Tag Archives: Forgiveness

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS OF ADDICTION

No one wants to be an addict or an alcoholic. There’s always an underlying reason for the choice we make to keep using or drinking. I had several reasons. They are in no way excuses but explanations.

Lately there have been an overwhelming amount of people coming forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment, assault, rape, and physical abuse by people that are either famous or somewhat known. This is a good start.

There’s an element to one of these cases that isn’t discussed.

The fact that the two people involved were addicts in a relationship.

I’m not condoning anything or taking sides. I want that understood.

What I am saying is based on my own experience.

When I was drunk I was aggressive at times and I would start fights with men. Mostly because I knew they didn’t find me attractive. This wasn’t their fault it was my extremely low self esteem and possibly my undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder.

Your average woman doesn’t punch a guy in the face because he refuses her advances.

I also think I had sex with men that were too drunk to consent. This is hard to admit but I know I did this once. The person was someone I was close to and it ruined our friendship for awhile then worse things happened and we were close again.

I’ve been beaten badly while drunk. I’ve had sex during a blackout on several occasions so that would be I guess without my consent.

The person I have hated for years who did the most damage is an alcoholic/drug user who I drank with daily. I never wanted to forgive him.

The problem is I was just as bad as he was. The only difference is I stopped drinking over 9 years ago. I admitted the damage I had done to other people and myself. He still thinks he did nothing wrong. He thinks this way because he still drinks.

Drinking and drug abuse stunts you emotionally and your maturity. You don’t grow up when you’re using or drinking. You stay the same age you were when you started. If you started at 16 then you have a 16 year old boy’s mentality. I’m not making this up.

I never grew up. There were so many “adult” things I didn’t know how to do when I stopped drinking. I never had to do them.

When two addicts/alcoholics are in a relationship I can tell you from experience horrible things are going to be said and done. At the time you don’t think it’s that bad. It’s only years later when you’ve stopped using and have some clarity that you realize how wrong everything was.

I’m still working on forgiveness and I’m sure there are a few people who can’t forgive me. Not the people I drank with because they all still drink or they’re dead but my family.

I do understand the places alcohol took me. Physically and emotionally. These are places I never want to visit again. I have to accept my part in the things that went on then. I’ve made my amends to those I needed to but all of it still haunts me.

I know this because I have “drunk dreams” once in awhile to remind me. I hate those nights but they serve a purpose.

I hope I’m making sense and not offending people.6-addiction-emotions-3

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IS IT POSSIBLE TO FORGIVE AND FORGET?

Forgiveness might actually be a little easier for me than forgetting what was said or done in the first place. Some things I can’t forgive or forget and it’s probably why I sometimes have outbursts of anger. There are also the things I can’t remember.

When it comes to other people like my family I’m lost. My sister can hold a grudge for a very long time. She married a man exactly like her. My Dad is somewhere in between or he would rather bury his head in the sand.

There are times I think up scenarios where I go back to where I used to drink. This time I’m not a fat naïve girl who thinks it’s okay to be treated like garbage. This time I’m a confident attractive woman with her shit together and maybe a hot guy on her arm (I know how petty it sounds believe me). This is because I was repeatedly told that no one would ever want me and I was lucky they let me hang around. I was lucky to be mooed at in public, slapped for not cleaning a place I didn’t live, not buying enough beer, told “I love you” then beaten, but you start to believe what your told after awhile. When you add alcohol to the mix and an undiagnosed mental illness there was no way the situation was going to end well. By the time I left them for good I was drinking a case of Black Label and a pint of Joaquin’s Ginger Flavored Brandy a day. Sorry, Black Label Kingers.

I was bloated, my liver enlarged, I didn’t care about anything or anyone.

I am capable of forgiving more than most people because I fear abandonment and conflict but at the same time I have a strong desire to punch some people in the face. I want to hurt them like they hurt me. The problem is they would have to care for me to hurt them and they don’t. I have to remember that. But there’s still that young girl inside who always wanted to be pretty and popular. Who for once wanted a cute, funny, guy to like her as much as she liked him.

