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Author Topic: My Story Rebuilding with Lettuces

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My Story Rebuilding with Lettuces
#60: June 29, 2020, 08:44:27 AM
Isn't it funny and rather wonderful when someone else here can see the pearl in your own confused oyster words? Thank you so much, OR.
You are quite right, blindingly obvious when I read your post.

The troll isn't about my xh at all. It is about that missing 'well here I am...what now' handbook  :)

Bc I didn't really intentionally choose hardly anything about Here....i was kind of picked up in a tornado and spat out Here mostly  ::)
And it is a very good thing indeed to notice that I obviously am ready to start choosing again for myself  :)

I really liked my h and no, I didn't ignore MLC behaviour for twenty years or live with a h who despised me or on eggshells....I really didn't and I know myself well enough to know that I am not wired to be able to do that every day for years....too noisy, too impatient, too curious, too open, too honest, too much ego....so no, that wasn't how it was. No m or spouse is perfect but yes, I actively enjoyed most of our relationship. And yes, I genuinely loved my h and I liked how I loved him. And tbh he seemed to like it too every day for years and years. I did have both feet in. Tbh that is how I love....I have no doubt at all that I would run into a burning building for those I love and I have been very lucky in my life to have loved people who would have (and have metaphorically) done the same for me. All real and none of it pointless. Rationally, the LBS struggle I think is three bits.....accepting that a spouse no longer loves you and wants to leave, accepting that they were who you thought they were and also that there were bits you didn't know and acceoting that they unable to behave like a sane decent human being towards you when they go. The first was easier for me to accept than the second, and the second easier than the third  :)

But you are quite right....the essence of my 'bleh' is about that 'blimey, here I am....what the hell do I do now?' feeling. Which is all about me and nothing really to do with what happened to my xh....that was just one of the things that ran my old life into a brick wall...like my father's death or my mother's dementia or even when I got run over by a big red bus lol.....all those things put a full stop to that path and brought me to today.
I do like the idea of throwing the troll in a sack on the back seat though, OR  :)
Thank you. You really helped me today.
Gosh won't it be nice to get to a point in my own progress when I feel like I am driving without any hitchicking noisy trolls  :)
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« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 08:48:44 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: Rebuilding with Lettuces
#61: June 29, 2020, 09:05:41 AM
Edit: posted as the same time as you did Treasur! So may not make sense in reply to your last post.

Anyone else have/ had one of these existential trolls  at this 4/5 year point? If so, what did you do with it to make it a bit more constructive and less draining?

Ah lovely Treasur, welcome to what used to be my world. Existential Troll-land.

I suffered from this very badly to start with, even before exH ran, when he was being a bit of a d!ck, because I had left my country of origin and everything with it behind for him - my friends, my family, the start of what looked like a stellar career in a major MNC. I was especially furious because it's not like I carried on with life as I would have lived it if we hadn't got married, and just happened to marry him as I continued to make choices that put me first. I put him first ahead of myself in every respect and what does the d!ckhead do? So when you're talking about feeling like you've made a hash of things, I can very much understand all this.

I don't really have an answer for you about how to deal with it. I have two thoughts, and engage with the first as my primary mechanism: I don't think about it. There's nothing quite as bitter as regret, and quite as useless - can't do anything about it. I either think of something else or strengthen resolve to not make the same mistakes.

The second thought occurs to me sometimes and I'm not quite sure what to make of it, but I will share it with you in case you can turn straw into gold. I find it hard to explain, so be patient with me: would we feel similarly regretful if, at the point of BD, our Hs had dropped dead instead of running away like the ashen cowards they are? Of course the trauma that results from being betrayed is specific and different to that of being 'merely' bereaved, but would you have considered yourself as having made a 'hash' of things if you made the same choices, bet on the same horse, only for that horse to collapse and die prematurely? If not, then you could argue that your choices were sound. At the time you made those choices you had no reason to believe your exH would later act the way he did.

I have a dear friend who was widowed at 33.  Her husband passed from brain cancer.  She struggled for many years after his death, similar to how we struggle, but the difference is that her pain is simpler. Her memories of him remain untainted. But she was still in much pain for many years. On some level she was also traumatised by what happened to him - when they should have been planning a young family like so many of our peers, she was watching her husband die. She had to give up her job and was his carer for two years before he passed. When he passed she disappeared socially for a year - wouldn't respond to any of her friends.

