boundaries

Secret’s consequence

what he’s done

has left me numb

needless secrets

heartless meanness

Not a tear shall be shed

‘cos he made his own bed

liar, liar, pants on fire

falsehoods that you did conspire

a trust unstable

from your betrayal

a trust once earned

has now been spurned

a trust once honest

has lost its promise

let liquor be your mistress

while I go ’bout my business

I’m better off without you

a man whose heart is untrue

The Hospital Chronicles – Part 4

Values are invaluable

I was admitted into a psychiatric hospital for a week. I’ve had my medication adjusted, an addition to my diagnosis and received some invaluable therapy. This is a documentation of all that I learned.

Codependency is also referred to as the Love Deficit Disorder. A broad definition is this: I can only love myself when I’m making someone else happy. I have no boundaries due to fear of abandonment and loneliness. But the real dysfunction occurs when I perpetuate the cycle of abandonment by choosing people who are abandoners. On a subconsciously level this abandoned state has become my normal, my comfort zone becaue it’s all I’ve ever known. But its time to break this dysfunctional pattern of behaviour.

This year I have learned about codependency and relationships. I’ve always been driven by a desperate need to be wanted. So if a person crossed my path and wanted me, that was the only criteria required to enter the inner sanctum of my life. I would invest the full intensity of my bipolar energy into being the person that would make them happy and ‘want to keep me’.

So we’ve established I’m lonely and its putting my health at risk. My doc has given me permission to enjoy the company of men without forcing it to become a deep and meaningful relationship. I grew excited at the opportunity of dating again. But when I attended one of the group therapy sessions about personal value systems, I learned *shocker* that I have none. No core fundamental beliefs that drive my decision-making. But how could I if I’m constantly changing who I am in order to please people. To, by default, live their life and not my own.

The beauty is, I’m learning how to face my beast
Starting now to find some peace, Set myself free
Today, I don’t have to fall apart
I don’t have to let the damage consume me,
-Blue October (Fear)

I can have all the permission in the world to mingle, but until I discover and develop my own value system, I will perpetuate the cycle of choosing abandoners. Before I start dating, I need to build up an arsenal of key values to live by. If you’re looking for me I’m over at Youtube or Google learning the shit outta values and self love.

 

 

Detaching with love

Last night I got to thinking about my silent treatment post. I felt confused and conflicted because he’s my father and I love him, despite his mistreatment. I then thought back to the days when I was married to my alcoholic ex and I attended Alanon meetings. They constantly talked about detaching with love. They would say – tell the alcoholic ‘I love you, I just don’t like your behaviour right now’ .

I never understood the concept at the time, but as of late, I have. And I realised that’s exactly what I can do with my father. I don’t have to oust him from life or go no contact. I can still love him, yet not accept his damaging behaviour. I can still see him and talk to him as long as I have healthy boundaries in place to protect my well being. I need to strategize now, think what my boundaries will be and how and when I will enforce them. I feel at peace now. I love him, I just don’t like his behaviour. I won’t allow him to break me down anymore.

South African band, Seether and their song ‘Breakdown’ wraps it up nicely for me

 

 

Boundaries – don’t let the door hit you on the way out

*leopard crawls out of foxhole*

I never expected to be upset about the dissolution of my brief relationship with The Narcissist. But I have to look further than the immediate hurt and rejection; farther than all my screaming abandonment issues. I must consider the bigger picture.

Fact: I am undergoing a crash course in learning boundaries. Discovering what is and isn’t acceptable to me. How to establish boundaries and most importantly how to enforce them. It is along these lines that my interaction with The Narcissist has been a resounding success.

I was able to establish and clearly communicated my boundaries. And when he overstepped the mark, I had the courage to say NO immediately. Believe me I get the bigger picture. I’m by no means invincible. I am concerned that time and loneliness may erode this great determination of mine. And one day when I’m vulnerable, he could worm his way back in with his charm. But I’m hoping I know better, and by default, do better

*crawls back into foxhole*

limit - 08-07-16

 

 

 

Relationships, boundaries and a day at the beach

I’ve come to the end of a brief interlude with a man. He’s an addict – alcohol and pills. But I knew that going in. You’re probably wondering – Pieces, haven’t you learned your lesson from The Lover Incident? Yes, I considered that, but then I thought, it’s what I know and perhaps I’m meant to stick with what I know.

I was sure not to give my heart away. That was guarded under lock and key. I thought if I set clear boundaries, I’d be able to keep the chaos at bay. But as is with an active addict, he tested those boundaries. Pushed at them inch by inch. The first time he overstepped the mark and I pointed it out, he left in a grand huff and punished me with silence and short, vague texts. I became hysterical with confusion as my abandonment issues floated to the surface. The second time was a clear and definite overstep. I immediately called him out on it and he left in yet another grand huff and promptly broke things off with me later that evening. He ranted that I was taking away his identity and wouldn’t allow him to get close to me.

