Monday, January 12, 2009

A Note I Made To Myself

I reread this from a course I took that the county mandated all people going through a divorce take. The note I made in my notebook was startling when I heard it and so I captured it on paper.

I reread it this weekend - about 6 months after I wrote it down. It says a lot. I am afraid it says a lot about me. It does not reference alcoholism, but it is, I believe, germane.

Here is the sentence I captured;

"The pathologically tolerant person looks for a controller who has an addiction."

Interesting and revealing. I am hoping that I am not looking for a controller anymore. I notice I am tolerant, but I am not sure where the tolerance boundary lies. Does it lie in accepting to go out to eat anywhere - because I really don't care what I eat? Does it mean I put up with people being late? Or people not expressing their love for me? How far does tolerance go?

There is one more sentence - a bullet point I captured right below this sentence. I didn't see it this weekend. Here it is;

"The controller has no clue how he affects others. He is narcissistic."

12 comments:

Ms Hen said...

Wow...very well said.

I'm definitely a Codie (but I'm in Recovery).

Thank you for sharing this.

Syd said...

Amen to that. Narcissism is a trait of alcoholics. I don't know what being pathologically tolerant means. I accepted a lot of unacceptable behavior in my life. Maybe I qualify.

Cat said...

Increadible how right on target that is!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...pathologically tolerant. Could this be me? I tend to be tolerant of a lot, but I do put my foot down when I have "had enough". Maybe I need to learn to put my foot down BEFORE I've "had enough". I don't know that I looked for a controller, rather someone who was capable of sharing the control with me. Interesting post.

Suzanne

Anonymous said...

That is so unbelievably accurate. And brilliant. And scary. I need to work on that.

Thanks for sharing!

prodigaldaughter2 said...

I am very glad I found your blog. I am new to Al-Anon and have already found some helpful things here on your blog. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

What you wrote here I totally resonated with. Thank you.

A woman in my town who attends Al-Anon meetings where I go once shared something from her AA meeting (she attends both). 'Love and tolerance is our code.' I believe the alcoholics need to work more on 'tolerance' than do those attending Al-Anon. I agree with the quote that the alcoholic (or narcissist) has no clue how he/she affects others.

Thanks again for bringing this to my awareness.

Anonymous said...

My God, Suzanne, did you read my mind?

Cyprus Sue

Anonymous said...

Cyprus Sue,

I wish I was a mind reader. A bit of background...I am a woman who has seen that women who are TOO assertive come across as abrasive or bitchy. So I have learned to tolerate a certain percentage of baloney instead of calling people out on it each and every time. I "choose my battles". It is a fine line to walk to be assertive but not abrasive. It requires some very advanced verbal skills, some of which of which I have and some of which I don't.

I have a tendency to just blurt things out that are brutally honest but not always the most tactfully worded! I just tell it like it is. So sometimes because I can't quickly think of a tactful way of phrasing something, and I don't want to hurt someone's feelings, rather than blurt I say nothing. (Lest you think I am a total boor, I do regularly say please and thank you.)

These are my weaknesses, caring too much what others think of me and needing a better vocabulary for constructive criticism. I am working on these every day.

When I was single I was looking for a man who was my equal and who was also looking for an equal, hence the sharing the control comment. Any similarity to you?

Suzanne

Catherine said...

Wow, SNAP. Not only looking for a controller (as if that wasn't dysfunctional enough), but looking for an addict. How dismally, hilariously dead-on. Thank you for sharing this, J.

Anonymous said...

This made me cry. Been a very difficult week. Mum was a heavy drinker when I was a teenager - horrible, horrible time. I realised I fell for men with problems - avoided men for years due to the pain. Now I am in love and in pain again. Those two sentences bsolutely describes how it is. He has fun and does not care if he hurts his friends (a long-standing friend of his recently fell out with him over some horrible insult). I would do anything he'd ask, if only he'd ask me. He's been sober for 12 years, no longer in AA. I thought we were friends but he has been so unkind, playing with my feelings. Been crying for a week. Now I understand, though it breaks my heart. But the explanation fits perfectly and in a way makes me feel better. I can't believe I'm doing this again. But it's not because I'm ugly or stupid. It's just this awful disease trapping me again.
Thank you. Such a relief.

Anonymous said...

Even though I don't drink, I identify more with the controller in these quotes. I've never suffered from the alcoholic symptom of addiction to alcohol, but perhaps that means I have other addictions....things to think about...maybe escapism? Great quote, thank-you