Skip to main content

Author Topic: My Story You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
Previous thread:
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11793.150

Thanks UM and Tornup for your kind posts at the end of my last thread.

UM: yes, my therapist has suggested the person who’s taking on much of her caseload. Appointments are harder to get with the nes guy (and I really already know I need a female so this guy is just a stopgap). But my last appointment with her is at the end of this month and first scheduled appointment with him in early December, so in between I’ll be looking for a fit.

The thing is I’ve gotten to a really pivotal point in discussing some things, particularly early life sibling dynamics, and really don’t want to lose momentum. Hopefully I’ll find someone appropriate quickly.

I want to sincerely thank everyone who reads, even those of you who likely read and roll your eyes, lol. (It’s cool, I roll mine also.) It may seem like just rambling, but actually it’s been tremendously helpful to have a place to say things out loud that are…well, hard to say out loud. I omit and blur aspects of my life here by necessity but it really does help to verbalize what I can here.

It’s fun times here because the medication I’m taking because of the allergic reaction has the fun fun fun side effect of increasing my anxiety a thousandfold. Good times. 🙄🙄🙄 Thankfully I’m only on a 10 day course - 8 days to go. But under crippling anxiety/stress, 8 days may as well be 8 years.

I’ll be me again someday. You’d like her, she was swell. 😂

Starting my new thread out with my theme song:

https://youtu.be/sTm7aZE6u6w
  • Logged

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 11324
  • Gender: Female
Great title  :)

And we rather like this current Nas. Funny, thoughtful, rather brave, shares good music with us - what’s not to like?  :)
  • Logged
« Last Edit: October 07, 2021, 12:50:07 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

  • *
  • Mentor
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 11270
  • Gender: Male
  • You can't please everyone. You are NOT a pizza!
Attaching....

  • Logged
Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
Site Map
 
A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

C
  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 692
  • Gender: Female
Sticking with you, Nas… and we like all versions of you, but will be glad to see the anxiety reduced.
  • Logged

  • ****
  • Sr. Member
  • Posts: 379
  • Gender: Male
HI NAS,

Following along, I hope this goes quickly for you.
  • Logged
Together 12 yrs Married 5
5 kids 3- Step (21) (20) (18) Two together ( 8 ) (9)
BD1 March 2018 - I wish I could give you more of what you need
BD2 Aug 2018 - I want a divorce sent by text ILWYBNILWY

O/M Discovered Nov-18

H
  • *
  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • Posts: 248
  • Gender: Male
Hi Nas,

I'm along for the ride too.

HF
  • Logged
W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

  • *
  • Mentor
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2956
  • Gender: Female
  • Time is a Gift! 🎁
Attaching
  • Logged
Survival Instructions for Newbies

The Apology Every LBS Deserves

My Journey

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to dance in the rain."

"Don't become a container for bitterness.  It's a toxin that destroys what it's carried in."

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
Journaling:
(Just some of) the things I’ve had to let go of in the last years:
My home
My marriage
The idea of being a mom
The naïveté that *of course* I’d remain healthy and strong and not have any physical limitations whatsoever
My parents (and all that’s stacked up inside of that Russian doll of healing)
The idea of a stable life and retirement
The way I looked pre-cancer

Rest assured, I have grieved heavily for all those things and more, and continue to grieve for some of them.

My therapist a while back asked me to think about why I continued to comply with treatment or keep paying off debts even while I was in the darkest, most deeply unstable and emotionally terrifying time of my life.

She’s still waiting for an answer. She’d like one before she moves on to her new job in 3 weeks, but I’m not sure she’ll get one, at least not a complete one.

I’ve known grief often. I’ve known fear often. But there was always an underlying hope that if I pushed through, there’d be some time in  future that would make it all worth it. For a long time, I subconsciously constructed a life where it was somehow okay that my needs didn’t exist - because *one day*, the future I was carefully constructing would be so stable and safe and that was everything I ever wanted.

There was a time a while back where I realized all this and wondered if the dismantling of my entire life at my former husband’s hands was a kind of punishment for believing that simply by doing all the right things, I could have that stability and safety…for my arrogance in thinking that future was assured just because I’d invested all my hopes in it and expected it to happen the way I’d worked for and planned for.

Having a “someday” got me through a lot, from childhood trauma to BD and everything in between. Even after BD, when I moved and was starting a new life, I just assumed a *someday* was assured.

I don’t have that arrogant assumption anymore. And I think part of what I’m struggling with is what takes the place of that.

🎶🎶🎶
https://youtu.be/su20hxzJDM0

And a bonus track, just because:
https://youtu.be/40xiN95ZUII
  • Logged

D
  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 514
  • Gender: Male
I feel humbled by your story.  You are an amazing, resilient woman!
  • Logged
M=51
W=47
D=8
BD Feb 17 Thinking of divorce
Atomic BD June 17 Spying revealed OM at work
Still home.  Threatened to leave several times and has asked me to leave about a dozen. 
Says divorce proceedings will start Jan 18.
She has scheduled mediation Feb 7,  2018
I moved out March 16, 2018
Several mediations, mostly instigated by me.  Foot dragging by STBXW.  Nothing filed. Yet.
5/2019 STBXW filed D behind my back despite signed agreement to mediate.
I retain attorney.
STBXW still hasn't told me and no further action.
Elephant in the room has been addressed.  No further action atm.  Weighing my options.
12/16/19  She files financial paperwork.  Divorce proceeding.

H
  • *
  • Trial Subscriber
  • Full Member
  • Posts: 248
  • Gender: Male
Having a “someday” got me through a lot, from childhood trauma to BD and everything in between. Even after BD, when I moved and was starting a new life, I just assumed a *someday* was assured.

I don’t have that arrogant assumption anymore. And I think part of what I’m struggling with is what takes the place of that.

Hi Nas,

I think we all assume that a "someday" is assured.   I know when I came to this forum, I initially was fighting for my marriage and totally focused on reconciling with my W.    Now I am in the "someday" phase spending time thinking about the next phase of my life (whatever that may be).

Two events in the past month have reminded me on the fragility of life.   One event is my cousin's child who is in her teen's who was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery to remove the cancer.  A second  was a local high school student who had a severe accident leading to a permanent, life alternating injury.

