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terrified to see myself in someone else words
February 11, 2000
12:58 pm
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winter001
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i'm going to try and write, but i don't know where to start and i feel sick from reading my own emotions in others words. for a while i've known there was something wrong, and ignored it, but now i know and it wasn't something simple - something a vitamin can solve.
my biggest fear is i read all these solutions, but i'm not sure i will recognize healthy relationships, because i think all i've ever seen in my family is co-dependent ones. i'm 23 years old and i've suddenly realized, brought from my subconciouse to my conciouse the knowledge that probably no relationship i've ever had has been healthy. i've done things, so many things that scare me because they were out of adiction - adiction to a man. i always looked at my brother and thought he had a problem because he had to have someone in his life, and i was fine, but i was just trying to protect myself, i didn't want to get involved becasue it always hurt like hell, it took too much out of me. but i'm the one with the problem. i've been walking around in a daze for 3 years, addicted to a relationship that could never work. he was my boss, he was married with a son, he had a girlfreind, who was my flat mate. and every ounce of self esteem i had i got from him. when he was happy i was happy, when he was sad. and i still love him, circumstance sent us to diffrent countries, but we still talk, it's been 7 months since i've seen him, but he has to be in my hometown for bussiness soon. and i am so scared, i still live on the memories, fantasize about things working out happily ever after and us being together forever. - but in my heart i know i'm sick and i know there could never be a future for us, even if his circumstanes changed because i am sick, my fealings are unhealthy. but i need to see him.

February 12, 2000
2:51 am
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lost soul
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Hi,
I do not know whether I am right about the thoughts that I have.Just personal opinion. I feel that its because you are still young and probably does not have many friends and don't mix around so that is why your focus is with your boss even though you know its unhealthy and not right.
My suggestion is, try to have more friends " good one & healthy ones".At your age, there are lots of oppotunities for you to meet someone who is nice to share your life.
All the best to you!!!

February 15, 2000
1:07 am
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winter001
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intimacy and freinship have always been really hard for me. part of me dosn't want the emotional havoc that other people seam to bring to my life. everyone has always known me as intense, mature & reponsible, I don't feel 23 and i feel like i do want my life back but i don't know where to start. 4 years ago, before i met my boss, before i heard anything about co-dependency, i realized that i was lost in what my father wanted and had no idea what i wanted, and i tried to break away, i went overseas and started rebuilding myself, but because i didn't understand the nature of the problem i thought it was just my father. i know i can do this because i got a grip on my relationship with my father, but it's so disturbing to have lost myself all over again.

February 15, 2000
4:17 am
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hazza
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Hi Winter,
I think, and this is just my opinion, that you have a rather generally negative view of relationships, you think that they lead to pain and so on, you have seen your brothers dependancy and said to yourself no way is that happening to me,
Because of that you have focused all your affections on a fantasy relationship that you know will never become a reality, so that you never have to face those issues in a real relationship. A way of avoiding pain.
This is very common in adolecents who have crushes on pop stars or teachers, and is a way of keeping themselves safe from real relationships by only experiencing those feelings in a fantasy relationship. This is just a hunch, but you need to look closely at what you feel about relationships, how would you be if you met someone that was available for a relationship? would you be scared to make the committment? Tell us more,
Peace
Hazza

February 15, 2000
12:58 pm
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winter001
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do i avoid relationships because i believe that they end in pain, yes definitly. i have been involved and i don't believe the problem is that i don't want to commit, i lived with, loved, and was completely commited to a guy for 2 years, probably the only really normal relationship i've ever had, we grew apart, it was mutual and completely amicable and painless. in the other 2 real relationships that i've been involved in, when i look back now, it was my dependence that got in the way. i guess i've always been aloof, but when i let someone in i tend to relinquishe controle of my own happiness, which really is too much to ask of anyone. do you ever feel like your life is a complete contradiction of your beliefs. i've always believed in my own independence, that there are no victims in relationships and that we controle our own emotions. - but i really don't live that way sometimes.

