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Post Info TOPIC: Playing Cat and Mouse


Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 4
Date:
Playing Cat and Mouse


Hey guys,

It has been a while since I posted (for the first time) but have been visiting, and reading. Your sharing is inspiring and often gives me comfort when I think my AW is up to her old tricks again. But I just wanted to hear from you guys if you share a habit that I have formed throughout the 8 years of living with this mischievous wee demon. (The booze, not the AW lol). 

The first time I caught my AW out (finding a bottle of gin stuffed into her knee high boot) I felt completely betrayed. The time after that (wondering why the piano sounded strange, because it was filled with empty beer cans) I felt betrayed again but not surprised. And over the years I've become almost desensitised to it, in the fact that I'm never surprised anymore. And now I almost get a thrill out of catching her. Not to say that I want to find empties lying around, but I get satisfaction in knowing that despite my anxiety and panic attacks, I'm not paranoid, and my instincts (and nose) are right.

So, this morning I desperately want to look in the trunk of her car (we call it the 'boot' here in NZ) because for the last while, she has been very protective of her car keys and handbag. My gut tells me it'll be filled with empties. And if I steal her keys from her handbag while she sleeps and look in the boot to find her stash I'll: a) sate my curiosity b) have to confront her c) or find nothing and feel guilty for not trusting her. A tough conundrum.

She has stopped going to AA and doesn't really talk about her progress anymore, doesn't celebrate months sober etc. So I'm pretty sure she's swigging away.

Anyway, just thought I'd write all this down. It feels like a childish game of cat and mouse. A little bit sad, but a darkly funny as well. 

Anyone else out there have these same feelings?

Keep sharing. This is a great place.

Witch F.

x



__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 538
Date:

Yes, I've had those feelings. You described it well... finding the hidden alcohol is strangely satisfying because, as you said, it confirms that our fears were not unfounded. It would be a fun game, playing detective, if only the ultimate results of alcoholism were not so devastating. But as to those feelings, I've been guilty as charged.

Thank goodness our program emphasizes progress, not perfection. If we take a step backward, we can always take two steps forward the next day.

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 13618
Date:

 

Even your sign in witch finder brings back sadness for me about how it use to be when I was not a practicing member in the fellowship.  I didn't use the "w" in the term instead used a "b".  She would not survive it as a sick person if I had not changed for the right reasons.  I had her pegged as a "bad" person and not a sick one. It took me a while to not personalized the disease and diminish the volume of resentments I carried which were choking my spirit and willingness to see recovery at any level.  

The first step; learning it and getting it and then accepting a need for change is and was key to the recovery of myself and the alcoholic/addict wife.  There was an entry in my ODAT daily reader that mentioned that I would say "that I would do anything to help and support my alcoholic/addict find sobriety except...get off of her back".  Metaphorically the picture was of a very sick woman carrying the weight of her 200lb husband while trying to shake a life threatening disease that kept him there.  
Also I came to understand that with every attempt I made to police or control or cure her/our drinking problem I was admitting I was truly powerless over it.

I was always the mouse that the disease was carrying around in its mouth.  I made matters much worse than I wished to admit until I came to admit it.

Keep coming back cause this works when we work it. (((((hugs))))) confuse

 



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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 534
Date:

(((Witchfinder))). I understand your feelings, I have done similar things, checking how much ex-abf had drank etc., even trying to act like his "drink manager" or something with his consent. These did not help me or my ex-abf though.

I don't know if you've heard of the 3 Cs in Alanon, but these come to mind: we didn't Cause alcoholism, we can't Control it, and we can't Cure it. I have given up, thankfully, trying to Control or Cure A's drinking, but I do still struggle big time with trying to control things I do not have any real control over in most other areas of my life. I feel for you, because I too have had anxiety for a long time and also had several panic attacks, and it seems this is not uncommon amongst Alanoners... Alanon teaches us to focus on ourselves and to work on ourselves because ultimately I am the only person I can really change. I mess up a lot with this, still, but I can honestly say I only began to get better when I began working on myself, and this in turn encourages me to continue on the path as well as I am able to.

I agree that MIP is a great place :) Keep coming back. I hope you also find Al-Anon face to face meetings and attend, it is truly, absolutely worth it.

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1048
Date:

Hi WF,

Boot, huh? Nobody would know what a jaffa is either... wink

I am well out of the woods with my first qualifier long passed away. My So has another addiction and has been slipping back. I was the one who actually stepped in and got her on the rails- she did all the work herself. I guess we both know the ropes.