It just makes me think that maybe the fairy tail ending in my life is not assured.  Instead, I have started to focus more on my attitude and ability to persevere through this struggling time.    I am trying to find joy in these difficult times and will not let my W's decisions or other life circumstances harden my heart.

I hope you can find peace in your life where your inner strength and joy replaces the wanted dreams of someday. 

HF

  • Logged
W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

K
  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 5637
  • Gender: Female
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#10: October 11, 2021, 03:51:38 PM
I like the current version of Nas too. Kind, humble, authentic, bit feisty but I love it,  and perfectly imperfect like the rest of us. 

"Someday" could just be hope too. Accepting what is but hopeful that something great might just be around the corner.

Hugs friend.
  • Logged
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

  • *
  • Mentor
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 868
  • Gender: Male
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#11: October 11, 2021, 04:25:17 PM
Sticking with you Nas.
  • Logged
"I'm slowly learning to expect nothing and appreciate everything."

Together 28 years, married 27. Two adult kids, ours

BD #1: 2016 - EA  |  BD #2: 2018 - FA

W moved out - June 2019 | OM#3 - July 2019
W asks for divorce - August 2019 | Divorce final - September 2019 | Moving on

My thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11537.new#new

New Here? Read this! http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=1149.0

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#12: October 12, 2021, 06:44:43 PM
Thanks for coming along, and for the kind words 😎 and for humoring my rambling journaling.

I have a conflicted relationship with hope now. It used to be a given. There road never completely ended; there would always be something over the horizon if I just kept going.

Hope is different now. I know it still exists, but I also know it has limitations depending on the reality of a given situation. There’s a fine line where hope becomes delusion if you’re not being honest with yourself and looking at things clearly. I don’t foresee a future where I ever feel completely settled and where life won’t be difficult.

I don’t mean to say I don’t think I’ll ever again have good times or happy moments. I will. I mean that feeling of taking a deep breath and exhaling with that unspoken calmness of knowing that you’re safe, you’re okay, no matter what happens, no matter what blows up, my foundation is solid.  I miss that so much. And if I’m honest, I do get pissed that I worked hard to avoid this very situation because THE ONE thing, the only thing I’ve always consciously known about myself is that I crave and want and NEED stability, that one constant that’s predictable and fixed in place even if everything else is constantly moving and changing.

I remember one night after BD, I was hurting but had NO idea yet how much worse things could and would get. At that point I didn’t know about the affair, but I knew the bank account was drained. The true level of financial devastation and other deception hadn’t yet been uncovered. I was trying to decide where to move and I sort of knew it had to be somewhere with a lower cost of living, somewhere where I could start all over. I was scared to venture off alone and wasn’t fully bought in yet (after the affair came to light was when I really made up my mind) but I had hope and a little bit of bravado that I could conquer the firetrucking world.

I had to get out and do something, flirt a little, pretend Rome wasn’t burning, so I was out with old friends who had come from various parts of the country for a big girls night out. They were plying me with drinks and  unknowingly minimizing my very raw pain while joking about how if I moved away, it would be such a great excuse for them to visit and get the hell away from their annoying husbands

I remember leaving the bar that night thinking they would all be crushed if they suddenly lost all the *utterly annoying* things they were complaining so bitterly about: their husbands who snored, the kitchen that wasn’t as big as they wanted, the bedroom that was hardwood floors instead of carpet, the radiant flooring that was - shudder - only installed downstairs but not throughout the entire house. But mostly the person who actually looked forward to coming home to them every day.
In the back of a freaking Uber, I cried about how casually they all were taking that for granted. I didn’t even care what the driver thought.

Those same friends still complain about their husbands. The same complaints. The same silly, trivial complaints. “My husband forgot to pick up milk on his way home, my husband leaves his socks on the floor. My husband gets home from work and doesn’t shut up. Shouldn’t he be tired? God, he wants to know about my day, wants to tell me about his day, wants my opinion on this and that…” Really, your husband wants to talk to you? Poor thing, how hard it must be, to be seen and heard and valued. 🙄

It’s funny because I don’t miss my former H anymore and I don’t miss my marriage anymore, now that I’ve been doing the work to connect all the dots that led me to him and “wanting” that life in the first place.
I don’t even think I’d enter into that kind of conventional marriage relationship ever again. I miss what I thought I had: the friendship, the fully engaged conversation, the comfort of being in the company of someone who appreciates you and wants you to be present with them.

All of that in my case was an illusion. It technically all existed, but there was an actor playing the role of husband until he took all there was to take and then some, and then he moved on to play the role with a whole new cast.
My pursuit of the kind of relationship I thought I had to have in order to feel seen and heard and belong was a fool’s pursuit. But I wanted that chance to build the family I always craved, to have kids in order to make them feel safe and heard and seen and loved in the way I wish I’d been.

In a way, it was all inauthentic, though not purposely so. If you’d asked me during all those years, I would’ve told you it was absolutely what I wanted, and I would’ve believed it. I was really living a half-conscious existence. The unsophisticated explanation is that I knew I wanted/needed something but wasn’t fully aware of what and so my desires manifested as a conventional marriage and family.

Anyway, just a few thoughts, maybe more to come. Eventually it may even make sense. 😂

https://youtu.be/AQOlwMKpmvQ
  • Logged

T
  • *
  • Trial Subscriber
  • Sr. Member
  • Posts: 351
  • Gender: Female
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#13: October 12, 2021, 07:34:54 PM
Quote
And if I’m honest, I do get pissed that I worked hard to avoid this very situation because THE ONE thing, the only thing I’ve always consciously known about myself is that I crave and want and NEED stability, that one constant that’s predictable and fixed in place even if everything else is constantly moving and changing
I feel this as well.

There is something about needing and wanting that stability, yet someone else has the ability to change that and you have no control over it. There is something so unstable about that. To have the closest person to you to be the one to take that away. For me that was and is one of the hardest things to settle in my head. Will I survive it? For sure. Will I be happy? Absolutely. Doesn’t make the loss any leas in settling.
  • Logged
H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#14: October 13, 2021, 08:33:09 AM
Thanks, Torn. It is hard, especially early on, to understand how things could happen the way they do.

