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Author Topic: My Story Sometimes the finish line is just the start of somethin' new

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<snort> - you were the one that mentioned herding cats.. I just gave the visual...

As far as
Quote from: MourningDove
It is also that I am angry that the MLC BS just reappeared. When will that just stop haunting me?
goes, I wish I had an answer... Maybe when the Mid-Lifer croaks over? or we croak over? I mean, as long as there are kids in the mix, I fear there is always the lurking landmine around somewhere.... Maybe once the kids are totally grown and on their own, all the rubbish will have been cleared out... Who knows. I mean, 2016 is 7 years ago so that is going a LONG time back.... If stuff THAT old can pop up now.... ::) UGH!
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Me - 60, xW - 54
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 16, D - 12
1 Dog
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

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M
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I think with kids you are always connected and with that can come triggers. My kids are fully grown and they haven’t seen their Dad now in 2 years. That alone brings issues my was as I am the parent still involved.  It hard. Being the sole responsible parent. No one to bounce off of with frustrations. Taking on everything alone. That cup of coffee on your D says it all. A little but “BIG” acknowledgment that your seen for being there!!

I have to remind myself daily of the things that I am grateful for big and small. Still, you’re allowed to have the days that you are triggered or sad. That life isn’t fair. That this situation that was thrust upon you has lasting effects on your psyche. Thank you for sharing. Again, a reminder that their are ebbs and flows in this journey and that is normal in a anything but normal situation .
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There is almost something harder about someone being alive and having to lose what you believed to be true of them than someone actually dying.

Indefatigability - determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose
perspicacity- a clarity of vision or intellect which provides a deep understanding and insight

Married July 1991
Jan 2018 BD1 moved out I filed for Div/ H stopped it
Oct 2018 moved back
Oct 2020 BD2
Feb 2021 Div-29 1/2 years
July 2021 Married OW
Feb 2022  XH fired
May 2023 went NC after telling XH we could not be friends
Aug 2023 XH moves w/o OWife

N

Nas

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I have found myself referring to Xh by his name more and more. I found that when I referred to him as "my Xh" it seemed to close for me. The more time I spent with the person in my life now, the more it felt odd - for me  and no one else - to have Xh seem like a close person when I used the word my next to him. He was once "my" person. He is in my past, but that pesky word "my" bothered me. It seems silly, but I realized that in order to move past my own hang up about it, I needed to try and eliminate that possessive aspect for myself. It strangely helped me detach more.



Really interesting, MD. It's so funny, I have the exact opposite feeling. Calling him by his name feels so present and familiar, like he's still someone I know. If I said his name, it felt like he was somehow there, or would be there - not like I was conjuring him up in a Beetlejuice kind of way  ;), just in that familiar way you speak of friends, colleagues and other people in your life by first name with no qualifiers.
 
On here, I usually say "former H" but IRL, if I have to speak of him, I say "my ex" and after saying that for a while, it started to feel very right. "My ex," my past.
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“The desire to be loved is the last illusion. Give it up and you will be free.” ~Margaret Atwood

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UrsaMajor & MadLuv - fortunately the triggers are fleeting and infrequent. I think the last one really just surprised me, as I hadn't expected that response. As for the "haunting of the MLC past" - I worked through the aggravation. I suppose as long as I have kids with the X, then I am going to encounter these things. Fortunately, most are simply small bumps in the road. It is not worth chasing after him over, frankly. I am able to get upset and then move on from it quicker.

Nas - I have been thinking about your response, in that I wonder if for me it is easier to do so because I have kids with him? IDK- In my case it is easier to make him just some name that is in my past. It does certainly bring up the idea that we all have our own ways of moving on and finding methods that work for each of us.

Earlier this week the college had a day designated for special events open to faculty and students. Normally, I have attended the art area events as has my one colleague. Neither of us were really terribly excited about the event this semester, and I think in part that was largely due to both of us expressing really needing a break from it all. We decided instead to go on an excursion for the day to a couple of museums. I have gone with him before on another such day event and it has been such a good experience. He is relatively new to the area and not many people will entertain the amount of time he may ponder a piece of artwork. I on the other hand, will. The last trip we took the one museum says it takes the average person 45 minutes to see everything. We were there 4 hours. Assessing the individual pieces and then admiring the overall curatorial aspects of the exhibit spaces. Yah - it is not something I could do every time I go somewhere, but none the less, it was a great day. And, he and I have become good friends. He is a very private person overall, but I know he probably needed this get away more than I did, as he is dealing with some difficult personal decisions regarding a family member's care.