what i think about relationships is really all bad, my parents had a terrible abusive, destructive marriage, but everything was always perfect. both have remarried, neither are happy. the only people i know who are really happy in their relationship are my granparents, after 70 years of marriage. they were an arranged marriage and they were both born deaf, they live in their own world. - i want to believe that its all worth fighting for, i'm as lonely as anyone, and i was the little girl who believed that part of what life is about is finding and making that 1 relationship work. if i didnt believe i wouldn't care that i have what i believe are terribly destructive tendencies in relationships. i wouldn't be scared like i am.

i know that if my boss came tomorow and he'd changed his life so that we could be together, i would commit in an instant. but that would be wrong, because i don't think i know how to have a healthy relationship anymore.

i sit in my car and listen to the radio, i listen to the words of songs, they are all about not being able to live without someone.

February 16, 2000
4:54 am
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hazza
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hi WInter,
Have you ever had a relationship with your boss? or are you in love with him but nothing has ever happened?
From what you say it still sounds to me that you are focusing all your affection on him because you are scared to try a real relationship? I don't know.
Even if he were free, it is very difficult to have a good relationship with someone when you have worshipped them for so long, i know, i've done it. I found that when you finally are with that person, the image you have built in your mind is so perfect compared to the real person, that they fall off their pedestal pretty quick!
My own advice would be to concentrate on you, you believe in independence on the one hand but know that when you are in a relationship you render all your dreams and wishes to the other person. I too have that problem and it is co-dependency.

You need to realise that the co-dep dream of finding your soul-mate is in part hollywood invention. People are human and no relationship is perfect, as Cici says you really find that people have compatible neurosis rather than truely healthy relationships.

With me, the whole crush thing, was unhealthy fantasy of idealism. Are you being honest about this boss of yours is he really the only one for you? or is this just a co-dep fantasy? For me it was the latter.

Peace
Hazza

February 17, 2000
9:35 am
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les1
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Hi Winter,

Your upbringing sounds as if it may have been similar to mine-i also never really witnessed a normal healthy relationship between my parents or anyone. I also beleive in finding the one person who you want to be with yet i am scared to commit because it may not work out. I am in a relationship now where i am co-dep and allow myself to be spoken to like shit etc and know it is wrong yet i believe we are meant for each other and he will change, but slowly i am beginning to realise that it is me who may have to change and be strong enough to go out there and get what i need. It is very important to have a good base of friends who will be there for you when you need them adn you are still young enough to go out there enjoy yourself, and make alot of good friends.
Think of your needs and happiness for a while and maybe you will see they are different to what you have now.
I hope this advice helps but i do know that it is hard when you feel you love someone not to have a fairytale picture of how it will work out.
Take care

February 17, 2000
2:08 pm
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winter001
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its hard reading someone elses perspective, especialy because i know they are true. what helps here is that i know you really understand.

yes, i did have a relationship with my boss. i was sexualy involved with him for over 2 years, we do have an unusual relationship, everyone that knows us knows that he trusts me implicitly, (i nearly lost my job,because of our freindship) , and that i am very different from any of his other employees. people, including his girlfreind, would come to me if they needed help with him, because he listens when i talk, we are really good freinds as well, and no one knows that it's anymore than that . its all so messed up, for 6 months i lived with him, his girlfreind, and 2 other employees, because we all had to relocate. we are both early rises, and we would sit and play chess for hours untill evryone else woke up. we were inseperable, he would never go out for dinner with her,without inviting me with. later his girlfreind and i moved in together when things got really rocky between them. he is never disrespectful to me, and while he would raise his voice regularly to others, he would never do that to me. the only time we have ever had any confrontation, he apologized. i've seen him cry, i've seen him drunk, i've seen him sick, and i've seen him depressed. if he was gonna fall of a pedistal, i think it would have happend by now. he is a very special human being. i still idolise him, even though he was living with someone else all that time, a relationship that was permanently on the rocks and massively volatile. do you think it's possible that somewhere in the middle of all of this i really do love him? i know that when he comes here it is going to take ever ounce of will power i have to not be with him because no one has ever made me feel more alive. but is he the only one for me. i hope not, because i don't know that i'm ever gonna have the strength to turn that relationship around and i think my only chance of, loving someone more than i need them, lies in a differnt relationship.