I want to clarify that when I say I get pissed, it's not at him anymore. Of course what he did was despicable. There's no denying at. But I'm more mad at myself. Even though I only knew then what I knew then, I gave up too much of myself for this idea that I could use the future to rectify the past, if that makes sense. He lied and withheld information and made unilateral decisions (all along, I found out, not just after the big BD) - he did a lot of terrible, terrible things, and because of my past, a lot of it I didn't even recognize as terrible. But I was there too.

That's why after BD, looking inward instead of only at them is so important. It takes a bit to get your footing, but looking at them is a waste of time. Nothing will change until they change, and they probably won't. But looking inward, imo, figuring out what it is about me, my past life, my trauma, my internal beliefs, my preconditioning, is essential to my FULL healing - and I suspect (actually, I know) this is NOT unique to me.

We all want to say it's 100% them, they suddenly went nuts and, yeah, we're not perfect but we didn't deserve it, they should get help and figure themselves out because right now in the midst of MLC, they're just firetrucked up, period, end of story.
But it's not that cut and dry. It's never that simple, and that's not blaming the victim. No one deserves to be blindsided and subjected to so many forms of what is certainly abuse: emotional, psychological, physical. But we all have our pasts and experiences and reasons why we ended up with who we ended up with, and why we maybe didn't recognize, or ignored, red flags, why we made certain choices throughout our lives, did or didn't do things, and even why we respond to BD the way we did specifically, because everyone is different. (Every story of what happened the moment that sudden ILYBINILWY was dropped is different: some remain calmly stunned, some break down, some get angry, etc.)

It's all unsettling and it sucks, especially once you realize you will likely never get any explanation or any answers to the questions that keep you up at night after BD. For me, figuring myself out is all I need because even if he decides to figure himself out, that doesn't mean he'll ever decide to share that insight with me.

Anyway, just some midweek ramblings...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmFdW1JyccA
  • Logged

m
  • *
  • Subscriber, 12 Month
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 795
  • Gender: Male
Nas thanks for the updates, thoughts and things to consider. I think it is so important, specially once past the initial shock, to stop trying to understand THEM, or US, and to try to understand ME. As you said we didn't end up where we were, in the relationship we were in, from a vacuum. It was a long road and we traveled that road, and many things created bends and paths.

Looking back five years out I know I can see more and more of the outline of what happened, how I got there, and how I was blinded to things I should not have been blind to. And I made excuses for things I should not have. This is in no way "blaming" me, or saying any of it was ok, or I was responsible. Rather its a way for me to learn, to grow, and more honest and self reliant.
  • Logged
No Kids, 23 years at BD1 (4 years), married 21
First signs of MLC Jan '15
BD 1 Jan '17, BD 2 Mar, Separated Apr, BD 3 May,BD 4 Jun '18
First Sign of Waking up-Dec '17, First Cycle out of MLC Mar '18-Jun ‘18, Second cycle Jul '18-??
Meets OM Jan '17 and acts "in love," admits "in love" Jun '18, asks for divorce Jul '18

T
  • *
  • Trial Subscriber
  • Sr. Member
  • Posts: 351
  • Gender: Female
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#16: October 13, 2021, 09:41:52 AM
NAS-
 That has been the one positive on all this mess. Evaluating Me!! You are so right. No one deserves this, but we do have a part in it. Actions that may not have helped or actions that allowed us to not see or put up with it. I have been able to look back and see so many red flags more clearer. I alway saw them, however. The hardest part of it all is the time invested in someone that can so easily walk off with what seems to be no compassion or concern. What I have come to realize is that really is not true.

I think they pay for it internally until they decide to deal with their own inner demons. If they ever have the strength to????  I know for a fact my XH is not happy. What will happen?? Who knows. He may make this new relationship work no matter what. He can’t handle failures. So, will it all fall apart? How could it not. They don’t know each other and all is based on lies. I still think they are to weak to admit another failure. My focus in therapy now is moving forward and finding a way to not kick myself for caring for someone for 30 years that doesn’t seem to care at all for me. It’s like wasted love…. I have no love to waste
  • Logged
H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#17: October 13, 2021, 08:47:08 PM
Just a quick journaling, I have no idea what this means.
Today I got a message from someone I went to grad school with. He wanted I know if I could send him a copy of a poem I wrote like 20-some years ago. I didn’t remember it.
“The one you read at the awards ceremony.”
Excuse me? You have the wrong person, sorry.
“No, you won the state literary prize, you represented the university and read 5 of your pieces in front of 500 people, you were picked by [big name in the literary community].”

Guys, I have no recollection of this achievement. Or others he mentioned, except in vague bits and pieces that feel like parts of a movie I watched once. A movie with subtitles that I had on in the background and didn’t watch very closely and missed key plot points.

How much of my life did I half live/half sleep walk through, to the point I can’t remember possibly big moments?
Talk about unsettling. I probably had evidence of these pieces of my life but they’re long gone along with so much else after moving around so much, 6 moves in 7 years, a fire, a flood, multiple lifetimes worth of upheaval.
But I can’t remember this event or other things, things that should be cherished memories. Things it sounds like I should be at least a little proud of. I know there were other major, major things going on in my life at the time, but did those traumatic memories overwrite the good things?
Makes me wonder how much of my own story I’m missing…
  • Logged

T
  • *
  • Trial Subscriber
  • Sr. Member
  • Posts: 351
  • Gender: Female
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#18: October 14, 2021, 08:27:16 AM
Wow!!! Well, not sure I have insight into that, but would love to read these cherished poems. They must have been amazing and impactful that someone reaches out many years later. What a nice surprise to have someone remind you of something so amazing. Maybe it will start to jar some memories???
  • Logged
H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#19: October 14, 2021, 06:51:25 PM
The plot thickens. I tracked down the title of the poem, and the prize title (but not the actual poem - which apparently was a sestina). I’ve lost almost all copies of everything in the turmoil of the last years. I now remember vaguely a party where I was presented this award because I spent the evening talking to the widower husband of one of my favorite writers (she was an amazing woman and a mentor and she’d committed suicide a few years before this. He never remarried- never really recovered, and he died himself a few years ago. Anyway, all I vaguely remember from the party was that he was in a formal suit but his socks had Flintstone characters on them. 🤷‍♀️)
…along with that, I found out today that a year after the poetry prize, I won a pretty decent fiction prize…and I have ZERO recollection of the story or the winning of the prize. I mean, I know I wrote it because my name is published with it and it’s written in a style and voice I can recognize as mine. But I don’t remember any of it at all, and it’s just unsettling and so weird.
It kind of begs the question, where the firetruck have I been all my life? 🥴
  • Logged
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 06:54:29 PM by Nas »

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 11324
  • Gender: Female
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#20: October 15, 2021, 12:46:25 AM
That message from the old grad school chum sounds like one of what I call a God Post It Note, when he thinks we need to be prodded or nudged and now is just the time  :) And if he/she is hunting a poem you lost, maybe that will bring it back to you if someone else has kept it....who knows?

