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Author Topic: My Story More Wonderful Life

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My Story More Wonderful Life
#10: March 25, 2020, 10:27:44 AM
Geez, everyone...no pressure then lol  :)

Spent a few hours in the sunshine on the allotment. Few more folks there than usual, but only a few....and we all waved politely from a distance. Sowed some salad leaves, planted my onions, did a few repairs after the high winds a couple of weeks ago and a bit of grass strimming. The nicest thing about it tbh was that life felt normal there. I am very glad I have an allotment and I suspect more folks might try to get one. Did fail twice to buy compost though but have another possible source on Friday.....compost is obviously the new toilet roll around here  :)

I took some time to reflect on LP's questions for a variety of reasons. The old rule of 3 lol. And bc tbh, in these extraordinary times, it seemed a bit self-indulgent to witter on about the workings of my head  ::)

Sometimes when people question our thoughts or feelings, there can be an undertone of judgment perhaps even with good intent, an implication that we shouldn't feel or think that way from someone else's POV or based on how they felt/thought in a similar situation. And sometimes it might touch things that we feel a bit ashamed or uncomfortable about, so we might experience some level of emotional reaction. And sometimes reflecting on difficult questions can lead us to new perspectives too.

I post on HS bc I have come to believe that voicing our own authentic truth is a very important part of healing. Both from this kind of life-altering experience and from PTSD. Even if that truth evolves. Even if it is messy. Even if our approach to our own recovery has a different flavour bc as individuals we bring different things to the party.  Finding myself and my truth again was a game-changer for me. And I could not reach it until my brain stopped being a PTSD one. Just couldn't, no matter how much I wished I could.

There is a lot of shame with PTSD imho. And I must admit that, even though I felt like it sometimes, telling myself that I shouldn't feel or think what I did at any given time rarely seemed to make much positive difference  :). I could choose what to do - or not - with those thoughts and feelings, but trying to 'should' them away usually seemed to get in my own way. Whereas feeling heard and accepting them? Well, that seemed to free space for them to evolve. Some of my emotional reaction to LP's questions was to open up the door to an old box marked 'you should have been better/stronger/quicker'......no idea if LP thinks that, but I did for a long time and beat myself up frequently about it.....which tbh just left me feeling 'less' and more stuck in a loop. It was quite liberating to put that self-directed 2x4 down  :) Part of the reason why I have posted so much I suspect is bc I have been thinking out loud here, showing the working in the margins - messy bits too - and hoping that my meandering path might help a few others. Have I made mistakes? Yup, lots. Are there things I didn't do that made things worse for myself? Oh yup. Did I get lost and stuck? Yup. But my path just turned out to be the way it was.......like it or not, that was how it was.

But it is my path and I can't go back and redo it.
And my path really was shaped by losing my family simultaneously and by PTSD more than by MLC tbh.
Just my situation, just my path. So, a thousand caveats on my 'answers' and no implied advice or assumptions about anyone else's' path at all.

One question at a time......bc imho some of them are quite big questions  :) (and i am notoriously wordy  ::) )

And please feel free, especially vets, to add your own reflections on these questions if you wish

Treasur, I am wondering where you see your life in the future, goals and hopes, focus and dreams. 

My first reaction was that some of these words feel too big for how i am now. I used to be a big planner, very future-focused. Then post BD, I survived by the hour/day/week for a very long time. I can still remember the first time when i thought more than about a week ahead. I seem to have lost that big future-focus hopes/dreams thing. My goals and dreams are all smaller now. I'm not sure I always like that but it seems to be how I view life currently. It may change, but it is as it is now. And strangely, that seems to fit where the world is right now....who knew lol?

My biggest hope - which seemed impossible - was that I would feel like Me again bc my experience of PTSD was that I simply could not access Me at all. Or trust Me when I did. My memories, my cognitive function, my sense of time, my sense of self....all got eaten by PTSD like a big Pacman game. That was the very worst thing about it. And I am profoundly grateful and slightly surprised that, courtesy of my PTSD treatment, I am Me again now. But it took a long time and I think Me has only been back consistently for a few months, maybe 4-6 months tbh. But that was my biggest hope and one that I have achieved. It is very difficult to describe that loss of your core self unless you have experienced it...or it is beyond my current ability anyway.

I seem to have moved to being able to approach life through about a 3 month window. Like a gardening season perhaps. Might sound silly, but I cannot tell you how much that feels like real progress.  :)

My goals are short-term ones......rebuilding the structure and stability of my life in 2020 (although ha ha, world events have thrown a few hiccups in that... ::)...being a more productive citizen and supporting others now that I am healthier) But PTSD and some of my reactions to events caused a lot of mess and damage, just as much as my xh's crisis, and rebuilding a post PTSD life is my focus. Big things and small things.

