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A long time ago I went to CODA meetings. Eventually I moved out of the relationship that put me there. For a long time I wanted nothing more than to be alone. Away from relationships - good or bad. Just to find myself, discover who I was and I what I liked, and try to be the person that I needed to be. Can't say life was ever as I wanted it, but it just seemed like CODA was less apart of my life.

A little while ago, I went on vacation and met a man. I knew almost instantly that it must be a codependent relationship, by the strength of my feelings for him almost immediately. I knew it was a bad idea, but it was like a drug that I hadn't tasted in a really long time. The sweetest wine I had in years. My brain told me not to trust him. That he wasn't a man that would be there for me. That it be the sort of relationship where I would be forever chasing.

I went home and we continued to call, email and text.  At first he called frequently, it was the honeymoon stage, and I knew it, but I didn't care because it was so good. When he spoke to me, we had amazing conversations, shared deep thoughts, and seemed to connect on a level that i hadn't connected to anyone in a long time. Before long he started to withdraw, and like the script, I went ballistic inside. I needed him and I couldn't take him leaving me. I tried to distract myself, tried to refrain from saying anything drastic, but now aside from the toxic love, was the pain that he was going to leave me. One night I texted him that I could think of nothing but him, and I wanted to see him again soon. He didn't call or contact me, till late the next afternoon. I knew that was not a good sign. He eventually called and asked if I would fly out to see him because work was too busy for him to travel. I immediately started looking for a ticket. However the next day I found myself panicking because I didn't really trust him, and I just knew deep in my gut that this relationship would end in pain. The pain and fear were so strong that I texted him some things that were mildly accusatory and not so nice. Inside I needed the pain to end, and I guess I wanted him to end things and end the pain of waiting. He took his cue, and texted me, that the relationship wasn't really working for him anymore. He said his life was really stressful right now, and he didn't have room for a relationship altogether. I wrote him an email apologizing for my uncalled for behavior, he emailed me one line saying thank you for the apology. The brevity of it said clearly I don't want to hear from you again, and this is done. 

I'm in so much pain now. I miss him so much. I feel frustrated with myself, for allowing this to have so much power. Especially when i know the script. I know continuing this relationship would have only hurt me. I'm clear that this wasn't going anywhere, but my brain is just stuck. I wish I was past this. I wish I didn't care so much. I wish I had the dignity and self preservation to just walk away with my head held high. I don't feel like I have the right to grieve for this loss, as it wasn't really a loss. It was something that would never have been, but I'm obsessed. Everytime my cell phone beeps I think of him, and remember the joy of getting a text from him during the day. Throughout the day I want to share things with him. I feel so totally pathetic, and ashamed of myself. I can't share my "heartbreak" with my friends, because they will only point out the obvious. He was never there to begin with. So I feel alone with all this emotion. I know the emotion is real, and I need to validate the feelings, but I'm just so frustrated. I hope to go to the next available CODA meeting in my area, but I just need to share my pain now, before I combust.



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Thanks for sharing, this brings back familiar memories for me. Keep working the program.



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Hi, Lemonade, welcome back.
Yes, I know.
You want it to be all right so badly.
I don't know why I am attracted to hot - cold, hot - cold, but can you believe it, I still can be, I have to watch it. It's almost like it's hypnotizing, magic. It's unconscious (a better end to the story?). Even friendships, the arena for me now.
I read a book called "Who's Pulling Your Strings" (Harriet Braiker, "The Disease to Please"). She calls it "intermittent reinforcement" and it works on rats really well. LOL.

Maya Angelou says remember each one who has loved you and take them everywhere you go with you and hold your head up high. You are surrounded by their and your power.

