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ef - something I wanted to share to help you
May 12, 2005
8:38 pm
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angel4U
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This was sent to me by a friend and I thought you could relate some, since you ex was also an alcoholic. I can so much relate to what you have shared about him (his lies, manipulation, rages, irrational behavior, etc.). And as I sure you have read, it seems to be a pattern with substance abusers. Unfortunately it's not an easy one for them to change, as much as we want them to. And since we can't change them, we need to make sure we are protecting ourselves (and in your case, your baby) from further harm.

I want to extend what my friend shared to you as I also believe you are worth so much more than how you were being treated, and would love nothing more than to see you find someone worthy of you. Remember that your ex is making his own choices to continue to drink and act irrational, this is not your fault ... and you do NOT have to go down with him (or as my friend's analogy goes - jump off the bridge with him). And you especially don't have to be his punching bag for all of his issues. That's unfair to you, and as you said, certainly not healthy for your daighter to see.

Remember that your ex could do something about his problem, but HE is choosing not to (I guess changing old habits are hard until you are left with no choice). In my opinion, staying there would not only tell him that how he was treating you was ok, but would continue to make you and him sicker ... as you were experiencing. I believe separating from those that are hurting us (and themselves, in both our cases) is the only option we have to get healthy sometimes. And sometimes (not always) doing so helps them "wake up" too. If anything, it at least tells them that we respect ourselves enough not to tolerate poor treatment ... and that's a good thing!!!

You have done so much work on you, ef, and again I will tell you that I am proud of you!!! If you were here, I'd personally take you out to celebrate!! Please hang in there and do whatever it takes right now to do what is healthy for you and your little one. And continue reaching out for people that are on the same healthy path you are. It will make you stronger, and will help you to realize how special you really are and how much you have to offer to those that are deserving of it.

I am continuing to keep you both in my prayers!!

(((((((((((((((ef))))))))))))))))))

angel4U

===================
A letter from a friend to me:

As for Mr.Troubled. Even if you could fix him (NOTE --- YOU CANNOT) why would you devote yourself and resources to doing it? Helping your lover through college and starting life together or helping your man through med school so you have a bright future is one thing. Rescuing a dysfunctional person in middle age is another. By now the guys either have their sh*t together and are worth someone like you, or they don't and they should settle for what they can get lower on the food chain.

I firmly believe we are to be good stewards of the Lord's blessings and use them wisely for good. We are to be distribution centers for good. Not warehouses where we just store and keep good stuff and not to squander His blessings. Devote your compassion and self and efforts to a good cause with likely benefits to someone who wants and needs and will use help. The Lord made you the person you are with your good qualities and gave you what you have. You need to put it to good use, not dump it into a bottomless pit.

You're a swan, so stay in the middle of the pond and away from the swamp edges where the ducks are and out of the barnyard where the chickens are. True, there are less swans to choose from. But a swan is a beautiful thing and belongs with another swan. When two swans are together it's great. Worth the effort and time to pair up with one.

His not being consistent, wanting you but not being emotionally available, trying to connect one time and being distant the next are all signs of deep and serious troubles you cannot fix and surely don't want to live with. You're stronger and healthier than that. Healthy people don't rescue sick ones --- sick ones infect healthy people.

You say you hate to walk away. But there is a BIG difference between walking away and detaching to keep yourself healthy. Selfish is when you plan or strategize to benefit yourself at someone else's expense. That is not you. Smart is when you don't jump off a cliff to be with your friend who just did. You'll both share the same experience -- a nasty crash and injury as you hit bottom.

Take pride in yourself. Be happy with yourself. Make a life and enjoy yourself. Go places and relate to/with healthy people when/where/as you can and be OK alone when you're alone. Better to be alone than with nobody. Call churches or check their web sites for singles ministries. Volunteer at the humane society or a hospital. Get a job at a real-estate or travel agency even part time to come in contact with others and get yourself nicely dressed and out of the house.

May 12, 2005
8:49 pm
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exoticflower
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I do relate, Angel. Especially about trying to connect and then being distant. What a lovely way to look at it with the swan and all--I am having a hard time disconnecting, and thank you for your prayers and thoughts. It's hard, I want to find some way that includes us as a family, but I know that this is trying to force my will somewhere it doesn't fit. And then that gets hard...

