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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:19 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:43 pm
Posts: 64
My partner seems to go through a cycle of vowing commitment, then seemingly embracing it, then getting scared of it, then getting absolutely paralyzingly terrified of it, then getting angry at himself and finally closing all emotional doors with loud bang and turning his anger on me.
Trigger: Good Things! Progress! Him seeing positive reactions to his own recovery steps. Him feeling proud of his achievements. Him feeling joy. Him seeing respect and pride from me. And love. The relationship becoming more supportive and loving. Reconciliation on the horizon...... This vicious cycle seems to happen repeatedly. Like a broken record. It has in fact become by now a predictable cycle.

It actually looks to me like my partner is fantasizing his way into commitment and then he fantasizes himself out of it. He tells himself that he is committed and I think at that stage he truly believes it and it is in fact his 'reality'. And then, usually after a few hours of him seemingly working on it (while he usually also experiences relapse thoughts - when will he learn to heed this obvious warning sign that something is brewing?), ....he then switches his behaviour within seconds (the speed is staggering) and only hears the things he needs to have in his head (I say one thing-he hears something completely different) to justify his eventual chickening out of his commitment. Away from his goals. Backwards on his recovery steps. I doubt if you can actually call this a commitment in the true sense. But he is dipping his toe into what he perceives as treacherous water - at least. I am concerned about his sincerity though if I am honest. But time will tell I suppose. Will he ever move past this point and let the water at least swirl around his ankles? Or will he remain stuck in the thick suffocating muck of self doubt, low self esteem and the fear of not being able to recover/maintain recovery and commitments, instead of giving himself the chance to find out?

We will see about him, but what I noticed in my own healing through all of this, is what I find really encouraging for myself. I made a commitment a few days ago that I will stay in the relationship. I have realized that I do in fact still love him and the way he wants to live his life is totally in tune with the way I want to live mine. I really like the man I see underneath the addiction gunk. He has many qualities I really admire and value. We have so much in common. If we could make our partnership a truly intimate twosome and not a threesome, meaning Mr Addiction has to be shown the door once and for all, then he would be my dream man. This to me is worth hanging around for and giving it my best shot.

For the past 5 weeks since the last dday, my partner kept asking me to come home. He would do anything etc etc. Well yesterday I suggested I would come to visit in Feb for our anniversary, see how that felt for us. But I also added that if either of us did not feel ready then we would postpone and it would be ok to do so. Until we are sure we both can handle it without sabotaging our gains. In the meantime we would stay in close contact by phone and work together as a couple despite the geographical distance. I hoped that if I assured him that there is no pressure from me, but that I am by his side then he could deal with it. He was in fact delighted! And I was delighted at him being delighted........ until suddenly a few hours later....POW!....by then in his warped mind I was arriving back home tomorrow and he had to present the perfectly recovered addict to me as soon as I say 'hello'. No wonder he feels so much pressure if he resorts to that kind of fantasy world!

I have lost count of the times I assured him that sincerity of effort is enough for me. But it has to feel sincere. I know the difference. Most of us have that radar by now I think.
Anyway, long behold, emotional doors closed, addiction thinking in full swing, and I found myself once more on the receiving end of his anger and was made scapegoat for all his own failures. Even though this behaviour is 'old hat' by now, it still hurts me when this happens and I feel disappointed that 'maybe this time' turned our in fact not to be the time this time...yet again. So more waiting once more.

I can comprehend why his shutting down mode happened and I can really feel for him. Lots happened yesterday-mainly good but also some not so great things from family side- and I knew all day that it was a whopper for him and I wondered how he would cope. He seemed ok though. Optimistic and willing to give it his best shot.
But then he stopped talking to me (and himself I gather) and after that he then sadly made a complete u-turn again....
Ok, his decision, but imo I also deserve for my feelings to be acknowledged at least. I gladly deal with them in my own way and I don't need for him to find my solutions, but it would be nice if he allowed me them at least.
I explained that I am a human being with feelings and have not got the ability to fantasize them away. For me they are real. And pain is being felt as soon as it is induced. I think he got the essence of it intellectually. But sadly he seemed not to be able to 'feel' it /truly empathize, really.

