Friday, December 30, 2016

So, how much of your future is set in stone, and how much can you really change?


Or: Be very careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

When you lose the guy who looked perfect, and you’re desperate to get him back again, you’ll do almost anything.

I spent the equivalent of an old used car online looking up my yearly horoscopes, far into the future.

I have to say that what I found is absolutely terrifying.

As I said, I’m pretty sure I’ve got his wife’s birth time down to an hour and a half window. It turns out that an awful lot of interesting things run all through our horoscopes. I once hired an astrologer to do my and Chi’s composite chart, and she said this is a fated relationship. After buying all our transits on my own, I’m beginning to believe it.

I lined my transits, Chi’s and Rory’s all up side by side, read, and took notes. What happened when I did that was fascinating. Put Chi in between us, and you can watch him change relationships. A computer-generated transit won’t, of course, tell you who the other parties involved are, but every time Chi changes relationships, either Rory or I gain or lose a partner. When I’m bereft and unhappy, Rory’s happy; when she’s bereft and unhappy, I’m with somebody and happy. I’ve never met her, but the three of us look linked.

The story that's told goes on far too long and is horrible for all three parties in the end. And why the problems happen is very sad indeed.

I've moved the specifics to a private posting on Live Journal, but what Mark Smith of Family Tree Counseling says about situations like this is most relevant and should be viewed by anyone angry over anyone else's affair.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Involved in an affair? Give the gift of desperation this Christmas season!


“You have to know true despair before you’re willing to risk everything to make a change.”
--Joe, 700 lb bariatric patient.

I remember what it was like to have low self esteem. I remember being the kid everyone in school pointed at, laughed at, talked about, said ugly things to, hit, kicked. I remember being screamed at by a whole busload of kids and the bus driver didn’t say a word. I remember not having a single friend from the age of seven to the age of twelve. Then I’d go home and have a mother screaming and yelling at me as well.

When this is your life at such a young age, you believe it’s all you. 

No one else is being treated like this. There must be something really wrong with you, for everyone in your life to treat you this way. On TV, parents apologize for being wrong, for acting cross. You know it isn’t real life. They explain, too, that kids who bully other kids are the ones who have the problem. You know that isn’t real life, either.

Fast-forward twenty, thirty, or forty years, and someone who’s had this kind of childhood is now maybe your lover. You’ve been together for a while, you know the person’s marriage is a nightmare, and yet…they’re not leaving. They told you they would, and you believed them. You know you love this man or woman. You know you’re going to treat them better than the person they’re with. They tell you all about the marriage, and you know they’re not lying. 

And yet, you’re hearing things like, “But…my daughter,” (who’s all of thirty years old.) “But…I can’t hurt this person I’ve been married to for X number of years,” (never mind all the things they did that caused hurt. And still do.) “But…everyone will be angry. Everyone will look at me funny.” (How does that stack up next to how miserable the person is?) All this fear. Fear of upsetting other people…fear of moving forward in life, even when a marriage is so difficult they know they should.

I remember, as a teenager, being basically scared to live life. My mother had low-functioning borderline personality disorder and was scared to drive. Driving down the road with her was an adventure, with her yelling and screaming the entire trip about how dangerous the other drivers were, making hand signals at the person in the next lane. For any trip into the big city, she would need someone else to drive her. Any weird noise the car made, she was sure something terrible was about to happen. And she was scared for me to drive, scared to be in the car with me driving, and wouldn’t help me practice. 

I caught it. I remember being fifteen and taking driver’s ed in school, and feeling about it exactly the way she did. I saw the same dangerous world. 

Not only that, but learning to drive at my house was dangerous for another reason. My stepfather was willing to help me practice for my driver’s test, and my mother was jealous. 

My stepfather would only teach me in his truck, and it was not a small pickup. It was intimidating to drive that huge thing. It was even more intimidating when my mother cut her eyes across at my stepfather and snapped, “You never offered to teach ME to drive the truck!” Then even when he did offer, she said no. 

There was wayyy too much tension in that house over getting a simple driver’s license.

When you think something’s deeply wrong with you anyway, it feels even worse.

Some people who have this deep sense of being fundamentally flawed and wrong as a person, like my mother, just never find the courage to move forward in life, to tackle difficult problems with other people, or emotional difficulties in themselves, and learn new and different ways to see and live life, and make progress.

It goes something like this: “I am so deeply flawed that no one could ever really love me, and I feel deeply ashamed. But, even though I think this is the reason my parents and other children always treated me so badly, I don’t know that for sure. People have said a lot of ugly things to me, but it’s not as if some doctor or therapist has ever handed down some fatal judgement that made it an actual fact. But I’m afraid that it really is, even so. And I feel so bad about myself, and I’m so scared that my deepest fear is really true, that I can’t stand to hear even one bad thing about myself from another person at all. I can’t stand to hurt anyone, to disappoint anyone, for anyone to be angry at me, so no matter how bad a situation I’m in or how much I’m hurting, I can’t risk hearing anything from anyone else that’s less than positive about me. I need approval at all times, from everyone, because I’m so afraid my worst fear about myself is true."

