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Author Topic: My Story The Heart

V
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My Story 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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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
#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 more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself. - Bill Murray

V
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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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t
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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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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
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V
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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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