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Author Topic: My Story The Heart

V
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My Story The Heart
OP: January 03, 2020, 04:54:35 PM
"The mind creates the abyss.
The heart crosses it."
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Previous thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=10586.0;all
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Re: The Heart
#1: January 03, 2020, 06:32:23 PM
Hi velika.

We are on the same time line. My ex husband recently apologized to me and my daughter as well. Interesting how mine said sorry but didnt really show remorse or say anything about his current life. Very similar. They must have the same rule book. Lol.
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V
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Re: The Heart
#2: January 05, 2020, 12:04:23 PM
My last thread ended with a technique I recently tried for PTSD, which I would like to encourage everyone to do. My sister shared this approach with me from a podcast, which essentially has you pinpoint the beliefs that have arisen from your traumas.

To my surprise, I found this incredibly illuminating. I think it is especially useful if you go back to childhood. It is not hard to see patterns formed early on, with beliefs arising not out of weakness but out of goodheartedness. I think that even if you can just get a small crack of light open here, you will start to open up a pathway to a genuine reconnection to yourself.

I believe strongly that MLC is a neurological condition with a social component. Most of us would not be here if the behavior of MLCers were not tolerated. Hiding money, emotionally abusing another person, using children to harm the other parent — these behaviors are barbaric. But it is, I think, the milder forms of cowardice — of those who stand by and do nothing, of deep gaps in therapy and legal system, of taboos surrounding mental illness, people's deep fear of raw emotions and complexity of human experience, that truly cause the most harm.

I think the number one challenge most of us are dealing with is deep energetic trauma coupled with a belief (whether conscious or subconscious) that the mistreatment was in any way merited. Please, if you are reading this, know that this should be how you approach this! You need to make yourself feel safe — by self protecting, self care, and self partnership — to minimize further trauma. Find healers and therapists that can help you recover physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Don't feel ashamed that you are in pain or in suffering. Use places where you feel ashamed or uncomfortable as real openings to understanding what needs to be healed. Make sure your self care aligns to what makes YOU feel good, and try to see if any old beliefs from childhood hold you back in this. The type of things many of us are grappling with are very heavy, serious, yet also meaningful work of many spiritual seekers and philosophical thinkers.

I also really, really want people to try hard to not get into a mindset often shared on here about a MLCer that I think unfortunately often gives their own power away. There is a type of mixed messaging here that I think is not instructive or helpful. Most people are far better off divorcing quickly and being laser focused on protecting financial assets. Our genuine hope and belief in the person we believed our spouse to be can be very beautiful, but to honor that truly, I think, then you must do what THIS person (whether they existed or not) would want you to do — or anyone to do — when faced with an unwell person who was mistreating them.

Try to surround yourself with kind, caring, and humble people who area really capable of loving others. I have found it is often the people who have really faced their own anger and most unflattering aspects of themselves — who are not squeamish about their own complex nature — who are able to be the most genuinely supportive. Don't be afraid of your own emotions, inconsistent paths, or even feeling bad. I think there is some real magic when you lean into the raw, unconscious, irrational aspects of your experience. If anything, this is an incredible opportunity to expand your ideas of what it means to be a human being. I don't mean this in a positivist, "achievement" oriented way. I mean it more like a spiritual path or process. I think it takes real, true courage!

Anyone who is not kind to you, loving, or cares for you in a deep way is not worth having in your life. As human beings, it is easy to hurt one another, but someone who hurts you and cares for you will own their behavior. Your spouse's behavior is not a reflection of you, but the beliefs you may have about it are. (And even try to notice if you are arguing a lot against these beliefs — whether in therapy, on here, or with loved ones — it may be a sign that you think that they need defending and so actually believe them.) This does not mean that you are weak or "codependent," or anything other than that a genuine, deeply probably very kind and good hearted innocent and STRONG part of yourself is willing to take on other people's pain as your own. Try to find a way to redirect that amazing energy to yourself.

Thank you so much to everyone who has given me so much to think about on this forum, commented, asked helpful questions, cheered me up, encouraged me. I never have participated in any type of online forum before and never imagined this, but I can't imagine going through this without the insights and care of so many kind hearted strangers.

Big hugs. 💛
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« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 12:16:29 PM by Velika »

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Re: The Heart
#3: January 05, 2020, 12:29:17 PM
There is a real, tough, kind wisdom in your words, V. Hard-earned no doubt.
Yes, the people who used to love me in my past - including my h as he was - would want more for me than to be collateral damage to someone else's disregard and destruction. They would want me to have a kind loving fruitful safe life. To metaphorically sing again. And yes kind good honest people are like balm after this kind of life experience and finding them is a kind of self care.

