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Author Topic: My Story Rebuilding 7+ years post bomb drop and still recovering

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My Story Rebuilding Re: 7+ years post bomb drop and still recovering
#10: July 26, 2023, 03:28:51 AM
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The OW has no power without your H giving it to her.

Not quite.....The OW has no power if Kintsugi doesn't give it to her. 

We can only control ourselves and no one else.

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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.

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7+ years post bomb drop and still recovering
#11: August 21, 2023, 02:22:28 PM
If I remember rightly, you are a therapist yourself so I’m going to assume that as part of your own good professional practice you have a supervising therapist? Do you also still see someone on a more personal level to support your own healing?

I’m going to say a bunch of things now that I know you probably know….but hey ho, cobblers children, right?  :)….sometimes even with our professional expertise, we need to be reminded when we are in a situation as opposed to outside one.

Reading your post made me muse on three things….

- How safe do you feel in your life writ large currently? And what’s makes you feel more safe or less safe?

- What is the nature of your reconciled relationship with your h currently? Is there anything going on - with his behaviour or in life - which might be setting off small, even less conscious, alarms? Bc again jmo but I think there can be a gift of information in our own alarm settings as the well-known book ‘The Gift of Fear’ suggests, but a history of trauma or PTSD can lead us to doubt them perhaps. What do you think is really going on for you right now? And how does it make you feel about yourself?

- What do you see as your current exposure to things that might be harmful or distressing to you? As an example, your friend’s updates about the skanky ow continuing to do what those kind of folks do….what do you think you get from that now which you might feel you need or want? As a general rule, and again jmo, individual recovery from trauma does seem to require a bit of a deep dig on the illusions and realities of our own sense of safety particularly about what we can and can’t control. And regardless of what others do or don’t do.

I know from experience how very hard it is to live with a high alarm setting - it’s exhausting and confusing as hell. There’s a lot of truth imho in the saying that trauma renders past things into today things much as our rational brain tells us they are in the past…so I would probably suggest that you try to be a little kinder to yourself, to not use words like ‘dwelling in the past’ but instead think of them as signals and the common realities of how traumatised brains seem to work. It’s perhaps much less about your character and much more about the nature of trauma  :)

I can also see, I think, reading between the lines, that a lot of your internal energy is focused on ow/workplace links still but less perhaps on holding your h accountable for his choices. Or the agreements between you now that might help shift your focus to the life you are actually living today and the benefits or disadvantages of it from your pov. Idk what you might feel you need from your h to feel safer or what kinds of conversations, if any, have taken place about what happened and the effects of it. But I wanted you to know that I hear you. Bc this is your life and you have the right, regardless of your choices in the past or what others think, to feel safe and calm and peaceful in your own skin.

PTSD is imho a doozy. And it is hard to recover from as a solo sport. I wonder if you might feel it is time to seek (or seek again) some support from a professional who understands trauma and might be able to give you some new tools, perspectives or options?

PTSD is a doozy for sure.  I had plenty of PTSD before H's midlife transition.  I am familiar with PTSD and how new trauma can resurface old PTSD.  What you asked about H and setting off alarms, I feel like the rug was pulled out from under me in 2016.  And I almost feel like the PTSD keeps me a little hyper-vigilant with what-ifs.  Your post made me realize I need to continue to keep working on this PTSD and to heal my traumatized brain. 
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When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold.  They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful ~ Barbara Bloom

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Re: 7+ years post bomb drop and still recovering
#12: August 21, 2023, 02:33:25 PM

It was what it was - your H had feelings for the OW and they are now over and done with?   
However you know as well as anyone that broken people do damaging things. It doesn't ever excuse it of course.   

And, most certainly ask your friend not to "update" you- there is absolutely no point in knowing about her now - none!

Be kind to yourself too - it's human to feel triggered because BD is traumatic.  Allow yourself a few moments of "Grrr!" and then focus on what you want to achieve for yourself and for your marriage.
Thank you for your response.  I try to remind myself about a saying I saw: Hurt People Hurt People.  I think it is true of my husband and his former coworker.  My husband has dealt with a lot of trauma and neglect as he was raised by a woman with some serious mental health issues.  The ironic things is he told me at one point that this person reminded him of his mother.  I can't help but wonder if this was some kind of psychological thing to feel approval from his mother.  Maybe I am overreading. 
I will talk to my friend about the updates.  Lucky for me she (my friend) has been on vacation and hasn't been able to provide any. 
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When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold.  They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful ~ Barbara Bloom

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7+ years post bomb drop and still recovering
#13: August 21, 2023, 02:38:29 PM
I wholeheartedly agree. You do not need updates on Ow. During my time dealing with Ow1 my friends would always tell me things they saw online. I had blocked her so I couldn’t see. And I always said, unless it concerns my kids. I do not care. So sure you might go “omg look ow is wearing the same outfit as you” and we would laugh but I don’t need it. I don’t want to know. Even my kids who spent every other weekend with ow would come back and say things like “ow has the same tan as you” etc. and I even told them “only tell me really important things”. Not that I wanted to make them feel like they couldn’t talk to me about her. I would have bitten my tongue. But like I said to my friends. Unless it involves my kids (mine were young even now 5 years in they are only 6,9&11) I don’t need to know. Did I need to know ow wore the same outfit as me two months after I did. No. No I didn’t. Did I need to know she snatched a phone out of my oldest daughters hand. Yea. Yea I did.

Protect yourself. These ow will be a trigger for a long while. Don’t give them any power. They’re worthless.
I blocked this one too and one day decided to check up (years ago) and it looked like she gave up a lot of her social media accounts.  It's ironic though because I am on nextdoor app and one day (recently) happened to see a few of her posts.  I debate disconnecting from that app. 
Thank you for your reply. 
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When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold.  They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful ~ Barbara Bloom

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7+ years post bomb drop and still recovering
#14: August 22, 2023, 12:34:39 AM
Yes, and you can always join nextdoor again in the future if you want to. It's nice when the decision isn't irrevocable.
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