He shared with me something that set off a discussion and he caught himself, as he asked me a question and I answered about the divorce. He apologized he might have brought up something very painful. The context isn't really important nor the actual conversation, but what struck me was it would have once been very painful to talk about. It didn't even make me wince or feel sadness. It was a bit strange. I explained to him that it was sad when it happened. It was brutally painful, but for some reason I think that part of me has healed. It is a moment in time.

The kids have both been bringing up some memories as of late from their childhood. It has been fun talking and sharing. It is odd because these are things that were painful for them for sometime. Those memories from when things were different and life was pretty good before the whole MLC BS. And, it wasn't that any of us were wishing for what was. It has been different this time - the memories they are bringing up - like they have reached a point where it doesn't hurt as much and it is okay for them to talk about.

I think part of it is both kids have been making more efforts to spend time with my family. S briefly visited the X last weekend, but wasn't there long. That sort of surprised me, TBH, but S said he wanted to go with my F to visit my F's cousin's farm - a trip they used to take together regularly when S was little.

It is not that I wish for the kids to somehow detach from Xh's family or him completely. I wish he would get his head on straight, but this whole new quest for a full back tattoo and such has all of us scratching our heads. It is just so completely opposite of what any of us knew. Add the change from the F who went to every event the kids had to barely seeing them now is really so strange. Xh didn't even know S changed jobs within the company he works for because they haven't really spoken.

Today, both kids brought up my parent's anniversary which we have been planning. We aren't having a big party, as they don't want anything like that at all. Instead, we are planning a luncheon with the immediate family. My parents are really looking forward to the event. What came up today was the kids mentioned my parent's 50th anniversary party and then the 55th. The 50th was probably during the winding up for MLC to hit, but Xh was very involved with helping me get tickets for a theater event that was sold out. He was able to get tickets through a client of his and it turned out afterwards, my parents were able to go backstage. They had a wonderful time. We had arranged a dinner at my sister's house afterwards and I had a cake made similar to their original wedding cake. Their 55th rolled around and I barely recall much of it at all, TBH. I was so steeped in the weight of what was going on at that time - the divorce had been finalized a year prior but I was digging my way out of debt and just trying to get the kids off to college, etc. Xh was playing games with support and so on. It felt like it would never end.

Time flew by and now this year, it is a different scenario. The biggest concern about any of the event is selecting which cake to order - LOL.

Today, I thought about some other triggers that have healed over. Some are things I had to work through. It dawned on me that the triggers I have experienced are not all the same. That is, some certainly were PTSD type of responses. I found those harder to work through. Some I have had to face head on and others have been a continual process of healing and having people there to support me. That support was not always having people telling me things I wanted to hear. It involved sometimes having to work through some reality. It was not easy.

My journey to my current relationship has certainly not been linear. If anyone had said this is where we would be now, I would not have believed it, even when there were times I wanted more than I had. There was a friendship that has never really gone away. There were some rough patches and misunderstandings, but I now realize those were blessings. I was truly not ready for a relationship with anyone of this nature at that point. And the funny thing is, it dawned on me today that it has lead to something way better than it might have had things progressed quicker. I have thought about it a lot and strangely I am grateful now for the way things have unfolded. The ups and downs of our lives needed to shake out the way that they did for me to feel secure again and have this much trust. I don't know where it ultimately leads - it is not like I have a plan. LOL

It leads me back to maybe why the use of "my" started to bother me in regards to the X. He is no longer "my" person and while he is part of "my" past, it seems odd for me to refer to him in that possessive way. I think as my relationship has progressed, I began to feel as if it was almost disrespectful for me to refer to him as "my X" to the man I am with (and not because he has ever expressed any such concerns). Perhaps it is because of the kids that made me decide to refer to him by name or when they discuss him, as their F. IDK - I wonder if I didn't have kids with him, if I would have felt differently. Or if he had been a vanisher as opposed to his current state. One of those things I will never know the answer to and ultimately probably don't really need to know. I do know I wouldn't want to relive any of that part of life to find out the answer. I shall just be okay with accepting it is what I am comfortable with.
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You write so well, MD, that this isn’t the first time I have found myself recognising  something you write as something familiar that I had not found words for. I think our BD timings may be similar, even though are circumstances are different, so it looks like that darned Time thing may play a part lol.

