LINKS

Al-Anon Group Home Page
Al-Anon Group Meeting/Chat Room
Site Technical Problems or Questions?
Step Work Board - A Step each week!
Online Meeting Schedules


Al-Anon Family Group
Message Board

The material presented here is not Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature. It is a method to exchange information, ideas, feelings, problems and solutions on a personal level.

"Real" Al-Anon Meeting Directory


A new step every two weeks in the order they were written!


Al-Anon's 12 Steps & 12 Traditions

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: The habit of feeling wrong


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 343
Date:
The habit of feeling wrong


Hi, MIP family, I hope this weekend brings good things to you. I've been working through some hard stuff, peeling off some layers of my onion, so to speak, and would appreciate greatly any ESH you might have.

One thing that has become evident to me is that my A partner had been, for all intents and purposes, my higher power for years. I used to idealize him and disregard any non-ideal qualities. I believed he understands things better than me for most of the time, and I took most, if not all, he said and made it my truth. This unfortunately meant that, with his disease getting steadily worse, I also kept believing for a long time all the bad stuff he said about me, that I was wrong to do X, say X, whatever. With time I (intelectually) understood that most of that blaming and guilting is bs, but till this week I never really GOT it. I've remembered some of the stuff from the past where I got myself convinced of my wrongdoing (falsely), oh, how I'd beaten myself up for some it... and I now understand that this attitude has resulted in me feeling like I'm wrong, generally. Like I can't make any decision, any move without the danger of being "wrong". I got to the point where I could even make a "wrong" gesture or look at someone in the wrong way (because that was my sick coping mechanism I've developed living with an A, where anything I did or said could be interpreted as "wrong"). The more time passes, the more I see how alcoholism has messed me up, my thinking had become such a self-sabotaging mess.

The other thing I've become aware of that is connected with the first is that over the years, living with an A, I've perfected my destructive attitude of not being able to rely on my own judgment, if someone is doubting it. My abf is a master at doubting my motives, and I got a bit obsessed the other day by reading all I could find on gaslighting, and this rings very true in my situation. The information I found has been helpful in the way that it proves some people do this gaslighting thing, and that maybe my constant self-doubt in large part has no basis in reality but really is a result of having been manipulated for years (e.g. Did I REALLY do/not do X to hurt the A? Was I REALLY right to do as I did? etc. etc.). I know for a fact that many times he has attempted to manipulate me, as he has admitted occasionally afterwards. So this is actually totally in character.

The last thing on my mind, that I attempt to let go of every day for a week but that keeps cropping up again to bug me is that I haven't contacted my abf for a little over a week, and I kind of feel guilt (or maybe anticipation of him guilt-tripping me whenever we make contact again), though it really seems there's nothing to feel guilty about. I haven't made any contact since a spectacularly disastrous display of craziness over nothing. We had arranged to meet in the city, he would take me with a car and we would go visit his grandparents. On the day we were supposed to go I called him a half-hour before my train and it was clear he was still sleeping and I had woken him up. That's OK, but he also sounded like he planned to sleep a bit more, so I said "I'm not going anywhere until you're up". I may have been a tad sharp, but, really, I just stated my boundary. I have had too much experience with making plans, then waiting around for hours until he wakes up, and then fail to go where we had meant to go anyway. This is not something I want to waste my time on. His answer had been, "Fine, then don't go." And he hung up. When I called him after a minute or two to ask that he calls me when he is up so that I know I can catch a train and to please contact me before 1 pm, because I won't go anywhere later in the afternoon, he said he won't call me. That was the end of our plans. This whole exchange was confusing, and somehow made to be my fault. I called his grandparents to inform them that I wasn't going to visit after all. I hadn't planned on going alone and by public transportation, for one thing, and for another, I was confused where the abf was still going or not, and how silly it would be that we go there separately. Also, my mood was killed.

Intellectually, I understand that all I did was protect myself from another potential resentment in case I got to the city and we ended up not going anywhere or going, like, after hours of me just waiting like a complete fool. Despite my recent awarenesses I wrote in this post, I still feel in some part of me that I am doing/did something wrong. I do try to focus on myself, and am quite successful most of the time, but this guilt thing is still there somewhere in the back of my mind, besides, I'm sure (projecting, I know) abf will blame me for not contacting him all this time and not picking up his call the next day after the super stupid fly-became-an-elephant situation.