Hold on. Taking a risk at love is NO shame, it's courage.
Kath

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"intermittent reinforcement." That does sum the relationship up. The problem is when we are desperate for validation and external approval, intermittent reinforcement feels a lot better than no reinforcement. When he was there he was so encouraging, and warm and wonderful, that it almost seemed worth the times that he wasn't there. In fact it might have been ok for a bit, if not for the craziness it triggers in my brain-the desperate need for more. I needed to know that he was really there, which honestly he was not going to be.
I've been working out, by swimming laps, and I used to text him after to tell him how many laps I did and he would applaud me, and tell me how amazing it was. Last night I went swimming and felt bummed out because no one else really cares how many laps I do. I did 100, which was the most I have done in quite a while, and I couldn't resist the urge to text him about it. I thought he would ignore it, or else tell me that he didn't want to hear from me but instead he texted me back that it was totally awesome, and now I'm filled again with his imaginary love, pretending that he cares, and holding on to the warm and fuzzy feeling, even though I know it is not based on fact. It's better than the pain of rejection. But it makes me feel pretty pathetic. I drank a slim shake this morning, which I know he would have applauded, and enjoyed his imaginary applause. At least I had the self respect not to text him about it.

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Take it slow girl. This is how love builds, slowly. I am not saying anything still will develop, that's up to both of you. You both might be circling the wagons, men have been hurt too and can draw back too. YOU DID TOO.
Obviously what you considered his dismissal was not or he would not have texted back, that's not saying it isn't over, who knows. Trust your gut, absolutely, but understand our perceptions can be skewed. Do not demand affirmations, you don't know, he doesn't either.
We all can horse things because it feels so good to be with someone who wants to be with you, and remember that, he wanted to be with you or he would not have been.
You've done the work on yourself being alone all these years, you know yourself. But also
know that we've been hurt and are suspicious, we have holes in our souls and that works on our trust. Get your validation and attention elsewhere at this stage. Men are more avoidant than we are, the good ones are going to hesitate, THEY SHOULD, SO SHOULD YOU. Eventually you may be able to talk about the hesitation, I don't know but at least clarity will be the result.
I'm proud of you getting back out there like you did. 100 laps, wow, I'm working up on my treadmill again being out with a foot injury. Exercise is the best thing for angst, but you know that. God bless, take care.

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Your gut's telling you what it all means so you are correct listening to it. You are both still somewhat emotionally immature and that's why you both horsed the intensity right at first. It felt so good to both of you.
That doesn't mean it could never be a relationship, but it would mean it would be a difficult one dealing with those levels of attraction and feel good dynamics. Both are likely to get hurt and cause each other pain. But adults can learn too and make lemonade out of a mess.
Life and relationships are not always easy.
Give yourself a break. Get back to your CoDA meetings and do something constructive so you become focused on your life and self again and allow things to unfold.


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Forgive me. Lemonade, for my crosstalk and advice giving. I can be an old know it all sometimes! Please keep coming back. We hear you.

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So grateful, for your thought out reply, and also grateful for this forum to write about and help me clarify my feelings.

The things that alert me about this guy, and why I think it is not heading in a safe place.

A. I have gotten a sense from him early on, that he is not completely available. I knew he had no plans to come to see me. I had a gut feeling the second I asked pressured him to arrange to see me, he would dump me. I sensed him drawing back, and calling me less after the initial phase of "bliss,"  which is what triggered my fear of abandonment. This was confirmed when he dumped me saying honestly that he is not completely available.

B. There are things I have gotten glimpses of that set off red flags. For instance he told me at one point about his elaborate plans for the kids on spring break, and later he told me his ex-wife had the kids for spring break, and it turned out she was doing what he initially told me he was doing. He also made some mention of his past addictions, which he reassured me was a thing of the past.

C. He is much older than me. I'm afraid what passes off now as taking care of me will morph into controlling me. I've seen brief moments of this, where he tells me what to do, and I comply because right now it feels nice. I told him I needed to lose weight, and he told me what diet I should go on, and followed up to find out if I was doing it. I liked the encouragement, but in the wrong context it could change into controlling me. When we met on vacation, he told exactly where to stand, and how to pose for photos. Sometimes it sounded more like a command than a suggestion, andthat side of him made me very concerned. 

D. when breaking up with me, he said his life was complicated, and he had hoped to bring in someone less complicated to help him manage his life.

E.  He has made comments about financial concerns, and debts. He indicated he has had issues with overspending. He is working on a new business venture, but although he has not mentioned it, I suspect many of his past ventures have failed. Of course it could just be bad luck, but based on past experiences I've found that guys with multiple failed jobs, often contributed to it in some way.