I don’t talk - or think often - about my former h. If I do, it is bc old mutual friends (who still seem to find what happened strange and inexplicable) ask something like if I have heard anything about him or heard from him. Or I am telling one of those ‘I remember when’ anecdotes that pop up in casual conversation.  :) It is rare though and I use his name or call him my former h. There was a time when like Nas said, it was more ‘he who shall be nameless’ and for some strange reason my xh did feel like a possessive of something I didn’t own, that did not belong to me. The divorce as opposed to my divorce works the same way. But somehow ‘my former h’ seems to speak to my past and my life when I did have a role filled called husband….odd.

What resonated with me though is that slightly surprised feeling of things that no longer hurt. I can feel a little sad about it, still a little bemused at how I got from old there to that there, but it does not hurt now. Perhaps it is just overwritten by the real and remarkable gift of getting from that there to this here  :)

I also nodded at the tangible difference between the kind of triggers that I think of as echoes and the PTSD flavoured ones.

One of the biggest differences - apart from how they physically feel in my body - is that the former feel to me like they are about others and more external whereas the latter are about me and definitely internal. So, for instance, I had a big number birthday recently and, along with all the lovely bits, there were some echoes that made me feel a little sad that I could not share my birthday with my parents or the person who used to be my partner as I used to do. But these feelings, that seem very normal to me after loss, are entirely different from the PTSD ones that almost always left me feeling like a beached fish. And they did not come with that exhausting aftermath of self doubt or vulnerability or unease. Chalk and cheese.

One of my best birthday gifts strangely - and I know you and others here will get this in a way that others in RL do not - was being sat on a train en route to a fancy lunch in London hosted by a chum and suddenly realising how content I felt. No racing heart, no gasping breath at the top of my chest, no ghosts, no anxiety at all….just me, a good book and the chug chug noise of a train. What was even stranger was that I seem to have acquired a kind of beginner’s eye, almost a child’s eye, on things and places that used to be very familiar…..it was the oddest feeling of seeing things like they were new to me without the overlay of PTSD I suppose. Plus of course some things were new bc the world didn’t stop just bc I did for a while  :)

That felt like a tremendous birthday gift to me.

I also want to wish your parents well on their anniversary celebrations. When I was in the deepest darkest grass of grief about losing my own family, it was such a comfort to me to hear stories about yours. I think perhaps it reminded me of what had been real in my own family life at a time when I couldn’t touch it, how normal it is to care and be cared about like that, so it was like a kind of long distance hug. Thank you for sharing them with us virtually.
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« Last Edit: October 22, 2023, 01:42:49 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.


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

M
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Thank you, Treasur.  :)

My parents had a lovely anniversary and it was nice to have everyone together for that event. It was low key and that was what they really wanted. The restaurant's staff was truly amazing and D picked up the cakes we ordered on our way to their house afterwards. It was an easy day for everyone and my parents were happy to have all of us together, especially since this Thanksgiving it will not be the case. My sister and her family are traveling. S is not sure what the schedule as, as he has not been informed. D's BF is having surgery prior to the holiday, so it is really just D and I with my parents this time around, which is so very unusual.

I took time off last week - at least I attempted to  ::) I still found myself not able to free myself completely from being pulled in different directions, aside from the times I snuck around and didn't let most people know what I was truly doing. I am convinced that at the moment the only way I am ever really going to be able to get uninterrupted time away is if I go away for a time.

