Post by Susan Peabody on Oct 26, 2007 17:10:28 GMT -8
If you are in a toxic relationship, eventually you must move on. This is hard. This is painful. But recovery demands that you move toward a healthy, fulfilling, reciprocal relationship with an available partner who knows how to communicate, respect and love you the way you deserve to be loved.
To learn what a healthy relationship should look like, read A Fine Romance by Judith Sills.
To get to a healthy relationship you must first go through the pain of withdrawal. To understand withdrawal read Howard Halpern's book, How to Break Your Addiction to a Person. He explains the attachment hunger that love addicts have and how when we break up with someone we go back emotionally to when the dependency bond was broken with our primary caretaker. These feelings are overwhelming because they were first felt at a time when we had no defenses. This board will help you with your withdrawal.
I'm obsessing over where my ex-boyfriend is right now. I'm laying in the same bed he shared with me. Now, I'm wondering if he is spending the night with a girl he met while we were both at the club together. I broke off the relationship, but that was because he disappeared on me during a trip out of town. He didn't call me for 2 days.
I HATE feeling this desperate and sad and scared. I'm so tired of this. I keep choosing guys who cheat and pad themselves with women. I'm tired of feeling like I'm some sort of plug-n-play device. He plugs me in when he wants to. He unplugs me and plugs in someone else when he's ready.
I am really struggling with this one!! Last week I made it Mon and Tues, but Wed I called him and I called him Thurs., Fri., Sat. Not Sun, because I could never call him on Sundays since he is with his family then. Today is Mon. Everything within me wants to call him!! He is either going to hurt me more or lie to me more if I call him. He will never leave his wife. But, Now things are even more complicated. my husband is sueing me for custody of our children. He is saying I am emotionally unstable, so now I cannot show I am hurting, have to not cry and this is next to impossible, part of me wants to call him and have my fix and deal with this separation withdrawal later after my divorce, but there is no guarentee he will even talk to me. A couple of weeks ago, when things changed with him, he just didn't have time to talk to me, last week he talked to me, but it was still different. I don't know how to handle this. I am praying. I need help, any suggestions....I cannot stand this pain.
Post by reinventmyself on May 18, 2009 13:26:44 GMT -8
Alcoz, I understand the wanting to call. It would end the anxiety of wondering and waiting. Please, before you call please realize that where ever you are. .day 1 , 2 or week 3 you are on the right path. Each time we give in to the urge you are thrown back to square 1 and have to repeat each day all over again. Who wants to start all over again. . on the path out of hell?. Keep your eyes straight ahead and put one foot in front of the other. Baby steps. Why go back just to get the crud kicked out of you. Count each day each moment as a victory. . At this point we can't hold them responsible for hurting us. We are only hurting our selves if we continue to return for for more. . More of `nothing'. Be gentle to yourself. . Call a friend. Do it for your children
Post by staystrong on Aug 17, 2009 15:00:39 GMT -8
Day thirteen today. it comes in waves. I can say though...the hardest day was day one. Each day I grow a little stronger. I am amazed, however, how the littlest things can send me into a tailspin. A song, a hotel, a woman with short black hair....these little reminders of her are everywhere. Today I passed a hotel we stayed at twice. A week ago passing that hotel left me in tears. Today I felt a charge, but not as strong. I am getting stronger everyday. At a point where the charge is there, but I can take a deep breath and tell myself...this is just an emotion..it will pass...you don't need to do anything about it.
I keep having to remind myself that I am doing NC for a reason. I think about him and I want to share with him all I'm doing. I want to help him out of his dark places, too. But no matter how much love and understanding I gave when I was with him it only made things worse.
I'm on day 13. I went to therapy today and lot of stuff came out; my shame, and my need for a HP. All through therapy I kept coming back to him. I'd say, "But I miss him so much". And my therapist would just direct me back to what was really going on. He's a distraction for me, even though I really feel like it is love, I know I use him to get out of the work that needs to be done.
I wanted to mention someone. Is it wrong to hope for a healthy relationship with your PoA in the future, after recovery, both his and yours? He would need to do this work for himself, and I couldn't control that, but in my heart this is what I want. NOT need, want. If my HP sees fit for that I suppose. But right now I have to do this work. I think this is the biggest need for withdrawal.