My daughter has adjusted quickly, I wish I had the happy way of accepting that a child does. I keep thinking that this is trudging along, but then I suppose that all paths lead somewhere, and some are so worth the struggle uphill...

Again thank you so much for this. It helps. Your caring does too! I'm so glad to have a chance to talk to you! I hope you are finding what you are looking for too, I would love to hear about it...you are after all further up that path, I would enjoy knowing what it looks like where you are!!!

Love, ef

May 12, 2005
9:00 pm
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dustygirl
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Angel - thank you for that post to Exotic - I hope you don't mind, but I read it as if it were written for me. I know the Lord has someting so much better for me out there than what I am doing with my life. I have turned my back on him and am struggling to face him again, but am quite ashamed of the mistakes I have made along the way, and continue too. I honestly feel that the Lord will never bless the relationship that I am in, because of the way it started. An affair for both of us.

May 13, 2005
12:36 am
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angel4U
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Hey guys,

I wanted to let you know that I read your posts but unfortunately can't stay online right now to respond. I promise to post back to you by Saturday.

I will be thinking about you both!!! Hang in there, and try to keep giving yourselves those positive affirmations ... and maybe try to find something, anything, funny to help you let go of the pain for a while and make you laugh a little ... I am sure you could use a little laugh, and it oh so soothesethe soul during these times.

((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))

angel4u

May 13, 2005
7:56 am
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gazelle
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Oh dear, I know Angel4u meant very well with those posts, and I'm glad they help lift & cheer people on. But having read this thread, I feel much worse - sort-of angry and a lot more depressed. It bothers me a lot - since I KNOW the material was well-meant.

I think it's the elitist & un-compassionate ideas in the letter that strike heavy blows for me 🙁 Are some people really 'worth' more than others? The part about being a swan & only seeking to be with other swans - somehow superior to ducks & chickens - really, really upsets me. It reminds me of racism (you know, the idea that 'superior' races shouldn't pollute themselves by mixing with lower life-forms. Like in Apartheid in South Africa. Like in Hitler's Germany.)

Are some of our fellow humans REALLY to be sneered at & labelled "lower on the food chain"? I thought Christianity taught our human equality in the 'eyes' of a 'God'?

Is this really true, or healthy to think ... "Healthy people don't rescue sick ones."??? I for one would be long dead then. Plus many friends.

So we should just look after Number 1 and turn our backs & run? In my weaknesses, illnesses & depressions, am I to hold out no hope for help or rescue? Was it wrong of me & of my rescuers when that happened? Is all loving care invalidated - especially when the mess I got into was my own fault???

Sometimes one simply CANNOT pull oneself up by one's bootstraps - with the best will in the world.

(This is SO disheartening. I'm weeping. Perhaps I'm a feeble, over-sensitive wimp. Perhaps my weaknesses should be just ignored till I rot.)

When I'm feeling empowered, inspired & stronger, full of renewed life & joy -- should I really not turn round & invite someone who is struggling in a quagmire behind me to join me on the other side, with empathy, understanding & a helping hand of love?

Surely damaged, hurt, suffering people don't deserve to be looked down on as lesser mortals? "There, but for the grace of God, go I..."

I am NOT a 'Christian' for many reasons - philosophical, theological & historical. Many of their churches' attitudes of judgementalism appall me. Witch-hunts, inquisitions, cruseades, tortures, murders beyond number. Plus all the abuses & oppressions of the poor, the dispossessed, the orphans, the foreigners (as in slave-trading) by the rich & powerful. The greed. The war-mongering, etc.

But, all that said, I have enormous respect and love for the life & teachings of Jesus. He showed UNCONDITIONAL love & compassion. He said & LIVED: "Judge not, that ye be not judged." He hung out with women, gentiles, tax-gatherers, 'sinners', Samaritans ... the outcasts like lepers etc & healed them, at the risk & eventual cost of his own life. He was one cool dude - and then some! My greatest Inspiration.

Sorry if I've inadvertantly offended anyone. I'm feeling fragile lately and this letter, although meant well, hurts & upsets me more than I can coherently say. Oh dear. At least I'm not too much of a wimp to at least try to express my feelings & thoughts.

OK. I'm bracing myself. Shoot me down.

Blessings of kindness & compassion towards anyone weak & suffering - gazelle.