i've read a lot about finding out what i need and want, but my head is still so clouded that i can't help interpreting that "adicts ache" for him as an indication of what i need. i believed that time apart would ease the emotional stress, but 7months hasn't done it. do you think i should try to end the telephone conversations? part of me believes that i can't run away from this, i've got to face it/him and deal with it. but then they say an alcoholic remains an alcoholic, and you can never drink again, - help! 🙂

February 17, 2000
2:15 pm
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winter001
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P.S.
THIS ALL SOUNDS VERY SORDED AND I SUPPOSE IT IS, BUT I'VE NEVER BEEN THAT WAY, AND I DON'T BELIEVE IT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH SEX.

February 18, 2000
5:01 am
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hazza
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Hi winter,
Maybe its him who has the co-dep problems too. He has a great friendship with you and a sexual relationship too, but HE CHOOSES TO STAY WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND! WHY????
have you ever asked him? he is getting all this from you but giving back nothing. He may be addicted to relationships and keeping you as a reserve for when his relationship with his girlfriend finally breaks. How would he be if you and his girlfriend both dumped him and never spoke to him again? I BET HE WOULD RUN RIGHT OUT AND FIND SOMEONE ELSE!!
If so, what does that tell you about him?

You can be free to love someone else, but you need to see that you are holding on to something that is not reality. IF YOU ARE SO GOOD TOGETHER, WHY HAS HE NOT TOLD HIS G/FRIEND TO GO AND HOOKED UP WITH YOU OFFICIALLY?????

I think he must have something that is stopping him commit to you, or maybe he is just getting his cake and eating it?

Ask Broc for some advice on this one! I think he could give you a manspoint of view on it.
BROC??? YOU THERE???!!!!

take care
Hazza

February 18, 2000
12:22 pm
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winter001
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i hear what your saying and i know i've got to put this behind me. i started seeing someone else a couple of months ago, but i ended it because there just wasn't anything there, besides i think i really just need time to myself. i know that everything about that relationship was wrong, now i just have to focus on that as opposed to the good times.
thanks for your help, turning myself around seams to take constant reinforcement but it's hard to listen to my freinds who don't really seam to understand how ingraned he is in me.

February 18, 2000
6:05 pm
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BROC
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Winter,

This guy is lost. I know, I was his clone. He is codependent. He doesn't commit because he can't. I could go into the whole pychology thing, but in a nutshell he needs help. He is lost, and not you or the Coast Guard will ever find him. He can only find himself.

He is what is called a relationship addict. Maybe a sex addict. One of the two. He HAS to have someone there, by his side, or he will go nuts. Most likely its an unconscious fear of abandonment. That was my case. I gurantee you if you both left him, he would go nuts, MAYBE even of the edge. I promise you he would be out that same night to hook up.

God, this is so easy to see know. These stories here are like broken records. NOT THAT I AM TIRED OF HEARING THEM. What I mean is that we are all different, but all the same. We all have about the same dysfunctional shit we do over and over and over. What fucking amazes me is that we were to stupid to see it before. Well, not stupid. Ignorance, denial, and the like. The important this is that you get off the train and learn, NOW! Don't waste another day of your life in that soap opera drama. You will only end up wasting more of your life, and you will end up back here, someday, crying the same blues.

I posted to les1 on another thread. Hers is like yours. Read it, and follow wthat I told her.

If you dont' get help now. If you don't figure out what is in YOU that drives you to these men, and they are all the same, you will never ever be happy. You will see glimpses of happiness, but that is it. There will always be chaos. There will be the SAME stuff as you have now. I promise you that.

I hope this helps you.

Broc

February 19, 2000
4:46 am
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winter001
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i don't know how to thank you, even though there is a part of me that hates you for what you've just said. Hazza's words have been going round and round in my head, and while i know they are true, i started thinking that if he's co-dep, then maybe thats just the way we all are and i'm blowing this all out of proportion. - but i sat down in front of the computer, read your words and started crying, because i can't do this anymore, and now i know that the thing that drew me to him the most is that he is so terribly lost. it's been there all a long and almost three years of trying to figure out what keeps these feelings alive i have been too blind, after 2 weeks of reading evreyhting i could on co-dependency i was still too dumb to admit/ realize that the whole thing is about how badly he needs me. all along, even yesterday i was telling myself that the reason i cared so much was because he was this wonderfull person, but thats got nothing to do with it. i really believed that i could help him, make him happy like he's never been. but i can't not when i don't even know what makes me happy. i couldn't get past the way i felt about him, in order to deal with the real problem, but i just have.thank you Hazza and Broc, you've provided the links i could never find on my own. now i understand.

