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Post Info TOPIC: Stages of grief


Veteran Member

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Posts: 79
Date:
Stages of grief


I have found that i am entering in to another one of the many stages of grieving the end of my marriage. The anger I am feeling towards my AH right now can't be healthy for me but I feel so much frustration over what has happened. The man I married and love so deeply askednfor divorce, said he wished he had never married me and regrets being a step father to my children. I am angry and crushed that he couldbthrow away our life like that. He started to get help for drinking but decided it was too much work and that he hated people asking him questions. I know its because he is not ready to get better. But I am still so angry that these decisions he makes affect my life too and he does not care. I lost my husband, my dream home and my friend. How do you get past your anger? How can you forgive such a heartbreaking experience? He wats to remain friends, I want to pummel him. No worries I wont actually do it, just wish he could understand the pain he has caused. He claims he still loves me but you just dont do these thongs to someone you love. That is not love.

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Your post could be mine. I am struggling with the same issues. My AH filed for divorce when I asked him to make the choice of alcohol or his family. He chose the alcohol. I am struggling with trying to understand how such a kind, decent and loving husband and father could make that decision. His drinking didn't start until after we had been married for 16 years. I tried to live with it and protect our 2 children from it's effects but it became too much and I had to ask him to make a choice. I didn't start attending Alanon until he left and I am thankful that I have the support from those wonderful people I have met in those meeting rooms. I crawled through those doors the first time and now, 3 months later, I run as fast as I can every Mon and Wed evening to get there. I have let go and let God. That is the most difficult thing I have had to do but that is the only way I can help myself, and in a sense, help him. I am hopeful my AH will make the choice of sobriety. He is trying to control the drinking himself with no support and I know from past experience it won't last. He too wants to remain friends and keep everything the same with the exception he gets to keep drinking. I do not want that, as it is too hard emotionally. We have been married for 19 years and I can't just shut down the feelings I have for him and forget all that we shared and built together. He has alcohol to numb the pain of all of this, although I know he is feeling it just as much as I am, if not worse.He was my soulmate and I am grieving so much for our past life we had together and for the man that I married. I have to trust in God and let go to let him take care of my husband. The feelings of grief are so overwhelming at times.



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~*Service Worker*~

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I completely relate, you are not the only one who has been through this insanity. it makes us insane, going in circles trying to figure it all out....

I love Life is good's post, those al-anon meetings were the ONLY way for me to make peace with it all, this disease makes us sick too, your comment that "he is not ready to get better??" I sincerely hope that YOU are, that YOU commit to caring for yourself with a fellowship that understands. For me, I could NEVER have done it alone. and we never HAVE TO do this alone, not ever again.

I also want to add that it helped me sooooooooo much when my sponsor told me to STOP listening to his words. It was confusing when he said he loved me but then behaved the way he did, very unloving -ly, very selfish, self-centered, and dishonestly. I was told to listen MORE to the actions. from that, things made much more sense, I came to realize that he had acted this way forever, it was always all about him. My part was, I was dishonest with myself all those years, acting like it wasn't happening, or that it was okay. I married him even though our courtship before marriage was tumultuous and abusive. I did that to myself, because I held a belief that I only deserved scraps, and that is what he gave me.

Now that I am on the other side in recovery, I can share with you that there is an "opportunity" before you to grow in ways you may never have imagined, life is not hopeless. While at the time, it felt like my life was falling apart, it was actually coming together.

Allow yourself to grieve. I was often on the floor in the fetal position, sobbing so loudly I'm sure my neighbors could hear. In between those episodes, I still grabbed my al-anon chair at 3-4 meetings a week. And I got out in nature, fresh air and sun are Higher powers soothing medicine.

It's going to be okay, really and truly (((hugs)))



-- Edited by glad lee on Tuesday 27th of November 2012 09:16:15 AM

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The prayer isn't for Higher Power to change our lives, but rather to change us.



~*Service Worker*~

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(((Cinders)))
I hear you and do understand the anger and sadness of which you speak.   When I was going through the loss of my husband and my dreams of the future, I found that I changed all my feelings into anger because it made me feel powerful and I could verbalize it with ease.
 
