Originally Posted by Laurajean
Originally Posted by babylady4
Kara; stay strong!
I have a friend who has a similar relationship with his parents.... but still thinks he can 'fix' the situation........ I wish he would come to the realizations you have and realize he has friends who support him and love him for who he is.
You have gotten great advice.... I think I need to get a copy of that book!
This "realization" you mentioned is really a process. I came to my realization long before I actually cut ties. Unfortunately, people in our position tend to mull it over for a very long time, contemplate it, feel too guilty and stay in touch, etc. I HOPE the OP has come to a clear realization now, but the fact is, she may need to hear all this several times and think about it a lot more before she cuts ties. And again, just to be clear, I'm not recommending that you cut ties Kara, but I suppose I am sort of implying it. Because as long as they are NOT changing and NOT showing remorse, it shows this is a pattern with them that will *likely* never change. So you either have to decide to stay in touch, while somehow staying in touch with your sanity (something I was never able to do), or you need to cut your ties and go give yourself the happy life you deserve, surrounded by LOVING people.
PS: And babylady4, you are very right about the "fixing it" thing. We were brought up thinking our SOLE PURPOSE was to fix our families, it's a hard realization to come to the conclusion that you can't.
Isn't that the truth!!
I was thinking about this thread when I was driving home today, and thinking about the big differences between healthy and unhealthy relationship. Normal people treat those close to them with love in order to keep them close. They respect each other, listen and communicate back and forth. They try to do things that are nice to each other, and enjoy being friendly. If one person does something mean or hurtful, they usually feel guilty afterward and try to make up to the hurt party.
Many of us who grew up with alcoholism/addiction/abuse don't grow up with learning or understanding that kind of relationship. One side often rules the other mentally, and the other side starts down the horrible road of enabling. The bad side will do their self destructive behavior, and the enablers will feel guilty about it, not the person who is acting horrible. The enablers will try and try and try and try to do the right thing - treat the other person with love, ignore them for years, scream at them, everything that you're "supposed" to get the person who's doing harm to stop and either feel guilt on their own or to make them see how badly they hurt us. We WANT them to stop being idiots. We WANT them to see we love them. Sometimes even, we WANT to make them hurt inside like we hurt.
Of course, it never works. Ever. The funny thing is, we don't stop enabling, because we thing maybe if we love them, punish them, or ignore them just enough, it might work for us.
It's hard to get out of the trap of being an enabler in the true sense. Very hard. It takes years of practicing how to set and keep boundaries, and relearning how to be in a normal relationship that doesn't have guilt hardwired as a mode of communication. Most importantly it's hardest to get in the mindset of putting yourself first in your thoughts, and not worrying about the thoughts of people who you don't know, or more importantly the people who do know you but like to hurt you. The only people you should take to heart are the people who love and respect you. It's also hard to relearn how to communicate to those who really love you and care for you when you are upset or angry - this is still one I struggle with. I keep getting this stupid voice in my head that tells me that DH doesn't want to hear it or can't help me - when in reality he's desperate to know how I'm feeling because I've stopped talking to him. I need to realize he doesn't need to fix my problems or stress, but I need to at least give him the chance to comfort me or listen to me. If I shut him out because I'm anticipating based on past relationships, I don't do him any justice. He's got big shoulders, I just need to realize I can lean on them every now and then, I don't have to survive everything on my own anymore.