February 21, 2000
5:18 am
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hazza
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Hey Winter,

I too came to this realisation of yours on this site, it was like all the answers slowly making sense. Its hard work from now, but i promise you, i made so many changes because of what i learned here, the same things you are now learning and i am so much happier now, in a year or 2 i'll be happier still.

Take time for you, check out some co-dep groups or councelling (if you can afford it!!!!eh broc ;-)!!!) and try to keep telling yourself that feeling needed does not mean you are loved it is just yours and the others co-dependency talking. Real love is stronger than that!!
Peace
Hazzqa

February 21, 2000
3:45 pm
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BROC
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winter,

I am glad I helped. I am sad for you. I too, like you and Hazza and so many others have went through what your going through. Codependency is a vicious animal. You are codepenedent. You boyfriend/ex is codependent. That is a fact you need to remember. Its not just you, and its not just him. Codependents attract, and are attracted by other codpendents. You will NEVER have a healthy individual hook up with a codependent, and vs. versa. There will be no attraction. NOW, at first their may be some physical chemistry, but as time goes on, probalby no more than a few weeks, BOOM, it will happen. If I met someone like Shannon now, sure, she would catch my eye. But I know the story now. I know what life is REEALLY about. And I would see HER shit a mile away, and walk without ever looking back. WHY? Cause it will never work. Not the knowledge I have, expericnce, etc. would change the outcome. WHY? Because it takes TWO to make a relationship work. Especially a healthy one! A year ago, after our sixth or so breakup, I got some help. And after about a month I had some basic knowledge of how things worked. I took this knowledge to her. Keep in mind this girl put up with ten tons of shit from me. She chased me over and over. Cried tears, went through a severe depression in which she lost over 20 pounds when I starting dating another woman, etc. SHE WANTED ME SO BAD SHE WAS WILLING TO GIVE UP HER FUCKING HEALTH! Sick, yes. But my point is this. When I went to her and told her about counseling, she looked me right in the face, took a drag off of her cigarette, exhaled, and said, and I quote, "You may need that shit, I don't!" What I thought? I was confused for months, until I learned that it doesnt matter. It doesn't matter who you are, how good looking you are, or not, how rich you are, WHATEVER. Codependency is NOT selective. ANYONE can have it! And Shanon, as bad as she wanted an "us", would not go to cousneling. Denial. Yes. Fear. Probably. There are any number of reasons people won't go. Ususally denial. In her quote, she refers to therapy as "shit". That tells you right there she thinks its bs, and therefore not a considertion. I would say that is most peoples response to that qutestion. If you think about it, don't most people think they are "ok"? Of couse they do. We don't wnt to think we are fucked up, do we? Broken? Dysfuncitnoal? Of course not. So why do into a room where you might found out you are? Its much better to deny the problem and go on. At least thats whay THEY, and even I USED to think. Its better to live in denail that to see the truth. That is too much for most people, at least until THEY are ready. I know for me, and at least 30 people I have met, it would not have happened any sooner. Why? Cause we were just like shannon. In denial. Your boyfriend is just that. You can tell him about codependcy, leave books for him to read, jump up and down,and it will not matter. He, like you, has to hit HIS bottom. Cry, stomp, yell. It has to get so bad that he cries out for help. I don't mean a "Hey, I'm unhappy, lets screw and get back together." I mean a one step from stepping in front of a bus need. Only then will he see that things finally, FINALLY, need to change. It is a sad but true reality.
Winter, I wish you all the best. But remember what HAzza and I have said. YOu are at a very critical point in your own recovery. Your own path. And if you don't get into a program, such as a 12 step Codepents Anonymous, etc. and get into a therpaists office asap and find the stuff in you I spoke of last time, you will be no better off than him. As a matter of fact, you will be worse off. Why? Because you now know the real reason for your misery. You aren't in denial anymore. You know you need help. And if you didn't, you would really be miserable, BECAUSE you know there is better. Kind of like knowing you had a disease, and you knew there was a cure, but never did anything about it. At least your boyfriends ignorance will keep him from the pain you are experiencing. BUT, and a huge BUT, he will experince the same pain he always has the rest of his life until he gets into his own recovery. You pain, as I am sure you know, hurts, and it will get worse. Then, it will end. And the rest of your life will have peace and serencity in it. Just like me and just like Hazza. But you have to go through the pain to get the reward. Everyone does. One day your bf will have too.