I have started listening to the podcast, thank you for recommending it.
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« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 12:30:18 PM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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Re: The Heart
#4: January 05, 2020, 12:30:40 PM
Just want to add a note on coparenting. For me the very most difficult part of this is having to share custody of our young son with someone who mistreated me, who feels like a stranger, and who I believe is unwell. This is an ongoing trauma I really would not wish on anyone, not least of all because of a deep societal pressure to see all relational issues as emotional, and not based on mental health, and denial that divorce itself can be a type of socially accepted abuse.

For me, the worst complex PTSD came from the way my ex treated my son and me, not as two people who loved each other, but almost like things he had to control and own. I ended up becoming mostly vegan/vegetarian as a result of this experience, feeling deeply the barbaric way that animals and their offspring are used and commodified and spearated.

I ended up having to seek a very alternative and intensive PTSD therapy when it came to the point where my own son became a trigger for me. I actually considered running away, I was in so much pain — and I am really a naturally loving and caring mom who would not abandon her child. I realized with a lot of compassion that it really is possible to emotionally torment and abuse someone to the point where they destabilize.

If this is you, if you see any aspect of yourself in this story, know that there really are people who will help you out of this. Don't give up on yourself or let others make you feel bad if you are fighting your way out of a fog of trauma. I really believe children have the deep wisdom we often don't give them credit for, and will come to see how hard we fought our way back to them.

At the same time, I do feel in my best moments, that I need to really let my son love and spend time with his dad, even in this very flawed form. The very beautiful thing about children is their ability to love without expectations. In fact, I deeply hope this is all my son will remember from this experience: his own ability to love.
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Re: The Heart
#5: January 23, 2020, 11:00:20 AM
I saw my ex for the first time in a long time. It was a little surreal. I hope my experience can help some of you who are new to this.

Energetically, it was kind of like seeing a fly wrapped up in the silk of a spider. I can't say he is the spider or the fly, it was just this general impression that something has fully gotten hold of him. Very pale, glassy eyes. Nothing recognizable. In fact, just last night I was remembering that sort of sweet spark of his personality that I saw when I first met him. I hadn't thought of it for years and years. This is totally gone. It is like he has morph into an entirely different creature.

I feel like I have witnessed a totally bizarre natural phenomenon.

I found myself reacting to him totally neutrally. I felt deeply grateful it was never an issue that he wanted to come home. I felt once again OW has done me an incredible favor. I truly believe she may be one of my angels in disguise, the babies too.

If you are new to this, please consider this. Try to mourn the person you have lost, but don't blame yourself in any way. Don't put it on yourself to snap them out of it, there's no way. There is no possible way you could have caused this, or somehow miraculously fix this.

Be glad that this (MLC) didn't happen to YOU, to your mind and brain.
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Re: The Heart
#6: January 23, 2020, 11:48:54 AM
Thank you for sharing this, V.

I don't think all MLCers are the same here. But some seem to undergo the kind of profound dislocation that turns them into something very other, very dark, very off. Understanding MLC intellectually does not necessarily help us to get that. I think we can feel it though when we are exposed to it; it's just difficult to trust that gut sense when we are traumatised and trying to comprehend something outside our own experience or rational reach. My gut knew things first that my head and heart could not. My gut knew that my then h had become something that was a real risk to my safety even though I could not comprehend it or explain it. I just knew.

I simply don't have the power to effect that kind of change in another human being. I don't really truly understand it even now. I certainly couldn't have done anything to prevent it or fix it. Like you, with time, I have become more and more grateful that whatever it was it was removed from my life. No good comes from it and I could not have lived with it. But it took quite a while to be able to trust that feeling and to not sell myself a different more 'normal' story about what I had experienced.

Not all MLCers are the same. But some, maybe a minority idk, are like you describe.
I hope though that your words comfort a few LBS here who still doubt if they could have done anything at all with this kind of change in their spouse. Bc often that doubt damages us more than the MLCer does imho.
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« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 12:01:59 PM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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Re: The Heart
#7: January 23, 2020, 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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Re: The Heart
#8: January 23, 2020, 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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Re: The Heart
#9: January 23, 2020, 02:43:47 PM
Lovely posts. The individuation process is hard from any long term/heavily bonded relationship, but the mental instability factor that comes with these certainly adds another layer.
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"Unconditional love is the highest of high standards, and while we are letting go of our need to control the process of anyone else, we are taking within our lives complete accountability for our own experience."

http://seriousvanity.com/how-to-cultivate-unconditional-love-and-change-the-world/

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Re: The Heart
#10: January 23, 2020, 03:37:03 PM
Quote
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.

This x 1000
PTSD damaged me and my life more than the losses that triggered it. I hope that there will be a Me without PTSD residue someday, but yes, it feels as if I have a disability still a bit.

