Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Being Pushed To Think Differently.

Spnsors can be vital in this role, as can life itself. I've been having to accept that some of what I'm struggling to allow into my mind as just the way it is, was that way before we married. Did I believe that with enough effort, the right way to say it, the necessary influence, I would be able to change those realities? I may have. I may not have fully understood the wear patterns upon even the very best part of us, that living with an alcoholic can create.

I was thinking today of a time when we were newly married, and he'd started asking for "favours" from me. This is an example of the way that language is used to minimise the loss of entire countries of self - the borders are re-drawn, the name is changed, and soon, only the old (old friends, in my case) can clearly recall a time when things were not this way.

I offered up so much of myself in hoping that the gift of me would satiate the endless wanting. Straw or gold, it was devoured with the same intensity in the fire of his addictive personality. I gave what I now see was the treasure of myself; to him, it was third-rate lumber, comsumed in no time, leaving him always, always, wanting more. Those "favours" that I did for him, almost destroyed my sense of self. I'd be still reeling from the effects of one, and he'd be at me, mocking me for my response, and continually wanting another.

Living alone, with Spirit to guide me, is blissfully peaceful. I pray to feel compassion for the devouring alcoholic, and for myself.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Memories Surfacing.

 I've been having memories from the early days of the marriage surface, and invariably, they are memories of the alcoholic's skillful manipulation of me, through the use of guilt.

This has a double effect of both making me laugh with wonder, and groan for my gullibility. I could get caught up in the blindness of the woman I was, or I can allow the humour of how well it worked to assist me in my search for self-acceptance, then record the memories in my journal, so they don't sink out of sight, be again forgotten, and trip me up in the future.

This feels like a positive learning process, and if I stay open, I will gain knowledge about myself and my character. I had a certain idea of how it had been when we were new, and since I left him, I've been granted the understanding that this vision was created by my enabling co-dependency operating at top speed.

Letting go of it all will take a little time, but if it is my own inventory I take, my own character defects I examine, for how they've held me back in my life, if I am willing to stay free of anger, I can feel that the growth from this will be life-altering.

I pray to let go of pride, and to retain humour.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Like Finding A Lost Friend

Reading a new post from Mr. Sponsor Pants  today enlivened me, he's another of what I think of as "long-time dedicated 12-Steppers" who has most likely, not much clarity on the way his sharing changes lives.

When we are willing, in a meeting, on a blog, in sponsorship, to reveal the primal us, we give to another, a gift impossible to name - shared humanity, perhaps. Safety in knowing that for all of us, the new and the old-timers, those of us who struggle furiously, those who paddle and splash a bit to see what happens, and those who open both hands against our "knowing" because the wisdom tells us to do it, counter-intuitive to what the me-brain wants, that we are not alone, there is always someone who has walked that path before us, who is willing to turn and extend their hand.

That hand may be sweaty, sticky, or cold to the touch, but the fingers curl around our own, and we feel the Spirit in the offering.

Thank you for all who give of themselves, however they may do it, for the sake of the ones who come behind, and the sake of their own sanity, it matters not why, it is the giving.

I pray to stay open and honest.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Constitutionally Incapable of Being Honest With Themselves.

AA uses that phrase in the Big Book, page 58. I searched for something today, and that page came up, so I read it again.

"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. There chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest."

I can recall trying to talk with my (sober but not in recovery) husband when we were newly married, and being taken aback by his complete refusal to be honest with himself or me about his part in our troubles. He blamed me completely, and felt he was an innocent victim.

I had accepted his self-appraisal as a great guy, buttressed by the public facade he's developed to feel accepted. The difference between the public man, and the private man, shocked me. For years, I was in denial that he was not who he pretended to be, and it didn't help that while he was being angry with me and ignoring me for days, friends and customers who knew him only slightly, would tell me how lucky I was to be married to him. The confusion for me was terrible. I didn't understand that the rejection in my childhood had set me up perfectly to assume blame when it was handed to me.

I had learned in Al-Anon that when I felt the hot rush of defensiveness rising within me, I was hearing the truth about myself, however painful or distasteful. I didn't get that feeling if what was being said had no bearing on my character, I could remain detached.

I learned this fact about my character defects both through self-appraisal, and through listening to the words of those who had gone before me in this program. I wanted peace from pain, and I wanted to improve and grow - to become the woman I dimly felt I could be, were I willing to set my pride aside, and listen for the guidance of my Higher Power.

But with my husband, I couldn't withstand the force of his personality, or the emotional abuse, I accepted what he said, and tried to right it. The awful co-dependent fixing need.

Over the years, his blaming became less effective, the more I learned to value my own worth. When I met with him this last time, he was in full bore with the blaming, and his assumption of the victim role. It was exhausting to sit for 3 hours and listen as talked about himself - I wasn't even in the equation.

 I wish for him the spiritual awakening 12-Step speaks of, I know that mine changed my life in ways I didn't understand when it was new. I pray that he find his way to himself. I've let go of wanting to see that happen.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Accepting What Is.

This past Saturday, I had a 3-hour meeting with my husband. My guilt for leaving had been consuming me, and when I awoke that morning and received the urging from my Higher Power to do this, I trusted, and I put my faith in the belief I needed the meeting for myself.

We sat in my car and talked, and I felt a loving compassion for his suffering, but also, I was forcibly reminded of the reasons I chose to leave the marriage.

I won't live that circumscribed life with the alcoholic ego. I'd forgotten in my guilt, how impossible it is to connect with a human being who cannot set themselves aside for even a moment to consider another. His dial is set to "me" not "us" and it has always been, I was in denial.

I felt, and feel, a sorrow for us both, that we could not find a way to make the marriage work, at the same time as I feel a powerful gratitude to have gotten out. He has his path, and I have mine, I wish for him that he finds self-realisation in AA, and can move into the next stage of recovery.