Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy New Me

Just as today, November 1st, marked the New Year for the Celts: the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new cycle, today also marks an end of one cycle and a beginning of a new one for me.

One year ago today, I ended a relationship I really didn’t want to come to an end, but something inside of me told me something was unhealthy. His extra close relationship with his ex, although healthy in some aspects, seemed really unhealthy and bizarre in other aspects. And I knew it, felt it all along…but I tried to ignore it or allow his dysfunctional logic to override my own thoughts and feelings. Upon hearing that his ex was now sleeping over, so he could help her recover from cosmetic plastic surgery was the last straw.

Amongst the many other situations that I won’t bore you with, this was the two by four I needed to be hit over the head with. This is codependency, an unhealthy attachment, a non-letting go. I should have known there was codependency at play here, so I told myself as self punishment, after all he was an alcoholic and drug abuser for 20 years of his life and all during his marriage. She stayed with him through drama, selfish behavior, violent lifestyle, lies and whatever else goes on in those types of relationships. A part of him I had never known, but only heard about from him. It was only when he became sober, that she fell out of love with him and in love with another heavy drinker for 4 years. Yet she and her ex, my ex, kept on carrying on like a happy little family, or maybe for the first time as it may not have been so during their 16 year marriage.

Now living a platonic marriage? They would even celebrate each other's birthdays together and Mother's Day, Father's Day with their son, but still.... where is the separation in this scenario? Besides not sleeping together anymore or having "romantic feelings". Is it not just a platonic marriage now but still a marriage like, bizarre, unhealthy thing? No?! She even had a key to his place! And all the while she was living with another man and leaving him at home for these ex-husband excursions! So why did I not listen to my first instincts? I was so confused with my own thoughts and feelings (still am to this day). I suppose because I cared for him so much I pushed away my inner knowing. I should have listened to myself in the first place, continued the self punishing voice.

And this day marked my own descent into codependency, obsessive behavior and my own inner addict. A year where all my own deep, dormant wounds came to wake and wreak havoc with my life. Self-pitying, self-doubting and self-loathing. Along this dark, long, winding road I learned a lot about myself at an even deeper level than I had already explored. I seem to be low on self-value, self-respect, self-worth, self-trust. Why? Where did this come from and how has this affected my life? All these questions were answered through painful bouts of sadness and loneliness and immense inner turmoil. Old wounds, old beliefs and subsequent old patterns were exposed.

Dragged out of the comfort of darkness kicking and screaming into the harsh light of day. No longer able to hide and subtly control my life from an undetected place from deep within. Wounds and beliefs and patterns that now had to answer to these questions because they had nowhere to go anymore; their shelter had been exposed and demolished. Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. I had to sit with them for a year, calm them, interrogate them and then embrace them and learn to love them.

So why did this happen? Why did this relationship, with this person whom I had such strong feelings for, such a pull towards and vice versa, end? Or happen at all? I conclude that it is because he had all the “right” qualities, wounds, dysfunctions to awaken my deep wounds. It was because he had some wonderful qualities that I adored and commonalities that we shared that drew me to him, but it turns out he had all the similar dysfunctional characteristics as the person who originally wounded me and lead me to create these false beliefs about myself in the first place ... so I learned through lots of deep, painful self-reflection.

And I realized I needed to be wounded in the same way so that I could process these dormant, life-stealing wounds with the awareness and wisdom of an adult mind. It’s like homeopathy; you need to be given the same poison such that a greater healing can occur. In retrospect, maybe I should thank my ex for setting me free … but I am not quite there in my healing yet. It is said that the people that hurt us the most are our greatest teachers.

My ex had all the key ingredients to unlock my self-created cage and set me free. Free of my wounds, free of my false self-beliefs, free of my self-created limitations.

Free to fly.

Let the New Year begin….


  1. Hi There,

    Thank you so much for your lovely words on my blog...
    They are much appreciated...
    Sending you love and compassion on your journey....

  2. A very hurting story but so well written. And believe me, I do kind of know how your feeling as my own blog was started as a way to get my own wounds to heal.

    Strangely in life, its these dark places that give us the light to sometimes write in such honest and open ways about ourselves!

  3. We do tolerate so much at times, that it takes so much for us to 'see' what is actually acceptable or not. It's all very individual, but there comes a day when we make a choice.
    I so relate to your words.

    Thanks also for your visit and comment at my place. Hope to see you again!


  4. Hi there. Thanks for leading me on over. I really do get this post- it sounds *very* similar to being post-relationship with a sex addict. More on that to follow.

    First, I wanted to comment on this bit: "I conclude that it is because he had all the “right” qualities, wounds, dysfunctions to awaken my deep wounds."

    Totally. My therapist calls it having an "emotional template," that is formed in childhood. So in childhood, my inner-workings were molded into this sad and twisted version of the life I really wanted. Then, without realizing exactly what I was doing, I went out into the big bad world and found my lego. The guy who had an emotional template that matched mine. Bad luck for me that he was a sex addict, and lied to me for years. He could have given me AIDS. He had no regard for my health. He destroyed my sanity. And yet, something about me appealed to him-- and told him that I would be a great person to victimize. I was too innocent, too naive to question him. (Because I'd learned not to question.)

    It was the perfect relationship, crafted in hell.

    Next up: a 'recovered' alcoholic, was he? Hmm. I can't tell you how many spouses I met (chicks like us) whose husband's were 'sober' in a different program. One woman even threw her husband a huge 20-year sober (in AA) anniversary bash, and unwittingly entertained three of his acting out partners. (acting out: sex addiction talk for he was having sex with them.) Can you imagine?

    The big message about sex addicts is that they are addicts in general, and many cross-addict, or swap addictions, for their entire life. Without doing that deep work of the soul, it's easy for many with addictions to just show up to their meetings, talk about honesty, and consider themselves cured. Without ever seeing a therapist, or getting to the bottom of their childhood stuff.

    The way you describe his relationship with his 'ex' sounds pretty sick.

    You survived a relationship with an addict, and came out the other side. That makes you a warrior.

    What's interesting to me is that a lot of the literature from my Trauma Resolution Therapy (TRT) group was first developed for spouses of alcoholics. All the examples of how to write my TRT's are from spouses whose husband's drove drunk and scared the shit out of them-- or hit them-- or other awful stuff.

    The most recent post on my TRT group is here:

    I wonder if it's something else that resonates for you?

    In any case, it sounds like you've done a lot of work to rebuild yourself after being with such an unhealthy person. Good for you!