Thursday, December 31, 2009

My last post

Today is December 31, 2009. I began this blog on January 1, 2009. 365 days ago I ventured out into blog world to see how it could help me in my recovery. My original title was "Just letting go". It was how I felt, and still do, about being free of the bondage to the alcoholic. Letting go has been, and continues today to be my primary goal, a drive, of my life. I know I cannot survive and live a happy, abundant life by hanging on to the pain, the past.

How do I feel about 2009?

In some ways, it was a successful year. It was the first year in the last 6 years that I actually began to feel truly free of the alcoholic. I saw significant progress in my thought processes and behaviors. The obsession to sober him, or kill him, was relieved. The drive by's ended, the telephone terrorism ceased. I really did find that miracle of detachment. On this basis, I can honestly say it was a grand year.

Of course, this was also the year I lost my beloved Mother. Just thinking of those days in May/June when the end was near and eventually came bring tears to my eyes. I loved, and still love, that woman. I hope so much that she is dancing joyfully in heaven with her mother and sisters, my father and all the dogs she loved so dearly. If I could be as selfless as she, I am grateful that her earth days are over and her eternal days of bliss are just beginning. Through her death, my brothers and sister and I have come together in a small way to maintain contact. We celebrated Christmas together, and though not totally connected, it was a start.

This year has brought me good professional growth and future growth, and I am so blessed and grateful for these opportunities. It has helped to bring up my self esteem and learn that I have gifts that can benefit people, especially impoverished and challenged people who need a motivator in their corner.

I lost friends this year, not to death, but to disease. The spiritual disease we addicts suffer from, when they dropped out of Al-Anon or AA, they eventually dropped from my life, or I from theirs. It was a tough challenge for me to let go of people I once loved as their behaviors reverted back to disease.

This year I began to see the real importance of preparing Jackson, and myself, for his departure to college. To let go of this man, my beloved son, is a monumental task for me. But, I owe it to him to let him live his life as he sees fit. He wants to go away to college, I will support it no matter how my heart will ache to see him go. I want to teach him how to write a check, drive a car, pay bills, comfort himself and be a giver in his community. I know that if I take care of God's precious gift, Jackson, he will learn to take care of himself..........and fly free above all the pain that alcoholism has caused him.

Lastly, to you people. The few that do read my blog regularly, oh how you have made blogging so worthwhile. To have people return here regularly to see what I have to say is the highest compliment to my recovery. You lifted me with your comments when my mother passed, you pat me on the back when I did a good job raising Jackson, you gently suggested when I was off the beam and you have always encouraged me to be better, do more for others, love deeper. Thank you to Steve, Syd, Betty Ann, Prayer Girl, Gabi, Seth and Dee! You are in my heart surrounded by deeply gratitude and eternal thanks for being the special people God so graciously gift me with. Special acknowledgement to the bloggers that I read, but who do not post here: Mary Christine, Andrew, Sarah, Mantramine.....thanks for providing realness, humor, inspiration and honesty. I love connecting to you via your blog and look forward to more in 2010. I hope you all know how much you matter!

This is the last day of this blog, but not blogging all together. I will have my new 2010 blog up soon and will send you all the invitation. I look forward to keeping on with you all….May God bless you today and all the days to come.

Keep coming back, because YOU are so worth it!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Turmoil, perfectionism

Still having a difficult time not working this week. Went to 2 meetings yesterday, shared it at one, and still feeling anxiety at not working to get new students this week.

My boss keeps emailing to find out how my week has gone, ie: did you enroll any new students, EVER THOUGH I am permitted the week off, having met my commitments. I don't think he means anything by it, just trying to shore up his end of year numbers, and I am SURE its all about my inability to say "Hey, no Im not working cus you said we didnt have to, rememberm and I deserve some time off cus I hade a great year, remember?"

Oh why do we have to be grown ups EVERY day?

I am probably going to call some kids today to see what I can do for tomorrow, or the weekend, Not the end of the world, it will help me get started for January....

Im such a wuss. Just goes to matter how many years I recover, I will always have these challenges.....recovery is not cure.

Other than this, Im having a FABULOUS day here at 9:10am, EST. Of course, I have not even gotten outta bed yet.....

thats the next step.

Happy December 30th everyone!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

why can't I just enjoy my vacation?

I have extra time off since I have a cool boss who gives us the holidays off if we have met our monthly goals for December. I did and so since high school is closed I can enjoy the holidays. Except I cant. A few others are working, adding to their numbers for the month, and my boss called yesterday to see if I had anything scheduled for the week. Kinda like "You can have the time off, but Id really rather you worked"...not sure if thats the way he meant it. Anyhow, its basically my choice at the end of the day, but I guess Im feeling competitive, or sloth f I don;t do what some others are doing. Can ya say that Christina NEEDS A MEETING?

People pleasing, not feeling *worthy*, whatever....I know its my Al-anonism rearing its ugly head.

I am going to a meeting at 12pm, then lunch with a friend. I think I will have to learn to be uncomfortable with enjoying what I am entitlted to and have worked hard at gaining!