I keep my mind thinking that if he does ping me, I'll send him some links and information, I won't engage emotionally with him. I don't hate him, I just need to love myself, more. Onwards!
Post by reinventmyself on Aug 21, 2009 14:31:09 GMT -8
The more I work on myself the more I see his damage. I try not to go there. I read something though provoking. I put myself in it's place and then him. I need to stop. It's his job to get healthy. . or even begin to recognize the possibility that something is wrong. I did hint to him a few times. .sent him articles and such only to have him rage at me. I had been through this before and learned the hardest way going through the end of a long term marriage with an N. I know I can't show them. .help them. . encourage them especially when they can't put down their flame thrower long enough to look at themselves. I know the futile feelings all too well. So again. . I struggle to let go. It's all I can do. .That and take care of myself.
Hello reinventmyself. I can relate. I used to do this. It's codependency. There is so much hope. I find that for me, coda meetings, and aa meetings really help and offer solutions, also. There are also alanon meetings, ect. There are many 12 step meetings which offer so much help. Meetings are so important and a vital part of my recovery. I have a lot of awareness and peace. I still have my crazy moments, but not at all like it used to be. I went to an aa meeting this evening and once I walked in the room,I felt better.Hang in there, take it one day at a time. It takes time. Share and listen to others experience. This works
Post by reinventmyself on Aug 22, 2009 10:11:03 GMT -8
Freedman, Thank you for the words of encouragement! Means more than you will know. I've been to one LAA meeting unfortunetly not geographically convenient. I've found a couple nearer to me. . now it's just getting over that fear of walking into a room full of strangers. I will go. . I know it's what I need. Your response came at the perfect time. . <thanks>
Post by seekingserenitynow on Dec 20, 2009 15:18:54 GMT -8
I have such issues myself (or have in the past...maybe today's the day to stop that?) with codependently trying to lead my POA through recovery (no matter how little interest he shows or how much he's condescending or rude or sarcastic or critical about it). Now I see it's a way I've been sabotaging my OWN recovery and pouring too much energy into him as usual. It's also a losing battle because if he doesn't want to recover he won't. If he wants to live in denial he will. Trying to chip away his denial slowly is NOT WORTH MY ENERGY. Still learning that.
Post by takingcontrol on May 4, 2010 14:54:08 GMT -8
withdrawal is hard... darn is it ever hard. My POA and I broke up several times during our two year relationship. After every breakup I always wanted to give the relationship a "chance" I always thought I had learned something or that things would be different. I now know that I was just running away from withdrawal. As soon as the pain of losing POA got too hard I would jump into the relationship again thiking things would be better.
I am three weeks into NC, this time for good. I can't lie and say that it has been easy, because it has not, but at the same time I do know that it is getting better. Everyday it gets a little bit better.
Definitely feeling the original pain! I feel so alone. I crave connection, touch, safety. Trying to be the safe, loving adult to myself at the same time I feel like a needy child is SO difficult.
I am aware that the pull to my ex (POA) is my inner kids wanting safety, love, holding, comforting.
How much pain and confusion I tolerated in the relationship for the moments of being held, feeling loved. When I was having a hard time with the original pain- I'd call POA and she would shift from gruff voice to a soft voice when she knew I was in pain.
I was already going through healing the origianl pain before entering the relationship with POA. I think that's why I enetered it. I was in so much pain and it seemed like she was someone who understood. Someone who could stand by my side so I would not have to feel so alone, then and now.
Turns out, she's not my dad/mom/savoir and too unhealthy to be a supportive partner.
I don't want her, I just WANT. I want and need someone. I'm told that someone is me, my HP and temporarily my therapist.
Post by Loving My Life on May 11, 2013 6:07:25 GMT -8
The withdrawal and thought stopping is the first realization of how unhealthy this relationship really was, and it is painful when we start to realize what we have been through.
But we have to feel our pain in order to heal our pain.
If we cant identify our pain, we will never be able to heal and move on. We will just keep making the same mistakes over and over again, and we will just keep trying different ways to make these unhealthy relationships works, and this is insanity.
