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September 8, 2013

I used too much of too much tonight to really type quickly or get to the point. But I will try.

It was one of those nights. Where you know you’ve gone back into the ravine before you’re really there. You know it, as you grab your clothes. As you put on your make-up. As you grab your purse and check your cell phone -just in case. It’s gaping in front of you, but you deny it. Don’t even feel it, it’s not there. If you pretend it’s not there, it will be, and that’s ultimately what you want.

I have been applying for jobs and going to job interviews, like a good girl. But I’ll have to hear back from them. I’m waiting for the most brainless ones, so I can keep my free time for myself and go to my job without needing to give fucks. That’d be nice.
I want to wake up early-ish in the morning, go to a job that is entirely void of meaning, and go home at a given time, sag down on the couch like a potato and watch tv. That’s all I want, and need.

I wish I could die without the pain it would inflict on others. Just die inside so I can function sufficiently to keep everybody happy -my life goal/curse forever and ever- but not have to feel. Perfection. Is there anything that does tha- Oh, yeah.

 

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Woman

August 3, 2013

I’m going to write this post because I think some of these thoughts could be helpful to others. My boyfriend doesn’t like it when I write on here without talking to him, because he wants us to communicate directly. Which is surprisingly demanding on his part. Writing here is often the only way I can let my emotions float freely. I should probably create a blog somewhere else, where he can’t read it.

I am just. So. Angry. At everything. At life. At things going the way they’re going. At him, for asking me if I’m “getting some good rest”, what do you think you fucking moron. At myself for not being stronger or better adapted to the situation. At him, at him, at him. He’s usually my source of comfort, but right now my voice is actually suffocated by anger. I can barely breathe anymore from all this fucking disappointment, anger and sadness that I’ve been swallowing, munching and forgiving.
It’s like a disgusting worm of pent up shit that is wriggling its way back up my throat, digging a hole in my chest.

I’m so angry that I’ve bent over backwards to be dependable, reliable and responsible, to always make sure paperwork, tickets, flights were well taken care of, to prepare things for when he would be here. And I never got that in return, never. I’m angry that I’ve read countless blogs, books and websites, committed to learning about alcoholism and how to be the best partner for him. I’m angry that even now, I’m angry at myself for being obviously codependent and therefore the only real culprit for my feeling this way. I’m angry that I’ve felt completely alone in all this.

sarcasm

He’s the alcoholic on his throne, anyone who can’t deal with that, is just codependent. Nobody can ask or expect him to never drink again, he’s the poor alcoholic, isn’t he? You can’t wait for that promise, you silly goose. He will drink again, and you should be prepared for that, as a good wife! And you will be supportive, and calm, and you will forgive him, because he’s a drunk and he can’t be held accountable for this! You can’t stress out about material shit, and you can’t lay too much on him, because it will stress him out! You must be FLAWLESS! Prepared to give him space when he needs it, but be close when he needs comfort! You must be patient, not expect his sobriety IN THE LEAST and BE INDEPENDENTLY HAPPY. When he’s passed out drunk in a dark alley, at any mugger’s mercy, you should NOT CALL 911. That’s your cue to take a nice hot bath and have a careless, 10 hour sleep!
His only priority is to go to AA and work on his sobriety, you as a wife are just a CRUTCH -especially your cooking skills. You should be prepared to raise children on your own, and to let him be the FUN PARENT who plays dangerous games with them while you’re not looking!
He will lie to you regularly, but you will STILL trust him inherently! Your own honesty will not be rewarded or acknowledged, it will be taken for granted every single day. In fact, everything will revolve around his AMAZING accomplishment of not having drunk for 24 hours, and EVERYTHING YOU DO will PALE IN COMPARISON NO MATTER WHAT. Besides the exhausting life of the alcoholic’s partner, which entails emotional sensors, x-ray fucking vision into his thoughts and chameleon-like abilities to adapt to his waves, you will also have a JOB AND CAREER because he won’t always be able to work or keep a job. You will NEVER FAIL to work your job consistently, but he will flutter from job to job, occasionally fucking up lifetime opportunities. SUCH IS LIFE.
Don’t expect empathy for your role in the relationship from him, either. Never forget that HE IS THE VICTIM OF THE DISEASE. When you get angry, he will counter it with excellent quotations from the big book and you will have to admit YOUR OWN WRONGS. It sucks! But for the marriage to work, YOU will have to do all the work. Many nights you will feel alone, hurt and tired, but none of it will matter if HE is having an amazing day! He will fucking mesmerize you with convoluted mindgames until you’re involved in some kind of fun activity he came up with! It’s GREAT!
Whenever you do something UNEXPECTED as a reaction to his drinking, he will suck up ALL YOUR SPACE and DEMAND that you reaffirm your love for him. But, never forget, YOU are NOT allowed to take his drinking personally. YOU are just the crutch, and you should just KNOW your place even if he gives you no reassurance.