F. He has moved around a lot. Living in at least 5 different places in the last 20 years.

G. Most of our conversations are spent with him asking me questions and him trying to find out more about me. While I really enjoy this, and I love his interest in everything I'm doing, I suspect he is trying to keep the focus away from himself. I'm also concerned this is creating an unbalanced relationship. I've shared with him a lot more than he is sharing with me. Yet his attention to the details of my life, is one of the things that is making me really like him. It feels to me like someone is really interested in me, but is it just a ploy to draw me in, and keep attention away from himself.

So with all of these red flags why do I want him. I absolutely love his attention. He is constantly saying things that make me feel important. We are both very attracted to each other. I have not felt this kind of chemistry in years. Often I can just close my eyes and imagine his hands on me, and I feel transported to a place that I thought I was too old to ever be again. He listens to the things I say, and validates them, and asks further relevant questions. For instance he asked me if I ever though about being a lawyer like my father, when I said no, he asked if it was because my father died young, that made me feel afraid to follow in his footsteps. It showed he listened and thought about the things I said. I feel like he is protective of me. He wants to take care of me. He provided an encouraging voice to everything I was working on. Like my swimming. He would always want to know how many laps I did, or details of the art projects I was working on. He claims to be a good father to his kids. He claims to be dedicated to them, and to care and worry about them. He claims that he needs to put them first, and that's one of the reasons he is not completely available. He also claims to be a really hard worker. I know he gets up incredibly early, and his days seem to be full of productivity. 

I think he would be quite happy to have me as a friend...possibly with benefits. I think he went into the relationship wanting nothing more. The problem is that is just not enough for me. I see the future. I see myself forever chasing, while he gives me just enough "intermittent reinforcement" to keep me involved. So it seems smart to get out now, before I get hurt any more. 

But Oh, how I miss him. 

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and I know what CoDA says about cross talk, but I like to hear people's honest opinion. I think I'm strong enough to take what I like and ignore the rest.


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"C. He is much older than me. I'm afraid what passes off now as taking care of me will morph into controlling me. I've seen brief moments of this, where he tells me what to do, and I comply because right now it feels nice. I told him I needed to lose weight, and he told me what diet I should go on, and followed up to find out if I was doing it. I liked the encouragement, but in the wrong context it could change into controlling me. When we met on vacation, he told exactly where to stand, and how to pose for photos. Sometimes it sounded more like a command than a suggestion, and that side of him made me very concerned.
"For instance he told me at one point about his elaborate plans for the kids on spring break, and later he told me his ex-wife had the kids for spring break, and it turned out she was doing what he initially told me he was doing. He also made some mention of his past addictions, which he reassured me was a thing of the past."
E. He has made comments about financial concerns, and debts. He indicated he has had issues with overspending. He is working on a new business venture, but although he has not mentioned it, I suspect many of his past ventures have failed. Of course it could just be bad luck, but based on past experiences I've found that guys with multiple failed jobs, often contributed to it in some way.
G. Most of our conversations are spent with him asking me questions and him trying to find out more about me. While I really enjoy this, and I love his interest in everything I'm doing, I suspect he is trying to keep the focus away from himself. I'm also concerned this is creating an unbalanced relationship. I've shared with him a lot more than he is sharing with me. Yet his attention to the details of my life, is one of the things that is making me really like him. It feels to me like someone is really interested in me, but is it just a ploy to draw me in, and keep attention away from himself.

More like trying to get info to use to manipulate you.

So with all of these red flags why do I want him. I absolutely love his attention. He is constantly saying things that make me feel important.

This is why. You ARE important, you do not need anyone to verify. 

We are both very attracted to each other. I have not felt this kind of chemistry in years. Often I can just close my eyes and imagine his hands on me, and I feel transported to a place that I thought I was too old to ever be again. He listens to the things I say, and validates them, and asks further relevant questions. For instance he asked me if I ever though about being a lawyer like my father, when I said no, he asked if it was because my father died young, that made me feel afraid to follow in his footsteps. It showed he listened and thought about the things I said. I feel like he is protective of me. He wants to take care of me. He provided an encouraging voice to everything I was working on. Like my swimming. He would always want to know how many laps I did, or details of the art projects I was working on. He claims to be a good father to his kids. He claims to be dedicated to them, and to care and worry about them. He claims that he needs to put them first, and that's one of the reasons he is not completely available. He also claims to be a really hard worker. I know he gets up incredibly early, and his days seem to be full of productivity. "



Whoa, I'm not liking it. disbelief.gif
These are more than little red flags.

