Relationships 

Someone I admire just posted this on FB and it set my mind thinking so thank you  @struggletostrength Eric Ease  my thoughts are below 

Good morning 

Don’t change who you are for anyone who demands it against your will. It’s wiser to lose someone over being who you are, than to keep them by being someone you’re not. Because it’s easier to mend a broken heart, than it is to piece together a shattered identity. It’s easier to fill an empty space in your life where someone else used to be, than it is to fill the empty space inside yourself where YOU used to be.

I’m not sure I changed my self when living with addiction. I think I was still trying to find who I was. Stuck in co-dependency I would often just do what another wanted. Even when his addiction was at it’s worse I still fell in line and did what was required of me. So when I eventually walked away not only did I have a broken  heart I had no identity to fill that space that should have been me.  I had allowed myself to live my life through someone else’s. I guess making a positive out of that allowed me to make a new me or to find out who I am. When my marriage split up over 10 years ago I lived by myself for quite some time before I hooked up with K. Looking back I’m not sure that person really had a lot of substance. I lived in a bubble of going to work and going out with friends but felt I had to be with someone to somehow validate who I was. Drinking became a good friend. I knew it was too much but I got up for work every day and my bills got paid, was always careful not to be over the limit if I had to drive early in the morning, so felt it was under control. But part of me likes being in a relationship. Well no I like company. I’ve been single again ( in my head) for over 8 months now. I’ve been lonely at times but on the whole I’m enjoying the freedom of working on myself. A couple of the girls in group are trying to fix me up, they don’t want me to be by myself! The one requirement I have decided is that who ever this man is he has to be in recovery or at least understand my program. I nearly met someone off a dating site a while ago, may even have mentioned it on here before, he didn’t understand why I couldn’t meet him on certain nights. Basically he’d asked to meet and it was one of my group nights so I just said I have something on on a Monday and Thursday which is important to me. He pushed and pushed to know what, then totally didn’t understand when I explained what. 🤷🏼‍♀️ so yes if I am going down that road again recovery and/or and understanding of recovery is important to me. 

I will not let myself be lost in another’s life or live thro another’s life again, I may never be ready for another relationship but when I am I know that I am as important as they are, and it about being true to my self and trusting my feelings. 

19/4/14

I found myself down a side street in Manchester just outside the centre. I found the house easily enough but my heart was racing I felt sick because I knew what he was going to say, and was trying so hard to focus on what I needed to say to him, that I understood that it was hard for him that he did have to be able to stand on his own two feet but we could work together on his recovery. I had been to a few meetings of my own fellowship and thought I understood a bit more about his programme and wanted to explain that I knew what I had done by enabling him was wrong. That we had been living in chaos and denial and that didn’t have to happen in the future. I had started to recognise some of my shortcomings and things that I had done wrong, in the course of the relationship especially towards the end, before he went into detox, I didn’t want this to be all in vain. The pain and suffering that we had shared. I wanted to have a chance at a normal relationship with him when he was sober. I understood that the way we had treated each other was a product of the drug use not of us as a couple. Not who we were, or at least not who I was. I disliked the woman I had become, there was little fun, he had shut me off from my friends, money spent on going out and having a laugh was money not spent on drugs. Money not spent on looking after my appearance was money better spent on drugs. He said I was hung up on money, yes because he had made me that way. Before we met I could go out when I wanted ( ok towards the end of the month I wasn’t rich) I had been use to buying clothes, good quality clothes, shoes because I liked them not cheap £5 shoes from Primark because the shoes I had on were that old my feet were wet, because the soles of the ones I had were down to the cardboard insole. I had a lot of resentment built up and because I was so weak and couldn’t let him down I didn’t outwardly complain, if I did he always came back with some rebuff, you look fine the clothes you have look nice, you don’t need to go out with them people, I will be here by myself, and you don’t want me to get into trouble do you? If I said anything about his drug use and the money, he would just say well I will go out and graft, I thought you didn’t want me getting into trouble with the police? So I always gave in. So yes I had become very passive aggressive. Rather than stand up to him, i was sarcastic, I spoke to him like he was a child that didn’t know better, I snipped, complained about the smallest thing, because I couldn’t say what I really wanted to, which was I don’t want to give you the money I don’t want to live like this, I want my life back…sometimes I did say it but it never changed the drug use, the demands ( which is what they became) for money didn’t stop. So I gave it begrudgingly, and hated this man but still wanted the other man back.
So there I was outside the house that had changed his feeling towards me. The plans that WE had made for the future were slipping away, I didn’t understand it, I didn’t understand enough of what he wanted, or why he didn’t want me in his life any more. Because I think I knew the painful truth was I served no purpose any more, he didn’t need me now he was free from addiction, well in recovery. But I couldn’t even think that subconsciously of course, I must have thought it but right now I didn’t think it not even for one second. How many times had he said to me, all I want is to get off this shit, I hate being like this, we can have a good life together once I am off this stuff. Why wouldn’t I believe it?
So I get out of my car and walk up to the steps of this big Victorian red brick house. I knock on the door. A man opens it, can I help you? Yes I have come to see K. And you are? I didn’t know who I was any more…his girlfriend?? I answer. Oh yeah right, he needs to speak to you right? My head was racing again, does he? What have you lot said to change his feelings so much, in the space of 4 weeks he has gone from loving me to having no room in his life for me, 4 weeks ago in detox he said he loved me….I said nothing, he shouted K visitor….he came. He looked well, his face had filled out again, he had had a proper haircut, he was dressed in clothes I recognised, but he looked good. This was so hard, I still had such strong feelings for him, seeing him like that reminded me of the first time I had met him for a date, I fancied the arse off him! But this time could very possibly be the last time I would see him so I was also filled with immense fear, and a desperation to do anything to keep him. We went to the back of the house, you can’t come in my room he said it wasn’t said in a nice way but really roughly almost as if he was doing me a favour in seeing me at all and I was the last person on earth that he wanted to speak too! I suppose I was! I replied I didn’t expect I could. So we went into the kitchen and he asked if I wanted a brew. Am I going to be here long enough I thought? Yes please. Thanks for coming his voice was less harsh, it’s a long way on your day off. Then he kissed me! Talk about mixed messages…I stepped back a bit unsure what was going on. Now my head really was racing he kissed me? So is everything ok? have I totally misunderstood what he was saying on the phone? We sat down and he tried to make small talk repeating stuff I had already seen on Facebook and he had already told me on the phone, trivial stuff mainly about him! He didn’t ask about me, but that was ok I didn’t want to talk about me, I just wanted to keep myself together to focus on everything he said so I could calmly talk about it if I needed to.
My calmness lasted all of a minute! He repeated what he had said to me on the phone, I tried to take it in he really was saying he couldn’t be with me any more….