Take care!
peace

February 22, 2000
1:22 am
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winter001
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thanx guys
i've been looking into support groups in my city, which is rare 'cos South Africa is a bit behind, I've been reading alot, anything relivant that |I can get my hands on, a lot of the books suggest support groups for children of alcoholics, because, co-dep is such a new concept and there arn't many support groups, which is the case here. so i guess i'll try that and see if it works. to be honest i'm really scared about one-on-one counseling, besides for the fact that i can't really afford it, i know myself so well and i am terrified that i develope a dependency on the councillor. Broc, did you go to a few different councillors before you found one that you felt you could work with? because if i feel any kind of "connection" i'm gonna have to run a mile.

in 2 months my salary increases and ive set that money aside for councilling, for the next 2 months i'm going to try a support group, and take a smuch time on my own to figure out what i want, as i can. -

for me its hard to imagen living the "life" you talk about Broc, because i have very fleating experiences of any of that, but i do realise that only i can do this. i will admit that there was a part of me that wanted to try and help him as well, and my parents, but i knew that i couln't do it, none of them are ready to believe that their unhappiness is their fault, and anyway I've spent most of my life doing everything for them, and most of the rest doing everything for him. i really am ready to do this for myself and let them take care of themselves. the realisation that I can't make someone else happy was one of the hard ones, you know the,"if I can't make them happy then they don't need me and they wont like me" thought, i didn't ever realise my self-esteem was that low. thank god my conciouse mind does know how much i'm capable of, i will do this and probably will do this because you guys have given me the hope that there is a life beyond, that this dosn't have to be who i am.

February 22, 2000
11:53 am
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winter001
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today i began to understand what everyone meant by it will be hard, for 3 years i've had this relationship by which i defined my life, the centre of my world. today it was gone. and there is all this space in my life for me and it's wierd, like someone has taken my security blanket away, left me standing naked in a crowd.

February 22, 2000
1:09 pm
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BROC
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Winter,

Brrrrrrr. It is cold. But stay away from the crowd! And no matter how bad it gets, remember this one fact of life!

If you do what you did, you get what you got. See? What you have been doing hasn't worked yet, has it? So quit doing it and jump on the road less traveled. I promise promise promise you will, one day SOON, be happier than you ever thought possible. I for one pledge to be here for you to help you as much as I can while you spread your wings. And, I am sure there are many others here to help you with the same.

Can you order books over the internet? If you can, order the book, Codependent No MOre by Melanie Beatty (no sure of the spelling of her name) Great book to start with.

Broc

February 22, 2000
2:09 pm
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winter001
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thanks Broc, I read somewhere that you are someone thought you were rude or something, but your honesty and compasion are a god send. actualy I have already orderd Melannie Beatty's book, I actualy read another one by her, stop being mean to yourself, right at the stage when i realized that something had to be off course, and it was a beautiful insight, the kind you can read when you need a boost, i think i'll do that now

take care.

February 22, 2000
2:11 pm
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winter001
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thanks Broc, I read somewhere that you are someone thought you were rude or something, but your honesty and compasion are a god send. actualy I have already orderd Melannie Beatty's book, I actualy read another one by her, stop being mean to yourself, right at the stage when i realized that something had to be off course, and it was a beautiful insight, the kind you can read when you need a boost, i think i'll do that now

take care.