It's not like you have not been taking care of yourself all this time and doing it well. You do not need someone much older, you want a partner, not a daddy.
You've done a lot of work on yourself. Maybe not CoDA work specifically, but you are an adult.
Look around for someone who meets the qualifications you have done for yourself.
You do not need a soulmate, get rid of the fantasy. Having a real partner that has your back is what we all need and want, not someone who takes care of us. That 'care' becomes control real fast.

Codependents need to be on the lookout constantly for those who feel like a soulmate. Who is good for you will feel boring at first. Get back to CoDA PRONTO. Tons of women there who have been through the same thing and will help you through it. Last thing you need right now is to be isolated, you're dang right this is going too fast.



-- Edited by barelythere on Thursday 23rd of March 2017 10:13:43 PM

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I want you to let your friends and family know about this man.
I don't care if they laugh at you or not. Does anyone know you were seeing him or know about him?
This is not the time to keep quiet.

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You are right in what you are saying. I know all this logically. I knew instantly from the intense feelings, to the red flags that this was a bad idea. It smelled to me like an unhealthy relationship, But I did it anyway cuz it felt so good. Like drugs when you've been sober a long time. I know it was for the best that we broke up. But he did make me aware that I had a big void that needs to be filled. As I said I know its stupid, that i miss him. He screwed me over, pretending that he was interested in a committed relationship, and then later saying he didn't have "space" in his life for this. What I am saying is the pain is real and valid, even if the situation doesn't warrent it. As for friends and family, I met him while traveling, and we haven't met again, so while I've mentioned him, no one else who cares ever met him. We were introduced, by some acquaintances that I stayed with for a couple of days. They set us up on a blind date, and I was more or less alone in a strange city, and didn't mind going out to dinner. I ended up changing my plans and spending another 2 days hanging out with him, and it was the best time I had in a really long time. What I've realized I need to reconnect with the CODA crowd who knows what I feel like, so that I can stay strong, and grow from this, and not find myself running back to the fire to fill the void.

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And its old news that I have a vulnerability to daddy relationships. My dad died when I was 3

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The pain is real. Too real. As for "daddy issues," my problem too.
Your powers of reasoning are excellent and adult, we as codependents need to have our hearts catch up to our heads, or is it the other way around?
We can get carried away, we have had so much grief and too little love.
No shame in looking around again. you obviously have a lot to offer a man.
Choose the best for yourself. I know you will, you are already doing so.
Take it easy on yourself.
God Bless.

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So much grief and too little love. That is a big part of it. I haven't experienced enough love in my life, to recognize it. And attention of any kind is love to me. You sucked a lot of the juice out of my fantasy, when I focus on what a sucker I was, believing that he loved me on any level, when he probably just saw a ripe codependent ready for the picking. Someone he could control and deceive without to much effort on his part. Right before he broke up with me I accused him, of not telling the truth, and I said I had ways of finding it out. His response was to break up with me. Maybe not a coincidence, or like I originaly thought, anger at my accusations. Do ever feel like with all the e-devices these days no one is ever paying attention. Half my friends text and have no time to talk. I told a few friends I broke up, and they texted me hearts and flowers but its not like crying your heart out on someone's shoulder. Even when you do talk, its so rare to have someone's full attention. I spoke to my sister in law, but she had me on speaker phone with her kids, and was talking to them while speaking to me. That's one of the voids my ex boyfriend filled for me. For the first time in ages someone seemed to actually be listening to what I was saying and that is a really powerful to me.

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I hear you. Listening, and communication in general is becoming a lost art.
Are we becoming sound and hear bites?
It is getting more and more superficial. Sometimes you wonder, hey am I even here?
And as codependents we can feel 'invisible' anyway.

