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Our Community / Re: The knowledge of MLC. Friend or Foe?
« Last post by barbiedoll on Today at 02:10:07 PM »
I was very very lucky that the 1st therapist we saw together ( at his insistence even though he was absolutely leaving) told me straight up that he was having a furious Identity/MLC. I remember it so clearly...just staring at her . I just simply had no clue . She told me to expect apathy, aggression, anger, abandonment and an affair. Honest to god...I experienced every single thing. She had seen my husband privately before me , I have no real idea what she said to him. She told me it was NEVER about me, no matter what he says and I better build some emotional buffer-walls because this was going to hurt. And it hurt like nothing I could ever imagine. I am so thankful for her. I cannot imagine going thru the past several years not knowing what was happening. Of course that discussion with her sent me to google and that is exactly how I found Heros Spouse. Knowledge has absolutely been a friend. Two years after I saw this therapist , her husband left for a girl in her 20's leaving her with 3 teenage girls. I have not heard he ever returned. 

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Our Community / Re: My second thread: A new home
« Last post by The Moon’s a balloon on Today at 02:01:36 PM »
Thanks UM

Link to my new thread below

https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11356.msg756177#msg756177

I think what you say is absolutely right.  I often go back to the below post I found a few years ago, I think the line in it “Love her or not, leave her or not, you've got to be the person your MLCer can come to and apologize” is still as true now as it ever was and I try think of it when wondering how to interact with W. 

http://whatismidlifecrisis.blogspot.com/2013/07/forum-post-from-female-mlcer.html
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Almost 18 months after starting my second thread, I now start on my third. 

Link to my old thread here (I hope)

https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10305.msg680353#msg680353

Tonight I went round to pick up the girls, and W asked me to rub her back as she had a muscle all knotted up.  She’d asked the girls but they didn’t have enough muscle.  All very weird, stood there in the hallway rubbing her back lol.  Anyway, I think I need to go and provide a link to this thread on my second thread. 
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Our Community / Re: Bird box.
« Last post by terra on Today at 01:48:27 PM »
barbiedoll, thank you so much for saying so. I sometimes feel bitter about my writing talent, because I would rather have conversation and dialogue and the joys and laughs that naturally come when we are communicating in real-time audible voice and visible physical body language. And also because — and I have never quite figured this out and it still smarts, often and deeply — I have actually lost relationships because the other person resented my :/ grammar or gift for description or, I don’t know, formality in language. Or just the depth of it, the ideas put forth.

I didn’t start out wanting to be a writer. I told my aunt the other day, I’ve been journaling since right after Grandpa died.

That was over 40 years ago.

The many diaries and notepads of childhood fell away to moves and time, and the steno pads of my twenties were actually pilfered and destroyed by boyfriends in those years. Which is fine.

I burned several journals of my thirties and forties over this past summer. What a relief, release, triumphant unburdening. Just a florid stack of NO, burning like the sun, and turning into ash.

Goodbye, all that.

I tore pages out that said the things I loved, and still loved. I still have those, maybe two or three out of each journal that went up in flames. A distillation. The only parts still or always worth remembering.

It was strange and liberating to understand, each time I set one of my own books on fire, that of the many months of hard days and hard nights written in pain or fear or confusion, only those two or three or maybe four entries were soundly positive and amazing. And how the few amazing entries were not amazing because well written, because most of my handwritten entries are NOT.

The few positive pages were of softly simple things that had been felt or witnessed or understood. Moments of pure connection with some Other, often a child or stranger, or oddly, Myself. Or natural things, small brief instances in Nature. The presence of God or of Spirit, or just a sense of unfailing Love.

It was easy to burn the rest. I usually read them from cover to cover before setting them ablaze. I did it at all hours, in the dark of night alone in the yard, with the dog surveying night things, owls whoo-whooing in the trees, or in broad daylight and mindful that the neighbors might wonder why our property smelled like fire.

Sometimes I drank wine while I did it. No matter what time of day or what day it was. And it wasn’t out of depression: it was out of rejoicing, and deliberate. Because getting rid of those old messages that had been said to me once or many times, so that I had to write them down to see what the he11 they were and what they meant, was finally necessary. And burning them, absolutely destroying them, absolutely releasing them for all time, was a must. A holy process. Final.

I read so much of my old past, last summer. Then, there was one journal, a beautifully made expensive book that I had always held as containing “the most important” things. I opened that book one afternoon and I immediately closed it again with a laugh and set it on fire.

That one was the best burning.

That one was an EXQUISITE burning.

What I can say, having done such things — experienced and then written it all down with as much skill and love and talent as I had to give — I don’t regret burning any of it. I don’t regret that it is gone.

