Friday, November 16, 2012

To Let Go


Hello my friends.  I write today from my original blogging roots, a need to write to exorcise the demons that have crept inside my head.  It will be a journal entry, long and windy and probably not very well put together.  Will I even publish it?  Probably.  I always have in the past.
H.A.L.T. has gotten to me (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired).  I’m exhausted…I was hungry but I’m eating right now.  Some things are easily fixed.  I’m also angry although I’m not quite sure why.  I have some ideas and I think once I begin writing (aka rambling) I’ll have a firmer grasp on the real reason.

I had to reread some sections in my well-worn book, Your Sexually Addicted Spouse again.  Especially about detaching with love because I am struggling with it.  I am finding it easier to either erect a wall and retreat into silence so I don’t say something I’ll regret or go in the opposite direction and make sharp comments. 

I have lost my ability to remain neutral the last few days.  I have lost my ability to remain patient for an entire conversation.  I am tired.

I feel like I am engaged in a bizarre waiting game with Devin.  Only, it’s not Devin I’m in the waiting game with, it’s the not-so-new aspect of his disease.  He’s not acting out in a sexual way, of that I’m certain.  There is no porn, no cheating, no masturbation…instead, the red flags are showing themselves in other places. 

Now that I have chosen this mode of detachment, I can see it clearly, as an outsider looking in, and I see his life is unmanageable.  I think this is why I am angry.  I can’t decide if I’m angry at myself for wanting to reach in and help him or I’m angry at him for not seeing it for himself.

We sat down the other night and had a heart to heart talk about my fears regarding his buying habits.  I was careful not to use the term “shifting addictions” but I did ask if he saw it as a problem.  He feels he is better than he was a few months ago then I let him know that he wasn’t forthcoming with me about how much he’s spending on his gaming hobby each month.

He explained his reasons for his hobby and why he continues to buy the models/figures although he doesn’t play anymore.  He feels he has lost so much of his identity over the last few years, this is the last piece of himself he has left and by visiting gaming sites and buying figures, this makes him feel connected to the gaming world. 

This explanation did two things for me.  First, it helped me understand he is in denial about how much he spends moneywise and timewise on gaming or that he has a problem at all and second, he’s not ready to face it yet.

I know in my heart he heard me.  He understood what I was telling him when we spoke that night at our kitchen table because he asked if we could go see our rockin’ counselor together next time.  Unfortunately, she cancelled both of our appointments this week and we don’t see her until December but that’s okay.  We’ll survive.

Since I started detaching from him a few weeks ago, he’s done the storm door, did a small (very small) amount of work in the spare room, helped in Junior’s room, and then after the discussion about him spending money on his hobby he went out and bought a new bed set for Junior…I had to think about that one for awhile. 

My first impulse was to be angry but once he put it together he spoke about how happy Junior will be he said, “Plus, when I snore, you can sleep in here and I’m going to get a better mattress for it too.”  So, I think it was his way of showing me he doesn’t just buy stuff for him?  I don’t know…either way, it’s a great bed set.

So, why am I angry?  After typing this out…I’m not anymore.  I am married to an addict.  This is part of the addict special package (it’s in the fine print on the marriage contract) and if I am going to stay then this is the kind of stuff I need to work through – on my own and with him. 

Or, maybe I’m all angry inside because I’ve been away from Blogger for so long?

Besides, as the awesome aforementioned book says:

Let Go:

To let go does not mean to stop caring;
It means I can’t do it for someone else.

To let go is not to cut myself off;
It’s the realization that I can’t control another;

To let go is not to enable,
But to allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is not to try to change or blame another;
It’s to make the most of myself.

To let go is not to care for,
But to care about

To let go is not to judge
But to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is to not be in the middle arranging all of the outcomes,
But to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To let go is not to be protective;
It’s to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to deny,
But accept.

To let go is not to nag, scold or argue,
But instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires
But to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it

To let go is not to criticize and regulate anybody,
But to try and become what I dream I can be

To let go is to not regret the past
But to grow and live for the future

To let go is to fear less and love more.

53 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I like it too. It's a good reminder to let him "do him".

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  2. That's it too, you are making the choice to stay with him. I wish you all the happiness and luck. Here's to your letting go and moving forward.

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    1. Thanks, Whisk. I know I can do it, I've it before =)

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  3. This book sounds great and I love the list Elsie. Unfortunately reading this makes me feel my heart breaking for Devin because he's really struggling and I know you can see that. I hope that a compromise can be sorted at some point to his buying but I feel like detachment's the best way of going about this right now, hopefully things will work out soon.