Happy Tuesday people!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

8 Signs of an emotional manipulator

8 Signs of an emotional manipulator

Emotional Manipulation is also “Covert Aggression”. See: “Psychopaths: Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing”. Here is a list adapted from an article by Fiona McColl

1. There is no use in trying to be honest with an emotional manipulator. You make a statement and it will be turned around. Example: I am really angry that you forgot my birthday. Response: “It makes me feel sad that you would think I would forget your birthday, I should have told you of the great personal stress I am facing at the moment – but you see I didn’t want to trouble you. You are right I should have put all this pain ( don’t be surprised to see real tears at this point) aside and focused on your birthday. Sorry.” Even as you are hearing the words you get the creeped out sensation that they really do NOT mean they are sorry at all – but since they’ve said the words you’re pretty much left with nothing more to say. Either that or you suddenly find yourself babysitting their angst!! Under all circumstances if you feel this angle is being played – don’t capitulate! Do not care take – do not accept an apology that feels like bs. If it feels like bs – it probably is. Rule number one – if dealing with an emotional blackmailer TRUST your gut. TRUST your senses. Once an emotional manipulator finds a successful manoeuvre – it’s added to their hit list and you’ll be fed a steady diet of this sh**.

2. An emotional manipulator is the picture of a willing helper. If you ask them to do something they will almost always agree – that is IF they didn’t volunteer to do it first. Then when you say, “OK thanks” – they make a bunch of heavy sighs, or other non verbal signs that let you know they don’t really want to do whatever said thing happens to be. When you tell them it doesn’t seem like they want to do whatever – they will turn it around and try to make it seem like OF COURSE they wanted to and how unreasonable you are. This is a form of crazy making – which is something emotional manipulators are very good at. Rule number two – If an emotional manipulator said YES – make them accountable for it. Do NOT buy into the sighs and subtleties – if they don’t want to do it – make them tell you it up front – or just put on the walk-man headphones and run a bath and leave them to their theater.

3. Crazy making – saying one thing and later assuring you they did not say it. If you find yourself in a relationship where you figure you should start keeping a log of what’s been said because you are beginning to question your own sanity –You are experiencing emotional manipulation. An emotional manipulator is an expert in turning things around, rationalizing, justifying and explaining things away. They can lie so smoothly that you can sit looking at black and they’ll call it white – and argue so persuasively that you begin to doubt your very senses. Over a period of time this is so insidious and eroding it can literally alter your sense of reality. WARNING: Emotional Manipulation is VERY Dangerous! It is very disconcerting for an emotional manipulator if you begin carrying a pad of paper and a pen and making notations during conversations. Feel free to let them know you just are feeling so “forgetful” these days that you want to record their words for posterity’s sake. The damndest thing about this is that having to do such a thing is a clear example for why you should be seriously thinking about removing yourself from range in the first place. If you’re toting a notebook to safeguard yourself – that ol’ bs meter should be flashing steady by now!

4. Guilt. Emotional manipulators are excellent guilt mongers. They can make you feel guilty for speaking up or not speaking up, for being emotional or not being emotional enough, for giving and caring, or for not giving and caring enough. Any thing is fair game and open to guilt with an emotional manipulator. Emotional manipulators seldom express their needs or desires openly – they get what they want through emotional manipulation. Guilt is not the only form of this but it is a potent one. Most of us are pretty conditioned to do whatever is necessary to reduce our feelings of guilt. Another powerful emotion that is used is sympathy. An emotional manipulator is a great victim. They inspire a profound sense of needing to support, care for and nurture. Emotional Manipulators seldom fight their own fights or do their own dirty work. The crazy thing is that when you do it for them (which they will never ask directly for), they may just turn around and say they certainly didn’t want or expect you to do anything! Try to make a point of not fighting other people’s battles, or doing their dirty work for them. A great line is “I have every confidence in your ability to work this out on your own” – check out the response and note the bs meter once again.

5. Emotional manipulators fight dirty. They don’t deal with things directly. They will talk around behind your back and eventually put others in the position of telling you what they would not say themselves. They are passive aggressive, meaning they find subtle ways of letting you know they are not happy little campers. They’ll tell you what they think you want to hear and then do a bunch of jerk off sh** to undermine it. Example: “Of course I want you to go back to school honey and you know I’ll support you.” Then exam night you are sitting at the table and poker buddies show up, the kids are crying the TV. blasting and the dog needs walking – all the while “Sweetie” is sitting on their donkey looking at you blankly. Dare you call them on such behaviour you are likely to hear, “well you can’t expect life to just stop because you have an exam can you honey?” Cry, scream or choke ‘em – only the last will have any long-term benefits and it’ll probably wind your butt in jail.

6. If you have a headache an emotional manipulator will have a brain tumour! No matter what your situation is the emotional manipulator has probably been there or is there now – but only ten times worse. It’s hard after a period of time to feel emotionally connected to an emotional manipulator because they have a way of de-railing conversations and putting the spotlight back on themselves. If you call them on this behavior they will likely become deeply wounded or very petulant and call you selfish – or claim that it is you who are always in the spotlight. The thing is that even though you know this is not the case you are left with the impossible task of proving it. Don’t bother – TRUST your gut and walk away!

7. Emotional manipulators somehow have the ability to impact the emotional climate of those around them. When an emotional manipulator is sad or angry the very room thrums with it – it brings a deep instinctual response to find someway to equalize the emotional climate and the quickest route is by making the emotional manipulator feel better – fixing whatever is broken for them. Stick with this type of loser for too long and you will be so enmeshed and co-dependent you will forget you even have needs – let alone that you have just as much right to have your needs met.

8. Emotional manipulators have no sense of accountability. They take no responsibility for themselves or their behavior – it is always about what everyone else has “done to them”. One of the easiest ways to spot an emotional manipulator is that they often attempt to establish intimacy through the early sharing of deeply personal information that is generally of the “hook-you-in-and-make-you-sorry-for-me” variety. Initially you may perceive this type of person as very sensitive, emotionally open and maybe a little vulnerable. Believe me when I say that an emotional manipulator is about as vulnerable as a rabid pit bull, and there will always be a problem or a crisis to overcome.
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