Having experienced PTSD glitches, I have a great deal of respect now for how memory gets hooked and unhooked in strange ways. I don’t know where you were at during that time of your life, Nas, or why those moments got ‘deep archived’. I do know how slightly odd the feeling is when memories that we had forgotten we had forgotten pop back up. But perhaps it is a gift? Perhaps it is just the right time for you to remember those accomplishments, those connections and that Nas voice.......
  • Logged
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#21: October 15, 2021, 08:10:35 AM

Having experienced PTSD glitches, I have a great deal of respect now for how memory gets hooked and unhooked in strange ways. I don’t know where you were at during that time of your life, Nas, or why those moments got ‘deep archived’. I do know how slightly odd the feeling is when memories that we had forgotten we had forgotten pop back up. But perhaps it is a gift? Perhaps it is just the right time for you to remember those accomplishments, those connections and that Nas voice.......

The plot of the story, though I don't remember writing it, has so much resonance for me right now, it's actually pretty freaky.  ;)

I wasn't sure why I shared this the other day and almost deleted the post, but I think it's because I've been batting around some ideas about memories, or lost memories, and what it all means for me. I know there's at least one chunk of time in my life that I have very swiss-cheesy memory of (probably a good thing), but to not at all remember something like this which should be a good memory, that's rattled me.

I remember when I first found the forums and read some writings from HB about how MLCers completely forget the affair and even then it made no sense to me. How do you have a years long relationship with another human being and then forget about them? As much as you might think you want your spouse to come home and forget the AP ever existed, the actuality of that would be truly frightening. That would mean they just forget years of their life in full.  It would also mean they're either fully mentally incapacitated or they have the ability to simulate/future fake an entire daily existence (even if it's an affair partner) for a long period of time and then discard with no care whatsoever, and that is not a person anyone would want to have in their life.

As you said, T, trauma does cause glitches in the storing of memories (I don't have nearly a sophisticated enough understanding of any of it to say more than that), and I do believe that some MLCers/WS who have had trauma/are experiencing a fracture of identity will forget things, possibly even forget certain big events. But not in a way where they wake up one day going like, "Holy $h!te, what happened, where am I???" Going through some old flash drives as I was looking for this forgotten poem, I found some stuff I saved right after BD that essentially intimated that this is what happens during the "MLC journey" and then your spouse will wake up one day as if they were emerging from a full on fugue state where nothing they'd done in the last many years had been within their control or responsibility.

I kind of laughed at myself for saving it, because it means that at some point, however briefly, I was in enough pain that I was willing to delude myself that there was some mystical spiritual upside down that my former H was trapped in and would eventually emerge from in a gauzy fog, not aware of what had happened there, but also somehow a more fully actualized man for having been through this journey that he had no control of - uh-huh.  ::)

IMO though, there's a subtext of that in the accounts of many former MLCers (it wasn't "me," I felt out of my body, I felt like I was living someone else's life...), and particularly in very old posts and articles from early day forums and sites that can still be found in searches. It's still out there and I'd hate for any newbie to take on that line of thinking. "The fog" can be a very alluring idea early on, but the reality is even when we forget what happened, we were still there, we still had agency, we still made choices of our own volition, and we're still responsible for what we did, even if what we did simply doesn't then get properly stored in our memory.

Friday earworm:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVrELhxOFnM
  • Logged

T
  • *
  • Trial Subscriber
  • Sr. Member
  • Posts: 351
  • Gender: Female
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#22: October 15, 2021, 08:44:00 AM
Quote
"The fog" can be a very alluring idea early on, but the reality is even when we forget what happened, we were still there, we still had agency, we still made choices of our own volition, and we're still responsible for what we did, even if what we did simply doesn't then get properly stored in our memory.

I completely agree with this WHOLE HEARTEDLY!  If they can be of sound enough mind to lie then they are aware what they are doing is wrong. That in and of itself shows they had some mental capacity to be present. To know right from wrong, but still made those decisions. That has always been my go to when my XH tries to say he didn’t mean to hurt me or doesn’t know why he did what he did. The fact if the matter is they don’t have to know why. What they did know was they were aware it was happening and came home night after night and chose to not disclose it. Sad, but true.
  • Logged
H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#23: October 16, 2021, 04:21:00 PM
It just started raining. The short story I wrote years ago opened on a rainy scene, so I’ll take it as a sign to continue on with the current line of thinking in this thread. 🤷‍♀️

I wrote a whole post that ended up feeling way too raw and exposed to share - but it was worth writing because it helped me work out some thoughts. And the part I will share is that I worked out some things about the connection between being “chosen” for literary awards and not even remembering and being “chosen” and then “unchosen” by my former husband…and how firetrucked up it is that I’d forget (or never even remember) being “chosen” based on the merit of my work, but have my whole sense of worth hinge on being “chosen” and then “unchosen” by another human being. That comes from a really deep and profoundly painful (and maybe not entirely heal-able) wound that shaped my entire existence and everything I ever believed about myself and about love and about mattering.

Just like my husband’s terrible treatment of me and his betrayals and misdeeds stem from something that was within him before he ever met me, my “choosing” of him, my blindness to and acceptance of terrible treatment, and my reaction to my marriage ending all came from a sense of self that was formed long before I ever met him.

We all have our histories, the past that feeds our present and, if we let it, reshapes our future.

