Originally posted by ClydeA:
Thanks for reviving this thread after so many months as this is a topic that is always fresh.
You've made a very interesting comment about one-sided EAs and I'd lake to hear more, but I don't know your story.
Could you point me to it and could you tell me more about this "one-sided" EA and your involvement. Also, about what appears now to be your regrets.
I havn't posted my story is why you're not finding it. I'd also prefer not to give you a full disclosure of my story because there is alot that simply may not apply and part of me not repeating old mistakes includes me learning to exercise some limits and restraint in regards to wearing my heart on my sleeve and spilling my guts online that's how it all started.
My regret is that I didn't heed a spiritual prompting regarding a religious oriented "recovery" site. The spirit of God warned me that there was trouble ahead but I insisted on going forward. My regret is that I wasn't more attentive to spiritual warnings and more careful.
I am doing my best to apply myself to working a 12 step program of recovery. A few years back 2-3 I was introduced to an unofficial independent recovery board supposedly user friendly to people of my particular sect and persuasion.
At the time I was used to the structured interactions of "sharing" in a 12 step meeting meaning no crosstalking or advise giving etc. This new forum had no guidelines other than "please respect each other and don't bash church leaders" and beyond that there was no other structure. It was a totally bring your own boundaries situation. It was also NOT password protected as my other 12 step meeting forums were. It was open to the public wheather someone identified with having a powerlessness issue or not. Anyone could come and anyone did!
None the less I started posting there even though I felt exposed and uncomfortable
I shared my story with the same level of disclosure and openness as I had learned to do in 12 step meetings. Flame wars were common on that board. It was not a safe place emotionally. My story like that of so many other addicts inflamed the zealots who came there looking for a fight. Many times I simply had to walk away from an internet flame war and choose not to participate despite personal attacks and provocations.
It was at a time also when my wife and I were trying to come to terms with my addiction and recovery and trying to understand each other better. I hoped that this forum would allow us a place where we both could post on the same forum.
During this time I had been also participating in inner child focused healing and I worked for about two years on that board to try to bring order to chaos. I encouraged and encouraged the people who owned the site to establish more boundaries and to make sections of the board password protected and limit those who could access those parts of the site to people who admitted they shared a common problem thus giving them a "safe place" to interact with others like themselves to recover. I also created with help a new 12 step fellowship called ACDF (adult children of dysfunctional families) which was a spin off of ACA (adult children of alcoholics).
These changes and adaptations to this other site came slowly and only after alot of bickering and long drawn out emotional conflicts involving lots of people. Every time a new flame war erupted I would point out to management the need for more boundaries and limits. The board was largely unmoderated to start with and after that changed the moderator gradually started embracing more and more of the ideas I presented to add structure where formerly there was none.
I was the first chairperson of the acdf fellowship and it was a small 12 step group that was autonomous within the larger group of that site mostly although there were some members posting there that didn't come from the original board which I contacted on another sexual abuse survivors forum for partners of sexual abuse survivors. My wife is an abuse survivor and to some extent so am I. WE both qualify as survivors of abuse and partners of abuse survivors since we married each other.
The involvements betweem me and the OW started as a result of me having shared my addiction story so openly on the original religious forum and thus this woman knew far more intimate details about me than anyone other than my wife and sponsor and select clergy in my church should ever know.
As it came to the end of my term of tenure as trusted servant on that acdf forum the OW replaced me as the next trusted servant 'ts'. I was beginning to suspect that she was in addition to being an abused child had developed a 'slaa' issue. (sex and love addiction) by the way she collected relationships and tried to possess people in the name of 'friendship'. Essentially she stalked sex addiction forums and tried to "help" people in their marriages. She fashioned herself as a marital counselor. Her own marriage to a sex addict was on the rocks. Her husband was in denial about his addiction and acting out openly and she was enabling him. He had nothing but contempt for her because of her being 200+ lbs overweight and the fact that she at the core had no boundaries and set no limits with anyone. She didn't set limits with him and didn't set limits with others or herself. Limits were evil in her estimation and violated what she called "unconditional love".
To make a long story shorter. I tried to encourage her to work the 12 steps and she pretended to do so whenever doing so would allow her to contact me more often as a sponsor. It became clear to me as a sponsor that she had no interest in working a second step and largely lacked the ability to be honest with herself as some unfortunates do and she could not and would not see her behaviors in respect to not having any limits with other women's husbands as a form of insanity. Hence she justified herself in forming and deepening these emotional attachments and in getting as many as she could and being as deeply involved with them as possible despite the fact that it was ruining marriages and not really meeting her love need. She was hooked like an alcoholic is hooked but in denial about the whole thing. Thus in her mind there was no insanity or insane behavior to be redeemed from and the need for a higher power was something that she used as whenever it suited her own adgenda. She essentially insisted on being her own higher power and playing God in her own life.
