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 Post subject: inHisstrength's thread
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 2:25 am 
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I first found out he had a problem with SA after knowing him about a year. My heart was already involved, but we had broken up for a short time. Ironically, after we had broken up I learned about him. I never imagined it. I had very little understanding of what it meant so the first thing that came to mind was what is always on the news when someone is called that. Really, I was so naive. I didn't understand. It drove me crazy. At first I felt so sickened because I didn't know what it was all about. I couldn't believe it but I didn't want to leave it that way because I wanted to hear from him what it was about. I contacted him and after giving him a chance to tell me, which he didn't, I told him I knew. We talked about it, he told me he had broken up with me because he knew it would be a problem in our relationship. I reassured him I didn't judge him for it, tried to understand and be compassionate. He made it sound like it was in the past or maybe I wanted to believe that. I didn't want to go back to him, I thought I wouldn't. Well we were back together and it has been tumultuous for years, now. We were meeting with each other one day a couple years ago, I was thinking once again, this is it, it's over. Pretty surprised when he told me he had been arrested. It has been a roller coaster of insecurity, distrust, arguing, being on the verge of ending it, then back again. It was a year of hell but not much happened and hardly anyone even knew he had been arrested. He had been so afraid of going to prison I thought surely he would be grateful to God and not do this again. Fast forward years and I get a call from jail. Well, now again it was hellish but this time he is in prison. What he did was a betrayal to me but it all seems to be about him and his addiction. I have been trying to help him as much as possible. taking care of all his things but it has been too much for me, I am not doing it all successfully and my life, my health, and my family relationships are suffering. I learned more like that he was also answering adds on Craig's list. He hadn't told me that part. In the past he has denied things and made up lies. He also turns it around on me somehow. I am disgusted that here I was with him and he was doing that? All the while he has been starting fights with me, accusing me of things that he was doing or much worse!! The man is emotionally abusive to me. I hate myself for being such a fool. Even now, our friends know and here I am asking for help for him, visiting him, taking care of his things, etc. Why do I feel such guilt at the thought of not doing these things for him? Is it really his sickness or just that he is a selfish, manipulative liar who knows how to use me? Sometimes I love him and sometimes I am so disgusted and hurt I just want to walk away. I know our relationship can't work. I don't know who he really is and it doesn't seem to matter to him how much his actions damage me. When I told him that he started telling me he cared but it was too painful to talk about. I don't trust him now so I can't really believe he cares at all.


Last edited by inHisstrength on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:33 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 6:54 am 
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Hello inHisstrength,

I am so sorry for the circumstances you find yourself in. Clearly you were shocked by the discovery of his status as a sex offender and I wonder if perhaps you weren't in a bit of denial, (and perhaps you are still)? It seems apparent that many of your values are being neglected in favor of "helping" him. I wonder if, were you to step back from this a bit, you would place taking care of his things above taking care of you? This is all quite traumatic for you, no doubt. This workshop is designed for you to reclaim your life and to create a new foundation of health upon which you could, essentially, live out your entire life. By providence you have made your way here and, as you have undoubtedly already discovered, this supportive and insightful community is an invaluable resource. I wish you well on your journey to finding peace and healing. Welcome to Recovery Nation.

Take care of you!

_________________
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:11 am 
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Hi InHisstrength,
Welcome again. Just checking in after your post on the Community Forum and see that Coach Mel has replied to your thread. :g: As you do your lessons, you will gain firmer footing in your life and a clearer understanding of the nature of SA and what you have been dealing with. I suggest that you set a healthy pace for yourself and remember that this is not a race but a process for you. Each lesson builds on the previous one - it's a continuum. Take time to digest, but maintain the momentum. The work is hard, but more you invest, the more you will benefit. If you have questions or need to vent, the partners on the Community Forum are great listeners and offer a collective treasure of wisdom and experiences.