It took me years to get to the point where I could decide to do that. Which is funny, because these were my own things, and nobody else in my life at this point had ever looked in any of these books or even seen them. They had simply known the books were “there”, that the books existed and took up much of my time and expressed even more deeply the things I’d said out loud, or that *they* had.

So I was cautioned and exhorted by all and sundry to keep the books for always, for all time. Because wouldn’t it have been great if Grandma or Grandpa or even your mother had kept journals the way you do. Think of your D. Don’t you think she might like to have these someday?

I thought about this for years, watching my child grow into a lovely young woman. Watching her reach certain ages or milestones or some experience that was new to us both, and how she navigated it all, and how she expressed it. Her experience. HERS.

I have to tell you: I love her ways so much. D has a wisdom about her and a frankness that is both sharp and endearing.

My child is not confused.

My child is aware, discerning, clear, and securely loved.

I do NOT want her reading some of what I’ve lived through or written. And it isn’t that I want to hold secrets or think that “some things are PRIVATE and YOU have NO RIGHT to know my private thoughts.”

Yes, that is a direct quote from my mother. And no, she never kept journals. But she wrote notes to herself that she left in plain view of the whole family, pleased with herself and sly, because she only ever wrote in cryptic formal shorthand. Which was a language that none of us knew or could ever decode.

The last time I visited my parents, my stepfather opened my then-current journal and read it in the living room as if it were a novel. My mother berated him for it and tore the book away and tattled on him to me afterward, gleefully.

I was surprised but I also surprised her: I laughed, and said it didn’t matter. I didn’t mind if anyone read my writings; I write it all fairly publicly online anyway. Dad is just one of thousands of readers over the years, and it’s kind of nice that he was curious and found it compelling enough to keep reading.

That wasn’t what she expected and she didn’t really like it.

Later in the visit she brought up something that had happened decades ago. I asked her how she had known that. She said she had read my diaries then.

THAT got the expected and hoped for reaction. Because her whole thing back then was that some things were private and etc.

Hypocrite.

So she was one of the reasons for all the burning of books last year. And that felt really good.

And it also doesn’t matter.

My writing has been contested and resented by people I’ve loved, for decades. My first love was also a writer and resented “competition” although I wasn’t competing. One boyfriend read my journals and railed at me nightly after I got home from work, and then, finally, buried them in a garbage dumpster. One boyfriend broke up with me so that I “could focus on my writing career”, which wasn’t even a goal for me. Xh secretly photographed and cherry-picked journal entries and used them against me, grossly out of context, in divorce.

After speed-reading a winning essay of family story and worth, my mother retorted airily that I had split an infinitive.

My stepdad routinely told me, after any difficult personal disclosure, to omit needless words.

And finally, h.

Last year I told h in an uncharacteristically brief email that I hate texting, which is his preferred communication channel.

He wrote back and said “Dumb. I hate long emails.”

Well?

So I hesitate sometimes as I write here. I know that anyone has different reading preferences and writing styles. Different attention spans. I never know how anything I write will be received.

Most people like what they see, when I communicate in writing. I’m versatile; I just have my natural ways. You folks here get the native me, and when you say you like it, I appreciate that so much. D and her friend group and peers love how I text, which makes me glad. Face to face, I can go from friendly to formal to technical, to multilingual, to urban street. It all works and sometimes it is very nice and sometimes it can be as sharp and hard and clear as obsidian. But my greatest joy is just to use my powers for good.

Thank you for reading this one. It’s a departure from usual content I guess, but this early new year I think it is time that I loosen away from the MLC focus and see and share more of Myself.

This week has just felt so much better, than all the weeks before it. And I’m glad. I feel like I’m finally finding my way out of this box.



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Journaling and a reflection/question:

Journaling:
Well, I've been hard at work planning and booking my vacation....... LOL!!!!! It was so weird when she made her solo vacation/Christmas..... and now I'm doing the same!!!! Who'd have thought? (Not me). Shocking.
I'm rapidly realizing that I can't do everything I want in a week while on vacation.... going to have to pick and choose. Anyone been to New Orleans? Any tips or "must" do's (or "must" eats)?
So exciting not having to worry about what anyone else wants to do.... it's just me... I can hang around just killing time, and no one to answer to. It's a very odd and strangely wonderful feeling. Still.... it's not all positive. Things are much more fun when you do them with someone. I told a friend last night and he was blown away (the trade show is something a lot of people can only dream about - it's so mysterious  :P )..... he said "OMG, you're living the dream!!! I want to go so bad. I don't know anyone who does anything like that, it's like out of a movie or something".  ;)
Yes it is.
I haven't posted anything to facebook in years..... and soon it's going to explode with pictures and stories while I'm on vacation.  8)

For once my MLC'er will be wondering what I am doing, and am I getting into trouble (of course not, but it's a good thing for her to wonder).
This time I will be the one in an exciting environment, filled with money and leaders of industry. She already knows I rate very highly in this group, so to see me take off like a rocket is not something I think she wants to see. Last time, it became a competition to her (why I don't know)..... and I was taken aback... "why is my wife competing with me? We're on the same team!!! My success is her success!?!?!?" (little did I know about the shadow period).


