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Author Topic: My Story Life goes on.

t
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My Story Re: Life goes on.
#60: May 14, 2021, 06:59:28 AM
Just checking in. D is in finals and I am still and more concertedly packing the house important things for storage and unimportant or obsolete things for disposal/donation/resale.

Xh, her dad, has helped financially here and there during COVID straits and kept promising to get us into an apartment, with his credit score and employment status. But now is hassling me to get rid of everything and move alone into a furnished room in some stranger’s house. This would mean limited visitation with D and she and I are both livid about it. I’ve had to ask myself if maybe my anger is actually fear, but it truly isn’t. I’m still mad at xh for divorcing me and for the costs of his divorce, and mad at him also for some of the problems he has posed for her. Devaluation of the feminine and the lack of safety a feminine (especially a young one) feels at being subjected to that.

Anyway. Xh is twisting this way and that now and I understand it’s partly natural discomfort at the scenario I’m in, which does impact his D. But she rightly mouths off at him that in their discussions about it, his feelings about it aren’t what matter — hers are.

Somehow it’s become a conversation that now includes my ex in-laws. They were actively hostile agents of/in that divorce and so I am sort of at a loss about why they’re included now this long later. Pretty humiliating. Also just an interesting opportunity for me to size up whether their witnessing or opinions count, and to notice that no: I did well, despite all the odds, for a long time. If xh or his family are wanting to sit by and provoke and eat popcorn while I exit this property in whatever — nick of time, slinking disgrace, financial astonishment? They can. Ultimately their witnessing or big opinions don’t matter; I already went through this with them, and I know what their big opinions of me and D are.

I decided not to make any decision about where to live and instead to take a hotel suite for the first month off this property. D is absolutely thrilled at this solution, because it is new, very much controlled/safe, air-conditioned, and relatively autonomous. It’s *our choice*. And it may seem vagabond, but corporate travelers do it all the time. So she and I both like the idea, and after the loss of our dog last month, it’s nice to look forward to something that feels like a relief, reward, novel experience, a “soft” transition after so many harsh and hurtful ones.

The house is a wreck. But last night I surveyed the objects and furniture all over the living room and saw my oldest and most treasured pieces, and seeing them all featured this way, even scattered or out of place — just... TOGETHER in one room — I suddenly felt far more whole than I’ve felt in five years.

Today I’ll be calling the storage place ahead of driving down to it. I made the trip twice last month or so ago, and no one would believe it but both times for whatever reason, and even though I was on the premises for over an hour each time, ready to move things in, *both* times, whatever weird meant that I couldn’t. It’s hard to explain and it wasn’t my fault, or anyone’s maybe, just ...weird. I had intended to go again a third time that week but woke up so depressed the third day that I just didn’t. It shouldn’t be that difficult. And sometimes it is anyway and requires several attempts before I get what I want. I’m tired of that. Like beating my head against a wall. But today I’m aware the clock is really ticking, and newly aware that the beautiful old loved things in my life are important to preserve and keep safe while I figure out where we are going to live next. So I will call the storage place first and then go down there and try again.

My credit score is the biggest obstacle to any new apartment. I just don’t even know how to get around that. It’s weird to get to this age and find out that I still don’t get how things work.




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Re: Life goes on.
#61: May 21, 2021, 07:59:24 AM
Checking in.

Had a brash and unpleasant notice from h this week, and a lot of very intense ugly dreams about him before it. Nothing official although I suspect that’s probably under the surface.

What I’ll say about it here is that I’m pretty busy with house packing and end of school year; I kind of don’t have time to dwell on his news. I am well open to the possibility that it is just manufactured drama meant to draw me in, or draw me out, and... Well. I don’t have anything much to contribute mentally to it, so if it’s to entangle me, that’s probably not going to happen.

I spoke with an old family friend from my childhood yesterday, who connected me afterward to people who may have employment possibility for me. With the caveat that projects have been fewer since last March and that there are other contributors before me in queue waiting to be put to good work. So that’s a step forward and while I am waiting, I have plenty of work still ahead in the few weeks before D and I move, and although it isn’t paid in dollar income, I think it can and should still be considered good work. Maybe the best kind.