There was a handsome, funny, tall, muscular, blue eyed guy that I liked and got along with not long before I stopped drinking. We would all hang out at W’s beach house. He mentioned one night that he “wouldn’t be good for me” and “he wasn’t a good person” kind of making excuses. I told W it was because of my weight but she disagreed because she never saw me as anything but her beautiful friend that’s why I love her.

A week later the guy is dating a girl I went to High School with who actually drank more than me but was thin and attractive. They fought constantly. He honestly didn’t see me as woman or attractive I know this because of Halloween one year. He was taking pictures and said “Okay let’s get a picture of the sexy girls! A and W!” Yup, I was sitting right there and my name wasn’t mentioned.

So I go into Kidney Failure lose 140 pounds and stop by W’s house one 4th of July to surprise her. I see the guy who is now engaged to the girl A. They had all been drinking so they were a little loud. Everyone was happy to see me but the guy says “WTF! If I had known you were going to turn out like this I would’ve chose differently!” His fiancé standing right next to him. He kept going on and on about how I looked until W’s boyfriend noticed and pulled him away. W’s boyfriend is the most observant person I know and the most caring. At least to me. He always makes sure I don’t feel uncomfortable or eat anything that will give me a gallbladder attack. lol

Anyway that proved my point that it was about my weight. I’ve totally forgotten my point but that’s okay it’s that time of day where I get a bad headache and my vision goes a little blurry. My toes also turn dark red and my feet swell so do my sinuses. Every joint in my neck aches and my teeth/jaw. It’s always something. 9acfcce7f82986b7bc05862f558ba192


REVENGE: IS FORGIVENESS THE RIGHT PATH FOR EVERYONE?

Revenge is a topic I’ve been fascinated with from an early age. I’ve always been familiar with quotes like “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind” and “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves”. I have never agreed with either.

RESEARCH AND SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION

Believe it or not the Human Brain can take pleasure in certain kinds of revenge. Scientists reviewing MRI scans of subjects thinking about revenge noticed that the part of the brain where dopamine is lodged became activated. Dopamine is the reward center of feel good area, it has the same affect as some sweet foods or even drugs.

The desire for revenge increases depending on the number of people who witnessed your mistreatment. The theory is that if you do not take revenge the people around you will see you as someone willing to put up with that kind of treatment or weak.

Revenge isn’t felt for just anyone. We usually feel the need to seek revenge toward people we care about and know well because we feel their betrayal the most.

ALTERNATIVES

You can avoid the person or group altogether.

You can accept the abuse because you love the person or see no alternative.

You can also forgive. Forgiveness is often mistaken for weakness. To forgive the other person has to be willing to look at their own behavior and change the way they see you as a person.

EXPERIENCE

I have always had a problem with the concept of revenge. I don’t believe Karma ever comes around. Forgiveness is next to impossible in some situations. Honestly? I don’t want to forgive specific people. They will never change or see what they did as wrong. I will accept my part in things. I didn’t deserve some of what happened. No one deserves the psychological and physical trauma I still dream about.

If you had the same dream continuously, one where you are drowning but it isn’t water it’s blood. You can’t move your arms or anything from the waist up. There is a heavy weight on top of you making it harder to breathe. You hear what you are being called as the blows keep hitting your face, you can’t talk, breathe, or fight back. You hear laughter and feel spit on your face. You see yourself being thrown down the stairs then picked up by your hair. The laughter is the hardest part. You later learn the person responsible is bragging about what they did. There’s no hope for them changing their behavior. A few years later they are arrested for doing something similar to someone else.