I think the idea that I'm on the warpath once again is sending a message to W...... here I'm starting up again, not standing still..... and when I reconnect with people in the industry..... well, it will really send a shock thru her because I'm going after my dream..... no stopping, no apologies. Her dream is stalled out, and she's doing nothing to go after it...... excuses and blame. I only have myself to blame for stopping for a few years, and I own that. Time to get moving.
This morning she snuggled up to me (1st time in months) and last night she held my hand (for about 3 seconds..... LOL!!!!).
She doesn't have to worry, but I hope she worries. I'm certainly not boring, not lazy, not un-fun and not un-alpha.


Which brings me to some thoughts and recollections that W said a month or two ago (a deep convo): She told me.... "I can't finish anything, and I don't know why. I start something, and it fizzles out for no reason. All these projects, and not one is finished. Years of work and I just can't get any of them done. What's wrong with me? Am I afraid of failure?".
I thought this was a very  honest look at herself.... it was only for a sentence or two, but it showed the thoughts were in there. I gave it some thought, but put it away for processing later. Now I'm thinking about it, since it has to do with life dreams. In her case, she paints (and is beyond incredible.... I mean really, really super..... gallery class), wants to write a children's book, wants to sell prints of her art, wants to travel.........
Do other MLC'ers have a problem with finishing anything? Or maybe a better word is everything.
Anyone see that in theirs? Mine has had this problem forever, and I thought "that's just her", and I did so much to support, foster, enable her dreams...... but for her to talk about it during MLC means she's aware of this problem on some level and it bothers her..... and also makes me think, her not finishing anything all these years was her insecurity..... part of  which eventually blew up in MLC.

Life is so interesting when the pieces start to fall together. Then it's like "duh".

One day at a time,

-SS

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Our Community / Re: The Heart
« Last post by Velika on Today at 01:20:11 PM »
That’s why it’s often good if there is someone else witnessing our process. They can gently say the right thing in a moment of concern, to get the path clear again. And we need to know there are others waiting for us on the return. Maybe much like the MLC spouse who touches base every so often, to make sure.

I’d love to hear more about the podcast and will go back into your previous thread or posts to see if there’s a link to it.

One thing I learned beyond my IC and EMDR is that it can be extremely helpful and healing to recognize that in these deep remembrances or  introspections of our own trauma or early hurts, there was a higher awareness present with us in each instance. That there always is. Whether God in a Christian sense or Higher Self or whatever we prefer to call it, there is a loving awareness alongside in You as you go along.

In recalling the hurts and harms, if we can see ourselves with the compassion and Love we have for any other, particularly our children if we are parents, if we can feel the protectiveness and objective guardianship toward a Loved One, that same strength and compassion and logic, even “emotional logic”, has to be applied diligently to our own Self as well.

There are some hurts and harms that were not preventable, for whatever reason. And that is not your fault. Always apply the logic and heart you would give readily to a Loved Other, to You. We have got to hold our own humanity, vulnerability, guilelessness, and trust as valuable and to be protected and soothed.

And then sometimes we need to use all of those traits to teach or re-teach our adult Self how to resolve and heal from these injuries. The same kindly way we would our own child or children or  any Loved Other.

Terra, your entire post is so beautiful. I hope everyone reads it.

One of the reasons PTSD can be challenging to overcome is because the trauma is stored without language. It is an energetic memory. That is why an articulate, self-aware, psychologically sophisticated person can end up reacting so strongly even against logic. To this end, as you point out, really experienced trauma therapists and approaches can help a lot.

I think like many people who have C-PTSD or PTSD, I have had to face the fact that it is a bit like I have a mild disability. I think this is the gentlest way to approach it. Even with a lot of therapy and various approaches, I know that I'm probably always going to have some sensitivity in certain areas.

I had been reflecting that when I examined my own early childhood traumas, there were no big surprises. But as you wrote, it was sort of that "energetic" understanding of the person who was traumatized (i.e. the pre-trauma self) and then the traumatized person that really impacted me the most. This is a little hard to hold onto, and I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself well. But as you write, it is this wise, innocent, watchful self that has always truly been there. It's actually very beautiful in many ways.
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Our Community / Re: Advertisements
« Last post by lawprofessor on Today at 01:14:07 PM »
Now my feelings are hurt that you won't help out in my quest for fair and balanced. 