I explained to him that I was still committed and still love him, but that I was hurting from his behaviour and that I would prefer to not speak to him when he is lashing out at me. I needed to protect myself and quite frankly I did not deserve this from him. He asked me to stay on the phone regardless. But weirdly enough even that gesture of seemingly reaching out sounded like a threat in his voice at the time. It was not sincere. The motif was selfish. Hence, I refused and took care of myself rather than obsessing about him. I realized then how far I had come. I was able to stay quite calm and not let my emotions get the better of me. I did some work and then slept. I woke up and felt ok, - all the less than ideal circumstances considered.
This is when he phoned. He used my late mum's Birthday which is today as an excuse to resume contact with me. This is the first Birthday I cannot tell my mum that I love her. Because she died in late summer. This is a tough day for me. And here he was using this as an opening line. Of course I still gave him a chance and listened, but to my great sadness his voice was still cold and angry. How can they choose kind words and yet sound so cold and angry? What a cloak to wear. Blimey! I don't think he really truly knows what this did to my feelings. Especially using my mum as a cloak to make himself appear caring. Not that he did not care. I know he does. But how can you wrap someone who is grieving and who you supposedly love in a 'warm' blanked of what?...a cold and angry voice????!!!!! I still shudder from this.

So I asked him to leave me be until he has found his way out of his current mindset. I told him that imo he has made a choice and it is his alone. If he wants to stay on his isolated, angry island then so be it. But he must realize that a relationship is not two people on isolated islands. That if he chooses his island then he also encourages me to reside on mine. But mine is not such a bleak place at all (I am there now with my sweet hot drink and lovely biscuits to enjoy :g: ).
Anyway, I told him that I loved him and that I would stick with my commitment. That I am not leaving him, but that I will keep my distance until he figured out how to help himself. He can! He just does not want to/is not ready to do so right now imo. How he solves it goes beyond my wisdom and I don't see this as my role any longer, to find his solutions. This is where the expertize of RN comes into play and his own self awareness. I love to share our healing experiences with each other. Good and bad. And discuss it and even discover some epiphanies together. But as soon as he stops listening I think it is futile and not worth my energy. I am then not the person to inspire him.

So I calmly managed to let him do his thing and reside on his island, where he in fact still squats right at this moment.
This is real progress for me! Nothing escalated. And even though I don't feel that great emotionally today. I feel more confident about myself. That I am slowly learning to let go of my anger, gaining control of my emotions and am once again able to work from a place of more compassion and love. Do a leap of faith. Am I scared? You bet I am! But I will fight like a lioness to learn and develop this new skill more!

Is there anything else I could do better perhaps? A different way? Dealing with my own healing and my partner's addiction from my revised platform of thinking is new territory for me. And I want to get this right. I have not made it a habit of thinking yet. I still have to make an effort and teach/remind myself to think differently so I can then act differently. But I want to get there. To the point where it comes naturally.

Any sharing of your own experiences, suggestions and help greatly appreciated please.

Healing Hugs.

_________________
NewDawn x
Giving up is not an option...
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
she became a Butterfly!


Last edited by newdawn on Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:57 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Newdawn - I had some warm danish pastry (almond and cinnamon) with my morning coffee yesterday and today, and it was great! So, virtual danish sent your way.

I am now clearly seeing all this anger (the seething anger...scary, isn't it?) as originating from childhood trauma. I really do see that. I think the anger is also fuel for the addiction and the cycle of addiction amplifies and increases the anger. The resentment, the entitlement...that is also fuel for the addiction. I think the anger also is the only acceptable emotion they have that can crowd out hurt, fear and confusion. And, they can't handle the anger so here come the compulsive rituals. Someone recently shared a helpful thought with me. She said, "These SA's are deeply f****d up."

