Lessons in letting go

5 Apr

1:57 am

Well, yet another “lesson” in forgiveness? That is surely the plus-side of this week’s equation. As my mom says, let it go. You’ve apologized once, now let it go. Easier said than done, like many things in sobriety.

I have to say, I’ve been wanting to drink over this; but, I’m glad I haven’t, mainly because getting through the upset, getting over the anxiety around how to deal with an upcoming confrontation (in May), and grappling with what’s really bothering me–how do I accept that someone actually hates me–these are obstacles that have to be surmounted. I wish I could avoid this confrontation, but I know that I will never move on–and grow toward a MUCH stronger me–if I don’t have it.

As many of you know, I offended my brother’s girlfriend two-and-a-half years ago, and there has been an unhealthy (to say the least) back-and-forth between all of us since then: first he forgives me, then he checks back in with his grudge-holding girlfriend, and then he seemingly changes his mind and nothing is forgiven; or, he engages in a passive-aggressive thing, where he says one thing to me, and then when he gets home, he has to hang up the phone and listen to his girlfriend tell him what a bad sister I am. And on and on and on.

Well, I’ve laid low the past year (i.e., haven’t had much contact with my brother except, well, friendly phone chats about once a month), but she got drunk and contacted me the other day with a vicious Facebook mail. Ugh. Just when I thought it was over. I left them a voicemail message a few weeks ago–once again saying I was sorry–and the latest is, I received an angry, nasty “you hurt me/us and I will never forgive you for as long as I live” email from the girlfriend the other day (sent from HIS account no less, which makes me wonder if I should ever send him anything again to that email if she’s checking it, too).

Needless to say, it put me into a tailspin. Why? I don’t know. Why do I give two shits about what some crazy woman thinks of me? Eventually, I’ll come around and be able to make fun of just how ridiculous this has become (trying to explain all the Facebook’ing and emailing to my mother made me realize how fourth-grade it seems). But for now, it’s draining and almost maddening to be somewhat forced to re-visit the horror of that night because the girlfriend decides that she wants to play.

Really, though, why do I care so much? What bothers me to the point where my voice trembles talking about it and my stomach feels bloated from the loads of adrenaline? Mainly, I think I just feel extremely uncomfortable knowing that someone hates me so much, however irrational she may be. And, it makes me feel ill that I have to see her and somehow interact with her when we are forced to hang out at the wedding we’re both going to in May. I have never dreaded an event so much. And that really, really sucks.

But, I’ll get over it. Talking it out with my mom helped me to accept that her email was bullshit; and the way she is treating me is a choice, one that has nothing to do with me and everything to do with her, and her reliance on her number-one tool: resentment. THEY might believe that their grudge–their hurt, their anger, their persistent hate–is mine to keep, too; but I know that it is all theirs.

I realize that she has actually given ME a lot of power here–like, could I really have had that much of an influence on her life? Wow, I feel sorry for her that her life is THAT boring. The irony that in her attempt to insult me, she laid ALL her cards on the table is, of course, completely lost on her. She may never forgive me, but at the end of the day, when I see her and my brother, I’ll probably feel nothing but pity.

What I have realized is that I have to let them go. Believe them when they say they don’t want anything to do with me. (For this week, at least.) And, hold them to it. You know, not having anything to do with me means also, not getting to send me drunk hate-mail in the middle of the night.

I wish she’d stay home. There’s the slight possibility, seeing how she’s backed out of engagements before because too many people she “hates” are going to be there. But, in a way, I NEED this confrontation. And, I know that after the first awkward encounter, I will have mastered her, and her hate, and letting go of the entire sordid affair. It’s going to suck, but this will eventually all be over.

And now I am boring myself, because there are SO many good things to think about, like the “key” lime pie I’m going to make tomorrow, for instance. Or the friends I’ve made in my life, and the people I’ve met in my moves and travels–the full array of which is hard to even grasp, there are so many amazing ones. Or my sweet dog, who is my protectress.

(As you can imagine, the girlfriend also tried to disparage my sobriety–as being somehow fake, as alcoholism being a foolish choice and not a disease. I laughed at that, mainly because it’s SO ill-informed and simply not true. BUT, I have to say, it’ll probably get me through the next few months of sobriety. Just to prove her wrong in person will be so very satisfying: I AM sober, I can stay sober, and I am doing better and more awesome each and every day. I can’t WAIT to stand my ground–in my 4-inch heels, and sparkly-unicorn gown, looking fabulous–and say loud and proud, I am a sober fucking alcoholic, and I feel AMAZING. Tell me what’s fake about that…BITCH!)