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    1. I thinks it's a great list too, Matthew. It's hard for me to remember how long recovery for an SA takes 2-5 years once they've reached a healthy, sober recovery. He's just reached that point of sobriety and is working his fourth step now and he'll see, hopefully, big changes once he works it.

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  4. Great post. I think I mentioned before that I see a lot of my ex husband in Devin with the addictions issues. I don't know if there was a porn factor and if there was he kept it hidden from me; swears he never cheated...but he would throw himself into hobby after hobby, spending loads of money on it, then abandoning it to move on to something else. I let him spend b/c I thought maybe he'd love me more, or finally found whatever it was he was looking for in life. Sadly, he did't. His drinking increased over time and I finally had to let go and move on. He passed away in Sept. from liver disease.

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    1. I'm guessing your ex also had low self worth like Devin, huh? It's like he's trying to fill a void or an emptiness with stuff. From what I understand, alcoholism is a progressive disease so you moving on from him is understandable. I'm so sorry to hear he passed away, JoJo.

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  5. I always admire your dedication to solving these issues between you and Devin. It's a lot of honest soul searching.

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    1. Thanks, L. I will say, I've done more self work in the last year or so than I ever knew I had in me =)

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  6. I do agree with you that he's shifted addictions into buying and that he's in denial. If he wanted to stay connected to his former gaming self, why not participate in a game and why not paint the figures. I'm not giving him a hard time, I'm just agreeing with your assessment.

    I love the letting go list. That's a tough one too, especially for women. I spend so much time trying to arrange outcomes for my family that will be happy ones, that I forget about my own happiness. And then I'm angry because I'm worn out from trying to please other people.

    I hope tomorrow sees you feeling better.

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    1. I know you're not giving him a hard time. You're seeing it for what it really is, him struggling with a healthy way of living. He may not be acting out sexually, but he is still struggling within himself.

      Letting go is hard for me as a mom and a wife. Harder as a wife, I think. Mainly because my kids are on the right tracks and I have no worries with them - at the moment anyway.

      Thank you, Anne!!

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    2. For me it's mediating between The Hubby and The Spawn. The two of them are so much alike that they rub each other the wrong way. I want everyone to be happy and have trouble allowing them to have negative feelings when sometimes it's normal to have them.

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    3. The same for Junior and Devin and after I read your comment, Anne it made me realize that's what I was fearing....Junior coming home and he and Devin not getting along. They don't argue, they just don't "click" but I was fearing for no reason at all. They are getting along really well. =) I think I need to learn to step back.

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  7. Geez, just rambled on and on and on, so whiny haha

    That is the best way to be though, at least you worked through it and found some things out as you typed it all out for yourself, and the world, attention whore, lol, to see. And after all of that how can you not let go, I don't know, let go, for it to grow, let go or the cat will bite you on the toe haha

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    1. I love when I can ramble and whine and make you miserable cat! Especially when I've been gone for days and days. It always makes me smile.

      It was a good post for me to write. I wasn't going to hit submit, but, meh, what the hell. It's good reference for me later on in my path to healing.

      I'd like to see that cat try to get near my foot - I'd shove it right up it's ass...calling me a whore!! LOL

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    2. LOL not in that way haha, pfft you shoved the foot up my ass and it would disappear. Never to be seen again, gobbled up by my rear.

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    3. Your rear has a way of gobbling up a lot of things Cat.

      Why do you put up with him Elsie?

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    4. The cat's ass is like a black hole!

      I don't know why I put him...some kind of warped attachment?

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  8. That is a beautiful little passage about letting go. If he says he wants to see Patty with you then it sounds like he is beginning to accept he may have a problem, then he tried to justify it to one, or both, of you by buying something for someone else. However he could also have just been doing something nice. I know you love this man, and you want what's best for the both of you, so just do your best for now. Do what you can, and hopefully when you see the counselor, the truth will out and you can both make things better.

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    1. I like the passage about letting go too. I need to pay attention to it more carefully when it comes to Devin. Hopefully, Patty will be able to provide some insight when we go to see her together. I'll be seeing her alone first and then we go see her together a few days later and then I go back alone again. That's a lot of therapy in one month LOL

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  9. it's probably difficult for him to say goodbye to his old self and plus his current life confusion makes it hard for him to focus and find some light and way. It is a good thing that what he did with buying things for the kids, it shows he cares. I'm trying to get into his head and imagine how he feels with all the overanalyzing going around him.... Fingers crossed that you both find some harbour in the storm.