So, no matter how bad the marriage is, how much the person is avoiding conflict with their spouse by getting their needs met with you, or how much the person wants to be with you…it isn’t going to happen.

Not every affair happens because of this underlying dynamic, but if it sounds like the reason you’re still waiting for your lover to leave, then you need to leave them, and here’s why:

Want to know what got me into that truck anyway? What got me off to college, what got me through a demanding professional program, and what got me into reading self-help and therapy to deal with my problems? DESPERATION.


I realized that if I didn’t get into that truck and fucking learn to drive, if I didn’t go to school and learn to support myself, if I didn’t get myself into help and look honestly at what was wrong with me and how to deal with it, I would end my life just like my mother: Dependent on other people to pay her way and drive her around, no real power in her relationship, no sense of accomplishment in her life, complaining and complaining and with nothing ever changing. Miserable unhappiness with no end in sight. 

If I didn’t do my work, that was lying in wait for me, and things were so bad I just couldn’t accept that. The fear of horrible alternatives drove me to do what I needed to do, no matter how bad I felt or how scared I was. That meant that if I found out there really was something bad I was or had done, I was just going to have to listen and change it. I was just going to have to stand facing it and knowing it for sure, after all.

And you know what I found out?? There really wasn't anything bad about me at all. I had made some mistakes, but I came by them honestly, and I didn't need to hate myself. It didn't mean I was a bad person. It just meant I had mislearned a few things, and now that I knew better, I could do better. And that I could learn better, and I could do better, made me feel a lot better about myself. And I could appreciate all the good things about me there really are.

If your married lover needs to make major changes in his or her life, they never will as long as you are there to listen, to give hugs, kisses, and moral support, and oh, not to mention: sex.

You are the person making their unbearable situation bearable. 

Without you, they might actually feel enough pain and desperation in their marriage to face the things that are wrong, in their heart and in their life, no matter how hard it is or how bad it feels. No matter how scared they are. YOU are the person keeping him or her from looking at the reality: Unless and until I make changes, the eventual outcome of this marriage will mean what kind of pain for my life? How will things turn out if I don’t make the changes I need to make?

That person needs, and you do, too, to honestly face the truth of their life.

Get out of that person’s life, and they might just become desperate enough to do it.

Sometimes, even if it might be the last gift you will give them, the word "No" is the most loving gift you will ever give them.

It doesn't mean you can never see the person again. It just means that you demand the healthiest behavior from them, and you don't settle for less. You may be the only person in their life who will insist on this. And health makes changes that need to be made, and if it's having trouble, it works on the reasons why. It doesn't cop out in an affair for seven years, tearing everyone involved apart and delaying any real progress for as long as they're two-timing people. Health solves problems, it doesn't avoid them. When that person can make some fundamentally healthy change, you can welcome that person back again.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2016

And a prescient one at that...


Old psychological burdens

Valid during many months: Don't become too worried by any profound changes which may turn your life upside-down, because they will give you the necessary strength and energy to finally get rid of some of your old psychological burdens. A friend, work colleague or close family member could have the necessary therapeutic capability to help, being able to put their finger on something which you find particularly painful to discuss. Rather than intending to hurt you, their behavior will simply reopen old wounds which you suffered in your childhood or adolescence. 

The recognition that many of your problems with others are simply the result of your own tendency to cover up your weaknesses and avoid painful issues will help you to gradually change your behavior. Try to overcome the compulsion to keep up appearances all the time, and admit that you also have your failings, weaknesses and inferiority complexes. You will then discover an inner strength which you thought would be lost by admitting this. Feeling powerless or having a vague sense of being controlled or manipulated will only take hold of you if you are unable to find the courage to confront your own inner demons. 

Be quietly thankful to all those people and events which are now throwing your life into turmoil. They are only helping to stir up regions of your unconscious which you have been so adept at repressing, a repression which has been blocking any chances of healing. If you can accept your whole self, including those influences which are painful, you can help to pave the way for a more confident and calmer future. 

Transit selected for today (by user):
Chiron opposition Pluto,  ,
activity period end of April 2015 until end of January 2017

So what happened...?

Friday, December 9, 2016

How can you tell when a recovering codependent has recovered enough to be safe to date?


Some people say astrology is crap, and maybe it is.

Then again…every single thing my horoscopes have predicted for the past four years or so has happened. I even pinpointed the date of my husband’s death within a week by looking at his horoscope transits. They read exactly the way my grandmother’s did the week she died.

When something that eerie happens, and then it’s telling you you are almost certainly bound to your married ex-boyfriend in some significant way for the long term, it does indeed give you pause.