This week has been draining, which might account for me being a bit more sensitive to having a trigger that is just bubbling under the surface. It is a PTSD type of trigger and I recognize it and then a couple of additional things piled on last night. One was S informing me Xh was going away last minute and S was going to watch the psycho dog for the weekend. It was not the dog watching that rattled me more. It was where Xh is going. In the grand scheme, I really am not upset about it, but it did jar me a bit more because it simply piled on the trigger which I was in the midst of trying to really work through. Then D came home and was teary eyed and I wondered what was in the air.

D's tears were complicated. She had asked for reference letters for her grad programs. The one person she asked was her physical therapist. The road to that physical therapist, I now realize was truly a gift. D's initial injury and the complications from that came at the worst possible time, as it was just before BD #2 and Xh was already checked out as a father. He came to the hospital the day of the surgery with D and I, but he didn't stay at the hospital during the surgery. He came back to pick us up and take us home and refused to go the pharmacy on the way home. I recall telling him one of us would have to go and he begrudgingly waited at home with D. He was outside pacing when I arrived and as soon as I got out of the car he was off, no doubt to see Schmoopie.  ::)

It would be one of many times he pulled stunts like that. Later it would be him refusing to attend her cross-country meets because she wasn't running. Then again, he never had gone in the first place, when prior to that I can't recall him ever missing any game or performance or open house when the kids were growing up. Nope. OW was all he could focus on, like a lovesick teenager.

D was pulled out of school and tutored most of that year. It was hard for her. Her days were filled with physical therapy, etc. Xh showed up to one therapy visit and proceeded to try and start an argument with me and I was keenly aware of us being in front of large plate glass windows where the whole practice could see us. I made him move away from the windows so as not to create some spectacle, but by then, D had seen it and it is a moment that I still can recall vividly.

That physical therapy practice specialized in sports medicine and they were excellent, but it would be months later when one of the therapists realized D had something else going on with that injury that was out of their specialty and recommended a different practice. And they were right, as the doctors confirmed D had experienced a very complex injury that required a whole other level of physical therapy. It completely took running away from her. That crushed her. That was something she had loved since she was little. This new therapist took over and at first D was apprehensive of his approach. He knew it would take time for he and his staff to get her to trust them. They came to realize that some of D's lack of progress was in her own head and I remember he once asked me if there was something else going on with her. His practice is more of a mind and body approach. It was not like they tried to play counselor, but they were mindful of the other things going on in her life. The progress, physically has been very slow.

The doctor visits were on going. D knew the doctor's schedule better than he did. It was a running joke in the office. She knew which office he was in and when because of the countless visits. The PT practice adopted her like one of their own and when they found out she wanted to go into PT, they have been her biggest cheerleaders.

D has been going there since 2016. They have become like a surrogate family to her. She doesn't go nearly as often, but after being rear-ended in a car accident earlier in the year, she found herself back there again.

She told me last week she has been quietly training for her first 5K since her injury. It is a huge thing. I have played it down, as I don't want her to feel pressure of any kind. I have offered to take her, but only if she wants someone at the finish line, as her BF will be recuperating from  surgery that day. She has told me she will let me know. I have kept it to myself, but I have secretly been so excited for her. For her be able to run again, is a joy. The pain she is left with is manageable and she has accepted it will always be there. She has worked on strength training and knows how much she can push herself safely. It is not about winning a race for her. She just wants to be able to run.

Yesterday though, was not about the race. It was that she informed me she had asked the owner of the practice to write her a letter of recommendation for graduate school. She didn't want to know what he wrote, and he respected that. However, he did reach out to her after he submitted the letter. D read it to me and I too teared up. The truth of the matter is, he is a wonderful father to his kids and a loving husband. He has been in D's life more consistently than her own F and he has sometimes been like a F to her in that she has sometimes asked him for advice, etc. He has been this wonderful role model and I laughed several times over the years when he would kick her in the backside and tell her to knock it off if she was being ridiculous. I have had great admiration for him for a long time, as he is just a really good person.

The email he sent yesterday was to tell D that he is proud of her and she should realize that no matter what, she has over come so many obstacles and has persevered when sometimes she just wanted to quit. He told her that he and his staff have been so very blessed to have been able to witness her growth.

It made me so proud and happy for her but probably piled on to my trigger, in that I know that letter is a double edge sword for D. The feeling of being tossed aside has been hard for her to shake at times.