I was like a flayed six year old. I lived without emotional skin for about two years probably. I had no words for most of what I felt....so of course I couldn't out-think it or out-talk it. I get that now, but I didn't then. So I felt ashamed and even more helpless which made it all worse. I desparately needed the world to be kind just for a little while, but it wasn't so I hid. Being able to hear that Loving Other voice through the noise, even when I did not know where it came from, was absolutely part of what saved me.
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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Re: The Heart
#11: January 29, 2020, 07:38:42 PM
I was just reflecting that I have been so focused on overcoming PTSD sometimes that I forget how truly sad everything that has happened to me is. I really don't want to feel that kind of incapacitating nervous-system driven pain, but I think sometimes there is a type of pain in the heart that I think opens us up to a deeper truth and love. That this is where the real answers are.

I forgot to mention that some weeks ago, my now ex took our son on a trip where they went sledding. Our son hit his head (no helmet) and ended up in the emergency room. He was okay, no stitches required, but apparently he blacked out either for 30 seconds or two minutes according to who you ask.

My ex didn't tell me this for four days. Yet when I attempt to relay this information to others as a cause of concern, they now tell me, "That's just your ex." Or, "He is an [expletive]."

I'm not sure what it is going to take to get someone to take me seriously. The other day I had to be in a meeting with my ex at our son's school. He was angry with me that I had told the school about his new partner (OW's) profession. Instead of feeling ashamed or leveling or even making some palatable excuse (like she wanted to put that behind her etc.), he projected all the guilt, once again, on ME.

I know we can all roll our eyes and say this is awful. But it scares me. That our son could be badly hurt. That he lacks so little empathy and self-reflection that he could hurt ME in this demented state. He owes me months of child support as well as reimbursements for our son's expenses.

Our son loves his sisters and to his credit is so nonjudgmental and genuinely loving that I think even if he one day sees his dad's behavior in a more clear-sighted and unflattering light, he will never hate him. Yet I question myself all the time.
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Re: The Heart
#12: January 30, 2020, 04:05:35 PM
Velika, I'm so glad your S is ok, but your H not informing you right away is not on. Did your H admit he should have told you? I feel he really needs to understand that you must be informed. This is really outrageous and even dangerous.

Yes, it's unfair after all you've done to accept your S being with your H and his wife and new kids, that your H doesn't even respect you as the mother of his child to inform you. Hopefully, he is aware of how serious the knock on the head could have been. I'm so sorry.

And your H being angry with you for telling on his wife's previous job, sounds like your H is still a teenager, still in his crisis, still deflecting all blame, and you as his LBS are the cause of all problems in his life. I said to my H that if there were a nuclear war it would be my fault, too. I hope you gave your H a mouth full.
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Married 1989, together since 1984 
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D25, D22, S15
OW Physical Affair same one. He and she said she turned 34 the month of BD. She turned 52 this year.

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Re: The Heart
#13: January 31, 2020, 02:21:35 PM
I hope you gave your H a mouth full.

 :D I hope so, too.  Your exH's behavior of not telling you about your son's accident is not ok.  So is owing you child support.  Is there something you can do about it?

I think that people who have not gone through a similar experience do not really get the bizarreness of it all - the drastic change in our former Hs' personality, their sudden abandonment of their life with us, their attitude as if this is the most normal thing in the world to do and that it is us who are behaving unreasonably.  They are far from how we knew them but for others who have not been so close to them, they may just seem slightly off.

During my divorce hearing, I was asked to state the date since when we had been separated.  My date differed from the one that exH had given the court (he placed it slightly earlier). I mentioned that I received exH's email on that day in which he told me that he no longer wanted to be a couple with me. The judge - a very likeable young lady - exclaimed that marriages don't end like that, out of the blue, that the end of a marriage is usually a process (implying that both spouses were aware of the difficulties for a while and talked about them). I thought that, yes, isn't that how divorces usually go?  No wonder that I still feel today, more than four years after receiving this email, that this has been such an odd and perplexing experience to go through. At times, it's even hard to believe that this really happened, that H was capable of just walking away from what we had and created together.

MLCers are off in their behavior, they far from "normal" human behavior.  Please do not let your exH's words doubt yourself.  He is the bizarre one here, not you.
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Me: 49 (43 at BD1)
H: 54 (48 at BD1)
D: 12 (6 at BD1)
Met in 1995, married since 2000
BD 1: August 2014
BD 2: October 2015, H moved abroad
August 2018: Received divorce papers in the mail unexpectedly
May 2019: H gave up his job and moved about 1.5 hours to where D12 and I live
Divorced: January 2020

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Re: The Heart
#14: January 31, 2020, 06:46:20 PM
Thank you Milly and Puzzled. To be honest, I didn't get angry at him because once again I went into shock. I feel I could be a great case study for going into shock and what it does to the mind, body, and brain. I have noticed curiously, despite all the stress, I have not aged very rapidly in the last few years, and wondered if perhaps my internal clock just stopped at bomb drop.

I'm considering once again to reach out to a family member of his. I'm back to feeling edgy and slightly panicked. He just doesn't seem to know right from wrong.