H’s message was harsh and abrupt, and unexpected. Or, sort of expected. The dreams have been intense and I know this is a family time of year for us all. Despite the message, he claims life where he is is good.

I think if it was, he wouldn’t be saying what he said.

I’m definitely sick of his ow and misplaced loyalty. Some very minor part of me considers that maybe things aren’t so great where he is and maybe that will mean a return. But he acknowledges that he’s cut us all off and I think that when someone affirms that, it probably means they’ll hold to whatever they chose instead for at least a few years more. Because if they don’t, what was that terrible set of choices and love endings all for?

I did respond but I’ll keep that to myself. It was neither here nor there, mostly just brief acknowledgement of what he had said and that he’d said it expressly to me.

I did not say, because I don’t think I need to again at this point, that you don’t get points for any of those choices you made until after they are each fully dismantled and sown back out into the benefit and provisioning for those of us who loved you and whom you trashed to do all of it.

This week I have listened to a lot of survivors and couples who made it through infidelity, affairs, betrayal trauma. I don’t know anymore whether I believe in us or in him. I still love the kids and at some point will be happy to not have to deal with their other parents so much, and yet also am grateful for what those other parents have done well, by the children. If not in any way otherwise benefiting me.

I’m surprised at how midlife challenges even and especially the relationships of children. How midlife selfishness or selfhood takes over so that the needs of the kids of whatever ages take a back seat or are thrown aside entirely. I dreamt sometime around Mother’s Day that S’s mother — who is neither my friend nor h’s — made a point of telling me how genuinely she felt I had done a good job by both kids, especially my own D. And I couldn’t figure why that particular figure, who had been an enemy of h and sometimes not effective with S either, would come to me in my current pressed circumstance, which she herself had never been in, to tell me around that time of motherhood recognitions that she recognized me especially.

Her own mom is gone now, maybe that was part of it. But maybe part of it too had to do with S, who I still love.

I don’t know anymore if I believe in h or in us. I do still believe in both kids, and in their needs and needfulness as young people, as children. And so I do believe in h’s xw, because mother to mother and woman to woman, or maybe xw to xw, on some level I understand that somehow she believes in me.

At this point my circle of affirming and supportive persons is so small and tight that I’ll take the validations where they’re given.

What h recently messaged means that he is all the way out in left field, still self-obsessed. Does it mean anything that he sent that message to me? No. Not really. He knows my values and value in this particular theme and he knows that in person and as a wife, I’d have a lot to say about it.

But I don’t at all, under present circumstances. And I already know full well how this story had already played out before he made these choices. So that’s all old news, I’ve already watched this movie for years, it was boring and stupid and needlessly fractious, and I’m kind of busy right now, understand.

If h and I were ok right now or at any point this past year or five, I’d just say,

https://youtu.be/HKybDdGHZHE

Undo your rotten destructive choices and then maybe I can make time for this. Otherwise no.
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Re: Life goes on.
#62: May 21, 2021, 08:07:23 AM
Also I just want to say, to anyone reading and maybe also writing anywhere on this board, I deeply value your story whether we’ve commented on each other’s threads or not. You all keep me going with your expressions and perceptions. So, even if you feel alone, you aren’t. It’s just that sometimes there is too much to say and not enough time or words for saying it. I’m still here reading often and just keeping my mouth shut and prayers up.

Thank you so much for reading.
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Life goes on.
#63: May 21, 2021, 08:25:18 AM
Terra, thanks for the update. There’s so much here, and what it really amounts to is that he clearly is still in crisis and you clearly see that and are continuing to work on you and to do the best you can for you and the kids and all of your life that does not directly involve h.