I wish you well on this journey and ask you to give yourself the Gift of Patience in your process. :w:

Nellie James


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:44 am 
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My Values:

Spiritual: My relationship with God is number 1. Without Him, nothing else matters. He is my true love. He accepts me, understands me, is gentle with me yet disciplines me, He has promised to be with me forever. He loves me in a way no man can ever love me and so I must put Him above all others, even if it means not being in a relationship with a man.
Action plan: Set aside time for Him each day. Read a devotional that contains verse references and ask Him to speak to my soul and/or concentrate on singing songs that meditate on His character. Submit to His Providence for the day and for all my concerns. Ask for direction, healing and forgiveness. Turn my loved ones over to Him. (As in the Serenity Prayer)

Physical: My health is important to me and important for my relationships, my ability to provide for myself and my sanity. I can't function well if I let my health deteriorate. I have to set boundaries so I can take care of myself. I don't want to feel guilt over saying no to other responsibilities or other people. If I don't keep some boundaries I won't be well emotionally or have the energy to be of any use to anyone else and perhaps I will become a burden.
Action Plan: Start by making one Dr."s appt. Make an exercise plan. Get between 7-9 hours of sleep. Choose more natural foods.

Emotional: Once again, this affects my health. My emotional well-being has an impact on my physical well-being, relationships, work performance, (in turn finances), productivity, autonomy, my ability to give to others, (rather than being focused on myself), and the example I am to my kids for their futures.
Action Plan: Read helpful books to remind myself who I am in God's eyes. Nothing more, nothing less. Work on stopping negative, worrisome thoughts; ruminating. Find others who can relate to my difficulties but are not just "takers", sucking the patience
out of me.
Give myself time to get to know myself and learn to like me, accepting who I am and what my preferences, opinions and bents are. (I have to stop allowing others to squash my personality because I am not who they want me to be.)

Intellectual:
I need to keep my mind functioning well and I want to grow as a person so I can build my confidence and my self-respect. I must do this to keep my mind well as long as possible as I age.
Action Plan: Allow myself time to learn something new by educational programing, a college course, reading, etc. Do puzzles when stressed.

Relational: Be more cautious with my heart. I have to stop taking on things that I don't need to. I have to stand my ground, not letting my values get pushed aside. I have to protect myself from those that don't value my boundaries and my need to make decisions for myself. Only people who protect me should be allowed a lot of time in my life. I will step back from anyone who expects me to cross my boundaries of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs. I will ask God to teach me how to do this daily as He would have me to.
Action Plan: Don't allow abusive people access to my heart unless they can acknowledge the abuse and show an effort to change. Be careful about who I become close to. Show people I am worthy of respect by sticking to my boundaries. Try to be more honest w/people and less passive aggressive. Take more chances with friendliness, resisting the belief that I am not an interesting person or desirable as a friend.


Last edited by inHisstrength on Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:34 am 
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Just wondering which lesson you are on. Is this lesson two? Just making sure that you are doing them in order which is very important.
I'll check back with you.
Nellie James


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:59 pm 
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yes lesson 2...why did I misunderstand what I was suppose to write for it?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:22 pm 
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Just checking. Lesson 2 helps us with the Vision we have for our life which is based on our values of course, but also becomes our roadmap for helping us as we continue to evolve and heal. There is a later lesson that really gets into values, and I thought maybe that's what you were doing. It helps to include the number of the lesson that you are working on. :w:

Good action plans. Taking action is key along with a positive viewpoint. Also, your vision is a work in progress. Continue to add and refine as you go. It's a great tool for keeping us on track.

Keep up the good work.

