Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Our Community => Topic started by: Songanddance on June 15, 2020, 02:29:02 AM

Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on June 15, 2020, 02:29:02 AM
Morning - it's been a while since I last posted anything on my story( August 2019) and I spent a lot of time wondering whether it was  useful to start a new thread.

I decided that it was -  join me.

Quick recap for newbies

BD March 2013 LIYBINILWY 
OW discovered a few weeks later
H stayed at home but continued affair with OW for 3.5 years  (legally couldn't kick him out without selling which I was not prepared to do)
3 grown children at time of BD (24,22 and 15)  Hit S 15 the hardest and his life spiralled downwards with severe depression and anger and (I have since discovered) attempted suicide whilst at Uni. Now he is addicted to mild drugs and cannot hold down any form of paid employment.  Two Ds coped well and were a valuable source of comfort in my times of need.
5 months after BD started therapy which included EMDR and use of NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and after 18 months I was in such a better place for my emotional health. I am still in touch with her and occasionally do a life skills top up
2016 Took early retirement from the career I loved (having been bullied for 4 years by my boss) and since then I haven't looked back thanks to my pension of 33 years.

2016 - 2020
my oldest D married and one year later divorced her H ( it was one of those relationships that many of us knew wouldn't work out - just gut feeling)  and now she is with her new partner and he is a keeper. He is calm, calls her out and is just a lovely earnest young man who has had in his past serious life issues to deal with but he fully understands healing, self worth and working on self improvement. 
My youngest D produced my gorgeous grand- daughter. No longer with the father but both co-parent really well
S - slowly beginning to work on himself and move forward with his life.

I retrained as a life coach, specialising in NLP but am not a "master trainer or practitioner" - still very much a student. I also teach and coach privately in communication skills and work in youth theatre.  I look back at my previous career and now know that it was one of the best decisions I ever made to leave it before I "had " to.

H started reconnecting sometime during 2017 and for a considerable while especially when S was away for a year 2018 - we got on really well. However any R conversations (very few) always led to the same result - H was not "ready to re-commit " to the marriage and still wanted to be on his own.

By 2019 - no change to how H felt and so I had fully intended to sell the house and we move our separate ways but so much needed to be done on the house that the timing wasn't right and then 2020 Covid 19.

Now - the house will be on the market very soon.  H is reluctant to sell but I have had enough of "waiting". 
Don't get me wrong I love this house - like many of us this was meant to be our forever home for grandchildren and beyond but I know that I am unable to continue living as "roommates"

I am not interested in seeking a new relationship but after 7 + years of living with a stay at homer who still isn't out of the tunnel really, I need to pull away.

Update on our R:

H fluctuates from showing concern and care for me to working long hours with no communication and still demonstrates narcissistic behaviour. 
He fluctuates from listening to not hearing. 
He fluctuates from making gentle caring compassionate comments and decisions to selfish, thoughtless ones. 
He fluctuates from being part of the family to not being around at all - for example it was my birthday recently. His card to me was simply " Happy Birthday "  from H and then even though our oldest D was coming round for dinner (and we hadn't seen her since lockdown) he went out and didn't return till late.   I don't think it was embarrassment; it was probably more out of his still existent victim mentality that he shows from time to time.
We do laugh together more and I am able to call him out much more. Not only that the fixer in me has dissipated so much that if I choose to help I ask him if I can help rather than automatically doing so. If he is rude in his response then I walk away.
 
He still plays the pursuit and distance dance and I know it.
For example
Two days ago I mentioned that I was feeling constantly weary and run down as well as losing the ability to find the right words.
H expressed concern and asked me lots of questions about my symptoms (my dad had heart problems and mum had early onset Alzheimers taking her 28 years ago at 66)
This morning - " How was I feeling? "  When I said that I felt a bit brighter because I had slept solidly - it suddenly became all about him again and how busy and tired he was.   Check that the spouse is ok and carry on regardless!!

If this is reconnection then it has taken over 2.5 years - a long long time. If this is reconnection then why does he still want to have his own place.  This is something that blew up just before lockdown.  S was having another heated debate with me ( unwilling participant) and H stood up and said " This is why I have to leave"

H has also never apologised to me for hurting me.  He has said " I'm sorry that you were hurt"  but what I need to hear is " I'm sorry that I, my actions and behaviour, hurt you"

It seems that the longer it takes for me to hear this, the less I am prepared to stand. 

Hence my decision to inhale the future and exhale the past.  The future is for me and not me and H at the moment -I'm not saying that it won't ever be for both of us.  The sale of the house has to happen now because I need to break with everything that it stands for both good and bad.

Dr Lee Baucom (whose tapes also helped me in the early days) once said that if you do not heal in yourself, then making big decisions is the not wisest thing to do.  If you move house and you aren't healed, then all you do is take that baggage with you. 

I'm pretty sure I have no baggage anymore. 
I am ready for the change which will be scary and unknown but as Buddha says
" What you are is what you have been - what you'll be is what you do now"




Last thread
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10813.0;all

Previous threads in order

http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=3584.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=3720.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=3791.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=3880.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=3977.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4168.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4362.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4460.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4554.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4632.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4942.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=5199.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=6277.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=5753.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=6715.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=7192.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=7942.0
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=9188.0
 http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=9495.0
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10371.0;all
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10501.0;all
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: xyzcf on June 15, 2020, 05:42:00 AM
Thank you Song for sharing your update.

Hard for me to find words, but I can relate, to a man who cannot connect ...it really is not "normal" to be so distant and I am trying to put into words my own experience because it feels similar to yours, although there has never been a "reconnection" but a certain amount of contact but absolutely no "realness" in those contacts and they still have the ability to upset me.

It may be harder for you at this point because of the need to sell your house and set him free.

Quote
then even though our oldest D was coming round for dinner (and we hadn't seen her since lockdown) he went out and didn't return till late.   

We had a similar thing happen at Christmas and with the pandemic, he will not be able to see our daughter for a very long time..it is so bizarre.

I am in therapy for a bit, the world is so unsettling and I expressed to her that no one escapes pain in life. That I had 55 really good years and 11 really bad years in my life and then she asked me, so what do I want now?

I just want peace in my life. I have found things that bring me joy and I don't want that upset anymore. So we have to look at what is robbing us of our joy?

As your wrote in the quote from Buddha:
" What you are is what you have been - what you'll be is what you do now"

Thank you for your openness and honesty.

I think that for some, the crisis is due to something "pathological" in that they may never return to the guys we knew.

Looking forward to hearing more about your journey forward.

Good luck!
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: 9393roo on June 15, 2020, 06:10:51 AM
Quote
Dr Lee Baucom (whose tapes also helped me in the early days) once said that if you do not heal in yourself, then making big decisions is the not wisest thing to do.  If you move house and you aren't healed, then all you do is take that baggage with you. 

Thank you for posting Song.  The above quote hits hard for me today.  I’ve had lots of roller coaster riding with my H the last week.  I have been starting to make big decisions in my head, but know I need to slow down and fix myself first.  Getting off the ride today and doing just that. 

My story may end up looking much like yours.  Not sure of commitment from my H, still won’t deal with the pain he caused.  (I too have heard, I’m sorry YOU feel that way). And much of everything  is still about him.  I will be following your story with interest.  You seem like a calm, strong, sensible person.  You will be ok no matter what path you chose.

Roo

Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: lawprofessor on June 15, 2020, 06:23:09 AM
Forward to the future!  I can't wait to hear of all the new adventures just waiting to happen!

Lp
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: barbiedoll on June 18, 2020, 06:29:46 AM
Thanks for updating Song and deciding it was worth it. I never realized before but we have the same BD date  March 2013. Seems unreal we are still affected by something that happened 7 years ago. Still trying to sort our lives out from words and actions strung together by another person. All of it takes a very very long time.

I am not at all surprised that you believe it is time to sell and pick a new direction and course for your life. I do not think it is an easy decision as I know you were hoping for a different ending. I have been there ( and back) many times ..sell everything and move on from a disaster that seems unfixable at times. I have been desperate enough at times to just walk away from it all ...let him have everything and just "flee" and never look back. Of course that would be very unwise . But during those times it had rather exciting moments of imagining my own little home , my freedom to have it any way I wanted, to travel and be unburdened by the presence of a MLC'er . It was appealing and exciting rather than scary and dark....I assumed that was an indication that I had done some healing work and especially some work with acceptance. Acceptance meaning I no longer try to change anything....it is what it is , he is who he is ...and perhaps it is not enough.

I know your H has failed to apologize in a meaningful way. To say "I am sorry you were hurt" is substandard to say the least. To refer to you as "part of the landscape" is as insulting as my H telling me that sex with me was "duty sex" ...nothing he really wanted to do. It stays with you in deep cuts and wounds. Changes everything about marriage and "love".   My husband has since apologized for so many nasty horrid things ….but , the hurt remains . It will take many apologies to erase what he did and said , and honestly it may not be enough to change the impact his words had on me as a wife and mother. His apologies did NOT change my hurt and injury . In fact, I could not feel any emotion about his apologies. They were just words that I believed he thought he "should say" rather than actually truly mean. "Duty -words" .  I still have trouble hearing or seeing emotion from him. Perhaps that is destroyed trust or a hardened heart . I am not sure.

I do know that one of the most profound statements for me was a therapist who asked me " Why are you waiting for him to decide what is going to happen in YOUR life?".  Hmmmmm…. much thought was inspired by that question.  I think you know the answer for YOU and have chosen your path and that is to be admired indeed.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: 9393roo on June 18, 2020, 07:21:32 AM
Quote
I do know that one of the most profound statements for me was a therapist who asked me " Why are you waiting for him to decide what is going to happen in YOUR life?".

This is very profound.  Thanks for sharing Barbie. 
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on June 18, 2020, 08:00:28 AM
Thanks Ladies

This thread I guess is one that most won't want to read because it talks about moving forward without my H; therefore separating and not standing.

Separating does not mean not standing nor does it mean that divorce is inevitable; it just means that any chance of reconciliation is much much further off than I had thought.

H has been a stay at homer for 7 years - he never left.  I'm tired.

Since the last post though, H has been cycling towards again including bringing me a morning coffee whilst I am in bed.  That is very new.  When he has asked where something has gone or played the "someone has taken" conspiracy game- I have laughed out loud, called him out in a cheery way and either offered or refused to help.

My biggest challenge is S22.  His behaviour has become worse and he is (and my second D has seen this many times recently) very emotionally abusive to me. 
I have begun to dread talking with him in case he reacts.  It's like when H was in vile monster mode all over again but this time with S.

So that's another reason for moving.  My own space and my S is not welcome and he has already said he needs to go.

Interestingly my sister sent me a youube link to a talk on parents of narcissistic children and it struck home and I sobbed and I sobbed.

I have found myself plunging into a sense of despair that feels like I did 5 months after BD and just before I met my wonderful T.  I cannot contact her at the moment because of all the restrictions and online just isn't the same.

It made me realise that I have still yet to heal over this too.  I still have much growing to do. 
I am a people pleaser and I hate walking into conflict so I use humour or quietness to deflect.  Consequently my boundaries with S have become blurred.

So I have downloaded some useful little books by Patrick King and am working my way through them. The first one of my list is  about being a people pleaser; he gave a list of 30 traits and I ticked every single one of them.  He talks about FOO issues and I now know exactly where I got it from - my mum who was funny, warm and loving but always taught me to shut up when it came to family discussions - keep your head down and be quiet. 
Funnily enough I could enter a debate at work and put my points across in a healthy way and engage in a healthy constructive argument but I couldn't do it with my family.

I was also compared to my sister a lot and so I sought validation from many people and realised that I still do.

On reading this one section I burst into tears because I have always felt that I am not enough as I am
"Deep down, you’re convinced that you’re not enough as you are and that you’re not worthy of love, and this leads you to always being on your guard for imminent rejection. You become overly sensitive to any cues that may signal such rejection, and that includes any frown or offhand remark of disappointment from people you try to refuse."

King, Patrick. Stop People Pleasing: Be Assertive, Stop Caring What Others Think, Beat Your Guilt, & Stop Being a Pushover (Be Confident and Fearless Book 1) (p. 51). Kindle Edition.

This hit home. I still don't respect myself enough.  I place external values above inner values.

This is something I have to work on - I also have to work out why I seem to be going backwards and feeling such troughs of sadness.

Therefore I may journal on this thread  and it may seem like self pity - for a while it will be because of my choice of vocabulary.  I'll get better because the one thing I know is that if I can deal with heartbreak and the break up of my marriage and H's monster antics  - I can deal with this latest challenge and grow some more.

Thanks for coming along and joining me.


Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: 3Boys4Me on June 18, 2020, 09:32:04 AM
Following along Song, I think you may be surprised to find many reading along BECAUSE you are willing to share your experience in a real and raw way, and to have the wisdom of other vets chime in who have been navigating MLC and reconnection, or the lack of it, for so long has tremendous value to those of us who are newer in our process.

My heart aches at each story yet the awe and appreciation for I feel regarding all of your courage, stamina, and personal growth far outweighs the grief.  The bite of grief hits first, but then recognizing all your strength at 7, 10 or eleven years fills me with hope and peace for the future.

