Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tangled up and bearing a load

Thanks for your comments yesterday. It has been an interesting 24 hours. I've gone from feeling sad and reflective to having moments of pure joy.

Today I feel a bit used up. Like the photo shows, I am tangled up in my own thinking and bearing a load that I need help carrying.

Suffice to say that my own character defects have been pointed out to me and that I am smarting from being called controlling. Maybe that's what I am. I know that I have a real fear of rejection. So maybe underneath it all, I do want certain things to happen or have certain expectations, and have trust issues.

It just bugs me when my own defects are pointed out while the alcoholic does not acknowledge her own defects. I realize that as hard as I try, there are still some expectations that creep into this relationship.

That seems to be particularly true when things have been going so well for a while. I let my guard down and feel so much love. That's when it seems that I forget that placing so much love on another can be a burden for them. And maybe the love becomes a box.

I'm willing to concede that I make slips. That's why I need Al-Anon and continue to go to a lot of meetings. I am working on changing a behavior that has deep roots. But I also wonder at whether the controlling is all me. Sometimes it seems that there is also controlling that is done in a relationship through defensive behavior or through evasive actions.

I've read that couples can become locked in a power struggle that is reminiscent of a parent/child interaction. One person may be the child and the other the critical parent. If the childlike behavior occurs, then the other half will respond as the critical parent. And by acting like the parent, then the other half will act out more as the spoiled child. Once again, here is where it becomes important for each person to take responsibility for their sides in this. And to effect change by stop trying to change each other and change yourself.

These are some heavy musings for today. It just makes me realize how much further there is to go in working on myself. And in letting go of the other person.


  1. I love you...can I say that?

    I mean, I love your realness, your honesty and love how much I relate to you...MORESO when you slip because it reminds me that we aren't perfect and to keep trying.


  2. All stuff I need to consider in my own life and behavior... I'm controlling and manipulative because I fear.

    Gotta ask God for more opportunities to be fearless, for more opportunities to be honest, and for more Grace in the humility of my failures to trust and abide in Him. :)

    Happy sailing!

  3. You are both in Recovery for a reason.

    Why do we get in codependent relationship??...where one is the the addict and one is not???

    Why do we think that the addict is going to really change..even if they stop drinking; the personality is still there...

    I look at the past relationships.. all with addicts.. a drinker; a workaholic; and someone over doing his medication to a big degree; and another to a smaller degree.

    We think the more we heal and set boundaries the relationships will work (even mine with my adult children with their drinking and the video game addictions). ..

    I get close .. and then their ISMS flaire up..

    I find people with ISMS (addictions of any kind).. yes, they are passive-aggressive and that is pure is their survival tactic...........or at least they think it is helping them.

    It does drains us eventually .......but than they find others to do it to as well.

    Insidiously like; and all do it to a different degree.

    We become controlling to protect ourselves........... and when we start healing and don't want to be controlling........... well, people with ISM or active ........they somehow hurt us again and we do get controlling again ( as self-mechanism to protect ourselves).

    I'm not letting my adult children move home ever; they had to stay strong and handle their lives.........not falling for any manipulations; won't help them in the long run.

    And as a single woman; I'm avoiding friends and men that have ISMS.. I see it clearly now.

    No judgment .......just don't have the energy for DRAMA anymore.

    I went on 3 dates with someone and he had issues......

    Yes, it is lonely not being in a relationship; but I'm holding out for the right relationship.

    But in a marriage it is different....... a marriage is a real bond...... to be worked on with all one's might (as long as no physically or otherwise abuse).

    I just want peace in my life now...... I'm working the steps with a renew energy............and I'm being honest with me. And yes, want all good friendships and a good loving relationship and striving to find out why I allowed myself in the past to accept the unacceptable....... and to avoid getting into nonsense again.

    (hugs).. not sure I expressed it right about why we as codependent do use this survival thing called 'Control' in our lives.. we are super-responsible to compensate for others being passive-aggressive. (it is a defect that attracts people with ISMS)

  4. Syd so much of what you are saying rings true in my right now - with my family sessions with the changes - its hard and uncomfortable and its not easy but the work needs to be done in order to move ahead...

    thanks for posting this today.

  5. I am a control-freak. My therapist says a good deal of this is because of being raised in a family with an alcoholic father, but she does not attribute this to my father. She attributes it to my mother and her reactions, and interactions, and demands that I be perfect in the turmoil my father's drinking sometimes created. I guess what I am saying is that every person in a relationship plays a role.

  6. Oh my gosh Syd, Thank you. I learn so much from you!! I needed to read this today.

  7. Marriage is a learning experience forever. (ha, if only I had know that 31 years ago when we started!)
    Obviously, neither one of you are quitters, and both work hard on yourselves. Take some time for yourself (which you are) and hopefully the waters will calm.

  8. This too shall pass. Hang in there and continue what you've been doing.

  9. Well, with her sponsor so I'll, she might be not quite herself at the moment. Grieving opens up all kinds of fears and wounds.

  10. Prayers are still being sent for you, your wife, your relationship, everyone you all love. Prayer is powerful stuff.


  11. Yes, Syd...we are travelling some similar paths these days! I had to share your "measuring stick" quote with Cave Man the other day as it fit so appropriately. I feel there are NO accidents and you wrote that for the benefit of me and anyone else who needed a little enlightenment. Today is also the case...this entry seriously HITS home. I'd much rather call myself controlling, and laugh about it then have it blatently pointed out. It seriously smarts, doesn't it! Those fears of rejection are so tough to deal with and when we have expectations that don't pan out, it feels just like we're being kicked to the curb, when in fact, that is not likely the case. We all show our love differently and often take others for granted as well. Love what you said about whether the controlling is ALL one sided. Definitely, I think defensive/evasive behavior is controlling...and often an excuse for not looking within. I can't tell you how much I've heard, "Will that aspect change? I dunno!" I just know that I will continue to take responsibility for my actions and character defects and "change the things I can!" Maybe...the change in me will encourage growth in others as well. Blessings my dear friend! Hugs, Lisa

  12. Seems as if everyone is into 'heavy stuff' today. GOOD! I like heavy.

    Syd, I know I still have hidden somewhere an award from you...and one day soon I'll got to it, just not so inspired yet. But I do appreciate it and please allow me a little more time.

    I get all excited when I have to cut and paste, and do stuff like that. But I'll get it done.

  13. Oh dear, Sid. I am nearly two years sober and I am the most controlling and devious and manipulative schemer I know. Only in hindsight am I able to see myself pulling those little puppet strings while pretending not to.

    A slightly nervous alcoholic in early recovery can make Pol Pot look benign. It is all that residual fear still lurking around. And I don't do intimacy or closeness well at all, I sabotage and act out.

    Cold comfort I know, but no, it's not just you.

    Mary LA

  14. heavy, maybe... but necessary. knowing where you are and why you're there and then feeling and dealing with it, will always bring you out on top. at least the weekend's close, then you can recharge again...

  15. That is some heavy musing. I do not know how I would handle an intimate relationship like marriage. It's been so long since I have been in one, 20 years. I have enough trouble with friendships.

    PS It's still illegal for me to marry.


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