Would she pass on his proposal if she had some foresight of what was to come? I don't know. I won't ask her that. Would I pass on exH if I knew what was to come? I don't know really. Some days yes, some days no. Then I shake myself and go to point 1. Switch off the thoughts and switch on Netflix.
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« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 09:12:27 AM by CheerHeart »
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

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Rebuilding with Lettuces
#62: June 29, 2020, 09:29:08 AM
Ah, CheerHeart, there you go....another bit of spare brain HS wisdom  :)

No, I absolutely would not feel the same if my h had died at BD instead. I would have grieved hard and struggled and fallen over just as much as I did, but no I would not have felt as if I had made a terrible mistake or even a hash of recovering from that tbh. No different than the loss of my parents. I would have grieved but I would have seen my grief going in hand with my gratitude for the time and love I had. Tbh much of my path would have been pretty much the same including the practical challenges of recovery.

It actually would have been easier emotionally if he had died, which sounds awful, but I know you guys understand why I'd say that.

So what makes it different when the practicality of the loss tbh is much the same?
It's the self-doubt isn't it? That insidious little troll voice that says I should have known or that a and b don't add up so the a I remember can't be true bc b is self-evidently real or that I was duped somehow into a not-real marriage bc I was stupid to think my h was as he appeared to be to me and everyone else for years.
It's the self-doubt.

For a while, I did deal with the mental trolls by thinking of my h as dead. Which might be a bit nuts but was quite effective for me bc i was already grieving other losses and getting quite competent at doing grief  :)

I wonder how the troll would sound if I worked a little harder to smack down that self-doubt..... :) ::)
Maybe the terrible mistake was not mine but his.....

Until then, I will follow your lead and go for the Netflix/cat cuddling/cooking kale with spaghetti for supper option.
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« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 09:30:22 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: Rebuilding with Lettuces
#63: June 29, 2020, 09:44:03 AM
It actually would have been easier emotionally if he had died, which sounds awful, but I know you guys understand why I'd say that.

Cue LBS theme song, Alanis Morisette's You Oughta Know, with lyrics excerpt:

"Does she know how you told me
You'd hold me until you died
'Til you died, but you're still alive..."

It would have been much easier if he had died. My widowed friend supported me in the wake of exH's betrayal and leaving and she said this to me - she suffered but not as much as I did, as we do.
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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

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Rebuilding with Lettuces
#64: June 29, 2020, 09:54:00 PM
Some days I do great and other days the troll indeed comes out to play.  Some days I am still blown away by the WTFness of it all and it takes my breath away and there are instant tears.

Other days, I'm more rational and can look at the silver linings of my life as it is now.
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M-42
H-44
S-20 (mine)
D-18 (ours)
S-15 (ours)
Friends 7y before M
Married 14y
BD 12/14/15 - 2 weeks after 14th anniv.
Divorce final 4/13/16
EA - 9/15-4/16
New GF 12/16
Engaged 6/17 (I found out 8/10/17)
Moved to her State 4 States away - 7/13/17 (told me 4 days before)
Eng. off 8/20/17
Moved back to our State 8/24/17
New GF 2/29/20 (Told me 4/22/20)
Marrying her 4/24/20 (Told me 4/22/20)

Link to my journey: 
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11404.0

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to dance in the rain."

"Don't become a container for bitterness.  It's a toxin that destroys what it's carried in."

"Sometimes - some things have to break apart so better things can be built."

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Rebuilding with Lettuces
#65: June 30, 2020, 10:46:17 AM
I don't cry about the WTFness anymore....but my mind does have the odd moment when it washes through and I think golly, that really was a WTF kind of experience wasn't it? And tbh so WTF that I am not sure anyone who hasn't been faced with that kind of relentless WTF over an extended period of time can really get it, no matter how kind they are about it. I guess I kind of accept now that I am simply not wired for that kind of WTF and I prefer to live without it in my life bc it is crazymaking and exhausting. Funny though how our brain default is often to try to make sense of non-sense things if they have a big effect on our lives isn't it?