So for some I have no interest in forgiveness or forgetting. My brain doesn’t allow me to forget. It’s one of many events I get to live over and over. I have even fantasized exactly how I would enact my revenge. Don’t worry it doesn’t involve death. I’m way too imaginative for that and I know this person well. I know his Achilles Heel. But I do nothing because I love my dad and as big of a pain in the ass as she is I love my sister. It isn’t a fear of prison because I would probably wouldn’t have a hard time. All those years spent with ex-cons you can learn a lot. (I’m kidding) (I did learn a lot but I don’t want the chance to test my knowledge).

Instead I’ll stick to my revenge movies.

 


I’M NOT FAMILIAR WITH FORGIVENESS *may contain adult content*

I don’t think I’ve ever been good at forgiving someone who has hurt me or a family member beyond the normal day to day slights.

I read something recently on the “Mental Illness Taught Me” Blog. This is what it said.

My Mental Illness taught me that I can’t change past trauma, but I can forgive them and heal without their apology.

I’ve never wanted or needed an apology to heal. There are so many cruelties humans do to one another that can not be forgotten or forgiven. My brain has actually hidden some of these from me. I don’t even know who to blame let alone forgive. I blame myself for drinking too much and putting myself in a vulnerable situation. I have a pretty good idea who else to blame but with no memory of what happened except for previous occasions I’d be guessing.

Imagine being told that you have an event locked so deep inside your brain that it will only show itself in physical ways when you are under stress or frightened. Imagine going for a second and third opinion only to be told the same.

Would you really forgive the person that did that to you? The person who instilled so much fear you LOST YOUR MEMORY OF IT?

The person that causes you to get so startled at any loud, deep, male voice, you drop things in the market and start to sweat.

The person who causes you to stutter and shake uncontrollably when your own father raises his voice? A man that has saved your life more than once and gives you a roof over your head.

What I do remember is bright red streams of blood, the sound of wood breaking, someone choking, screaming, and fading to black. That was the time I remember. There were times before that where there were no physical altercations but left much deeper scars. Dead fetus hanging on the walls, hundreds of them, “You know I love you and you always hurt the one you love the most”. Literally dragging a passed out girl into the bed of a guy I cared for very much just in time for me to see them together. The master of head games. There was no one better. If he had really applied himself he could’ve been a World Leader. His greatest asset was his hair. His pride and joy.

So forgiveness? I don’t think so. I still dream about tying him to a post, shaving his head, and putting a baseball bat where one should never go. This may sound harsh to some. Let me tell you how he would get rid of a girl/woman that he was bored of. He would sleep with her one last time and force her to have anal sex even if she didn’t want to. It worked. If any of them tried to complain he usually had something he could use on them as leverage. I wish I was kidding.

Time has taken care of a lot for me. His hair line is receding, he’s gained an obscene amount of weight from drinking so many years, and his appeal to women is pretty much zero. He still enjoys his life. That is what bothers me. I’ve seen him smiling and laughing with friends. I’m stuck in a time warp of pain and regret. No matter how hard I try to shake it loose it remains. Will forgiveness make the pain go away? I highly doubt it. My illness feeds on pain and loves to show some of it to me play by play, over and over, so I don’t forget the agony of what I remember. There’s no CBT for that. There’s no “picture a stop sign in your head” for these episodes.

I’m lucky to have some manic episodes that never reach psychosis. During these times my thoughts race about doing a makeover on the bathroom, how to sell my car, should I just start driving to Florida and see how far I get, where’s Steven Tyler playing now and should I go, should I move to L.A., I loved L.A., and on and on it goes. These happen at least two to three times a week. Good times.

I don’t believe an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. I think it shows who the survivors truly are. I’m not advocating vigilante justice but for once I would like to see Karma work in my lifetime.

P.S.   I did just finish binge watching Luke Cage on Netflix and may be a little influenced.0b8e4c1b6dbe41d75c5ffea9bb2f4e0d


As Long As I Have Me

 

 

Hello! I have a much different perspective today. Thoughts and feelings have evolved in a way. I see the mistakes that I made and how out of control I was. I need help. I see that now. I’ve never tried hard enough with therapy and when I get my health back I’ll try again. While I’m in Boston I’ll look into Doctors and Therapists specializing in Bipolar Disorder and Conversion Disorder. There are some cutting edge research programs there and already existing programs and centers. I have to be open and willing to do the work.

