Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Our Community => Topic started by: Treasur on March 02, 2021, 11:03:01 PM

Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on March 02, 2021, 11:03:01 PM
My last thread https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11623.0;all

And why this thread name seems to describe where I am now https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_stone

I don't think I have much to say about MLC anymore, so I suspect this thread won't be a very active one. :)
But I do think it can be useful for others to see that there is life after this horrible experience and it can have good things in it. I know I benefited from reading other stories about that when I was stumbling through the dark days. To see how one can fit the pieces together to slowly start building a lovely wall. And of course, anyone can PM me.

I am finding too that, with time, my own perspective evolves. Which is healthy and normal and I am grateful for it, but it does sometimes leave me slightly out of step with where others are in their own circumstances. That it is something that happened to me as opposed to something that is happenIng, I suppose. 

I believe that choice matters, particularly when other choices have been taken away from you, and so I would always want to respect and acknowledge those that choose to Stand or who try to reconcile. At the same time, honestly, I see that Standing can make it very difficult for some of us to detach and can cause additional damage too for some, depending on their circumstances. And imho reconciling while dealing with ones own trauma and perhaps a still impaired spouse is a lot to ask of oneself. In my case, I think it would have been too much to ask of myself so I am lucky that events did not place me in that position bc I probably - at least in the first couple of years - would have tried and almost certainly not found what I was looking for with a very high cost to me. Jmo. Sample of one, as the lovely Acorn says  :)

And I am very conscious that my experience was different from some of the experiences here, so perhaps that limits the usefulness of my POV if I haven't walked in your shoes. It would be arrogant to think otherwise, wouldn't it?

I spent a very happy and productive few hours on my allotment yesterday in the Soring sunshine. There was a time, not so long ago, when I would be there having silent noisy conversations in my head with my then h. Or feeling overwhelmed by the pieces left of my life. Or feeling so lost that all I could do was sow one row of seeds at a time. Yesterday was quite different. My thoughts had nothing of my xh or my old life in them, just a sense of enjoyment in muddy fingers, plans for a new deep bed and the pleasure of harvesting Jerusalem artichokes, leeks and parsnips to be shared with my new chums in my new life. The anticipation of tulips in my flower cutting bed that were a gift from another new chum. Started to feel excited that I might be able to see my mother before too long or have a picnic party with some of my allotment chums. All very different from how it used to be.

The one big thing that struck me though was that post BD, I should have treated my mental health as an emergency. As a first among equals issue. Like being in the ER after a crash. None of my initial IC support told me that and I would have been better if they had.

Not all LBS here will get PTSD, although imho most of us will suffer some level of anxiety and/or situational depression. I suspect it depends on ones own situation, perhaps the other challenges going on at the time. But a goodly number will and I did. I don't blame my PTSD on my xh even if his actions were part of the simultaneous events that overwhelmed me.

But PTSD was way more life-altering and disabling than my h leaving me in the way that he did.

Why did it matter that I didn't know, and wasn't shown by others who might have known, that my mental health was an emergency? Bc that is where my survival and recovery lay. In all of the resources and bandwidth that were swamped by PTSD. My ability to think straight, to figure out what to do next, my optimism, my beliefs, my values and my problem solving skills. I could not access those bits of myself, the very bits I needed most, while PTSD was running the show. Tackling that first and above everything and anything and anyone else was a necessity that I could not see at the time. I would encourage every single newbie here to learn from my mistake  :)

So, not much to say but very grateful for all of you giving me a place to say things when I did.  :)
And I will pop back occasionally to update you on my unfolding drystone wall....


Title: Drystone walling
Post by: OffRoad on March 03, 2021, 09:19:44 AM
So true that one's emotional heath is incredibly important. We see the surface impact on our physical well being, but the emotional impact is often hard to ferret out. Add on that the emotional impact, imo, also causes more physical problems that we don't connect with the emotional side of the trauma. Because it is a trauma. To our minds, bodies and souls.

Welcome to your new thread and ongoing story, Treasur.  I, for one, enjoy reading along.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: 5hilmerton on March 03, 2021, 02:23:45 PM
Following along 😊
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Seahorse on March 03, 2021, 04:12:12 PM
Attaching and following along,
Can't wait to hear about your allotment this Spring and Summer.

Sea
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: FaithWalker on March 03, 2021, 07:07:35 PM
Attaching
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Standing Strong on March 04, 2021, 10:01:45 AM
Hi T  :D

Following your journey (as always)  ;)

-SS
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Evermore on March 04, 2021, 01:17:40 PM
Following along still Treasur. I don’t post much because my brain still feels quite scrambled and I find it hard to clearly articulate my thoughts still. So please keep on sharing yours. They really do help those behind you to tease out the tangled bits and put things in a bit more of an order. Not even about MLC, but about life in general and what we think and how we think. I’m very grateful for all the philosophical discussions you and others have on HS (even if I don’t contribute). And I’m sure there must be other ‘lurkers’ like me that treasure (see what I did there) this place for that reason.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Curiosity on March 04, 2021, 03:55:01 PM
Still on board with you, Treasur. I feel like when things are in flux with my MLCer, the wisdom you share is very grounding and centering for me, so I greatly appreciate all you have to say. There are many people here who have moved past the immediate trauma of MLC and are healing, whether reconciled or not, who feel less of a need to update their own threads, and of course whatever works best for each individual is exactly what they should do. But I am grateful for your contributions to others’ threads as well as your updates on your own - you are a great example of how real healing and contentment can be found on the other side of all this.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: barbiedoll on March 04, 2021, 05:55:56 PM
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The one big thing that struck me though was that post BD, I should have treated my mental health as an emergency
.

This is absolutely true. It was as urgent as being in a 4 car pile-up , if not worse .  And yet we continue to try to work or parent or keep a clean house and food on the table. We try to continue on as if we are not critically injured.  Maybe we have to just drag our broken hearts thru the steps of survival and many of us had no other option . I could not put a sentence together at times or recognize what I needed or what would be best for me. Selfcare was indeed a foreign concept to me . I could not have saved myself if someone had have given me instructions.   I was finally told by my therapist that she would not support ( or see me again) if I continued to work . She told me I had PTSD and a referral was made for hospitalization. I remember staring out her window trying to figure out what PTSD meant and what is she saying and I had to work and wanting to call my husband .... because I always did whenever I needed help. But I couldn't because he was gone and it had been over 30 years that I heard his voice every single day and this is the 1st time I don't know where he is and ..and ... and ...  a hellish injury. 
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Anon on March 04, 2021, 06:35:11 PM
Attaching   :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Ropeburn on March 07, 2021, 01:48:17 PM
Following along
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Philadelphiagirl on March 08, 2021, 04:53:54 AM
Hey T,

Following along. I don't often feel like I have much to add to any discussions these days as my H remains a vanisher but your last thread and this one got me thinking about what recovery means at this stage. I really like the analogy of the `dry stone wall' and thinking that there is an art in knowing which stone that you need next and being confident that it will strengthen your `wall'. I can really relate to that - coming from a flaming pile of rubble at BD to a small little wall of protection which is where myself and the children are now.

I am very very resistant to anyone/anything who/which tries to interfere with what I have built.

You are so right in saying that we take exhausting baby steps. Recovery to me now means peace, miles away from the chaos/cruelty and downright madness of my H. I am so happy to read that you are finding it with your new friends/allotment and Grace.

On the question of what was real - I agree with what the others have said. It was real to ME. Over the last few weeks I have been able to open boxes of old photos, look at old emails (haven't been able to do this since BD in 2016) and I am there smiling, we are there smiling, the emails read as though they are full of love and connection. It all made me so very sad that my H threw this away in such a brutal fashion and without any conversation. But I know that it was real for me T and maybe that is all that we can take from it.

Even though we had children I have also regretted marrying my H. I agree with Airmid re: immaturity. Was it real that my H loved our two children or cared about their welfare? I have no idea but he hasn't had any contact with them since 2017 so I think that immaturity won out in his role as a Father of any sort.

I agree so much with having to see that our mental health be treated as a medical emergency. I was lucky in that I did get suicidal counselling at BD and it was free but to be honest I'm not sure how much help it was. My second IC helped so much more. As Barbie said - a 4 car pile up - while we continue to work, parent, clean house. While I was trying to do this my H reported me for not being a good Mother.

PTSD will definitely have had a life altering effect on us Treasur. How could it not? What we have endured here was as you say a terrible act of abuse with longstanding consequences. It took me a long time to see and accept my H as being abusive, everything was so confusing for so long. I too often think of my old life as not having happened/being so far away now but I do think that getting to a level of acceptance and seeing the vile horror for what it is has really helped.

Keep collecting the bricks that fit into your wall. I really like reading your posts and insight, you have a lovely way with words. I just wanted to say that I have often felt as you have described. Once lockdown is lifted there I hope that your life opens up again in wonderful ways. Wishing you all of the good things, take care of yourself and Grace. PG xxx     

     

       
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on March 08, 2021, 05:22:19 AM
Read this article this morning https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/08/recovering-illness-home-well-unwell-cancer-covid

Seems to me that it reflects the reality of how recovery from something life-altering actually works, whether that is a serious illness, a close bereavement, someone else's MLC or indeed a global pandemic.  ::)

And it is imho such a useful reminder that, in truth, we simply can't go back bc we are changed by the experience. But....much as we doubt it in the darkest days, and I know I did lol....there is something else worth having and building on the other side. And that as the article says 'Recovery is discovery'. Some of you reading this may think you won't get there, but you will. It just takes longer than we imagine or feel it 'should', right? But beating ourselves up about that rarely seems to make it go any quicker in my experience..... :)

And, in a piece of good news, I have an appointment for my first jab on Friday. My uncle and my mother should have their second jab in the next few weeks and I am positively giddy about the idea of being able, in some fashion, to see them both next month. My uncle has just sent me a gift (with a not so secret agenda ha ha) of new jam jars....bc he has eaten all the marmalade I made for him! So, I shall swing by the little greengrocers in the market place this afternoon to see what kinds of yummy citrus fruit they have in stock! Next month I hope to see my mother with a birthday cake and my uncle with a big basket of marmalade jars.....
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Nas on March 08, 2021, 06:22:07 AM
So glad to hear you're getting your first dose this week, Treasur.

Thanks for sharing that article.  Very interesting to read and resonates deeply with me as I sit in a chair receiving an iron infusion.
"Surviving isn't living" - ain't that the truth. 
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Seahorse on March 08, 2021, 07:52:52 AM
Treasur:

So excited for you that you are going to be able to see your mother and uncle, eventually.
It's the light at the end of the tunnel...

Your marmalade and cake sound like wonderful things to bring two people who you love and whose presence you have missed very much.


Title: Drystone walling
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on March 08, 2021, 10:14:34 AM
Hello,

I rarely post on your thread, but I do like to harvest the gems that you and others place on it.

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You are so right in saying that we take exhausting baby steps. Recovery to me now means peace, miles away from the chaos/cruelty and downright madness of my H. I am so happy to read that you are finding it with your new friends/allotment and Grace.

Peace is good. We already deal with so much turmoil and loss. To find comfort and serenity again is important. Home should be our refuge from a chaotic world  not be more chaos  added.

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On the question of what was real - I agree with what the others have said. It was real to ME. Over the last few weeks I have been able to open boxes of old photos, look at old emails (haven't been able to do this since BD in 2016) and I am there smiling, we are there smiling, the emails read as though they are full of love and connection.

Yes, I can now look at pictures and share memories of times past. For the longest time, I didn't want to cover any of it. The loss made me want to make it all go away. The good and the bad. Now I can share my memories of my life with my daughters again. We can laugh and cherish the good times. It brings back reality and yes, like your h, my ex threw it all away.

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And, in a piece of good news, I have an appointment for my first jab on Friday.

I get mine tomorrow. It will be my first step toward reclaiming my life again. It will take some time, but at least I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Even though we had children I have also regretted marrying my H. I agree with Airmid re: immaturity. Was it real that my H loved our two children or cared about their welfare? I have no idea but he hasn't had any contact with them since 2017 so I think that immaturity won out in his role as a Father of any sort.

There have been moments where I have had the same regrets, but this is my journey and I chose to marry my ex. I ignored the warning signs. We did have many good years together, but the issues from the past; and yes, maturity was an issue.  Not intelligence, my ex is still a very creating and bright person. However, to think that life is all romance and that I should have been able to read her mind either shows immaturity or a disconnect with reality of how people really are.

I know my ex loves her children. It just happened that her own emptiness and escape was more important. Now that she is on her own and living her life, she has to some extent reconnected with my daughters and in her own way, is back to being a mother. The only thing lacking is the trust. That takes time, lots of time.

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Next month I hope to see my mother with a birthday cake and my uncle with a big basket of marmalade jars.....

Well, at the end of the month, I hope to see my parents. No cake or marmalade, but I will rent a truck and haul a lot of trash away and I guess that counts for something.

Have an amazing day,

((((Ready))))
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Curiosity on March 08, 2021, 10:33:07 AM
Treasur, your thread is always an important part of my still-frequent visits to the site. So many differences in the specific details of all of our stories here, and yet there are so many lessons and pieces of wisdom that are common to us all. Peace, comfort, serenity... the refuge of a safe space - we all need this, even (and maybe especially) the MLCers out there. Some of that is found in the physical places we spend our time, the people and pets and things with which we surround ourselves. But the foundation of it all is found inside us - no person, place, or thing can provide peace or comfort or safety if we aren’t able to be open to that peace/comfort/safety within ourselves.

It’s really lovely to see so many people getting their vaccines and starting to think about life after lockdown. It won’t look exactly like it used to, but I like to think we will all have gained a renewed appreciation for human interaction and exploring new places that maybe we had in some ways taken for granted. I know I will, and now that my household meets the definition of “fully vaccinated,” I am starting to think about what that life looks like for me and those around me.
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: Milly on March 08, 2021, 04:06:46 PM
Treasur, thanks for posting that article. Good food for thought. It helps me.

I'm so pleased you're getting your first vaccine this week and your mother and uncle are close to their second jab. I so wish for you to be able to be with them again. Of course the vision in my head of you making your marmalade and cake in your fairly tale house by the sea, with its stove and cat with a personality, and glorious smells from whatever you are brewing, is so comforting. You are a Ladybird book.

It does appear that life is giving back to you lately. You so deserve it. x
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on March 11, 2021, 02:29:49 AM
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You are a Ladybird book.
That made me laugh, Milly  :)
Showing our age though lol. Did you know that they do funny spoof ones for grown ups now? Like the Ladybird book of the Hangover  :)

More little stones in my wall.
There is a BBC TV programme called 'Keeping Faith'. Great story, terrific actors and beautifully filmed in Wales so worth a watch anyway. I remember seeing the first series post BD and how much it rang true, a woman whose husband just disappears and how she and others reacted as things unfold. Lots of secrets and lies and WTF. At the time, I think it felt validating to see someone portray so well just how I felt. It has a second series now so they have re-aired the first and I watched a bit last night. What was interesting was to see how different my eye was now and that I took different things from it. The main one tbh was that the problem so obviously lay in her h, how fantastic she is, how corrosive secrets are and that all of her - and my - reactions were so incredibly normal for a situation when your life just gets suddenly turned upside down.

We can beat ourselves up so for not knowing x or not doing y, can't we? But there was nothing abnormal at all in my reactions, nothing to blame myself for, nothing I could have done once my h imploded that would have made any difference at all. It was just an abnormal situation to find myself in as my life relentlessly got more and more weird. So much going on that I didn't know about....and how both me and others expected me to know somehow when it was impossible that I could. And that feeling of being so frightened for him and then slowly becoming frightened of him, or more accurately what he might do next. But my reactions, all of them, were SO normal. And that helps a few more small stones drop into place in my wall bc there is a kind of peace to be found in that.
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: Songanddance on March 11, 2021, 02:48:38 AM
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There is a BBC TV programme called 'Keeping Faith'. Great story, terrific actors and beautifully filmed in Wales so worth a watch anyway

I remember seeing that first time around.  It was good but I had slightly different feelings from you Treasur about Faith and her reactions.  I can't remember what they were now so perhaps the re-airing will be interesting to see if I still feel the same.

Nevertheless the subject matter was good and so was most of the acting.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on March 11, 2021, 03:39:04 AM
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It was good but I had slightly different feelings from you Treasur about Faith and her reactions.
I guess it is always worth remembering here that, even if some of our experiences seem to come from the same script, we are a sample of one, aren't we? All different people and sometimes our situations are quite different. Perhaps it spoke to me bc my then h did a lot of vanishing....actually that was my real BD....he went awol for 48 hours, just didn't come home, didn't answer his phone, didn't go to work. I had no idea if he was alive or dead. Even now, I have no idea where he was that week; he refused to talk about it when he did show up.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Kimber on March 11, 2021, 04:22:19 AM
Great thread and thank you for posting.

