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Author Topic: My Story Steady as she goes...

K
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My Story Steady as she goes...
#80: October 13, 2021, 10:17:55 AM

And I hope I am able to build a friendship with A - outside of the trauma that occurred around the EA, it turns out we are far more similar than I had realized. If past events make a friendship impossible, I will at least be able to move forward knowing that I have made peace and made amends for anything I said or didn’t say that might have led to any tension, and I am at peace with that.


Wow that is pretty amazing. That takes an unbelievable amount of detachment and maturity. But I know you are probably one of the few who could handle it.

As for the vacation, there is bound to be awkwardness and uneasiness surrounding what used to be the norm.  B/c the reality is, so much has changed and yet, here you go proceeding with something that you probably did hundreds of times with W before all this mess.  Totally get it. Just being with H these days I get lulled into the past and then BOOM, trigger. I think the only way around that stuff is time.  And eventually conversations but like wise Acorn said, now is not that time.  Just try to be in the moment. Don't worry about what could happen. I know--a tall order. I wouldn't be very good at it lol.

And if there is an impending BD that I’m missing, well… the shock and despair of last time won’t happen again. I’m too strong and too sure of my own worth for that.

LOVE this. I might frame it. ;)  ANd you are right. It's a whole new Curiosity, and she is pretty awesome.
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Me 49
H 48
S13
BD 5/16
H Moved out 6/16
OW--yes. Worked for H. EA turned into PA while I was in chemo. On again/off again like every high school romance

C
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Steady as she goes...
#81: October 16, 2021, 07:13:39 PM
Thanks, KIT! I have come a long way and I am truly comfortable in my own skin, maybe more than I have ever really been. This community has been instrumental in my journey to where I am - even though it’s ultimately a solo journey, none of us navigate it truly alone. I am truly lucky to have such good help with navigation.

No bomb drops, no surprises. Still not much in the way of affection or romance, but we spent time together comfortably and enjoyed the week. She is very clearly still anxious and depressed; this has been a part of her for her entire adult life, and sometimes it’s worse than others. She seems content in her work and her daily life; she seems sure that our life is what she wants. She’s just so caught up in her own anxieties that I think she’s scared of really examining anything too closely - our life, her own hopes and dreams - because she will get overwhelmed if something needs to be changed or repaired. So she stays on the known, comfortable path. It’s not sustainable for her long term mental health, and she knows that. I’m not pushing for that conversation… vacation was not that time; now is not that time. And that’s okay; I’m quite content in my life as it is.

The situation with A… yeah, I know it’s really unusual. I don’t know what will come of it other than that it seems like we are all on good terms, all pretty casually friendly albeit not particularly close. I’m okay with whatever friendship or acquaintanceship develops in the end; I just didn’t like that the distance and discomfort were based on how our interactions were refracted through the lens of W’s crisis. I want my relationships with people to be based on myself and that person, without outside distortion. Admittedly, it would be really interesting to actually talk to her - all cards on the table - to know how this whole situation felt from her perspective. But I don’t need that conversation in order to heal.

I had a really nice time away. We saw some beautiful countryside, drank good wine, relaxed, slept, enjoyed the break from work and daily responsibilities. Most of the time was spent with W, but there were no deep conversations and it didn’t feel like our closeness was changed one way or the other. Which is fine; there will be time for that closeness, if and when we both are ready to work for it. I am open to it but not entirely sure I can fully trust her; I still am not sure I could lean on her and count on her to stick with me. After all… when she came back, she said she wanted me to be her person. She didn’t say she wanted to be my person - and both of those things have to be true for real intimacy. I believe we can get there, but I also think it can’t be rushed or forced.

So… a good trip, things are good here. Nothing earth-shattering; but who wants their earth to be shattered anyway?
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Steady as she goes...
#82: October 16, 2021, 11:30:07 PM
Hi C  :D

You're coming right along..... how marvelous  ;D

Another gift of being around fellow LBS's...... the wonderful growth, development and strength.
You're a totally different person now, and will be an even better person when all is said and done. Simply marvelous.

-SS
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Together 25 years, M 23
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BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

C
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Steady as she goes...
#83: October 19, 2021, 02:08:19 PM
Thanks, SS! It feels really good to be where I am right now. I feel like me, not one-half of a couple or the support system for a spouse, but an actual human with wants and needs and hopes and dreams and yeah, even a few fears scattered in there - with the full range of emotions and the knowledge that they are all valid and important. A lot of this realization is based on the work I have done myself, but so much of it has been prompted by the support and inspiration from this community and my own community of friends.