My trigger, is more of finding myself feeling not good enough. It is very bizarre how these things bubble up. I am working through it. It makes me mad that it is even a feeling I am having. Stupid triggers.
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Quote from: MourningDove
The email he sent yesterday was to tell D that he is proud of her and she should realize that no matter what, she has over come so many obstacles and has persevered when sometimes she just wanted to quit. He told her that he and his staff have been so very blessed to have been able to witness her growth.

It made me so proud and happy for her but probably piled on to my trigger, in that I know that letter is a double edge sword for D. The feeling of being tossed aside has been hard for her to shake at times.

My trigger, is more of finding myself feeling not good enough. It is very bizarre how these things bubble up. I am working through it. It makes me mad that it is even a feeling I am having. Stupid triggers.

These last 3 bits .... SO many things come to mind, among them being that, in some aspects, D is fortunate to have someone like the doc and the staff in her corner despite her ..... (many NSFHS unkind names come to mind here) .... tossing her aside like he did with the rest of you all.... S is still useful to him (witness caring for the psychodog) but D isn't as she calls him out on his poop and that means accountability which he (like all Mid-Lifers) is NOT interested in knowing anything about.

As far as your own trigger.... all I can ask is why? Often, we  LBS's have this secret .... I don't know.... let's call it "guilt?" that we couldn't carry the whole show alone or that we couldn't make up for the failings/shortcomings/absentism of the Mid-Lifer but, well, there is / was only one of us and we were also not exactly unaffected by the way the Mid-Lifer behaved. We too were trying to find our way out of the infinitesimal pit of despair that we had been tossed into rather unceremoniously by the capricious and malicious actions of the Mid-Lifer.... We do the best we can, we did the best we could and, unlike the mid-lifer, we chose to learn and grow  and deal with the consequences instead of escape and avoid. We chose to be accountable, we chose to be responsible. Did we do everything perfectly? Were we able to accomplish what we would have been able to accomplish if the Mid-Lifer hadn't gone bat-snot off-the-rails crazy and done all the incomprehensible stuff they did? No, of course not ... But the bottom line is that we did the best we could with the resources that we had at hand at the time and we can look back at the face in the mirror and tell ourselves that we done good.... .

The fact that the GWPWELFV is off to someplace strange (I can hazard a guess as it is mid-November and he does tend to be predictable in these things) just proves that he is still DEEP in the tunnel and that is NOT someone who D could even begin to rely on, let alone begin to rebuild a relationship with. He is not interested because he is not interested in accountability or consequences.....

I wish D all the best with the upcoming 5k. Finishing will be a major boost and a milestone on her way back from the injury.

Daughter is reflecting mom.... Indomitable spirit, undeterrable drive.... the path to the end may not be as straight or as easy as hoped for or planned but the goal(s) will be accomplished.....
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Me - 60, xW - 54
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 16, D - 12
1 Dog
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

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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.
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UrsaMajor - Funny, I just reread my post from last month and strangely I had a different situation this month. So much so that it shocked me, but not in a manner like being rattled. The shock was my lack of emotions.

S had gone to Xh's to pick something up and decided to stay overnight since it made little sense to travel back home for the night and then to work the next morning, as it would have added unnecessary mileage on. Knowing S was going to see Xh, I had boxed some things up for S to give to Xh. They were items I have had buried deep in a closet where I store the holiday decorations and the dreaded divorce box has lived in that storage area as well. In that storage area, some of the boxes contained items MIL made for Xh, and some other items that were really only important to Xh. I know why I initially kept them, as there was a time that I figured maybe Xh would come back and want those things.

I could have easily tossed most of the things, but in all honesty, I was having a hard time knowing that MIL had made them. Part of me is somewhat protective of MIL, I suppose. She wasn't easy to deal with early on in our relationship, in part because she was an alcoholic and she didn't think I was good enough for her "baby". I learned many years later that was largely based on BIL #5's narrative, which looking back makes sense. As time went on though, I behaved as I always had, and MIL would do a complete 180. She had quit drinking and was doing the work on herself. She owned her misdeeds and would later become a really wonderful grandmother to our kids and she and I grew quite close. It was largely in part because she was accountable and she and I spent many hours talking about her life. I came to realize that MIL drank to cope and in the end I at least understood how perhaps her life choices lead to her alcoholic tendencies. I will admit in her quest to make amends, I perhaps learned some things that I didn't realize would really benefit me when Xh went off the rails.