And I don't know that he did not care for you on any level. Neither do you.
I don't like his issues, it doesn't look good. But you know that. You pointed them out.
You were not a sucker. You were thinking with your heart and need.
We get ahead of ourselves.
Slow and steady. 

You are right that he pegged out on you. I don't like that he didn't want anything 'complicated' after the fact. Responsibility and commitment are always complicated. 



-- Edited by barelythere on Friday 24th of March 2017 03:53:16 AM

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From a guy perspective. After coming to discover that I was codependent. I have seen some examples of how some of the men who have been in these programs have learned how to take advantage of female codependent folks. They test the boundary habits of codependent people, and know how to use that knowledge to overcome the newbies, and single women.

I would bet, that this guy will get back in touch again in a few weeks. Maybe a short text or email. And that will stir up all the emotional felling as strong as they maybe now. Resist the temptation to reply. Don't do it.

Thoughts will come to mind of should I text back or meet up with this person again will cloud every thought thru the day.

Now this is not only man issue,  but women do the same thing to men. The boundaries I set, are the only defense I have to keep me from stepping into a similar trap. 

The first key red flag I see, is the fast pace of this relationship. I see it as, like stepping into a twister and getting tossed about. and after getting tossed to the ground with minimal damage. Thinking to myself, that was fun, let me jump back into the twister again, and take another chance to see if I come out without damage. Eventually you get slammed to the ground. And then you go to CODA. Or at least that how it worked for me. lol 

lemonade Keep up doing the work and stay strong. Not every guy out there is an A--hole. And hopefully for my case, not every woman. lol

Peace

  

 



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Thanks for both of your thoughts. Writing about this, and hearing a bit of feedback, is helping to draw me out of the intensity, and keep perspective. Most important it keeps me from throwing myself back into the twister.
A number of my friends were so excited to hear that I was interested in someone, that they wanted to convince me that there was nothing wrong with him.
I've been trying to date for about the last five years, but I haven't liked anyone much, and i was starting to believe that there was something wrong with me. I was sort of excited to see my hormones still work.
In the past 5 years there were only 2 guys that I had relationships that lasted more than a couple of weeks. I met one guy that I enjoyed talking to, he was a big 12 stepper which I thought was good, but he kept using the 12 steps to put himself first. I.E. i can't drive you home, because i need to take care of myself. or I'm having some "me" time can I talk to you later. I felt like he consistently put his needs before mine, and labeled it " being healthy". It finally came to a head when I told him I really needed to spend some quality time with him on the weekend, and he really wanted to take me to a family barbeque (which I felt uncomfortable going to). We agreed to do something together, and then go to barbeque. Instead he showed up late, and took me to his barbeque. I told him i was upset, but he didn't see anything wrong with it. He told me if I had a problem with him meeting his needs, then I wasn't going to fit in his life.
Guy 2 was a really good guy. I think he had a heart of gold, and was genuinely a good person. We dated for a few months. The problem was I wasn't at all attracted to him. He was as unsexy as you could get. He was a bachelor, and just very used to everything being a certain way. structure, routine. etc. I didn't feel he liked me for who i was, but more like he wanted to stuff me into his mold of what he thought a woman should be. I often felt like he didn't see what was special about me, but just tried to pretend that i was the sort of woman he envisioned himself with. With all my reading on co dependence, I was convinced that this was the sort of slow and steady of a healthy relationship. No rush of feelings. But sort of comfortable together. When he suggested moving things to the next level, i physically could not do it. I felt like he was going to trap me in a cage, for a life that outside looked sort of ok, and inside felt totally miserable. For a while I thought there was something wrong with me for giving up this "great opportunity", but my heart in this case saw what my mind did not. Tragically this guy had a massive stroke, and is currently partially paralyzed. i feel grateful, that I didn't settle down to a life with a guy that i didn't love, only to find myself taking care of him.

So that is why this rush of feelings were so exciting. I felt alive and young again, even if part of me knew what was really going on. It was so long since I felt any of it. the good or the bad. The headiness. The rush of desire. waiting for his calls, so I could tell him everything on my mind. It was so big that part of me was ready to throw caution to the wind, just to live again. I am grateful that I was quickly reminded of the big price tag attached.