Updating, mostly about W. She has been going to therapy weekly for a while; I didn’t know the topics of discussion but i know she was reading/listening to The Body Keeps the Score a while ago. I assumed they were discussing trauma, but it seems they had not been… one of the things about W’s career is that sometimes she’s reading these types of things for professional reasons and not thinking about applying them to her own life. So… she came out of her last therapy session and said it was really hard. They talked about W’s trauma history - some from her professional life, some from her dad’s passing, some from a car accident… w carries a lot of physical pain (neck and shoulder stuff, headaches) and a massage therapist asked her about trauma recently. So… it’s something she is now working through with her therapist, along with doing some EMDR, and I think this can only be good for her. She actually talked to me a little bit about it last night, which felt really good. I’m not sure I would have recognized her work trauma as trauma when it was happening; my career exposed me to a lot of the same things, though not to the same degree. And I’m not saying it isn’t trauma - it absolutely is. But as it was happening, I wouldn’t have recognized it. But now I know better, so I do better.

We made plans to go see a holiday show in a couple of months… me, W, and A. I’m not sure what to expect from that, or from the friendships that seem to be developing. I knew A would be interested in the show, as I was, and when I mentioned it to W she also wanted to see it. So I extended the invite to A, not sure if she would accept or not. And she did, without any sort of hesitation. We have been talking regularly by text, mostly small talk, but we haven’t actually had a conversation in person since all of this happened. In fact, the only time I have even seen her was on that one shuttle bus at the end of July, when I wasn’t even certain it was her! So… it might be a giant, tense mess, or it might be fine. I have no hidden agendas and I don’t think W or A do either, so I’m going to go with the thought that it will all be fine.

In discussing a possible friendship with A, W was talking about having her over to our house around the holidays - not just her, but including her with other friends in the area who aren’t traveling and want to be with other people for the holiday. She had wanted that for A, to give her an actual positive holiday experience which has not really been the case for her in her life. I said that who knows, it might be possible… don’t rule it out. Then W said… well, that might not work because C (one of W’s friends who was somewhat of an enabler during the worst of the crisis) kind of hates A. I was surprised at that, and asked why. Apparently W’s friends hate A “for the way she treated W.” W told C that she didn’t want to be the villain in A’s story… and C said, “well, A is the villain in my story.” W said that this was because her friends are loyal (though to me the enabler term is a better fit). She said they just want her to be happy, and she is, so it’s fine.

It made me realize, once again, how much W is stuck on the idea of wanting to be seen as a good person. And yet… she has done very little to take ownership for how her actions caused pain. For me… I wallowed in it for a while, blamed her, all of that - and then I took ownership for my own emotions, and in doing that I realized that her actions hurt me (partially because of the promises she broke, but partially because of my codependency) - but her actions were not done with the goal of hurting me. W did what she did in response to her own emotions, and to pursue what she thought was right for her. It wasn’t about me at all. I think A, because of her own trauma history, has personalized it and decided W abandoned her - whatever their relationship was, W was there for her and then she wasn’t. A personalizes it too much and W doesn’t even personalize it enough to take responsibility for the part of it she did cause - the initial abandonment of someone who was emotionally leaning on her.

For my part, I do think it would be good for W to recognize that even if her actions aren’t about other people (me, A, or anyone), they do actually affect the people who are in her life and who have ties to her (emotional, financial, legal, marital, familial). And when her actions cause pain, she will at least temporarily be the villain in someone’s story. That doesn’t have to be permanent, but it’s pretty rare that someone will immediately forgive and completely overlook the abandonment or betrayal. She needs to understand that actions have consequences, and that isn’t just about practical matters - it’s true (maybe even more so) for actions that involve emotional responses. I’m not saying this out of a personal need for an apology or amends, or even necessarily because I need her to understand how she hurt and traumatized me. I don’t think I need that for my own healing; I know what she did, I know how it felt to me at the time, and I have accepted and forgiven. But for her own emotional health, I think it would be good for her to have an awareness of how her actions affect others. And I do want her to have that level of emotional health.

So… clearly still a lot to think about. But I feel like we are in a good place overall and on our way to an even better one.
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