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    1. I agree. It's hard to begin anew on a path to sobriety. It's hard to wipe the slate clean yet still have ahold of one's former self. I did it and I know he can too. I have no doubt he cares about both me and the kids and about his program, it's why I'm still here. Thanks, Dezz.

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    2. and whenever he feels down like this or when he is in chaos, tell him that he should feel lucky and happy for already having the most important things that so many people don't have - a loving wife, nice kids, a healthy and handsome body and a home ... he should not feel sorry for himself but overly happy for having all that.

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    3. I should remind him of all these things. In a loving gentle way. I have my own gratitude list and he'll soon have one of his own to reflect on too.

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  10. It made me smile to see your old blog pop up with a post in my reader today! I learned a lot from reading this, especially the words of wisdom about letting go. My only concern is the intersection of his choices and addictions and where they intersect and affect your life, as certainly they do. You are the only one who can decide which factors are worth abiding to retain the love and relationship you have, and which ones would make that self-punishing. Devin is clearly loved, and in that he is blessed!

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    1. I don't post everyday anymore, Josie. Only twice a week and the last few weeks have been sparse because I've been painting, as you know =)

      Thank you for your concern, Josie. That means so much. The reason I had to step back and detach with love is so his shifting addiction won't affect me so deeply. I don't expect him to recover from his addiction overnight. I knew choosing to stay with him meant a long journey and also meant being selfish at times and having to put myself first, put my daughter's needs first before my own and if her needs outweigh my own, then I will leave my marriage.

      Staying with Devin also means staying with him while he walks the journey through his recovery and it's a mental health journey for us both. I have a clear boundary agreement that I adhere to so there is no self-punishment. He's made strides in communication with me, the kids, and his mom. More importantly, he's sober. And, yes, he is definitely, loved =)

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  11. I'm sorry you've been having a hard time. Marriage and love isn't easy, no matter what, but you have a harder road to travel than many others. It's admirable that you are sticking with it, though, when you could easily give up instead.

    I really love that saying you included. I have a hard time with letting go in my life, so I find a lot of value in those words.

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    1. Thanks Kianwi. I'm doing much better today =)

      I truly believe that marriage is going to be work and some marriages are harder than others...mine is just one of those LOL Friday was one of those days when I wanted to say, screw it, but I didn't, I vented instead...thank you for being here to listen.

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  12. I admire you so much. You have no idea. You have given me so much to think about. You continue to amaze me at your perseverance. In this day and age of 'calling it quits' when the going gets hard, your story NEEDS to be heard. Needs to be told.

    Bless you. Bless you a thousand times over.

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    1. Two years ago, when I found out, I was going to call it quits. Then I almost called it quits back in April of this year but counseling and self work and Devin's own self work kept me in the marriage. It's a tough ass addiction but it can be overcome...it just has some low days along the way =)

      Thank you so much!!

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  13. I am in awe of your commitment to your marriage and subsequently to Devin. Moreover I find it truly inspiring the lengths you have gone to, and will go to, to be there for your man, your marriage, your family.

    I am part of your blogging family and as such you can count on me (us) to be here for you...like today, for days like this, when you need to vent and share. Consider yourself hugged and know I am sending you wishes for continued strength as you forge forward on this journey of yours. Hugs, Jenny

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    1. Aww, Jenny, you just made my heart smile. This is a beautiful comment. I don't think I'm doing anything that most people wouldn't do for their families.

      Thank you so much for being here for me on my low days. I needed to vent a bit and think things through, have a point of reference and now I'm feeling so much better. =)

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  14. Someone once told me we can't make other people happy who don't want to be happy nor should we ever try. At the time I felt it didn't make any sense, but I guess what she was trying to say is sometimes you have to let go.

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    1. and sometimes you need to stay and fight, because happiness is in the happiness we give to other people through helping them and being there with our hearts in our hands and a loving look in our eyes.

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    2. aaww, Dezzy, that is really sweet...I love how you said that and I couldn't have said it better myself. =)

      Grumpy aka RCB - I'm simply letting go of worrying about his addiction to his hobby. He will see it when he's ready. It's not affecting us financially and we still spend time together each night now that he knows I've detached from him because of it. In time, he will come around, I'm sure of it. He overcame his addiction to porn and MB, he'll do this too. =)

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    3. Dezzy has a way with words that's beyond me, so all I say is... dito.

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  15. Yeah...you are way stronger than me. I love the list. Really. Maybe its just the time of year...and the fact that the year is ending. Its easy to get down about things right now (well, especially you..because, you know...) I have been noticing in myself that I am trying to retreat into over-doing it and making this the most wonderful holiday season ever. But I feel like crap too. Yep. I am blaming the holidays. You can too if you like.