This is your life now. You are that woman.

Settled

August 2, 2013

Things have finally settled down. It feels like I worked through it, the anger is gone and I’m working on the forgiveness part. Which isn’t really something I have to ‘muster’ like a lot of people say. When you love someone, it kind of comes on its own as soon as you realize it’s just not worth it.

Do I want to be angry and feel miserable? No. Do I want to make him feel worse? No. Do I want us to fight, to have endless discussions, to say harsh things? No.

Codependency is such a sneaky, invisible thing. I never even thought I was codependent until it started to hurt me and I was willing to look closer into what I was doing. Maybe every partner is a little codependent. You’re barely in a relationship if you’re not, right? I still want him to give me a heads up about where he’s going, that won’t just go away. It’s not about control over him, it’s about me knowing how I can get to him if I need to. 
For some reason, when our relationship is ok, we almost melt together. I feel completely overwhelmed, because I’m crazy about him and I can’t seem to function separately from that notion. He has the same thing though, I know he loves me very much and can’t live without me. It feels really good, we’re in this pool of absolute and unconditional adoration for each other and exchange information that wouldn’t make sense to an outsider.
But then there are these sources that say that’s not healthy. We’re both addicts, and maybe we’re still really extreme in this.

Food for thought.

Hypotension

April 6, 2013

The worst seems to have passed. I woke back up after 4 hours, but that’s usually the case after an upsetting event. When I got up to go to the bathroom, I could barely open my eyes. Puffy, stingy and red. My legs hurt and it was hard to put my weight on them. I could tell that if I got up too quickly, I would get orthostatic hypotension and fall.

When I got called for lunch, I didn’t go. Mom would see my face, still betraying what a night I had, and she would worry. A bit later I did go downstairs to find food, my father was posted up at the kitchen wall with his iPad. I didn’t talk to him, nor did I respond to his greeting. By now, I would think that he would have given up on greeting me altogether. But he has this obnoxious, tenacious urge to impose his own values onto others, so I get his greetings anyway while my skin crawls.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t really find any substantial food, so I took a small piece of bread and munched on it as I went back upstairs. I wasn’t very hungry, and I certainly did not have the energy to look for food more vigorously. The latter option would also mean remaining in the same room for a longer time with my father, which for the time being is an unbearable thing. As I walked passed him to get to the stairs, I could feel him look at me, observing me. I wanted to vomit, or plant a knife in his face.

My boyfriend is asleep, and I meekly tried to wake him up but he didn’t seem ready to leave his dreams behind. It’s lonely, but everyone needs rest.

Earlier, when I got up to feed my cat, I almost dropped to the floor. I ate 5 chocolate Easter eggs to pump up my blood pressure a bit. The sleep I got was insufficient, superficial and I almost feel more tired now than I did before trying to catch some. I’ve been awake since 9 AM, snoozing, watching documentaries on medieval Europe on YouTube.
There’s so much school work lined up for me, this happening enhances my stress level significantly. It’s like losing an entire day, and for what? Does anyone of us feel better now?
Wow, I’m pretty bitter.
As much as yesterday I felt wronged, hurt for the sake of it and used, those feelings will get me nowhere. There was so much reproach that I accepted as legitimate, and suddenly it all got brushed aside as just being “an asshole rant”. If you want to confuse me, that’s the way to go; get me to feel like I made a mistake, and then proceed to tell me that I didn’t do anything wrong. More than angry, I’m confused. So, so confused.

Codependency, by definition, means making the relationship more important to you than you are to yourself. It’s kind of a weird phrase, and it doesn’t sound like it means a one-sided relationship. But that’s what it is. It means you’re trying to make the relationship work with someone else who’s not.” – Tina Tessina (source)

Except that last part is incorrect. My boyfriend is trying to make this work. And he’s fighting as hard as I am for it. In fact, he’s been working very, very hard to make enough money for us to be comfortable in the future when we live together. I’m a student, so I haven’t earned a penny in all of this.
The characteristics of codependent partners never struck me as accurate before either (source). But now I have to revisit that, as heavy as that makes my heart feel.

