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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:21 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:08 pm
Posts: 51
TTF_Refugee and Ianuaria's Recovery Lesson Responses Thread.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:55 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:09 pm
Posts: 44
Exercise 1

a. An updated vision for the life that you are leading

The life I am leading is at times emotional, confusing, disheartening and painful. I am paranoid, self conscious, afraid, anxious and protective of myself. I allow my feelings of abandonment to turn me into a person I was not before, and am facing many problems as a result. My vision for my life is to not be those things. To be secure and relaxed, to have a partnership I can trust and rely on, and to be confident in who I am and learn to trust again, and to not allow my feelings of abandonment or mistrust to overtake what I want for myself.

b. An expansion of your vision in the area involving partnership (specifically focus on two areas: what you hope to experience within your partnership over the next year; and, in looking back on your life from the point of your death until now, what challenges, experiences and memories you hope to share with your partner)

I am hoping that over the next year my faith and confidence will begin to be restored. I am hoping that I will see change and find something to anchor my hope to. I hope we can continue to build our non-sexual intimacy and closeness while working on rebuilding trust and healing individually together. I am hoping that we will come out of this stronger and more aware, healthier and happier and ready to be in recovery together forever. I hope to experience the life of our sons together, the parenting fun and tough times, and the milestones. I want to travel together and be there to experience life together, I want to retire together and build a home together, and earn our way to retirement together where we can relax and enjoy our time together.

c. A simple list of the likely obstacles that are/will be standing between you and enacting this vision. (Think current or likely future obstacles only; such as inefficient communication rituals, alcohol, lack of forgiveness, etc.).

Obstacles I can see being a possibility are my paranoia and lack of trust, and how long it may take to trust again; communication about P and M breaking down and relapse coming on; me drinking again and setting back the health I have gained; and P and A.

d. A simple list of goals that you have for the remainder of your life. (Important goals that you feel the need to accomplish to experience a sense of fulfillment in your life. Don't leave any out. If there is something that you feel that you must experience, list it. For instance, I know that at some point in my life, I need to spend a year or more in the mountains—surviving off the land. Even if it kills me, it's something I need to do to feel like I lived the life that I wanted to live. What do you need to experience—if anything?)

I need to travel to other continents.
I need to see wild animals in their natural habitats.
I need to visit remote, rural towns and villages and experience other cultures.
I need to drive from the east cost to the west coast without a schedule.
I need to build my own house
I need to have a small farm
I need to own property on usable water
I need to stay healthy to enjoy all of these things
I need to see several historical sites around the world
I need to see my children grow into happy, healthy beings who know love and respect
I need to grow old with my husband and share our life experiences and laughter together
I need to maintain long-term friendships

e. A simple list of the goals that YOU BELIEVE your partner feels the need to accomplish in the remaining years of his/her life (Don't ask for these, share from your current knowledge base)

I think he needs to learn to live off the land and be self sufficient
I think he needs to see his sons grow up to be happy and healthy and successful in life
I think he needs to like himself and be happy and unafraid and relaxed
I think he needs to feel confident that he has the love and respect of his closest friends and family

f. An updated list of your top ten practical values (the areas of your life that you currently derive the most meaning and fulfillment from)

my relationship with my husband
my relationships with my kids
when I am successful in business
my close friendships
helping people understand or communicate
being adventurous and active
learning new skills and putting them to the test
teaching my kids new things and providing them with new experiences
being active and knowing I am taking care of myself
staying sober and knowing that I am committed and have made this choice for myself, and feeling like my life and my existence has more substance.

It's what you do with the time you have left.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:57 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:08 pm
Posts: 51
Lesson 1

A. Vision of the life I'm leading:

It's bleak, it's a bit like the tale of Sissyphus, the figure from greek mythology who was condemned to push a boulder to the top of a hill just to see it roll back down for eternity. The boulder could be a metaphor for my progress in kicking my SA.

Each time I've fallen off the wagon however I've gained a deeper understanding of what actually is driving my behaviour and motivating me to hide it. Fear is a big part of it.

We've been abstinent for the last little while, and I've been moving forward so far but am just getting to the 2 week danger zone again. I've used the anonymous mental health program at work to get a councillor, my first meeting with her is on tuesday. I've also informed a mentor at work that I have issues, and that them knowing about it will help keep me on the right path. Secrecy seems to be the shadows my SA uses to hide in.

I feel I'm on the right path, but I've felt that before.

B. Over the next year I intend to continue to create distance from SA, to achieve this with my partner who also suffers from SA. To leave behind the only part of my life that shames me, that makes me feel like I'm not a human being. The part that makes me feel like a cowardly monster.