I think there is a point....a few years on....when the sharp memory of some of the WTF fades and you have been living like a normal person again so you remember what normal looks like lol....which is all good....but perhaps that is when the temptation to rewrite is a bit stronger bc a bit of you HAS forgotten what that WTF stuff looked and felt like. Reading the odd thread like the Script/WTF one reminds me....and tbh it's a good reminder too of how maddening and usually impossible it is to communicate with someone through the WTF. How can you possibly have a sensible conversation with someone who makes up conversations that never happened? Or lies so much about so much? Or feels like a victim of a situation they created and you had exactly zero say in?

And that helps with those troll voices of doubt...or it helps me anyway....once my then h went over the WTF edge, even if I had known then what I know now, I am quite convinced that NOTHING I could have said or done would have made any difference to the crazy chaos at all. Not one bit. So if I couldn't foresee it and I couldn't do anything about it, how could I have made a mistake with my m? I just failed to see something WTF coming and something way beyond  my life experience of 50 years. I just failed to have a magic future ball  :) genuinely the only thing I think I could have done is move more quickly to think of my h as essentially dead and cut contact with him a bit earlier....that's it. In a way, it's not very different from dementia or cancer....had no way to foresee them either and couldn't do anything about it just the same. But it doesn't mean I value those years with my parents any less bc of that. No reason why the same principle shouldn't apply  :)

So metaphorically dead works fine for me  :)

I suspect the troll bit is about teaching myself now to focus on enjoying the journey more than the destination. Which wasn't how I did things before bc I was more goal-focused and future-focused, a kind of 'start with the end in mind and work backwards' kind of girl....but that no longer seems to quite fit how life is unfolding, so I shall just need to change my ways  :)....and how I measure my sense of success and happiness I suspect. I really have learned quite a lot from those lettuces though....and me and my neighbours are now enjoying new potatoes, courgettes, peas and beans and looking forward to raspberries  :)
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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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Rebuilding with Lettuces
#66: July 02, 2020, 07:03:49 AM
A sunshine and showers day yesterday, both outside and inside lol.

A very early morning long walk with my neighbour chum. Down an alley, past some little tucked out of sight cottages with pink roses round their doors, out onto the parched green of the common and spread out in front of us nothing but a neat sloping round hill, the green of whispering reed beds and little moored boats in the distance. It was stop you in your tracks beautiful. We saw a family of ducks on the river at the edge of the marsh, less than a foot away from us. And my friend talked about Time, how her sister's recent brush with cancer had made her realise that her own survival from it ten years ago felt both far away and as if it were yesterday.

A couple of hours volunteering in church, sat quietly to keep it open for others, gazing up at the wooden carved angels on the roof of the nave. And then I met the vicar for the first time, who had popped in to figure out how to prepare the church for a first service in a couple of weeks. For the last two years, I have simply not been able to go to services. I just felt the absence of my h by my side too much; it was distracting. But I go often to pray alone in the small lady chapel....so I had never met the vicar. He introduced himself, light chit chat and I offered my help in his figuring out conundrum on pews. More chit chat about covid and services and he asked the normal 'how long have you been here' tyoe questions. And he knows Harry, our old vicar of course. He asked about my h/family....I gave him the two sentence potted version....and he paused and asked how long ago it was. I said four years and he said 'oh, well not long ago at all really then'. And I could have hugged him lol. A RL human who gets just how long a road out this is  :). It was an incredibly gentle and kind response. The other thing that I noticed is that chatty practical folks like me are useful in church communities....just as I used to feel I/we was....so there is a place for me still even if it felt for a long time that there wasn't. And I will go to the first reopening service.

And the other thought that occurred to me is that these MLC spouses do truthfully desecrate some things bc of how they behave. Not everything, not every memory....but some truthfully, that is just how it is. I can't entirely see my xh as the smiling kind choir singing lay elder with a vocation who was part of my faith family team and our little village community in the way I did; I enjoyed it at the time but I can't see it in quite the same way now. Not entirely. Perhaps simply bc I don't know when the shadows crept in. But tbh he desecrated things of his own perhaps much much more than he desecrated things I held dear that we shared. I DO know that he valued some of these things highly, that some of them and the relationships that went with them were defining and affirming for him whereas my faith was always a more internal one and my identity too probably. There is something profoundly self-destructive in that kind of desecration, like p**sing on your own front step really. It is easier for me to feel that wistfulness in a church setting and reclaim bits that are still mine alone bc it wasn't me who desecrated those things.