  • An exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others

I barely feel responsible enough for my own. Though maybe that confirms the problem. Actually, I can see that. Feeling like I need to be in charge because people are counting on me, when I could just as easily step aside and not do that.

  • A tendency to confuse love and pity, with the tendency to “love” people they can pity and rescue

Well. When we first met, he was in pretty bad shape. But I was disappointed that he was, not elated like ‘ohhh, poor thing, I’m going to *save* you’. What is pity? I feel sorry for some of the things he’s had to go through, yes. But he survived them, and I admire him for that. I’m not even sure if I have the ability to feel pity, for anyone. Again; maybe that confirms the problem. Maybe it’s all I can feel.

  • A tendency to do more than their share, all of the time

Until I burn the fuck out, yeah. It’s easy to forget your own limitations, when your goal is to meet the other person’s needs.

  • A tendency to become hurt when people don’t recognize their efforts

That’s true, it’s in my nature. But I have to be fair; I’ve come the longest way on that. I’ve gotten a lot better about this, and I can let go of a lot of things with ease now. The world will keep turning, whether I feel patted on the back or not. And the world just wants me to contribute, like everyone else. You don’t get patted on the back for functioning in society, even if for me it’s very challenging. Maybe for others it’s just as challenging, but they never had this need to be applauded.

  • An unhealthy dependence on relationships. The co-dependent will do anything to hold on to a relationship; to avoid the feeling of abandonment

Well. Shit.

  • An extreme need for approval and recognition

I don’t know? Maybe?

  • A sense of guilt when asserting themselves

Yes.

  • A compelling need to control others

No. Just no.

  • Lack of trust in self and/or others

Unfortunately this one might be accurate.

  • Fear of being abandoned or alone

Yes.

  • Difficulty identifying feelings

I think this is one of my stronger points. Communicating and expressing what I feel is something I’m very, very good at. I’m thoroughly trained, thanks to all the therapy I’ve undergone. On the other hand, I struggle with a fuckload of weird quirks and habits that I need to deal with every day life. I also fret a lot, which is an escape mechanism to not calmly experience the emotions concerning the subject. So maybe I only apparently express my feelings, whereas deep down inside there are demons who are never grazed. I wouldn’t know, would I?

  • Rigidity/difficulty adjusting to change

Define change. When I go to a new place for an internship, I’m a nervous wreck. But isn’t that normal? I have surges of absolute necessity to rearrange my room, and out of nowhere I dig up mounds of energy from within, to execute the idea I have in my head. Soon I’m moving to the other side of the world, and it doesn’t intimidate me much.
I should also mention that I’m pretty naive and impulsive, and I may not fully grasp the actual change I’m about to undergo.

  • Problems with intimacy/boundaries

My boundaries are those of whoever I’m with. That’s what that means, isn’t it?

  • Chronic anger

Not impossible, but again; how would I know?

  • Lying/dishonesty

No.

  • Poor communications

No.

  • Difficulty making decisions

Yes, I think so. But sometimes not. If I have to choose between two jeans, I’ll have a harder time than deciding what car to buy. That can happen in a flash. Actually, no, I’m good about making decisions. But my boyfriend tends to be really pissed off when I change my mind about something, so lately I’ve been slower to come to them.

I’m crushed to realize that I am a codependent partner, making life harder for my partner. I’m mostly crushed to have been so self righteous and self absorbed, almost narcissistic, that I could never see it before. That wasn’t me, no, I was the perfect girlfriend.
And now I have to start the long ass process of attempting to forgive myself, which will take for fucking ever.

Fresh

April 6, 2013

The last few days had been really good, but tonight, the house of cards completely collapsed.

When I left to meet up with my fellow students, we had a mellow, nice conversation and my partner assured me that we could talk about the past later when I got home -he knows I love that. I love hearing about his childhood, his family, the adventures he was on drunk.
So we did, and it started out really nicely. He talked to me a bit about his sister, and I found out a bit about how their relationship evolved. My partner doesn’t usually explain things very thoroughly, unless you ask the right questions. There’s no bad intent there, he just doesn’t think to talk about them.

The mood turned though. That happens, one moment he can be calm and understanding, the next he’s grumpy and starts to rant about things going wrong.

