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Post Info TOPIC: I'm Scared and confused!


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I'm Scared and confused!
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Hi Everyone,

Thanks to all of you for being here. I discovered this site about a week ago and have gained alot of comfort in all your words. And I've finally built up the courage to post something! I don't know whether I'm co-dependent, love addicted etc. All I know is that I'm crap when it comes to relationships and always have been, love, friendship, family, work you name it!

I'm just over a year clean and sober but in that time I have had a massive dependancy with a man who initially was my sponsor. We got together when I was about 3months sober. I didn't listen to the advice to stick with the women and I suppose I isolated myself within that relationship as I didn't make the effort to connect with anyone else. When I was happy I rang him, when I was sad I rang him, when I was angry I rang him and so on and so forth. So I wasn't even relyng on me to deal with anything.

We've had stupid little rows over the year that I think have been blown out of proportion by him which resulted in him sulking with me for a week or two and it's always been me to ring him and apologise for my part. I know I can't change anyone else but I wish he would just see his part in things instead of it always being my fault and he thinks he's always right. Cause that just leads me to build up a resentment towards him. We've wasted about a third of our relationship with him being in a mood with me.

We had a stupid fight again about a month ago and he's just pushed me away again but this time I don't want to be the one to give in. It's not about playing games or wanting to punish him. I justy want to try and break this unhealthy pattern.

I know we can't change anyone else, but would it be wrong of me to suggest that he get's a sponsor maybe or just talk to other people cause I think that's why he always thinks he's right about everything cause he doesn't have another perspective on things?

I'm struggling at the minute as to whether I can accept him the way he is or just try to let him go. One minute I want him back and the next I don't!!! I'm trying to connect with some of the women now in the fellowship and also trying to cope with just being me on my own without approval from anyone. I'm full of fear about sharing at meetings at the mo too cause he's in the fellowship aswell. I just feel really lost, but I'm reallly glad I've found this site, and look forward to learning about myself. Something that someone posted on here really struck a chord with me, I need to put down the magnifying glass and pick up the mirror, but the codependant part of me wants him to do the same!!! Which is a major contradiction to the point of the phrase!

Anyway I just needed to get this off my chest, thank you for being here and giving me this opportunity. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Twyla xxx



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Hi Twyla, welcome!! I see sooooo much of myself in your post....

I, too, didn't follow the suggestion to stay on the "girls-side" of the room, so to speak. Just like you, I relied on him, I could not wait to talk to him when I was happy, sad, etc, etc.... clearly, I made him my higher power. (I did this in my marriage too) I also held a secret desire to change him... well, I believed he wanted to change too since he was in the program, after all. He was also a sex addict and I could see so clearly what he needed to do to change. In retrospect, it's all so insane.... I knew I wanted him to change but I did NOT want to accept my powerlessness... I could NOT stop myself. I had this ridiculous spiritual immaturity... "God, I want your will, and I want THIS too."

Sometimes it was more like, "I want what I want, dammit"

ugh

Anyway.... I think it's okay for you to make a suggestion to your boyfriend. My sponsor always told me, it's okay to make suggestions... But say it ONCE. If I keep saying it over and over, I am trying to CONTROL, and I officially become a nag.  (It's also insane to try to change the things I cannot change)

I'm glad you're here, Twyla.... grateful for the opportunity to recover together!



-- Edited by gladlee on Sunday 13th of March 2011 07:32:04 AM

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jj


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you are in the right place, Twyla.  venting then listening to others experience, strength, and hope helps us see things for what they are, not how we want to see them.  the 12 step programs help us get well, so stick with the steps, and never give up. 
jj

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welcome, you are in the right place, what you described is EXACTLY why we try to stick with same sex sponsors

would it be wrong of me to suggest that he get's a sponsor maybe or just talk to other people cause I think that's why he always thinks he's right about everything cause he doesn't have another perspective on things?


Perhaps rather then giving him "advice" that you have yet to follow yourself you could do those things yourself and maybe he would follow your example?

I mean that's one of the biggest things codependence have in common right? We know what's best for everyone else, aren't afraid to tell them and give them tons of advice we don't follow ourselves, I was told if I was taking someone else's inventory by definition I wasn't working the program, which is we ignore the other person entirely and take our OWN inventory, as a matter of fact I was told if I was taking other peoples inventory rather then my own I was doing the exact opposite of the program

So in my opinion, you ask would it be wrong of you to suggest he do these things?

Yes, absolutely, if it was me I'd be rofling, because that is totally something I would do, it's like standing there with chocolate ice cream all over my face waving a spoon full of ben and Jerry's half baked lecturing someone they why they need to give up chocolate and Ice Cream, for me, if I haven't done something myself I have no business telling someone else to do something, especially when they are the very same character defects i am suffering from when I am giving the lecture, , remember in AA we share our experience, and you can't share what you don't have, remember the best revenge is living well, so maybe do these things and when yall make up you can have gotten a sponsor and a female support group, and THEN you can say "this is what I did" and NOT "this is what YOU should do"

best thing I ever heard about this sort of thing "put down the magnifying glass and pick up the mirror"

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Hello Twyla - welcome to the MIP family.