I agree that in these days and months days after you are in a very dangerous place both mentally and emotionally.

This board has helped me tremendously. It is a valuable resource and really helped me understand I wasn’t crazy, ready to be put out to pasture or just had failed very suddenly and miserably. I am very early in this but this board (and posts like this) hellp me make sense of it all and keep some perspective.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: New Day Rising on March 13, 2021, 09:20:46 AM
Following along Treasur. I don't post here too often, but I always like to hear how you are getting on. We're on the same timeline for BD.
You are so right about putting your mental health first. I was too focused with the state of my ex's mental health, I didn't look at my own.

I hope your vaccination didn't cause you too much discomfort. I was poorly for a day or so, but it definitely is a small price to pay to be able to see your mum and uncle! Glad you are doing well.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: gman242 on March 16, 2021, 05:24:32 AM
Treasur, just saying hi! I haven't posted myself in a while because I do feel that you just need to let go and live sometimes and writing here can keep you focused on the MLC. Glad you're well! 
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Dumbfounded on March 16, 2021, 10:26:36 AM
I spent the other evening catching up on your thread Treasur and then drifted off to sleep before I could post.  Due for another catch up session now.

In the months after BD, I was so focused on LB's strange behavior that my own mental health suffered terribly.  I was completely unaware of this.  My then HS mentor said to me one day - you have suffered a trauma and need to be good to yourself.  And the words took me aback - a trauma?  I was so deep in survival/victim mode that I had no idea that I, myself, had suffered a trauma and needed care.  After that I would tell myself that I had suffered a trauma, a great
and terrible loss, and needed to take care of myself.           

   
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on March 16, 2021, 10:38:12 AM
Thank you for sharing that, DF.
Yes, it is rather astonishing to realise that some of us do indeed experience PTSD or even perhaps C-PTSD in my case. (The difference is often described as including a loss of sense of self and being a function of multiple or layers of trauma https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_post-traumatic_stress_disorder. I had all of these seven symptoms in varying degrees for at least a couple of years....)

I know that when I read some posts here, I can see the 'language' of PTSD in some posters; it is pretty easy to spot if you have experienced it. Not every LBS here has PTSD imho, although most have a period of anxiety and depression. But I feel strongly that PTSD is an insidious beast and prioritising treatment for it in front of any concerns about your marriage or MLC spouse is important....PTSD was way harder to recover from and damaged my life much more than my h disappearing in a puff of contemptuous smoke  :) And nothing my then h could have said or done could have magically repaired my PTSD once I had it.....although limiting contact helped me reduce the prospect of new trauma while I was trying to recover from the old ones  ::)

And learning more about the mechanics of PTSD helped me get and accept that it was no more a failing of my character or strength or intelligence than getting cancer was or than being in a bad car accident would be. And that the right kind of treatment means you can recover from it even if it leaves a bit of residue occasionally. Which helped too  :) Living with a PTSD brain and a post-PTSD one is like chalk and cheese  :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on March 18, 2021, 01:26:12 AM
I very rarely dream about my xh at all nowadays. Haven't for years. But I have had a couple of doozies lately. Not sure why  ::) well, maybe just a bit of my brain discharging stuff like a waste chute or bc it is my xh's birthday soon so he may be unconsciously on my mind. Idk. Odd.

They are not nice dreams though  although I don't wake up distressed as I would have once done.

The common thread seems to be a feeling of being 'invaded' somehow, either by him or he and owife as a tag team, and a kind of frustrated distaste. Last night (in my dream)  my xh was sitting in my kitchen tapping on an iPad and I realised that MY iPad/iCloud was being filled up with a huge journal he was writing about his exploits and feelings  .....and I was scrambling around trying to find the password or techie solution to shut him out and get rid of it on my screen. While he was ignoring me, of course  ::)
Guess you don't need to be some big dream reading guru to interpret that, do you?

I do find it sad....not gut-wrenching Sad, just normal sad....that he has become this kind of representative thing to me now after he used to be someone so different to me. Just feels like a sad wasteful strange thing really. But it makes sense that it should, so hey, I will celebrate the delights of no longer doubting my sanity. But even if i don't carry the dreams with me into my day, i don't like them much. Ha ha, maybe I just resent even his WTF presence in my head  :)

I see some stories recounted here about memory loss in MLCers. I was watching a tv documentary a few days ago (about the political run up to Brexit when Mr Cameron was PM) and I suddenly realised that there were a whole bunch of events from about the end of 2016-2018 that I simply don't hold a memory for. I kind of know they happened, if that makes sense, but I have no personal memory of them at all. Or not one that I can access. Strange feeling. I was ok with it but it was still a strange feeling. As if the chronology of ones own life had some gaps, I suppose. I assume that it was/is a PTSD thing. And to be fair, my life is not ruined by being unable to remember Mr Cameron resigning....or Mr Johnson's election or Mr Trump's inaugaration for that matter.  ::)...and there are plenty of painful things that I am grateful to not remember at all or only in a kind of distant observer way lol. I just thought it was worth sharing in case any other PTSD survivors have been surprised or upset by something similar....wouldn't be at all surprised if something similar affects MLC brains tbh.

On a nicer note, fully recovered from jab and it looks like my timing was fortunate bc it seems as if there are going to be supply issues over the next month or so. Yesterday I was working in the rain in one of my ladies' gardens...soft rain, quite nice....moving a young Cherry and a magnolia to make space for a pear tree to be espaliered in a fan shape today against a fence. And my client was full of excitement about it....isn't that nice? No idea how I have become this accidental gardener as a job but it does give joy right now to me and others and that feels like a good thing.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on March 18, 2021, 06:12:25 AM
Hello,

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I very rarely dream about my xh at all nowadays. Haven't for years. But I have had a couple of doozies lately. Not sure why  ::) well, maybe just a bit of my brain discharging stuff like a waste chute or bc it is my xh's birthday soon so he may be unconsciously on my mind. Idk. Odd.

I still have dreams about my ex and since I have found how well melatonin works, my dreams are much more vivid than they ever were in the past. And yes, I think there is a lots about discharging things.

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They are not nice dreams though  although I don't wake up distressed as I would have once done.

Same here, but in mine, I am mean to her. Intentionally mean if not downright cruel. It is so bad that after I say something to her, I feel bad about what I said.
I know that somewhere in my essence, I am still trying to resolve something, to accept and move one, but it still hasn't happened.

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The common thread seems to be a feeling of being 'invaded' somehow, either by him or he and owife as a tag team, and a kind of frustrated distaste.

No OM for me, but there is a sense of being invaded, pursued....like, why is she here? There is a sense or feeling of doom, like her very presence is an omen.

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On a nicer note, fully recovered from jab and it looks like my timing was fortunate bc it seems as if there are going to be supply issues over the next month or so.


I have one more shot next month and I will feel much better. It is nice to know that I have some level of protection and hopefully, I won't be able to spread it to others.

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Yesterday I was working in the rain in one of my ladies' gardens...soft rain, quite nice....moving a young Cherry and a magnolia to make space for a pear tree to be espaliered in a fan shape today against a fence. And my client was full of excitement about it....isn't that nice? No idea how I have become this accidental gardener as a job but it does give joy right now to me and others and that feels like a good thing.

Yes, it is nice to hear how well you are doing.  Just know the  joy that you bring to others in the garden is only equal to or surpassed by the comfort and words of wisdom that you share with all of us on the forum.

Have a wonderful day,

(((((Ready)))))





Title: Drystone walling
Post by: UrsaMajor on March 18, 2021, 06:20:43 AM
Same here, but in mine, I am mean to her. Intentionally mean if not downright cruel. It is so bad that after I say something to her, I feel bad about what I said.
I know that somewhere in my essence, I am still trying to resolve something, to accept and move one, but it still hasn't happened.

oh boy... Do I know ALL bout those kids of dreams.... I had them regularly at the beginning... that invariably ended with me trying to chase her down and apologize so she wouldn't take my kids away from my (like xW1 did) ... along with lots of dreams involving tornadoes (seriously - real tornados like you see in films and TV or, if you are in the Mid-West, real life).... I had to go to time-release melatonin because the regular stuff was just brutal...

Thank goodness I haven't had anything like that in a couple of years now... It was quite enough while it lasted...
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Dumbfounded on March 18, 2021, 08:19:23 AM
I am a vivid dreamer by nature and in the beginning my dreams of LB and MOO2 were nightly. Literally no rest for my poor tortured brain day or night in that first year after BD.  I can remember screaming at them so loudly in my dreams that it woke me up and my ears literally rang in the silence of my bedroom.   In one dream, we were all arguing on train platform.  A train pulled up and the doors opened and I shoved them both on to the train and the doors shut and the train sped away.   Or I would have dreams of LB and I doing something normal - riding in a car or on vacation and I feel so confused in the dream because LB was acting "normal".  I got to a point where sleeping was more upsetting than being awake and I would stay up as long as I could. I would  workout at the gym until I was just exhausted.  Then I found yoga. 

More recently I only dream of MOO2.  A few weeks back I dreamed that I was at a house - maybe MOO2's mother's or brother's house - but I didn't recognize it.  MOO2 and her whole family were there.  I was taking care of a baby - no idea whose baby it was but I was focused on my task and ignoring all of the other occupants of the house.  And MOO2 was wailing - everyone was trying their best to ignore her, covering their ears and staying out of the room she was in and her mother was bustling about the kitchen tisk, tisking her and telling her it was her own fault she was so unhappy.  I woke up feeling quite pleased that she was so unhappy.           

I also find that I have large chunks of lost memories from the first few years after BD.  Like my brain was just fried and could not process one more thing and I don't blame it.  I also found that as I started to recover I could see things I couldn't see before.  One day BFF and her daughter were over and I stated that the front room was a total mess - and BFF said DF it has been that way a while.  THAT was shocking... and I then began to find things in plain sight - pile of papers I was ignoring , the state of the garage, places that had just not been cleaned for some time.  A dead plant in the hallway that I walk by everyday.   All revealed themselves to me one by one as I felt more myself.  So odd.

Anyhoo, I have acquired a blueberry bush for myself and am just waiting for the weather to break so I can get out there and find it a home in my yard. I was able to bring the dead hallway plant back to life and it is doing quite well in my bedroom now.  It has become sort of a measure of how I am doing  - it has three blooms on it today - life is good.                 
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on April 04, 2021, 03:43:08 AM
There's been some discussion on a couple of threads about many mens' 'need' for emotional validation from the women in their lives which has prodded and poked me a bit over the last few days.
To be clear, I cast no aspersions on others views about this. To be honest, I recognise the reality of what they perceive as part of a male psyche. I don't like it, but it is real enough that I recognise it.
And of course, it's important to acknowledge that the general is not necessarily the specific or vice versa.

But I felt rather angry - or something close to it - about the idea that women are not only responsible in some way for filling this void in 'incomplete' men, that it gives them 'power' or makes us more important somehow, but also that only women can 'rescue' men somehow from the consequences of this unfilled neediness.

For most of us here, this was like a terrible unseen baited bear trap in our lives as women.....that somehow we got the job of men delegating their emotional self-regulation to us and then got the blame when the same men felt that didn't work. Plus the expectation that these same broken incomplete men are unable to repair themselves without our emotional support. I am not denying that this seems to be how it looks in so many bits of our society.....but that does not make it healthy or right. Not for men and not for women.

Until men take accountability for their own feelings and behaviour and worth, independently of mothers, wives, girlfriends and daughters, our private and public lives will continue to be shaped by the chaos and self-centredness of needy angry resentful men-children.
Until women refuse to take accountability for the feelings, behaviour and self-worth of others, only their own, we will continue to grow more men-children and more vulnerable and hurt women caught out by that impossible trap of defining their value by these kinds of criteria..

I have compassion for (what seems to me) to be the many men who no longer seem quite sure of how to define and value themselves as men, fathers, husbands and members of our society. And for the women and children they hurt. But I am tired of the kind of gaslighting that turns this into the responsibility of women to be both the problem and the solution, really I am.

I hope that the discussions among younger folks about diversity and individuality and gender assumptions represent part of an evolution in this. But I see things every day in our wider societies that seem to feed the same avoidance of adult accountability for what we reap and sow and a kind of widespread narcissism that makes me fear it is not.

I am tired of what we seem to collectively deem acceptable in how we walk with other human beings.

My former h had the right to decide to change his own life and to make a new one without me. I can respect that right, even if I did not like that he did. But he did not have the right to abuse, lie and disrespect others rights in order to do it. And if he feels that he did, if that is an ok way to behave in his head bc of his inability to deal with his own inner chaos, that makes him an unhealthy and unsafe person for other humans. No one is responsible for that but him....not me, not his mother, not his owife, not any future women in his life. He chose to deal with the situation in which he found himself in the way that he did....and there are consequences for who he is now bc of that, bc that is how life works.

And to be fair, I would say just the same about my PTSD behaviour.....I (often) chose poorly how I dealt with PTSD and there were consequences of that too for myself and those who cared about me. Recovery means not soft-soaping my own accountability....bc tbh for quite a few years, I was a semi-detached friend, daughter and human. I am very grateful that people did not give up on me entirely....but it is still the truth of it. And it didn't change until I took responsibility for changing it and got the right kind of help with that. Holding myself accountable is just as important a part of my recovery imho. It is not always nice or easy....and I slip back occasionally....but why should I expect any less from the male people in my life if they want my respect or support?

For newbies here, for women actually, there is a terrible pull towards wanting to 'fix' these broken MLC men in order to perhaps restore some kind of normality to our own lives. And that makes it easy to buy the argument that we are part of the solution. Or even inadvertently part of the problem. Please don't buy that; it is rarely true from all the stories here. If your spouse is either so broken or so inherently self-centred that they believe their needs are so important that they erase others needs.....those seeds were sown long before you even met them. The worse that you might have done is inadvertently made life good and easy enough that they were able to avoid being accountable for their own demons for years. Which worked for a while until it didn't. But, when the lid blows off, please think very hard before believing it is your job to fill that inner void. Focus on dealing with your own wounds and your own needs and your own peace. Let the men in our lives take responsibility for how they focus on their own. Or not.

Jmo.
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: marvin4242 on April 04, 2021, 06:42:47 AM
Treasur: thanks for the post. I SO agree with you on this. I wanted to engage a few times, but thought better of it. Mainly because these stereotypes and in my opinion destructive frames are SO pervasive it seems almost pointless to try.

I think its a bad trap for women. It is almost DEMANDED that they be caretaker/mommy/regulator and responsible for men’s badly learned behaviours and inability to cope. Add to that some outdated gender stereotypes and you can get very toxic environments. Including men (some who have posted here) who actually border or cross into abuse. So you message to newbies is so welcome. I want to state what you said again: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT take on the responsibility for the emotional shortcomings of your partners/spouses. It was NEVER yours to begin with and if they are in MLC now it is even more DANGEROUS to do so.

As a man what I can share is this: I find it hard to a lot of other men, even ones in functioning marriages, because how in one way they think they are responsible for their wives well being, while demanding their wives mother them. I believe this is codependent and toxic personally. At the same time they may not communicate with their wives and give in because, you know, women. Maybe a little bit of that is more cultural here, but I think the thread runs everywhere.

I was just talking to my friend this morning about how there are very few actual differences from all kinds of studies about how men and women think, feel, their needs, etc. Yet these false beliefs keep circling around and around and get repeated and propagated. We are ALL responsible for our own well being, we are ALL responsible for our own boundaries, we are ALL responsible for clearly stating our needs and wants, and we are ALL responsible for deciding what to do if they are not met, whether the person is unwilling or unable to meet them. I know on other threads some of the members are facing these difficult choices right now.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on April 04, 2021, 07:26:42 AM
Hello,

I too have read posts on this subject and while I think there are some gems in the words written, I am very hesitant to paint broad brush stokes of paint over an intricate mosaic of tiles.

I think that praise and words of encouragement when appropriately placed can help anyone regardless of gender. My father praised some of my recent construction work and I felt good. I also reciprocate and look for opportunities to recognize others as well. Overall, I am by nature a very positive person. However, that positive nature comes from within and my own esteem and no one, my wife, or anyone else is responsible for my psyche.

Quote
But I felt rather angry - or something close to it - about the idea that women are not only responsible in some way for filling this void in 'incomplete' men, that it gives them 'power' or makes us more important somehow, but also that only women can 'rescue' men somehow from the consequences of this unfilled neediness.