Today I texted him for about the tenth time about charges he has owed me for months and months, reimbursing me for our son's activity expenses. This guy makes more money in one month than I make in one year. He has not even paid me child support for five months! He has claimed that he has no savings, lectured me to save for retirement, complained that I have the home, and chastised me that he has paid me "thousands and thousands of dollars," as if there are not ongoing expenses etc. Like a thousand dollars can just last forever once you have received it.

Well, once again, he retaliated by deflecting, blaming me, etc. It was like a text exchange with a teenager. I take deep issue with anyone who says he is just being a jerk. He isn't being a jerk, or selfish, or any other description we could or would use for a neurotypical person. He doesn't know right from wrong.

I'm not only disturbed that he is so unwell, may be unsafe for our son to be around, but that our son could be influenced by this person's distorted worldview. I have often noticed that the expressions and even facial musculature of our son seem to change depending which home he is spending time in. I feel sometimes it takes a huge amount of effort just to overcome the animal mother instinct in response to this.

I feel so alone in all of this. As a mother, it is like having to coparent with like a distant relative you barely knew and didn't like of your former spouse, and even worse to see that reflected in your child's behavior and personality. Then on top of this I often feel self conscious that in some way I am not "moving on," according to a typical divorce narrative. Even my mom who is recently widowed to her husband of 45 years is doing better than I am!

If I look around, it seems to be that the outer world is a reflection of my own microcosm of a completely insane person being treated by everyone as if they are normal, have valid points, and should not be questioned. I truly wish sometimes I could time travel, find someone with real answers as to what is going on.
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Re: The Heart
#15: January 31, 2020, 07:06:02 PM
Can the court system garnish his wages for automatic deposit into your account?
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Re: The Heart
#16: January 31, 2020, 07:33:08 PM
I'm with FTT, seems like it's time to get the courts involved. That's your son's money, for his care and well being. Sometimes Mama Bear is exactly what's needed. But this is what the court deemed fair as well, so it's not like you're asking for anything. This is what you two are owed.


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"Unconditional love is the highest of high standards, and while we are letting go of our need to control the process of anyone else, we are taking within our lives complete accountability for our own experience."

http://seriousvanity.com/how-to-cultivate-unconditional-love-and-change-the-world/

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Re: The Heart
#17: February 01, 2020, 06:48:00 AM
I feel for you, Velika.  I get what you say about feeling uneasy about your exH and having your son be exposed to him, possibly taking in your exH's behavior and worldview as normal.  It's hard to know what will happen.  I believe, though, that chances are good that your son - since he is smart and inquisitive - may want to take a more objective look at his childhood when he is an adult.  Also, we don't know what will happen when your son becomes a teenager.  He may rebel against his dad at that point.

It's unfortunate that your exH wants to share custody of your son at equal amounts.  I would keep a record of what he does that seems unacceptable, including what is being going on at his house (i.e. what your son tells you; also, for example, if you were talked about in a negative way in front of your son).  You may need this information in case you want to see in the future if you could fight for having more time with your son. 

I would also fight for the money that your exH owes you.  Him no longer paying you child support because he already paid you in the past also shows that his thinking is off.

As you wrote, your exH's behavior and reactions can put you in a state of shock.  You are very self-aware, which is great, and I can imagine that something can be done about it.  I have had a very good experience in general with accupuncture, and I wonder whether it could be effective with this as well, removing the state of shock and blockages from our body.  Remembering my experience with accupuncture just now makes me want to set up an appointment -- it was pretty amazing, I felt very balanced when I was in treatment.
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Re: The Heart
#18: February 14, 2020, 02:38:57 PM
Puzzled, thank you for your suggestion of acupuncture! That helped me a lot in the past as well, I hadn't been doing it for some time due to dizzy spells, but this might be a good time to attempt it again. It made me feel more grounded, too.

My ex is back to just ordering me around and being disrespectful a la post bomb drop and not unlike (IMHO) our current political situation. He just writes text messages like, "Whatever." Or recriminating, or ordering me around. I just don't think someone who had genuine self awareness would interact with someone this way.

I feel he is close to being unhinged again. I'm just not sure who to reach out to for help.

I feel I have taken some big leaps out of PTSD, but that itself is really hard. I myself acted totally out of character in many PTSD moments. I can see my ex is unwell, but I was so traumatized I wasn't thinking clearly at many moments either.
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Re: The Heart
#19: February 14, 2020, 02:55:09 PM
Acupuncture sounds like a good idea.

Go back to the PTSD basics, V.
Breathe. Limit contact more. Ignore. Rule of 3. Breathe. Reframe how you see him and what you expect eg self-awareness or normal adult courtesy. Try humour if you can like changing his ctc name to Bonkers so it diminishes him as a threat in your mind. Breathe a bit more.
Let your brain trust that a) he is still a dysfunctional person b) who is not your circus c) whose opinion of you is irrelevant d) and whose life is obviously not skittles and happy unicorns and e) who has already done his worst which you survived and f) can really only hurt you in your head now.
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The Heart
#20: May 30, 2020, 04:45:11 PM
I keep meaning to come here to make an update, and yet I often find myself in a confusing situation of wanting to provide some perspective, yet realizing that this type of perspective is constantly shifting and not necessarily helpful at the wrong moment. But perhaps it will help someone who reads it.

