|Saatchi Online Gallery, KwangHo Shin|
I know not everyone relates to that, but it's real to me. Not every person who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic, and not every person married to an addict is a codependent. But I am. And giving it a name gives me such a sense of relief, that now I know what I'm dealing with.
Addiction is a family disease, and I think that means that living with an addict is likely to make family members sick. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually and even physically unhealthy.
I love and believe in betrayal trauma. It is validating and compassionate and kind. But I can't stay there forever or else I will perpetually be justified in my victim-hood. Self-pity is a character defect for me, it incapacitates me. My goal isn't to be uninfluenced by those around me, in particular those I love. My goal is to be able to FUNCTION within the feelings that will naturally come with my relationships. Hurt and disappointment will inevitably be a part of my existence. I just want to be strong enough to cope with them.
During and after the Al-Anon meeting when the fog was lifting from my head a little bit I could see how unhealthy I had been. I was STILL trying to control Pete, I am much more subtle these days but I allowed myself to become preoccupied with his recovery or lack thereof. My mother-in-law recently visited and looking back I can see how I totally engaged in the drama triangle with her. I let her behavior ruin my mood, sometimes my day, and even my experiences. Sometimes just parts of her personality made me feel nasty inside. I was consistently resenting her, resenting my circumstances, wanting so badly for things that I can't control to be different. The serenity prayer feels so cliche to me now, but isn't it just so TRUE?
I can't live in anger forever, willing my anger to change things I can not change. I don't want to be endlessly confused about what I can control or influence and what I can not. And I especially don't want to live in fear. Fear of what people will think of me. Fear of having porn addiction in my life forever. Fear of being hurt.
It's from this slightly healthier place that I'm making my blog public again. I know that making it private was in part a punishment to Pete, a form of manipulation. It was also based in fear, that what I wrote would make him more unwell. Unfortunately some of the things I wrote came from my broken brain, but that's okay. I'll leave them as they are.
I talked to him this morning and told him that whatever I write here is what it is. And it needs to be his responsibility to decide whether or nor to read it, and what to do with the feelings it gives him if he does read it.
So that's that. Sorry for my drama. Hopefully I'm back on the path to sanity, serenity and contentment.