Nellie


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:54 pm 
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[color=#800040]A) Brainstorm the times when your 'gut feelings' have been right about your partner's sexual and/or romantic behavior. Include times when you feel strongly that you were right (though it may never have been proven either way).[/color]

1) So many times I believed he was flirting with other women. I thought he was leading someone else on when I wasn't with him but I couldn't come up with actual tangible proof. There was a time when we were in a mall. I had to return something. He told me to go on ahead. When I came back he was in a store talking to a pretty woman. He was using his charm, I could tell. When he saw me coming he stopped his small talk and quickly went to a different aisle as though he wanted me to follow him there so she wouldn't see me with him. I was so angry. I knew he was flirting with her. I asked him about it and he told me he had met her somewhere before and she turned out to have an interesting job. He started talking about that as though it totally justified him speaking to her. At first he didn't want to tell me he knew her. It still hurts to think about it. I think he had been talking to her, keeping his options open at some other time when I wasn't with him. He made an idiot out of me. I was there returning something for him, too, something I spent a long time picking out for him and he didn't appreciate it at all. At first he said he didn't want me to spend that much money, but I ended up spending it on what he [i]did[i]want, anyway. He later complained I wasn't thoughtful enough with his gifts.

(It is so hard to do this lesson, it brings up anger and resentment.)

2)The most obvious was when I found something lewd in his car. We were out together on a Friday night. He said he was tired and he was going to head home. I think we were in separate cars talking on the phone, having left from somewhere. It wasn't like him at all to go home early on a weekend night, esp. if there was anywhere he could go with single friends, besides we usually spent weekend nights together so it was odd. I suspected he was going to go check out a restaurant where a singles group sometimes hung out on Friday nights. I also suspected he knew someone was going to be there and he didn't want her to see him with me. I went after a short while and there was his car in the parking lot. I was so mad! Some reason I looked in the car. I think I was going to put a note or something in it. I couldn't believe what I saw. I was in absolute shock. I took it out and put it in my car. I think it was more to prove to him that I wasn't imagining things, to prove I saw it. I went inside and there he was with a group of people. I never figured out who it was he was meeting there or whatever because the bigger issue took over. I am sure I still don't know the whole story. He lied to me about it. I wanted him to tell me himself what I found, to be honest with me but he wouldn't say anything until I told him exactly what I found. It is pretty obvious he does that so he can figure out what part he can still lie about. He told me a story that was very upsetting then he back tracked when I was upset and told me that was a lie to hide what the real story was...now it seems that both stories may have been true. Then he had the nerve to say that I was only angry at him selfishly because I didn't have any real concern for him...which I did... but what the hell???Talk about twisting things to shift the blame.

3)There were times he went to singles things and/or parties without me sometimes. He would tell me about them at the very last minute when it was inconvenient for me to go. He also seemed upset when I told him about something going on that he didn’t know about and he would question me about how I knew.

4)He went to our friends' wedding reception without me. Of course they sent him the invitation because they knew him better but I think they just assumed he would bring me. Once again there was a fight going on between us so he went alone not even telling me about it or offering to take me. He said he was surprised to see an old girlfriend of his there. It hurt that I missed their reception and now they refer to it and I am uncomfortable about it. I wonder if it was not a coincidence that we were fighting then. I am sure he knew a lot of old friends from singles would be there who wouldn't know he now had a girlfriend, including his ex girlfriend.

5) I suspected he started fights with me so we could be on bad enough terms that he wouldn't have to spend holidays with me. I still don't understand that but there is something wrong with it when it happens every holiday. We would end up fighting and he would accuse me. Not admitting it was his unwillingness to commit his time on the holiday to me ahead of time. He wouldn't actually say he was planning on a certain time or way of celebrating with me, even when I pointedly asked him, but then get angry at me saying I acted like I didn't want to be with him but by then it was too late. I felt set up and there was always some prime holiday time lost because of it. A couple Christmas' we didn't exchange gifts until Christmas was over. He has no idea how much it broke my heart, or if he does, it just doesn't matter to him. It is always about him. He turns the blame on me and talks about how deceitful I was and that I purposely didn’t want to be with him. It is crazy. I want him to make time with me on a holiday because it is a normal expectation, yet he won’t bring it up or commit to a specific plan so I feel hurt and make my plans with my family and/or friends. Someone or something is more important to him than hurting me with bad memories of a holiday without him and the emotional scars that come from his false accusations and verbal abuse afterward. Last Christmas was one of those. It especially hurt to hear our friends (who are in love), tell us about how they devoted a special time just for the two of them to have a celebration. When I hear things like that I have to face that our relationship is not real, but just some kind of game he is playing.

