Don’t worry, I didn’t drink. I am just luring you in with a catchy title, because I have no soul.
The square one I am talking about it relationship-related, not substance related: looks like Anne might be single again – or in need of some serious relationship counseling,..
Why am I boring you with the repetitive back and forth stories about my chaotic love life? Because they not unrelated to a more extensive sense of the term “addiction”, and I for one have definitely used relationships in unhealthy ways to espace from difficult feelings of unworthiness, loneliness and low self-esteem in the past. Now that -thanks to sobriety- I have a bit more clarity as to who I am, who I want to be and what I want, I am a lot less patient and a lot more reactive than I have ever been (which is … never). I think I’m making up, in slightly extreme ways, for years of codependent “settling” and people pleasing, and being treated poorly -never physically- in order to preserve -“save”- my relationships at all costs.
Long story short, after yet another argument sparked by a small detail (I didn’t say what I wanted for breakfast -because I am terrible at asking for stuff-, boyfriend made breakfast for himself but not for me, and made a humiliating joke in front of his roommates while I was busy being upset at the lack of breakfast, and I flipped out), and I decided it was the last straw and declared this had to end.
AND NOW…… cue panic back-pedaling.
In the scope of a single afternoon, it went from “let’s break up” to “let’s take a break”. In classic Anne fashion, I became yet again torn between wanting out of this “unsatisfying relationship with a man-baby”, and terrified of being/dying alone and unwanted, Godzilla the cat having no other choice but to devour my corpse once the dry food runs out. Sigh.
I am so confused: this person drives me crazy, mainly because he REALLY reminds me of mother, in so many ways (except for the alcoholism). And guess what, a lot of our arguments also happen because he is reminded of HIS mother in many of the ways I am (I have trouble expressing my needs/ he has trouble being attentive to the needs of others because of overwhelming anxiety = THE PERFECT COMBO). The strange thing about this relationship is that we are very often completely enmeshed, and often project our childhood/ family issues onto each other, but are very much aware of it (because of our recent sobriety and his work with his therapist: a lot of stuff is coming up for both of us) ….
Our argument resolutions often sound like “I am sorry, I was triggered and swapped a parental figure for you and got overwhelmed, but now I know you are not my mother and I am sorry for my behavior”. Sigh.
So here I am, actually enjoying this alone time (unlike our breakup in October, where I was a tragic heartbroken mess), but unsure as to what to do: we love each other deeply and have known each other for 6 years, but drive each other insane and are SO TRIGGERING for each other despite all our efforts and best intentions. ALSO, I am 33, whereas he is 28 (and has yet to see the world), and I am realizing this week that I want kids, and time is RUNNIN’ OUOOOUUUUT if I want to find the “perfect” partner (must stop thinking “perfect” is a thing),,,, and I can’t be wasting my time arguing in shitty relationships if I don’t want to die alone and childless, with entrail-eating cats for only company. On the other hand, this guy sees right through my bullshit and my fear of intimacy/vulnerability, and he has been SOOOO good in helping me learn how to trust and feel safe and loved for who I am. I will be eternally grateful to him for that. So it would be a shame to throw it all away especially as we only have another 6 months together before I am supposed to leave the USA. And yet another part of me really does want to explore how it is to be WITHOUT a relationship-crutch and just be with myself: to learn that it’s not that awful and that terrifying to be alone. AND YET, the present circumstances aren’t helping: being 100% alone during covid is NO FUN (especially without a car).
So yeah, “back to square 1” means: back to this crippling hesitation and inability to make a decision due to a gigantic internal conflict, which I would normally drink away, or worse: I would get drunk and make an uninhibited, rash decision, and then stick to whatever came out then, out of sheer stubbornness. But now I can’t do that, I have to actually figure out what I want, and nobody has taught me how to doooo thaaaaat.
At least this time we’re not doing the no contact thing, and we’ve agreed to talk about all this (yet again) after a few more days of alone time.
[I’m sure one of you will know: isn’t there a thing where either addicts or codependents of children of alcoholics have trouble making decisions, especially ones with real-life “permanent” consequences?]
In either situation there is pain. And either way, it will be ok. Right now my biggest fear is breaking up and regretting it later. I think my uncertainty is due to my inability to see if this relationship is in fact toxic, or if it is merely extremely challenging because for the first time ever, it is with somebody who truly loves me and wants to heal just as much as I do. URGHHHHHHHH
Hope you are having more productive lives and thoughts than I am !!!
Hang in there !