I think the last time I updated I was a few months post– MLC apology. Since then the whole world has changed, of course, and some things happened that helped me, or at least just kind of changed the story a little bit. I am realizing that it is impossible at any point to really know what an event means until it links to another event.

If you have followed my thread for the nearly 5 years I have posted here, you will know that my ex was a really, really bad "monster." (Acute mania/mind-body based in my opinion.) Like many of the MLC sites predict, this tapered down slowly and he eventually apologized.

I had very very bad PTSD that has meant that my memory is not so good for the past few years. I think I have written here before that I have had to accept that I have a type of minor disability. I am doing much better, but once again feel strongly that most people who come here should find a good trauma therapist who is able to work with a variety of tools and techniques. Trauma is often irrational, stored in the body, and connected to unconscious or unprocessed previous traumas. If someone is badly mistreating you, it's hard to feel safe without the right support, not to mention without actual safety.

Number one: please do not be hard on yourself, and please, please do not listen to anyone at all who tries to blame you in any way. The people I know in real life who fared the best all had lawyers and therapists who immediately understood what was going on and told them this wouldn't end well and it wasn't their fault.

I think a lot of advice here is helpful from the perspective of someone many years into it, who has accepted that this is the condition of their spouse. I think it can be harmful from the perspective that this may help you recover your old life. I think most people, when they get to a level of safety I hope and less trauma, can see it probably would not be for the best to have their spouse back in current form, and what they really want is their own selves back.

My ex isn't ordering me around or talking at me. I can see now some of his best qualities that I remember from before in our son, the kind you can't fake. It has been helpful in some moments to really feel genuine sadness for the person I did lose, but couldn't mourn with the support of others as I might have had he been diagnosed or had physically died. We as humans, or at least in this culture, don't have words always for losing someone here on earth.

I finally also met OB1, otherwise known as my son's sister. It was actually one of the most healing, but most difficult things for me, to finally accept that I had in some ways lost my own son when this happened, the one I knew at least. Yet strangely, as soon as I accepted this — if not immediately — in that strange kind of laws we sometimes feel but can't articulate — I really believe in this moment I got him back, and some important part of myself, too.

I know when I came here I had a lot of questions about OW. A lot of this is just trauma response/biologically wired. I do think a lot of what is written is correct. Fundamentally, this is a person, and they likely have a genuine connection to your spouse on some level. But truly, they are not getting something great that you are losing. I think in many ways, they are kind of like a type of plant that our unwell spouse "eats" to try to self medicate and cure. Just like in nature, however, sometimes this in small dose is okay but in larger doses is not.

All to say — and this is where it is hard to write because only someone many years into it, with certain things having taken place can feel this way — the most important thing is not to compare yourself to the other person, and really remind yourself that (I believe) there is a truer cosmic picture to this, sometimes which you can't always see.

I actually have come to believe that as much as this is a biological process, it is also a type of spiritual process with its own laws. This makes it sound like it always feels good, and that's not the case. In fact, in line with many type of rigorous spiritual pursuits, I think the MLC experience breaks down our ego, takes away things, so that we can see what is left and what is real.

Anyhow, I hope this update can help someone, a little bit at least. Hug to all of you'!
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Re: The Heart
#21: May 31, 2020, 08:56:17 AM
I agree with what you wrote:

I think most people, when they get to a level of safety I hope and less trauma, can see it probably would not be for the best to have their spouse back in current form, and what they really want is their own selves back.
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The Heart
#22: May 31, 2020, 09:40:12 AM
Quote
when they get to a level of safety I hope and less trauma, can see it probably would not be for the best to have their spouse back in current form, and what they really want is their own selves back.

I think this is one of those tough truths, V. Not for everyone maybe, but probably for many. And certainly for me as far as I can see.

You sound as if you are making good progress with your own recovery and you sound more centred. How are things going otherwise for you and your son in these strange days?
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Re: The Heart
#23: May 31, 2020, 03:01:46 PM
Lovely to get an update from you, Velika. And you do sound good.
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Re: The Heart
#24: June 01, 2020, 07:14:33 AM
Thank you for the update Velika. I walk somewhat in your footsteps as my exH also had a OB. It's valuable to see how you've navigated the past few years, so yes, it is very helpful to hear your thoughts. 

Hope you're keeping well and will continue to do so.
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The Heart
#25: June 24, 2020, 11:21:53 PM
I have had to be in much higher communication with my ex recently, due to quarantine.  While on the one hand I am glad he is not out to destroy me anymore and is not using our son to torment me, it has been a strange experience to talk to him.

On the one hand, there is a quality to him that feels "familiar," but the more I talk to him, the more I wonder why I cared very much for him. I don't even know how we ended up together in the first place, although of course I am grateful to have our wonderful son.