🎶 Everybody clings to their own fear
Everybody hides some scar🎶

https://youtu.be/ING-BgKJjQE

🎶 Ooh... precious pain
Empty and cold
But it keeps me alive
I gave it my soul
So that I could survive
Keeping me safe in these chains
Precious pain🎶
  • Logged

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#24: October 17, 2021, 01:22:50 PM

Tornup on her thread shared a quote from the archives that I wrote about my former H at a point in my journey when I was in the midst of processing my parents deaths. I didn’t recognize it, but it made me realize how much I’ve shared in bits and pieces and how we each control how much of the picture people see, but how different our perspectives can be when less or more of the totality of an entire life is visible.

It’s interesting. In the initial stages I was like a stunned child. And I presented a version of facts that were 100% true but also very minimized, if that makes sense. Because I could not admit or share anything at that point that would reveal that I was also damaged because that would somehow absolve him of some fault. And even though of course it wouldn’t have changed anyone’s opinion of things, I kept most of my life history out of it and presented blurred parts of my life story that matched up with what I’d read so it all seemed to fit: I was just your normal everyday girl, I met a guy, we fell in love, we were happily married for years, he changed overnight, it’s MLC, it’s a journey, it’ll play out, then it’ll end.

I certainly didn’t change facts, but I omitted things, like the extent of my own trauma or FOO issues. I couldn’t face or just plain didn’t know things then that I’ve since learned and faced through deep self-examination. I had normalized a lot of not-at-all-normal things, and I’ve long carried a sheer terror that if anyone knew what my life has been like, they’d decide I was “too much.” After all, I did let my guard down once, and the person I’d trusted to know me in full, well, he hurt me every possible way he could, weaponized some of my trauma against me, burned our entire history to a pile of ash and then vanished. So of course I would never make that mistake again…I’d been right all along and never should have strayed from my core belief: Burying the past, putting up and shutting up was the only way to survive.

When I was in so much raw pain, when I was so hurt and angry and felt so discarded and abandoned, I gave the true version of my story that fit how I was feeling and what I needed to see play out at the time.

This of course was all subconscious and has no basis in reality, but I can look back and see it now. I didn’t realize I was doing it then. I couldn’t present here as a woman with any trauma that preceded my marriage. I couldn’t face that I might have to work through my own trauma and make that more important than “saving” my marriage. I needed to be able to justify my pain, and if I was already “broken” before meeting my former H, people might not think my pain was as valid. (Not true of course, but that’s the thought process of someone experiencing anxiety and cPTSD.) And I couldn’t bear that. I needed everyone to know and believe and assure me that I was 100% blameless, a victim of a terrible man who did terrible things (but also that he would return and not be terrible), that I was worthy and good and “normal” and I did not need to do anything but wait for this MLC to play out and see him emerge as a better man, and of course see karma give OW what she deserved.

That’s what I thought I needed. And I’m glad I didn’t get it because as brutal as it’s been, I’ve had to face down a lot of the past and now I’m seeing things more and more clearly. (I started that process about 18 months in, but the rapid crumbling of my barely existing foundation with my parents deaths brought out a lot of things that could no longer stay buried.)

I’m sorry I ever called the OW garbage (or worse). She was “chosen” over me but maybe that actually is her karma.  ;)

Anyway this is a very poorly articulated stumbling mishmash of what was brought to mind from reading my old words, and I just wanted to share it because it really exemplifies how many layers there are to this and to us, and how nothing is ever *exactly* what we think we see, and how our perspectives change as we evolve and learn things about ourselves.

https://youtu.be/ZbC8JltxSq8
  • Logged

T
  • *
  • Trial Subscriber
  • Sr. Member
  • Posts: 351
  • Gender: Female
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#25: October 17, 2021, 01:39:29 PM
Nas-
I sometimes re-read my journalling so I can see my level of distress,cycling and mostly desire to make sense and recover. As far as the OW I think I will never view her in any good terms. She picked and engaged in an EA with a man that was married. That shows a terribly flawed moral personality. I probably have called her worse. Only to my closet friends in venting, but still have and won’t apologize for it. He also is no better. I told him from day one if you are ever unhappy please leave me first. You will destroy me if you cheat. Name calling may be immature, but sometimes you just feel the need to stoop the level you have been put in for relief. That doesn’t mean I live there. It’s just another form of relief like curse words. Might not match our moral character, but it does show we are human beings that have been hurt terribly by the one we trusted the most and it is better to curse or name call than to end up in your own psychotic break and on a future episode of snapped 🤪😜 IMHO  hehe


  • Logged
H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#26: October 17, 2021, 03:48:31 PM
I didn’t know what Snapped was, I just had to look it up.  :)
I don’t think you need to look at the AP in any good light. But focusing anger at them gives them a lot of power. We often assign a lot of power to these people, as if they have the ability to cast spells or hypnotize. Assuming they lured the married man in is just building them up into some kind of femme fatale that he just couldn’t resist. When they’re really quite ordinary. 
You cannot have any kind of relationship, EA or PA, with an unwilling person, that’s the bottom line. Whether the OW is in it for the money or prestige or thinks she’s a soulmate in “true love” or is just desperate to have a man in her life, she can’t have him unless he agrees to be there. She’s got absolutely nothing special or powerful about her. She just happened to be in the right place at the right time when a weak and selfish man was looking for her. Jmho.
  • Logged

A
  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 3556
  • Gender: Female
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#27: October 18, 2021, 11:14:35 AM
Nas, a lot of deep stuff here.  If I didn’t know you better, I would have thought you were a sage in their 90’s.  Your reflections prove the popular saying, ‘ Experience is a brutal teacher. But you learn. My God, you learn.’

Quote
You cannot have any kind of relationship, EA or PA, with an unwilling person, that’s the bottom line. Whether the OW is in it for the money or prestige or thinks she’s a soulmate in “true love” or is just desperate to have a man in her life, she can’t have him unless he agrees to be there.

Ain’t that the truth!  Paradoxically, this was pointed out to me by my H.  When I found out about A and made some derogatory comments about OW, he said, ‘the buck stops with me. I’m the one who stepped out of the boundaries of marriage.’ (Paraphrased by me.)
  • Logged
« Last Edit: October 18, 2021, 11:17:10 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

T
  • *
  • Trial Subscriber
  • Sr. Member
  • Posts: 351
  • Gender: Female
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#28: October 18, 2021, 12:47:19 PM
I wanted to bring up something that does make a difference when it comes to affair partners. Something that came up in a conversation with my kids. When speaking of the OW and the relationship for them and what it means. My daughter will meet her and tolerate her in small doses for her dad I think, my son will not. When an affair partner engages in a relationship with a married m/w that breaks up a family that is the price they pay.