Me making suggestions about someone else's recovery, except for my sponsee, has never gone well.  I am a VERY firm believer in leading by example.  I might be a crap example at times - which proves even more that I have no room to give someone advice about what they do in the program.

It is so difficult for me, making these changes.  I want to judge, have expectations, and change the other person.  I also know that the few times I was successful and looked wholly at my part, I was too busy to worry about what the other person was doing.  If we got into it, it was so "against the grain" for me to take my own inventory, speak with "I" messages, and shove my expectations and judgement away that the fight was over before I had a chance to figure out what they were doing wrong.  Also, when I do these thing I always seem to find some humility tucked in there and their side of things becomes easier to see.

It is strange, because before recovery I was VERY avoidant.  I ran from the slightest altercation.  Now I don't.  But I feel this same tool being used.  I find that when I start getting upset about my partner I just put on my "I don't care" hat.  Feels like it might be wrong - I mean I care about his feelings - I just don't care about his part.  Does that make sense?  His part doesn't matter - unless he crosses over boundaries of mine.  I am learning to let the little stuff slide off - which helps avoid some of the confrontation in the first place.  He is who is he and does what he does.  It is either going to be something that works for me or it is not. 

Seems to be working - focusing on myself and just letting him be.  I am upset a LOT less.  We fight a lot less.  If by chance my recovery takes us somewhere that he isn't going - or refuses to go - then I have to evaluate whether that fits into my life.  But for now - it is working.  His program is his 100% and mine is mine.  We talk about recovery a lot - the principles - but when our conversations start with "You should" things just turn south, especially if I am on the receiving end wink.gif.

Linistea

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Hi Tryla, welcome to the board. I'm one of those that did stay out of relationships for the first year (3 years actually). I didn't even date in the first year and it was the best thing I ever did, as I became my own best friend. I took a bunch of vacations, road trips by myself. Eat a lot of meals alone and with friends. I was more inclined to make friends in the fellowship, and for the first time I had several women friends that I wasn't involved with. Imo, all of us need to take this time out from relationships to break our trend of neediness so that we can develop healthy boundaries and begin to date and have relationships from a position of strength, that we know that we can end the relationship and continue the life that we built. The guy that you're involved with can't be too healthy if he preyed upon a new comer. Ask your self what the downside of ending the relationship is.

Dean

-- Edited by Dean on Monday 14th of March 2011 08:33:45 AM

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Thanks to all of you for your suggestions and support!

It's given me plenty to think about and what I need to be focussing on, basically me! That's quite scary for me because I think I've spent all my life seeking approval from others to create some self worth. But it's also a bit empowering to think that I get to decide what I'm worth. My default setting has always seemed to be thinking about what others think about me! And I've usually assumed it's negative! I've not been sleeping well recently as I keep waking up with all these angry or anxious thoughts about his part. I'm not able to focus as well on my prayer and meditation as my head's racing. Withdrawal from a relationship is as bad as withdrawal from a drug!!! Finding it hard to remember to surrender these defects over throughout the day as they are consuming me. This is not the person I wanna be! I must admit I've not done a written step ten in a few days, it's like I want to self destruct!! I'll definitely do it tonight. Sorry if this has been a little incoherent!! Just felt like I needed to connect with you all. I'm really grateful for this opportunity to grow here.

Twyla x

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"My default setting has always seemed to be thinking about what others think about me."


Me too! I was so obsessed with others and what I thought they were thinking, what I thought they meant, what I thought they planned to do, about me - what I wanted to say, what I'd like to say but didn't dare, what I would say if they said such and such and what I'd do if they did such and such. Then I would be so anxious and depressed I was scared how I'd survive. I assumed that others were as obsessed with me as I was with them.

Can't count how many times people told me "what other people think of you is none of your business." I'd then have a huge resentment on them for saying that to me.

Can't say that I don't still think like that anymore because I do.  But since I started to really feel my feelings, and take responsibility for them - or at least do my best - the obsession with others is not as strong as it used to be. Neither does the stinking thinking last as long - all because I am learning, at this stage of my life, to feel my feelings, and not medicate or run away from them with obsessive behaviour.

How did I arrive at a place where I could feel my feelings? Not by design, but seems to have happened as a result of getting free of addictions. Even the most innocent looking addiction (is there such a thing?) would lead me into the crazy world of my head, and lock me up there and throw away the key. I can't think of any pain worse than that desolate, desperate, lonely place. I seemed to attract every sort of person who was looking for someone to blame.

Gradually but surely, that is changing.

