Saturday, December 26, 2009

living with the lights on

i really don't know how to title this post - i usually have a better idea of where my writing will take me - so far this one is called "pissed" - it might not end up there - but it's the best i can come up with at this point. it's more "injured" or "wounded" - but the grief is turning into anger and a rage has taken the place of the weakness i have been feeling.

i make a point in my recovery to have structure built into my life so that i am not left to my own defenses. i have intentionally planted and tended seeds that should be bearing fruit in my life and instead of harvest i am left with famine. it makes me angry, and oh so sad.

i have found that therapy, support groups and some kind of what people from my background call "fellowship" (hate that word, but too fried to try to think of something else to call it) give me a good 3-legs when added to my fourth of working my program have a structure and stability that makes for serenity and sanity in my life.

i have been working my program, but my meeting has become incredibly frustrating as 3 of the 4 of us are in major relapse and while their words say they want a meeting what they mean is that they want ME to maintain the meeting so that if they ever work up any semblance of desire to play at recovery i'll be there to support them - but if anything is actually required of them they really don't want to bother. (see, it's called "pissed" for a reason)...

my "fellowship" has been a community of couples and families who have met together for the past 2 years to share a meal and our lives together. since the fall this has collapsed. you see one of my best friends had been "virtually" cheating on the other of my best friends (the couple i talked about being enmeshed in codependency with in the last post) and he did it on my computer - yes MY computer - asshole. this isn't just the run of the mill guy trapped in addiction (previous to this i had no evidence of addiction at all) - he is a senior programmer for a major corporation, a bible professor, fighter for womens rights and a father and husband who to most accounts is quite stable - come to find out that the "womens rights" thing is really mostly a pick-up line and the cross-gender friendship i had been building was mostly a sham to get me to fill in the gaps for attention that his wife - my other best friend didn't seem able to do.

this happened right before our two families were to go camping together this summer. i didn't trust my gut enough to cancel our involvement in the trip and it was the most uncomfortable situation we as a family have ever participated in. we got tarred and feathered for their inability to live in the light and i am still trying to get the shit off me.

i would have NEVER attempted to have a cgf with another sexual addict. NEVER. it is why i kept getting triggered and could never understand the cause. it fed a deep place in my soul to have a male computer programmer care about me spiritually - and validate me spiritually - the call on my life and the education i was participating in - my computer programmer father was never able to and has actually been vehemently opposed to my spiritual life and has never voiced any pleasure or approval, let alone pride in my accomplishments or life choices. his validation was a narcotic to me and somehow he knew that and it took me far too long to figure out. his brain works like my dad's and he understands things like my dad does. we had an easy shorthand in conversation that seemed so natural.

i was accountable to my husband and three of my friends who know me better than i usually know myself for the duration of this friendship - i did not want any of this to stray into dangerous territory - i was so determined to have a cgf to prove that i was not an animal, that i was not dangerous - that it was possible to live and peace with all men - and myself - and it has blown up in my face.

because of my desire to not tell anyone elses story i have kept the real cause of the falling out to myself and it now looks as if i was the obtuse one - as if i had done something wrong. see his wife - my other best friend - liked the role i played with her husband - i did all of the heavy emotional lifting - he had never been so stable and easy for her to manage. what a fool i am.

now i am ostracized while the lot of them meet and eat together and we're left outside of the invitations. the irony in this is that THEY (the couple) keep inviting, they keep trying to rebuild the broken relationship (not a new, healthy one - but the old broken, co-dependent one) - but all of "our" friends leave me out - and i have NO idea what they think. i am crushed and sad and getting angry. i want to shake them all and clear my slate.

but i won't because it would hurt her. i can't expose her pain and shame. i won't do it. it's not my story to tell. but the pain of being ostracized is overwhelming as this is such a small community and i am not leaving it. we are settled here - it feels like a test of all of the glorious rhapsodizing i have made about community and singing it's praises - those words feel like ashes now and i bear the burn scars.

liam tells me that it's easier to leave us out because we live "with the lights on" - we don't tolerate dark corners in each others lives, don't keep our eyes averted from the ugly places - and so we're the constant reminder to the things they'd like to pretend never happened. what they don't understand is that we know that those dark places are there - are willing to sit with them and still love and accept. it is the denial of the darkness that we hate - not the corners.


Tim said...