I’m grateful for this thread.
3Boys
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Tuesday on June 18, 2020, 10:01:34 AM
I have always been a people pleaser. It stinks, because it becomes so ingrained in you that it is a DIFFICULT cycle to break. I can’t stand feeling like I have let someone down, which is probably why, my husband knows exactly how to use that against me when he is “just being honest” about my shortcomings.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: terra on June 18, 2020, 10:09:12 AM
Following along, Song. I’m glad you are getting your own place.

HUGS. The stuff with your S is hard to bear, I know. One thing to remember is that he is still very young yet and not quite fully adult. Technically he’s adult and technically he gets to make his own choices how to “be” with others, but even aside from the fact of your parent status, as a human person and adult yourself, you get to decide whether you accept or engage with that, and how.

Boundaries are good. You already know that so well.

My heart is with you.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Treasur on June 18, 2020, 12:32:52 PM
Funny how self pity could also be clear-eyed acceptance and self-compassion with a different hat 🎩 and less baggage.... :)
Just a thought... ;)
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: FaithWalker on June 18, 2020, 01:57:04 PM
Attaching
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Nerissa on June 18, 2020, 03:31:21 PM
Funny how self pity could also be clear-eyed acceptance and self-compassion with a different hat 🎩 and less baggage.... :)
Just a thought... ;)

Yes - calling your feelings ‘self pity’ is denigrating them - pushing valid feelings away and making them unimportant.  Exactly what we people pleasers do, so it may be part of your ‘script’. 

Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Upintheair on June 18, 2020, 03:35:45 PM
Attaching.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: xyzcf on June 18, 2020, 05:03:07 PM
I am very glad Song that you are sharing your journey. There are still several of us who continue to have struggles with what happened......and the similarities reassure me that I am not unusual or abnormal  :).

I have gone back to therapy for a bit anyway, and it's been very helpful and enlightening.

Your husband stayed at home, mine remained in sporadic contact...I don't know if I could go back if I would change that, but I do know that contact takes it's toil on us.

Barbie wrote:

Quote
I do know that one of the most profound statements for me was a therapist who asked me " Why are you waiting for him to decide what is going to happen in YOUR life?". 

In my last therapy session I said " no one escapes pain in life. I had 55 really good years, and 11 really bad ones"..my therapist then asked me " so what do you want the future ones to be?

More work to do...and like you, I am tired of all this  and the crumbs he has thrown my way and still, still being affected by him.

I appreciate that you are writing about things Song, it helps all of us.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on June 19, 2020, 01:14:12 AM
Funny how self pity could also be clear-eyed acceptance and self-compassion with a different hat 🎩 and less baggage.... :)
Just a thought... ;)

Oh Treasur - what a treasure you are.  Thank you for the reframe.  Sometimes so hard to do when it is a personal issue....
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Treasur on June 19, 2020, 01:32:45 AM
Funny how self pity could also be clear-eyed acceptance and self-compassion with a different hat 🎩 and less baggage.... :)
Just a thought... ;)

Oh Treasur - what a treasure you are.  Thank you for the reframe.  Sometimes so hard to do when it is a personal issue....

Ha ha, been there, got the t shirt lol
You're very welcome....sometimes we LBS can find it hard to be as honestly compassionate to ourselves as we try so hard to be with others eh? And we can see how appropriate it is for othet LBS but not ourselves.... ::)
Whatever you do next, whatever you did, whatever mistakes you think you made, whatever failings of character you think you have....you tried hard for a long time to do your very best, Song. To treat others with the kind of generosity, respect, acceptance and patience that you were rarely receiving in return.....as a human, as a spouse, as a parent. That is not nothing imho, that repeated effort to try to be a decent quality human treading as lightly as you can on others sore spots while trying to heal your own.

The winds change and draw us to a different direction or strategy over time perhaps....but trying so hard to be a decent human is not nothing, the world tbh needs a little more of it  :)
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on June 19, 2020, 02:03:00 AM
I have always been a people pleaser. It stinks, because it becomes so ingrained in you that it is a DIFFICULT cycle to break. I can’t stand feeling like I have let someone down, which is probably why, my husband knows exactly how to use that against me when he is “just being honest” about my shortcomings.

Correct - the level of guilt in letting people down and then the feeling of martyrdom that then follows is most definitely people pleasing.  My H hasn't emotionally used this against me but I know he relies on it.  I know that he thinks S&D is reliable and therefore has "permission" to cycle without acknowledging or even being aware of any consequences. 

Quote
I am very glad Song that you are sharing your journey. There are still several of us who continue to have struggles with what happened......and the similarities reassure me that I am not unusual or abnormal  :).

I have gone back to therapy for a bit anyway, and it's been very helpful and enlightening.

Thanks xy - I am contemplating calling my T up anyway.  She is so concise and her questions are so probing that I usually end up in tears because of the cathartic nature of the sessions.  I miss her and yet I also know what she would say " What makes you say/think/feel that." or "Help me to understand what exactly you are saying"   So until I can see her again I'm going to pose those questions to myself so that I can voice more precisely exactly what it is that has made me feel as though I'm spiralling down a little.
Funny how self pity could also be clear-eyed acceptance and self-compassion with a different hat 🎩 and less baggage.... :)
Just a thought... ;)

Yes - calling your feelings ‘self pity’ is denigrating them - pushing valid feelings away and making them unimportant.  Exactly what we people pleasers do, so it may be part of your ‘script’. 

And those are two really good points.  People pleasers automatically denigrate their own feelings through the lack of their self worth and yes LBSers do have their own script too just like MLCers - the only difference is that the moment we realise we are reciting script we learn to change a lot faster than MLCers (well most of us on here do).

Quote
The stuff with your S is hard to bear, I know. One thing to remember is that he is still very young yet and not quite fully adult. Technically he’s adult and technically he gets to make his own choices how to “be” with others, but even aside from the fact of your parent status, as a human person and adult yourself, you get to decide whether you accept or engage with that, and how.
Terra I see where you are coming from and yet you are perhaps unaware that my S had to hold me up (we held each other a lot) at BD. He was 15 at the time and at a crucial stage in his schooling and it affected his GCSEs quite badly.  He started smoking and rebelling and he and H got into physical altercations a couple of times.  S also attempted suicide whilst he loved away from home at drama school but swore his friends to silence.  Not long after BD S threatened to kill H and I found him outside my room with a kitchen knife in his hand.  For the next few weeks , the knives were removed from the drawer.   All of this and much more are in my threads. 
The final thing that you may be unaware of is that S is addicted to mild drugs.  Half the time in his anger it is "withdrawal" and half the time it is his overwhelming desire to show me how much he hates the fact that H never left, that I didn't have the balls to kick him out  etc....and that he cannot understand the power of love.

He felt that he had to save me because I relied on him in the early days. His hero (his Dad) let him down very very badly.  My 2 Ds lived far away from home.  He was my rock and Yes I do feel guilty now that I did this to him.  So I converted him to my rescuer and that was the worst thing (in hindsight) I could have done and it is well known that rescuers can become persecutors.  This is on me and I cannot fix him but I can fix myself.

So whilst I'm not blaming myself for S's behaviour (his choices are on him and he acknowledges what one of his therapists said that he is symptomatic of  borderline and narcissistic personality disorders and ironically seems to revel in it which only confirms the narcissism), I have to develop the balls to grow so that he cannot affect me as much. I can understand and empathise all I like with his "condition" but I have to learn to detach and not take what he says quite so personally or defensively.

The one thing that keeps me going is that he does talk to his sisters and they assure me that he feels tremendous guilt when he rages and in fairness to him he will apologise but both my Ds agree and have explained to me that the next phase is on me to reconstruct my approach to him and to do it that it benefits me regardless of how it affects him.

I am bizarrely quite lucky to have these challenges which I can and will overcome because if I didn't how would I grow.  Inhaling the future and exhaling the past!


Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Maleficent on June 19, 2020, 06:43:41 AM

Whatever you do next, whatever you did, whatever mistakes you think you made, whatever failings of character you think you have....you tried hard for a long time to do your very best, Song. To treat others with the kind of generosity, respect, acceptance and patience that you were rarely receiving in return.....as a human, as a spouse, as a parent.

Wish there was a Heart "button" Love this quote.  And so true for all of us. 

S&D thank you for continuing to post and showing us that the world beyond reconciliation is not filled with unicorns and rainbows, although I wish it were.  Hugs and sending blessings along your way.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on June 22, 2020, 01:11:31 AM
A little anecodote.

When H was seeing OW in 2013,he bought 10 little torches that her son was selling so that he could go on a trip with the organisation that had them made.  (sorry will not name the organisation so)

H brought them home.  I refused to have them in the house. And so they sat in his workshop - not my job to clean it or remove them. 

Yesterday H was searching for a little battery like a watch battery.  He found one and it was in one of the remaining torches.  He then said " I found one"
Me " Oh yes where"
H " In one of the torches that you refused to have in the house"

He remembered this?????   He remembered that I had done that.

Instantly my mind went to RCR's comment about how MLCers do pay attention, they do remember what we say or do and they do notice what goes on.  Not all of the time as we know that memories also get very blurred.  However he remembered this little moment in the OW history.
My reply " Cool - well they had some use after all!"

Fascinating but newbies reading this - I can confirm that small though this is - how you behave and respond in the early days really does matter.  The calmer you are, the firmer you are and the boundaries you set do help.

Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: 3Boys4Me on June 25, 2020, 08:31:04 AM
S&D,
Thanks for sharing the torch story. I had a bit of a flashback this morning to something that happened three year’s ago, “in the beginning” - it was so small I felt like it won’t/wouldn’t register, but your story reminds me that the MLCer does have the capacity to hear and listen - the processing part though.... ugh!

Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: KeepItTogether on June 25, 2020, 09:48:17 AM
Yes I am fairly certain that my initial rage and lashing out (all via text though bc he was long gone), is what is likely keeping him from actually returning now. But, it was how I was back then, and now I've grown from it. I've shown kindness too though. And put up with a lot in order to ensure S gets as much time as possible with a runaway dad. 

But I agree that they will remember some small things too that we might think insignificant. And if they truly grow and become better humans, they will be able to see their role in our breakdowns as well. Not that it matters of course. But it is nice to be validated as an LBS too sometimes.

Thanks for sharing this story.  I can't imagine the strength you had in order to be calm enough to require the torches not enter your home when you knew exactly where they came from. Not sure I could do that.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on June 26, 2020, 01:44:12 AM
Quote
I can't imagine the strength you had in order to be calm enough to require the torches not enter your home when you knew exactly where they came from. Not sure I could do that.

I don't think I was calm at the time but when I am angry I go quiet and that is what H experienced. 

Oh he brought a lot of her c**p back to our house.  But by then I had created the boundary that her name wasn't to be mentioned in our house unless I mentioned it.  And every time he brought it back I refused or threw it out when he was out.  For example he brought back a cake she had made!!!!    The following day I threw it in the bin. He asked where it was and I told him that anything she made  would be thrown out. If he wanted to eat it - he could go and live with her.

I will share the letter that she wrote me (it was on a really early thread so needs searching) just to remind people how dysfunctional the OW can be.

Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on July 17, 2020, 02:30:26 AM
Not really an update - just journalling.

I was just answering on a newbie's thread as to whether her H was having a second MLC. It really got me thinking.

RCR does talk about MLCers often never leaving escape and avoid.  I think that even though H and I had a long period of reconnection my H is there.

He has a very nice lady who does the paperwork for his business.  I am used to this as long before BD I would do it for H and then his long term friend took over as his business expanded but she eventually gave up having witnessed BD and the followign years he had with OW.  For the last year or so another person has taken over the paperwork.  (H has never coped with paperwork).  I don't think there is anything going on or reciprocated but it is clear that H has a bit of a crush on her.  For a while I kept hearing  "OP this and OP that and how marvellous she was."  IN order to expand his business to the US last year he took her on the business trip for 3 weeks with the permission of her H.

She is stable and I am pretty convinced unaware of H's affection (she is charging him a fortune and he is paying her quite happily)  and it is clear from mutual long term friends that it is most definitely one sided. However I am uneasy - not through jealousy but tiredness.

I had the occasion to watch H interact with her last week.  He didn't see me doing it but it was another confirmation that perhaps H is still in escape and avoid.

When I first knew H he would do things like open the car door for me - let me on the inside of the pavement etc.... just little things.  That stopped some time ago even before BD.   I saw him do this for OW and I was told by well meaning friends how gentlemanly he was. 
However when I saw him do this recently with her - escape and avoid bells rang.

I am honestly convinced that this will not escalate (and even if it did, I'm done in a heartbeat and with a phelgmatic attitude - meh!)

I am more convinced than ever that H is still searching for external sources of pleasure to avoid facing what he has done and what he is feeling. He has never really left escape and avoid. He is out of the MLC replay tunnel but he is not through with the issues that put him there into denial and escape and avoid in the first place.