I have been used to being unhappy for so long that I have become afraid to BE HAPPY. I don’t know what that world looks like and it scares the crap out of me.

There are still things I want to do in this life. I would like to see Steven Tyler in concert one more time. There are a few others as well. I would like to travel a little. New Orleans is still on my list too. There are some good movies coming out I’d like to see. These may seem like frivolous reasons but it’s what keeps me going. These small things. A song that expresses what I feel or can’t say. Or a song that makes me feel some kind of happiness. Movies that help me escape the pain my brain perceives in this world. I used to enjoy travel until I became afraid to leave the house. I would like to take things further with my jewelry. I’m tired of being so hard on myself and thinking I suck. I don’t think strangers would stop me in stores to ask about the jewelry I’m wearing that I’ve made if it was awful.

I also need  to try to let everything go with my sister and brother in law. It isn’t going to do anyone any good. I’m not going to let things be the way they were. I was calling her too much. She never picked up, but I did call a lot. I’m trying not to do this. I need to do this for my nephews. I can’t see my brother in law right now. My father spoke to my sister this morning. Her side of the story was told. I of course was made to look like an out of control crazy person who damaged the relationship of all of us. I’m not so sure she’s wrong.

The suicidal thoughts are gone. It wouldn’t achieve anything and it would ruin all the hard work I HAVE DONE. I have survived 20 years of Alcoholism and an undiagnosed mental illness. I have survived physical abuse, verbal abuse, and some of the worse mind games I’ve ever experienced. I SURVIVED ALL OF IT.

I would rather experience physical and verbal abuse than the mind games. At least I knew where I stood with the other two. When someone tells you they love you and you’re one of the most important people in their life and they say and do all the right things, then you slowly find out everything is a lie, it’s devastating. I spent over 7 years with someone who was suppose to care about me. When the entire time he did everything in his power to make sure I sunk deeper and deeper into an abyss. I can’t blame him for everything, I chose to drink and I chose to hang out with him. When you hear something repeatedly you start to believe it. I was told no one would ever care about me like he did. No one would ever understand me like he did. So I ignored things. When he twisted my arm behind my back and pushed my face into the carpet I ignored it.

The biggest warning sign I ignored was when I got a phone call one Christmas from someone I hooked up with frequently. He was my first and I thought I loved him. I was stupid. I had not heard from him in a long time. He called to say he was sorry for the way he had treated me. He told me I didn’t belong hanging out with the person I was hanging out with. He said no matter how bad I thought he was this other person was worse. He told me that he would hurt me and he wasn’t who I thought he was. He wished me a Merry Christmas and hoped I would be happy. I should have listened.

Every time I would try to quit drinking and this guy was still in my life something would happen to trigger a relapse. There was even a time when I was drinking plain Coke. I went to the bathroom and when I came back and took a drink of my soda it wasn’t just soda. It was a Rum and Coke. It was too late. The warmth spread through me and I said to myself “Oh well too late, I might as well drink”. There were things he did that I won’t get into because it’s too personal and too horrific. The final straw was when he beat me until I was drowning in my own blood. I still have nightmares. He had a skull ring on that left a small scar on the underside of my nose. He broke a chair over my head and threw me down a flight of stairs. People wonder why I panic and get scared when a man is loud or aggressive around me.

The sad part is he wasn’t the first to hit me he just did the most damage. I’ve been thrown in a dumpster, slapped more times than I can count, spit on at least 4 times, had darts thrown at me, someone tried to sell me at a bar for $30, and I’ve blocked out some stuff that I need to deal with.

At least I’ve come to accept that I need more help than I’ve been getting. I’ve also been stubborn because I’m so used to wallowing in my own misery I’m afraid of anything else. Fear will keep you down. I need to conquer some of it soon.


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