My hopes tbh have a negative flavour.....there are things I hope will NOT happen. I hope that if my mother dies for instance, she will not have to die without my being able to hold her hand as I did with my father. But I have very little control over that, so I don't do hope much any longer. Tbh I found Hope was a bit of a double-edged sword in the MLC days so I replaced hope with faith. So, currently, I don't think I have hopes if that makes sense. Which is a bit odd bc I used to have them, lots of them, but they seem to have evaporated for the moment. No idea if that will change either with time and progress.

And dreams? Oh my days, dreams sounds like a VERY big word. I have a few little dreams....blooming roses, feeling a sense of peace in my day to day life....but big dreams? Nope. Seem to have lost those too. I have a sense of direction though.....and a couple of important things I want to do, direction and priorities.....but I am dream-less currently. Does that matter? Idk. Will that change? Idk.

I seem to have lost my hopes/dreams/goals/future plans bit in the wash, that 'start at the end and work backwards' frame which was a big bit of how I used to be. So, it feels a bit odd to not have it right now. But I don't and I think it is more useful for me to work with what I have than feel bad about what I don't. Jmo. It seems to have been replaced by a kind of 'work outwards from where I am today heading in this direction' approach. (For anyone familiar with MBTi, it is just as if my previous preference for N - big picture, future focus - has become S - tangible, here and now. If you can imagine it, it is like a funnel....I used to be working from the wide end of the funnel backwards...now I work from the small end of the funnel forwards. )

I don't know WHY some of these things seem to be different now, only that they are to/for me. Could be my own version of healthy midlife development, new LBS skills/experience/adaptation, could be a post PTSD traumatic growth thing, could be transitional. Idk. But I DO know that arguing with my own reality has never really turned out to be very productive so far lol. So I accept that this is simply where I am right now and I will work with that the best that I can. Other people's experience and POV may be completely different, of course.
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« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 10:51:08 AM 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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More Wonderful Life
#11: March 26, 2020, 01:04:48 AM
And the next....before I head off for an early morning on a sunny allotment digging compost.....

I ask you because here you are some four years after final bomb drop.  And I see you are saddened on your ex-husband's birthday again.  And I'm not certain what to say as I don't recall feeling that, transitorily or not….

I'm not sure that whether anyone else feels anything about anything makes any difference to whether I do or not. Imho and sample of one, the emotions - all of them - DO fade over time and with time. They lose most of their sting. If only bc we adapt to a new normal and it becomes normal. So, for any newbie reading, please take comfort in that. You will not always feel the way you feel right now.

I think the question though assumes too much of an MLC lens. Or at least in my situation. My sadness was a couple of hours triggered by a confluence of events.....my xh's birthday, a mother I couldn't even talk to on the phone with Mother's Day a couple of days later, some news about an old friend, the world feeling a bit 'zombie apocolaypse' and a slight WTF deja vu echo. A little perfect squall that reminded me of my lost people. And that I can't reach them now. My sadness was about loss, all of my losses. Including probably the person I used to be before my losses. Perhaps the real trigger was that, in a time like these coronavirus days, it seems so normal to want to pull closer to people you love. And I can't bc the people I loved most, all four of them, are unreachable to me now for different reasons. Interestingly - and I count it as a big step out of victimhood - my sadness was not about self pity, about me feeling unloved....it was just sadness at the reality that I can't reach out to my people and I wished I could. That my father was building a ventilator in his shed (bc he would have done lol), that my mother was on the phone wanting daily temperature check reports and giving me self-care instructions (while we all teased her about worrying too much but secretly liked it), that my h was cooking up a storm and teaching my parents to use Houseparty, that his aunt (and one of my oldest friends) was texting about the antioxidant healing properties of champagne (and sending us a case bc in her mind liquor stores are definitely essential businesses  :) ). I just felt sad that I could not reach my family now.

I happen to think those moments of sadness are common and normal after we lose people, bc they die or in other ways. Does it take over my day or my life? No. But a little sadness is a nod, I think, that just acknowledges how much these people all mattered to me. And that my life is not happier or better without them. It is still life, and it still has wonderful bits, but it is different. And sometimes I just miss them, all of them. I sometimes miss their voices in my life and I don't feel a need to apologise for that. I seem to be someone who does deep love and attachment, more than I realised perhaps.....for whatever reason, I carry a bit of my people with me regardless of how/if they feel/felt I mattered to them. That just seems to be part of how Me works.....