I tolerated my moms AP for 30 years. Since her death I have not seen him. I never really ever connected to him. How can you respect someone who has morale issues. You continue to love your parent, because you have a history with then before their moral failure and choices. You love them unconditionally. Now, if I meet someone it will be outside the marriage. I will introduce them to my kids and their opinion will matter. There is a real possibility to have a Christmas or Thanksgiving together. Vacation trips and weekend fun. There is a slim chance of that ever happening from a relationship that was started in deceit. It is just the facts. Who wants to spend time with people they don't respect? IMHO
  • Logged
« Last Edit: October 18, 2021, 01:15:31 PM by Tornup »
H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#29: October 19, 2021, 09:57:47 AM
Caution: long rambling and barely formed journaling with no real point ahead.

I’ve been thread hopping, and it’s funny how the same themes pop up in so many different threads. Right now, there’s a cross-thread conversation that seems to be going on that I'm not sure any of us intended, about who’s responsible for the pain we feel in the short term, middle period and then long after BD, and also an idea of victims/perpetrators. I'm not really making a statement on any of it, just observing how interesting it is that these ideas are found in different threads, even if those threads are not all read or commented on by the same members.

On the subject of actively being hurt vs. feeling hurt, I thought about this anecdote from my own life: I talked to an old boyfriend a while back during what was a really, really dark period of my life (not that he knew that, mostly because he didn’t ask. And when I say I talked to him, I mean he reached out and talked to me, but really didn’t allow for me to talk to him. It was a one-sided conversation that was clearly to fulfill some need in him. Anyone want to guess if that conversation resulted in me thinking fondly of him? Haha…)

Anyway, this was someone I dated way before I ever met my former H. And he messaged me on the only social media account I have, and I saw the name and thought, oh wow, what a blast from the past. And his message started out with niceties, but then proceeded to tell me that after I broke up with him, it took him 3 years to move on. That’s longer than the amount of time we were together, fwiw. And I didn’t cheat on him. I didn’t betray him in any way. I was really, really sad when I broke up with him and said all kinds of nice things to him and about him. I didn’t do anything wrong by ending that relationship. I was young and we met, we were together for a time and then it ended. No malintent, no betrayal, no drama.

But his message to me all these years later was like he was getting something off his chest, like I had hurt him continuously for 3 years and he wanted me to finally know. But I didn’t hurt him continuously. I hurt him once, the day I broke up with him. And he then, according to him (and it's probably an exaggeration), spent 3 years doing whatever it was he did with that pain, but was that something I had a part in? No. It hurt him when we broke up (it hurt me a lot too, btw), but did I victimize him? No. Yet apparently I’ve been the villain in his story all this time, and I wasn’t even there.

So I listened to him tell me how much I’d hurt him for so long, and I really couldn’t do anything but acknowledge that he felt hurt and I was sorry for that. But I didn’t hurt him all that time. I don’t own that. It’s never my intention to hurt anyone, and I didn’t promise him forever and then take it away. I was just young, and the truth is we didn’t have a lot in common so we never really talked. My memories of him are good, but it was mostly superficial. We did some fun things together, we had good times and we liked each other, but we never just talked. And going out and having fun together can only take you so far.

I could’ve made him really feel $h!tety by telling him what all was going on in my present day life, that I’d taken a brief break from wading through nonstop trauma to entertain his desire to track me down and tell me how his pain that no longer even existed was still somehow on his mind and was my fault. But I just listened and told him I was sorry for hurting him. He contacted me a few more times after that and his messages were all about himself and a lot of his memories of our younger days - which, incidentally, matched up with my memories, and didn't include anyone doing anything wrong. I don’t know if he feels better now that he found me and “spoke his truth” (I hate that phrase) to me – he’s married now with kids, so maybe he’s having his own crisis of some sort. Maybe he was drunk and reminiscing. Who knows. The point is we had very different versions of a story we were both the main characters in. In my story, two people spent time together and then went their separate ways and it was a snippet of a story with no protagonist or antagonist. In his story, I caused him harm. I guess I have to accept that both stories are the truth?


When I was young, I didn’t think in terms of forever. There was always more time. I had forgotten this until recently but one time at a friend’s wedding, the officiant talked about how survival seems easier when you have a partner or something like that. I don’t remember the exact phrasing, but I remember it was part of the ceremony and I bristled at the idea - but also I think I bristled because I thought it was true and maybe I didn’t like that I thought it was true. When I met my former H, I didn’t go into our relationship immediately thinking we’d be together forever, but at a certain point, he said it was and I think at that point, my inner child probably broke down as if I had gotten through a lot of traumatic $h!te to finally, finally, finally get to the promised land. There it was: Safety. Stability. Forever. You’re okay now.
But are you?

Reading the forum yesterday and today, I’ve had the lyrics to the song Only For Now from the musical Avenue Q. It's an upbeat song but quite frankly I find the lyrics generally scary and sad, like anticipatory nostalgia, and now, annoyingly, it’s stuck on repeat in my head:

Only for now!
(For now there's life!)
Only for now!
(For now there's love!)
Only for now!
(For now there's work!)
For now there's happiness!
But only for now!
(For now discomfort!)
Only for now!
(For now there's friendship!)
Only for now (For now!)
Only for now!
Only for now! Sex!
Is only for now! Your hair!
Is only for now! George Bush!
Is only for now!

Don't stress,
Relax,
Let life roll off your backs
Except for death and paying taxes,
Everything in life is only for now

Each time you smile
It’ll only last a while…
  • Logged

T
  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 6042
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#30: October 19, 2021, 10:35:47 PM
You're right, Nas -- you never know what something any of us reads in a thread is going to spark.