 
Owning the feelings, sharing them here, at face to face meetings and with alanon members helped to decrease their power . Once I stopped using anger to cloak my other feelings I found incredible sadness, confusion and most of all an emptiness as to who I was and how to redefine myself.
 
 
This is not an easy road and the only way to get over it is by going through it.  Meetings, alanon tools, prayer and the Steps guided me when all else failed.
 
 
The program will help. Please keep coming back.


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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


Veteran Member

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Posts: 79
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Every word of what you have said rings strong for me. Thank you.

I know that I have to work on healing me and helping my children. I can't fix him and I can't control his choice to drink. He said some pretty awful things, but it was me that decided to pack up and move within just a few days. It was like a door opened and I could finally see the truth that I had locked away. I know he has love but he does not know how to show it and the alcohol keeps him from growing as a person. I have stood my ground about what I will and will not accept for me for over a year now and in so many ways I knew this day would come. I have yet to cry, its like there is no sadness. At first, there was profound relief and a feeling of safety and peace like I had not ever felt before. I saw changes in my children the first week after we had moved. Now, as I am making the changes to things like auto insurance, life insurance, medical coverage's and vehicle titles, now I am mad. He sent me an email saying the divorce papers were given to the lawyer yesterday. I think that made it seem very real, maybe that is why the sudden change to anger. His email was so casual, like we were talking about a grocery list.

Life is good - I feel those same kinds of things. How can I shut down 10 years of love? He chose alcohol over his family. The man that I was supposed to be with forever, he chose alcohol over me. Talk about a blow to the ego. Yet at the same time, in my heart, I know it is not him talking. I just can't live with that anymore.

I have set a goal for myself to get to a meeting this week. There is only 2 a week here that fit in to my work schedule and I missed the one last night due to kid stuff. I have been reading a lot of books and putting many tools to use for me. I can't wait to see the counselor next week. I am actually proud that I am angry, weird huh. It feels like I have moved in to a spot that I am facing the real emotions this has brought on to me. One day at a time I keep telling myself. I know that no matter what happens today and no matter if I handle it well or not, tomorrow I get another chance to do it again.

Thanks for being such great sounding boards and for the good words. Knowing that your not going crazy is a great gift.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Good Job Cinders 

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   HPand the alanon fellowship are  walking with you .Remember you are not alone



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


Senior Member

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Posts: 346
Date:

Cinders,

you got a lot of great wisdom here. You asked "How can I shut down 10 years of love?" The answer is simple, in stages. I have been married and divorced 4 times. I am now 50 years old, single and loving it. I married my first alcoholic at 19, with no idea what I was getting myself into. I struggled for 4 and a half years in that marriage, that was supposed to last a lifetime, and had to get out or die. He was VERY physically abusive, and I do believe that he would have killed me if I had stayed. I didn't learn until I married my second alcoholic at the age of 24, that it was me with the problem, I was trying to "fix" the men in my life. After the second marriage ended in divorce in a year and a half, by his hand... he said, "I was crazy!" lol Which quite honestly, I probably was at that point. I had a friend that suggested I go to a 12-step program and she and I went to an ACOA meeting. I attended these for a year, and learned alot about myself, but I am not the Adult Child of an Alcoholic, but I most definitely have married into it. I eventually dragged the guy I was dating at the time (an ACOA himself, not an alcoholic) to meetings with me. We started to get serious, his dad got into AA, his mom was reading tons of self-help books (but not attending Al-Anon, even though I gave her every bit of literature I could get on the subject! lol) and we got married a year and a half later. I was married to this man for almost 12 years, and had his child. I probably learned the most about the family disease of alcoholism from being married to him than I did from the other three marriages. His father stayed in AA about 5 years, and then decided he was "cured" (don't know how he figured that!). He has stayed sober, but not sane. After our daughter was born, I found out his other addicition... sex. The alcoholic fil had sexually abused his son for 8 years, from the age of 3 to 11, and physically, spiritually and mentally abused him as well. The extent of this family disease was devestating. It effected so many and still does to this day. We were in counseling for about 5 years (the age of our daughter at our divorce). He could not "detach" from his family of origin (my husband) and his father was still in denial about his "sex" addiction. I could not allow this around my child. We were legally seperated for a year, with me praying that my husband would be able to break free from the hold his Father's had on him. He never could, and hasn't to this day, we divorced the following year.