One day at a time :-) :-). . .We can do together, what we could never do alone. :-) And a problem shared, is a problem cut in half. :-) :-)
This is a greaf and extremely helpful thread! Always I'm being reminded that my pain has nothing to do with the poa and everything to do with the original childhood wounds. It's painful, but liberating at the same time.
From Susan . . . good point. The pain also comes from the fact that the imago dream has been delayed for another day. We get so tired of waiting for our dream to come true. We surrender it to God and then we take it back. We get our hopes up and the dormant dream has promise and then it all falls apart. Now we must let the dream go again. This is where the pain comes from therefore the anecdote is acceptance and patience and trust in God.
By the way, I was 56 when the dream finally came true and had 22 years in recovery. As it turned out, it was worth waiting for.
When I think of my POA, i start to feel sad when i think about everything he has done or said. I then use a thought stopping technique. Am i avoiding feeling the pain when i do this? I dont want to keep pushing the pain away if i need to feel it to truly heal. Confused.
I am a new member and I have been in an off on relationship with a N or love avoidant for 12 months. I am going through withdrawal and it's been 3 days and I'm in agony. I've just driven by his home, I didn't see him but got temporary relief for a few minutes. I can't call him because he has blocked my number and I'm just so obsessed. I just want to get rid of this terrible anxiety. I'm a mess but I know I have to do this. I'm working with Jim Hall and it's great but I just want instant relief. This is terrifying and hard. How long does this last for?
I don't know for how long it lasts, vicciallen , but instant relief is a fantasy and the desire for instant is the source of a lot of our problems. I wish you the best and I can tell you that it does get better.
Post by CodepNomore on Nov 18, 2014 23:35:02 GMT -8
Thanks James for your realistic point of view. I agree with you. A more matured and sensible perspective would realize that it all takes time and there is no magic.
Your recovery is worth the pain of your withdrawal. Remember that "the pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow." Fantasy-based relationship is a lie. Face your reality and stay well!Kind Regards to all LAA members here, - Codepnomore
I understand the obsession and compulsion. It really is like a drug, one does crave another hit. But -- after the hit, then what? You want another one. And another one. And another one. So maybe you see POA, and get a little relief. But it does not last. The obsession and cravings come back. And you seek out another hit. Maybe you get it. But here were go again -- more cravings. It never goes away, because the monster called addiction is fed intermittently, just enough to keep it alive.
I cycled through this for years. It almost killed me. I finally got serious, went into psychodynamic therapy, and into deep spiritual reflection (Trinitarian belief system). I am just beginning to feel what a 'normal' life feels like -- and it is pretty darn good!
Brenda Schaeffer, from her website www.itsallaboutlove.com, wrote this (on her blog) and it's an excellent explanation of this intermittent behavior and why it is so addictive --
"The most challenging reinforcement of a behavior is intermittent. You never know when you will be rewarded or punished. In gambling, for instance, you might play for an hour and not win anything. Then just as you play the last quarter, you get ten more. Now you are likely to stay and see if you can win again. This is true of highly addictive romantic relationships. You may put in more than you receive and, just as you are about to end the relationship, you are given just enough for you to feel hopeful about the possibility. Thus you stay."
And I stayed. For years. And it is still tough at times, because like any recovering addict, I can fall into euphoric recall and call up those cravings fairly easily. But is it 'good' for me? Nope. POA is about as healthy for the love addict as heroin is for the drug addict. And I have to remind myself of that daily. Every. Single. Day. But I would rather do that than fall back into the abyss of addiction...
Last Edit: Apr 5, 2015 17:31:28 GMT -8 by havefaith
Post by vicciallen on Jul 24, 2015 14:45:52 GMT -8
Finally after 6 months of hell I feel like my life is just beginning. The spell has been broken I feel free from obsession. This kept me hooked for so long. I never thought I would make it but I knew I had to pull through. It took so much courage and determination. I still have thoughts but nothing like they were. This board is amazing, such strength here. I never thought I would think rationally as I was so driven by incredible fear. Thank you x
Post by serenityseeker27 on Aug 3, 2022 8:44:11 GMT -8
Boy, it's been several years since these posts, and I hope and pray you all have recovered!! Withdrawal is real! I am completely feeling it. And I'm really baffled to figure out where my broken attachment is from.