What you said about that former boyfriend struck a note with me -- not for myself, but for my son.  He is young, his GF broke up with him 6 months ago, he is still in a huge amount of pain and talking about wanting to tell her how much he hurts, all that, similar to what you describe.  He has been talking to me a lot, in his case he has been doing everything to find things in himself or his own behaviour to blame (there are none; he's still thinking that if he broke it, he can fix it); like you say, she didn't do anything mean or nasty, she knows she hurt him, she was sad, she didn't blame him for anything, she said all sorts of wonderful things about him, just as you say.  They are young, it wasn't right for her, better she acknowledge it now. 

Thank you for sharing that, it will help me as I talk to him, hopefully help him work through it so that he isn't calling her in 20 years' time saying something like that.    I had been wondering if his hurt is to do with my former H's MLC; i.e. his father left, he was going to "do it right"; that may play a role in some way (my S says it does have something to do with it) but in any case my S still has to get through it. 

As a side note I'm noticing that his shock and pain aren't dissimilar to what many of us go through; his GF actually did say ILYBINILWY, which my D instantly picked up on and said "what a Dad thing to say".    My S was so wanting to be the perfect boyfriend that he is completely thrown by the fact that even being "perfect" won't guarantee that someone will stay. 

Sorry, that is a complete side note, nothing to do with us or you -- but thank you for sharing, this little nugget will make a difference. 
  • Logged

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#31: October 20, 2021, 11:36:18 AM
even being "perfect" won't guarantee that someone will stay. 

Sorry, that is a complete side note, nothing to do with us or you -- but thank you for sharing, this little nugget will make a difference.

Not a side note, I think it's VERY relevant for us and very, very true.
I think if we're lucky, every experience (breakup, rejection of any kind) allows us to learn something about ourselves. That sounds really trite, I know, and will be of little comfort to your son until he gets through this and is looking at it from the other side.

I’m sorry your son is looking for ways to blame himself. In his breakup, it was not anyone’s “fault.” The fact that he’s talking about it openly and allowing himself to feel is a good indicator that he will work through it and put it behind him as an experience/lesson and have good memories of his time with this girl to carry forward with him into the rest of his life.
I was kind of rattled at first by the idea that someone I’d really cared about had spent the last 25+ years thinking of me as the “bad guy” – or at least as someone who had hurt him. I thought - still think I was so much more than that in his life, but he seemed to only remember that and it made me feel…I don’t know, but it made me feel something not great.

I wrote a whole post and lost it. But I’m just now reminded of this song – I really love it, and maybe that’s because the first time I heard about 2 years ago, it became seared in my brain because of the time, place and circumstance. But it is a beautiful and heartbreakingly on point song for your son, for my old boyfriend, for all of us:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62Ha6SHtkt0

Know that if somehow we make it alive
And both get out on the other side
I know this might be asking a lot
When it's all said and done
Don't forget that you loved me once…
  • Logged

T
  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 6042
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#32: October 21, 2021, 02:03:52 AM
Thank you, Nas,

I find that I'm talking to him much the same way that we support each other here -- to look at the reality (she basically said that she saw that he was very committed, she couldn't/wouldn't give the same level of commitment) rather than what he wished, to focus on himself, and so on.   He is trying to move away from wishing she would come back, to working on what he needs to do to work through the feelings and fears. 

It has been interesting for me to see his insecurities; he is desperately afraid that no one will ever love him again (which absolutely isn't true); I'm glad he is talking about it (to all his friends as well as me), and I do think he will get through it.  It was almost 4 years, which is a long time at his age. 

Although he is now beating himself up for beating himself up....    But he is slowly turning his focus on his own life overall (career, where to live, all those things) so I have hope.  It has also been an interesting time for me; I can't fix it for him either and I've been making sure I don't overstep any boundaries either.  I'm mother, not the therapist...



  • Logged
« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 02:06:15 AM by Trustandlove »

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#33: October 22, 2021, 01:28:06 PM
It's funny, I think during the madness of my former H's BD, I had forgotten that I previously lived a life that included multiple "normal" breakups, some initiated by me, some not.  It's still heartbreaking to be the leaver, but it's definitely not at all the same kind of hurt as being broken up with. Rejection hurts - for anyone, even I'm sure for the most "confident" of people. It brings up insecurities we maybe weren't even aware of before.

I had relationships before I met my former H and obviously they all ended, and obviously I recovered, and my recovery was generally pretty fast. I think, as I've said before, there was probably also an element there of "I'm young and have all the time in the world" to that. The end of a serious relationship would bring up insecurities, but I think I maybe glossed over them as if they were something I'd eventually just leave behind as part of my youth. Kind of some magical thinking there. I thought my “forever” was waiting for me in the future and every breakup was an experience on the road to that “forever.” So I went into relationships with people with no real attachment to the idea of any of them necessarily being “the one.” I didn’t make strategic decisions, I just kind of thought my life would play out like I wanted/needed if I was just a good person and didn’t hurt anyone. So when a relationship broke up, I’d grieve, but also be fine being single and thinking I just hadn’t met the right one yet.

The completely chaotic and not-at-all-normal way BD happened, after such a long and established life "together" had been built and lived, brought back so much of my past in a way I was not prepared for. I think that was almost the most traumatic element of it all. His actions and the consequences were shocking, horrific and painful and hard, unfair beyond all comprehension, but I remember in the early soul crushing days, I deep down felt this "knowing" that I would build back from it and one day I'd look back and think, “Damn, that was a really $h!tety time in life, wasn't it?"

I was wholly unprepared for the many ghosts that came to greet me after BD, and they were loud ghosts who made it clear they weren't going anywhere and the only way to exorcise them was to face them down one by one. I’m not sure if I can say this the right way to make it make sense, but I think something “good” that comes out of looking inward early and facing down the ghosts of the past is realizing that a lot of the pain that I felt (feel) was actually nothing to do with my former H. As strange as it sounds, there was something empowering in knowing that those feelings don’t hinge entirely on another person because it felt easier to resolve them when I owned them completely.

Owning my part in choosing him not only took away any power I’d falsely given him over my ability to heal, but slowly helped me release a lot of the early anger and the helpless, stuck feeling of “why me?” As a child, I had to justify my existence in the form of providing value, be it monetary or otherwise. In order to get even the most basic needs met, I needed to provide something in return. So it’s no big surprise in hindsight that I met someone who viewed relationships as transactional and gave the barest minimum but was a huge taker, and yet I somehow decided he felt like a fit for me. He was the person I thought I should build a life with.  ???

