Thanks so much for this thread. I'm definitely the "suffering in silence" type of torchbearer. There is someone at work for whom I pine.
But lately, I've noticed things getting worse. I've been seeing a married man now for over 3 months now. He is not the one I hold the torch for. He's just there, and I feel none of the pain that walks with me 24/7 when I'm with him.
I've been a torchbearer ever since I was a kid. My first crushes always lasted years. But since my "first love" (actually child-sex abuser. I was 16 he was 21) dumped me after six years of his verbal, emotional and sexual abuse, I've been dating guys just like him.
I didn't think things could get worse, but I feel myself losing control.
My sister died last year, and things are just getting worse with my addiction. I won't approach my coworker. I like making money and supporting myself too much to risk my job. But, I'm acting out everywhere else. I'm on dating websites, frustrated with the prospects that I am finding but too scared of the old rejection to pursue what I really want and need. So instead, I settle for a sexual relationship with a married man, and an emotional affair with another (yes, there is another).
I'm scared. Now, that I'm putting this in writing I know that I am losing control because I want to stop. But, I'm too scared of the already copious time I spend alone to risk spending any more.
I just looked up my "first love"'s address. I want to tell him how much damage he did to me and my life. I want to make him understand that he's made it impossible for me to have a healthy relationship. I want to tell him how much it hurts to know that out of 17 years, he is the last man I truly loved and that man treated me in the worst possible ways he could think of!
Who am I kidding? First, he won't care. Second, I ruined my life. I decided to love him and then refused to let go when I was finally free.
I don't know how to move on, but I have to or I won't make it.
substitute your thinking now. pick a god quality forinstance peace. hang on to peaceful. repeat the serenity prayer:
god grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change the courage to change the things i can and the wisdom to know the difference.
when i act out, it does scare me and should scare me. i Can stop my behavior impulses if i step away from the prompt or trigger. i must pause first. stop the whipped up speedy thinking. pause and actually use the serenity prayer.
the thing i cannot change is 'others' and also my addictions. i AM powerless over my addictions and need a higher power in my life whom i usually choose to call god but it can also be this internet 12step based site.
the only thing i can change is 'myself.' i can change myself Not through self will but by aligning myself with a higher power of my understanding. i can recover from my addictions by asking my higher power for help and working the 12 steps. they are outlined in threads here.
the wisdom to know the difference means i'm in touch with the grace of my personal higher power.
it takes time, and lots of recovery to begin to develop the inner emotional balance and boundaries to approach our core issues and learn how to focus on ourselves. i would urge you to try to stop focusing on the who and why of your victimization, stop focusing on the persecutor and 'act as if' you can ask for help from a higher power. just keep repeating the serenity prayer.
read the 12 step threads in here. get some information either at the library from the books listed here or purchase them. with information and the steps you can move on. i know this because i am moving on though it is very slow going. if there are codependent anonymous meetings in your area pls find them.
i have discovered self forgiveness by reading and identifying with the many posts in this site. to stop blaming oneself is a learned talent that i can internalize via the 12 steps and identifying with the feelings of others in like addiction. thank you for writing your post.
i have no answers for you. all i can do is suggest the above tools because i hear your torchbearer isolation and fear. the tools above have helped me. they make a good starting place to shift my point of view when the waves are at their highest.
Welcome kimgrow. My story is a lot like yours. Torchbearing and fantasizing. My current (workplace) poa is a 13 year situation now. I won't go into its history but at this point, after mending many fences and re-establishing a professional, pleasant relationship I am opting to try No Contact because I am afraid that at this point I could act out and ruin everything.
I have been very good at keeping boundaries and detaching, but I still have strong feelings toward this person and I can see myself at this point saying something that might be taken the wrong way. It's the first time in a long time that I am genuinely afraid of having a repaired situation blow up in my face.
You sound like you are in a similar spot but you write that you are afraid of the loneliness of letting go. Just let go ONE DAY at a time. You don't have to let go forever.
Then, as nick suggested, start reading. Go to meetings: alanon, co-da, slaa. Just sit and listen. Let the 12 step recovery wash over you.
Your pain is not going to disappear overnight. But you will start to feel some peace.
I did not know what it was going to take for me to surrender - I've tried leaving a million times - but I found it: fear.
I do not want to jeapordize my sobriety over this. And I guess I have enough humility today to see that I could.
Good luck to you. Keep reading these posts. They will keep you company.
I just got off work and saw my poa. Couldn't escape.
I also joined a couple of dating websites. All I can tell you is it's not going well, mostly because I'm still building boundaries. I'm considering ending my membership because I check them compulsively. I'm going out with guys I have no attraction to. But, again, the loneliness scares me.