1. He is so focussed on making money he took out a loan (against his business and the house is protected) to buy out a business he had 50% shares in.
2. He is completely pre-occupied with rebuilding his plane rather than helping prepare the house for sale - so avoiding the issue.
3. He complains of being busy, busy, busy (heard this a lot before BD)
4. He  moaned about giving the children money for their birthdays (2 of them within 1 day of each other) but happily spent the same amount of money on buying a piece of equipment for his hobby.
5. He will watch TV with me but we are just housemates still.  He is unable to discuss the house sale, he is unable to talk about anything personal or share thoughts with me. He does however say thank you if I or D have cooked enough of a meal to leave something for him or he will eat with us. But the thank you is always prefaced with " you didn't need to do that" .  At first I took that as a sign of "guilt" but now it seems as though he feels obliged to say it.

In essence whilst I know we haven't gone backwards - it feels as though we haven't moved forward from reconnection. The reconnection has halted and did so probably last year.  I don't think I'm stuck but I'm now fairly convinced he's stuck.

Nothing I can do about it - absolutely nothing except be true to myself and continue with my plans. However I do think that he will remain stuck and, even if he did ask how to get unstuck, he wouldn't really appreciate how he needs to do it for himself. He would go through the motions but never really face himself in the process.

Escape and Avoid is much misunderstood because most if not all of us focus on the replay.  Then we look for signs of withrawal and acceptance.  I think escape and avoid is a much larger and ironically easier beast to "ignore" or pretend it's all over because monster and replay is no longer there.


Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: 9393roo on July 17, 2020, 05:29:12 AM
S and D I could have written all of this myself.  Almost every word.  I have been trying to figure out if my H was having another crisis because he did move past replay antics and started to reconnect.  He is very much in escape and avoid.  I had a conversation with him yesterday that confirmed this.  When I mentioned that our marriage was in trouble because of all of his working and rebuilding his company he told me he sees nothing wrong.  I said we have a big communication problem and asked if he was I interested in getting help, he told me he didn’t want to see a marriage counselor because they will remind him of all the bad things he’s done in the past and he refuses to go back there.  When I told him I was doing meditation and it was really calming and helping me cope he told me that he doesn’t want to do it because it will ruin his “drive for success”

He still has the need to impress other women, he still has the need to get attention for what he has done not who he is.  He has turned into a roommate as well.  I’m getting our house ready to sale too and it is bothering him.  He wants everything to stay in place concerning me while he goes on his merry way.  I see more and more daily.  None of this will ever change unless he faces things.  He is stubborn and proud and at this point I don’t see that happening. He may be another one that will be stuck in escape and avoid forever.

None of this MLC is linear.  I know we all want to believe that they follow the same path, but they don’t.  Thanks for posting, you’ve given me much to think about.  Trying to figure out now where I am headed because I’m fairly certain he is not headed my way anymore.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on July 17, 2020, 05:38:34 AM
THanks Roo - good to know it's not just me thinking this way.

My H very similar on the sale of our house too.  He won't let me book anyone to do the work needed (financially I personally can't at the mo) and says that he will do it. But it's been two years since he did the kitchen floor and I am still waiting for the other floors offshooting the kitchen such as the utility room to be laid. 

I am at the point of digging into what little savings I have left to just get someone in. 
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on July 18, 2020, 09:01:59 AM
Hello,

This is very interesting. To be honest, I always held a "fantasy" image about reconnection. I thought life would blossom all over again and my ex would love me more than ever. In fact, I often didn't read the light purple or purple because and I felt that those threads were all the victory lap.  I would read them after she came back to me. Your stories bring a huge does of reality. My question is, "What do you want? What do you expect?" Just because they come home doesn't mean you have to take them back or stay either.

Quote
However when I saw him do this recently with her - escape and avoid bells rang.

I get that he has a desire to be noticed, that this is part of his pursuit. "She will see me and so will everyone else for the nice guy I am." However, does he still do it for you? If not, why not make him. You are the queen. and he needs to treat you like the queen.  I open the door for my wife. Now my dad opens the door for my mom. See, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

For me, I do it because it helps slow me down, to focus and enjoy the journey, not the race to the destination.

Quote
1. He is so focussed on making money he took out a loan (against his business and the house is protected) to buy out a business he had 50% shares in.
2. He is completely pre-occupied with rebuilding his plane rather than helping prepare the house for sale - so avoiding the issue.
3. He complains of being busy, busy, busy (heard this a lot before BD)
4. He  moaned about giving the children money for their birthdays (2 of them within 1 day of each other) but happily spent the same amount of money on buying a piece of equipment for his hobby.
5. He will watch TV with me but we are just housemates still.  He is unable to discuss the house sale, he is unable to talk about anything personal or share thoughts with me.

So, do you feel as if you are in a marriage? What if he makes a lot of money, then what? Did he come back for you or did he just think that life as it was would just start, that his little foray would just be stored in the attic until it was completely forgotten?

I ask these questions because many of us that stood or currently stand think that the reconnection and rebuilding is about the MLCer doing the work and we sit back and make them earn their stripes back so to speak. In fact your story and posts are significant to not only understanding the crisis, but understanding that the end to the journey is not when they walk back through the door.

((((Hugs))) and more ((((Hugs)))

Ready

Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on July 18, 2020, 10:12:48 AM
Quote
However, does he still do it for you?

Quote
So, do you feel as if you are in a marriage? What if he makes a lot of money, then what? Did he come back for you or did he just think that life as it was would just start, that his little foray would just be stored in the attic until it was completely forgotten?

In short NO and CORRECT. 
During the first few months, maybe year of reconnection, he was very careful and concerned.  He took me out for lunch, dinner, trips out but refused to have an R discussion.   
When this lady (Let's call her P) comes to do office work over here he asks her out for lunch and tells me that he is off for lunch.  No attempt to ask me out to join them.  He doesn't have to ask me of course because they may be discussing business, but he has gone backwards in a way.

However he has still not acknowledged in words that what he has done was wrong.  I know that Anjae and NYM have berated me for wanting to hear these words " I am sorry that I hurt you S&D"    What I have heard is "I'm sorry that you were hurt" and said in the same tone as " Pass the salt"

I honestly think he believes he has crept back into the marriage and that I am there like an old piece of furniture and yet I know that he does love me but he cannot express that anymore.  He even told me a year ago that he couldn't commit to the marriage.  He asked me what I was looking for and I kept it really simple such as a person I could share my experiences and life with, someone to travel with, someone to do joint hobbies (the way we always did until BD) with, someone to care for and to be cared for.   His response " I don't think I can do that and I don't think I can make such a commitment"
At the time I put that down to me applying too much pressure so left it alone. I had said my say and he couldn't find a way to step up.   Since then , probably now getting on for 2 years - we have never had another R conversation.

So we rattle around and he disappears to pursue his hobbies, interests when it suits him as do I (although Covid has put a severe stop to that for my performance and acting work). 
There are elements of the narcissist in him too as he always has to make an "entrance".  I was on the phone to our oldest D when he came back home one evening.  I waved and smiled at him and mouthed our D's name as he came near.  He then stood in the doorway watching and when I turned back to speak to our D and motioned him to join in the conversation by putting it on speaker phone, he walked away with a "Hello to you too..." sarcastic voice.   When we had finished I took him to task on it, his response " Oh couldn't be bothered, had a busy day!"

Couldn't be bothered to say hello to our D. 

He does a lot in interrupting what might be happening, I may be playing with our GD and he walks in insisting that I help him find something he has lost. When I  politely refuse ( no longer a fixer) he gets cross and starts talking about someone stealing from him or someone out to get him or someone taken it. 

This is not the behaviour of someone who wants back in.   This is the behaviour of someone who is too old a dog to teach new tricks to.   This is the behaviour of someone who is still in escape and avoid hoping that if he just stays on good behaviour all will be as it was before. 

But it can never be as before.  Our old marriage is dead.

Yesterday I actually found myself questioning whether I still loved him. Nothing had triggered it but I actually felt that I did love him as the man I originally knew and the man who is the father of my children.  But I found myself fully understanding and feeling the ILYBINILWY phrase.   I think I am no longer in love with him and what love I do have for him is functional, familial and brotherly.

This is sad and I have no wish to explore why - it is what it is.  The question is do I have enough for me to want to work on the marriage myself?   MY old boss (the one who bullied me) lost her husband suddenly a few weeks ago.  I was actually envious because she and he were so devoted to each other and she has taken it really (and understandably) badly and is a complete wreck.  My heart goes out to her for that pain she must be experiencing.  But I don't think that I have that level of devotion or love in me anymore for H.  That thought initially frightened me but it was the reality check I think I needed to have.   

This MLC has been over 7 years now and I cannot see a future for us both - not in the way I would like anyway. Now we are just old friends who have had children together and for a long while we had a very happy secure life together.

Until I sell the house ( which H has started to drag his heels over) I will not know what my future with him will hold.   I intend to have my own space and H says he wants his but has done nothing about finding anywhere.  Yet again, I think he thinks that it will all return to "normal" and that he will be able to rattle around in my house just like we do here.
Like Covid 19 and post Covid - there is no "back to normal" but I don't think I even have a new normal to contemplate with him.
 
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: xyzcf on July 18, 2020, 11:01:52 AM
So much resonates with me only it has been 11 years since BD.

Many contacts over the last 11 years, never one relationship talk, never the hint of any awareness of the pain he caused..totally superficial..it sucks the life out of me.

I wanted to think we could have a friendly relationship and that I could be ok with that...but in truth it wasn't any kind of relationship (although in his mind I think he could tell his "friends" that I was good and that we were friends and blah, blah,  blah).

My priest who has been on this journey with me for all these years, I went to see him last week. He's always mentioned that he thinks my husband is on the "spectrum"...not quite sure of any specific diagnosis but what he said did make sense. He said that Mr xyzcf did not seem to be able to form any emotional bonds to anyone (and that includes my daughter).

My priest questioned me if he had been that way from the time we were married, was it possible he had always been like this...no.....he may have had some traits but this person is not the person I loved for 35 years...that person doesn't exist anymore.

Gradually and painfully, I have cut those ties between us..he is no longer welcomed here and I don't respond to his text messages...it's just meaningless drivel.

I still love him...I wish I didn't..it would make things much easier on me.

But I love myself as well. I explained to my therapist that I had 55 wonderful years and then 11 really sh$&%y ones...and she posed the question to me: "So what do you want the rest of your life to be?"

Contact with him does does nothing for me...and leaves me with great sadness for what could have been.

Yet still I yearn..for a partner and a family.....and maybe that's why I convince myself, that should he ever "come back"...but not like this.....

There has to be more than this and it's totally inconsequential because he doesn't want me in his life anyway.

Song, I am not comfortable with the relationship that you describe that your husband has with this employee..just sayin'...it spells huge red flags to me.

We all do what's right for us and again, my very wise therapist has also stated that I can decide one day not to see him and then change my mind another.....I am in control of that part....

Please keep writing as things unfold. You have a really good way of explaining how things are and I think several of us are nodding our heads as we read your story.

Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Thunder on July 18, 2020, 01:06:27 PM
Yes Xyzcf, I am also nodding along with you Song.

I agree escape and avoid can last a very long time.
Even when them seem to be back to themselves, something is still off.

Very hard to admit it to yourself.  I did almost 2 years ago and walked away. It was the right thing to do, for me.

Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on August 03, 2020, 02:22:15 AM
Quick update
H has been more attentive and done quite a few jobs around the house.  We have had discussions about money and he has understood the dilemma we are in financially - nothing serious but nothing that a little more income wouldn't help.

There were double family celebrations this past weekend and H was present much of the time and there was little attempt to turn the conversation into being about him or his needs.  Bit of a shift there.

In terms of the pursuit and distance dance (and yes it still happens in reconnection) he is in a pursuit phase.  I am aware of this and not distancing per se but keeping calm and neutral - seizing good moments for sensible talking and also leaving him be.

However something amusing (well to me) at the end of the week.  H had lost his glasses which he needs for much of the time now. At first the conspiracy theory emerged and then he calmed down.  I repeated the well worn phrase "retrace your steps".  He moaned at it but actually did so appearing with his glasses about 10 mins later.

Two days later it's his phone.  I ring it and he still can't find it.  So he disappears off in a bit of a huff, reappears 5 mins later with phone saying " This retracing your steps thing works doesn't it."  ::) ::) ::) ;D ;D ;D

So no fixing from me and H has grown up a little more.

However something went click in my head yesterday.  I took the dogs for a new walk and realised that I had done this walk several years before but not since.  At first I thought - how did I forget this walk and is there something wrong with my memory.  Then I thought back.  The last time I went on this walk was not long after BD and not long before we lost one of our dogs to cancer.  I had clearly blotted out this walk as part of my memory of the shock and distress I had at the time.  How weird.  Got me thinking though about how memory can be and probably is, suppressed through shock, pain and grief. It's not so much PTSD as shutting down that part of the brain to protect oneself.

When I realised the connection with the walk and the past events, I began to feel free.  I realised that I am well on the way to being healed and that I am more detached than I had given myself credit for and I began to feel that the original me, the one before I met H, the me that fell in love with H and the me that enjoyed life to its fullest seizing every opportunity is coming back and coming back at a stronger level.

I slept very little last night, brain wasn't busy but couldn't sleep.  This morning as I write, I feel a slight shift in me.  Can't put my finger on it but I feel as though I have more purpose and more energy.  Hmmm Interesting!!