Newlight

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My default position is selfish, self centered fear. I'm a taker of things ( not always physical things, but emotional things ) and a user of people. Its not because I'm a bad person, they are survival skills based upon dysfunctional values instilled as a child by parents and the world around me, combined with the spiritual malady of alcoholism. With those things going on in me ( and I had no clue ) I lived in a prison of, what I thought you thought about me. The locks of the prison are on the inside. They kept me locked up in me and the only way out in the past has been through alcohol and love addiction, though it was a temporary fix. When the fix was over, I retreated even further into the prison, and the cycle got worse and deeper. And I couldn't even see it was happening, but I could feel it, and didn't even know what it was. I perceived it, and still do at times as the fault of everyone else around me. They abused me, they didnt understand, they were cruel, etc. etc. etc.

  A really wise man said, that knowledge was power if there was action taken in harmony with the knowledge. Unfortunately, the obsessions, illusions, and dilutions are so powerful, that only crashing and burning would get my attention to see it, sometimes. I can be so filled with all that dilution and obsession that I have to crash and burn over and over again, before I see the need to take the action I need to recover. Mainly because I see it as YOUR fault not mine. And if its my fault or responsibility, I have to do the work to make it right. And deep down inside, I don't want to, I want you to do the work so I can feel better. yet, I'll wind up doing more work trying to get YOU to see that YOU must change. Probably my biggest insanity next to alcohol.

 I found out that there is a difference between fault and responsibility that has helped me tremendously with recovery in order to see reality.  In order to have fault, there has to be intent, it has to have been intentional. Responsibility is being accountable for my actions whether I'm at fault or not. One of the biggest power I've received through the steps is that I am responsible and accountable, and that knowledge,gives me the power to do something about it. I'm no longer a victim. If I stay a victim, I have to wait for you to change so I can feel better. And then I'm skrewed.

I hear it said many times that what you think of me is non of my business. That is not the complete statement. Chuck C. said it. What he said was " what you think of me is non of my business, unless you make it my business. But what I think of you is my business."  And what I think of you determins the level of peace I experience inside of myself. This has helped me level the playing field with a whole lot of things in my recovery. It has helped me to see that we are all basically the same, and that if my intentions have mostly been good, and my actions turn out not so good, then maybe that's true for everyone who has been in my life also. And if being full of fear has driven me to be a raging ******* even though I don't want to be, maybe that's true for you too. That helps me to take others off the hook, and to be free of the resentments, and look at my own behavior. As a result, I don't have as many hang ups with most people in general. My still major hang ups are in the intimate relationship in my life. That's the one that cripples me, and drives me to be full of fear and confused. Its the result of my belief system about my self that was ingrained in the first few years of life that I still react to ( codependent/emotional dependant reactions ) that brings me the most difficulty at the present.  The knowledge of that, gives me power and hope because I can and will make the changes I need because I am no longer a victim. The people who instilled this stuff in me, who ever they are, I can take them off the hook, because, although they are responsible, they probably are not at fault. They were probably doing the best the could with what they had, just like me. With no resentment connected with this, I can be free to dig into the causes and conditions of this dysfunction I have with self. I get the key's to open the locks to the prison I can live in. ( what I think you think about me )  I'm a lot less scared and confused today, but I know that can all change if I let up on this spiritual course of action. I WILL move into my default position, selfish, self centered fear. I WILL be in that prison. I WILL self destruct, and blame YOU for it. 






-- Edited by billyjack on Wednesday 16th of March 2011 04:36:12 PM

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Thanks to all for your replies, it's so great to know other people understand my insanity!

My emotions are still quite all over the place but I'm trying my best to just focus on me but failing alot of the time! Was at a meeting tonight and there was a lot of talk about justified anger (HP at work there!) And I think that's a big problem for me. I feel like I've been wronged, and I'm taking on the victim role. When will I be able to let the actions of others go? I'm beginning to understand why I can only look at my part and I know how much this makes sense, but I'm really struggling to accept it! In comparison I found it relatively easy to accept I was an addict and was quite grateful to find a solution. But to admit that I've controlled and manipulated my whole life without even realising I was doing it. It's kinda turned my world upside down! But it's gotta be done I suppose if I want to grow. As it says in the 12x12 step 10:

'pain was the touchstone of all spiritual progress...that the pains of drinking had to come before sobriety and emotional turmoil before serenity'

So it's a bit of comfort to know that being in this emotional turmoil is part of the process and I'm not just messed up!

Twyla xxx

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Girl I understand where you are coming from. Please read the book Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood. Codependency and Love Addiction commonly run together. I have codependency and love addiction so I can relate to your post. Even though you want to worry and fix the guy and his problems please resist the temptation to give him advice or help him in anyway. Normally people only change when they have to. If he knows you will always stick around no matter what he does and come to his rescue when he is doing bad then why would he do the hard work of fixing his self when someone else is willing to do the work for him.

Now it would be much easier if I could just follow my own advice. lol

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