If you would, perhaps Watcher and Standing Strong and Ready would help as well since they are all athletes?! 

I'm just saying, well, a knight in shining armour helps out a damsel(s) in distress, right?



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Our Community / Re: Advertisements
« Last post by Helpingme! on Today at 01:04:22 PM »
Ha, fair and balanced is good. 
It just hurt my feelings that middle aged guys were beat out by guys in their 20s.  Lol.
Lp, I just had to throw some humor in.
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Our Community / Re: Advertisements
« Last post by lawprofessor on Today at 12:52:32 PM »
Well, we are just trying to be fair and balanced. 

Helpingme, are you volunteering to help keep things fair and balanced? Perhaps you have some knowledge and expertise being naughty?
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Our Community / Re: The Heart
« Last post by terra on Today at 12:47:46 PM »
Velika, somehow I missed this thread when you first began it, so I am thankful to catch it today.

It is definitely true that continuous mistreatment may destabilize a healthy and previously well-adjusted person. Negativity on its own can be harmful to both mental and medical health.

Some of this trauma, especially if coupled with or complicated by earlier and childhood trauma, I don’t think should be an “I can fix this myself” path. It’s important to have other safe humans involved in the processing sometimes. For me, I needed a CSAT who was qualified to employ EMDR treatment. The funny thing about it was that it involved almost no verbal reprocessing at all.

If you’ve seen my threads or comments, you know I’m very verbal and verbose. What I want to say about that, fwiw, is that sometimes talking about it is like finding oneself in a thicket of unfamiliar thorns and branches, and maybe we know where we’re headed when we’re going into it, but sometimes it gets scary for a moment if we suddenly feel stuck, lost, or misdirected.

That’s why it’s often good if there is someone else witnessing our process. They can gently say the right thing in a moment of concern, to get the path clear again. And we need to know there are others waiting for us on the return. Maybe much like the MLC spouse who touches base every so often, to make sure.

I’d love to hear more about the podcast and will go back into your previous thread or posts to see if there’s a link to it.

One thing I learned beyond my IC and EMDR is that it can be extremely helpful and healing to recognize that in these deep remembrances or  introspections of our own trauma or early hurts, there was a higher awareness present with us in each instance. That there always is. Whether God in a Christian sense or Higher Self or whatever we prefer to call it, there is a loving awareness alongside in You as you go along.

In recalling the hurts and harms, if we can see ourselves with the compassion and Love we have for any other, particularly our children if we are parents, if we can feel the protectiveness and objective guardianship toward a Loved One, that same strength and compassion and logic, even “emotional logic”, has to be applied diligently to our own Self as well.

There are some hurts and harms that were not preventable, for whatever reason. And that is not your fault. Always apply the logic and heart you would give readily to a Loved Other, to You. We have got to hold our own humanity, vulnerability, guilelessness, and trust as valuable and to be protected and soothed.

And then sometimes we need to use all of those traits to teach or re-teach our adult Self how to resolve and heal from these injuries. The same kindly way we would our own child or children or  any Loved Other.

For me, it’s helpful to remember always that this thing that happened or is happening is not for all time, and is just a natural if painful passage in maturation. Some people, of any age and all ages, will kick against this process until the day they die.

We don’t have to do that. No one does.

And we also don’t have to keep living with negative messaging, actions, or persons in our life.

There comes a time when boundaries are the best decisions we can make for ourselves. And frankly, setting boundaries and employing the consequences may be the best action we can take, with those who have hurt us. Make and own your structure and self authority. Others will learn, likely through much trial and error and testing and consequence, and over time, that You know who You really are, and that your values and value are not contestable.

They will then either exit your life or limit interaction with it, or will fall in line.

Either way, there’s peace in the result.

It hurts to lose those we love, whether to infidelity or just to their own changed mind. Sometimes I think it would just be easier to be widowed and grieving. But we can’t lose *ourselves* in all this.

If you are processing trauma, know there were earlier traumas. Know that it all matters, and that it is possible to heal. But know also that some of it may want a second mind or heart or voice to hold safety for you as you process. Write it down, but also say it. Say it, but also feel it. Feel it, but also move through it.

And keep your Self aware that there is light and rest and joy along the way. Stay open to that. Get help when you need it, get the best help professionally when needed and within your means. But keep living and just know that You get to say Yes or No, to what and who does and doesn’t work for You.

I don’t mean to derail your thread, Velika, so I hope I haven’t. Just know I’m in full agreement here.

This thread is a Yes for Me today; thank You.
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