Even if it’s not true: We do tend to attract the same kind of person over and over again, and play out the same kind of relationship time and time again. I really do hope that if someone else came along, I would know better this time than to feel a soul-mate attraction to someone so hopelessly codependent that he can’t stop wrecking his relationships and his life. I really, really do hope that I would have learned better, and maybe if I ever met someone I could fall in love with again, he’d be more like my late husband, who knew who he was and what he wanted and wouldn’t compromise that for anything.

But. What are the odds I’m actually done in this area? Am I going to pick Chi or someone just like him, again??

If a person’s self-esteem is so critically low that they morph themselves into whatever they think you want, struggling to please you because they’re afraid of losing love…and then ten years later they discover they’ve betrayed themselves so painfully there’s nothing to do but have an affair or get a divorce: Even if they’re in treatment, how do you know when they’ve recovered enough that you can trust that what they’re telling you is true?

Can you EVER trust that what they’re telling you is true?

Do they even know that it’s not?

By Chi’s own admission, he knew he was unhappy with the dynamic he agreed to in his marriage and his life for something like TWENTY YEARS. And NEVER SAID ANYTHING. Except to come to club meetings and talk about how he was studying Zen to tolerate the unhappiness in his work, in his marriage, in his life. Of course, he was never specific enough about what was going on until those six months we spent together.

He could tell me then because I wasn’t truly a close part of his life. One phone call, and <snip!> I was gone. He didn’t live with me; all he had to do was not be online, and he didn’t have to deal with me at all. What a person to tell all your secrets to! If no one knows about the relationship, one phone call and it didn’t even happen.

Whereas, for the people in his life whom he called “nearest and dearest”…well, I knew sixteen years before any of them did how unhappy he was in his marriage. SIXTEEN YEARS.

When a person has lived this inside-out and backwards life their whole entire life, can they ever change? And how would you know whether they had?

Because a person who can chronically and habitually lie to you about how they feel and what they want, while suffering unimaginably for TWENTY YEARS, going, “Everyone’s happy but me, so what’s wrong with me? I can’t talk up and hurt these people,” is NOT safe to live with. Ten, fifteen, twenty years later—BLOOIE!!!! Everything you thought was real…IS NOT.

I can’t think of anything that would hurt me more. If I love someone enough to be in an exclusive relationship with him, to let him into my house, into my bed, into my life, to plan a future with him and only him—I’d rather watch that person have sex with someone else than know that person didn’t trust me enough to tell me, “I don’t want to do this or that. This is making me feel unhappy, can we change this?”

To THINK that the second love of my life didn’t trust me enough to believe that I loved him enough to care about his needs…well, I’d rather jump from a bridge. And that is no joke.

Are codependents hopeless? If you’ve been so seriously codependent, with such terrible, horrible, low self-esteem for almost sixty years, is there any hope? How would you know the person was functioning well in the relationship, rather than just shining it on so seamlessly that you won’t know until your whole world falls apart?

I’ve been asking myself this question a lot. Since if this one doesn’t come back, I’m likely to just pick out another one just like him.

I guess if there’s a lot of disagreement and differences, you can be sure the person is probably telling you the truth. If they are dissenting with something you want to do and saying so, why would they say it if it wasn’t who they really were and what they really wanted?

But if it’s smooth sailing, and everything is, “Yes, dear” how do you know that the person really is okay?

I guess you don’t.

And that is truly scary.

I’d be afraid to let this person move in with me. I’d be afraid that if I did that, he’d start overcompromising and overdoing, overplacating and overyessing, overpleasing and undertalking, unhappy the whole time and not saying anything for fear I’ll snap at him or leave him. Even if I’m asking and asking and checking and checking with him: “Is this okay with you? Are you sure this is okay with you? You’re not just saying this to please me? You really, really are comfortable?” I don’t know that I could trust the answer. Chi came to our club meetings for years, talking about the hobbies he was doing with Rory as if they were the most interesting things in the world. Only when he finally let me into the deepest recesses of his heart did I hear the truth.

If the price of being close to such a person is being kicked OUT of the deepest recesses of the person’s heart, it isn’t worth it to try to be close. That Chi trusted me that much meant more to me than a million bars of gold. If we established a relationship, and he didn’t trust me anymore…

I really would want to die. I really, really would.

And I realize this has nothing to do with me. This is this person’s illness, which predated my birth by ten years, which I did not cause, and which I can do nothing to cure.

How about it, out there? Is anyone reading this involved in a relationship with an adult child of an alcoholic? Does that person lie to you? Did the relationship stay intact? How did you get past it? How do you know you can trust what that person tells you about their feelings and your life together?

If you find out you’ve picked out an ACoA to have a relationship with, should you just abandon ship?

Thought: How do you know if an ACoA is better or not?

Answer: Look at the person’s self-esteem.

Anybody got any more??