February 23, 2000
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HI WInter,
It was me who said broc was rude!!!!!and i meant he is outspoken, not rude to people! Boy, i got myself into another mess!!! great, i love controversy;-)

Broc is so right, he has told you so much that will help you get started.

You need to keep telling yourself the lessons you are learning, keep practicing those new thoughts until they become second nature to you.

YOu grew up in a situation where you had to fix everything, this is why it feels right and natural to become the fixer in the relationship, this is why you gravitate towards people who need fixing and end up suffering their unhealthy shit.

Broc is so right, we all reach this decision alone, i can t make you or anyone else "see it" i can only point it out when you start looking for it yourself.

It is like the world is half full of zombies sometimes, as you start to get better, like broc says, you can physically see the people who havent "woken up to themselves " yet, you can tell them a mile off. and you know when you find someone else who is in the process of "waking up" i dont no if anyone ever becomes fully enlightened, we are all always on a path of continual growth, but you can see the people who won't even set foot on that path a mile off, like shannon eh Broc?

Peace, and keep looking for help around you.

Hazza

February 24, 2000
3:27 am
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BROC
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Winter,

Bravo. Keep up the work!

Hazza,

Yes, I am outspoken. Didn't think you meant I was rude.

And yes, like Shannon.

But like I did for her, and the rest of my screwed up group of ex-friends that stabbed me in the back, forgive them. Forgive the people in your lives that hurt you. Afterall, they are just acting like themselves. They don't know any different. Really. As sick and fucked up as Shannon and my ex bestfriend Jim, and the rest of my old group is, they don't realize they are fucked up. They are, as most people are, in denial.

Remember what Jesus said on the cross. Forgive them, for they know not what they do. I had too. My ex, Shannon, and I broke up for the sixth and final time last January. This after a very turbulent four years together. I was always the one to tell her to take a hike, only to let her weasel her way back into my life within a few weeks, EVERY time. Man, we were (she still is) pathetic (sick, unhealthy, etc.) Anyway, three months later, in april, by best friend of twelve years quits callin me. Weird. Come to find out that he and little ol' shannon started screwing. Nice! It gets better. He was married at the time. Want more? His wife was 7 monhts pregnant. Sick! So fucking sick. Anway, I tell you this because its the sort of thing I used to go along with. I used to help him cheat on his wife, and then he ends up (proverbally) screwing me. Man, that hurt like hell. But ya know what? Cici had the same thing happen to her. Her best friend and boyfriend did the same thing. And she hit the nail on the head when she wrote a post, I think it was back in November. She told me that its them, not us. Its their sickness, OUR old sickness, that is the cause. We can't change them, but we sure as hell can change us. You folks may not be as bad off as my old group is, like I WAS, but your in your own boat. And if you don't stay on your path of recovery, you will go back to the old sick shit, that, lets face it, NEVER worked. Why? Its sick. Its unhealthy. Its wrong. And it will never work. Never!

Broc

February 24, 2000
2:34 pm
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winter001
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i hold no hatred for any of them, just a lot of sympathy, because i know they are gonna sit there in that mess. i still care about them and maybe one day when i'm more able and they are ready i will be able to help them. he still phones, and i worry about him, especialy about how he is gonna cope when he realises i'm gonne, but when i put the phone down i'm in the same mood i was before, nothing he can say can make or break my day anymore. and that is priceless.

Broc I'm like you I look back on my life and the sick things i did, the rush i got from doing those things, and i cringe! i still get embarassed and i don't think i could tell anyone because they were so wrong. a part of me of course still wants the highs, a really big part, but i've come to accept that those highs are at the cost of almost constant and awful lows, and i don't want those anymore.

notch it all up to experience, i guess? and move on, maybe one day i'll even laugh at myself!

February 24, 2000
6:53 pm
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BROC
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Winter,

Yes, you will laugh. Kind of. You will let out a joyous yell at the serenity, peacefulness, etc.

I know you will get there IF you don't get off the path. It would be impossible to fail, unless of course you just learn and fail to practice what you learn. You know, book smart, real world dumb?!

It will get worse before it gets better. But it will last for shorter periods of time. And then, finally, you will get the prize.

You already have. You have gotton your sanity.

Bravo to you!

Hugs,
Broc

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