It is funny how we all attribute one group having power over others.  I think we lose our own power and freely give it to others to shirk our own
personal responsibilities for own lives- blaming others for our failures rather then accepting responsibility and fixing our own situation. Like I stated above, it's not that we don't need others, but no one else should feel absolutely responsible for my actions.

Quote
Until men take accountability for their own feelings and behaviour and worth, independently of mothers, wives, girlfriends and daughters, our private and public lives will continue to be shaped by the chaos and self-centredness of needy angry resentful men-children.
Until women refuse to take accountability for the feelings, behaviour and self-worth of others, only their own, we will continue to grow more men-children and more vulnerable and hurt women caught out by that impossible trap of defining their value by these kinds of criteria..

Wow, great statement and like a post from Marvin on Song's thread- it drives home a strong point. Especially when we start to treat others like children and not adults.

Quote
For newbies here, for women actually, there is a terrible pull towards wanting to 'fix' these broken MLC men in order to perhaps restore some kind of normality to our own lives. And that makes it easy to buy the argument that we are part of the solution. Or even inadvertently part of the problem.

I would like to add this applies to the MLC women as well. In my early days, I was always worried if I would do the "wrong" thing and drive her away permanently. Likewise, it gave me a false sense of hope that if I did the "right" thing, it would bring her back. So I spent months trying to be super husband and father. To no avail. I didn't create her crisis and by no means could I fix her crisis.

The only thing I could do was heal and recover from my own trauma of being betrayed. As I recovered myself, I then was in a position to live with or without her. I ended up on the without life, but in the end, I am still here.

Well, my supporting rant is over. It was a well written post and I just wanted to add my two cents and support. Like I posted before, there is nothing wrong with love languages or words of praise/ appreciation when used appropriately. And lastly, the couple is in a healthy relationship. I could be wrong, but I too cringe at the idea of a partner having an affair, returning back to the marriage, not even acknowledging it, and expecting to move forward as if it never happened.

To each their own, MLC is a complex and complicated journey and so is the journey of the LBSer.

Happy Easter,

(((((Ready)))))


Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Kimber on April 04, 2021, 07:37:55 AM
So I spent months trying to be super husband and father. To no avail. I didn't create her crisis and by no means could I fix her crisis.

That has to be difficult for men because often times women leave "good" men for bad boys.

I have an aunt who when I was a youngin' just walked out on her husband. They had two small girls. He was a teacher and Canadian, looked like a Ken Doll. Perfect husband material. I am not sure why, maybe because he was Canadian, I don't know but my aunt then left the girls with the grandparents.

She left him for a, basically, career criminal. She craved excitement, she got it. He eventually moved them all down to Florida, from NY, and they started a paining business. She did take the girsl with her and by then had a son with the criminal. Well, it seemed the painting business was just a front and he was traveling to NY to commit heists. The last one, someone ended up getting killed and he went to prison for life. My aunt almost did as well, until she agreed to testify against him.

Even more tragically, it was later revealed, he was molesting the oldest daughter who was, maybe pre-teen by then?

How do you even square that circle? She was mad about him. Insanely in love, I remember her writing letters (before she testified against him) and they all started, "My dearest most darling husband...."
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Curiosity on April 04, 2021, 08:58:04 AM
Treasur, thanks for bringing this over and for exploring further some of the nuances of this discussion. I considered jumping in on it initially but I wasn’t honestly sure what I had to contribute to it, because I think Standing made some very valid points about cultural and societal expectations of men, at least historically, and I think that some or maybe even all of those points about men are relevant to Barbie’s h. But I also hesitate to endorse traditional gender roles and stereotypes, maybe because my own marriage doesn’t fit into that paradigm and therefore I feel like if there are answers to be found in that discussion, those answers don’t apply to me or to my W or our marriage. And also, I like to think that people aren’t simple enough to be pigeonholed in that way - though I also acknowledge that stereotypes exist for a reason.

Remnants of the original discussion have made their way into a few threads at this point, and have served as the basis for a lot of outstanding insight about communication, avoidance, validation, authenticity... so much that is at the heart of healthy relationships, and conversely, so much that is at the heart of MLC. Ultimately, I think the expectations for any adult in a healthy relationship are quite similar regardless of age, gender, or previous life experience: we are each responsible for our own happiness (whatever path that takes us on), but we have made an agreement to tie our journey to that of our spouse or partner, to share each other’s burdens and joys, and inherent in that is that we have to communicate with each other about where that path is leading us, and what those burdens and joys are. We have to be willing to be vulnerable, and trust that the other person will be on our side and accept us as we are. To me, that is the same regardless of any demographics. Now, I know this is an idealized and simplified picture of what we aim for, and  it is very true that the obstacles we each face in order to become that loving, supportive, engaged partner differ - some of those differences are based on FOO, some are based on our own individual experiences and inherent traits, and some are based on society’s expectations. But it just seems like what we as individuals should give and should expect in a partnership is pretty universal. Communicate honestly, lovingly, and respectfully - some people will do so with words, some do better with actions, and even within that, some actions are grand gestures and some are essential everyday things; some words are profuse and poetic, some are simple and heartfelt. And it’s just as important to recognize your partner’s natural way of communicating - to try to communicate in a way that your partner understands, but also to understand your partner’s natural way of communicating. Be in each other’s corner, always, and ahead of anyone else. That doesn’t mean falsely prop up a partner doing something you don’t agree with, but it means not putting them down to others (either publicly or privately, to friends, behind the partner’s back) and instead privately discussing the point of disagreement with the partner, respectfully but honestly. Be each other’s person - root for each other’s success, share your joys and sorrow and worries and hopes and dreams with each other above anyone else. Trust each other with your whole self - that doesn’t mean you can’t have any private thoughts or dreams or even activities, but be your true self with your partner and let them be that with you as well. And I’m sure there are a million other things, but to me that is a pretty strong foundation and it has nothing to do with gender at all.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: 5hilmerton on April 04, 2021, 11:56:26 AM
Hi All,
I am feeling like i just played a seriously fast game of air hockey.  Since BD i realize i could have recognized my H with simple thank you's for the person, presence, father and husband he was for our family.  I don't believe any of which would have been counterfeit.

Reading some recent posts/threads really left me thinking i really f'd up.  And then again maybe i did not but maybe i did.  Regardless  i am in serious a thinking mode again as is my nature.  The engineer in me wants to line up and deal with the facts and the LBS in me must sort out facts, emotion and the unknown.

5hil
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: 9393roo on April 04, 2021, 12:10:35 PM
5Hil, I want to jump in here with a response.  I did validate my H at BD   Reminding him who I thought he was for the 30 years prior.  This didn’t make one difference at the time.  I realize this now.  There is NOTHING you could have said or done to stop your H from going into MLC.  I hope you don’t beat yourself up over this. 

At one point in my H’s MLC he told me I never told him how good looking or what a great body he had.  OW did and he made it sound like if I had validated him none of this would have happened.  That’s when I knew something was very very wrong. 

I do remind my H of some of the things I fell in love with him in the first place now as he is trying to repair himself. I tell him I believe in him and his strength to find himself.  If he was still in active replay he would consider this me trying to fix him.  He would put no value on what I was saying.

I really hope you understand that nothing your said or no amount of validation would have changed anything. 

I
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Curiosity on April 04, 2021, 12:32:07 PM
This is an excellent point to bring into the discussion and I think its importance cannot be minimized. Validation and real, open communication are indeed important things to consider in a healthy relationship, and for those of us whose marriages were a bit fragile before BD, there might have been some improvements to make. Certainly for all of us going forward, whether in reconnection or in other relationships, these are things of which we will all be mindful even more than we were before. But there is absolutely nothing that could have prevented the MLC from happening. The crisis itself, as well as the severity and duration, are purely guided by who the MLCer is, the issues that led to it, and their method of working through it or not (and perhaps also by the amount of damage they do in escape and avoid/replay).

In a fragile marriage where neither party is a brewing MLCer, the couple reaches a point where they recognize the fragility and they come together to decide how to work on it or whether the marriage was really good enough that they can or want to. They at least discuss it - and they don’t always agree on the solution but at least they own their decisions. In an ideal marriage where MLC happens, the LBS is completely taken aback because they honestly look at their marriage and, even in hindsight, they see nothing valid in the MLCer’s story of why the marriage is so awful. Most of us are somewhere in the middle - the marriage wasn’t ideal but it was very good or at least pretty good. Maybe it was great for 15 years, pretty good for another 5, then got a little fragile for a year or two before BD. So for many of us, there are things about which maybe we could have been more mindful and maybe that would have kept it in the “great” category for longer. But MLC was still going to happen, and the only difference is that the LBS would have been even more stunned at BD and more at a loss as to how to do the mirror work.

Just my take on this from someone who lives in that middle ground... not brand new but not a long timer, MLCer is not a high energy replayer but not exclusively a wallower, she was a clinger but is now a live-in, and our marriage was not ideal but also not devoid of love and connection the way she acted like it was at BD. I’m sure others have varying perspectives on this.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: OffRoad on April 04, 2021, 01:03:07 PM
I posted some of this on Song's thread, but it also applies here because we have to consider that right, wrong or indifferent, people think how they think and we cannot know what that is unless we ask and they tell us (the actual truth) assuming they even know what they think.

If external validation is all that motivates someone, we can't change it, but we have to understand that how we speak and act is going to affect someone who places such value on outside validation differently than one who already knows their own value. And then act in accordance with our own values, either walking on eggshells, telling it like it is from our point of view or somewhere down the middle.

I have a friend who says she believes in her own value. Except takes to heart every negative thing said to her by dysfunctional people. Knowing this, I never lie to her, but do "walk on eggshells" a little with my words at times when I have to deliver something a normal person would take no offense at, but she would. The words "Oh, you've cut your hair." Would leave her in a dither for days because she would assume I didn't like it if I didn't go on and on about how cute it was.  If she likes it, my input should only be a small consideration. I can't fix her, but I can be extra careful with what I say IF her friendship is worth it to me. Either not mention the haircut at all and wait for her to ask me if I like it, or rave on and on about how cute it is.

People are who they are. Few of us are without oddities. Knowing that it is possible that guy/gal over there gets all his/her validation from external kudos might help in understanding why he/she got upset AT YOU when he/she cooked a meal that you could not eat because you were allergic and they did not bother to ask if you had any allergies. And understanding that it's not really about you, help you to determine how you want to deal with the situation.

Title: Drystone walling
Post by: in it on April 04, 2021, 08:48:59 PM
Excellent post Treasur you have such away with the written word.
And because they might be an H or father of children we tend to overlook things. Stop giving excuses for bad behavior.
Most violence happens against women. Women report the most but typically it gets very little attention it needs.
 And maybe the numbers aren't as  high for men because they may be less likely to report it.
Everyone needs to love themselves enough to tolerate no abuse
 Which includes, calling repeatedly if you'd like to be left alone in peace ( The calling? Texting? that's harassment whether its monster or "niceguy" if it's unwanted) financial, spiritual, verbal, physical, stalking and the like.Check with the domestic violence check list online.You might be surprused to see their definitions if abuse..
They are also trying to get infidelity put on the check list.
Above all keep ourselves safe These  are grown adults that are being talked about here even though they don't act like it.
 Protect you. Its the first priority.You. The blame for the absuse lays solely with the abuser no one deserves to be abused. They chose to abuse.
You have to end it because they won't or don't. Laydown those boundaries. Whether or not they are aware they are a hurting you are not.
 If it hurts you, they don't get to say how much.
 
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: Thunder on April 05, 2021, 04:47:34 AM
Marvin you stated you believe there are very few actual differences from all kinds of studies about how men and women think, feel, their needs, etc. Yet these false beliefs keep circling around and around and get repeated and propagated.

Can you share any of this information?  I have never heard there are few differences between men and women.  I believe personally, there are huge differences in men and women.

I think we are just wired differently.

Recent studies indicate that gender may have a substantial influence on human cognitive functions, including emotion, memory, perception, etc., (Cahill, 2006). Men and women appear to have different ways to encode memories, sense emotions, recognize faces, solve certain problems, and make decisions. Since the brain controls cognition and behaviors, these gender-related functional differences may be associated with the gender-specific structure of the brain (Cosgrove et al., 2007).
Of course there are still further studies going on.

If anyone cares to read the whole article:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2019.00185/full
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: marvin4242 on April 05, 2021, 05:53:33 AM
Thanks Thunder interesting study. This study is using “learning” methods and MRI to look at neurofunctional patterns. Not to say that is not interesting, but brain structure function correlation to behaviour is tricky, and with few exceptions is not very predictive. Part of this is neuroplasticity. Which can all reroute and slightly alter what parts of our brains perform certain tasks. So what “lights up” or what structure works is not always a good way to predict deeper function. Adding to this its a “chicken and the egg” problem. How are brains activate is shaped by how we exist (just like how we exist is determined in some ways by how are brain activate). So there is an interesting assumption of cause and effect here.

Studies I am talking about have been going on in psychology and social sciences. They look at the actual decision making, problem solving, emotional patterns of the sexes. There are obviously large variances in all these across people. But most of them do not show a significant difference between men and women, rather how this behaviour is distributed. And even these studies sometimes reveal how the beliefs and external factors “shape” what people assume to be gender based differences. A simple example is studies that showed that girls do not perform as well in math problems. A later study separated girls and boys in classrooms and discovered that the apparent differences all vanished, and that across the spectrum boys and girls performed the same.

So in a society where woman are given the message to be “care takers,” are implicitly told that it is somehow wrong to be assertive, etc you create what you are looking for. You will “see” differences where women are more care takers, are not leading major corporations, don’t “speak up” as much, and yes maybe even believe its their job to “raise” their partners.

These are complex things to study, and many many studies have been done to tease this apart. The only one I saw that was very interesting is that men make decisions quicker (jump ahead), while women tend to be more deliberative and consider more factors. Not shockingly men seem to be “better” at decision making, but tend to make more mistakes because they don’t use as much information. From an evolutionary biology viewpoint this “difference” makes sense if you are trying to protect children.

But in the area of needs, emotions, communication we are not different across gender. We are just “trained” to behave differently by societal forces and I wonder if this is what you see. Men are definitely pressured from early on to not express to exist in their emotions, it is considered “weak.” And I believe starting from here you can see a lot of how we think “men” are later in life.

edit: sorry forgot to add I will try to collect some studies when I have more time later today.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Acorn on April 05, 2021, 07:25:21 AM
Thanks, Treasur, for sending me on a wild goose chase ;D to find the threads that prompted many excellent posts by you and others. 

.....

If I may, please.

How is it ANYONE’s job to pump up or apply duck tape to the leaky ego barrel of another adult?   

When a person needs to have ‘attaboy,’ whether honest or otherwise, on regular basis to feel good about him/herself, the best I can say about it is that it is superficial and unhealthy. 

Of course, acknowledging people for their kind and thoughtful deeds or acknowledging their accomplishments is just good manners and adds a pleasant layer to the relationship, does it not?  In contrast, doling out dishonest flattering remarks look very much like manipulation to me. 

........

Marvin, excellent observations.

In my experience, pop ‘psychology’ often seizes some generalizations that are currently circulating in the society which can often sell myriads of products (books, programmes, speaking engagements, etc.). Follow the money.   They seem to be quite heavy in exploiting what people want to hear and offer ‘solutions’ but tend to be rather light on scientific research.   And excellent for their bank balance and empire building. 

For example:

http://psychology.iresearchnet.com/popular-psychology/john-gray-in-popular-psychology/

Just my view.  :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on April 05, 2021, 09:41:01 AM
Sorry, Acorn - was it like an Easter Egg Hunt?  :)

Staying out of the nature/nurture debate...largely bc I don't know enough to say anything useful lol.
But I'm pretty equal opportunity-ish about disordered or abusive behaviour.  :)
What is different perhaps are some of the social constructs and expectations we can put around gender. What we excuse or explain by virtue of it.

Regardless of gender, it is unfair and unhealthy if anyone expects you to be responsible for their inability to regulate their own emotions. Imho. Always. I do recognise some of what Standing describes though....regardless of my opinion about it. It just made me feel a bit cross.

Important to remember though that these things exist on a spectrum and that often what we see In our spouses, once the lid blows off, are quite extreme behaviours. Nothing at all like that rather lovely cosy intimacy that allows you to share your emotional weak spots with someone who has your back.  :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: 5hilmerton on April 05, 2021, 11:34:11 AM
Well i certainly cannot write as eloquently as most of you.  I just write how i think when i think it and that depends on my mood.  It's never meant as a challenge just mostly my 2 cents. I posted earlier that reading this and other threads had me trying to squeeze my square self into that perfectly smooth hole.

