Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Sober Life.....I was slapped in the face by my codependent behavior, reality check for mates of those getting sober...
This past weekend was probably one of the best times I have ever spent with my family. My 3 girls, my grandson and my Love. I had dreamed of days like this not so long ago and often times I had given up hope of having them. When you love an addict you are always waiting for the bottom to fall out, and now after all of these years of waiting for my love to realize that he deserves happiness, its finally happening and I don't know how I feel about it. Don't get me wrong I am soo glad that he is on a road to recovery and sobriety. It has been two long years in rehabs and though I have prayed every day for this I am forced to look at myself as he gains a new outlook on life. Forced to realize that I too need to change harmful old patterns of behavior and change my role in our relationship. He is becoming the guy I fell in love with 20 years ago...funny, confident, loving, the person everyone loves to be around and gravitate to. I am an antisocial people hater..... I say that as nicely as possible. We are complete opposites and that is what I love about him the most, he is all of the things I am not. He brings out the best in me, and unfortunately when he was in his addiction he brought out the worst in me. I was a textbook co-dependent and to some degree I still am, but I have gotten better at drawing boundaries with him.
This weekend I had to check myself for falling into an old pattern, we were having a great day a 12 hour visit and we had a lot planned. I had a lot of stress just getting to him, car rental issues and creditcard issues and no sleep issues. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve, filled with the anxiousness of seeing him after 3 long months since our last visit. It was great, all of our girls were so excited to see him. My grandson also came, who took to him like he has not been gone. I wanted to take him shopping and buy him some much needed things, specifically tennis shoes, we shopped at the Gilroy outlets after a long morning of Monterey Bay Aquarium and Aptos Beach. Tired and beat I took my girls shopping as I had promised. He was excited just like them. For some reason he loves tennis shoes and I knowing this let him run wild looking at shoes. He was stuck on getting these ugly for lack of a better description effeminate looking sleek Nikes. I told him no, and as I heard myself say it I flashed back to the days of his addiction. I wanted to be in control of the fucking tennis shoe buying experience! This continued for three stores, too expensive, or he just didn't like Vans...I love them and have the hots for guys who wear them. Ok some guys. He then came across some 60 dollar Etnies and I had another shit fit...really I dont even spend that much on any item for myself...my kids maybe but me or him certainly not! I said no again. Wow, was I trying to suck the fun out of the trip or what? In all honesty I could of bought them, but wanted to hold it over his head that I had rented a car, paid for our trip and wasn't that going to be good enough for him...did he really need these damned tennis shoes? I told him as much when I went and bought a purse for 30.00 way over what I normally spend, it was leather and 70 percent off? I deserved it! He reverted to the kid he was when his Mom tried to make him eat meatloaf...nope he had to have Pioneer Chicken...remember that? Or Mc Donalds....I told him your not that lil kid anymore and he said he was "sorry, take back the things you bought me and I am just happy with you just being here." That made me feel like shit....in the old days he would take it for granted that I would forgive him and reward him... a definite codependent pattern, and I would chide him and make him feel bad. Then he would be sorry and we would make up after hours of arguing.
This little tennis shoe incident made me realize that I need to work on my issues as he gets well. I too, need to stop trying to create conflict when there should not be any. He has had a history of sabotaging important days, especially holidays, and I have learned to react. So now that he has been working on himself and instead made the day memorable for our children in a good way, I had to sabotage it. I caught myself and apologized too. He settled on some tennis shoes he was happy with. I felt good buying them for him. I know in time he will be here helping me support our children financially and emotionally and making a better way, I know he can only do that sober. I know that we can only be a family if I work on my stuff too. Being in control is not all its cracked up to be. Sometimes like the waves ebbing in you just have to go with the flow. Our visit ended as I dropped him off and we said our goodbyes....I watched him walk in with his box of clothes and new shoes and he held his head up high. Something I have not seen him do much of in the past. I am so proud of my love, so proud of him in so many ways. I thank God for answering my prayers..."Dear God if you just let me have one day with my family where everything goes right I would be so happy!" Yes it was one of the best days yet of my Loves sobriety, and a painful lesson for me. Learning to let him be independent from my control will bring us even closer. Ironic how he is teaching me that!