It's true he is being nice to me, but I catch a kind of hustle vibe to it. He is also un-ironically interested in high-level government corruption. This is actually a little strange for me, to discover we do share some newfound (since we were together) interests, but also I feel baffled that someone who behaved so horribly for so many years is now deeply interested in the abuse of power at high levels of government and industry. I haven't mentioned this to him, but it made me glad that we did not have much contact these past few years.

I was recently reading "Be Here Now" (again) and there is a great line in it: You can't rip the skin off a snake. To be honest, one of the very worst things about recovering from this horrible and painful trauma is arriving on the other side of the trauma and wondering why I cared so much. It feels like a big waste of my time, like how come it took me this many years? Why couldn't I just have, you know, dusted myself off and taken some nice retreats, bought a few dresses, then realized that a better guy was surely out there for me? Why couldn't I have ripped that skin off the snake?

Okay, I know ... for many of us, life pre-quarantine feels like a magical paradise of freedom and possibility.  And losing half your time with your child in this way is a nightmare, not to mention the energetic trauma of dealing with a MLCer who seems like they are literally possessed by a non-human energy.

Still, if this can help anyone at all reading this who has just been bomb dropped, please listen to me that your ex is not worth having back. Try very hard to assume you may very well end up disliking this person, or at least feeling full indifference toward them.

I'm not sure how to "rip the skin off a snake" in anything at all, when it comes to something you genuinely care about. If there is a magic formula for quick and radical detachment for something you genuinely love and care about and feel invested in ... well, we have all watched how someone acts when they lose all interest and concern for everything they once care about.

Even now I suffer from painful attachments. This seems to be the condition of life, the great tension of the human experience.

The best I can offer, to myself and perhaps others as well, is that I have had real genuine moments, especially in very healing periods, where I have seen the outlines of another story emerge. Sometimes those healing moments feel truly miraculous, like you are really seeing the magic of God, the cosmos, and the harmony in it all. When that happens, when I can find the thread of that story, I think I do the best. Some of those moments are so truly beautiful and elevated, I can understand even why some mystics would welcome suffering, if only for this.

Hugs to everyone out there!
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Re: The Heart
#26: June 25, 2020, 12:15:14 AM
Velika, this was beautifully expressed and your realizations are a comfort to me tonight; I’ve had similar ones this week I think.

It’s strange, isn’t it? But also maybe a hard-won relief.

I find I don’t really think of or feel pre-quarantine life anymore. Or love, kind of, except for the persons who remain actively engaged with me each daily or frequently in little or big ways that show love for me. Whatever ways those are, and whatever levels or degrees or types of affection.

I had the odd realization yesterday that I am kind of living through everything now really for only a very select few people. And that h isn’t one of them. That’s not what I ever wanted at my core, but there it is. And ...”isn’t that interesting?” — as my longtime IC used to say.

It is. And also not.

I love that you are reading Be Here Now. I miss Ram Dass. But ;) I guess in his special way, he still is here. Now. And gosh, what an excellent time to reread that book. I have it on my watchlist but haven’t purchased it yet, because I have a teen in the house. I read it when I was only 9 years old — probably explains at least a little of why my life and love and Spirit have always been a bit different ever since. I remember that it contained information that I probably should not have been accessing at that age, and knowing full well about the drug influence. I don’t personally have issue with that aspect in the message or approach, but it seems like something maybe I shouldn’t have in the house with my teen? I would love to hear more from you as you read/reread. I have a tight budget (the tightest) this week but maybe I can pick up a copy next week and synchronize. We can both Be Here Now.

Being and Here and Now all actually seem pretty good, despite all the rest of the world and old considerations.

I bought a new dress (new to me; older than me, too) some weeks ago. I can’t remember if I wrote the story of it here, but I have to tell you tonight, since you mention new dresses — it is one of my top favorite experiences of this strange and unexpectedly deep year.

I hope you do buy a new dress or two. It’s looking like time for each and all to make our respective quarantines more like our own pretty retreat, appointed with the small changes and small details that make life good right where it is, exactly where it is, exactly where we are. Here. Now.

You sound so well; serene, even. I wonder, as we settle into the new Now and make it our own and good, do we ultimately just forget about the snakes. If it’s our own skin, does that just naturally slough off, maybe without us even noticing. And if it’s theirs, any theirs, maybe it will naturally shed from them too.

So good to hear (read) your update tonight. HUGS.

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The Heart
#27: June 25, 2020, 05:49:45 AM
V, how nice to hear from you and to hear your perspective with time. I found myself nodding along....funnily enough I thought this morning that it is almost as if my time with my h happened to someone else now. Which tbh I see as a marker of my post PTSD recovery, although I accept that, as you know, PTSD does do some odd things with your memory banks lol. My instinct is that this may be less bc my xh became so different and more bc of the differences in me now.....