Maybe I'll just start by not going up to the sites one day at a time.
which scares you more, the lonliness or the addiction? if i do not give myself the opportunity to address my recovery by confronting the contours of my addiction and face it, i am doomed to repeat and discover a lower bottom.
i don't know if you're familiar with the 12step model but pls pls pls take a look at the first step thread now that you are in a calmer state. compulsive dating sites for us are like switching what one drinks as an alcoholic. am i gonna be less alcoholic cuz i drink beer instead of scotch.. nope.
only you can make the choice for recovery. no one can do that for you. why not read threads in here and check out what books you can access rather then scramble around finding more ways to avoid yourself?
each of us make that choice everyday. you are not alone or worse off then any of us. if there are codependent anonymous meetings in your area, why not check one out.
Whew Nickie - I wish someone had said this to me a few years ago ... "only you can make the choice for recovery. no one can do that for you. why not read threads in here and check out what books you can access rather then scramble around finding more ways to avoid yourself?"
Hi Kimgrow - You are in the right place. I've been where you are. ONLY by the grace of GOD am I no longer there. There is no easy fix and as Nickie said no one can do it for you.
I spent that time of my life self medicating with alcohol so I never had the ability to see the whole picture of what I was doing. I would get brief glimpses at times.
Only when I addressed my alcohol addiction was I able to address this addiction. I could only address this addiction using the twelve steps and finding my higher power (who I choose to call God).
Bottom line ... I scrambled to avoid myself at any cost. I for the first time live alone with myself and I am learning to enjoy it one day at a time. Well ... not always enjoy ... tolerate it with glee? No that is a little over the top as well lol. I am working hard to tolerate it. Yes that feels the most honest.
Don't give up and try what you think is the easier softer way. Those easier softer ways for me made my life that much more insane.
I will pray for you. You can do this ... one day at a time. Stay away from the dating sites if you can. Cancel your subscriptions to them. They will just complicate your recovery.
That being said, I am now going to cancel the dating profile I filled out last night. I'm too cheap to pay for a subscription so I am not clear why I spent the time (almost an hour to answer questions) to put up a profile? It is progress not perfection right?
I think my hp is at work having me suddenly come across this post.
Well, I cancelled one subscription then waited to hear if this one guy would get back to me on the other.
Then, I went through my sent messages and found that I called him by another guy's name.
I just cancelled the second subscription.
Dating, and men and relationships are a freakin' free-for-all for me. I can't even keep people's names straight! I always find a way to sabotage what I want. I wonder if I will ever be happy.
But, then I think about my therapy appointment today. My therapist made me realize that my definition of happiness is perfection. Happiness exists. Perfection does not. Happiness makes you appreciate the people, places and things in your life. Perfection makes you neglect and abuse them.
So, for tonight, I will just think about how well work went (it was awesome!). I will be proud that I called my mom and checked on her. I will look forward to being off work tomorrow. I will keep trying to organize a lunch outing with friends for Dining Out for Life next Thursday. And, I will get some sleep and try to forget about how I embarrassed myself on the dating site today.
I'm terrified. I'm not sure of what, but I think that I'm terrified of dying alone, never finding someone to truly love me. I'm scared that I'm unlovable, that I will always do or say something that I think is innocuous that will scare all men off.
I'm tempted to reinstate my subscriptions, but I'm just too discouraged (Thank God).
I'm doing "A Gentle Path Through the 12 Steps". I have a meeting with my sponsor Saturday afternoon. Maybe after that, I will feel better.
I also pledged one day of not blathering on about men or my lovelife to a friend. I just sent him a text admitting how much I miss my sister and that I am reaching for whatever painkiller (food, men, spending money) will make me feel better.
I just woke up. I'm forcing myself to do something good for myself though I really don't want to: workout!
I remember my therapist talking to me about my dream job, which I'm too afraid of failure to pursue: just because you achieve it doesn't mean all your problems will go away. You will simply be achieving a goal you've wanted most of your life. So pursue it, just don't expect all your problems to go away.
I know I look at "love" the same way. If I find a man, all my problems will go away. I will be happy ever after.
I know it's not true. It's as if I want love so much more than everyone else that I'm immune to being truly angry off at my husband or I would want to leave or change him. Ridiculous.
Today, I will live in the same time-space continuum with everyone else. If I get something I want, great! If not, I can probably live without it. Not to be complacent, just to stop being so perfectionist that I can't function at all.
Post by Victorious on Apr 24, 2009 10:36:34 GMT -8
Kimgrow I know you probably don't feel too happy with yourself right now because you are at the stage of becoming aware of how you are responsible for much of your own suffering. You are also understandably afraid that you won't be able to change. I remember that stage to be very painful and scary.
That's why I hope you will remember to be proud of yourself for having the courage to do this work. Being honest with yourself is a huge accomplishment. You are doing great! Have no fear about your ability to get healthy. You're HP will take care of that if you ask.
"Trust ourselves and we will know whom to trust. Trust ourselves and we will know what to do. When we feel we absolutely cannot trust ourselves, trust that God will guide us into truth." Melody Beattie