 2006
6:47 pm
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Well, looks like I get to start the new year alone.

I stood up for what I need - and he stood up for what he needs. And in the end, we can't give it to eachother, no matter how much we want to.

For this to work - one of us would have to make a tremendous sacrifice - and neither of us are willing or able to do that.

And it hurts. I saw both of us trying to "sell" our ideas to the other person - but in the end - we both stuck to our need to have what we need without sacrificing anything more for this relationship. In some ways, being stubborn is a good thing I guess.

But it hurts so bad. I can't tell you how bad I feel right now. And I know he feels equally as bad.

January 1, 2006
6:52 pm
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alicat, I'm sorry you feel bad and it hurts. For sure I face the same hurt when I'm away from that girl but you know everytime it hurts and I'm able to keep away from her, it eventually becomes better and I find some peace. My situation is different but basically what I mean is, if we are able to hang in there through the hurt and focus on ourselves, we'll eventually find that peace.

January 1, 2006
7:06 pm
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mamabear
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Ali,
I am sorry for your pain. You hurt, and then you wait for the sun to rise. It always does. I don't have much to offer except some love, prayers, and hugs.

(((((Ali))))))

Love and hugs, wishes for peace and comfort, may your grieving though well deserved be short and finite.

January 1, 2006
7:12 pm
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Matteo
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Ali,

I think you did the right thing. The stability in your relationship is what it should be all about, and it was lacking. The needs of your daughter not to be involved in constant changes, are the priority for you as a mother. By rejecting his demands you are providing stability for your child, and as you said it has very positive affect on her.

I didn't read all of your posts, but from what I did, I was really suprised how much effort you were willing to put into this relationship, and since the end of summer it seemed always like a struggle.

I know that you love him and it is hard to let go, but it was really good choice, and maybe over time you will realize that it is better that way for you, your daughter and him as well. Welcome to the club. Hugs.

January 1, 2006
7:29 pm
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It is bittersweet.

I am proud of myself for standing up for what I need - stability - and know in the end, my daughter will benefit from it. But I really can't see myself going back to that "erratic" lifestyle of staying over someone else's house on a regular basis - there may be a routine we could create - but it's not STABLE - he claims it would be trainsitional, that come June, we will get back together - but so far, everything we have done to this point has been transitional - I don't want transitional, I want stable.

But it hurts to let go of this - after all the effort spent trying to save it.

January 1, 2006
7:46 pm
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mamabear
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Ali,
I'm sure you've heard the saying "what will be will be." Although it sounds cliche, I am not trying to be flippant...it really is the truth. What will be will be and all we can do is try our best.

Things have a way of working out for the best I like to think, and nobody knows what the future holds, so just cling to hope and enjoy the ride. Live where you are, and use the pain to grow.

Best wishes - I am proud of you for standing up for yourself!

January 1, 2006
7:56 pm
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I know that I could not keep going like things have been.

So I had to surrender and admit I was powerless over this - and let go of it...let god....

if it's meant to be, it will happen.

January 1, 2006
8:12 pm
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mamabear
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I think you are on the right track with this Ali!

And focusing on you helps me not sink deeper into my funk. (one of codependency's finer traits)

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