There’s so much variability in how MLC goes - from in-house to clinger to vanisher, from monster to depressed and ashamed and compensating for that; from a quick marriage to the AP, to numerous touch and goes, to eventual reconciliation in some cases. And beyond that, there is so much variability in how we respond to their actions, based on our own histories and personalities. One thing that is consistent, though, is that until MLCer is able to communicate openly and honestly and in a real, reciprocal manner (talking openly, but also truly listening and hearing) - they are still broken. Maybe they’re not all still in the throes of crisis; some of them were broken in that way before MLC and fixing it will be a more involved process. But I think for most of us, even if we were okay with avoidance and a superficial level of connection before BD (or if we didn’t like it but were willing to accept it before), we won’t settle for that again - in reconciliation or in a new relationship. We know that is the path to eventual betrayal and abandonment, and we can’t trust someone who is disingenuous or avoidant or who plays games in the way they relate to us.

It is sad to see so many MLCers for whom this becomes a way of life - the perpetual search for momentary, externally provided happiness or pleasure, the perpetual lack of true contentment or joy. And when that path is being followed by someone who shows glimpses of being a loving, caring adult - someone with whom you built a life... perhaps one of the hardest things to do is to figure out at what point they can no longer overcome what they have done to you and to that shared life.

And to your post about other threads, I wholeheartedly agree. I post sporadically, often just journaling on my thread, but I do read many threads, and I do check them often. Despite the differences (or maybe because of them), I so appreciate everyone’s perspectives and openness and experiences.
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Re: Life goes on.
#64: May 26, 2021, 07:36:08 AM
Curiosity, thank you. I am so bad at responding timely, right now. I’m hoping for that real, reciprocal manner of communication from h, but I think it will be a long time yet. I really appreciate your clarity about that.

A dream snippet:

“It glows in the dark.”

The woman who said it, in the store in the dream, was returning a “lesser” floor rug that we both had had high hopes for. She was someone I’d worked closely with a long time ago, and liked.

It was eight years ago, when she and I worked side by side. That was only 2013, but 2013 was still eight years ago. That’s almost a decade ago. That seems really astonishing to me.

She said it about glowing in the dark and I protested. And then she showed me and I woke right up, in the dark.

My phone vibrated with an incoming message and I looked at it. Not even an important message, but, the time was exactly right to go out and look at the full moon blood moon super moon flower moon eclipse.

The universe conspires to keep me aligned to many things.

I consulted a star app and saw the moon was already near horizon. That meant it was probably behind the hills and not visible from the house.

I’ve seen plenty of full super blood eclipse moons, and plenty of flower ones. A whole bouquet of flower ones. This one was highly visible from h and ow’s house, I knew. And since lunar eclipse can mean the eclipsing of the female, feminine, important women in our lives, this morning I gathered that where he lives now and how he lives, the important feminine addressed or eclipsed is probably me.

So I stretched and rolled over and just stayed in bed, focusing on money matters here and how to approach the day.

His news last week was maybe minor in my own circumstances but maybe also an invitation to engage more deeply and meaningfully. The problem is that we aren’t on that level anymore or anywhere near it mutually. Financially and otherwise, I am in real crisis and at crossroads, too many things to make happen or to correct, and all of it needing done by a drop date that is coming way too fast. So there’s that part, and the part where he has profited and made good to anyone but us for a long time makes me still resentful. Although not half as much as I was maybe even just last week.

At any rate, I can’t dial into his channel right now or for maybe months yet. If he were here side by side and working with me to do all these things, or if he were providing, maybe then any of the latest could be talked about and sorted out alongside each other and everything else. That’s not how it is, though, and no part of me can see “how it is” changing anytime soon.

I need to keep putting one foot forward, and then the next, and so on.

Later this morning, that unbidden and sudden felt sense:

“I didn’t mean it.”

Anguish: his.

I’m never sure what to do with those message bursts of felt sense. But this morning it did sort of make good sense, and seemed true.

On some level I know he didn’t mean it. There’s a lot to be undone, though, in order for that message to feel proven and accurate and to stick.

It’s something that will have to be said in person, by him, and not just to me.

On the felt sense, I responded with equal energy. I know you didn’t mean it. I understand what you were coping with was really, really hard.

