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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: Understanding and Forgiving Myself: Choosing Her  (Read 151 times)
nolisan
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 332



« on: May 25, 2013, 04:17:18 PM »

DF was my first real love at 56 years old.

I started drinking and drugging when I was 15. I was fairly a shy boy but in the few years before had been popular with the girls (dances, spin the bottle etc). But when the d&d started I stopped progressing normally wrt relationships. It was the beginning of many years of sex, drugs and rock & roll. I had lots of sex - in a sex inventory I estimated over 500 women - hookers, one night stands and brief flings with party and codependent girls. No committed or truly intimate relationships!

I got into recovery about 10 years ago and now have 4.5 years clean and sober. In early sobriety I consciously avoided women/dating/sex (my sponsor called them a "gateway drug" ) and I have seen my share of men loose their sobriety by jumping into a r/s)  A few years into this I started going to AlAnon in search of emotional sobriety. Two women took a shine to me  - one was good looking and well educated - the other not so. Both seemed to have their lives together. The good looking one had 21 years in recovery, had got clean in her early twenties, and had a deep knowledge of psychology and spirituality. That was attractive to me.

The attractive one took me by surprise. One night out of the blue she called me and asked me for some advice: "Should she let her ex husband of 5 years, who had fallen on hard times, take refuge with her? She had moved away from his city and started a new life". I gave her reasonable advice (don't do it) but was somewhat unsettled at being asked such a question when I really didn't know her.

Over the next year she started dropping by. She was finishing a degree and was struggling financially. I was 9 years older than her and treated her in a "fatherly" manner. I lent her a little money to get her through her last few months (she paid me back). We started going to a few music events and two summers ago I got her a job at the non profit org I lead. She had interpersonal problems with the manager and quit twice with no notice and left us hanging. The manager and I noted that she had some "issues". The manager joked that she wasn't employee material but that maybe I should date her. Later that summer she was fired from a really good job at the end of her first day - she had got into an argument with her supervisor ... . hmmm.

She had started to share a lot about her life and the she had "complex PTSD". I have some PTSD myself and could relate although hers had much darker causes (child sex abuse, early spousal abuse). Our PTSD kind of became a bond - we were both in recovery from it. (I wish I had of researched cPTSD - it is virtually identical in symptoms to BPD which I also knew nothing about).

  I began asking myself, my sponsor and a spiritual adviser if, perhaps, I might be ready for a r/s and if it might be a good thing for my emotional growth. I was conscious and cautious: in recovery they say that my emotional age = when I started drinking + years of sobriety = 15 + 3 = 18! This was going to be my First Real Kick at the Commitment Cat. I wanted to get it right. I was apprehensive and nervous AND vulnerable.

Two autumns ago DF started to transmit stronger: sharing links on relationships and flirting - I flirted back. She asked me to a Halloween ceremony at her Pagan Church. It was that night I saw her with different eyes while sitting in the soft autumn light of a coffee shop. That was the night I fell in love with her. (I ask myself now was there a spell cast on me Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)).

I went to a spiritual adviser and shared my feelings. She said "Go for it" and ironically quoted "Better to have failed at love than never to have loved at all".

She sent me a link on "What if the Buddha Dated?" (a good book by the way) and I responded "How about a Buddhist date?". The rest is history I'll share soon - a story of agony and ecstasy. 

Sorry for the long story but I needed to get this (my choice) out and look back. Yes it was my choice to step into it but clearly she had "selected" me and was making herself available. I was cautious but had fallen into a "rescuer role" very early well before the dating started. She gave me lot's of complements on my intelligence, kindness, generosity (even cautioning me to watch out for people who would take advantage of that), recovery and spirituality. That felt good and gave my ego a boost. It felt good to help her out and give her reassurance. She reassured me that my character defects were not that horrible. I have to admit that I did have twitches in my gut that told me there was something quite broken in her. I didn't want to see that. Something in me felt that a relationship would fill the void in me and that we would heal each other. I was naive. I was a "teenager" stepping into my first love affair with a woman who had been through many.

I forgive myself for choosing to start the relationship. It seemed a reasonable risk at the time. I don't regret it. I feel my higher power put DF in my path for a reason. She was a great teacher. I have learned so much about life and myself. I have moved into a higher stage of recovery - Adult Child and Codependency. I have become more loving , compassionate and mindful wrt myself and others. I am human.

DF was a gift but only for a "season and a reason". I am a good man - I deserve the 5 A's of love: Attention, Acceptance, Appreciation, Affection and Allowing. I am learning how to give and receive them. I am still learning. If a new r/s comes along I will be better prepared even if it works out or doesn't.
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