I will say that I am certain MIL's untimely death was a huge catalyst for Xh's crisis. He never got over her death and it was especially hard on him because they were just on a good path with one another when she got sick. He had his mom "back" for only a handful of years.

My MIL had told me on her deathbed not to live life the way she had. This was before there was any trouble in my marriage, but I remember thinking how sad that comment was. She said she wasted her life waiting for FIL to return for one. But she also never faced any of her fears. She kept to her life, just cleaning and cooking, rarely having any other activity. She said when she died her kids would remember her for being an amazing cook and that she kept a very clean and organized house. Sadly, that is pretty accurate. It would be nearly 10 years later when Xh went into MLC and I didn't realize those words would haunt me.

So, in some ways, I think I wanted to respect MIL and honor some of the small things she did do. She was more than a housewife and was actually incredibly talented artistically and an amazing seamstress. Once she let those demons go, she could laugh until she cried and make the rest of us laugh along with her. It was my thoughts about her and the love she poured into these things for Xh that made me decide they needed to go back to him. They were never mine to keep and they are not things the kids would have any attachment to. They have their special things from their grandmother.

Along with those items I included some other items students made for him along the way, etc.

I sent them with S and I didn't think about the fact that it was Xh's birthday this week. It certainly now explains D's mood - with the holidays and his birthday and no contact again.  ::)

Friday morning, I received a text. I saw Xh's initials, well - okay - he is listed literally as MLC in my phone. I did that months ago and I admit seeing it as MLC on my screen strangely helped me over time to sort of prepare myself before answering. It wasn't done out of malice, tbh. His name used to just rattle me to no end when it showed up. Now, it is so very rare when I see it at all. He thanked me for the items and said that it was really thoughtful of me. I simply answered he was welcome.

I returned to thinking about someone else entirely and it wasn't until later I realized how that had been so very transactional. Almost like dealing with a customer at work. There were no emotions attached. Not even anger or sadness, etc.

It isn't that I am deluded enough to think that those emotions might reappear in some manner - considering triggers are certainly a possibility still, for whatever reason. And anger or annoyed is a common theme when he continues to hurt the kids or does something so utterly text book MLC that I can't help but feel something.

I was talking to a friend of mine, another LBS and she laughed at me. She understood completely why I was so shocked by my own reaction. She commented it is a freeing feeling. That knowing that the MLCer is maybe in your past, but your present and your focus has moved on to your current life and to other people in it. And it is true.

I must admit, the process of boxing up those things, lead to even more cleaning out of things that were Xh's that have no connection to me. Last night, I spent some time pulling things off of my den shelves and put them in new boxes. These boxes I will ask the kids if they want the items or not. They are beautiful objects, but they were things that Xh brought back from trips he went on without me. Not gifts for me, but souvenirs he had. Or the gift my niece brought back specifically for him and S - a chess set when she was traveling abroad. I am keeping some of the things he gave me or were things we maybe bought together, but not because of the memories attached. Like the vase that was a gift for our wedding. I have always just loved the vase as an art object and love the way the light goes through the glass. It is part of my past history, perhaps, but not the reason I am holding on to it.

Looking back to why I was triggered last month - I am starting to recognize part of my pattern with the triggers is often the same - and it involves exhaustion. That time period was right in the midst of a stressful stretch in my semester. The ebb and flow of the semester is something I may not be able to control completely, but at least I am aware of it. It is in this awareness that maybe I need to remind myself when I feel it coming on to manage my exhausted state differently and be kinder to myself. It is a process.  ::)
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Looking back to why I was triggered last month - I am starting to recognize part of my pattern with the triggers is often the same - and it involves exhaustion. That time period was right in the midst of a stressful stretch in my semester. The ebb and flow of the semester is something I may not be able to control completely, but at least I am aware of it. It is in this awareness that maybe I need to remind myself when I feel it coming on to manage my exhausted state differently and be kinder to myself. It is a process.  ::)

It is a process that begins with the recognition of the causes.... Yep.....