It was not until i read this last comment from Treasur "emotional weak spots with someone who has your back" that i believe i found my fit.  I am courteous and thank as much as possible because i mean it.  Earlier i was examining why i did not thank my H as much as i could have. When i read Treasur's statement i realized i always felt we did what we did for each other out of love and there were no expectations to stroke each other's ego.  At least i believe it was that way before bomb drop.  I still believe i could have recognized my H more often for his hard work but than again when is enough too much???
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: in it on April 05, 2021, 12:34:26 PM
I totally agree you cannot continue to prop up  and adults  ego/self esteem/confidence  if they do not have it within themselves to do.
When is enough too much, and when too much is never enough, it has to stop somewhere.

Everyone likes positive affirmations for the most part. Some people it does embarrass to get compliments. To simply say "Thank You" is enough.

These were not kids we were raising. Children need encouragement and praise. That to me never ages out, that's a parent and a child.

To give it to a partner praise from time to time is good. But a full grown adult should not need to be told how wonderful they are on a daily basis.

I found, however, if fault is found and expressed with every little thing that someone does/ says on an almost daily basis. It leads to resentment for the other person. It rarely helps for someone betterment. (my experience  and I am truly blessed I do not have to listen to it anymore.)

And as much as you may want to look back and say maybe if I had done this or that. This still would have happened.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: OffRoad on April 05, 2021, 01:19:12 PM
...Earlier i was examining why i did not thank my H as much as i could have. When i read Treasur's statement i realized i always felt we did what we did for each other out of love and there were no expectations to stroke each other's ego.  At least i believe it was that way before bomb drop.  I still believe i could have recognized my H more often for his hard work but than again when is enough too much???
Slight hijack for 5hil.

This rather struck me. I don't know about anyone else, but no one thanked me for dinner most nights. Or laundry, or bringing home part of the bacon, or taking the kids to the store or dentist or helping them with their homework or pulling the weeds or repairing the toilet or painting the walls or making Dr./dentist appointments for NOT  ME or arranging for the heater guy to come out or call because there was an error on the utilities bill or maintaining the vehicles...you catch my drift. Where is MY pat on the head?

Well, there wasn't one and in truth, it really didn't matter to me because I was just doing it because it needed to be done. Do you really NEED to thank someone for taking out the trash when it is their chore when they don't thank you for doing the dishes because it is YOUR chore? I don't know the answer to that. I do know that I always sincerely thanked my XH when he did something, even if I had to ask a hundred and three times.

It didn't matter. Once MLC hits, you could have walked on water previously and now you don't. And haven't for 6 months, a year, EVER IN YOUR LIFE!!!!! It wasn't you. Please don't own his issues.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: in it on April 05, 2021, 01:31:18 PM
I didn't get "thank you's" for those things when I did  them either Offroad . Did anybody else?
I was just doing what needed to be done also.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: 5hilmerton on April 05, 2021, 01:55:07 PM
I just came in from cutting all of the dead orange tree branches down and take a quick break and read the updates. Off Road, now that just hit the nail on the head.  I did all of that and translated his language into english for him!!

Apologies Treasur,
please forgive me for changing the direction. I feel now that i just got untangled from a large barbed wire fence.

5hil
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: Thunder on April 05, 2021, 02:00:24 PM
I agree a healthy adult should not need to be told how wonderful they are on a daily basis.  It wouldn't mean anything after while....and come off fake.

I think it's maybe just encouraging a spouse who did a great job at something, or did something special for their spouse, by getting nice feed back.
I believe that makes anyone feel good and appreciated.

For instance my H thanked me for every meal I made him...small or large with a thanks honey that was really good.  It made me feel he did appreciate my efforts.  I never got tired of that.
Did I need it every day?  No and I didn't expect it but it was darn nice to hear.

Maybe we're making too much out of this.
My mom and dad were happily married over 65 years and always complimented each other.
It wasn't "praise" it was just a nice gesture to let the person you love know you noticed and appreciated them.  I see nothing wrong with that.
Praise and a nice compliment are two different things in my opinion.
I don't know if I ever "praised" my H.  He probably would have laughed at me.

5hill, I'm not an eloquent writer either, so there are times I refrain from giving an opinion, but I agree with what you said.
It's very common for married couples, after being married for years, to start to take each other for granted somewhat, which is unfortunate....but quite normal...and that goes for men and women.

Now having said that, I do not think this is what makes a person go into a real MLC.
I doubt there is anything a person could have done, or said, to prevent that because the crisis has nothing to do with the spouse or their marriage.  It is an internal crisis.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Curiosity on April 05, 2021, 02:21:16 PM
Is it Gottman that talks about couples in healthy relationships having a 5:1 ratio of positive comments/interactions to negative ones?  For me, it wasn’t about giving false praise or feeling like I had to say thank you or “attagirl” or anything like that. I guess for me, I gave praise or thanks often because words of affirmation are my love language and praise makes me feel good (even if I don’t need it to feel validated). So, since i liked to hear such things and making her happy also made me feel good, I would give praise or affirmation or thanks regularly. Despite the fact that my W does have a relatively high requirement for external validation, it turns out it isn’t her love language and I never got a lot of it in return, but that was okay - I wasn’t doing chores to get praise, I was doing them because they needed to be done.

Anyway... for me the giving of praise or affirmation wasn’t specifically about propping up someone who needed validation, I was just doing it because it feels good to say nice things to and to have positive, loving interactions with someone you love. Though I do think the interaction is only truly positive if the affirmation you give is based on truth.

Sorry this is a bit rambling and ultimately, it’s just a way to agree with Thunder’s more eloquent statements about praising our spouses.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: in it on April 05, 2021, 05:04:34 PM
I'm pretty sure any new relationship would benefit from taking the five love languages quiz.

If someone wouldn't budge enough to do that? I wouldn't waste my time trying to figure it out.

If you have someone who be open enough to share it with you, both of you would have a better idea how each of you feel loved is. You have to share the information.
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: Thunder on April 05, 2021, 05:17:16 PM
Thank you Curiosity.

I wonder what your W's love language is.   :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Curiosity on April 05, 2021, 05:32:39 PM
She tested pretty close on several of them. Quality time was first by a few percent, followed by physical touch and acts of service which were tied. Words of affirmation was a good bit lower, and gifts was last (pretty sure that is the order of the lowest two items - they might have been reversed for her). For me, words of affirmation was first, followed by physical touch, then quality time was third. Acts of service was a bit lower for me, and gifts was last. I think the high value I place on words of affirmation is probably clear from my prioritizing praising others just because it feels good to do that.

We are both the sort of people who want to know ourselves... who take tests like the MBTI or enneagram. Not sure how limerence clouds her own picture of herself, but I can only work with what she presents to me. And honestly, I don’t worry about it because I am going to be true to myself regardless of whether she presents her authentic self to me or not.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on April 06, 2021, 12:47:42 AM
I do think it is important to keep reminding oneself that there is a real difference between how one behaves in a normal kind of relationship and how one behaves in a broken or dysfunctional one. To remember that much of what we are dealing with as an LBS is NOT normal and no longer healthy.

So, I wouldn't disagree with much of what folks say here about love languages or showing appreciation or support or understanding towards a partner.
But...imho...
Once you have BD, the landscape of your relationship is changed completely and unilaterally. And you have a new normal which isn't very normal at all where probably respect, acceptance and self care are more appropriate bc most likely what you are getting from the other person are lies, blame and at best indifference. It can be rather a distracting trap, I think, to try to view this kind of dysfunction through a lens of normality.  ::) :)....or indeed try to have a normal kind of relationship with someone who, for whatever reason, seems to be pretty dysfunctional as a person let alone partner. And there is a real risk it seems to me of validating behaviour that is not ok in trying to affirm or support the person. Or using 'we' tools when the other person blew up the 'we' and only has a 'me' POV.

I imagine - although it is outwith my experience - that this might be one of the things that makes reconciliation quite so difficult.....bc you are trying to figure out what a new normal healthy relationship might look like after what has happened. I can imagine things like LL being useful then perhaps. Or in a new relationship.

But I honestly do believe that it is important to pause every so often and remind ourselves that post BD, we are not in normal 'Kansas' any longer  :)


Little drystone wall stones....
Trees I have planted in other people's gardens are coming into blossom now. This makes me smile bc they feel like foster children  :)
I have a date scheduled to visit my mother on the 16th April and a date to see my uncle on the 12th.  :)
My finances have improved slightly to the point where I (almost) feel like I can plan some things I couldn't before.  :)
I am creating a garden mosaiced obelisk as a memento MORI for my friend who died last month, my Yesness friend. Something very nice about doing something slow and fiddly in a warm shed on a cold day, thinking about my chum  :)
I fixed a car problem which I thought I couldn't....ha ha, fought the PTSD glitches and won lol. I am starting to see light at the end of my post-PTSD mess now even if just a flicker  :)
I have new neighbours who seem very nice and easier to get along with than the ones who lived there before.  :)
I miss my family on family type occasions like Easter, which is sad but normal. But I played in my greenhouse and then was surprised by a chum arriving with a card and Easter Egg for me. And we sat drinking tea in my garden in a burst of normality surrounded by nodding daffodils and warm sunshine on Sunday  :)
What happened with my h and m very rarely hurts now. It bemuses me still, it may always....but it no longer hurts like it did. Probably took about four years to get to that point, but I am very grateful to not live with that kind of noisy pain any longer  :)

Lots of good new stones in my wall  :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Kimber on April 06, 2021, 07:20:23 AM
do think it is important to keep reminding oneself that there is a real difference between how one behaves in a normal kind of relationship and how one behaves in a broken or dysfunctional one.

That is an excellent point.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Dumbfounded on April 06, 2021, 10:02:01 AM
You simply can not apply normal relationship rules to a MLCer.  They are bat snot bonkers and you will just make yourself crazy. 

Any person that willing to inflict pain and suffering on another human that genuinely loves and cares for them - think spouse, kids, parents, siblings, etc. gets served a whole other set of relationship rules IMO.  Selfish is their primary love language.     

Your Easter garden sounds lovely Treasur.  I, myself, went to Easter morning yoga - that was a whole new spin on Easter for me. I dare say I enjoyed it very much.  :)   
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: Milly on April 14, 2021, 03:30:04 PM
Treasur, just loved your latest post. It really opened some windows for me. I think that the process of healing from BD is so long and complex that it might take many times of hearing the same messages to actually get them, like learning a very difficult subject. I'm talking about the realization that the normal we thought was normal, is not normal at all. That we must not risk finding excuses for the abominable behaviour of all our Hs. That knowing love languages is a very helpful tool, but in actual fact, should not be necessary in a normal, healthy, loving, empathic relationship.

Love your new Easter day with a drop-in neighbour and nodding daffodils. What a vision.
Hope you're still going to see your mother tomorrow. Have a wonderful day if you are.x
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: PJ Ames on April 14, 2021, 03:59:23 PM
Just popping in to say how much I appreciate your posts. I don't often comment on your thread because you always seem to be several steps ahead of me, but what you write always gives me so much to think about.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on April 20, 2021, 03:32:52 AM
I saw my mother for the first time in over a year last Friday. Woke up at 0430 with my ‘normal’ alarm systems - cold, shaking and vomiting. I have simply become afraid of more emotional pain tbh....but I went anyway bc I am tired of PTSD popping up wanting to drive  :) And, absolutely against all the odds and textbook, as soon as my mother saw me, her face broke into a huge grin. She recognised me! she is at the stage of dementia now when she has few words and is very frail, but about ten minutes in, she tapped my arm and mouthed ‘my girl’. Not.a dry eye in the home over that. It felt like a miracle tbh that love could sneak it’s way past both PTSD and advanced dementia. But it did. And that felt like such an extraordinary blessing. It was a very good day. Means nothing about how things will be when I see her next in a couple of weeks ; anyone who has experience of dementia knows that. But it was enough.

But it has shaken me too. I was bouncing with delight for a couple of days and now I am quiet and sad. Bc sometimes, although you need to accept where you are to see the blessings, acceptance of something you don’t want and can’t change is also sad. I am self medicating by building a potting bench in Spring sunshine today and I know that these kinds of feelings ebb and flow.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: UrsaMajor on April 20, 2021, 03:54:03 AM
R's mom has dementia as well. She keeps mixing R with R's Sister (who has no contact with anyone in the family) or R with mom's own sister (who passed on to greater life several years ago). She seems to recognize me but, of course, doesn't remember my name and she forgets the names of her Grandkids as well...

However, she is, for the most part happy so that, in itself is a major blessing....

So I can understand a bit of what you are going through and it is a blessing when they have their "good" days....

{{{{{{{{Bear HUG}}}}}}}}
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Nas on April 20, 2021, 06:15:08 AM
I totally get the sort of delayed processing of all the emotions. There’s so many things to take in, at the surface, just beneath the surface, and then waaaayyyy beneath the surface.
Sending good vibes to you. ❤️
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: xyzcf on April 20, 2021, 07:24:11 AM
Quote
Bc sometimes, although you need to accept where you are to see the blessings, acceptance of something you don’t want and can’t change is also sad

My mom had dementia also. She always knew who her kids were though.

Our feelings, good or bad, are what make us alive and human. My sister and my dog just died and I feel sad and many other emotions, and of course it is normal to be grieving because I loved and have lost.

Somehow, his MLC, made me feel all kinds of strong emotions but also took away my ability to feel joy for a while. Like you, I find happiness digging in dirt and growing things. I have seedlings in containers all over my house at present...

COVID has also affected me deeply, but that will only be a scar in my past once this is over.

I was speaking to a friend last night and once again recognizing that I have no desire to enter into an intimate relationship, well the desire to share my life with someone is there, but no interest is perhaps a better way to describe it. She says I have "trust" issues but that is only part of it.

Normally, life brings joys and sadness and it kind of evens out, the good and the bad....and I accept and am glad to be able to feel things. I hope that when COVID ends, there will be a much brighter world for me. I know what I need to be "satisfied" and that involves human contact....

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Acorn on April 20, 2021, 07:59:42 AM
Thank you for sharing such a poignant moment with your mom, Treasur.  (((((HUGS))))

Soak in the sunshine and enjoy building your bench.  That is what I would call a very healthy ‘therapy.’
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Dumbfounded on April 20, 2021, 10:29:52 AM
What a special moment with your Mom Treasur.  I am glad you were able to see her finally and to be loved by her.
 
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Mitzpah on April 20, 2021, 11:09:18 AM
Treasur,

I love following your thread, you inspire me !

How lovely to hear that your mum recognized you.

I watched 'The Father' with Anthony Hopkins yesterday - it's a great film, very interesting as it is from the sick person's perspective. I don't know that everybody will enjoy it as it often comes too close to home for comfort. It certainly impacted me as I look at my own mum aging and beginning to become more forgetful and some of the attitudes and little speeches he shows throughout the film are very familiar...

Yes, acceptance is often sad and quiet too. I know it well.

Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Nas on April 21, 2021, 06:28:59 PM
Treasur,

I love following your thread, you inspire me !

How lovely to hear that your mum recognized you.

I watched 'The Father' with Anthony Hopkins yesterday - it's a great film, very interesting as it is from the sick person's perspective. I don't know that everybody will enjoy it as it often comes too close to home for comfort. It certainly impacted me as I look at my own mum aging and beginning to become more forgetful and some of the attitudes and little speeches he shows throughout the film are very familiar...

Yes, acceptance is often sad and quiet too. I know it well.

Thanks for mentioning this, I had actually put the release date of this movie on my calendar months ago but then somehow forgot about it. I love all of the actors in it so I’m looking forward to seeing it. There are so many layers of emotions to having a loved one with dementia. I will be really interested to see the take this movie has on it.

Treasur, I hope you’re doing well and getting plenty of allotment time.
xx
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on April 21, 2021, 11:12:33 PM
Quote
There are two points to navigating a major crisis. One, being brutally honest with the situation and two, building hope that is based on reality.

Ready posted this on another thread.
Struck me as being very wise words for all LBS. And no less true for all kinds of life challenges including a parent with dementia. We all understand how hard it is, and why it is hard, but being really honest with oneself about one’s situation - and finding different kind of hope anyway - seems like an LBS superpower with hindsight. Jmo.