6) He was silent sometimes when he was on the phone with me and when I tried to get his attention he didn't respond right away. I suspected he was on the computer but I didn't really think it was porn while he was speaking to me. The thought crossed my mind but I thought that was too sleazy a thing to do so I pushed it out of my mind. He has recently told me he was looking at porn.

I can't do anymore of this because I don't understand why I put up with all this as though I am not worth respecting. I actually feel nauseous and dizzy. There are many more situations if I wanted to remember them, but I don’t.

B) Identify as many major situations as you can where you allowed your head/heart to override your 'gut feelings' in relation to your partner's behavior.

Some of the ones above apply.

1) He would take a long time to come over my house. Instead of heading straight over he would take an hour or two, being very vague about when he would arrive and what he was going to do. I really suspected he was doing some sort of acting out but I told myself he is just like that…never wanted to commit to a specific time and that he liked to shop.

2)Sometimes he would meet me at my house or somewhere and he would have already changed his clothes. It didn’t make sense to me. I suspected something but I let it go.

That is enough for now.


C) Relying on the experience you have gained, make a list of likely behaviors, situations and/or feelings that may trigger a conflict between your gut instinct, your value system and/or reality.


He tells me going to stores alone is a necessity and that he only goes when he really needs something but he is gone for long periods of time and when he comes back I find he bought things that trigger memories for me and wonder how could it not trigger them for him.



)When he shows interest in things w'o including me. I find a flyer for a singles social event that he didn’t tell me about. He says he wasn’t planning on going, just wanted to look at it. I think it is normal to be curious about something but then I remember we had a fight the night of the event and I didn’t know where he was.

)When he talks about female friendships. He mentions something about a female acquaintance of ours and it is news to me. I ask how he knew it and he tells me he “just” talked to her. I want to believe it is harmless but when I push him for more details he raises his voice and turns the situation around to my attitude.

)He has set up his computer again. When asked about it he says there’s nothing to worry about because his urges are gone. It is hard to trust him about it and I think he shouldn’t use it all, but my opinion is dismissed and his time on it seems to be getting longer.
) When I find something that reminds me of when he acted out-the times I know about anyway.

) When he looks at other women, especially young women.

) When he has time off from work and I don't or he just goes away w/o me.

) When he spends a lot of time shopping and buying things.


Last edited by inHisstrength on Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:21 pm 
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Exercise Four

1) Make a list of those values in your partner's life that--in your gut--you believe is a part of him. Set aside the addiction and the behaviors that were a part of that addiction. Focus on what values you believe will survive the recovery process. Post these in your Healing Thread. If there is a time when you are feeling close to your partner, share these thoughts with him--so that he knows that you are beginning to separate the addiction from his core identity.





a Values interaction w/his family
b Love of outdoors
c Desire/Compassion to help others and follow-thru
d Christian Beliefs
e Thriftiness
f Involvement in Causes/Spreading Awareness
g Friendliness, social
h Diet/Exercise

i Developing his mind thru educational programs, etc


2) Make a list of those qualities in your partner that you believe will continue to pose as obstacles throughout your relationship.

a Impatience
b Verbal, emotional abuse
c Disorganization
e Anger
f Male Chauvinistic attitude
g Different hobbies/preferences than I
h Opinionated, stubborn
i Jealous, suspicious, defines others
j Sloppy, not clean


For example: "He doesn't have a sensitive bone in his body and I don't expect this to change. The way he acts when he is around his friends. His laziness around the house." There is no reason to share these with your partner. They are only your best guess, as it is impossible to directly identify just how significant a transformation some people experience.



[/color]


Last edited by inHisstrength on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:08 pm 
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Exercise Five
Addiction is a rational way to manage life using irrational behavior. Meaning, there is a very logical purpose for the existence of addiction in a person's life. Though to all, the actions/choices associated with that addiction are often completely irrational.



