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The moments when I know things need to change
January 22, 2007
11:12 am
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soprano2
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I can't remember the exact moment that I knew things needed to change. I remember feeling like I was kind of drowning in a sea with no one who cared around me. I remember thinking that there had to be a better way.

And so began my journey of learning how to deal with codependency.

This journey started several years ago. It has taken many twists and turns. I put my map away for several years, only to find the same patterns in my life again. What a mess I have made.

And so, I get the map out and continue on my journey--every day. It may be a little step...it may be a huge one.

Complacency is my enemy.

When I forget what my goal is, it is easy for me to quit working on myself--my situation.

And so there are little things that just "happen" to remind me why I am on this journey to begin with.

I wanted to share my latest reminder.

My husband, as most of you know, is an alcoholic. He would rather spend his days and nights drinking than working or being with his family. I have been married for five years. We have two very small children. I work four jobs to keep us kind of financially afloat. He is mentally and emotionally abusive to me and the kids. It just is not a good situation in a nutshell. Counseling is out of the question--he doesn't have a problem.

Anyway, enough background. I have a few friends that have been a good support system through this icky situation. They give me several opportunities throughout the week to spend good times with my kids. I don't know what I would do without my two closest friends--they have been my lifeline.

On Saturday night, I went to a friend's house. He and his girlfriend were there. My kids enjoyed a home cooked dinner and some cartoons afterwards. We sat around and ate popcorn and had a great time.

When it was time to leave, my four year old looked at my friend and his girlfriend and said, "are you in my family?" My friends looked at me kind of bewildered. When I asked my son what he meant he said, " we eat dinner at a table here. So this must be my family. We watch cartoons and movies here like a family. We run around like a family, so this must be my family."

Wow, this hit me like a ton of bricks.

My husband would not do any of these things with me and the kids. If he tried, he would probably be drunk.

So, I looked at my friends, kind of in desperation. They know about my situation, but this is not the same as fully understand sometimes.

My friend said, "We wold love to be part of your family. We love you and you love us, and that is all that matters."

Whew. That was a very good answer.

But, this reminds me why I need to work on myself and my situation. MY KIDS NEED A FAMILY. It doesn't matter if it is a mom and dad, or if it is friends--they need moments of stability--moments of togetherness--moments of family-like behavior.

And what a reminder it was.

What are some of your reminders?

January 22, 2007
11:28 am
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caraway
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I can relate as I have always been drawn to folks who are alcoholics or are in recovery. My father and two step fathers are also drinkers.

I have tried CODA and just hate it. I feel so out of place. Have you ever tried ALANON and if so, does it help?

Cary

January 22, 2007
11:32 am
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on my way
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This is a very good thread. Soprano, my heart goes out to you and your children. "Out of the mouths of Babes" I have heard it said. They tell it like it is, and love us with everything they have. I hope all turns out ok for all of you.

January 22, 2007
11:47 am
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mj
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Thanks for sharing your experience Soprano. Our new families can be ones of our choice.

I spent Saturday with my husband and his friend. I was ill most of the time. I was sitting in the back seat. At first I thought I had become car sick but today, I am thinking that the body tells us when things are really out of balance. My reminder is that I have to take care of myself. Becoming financially independent is important. When I get rejected it makes me want to quit trying which only makes the cycle continue. I like how you said Complacency is my enemy.

January 22, 2007
12:03 pm
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on my way
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mj,
I have learned so far that complacency causes the cycles in the sense that it is so easy to get caught up in feeling as if there is no answer, when even if there isn't one right in front of us....sometimes just moving forward, or making a decision can make such a difference in changing the cycles.

January 22, 2007
12:07 pm
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revelation
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Soprano...you have probably already answered this question a dozen times here, so I do apologise. But, may I ask why you are still living with this being? Sorry...can't bring myself to call him a man.

January 22, 2007
1:21 pm
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soprano2
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I agree, I have a hard time calling him a man as well.

The majority is financial. He has put us in a major financial hole, and I am having a devil of a time getting out--even working with creditors.

Some of it is physical. I am going to be having heart surgery in the upcoming months, and the doctor told me to wait (my doctor is telling me that I don't have to wait to leave now--I am out of risk for a stroke.)