PS funnily enough just had a conversation like this with my walking chum who was musing on whether we evolve as we get older through big ‘ah ha’ moments or more gradual shifts in how we see ourselves and our situation. She was talking about a BiL who is ill...diabetic plus recovering from covid plus some kind of brain thrombosis. Who is terrified bc his father died of a brain tumour. So who is doing everything to make things worse by ignoring all of it and blaming his wife for everything else it seems. But of course, nothing will get better unless he at least gets honest with himself.....gosh, we humans can make our own lives more difficult can’t we? And all of us do it sometimes I think to greater or lesser degrees.

Beautiful spring day here. Off to weed in one Arden and plant in another.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on April 22, 2021, 01:00:12 AM
Arden was a typo = garden  :)
But maybe not....lol....hope you all find a bit of your own Arden today  :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Philadelphiagirl on April 22, 2021, 01:33:34 AM
Hi Treasur, I have been following along. So lovely that your Mum recognised you. Yes, wise words about being honest with oneself. Something that I found very difficult at the beginning. Have a lovely day in your garden. Philly x   
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: Milly on April 22, 2021, 03:10:02 AM
Wise words, indeed, Tresur. Hope you are getting out to Arden these days.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: 9393roo on April 22, 2021, 05:41:34 AM
Treasur,

I’m reading along and nodding at much of what has been said.  I’m so happy your mom recognized you, that is a gift.  I have a friend who lives in Nebraska who has a mother with dementia.  She is in assisted living and my friend would visit outside her window every Monday.  Rain, snow, blistering sun for the last year.  She would talk to her through the glass and write her posters to hold up.  She was recently able to go inside for the first time in over a year.  She asked her mom if she knew who she was and her mom replied “you are the Monday girl outside my window”.  My friend was so happy her mom realized that she was still a presence, even if it wasn’t for being her daughter. 

I love your thread.  You are an inspiration to us all with your words. 

Thank you.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on May 01, 2021, 11:58:07 PM
Another little bit of my drystone wall for those of you who have been cheering me on for so long....

My mother’s birthday went well. I’m not sure if she knew it was her birthday exactly, but she knew that people were loving and appreciating her. And once again, she knew me....at least as someone who loved her. She also liked the cake  :) although I have to say that carrying a big tasty-looking cake through a dementia care home does seem to create a small swarm of interested oldsters who like cake akin to one of those zombie movies :)...but I made it unscathed.

I am so grateful for the support and advice, both here and in RL, from folks who helped me to do what I wanted and needed to do. Thursday was the first day for a long time when I felt genuinely at peace that I was being the kind of daughter I wanted to be in the circumstances. And that felt so good to me. And I think it felt good to my Mum as well. So many blessings to feel grateful for. And tbh I feel even more grateful that I am still capable of seeing those blessings and appreciating all of the droplets of good stuff...to be Me again...bc I know what it is like to fear that I might have lost that bit of myself that I valued so much. What I called Babe-ish in earlier posts.

And as an example of Babe-ish writ large, today I will be digging out some gravel at the side of someone’s house to plant brightly-coloured hollyhocks. Why? Bc the garden owner, the ‘Happy Window’ lady I have mentioned before got into a conversation with an elderly neighbour who was reminiscing about how this old house used to have hollyhocks there, fronting the pavement, and how lovely they were. So she decided to reinstate them for no other reason than someone else’s Joy. Very Babe-ish...she bought the plants and i’ll do the work with a spade.  :) (and linking to the discussion about happiness vs joy on Acorn’s thread, I find it hard to imagine that an MLC life can have much Babe-ish in it, but an LBS life can. Eventually. If it matters to you that it does. If you engage in the conversation with a metaphorical stranger and plant the metaphorical hollyhocks.  :) )

I wish all of you a week with some droplets of good Babe-ish stuff and moments of gratitude and peace  xxx
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Kimber on May 02, 2021, 07:54:15 AM
hollyhocks

Love these!

Beautiful post Treasur.

Such insight and depth here, it's so hard to imagine such people could be so casually discarded and/or replaced.
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: Milly on May 02, 2021, 09:03:16 AM
Treasur, lovely post and thank you for reminding us about Babe-ish moments. So true!
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Seahorse on May 02, 2021, 09:23:58 AM
Treasur -
Glad that you made it through the dementia home with the cake unscathed.  So nice to hear about your mum understanding that you're someone who loves her, and your ability to be comfortable with yourself for what YOU stand for, and your Babe-ishness. 

So wonderful that you and your happy window friend are planting hollyhocks for someone else's joy and happy memories.  I hope that the elderly lady is able to view them often, and recall the ones in her own yard.  I also planted some a few weeks ago, and will remember this story when (if) they grow!...  So much love and kindness in your little world. 

True that the LBS is able to find so much to be thankful for... 

Title: Drystone walling
Post by: UrsaMajor on May 03, 2021, 02:46:54 AM
Must be the week for digging up rocks... I dug out about 3 tons of ornamental rocks out of parts of the yard and piled them up for people to take. We had enough interest that all the stones found a new home but I have aches and pains in places that should NOT be having aches and pains (I did not know it was even possible to have muscle aches in the fingers until yesterday)....
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Acorn on May 03, 2021, 07:14:24 AM
Dear Treasur,

I just wanted to share with your that, even in your newbie days of deep sorrow and bewilderment, I could not help but sense that ‘Babe’ in you.  It’s in your DNA which simply cannot be suppressed indefinitely, IMHO.  It’s a ray of sunshine that emanates from within! 

((((HUGS))))
From one Babe enthusiast to another. 
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Curiosity on May 03, 2021, 08:20:50 AM
Treasur, beautiful and thought provoking post as always. This resonates with me as someone who cycled through shock and anger and hurt and over-eagerness to look past that and find an almost aggressive empathy and forgiveness, through exuberant GAL that was more about making a change, any change... to finally finding real interest in being more Me, in the peace and quiet joy that come with knowing that the life I am living is aligned with the person I am - doing things for others because it genuinely makes me happy to do those things, pursuing what renews my soul, whether it’s researching something online, meditating, going on an extravagant vacation now and then, or having a day spent in pajamas - it doesn’t matter whether someone else thinks it’s a waste of time, if it is meaningful to me.

I don’t know if that’s exactly Babe-ishness. But that sense of growth, of healing, of finding real authenticity no matter what it looks like... that sense is what I get through reading your posts on your own thread and others. And it’s been absolutely essential for my process.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on May 13, 2021, 01:04:05 AM
This https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/may/11/post-traumatic-growth-the-woman-who-learned-to-live-a-profoundly-good-life-after-loss might be a useful read for someone else here. A different kind of hope maybe, and an acknowledgement that building something new and sturdy takes a while usually so you're So Normal if you’re not there yet. X
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: CheerHeart on May 13, 2021, 04:26:38 AM
Thank you for posting that link Treasur. It was a humbling, moving read, brought me to tears in parts.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Nas on May 13, 2021, 05:38:59 AM
Lot of thoughts forming from that article. I bet I’ll be journaling about some of it in the coming days (personal journaling, not forum thread journaling).

I pulled out and saved these three quotes for later when I have time to play around with my thoughts:




He explains: “We haven’t done a very good job of distinguishing post-traumatic growth as transformation and post-traumatic growth as a story that we tell to help us make sense of our experiences and reconcile ourselves to the implications of whatever we’ve been through.”

***

For some, post-traumatic growth may be possible, if they have the right support. But for others, Jayawickreme thinks, a narrative of growth out of the pandemic could be experienced as oppressive: if someone was already struggling to make ends meet before the pandemic, then lost a loved one, lost their job and was pushed into poverty, and now feels they are being told to grow, the notion of post-traumatic growth might well feel insulting. A person’s capacity for post-traumatic growth may depend on their personal experiences, resources, and structural advantages – or lack of them.

***

Tedeschi says that post-traumatic growth does not happen only with individuals, but also in systems, communities, nations. Can we see it in the birth of the NHS in 1948, out of the horror and losses of the second world war? This is how I see the birth of 2 Wish Upon a Star in 2012: as a fierce, mighty kind of care, rising up from pain a person should never have to face, but did.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: 5hilmerton on May 13, 2021, 06:37:24 AM
Excellent article Treasur,
I can so appreciate the loss of a young son and needing somewhere to turn.  So much like the loss of my husband and needing somewhere to turn. The words of my Mom so similar and i am forever grateful to her.  Although not an effort such as 2 wish upon a star my commitment to my son is to pay it forward as much as i can.

My daughter in law just lost her baby brother to suicide.  Her Mom and my friend has told her she does not want to be part of their family therapy. My DIL told me that her mother said that i was the only one who can truly understand her pain.  My DIL thanked me for being there for her Mom since she is not opening up to her family just yet.  I found some bereavement groups and sent her the info. On Mother's Day she told she is going and it is worth dedicating 2 hours a week to her healing.  She tells me she knows she could not do it on her owm.  I will certainly forward this article to her.

A big THANK YOU!
5hil
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on May 28, 2021, 05:29:20 AM
Pretty much, give or take, about five years since what UM would call Atomic BD  :)
That was the point at which I realised my current life, marriage and what I thought to be reality had just been blown up irrecoverably into a million pieces. Before then, I thought I was ‘just’ dealing with a mentally ill h under psychiatric care  ::)....oh and a mother disappearing into dementia and having just buried my father....my then h of course knew a whole lot of things I didn’t so my BD was probably rather later than his lol.

I’m not sure I have any big words of wisdom  ::)
I’m not sure, even now, that I could easily explain to someone else what happened. Affair, mental breakdown of some sort that made him unrecognisably and impossibly bonkers to deal with, discarding me and his old life for a new one, deciding to leave by ghosting and lying on the few occasions he said anything, literally not caring that I was ill or had been threatened.
No idea what the cause and effect order of any of those things was, if the desire for a new life caused the breakdown or vice versa.
All I know is that these things happened to me and I was completely blindsided by almost all of them. And I lost years of my life and mental well-being hauling myself out from the dark pit I fell into. I have no idea what I feel about my xh now....not much I think, what Chump Lady calls ‘meh’. I don’t wish him ill but what he did was unforgivable and unforgettable. It changed everything pretty much and tbh there isn’t much left of my old life. And I did nothing to warrant it and I was given no choice about most of it. It was just like being run over by a bus really....the reasons don’t change the reality that I was run over by a bus and almost died. Seems very sensible to me that I have no wish to lurk near buses now lol. I have nothing to say to him now and need nothing from him. Is there some residue of my old love for him? Idk...that hasn’t been tested really....I remember loving him and how it felt to be loved by him, but tbh it’s a pretty faint memory now. I certainly don’t feel it any longer bc he is a stranger to me now, and tbh a potentially dangerous one, emotionally at least. It is undoubtedly a different experience from how I love and remember my parents and friends who I have lost. But that is how it is. So, that will have to do  :)
But
The sun is shining.
My sweet peas are growing.
I had my second jab yesterday.
I am making a lemon, pea and mint risotto for supper.
I am heading off shortly to buy flowers as a surprise gift for a friend.
I am planning an allotment weekend while my little town fills up with holiday weekend visitors.
Gracie is lounging in the sunshine smugly, having won a face off with Henry the beefy kitten from a few doors down.
I am wearing a new top with a boat neckline that a friend gave me and I really like it.
Normal stuff. Even coming out of a pandemic  :)
Bits in my drystone wall.

And oh my goodness, that feels like a victory. Who knew that normal could feel like such an achievement?
It isn’t my old normal, sure enough, when a holiday weekend would have been perhaps a weekend break with my beloved strolling around some of our favourite bits of Paris or a barbecue at home with my parents or some friends. And I do miss those things sometimes and those people and that me and that life sometimes.
But this normal is SO much better than the dark crazy times post BD. And I honestly did not believe (for years) that I would ever feel normal again.
But I was wrong.

Perhaps that is my big message...for those coming along behind me.....even though you might not believe it either....there will be a normal again.  :)
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: marvin4242 on May 28, 2021, 05:50:38 AM
Hi there

First I have to say the new normal sounds lovely in so many ways. The question always is what do we really need to be happy?

Second your story that you share so generously is such a beacon for those still in the dark days. That life changes but it does go on. Amd we can shape a lot of how it suits us amd what we need.

So here is a tip of the hat to an anniversary of sorts. Would it be inappropriate to says to the start of a new chapter of Treasur?
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on May 28, 2021, 06:05:45 AM
It wouldn’t at all, Marvin.
Jane Fonda talks about the ‘third act’ of her life kicking in from her late 50s. This is mine.  :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Dumbfounded on May 29, 2021, 12:19:49 PM
I was driving home the other night thinking about how much I like myself and my new normal these days - it is so much more peaceful here than it ever was before. So much less drama.

Not that I don’t have my share of drama here with two teenagers about and I do miss some things about my previous married life. But I don’t get rattled as bad as I used to.

Cheers to the third act!!
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on May 29, 2021, 10:34:16 PM
I see that you had a moment on your own thread, DF. I’m sorry and hope you are restored to normal service now.

And in the spirit of no BS, I became rather idk glum yesterday (for the lack of a better word)

It is a public holiday here and the sun is shining and most lockdown rules have eased, so my little coastal town is full of families, kids playing and sociable barbecues in gardens. And that made me feel sad and lonely and a bit envious. Not the kind of envy where you begrudge others having something, just the kind of envy that you don’t have it if that makes sense. To the point where I wanted to shut myself inside so I couldn’t hear other people chatting and laughing. Like a non-Christmas version of Scrooge   :(

But I didn’t.
I went for a walk with my neighbour friend who noticed I was quiet, asked how I was, let me cry a bit and then said in a lovely matter of fact way ‘well, you’re still grieving a bit, aren’t you? That’s normal when you lost such a lot. There’s no timeline for that.’
She was quite right of course. Wise nice friend that she is. What a blessing.
And I felt better for saying how I felt and having a little cry over the top of my mask  :)
And realising that part of why I felt so glum was that it felt like I shouldn't feel like that anymore after so long. But, as I have learned, thinking that we should or shouldn't feel x or y makes exactly no darn difference at all to whether we feel it.

So, these pop up moments of grief that leave me feeling a bit more lonely are also part of the current normal. They may always be visitors on certain dates or at certain family oriented holiday times. It may even be true that the easing of lockdown here puts a bit of pressure on fearing what kind of normal I am ‘returning’ to when life just before covid wasn’t very ‘normal’ at all.  And they don’t last the way they did....well, particularly if shared with a kind wise chum  :) Just wanted to be honest about it bc i’d be very surprised if I am the only vet on the other side of this that has those moments......and it’s ok if I/we do. Recovery to something normal isn’t a magically clean slate is it?

And, fwiw, I could have posted a rather idyllic social media picture of a classic English beach with sun sparkling on the water (i didn’t lol) and got lots of likes and it would have said nothing honest about how I was at that particular moment! Which is worth remembering too....what’s that phrase about never comparing your insides with someone else’s outsides?  ::)

Better this morning.
Coffee. Watering my garden listening to the birds wake up. Off to the allotment for a day of weeding, planting and watering. Muddy fingers and sunshine always make me feel better and I never feel lonely doing that  :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Trustandlove on May 30, 2021, 01:49:38 AM
Quote
Just wanted to be honest about it bc i’d be very surprised if I am the only vet on the other side of this that has those moments.

Even those of us many years out have these moments at various times.  I found myself sad recently because a close friend died suddenly, and I realised that the only person I really wanted to talk to was the person my former H used to be.  It passed, and it didn't cause the kind of hurt that it would have years ago, but it did happen.

I love how you work through those; I learn a lot from you even if I have been in this longer.  And I use the lessons I learn from you elsewhere in my life as well and find that very valuable.

x
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Dumbfounded on May 31, 2021, 06:34:41 AM
Yep... I had my own emotional wobble this week. But your musings here and some good friends helped me see the error in my thinking. I think, if we let them, these wobbles help elevate us through self reflection and acceptance. It doesn’t make them any less painful tho.

Enjoy your garden Treasur.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on June 03, 2021, 12:01:37 AM
I think that Standing is an ‘abnormal’ reaction....in the sense of being an uncommon and counter-intuitive response to the events that most of us experience. That doesn't make it wrong, but it does mean I think that the choice to stand probably requires accepting that it is an uncommon choice so a path less well-trodden maybe?

I also suspect that it is too simplistic to define it by whether folks move on with other relationships or not. There are quite a few of us who are not in new relationships but who would no longer define ourselves as Standing...but perhaps living in a way that looks like we are. And perhaps some in new relationships with a glimmer of Standing-ish that leaves a metaphorical door open for a spouse they loved but unsure if they will ever be seen again. Or some that consider a new marriage a ‘forced’ end to a Stand. Or some who live within the form of still being married if not the function who Stand as some kind of ‘home’ for a person they see as ‘ill’ in some way who they hope will recover even if the marriage will not. Some Stand bc of faith beliefs, some bc they believe a bit of the spouse they knew exists behind the chaos, some bc it’s the only way they see to hold a fractured family together in some kind of connection, some bc they see RCR as a guide who knows things they don’t, some bc they just don’t know what else to do right now.......and lots more reasons probably.....