Thank you both for listening, and for your support and feedback



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And for all my big talk, I am such a huge sucker. I txted him that I only did 50 laps this morning, because the pool at the gym was too crowded (but was happy that i woke up to go at all).
He txted back that he was alone in his pool this morning, and had the pleasure of skinny dipping. (don't think that was just a fact that he happened mention). I said "that's cool" and that seemed to be the end of the conversation. When will I learn????

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You'll learn when you've had enough of the misery of things not working out because they are not real.
Boring does not mean boring-boring.
It means "not like a drug"

The CoDA blue book states fantasy is for those who can't handle drugs! LOL
Yup.

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Just lamely wanted it to feel good again. Was trying to fight against what i know is reality, by saying "this can still be good." Reality is painful too. But I need to remember non-reality can be worse. It's more of an intense unbearable pain. i think i also found myself in a place of shame, so I fought against that, by trying to make it real and not shameful I WILL LEARN ONE DAY. I REALLY WILL.

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One day at a time. That's all I can do myself.
I actually like it that way.

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I'm realizing that I'm 40 years old and have no frame of reference for a healthy male relationships. I've only ad crazy chaotic and painful, or boring and stifling. I have no idea what a healthy one feels like. So i assumed the boring kind was the healthy one, and that idea sucks.

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We're looking for the balanced here.
Life can be unexciting because it has responsibilities; none of us can get out of that. A real partner is there through that, not only the good times. It's an ongoing exchange. Not just about them or you.
Boring in the sense of too few attractive qualities, heck no.
It's when attraction is a fix for excitement's sake or to feel better about ourselves and not kept in context.

My husband was a fox when we were young stupid kids having big ideas we should be married. Some so-called girlfriends of mine came on to him and then TOLD me he turned them down, yes, they actually did that! (had to laugh he turned them down).
Years later he wasn't as pretty I guess, me either. To me, he was beautiful because of all we had been through growing up and older together and all the ways he had showed up for me over the years and ALWAYS would be. It was not just his physical appeal anymore.
Our marriage was not perfect. Sometimes it could be bad, sometimes very steady. It ebbed and flowed. Marriage and romantic relationships can be difficult because people expect magic and what they get is two often unmagical people.

Everyone decides what the balance is in these things. The point is not to find yourself somewhere you didn't consciously choose or have a direct say in.
If you need someone to take control of your life rather than you and your Higher Power who is there for you, believe me, there are those ready to do that and would like nothing more than to do that. This is not good.

Unmanageability does not mean no control over your life (even if we are deluded about what control we actually have, we think so and should think so). It means things are not working so it's about finding better ways FOR YOU to try to realize your dreams to the best of your ability.
I doubt your dreams are boring.



-- Edited by barelythere on Friday 24th of March 2017 09:18:28 PM

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What brings you into these rooms after having what sounds like a nice, caring man? Seriously the men in my life have been: my dad who was probably a good man, but died. My brother who I love to bits, but i need to constantly remember not to fix, even if at times he seems broken. He would come through for me in a pinch, but mostly he is too busy with his stuff. My boss who is a good man at heart buy can't seem to wipe his nose without my help. I work constantly on my bounderies and not doing the things he should do himself. My ex husband. Who was bipolar, and was not capable of taking any responsibility for himself. I was pretty in love with him in the beginning, although I don't think it was even as intense as it was with this guy. I don't think I ever had a guy in my life that was comfortable and interesting and a good person. I think I doubt it really exists, hense my falling for this guy, and hoping the intensity would turn into what I wanted to. Anyway, I will be away from my phone/ computer for the next 24 hrs or so for the Sabbath. Will give me time to meditate and relax and hopefully bring my mind to a better place. God bless you. Its been really great bouncing this stuff off you .

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I will not call or text him no matted what. This really is like withdrawal from a drug. I've verbalized the thousand and one reasons why there is nothing good about this relationship. But its a drug. It will make me high. It will numb some of the pain I feel now. I will pretend for a bit that there is someone that really loves me and it will make everything good..... But I won't do it. I really won't....... It will hurt now, but it will be OK.