 
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Treasur on August 03, 2020, 02:40:18 AM
Quote
It's not so much PTSD as shutting down that part of the brain to protect oneself.

Imho, that's inherently what PTSD does....or if we remove the label, a standard bit of how our brains respond to traumatic experiences.
Like you, I have also found over the last few months that more of my memories are reappearing. But without the whack of emotion. And it feels like a rather interesting and sustaining bit of repair to my core self when they do.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on August 25, 2020, 02:18:35 AM
Update and recommendation - questions welcome.

My oldest D came for a visit at the weekend. Owing to an incident in her life 2 years ago she has been on a journey of self discovery.  Add to that everything she has learned with me over the last 7 years, she has really learned how to change and develop her thinking.

She mentioned a programme of short video lectures called Rewired by Dr Joe Dispenza about how the brain functions and how you can change your thinking. 

I watched the first 2 episodes last night and it is absolutely fab.  He talks about the process of change in your head to start to achieve what you want.  Now what he says is technically nothing new - I've read Zig Ziglar, Napoleon Hill, Jack Canfield etc etc etc over years before I even knew about MLC ; I've done some basic training in CBT and NLP with Richard Bandler and Paul Mckenna, I've done a couple of simple online  level 2 psychology diplomas. I've learned to meditate and become much more mindful.
However this series and the simplicity of his explanations has started to pull my mental jigsaw of all the above together at last.

It is available on an app/channel called Gaia or through Amazon Prime video in the UK. 
https://www.gaia.com/lp/rewired?utm_source=google+paid&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=1-INTL-ENGLISH-DISPENZA&utm_term=rewired%20joe%20dispenza&utm_content=joe-dispenza&ch=br&gclid=Cj0KCQjw7ZL6BRCmARIsAH6XFDJtrOIfNSh7Dz-rntLXOnJVYI_QpeQZ_GOc_wqXR-joUZv5QdnbBXQaAuwOEALw_wcB

It is a must for all LBSers who now want to start feeling better and move forward with their lives creating and being their own change.

Suffice to say - I'm hooked and eager to recommend it.  I also feel quite excited that at last I am going to change at a deeper level and develop a newer future for myself regardless of who that involves.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: barbiedoll on August 25, 2020, 05:51:49 AM
Quote
e mentioned a programme of short video lectures called Rewired by Dr Joe Dispenza about how the brain functions and how you can change your thinkin
.

Honestly, this is just the most amazing thing !  I have never heard of this guy and in the past 12 hours I have been told about him twice. I went for coffee in the park last night with my sister and she brought this Joe Dispenza up on her phone and went on and on about him and what he believes can happen. The link you posted is exactly what she sent to me this morning ! How incredible is that ??  I will spend some time with Joe Dispenza I think! . Thanks Song!
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on August 25, 2020, 06:35:34 AM
You're very welcome Barbie.  He is a scientist and Dr of Biology or some ology like that.  He talks about it in a scientific way but it has really reached my emotional need to grasp the logic of what he says. 

He talks about trauma and how we relive our memories and how we technically keep ourselves locked in the past even if we believe we are moving forward.

His videos are about 25 mins long and it's a kind of series in which you take on board as much as you can muster.

I'll be interested to see what you think.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on August 26, 2020, 02:28:52 AM
Putting this on here as I think I may have upset a few people from what I have written on Barbie's thread.  And so it would be unfair of me to develop any further discussion on her thread when Barbie agrees with HB's comments.

It is to do with my argument that I disagree with HB's statement that it is the LBSer's responsibility to regain the respect of the MLCer.
I put on Barbie's thread my reasoning why.

However my second reasoning that MLC is  depression

Depressed people don't lose respect, they just don't feel anything but their own pain and so by dint of that pain show seeming disrespect of everything or everyone they know and love.

My second D is really struggling today with her depression and shows little respect for our conversation - is it because she has lost respect for me? - No she has lost respect for herself, life and is wrapped up in her own pain. It matters little what I might say to her today - that doesn't mean she doesn't respect me.  It means that she is unable to show it because she is really low and that is human.  If she showed respect for everything I say or do irrespective of her feelings - I have created a clone or she fears me and that is not healthy.

I also suggest  that perhaps an MLCer returns because they do respect the LBSer.  They seek their guidance and support and those who commit to the marriage and agree to go to counselling etc.. are showing respect for the LBS otherwise they wouldn't do it.  Their actions during replay are disrespectful  - absolutely and inexcusable.  It is also them showing incredibly little respect for themselves but depression does that. 
They are also hugely guilty and those feelings of guilt can create fear.

I know - it is well documented that I had a very brief fling over 23 years ago and I grovelled at H's feet. NO excuse. I was struggling at the time with reactive grief following the loss of my dad.  I grovelled when found out and H played on that. He held my feet to the fire for a long time, he was tough and I knew that I wanted the marriage but he held onto that grudge for some time.  I changed my behaviour to one of thinking what does H want and how not to upset H. I sought his approval on everything - he became my world.  And so I lost my self respect for a while and then ultimately feared him rather than respected him as one individual to another. Guilt played a huge part here and lasted many years.

It took a session with my T to resolve my guilt on this and also to realise how H had manipulated me.

Treasur and Barbie argued that self respect and respect for others are different things - yes they are but they are linked.  If you have sufficient self respect then you know what it means to show others respect.  If you are in fear or lacking self respect then you are fearful of others. 

HB's comment about "stay and you respect me " sounds like (note I say sound like) a threat to me and appears to borne out of a need to be respected the way a sergeant major demands respect from cadets.

I left my job after 4 years of being bullied by my head - who expected respect from me but clearly couldn't show me the same. It was not a healthy situation.  Interestingly I learned from the deputy head that my boss on reading my resignation letter, admitted to the deputy head that she was surprised at my strength and my self belief. 

Now of course that wasn't a relationship that had at its core betrayal in an affair sense but respect cannot be earned through commands

Am I saying that an MLCer shouldn't have their feet held to the fire and deny the affair ever happened and that they are not accountable - absolutely not.   That in essence is the LBSer showing self respect, thereby allowing the MLCer to respect them.

What I am against is my perceived concept from HB's words that the LBS says to the MLCer - You WILL respect me or else.  And The LBS taking responsibility for making sure the MLCer respects her.   

Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Treasur on August 26, 2020, 03:28:30 AM
As I said on the other thread, I had misinterpreted your meaning so it was helpful that you took the time to clarify it. Also tbh I don't think that upsetting others who may see things differently is necessarily unhelpful. I have learned a lot from taking a moment to look through someone else's lens. And to be reminded....as you say here about depression...of some of the basic realities of some things which affect us personally but are not about us personally. Even though the effects feel like it. Thank you for reminding me today of the inherent nature of depression and how that loss of self-value can skew our perspective.  :) And it is certainly true that PTSD skewed mine for a good while although that was never my goal or intention  :) And that an explanation is not an excuse, just an explanation that may help us reframe how we interpret something that feels like a lack of respect while not removing our need to respond to a situation in a way which honours our healthy self-respect. And that regaining that if we lost it is solely our responsibility as LBS regardless of what others do.

There was a reason why I needed this reminder today, so thank you very much for it, Song.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Acorn on August 26, 2020, 06:29:00 AM
Interesting discussion.  Thanks, ladies!

Here is my take in regards to respect from MLCer or any other human being:

I cannot demand, obligate or make another person to respect me.  Or love me.  I am not a mind-smith.  No one has that kind of power.  So, I agree fully that it is not LBS’s responsibility to generate ‘respect’ in MLCer’s heart. 

‘Respect me or else’ is a threat, in my view.  Bullying.  Fear mongering, even.

However, I can absolutely demand respectFUL behaviour from others, particularly persons In my inner circle, by drawing simple, unambiguous and enforceable boundaries.   

Just my 2 cents’ worth.  :)
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on August 26, 2020, 07:35:39 AM
Quote
However, I can absolutely demand respectFUL behaviour from others, particularly persons In my inner circle, by drawing simple, unambiguous and enforceable boundaries. 

Exactly and this is why I disagree with some of HB's comments   "If you stay - you will respect me"

Respect is earned and it is easy to earn respect when you behave and respond in such a way that others want to follow and be part of.
It is easy to earn respect when you don't insist on it but you show them how they can respect you.
It is easy to earn respect by being whole, full of  non egotistical self belief, truthful to yourself and clear in your actions and behaviour.



 
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on September 09, 2020, 02:27:39 AM
Quick update.

I was feeling very stressed this morning.  Several things just piled on top of me.

H asked if I was ok and I said no.  And for the first time in ages I just vented to him.  The difference - he sat, listened and supported me.  There was no Mr fix it or no Mr I'm too busy to pay attention to you or no  Mr it's your problem and I don't care so deal with it. There was also no Mr Sympathy either.   

He showed empathy for the first time in ages.

There was my H - the one I first knew over 33 yrs ago.   

I vented - we talked together about what could be done and all felt very normal again.

7.5 yrs on and there is a genuine moment of reconnection more so than any other.  It was nice.

That's it.



Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: xyzcf on September 09, 2020, 06:24:23 AM
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7.5 yrs on and there is a genuine moment of reconnection more so than any other.  It was nice.

This made me smile Song. Thank you for sharing.

There is something left inside of them that is still them. I think we always knew that..but there is so much of them that are buried beneath the ice that it's very hard to remember who they once were...until they show us.

I hope you have a better day....there are so many things happening to cause us stress right now.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on September 09, 2020, 08:41:45 AM
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.but there is so much of them that are buried beneath the ice that it's very hard to remember who they once were...until they show us.
#

True and the longer they take to show us that original person, the less we are likely to want to share anything with them. 

It's almost as if we become hardened to that part of ourselves when we're with them so that we don't know how to then be authentic in our sharing. 

I must add though that none of the venting was about our R or our situation or him personally.  It was about grown children, cars and finances.   

The sharing with  him about the R etc is quite possibly one of those things I have become hardened to not share.  Not because I won't but because at this moment in time it is not as important as my other concerns.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on November 03, 2020, 09:29:02 AM
Just a bit of an update.

H has begun a shift in his behaviour. It's nothing major but there is a little shift.

We have an old dog who has had two vestibular syndrome attacks since the last post. Vestibular syndrome is like a mini stroke or TIA and he has in all reality now lost the use of one his back legs and the other is getting weaker (so tough decisions lie ahead). However he still wants to eat and loves his time with us all.
The drawback in the early days of the first attack is that he developed diarrhea.  H was home one evening and poor doggie pooped.  H flipped and drove off saying that he couldn't bear the smell leaving me and S to clear it up and reassure poor doggie.

I was cross with H on his return and even when he tried to feebly apologise later , I wasn't prepared to listen.

Fast forward 4 weeks and Doggie has second attack.  Same situation - pooped in his bed but not as bad.  This time H stood there and asked what he could do.  By this time S and I were a well oiled machine of action and so I said - nothing other than to light the scented candle and get some fresh spare towels.  Once we were all cleared up and back to normal H said "Sorry I can't bear the smell - it really upsets me"
My reply " I get it - I'm like that when people vomit - I can't deal with it. " Totally true.

The following day H said " I've been thinking why I reacted that way." and proceeded to explain that his elderly aunt who lived in his parents house when he was a boy had developed incontinence and the smell reminded him of her and the fact that his home always smelled bad. 

I Said " it was a trigger? "
H - "Yes a trigger. I didn't realise it until I reacted when doggie pooped. I'm sorry - I will try to help"
Me - " I get it.  Triggers are always there. Thank you for recognising it.  If it happens again, you can help by doing as you did, lighting the candle, fetching towels and more importantly showing doggie much love"
H - "of course"

He is devoted to doggie and also said that he often thought he would die before doggie does.  H always had such thoughts about himself - but now he's voicing them.

He has also agreed that he needs to do a lot of work on the house as we discovered that it is pretty unsellable at the moment for completely unexpected reasons.  He also said that he still wants to be on his own so two houses need to be afforded from the sale of this one.

There was a horrible situation one evening though where S (who claims he hates H) exploded at me and talked about H in the third person as a waster, loser, liar and other contemptuous names. The challenge was H was standing there and S knew he was.  He turned his back on H and said it all to my face.  I was angry but as you all know I am having difficulty with S's rage at the moment.   I felt for H though. Yes he has been a liar etc but it was such a horrible way for S to behave.

Finally on a brighter point H texts or phones me most days and our conversations are lighter, more fun and more like we used to be long long ago. 

The path of reconnection is not easy and sometimes it feels like freewheeling downwards but it does get easier. It does get better and it does so because the LBS has continued to grow and maintain boundaries and be realistic about the situation.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Seahorse on November 03, 2020, 04:35:50 PM
S&D -
Great update.
I love that H is confronting his own triggers, how they feel, why they occur and how he can deal with them.
Glad that you’re in communication every day.
I think it will probably be a big, positive step for you each to have your separate residences - AND perhaps S will become appreciative and less angry and difficult.  I have a S22 who is very similar.  And my youngest is also similar to your younger son.