As the saying goes, it’s complicated  :)

Which is why it’s probably helpful for HS to occasionally recircle round to a discussion about it, as I think happens. Helps people figure out what Standing means - or doesn’t - to them. And if their choice or the way they live that choice more accurately perhaps is healthy and constructive for them or not at a given point.

And I think it can hurt all of us, regardless of our choices, if we feel judged as ‘less than’ bc of them.

I have a sneaky suspicion that most LBS are too battered and too confused to really make a really ‘examined’ choice about Standing for maybe a couple of years. We come to HS probably bc it is a default one for a range of reasons. Like a hammer who only sees nails lol. And that is the time when it is often very hard to make wise healthy choices, isn’t it? When we are vulnerable to dysfunctional choices bc it is so hard to find our footing or work out what we are dealing with, or think we are dealing with. Bc we want so much to believe that there is a predictable map or a process or things we can do or tips or tricks or a POV to change the situation we find ourselves in. To have hope, to reduce our pain.

I also have a sneaky suspicion that there are factors that make Standing more or less sustainable if we choose to do it past that point. And some of those factors are not necessarily in our gift or control. And not all of those factors are about what we think or feel or believe about MLC or Standing or Life.....some of them are about resources or bandwidth....and some of them are perhaps about different ways to ‘do’ Standing as opposed to ‘be’ Standing? I wonder if it might even be useful to start a discussion topic on different ways that experienced folks have found to ‘do’ Standing in healthy non-dysfunctional ways (as opposed to whether or not one should be a Stander) bc I’d imagine that Standing is also something one learns how to do well through a bit of trial and error  :)

Thought I would bring this over to my thread rather than chomping up space on Marvin’s thread  :)

With hindsight, I now think Standing had three separate bits for me. Standing for what marriage meant to me, Standing for my marriage relationship as i’d experienced it and Standing for my then h’s ‘recovery’ to someone more recognisably healthy.
And they were much more separate processes than I realised. Required different things of me. Different costs. Different timescales.

I should say, in the interests of honest disclosure, that I am not Standing for any of those things now. I have accepted that they either no longer exist or that they are beyond my pay grade or influence.  :)

Standing for what marriage meant to me was actually the easiest one and required very few monkeys in its creation lol. I married once for life and would not choose to remarry. I have never needed to chew on that. And marriage meant, to me, choosing to treat my then h with respect and kindness as much as I could. That was at the heart to me of the promise I had made so many years earlier....to act with care, I suppose....not to care for, but to care about. That kept me from reacting in some ways that would have felt good for 30 mins but not longer term  :)....but it also took me to respecting his right to carve his own path and choices and consequences. Even if I didn’t like them or agree with them.  Actually even if they made no sense to me at all.

Standing for my relationship was more painful and took longer. Bc tbh it was dead in the water long before I wanted to accept it was dead. The very thing I had treasured most about it had been irrecoverably imho killed off by my then h’s behaviour. I simply couldn’t see it, or him, or us in the way that I had done. Nothing to do with love or hope or anything I felt....it just WAS a basic truth, or so it seemed to me. I could not have it back, not with my h and not with someone else bc it was a co-creation. I stopped Standing for that after about 18 months or so....literally bc I had a dream in June 2017 of a conversation with my then h. I woke up and I just knew.

Two down then  :)

The third was the most painful and took the longest time of all  ::)
I suspect tbh that this was less about love and more about attachment, the feeling that I had any kind of part to play in his life or he in mine.

It required me to wrestle rather a lot with who I thought my h was/is and what felt real and what did not...bc that was the path my brain seemed to need to figure out what I thought happened and therefore what I thought could happen. On balance, while I am not as sure-footed about it as Marvin seems to be, I do think my then h had some kind of profound fracturing. Not just bc of my experience of it but bc objectively he was under psychiatric care for a long time and bc of all the things which were nothing to do with me or our marriage. But it also took me to a place of accepting all the things I simply don’t know vs the the things I thing I do. And with a vanisher who essentially ghosted his way out, there is so much I don’t know  :) I think, slowly (ha ha very slowly) I got to the point where it mostly seemed a bit silly and rather arrogant and disrespectful to Stand for a person who no longer existed or wanted to be that person if that makes sense? I think I had to recover from some of my own PTSD enough to find my own footing that I could let go of that attachment as much as I have done. That my h became a chapter not my story, I suppose. So probably didn’t get here until idk, about 3-4 years  ::)...and NC since 2019 helped that be a real thing.

So, three out of three  :)

Easier to do with a vanisher and no kids or ongoing connections perhaps.
And it would seem as weird to me now to think that I have any part to play in his life or recovery as it would if he popped up thinking he had a role to play in mine now or in my recovery from PTSD  ::)
That was the last bit of letting go, I think, and it took me YEARS  :)

The only bit of residue I think I might have from the last bit of Standing is that I hope that my xh ‘recovers’ (whatever that means to him), I do not wish him harm or unhappiness and I am occasionally touched by gratitude for the memories I have (Although they have faded a lot with time). Tbh I see it as a kind of death really more and more...I think that is how I live mostly, like I was widowed. (No idea if that seems nuts or not lol)...and acceptance of that was the deal changer for me both in my own life and in my sense of attachment.  He was very important to me, ‘unique au monde’ as I have said before....and now tbh he is of no significance at all in my life. In my memories, in my path to here, yes....but in my life now, no. Might that change? Well, idk....it has never really been put to the test....I have no idea how I would respond if it was, if he reappeared in some form as Marvin’s wife/friend has done or as I know other LBS have experienced years later. But I suppose the last bit of Standing Down, for me, was that I feel no need to think about it or do or wish anything to stir that particular pot. I am probably rather grateful that I don’t need to and grateful that I was married for a good while to someone who I enjoyed so much. But I did well to survive the s&itstorm bc I did not think I would and I cannot conceive of even wanting to dip a toe in someone else’s crisis again  :)

I share this bc, with the gift of hindsight, I can see that Standing was more complicated than I thought it was at first. And, if only for that reason, it makes sense to me that it is not so straightforward to judge how others figure it out, that it is a very personal and evolving process. I hope it helps others a bit further down the path, like me, to figure out what is healthy and appropriate for them. And of course my experience is not necessarily yours, is it?

 I think, again with hindsight, as Acorn said somewhere, the dysfunction of Standing - or how I did it - was when I conflated my then h’s path with our relationship. My stage two, I suppose.....I hurt myself more there and let myself get more damaged there bc I had expectations and wants I suppose....I was still in the ‘game’ in some way, like a piece on an incomprehensible chessboard with random WTF rules lol. Which is funny really bc we say so often - and I thought I got it - that a spouse in crisis is about them not the relationship. But I don’t think I really got that until I let go of the feeling that we had a role to play still in each other’s lives. Ironic really bc we LBS are bewildered by the relationship being treated as the ‘problem’ by the MLCer....but if i’m honest, I did the opposite for a goodly while and saw the restored relationship with a h I recognised as the ‘solution’. Now, of course, it seems easier to see - even with a remarried vanisher - that neither are true  :) But that was the spot where Standing in the way I saw it then was unhealthy for me bc I took on a lot of damage bc of my own mindset I suppose.

It occurs to me now that Standing....and then slowly standing down...was rather like removing bricks from my previous wall. Maybe it was necessary in order to get to the point when one can even start building a new one.

Perhaps working out what role you each play - or want to, or not - in each other’s lives is what happens in reconnection or reconciliation? Idk, not something I have experienced.

Ah well, reflections from the other side fwiw  :)
Toast, tea and allotment for me today. (And it is very nice that now I do not talk to ghosts while working on my allotment as I once did....just me, young growing things, muddy fingers and the sound of birdsong  :) )
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Trustandlove on June 03, 2021, 01:42:48 AM
Hi, Treasur,

That post on Marvin's thread made me reflect as well; my situation is of course different but you are right in that Standing is more complicated than it seems at first.  I don't think it's just about not having another relationship, although that appears to be how many (and I am not thinking of anyone here or elsewhere in particular!) seem to define it. 

I don't have time to write a whole treatise on it now, I just wanted to say that I don't think it's nuts to live as if you were widowed, not at all!  I think it's a good way to describe it. 

I have taken much longer than most to get where I am (partly due to children, health issues, and so much more), but there aren't any rules.

Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on June 03, 2021, 01:50:21 AM
Thank you, Trust  :)
Yeah, it was a bit of a treatise, wasn’t it lol? I am unremittingly wordy it seems....well less in RL but certainly still in my head, just seems to be how I process stuff.

Thank you for popping by to confirm that my metaphorical widow POV is not entirely nuts  :) I am grateful that I no longer need the reassurance of not being nuts lol - bc I did for a long time - but it is still very nice to hear so I appreciate it. And that Standing was more complicated than you thought for you too. If nothing else, I hope it helps us to hold back a little on how we interpret others choices here or label ourselves.

I hope that there are plenty of good things on your bit of the planet today too x
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Trustandlove on June 03, 2021, 02:01:29 AM
I didn't mean to imply that you had written too much!  I actually think I want to write a whole lot about it; the very fact that I am still here on the forum after so many years must say something in itself; I've never "stood down" as such, but there have been turning points.  And I can't say I'm standing for my marriage the way I was for a long time either, but I am also not sure if I have closed the door completely the way Marvin describes, so your description of living as if you are widowed may well apply to me.  I don't think I could have a "friendship" with him the way he is now at all. 

I have been thinking about my reasons for not being in another relationship; those are both very personal and also circumstantial; I haven't looked, but neither has anyone "appeared", which I know often happens.  How much of that is due to circumstance and how much to me not giving out "available" signals I have no idea. 

I hope your day is good, I have good work things planned so this should be one of the better days!

x
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on June 03, 2021, 03:06:19 AM
Well, iirc, Trust, you are a veteran vet so I suspect any thoughts you want to share about what helped and hindered your take on recovery would be useful to some folks here  :)

How are your kids as they are young adults now, I think? Do they have much of a relationship with their father now? (Sorry, I can’t remember if you are still married or divorced, if your h is still very MLCish or not). Again, that’s a tough challenge for many LBS here but fortunately just happens not to be one i’ve Had to navigate. And how are you, most importantly of all?
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: marvin4242 on June 03, 2021, 03:47:48 AM
Quote
With hindsight, I now think Standing had three separate bits for me. Standing for what marriage meant to me, Standing for my marriage relationship as i’d experienced it and Standing for my then h’s ‘recovery’ to someone more recognisably healthy.

Treasur, thank you once again for your wisdom and sharing it. This is such a perfect summation of what I had never really realized were important stages for me (and I think for others as well).

I want to say I also used the “widow” model after about 6 months or so, it just fit. The person I knew was gone, death can be in body and spirit. The body existed but the rest was not there. And a great song (in fact album) from Suzanne Vega would always run through my head, with the opening lyrics of Window’s Walk: “Consider me a window boys and I will tell you why, It’s not the man but the marriage that was drowned.” It’s from an album she wrote after her marriage fell apart.

The whole idea of Standing is complex as you said. I also only had that special “bond” only once and I will never have it again. Its not because my wife was the only person in the world, but because I CHOSE her to be that person (which I am guessing in some ways maybe your experience as well?). And now that that illusion has shattered I don’t think it would be healthy for me to recreate it again. For me a big part of life is taking in all the experiences, good and bad, and to incorporate them, shift, adapt, learn, hopefully heal and become more whole. So the MLC nightmare has helped me “grow out” of that phase. And I do not mean that with any negative connotation of that version of me. But just like our MLCers that version of me is now gone.

I can see one day being friends with my W, we have so much in common. But the thought of ever letting her in, trusting her, leaning on her, immediately sends a deep and resounding “NO” throughout my entire being. Emotionally and even physically. Could any of us really experience the reality of what happened to us, and if we are not in denial or delusion then think we can go back? I am not saying it is not possible, but oh boy it would take so much work on both sides (as is said over and over and specially by those posters who are sharing their experience doing it).

I personally would say there is Standing with eyes wide open, Standing with eyes wide shut, and everywhere in between. I think almost all of us have been somewhere in that continuum at one time, or are still there. I just would wish for everyone who chooses to stand to be much closer to one end than the other.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Trustandlove on June 03, 2021, 07:17:40 AM
Quote
How are your kids as they are young adults now, I think? Do they have much of a relationship with their father now? (Sorry, I can’t remember if you are still married or divorced, if your h is still very MLCish or not). Again, that’s a tough challenge for many LBS here but fortunately just happens not to be one i’ve Had to navigate. And how are you, most importantly of all?

Thank you for asking, treasur, I find it means a lot!

My kids are young adults, as I have special needs kids they are perhaps a bit younger than some others, but on the whole they are on the cusp of their adult lives, well, 2 out of 3 are.  The 3rd struggles a bit more, which also impacts me a lot.  He is the only one who has any kind or r with his father, and that is only to meet at the pub for 45 mins or an hour a couple of times a year.    I am divorced, and my former H is one who has been through many OW, he married the 6th one; the divorce process was very drawn out and the financial bit was only done a year after he married her.  Now I am one for whom divorce wasn't in my interests, so for a long time not having it finished was fine, but in the end I did try to get the details done, and then, as is the case for so many here, it was he who dragged his feet, and I have no idea why. 

Is my H still very MLCish?  I don't know any more, as I have no contact with him, by my choice, although he makes no effort to contact me.  But from how he has treated our children I would say yes, he is, as he now gets angry at them for not going along with what he wants, rather than direct it at me (because I took myself out of the line of fire).  And that, unsurprisingly, can make my blood boil.    He is/was "uncle Dad" at best, but no longer gives any Christmas or birthday presents, although he does send a text for those. 

How am I?  On the whole very well; I have continued to work throughout all these lockdowns and am proud of what I have achieved, although I do reflect on how different it would have been if we could have gone through life together, how much less of a financial struggle it would be.  But I am still reading here; I have thought about how I could write about what it has taken for me to go through this but then time gets in the way, and I also seem to have lost the ability to put things into clear words, at least for now, or perhaps that is because I'm always in such a hurry!

But I would be lying if I said I never thought about him, or didn't care; I can't really see myself being friends with him, though.  I am not indifferent, I just know what would hurt and keep away from that.  But if I really think about it, it may well be that most of the worries I have now I would have had anyway, even if MLC hadn't happened, which means they are "normal life things".   

So many points to ponder, I will try to write more, and to not hijack your thread to do so!

Title: Drystone walling
Post by: FaithWalker on June 09, 2021, 05:38:21 PM
Standing to most people would seem an abnormal reaction.  I know many people (irl) thought it very strange that I was standing.  For me, it felt the obedient and perhaps the heroic thing to do when it came to my faith walk.  Until it no longer made sense.  A new marriage closed the door for me. 
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on July 12, 2021, 07:29:38 AM
Recently read this https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/01/25/paul-garner-on-his-recovery-from-long-covid/ (and I suspect a lot of us are going to need to understand long covid more if we don’t already, sadly, if the basic numbers turn out to be accurate in countries with growing cases)

No MLCers were involved in the creation of this article lol.  ;D ;D ;D

But what it made me think was that it sounded a bit like the recovery process many of us face here.
That it has, put simply, two stages.

The first being to survive by kind of acceoting and accommodating the reality of it as you experience it. Baby steps. Trusting your own instincts and reality.

The second being a kind of paced GAL where your recovery is more about retraining your brain and body away from some neurological mechanisms (that your system set up to protect you) which now doesn’t work so well. A lot of the things he talks about doing in his recovery are rather similar to some of the things we talk about here which I found interesting.

And hope. That believing you can recover, even if it isn’t a straight or simple path, matters.

Anyway, wanted to share in case it was a useful way of thinking about recovery and rebuilding for anyone else here  :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Curiosity on July 12, 2021, 10:34:44 AM
Thanks for sharing that, Treasur - I agree that the process and the underlying concepts do seem like they are similar to what we talk about here. It makes a lot of sense to me. “Fake it until you make it” is really an oversimplification of this, in some ways, I think. I believe it’s in the vicinity of cognitive behavioral therapy as well, though I admit I am definitely no expert on forms of therapy. I do think there’s a lot to be said for the idea that the conscious mind can steer our course, whether it is physical or psychological. For me, I know that I wallowed for a time - I was hurt and angry and scared, and perhaps at the time I needed to be in that place, if for no other reason than to learn that my emotions have value and I need to recognize them and own them.

