Author Topic: When You Realize YOU Can't Save Them  (Read 1373 times)


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When You Realize YOU Can't Save Them
« on: March 08, 2015, 06:52:55 PM »
Another post that generated quite a lot of discussion on our prior board...posting again in case it's helpful


After reading some posts here lately I'm reminded of the moment where I realized I couldn't save my husband from himself --- and that I needed to save myself and our child.

I recall very clearly arriving at that understanding. I actually dreamt about it and awoke with complete clarity. I believe my Higher Power (HP) came to me in my dream.

In the dream, I was standing at the edge of a large body of water. I think it was a large lake or an ocean. My husband was in the water and suddenly there were huge waves all around him. He was drowning. Of course I jumped in to bring him to the shoreline. I got to him and I was holding on to him and said "Don't worry, I'm going to take you to the edge." He looked panicked and said "No, I don't want to go - can't we just stay here, and you can keep me up out of the water?" As he said this, I realized he was being held up, but I was being pushed under and I was going to drown.

That dream made me understand that I couldn't save him from his addiction. If I kept trying, I would only hurt myself more. I could still love him and support him. I could still get him medical care when he needed it, but he was the only person who could do what was needed to have a chance at recovery. If that was even possible.

I don't feel guilty about this anymore. Guilt would imply that if I persisted in trying to save him, that it might have worked. But countless years of trying have given me plenty of evidence that I'm not that powerful.

After I let go of the idea that I couldn't save him, I was freed up emotionally to take better care of myself and my son. Amazingly, it also brought me closer to my husband as I could love him better when I gave up trying to control his outcome.

The picture perfect ending would be that I had this blinding flash of the obvious, got out of the way, and he recovered. You all know that his disease ultimately claimed his life. That's the really horrible part.

I'm not really sure why I'm posting this, but you've all been on my mind, so here it is.

Take care everyone, Bluebird.
My First Love, Peace Be Thine


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Re: When You Realize YOU Can't Save Them
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2015, 01:13:35 AM »
I had a similar type dream. I can't remember if it was before or after J's death. I was in a hotel with him and he was acting weird. I could not find my car and went back into the hotel room. I told him I was leaving for good, tjat I could not do it anymore. He, with his head down, said good, then I can get back to doing what I want to do (drinking). I left and that was that.

As for realizing I could not save him, that did not sink in until after he died.  I had a deep hope that I somehow could, but always was faced with my powerlessness when he would get drunk. It was awful. I am relieved to not be in a relationship with constant worry and sadness. Alcoholism sure has a way of destroying things.