Thursday, January 25, 2007

my monolith

okay, i think i have figured out what the blog silence is caused by. the things i am working through right now are so personal (like anything could be more personal than blogging about your sexual addiction??) that i feel silenced by them. it's really because this stuff is "one flesh" stuff with liam and i, and not just my stuff. i have had, and do have, his permission to blog about/talk about all of this for months - but it is so intimate and deeply tied into the "us" of the one flesh that i struggle to put it into words and fear that i am not just telling my story, but his.

i am just so desperate to untangle all of it, that i've decided silence isn't working for me right now, so maybe blogging will. or i might just write it all out here and hit delete, i don't know.

the cartoon below this post is a good representation of how i've been feeling. AA talks about the big pink elephant in the room that the family pretends isn't there. i can imagine if you're read here long enough you know that living with me is hardly silent or that i allow things to go untalked about. so there is no elephant that we avoid, but there is this monolith that seems immovable and i have grown weary and disheartened pushing against it, bashing my head against it and stubbing my toes on it.

i have admitted before that i am codependent and co-addicted. both liam and i have admitted we are both addicts and our lives are unmanageable. he has also admitted that he is depressed. he hasn't done anything about either of those things, but they say admitting it is the first step. the problem is that i have not realized before the level and depth of how enmeshed i have been into his life and non-existent in my own.

the psychic surgery required for this kind of amputation is brutal and i am not navigating it well. i remember jeff writing of his recovery in alanon that he wanted to learn to care about deb, and not for her. me too. i just have no idea how.

it would be easier to hate him, to be apart from him, to sever everything and have distance. years ago i became very enmeshed in my sister's life. i stepped into the role of 'mom' after our mother passed and our relationship became very unhealthy. she married and i was able to disengage myself from the codependency by totally removing myself from the relationship. i can't do that here. i don't want to do that here.

but i don't know how to make better, healthier, consistent choices that are lasting. i have moments of strength, decisions made and steps taken to remove myself from his gravitational pull, but then i get weak, he gets needy or i am just plain old lonely and i get sucked back in. it's like there isn't time for the wound to heal before we re-attach and have be to surgically removed again - the pain is excruciating.

and it's now come to the point where it is affecting my own addictions and abstinence. food has become a comfort again and i am so afraid. the frustrating part of 'dysfunction' is that it 'functions'. it is sometimes attractive and seems necessary to keep the rest of life moving forward. it's like settling for the lesser of evils just to keep the others at bay. does that make sense?

i can see here how and why couples divorce to solve the enmeshed issues. i know it isn't any less painful, and probably more, but it seems like the distance would make getting healthy a bit easier.

the familiar signs and red flags of liam's addiction have been waving in the past month and i am in panic mode. i am like an acrobat waving my arms back and forth, trying to figure out what it is that i can do to restore the lovely balance we had found. i am always the compensator. the one who levels off the teeter-totter trying to make sure i don't get dropped on my butt or end up hanging in the air all alone.

gosh i'm tired. and confused. and lost. and sad. and so very, very sick of it all.

the good thing is we are still talking about it. it's not happening unknowingly. it's not going to sneak up and bite me in the ass next month, but it doesn't seem to be making it any easier.

the other good news is that i have found support. well, actually support found me. one of the women at our church heard my sermon on cd and knew the 'lingo' i used probably meant i had once done OA. she screwed up the courage to email me and we met last week to talk. we meet again tonight to talk and pray. and next week we begin a support group to talk about our food addiction. ironically she lives in the apartment downstairs. god's sense of humor still astounds me sometimes.

so all is not lost, but dang i'm tired. writing has helped. i know we'll find our way through this, it just seems so dark sometimes.


lori said...

Oh, I absolutely relate to 'the frustrating thing with dysfunction is that it functions'...(at least for a short while.)

I find 'function' waaayy tougher than dysfunction...but I've found the dysfunctional coping mechanism eventually messes me as bad as the original problem...

I wish I could say something wise and comforting but I'm afraid I'm much like the cartoon person - I'd rather just play on the internet!

(but I think I understand.)

onionboy said...

There's a time for silence. Strength to you as you continue the painful process of emerging.

BarBarA said...

I love it that you share so openly. I am not nearly as bold as you but seem to have so many of the same addictions. It sounds like you are still on the right path but just hit a bump in the road.

Very cool how God put that woman in your life last week!!

gracie said...

I don't know where I would be in this journey through to freedom without Henri Nouwen's words that came from his own struggles. Praise God for grace, that no matter where we stand when we cry for mercy, we are accepted as whole.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bobbie -

If you and Liam are talking about this, then that's a good sign, and a sign of health. Paradoxically, you have to have reached a certain level of functionality to see the dysfunction, so you might not be as screwed up as you think.

Here is something I am learning, and you can take it for what it's worth: If I look at the huge big picture of all the stuff I'm working through, I get overwhelmed and hopeless, but if I focus on one concrete thing that I can do, even if it seems like a teeny step forward, it feels more manageable. For me, the thought of trying to get to a healthy, intimate relationship with a man makes me want to hide in the closet with despair, but if I think small, it's like "Okay, I can have coffee with what appears to be a reasonably nice man. That I can handle."

One suggestion: Is there a completely Liam-free activity that you could put into your schedule - a class, volunteering, book club, working out, whatever - that you could promise yourself (and a friend to hold you accountable) that you will do absolutely no matter what?

It sounds like you are learning lots of good stuff lately - even if it doesn't feel that way.

Peace on your journey,

Robert said...

Very cool the way you are able to articulate the whole monolith bobbie, and the freedom to express given by liams permission so he is fully included. I think you have a number of gifts which will serve to help you work through it more not making it any less painful but maybe a lil more manageable. God is indeed so great the way He gave you this woman in such perfect timing!!! Blessings as you both prau shaere and encourage each other

Sarah Louise said...

Honey, I'm sending you hugs. Your strength is showing through your struggle and your health is coming through as you talk about being sick. You are redeeming inner geography, and that is the hardest kind to redeem.

your transparency allows the rest of us to be transparent, or to consider it possible. Thank you, my sister.

Hope said...

Both the struggles between you and Liam and the food issues have a similar chord running through them. A person is in relationship with both and it's impossible for it to be any other way. Ugh.

So often I have wanted to be able to put life on hold while I got something figured out. It feels taxing to have to do that and still live through this 24 hours.

I'm glad for you that you figured out what your silence is about even if the knowing of it doesn't make it any easier.

Hugs to you. Would love to chat soon.

Kel said...

Mahatma Ghandi says this of silence: In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in an clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.

Mother Theresa says this: We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.... We need silence to be able to touch souls.

Amy A. said...

We talked in our meeting last night about openness, honesty and willingness. You seem to have all three. So glad you are finding support in unexpected places.

Patchouli said...

Girl, I am so in your corner!

My comment took up so much space that I deleted it and came up with a space to share the processes of becoming truly true--without the games, masks, and brainwashings that are fake. I'll let you know when it's ready!