BTW - how was D's 5k?
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Me - 60, xW - 54
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 16, D - 12
1 Dog
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

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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.

M
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UrsaMajor - D didn't end up running that race, due to weather conditions being very rainy and cold. She was concerned with the surfaces being potentially slippery, which was not beyond the possibility, knowing the course. So, she went to the gym, where she completed the equivalent of a 5K on the treadmill. That was really her goal anyways. She was never really concerned about the actual race. The race gave her the needed "commitment" aspect.

It isn't that I am deluded enough to think that those emotions might reappear in some manner - considering triggers are certainly a possibility still, for whatever reason. And anger or annoyed is a common theme when he continues to hurt the kids or does something so utterly text book MLC that I can't help but feel something.

Funny how quickly that the MLC textbook behaviors returned, but then it is the holidays so why should I be at all surprised?  ::)

Xh and his sister invited S to dinner for Christmas Eve. It would seem Xh also was not going to be home after dinner, and was staying somewhere overnight for Christmas. I wasn't even curious as to where Xh would be. There would have been a time when that wasn't the case.

S was again put in an awkward situation by SIL, as she assured him the day he was invited that she would take care of making sure D was invited. S stayed out of it, which was wise. He didn't find out until yesterday, after the event that never happened.

D had brought up Xh and how those family dinners were difficult for everyone involved, so she wasn't upset. She said that a lot of work needs to be done with she and Xh for dinners to even be possible. Otherwise they just devolve into awkward events where Xh puts on a facade just long enough to make it seem like things are fine. D can't put on the same type of act and she is aware of it.

D may have expressed being fine, but I knew that was probably not the case. It would come up with my sister later and I could feel my blood boil. As my sister and I discussed it, she agreed with me that as much as I would like to call Xh or his family and give them what for, it is pointless. It would only cause more problems.

The part that upset me the most is it is evident that this "works" for Xh. The narrative he has going. He has spun that he hasn't heard from D at all. Not on his birthday or any other days. Hmmmm- l confirmed with D the last time she heard from him is when she reached out with the candy she bought for him on her trip. His favorite candy that is tough to find and she thought enough to buy him some. She thought it would break the ice. She got a thank you and that is it. Nothing since then or before then. No contact what so ever.

Oh sure. I know. He is mixed up and in pain, blah, blah, blah. Like it or not the reality, this victim status works for him. He knows what he is doing on some level. It is very much like someone who has an addiction that they know is bad for them, but it makes them feel good in the moment or it allows them to avoid the pain somehow so they keep doing it. Part of me wants to have some type of compassion for him and there are tiny moments I still do, but it is much harder when I have D who is affected. His behavior makes it very hard for her. What his family fails to see is it is not that she doesn't wish for a relationship with him, it is his behaviors make it painful for her and they don't allow for her to put boundaries in place with their own input. They feed his victim story and have never thought to actually ask D. Instead, they put her in a very bad spot. It then translates to her being viewed as if she is a porcupine, and she can be bristly. Yet, as my sister said to me last night - D can be very difficult to deal with but she also is the one with the softest, kindest heart at her core. She puts up the force field as a defense mechanism when she is struggling. Even D is aware of it.

I had all I could do from wanting to get in the car last night after having the discussion with my sister and crashing the X-in-law's festivities to give them all a piece of my mind. I shook off that feeling. It would not help at all. Instead, I changed my focus to the fact that S had shown back up at my parent's house last night with D and I. In the living room I could hear them both laughing and clearly enjoying being around each other. Had I gone with my reactive spirit, giving into my desire to go voice my disdain for my x-in-laws would have resulted in a very different scenario from the obvious love between D and S. Nope. I will not be the one to keep driving a wedge in the relationships. D and S are clear about the situation between D and Xh. D does not hold S's semi-relationship with Xh against him. It may hurt both of them from time to time, but D has told me that she will not be the one that drives S away from Xh and S should not have to experience what she has. It is hard for me to feel that way about it, TBH, but I know ultimately I cannot do a thing about it that will change it. It is way beyond my control.
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