I see your pain and am sad for you. What catches my attention more is your integrity, your determination to be godly. I wish godliness had a better return.
You remind me of Jesus.

renee said...

OMG. i am SO sorry, dear friend. what an immensely piss-worthy, painful, grieving combination of situations (from your group to your friends). :(

as someone who has felt a huge loss of community ever since i lost my job (@ y . s .), i really resonate with the loneliness, sadness and grieving brokenness. i've also discovered that as i have "relapsed" more in the past few years, my community has often grown tired of waiting for me to get well. which is, in it's own way, a result of "living with the lights on."

i'm sorry you're in this place. it is painful, and it sucks, and your anger is justified.

my thoughts & prayers (such as they are, these days) are with you.


Anonymous said...

That sucks big time...

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

We have communion with each other as we walk in the light. May the God of all consolation be near to your and your family.


sonja said...

That is just horrible.

Here are some things that stick out to me though ... and I've read this post 3 or 4 times. I left it overnight to be sure I should write this because I don't want to stir a pot that should be left to sit.

The first thing that sticks out is that you have nothing to prove. You are tearing at your soul for a prize you have already won. You are trustworthy and beautiful and wonderful. Your motives are good, trust them.

The second thing that sticks out is that her story is in huge part your story. By not telling her story, you are also not telling yours. You are keeping both of you hidden in darkness and by extension, you are also continuing to assist her co-dependency with her husband. I hope you can eventually tell your story in such a way that she will either be protected or will join you in the telling.

Your anger is justified. You are being used and manipulated by a group of people to further their own emotional ends. That always makes one angry and pissed off. Have you considered taking a sabbatical? That leg of your stool sounds as if the termites have gotten to it.

Erin Wilson said...

Wow... I'm just going to let Sonja's words drift over into my little spot here.

Just wanted you to know that I'm here and I care.

Sarah Louise said...

oh honey.

I remember the tangled web I was in with a cgf (what a great term) that I met through my blog. It took me a long time to figure out it was an "emotional affair" and by that time I had friends AND my mother telling me to cut the cord. It changed the dynamics of my bloggy world, as this person was one of the main players (note the word, player...) in our little online community. And I miss that. I do. But I would rather be lonely than be enmeshed in that again. I will pray for you in this tough tough time.

Please know that you are not stupid, or the only one that this has ever happened to (lies that Satan feeds us.) We ALL have feet of clay. Continue to live in the light. It can be lonely. It IS lonely.

and while you have to make the decisions to rebuild your life (with or without these friends), I think sonja's idea of a sabbatical is a good one.

this sounds like a Psalm 137 time. But remember Psalm 126:

Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.

6 He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.

I love you.

Patchouli said...

Amen to sonja's reply AND:
you've done enough digging through your gut to understand what is going on here--you ARE painting a new picture of yourself. Your old mind is putting up a tremendous fight to stay alive. Liam is so right when he says you choose to have the light on in your life and they can't bear it, choosing darkness.

This year, I have had many opportunities to choose defending myself against those who live with darkness or to live a life in the light. UNFAIR! WRONG! UNTRUE! Trying to keep me from saying the last "i love you" to my mother... It took a while and a lot of tears were shed--tears of healing, of grief, shame, loss, rage--but my life with my family--MY LIFE-- trumped any/all of the lies and garbage I wanted to defend myself against. I forgave minute by minute, then hour by hour--and sometimes it is still minute by minute. But I refuse to spend one more second being robbed of my peace by those who choose darkness.

"pissed" has some power; peace has life.

Patchouli said...

Okay, this is about you, not me. YOU matter. YOUR truth matters. YOUR feelings matter.

My heart is full for you, and hurting for you, and hopeful for you. Lead the way to light, bobbie.
They will follow or stay behind. Just keep being the light.

bobbie said...

oh how i love you all - thank you so much! you don't know how much having community here means to me.

termites - love that - and it's exactly the metaphor sonja! i'll be re-reading all of these again and again and sitting with them - i just wanted to make sure i said THANKS - you moved me deeply to come back here and see 8 comments. i have missed this terribly!

Diner Nighthawk said...

"what they don't understand is that we know that those dark places are there - are willing to sit with them and still love and accept. it is the denial of the darkness that we hate - not the corners."

I just want to say this little quote made my day. Hope you don't mind picking up a new follower :)

bobbie said...

thank you ethan - sorry hadn't checked comments in ages - will be reading your blog too.