It must have started around the time I graduated from high school. At that time I was not yet aware of the lack of emotional support in my home, and suddenly I found myself lost on a university campus, trying to navigate life on my own. Now I understand that it was CPTSD, complex childhood trauma/post traumatic stress, but back then I figured I was just another college student, drinking, partying, having fun. Well, it wasn't fun anymore in my late 20's, when I would sometimes miss work due to having had a bottle of red wine on a week night. One glass often (almost always) turned into 3-6 or more. I remember one specific night, when I was 29, and I had finished a whole bottle of red wine by myself when a friend called to ask me to meet up for a glass of wine. We shared another bottle. Sitting there talking to my friend, I was wondering to myself "How on earth did you drink almost two bottles of wine?? This is not what normal people do. Or is it?" Becoming sober has been a two steps forward, one step back since then. I am happy to report that this year I have only had one drinking episode, and I am hopeful I stay away for good. It is just not worth risking even one more hangover. Speaking of which, I wish I could go back in time and hug my younger self, who was crouched on the bathroom floor in front of the toilet too many times. Crying, red veins popped underneath her eyes, yellow stomach acid coming out of her mouth in between dry heaving. There were nights of drunk calling or texting people, waking up covered in sweat, shame, and fear. The fear might have been the worst. All those years I was so scared of feeling and being me. Luckily I found a good therapist three years ago and have worked through and healed a lot of my traumatic experiences from childhood, but I want to keep an eye on self-care. It is too easy for me to slip back into self-loathing and fear and toxic shame. I want to be my own best friend and supporter, the person my inner child can trust to always have her back. Reading Mrs. D's book was one of the first things I did when I started looking around for actions to take to heal (or whatever it is you do to make it stop for good) my alcoholism. Ouch, that is still a bit hard to write down. Alcoholism. But I guess normal people just don't do what I did. They stop after one glass, and they do not have those day-long hangover days from one bottle of wine or more. So now that I created this profile, I will go back into the "real" world, where 99% of people look at me as normal and not an alcoholic. It has been a quiet "no more" journey, and even my husband thinks I never had a drinking problem. It is almost shocking at how good I hid it from others and myself. I don't want to drink anymore, and I don't ever ever ever want to feel hungover again. xoxo
I swear to God I am not making this up. After not checking my day count in ages…including earlier today when I first posted here about sober travels….I JUST got curious enough and went in….and taddaaaa….
Eight hundred days.
Fuckety fuck. *** Is this really me? How fitting too…because the actual reason I came back for a wee more browsing here and replying to others was that my childhood trauma has been majorly triggered today. And coming here is a self-care response that is healthier than guzzling down 2 liters of Pinot Noir.
What happened was a guy I used to date a LONG time ago, and who was a complete narcissist, lying, being flaky, entertaining several women at once, hot/cold, creating a dopamine addiction cycle in my brain…..reached out in a harmless way and since he still works where I used to work and it’s been ages and I have been married for years….I figured….Why not.
*** I should have known better. If it sounds like a duck, if it walks like a duck, it probably is….a duck.
He manipulated me into keeping my evening available for a dinner and then gaslighted himself out of it. I expected this and even joked with a friend earlier today that this is what would happen. His excuse…he claimed he had texted me and I “had not responded” so he went on about his day. I did not receive a text. He planned this and knew all along he would play me along, in spite of it being years and us never ever having anything romantically due to me being married and us having had a chance way back.
*** And like the addicted mind does….I had a crashdown…I had been looking forward to this, wanting to find closure for “that time of my life” and thought how lovely it would be to meet up as “the new me”….. and then I felt ashamed and angry….Like why the fuck am I crying…??? And feeling….over THAT kinda guy. Shoulda known better….shouldn’t have agreed to meet….shoulda coulda woulda. ***
And then I realized…..the little girl in me was totally triggered. Rejection = Worthlessness. That’s the leftover from childhood, where there was plenty of traumatic rejection in my life.
But I am not a little girl anymore. I am in charge now.
No need to drink and be miserable and feel like I “need” this person’s attention. (or the wine….) And…..to end on a high note…..
I already anticipated this. And….made plans myself as a back-up.
*** So instead of risking exposure to a manipulative and gaslighting narc…..I meet up with one of my oldest and dearest colleagues….who is from Ohio. 🙂 It seems yet again the Midwest sends me a rescue boat.
Time to scavenge for some more awesome food cuz summer diets are a myth.
Thanks for being my safe place. All jokes aside…..I used to self-destruct with not only booze but toxic and codependent relationships.
This today….was a test. I feel like I passed it. I felt the sadness and grief and anger and all of it…..the confusion.
And all I replied was: “Must have been the wrong number. I didn’t receive a text. Have a nice evening.”
Then I had a wee cry…called a good friend…came here. And while I wish I hadn’t agreed to meet and had not felt a single thing……I did the best I could. And it is lightyears different from the old ways.
800 cool, go girl and our brain is a strange thing, I’m noticing more &more the longer my sobriety. Gosh you’re post bought up old feelings that I thought were buried & forgotten but it’s a good thing coming to grips with the past, we are stronger than we think & great sober warriors XX XX
800! So awesome. And sucks about that a-hole guy and what you went through, but you did it in a healthy manner, you lived, you learned and now you’re that much better, wiser and stronger because of it. 🙂 Also, your happy “Fuckety fuck.” totally made my day and made me smile. 🙂
R51, thank you so very much!!! You are one of my “old faces” here. Always a treat to see you write here. And thanks for the compassion and kindness in your post. It sure felt like a test…and I am moving on. He was one of the reasons (along with my mother) why I read books on boundaries and assertiveness. oxoxox
Sounds like the games children play, they hand something out to us like a sweet or something else we might like then as we reach for it they pull their hand away and giggle. We laugh too cos its a child but when adults do it its sad. This guy needs to grow up you are so way beyond him.
MaryB, this was GOLD! I got your reply at the right time and whenever I felt like the situation was pulling me down a bit I thought of what you said…Pictured him as a toddler that pulls the toy away and giggles. It felt REALLY good to hear you write “I am way beyond him.” I hope one day I fully embody that feeling and feel like I truly am. Getting there….
Wow, well done @mari135. I have learned so much from your willingness to be open and authentic in this space, thank you for your honesty and bravery. You most definitely did pass that test and you were given that experience so that you could grow and heal from him and your past, just in a different way then you thought you were going to. I am in awe of you xoxo
Hi @Mari135! Congrats on 800 days!! Well, 801 today! I like your reply to that gaslighter. What a jerk. And thanks for your virtual hug yesterday.. And I think I will stick around here for awhile, I love this community. Hope your last days are wonderful in your country! (I think you’re still away.?) xoxo
Holy shit, JM, that’s EXACTLY what I Googled after the encounter/non-encounter with him…”Gaslighting”….He actually texted me TWO more times (I did not reply) via Facebook (we are not friends there but you can still send others messages) and explained how “he had checked the number I gave him and he had texted that exact number.”
Fucked up. No words.
Any normal person would have tried calling and/or set up an alternative coffee date, and….a normal person would say something like: “Oh no, I am so sorry about the mix-up. I must have gotten the number wrong.”
He has always done that….subtly blame-shifting and he also lies a lot. I reckon not a great loss there if he is cut out now, which I plan on doing. Nothing left to say really. I don’t see how this relationship is serving me at all. There are so many good people out there. No need to try and make the toxic ones work. oxoxoxox Thanks again so much. Your reply made me feel heard and understood. I joke a lot but that moment was low and lonely…and I felt like I lapsed a bit in terms of feelings-behavior. Your words helped to make it lighter and to make it pass faster.