Friday, November 14, 2008

A question for the masses:  How, in the early days of your recovery, did you prevent the whole codependent control-freak thing from completely overcoming your life?  

D and I had an argument (well, not even that, really, more of just a very emotional discussion) last night about--well, about a lot of things.  But one of the main recurring themes was the fact that when he got done w/ his group class yesterday, he was rather chatty about how things had been going for him lately, and I was encouraged, so we talked about it for a bit.  He changed the subject, we talked about other things for a while.  After a while, he started talking about how a) he needs to get a haircut when he gets off work today and won't wait until Saturday to do it, and b) how he was texting a girl from work on his way home from class because she had had a very bad day to do with a cheating boyfriend the day before.  

Now, these two things may seem totally separate, but not in my all-controlling brain.  The fact that he needs to get a haircut tonight means he probably won't be going to SAA tonight.  Which means he won't have gone since last Wednesday (which was only his second time going).  The girl thing...well, we can just say that that was a huge trigger for me, since one of the ways he used to get started with a girl online or any other way was by offering to "help" through some problem and use that to manipulate his way into the situation.  So in one fell swoop, you have the control-freak that lives in my head screaming "WHY do you talk about how great SAA is but never want to go???" and also "WHY are you talking to some random girl from work on text and trying to fix all her problems???"  Helping someone "fix their problems" used to be code for "let me weasel my way into your life and then start being all suggestive."  I told D that I was a little weirded out by the phone conversation with the girl from work, and while he understood, he was upset that I got weird about it because he felt he had been so forthcoming about the conversation rather than hiding it, and said that for once he was actually trying to be a good person without having an ulterior motive and was proud of that.  He even showed me the entire text conversation, and it was completely harmless, nothing that could have even been misconstrued as inappropriate.  But still.  

I think part of my problem is that I truly wish D could understand how badly he has hurt me in the past, how much baggage I carry because of this whole situation.  And he can't, really, because he's too busy just trying to get from day to day without letting this consume his life.  I tried to explain a little, last night, that it is not just him who carries this burden, who thinks about the addiction and the offense and the recovery 24/7.  If I could stop thinking about it for more than a few hours at a time, I totally would. I hate that I feel compelled to check the phone bill every day, because when I do I am conflicted by the fact that I want to be free of it (and knowing that it doesn't really do any good), but that when there are no strange numbers I do indeed feel better.  The problem is that my response to all of it is to talk.  The more I talk to D about how things are going, and what we're both feeling, the better I feel.  He, on the other hand, deals with things by keeping busy and trying not to think about it as much as possible except when he has to.  And that combo is what brings up conflicts like last night, when all I want to do is sound off and all he wants to do is talk about sports.  I keep trying to just let it go....hopefully someday it will finally get easier. 

1 comment:

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

When I read your question: "How, in the early days of your recovery, did you prevent the whole codependent control-freak thing from completely overcoming your life?" I thought, "Oh, man. I totally didn't. It totally did overwhelm my life."

But time and work made it simmer down. I would yell and freak out about similar behavior of my husband's that was so obviously (to me) stuff that had led him to addictive behavior in the past. Now that he was in recovery, he wasn't supposed to do that stuff anymore, right?

As time went on, we both behaved better.

Big hugs, B. And I'm glad I'm finally getting a chance to stop by your blog.