Does anyone have experience of what happens with your interactions with others once you decide to recover from the LA? I find I am learning to avoid unhealthy friendships or behaviors, but I still don´t have a clue as to what is really healthy. It seems easier to close myself off to others, at least then I can´t make any mistakes.
Lately I´ve severed ties with a lot of friends who I realized were damaging to me. I have met some new people who I´m comfortable with. Then there are others who just leave me confused and I don´t really know why. There is a guy who participates in an activity with me and I don´t know what to make of him. He seems eager to be nice to me - just in a friendly manner - but I feel he isn´t being genuine, like he´s putting on an act. Perhaps I´m a bit resentful that he´s nice to me if there is no romantic interest or prospect (he is in a relationship), but the silly thing is that I don´t feel attracted to him anyway.
Or maybe he is really acting weird? He always has this eager look in his eyes when he talks to me, and when I talk to him first, it seems like he backs off as if it makes him uncomfortable or shy. This sounds like an avoidant personality, but he does seem to be a nice person, not at all like the avoidant narcissist who was my poa. So how do healthy people behave? Is this normal? Or am I just confused because I´m not used to people wanting to make an effort to be my friend?
Yes I totally relate to what you're saying... I've removed a few different friends from my life during my recovery phase... I hesitated to do so at first because I was afraid I would end up completely alone and isolated, but then I just started to look at how some of these people made me feel when I had contact with them... most of the time it ended up being a milder version of what it was like when I was with my ex. I was taking crumbs with him and I eventually realized I was doing the same with them... all in the name of avoiding being alone.
Now I have this new method where I kind of test how I feel when I'm with someone... Do I feel triggered when I'm with them? Do I have a feeling of peace and normalcy from the interaction or do I feel ill-at-ease? Basically I kind of work out whether I feel okay or triggered after an encounter, and for me, that's how I'm trying to work out if someone's healthy for me or not... But I will say that it's hard for me to recognize this in the moment... sometimes I have to sit and think about the encounter and usually the next day I can get a better read on whether it was good or not.
As for your situation, when people leave you confused I'm not so sure that's a good thing... Could it be that they're giving you mixed signals, and therefore, you're not sure where they stand? That feels like they might be unhealthy to me. I believe a healthy person would be straight up, no games, and no confusion. But I'm the same as you... I'm not 100% sure what's healthy either. I'm constantly analyzing and questioning: is it me, or is it them? But again, now I'm just trying to judge it on how I feel after an interaction: peaceful vs uneasiness.
Regarding the guy friend.... from what you've written he does seem avoidant to me... it's the whole push/pull thing going on. ie. when it suits him and he wants some attention he's nice as pie, but when you want to interact he backs off. I strongly suspect a healthy guy (who is in a relationship with someone else) would be a bit more even keeled. ie. He would be friendly (and NOT overly friendly) whether he approached you or you approached him. This guy seems like he wants a hit of female attention when it suits him. I have no doubt he may be nicer than your POA but there can be milder versions of unhealthy people... Just my two cents.
Thanks Diamond, your reply helped me understand why some people leave me feeling confused or uneasy.
There seem to be different ways to maintain relationships, whether romantic or friendly, that ultimately make me feel I´m not good enough or that I´m receiving crumbs. This triggers my addictive way of thinking and reacting. In the case of this particular guy I mentioned, it makes a lot of sense that he may be looking for some female attention - just enough for his needs and always on his terms.
The feeling I get from interacting with him is that he wants something from me but that he doesn´t want to give me the same in exchange. Something like that. I´m not emotionally involved so it shouldn´t bother me, but the situation reminds me of the dynamics with the poas I´ve had, and I think that is why it upsets me.
The strange thing is that I try to be aware at all times not to fall into situations like this (those that leave you wanting, frustrated, insecure of your self worth), so how do others know that they can "play" with me? Is there something in me that says "hey, if you want to play push-pull, I´ll engage!"? I think this is all very tricky because it isn´t as obvious as in a romantic relationship, it´s all very subtle.
Maybe I just need some fine-tuning with other people now that the more obviously addictive relationship with my poa is over?
As for the friends I don´t see anymore, I think I´ve always been afraid to break up with them but now that I did, I don´t miss them at all. I like your method to evaluate if something is healthy or not, I think for now I´m going to listen to my gut feeling after interactions. I´ll assume that whenever I end up feeling uneasy, it´s a sign that the other person isn´t all that healthy.
There seem to be different ways to maintain relationships, whether romantic or friendly, that ultimately make me feel Iï¿½m not good enough or that Iï¿½m receiving crumbs.
I struggle with this too. I feel really aware that I have attracted unhealthy people into my life because I was also unhealthy... I have learned (through my upbringing) to accept crumbs in all my relationships, and I've managed to find people who are going to give me just that. So for me, I know it's not just them, it's also me for accepting it, and for not either a. asking for what I want or b. Getting the hell out of dodge when I find these unhealthy people. A healthier person wouldn't become friends with them in the first place. But I try not to beat myself up too much about it. My childhood was tough and I am now trying to unlearn this behavior and pick healthier people for myself ever since my break up.
I think we are all drawn to what feels familiar, so this guy probably approached you knowing (subconsciously) that he could. Maybe you even gave him some non-verbal cues that he could approach you in a certain way... like body language, etc. I'm not saying it's your fault, but I just wonder if a really healthy person would have disengaged as soon as he started the push/pull thing, or as soon as he started being overly friendly because his behavior is a bit strange you know? Like if he has a girlfriend, should he really be doing that? He definitely seems like he's playing games, and your gut is confirming this. You feel unsettled after being around him, and I think that's important to pay attention to because your intuition is telling you that something isn't right here.
Regarding breaking up with friends: I had the exact same experience. I was terrified I might regret it, but once they were out of my life I felt strangely empowered (probably because I was putting myself first for a change), and I didn't realize how much discomfort and anxiety these friendships had been causing me. I feel a bit more lonely at times, but it's better than continuing to have these painful and unrewarding relationships.
Post by Susan Peabody on Dec 7, 2012 15:50:08 GMT -8
Stay close to the women in recovery. They are your role models. Take time off from romantic entanglements. In AA they were blunt. Drop your drinking buddies (practicing addicts) and stick with the winners (program people).
I was a low-bottom addict and needed to immerse myself in both AA and OA. A meeting a day was necessary to keep me sober and abstinent. Two on the weekends. I just loved waking up on Saturday morning and go to a meeting to have my first cup of coffee for the day. Then I lingered and went out to breakfast with my friends.
This is why I mostly went to an AA fellowship because they have so many meetings on the schedule. I could drop in anytime and someone was there to babysit me. They also had book studies so we did not just sit around and wallow in self-pity. This is where 12-Step programs are going wrong these days. People go to vent and when they don't get better they leave. Recovery is action; working the steps, listening to the old timers, helping others,
Post by Loving My Life on Dec 11, 2012 6:15:46 GMT -8
lililia, What iam finding as we grow in our recovery, the people we were hanging around with, or at least in my case, they are still the same, I am the one who has changed. We have nothing in common anymore.
We outgrow people, places, and things on our journey.
Make new friends, and continue to recover.
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. :-) :-)
Loving, I really like the idea of outgrowing, makes me feel like I am evolving. It is a bit frightening to see how many people I´ve outgrown, though. But I like the people I´m surrounding myself with much better now, and I like myself better too.
Naturelover, of course you´re right, I think I have a hard time trusting my gut because there are so many damaging people out there. Perhaps I prefer to live a bit in denial, a bit of a childish attitude.