We had a business set-back this year- something fixable- but it will take time. I slipped back too- back towards the old fox-hole. But we have laid out a fair bit of goodwill to fall back onto. Going forwards that is...

In the beginning i had the answers to everything- well, at least my head told me so!

Getting things straight is half the battle... [step one...]... and moving forwards the second, ah suppose... biggrin 



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One day at a time.



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 15832
Date:

((WF))) you are not alone I too played detective in order to satisfy my insane desire to prove I was right.
Alanon gave me tools to stay in the moment and in the day focused on my life and myself while accepting that I was powerless over this disease The tools worked and i finally learned to mind mu own business and to take actions that would improve my attitudes and my own life. Please keep coming back you are not t alone



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 8327
Date:

I too can relate and recall vividly when I started in Al-Anon, and those with wisdom and experience told me that these 'search and seize and shame' events were part of my insanity!! I was crushed and angry as in my pre-program way of thinking, these 'events' and calling out my A(s) gave my ego a temporary, false elevation. "I knew it!" "I found it!" and so, so many more thoughts and emotions would begin the swirling chaos in my brain.

It was really, really hard for me to focus on me, stop these searches and trust the program and a higher power. My best tool for coping when I'd get the 'itch' to snoop was the good old phone - I would reach out to a program friend or sponsor and tell on myself. They would gently distract me until I had been restored to faith again, and the realization that I was and am totally powerless over people, places, things, all but self.

A bit later in recovery, I actually got sad and angry at self for the amount of time and energy I spent in this way. Of course, I didn't know any better, and felt that trying to fight, control, influence my loved one and the disease was loving. I know better know that the best form of love I can show is to allow others to be and do what they need to and just get out of the way.

Great share - keep coming back -- you are not alone!

__________________

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: 430
Date:

I can certainly relate. I snooped and snooped and snooped on my loved ones social media, phone, drove by to see if she was at school or work or where ever she said she was going to be. Of course I justified all of my behaviour on the fact that she had lied repeatedly to me over all kinds of things. I was going to somehow stop the disease once I was armed with all the knowledge I thought I needed. I look back now and think who the heck was that person? Of course it was motivated by love and fear of letting go but not once , ever did something I found out through snooping ever make a difference. All it did was upset me. Ok she's lying.... Now what. It didn't change what I needed to be doing which was live and let live, focus on my own recovery and ensure that my own side of the street was clean.
I still struggle to this day to not snoop, most times I am successful and I resist the urge. The truth always reveals itself exactly when and how I need to know without me digging around. I believe that I have no power over another.  I have to pray daily to my hp to accept it, so I don't try to yank back control.



-- Edited by serenity47 on Saturday 14th of April 2018 08:57:10 PM

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Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 11
Date:

I can total relate to you Witchfinder. Thanks for sharing. I am trying not to snoop and be proven right.  I am it does not do anything to help AH with his disease. I am trying to focus on me and it has been a bit hard.



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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1048
Date:

 [second share]

                       did not know if I would really relate. For years I would look up at my dad's house to see if his car was parked outside. To see if he had arrived home safely... ...and if ones on his pathway home were also safe and sound. I don't think I ever tried to control the drinking. I did know that drinking on a full stomach was not good for him- and he avoided it. Well, it was not good for his buzz. He never ever made excuses for his drinking or ever promised to quit. He was just part of a small town school of drinkers who were otherwise respectable well thought of people. Just what life was like at home though- people did not delve into that!

Thanks again for the topic WF...



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One day at a time.



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 15
Date:

Heck - today we went out for lunch. Several "bathroom breaks" later and she was trashed!
Upon arriving home she passed out on the bed and i removed an almost finished bottle of vodka from her purse.
Upon waking in a stupor she went looking for it, didnt find it and went back to bed.
I am sure she is questioning herself if she finished it and threw it away, or i found it.
She will not confront me on it since she doesnt want to hear it from me again about her drinking!

So much for not looking for it.

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Online
Posts: 2974
Date:

Witch big hugs and welcome to the boards,

I hope you are finding meetings and if you can't find face to face that you are coming online it makes a huge difference.