I am a bit reluctant to dole out some kinds of advice to newbies bc tbh I think now that ones own journey is part of the process of making peace with it. And perhaps we each find different conclusions along that path. Much as it would be lovely if one could hoick someone out of it by the scruff of their neck and remove them from more trauma. :)

The big message I got from your post is that your perspective can change, and change significantly, with events and time. I suspect we all come here hanging on to all kinds of 'absolutes'...they would never do x or I will always feel y...and sometimes we make choices based on the assumption that these are fixed points which will not change regardless of events. Sometimes perhaps that is true....there are certainly core bits of my beliefs and mindset which existed before BD, before I even met my h actually, which have returned to what is my normal baseline for instance. But there are also things I think and feel now that I did not imagine I would....and not all of it is bad by any stretch. :)

Trauma is a doozy. I wonder sometimes if we can't see all of it until we look back with a more healthy brain tbh. And for most of us, it is a genuinely bewildering experience that our spouse not only stops behaving 'normally' for them but that, in some cases, they stop behaving like normal people full stop. Without dissing anyone else's choices or climbing into any MLC spouses head, the simple truth is that.....whatever character flaws they had before....you are now dealing with the reality of someone who is either quite mentally disordered or you are dealing with someone who has given themselves permission to unleash their character flaws with go faster stripes. Plus whatever flaws or fractures existed pre BD. Very few of these folks represent a good investment now do they if one is objective? Few of us would have knowingly married them had we seen this behaviour initially. We LBS, I guess, play catch up for a while bc it takes time to slough off years of attachment, just as you say. I suspect the ow who are attracted to what they are now must necessarily often not be the wisest healthiest tools in the box to knowingly choose to invest in them. And those perspectives walk in parallel for a bit don't they? How we see them and how ow sees them.

But I think it is a really useful reminder to LBS to try to be a little open-minded that how they feel today may genuinely not be how they feel next month or next year. And that's ok. And that, truthfully, very little good for you or anyone else ever comes from exposing oneself to any kind of prolonged abuse or trauma.....it is much easier to find ones own perspective when you feel safer isn't it? It just takes a bigger dollop of time than we might wish to start to find our own slightly more solid ground.  :)
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The Heart
#28: June 27, 2020, 11:45:19 PM
Terra and Treasur, such beautiful response. Terra I have to laugh the reason I was re-reading Be Here Now was to my son! (Aged 11.) I actually was thinking that this might be a good way to talk about drugs with him too, although of course the larger message(s) of the book are so beautiful and meaningful.

I had to have another long talk with my ex today. I have been on HS long enough to know the fruitlessness of asking him for an account of what the heck happened, although bizarrely the analogy that it is as if your spouse has gone on a long, four/five years (plus) journey and has now returned seems very appropriate from these few conversations we have had. Even his tone toward me is like of someone who has just returned to a long journey and is anxious to reconnect with the people who he left.

The honest truth is, even though I was horrified to discover the past career of the OW, I have to admit that she is probably with her own experience and upbringing a better companion for the trip he was just on, and even where he has landed. I'm saying this, of course, as a "snake who has shed some skin." Over a long period of time! I'm also someone who is no longer (currently) being actively mistreated, so this isn't coming from like an "elevated" place. (I don't want anyone to beat themselves up if they do not feel this way, and I really strongly feel that anyone who is being badly treated in any way by the MLCer should stay far away as possible.)

I was actually a little surprised/not surprised to see that my son was upset when he saw we were getting along better. To me this is the worst tragedy of the entire thing. I had really really bad PTSD and had to fight pretty hard out of it over a long period of time. My son had a pretty traumatized mom, and while I can be compassionate to myself that I was being deliberately tormented for a long time, I feel like the goal of my life has to be to somehow take all this horrible thing that happened to us and find a way to make it a meaningful part of our story and his life especially.

One thing that really had upset me so much when this hit was that it had damaged just what I had seen as a very joyful childhood for our son, with two caring parents and a happy home. Oddly once we were quarantined and the whole world changed, I realized that in many ways our son with his unconventional upbringing and many lessons over the years was actually quite emotionally prepared to handle the complexity of the current reality. All to say, I guess we never know until other things happen, what anything really means. And even then, there are some things we just will never know at all as they fit into another story we just can't understand.

Hugs to everyone!
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Re: The Heart
#29: June 28, 2020, 07:13:42 AM
Hi velika

Mine is also at 5 years and seems to be coming out of the wood work. He emails way more than he used to .But in person he seems afraid of me . I have a 12 year old and when she sees me being nice to him she is not happy. Im civil not nice. She says he doesn't deserve my niceness (her words). My ex still doesn't acknowledge he has a live in girlfriend to my daughter or to me. its very sad that our children lost their childhood to this, I look at pictures of my daughter before this and she was so happy(not a care in the world). She is so angry now at times but won't admit it, very sad
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The Heart
#30: June 28, 2020, 02:23:46 PM
It's hard for some people,  children included,  to think that Person B could treat Person A like they were a piece of trash to be thrown away, then Person A will just pretend it never happened and be ok with Person B if Person B starts to behaves nicely.  They don't always understand the difference between being civil and being friendly, and some don't even understand civility in this type of case. They get to feel like they feel. You can explain how you feel and why you choose to behave as you do, but they still get to feel how they feel.