But you have an impulsively mean mouth and mind, and you are profiting the wrong people. Those things all need to be all the way undone. We need you at home, with us.

It’s probably all imaginary but I put it here in case it’s not.

*

An imaginary conversation:

“You know what I really miss most?”

“No. What?”

“You.”



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Re: Life goes on.
#65: May 27, 2021, 08:21:04 AM
Need to put this here so I remember it:

When I come out to sit in the mornings and create the starting list for the day, now, without the dog anymore, I’m often in some pain or consternation or sometimes even panic. It’s hard for me to understand that soon we won’t live here anymore, or ever again.

But each morning, when I come out to sit, just as I am settling into my page and my pen and my body,

A solitary hummingbird thrums in, hovers above me where I sit, and then rises and flies off again, toward the sun.

That little bird’s thrumming sound energy vibrates in my heart and places peace where panic was taking over. I’ll miss these visitations.

*

Last night just before a bad news item that happened only minutes from the house, I remembered a time of my life which had felt very unsafe, and I realized this long later how genuinely protected I had been then. It felt like all the love of God just poured into my heart, endlessly for an hour, so that I just cried at the overflow of it all, decades of love and care and persons who had looked out for me in ways that families ought to but don’t always or at all. The countless persons who had been my good community even if we were only neighbors or just passing through each other’s lives for a moment.

I cried for an hour straight as all the decades of forgotten provisions and care coursed through me. What a wonder, that love of people and the instinct to protect and watch over each other, and how many of us did that just because it was right to do, human.

Then sometime later last night, a friend across the country posted a news item and I just gaped. It had happened very close to here and affected people I know. Friends. The new normal looking more than a little problematic, and here we are, about to leave a space that has been not newsworthy for a long time.

The remembrance of protective community was a blessing, last night before that item.

This morning it strikes me that old words make more sense now that I am my current age and passing through all these passages. Like each day there is some realization or remembrance that ends in my heart and mind feeling less burdened, even as it still is burdened day and night. Each day some small thing is shed from my concerns or hard memories, like old feathers dropping, or scales falling from my eyes.

This would be a good weekend to get a lot of stuff out of the house and out of our lives and future. I know that and yet I am not handy at coordinating those departures. There’s nobody near to ask for help, and to anyone else, it’s a celebration weekend.

I guess I could make it that here too, and just celebrate by getting rid of everything, all weekend long.

I’m to have my second vaccine shot in the next day or so, though, so it feels like I should just conserve the time and energy.
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Re: Life goes on.
#66: June 10, 2021, 08:03:00 AM
Just sitting here with an energy drink and awaiting the truck delivery of a rented dumpster. I’ll be emptying the house these next five days, getting rid of ...well, just about everything.

The most precious sentimental and dollar-valuable stuff went directly into a storage unit and D and I are still adapting to the spaces where those things are now not. I’ve really hated that, the part where body memory or natural rhythms are interrupted by a thing’s sudden and unwanted absence, but I also find it is a familiar feeling or experience. Sort of a minor and less painful example of what was felt gut-wrenchingly each time I turned in the dark to find no comforting warmth where h had once always been. I have to laugh, too, because the thing that is missing most here now is a simple inanimate thing, a glass nail file, the one I have automatically reached for as many as ten times a day for the last 20 or now maybe almost 30 years.

That glass nail file has outlasted two marriages, lol. I’m doing ok without it but I miss that good old reliable simple thing.

Last night I finally — after five years of his absence — pulled a pair of h’s shorts out of the drawer and wore them to bed.

This morning I woke up before sunrise to move the car out of the driveway for the truck delivery. And when I dressed for the day, I took those shorts off and threw them out. Don’t ask me why I let them be here so long or why I finally wore them, the elastic band folded twice and rolled to fit me, to sleep in. Don’t ask me why I finally just threw them out, either. I’m not sure I know the answers or why it could be important; I don’t think it is, anymore.

I guess the big answer is I’ve just finally had enough.

I’m expected to give over the keys to our rental next week, but instead sent formal notice to the property owners that their notice to terminate was not valid. So today and the next x days, I’ll be emptying the house of everything in it, and getting rid of h’s clothes was somehow a good start.