One thing about the snooping I had to really get honest about .. my XAH was doing what A's do .. there is a reading in C2C about pigeons and a man I believe getting angry at the pigeon for pooping on him and then after he thought about it .. it's what pigeons do .. they eat .. poop and sleep .. fly around I always referred to them as winged rats .. lol. Anyway, my point and I do have a point .. if I snoop and I find out I'm right .. who's causing my pain?/ The A for doing what A's do .. or me for knowing this is what they do and getting mad about it and then needing to look. My XAH was a great lesson to me .. specifically about the power of the God of my understanding whom I choose to call God .. God had a way of revealing the information I was desperate to find when I was ready .. I snoop I find out .. now what I do .. am I going to confront the A? Am I going to go lick my wounds and do the woe is me? Am I going to find a way to punish my XAH for doing what A's do?

Through alanon the answers came to me and what I did choose to do was wait attend meetings, read my lit, focus on myself and let the XAH do what he was going to do .. and when I was ready the God of my understanding did reveal what I needed when I needed and I was better able to make a good decision that was not about the A or what the A was or wasn't doing .. it became about what do I want .. do I want to waste energy trying to control something that was way bigger than me .. or work on learning to let it go and put that energy into my own healing.

You are so not alone in the want to know .. mine came from a place of being right .. my XAH gaslit me in new and cruel ways that made me question my sanity. I wanted that validation I wasn't crazy .. what I came to find was .. if I thought he was drinking I was probably right because my gut instinct was on point. Was it worth it to be right to go and seek out the bottles .. it started to become more of .. oh ... hmmm .. yup .. drinking again .. so what am I going to do? I didn't give up on my marriage .. for me it was a decision that we were both to sick to continue the way it was and with the kids I needed something different. Some people stay and that's not a wrong answer .. some people leave and that's not a wrong answer .. it's the answer that works for that individual and their family situation. Meetings are what held me together during that time.

Keep coming back .. it gets better .. and letting go is far better than punishing the A, there are more loving ways to create change .. it has to begin with me.

S :)

__________________

"I cannot learn other people's lessons for them.  They must do the work for themselves, and they will do it when they are ready." - Louise Hay



Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 4
Date:

Thanks everyone. You all make so many valid points. For those that were wondering - I didn't look. Because like you say - what would it achieve? I do trust my instincts. I know I'm not crazy. But I know I am powerless. And I'll will keep coming back.

Love, peace and kindness.

Witch F.

x

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Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 54
Date:

Ah WF it's such a hard thing. I always think I feel the urge to look than it's there and happening. All sorts of emotions could go through my head and my body but by learning to detach and making this his responsibility I am much more of a supporter than before. OK, so he relapsed. What can I do about it? Nothing. If I get angry does that help? No. Does it help me?. No. So I told him I am not angry. I told him I am proud he picked himself up and is working hard with his sponsor. For the moment he still really wants to work on his problem. By detaching I can help him.

__________________
Bo


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 514
Date:

W, welcome...I've been exactly where you are, and felt exactly what you are feeling. Having been there, and gone through it, I can now look at this in retrospect and learn a great deal from it.

First, I too lived for a long time wanting to check her car, he no so secret hiding places, etc. Today, I look back and when I talk to newcomers in alanon, I ask, to what end? To prove it to you? Her? To confront her? To call her out? To convince yourself you are not going crazy? Whatever the reasons are -- to what end? This is an opportunity to look at you. Why? Because you can't fix, control or make her better. She will not quit drinking unless and until she wants to...and there is nothing you can do about that. You checking her car, looking, catching her, and all that...that has become part of your distorted thinking. It's almost a game, albeit, an unhealthy one. Dig down deep and look at you, why you want to do these things, your role, your contribution to what's going on now between the two of you, etc.

Second, as far as her going/not going to AA, unfortunately, again, this is up to her. Her recovery is her recovery, and whether or not she wants to live a life of recovery, is up to her. What's up to you? What's your business? What's on your side of the street? 8 years is a long time. I had 15 into my marriage. And for 5 more years, I went back and forth, ebb and flow, with her drinking, hiding it, the games, the drama, chaos, turmoil, and havoc. I stopped trying to catch her, find the bottles, and so on and so on. Because that didn't help me get better. Calling her out didn't help me get better. Proving to her didn't help me get better.

I went to face to face alanon meetings, I found a sponsor, and I started focusing on and doing the work, on me, about me, and so forth. Little by slowly, I started making progress, and I got better. I started to use and practice all of the tools and slogans. I started to make change. I learned how to detach, both physically and emotionally. I learned how not to contribute or perpetuate the dynamic that existed between her and I. See, what I learned, is that this program, getting better, getting healthy, was about me...note...all of this work, all of what you read in this paragraph...it had to do with me...it didn't matter about her. She wasn't mentioned once.

All the best.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

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