I gave myself a year to recover from that travesty (not NEAR enough time). I started dating the man that would become my fourth husband at that time, he was another alcoholic, I have no idea why I started dating another active alcoholic, other than I just wasn't in my "right mind" after my experience with the third husband, and I wasn't attending my Al-anon meetings regularly like I should. I did wisen up after about six months which was about the length of time it took this alcoholic to ask me to marry him, I said, "No, I will not go into another alcoholic marriage." So he quit drinking, started going to church with me; I thought everything was going to be fine. So we married. This time I was basically married to a dry drunk. He never went to AA, got sober on his own and was quite proud of himself for doing so. Told me all the time that only "weak" people needed AA. I had enough Al-anon by that time, I knew that wasn't true. He hated me going to Al-anon, and often would "physically" hold me and not let me go. This made me furious! I felt like a trapped animal, being married to an active alcoholic was almost better than being married to this "control freak" who was sober, but live with "isms". After 3 years of this, I said Enough! and got my fourth divorce.

But I wasn't done, no not by a long shot! I got involved with another man (not an alcoholic), but very needy. This almost ended up in a 5th marriage, till I came to my senses about 2 years ago and broke up with him. But I wasn't done yet... alcoholic husband #4 and I got back together, and are still "together" to this day, only I am working my program again, and we are living seperately. We have a year and a half together again, and are doing much better this time around. I wish I could say that he got into AA, but alas I can not. He did stay sober, however, and seems to have mellowed a bit. We are working on our communication and acceptance of each other at this time, and it seems to be going better. I have just learned not to have ANY expectations of the alcoholic, because they are premeditated resentments.

I have told you my story... to say this: give yourself time (I wish I had) before you get into another relationship. Divorce is like a death, it takes time to heal and grieve, and we need to allow ourselves that, or we are destined to repeat past mistakes. I know I did. Take care of you, and continue working your program like you are doing and getting to meetings, and you will be just fine. Just remember, "Progress Not Perfection". Also the 5 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. We go through all 5 eventually, and in no particular order, and we may go through them more than once... just give yourself time.

Overcome

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I can Overcome all things through my HP who strengthens me.



~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 3232
Date:

Anger was fuel for me when i hit this stage. I turned my anger into energy to go on long walks, with alittle jogging. I turned it into a way to take the time and space I needed away from people and to sit with myself and feel the feelings and decide on the next step. It really scared me how angry I was, but it really was a useful time when I looked back and saw how I dove into my program and got healthy outlets to deal with my anger. Sending you much love and support!

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BreakingFree

Al-Anon/Alateen Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 800-344-2666

" Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional."

"Serenity is when your body and mind are in the same place."



Veteran Member

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Posts: 46
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glad lee wrote:

It was confusing when he said he loved me but then behaved the way he did, very unloving -ly, very selfish, self-centered, and dishonestly. I was told to listen MORE to the actions. from that, things made much more sense, I came to realize that he had acted this way forever, it was always all about him. My part was, I was dishonest with myself all those years, acting like it wasn't happening, or that it was okay. I married him even though our courtship before marriage was tumultuous and abusive. I did that to myself, because I held a belief that I only deserved scraps, and that is what he gave me.


-- Edited by glad lee on Tuesday 27th of November 2012 09:16:15 AM


 Wow! This quote really spoke to me. It's exactly what I needed to hear tonight. I spoke earlier today with my AH telling him I just couldn't / wouldn't live this way anymore. I found myself feeling tormented and guilty by his words, but in truth, I know that he has neglected and emotionally abused me for years. I am learning to accept that truth, but it means being completely honest with myself and admitting that for years I was essentially living a lie.

Thanks to all for sharing. It helps so much to hear from others who have found recovery and serenity.



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Veteran Member

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Posts: 79
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You are all an amazing group of people. I am glad that I came across you when I needed it the most.

As I listen to your shares, I see so much of what I have been thru, it makes me realize that he is not so unique in his disease. So many of the shares are the same things I have lived with for 10 years now. I am finally starting to see my mistakes in this, how I accepted for so long things I should not have. I can see the excuses for they really were now and while I am still struggling deeply, I am finding peace in ways that I have never had it before.