Keep us posted on the reconnection and the sale of the house and eventual move.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: barbiedoll on November 03, 2020, 07:42:31 PM
Very similar situation here with a cat that apparently is now diabetic.  That cat has peed on more than one rugs in this house and try as I might I am far from sympathetic.  Not that I am mean, not that I don't care about the cat ... but , geeeeeze , smelling cat pee is just all wrong.  Apparently this will stop once they stabalize  sugar etc etc  otherwise , decisions will need to be made here too.   Its my daughters cat and would NEVER agree to "decisions"  to be made , so she is on major pee patrol.  Ugh.

It is very interesting and positive that your H can express his connection with that trigger.  I wonder if he then understand or is aware that you have triggers from his shenanigans ?

What I really find interesting is your son. Now keep in mind I have no sons, no brothers and rarely understand the man-child that I live with...so I admit I know nothing about "boys".  Something sets him off to get very angry about your H  ( I fully  understand anger) and he looses control and rages out . Do you know what triggers you son? .  And your H listens to him and stays silent ?  Does he respond at all?   I would be very nervous if that happened here and one of my girls called my H a loser, liar etc.  I am fairly certain it would go bad very fast .   Seems your son knows no fear when he gets truly angry .  This is part of the hurt and betrayal that happens to our children and perhaps sons handle that differently than our daughters.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on November 04, 2020, 01:09:59 AM
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I wonder if he then understand or is aware that you have triggers from his shenanigans ?

I doubt it because I learned to walk away when I was triggered so he wouldn't have a reaction from me but at least the trigger word is now out in the open and so I can now use it for me.

Quote
hat I really find interesting is your son. Now keep in mind I have no sons, no brothers and rarely understand the man-child that I live with...so I admit I know nothing about "boys".  Something sets him off to get very angry about your H  ( I fully  understand anger) and he looses control and rages out . Do you know what triggers you son? .  And your H listens to him and stays silent ?  Does he respond at all?   I would be very nervous if that happened here and one of my girls called my H a loser, liar etc.  I am fairly certain it would go bad very fast .   Seems your son knows no fear when he gets truly angry .  This is part of the hurt and betrayal that happens to our children and perhaps sons handle that differently than our daughters.

Quote
AND perhaps S will become appreciative and less angry and difficult.  I have a S22 who is very similar.  And my youngest is also similar to your younger son.

The challenge with S is three or many fold. He is sadly a drug addict (cannabis) - which of course over a period of time adds to the mental confusion and deep deep brain fog.  He has told me that when he was at uni he also tried much harder drugs and this has been backed up by his sister to whom he confided in when at uni.
He has not been able to find a job in these recent times so is struggling with a sense of purpose.
His music career which looks so promising has been held back as he has not been able to perform the gigs he had planned for the year
He saw me at my worst after BD and I dumped on him. I tried not to because he was only 15 but my heart was very very large on my sleeve and he saw me broken and in pieces so he felt doubly betrayed - not just by the man who he had up till then adored but by his mother who he thought was undefeatable.   Betrayal when you're young is hard to take and no wonder he doesn't trust H - he doesn't trust himself anymore.
During the darker days of the crisis H and S did get into a physical confrontation and H overpowered S.  I was not there but I do know it was ugly and completely contrary to both of their true natures.
He has used me as his rock and I have let it go too far so have had to clearly establish boundaries with him which he resents and can often try to break.

S has also many good points - he is incredibly empathic; he adores his neice; he adores the pets and has been a tower of strength as older doggie has declined; He does know when he is in the wrong and he will apologise. He is at heart the lovely young man I hoped I had brought him up to be - he has just lost his way for many reasons and BD started it all.

In a way I look at S when he rages and see his father in him, I see a crisis, I see a young man who feels lost and alone. I see a young man that also has to grow up a lot more and understand that he is truly responsible for his actions and his words and if he wants change ie stop smoking etc... he is the only one who can do it.

On a self pitying note - I feel as though I am in constant crisis warfare.  This is another reason for selling the house.  I need my space from both of them.  I have told S that he won't be living with  me: I will make sure he can live elsewhere (early dip into his inheritance).

My 2 Ds,who live away from home and who are much older than S, are in agreement with this. They have been urging me to motor on and the oldest has been able to talk some sense into S at times but they don't see him raging and they don't feel his anger (which is a huge trigger for me)

So I am playing a balancing game most of the time  H being reasonable and when he is S storms and rages in front of him and to him. 

H doesn't react because I think he knows why S does what he does but yet again he is not fully prepared to acknowledge and take responsibility for his role in all of this.  Not yet.....
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Curiosity on November 05, 2020, 02:29:54 PM
S&D, I want to thank you for telling your story. My timeline is much shorter and the situation different since my W was at home but has recently moved out into a short term rental apartment. But I was re-reading the early part of this thread, your posts as well as those of some other veteran members of this forum, and the discussion of Escape and Avoid felt really timely for me at this point in my process. Apologies for the long discussion here on your thread, but I feel like it's relevant since I had been stuck on the thought of "is it a touch and go/still in replay/attempts at reconnection?" and your discussion of E&A helps me to understand the inconsistency a bit better.

For my W, the EA started about a year ago, there was some disconnection going on for probably several months before that, but the EA was when it really accelerated. BD1 was March 2020 (I'm having this EA, we're disconnected, let's go to MC and try to reconnect but I don't know if things can change) and BD2 was May 2020 (ILYBINILWY, I need to explore this EA further but I can't imagine my life without you, you're my best friend). In between, we had a brief stretch of MC and seemed to actually be connecting, but the EA reared its head again in May and thus BD2. Since then, EA fizzled out in the summer but W remained in the fog, wallowed for a bit, then decided she needed to explore dating so she started looking at dating sites. She comes over several times a week, texts most days, but it's always small talk and it's very much focused on her and how she's doing (I'm so tired, I have muscle aches, hopefully I can sleep well tonight...) or it's a funny meme that a friend of hers sent to her. She's clearly trying to keep a foot in this home and this world, to be able to check the anchor, and yet not commit to being emotionally present or attached. With her friends, in her IC, and in her search for a date, she presents herself as someone who is smart and accomplished but not snobby about it, who is seeking joy and new experiences, and who regrets that she put the happiness of others ahead of her own happiness for so long. The image is of someone who is all about getting out in the world and experiencing all life has to offer, but what she shows me is someone who is self-absorbed and hung up on all of her aches and pains and confusion. So I go back and forth between being a lighthouse - living my life by my values, being a safe place for her to process as long as she respects my boundaries - and wondering whether this completely self-absorbed and uncommitted person can possibly bring anything positive to my life.

I know each of our situations is unique, and I know my timeline is extremely short by most people's standards. But I have to say, I so respect the patience that you and the other veterans here have shown, and the grace that you have shown to your MLCers. I admire the healing and growth you have had on your own journey, and I am working on doing the same myself. It helps immensely to know how this is not a linear path - not because it signals that anything will get easier for me, quite the contrary. But there is something about the reminder that it's not linear, it's not in my control, and it's not on any particular timeline that makes it easier to let go and move ahead with my life - still interested in the outcome, still with a preferred outcome - but not attached to any particular outcome and certainly not expecting any particular outcome. So thank you.

As for your recent updates - recognizing that it's still a slow process, the fact that the idea of triggers is out there (and in particular, the fact that your H has personal experience with and understanding of triggers now) seems like it can only be a good thing in his journey. It speaks to greater insight. And when combined with the increase in empathy, it seems to indicate that he is making progress in some positive ways. But still, with your H and your S where they are in their processes, you are absolutely right to be focusing inward and seeking the path that meets your emotional needs best. Please know how much support you have here, and how much your strength has given to me (and certainly to others here).

ETA: In further reading, I see that Replay and Wallowing seem to be parts of Escape and Avoid...still, something about the discussion of E&A feels like it makes sense to me in a deeper way. Maybe because there seems to be so much back and forth between wallowing and replay for my W? Still... I appreciate all of the wisdom in this thread.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on November 06, 2020, 01:52:28 AM
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ETA: In further reading, I see that Replay and Wallowing seem to be parts of Escape and Avoid...still, something about the discussion of E&A feels like it makes sense to me in a deeper way. Maybe because there seems to be so much back and forth between wallowing and replay for my W? Still... I appreciate all of the wisdom in this thread.

Thank you for posting on here LBS.

I will answer some of your points on here and then if you would like you can copy and paste onto your thread if it helps.

Let me help you understand Escape and Avoid.  "Technically and if we were to adhere to a staged process of MLC" this is the second stage.  Denial is the first and this is where there are subtle changes in the MLCers behaviour - perhaps more subtle spending or a little more selfishness (the retail therapy syndrome ) so nothing that obvious for the LBS.
Escape and Avoid is the "second stage" although the lines between denial and E&A are very blurred. Escape and Avoid is the longest stage of MLC and it includes replay or wallowing.
Most MLCers are replayers and that usually includes lots of high energy escapades and spending as well as  physical dating/ sex with another person.  Wallowers are the ones who will withdraw -they may spend more in equally useless stuff as the replayer does but they tend to be quieter and usually have an EA rather than a PA. 
It may be that your W is a wallower. Wallowers can also start off  escape and avoid with replay energy but it fizzles out pretty quickly or they will have short sharp bursts of high energy but it isn't sustained.

Escape and Avoid can still be there even when the obvious signs of replay have died down or OP has gone.

I will try and summarise my sitch for you.

Denial - H keeps talking about dying before a certain age because his dad dies at that age
             He starts buying small things but they are for him rather than us
             He picks up flying as a private pilot again and is out most weekends. I was ok with this because this is something I thought would be good for him as he did this a lot in our early marriage

Escape and Avoid - early stages - the spending escalates and he buys one small sailing boat
2 years later sells it and buys a much larger sailing boat over in NC.  We had friends there anyway so it seemed like a good idea to  do this - combine holidays etc.
Then he decides to sail across the Atlantic and over a 4 year period tries 3 times with the third in 2011 ending in a catastrophic storm that appeared out of nowhere and the crew he had couldn't cope. So he abandoned the boat in Bermuda and it was eventually sailed back to NC by the crew.  What was different this time was that he phoned me from Bermuda asking me to "tell him to come home and to use the excuse that his mother was dying"  (She did have dementia and was critically ill in a home)  I refused to lie like that but his voice and behaviour was really strange.  I now know that the storm had frightened the bejesus out of him and it was a form of PTSD.

Life is calmer when he comes back home - he still takes trips to the US to look after the boat but all is calmer. The irony here is that I used to joke his MLC was now over............2013 he starts an affair with OW and his mum dies leading to BD 5 weeks later.

My H was a high energy replayer.  He remained in escape and avoid until about 2017ish - affair with OW dwindled to a stop late 2016 but he was still searching for something else.   I have begun to think that he was still in escape and avoid along with liminality and lengthy touch and goes until probably 2018.  So 5 years from BD in 2013 (and if denial could ever be pin pointed it would have to be approx 2005 which is when he proposed buying the first boat).

Touch and goes are common in escape and avoid but that is all they are - anchor checks, touching base etc.....

When the touch and goes are lengthier and more concerned about the LBS or the family or the home and it is clear that replay is pretty much done then reconnection is possibly on the way.

For you LES - I would say that your W is very much in escape and avoid and she is using touch and goes just to keep the anchor firmly in play.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Curiosity on November 06, 2020, 12:04:27 PM
Thanks so much for the response, S&D... one of the really great things about having so many people willing to share their stories is that sometimes, someone processes and explains their situation in a way that just hits home for another LBS. I will copy your post over to my thread and address it further there. But I do want to say that I appreciate all that you have to say. Patience has never been a strength of mine, and being comfortable with uncertainty is also difficult for me. These are among the big lessons I have to learn in this process and I thank you for teaching by example.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on November 19, 2020, 09:15:27 AM
And so this is the post I never thought I would write. 

I am dropping my stand.  After 7.5 years I know that I cannot continue standing.

After today I know that H and I will never reconcile whilst H continues the way he is.

It started very simply.  My old dog has poop accidents because he is still recovering from his second stroke.  He  has also lost the use of his back legs. Why not make the decision I hear you ask.... because he still wants to eat, he still loves attention and he still is interested in what is going on. However he has accidents and I explained in an earlier post that H cannot cope with the smell (that's ok - I cannot cope when people vomit) 

Today though H excelled himself. As S and I are dealing with the mess H says " FFS - has he done it again? I'm eating"
S shouts - "stop making this about yourself and shut up"

H - " Don't tell me to shut up - how dare you?"

S " Oh why don't you just go and  F'ing die?"   Yes he said that or rather shouted it.

Meanwhile I am keeping my dog calm and washing him down sensing his stress.

S then rants and raves at me about how much he hates H and how much he wishes he would die.  I know from experience that anything I say will provoke further anger.  He rants at me for being quiet and when I say "I am concentrating on the dog" his reply
" Yeah that's right always clam up when you can't f'ing deal with it. It's your fault that we're in this mess. You should have kicked him out years ago - I hate him etc......" and so the diatribe went on. Talk about being hypocritical  S made the situation all about him

Dog is cleaned up and put back into his favourite slot.  S still screaming " When is this all going to end?"
Me - "Right now" and I walk to find H in his workshop. 