16 Responses to “Lessons in letting go”

  1. fern April 5, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    I understand how our minds can get to obsessing over the shit that doesn’t really matter. But, the details in your post aren’t as important as the honesty. I LOVED IT! I think it is great when these blogs are used as a way to hash out our crazy ass thinking and come out on top — wearing a sparkly unicorn gown. 🙂

    • Drunky Drunk Girl April 5, 2014 at 10:59 am #

      Thank you, Fern! I know, it does sound obsessive on my part, but…a part of me fears actual physical violence toward me if she gets drunk at the wedding. I’m sure it won’t come to that, but she is a wild card. Oh, well, it’s not my problem. I’m just trying to prepare to have a complete blast–in my unicorn gown, of course!

      • Prisci Coming UnDone April 11, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

        I really think your brothers girlfriend see herself in you. The same thing that she is using as a reason not to have a relationship with you is the same thing SHE IS DOING! Saying things while drinking and sending crazy emails is no different than your behavior in which you regret. I can so relate to how you are feeling about seeing them at the wedding. But the only way to defeat the dragon is to face him!

  2. Chicago April 5, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    I haven’t commented in ages but wanted to chime in. First, congrats on your year. Your blog helped me so much when I was newly sober and not ready to talk out loud. Internet research and reading blogs like yours got me through my first 30 days, so thank you!

    As for this woman full o’hate for you… Dios mio. One thing I have learned in sobriety is the concept of “detach with love”. I have some strange family dynamics myself and certain people just boggle my mind. Being able to talk myself through it when they act a fool has been life changing. When faced with their bullshit, I either physically remove myself from their presence, or if that’s not possible, I make an invisible shield around myself and just sort of detach and try to watch it as though I were an outside observer. This actually works well for me, might work for you when you see this champion in May? The other thing is that I don’t engage, no matter how hard I’m being baited. This was NEVER something I could avoid when I was drinking. I had to fight every fight and let my opinion be known (usually to disastrous results), or convince people to like me, etc. exhausting. Now, I usually do a little shoulder shrug, say something like “I guess we just disagree” to the person, then stay silent or walk away. AMAZING how taking away their fuel source works. Totally takes the wind out of their sails. Plus, if someone doesn’t like me, their problem, not mine, I know I’m fabulous and I don’t do shit to start trouble anymore, so yeah – buh BYE. Just a few tips that have worked for me!

    One other thing is something my mom says all the time, “what other people think of me is none of my business”. I love that. Also, “you are not your past”. Your year plus (holla!) sober speaks for itself. I have people in Chicago who I haven’t seen since shorty after I got sober 20 months ago, and I still worry/think about how they must feel about me and the shit I pulled when drunk. But the reality is, I’m a different person. And if they are still upset, unforgiving and resentful after all this time (and after numerous apologies), that’s their fuckin problem and not mine! Simple as that.

    Sorry for the long comment but I so feel you on this one and just want you to know you have support. I hope this relationship with your brother can turn around, but really, one apology is sufficient, you do NOT need to bow down in front of these fools for one
    more second. You go do you in those 4 inch heels and sparkly dress!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl April 5, 2014 at 11:01 am #

      Hello, my friend! Oh, thank you for this–so insightful! Maybe hearing “it’s not my problem” over and over again will help it sink in. I know I need to have this confrontation just to get this worm out of my head–and, like you’ve done, learn how to handle “haters.” HUGS back atcha! SUPER-glad to hear that all is well with you…

  3. brokedowncuriosity April 5, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    I think it’s awesome that after all the hatred that has been spewed on you that you can feel pity for that, -ahem-, woman. What incredible growth you have achieved. If you were anything like I was, and can still be at times, your natural inclination would be toward getting even. Or even worse… Taking it out on yourself by drinking.
    One of the things that popped into my head while reading this was ” I wonder if she has forgiven them?” I never knew the benefits of forgiveness until I went to rehab. There I learned that forgiveness wasn’t about them, it was about me!? Who knew? By forgiving it allows you, me, us to stop resentment before it happens.
    Thanks for sharing. Nice to know we are not alone…

    • Drunky Drunk Girl April 5, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

      Thank you! I am going to have to read up on forgiveness…I could probably learn how to get outside of this situation and see it with more clarity. It does make me want to drink, but I’ve come too far to let anyone trip me up like that! Plus, I don’t want to drink and then shoot back a drunken email message, so…LOL. I’m working on letting it go, and then, maybe once I see her, forgiveness will evolve?

  4. Tom April 5, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    ‘As you can imagine, the girlfriend also tried to disparage my sobriety–as being somehow fake, as alcoholism being a foolish choice and not a disease. I laughed at that, mainly because it’s SO ill-informed and simply not true.’