The phone is still blocked because we are now in our anniversary time, and no way in hell can I take any news from h while I’m preparing to leave here. I set an agreement with myself that I won’t check filters or anything else until after D and I have been stationed well in our next place for a while.

I might have thought last night that wearing his clothes to bed would elicit something of him in dreams. I didn’t sleep long, though, and I don’t remember any; I don’t think it did. And that’s not why I threw them out first thing this morning. The truth is they were left here almost five years ago, and we both have changed considerably since. I haven’t seen him in three years but I’m pretty sure whatever he left here is functionally obsolete.
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Life goes on.
#67: June 10, 2021, 03:32:04 PM
Terra, much transition is going on in your life. As some of the physical remnants of the past are cleared away, I hope that some of the emotional burdens are also eased. I wish you peace and comfort as you move forward to the next stage in your journey.
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Re: Life goes on.
#68: June 11, 2021, 08:11:09 AM
Curiosity, as always, (((HUGS))) and thank you. I’m challenged but taking each day as it comes, and adjusting minute by minute as needed.

*

Last night D and her dad came by to pick up textbooks to be returned to school. I had picked up one of the Lit class novels months ago to parallel her reading and when she collected the book last night I kind of laughed at how I hadn’t been able to set apart time to finish reading it, although her class finished months ago.

The book was “Lord of the Flies”, the well-known and pretty tragic island story, of children unsupervised and left to their own decisions and devices.

I think part of why I couldn’t finish it was just ...how the story seemed starkly alike h somewhere else, left to his own machinations.

Anyway.

Standing in the driveway at dusk last night, I saw again how the three of us, the family that was before h, got along cleanly and well and without any weird power trips. D’s dad had some sort of major crisis or break from reality around age 40 and that’s when he divorced me in a pretty cruel and prolonged set of actions. I couldn’t deal with him for years, like, filed for restraining orders because he was so aggressive then. But after I countered his divorce with a church annulment, everything got peaceful somehow, as if that had been the only right action needed.

Last night xh bent toward a stack of kitchen things out in front of the house and said “Is this... [brand name]?”

I said that it was. And he laughed and said he just made me $$$. “This stuff is worth a small fortune.”

It was and it is, it’s beautiful and it lasts forever. It’s quality cookware and I’ve had it since just after he left us. And h had been a cookware snob and for some reason h also had stiffly avoided ever remarking on the value of my stuff.

Xh had been that way too, during his midlife ...”business”, whatever that departure had been from being a present reasonable husband or person. And last night he wasn’t. I’m not saying xh was suddenly a new option again, or anything, but just ...it was nice to witness someone who had devalued me or my choices coming around and seeing the value in what I alone had chosen or made.

D and I aren’t moving into any sort of permanent place. I honestly don’t know how these next challenged weeks will go or where we will end up. So although one of those pieces was a $$$ gift from my now totally estranged mother years ago, and another was a deliberate $$$ purchase back when I had a new higher salary and the conviction of a years-long employment in just the right role, I told xh he could take them. They need to be washed well because they are full of dust and spiders. But there is no more kitchen to put them in, and they are for winter soups and heavy duty cooking, and I anticipate this summer will be hot and a bit weary, so I am hoping to just travel light.

At the end of the visit, D said “I forgot to hug you. It’s ok, we can hug over the gate.” So we did and as we did, her dad said, “:o BUNNY!”

And I wasn’t really listening because I was hugging my kid. “Do you see it?!” she asked me, and I hadn’t — so we looked and there it was, the cottontail on the driveway, just watching.

I will miss the rabbits here. I will just really, really miss moments like that.

It’s the second time her dad has seen the cottontail. I’m glad he has seen them here. They lope around easily and unafraid. I’ve been a good presence to them, just quiet and natural, and their proximity in turn has been like heaven to me.

Then the rabbit and the child and her father all went away, and the sun went down behind the hills, and it was just me again.

