Now, OF COURSE that varies!
Some of us have such awful persons, that we can separate in one session.
Some of us have had lots of alcoholic relationships, and 'this one' is easier to leave, than were others.
Some of us have had no abuse done to us------ever------. Those persons' childhoods were truly wonderful. Those persons often leave and do not return, on the first try.
b. When we leave, most of us do not think we will ever go back. It feels usually shocking to us, when we do. And others shame us for doing so (unintentionally, usually). And we feel great shame for it....often leading us to lie about it.......or just leave things out of what we tell them. All of this is so normal. If we realized how many millions of people are going through this, daily, just in the U.S.--------- we'd be able to drop a lot of that shame.
Shaming ourselves for going back is such a waste of time.
When we do go back-------it's just part of the process.
c. Look at a stockbroker's chart---------- looking at it from afar, all we see is the forward growth (when it is a stock that performs well for us). But looking close-up, there are lots of little back-and-forths.
The "backwards" lines ------- akin to when we go back and leave and go back and leave, etc, until we don't have to do that anymore------ are just 'blips'.
"Blips" happen........to everyone in life.
Life is not a straight line.
d. Why do we need to 'touch base'-------- go back, in a way? Because the pain diminishes over time.
e. Sometimes, we get hooked into 'helping them'... and sometimes, when there is a terrible history, the only thing they can hook us with, is when they are in truly life-threatening situations. So, we try to help, and then try to dis-engage......and find ourselves unable to, again.
What can help us not be the rescuers? Often, we can contact government agencies (like protective services for adults) that can take over that role, so we can finally step away entirely without that terrible tug to help someone who is in a life-threatening situation.
f. Why else do we get back involved, even if we don't go back to living with them?
We 'remember' the 'stuff' less and less, over time. We give more credence to the 'good' stuff......and less to the junk.
It's a form of minimizing......denial.
And it is totally normal.
That's why in the "Getting Them Sober, volume one" book, there's an entire about "remember the facts". And in the "GTS, volume 4" book----a chapter called "I dropped the divorce proceedings 6 times".
Why two chapters on this? Because our natural instinct is to forgive.......to minimize......... to find the good....... to minimize....... to be willing to go through hell and back for someone we love......... to minimize........ to give them the shirt off our backs------and still buy them 3 suits on top of it... and to minimize.
Yes, it is totally weird to have to curb our natural, good instincts to love and trust people, when dealing with an alcoholic.
From Toby Drews, the author of the million-selling "Getting Them Sober'' books, endorsed by 'dear Abby', Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, and Melody Beattie:
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