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    1. I'm sorry you're down too, Mel. The holidays can be tough on a lot of people because we want them to perfect for everyone and we tend to pressure ourselves into making it into something from a Normal Rockwell picture and it's just not possible. We sometimes set ourselves up for a let down.

      As for me, I'm doing much, much better....I hope you are too. Hugs!!!

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  16. Well I have been away too from blogger land ~

    I think some days we are confused about our emotions and priorities and its fine to step back and reassess the situation ~ Your letting go words are food for thought ~

    Hope you and your hubby will find a happy middle ground ~

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    1. I hope you were away for good reasons, Heaven.

      Friday was a tough day for me for some reason and I needed to write it out. I'm glad I did because it was a healthy outlet and it did me good. I'm in a much better place for it.

      Thank for for being here.

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  17. Oh dear Elsie the most difficult thing is let go any, person, lovers, friends any, always I think for this I told you the other time I pray God to cure my heart, sometimes I think all my life I was lived with my brocken heart for different reasons.
    Fisrt wasat home, my Dad was really difficult (now is different) but I suffer with all fights of him with my Mom and for this I care so much my Mom sigh!!
    after this others things, at work, in my married life too of course, and now with the kids, they arent easy, especially in these times, and when your son you love so much say you, let me alone ! I feel like someones killed me OMY!
    ANyway I said you I think you are amazing always I think you can resist and fight sigh!I think he really love you but still he has some things of the past and this make you angry and course is normal, oh dear, hope you can fix and be OK the both.
    I will pray for you, to God help you always dear you are really special blessings!!

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    1. Oh, my poor, Gloria! I had no idea you went through any of this with your dad. I went through the same thing with my mom when I was a teenager, we fought terribly and so I left home when I was 17. We struggled for awhile to repair our relationship and finally did after a few years.

      I didn't know you were having these other things going on either. You're always a ray of sunshine on everyone's blogs, Gloria, a breath of fresh air with your smiling face!

      I think we will be just fine. We had a wonderful weekend and it's not like me to give up...I'm still fighting =)

      Thank you for the prayers, Gloria, you have mine too.

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    2. thanks Elsie well Alway I feel ok here for. this I can comment these things my dad is ok know and is old:)
      hope this week will be nice to yiu xo

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  18. Not mad anymore. It's great how writing helps like that sometimes. I've written oh so many posts before, my desktop is full of little notes and text files with potential ILN blog posts, but I feel so differently after I'm done that I never get quite around to posting them.

    I'm glad you're even just a little bit better, and I'm happy that you guys work. It gives me hope for mankind.

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    1. My first blog, I had to shut it down because of stalking issues, contained a ton of journal entry type posts like these because I was working through so much two years ago. I never expected anyone to follow me so I just let 'er rip - it was such a great outlet for me and it's why I still go to it now. I admit, I miss seeing your ILN writings.

      I'm doing way way better today!

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  19. Wow I guess this is the first time I have seen just how much you have grown in this awful addiction. I'm very proud of you and the work you and Devin are doing in your marriage, after all it takes 2 people to make a marriage. I love that you can now spot the issue and don't put it on yourself. I wish I was there to give you and big hug and a very big pat on the back.

    Love,
    Meemaw

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  20. Wow I guess this is the first time I have seen just how much you have grown in this awful addiction. I'm very proud of you and the work you and Devin are doing in your marriage, after all it takes 2 people to make a marriage. I love that you can now spot the issue and don't put it on yourself. I wish I was there to give you and big hug and a very big pat on the back.

    Love,
    Meemaw

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    1. Meemaw!! Thank you for the kudos. Not sure I'm worthy of all that praise but thank you so much. I will say it has been a ton of work for both of us and I don't want Devin's hard work to be lost in this post so thank you for seeing that too, Meemaw - you rock!

      Much love,
      Elsie

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  21. I read this post a couple days ago but didn't comment. Why? Because I was angry for no good reason and didn't want to leave an angry comment.

    It happens to me a lot...I find myself to be in an angry mood but I don't know why. Rather frustrating!

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    1. It ended up, I was afraid of something else entirely and this was the easiest thing to blame it on. Junior was due home that night and I was tense about how he and Devin would interact since their time apart. As it turned out - they are closer now then they were before so I was worrying about nothing. What a waste of energy on my part.

      So, while you were angry for no good reason, I was worrying for no good reason....or angry about something I didn't know about until later on?? Stupid emotions!

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