It’s also not always as simple as this. Everyone has different levels of support, different personal histories, and different levels of trauma. Similarly, with long Covid, people have different levels of baseline health, differences in severity of the acute illness, and different treatments available to them at the time of presentation. But I think that regardless of that, the conscious mind can at least aid in our recovery, even if it doesn’t get us to exactly where we want to be.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on August 02, 2021, 02:00:12 AM
Last few weeks have been a mixture of joys and sorrows. Aka normal life.

Death of a distant relative, vaccinated uncle got covid so had to cancel his birthday high tea and chocolate cake, grey skies and rain, tomatoes taking an age to ripen, a gastric bug that left me a bit feeble for a week or so, mum rather awol when I last visited which is always a bit upsetting.
Took the high tea and cake round to some elderly friends for an afternoon treat, sunshine, meeting up with the kids from my informally adopted family and getting a huge hug from a ten year old and a grin from a teenager (which counts as a hug lol), a visit from a much loved old friend, more sweet peas than I can keep up with, lots of roses, fruit on trees I planted in other people’s gardens, some lovely early morning beach walks with my chum (as well as one very wet one lol), some interesting new coaching clients, a gift of moussaka from my Greek neighbour, chuckling at a bold but not so bright baby seagull strutting around the garden while he and Gracie studiously ignored each other apart from a few dark looks.....
So, more good than bad tbh.

The wet walk with my chum made me think a bit though.
There’s a discussion on another thread about the language we use to try to understand what has happened to our spouse and collaterally to us. How sometimes some of the MLC phrases can be useful, particularly initially when we just can’t comprehend the WTF of it. How comforting it can be to have a shared language when you feel so bewildered. And how sometimes those same phrases can lead us to assumptions or expectations that (usually with hindsight) are less helpful and less absolute than we might think. And how we use language to make sense of non-sense in different ways bc we are different people in different situations.

My chum and I smelt the air and checked the weather forecast. No rain, we decided.....so no wet weather clothing. But we live by the sea and weather can change quickly here bc it blows in and out. Half way round, so about 45 mins from home, the sky suddenly darkened, the wind changed and the heavens opened. We got soaked  :) And a very unimpressed Gracie cat was waiting under the patio table when I got home bc she doesn’t like getting her fur wet  ::)

Afterwards it occurred to me that now....about 5 years post kaboom, about 3 years post divorce and NC....I think I see what happened to me as being a bit like weather. i wasn’t responsible for a whole bunch of things that happened. Like weather. Was I responsible for not checking the forecast? A little perhaps, but not very much bc the forecast didn’t change in advance enough. Until it did lol. Was I responsible for choosing not to wear the life equivalent of a waterproof Mac? Probably.....although I understand why I didn’t. Was I bit slow to adapt or got more wet bc I didn’t change my actions? Probably. Do I understand the mechanics of thunderstorms? No, tbh, i don’t. Do I know when I am getting wet and can I see sheet lightening and hear thunder coming closer? Yes, I can, don’t need to understand it to know it’s happening. Or that there are some risks to hanging out in thunderstorms. Was getting soaked pretty unpleasant? Yes. Soggy shoes, cold, bedraggled is not my best look lol. Did it kill me? No. Would understanding more about all the complex factors that create a thunderstorm have helped? I’m not sure it would....I would still have got wet unless more knowledge would have helped me predict the storm better than the Met Office did and cancel my walk  :) Was it better shared with a chum who was equally wet? Oh yes, no doubt about it. And was it nice to get dry and cosy with Gracie afterwards while watching the rain beat against the windows? Yes, it was. Lots of gratitude for a hot shower, a warm cup of coffee and a purring cat. And the sun came out today  :)

As a metaphor for my own experience, it makes sense to me from my current seat. To anyone else? Idk. But I find that reaching a point where I don’t feel the need to blame myself for my lack of weather prediction skills or indeed blame anyone else either is rather nice. Whatever it was that happened to my then spouse, along with all the other simultaneous life storms, was just weather. Like a sudden thunderstorm at an outdoor party....it happened but it doesn’t mean that the party was no good before when it was all bright sunshine or that I did a bad job as a party host. But I was a bit slow to don a mac and get the cushions in bc I was really really enjoying the party and didn’t know just how long the thunderstorm was going to last lol. Or that lightening was going to fritz my parasol  and extinguish the bbq :)

Title: Drystone walling
Post by: UrsaMajor on August 02, 2021, 04:47:54 AM
Sorry... I couldn't resist...

Yeah, I know... Goin' to Hades....

(https://media.giphy.com/media/BzyTuYCmvSORqs1ABM/giphy.gif)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on August 02, 2021, 05:57:02 AM
UM, Gracie would LOVE the idea of having superpowers  :) :) :)
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: marvin4242 on August 02, 2021, 05:59:17 AM
UM, Gracie would LOVE the idea of having superpowers  :) :) :)

Truth is she already does, she just doesn’t want to show off!  ;)

Sorry but I had to edit "... she already dies..." to "... she already does..." Couldn't let that one hang out there... UM
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Dumbfounded on August 02, 2021, 11:00:01 AM
A grin from a teenager. Now that is high praise.

I love how you are just living in the moment taking notice of all those little things.   
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on August 02, 2021, 01:16:49 PM
Well today, right after I went to light a candle in church for the relative whose funeral was held today, and shed a few tears saying the 23rd psalm out loud in an empty side chapel, came back to find my ‘adopted’ family had swung by for a visit. Cue lots of funny conversations with the kids about guinea pig escape skills, if purring is actually a kind of cat mind control and doing funny baby seagull walk impressions.....which was a hoot. I have got rather good, DF, at letting the joys come and getting stuck into them, you’re quite right. My secret LBS superpower now may be Noticing Good Stuff lol. Not sure I can imagine wanting to live any other way now.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Curiosity on August 02, 2021, 01:27:33 PM
Noticing Good Stuff might be the best superpower a person could have, so kudos to you for having achieved it! I’m so happy for your impromptu visitors and the joy found there. I also want to say more generally that I am grateful for the wisdom and insight you provide here. Whether or not the topic you’re posting on directly relates to my own story, I always feel like I gain some insight and perspective from reading your contributions here. So thank you for being such a mentor and all-around thoughtful and superb human being.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: hopeandfaith on August 03, 2021, 01:39:41 AM
I have to second that post of yours Curiosity  :)
Your posts have a lovely calm peacefulness about them too.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Curiosity on August 03, 2021, 09:20:43 AM
After spending the better part of a year in more emotional turmoil than I had experienced in my entire life to date, finding peace within myself has truly been a gift. More than anything, it’s what I wish for all of us.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: FaithWalker on August 05, 2021, 07:25:40 PM
I have to second that post of yours Curiosity  :)
Your posts have a lovely calm peacefulness about them too.

Agreed and I guess I third it.   :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on August 18, 2021, 03:26:16 PM
Just got back from an evening out. A drive along country lanes in my little convertible singing along to cheesy 80s tunes. Dinner made by my friend’s kids, eaten outside by a firepit. Some obligatory guinea pig cuddling. The kind of corona that comes in a bottle. Silly chat about everything from teenage make up trends to recently read books, how expensive cheese is in China and whether one would like to have dinner with the Queen or not. A hug from a nine year old. And a drive back with the roof down under a star-filled sky listening to Chopin.

Thank God for the return of normal. Of feeling happy again. I never thought it would come. And it has taken years to get from drowning to surviving to stumbling to something that feels like normal me just living. All those tiny bits of building that seem to never quite feel like a solid enough lovely new wall. But this evening it did. No sense of absence, nothing missing, Just happiness. Wow. And this was with my informally adopted family who lost their father and husband in January, so we’ve all been navigating figuring out a new normal in fits and starts. From 56 to 9.  ::)

And I hope that sharing this can help just one person today who feels like I did in the last few years....that it is possible, even if you don’t believe it either, to feel like yourself again and to be happy again. And that it is worth keeping faith in that even if you can’t imagine it right now. Please try....take it as a free gift instead of a free guinea pig lol....bc I lost almost everything and everyone that mattered to me, so if I can get here, I have no doubt you can too. And that you and me are worth it as the old L’oreal Ad says xxxx
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on August 18, 2021, 03:32:54 PM
Hi Treasur!

So happy for you to have come to a place of fulfillment and joy in your life.  It does give me hope as I am putting my life back together. 

HF
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Tornup on August 18, 2021, 04:51:26 PM
Treasur- the drive, 80’s music, convertible, hugs from kids and animals all sounds amazing. I may have flipped out the corona for a mich ultra :)  I am starting to see where you are at. Thank you for giving a glimpse of where you can be after you put the work in and see that life if good!!!
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: barbiedoll on August 18, 2021, 08:29:35 PM
Quote
Thank God for the return of normal. Of feeling happy again. I never thought it would come.
.

I have not reached the return of "normal" although I see and experience glimmers now and again. I have times of happy as well and I recognize it and actually acknowledge it out loud at times. But it still comes and goes and I am grateful for even that as I never imagined feeling happy again. I am happy for you my friend as you richly deserve such wonderful moments .
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Curiosity on August 19, 2021, 09:13:51 AM
Treasur, what a beautiful update! I am so happy for you - we are all doing the work to get to that place, and none more than you. From your description, I can feel the air, hear the music, smell the fire… and it’s all so joyful. Thank you for the reminder of what this journey is really all about.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Acorn on August 19, 2021, 10:58:32 AM
Now, look at that: Babe in its full glory.  :)

Just goes to show that, given the identical circumstance, you of many years ago would not have felt a lot of positive feelings you described.  Yet, a mountain of healing later, you are full of gratitude and joy.  You are accountable for your own healing and feeling! There is just no other way. 

Pray tell, can you remember what Chopin piece you listened to?  A Nocturne?
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on August 19, 2021, 12:09:44 PM
Should have been, shouldn't It? Actually it was a collection of Etudes.....used to listen to them a lot while studying at uni  :)

It was genuinely such a treat to have someone else cook for me....been a long time.....so I decided to spread the joy by making a salmon and lemon risotto and taking a portion round to a chum who is kitchenless bc her house is mid-renovation.  :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Dumbfounded on August 19, 2021, 02:56:51 PM
What a wonderful update. So good to know you are doing well. Cheers to happiness!!
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Evermore on August 19, 2021, 05:28:12 PM
Salmon and lemon risotto sounds divine. And so does your day. You give us all hope (as always). xx
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: Milly on August 22, 2021, 11:21:52 AM
Hi Treasur, just came on HS and thought I'd check in to see your updates! Sorry you had the tummy flu recently, that's a nasty bug. But love your Penguin style daily stories of rainy walks on the beach and two wet and bedraggled ladies (you and Gracie) getting all warmed up with a cup of tea whilst watching the rain hit the windows. Lovely images.

So good to hear you are still getting to see your old neighbours, the adopted family. Those kids do love you by the sounds of it. Your teenager tutoring girl even gave you a smile!

I like your analogy about the weather and should we have known, could we have changed the outcome, were we to blame for what happened? I think at the core, this is one of our big concerns. I think it takes us years to accept that whatever little bits of ourselves that needed a polish were not what caused our spouses to have this horrendous personal crisis and destroy us, our kids if we have them, and ruin our finances too in most cases.

I hope you get some decent weather before the end of the summer.x
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: PJ Ames on August 23, 2021, 05:56:30 PM
Just catching up, Treasur. Thanks for the update. Normal is such a good feeling.

Quote
Thank God for the return of normal. Of feeling happy again.
Amen, Sister!

I love the part about driving with cheesy 80s tunes. Reading your post, the song "Feeling Good Again" by Texas singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen kept going through my mind. He's a little ragged these days, but I still love the sentiment - it feels so good feeling good again!
https://youtu.be/m_HEyMDfrQ4 (https://youtu.be/m_HEyMDfrQ4)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Couragedearheart on August 27, 2021, 01:33:27 AM
Treasur,

The return of normal sounds delightful. I am so happy for you. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Courage
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Acorn on August 28, 2021, 07:42:15 AM
Should have been, shouldn't It? Actually it was a collection of Etudes.....used to listen to them a lot while studying at uni  :)

Ahh, Etudes.  How exciting!  Literally.  Music to keep you awake.  ;D
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on September 29, 2021, 12:38:43 AM
I expect to be posting, and coming here, less.
I’d intended to post saying so next month just so no one who has interacted with me here was concerned about my absence.
Why the absence? Bc there are seasons for things. Bc I have very little useful to say about MLC now. Bc my POV has evolved to the point when I can remember feeling how others here felt but I no longer feel it in the same way so my honest thoughts now would often not be what folks are ready to hear. Bc it keeps my eye half looking back perhaps when I am now healed enough to focus on necessary different things. All good healthy reasons.  :)
What has kept me? Bc I DO remember how painful and confusing it was. How alone and unheard I felt. Bc I am so grateful for the kindness of others here. Bc I care about what happens to so many folks whose stories I have followed. Bc I care about the effect of trauma and know how isolating and bewildering PTSD can be.

But I am so notoriously wordy lol, or arrogant enough  ::), to think that my absence might cause concern bc I know there are people here who care about my story too.

And then the universe intervened this morning....
Rummaging through paperwork trying to find a very important bit of paper to resolve a life admin problem, so far without success but i’ll get there  :) (did I mention how massive an impact PTSD had on my basic life functioning? And how slightly scary and also encouraging it is to wake up from PTSDness and get your hands back on the driving wheel of your own life? Or realise how big some of the memory gaps are and how I lost years to PTSD?)
And I found a letter from my xh, one I thought I had long ago shredded, from the early days post BD. Almost six years ago now.
It was his voice, it sounded like him, like us. Confused, a bit lost, but also pretty honest and full of love and regard for me. Grateful for my efforts to understand. Desperate for me to not give up on him and desperate to reassure me that he would fight his way through his own unravelling, an unravelling he didn’t understand, back to me and us. That he wanted me to know he wasn’t giving up on us.
Strange to read. I have no idea, of course, what else was going on in his head or life at the time. But it was a voice I recognised. Changes nothing really about where I am today.
But it did a couple of things....

It reminded me of my husband’s voice, the person i’d known for so long. His regard for me, his tenderness, his values. That it, and he, and us, were real then. That I did not imagine them.

It helped me to feel rather more kind and forgiving towards my own reactions and feelings in that first couple of years. With the gift of hindsight, I made a ton of mistakes. Truly, a ton. :) and the personal cost to me of those mistakes and assumptions was very high. Too high for my life and wellbeing tbh. But, gosh, I can understand why I flailed around and hung on long after I should have done. It wasn’t wise, and if I could I would have made different choices knowing what I know now, but it was so understandable.

The last thing was that it highlighted my own pendulum swing in how I saw my h, came to see him and have viewed my xh as part of my own story. I had, with time, forgotten who he was. He morphed into a kind of scary stranger who would hurt me without pause to get what he wanted, who was at best absolutely indifferent to me as a human being. To survive, I had to stay far away. To stay far away, I had to see him as a bad person for me to interact with. A liar, a cheat, a thief, a destroyer of all I treasured. So in my head he became a bad person who did not care about me, who perhaps had never cared about me as I had thought. I honestly have never been quite able to build a comprehensible bridge between the person I knew and the person I then experienced. I tried over and over, and got lost in the cognitive dissonance of it so much that I lost my mind. Literally. Until I gave up trying and just focused on the facts as I could see them along with a large mental box called ‘I have no f**king idea’  :) Again, that’s understandable on my part. And probably wise and necessary. And observably accurate at the time. But it isn’t the whole truth.

It’s a sad thing to me that our relationship ended with so many empty spaces and unspoken conversations. It was hard to accept that this is what happened and that there will likely always be so much that I can’t and don’t know. But it reminded me that, at least in my head, respect is every bit as important as love. Maybe even more important to our sense of being seen and heard and valued. And that, whilst I don’t understand it and it wasn’t what I wanted, perhaps respecting my xh’s desire ultimately to create a new life without me, to take his actions at face value, to not assume I knew better than him what was best or necessary for him, to respect the inevitable consequences of someone else’s choices without explaining or denying or plastering over them, is also an act of love.

It may be the first time honestly, after almost six years, that I have felt a glimmer of something in the neighbourhood of forgiveness. I have no idea how my xh feels about his choices now or whether they have delivered the kind of life and happiness he thought they would. I am pretty clear tbh that this is not my business. But that swoosh of forgiveness, of not seeing him entirely through the lens of the horror about what he did and how he did it. That was new to me.
Not sure what, if anything, I will usefully do with that ha ha.
But I did feel it.
Funny how the universe can pop up with these unexpected gifts when we are perhaps ready to receive them.

Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Trustandlove on September 29, 2021, 02:19:41 AM
Lovely to have found that letter, treasur...

I also just wanted to say that I, for one, despite it being many years after the worst of the horror, still do come here to read, and that is partly because I look for your posts, I think you always have something valuable to say, I just wanted you to know!
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Tornup on September 29, 2021, 05:24:45 AM
Treasur-

These things don’t happen by accident do they? You found that letter right when it was meant to be found and when you were in a place to reflect on it as you just did. Once again sharing your insight so beautifully while continuing to help us all .
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: xyzcf on September 29, 2021, 07:00:58 AM
Lots of good insight Treasur and thanks once again for sharing. Many posters reach a time when they either leave or just need a break from HS. The amazing thing is that we never know how our words impact others, even after we leave or take a break. Other members will find our posts and those posts  will help in understanding and figuring out how MLC has impacted their lives. I believe the more we know, the many different opinions and ways of dealing with our spouses, inevitably helps individuals to chart their path forward. So thank you and I really hope to see you posting again if that works for you.

A few things I felt when reading your posts.
Quote
A liar, a cheat, a thief, a destroyer of all I treasured.

I remember the first year going Christmas shopping and in my mind I was screaming "I don't care, I don't care, I don't care! He is a liar, a coward and a cheat". I repeated this over and over again in my head. It was a bizarre experience for me to me in a retail store with this intense yelling going on in my head. These and other physical experiences scared me. Another two episodes of a dissociative state also scared me for I had been a pretty normal rational person before this. The effects of PTSD are very very real and yet it was hard for me to believe that I was experiencing a "mental break" in a way.

Over time, reading about how others were experiencing PTSD symptoms helped a great deal to reassure me, that I was not alone and that I would heal. One thing you always stress is therapy, and I truly feel that I would not have got through this without the help of a very talented therapist.

However, she is also a very expensive therapist, and many LBSers can not afford therapy.  Explaining PTSD, talking it through is helpful to many others I think. For it is not often "diagnosed" in this way....our world accepts marriage breakup as no big deal, and somehow we are just supposed to get over it.

Thank you for all the effort you have put into expressing the very real trauma that we have encountered.

Quote
Until I gave up trying and just focused on the facts as I could see them along with a large mental box called ‘I have no f**king idea’
 

Ah, this made me smile. It's truly a game changer when you reach this point. No longer trying to figure out "why" they are doing the things that do and accepting that you never will...and indeed, some MLCers who get through their crisis cannot explain it either.

Quote
But that swoosh of forgiveness, of not seeing him entirely through the lens of the horror about what he did and how he did it. That was new to me. sure what, if anything, I will usefully do with that ha ha.
But I did feel it

When I was reading your post, I felt that perhaps what we do as a defense mechanism is we also rewrite history to some extent. It's so painful and touches us on so many levels, that providing a "story" about them can help us to move forward.

But forgiveness sets us free. It allows me anyway to let go of the intense rage that I felt towards him, towards what happened and some of that rage transferred even perhaps into the world.

Forgiveness, acceptance and support from others who have been this route worked together to allow me to become whole again.

This brought to mind a visual that I have found helpful in the messiness of what happened to our lives:

"Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art. Every break is unique and instead of repairing an item like new, the 400-year-old technique actually highlights the "scars" as a part of the design. Using this as a metaphor for healing ourselves teaches us an important lesson: Sometimes in the process of repairing things that have broken, we actually create something more unique, beautiful and resilient."

Please drop by and let us know how you are doing. Much peace and comfort be yours today and always.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Nas on September 29, 2021, 09:21:11 AM
But that swoosh of forgiveness, of not seeing him entirely through the lens of the horror about what he did and how he did it. That was new to me.
Not sure what, if anything, I will usefully do with that ha ha.
But I did feel it.



I think the feeling it is the useful part of it, honestly.  ;)
xx
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Curiosity on September 29, 2021, 06:19:11 PM
Treasur, your presence here is - true to your username - a treasure that has provided immeasurable value to me and to many other members of this community. I am happy to see you continuing on your healing journey. If less-frequent visits to this board help you to progress further, or if for any reason that is what you need - then that is exactly what you should do. But know that your contributions have been incredibly valuable and will continue to be welcome anytime you do choose to visit. And if you do feel like updating us on your own path from time to time, that would also be welcome.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Reinventing on September 30, 2021, 07:54:52 PM
Treasure, do what is best for you. We do enjoy reading your posts, just so you do know that.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on October 11, 2021, 10:54:42 PM
Yesterday was the anniversary of my first BD (that I didn’t realise was a BD, just thought I had a severely depressed h having a breakdown lol) and tomorrow is my birthday. So, good time for an update on how much things can change over time. That there are things worth hoping for on the other side of all the losses that come with a spouse unravelling and disappearing  :)

BD no longer matters to me. Well, the effects of it do, I suppose, bc it was life altering but I no longer feel even a glimmer of gut punch or emotion about the date or the h or marriage I had then. And my birthday matters more than it did when I was lost in the trenches  :) :)

I think this year is the first time I have genuinely wanted to celebrate my birthday since BD and that feels like real progress to me. Looking back, it started in lockdown last year when the nine year old son of my then neighbour made me a cake and the family stood outside my kitchen window and sang Happy Birthday to me.  :) That made me feel as if I mattered, as if my presence on the planet mattered, when for a long time I had felt that my existence no longer mattered at all.

I have made a lot of progress in the last year. Strangely, a pandemic world rather suited me bc I think it allowed me to rebuild at my own pace (which was pretty slowly initially) when the noise of the outside world went quiet. There is a sense of momentum now in my drystone wall, particularly in the last few months. Which is slightly odd to observe. But I have a lot more respect for the reality that we see what we need to when we can and that we heal when we are ready to heal. There is still plenty of rebuilding work going on in my life, true enough, but I am largely content from day to day. Which sounds a bit idk small as a goal, doesn’t it? But if I think back to where I have come from, it is my equivalent of climbing Everest. Which is imho just how drystone walling works.

And I can see so many stones that other people brought to help me build my new wall even if I didn’t know it at the time and couldn’t pick them up even  :) Which includes folks here.  :)

I am having a birthday week really. A chum here bought tickets to a concert on Saturday which was just lovely, a quartet playing Brahms and Britten in a beautiful setting. The weather is the very best of an English autumn....warm, soft light, sparkling cobwebs and a hint of yellow in the leaves. Ironically, given my thread title, I have spent a couple of days building a new pebble garden for a client. Chalky white round Scottish pebbles with zinc planters full of bright orange tulip bulbs and little iris reticulata topped with ivy and white cyclamen for the winter. While folks walking past with their dogs pause to admire it in the sunshine and my client is jigging with delight. Meanwhile, my own coaching work is coming back online (I call it Renovation coaching bc lots of us are finding ourselves renovating all kinds of bits of our lives post-lockdown) and I have been reminded of my own competence and value  :) And tomorrow, on my actual birthday, I will be having my first post Covid professional haircut, having supper at a little fish restaurant as a gift with another chum and going to see the new James Bond movie. I may even wear some posh high heels  :) followed by a day on my allotment (hurrah!) and another birthday dinner at the weekend cooked by the kids I mentioned earlier. Another chum bought me a swimming wetsuit so I have even made a commitment that the spring of 2022 will see me trying out cold water swimming, (but not yet  ::)) Another gave me a homemade shepherds pie made with pulled lamb and a large bottle of red wine and a book to snuggle up with. And Gracie the cat barometer tells me that the evenings have a nip in the air bc she chooses to sleep beside me instead of on her favourite cushion which I interpret as cat love.  ::)

A birthday week. A busy week. And such a lot of blessings to count. Almost all of them home grown new blessings from the last couple of years.

It is not life as I knew it. There are still much loved people no longer at my table. There is some residue, the odd blip moment, an occasional hiccup of shock about how weird and unforeseen it all was, some challenges, some acceptance of loss that can’t be unlost. There is uncertainty but I also have plans now, well at least the kind that fit on the back of a metaphorical ‘fag packet’ lol, when for so long I couldn’t see how to plan anything ever again, even if they are a work in progress mostly.
But it is a life worth having and my days are almost always good now.
I think my parents would be proud of me and cheering me on in this new life I never planned or imagined.
Who would have thought it?
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 12, 2021, 12:29:45 AM
I wish you a VERY happy Birthday Week!

And I know what you mean about going to a concert for the first time in what seems like forever... Did that as well this past weekend...
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Trustandlove on October 12, 2021, 01:03:10 AM
Happy Birthday, treasur -- and thank you for continuing to share your wisdom here.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: 5hilmerton on October 12, 2021, 02:48:29 AM
Happy Birthday Treasur,
I am so happy you are celebrating you 🎉🎉  go ahead enjoy a birthday month.  My D34 started celebrating the whole month when she was a little girl and still does. 😊😊 My granddaughter who just turned 4 Oct. 6. said to me on October 1, Grandma it's my happy birthday.  She is still celebrating and telling everyone it's her happy birthday.

Enjoy,
5hil
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Tornup on October 12, 2021, 07:00:42 AM
Happy Birthday Treasur 🎈 Love the cake 🎂  story from last year. Sounds like some great plans for the week.  Your pain and journey has helped me get through my pain and journey. Good to hear as we all have been told that time really does heal. I can see that clearly now. Thank you to you for all your invaluable advise and I hope your Birthday you get back just a small portion of love, compassion and hope that you give others!!
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Curiosity on October 12, 2021, 09:02:13 AM
Wishing you a very happy birthday, Treasur. It sounds like a wonderful, truly celebratory week is on your agenda, as it should be!
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Acorn on October 12, 2021, 03:35:35 PM
Happy Birthday, Treasur!

Quote
  And such a lot of blessings to count.

What more signs do you need to see how much healing has taken place in your heart?

(((((HUGS))))))
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Nas on October 12, 2021, 03:39:15 PM
Happiest of birthdays to you! Of course I also wish you lots of cake. 😉
Title: Re: Drystone walling
Post by: marvin4242 on October 12, 2021, 05:06:10 PM
Happy birthday, hope you had a good birthday and have an even better birthday week!
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Evermore on October 12, 2021, 09:49:29 PM
Happy Birthday Treasur! It sounds like it will be a lovely one.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: xyzcf on October 13, 2021, 06:24:53 AM
Happy birthday Treasur! Enjoy your day and the year ahead!
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Dumbfounded on October 14, 2021, 10:05:47 AM
Happy birthday festival week Treasur!! Enjoy!! 
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on October 29, 2021, 04:35:20 AM
Odd day here today.
Had a covid scare this week, but all ok, first test positive but next PCR test was negative. That’s what you get when teenagers decide on a surprise visit....
And my birthday week/month was full of many good things including some beautiful autumn weather.

Today I am clearing stuff out, paperwork, admin stuff going back to 2016. It is odd to see how I just stopped engaging or functioning for the longest time. Odd to shred bits of my old life when I didn’t worry about too much more than cash flow or a broken something in the house. Feels almost like a different person and I am slightly amazed by the kind of person I used to be. Used to be very busy, very organised, very focused. Never mind M!C stages, Post PTSD really is like coming out of a fog tbh!........there is a lot I had just forgotten, things that somehow didn’t go all the way into my brain at the time. Big things, small things.  I even wonder if some of my paperwork hoarding was almost a belief that it was a kind of independent evidence of my life bc I could no longer trust my memory. And how years just disappeared from my awareness at the time. I am still a little bemused by what happened to my h and my life, but I am almost shocked that I survived 2016-2019 at all. Very odd to observe now. I assume that it was a function of a really big level of disassociation and a wonky PTSD memory system. I wonder if that is how it feels for some MLCers?

I’m ok, but it is a very odd experience. Not painful, just odd. And you guys are still my place to share odd stuff bc I know some of you might get it in a way that I can’t describe in words in RL. Well, without sounding overly nuts  ::) still it was what happened and it was my life. thank God we have this place, right? Unlike MLCers....oh my days, can you imagine the collective gaslighting, justifications and rage on a forum of active MLCers trying to ‘support’ each other?  ::) :)

Windy and rainy here, so a good day for indoor oddities. Gracie is pretty grumpy about the weather.  ::)
After my odd tasks are done, I think it will be an early supper in front of a cosy fire with an attention seeking cat and a glass of wine  :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Tornup on October 29, 2021, 07:04:55 AM
Treasur-
I can relate to this on so many levels. I think starting with looking back at the years after the loss of my daughter that started all this. There are years that I functioned, but not well. It was like a fog of just getting through while in grief. The loss of a marriage is also a death, so now I can recognize those moments in real time now when I am disengaged and just getting through a day or moment.

It is also surreal to see the things my daughter left behind and it is a reminder she was here, because it can sometimes seem that she wasn’t. That it was a dream.  Was she here??? That is also the case of the marriage that is now over. Like you said…paperwork, pictures, facebook memories. They are all reminders that it was real. It happened. It is a process of grief to survive. Death can be physical and mental. The effects of the loss are eerily the same when someone you love is ripped from your life and your daily routine. I unfortunately and fortunately know I can survive it.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on October 29, 2021, 08:55:05 AM
Hadn’t thought about it in the context of grief, Tornup.
I hated grief, it was kind of an enemy for a long time....I got very frustrated and exasperated with it.
I suppose some of what I was seeing today was bits of my lost self actually.....bc truthfully some bits of the old me seem dead and beyond resurrection.....and I quite liked her tbh....but my grief has a kinder eye these days.

I did good today, really good. Mind you, my benchmark is lower than it used to be.  :) I feel strangely grateful that I can now do, albeit with a huge damned gap, things that I absolutely could not have done before. They were beyond me and now they are not. I susoect you know what that feels like after the loss of your daughter, Tornup. And yes, no one would choose to go through profound loss again....but as someone here, can’t remember who, used to have in their tag line ‘one does not go through hell without acquiring some transferable skills!’

Rewarding myself with a blustery walk with a chum in an hour or so. And more good shredding and action planned for a rainy weekend to come as I seem to have found my to do mojo  :)
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: 5hilmerton on October 29, 2021, 02:43:55 PM
Treasur,
I too lived a very busy life, not necessarily organized, working, raising my family and being a wife. About 12 years into my marriage my son drown and the owners of the pond took me to court.  I believe they wanted to put the blame on my husband and i instead of them owning the responsibility of not having the
pond in a kids play area fenced.  Regardless we were devastated and in pain going through this cruel case over the next two years. We walked in a fog crying through all the legal depositions.  All the case paperwork and depositions were about six legal size file boxes full.  We moved four times three states after that and i could NOT purge and release those boxes.  Then one day almost 30 years later i let them go.  I guess i always felt i had a little part of him with me and so i held on and moved them damn boxes all around. I found my piece with myself and God just in time for the God awful BD.

PSALM 145:14
The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts all who are bowed down.
5hil
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Treasur on November 03, 2021, 02:43:57 AM
Did anyone see the Huma Abedin interview?
Saw an excerpt and my goodness, it was like also hearing the recognisable real horror of this kind of experience and her work in processing it that as we all know is so hard to put into words so was left unsaid. I was moved by her constrained honesty and her courage tbh. Not that I am saying Mr Weiner is an MLCer....I think he is just damaged and disordered in a way that was beyond her comprehension when she met and married him.....and she hadn’t been married long before it all started to implode.

But the rolling BDs, the sheer WTF of it, the desire to get your life back to something normal, the impulse to give someone you love or have a child with a chance to do what they say they will, the exhaustion of it and how long it can take to finalise a divorce when you are so overwhelmed or dealing with a disordered person? Yup, we get that, don’t we?
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Nas on November 03, 2021, 06:42:15 AM
I’ve seen clips and am hoping to get my hands on her book eventually. I’d love to hear her raw, unfiltered (not highly coached due to her occupation/high profile connections) but I think the chaotically overwhelming sense of just trying to get through it day by day still very much comes through. It must’ve been incredibly hard to go through that so publicly.
Title: Drystone walling
Post by: Tornup on November 03, 2021, 08:24:32 AM
I googled it and watched it online. I can relate so much with my XH inappropriate texting and EA. Being at work where all my family works, so it makes it more public when there are leaks. Obviously not to that scale, but a small connection of understanding.

I liked the fact she said she couldn’t live in the anger because it almost killed her. I totally agree. I think you can be disgusted or pity, but anger only turns inward on you. It can be healthy in small doses to get through, but then you have to let go.

I also totally got that she felt she would take regret to her grave. Not that it was her fault, but that it didn’t have to be this way. I think all is LBSers relate to that thought process.