Sometime hours later last night, done for the day, I remembered what day it was and what time of year and I thought of h.

And I’ll tell you, the difference between h’s temperament and D’s dad’s, I instantly recoiled.

H’s behavior and approach these last 12 months have been so aggressive and cold that I can’t bear the thought of him ever being in front of me again. Like, the thought of him returning scares me to death; I can’t take even one more aggression from him.

I tried to think how he would have witnessed any of the interaction with D last night, because although it’s clear I am pressured and working hard alone to sort and parse every object and thing of value or sentiment or scrap that we own, and also handling legal actions or responses and using every part of my addled brain, D is ragging me about something she feels very passionately about. She’s good-natured about it, but persistent, and ...I’m having difficulty finding right words to tell her I can’t attend that right now. That I respect her but I need help doing this other more pressing stuff.

If h were here I think it would be calamitous. If S were here, or if S were presenting same challenge, I know D and I would be on his side and also buffering so that the critical work and deadlines still are safely met — or else if S weren’t presenting same challenge, he’d be on D’s side and yet also buffering between her and us two adults.

S and xh are actually similar, although I can’t say that to anyone. Xh also, I know, would just love S the way D and I do, even though they’ve never met. I think S would appreciate xh too, partly because that is D’s own dad.

So that’s all weird and out of nowhere really. I put it here today because maybe some new reader has blended family or second marriage and might be trying to normalize or figure something out. I don’t know what my story gives to you but just know your family is not alone in the morass of midlife challenges.

I cried a lot this morning when I woke up. It’s funny because sometimes it takes nearly an hour for me to find the right train of thought to get out of bed and start moving through the day’s actions and needs, and often, it’s the hour of mental sorting that is needed first and foremost, and it can’t move forward until there has been the hard release of memory, hurt, and a LOT of hard tears.

For anyone newly arrived to the board here, I’m just telling you this is normal. You’re not crazy. This passage is hard, harder and more painful than childbirth, and it’s you giving birth to a new stronger more tender and wise You. It’s a grief process and a monumental effort and the result, whatever result, is going to be good.

You, I, we all, just need to keep going.

*

I am still upset about h being willfully gone.

I am still upset that he gave our whole life and future and profit to someone else.

I think it’s important to note that here; he’s been gone nearly five full years, with the person he hid and then left us for.

Last month he contacted me to acknowledge that I am the last person he severed ties with, and that he has now also disowned S.

So we are moving forward here, and I feel mentally and financially crippled and abandoned, but ...we are still moving forward.

Because in all of this, you kind of can’t just sit still. We can stand, for our spouse or marriage or family or kids, but it’s imperative that we keep progressing.

And for as much support or clarity we might receive or find on boards like this one and in other stories or even churches or therapist offices, a lot of the work we have to do, we do alone. We sit alone. We sleep alone. We move alone.

This is ok.

I want you to know that: it’s all ok. No one can do the inner work for us. No one can decide what is important or valuable to you or in you. You decide that; you’re the only one who can.

I’m saying it to you because I have to say it to myself, because not many others say it to me out loud.

I’m saying it out loud to you, because I’m there and I’m sure of it. This is a hard passage, harder and more painful than childbirth, more painful than gallstones or broken bones, and still you will get through it all and it’s going to be ok.

Notice where you are right and I promise there will be proofs down the road that you are and always were. You’ve got what it takes to get through every second of this long unwanted challenge. It may take ages but the hard times are going to pass, and you get to come out of it lighter and stronger and it’s just going to be ok.
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Re: Life goes on.
#69: June 11, 2021, 08:34:40 AM
I am still upset that he gave our whole life and future and profit to someone else.

Phew, that is a rough way to look at it but it really is the truth, isn't it?

As my D says, this should be criminal. At minimum anyone that does this to their family should have to get an identifying marker to warn society of who they are. I recommended a scarlet letter, she went further and said "face tattoo". OW too.
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Me - 51, xh - 52
Together 26 years - Married 24 at separation
D - 23, S - 20
No BD - gradually moved out into our vacation house starting 8.20

 

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