I think they have a deep distrust and fear of intimacy, let alone fear and confusion about their own emotions. My husband CAN NOT handle my emotions at all. I really see my husband's need to distance himself from me and devalue me whenever he feels any connection. Tragic, isn't it? What can we do about this? Well, nothing. They have to fix themselves. I don't think my husband can do this with just RN, I think he has to continue with and be committed to his individual therapy. Like you said, what we can do is change our thinking and behavior. I have become deeply aware (only recently!) of how my husband has wounded me in my already wounded parts of myself from childhood. He did this because of his own stuff, but, whew, I sure picked someone who can find the most vulnerable parts of me to wound.

So, like you, I am finding I have to protect myself. I as well have found my "SA-free zone" that I need to keep safe and protected. I make little forays out of my zone to see if I can connect with my husband to see if there is any progress in his recovery to health. And, like you, I see some, but there is a long way to go and I still get the old SA abuse.

I have also become very well aware of the grimness of my husband's life...the negative, all or nothing view of everything; the "life sucks and then you die" attitude; the killing of joy and happiness; the inability to tolerate anything positive. I'm not like that. I think that my husband is drawn to my "the glass if half full" view of life. At the same time, for some reason, he needs to destroy that view as well. I don't mean to sound overly dramatic, but I have found that I hide my happiness, joy and positive outlook from my husband since it feels like he will steal and destroy all of those good feelings. He would HATE to read these words and he would deny every one of them. So, self protection. That's my mantra. But, when I can feel my compassion, I realize how sad and wounded my husband is. He has to work hard on fixing these wounds. He searches for the perfect woman to do it for him (enter the constant and obsessive fantasies about finding her) and then weirdly sexualizes all of it (why big breasts? because he needs to be fed!). I just can't go there.

I hope for a healthy recovery for both of our husbands and all the suffering SAs. I hope for healing for all of us damaged partners.

With compassion,
dnell


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:43 pm
Posts: 64
Oh dnell, oh I want that danish....cinnamon...you cruel lady :w: !!!! I have to confess to eating a big bar of coffee and cream chocolate earlier :)))))

Thank you once again for your compassion. There are so many similarities. What you say about crowding out the other emotions that make up the human inner world. I see it in the same way and call it drowning out and I have mentioned it to him on occasions. Logically it would take a single massive/out of proportion emotion to combat years of ignored other emotions which if felt would 'threaten' one's existance, this is what I figured.
No doubt about the fear of intimacy and love. For my partner it is the fear of not being able to maintain it. We pin pointed that today. So he does a runner instead of trying. Talk about tragic and cutting of noses despite their faces. My partner so longs for love and intimacy, but has no other reaction to it than sabotage. I think he cannot imagine himself as a man with a spine. And the way things work nor can I. We both will change our point of view once he starts growing one. I think the advice you got from the fellow traveller sums up the condition!

Like you, I also had to face up to the how I was stabbed in the heart repeatedly, cut up into little pieces, steam rollered, chewed up and spat out, then trampled on for good measure and left for dead. This is how it truly feels isn't it? My partner, amongst other things, used my childhood sexual abuse as amunition to hurt me and control me. He never showed any regard for my mental scars and the huge thing I had to do to become a survior of what that guy did to me when I was 5 years old. He was supposed to keep me/my trust in him safe. Wasn't he? It did not matter to him one piff! Despicable isn't it? So I know exactly how you feel. I faced up to that a few years ago with the help of my lovely lady therapist. The pain of mourning I felt when I went through it was totally intense. But I am here to tell the tale. And so are you :g: . She gave me a lot of mental tools and a good dose of reality, and if it had not been for economic reasons and his also good qualities that made me hope, I would have left this relationship years ago. I can see a lovely man under all this stuff. But what good is loving a potential? It does not keep you warm in your heart or in bed!!!! Certainly not part of my life vision...no thanks.
Because I have worked through some things previously, for me the recent bombshell feels just like another thing to deal with and not even the new strip of images haunt me as much as they did previously. I found this last dday the easiest to deal with so far. After the first shock for 2-3 days I found myself getting straight into determination mode. This is new to me and I surprised myself with it to be honest. I had a harder time with it on the previous occasions. I can only explain it in that I was in some way prepared perhaps? I was ready to face the music.