I have prayed, I have considered to just inform abf we're done and over. After all, this "relationship" is one in name only. But I'm still not sure, so I don't do anything, as the slogan suggests. I also don't want to contact him, I have nothing to say, and I think there's most likely nothing he could say at this point that I want to hear. Still the feeling of wrongness doesn't go completely away. This must be my codependence, urging me to make contact, because I know that for a short while I'll feel better... Less wrong... BAHHHHHHHH. I pray to HP to let me know his will for me and the power to carry it out in this. For now, I wait. Thank you for being here, I'm so grateful I can share this here today.



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 487
Date:

Hello Aline,
Thanks for posting, it reminds me of myself a few years back because I use to idolize my ex-abf. He was good at making me feel bad about myself. I read a lot about people like that and how they manipulate other people. Not all alcoholics are like that but some of them are. They probably are a little like that sober. It is great that you recognized this past behavior. Now, you can take this knowledge and use it in the future so you do not feel like that again.

__________________

Sharon 



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 15336
Date:

I too can identify Aline.   i am impressed with your powerful awareness and acceptance of the negative tools you have been using through the years. This is how program works. The 4th and 5th Step asks that we look inward and own what we see .  moving on we finally ask HP to lift these negative attitudes. Keep showing up and using the tools you are doing well.



__________________
Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 13378
Date:

 

 

I am also impressed with in part your working the Serenity Prayer and as Hot Rod mentioned the 4/5 steps...It was "How it works" shares as your is that got me turned around when I would practice not what I did but what others did and showed me.   The title of your post ..."The habit..." When I became aware that I had created a habit that was making and keeping me sick I then learned from my sponsor to create other habits that centered from doing the opposite of the habit that made me sick.  

You can stop this habit anytime you care to and what would you do instead?  How about the habit of self acceptance regardless what the alcoholic thought or said or felt?  How would that work out?....((((Hugs)))) wink



__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Online
Posts: 7651
Date:

Hey Aline - I too love the awareness you've come upon. Your post reminds me of the Three A(s) - Awareness, Acceptance and Action. You are 'there' and when I was peeling, I was often very hard on myself. I struggled for a while to accept my imperfect state as I was raised to always do my best and be the best. Some how that translated into an expectation of being perfect, which I know now is unrealistic. Many who came before me kept gently reminding me that we are all imperfect and that's OK. For me, when I was able to accept I was imperfectly perfect, it gave me much more ability to accept the exact same in others. I was taught to 'over-expect' from self and/or others as we're all human and we will make mistakes in our journey. Best of all, that's exactly how we are designed to be - human and imperfect.

Whenever I get 'down' of self today, I am reminded of simple tools such as asset and gratitude lists. These really do help me switch up my attitude and thinking. I truly think that this disease presents us with 'life' that can be so challenging, we are left with a need to use unhealthy tools to cope. Recovery from the disease helps us replace those unhealthy tools with healthy ones to not just cope but thrive instead.

You're doing awesome. It can be frightening to 'see' who we really are, yet freeing too as we get to see how we can do/be/become different and better. Keep coming back - you got this!

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 343
Date:

Thank you all so much for being here for me :) The action of writing out what has been tumbling around in my head has been helpful as well. I am grateful for increased serenity since realizing what I've been doing, it turns out self-doubt takes up a lot of energy, constantly. Now I'm saving a bit for more useful things. Progress, definitely! I visited my little sister today, and it was nice to do stuff together. We made some Christmas decorations from carton. I wish you all a good Sunday... Love you all.

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 4880
Date:

I absolutely love how your searching searching searching for the truth of you and you've got the courage to look at yourself and uncover those layers. For me this is the program at work, the looking a bit more every time and seeing clearly a day at a time and then for me lots of things suddenly clicked into place.