May 13, 2005
9:09 am
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exoticflower
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I don't believe this was intended to be a Christian comment, I took it as a letter to angel from one of her friends. It is encouragement that she received and I had asked for on the other site. My perticular situation is with a man that absolutely does not want help, and he is indeed a bottomless pit for the help I want to offer right now, or a cup with holes in it, you know. I had posted about it next door in Support Threads, and this is relevent to the situation. I am a co-dependant, not Jesus. I should avoid people who need me because I need them too and it makes me an ugly person at times in the the way I need. I am trying to get better.

And if you had followed my story, some human beings really ARE lower on the food chain. Emotionally abusive alcoholics are, in my book. Right now my ex parnter is CHOOSING to be a duck. Choosing not to even try to get better as well as to tear down my attempts to. And we don't even know Angels situation, this could be remarkably relevent to her situation as well.

And for the record, I am not a Christian by any strech, I don't believe in a traditional Christian 'God' at all. But I do beleive in the goodness of people, and I do beleive in freedom of worship, and I do beleive my friend was very kind to share with me what her friend shared with her. And it was very comforting. I hardly liken the encouragement in staying away from and letting go of my drunken cruel ex with all of his promises broken even when I struggle to keep mine to the slaughter of millions for their nationality.

Hey, that was fun! I actually feel fairly empowerd, I have a nice addreneline rush, I re-read this post and got even more from that letter when I felt the need to explain it...Thanks Gazzelle! I've had a rough week, and I've been trying so hard not to say anything bad about him, and there it is! Ah, the wonder of one conflict resolving another--who knew?

Please don't take any of this as directed at you, just as defense of a letter I personally was meant to take something positive from and very much did. And seriously, thanks.

May 13, 2005
9:18 am
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exoticflower
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Gazzelle, in re-thinking, you said you have been feeling fragil lately, I really don't want to exasperate that at all.Please know that I am not attacking you or upset in the slightest, I mean n oharm at all.

I didn't shoot did I?...If you feel shot at, can we call it (I cringe just to type it, am I really saying this?) friendly fire?

May 13, 2005
9:31 am
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gazelle
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Dear angel4u, you sound such a lovely caring, compassionate, insightful person. I admire everything you said. Very wise & helpful. (My problem is only with that "letter", which didn't sound like your words.)

Love to you & to exoticflower too.

May 13, 2005
10:02 am
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gazelle
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Thanks for your response, exoticflower. And I mean for ALL of it. I will try to learn how some people actually DO need to hear the things in that letter. I'm so glad you are empowered by it & validated & encouraged.

Please ignore my criticisms. I in NO WAY meant to compare letting go of a drunken abuser who is unwilling to change with the holocaust, and apologise unconditionally if what I wrote seemed to. How STUPID of me.

It's just that I am so wary of labels and judgements and being told (by Christians)that I & others don't deserve any better ... that things are my fault ... that some people are naturally superior. Please see where I'm coming from. But not if your plate is already full enough. I understand & apologise.

I have been beaten up again & feel so low, helpless & partly to blame that I just went to pieces on reading how some of us deserve to be put down. I know I do. And 2 dear friends who succumbed to alcohol, despite their & everyone else's best efforts. I just got triggered. As if grief wasn't enough, they got blamed & judged harshly by "Christians" instead of loved. It still upsets me. Not relevant here - I only bring it up to clarify why I wrote that. Heartfelt apologies. I will vanish awhile to the shadows.

No, you didn't shoot at me, ef. You were big enough to express your powerful feelings with strength, dignity & grace - as I think I did mine. Neither of us is Christian. We both value angel4u & each other, however tough our circs & however fragile our feelings.

Friends? Love to you - gazelle.

May 13, 2005
10:25 am
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exoticflower
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Of course, friend. Love back, and lots of it.

Thanks for taking the time to hear me out, and I do feel what you are saying, I guess I just want to take a different perspective that I need a lot right now, and found a lot to take and hold from that letter. Regardless of whos words, it is something I had a need for, and had a lot I needed to hear to ease up on myself.

Angel4U, thanks again.

Gazzelle, is everything OK? YOu sound like you have something fairly specific on your mind...hope all is well ((((((((hugs))))))))))).