I have had several plans to go, but they keep falling apart. My time is coming.

Last week, he decided to move to Florida to go work with his brother. I offered to help him pack. He told me that he was going to wait until after my surgery, and I told him that I have a big enough support system that he does not have to stay.

Some times I am strong enough to go, others, I feel like I need to stay. That's why the reminder this weekend hit so strongly.

Thanks for asking by the way.

January 23, 2007
12:03 pm
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mj
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Thanks for sharing that OMW!

January 23, 2007
7:41 pm
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Soprano, thank you for sharing your story. I will definetly keep you and your children in my thoughts & prayers. My wake up call was definetly the first moment I laid my eyes on my daughter for the first time. I asked myself "what would you do if she brought home a man like her father 18 yrs from now??" Well, that being said that was my wake up call. She was born in Sept 04 and I found this website in Nov 04 and Coda just weeks after I found the website. I just celebrated a year in Coda. Needless to say the steps I have taken i would've never been able to take if it weren't for this site, and Coda. Even he is doing so much better now. It's amazing what that one moment can do for you .
I hope that everything works out for you and your children. Any word on your heart surgery??

January 23, 2007
11:32 pm
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armyleo
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Soprano..."Complacency is my enemy."

Very intresting, I'll have to think about this...

January 25, 2007
11:41 am
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soprano2
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I could not wait to get on today and tell you all the good news.

My husband told me yesterday he is moving-- to Florida probably for good.

What an answer to prayer!!!!!!!

He is going to wait until after my doctor's appointment on the seventh so he knows when my surgery is going to be.

Then, on the ninth, he is hopping on a plane.

Told me he bought a one way ticket.

Oh, I am so happy!!!!!!!!!!

January 25, 2007
11:54 am
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truthBtold
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Soprano,

Your opening thread made me cry. I am so thankful that you have good news today and am also so glad that you have such wonderful friends.

Your story is truly an inspiration to me.

Thank you so much for sharing and for being so brave.

January 25, 2007
12:49 pm
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Giggles_29
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((Soprano2)), CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!
I am very happy for you. The power of prayer is amazing. 🙂

January 25, 2007
12:58 pm
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mj
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((((Soprano))))

Thanks for sharing. Your surgery is getting closer. I am glad that you have family and friends to be supportive. I hope that you remain safe in the interim. It still feels so far off. Whats a few weeks when you have suffered for 5 years. I am glad that you will not have to endure the abuse any longer.

January 25, 2007
1:38 pm
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soprano2
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Thank you so much for listening and for your encouragement. It is hard to imagine my story being an inspiration to anyone (but that might be a little bit of codependency trying to push its way through.)

Looking forward to scheduling my surgery now so that I can make plans for my future.

s2

January 25, 2007
1:49 pm
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horsefly
this is off....be on this forum for years....not just since last year..we can email each other Now? that Nappy is long gone....
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Soprano, My heart felt for you were decribing your experience. My first husband was a very serious drug addict but he made alot of money. I depended on him for money...but I also had a baby by him...I left him when my baby was 1.5.. I figured it would be my own money give or take. He was heading nowhere..I never regretted leaving. Hope everything goes well for you..horsefly

January 25, 2007
2:00 pm
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ggfred4
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Soprano, your first post moved me also. Thank you for sharing. I am happy for you with the news of your husband moving. If you don't mind me asking, what surgery are you needing? I haven't been around too much lately and am out of touch.

Now to get to the purpose of your thread: What reminder for me? I had my first and real close attempt to suicide last Feb., realized how out of control I allowed my mind to become. Three weeks later, I began cutting myself and then after a few months knew an addiction was starting. That was my reminder...I needed help. I did start meds, therapy, and the aac, but then dropped the meds and therapy. I don't want to go back to that time.

Best of luck to you...

January 25, 2007
2:10 pm
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truthBtold
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s2,

I find your story inspirational in that I do not have any children to be responsible for (only alot of cats!!!!.) I can not imagine what I would do if that were the case.

Just when I think that my life can not get any worse.....I read stories like yours that inspire me and help me to get my own life in perspective in that there are others out there with even greater burdens to shoulder.

Working 4 jobs.....WOW!!!! You are "One Tough Bird!" let me tell ya!