I can relate to the manipulation and the doubting. When I looked I was angry at first, I was a bit like what the hell I just let my ex totally walk over me for years,  until I wasn't angry anymore. When I was able to look deeper I saw that I had given over many things to my ex. He was my scapegoat and weirdly at the same time he was my strength in terms of, I felt like I gave over half my brain and let him be the other half. He was my higher power and I liked that, there were benefits, I had such low self esteem and had no clue how to  raise this so I would look for reassurance from him, I thought he was a better thinker than me and in some ways he was when sober, he was sharper clearer and this actually may have been due to his alcoholism. In contrast I was confused a lot of the time funnily enough, lol, living in an alcoholic home will do that to a person. My thinking was cloudy a lot of the time, I struggled to make decisions or believe or think through my own set of beliefs so I just took his. In some ways I feel apathy was a huge part of my living with an alcoholic for 20 years but I was on a journey and it took alcoholism to beat me down pretty good before I would let in another way of thinking. 

I can so relate to your whole situation with the plans to visit with your bf. He has done what drinkers do, flaked out of the plans for whatever reasons, hungover, drunk, cant be bothered, whatever the reason its a complete lack of concern about plans or whether you are waiting which you were, he doesn't care one way or another and funnily enough self centeredness and selfishness is one major part of alcoholism. So, basically he's played his part well, he's done exactly what active drinkers do. No surprise. The work that needs to be done is within you, for one, why did you trust him to keep plans? maybe you need to learn a little more of the nature of this disease, get the awareness of what your dealing with here, expectations of an active drinker is setting yourself up for disappointment, confusion and then we get guilty. That is the very thing that draws us together , its like a jigsaw and we fit together. He lets people down because that's what he does and then we get confused, disappointed and then blame ourselves, that's what we do with untreated alcoholism.

The good news for us in Alanon though is that we have found recovery and are digging deep to see the reality one day at a time and the truth is being revealed more and more and you are on your way to freedom from this. It could be that progress would look like you having a plan B, if he lets you down you continue with your day, why wait about? show him that you are not an extra in his life waiting for your part in his show. We only have one life and so each day is 24 hrs we get to fill with whatever we want. 



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 343
Date:

Thank you for your ESH, LC, and for reminding me to look at my part. I had conveniently forgotten, more like chose to forget for the umpteenth or so time, that it is foolish to have expectations of an active A. Making a plan B is not something that comes to mind, like almost ever, for me automatically. Something to look out for.

__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 204
Date:

Expectations are everything 

I have an A friend. She flaked out on me many times 

Now I would only consider asking her if I can deal with the flake out.  In general I am not up to it. 

Whatever you planned to do on that day it sounds like you were thrown by.his reaction.   I.find if I ask an alcoholic to do.something generally they rebel. 

 

I have not spoken to some alcoholics I know for a while.  I.got busy.  I.dont.have to be worrying about someone who is adult. 

Keep in.mind they also haven't called me to see if I.need anything 

I know full well if I am doing a lot in a relationship I.expect a lot back.  Looking long and hard at.those expectations is very.difficult.  Expectations were a huge part of my problem. 

 

Al.anon.cam help a lot with tools to de escalate. 

That doesn't mean becoming a door mat.  That means responding rather than reacting. My impulse is to react. I have learned to wait it out.  Take five before responding.  

 The holidays were always very very difficult for me. Getting to a reasonable expectation was nearly impossible for me. 

I have had to work really hard to get them down.  To me that.felt like a failure 

One hard thing I had to look at was I referred to my boyfriend as significant other.  He was adept at minimizing our relationship to others.  I never let.go of the significant other 

Issue.  He did.  I was the back up pull outta them closer girlfriend.  I was never the partner.  I was the one who could be manipulated and controlled.  

I.am always having to re evaluate my relationships. 

I.am also having to re evaluate my stress level.  These days I am still stressed out but it isn't because I am constantly being thwarted minimized berated and abandoned. 

Normal everyday stress especially around the holidays is hard enough.  Add an alcoholic to the mix and the stress is increased manifold.  When I.am too stressed I get sick. 

Then when I was sick I got upset about how indifferent the ex A was 

When he was sick I pulled out all the stops.  It is very very painful to say when I was sick he resented everything he did for me.  He minimized my illness dismissed it and chose not to be 

Emphatic and loving.   I.was never able to get detached enough to acknowledge that.  The hurt overwhelmed me. My.boundaries were ibliterated. 

.maresie. 

Maresie 

 



__________________
Maresie
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us