Before I was diagnosed, when I felt still-young and healthy, everything looked so different. I moved away, started a new life. I would be fine, single or with a new partner.  After my diagnosis, the idea of being alone had a different weight and I had to work through that fear. It took time to come to terms with and I grieved all over again for my stupidity in choosing the wrong person, and that was hard: What's my value now? How do I justify my existence? 
I can't go back in time, but I sometimes wish I could. If only hindsight weren’t so damn 20/20, right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGF7PswOENQ

I am not the only traveler
Who has not repaid his debt
I've been searching for a trail to follow again
Take me back to the night we met

And then I can tell myself
What the hell I'm supposed to do
And then I can tell myself
Not to ride along with you
  • Logged

T
  • *
  • Trial Subscriber
  • Sr. Member
  • Posts: 351
  • Gender: Female
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#34: October 22, 2021, 01:39:55 PM
Quote
It took time to come to terms with and I grieved all over again for my stupidity in choosing the wrong person, and that was hard: What's my value now? How do I justify my existence?

More ramblings from me….That has been one of the hardest things for me as well. How can anyone love and dedicate decades of a life with someone and just walk away and start over as if none of it mattered? It does make you question if you chose the wrong one for you, for your children for those who have them. Like you, mine left with me having cancer. Also, I lost my cancer insurance and told him I did not get information to keep it going from the employer and he did nothing.
It boggles my mind. Truly.

 The men we married are not the ones they are, but the explanation is so deep and unfortunately they are the only ones that have the answers and of course if they had figured out the answers they would not be where they are. It is all just so tragic. Not only for us, but for them. I try to always remember this. They are not happy. The fairytale is not real!!! Yet, that does not resolve the nightmare that we have been through.
  • Logged
H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#35: October 22, 2021, 02:17:34 PM
Quote
It took time to come to terms with and I grieved all over again for my stupidity in choosing the wrong person, and that was hard: What's my value now? How do I justify my existence?

More ramblings from me….That has been one of the hardest things for me as well. How can anyone love and dedicate decades of a life with someone and just walk away and start over as if none of it mattered? It does make you question if you chose the wrong one for you, for your children for those who have them. Like you, mine left with me having cancer. Also, I lost my cancer insurance and told him I did not get information to keep it going from the employer and he did nothing.
It boggles my mind. Truly.

 The men we married are not the ones they are, but the explanation is so deep and unfortunately they are the only ones that have the answers and of course if they had figured out the answers they would not be where they are. It is all just so tragic. Not only for us, but for them. I try to always remember this. They are not happy. The fairytale is not real!!! Yet, that does not resolve the nightmare that we have been through.

Sorry, I need to clarify because the way I worded my post was unclear: the questions of what's my value now and how do I justify my existence go back to my childhood/FOO, not to no longer being married. I was not wanted as a child, and that was an explicit fact, not just something I internalized as a kid. So even if it wasn't clear at the time, I chose a partner who fit a familiar dynamic. He actually is the man I married, and he didn't love and dedicate his life to me and then just walk away. He fulfilled a role I already knew: "Make yourself useful to earn your existence, and in return I will give the bare minimum, if that."  Understanding that I chose him and why was in a way freeing because it took away all illusions of who he was/is/will be and gave me the sole responsibility/power over healing.
  • Logged

T
  • *
  • Trial Subscriber
  • Sr. Member
  • Posts: 351
  • Gender: Female
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#36: October 22, 2021, 02:32:49 PM
Nas- interesting and you know I think I felt invisible to my family because I just never made waves and never complained. Sometimes I felt unappreciated. So, in turn I picked someone that idolized me. Thought I was to good for them. I realize in some ways I probably did not verbally appreciate that back. So much evaluation in this process. Quite eye opening!!!
  • Logged
H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

m
  • *
  • Subscriber, 12 Month
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 795
  • Gender: Male
Nas those are incredibly deep and important realizations and ideas. Sound like you invited all those in for tea as they say....

I would offer a truism that has depth to that question: what is my value now? The answer is who you are, that you exist, that you are part of this world, that you impact others and have the ability to ask and confront these difficult questions so you can exist even more firmly in the world, with eyes and heart wide open. That in itself is priceless and nothing more is really required.
  • Logged
No Kids, 23 years at BD1 (4 years), married 21
First signs of MLC Jan '15
BD 1 Jan '17, BD 2 Mar, Separated Apr, BD 3 May,BD 4 Jun '18
First Sign of Waking up-Dec '17, First Cycle out of MLC Mar '18-Jun ‘18, Second cycle Jul '18-??
Meets OM Jan '17 and acts "in love," admits "in love" Jun '18, asks for divorce Jul '18

N

Nas

  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2807
You’ve got to be smart if you’re fooling yourself
#38: October 23, 2021, 11:28:31 AM
Well that’s so, so generous of you to say. Thank you, Marvin.

This self-healing thing has a lot of layers. I started off this journey letting go of that idea that I’d carried (given credence in my mind by the words of the officiant at my friend’s wedding) that your chosen life partner is someone who makes surviving life easier by just being there. I went back and forth from “I chose wrong” to “of course this happened to me because *I’m me*.”
Early days I focused so much on what he did/was doing to me, but the root of both of these reactions I had stem from who I am, not who he is.

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

https://youtu.be/wo9qQ9lAV5w
  • Logged
« Last Edit: October 23, 2021, 11:36:39 AM by Nas »

 

Legal Disclaimer

The information contained within The Hero's Spouse website family (www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com, http://theherosspouse.com and associated subdomains), (collectively 'website') is provided as general information and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal, medical or mental health advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. The Hero's Spouse cannot be held responsible for the use of the information provided. The Hero's Spouse recommends that you consult a trained medical or mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment of yourself or others. The Hero's Spouse recommends that you consult a legal professional for specific legal advice.

Any information, stories, examples, articles, or testimonials on this website do not constitute a guarantee, or prediction regarding the outcome of an individual situation. Reading and/or posting at this website does not constitute a professional relationship between you and the website author, volunteer moderators or mentors or other community members. The moderators and mentors are peer-volunteers, and not functioning in a professional capacity and are therefore offering support and advice based solely upon their own experience and not upon legal, medical, or mental health training.