Me  - Word of advice to help me - if dog has accident - please say nothing. I know you hate it - walk away but please keep silent"

H - Why should I? It's my house and my right to speak.

Me - Oh be the adult here - S wouldn't have reacted the way he did if you had kept your mouth closed.

H - what right does he have to treat me this way? 

Me - Every right to be angry with you after everything he's had to go through.

H - Like what?  He's a lazy scumbag and no son of mine. I wash my hands of him. I disown him"

Me - Ye gods - you two are as bad as each other and both of you will regret what you are saying. I wish I could put you two in a locked room and let you fight it out. I am so angry with both of you. "

H - It's his fault - no respect and no ability to be a human being.

Me - Well it's very simple then isn't it.  I am now putting the house on the market. We sell and I don't care if we don't get the asking price - I want out of being the piggy in the middle.  You have your space and I have mine and I will ensure S has somewhere else to live."

H - Fat chance of that. S will wheedle his way into your house.

Me - Oh give me a break H. Grow up and face the consequences of what you have done.

And I walked out. I promptly contacted 7 estate agents and already have 4 valuations for next week with a view to on the market in the new year. 

Since then S has become quiet and acquiescent.  H trying to be cheerful and normal.  Me quietly angry and whatsapping my 2 Ds who agree it's time I was away from the toxicity of it all.

And there's the poor doggie who did nothing wrong and who had to sense such anger when he probably only has a few weeks left...... That makes me so angry and sooo disappointed.

I cannot continue my stand. What I saw in H was complete arrogance and bluster.  The old H is not there and I am seeing replay H all over again.  An H that refuses to accept what he did and any man who can say such horrible things about his son is not worth my time.
Equally S needs help and I have to distance myself from him too as I did not raise my S to be like this.  I do not like my S at this moment in time  - so sad..... :'( :'( :'(
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Seahorse on November 19, 2020, 10:28:56 AM
S&D -
Oh my, what a terrible incident you had to go through.
I am so sorry that both men in your life have acted so horribly toward each other.
H is truly self-centered and unable to deal with the fact that his actions have torn him and his son apart.
Your poor son, having to endure the rejection and loss of a father.  Not easy for these "kids" at all.  We didn't raise them to be angry or disrespectful, and I think it bothers us when they are.  BUT - I think I can completely understand how they become that way toward the person who hurt them and their mother so much.
Poor dog feeling such anger toward him over things which he has no control.

Please be kind to yourself.
 You've been through a lot of trauma, and selling a house is stressful.
I'm glad that you've been proactive in that respect, and hope that you find a seller soon which will pay you asking, or close to it.
And I wish you peaceful days for your doggy. 

I'm sorry that it's come to this, but hoping you'll find peace and serenity.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: barbiedoll on November 19, 2020, 11:42:12 AM
I am also sorry to read about this nasty exchange yet again between your son and husband . I am absolutely certain that my "nerves" just could not take it. My quest at this point in my life is just to have peace and solitude and I would guess you would love the same . I would always be on edge and full of anxiety with that kind of hostility brewing.  In the middle of that is not a good place at all.  I hope it all works out in some smooth way and you find a tranquil and peaceful place , you most certainly deserve it. Seems like its always "floating just below the surface "  unaddressed, not apologised , not taking accountability  and making amends, walking around it as if it did not happen etc etc   ( what your H has done) . Seems your boy needed some of those things to happen because the rage just sit in him.  I am so very sorry .
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Anon on November 19, 2020, 01:31:24 PM
SD - I have a lot of admiration for you and all LBS's who go down the reconnection/reconciliation path.   I know I could not handle an exchange like you just went through.   I would totally lose it on him.   I also would do exactly what you are doing: end my stand, sell the house and the sooner the better.   It wouldn't all be reaction either, in my case.   Would I regret my decision?  No, because I am done in so many other ways too.  There is no baby in this bath water so I would be happy to get rid of it.     The exchange would just be the last and final nail in the coffin that was once our marriage and then I wouldn't waste any time getting it 6' under. 

Can you relate to the 'done in so many other ways' or 'it wouldn't be all reaction'?   If so, then I think what you are doing is a logical next step.  On the other hand, if over time things have slowly been improving, and if you have been hopeful that it continues, then I'd be tempted to hold off doing anything until tempers cool.  Except, the situation between your H and your son would make even the best of situations challenging.  It's like sitting on a powder keg that could blow at any time.   It's a added complication to an already complex situation.   I'm so sorry you are still dealing with MLC fallout after 7+ years.   I hope things for you get much better, very soon and you find your way to a peaceful life one way or another.   It sounds like you have endured more than enough already. 
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Treasur on November 19, 2020, 01:40:18 PM
I have no words of advice or great wisdom, Song.
I just wanted to say that I am so sorry that you were caught in the middle of this kind of toxicity, between these two entitled angry men who seem to be waiting for you/something to fix it/them in some way. You must long for peace, gentleness and kindness for both you and your poor old dog. So, I just wanted to say that I am so sorry and to send you a gentle hug.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Mitzpah on November 19, 2020, 03:23:07 PM
I am so sorry Songanddance, I really am.

It gets to be too much pain and strangeness - you do need to step away.

I pray for healing for you and comfort for your old doggy.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: xyzcf on November 19, 2020, 04:55:04 PM
Dear Song,

I very much understand your feelings about your dog. My dog is also old, deaf, blind and has dementia. Her tails still wags, she likes her treats and enjoys being petting....we will know when the time is right to say goodbye.

The relationship between your husband and your son is long standing and very heartbreaking. It does not have to be this way....

Your husband seems like he'd quite "ok" with the status quo and doesn't feel any need to really open up to you, let alone acknowledge the damage that has been done...until he does, or if he ever does....then your ability to express your feelings and thoughts will be stifled.

It does sound toxic to me..but I would find it very hard to leave...however, sometimes the best thing is to untangle yourself from the situation.

It is sad, the whole messiness of the dysfunction is sad. You are the one who holds it together...like the boy with his finger in the hole holding back the water in the damn..you can only do this for so long before it breaks you.

Don't let them break you....let go, find your healing place..it's ok to do so.

((((HUGS)))))
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on November 20, 2020, 01:43:12 AM
S&D -
H is truly self-centered and unable to deal with the fact that his actions have torn him and his son apart.
Your poor son, having to endure the rejection and loss of a father.  Not easy for these "kids" at all.  We didn't raise them to be angry or disrespectful, and I think it bothers us when they are.  BUT - I think I can completely understand how they become that way toward the person who hurt them and their mother so much.
Poor dog feeling such anger toward him over things which he has no control.

Exactly and yet this is H's own FOO playing out all over again. He saw his father die in front of him at age 15 (the same age S was at BD) H could never talk about his father's death and clams up everytime he is mentioned.  Even a recent frank conversation with his Ds where they both told him that he did this and had to resolve his anger at his father's death seemed not to help.
My biggest concern is how to get S to the point beyond anger and not let this become a FOO issue for any future potential for his own MLC.

I am also sorry to read about this nasty exchange yet again between your son and husband . I am absolutely certain that my "nerves" just could not take it. My quest at this point in my life is just to have peace and solitude and I would guess you would love the same . I would always be on edge and full of anxiety with that kind of hostility brewing.  In the middle of that is not a good place at all.  I hope it all works out in some smooth way and you find a tranquil and peaceful place , you most certainly deserve it. Seems like its always "floating just below the surface "  unaddressed, not apologised , not taking accountability  and making amends, walking around it as if it did not happen etc etc   ( what your H has done) . Seems your boy needed some of those things to happen because the rage just sit in him.  I am so very sorry .
Thanks Barbie - you are correct. I do need peace and solitude and my nerves are constantly on alert.  S is in permanent rage over everything no matter how trivial.   Starting the house sale will bring me that peace eventually as both of them will be out on their own. I have told them as much.

I have no words of advice or great wisdom, Song.
I just wanted to say that I am so sorry that you were caught in the middle of this kind of toxicity, between these two entitled angry men who seem to be waiting for you/something to fix it/them in some way. You must long for peace, gentleness and kindness for both you and your poor old dog. So, I just wanted to say that I am so sorry and to send you a gentle hug.
Thanks Treasur - Entitled is the right word, their selfishness sometimes knows no bounds.

SD - I have a lot of admiration for you and all LBS's who go down the reconnection/reconciliation path.   I know I could not handle an exchange like you just went through.   I would totally lose it on him.   I also would do exactly what you are doing: end my stand, sell the house and the sooner the better.   It wouldn't all be reaction either, in my case.   Would I regret my decision?  No, because I am done in so many other ways too. 
Can you relate to the 'done in so many other ways' or 'it wouldn't be all reaction'?   If so, then I think what you are doing is a logical next step.  On the other hand, if over time things have slowly been improving, and if you have been hopeful that it continues, then I'd be tempted to hold off doing anything until tempers cool.  Except, the situation between your H and your son would make even the best of situations challenging.  It's like sitting on a powder keg that could blow at any time.   It's a added complication to an already complex situation.

Thanks Anon.  I guess there was an element of reactivity in me but we had intended to sell the house earlier this year and we were about to get it ready for spring and then lockdown 1 in the UK happened.  D#2 and GD moved in with us for the next few months as D's depression was surging again.  So that put the kybosh on any planned sale..... But this time it just made sense. I had had enough and was very quiet and calm about it all.  No tears and no intention of discussing it further with either of them.  No panic when I fixed dates with the estate agents and no sense this morning of have I done the right thing?

I have done the right thing for me and that is what matters.

Thank you Mitz for your support

Dear Song,

I very much understand your feelings about your dog. My dog is also old, deaf, blind and has dementia. Her tails still wags, she likes her treats and enjoys being petting....we will know when the time is right to say goodbye.

The relationship between your husband and your son is long standing and very heartbreaking. It does not have to be this way....
Your husband seems like he'd quite "ok" with the status quo and doesn't feel any need to really open up to you, let alone acknowledge the damage that has been done...until he does, or if he ever does....then your ability to express your feelings and thoughts will be stifled.
It does sound toxic to me..but I would find it very hard to leave...however, sometimes the best thing is to untangle yourself from the situation.

It is sad, the whole messiness of the dysfunction is sad. You are the one who holds it together...like the boy with his finger in the hole holding back the water in the damn..you can only do this for so long before it breaks you.

Don't let them break you....let go, find your healing place..it's ok to do so.

((((HUGS)))))

XY - your last line made me cry.  I have been the one holding it together but who has been holding me?  Only I can hold me and only I can make the decisions that are for me and no-one else.  You're so right - It doesn't have to be like this.

Last night S and I had a long conversation about doggy and his quality of life.  He is not able to move independently and he is a hunting dog. He was always in the garden sniffing around, loving long walks where he could get so dirty.  What quality of life is he really having?  He eats and drinks but cannot stand to feed or drink;he also has to be carried outside to toilet and the accidents are a result of his colitis (although the vet did suspect colon cancer)  He is not in pain nor is he in distress. But I wonder if he is suffering mentally. Is he sad at not being able to be the dog he once was.  There is no waggy tail because he cannot do what he wants to do and even when he sees GD who he adores he is excited in his face but there is no waggy tail.
We know that a decision is inevitable.....
S was much calmer. 
This morning H was concerned about dog and yet couldn't rush out of the house fast enough. He was shocked when I told him of the valuation appointments next week; I don't think he thought I would do it.  And yet he came back with the comment " Well do what you have to do....."    Almost as if I am still the bad guy and he is the victim or martyr......

I said I have dropped my stand but that doesn't mean I am done; it means I am now undecided.  The house sale has to happen now (unless there's another pandemic crisis) and I am not going to rule out any chance of me choosing to reconcile should H show remorse and a genuine desire to work on the marriage but I am now taking the pressure off myself. I am giving me space.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 20, 2020, 04:19:09 AM
Quote from: Songanddance
This morning H was concerned about dog and yet couldn't rush out of the house fast enough. He was shocked when I told him of the valuation appointments next week; I don't think he thought I would do it.  And yet he came back with the comment " Well do what you have to do....."    Almost as if I am still the bad guy and he is the victim or martyr......

You ARE the bad guy and he IS the victim in his view..... He s still wallowing along in his MLC, unable to take responsibility for his actions or to make amends for his actions. The consequences he is suffering that are a direct result of his actions (and of the plans you had already made anyway) are, therefore, someone else's fault because he shouldn't have to face consequences.....

I think xyzcf said it most succinctly - he'd like nothing more than to continue the status quo, sweep it all under the carpet and just go on with his life the way it is. It is comfortable as he has no accountability/responsibility for his actions....
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on November 20, 2020, 05:42:10 AM
Quote from: Songanddance
This morning H was concerned about dog and yet couldn't rush out of the house fast enough. He was shocked when I told him of the valuation appointments next week; I don't think he thought I would do it.  And yet he came back with the comment " Well do what you have to do....."    Almost as if I am still the bad guy and he is the victim or martyr......

You ARE the bad guy and he IS the victim in his view..... He s still wallowing along in his MLC, unable to take responsibility for his actions or to make amends for his actions. The consequences he is suffering that are a direct result of his actions (and of the plans you had already made anyway) are, therefore, someone else's fault because he shouldn't have to face consequences.....