The fact is they can try to kill our expressions of love, joy, sadness, zest for life, peace and sheer content, but imo we are aware at least on some level of what is happening. I consented for the sake of peace. Stupid really, ...now ,....looking back. But I remember during the past few years I once in while let him know that I am aware of what he is doing, and reminded him that snowwhite is only sleeping, she is not dead yet! Of course he did ignore that completely at the time. I now feel like I am awakening from numbness and isolation. And I refuse to surpress or hide this any longer. If he cannot handle it and gets angry or envious of it then I will leave the situation and do my own stuff. And he can paddle over to his little island if he likes. I see it as his problem these days, not mine. Today I spoke to one of my relatives and she said that the way I speak has changed so much. More lively and passionate and compassionate and affectionate she said, while for so long now it seemed I was never really truly in any conversation. Outch that hit it home!. Unrecognizable now she said, in a good way. And could she please have some of my pills...haha.

I think it would have been easier for me to cut the ties and I probably would have done so by now, if my partner wasn't such a lovely person in so many ways, when he is outside of his addict. The weird thing is I have always seen him as very vulnerable and very deeply loving. I know it sounds bizarre that I think that in the face of the reality of what is happening. And maybe it makes me totally delusional. But I really have always perceived him like this. I call it 'looking behind the curtain'. Almost with soft feminine like qualities. I have mentioned this to him a few times over the years (because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this side of him when I glimpse it), but my take on it was received as a bad thing. Mr Macho feels he needs to be able to lift a truck with his teeth to feel masculine. What can you do?

You are right we cannot find the solutions for the men we love. Maybe nudge them gently at times, but other than that we need to back off. I tried to fix him and it got me exactly nowhere. But I would love to stay connected and share our journeys with eachother. And if I can help I will. But I would like to primarily be able to observe his progress and praise him and rejoice. If that makes sense? Be there for him, be part of it all. And he part of my journey (as far as he can comfortably handle it). And sometimes maybe we can find a way together (but not me alone as it was before) for a particular problem. That would be great and I can see that this would bring us closer. Like your husband my partner saw me as the perfect woman to heal him. In his mind I had all that he didn't. Or maybe he figured that in time some of my personality would rub off on him. I have even accused him in the past that if he could, then he would cross dress in ME! It sometimes felt as if he wanted to suck who I am out of my body and selfishly claim it for himself. And I have the sneaking suspicion that till this very day his is peeved off at me that I did not do the soul saving for him and that he has to get off his butt himself now. I think he is a great guy and does not need to feed on others. Tragic that he does not believe me.

But I know what I want to do now and I will learn and do it. I want to improve who I am and how I do things. We had a short phone call earlier and he still had that angry threatening tone that sends shivers down my spine. But I still felt love and told him so.Looking behind the curtain again I guess. I reminded him that even if I pull back into 'my SA free zone' right now, that I would remain by his side and at this point had no intentions of leaving, even though he is behaving like a prized idiot. The revelation is that I am making myself more vulnerable, but his hurtful behaviour does not paralyze me any longer. Maybe because it is more the real ME now who is responding and not that thing that I had become. Not sure. But I find love and kindness are better for my wellbeing than clutching onto old anger. So I want to become a pro at that :g:

Healing Hugs.

_________________
NewDawn x
Giving up is not an option...
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
she became a Butterfly!


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