Looking back at the end of my life, I hope to see that this moment was the point where the scales tipped and I walked away, hand in hand with my partner. I hope that my time is filled with productive years, of spiritual growth and healing. I want to see a continuous progression of ever more integrity in my behaviour.

C. Obstacles to this from happening... If this time I never regain my partner's trust. If I do not maintain strength of character and my support network. If I fail to keep vigilant and keep my partner and mentor truly informed of my mental state. If I try to hide when I'm having trouble because I'm afraid to show weakness.

D. To not have to worry about the future. To be secure in financials, to be able to provide all the things I want to provide to friends and family. To be able to do so without fear of compromise or inability. To not have to fear that I may be unable to provide at a critical point in the future. To not have to fear being unable to reciprocate. To not have to fear the unexpected.

E. To travel, experience everything the world has to offer, to watch our children grow, to be comfortable, to have stability, to be able to trust her partner, to be secure and comfortable in her future.

F. This one has taken me aback. It used to be my job... It's the sort of thing that people think of as more than a job, but a calling. I've gotten to a point where I'm disillusioned by the pure unadulterated bureaucracy that is crippling it at the moment. It's just become a job now. I derive no pleasure in being associated with the organization anymore. This saddens me. I never believed that I'd become one of the old curmudgeonly fellows who tells the young bucks not to break themselves early serving the organization and that ideals are fleeting and "one day this will happen to you" but here we are.

I want to be a good dad. I want to get along with my kids. I want to be respected and loved by my partner, I want to be the guy my friends think I am. Dependable, honest, and reliable... It's kind of alarming to realize that all of the things I value about myself right now are tied up in other people's perceptions of me. When I was younger I didn't give a shit what anyone thought of me. I figured if they didn't like me for who I was, so be it, their loss. I wonder when that changed.

6) being trusted and accepted as a capable person.
5) being knowledgeable on a variety of subjects.
4) Generally able to help anyone in need.
3) Being handy.
2) Being a decent provider.
1) Being a good dad. I could be better though.

I would include the love and respect of my wife, but I don't have that right now, I've lost it by lying about straying and breaking a promise to never allow us to be sexual on a day I've strayed. I hope to earn it back in time.

I really don't have anything else to add to the list worth mentioning

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:09 pm
Posts: 44
Exercise 2
Last evening we completed the exercise where I was to be taken care of by TTF. I came home and the kids were already in bed, and it was quiet. I was really nervous for some reason, I guess maybe because we haven't been very intimate for weeks, even being naked. I've been very guarded. Last night was a good exercise. He fed me dinner and dessert, and brushed my hair and washed me in the shower, dressed me and then we watched one of my favourite movies together and sit with each other on the couch. When we went to bed after the movie he read to me and I fell asleep after about 10 minutes. It was really nice. I haven't felt that intimate with TTF in awhile, and I'm glad we did the exercise. He was very tender and soft, and very caring and attentive, and made me feel like he genuinely cared. It was nice to have that kind of non-sexual intimacy for awhile. I felt like he was really focusing on me and what I needed, and trying to pay attention to cues and such. There were no phones or forums or computer games or other people or anything other than just us two. I was skeptical at first because I felt like I wasn't ready for that intimacy yet, but it was good to happen. It helped to bring me a bit closer to TTF. I had a self conscious thought that it was all going to diminish me in TTF's eyes making me seem weak or helpless, but I believe that wasn't the case. He's not like that, and that's really just my insecurities from past years trying to be perfect.
It was really nice to take that time last night to reconnect with each other on such a level. I am feeling better about moving forward.

It's what you do with the time you have left.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:51 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:08 pm
Posts: 51
Exersise 2:

I had the kids to bed before my partner got home.

She had been out with a friend and came back in a fairly good mood.

I cooked her dinner, comfort food she'd been craving, and fed it to her while we talked about her day, then I made us tea and dessert and continued our conversation, then I took her to our upstairs bathroom and brushed her hair, then we had a non sexual shower where I washed her, as per her direction. after drying her I took her downstairs and we watched a movie of her choice (The princess bride) while cuddling. Then I took her upstairs to bed, washed her face as per her regimen, got her ready for bed, then tucked her in.

Doing all these dependant intimate functions with her made me really focus on her, her emotions and her reactions. I became much more familiar with her form, I had become foggy on most details of her in the past. She was worried that this activity would be too intimate, too real and would lower my attraction to her, however, on the contrary, it made me much more emotionally connected and attracted to her.

At no time did I feel like I was being burdened, it was a very relaxing way to spend an evening. I think we would do parts of it again in the future. It was actually quite enjoyable to slow down, take it easy and spend the time being intimate with her. It was comfortable being in no hurry, just existing in the moment.

It kinda makes me sad I hadn't done this earlier in our relationship.

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