I think xyzcf said it most succinctly - he'd like nothing more than to continue the status quo, sweep it all under the carpet and just go on with his life the way it is. It is comfortable as he has no accountability/responsibility for his actions....

Classic limbo then isn't it?  Something I thought and stated as much on an earlier thread......Limbo is sh*T!
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Treasur on November 20, 2020, 06:18:26 AM
Quote
Limbo is sh*T!
Ah, on that we can all agree  :)
MLCers seem to like it though, don't they? Easier than dealing with reality I suspect.
And for most LBS, there seems to come a time when we just don't want whatever our kind of limbo looks like one day more and decide to end our limbo, hard and painful as that might be, even if they stay in theirs.....

What kind of house would you like next, Song? (Other than one with a magic doormat that automatically evicts angry men with a big catapult?  :) )
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: terra on November 20, 2020, 09:12:53 AM
Song, I’m so sorry you are in these deeps and I’m also just wowed by your calm and decisiveness. Your h’s reactivity or snark is pretty familiar, like stuff my own h has let out in similar family settings. I have no advice there but am so impressed with how you have handled it and are moving through it.

My filter I think always has some element of grief awareness of it, and so I wonder if part of what you’re seeing in S and also still in your h too is not quite just MLC temperament or fallout but more like men’s grief expression. Rage is a common one, and it may be to do with not being able to fix or control or even eject/express the vulnerability or sorrow underneath. You still are right to make all the decisions that mean your own personal and emotional safety, and I am so glad that you do and that you are firm about it. Just thinking that what both your S and h may be struggling with is the overall loss and specifically the grief that occurred because of h’s choices and/or regrettable behavior. Your h has that on top of unaddressed grief over his father? And might even be looking to your son as example of how it might have been, if he (h) had been supported at or around that age. My prayers that your h will see the finer lines and read between them and find the distinction and measure to sense and say more of himself — not selfishly as he seems to be doing, but self-aware, more like you do.

On top of all this is new or anticipatory grief about your family’s good doggo. Ours is not at any incontinence stage yet, but I am pretty sure that’s not far off. As much as I have loved our dogs, I think the prospect and fact of their inevitable death is much harder and deeper for the kids. In our house, D is troubling over it, and we both can see that our good boi is slowing and different this year. 2020 has at least meant that we have a lot of time together, but it also means we see on a daily basis that maybe we have less and less of that time left, with him. My experience as parent is that girls say it out loud and then cry and cry and cry; boys may close up and then outburst and just stay almost permanently angry. Both are guarding against feeling so hurt and lost and sad, which they know is coming. In the case of MLC or any previous family disruption, a different earlier loss or death or even just a house move — guarding against feeling like that *again*.

It’s been such a rough year and your family has been through so much before it. When I read your thread last night I hoped that you are at least feeling physically safe, and I know being housed with someone else’s anger doesn’t make that easy. I hope your dog will pass gently when that time comes and that your S and even your h will give way to feel and cry about it. We are looking at the quality of life here too, and so I’m definitely along for your updates. I’m sorry it is like this right now, and you’re in my prayers today, that as woman and mother and wife, your needs are cared for.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on November 25, 2020, 09:06:00 AM
Hello all,

Sad news to impart.  We had to let our beloved boy cross over a couple of days ago.  He deteriorated over the weekend and I made the call to a vet service that would come to our house and allow us to be with him (our usual vet wouldn't do this owing to Covid). The vet service that came was wonderful, she had such compassion, grace and professionalism that our beloved boy went with dignity and peace.

Hearts are broken after nearly 13 years with him and we are still coming to terms with it all.  Hence my absence for a few days.

I will post later about H and S because there was a huge shift in S and a smaller one in H.

For now though I need a little more time to reflect and grieve for my wonderful shadow and companion.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: tadsa29 on November 25, 2020, 09:12:22 AM
So so sorry to hear about your lovely dog.   I have an elderly fella too and am dreading when the time comes.  Big hugs and much love xxx
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: xyzcf on November 25, 2020, 09:13:10 AM
So sorry Song. Such a hard thing to lose our precious pets.  :'(
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Curiosity on November 25, 2020, 09:28:24 AM
So very sorry for your loss, S&D. They bring so much joy and contentment to our lives. We had to say goodbye to our nearly 19 year old kitty earlier in the year and even though she’d been sick and we knew it was time, you never really feel ready to say goodbye. Wishing you peace and healing along with the knowledge that your very good boy has found those things too.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Thunder on November 25, 2020, 09:32:33 AM
Oh Song, I'm so sorry.  I know how very hard it is to lose a family member, which they sure are.

{{Big Hug}}
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: OffRoad on November 25, 2020, 09:44:21 AM
My condolences on your loss. I am so glad you were able to find someone to help you let him go with much love around him. May he Rest in Peace.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: terra on November 25, 2020, 09:45:42 AM
This dang year. Song, so very sorry for your loss there. (((HUGS)))
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Anon on November 25, 2020, 10:02:25 AM
Awww, so sorry S&D.   It's so tough when they are family and loved as such.   Take good care of yourself and allow yourself to do whatever it is you need to do right now. 
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Nas on November 25, 2020, 10:20:30 AM
 Losing a pet is so gut wrenching. I’m so sorry.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: FaithWalker on November 25, 2020, 03:04:49 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss Song.  I lost my beloved dog Feb of '19.  I had to make the decision to put him to sleep as well, and it was one of the hardest things.  He is deeply missed.

Take good care of yourself.  A beloved pet is just like a family member.  (((HUGS)))
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Seahorse on November 25, 2020, 07:09:15 PM
S&D -
Also sorry for your loss.
Tough to lose a pet, even when you know that they're in a better place...
Hugs,
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Treasur on November 25, 2020, 11:05:00 PM
Not one (healthy) LBS here would judge your decision to now separate from these things that surround you, Song. Not one. Many of us know that feeling of tired when the word tired does not even begin to describe it. And that overwhelming longing for peace.

We will be here to support you as you move forward to a place that feels more peaceful, cheering you on (peacefully  :) )

I am so sorry about the loss of your lovely dog. I am so sorry about the toll of living with these two troubled angry souls who are unable or unwilling to treat you with the care and respect you deserve.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on December 04, 2020, 02:06:30 AM
And so I had hoped to journal about the shift in both S and H after the death of our beloved dog...(whose presence in the house is sorely missed and it's as if the energy has gone from the house; it's now just bricks and mortar)

However I am unable to journal because of an almighty show down between S and H last night. It was ugly.

S was venting rather loudly about his frustrations with his music (he has released some singles but the online distributors are not accepting his new songs) and I went into active listening mode.   After 3 mins or so H interrupted and told S to contact the experts online as there would be someone to help.  S didn't like that and firmly asked H not to get involved as he was just venting to me.  H persisted (red rag to bull syndrome) and S repeated his request but this time a little more angrily.
I asked H not to get involved as S was just venting and that he would be able to resolve it.....

But H wanted now to prove he was right and all hell broke loose......  After two minutes of arguing very loudly, they then both squared upto each other - I was gobsmacked.  H produced a fist, threatening S and S swung at him.  I jumped straight in and
pushed them both apart saying/quietly screaming and close to tears " Don't you dare" to both of them.

It continued and I had to keep pushing H away (and he's a strong man) whilst also turning to S to tell him to stop.  I saw such rage in H's eyes - such rage.  It got worse - H called S horrible names including " a waste of space"  " a nothing"  " no son of mine " etc....... S rebuked in similar fashion with neither of them hearing me saying " Stop" repeatedly.  H told S to get out of the house and S told H to do the same but in much more colourful language.
H sat down and S then told H why he was angry - he called H out on his cheating, what it did to me and the family, along with a previous time where H had assaulted S arguing over the dog!

Eventually H pulled away and S disappeared.

I went quiet, packed my stuff for work. H turned to me and said " I'm sorry for my part in this S&D"
I said " Thank you but it's meaningless.  You have no right to call S those horrible names and you had no right to behave the way you did. You both placed me in the middle of the situation and you will never do that again - ever. " 
H reacted and said " Ok don't get so het up"

Me - " This is not what I expect from a grown man, an adult.  This is not what fathers do to their sons."  and walked away.
I retreat to my room

10 mins later S tells me he's going to stay wth friends for a few days.

5 mins after that H tells me that he's going away and he "won't be back" 
IN the back of my head though I wanted to say " Nah H - you're a clinger of the highest order - you'll be back"  but I didn't.  I just acknowledged it and said that S was going away too.  He shrugged and repeated " I won't be back". I shrugged back.

Texting my Ds and sister ensued with all of them horrified but equally sure that nothing will resolve itself until the house is sold.

I hate this - I hate MLC and I hate the fact that the only way I can have an attempt at peace is to sell the house I so love...but I have to balance that up with the fact that if I want H and S to reconcile at some point and I do, they have to be apart and for a long time and they both need help to resolve their feelings......


Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Treasur on December 04, 2020, 02:55:26 AM
I'm so sorry, Song. That sounds awful for you. And maybe them.

I'm sure you have considered it, but is there any way you can keep the house but legally prevent both of them from living there bc of this kind of violence? (Awful as I am sure it feels to even have to think about legal recourse.) even if it is just for a while, a few months? (If they both fled the scene, it does sound as if each of them does have someplace else to go?)

Out of interest, what do you think would have happened if you had not stepped in between them? If you had walked away and let them do whatever they were going to do, perhaps calling the police if it looked like either might be seriously hurt? Have you sought some objective legal advice or even guidance from a domestic violence or addiction or mental health support organisation (even if the violence, I think?, is not aimed directly at you, it's still a kind of domestic violence in your home isn't it? And did I remember right that your son has/had addiction and/or depression issues?)

And bc (understandably) you long for your h and son to reconcile their differences, does that pull you a bit into some kind of trying to fix or prevent it getting worse? (While both seem apparently not over concerned about your feelings, or not concerned enough to take responsibility for managing their own behaviour anyway) I just ask in case your brain unintentionally (and we've probably all done it) is creating a kind of logic chain that says 'the only way to fix this is for them to be apart....and they won't leave....ergo the only way to fix this is to sell the house that I love to force them both out and away from each other'. A kind of sacrifice without an outcome you can control perhaps? (Which imho is a slightly different goal from deciding to do it to remove yourself from this awful insane pattern if that makes sense bc you can control that?)

But most of all, I'm just so sorry that you are trying to live around this kind of drama x
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Believer on December 04, 2020, 03:10:11 AM
Song,

I’m so sorry that things escalated between H and S to this level. It’s scary, heartbreaking, and represents so much hidden pain, anger, and fear.
I’m grateful you weren’t harmed when you stepped between.

I think the distance will be best for all of you at this time. S & H will hopefully begin to diffuse what they feel when their heads clear.
I suspect H was seeking from you the encouragement for him to stay. I think it’s good you didn’t provide that to him after this event.

Song, the important piece is this is about what’s best for your heart, healing and over wellbeing. I’m so sorry for the sadness in losing the home you love dearly. It a bitter pill to swallow for something that never started with you.

Hugs and may you find some much needed peace,
Believer
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on December 04, 2020, 05:16:25 AM
I'm so sorry, Song. That sounds awful for you. And maybe them.

I'm sure you have considered it, but is there any way you can keep the house but legally prevent both of them from living there bc of this kind of violence? (Awful as I am sure it feels to even have to think about legal recourse.) even if it is just for a while, a few months? (If they both fled the scene, it does sound as if each of them does have someplace else to go?)
H has somewhere else to go but S is going to his friends over 250 miles away and all his friends round here are married with young children....

Out of interest, what do you think would have happened if you had not stepped in between them? If you had walked away and let them do whatever they were going to do, perhaps calling the police if it looked like either might be seriously hurt? Have you sought some objective legal advice or even guidance from a domestic violence or addiction or mental health support organisation (even if the violence, I think?, is not aimed directly at you, it's still a kind of domestic violence in your home isn't it? And did I remember right that your son has/had addiction and/or depression issues?)
TBH - I did think just before the fracas that they ought to slug it out - simply because the shock and shame by doing this in front of me would be the best for both of them.

And bc (understandably) you long for your h and son to reconcile their differences, does that pull you a bit into some kind of trying to fix or prevent it getting worse? (While both seem apparently not over concerned about your feelings, or not concerned enough to take responsibility for managing their own behaviour anyway) I just ask in case your brain unintentionally (and we've probably all done it) is creating a kind of logic chain that says 'the only way to fix this is for them to be apart....and they won't leave....ergo the only way to fix this is to sell the house that I love to force them both out and away from each other'. A kind of sacrifice without an outcome you can control perhaps? (Which imho is a slightly different goal from deciding to do it to remove yourself from this awful insane pattern if that makes sense bc you can control that?)
I understand what you are saying - fixer is now from my mind - preserving sanity and emotional well being is far more important to me and if that means a forced sale of the house so be it.  H is joint and co-owner with me. I cannot afford to buy him out and S has nowhere else to go and I intended to use a little of the capital from the house sale to pay for a 6 month's rent for S to live somewhere on his own.