Today, instead of thinking of how his selfishness, self centered attitude, dishonesty and belief that he is not capable of living with other people, is just how he is, I am learning it is more his disease speaking. Alcoholism is such a powerful disease. I admire those of you that have been able to recover after dealing with this.

Each day is a day forward and a step towards my being a stronger me.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 3871
Date:

Hugs Cinders,

I can absolutely tell you and from all of the wonderful ESH you have already received you are def not alone. After many months of separation (there was a time I could only talk about it in terms of weeks) I am still dealing with the anger, pain, frustration, questions and so on. Yes, it's not good at the same time it's a process. I'm hoping that as the divorce gets closer to being over .. coming from the man who wanted the divorce he certainly is refusing to let go. The saying .. it's hard to get rid of the alcoholic even if they say they want out is so very true.

What has helped me in terms of learning to let go of the anger is not to expect that it's just going to be gone in the snap of a finger. I don't have the luxuary of reveling in it either. Just to feel it, know I don't have to act or say anything while I'm in the throws of it. Have a safe place to let it out (for me that's with my sponsor we have a lot of good laughs over some of it, I have a very warped sense of humor). Laughter is a great healer. See what my part is .. I don't have to own the whole enchilada I only have to own my part. There is nothing I could have done that would have ever been good enough to make him choose differently (or anyone else for that matter) when he is active in the disease. I also do not need to romantise (sp) the what if's or what should have, could have, would have been if I had only (fill in the blank). He is going to continue to make crazy decisions that affect the kids and I or not .. it is now my job to protect myself and the kids to the best of my ability. Hopefully once that is done I really do not need to have contact with him. When I was told that in the beginning I thought people were crazy .. LOL .. now I get it.

Toby Rice Drew has some great books called Getting Them Sober, at this point the only one I have read is Vol 4 I highly recommend it. It is about divorce, separation and some on dating (personally so not there .. lol).

It is ok to feel angry that someone is just blatently making decisions and I don't have a say in it .. the question becomes what do I do with that anger .. after all I'd make a hell of a CNN story .. then I think welllll .. that's probably not a good idea. So if you hear of someone burning a rackety old truck down with the song Burn Baby Burn .. in the back ground and the helicopters are circling the farm .. I've reached my limit. Every day that dang story is not on the news is a good day for healing!!! :)

When I am ready to forgive him in my situation I will start with myself first. I need to forgive myself for beating myself up unnecessarially and not being perfect (there is a HUGE list of things that fall under those two main catagories). When I can forgive myself then I will be more ready to forgive him and there may be things that take a very long time to forgive in those situations. My very wise sponsor recently shared in a meeting that she has only recently moved things from her "hell no" list to her "maybe" list and she's been in program for over 20 years. I am sooooo grateful for that share because it tells me this is a process of progress not perfection and when I am ready not when anyone else is ready .. when I am ready I will be willing to let it all go. I do mean all of it .. now .. LOL .. I may be on my death bed doing it .. before I leave this planet it will be all of it.

In the mean time I can choose to be happy. I can choose to have a wonderful day regardless of the chaos that is reigning down on me else where or he's trying to cause. I am blessed that I have choices I never knew I had. I am grateful that I've come so far in a relatively short time (not counting the 20+ years of individual counseling that probably saved me a time or two). Every day I can look at my children and know he he did me a HUGE favor as I watch them light up when we spend time together. I can choose not to obsess over what he is or is not doing. Today I can focus on what is so much more important to me and for me.

I do feel sorry for him it's more pity than anything else that he can't see what he's missing out on. I see the disease. I hurt that it hurts my children. I guess at this point I'm very detachated (it's what has been called the gold plated character defect for lack of a better term) and I really don't feel much else for him. I'm hoping that someday sooner than later I can because it will mark new healing for me. I just watch and think .. well I don't think nice things right now and can do so without bitterness it's more what a sad man that he can't see what he threw away. Maybe some day I will look at him and think nice thoughts .. it's just not where I am at .. and I choose to love myself where I am at currently.

Anyway, it really does get better and life continues to move forward .. and I can choose to let go or be dragged down the path of life.

Hugs P :)



-- Edited by Pushka on Thursday 29th of November 2012 07:24:20 AM

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Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.- Maya Angelo

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