I am relieved, unexpectedly happy, and sad at the same time. I am relieved because he has done what I knew I would have to do – end things. I am happy because if the addict walked away, it means I’m making positive inroads into practicing and enforcing boundaries – a new skill only recently learned. And I am sad because I seem doomed to live alone. But then I thought, hang on, before you go drowning into a pool of misery, what about this…….

beach umbrella

If these are relationships?  I want no part.  I’d actually prefer to be alone.  And if I’m to be alone then I’m going to damn well enjoy it! I am going to make the best ‘alone life’ ever seen.  I’m so fortunate, I have my new home and the opportunity of a new beginning. So to start with, I’m going to drag myself, brollie in hand, to the beach every Saturday morning to soak up some sun. If I have to do it kicking and screaming I will push myself into living.  I will(try to) step out into bravery, I will(try to) explore and I will(try to) open doors of opportunity.

This will be what they term ‘growth’ so I’m prepared for some of it to be painful at times, but unlike earlier this year, I actually want to live an active and fulfilling life.  So, see you at the beach motherpluckers….!

 

Lovers, learning curves and life lessons

I can say with concrete certainty that I am over Lover. I still feel the anger of betrayal. What he did changed me in a fundamental way. I watched a documentary recently on sociopaths and narcisissts and they were described as A.I.D’S – Angels In Disguise. They enter our lives to reveal our weaknesses so that we can work on them and become stronger, better people. I’m taking that philosophy and running with it.

My experiences over the past seven months have taught me the following:
– I am not a victim
– I am a people pleaser and I understand the work needed to overcome this
– I have the courage to make hard choices
– I have discovered what my boundaries are (*sigh* at last!)
– I have the ability to enforce those boundaries
– I can trust my instincts with confidence. That no matter the answer to my question, I can trust my gut
– I need to be more guarded about myself – entertain and question suspicion and doubt, instead of telling myself I’m imagining it
– to never make excuses for other people’s behaviour
– I can trust only myself
– I am stronger than I give myself credit for

They have also taught me what I still have yet to learn:
– It’s time to learn about and practice self care
– It’s time to learn to live in love and not in fear [see this post by Bipolar1Blog]
– I need to venture out the house, do stuff, engage with life and people. Life won’t come to me unless I’m out there living it

nothing ever goes away

I’m ready to learn. I’m ready to venture out into the world. To pass by and inspect some doors of opportunity. They don’t just open on their own. So, despite my anxiety, I’m ready to learn the shit out of learning what I need to learn ‘cos I want to stop this repeated cycle of awfulness. And so begins another new learning curve. Buckle up if you want to come along for the ride.

Cleaning out my closet

Although we hardly spoke, yesterday was filled with anger, remorse, self-pity, regret. I knew what I had to do but wrestled with inner conflict all day. Finally I quietly said, you need to find another place to live.

All my fears of danger were unfounded, perhaps I was projecting my ex-husband’s alcoholic rages onto him. But I remain aware of the unpredictable nature of alcoholics. So let me not speak too soon, as he’s already phoned me twice since last night.

I was given me the impression I would be turning him out onto the streets, homeless. But he phoned his boss, who sorted out a temporary living arrangement for him. He went to the shops and drew out his share of the rent for February, telling me it’s the least he could do after all he’s put me through. He asked if he could leave now and come back during the week for his stuff. I stayed firm, and said no, it has to be done today. I didn’t want him having reason to return.

the_undesired_letter_by_ronaldbkg from deviantart

sorry‘ such a pitiful word

He’d bought a tablet in my name because he has bad credit. I made sure he gave me the tablet since I would now be liable for it (I take full accountability for my own stupidity). He handed it over without complaint. He didn’t have much – a few rubbish bags of clothes, a duvet and two pillows, some bath towels. I tried to help by putting his pots and pans in the bakkie. You can keep those, he said. I won’t be needing them. I wondered if that was another veiled threat at suicide. But that isn’t my responsibility anymore. I have my own suicides to avert.

Throughout, I kept fighting my eternal urge to apologise. I wanted to say – I’m sorry, stay, I still love you, I don’t want you to go, please don’t drink so everything can go back to the way it was before, please don’t leave me, I don’t want to live here alone. But I didn’t. I simply cried. For the loss of hope, dreams, broken trust and grief .

From start to finish, it took about one hour. We barely spoke. We both cried in our final goodbye. Well, I had never really stopped crying……