May 13, 2005
8:06 pm
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angel4U
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Hey girls,

I don't think I am going to be able to get back on this weekend and had a few minutes now to respond. Please know that this is my opinion and nothing more. I have confidence in all of you that all the answers are inside you, and I believe you will find them when you are ready.

One suggestion I have to all of you is to please do whatever you have to do to let go of any shame or guilt you feel - in my opinion, they are wasted emotions when you allow them to take control of your life. Instead, use those emotions to find the positive and figure out what they are trying to tell you. We all make mistakes and poor choices. We are human. Life, to me, is a learning experience. If you knew what you were doing was wrong or that how it would make you or others feel before you did it, would you have done it anyway? Instead of feeling sad and guilty, take the time to figure out why you did them, what impact they had on you and/or others, and how you can do a better job the next time. To me, that's how we grow into a better person.

dusty - I don't know your story too well, so please forgive me if I am off base here. Although I can't speak for the Lord, I can provide input on what you have said. If you truly feel that there is something more out there for you that will bring you and others peace & happiness, go for it! My "guess" is that your last statement was made because you feel this relationship was built on dishonesty. If so, I want to ask you if you think any relationship (even friendships) that start out this way, or continue this way, have the kind of foundation you want to grow on? I am not going to answer this for you, because I think you have the answer yourself. And while you are thinking, please remember what I posted earlier, because I think it's important for you not to think that I am judging you about this.

gazelle - I know sometimes it's hard when we read some of these posts when we don't have the full context of why it was written. That's why I truly wish sometimes that we had a private chat room on here ... I actually worry about that when I post, and it has stopped from posting sometimes. But I do appreciate you sharing your feelings about it all, because I think that is important too.

Where do I start? First, my friend that sent the letter is the most kind, compassionate person you would want to meet. He would give you the shirt off your back if you needed it to keep warm. He has been through sooo many struggles in his life, and always seems to bounce back. He also has a sister that is an alcoholic and we have discussed this issue before together. When I wrote to him, it was because I felt like I was hanging on to someone that has alot of issues that he is chosing not to work on (just like ef), and in the mean time I got stuck in not moving on with what I want out of life. So I knew whatever he had to say was coming from his heart. And that he wants nothing but the best for me. And that's exactly how I took it, just as ef did when I sent it to her.

I saw his analogy about the ducks, swans and chickens exactly how ef sees it. We all have choices to make in life. I happen to be a very strong, compassionate and fair person, with high integrity that is always trying to do the right/fair thing. Sure I slip and make mistakes too. But I also admit to them. So why would I settle to choose someone in my life that is not on the same path? This doesn't mean I don't love this person, or wouldn't be open to bringing him back into my life if he changed. But is it really smart to let go of what I believe him to join him? For me, the answer is NO! And it goes in sync with what he was saying about detachment with love.

One last note - please no more negative references to Christianity, ok? I am learning that many people have many experiences that I truly have not had, and when I see some of what you wrote I am guessing you do to. I am a Christian, so when you do that, I feel like you are putting me in this pot of people that you view as negative. And I know from what you said how you truly feel about me, so please know that I do not take them personally and am not hurt by them.

As ef expressed, I can hear that you are hurting about something, gazelle. We are all friends here and would love to help. My hand is being stretched too. Feel free to share with us whatever you want. That goes for you to dusty!!!

Unfortunately I ran out of time here, so will try to post more again soon.

BUT one last note to you ef - I love you girl!! Thanks so much for stepping in when I was out to try to explain to gazelle the true intent of the meesage and how it made you feel. That means ALOT to me! I would truly have felt bad if she would have felt crummy about this for too long. More comin' atcha later. For now, I need to get out with some friends and have some FUN!!

Have a great weekend girls!!!

And keep smilin'!!!

Love, angel4u

May 14, 2005
11:04 am
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exoticflower
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Gazelle,

I wonder how you are doing today? I was re-reading this thread again and it sounds like you have been on the receiving end of some harsh criticizm lately...Just wanted to shoot something possitive your way to help combat it if it's still going on. Thinking about you this second and hoping things are great and thinking how insiteful and sweet you are.

Angel, thanks for writing back--hope you had fun out with the girls--I'm looking foreward to a day when 'out with the girls' isn't just me dwelling with the girls instead of dwelling at home...with time, I know. Actually going shopping today, that should be fun. I'm making it a personal rule to have fun today, or I have to scrub the bathroom when I get home!

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