I genuinely can't imagine what it must feel like to have destroyed and devalued so many bits of ones own life, things that were foundation stones that you chose and that defined who you were for so long as all MLCers do to some extent....faith, family, home, friends, community, parenthood....sacred things in a way, regardless of your religious beliefs. That new life would have to be pretty darned perfect to make up for that wouldn't it?  ::)....and of course that is rarely how life goes so the odds are poor  ::)

Tbh as I move forward and have been focusing on my own life, I have lost some of the compassion I used to have for my former h and replaced it with compassion for myself and others. Which is probably a good and more useful thing. And tbh with time and NC, the sheer horrific insanity of how it felt fades too. But, just for a moment there in church, I had a whisper of it.....a glimmer of how, if my h had indeed been even partly who we all thought he was, the person who so many of us loved and appreciated, how very much he had lost in his own devaluing and destruction....not enough to do anything more than light a candle and offer up a prayer for him, wherever he is.....but it is a long time since I have wanted to do that. And it felt good to me that I could and did.

And then the rain came so I went home and made creme fraiche and limoncello ice cream for the first time before settling in to do some work on rebuilding my business....we'll see how it turns out...ha ha both ice cream and business lol...bc I thought it would go well with the metaphorical bucket of strawberries in my fridge  :) And cinnamon scones to share with my neighbours and beautiful fresh broccoli for supper which wac a gift from an allotment chum.

So, extraordinary beauty in a vista like a perfect painting, ducks, angels, a bit of human grace, a moment of faith, a reminder of how odd Time is, some compassion, a walk back in warm rain that my allotment will appreciate too, gifts from new chums, memories of old ones, ice cream and strawberries and scones and broccoli, and the burst of familiar creativity in my brain again. A good day so far  :)....not a perfect life but then if you didn't blow up your old one, perhaps there is less pressure to make it so...good enough is a thing of delight after wading through Hell in lead boots isn't it?  :)

Oh, and Gracie has learned to jump up and open doors by the handle now lol.
The funniest thing though is that on one door she seems quite often to end up stuck, swinging from the door handke by her claws like a cat decoration, neither up nor down with a look of thwarted disgust on her face  :)....shevfeally is turning into a slightly odd cat  ???
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« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 07:40:53 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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Rebuilding with Lettuces
#67: July 02, 2020, 08:46:23 PM
Treasur your walk sounds divine. I can visualise it clearly. I so hope to be able to get to England one day (when planes are flying again!). And I can feel the relief you felt to meet someone that is kind and 'gets' how long these things take to heal from. Thank you for continuing to write.

On Gracie (who does sound delightful), my Maggles (now somehow rechristened Swaggie (which is amusing to me because Maggles is already a rechristening from her original name of Maggy, I wonder what she'll end up with next?) is a door opening kitty. Well she was! The other house had lever type handles and she could open every door in the house (not very good at closing them!). But the new house has round door knobs so she can't open them. I feel a bit sorry for her! I love a kitty with personality.
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M: 50 (48 @ BD)
H: 53 (51 @ BD)
Married 20yrs, together 23yrs
D: 21 (19 @ BD)
D: 19 (17 @ BD)
'Extra D': 19 (17 @ BD)
BD (that I didn't recognise as such) Easter 2018
BD 9th Sep 2018
OW (45, now 47) - he met her in the pub a week before BD, told me about her a week after BD. Thinks 'their planets have collided' because 'their eyes met across the room' and they had an 'instant connection'. Lives with her. Is building a life with her. Jun 20: H plans to buy a block of land and build a house with her.

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Re: Rebuilding with Lettuces
#68: July 03, 2020, 12:51:12 AM
Lovely walk, Treasur, could just see everything you described. A good day for you reminds us that we can and will all have good days. Meeting the Vicar sounded like a positive RL encounter, too. Sounds like your roots are taking, have found water and you are beginning to thrive.

Gracie is the cutest. She's got a personality not dissimilar to her Mum's. 
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Married 1989, together since 1984 
BD May 2014,
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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Rebuilding with Lettuces
#69: July 03, 2020, 09:22:35 AM
Your vicar does sound nice and I expect the church community will also have interesting people and projects. 

Have a nice weekend
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