I see posters here wondering if this experience scars you permanently, if the pain ever entirely goes away. Idk. I guess that is a very personal thing isn't it? I am very grateful that I no longer feel broken by it or flailing around in pain and that my ghosts are less active lol. But a little sadness now and then? A little scar instead of a big open wound? A momentary wish to be able to pick up the phone and have the kind of conversation you used to have with someone? A knee jerk wish that you could change things you can't or protect people you can't?  A sad hour that you let wash past without doing anything silly with it or denying reality? Seems normal to me to have a flash of that, particularly in these strange times. Perhaps that is just how loss works over time. But my sadness was about so much more than MLC or my xh's birthday......fwiw.
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« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 01:40:56 AM 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: More Wonderful Life
#12: March 26, 2020, 05:34:45 AM
Treasur, thank you for your candor and for posting your feelings. It takes guts to put them out there. I'm sure your feelings will resonate with others.

I also think that we will get over BD in our own time. We post often about how it is similar to a death. If we lose a loved one, we do remember them on certain dates. Sadly where our situations differ from death, is that after a death, we are allowed to mourn our people for a very long time, but not with MLC.

 The fact that our spouses are rotten during their crisis, or have treated us in what seems to many as an unforgivable manner, doesn't mean we can't mourn the times that were good, our memories, and the dreams lost. Just how I feel about it.

Your allotment sounds like a great place to be productive and out in the open. Being stuck at home right now, does seem to increase the doom thoughts. Getting out and being with others has been very helpful to me. I don't have a normal nine-five job, although I think it would have helped me if I had. I had become a bit of a recluse in these past months, and I think after we are released from the coronavirus, I am going to make more of an effort to mix with others.

Take care and stay safe. xxx
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Re: More Wonderful Life
#13: March 26, 2020, 06:31:47 AM
I agree with Milly, it was a lovely post, Treasur.

You just know how to express yourself so well.

Yes sadness is something I think most of us will feel on occasion, even after years.
Not that deep hurt, but just a little sadness over the loss of someone who was such a big part of our lives.   

I lost my mother, who truly was my best friend, a long time ago and I do have wonderful memories of her often, but there will be times when I feel a little sad that she is no longer here.

Hugs
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"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

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More Wonderful Life
#14: March 26, 2020, 07:12:35 AM
Hello,

This,

Quote
We post often about how it is similar to a death.
coupled with

Quote
Even if our approach to our own recovery has a different flavour bc as individuals we bring different things to the party.

Death is a loss all of its own. And with it, brings different levels of pain. I love my parents dearly, my father is 82 and my mother is 79. My father's health is not bad, but not great either. My mom is in overall good health. I am at the point now, where I have gratitude for each day they are in my life. I also accept that this will not continue forever. Through my faith, I will mourn my loss, but celebrate their lives. On the other hand, the loss of one of my children would be devastating. I shudder at even the mere thought of such a loss. Yes A different flavor, a trauma all of it's own.

Both are death, they are similar, but they are not exactly the same. And in everyone's case, death strikes a different key on the piano of our psyche.

Bomb drop is the similar but not the same. The betrayal of bomb drop was like a knife thrust in the very heart of my self-esteem. It was not only the death of my relationship, but the death of my perceived reality, the essence of who I was, my own identity. For the longest time, I mourned two losses, I mourned the loss of the good times, but I also felt pain as I contemplated, "Where those really good times?"

Through death, you can mourn the loss of the good times, but still hold them as positive moments. Bomb drop makes you question the reality of those memories. This was my perspective, my view....we all can taste the same pie and walk away with a different description.

Which is why,

Quote
Finding myself and my truth again was a game-changer for me.

After I moved out and the death of my sister-in-law, I stopped posting on HS. I did not post for five years. I did make a promise to myself that when I finished my dissertation, I would post. Even completing that was a journey in of itself.

Yes, I did find my truth again, but it was a long, long journey and it even continues today.

Quote
My sadness was about loss, all of my losses. Including probably the person I used to be before my losses. Perhaps the real trigger was that, in a time like these coronavirus days, it seems so normal to want to pull closer to people you love. And I can't

Strange to read this today after I spent the night dreaming about my youngest being a baby all over again. Yes, she is still my baby and yet, I feel a loss of those special times. Those times she would wake up early in the morning and I could hear her scared cries and her feet thumping from her room, through the terrifying hallway to our bedroom, and she would jump to safety in our bed.

Or my oldest sitting on the computer when I came home from work, playing her games. Lots of memories....and yes, I want to pull them closer to me and those children are now adults and no longer live down the hall from me.

Yes, it is a loss, but at least now, I know those losses were real and I can cherish them hold them as being the truth.

Sorry for the Hijack Treasur, but the questions posed by LP, were intriguing and worthy of a universal response.

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

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More Wonderful Life
#15: March 27, 2020, 01:50:02 AM
They are intriguing questions aren't they Ready? Actually they feel a bit like a end of project review.....