But most of all, I'm just so sorry that you are trying to live around this kind of drama x

Quote
I’m grateful you weren’t harmed when you stepped between.
Does it seem logical when I say that I knew I wouldn't be harmed by stepping inbetween. Despite their anger with each other it still seemed the ok thing to do.


Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: xyzcf on December 04, 2020, 06:39:49 AM
Ah Song, what a mess. I am so sorry  :'(

The level of physical threat seems to be high....please keep yourself safe!

I don't know what else to say Song, I can't imagine how this feels, especially after losing your dog, COVID, the holidays...you mentioned the home that you love...is there anyway that you can keep your home?

I was fortunate, in spite of the fact that staying in the US right now doesn't allow me to see my daughter, but the home I am in, the neighborhood has helped me...yet perhaps a fresh start would also have helped me...and now I am "afraid" to move somewhere else, to start over again..there are pros and cons to both.

Just wanted to say I am thinking about you today.

(((HUGS))))


Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: barbiedoll on December 04, 2020, 11:06:04 AM
I am sorry to read that . I cannot begin to imagine things escalating to physical threats , I just would be paralyzed by it I am sure. I could not take it. Its best everyone is physically apart until something far better is in place to prevent this from ever happening again.  I wonder if your son and H should have been in some sort of counselling over the past several years and this may have not escalated to this ?  I just really have no idea...but coming from a huge family of females , I cannot begin to even imagine how physical threat could be handled. Awful . Its good ( for now) that everyone creating distance , even though that can not be the permanent solution. What a mess . And YES ...I also HATE MLC with everything in me .
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Mitzpah on December 04, 2020, 12:21:48 PM
Oh Song,

I am so sorry that it came to this. I think something similar would literally kill me  :'(

I am so avoidant of conflict, verbal violence, I can't imagine the threat of physical violence and it is not fear of my being hurt. It is a fear of broken, unfixable bonds.

I hope you are feeling safe in your house at the moment. At least the drama has moved out.

Sending you hugs (covid free  ;)  - socially distanced) and I hope you can find a solution that works for all of you at the present moment.

I wonder if your h. can see his own immaturity   ???



Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on December 05, 2020, 01:01:03 AM
Thanks all.

As I thought would actually happen: 
S did not go to his friends. When he woke up in the morning - he was contrite and really sad.  Covid has played havoc with all of us undoubtedly but S has become more and more of a hermit as most of his single friends live so far away and he cannot get a job so the idea of a 250+mile drive seemed "scary" for him.  I get it. 
I am almost the same and the idea of getting in the car even to see my wonderful sister(my rock) becomes tortuous.

As also predicted the clinger returned home last night.  He crept into the lounge and asked if it was ok for him to pick up some food.  I said yes.  He stood there for about 5 mins - his body language showing fear, anxiety and sadness too.
I had just cooked a meat pizza and there was half of it left (which I knew I wasn't going to eat and S is veggie so neither was he) . H looked at it, I chuckled and said - yes you can have that or the bin will.

He then asked how the jobs were going to be done on the house as he couldn't be here if S was feeling so angry. 

I said - "They still can.  You are just to keep your distance from S and when he vents, leave him to it. He was angry that the distribution company for his music had suddenly gone quiet on him and there was no way for him to contact them so he could lose his royalties.  He was venting which means you listen and offer no advice or solution etc...."
H - "I was trying to help him"
Me - "This is where you need to listen and I mean listen to what I am saying.  S doesn't want your help.  He is angry at you that much is sure and you should also understand that he cannot respect any advice you give.  That is not what he wants.  He also wants to vent and I have learned to listen to him properly."
H - "But sometimes I have seen you upset when he's vented"  (Interesting - he noticed)
Me " Yes but I am not upset at him venting- I am upset for him. Frustrated for him.  It is tiring having him vent but I am his safe place - he will not harm me.  Please don't engage with him when he vents and if he vents in your presence then either stay silent or leave quietly"

H went very quiet and nodded.  He ate the remainder of the pizza and then asked about all the visits from estate agents I'd had today.  After a couple of hours I retired to bed - needed space and was suddenly very very tired.

I do think that S launching all his anger on H had some effect. S challenged H over his cheating etc and I think some of it hit home.  I cannot be certain that it did but some of it must have settled in H's conflicted brain - hence his "pathetic" (in the true sense not the mocking sense of the word) stance and attitude last night.

I have no sympathy or empathy for either of them and spent much of yesterday reflecting on me but without the pity party.

Is this what I want - not really but I have said my say for now.  It is a fine line to tread but I am setting the fine line not them. It's their turn to walk on eggshells not mine.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: forthetrees on December 05, 2020, 06:15:41 AM
There is a book The Dance of Anger that might help them break the cycle. It is by Harriet Lerner.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Milly on December 05, 2020, 08:50:15 AM
Song, just wanted to say that I'm following and I'm very sorry for the anger between your S and H and for the loss of your beloved doggie.

Regarding your S and the big fight, at least he got all his thoughts off his chest, whether his dad takes any of it in or not. I feel for all our kids who had their childhoods bombed by MLC. I really wish for your S to achieve the success he clearly deserves. Big congratulations to him for having written some songs, and for having found a distributor. This is already an incredible achievement. This Covid year has put all our kids' hopes on hold. For them it's incredibly frustrating as they want to get on with their lives and their dreams. You are so good to just lend him your ear, which I do believe is all he needs. He doesn't need advice, like you told your H, he just needs to vent.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do about the house.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on December 06, 2020, 01:49:01 AM
Quote
I wonder if your son and H should have been in some sort of counselling over the past several years and this may have not escalated to this

Yes they were. H went to a counsellor about 2 yrs into his MLC and learned that "none of this was his fault and that if he felt the need to break free then that was the right thing to do."  Typical response from counsellors that don't get MLC and obviously/naturally respond based upon the information that they are given.  So it just fed his sense of entitlement

S saw a therapist for 18 months (it cost me in excess of a few thousand pounds)  It became clear that this T also had an inflated ego - in that he kept telling S that he knew what was right for him and that it would take several years of his therapy to fix H's anger.  He also "diagnosed" S as a psychopath and that he was clearly Bipolar and the depression was something that would go in time - this is what he told me when I rang up to ask whether it was worth continuing as S was gaining very little.
He wasn't interested in helping S with his addiction to cannabis (even though his website stated that he had 100% record of getting people off drugs)  He also insisted on 2 hr sessions and to suit him as he spent two weeks a month abroad.   
I stopped the visits when he rang me and started telling me what I needed to do as a mother.   I don't think he was a charlatan and had clearly had some success with other people but he wanted to take control of S and my alarm bells rang loud and clear.

In fact it is enormously difficult here in the UK for young men with depression to be taken seriously.  S found one local doctor within our practice who did and was really interested in helping him but then she moved away and whenever S has tried to talk to the doctors - one of them told him that the only thing he needed to do was more medication.    Interestingly my D who also has depression can get immediate support from doctors and she has been fast tracked to the full counselling therapy system on the NHS  but she has never contemplated suicide.  S has many times and he has been told to just take the tablets ( and one of the tablet side effects are psychotic thoughts and suicidal tendencies)  - Young men are so ignored here and it's really worrying.

One of S's friends went into a 3 months locked down rehab following a drink/drug/ nervous breakdown.  He is an intelligent, eloquent young man who has a young daughter.  He has been out of rehab for 6 months now and works as a mentor to other young men who are committed to the centre.  He has been enormously helpful to my son but the challenge is he has no relationship with his father either. 

Very very sad - Did I mention that I hate MLC...... :( :( :(
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Treasur on December 06, 2020, 02:49:08 AM
Wonder if you have come across these folks? https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Seahorse on December 06, 2020, 06:04:36 AM
S&D -
Just supporting your plight as my S23 also has mental issues with anger and cannabis addiction, and is unwilling to medicate or therapy.  Here, I feel young men also are taken less seriously than women and often get into legal trouble because nobody was willing to figure out the problems and help them.

Wishing you much peace during this season, and continuing to follow.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Songanddance on January 10, 2021, 05:56:52 AM
Update

I have had estate agents round to value the property. I have fixed a date for when the house should go on the market and I have put in place plans to finish off the house to get it sale ready.

The prices I was given by the agents were fairly in line with what I had hoped and H seemed somewhat buoyed by it all and not negative.

He has done a lot of cycling towards  and has become more helpful around the house in little ways.  He clears up after dinner and he volunteers to stack and put the dishwasher on. He has fixed lots of little things with no moans or grumbles or blaming the magical "someone".

He has started the major jobs outside that need doing before sale.

He has taken me seriously and I don't know if the cycling towards is because he doesn't want to sell but will comply to keep me happy or whether he truly wants out of the house too. It is getting more and more expensive to live in and thanks to Covid our joint incomes have dropped.

He is much calmer - not so quick to judge or condemn and he is beginning to show a little more compassion.

S is calmer - in fact he has been working really hard on his music and building his music profile increasing followers etc...  He also has had an amazing opportunity which  I cannot divulge but suffice to say that a high profile US musician happened to hear S's songs on tic toc and then went to S's instagram and has reached out to S with a great suggestion and offer. 

The two together is still not a feasible option but at least the house is calm and I am on top of it all now.

On a personal note, I have started seeing (via zoom) my therapist again.  I realised that I was stuck in an emotional and intellectual plateau so messaged her and I have seen her three times since November.  It's been helpful and I have begun to shift my thinking again in a more upward way.

I know that what I am about to say is not what newbies or those who are still wanting their marriage back wants to hear but I  must say this.

What you learn about the gift of time from MLC is that you begin to discover you - yourself. So often we get buried in the range of roles we take on ; wife/mother/worker/ sister/aunt/etc..... that we lose our core.
I'm not talking about the little girl inside either - that's a whole other discussion. 

I'm talking about the authentic you. The one who wants to believe that there is so much more to live and to do in our lives.

I'm talking about listening to yourself. Listen to your dreams, your hopes, your beliefs. When you do you will begin to realise that you have limited yourself because you thought you should so that everyone else was happy.

Everyone else will be truly happy when you are happy and content at your core. 

I'm also not saying throw caution to the wind and decide to backpack around the world (unless of course you really want to).

Listen to what you say to yourself. Listen to your self talk and sometimes just changing your language from "should/must/could/but/ impossible" to something with greater possibility thinking such as " can/and/possible/why not?" then you will begin to find you.

I know that moving house and probably separating from H (it's pretty inevitable)  will be extremely hard. All my dreams when we bought this place have gone up in smoke - thanks to MLC. However I have been listening to myself. I know that I have opportunities that are yet to show themselves and this time I will know to do the right thing for me with every single one of them.

If H wants to work towards a true marriage - that will be another story.  I don't take any BS from him and he knows he is free to leave.
For now we are treating each other with respect and care - as if we were old friends and that is enough for me.
Title: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Curiosity on January 10, 2021, 09:39:06 AM
Thanks for this update... the absolute best we can hope for through this process is that we can find calm, find healing, and find our true selves. It’s funny because when most of us come here, the absolute best outcome is all about reconciliation. But the truth is so much more personal than that.

It seems like you and your family have all found some level of calm and of healing during this process. Hopefully your h is also finding his true self. But whatever his journey brings him, it certainly seems as though your journey has been a fruitful one, and ultimately that is what matters most.
Title: Re: Working it out 24: Inhaling the future and exhaling the past
Post by: Mitzpah on January 10, 2021, 10:25:23 AM

Listen to what you say to yourself. Listen to your self talk and sometimes just changing your language from "should/must/could/but/ impossible" to something with greater possibility thinking such as " can/and/possible/why not?" then you will begin to find you.

I know that moving house and probably separating from H (it's pretty inevitable)  will be extremely hard. All my dreams when we bought this place have gone up in smoke - thanks to MLC. However I have been listening to myself. I know that I have opportunities that are yet to show themselves and this time I will know to do the right thing for me with every single one of them.

If H wants to work towards a true marriage - that will be another story.  I don't take any BS from him and he knows he is free to leave.
For now we are treating each other with respect and care - as if we were old friends and that is enough for me.

Songanddance,

You have given me something to reflect on... I find that my communication with my h. is like that, we are just old friends and we happen to have children between us.

During my bout with covid, I had a friend staying with me, an old friend, there is no intimacy, no shared dreams, just a friendly camaraderie, shared memories, he knows my family, I know his,

He's gone now, I don't particularly miss him, he is just a message away, but there is no interdependence, emotionally speaking.

My h. is a bit like that now, he is a message away, however, he is not available to me due to his other relationship. I can speak to him, but his answer will always be on his timetable, to put me in my place.

On the other hand, there are situations with the kids, that we are totally attuned... I think it funny that I told him yesterday that our "grandson" (a french bulldog) was out boating in our favorite place ;D and I sent him a picture to illustrate it. He didn't know that our son was there, and he thought it was a joke, so we had a conversation about what he was doing and the fact that the dog had gone with him. These times he seems quite normal and engaged, receptive to our inside jokes...

So, yes, like you - I know what I want, but I also know that he can join me or not. I am set on living my best life even if I have to give up my house, bury the dreams we had and carry on as God wills me.