A. How do you manage your stress? What would it take for you to become so emotionally overwhelmed that you would turn to irrational behavior to produce enough intensity to escape from that stress? Can you think of a time in your life that you have turned to such a measure?

I used to manage it by going for nature walks, praying, reading the bible, journaling, reading self help books and listening to encouraging music. I also leaned on close friendships. After my divorce I tried to keep myself busy by being in social situations as much as possible but during the recent stressful situations I have stayed home a lot. (Some of it was for the reason that I wasn't finding friends that were helpful and I was just tired of being out so much.) I also went to counseling. After extreme crisis situations for some reason I started to clean while I was nervously wired but that didn't last long.
Lately, I am not handling it as well. I watch a lot of movies/tv and stay home. Sometimes I will stay up very late and not be able to sleep because I am doing things like this forum or watching a movie. I have taken medication occasionally and I go through stages where I will have a glass of wine. I still pray and read my bible but not as much as I used to. I go back and forth with journaling because it helps me get things out and realize insights but it also is very painful and emotional. I have started attending 12 step groups again.



B. Consider a compulsive behavior that you have engaged in. Break it down thoroughly. Get a sense for the anxiety that you experienced prior to engaging in the act. Imagine the continued anxiety that you would have experienced had you not engaged in the act. Describe that anxiety in your own words.


I guess being late could be called compulsive. Not sure. I have a real problem with it. I know I am going to be late yet I procrastinate or try to fill up what time I have with too many things to do. It almost feels like a game to see how much I can do in so little time. I hate myself when I am late. I vow not to do it again, to be more careful the next day but I find myself continually doing the same thing. I don't know that I feel any anxiety before doing this. However, I do feel it goes against my values, especially my work ethic.

Maybe watching tv/movies is a better comparison. I feel alone and empty so I turn on the t.v. or a movie. I want to get rid of that empty, non-existing feeling. If I hadn't turned the t.v./movie on how would I have felt? Anxious, nervous, depressed, self-absorbed, like the walls of nothingness and worthlessness were closing in on me making me face them.



C. In contemplating the role that addiction has played in your partner's life, imagine what his/her life would be like without this life management skill in place. To be clear, the task here is not to imagine his life without the consequences of the addiction, but to imagine how he would manage his emotions without having the compulsive act to engage in. How would he stimulate himself emotionally? What would he use to regulate his stress? Not how should he, mind you, but how would he?

I don't understand how I can answer this as I have never known him w/o his compulsion. Perhaps this question is pointing me toward what his values would in common sense terms push him to pursue instead of the compulsion. I think that would be leaning toward how he should instead of how he would.
I think how he would manage it is through a distraction and right now he seems to be spending a lot of time on news stories of interest to him. He is also shopping a lot which I hope is not a bad sign.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:33 am 
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Hi Inhisstrength,
In reading back over your Vision for your life, I do get a picture of what you want, but I suggest that you, too, go back over it and see if you can re-word it to keep it more in the present, not past, and with a positive attitude about what you see yourself doing. Although thinking about the past may help us identify what we want to strengthen, add, or change , our vision is our roadmap to guide us through the life we want now. For example:
Physical: I see myself becoming healthier by exercising regularly, etting 7-9 hours of sleep, choosing natural foods and making a doctor's appointment.My health is important to me. and important for my relationships, my ability to provide for myself and my sanity.

Emotional: I see myself reading helpful books to help stop my negative worrisome thoughts and ruminating. I will also be forming relationships with healthy people and become a healthy model to my children by___________(you fill in the blank)

Some of the elements that you included under one general topic could be separated into more elements making each specific to an area that is important to you. Friendships, for example, may be a separate catagory from work relationships or personal. It's good to keep refining our visions as we grow and discover more interests and what gives us joy. Think of the future, not the past. Think positively about who you are becoming in re-claiming yourself. Self-respect comes from honoring everything you value. Later as you do the lesson on values, you will determine the essentials that will help make your vision happen and you will learn to set very specific boundaries to protect those values. :w:

Nellie


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