Anyone else feeling a bit antsy?
People are getting a little frightened here now. Frightened about the virus, frightened about money, frightened about the uncertainty of how long things will go on. Me too tbh.
I notice - the double-edged gift of having experienced all this MLC stuff - that my head and body are a bit anxious. Not sleeping easily, not much appetite, some jumping mind monkeys. Like a baby version of post BD. Well, without the hysterical sobbing lol. But I am also grateful that I know what it is and know how to manage it. Hard physical work on the allotment in the sunshine is my secret weapon right now. Oh, and distracting audible books or podcasts while I weed. Not much social media or obsessive digging for info in the news.
But it's a funny feeling to have that post BD echo. Understandable bc of course the scale of uncertainty, lack of control and fear about people/things we care about is similar isn't it? Different events but our nervous system doesn't know that.

In a more cheerful aside, yesterday I met the most handsome turkey I have ever seen. Handsome and bizarrely sociable. A guy near me on the allotment has recently filled a plot with birds.....ducks, chickens....and this big handsome boy turkey with the most magnificent tail feathers who runs to meet you at the dividing fence. One of my other neighbours told me that, although the chap uses the eggs, none of the birds are culled or eaten. It is like a big bird petting zoo. And this turkey runs to his human when he arrives and climbs on his lap for cuddles  :) how strange and rather lovely is that? When his human is not around, the turkey chats and preens for the rest of us in eyesight. I don't know the name of the turkey - we have not yet been formally introduced lol - but I'm sure he has one  :)
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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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More Wonderful Life
#16: March 27, 2020, 02:01:12 AM
My mode of operations for relaxing (weather permitting and the fact that we are not yet in total lockdown) is to get a little wind therapy in. I had to run to my apartment the other day and yesterday I had to go get my company phone (replacement for an ancient iPhone 5SE), both times on my motorcycle...

That was definitely a picker-upper...
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Me - 56, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation
S - 13, D - 9
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BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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Re: More Wonderful Life
#17: March 27, 2020, 03:00:17 AM
As always great posts and observations Treasur (and every else who responded).

Sadness is not depression as people have said, and sadness should not be avoided. I think some fear sadness, maybe because they confuse it with depression, or maybe because we are told that “negative” emotions are that, negative. It’s simply not true. I prefer to think of them as congruent and incongruent rather than as positive or negative. For example sadness at a loss, a parting is congruent and is healthy. It helps us evaluate and weigh what we had, and it grounds us in its value even if it no longer there. It doesn’t simply “float” away just because its gone.

But sadness that is pervasive, deep and doesn’t change and shift with time is not congruent. It maybe from PTSD, from other factors. When we are “static” or stuck it indicates something, no? By the same token joy not rooted in anything can be mania, just because its “positive” it doesn’t mean it is ok.

I guess what I am saying is like others I have moments of sadness. The reason may surprise me, but if I allow myself to be sad I find what it is, and it passes and actually makes my emotional life richer. Because appropriate sadness reminds me I am alive and connected to my world and emotions.

And I will take that any day over being disconnected.

Added: human psyche is very bad at assessing fear. We are good at the low level fear of “drop everything and run to survive.” Other levels of fear is very hard for us to keep in perspective. I say this in light of the pandemic. We usually use our higher brain functions to put context and perspective to the “fight or flight” level of fear. But as my therapist so clearly pointed out recently if the fear response is high enough (think PTSD) then fear itself shuts down the higher brain functions, disallowing regulation and putting the fear in perspective. So if our fear response is overactive it tends to impact our ability to contextualize and contain our fear. Bad cycle indeed.
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« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 03:02:47 AM by marvin4242 »

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More Wonderful Life
#18: March 27, 2020, 03:06:40 AM
Good point, Marvin. Me too.
My experience has taught me how to gauge the difference between different feelings. Sadness is quite different from depression. Anxiety is different from PTSD. Contentment is different from joy. Detachment is different from numbness.
I don't always like how I feel but find it passes through quicker if I just acknowledge it at the time. That voice in my head that says I 'should' is rarely very helpful
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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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More Wonderful Life
#19: March 27, 2020, 07:24:43 AM
As we are all different I think we process it all differently. For me my goal was to be able to get through every holiday every birthday every significant moment without a thought of x. This was my goal. This was part of my way forward. What I felt I needed to do for my recovery.

My friends and family jumped on board and new memories were made. I barely remember any of my marriage. It’s almost as if it didn’t exist. I’m perfectly ok with that.

In some ways I think that’s the cowards way out. I sometimes wish I could have some good memories of my past to look back on with a bit of melancholy and then move on with the day. I think there is strength in that.

I think it’s a testament to Treasur and her genuineness that she takes a moment to reflect and think of someone who was so much a part of her life on their birthday no matter what has happened.

To me it shows strength of character and growth.

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