You ARE an inspiration......Believe IT!!!!!

January 26, 2007
9:45 am
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soprano2
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gg--

Last September I had a mini-stroke. I was very lucky and surprised because I am only 32 years old. It scared me.

While I was in the hospital, they gave me a EKG, and found that I have a hole in my heart. I have had it since birth. I need surgery to fix it and soon.

My neurologist said that she didn't want me to see the cardiologist until she was sure that I wasn't going to have another stoke. She just cleared me last month.

I am going to my first appointment on February 7th. They are going to schedule the surgery for sometime in March or April.

Looking forward to it, because I have had symptoms of this all of my life and no one ever tied the symptoms to the ailment.

By the way, how is your knee feeling? Think about you often.

s2

January 26, 2007
11:43 am
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Anonymous
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S2,

I am so glad that you pointed me toward this thread.

I want to create the family you have created with your friends. That is very touching. Kids are so smart and every once in a while they remind you of what is important.

You are so brave.

Are you going to stay in the same house after your husband leaves?

What are the separate laws there...or does it not matter as long as he is gone? 🙂

Without him drinking all the money, you should be able to pull up out of the debt, right?

I know how much you love your kids. I can totally relate to all the descriptions of of cuddling up to them or smelling their baby shampoo hair when they are sleeping and peaceful and beautiful that you put into my thread in your last two posts.

I think it is so interesting that as you are getting ready to repair a hole in your heart your are sending away the man who has caused you so much heart break.

He won't be there to damage your heart anymore. I hope that your heart heals physically with this surgery as well as emotionally with him leaving.

How long will this job last? I hope forever...for your sake.

January 26, 2007
12:49 pm
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soprano2
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For now I am going to stay where I am. It is going to be difficult to keep the house up, but I will make do with what I can do. My friend is a realtor, and she said that if I am willing to take a small loss, she can probably sell it kinda quickly. We will see.

Right now, it is an unofficial separation, that I will make official after he leaves. In a way, it is abandonment, so we will see what a lawyer says.

He is going down to work, live, and of course party with his brother. His brother is a manic-depressive alcoholic, so we will see how long it works. His brother has fired him in the past, only to hire him back the next day.

And, yes, I too have seen the irony in the fact that I am getting the hole in my heart fixed at the same time that I am emotionally fixing all of the damage that has been done by my husband.

Thanks for the encouragement. You have helped me so much on your threads as well.

s2

January 26, 2007
1:12 pm
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horsefly
this is off....be on this forum for years....not just since last year..we can email each other Now? that Nappy is long gone....
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soprano2, what caught my attention when you started this tread was...You felt like you were drowning in a sea........Well the moment I knew I had to change was after I had a dream about a black hole I was falling in off the edge of his bed. Pretty synmbolic? This dream startled me...I haven't been able to forget either.....Just letting you know I am still around and support you anyway I can.....horsefly

January 26, 2007
1:34 pm
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soprano2
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Thanks for your support. Funny how dreams help you figure things out sometimes.

s2

January 26, 2007
10:11 pm
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S2,

Hopefully, I didn't bombard you with too many questions, but I was just curious.

Seeing how you work things out gives me ideas on how to work things out for myself. I think that is why it is so beneficial to hear each other honestly here.

There are some brave folks on here and I seemed to have made friends with so many of them...you are one of them for sure. An amazing lady.

Hopefully, we can all send love to your heart and then when they fix the hole it will be brimming with love and there will be no hole for it to escape.

Then you can walk around with all the support and love stuck right in your heart ...forever more, AMEN! I don't know why i keep getting so silly when I post to you. 🙂

Maybe, i know you have to have a sense of humor to survive the ridiculous things your husband has said and done.

January 27, 2007
8:17 am
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mj
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Last evening, I was sitting in the living room with my husband. We sit in silence. Its been that way for a few months. I asked him why he didn't ever feel like talking. He said that he asked me a question an hour ago about who had called. He went back to his tv viewing. I went to bed. Sometimes I wonder if I am fooling myself about my relationship with my husband. I feel so alone in it. I wonder if I got a job, would I stay?

I hope you are doing Great! I can't imagine working 4 jobs and raising a family and living with an alcoholic. You are amazing! Love to YOU

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