Why babe I don’t understand why?

I need to focus on this I can’t if your in my life, I can’t be with you if I am in here….

Yes you said that before but when you are out of here will you come back to me?

I don’t know. I can’t think about the future I have to focus on today I can’t think that far a head, ( this was 12 steps talking not K, I had read enough and knew enough about my programme to understand the language used) maybe we will be I don’t know!

I wasn’t going to make this easy for him, and he wouldn’t just come out with it and say we were finished, it was all maybes, I don’t know…of course I knew what he was saying but I refused to let this go. If he said I don’t want to be with you any more, I am sorry, then I would accept it but all this I don’t know what will happen in the future shit was making it harder and worse, because it was giving me hope that we would get back together. So I said, so that’s it then you don’t want me in your life I have served my purpose and now you have no use for me?
No no that’s not what I am saying but right now I can’t be with you,
so you want me to wait?
I don’t know I don’t know how long I will be in here. I hate it here I want to use its really hard work I haven’t even done my life story yet…..he was half talking to me as normal then would throw I can’t be with you into the conversation. I think I was crying by now everything I had rehearsed in my head had gone, I had wanted to be calm and in control, I wanted to be able to put forward a good reason why we should be together after every thing we had been through we both deserved to see if we could make this work. And if it didn’t then we could go our separate ways. But I couldn’t get the words out, I tried and tried but what ever I did say wasn’t having any impact on him. I just couldn’t understand why he didn’t want me any more. My life and future hopes and dreams were being torn away from me, my heart was breaking, I don’t think I had ever experienced this much pain in my life. But it was mainly because I couldn’t see or understand why. If he had said the way you treated me was horrible and I don’t want to be with you, I wouldn’t have liked it but would have understood. If he had said I don’t love you any more, I would have understood, if he had said I treated you so badly and I am ashamed every time I look at you it will remind me I would have understood. Even if he had said because I am clean and I associate you with taking drugs and might relapse, that would have been something, but no he wanted us to be friends, to part on good terms ( of course that makes it easier for him) he wants us not to be together whilst he is in there. He wants to know that if he is visiting his mum and I am there then I won’t be upset by him being there!
Really?? Do you really expect me to visit your mum if we are not together? I ask him.
Well you get on well.
Yes but she is your mother! I see her because of you! How can me and her be friends I will want to know what you are doing want to know how you are, I can’t sit there having a cup of tea and have you walk in, it will kill me.

This conversation went around in circles for about 2 hours. I was worn out and yet had so much I wanted to say but couldn’t find the words, I had them before I arrived, I don’t know if you have ever experienced that? You want to say something and you knew what you wanted to say but because of upset, panic, pain the words just won’t formulate in your head. I was alive I was breathing I could hear I could speak my body was working it was a beautiful warm day we had sat out in the sun but I was cold my brain was dead, numb and my heart felt like it was torn into a million pieces.
I was only allowed a 2 hour visit – so he said so I had to go. He walked me out to the car, he hugged me so tight and covered my face in kisses I am so sorry he said again and again.
Then why??? But he couldn’t or wouldn’t answer.
I didn’t mean to hurt you.
But you have I don’t want to live without you!
I have to go, I am sorry….I still have your iPod, do you want it back?
keep it K, just go.
I get in the car as I drive past, he is on the steps up to the house he waves me good bye, I am crying my life is over.
I believe that this is going to be the last time I see him or have any contact, if it had been I might not be writing this!

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