    I’m just wondering.. is she in AA, or has she been in AA before? Whether or not she is, the disease concept is all over the place. It sounds to me like she is struggling with pressure to accept the disease concept more than anything else. Your sobriety represents that to her. She rightly doesn’t like the idea that she’s not ‘sober’ even if she stops drinking, and she’s trying to show you how much that hurts. Just my impression; obviously I don’t know much about you…but I remember having a lot of these kinds of exchanges with my family. She’s basically saying “You and I both have the power to choose not to drink”, and is laughed at.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl April 5, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

      Very insightful…I think you’re right. But, it’s not up to me, really, to care about whether she’s angry over people calling her “not sober” when she is sober. That’s her journey, and her work. The thing is, I never said I thought it was a disease–that’s where her assumptions and confused “reasoning” comes in. In fact, she brought up the choice thing, not me. Yes, we choose to drink. That’s part of the problem. Not doing it again is the solution. And, if I–like her–choose to stop drinking, then…why would I not be sober, as she’s now telling me? See? It’s this kind of circular, Tim Burton-esque alterna-reality that is something that I need to simply CHOOSE to withdraw from. Or, as “normal” people do, just say Fuck off, and move on! (As for an “off switch” and all that jazz, I don’t have the time to school her, but I would point her to the bazillion scientific studies that are trying to unravel the gene expression changes that make one more susceptible to cravings, and binging even when it’s not a good idea–like she’d ever actually inform herself or have an informed discussion, though!) Thanks for shedding some light…

  5. swimsonemile April 5, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    Hey she’ll be drunk, you won’t. I call that I win win. You care because it’s your brother and he probably deserves better. If she confronts you with a bunch of hate just turn around and walk away. She’s the one who will look like the bitch. And maybe just maybe brother will dump her. Go have fun knowing you are the better person here

  6. Maggie @ Sober Courage April 6, 2014 at 1:03 am #

    Hey, ugh. I can totally relate to your frustration! May I pass on something that has been suggested to me long time ago, and it seemed absolutely crazy but it turned out that it always works for me. When I have a difficult person to deal with I treat them as if they are sick and need help. I push myself to be kind to them. This works in two ways, I feel good because I didn’t act up and do/say something bad, and they can’t get any more fuel from me to add to their fire. I know this sounds a bit crazy especially when someone has hurt us and is being completely irrational. But it works. And then you will be the better person! Hang in. Hugs.

  7. Natalia April 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    I have people tell me I’m silly for trying to quit and blame me for lying, they say “oh yes I seen u out every night the past month” why ever I’d lie I have no idea, anyways I have my own recovery blog I’d love for everyone to check out its my first blog, I’m new. Any pointers or shares, even comments are more then welcome. I’m just trying to put it out there. http://smalltownnatalia.blogspot.ca/

  8. Belle April 9, 2014 at 7:41 am #

    so many great comments here, i have little to add. see the other person as sick, remember that this has very little to do with you, and don’t give HER that much power over your emotions. there may be two billion people who don’t understand you. Next! Look away. Turn and face those who do. and there are many. Trying to make crazy people see our point of view is crazymaking. they stay crazy BECAUSE they CAN’T see the world from another POV. but truly, as a sober girl, you can. look away.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl April 9, 2014 at 8:37 am #

      Thanks, Belle. I hate to say it, but I can’t wait for this event to be over. I am not looking forward to it — and it’s probably the best, biggest, most fun event of a long time (and my twin brother’s wedding, to boot). 😦 All b/c of this one crazy person. BUT, I have to keep telling myself, it is my choice to let her get to me. It’s my choice. I don’t have to let her make me feel anything. Some days are good, some days are bad, when it comes to this “practice” of cultivating peace inside myself re: her/ them. I know she’s “out there,” and I know she’s crazy, so… I am afraid of her getting drunk at the wedding and, and, and…*blah blah blah.*

      Look away — I am going to remember this mantra in May. Look away.

      Thank you! 🙂

  9. Prisci Coming UnDone April 11, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    Drunky Drunk Girl…..

    I found your blog by some crazy chance on yesterday, needless to say….it is SO ME!!!!! I have not put it down. I started from day one stayed up ALL night and read the entire blog. I love your honesty and your talent. It is amazing how you can put your feelings into words and share them with us. Everyone doesn’t have that ability. At least I don’t. I think if i was able to put my feelings in prospective my healing process would be further. Dang. it’s scary how I am so you. I feel like I know you so well. Keep blogging…you have given me insight to my inner war.

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