Think about it, how hard must it be for a child to see one parent traumatize the other, being as cruel as they choose,  then have the traumatized parent say "OK, you damaged me so badly I could barely function, but you are being nice now. Oh, no problem. Let's all be happy now."  That would just be confusing. As a child, I would have then thought, "Wow, I can be as terrible as I want, and there will be no long term consequences if I'm just nice later." Definitely confusing.
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Re: The Heart
#31: June 28, 2020, 03:51:43 PM
OffRoad, I’ve been writing about that all weekend offline. How, what is that, when we are civil after having been targeted or mistreated to the point of real traumatization? And how is that civility perceived or processed by the person who caused the harm, and how is it all perceived by others around us, especially our children, at any of the ages they are.

I’m not sure whether I arrived at any conclusions. I’m grateful for your words and perspective

Ditto on the sharing of other parent story here, too. For what it’s worth, I’m shattered again by h and D and I are both glad not to see him (maybe ever). But I get along fine with D’s dad, and have since I annulled that marriage after his (probably MLC) divorce action.

Quarantine has apparently meant that at transition days, her dad and I talk longer in the driveway, six feet apart. The other day, at drop off, my teen came back out of my house to run interference, and actively interrupted us to say in no uncertain terms that we had been talking a long time and she didn’t feel comfortable with it at all.

I don’t notice that it is any different from any other time or year. He is paying our rent (which he does owe me) and is vested in things being ok at this house. He had at least one diagnosed psychiatric event that required court intervention and custody revision several years ago, so. I don’t mind the driveway conversations, because I am vested in things being ok at his house too.

I can’t really go into those details with D, I don’t think. Or, I don’t know how I would. Just, as long as children have unsupervised time with their other parent, I think it’s in everyone’s best interests to be civil and where possible, also enough informed.

Now is such a weird time in our collective history. I don’t know when it will end. It’s forever changed certain aspects of life, though, and — unexpectedly, “unconventional upbringing and many lessons over the years” have made it easier for my house too.

;) I still would have had all of it be different, if I could, especially for the kids. But I’ll also take whatever good I can get, at this time, and be content.

Here’s to silver linings! HUGS.

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The Heart
#32: July 26, 2020, 11:12:06 PM
I am finally catching up on this response, thank you! OR, I so often think of something you once wrote, which is that you had reached the point where you genuinely wanted everyone involved in your story to be okay.

So yes, I 100 percent agree with you re. my son. "Luckily" part of my trauma reaction was a level of disclosure, discussion, and transparency that would probably make a therapist scream into a pillow, but which counter-intuitively I think helped our son process it a lot. He is really articulate and emotionally sophisticated, but he is also beyond this I would say very balanced and emotionally healthy, even with everything that happened. I'm hoping that as I navigate whatever this phase is, he can also benefit from the nuances of forgiveness, change, and acceptance, as well as learn to hold some of the mixed emotions that come with this.

To be honest, I think if he can find a way to balance all of this together, the very complexity of human life, emotion, and journey, I think that is a real gift. It seems like we are headed to a landscape where this is an important skill. I.e. I don't think the future we are heading into is what I thought his future would be like, or anyone's, so the reference points and consequence of what happened with his dad have changed considerably in many ways, for me at least.

In general I am appreciating a lot the more amicable tone of our conversation and text message with my now ex. It is a relief to feel like I am not always on my own as a parent. I'm also grateful that despite the insanity, the way his dad treated me, and the real risks that came with having him care for our son during certain crazy moment/month/years, my son has a close relationship with his dad. I can see how this is good for me, too.

My general impression is that my ex seems calmer and yet at the same of time kind of like a distracted grandpa. I even shared with him that I had PTSD and he apologized for the trauma. He even told me, "You are too hard on yourself." If you have followed my entire thread, this is a person who was telling me and others that I was the most vindictive person he has ever met. If you are currently in this same boat, please, I hope you will read these words and see that whatever your spouse is saying, they are very likely not things they would agree with later. The best thing you can do is to stay far away and not engage. If you feel you need to defend whatever terrible thing they are saying about you, focus on this in therapy when it makes sense and feels safe. I think this is where you will find some real honest healing.

People here often wonder, "Is the OW going to end up with a better version of your ex?" I asked myself this often. I think in this case, and I'm saying this ONLY as someone who is detached from the outcome, it is possible, yes. I.e. I do not think my ex is going to cheat on her with a sex worker while she raises their young children by herself, then suddenly abandon here. However, he is not the kind of partner I would want, and I still fully believe he could completely go off the deep end.
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