I struggled with her as did several other men on that forum to get her to turn to her own marriage and focus her attention and efforts there and also to get her heart OUT of our marriages. She was 'sticky' emotionally. It was to no avail. Her mind was set and she would resist all suggestions of having done anything "wrong".
The hurtful part of the whole interaction was that she had befriended my wife and my wife and I had together found her emotionally supportive in a sympathetic way early on. We had placed a certain level of trust in her. She offered sympathy to both of us however as it turned out this sympathy came at a price especially for my wife when it became clear that her real intent was to access me emotionally and all she wanted from my wife was a "cart blance" to do that. As soon as my wife and I started setting limits on the extent of my emotional availability to her, she turned on my wife with a vengance and a fury and belittled her, derided her, and became the nastiest witch to my wife I've ever seen. Telling her that she needed to repent and that her faith was at fault, she moralized her version of unconditional love and tried to shove it down my wife's throat again and again. It was nastiness and vile betrayal. Any "love units" she had ever put in my account were expened rapidly as she did this.
I was never physically attracted to her. The nature of my attachment to her had been a misguided notion on my part to get an unmet mothering need met associated with my inner child healing. She had volunteered for duty to "help me" with this.
This was not what the inner child program meant by "become our own loving parents" it was again a departure for me looking outside myself for and to someone else to fill this unmet need from my own "wounded childhood". Every time I've looked outside myself like this it has led to emotional entanglements with women that have become destructive. I've since stopped looking outside myself in this way and I'm far more careful about sharing intimate emotional details of my life with all others most especially women.
What can I say about one-sided relationships. I beleive it's an observable fact that in relationships some people have more emotionally invensted in a particular relationship than the other party(ies).
This woman I'm talking about was a bottomless pit of emotional neediness. She had been terribly abused as a child but she also had started taking a certain pride in her abuse history and wore it like a badge of honor always one upping anyone elses abuse story. She had to have the worst story and if anyone ever shared how they had been abused in their past she would have to prove how she had had it worse. Fact is she did have it tough but she wouldn't see that she was choosing to perpetuate a karmic attitude that attracted rejection and hurt to herself. She refused to accept any personal accountability or responsibility for her life now as an adult. She chose victimhood rather than to heal and didn't want anything else. Adult child recovery is at least partly about moving beyond victimhood not wallowing in it.
As you might imagine she was not a very suitable successor for the acdf forum and considering that anywhere she posted was emotionally an unsafe environment for recovery both my wife and I abandoned that forum that I had worked so hard to help build. We came away from it clinging to each other however much like adam and eve must have held on to each other when they were driven out of the garden of eden. Our innoscense was gone and we held on to each other for dear life emotionally.
I do think however that my efforts were not all in vain.
I do beleive that my wife and I have grown closer and more bonded and certainly defined our emotional bounds and limits with other people to a much higher degree. I would have to say that given this fact it was worth the pain. My goal has always been wholistic recovery including a good marriage. That is my core intent. We are continuing to grow and heal as a couple thank God! Neither of us would ever want to go thru that again.
All I had to see is that this other woman was hurting rather than helping my marriage and instead of love units or 'friend units' (perhaps is what I'll call them) being depositied friend units were being withdrawn.
Friendship is as friendship does if you ask me. And friends don't hurt other friends marriages.
I guess that about sums it up.
other than to say ACK!!! PHOEY!!!! ICK!!!
trying to be some people's friends is nothing but trouble.
I've been there and done that but I'm NOT doing it today!
There is a principle described in adult child recovery literature that says, "I choose friends who love and take care of themselves"
that's where alot of this emotional entanglement stuff lands if you ask me.
I see the core problem being people looking outside themselves to get their needs met and ignoring what they can do to meet their own emotional needs.
I'm perhaps not the best example of living this principle right but at least I know its valid and it "works when I work it".
I know that when I start looking to anyone other than myself and God to depend on (sometimes I'm not dependable myself but God is) it creates the dynamic of dependency emotionally on others and that doesn't work for me.
take what helps and leave the rest.
so what's your story clyde?
[ March 13, 2002: Message edited by: Kasey1 ]