But it was never like this. I’m still very confused, and I’m still fuzzy on what happened. I know I’m sad, I feel misunderstood and very scared. But I can’t get a clear oversight on what exactly happened or why.
Last night I didn’t sleep well, or much, and I had to get up this morning to go to a meeting with classmates. There was a lot of tension between me and a good friend of mine, and I felt uncomfortable going home. Almost like something broke in our friendship. Hard to say if there’s any truth to it, I can overreact to these things. In a week everything could be fine again. But I felt tired, and sad. When I had asked her about her writings in our group work, she told me I was attacking her and my tone wasn’t nice. I vaguely defended myself, saying I didn’t see that, and felt like that was her own thing. Nothing really got outspoken though, after a while she just pretended nothing had happened and I just went home feeling crappy.

I was already not in a good place, and I can see how being tired, a bit preoccupied by that situation and more emotional than normal, made me react poorly to my partner’s anger. He needed to talk to me, about the time we split up. When I told him to go home, back in October, and take a break. He needed to vent some of his feelings about that situation, and he was right. That entire month after I sent him away, I ignored him. I left him bathing in his bitter sadness, thinking he had lost me forever.
I didn’t get defensive, I didn’t interrupt him, I didn’t try to justify what I did. But when he explained exactly how I had made him feel, I couldn’t help but cry. There was nothing I could do, I felt so bad. The man I love the most in the world, the man I want to surround with warmth, love and peace, I had damn near broken. So I apologized, clearly stating what I had done wrong and what it was that I said sorry for.

I think this is where things went wrong. I have this terrible, terrible tendency to cry very easily. I hate it, I curse it, but there’s jack shit I can do about it. And he feels cornered when I do; it makes it impossible for him to feel free to talk. He feels like a monster, making me cry. And the freedom to speak about whatever he wants is gone that way. But this was the first time he actually got mean about it. Or I perceived him as mean, I have no clue. Like I said, I’m confused and shaken up by this, we had never had a conversation like this.
This time he wasn’t understanding, or compromising. He got pissed at me for being upset, and I felt like my back was against the wall. I wanted to stop crying, but couldn’t. But I also felt like it was okay for me to cry over a mistake I had made, because it was out of sympathy and remorse.

It’s all very fresh, so all these things are very colored by my own perception and I’m well acquainted with my own antisocial traits, that cloud my vision. He needed to vent, but I took his room. I let my thoughts wonder down the lane of regret and guilt, and started to cry. Was that a choice? Was that an indulgence? Maybe it was, I have no idea.
As he desperately tried to get more room, tried to breathe, I got more upset. Why wasn’t I allowed to cry? Why was he being so one-sided? Why was this so different than conversations we’d had before, had something snapped? Changed? Did I push it too far?

I’m still trying to gather my thoughts. Some basic connection that I had always felt, some fundamental trust that had never left me during fights or arguments, wasn’t there this time. He sounded incoherent, chaotic. He wasn’t entirely himself, and it scared me. Was he that angry? Was he drunk?

As I tried to get some comfort from him, he got angrier. There’s nothing more infuriating than someone playing the victim role, and them asking for consolation on top of that. But I honestly have no idea what I should have done. I was nailed to the floor, I had lost my connection with him and I was sick to my stomach.
Is that unhealthy? Do I depend too much on his stability? Is it dangerous for me to be in a relationship where I break down every time he does? Is this what they talk about in the codependency books? I never thought of myself as codependent, nor did I ever understand how people could even be that way. Look for proof of them buying liquor, emptying their pockets, asking about their meetings all the time. That was never me. But this… am I suffocating him? Oh my god, am I!?

I don’t think I’ve ever been this afraid since we’ve been together. Not only have I been confused about my “recovery” (still not 100% certain I’m even an addict), now I have to try and find a way back to him. But my mind is in paranoid-mode now, still feverishly looking for the difference between right and wrong.
What just happened? How do I feel? Do I have the right to feel this way, or am I wrong? What really happened, did I imagine things? Did I interpret things the wrong way, and react poorly? I can’t tell!
THERE’S NO WAY FOR ME TO KNOW WHAT’S REAL AND WHAT’S IN MY HEAD. And what’s worse, I don’t trust him to help me find it. He fucked with my head.

How did it get to this? How did a normal conversation about our break-up spiral into me feeling so confused? I try to go back to it, but I can’t see.

How can I learn to keep my tears inside? How can I learn to let his rants, his angry words and his emotional space exist? And how did this ever escape my attention even, what the fuck. The adrenaline is still pumping, but I can feel I’m very tired. It’s 6 AM, but sleep is far away still. So long as I make it through the night, I’ll be alright. Only a few more hours and the sun will come up, I’ll be able to nap then.