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Hi Lemonade, Hope your Sabbath was beautiful.
Please come back. We're here for you as best we can be.
Please don't isolate. It helps so much just to talk. No shame.
Hopefully others will return too and have some things to say that might help. Those who have done this way longer than me so their wisdom will be welcomed.
I've been trying to answer your question why am I here in these rooms. Not entirely sure. I have issues, I can't put my finger on all of them. Some I'm still hesitant to talk about although they are probably nothing special.
Also because it's the internet.
Am learning here. It hasn't all gelled yet, but am making more connections all the time.
I am over at ACOA too, because I am an ACOA too, (not alcoholism, abuse).
Also my husband a sober alcoholic. There are issues behind it that confused me a lot and angered me.
Lots of things not clear.

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Sometimes I feel like our childhoods almost "doom" us for life. Unless we are constantly working at it we are almost doomed to make the same mistakes.

My childhood is complicated, but has left scars on me. My mom was a single mom, and tried her best. She has made and continues to make mistakes that hurt me every day. My brother came out much more noticeably scarred. I'm the one that always seems to have it together and to manage, except inside at times I'm bleeding to death.



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Of course I've texted him...... Among all other concerns he must think I'm such an idiot. He dumped me and I'm still sending him stupid texts. I "randomly" sent him a funny picture of my cat. He responded that he was really stressed out because of complications with his son's flight. Then I texted him the next day to make sure he arrived home safely and all is well.
I'm having a hard time just letting it go. Wanting to savor the scraps of an imaginary relationship with a guy who dumped me. One of my biggest codependent things has been "imaginary" relationships. It sounds pathetic, but it's been a big pattern for me. Finding people that give me small amounts of attention and approval, and pretending that it's something real. Ultimately I get hurt, and the other person walks away unscathed because they never actually cared.

I first started going to Coda many years ago when I had an "imaginary" affair with a married man. In fact I haven't felt these intense feelings since then-ehich indicated to me that this somehow fell in the same pattern. I fell madly in love with a friends husband. He took a liking to me, and we would talk sometimes, and email. For him it was always a very casual thing, we had some common interests. For me it was the most intense passion I ever felt. I tried to hide my feelings, because I couldn't handle him "abandoning" me. I felt guilty about it, knew I should end it, but I felt like I needed him too much. He actually introduced me the the 12 steps, and the concept of codependence. He introduced me to The books of Pia Mellody and Melody Beattie. We would talk about these things a lot. Ultimately when he realized the strength of my feelings, he ended it, like any good responsible man would. I knew he did the right thing, but I was overtaken, by Shame, abandonment, and more pain than I ever felt. In fact I cried for him, more than I cried for the death of loved ones. I still cry for him sometimes, because he was a good man. The sort of man that I would like in my life for real.
After that I started going to CODA regularly. I needed something to get me through the pain. I started writing a lot. I worked on getting healthy, and strengthening my relationship with myself. It was a big turning point in my life in some way. I've still found myself doing this in small ways. Latching on to people who provide me with small amounts of what I want, and in my mind turning it into a "relationship." spending more time obsessing over these relationships than on the real ones, that somehow never seem to appeal to me.
It seems codependence is the closest thing to this pattern. I've never found an exact label for this pattern. At the end of the day it's the same dance. My frantic attempt draw people to me, who are never really there.

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BTW I sent you a personal message if you want to correspond off the public board.


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Grief is real. Is it the same grief over and over for we codependents?

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This is my very first post on this message board, but I identify so strongly with the feelings you describe, as well as that intense longing that something as small as validation via text message can bring.  I read "Codependent No More" almost a year ago and found it helped me immensely, but you're right in that the old feelings and habits do have a way of creeping back in, and before you know it, you're afraid and unhappy again.  I'm hoping that, wherever you are in your life now, you're feeling stronger again.



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 Hi Calliope... smile...

...this is a tiny group- not sure if members from March will respond?

I gravitate from the Alanon board to the ACA board here- part of the MIP family.

I owe a lot of my understanding though to the CODA principles- of self care, boundaries and reducing anxiety. I read Codependent No More and Beyond Codependency some time ago. Today I see my need to be loved and honoured coming from a place of abandonment in my life. Today I am learning to meet these needs in a healthy sustainable way.

Nice to see you...aww...

DavidG.



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