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 Post subject: spot's healing
PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:50 am
Posts: 17
Exercise One

The signs began almost as soon as we started dating. I feel especially stupid and humiliated and ashamed because I basically watched it all go on and let it continue.

We met through friends at a local club.
I had negative feelings toward him at first, but talking over time, I loosened up.
I was not looking for a relationship, and made it clear I definitely did not want an exclusive monogamous relationship, as I was less than two years out of my second marriage in a row, both ended due to abuse and chronic unfaithfulness. I wanted honesty and openness and freedom. But I let him talk me into it, with so many sweet reassurances and promises, despite my misgivings. We discussed our relationship boundaries and made everything clear. He confessed to me that he chronically cheated on his first wife, but that was years ago, and he didn't do that anymore because it made him feel awful.

Within the first month, I had discovered he had been secretly meeting up with and sexually texting his ex girlfriend, exchanging photos. I confronted him, and he said he "just didn't realize that was inappropriate and would stop right away". I didn't believe it, but I let it go...there are bound to be a few bumps at the beginning, right? We just needed to re-clarify boundaries, right? Otherwise he seemed completely enamored with me, and was very loving, attentive, nurturing, everything I could want.
Not long after, at a club event on night, he grabbed a friend of mine, felt her up, and made out with her on the dance floor while I was present. When confronted, he said "well, she started grinding on me and I just couldn't control myself". When I stated that I was watching, and in no way, shape, or form, did she grind on him whatsoever, he said "well, I just thought you would be okay with it". When I refuted that by stating our clearly agreed upon relationship boundaries, and asked him to imagine if I did a similar thing with one of his male friends, he responded "well...I guess, I don't know. I don't know why I did it. I just got carried away in the fantasy." and promised there would be no more "misunderstandings".
Four days later, I discovered he had been engaging in secret sexual texts with this friend afterward. "well, I just got really excited." followed by "I'm sorry, I promise nothing like this will ever happen again. I just didn't know, I didn't understand the rules." I didn't believe that either, but I let it go and gave him the benefit of the doubt. Just a few more bumps in the road to get smoothed out? It especially hurt that he wouldn't ever engage in that kind of talk or texting with me. I didn't understand. I thought perhaps it was my fault somehow. He kept stating that he had never met anyone with such high expectations as mine and he was just adjusting.

A month later, I had been giving him oral sex, and I unexpectedly and accidentally gagged too hard. Vomiting is my biggest phobia, so I began having a panic attack. I was scared and cried for a long time afterward, then he tucked me into bed very disoriented and upset. I woke up a while later to him climbing on top of me, penetrating me. I froze, kept my eyes closed, and stayed perfectly still. I was horrified, and I wanted him to stop, but I was in so much shock I just didn't move...he began to try to force himself into me anally and I laid there, feeling paralyzed, screaming no no no please no inside my mind. I couldn't hold back my grimace and cry of pain when he tore through, but he wasn't deterred. I kept waiting for him to notice, and perhaps stop and start to comfort me, but that moment never came. He finished, and rolled over next to me in bed, pulled up the covers, and went immediately to sleep. I thought he might kiss me on the forehead goodnight, anything, but there was absolutely zero acknowledgement. I was nothing to him. I broke inside. I went into a deep sleep.
The next morning, I didn't know what to do. I took care of my injuries in the bathroom. After a bit of awkward time, I asked him "Did you have sex with me last night?" He said "No, I tucked you in and you went to sleep. I don't think anything else happened." I don't remember what I said after that, but I know I began gently insisting that he did, and I remembered it, and he continued denying it. At that point, I began to get upset, and told him the relationship was over, and he needed to leave. He stayed sulking defensively in my house for a while, before finally beginning to cry and admitting that he did have sex with me. I asked him why he did it, and he said "Well, I was still horny." I began to explain the concept of consent to him, and the more I said, the more upset he became. He lashed out at me, asking why I didn't stop him, and escalated until he was a mess, just repeating "I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I thought that was okay, I don't know." and became suicidal. I took care of him and calmed him down. I felt guilty for not speaking up while it was happening. I felt like I had somehow caused this to happen, even though I also knew that I good person wouldn't have done this anyway. Over the next several weeks, he was depressed and angry. He oscillated from blaming society for not teaching him consent clearly enough, to blaming me for not intervening, to being suicidal. I insisted we seek out counseling, but our budget and his work schedule got in the way. He began to learn about consent from online resources and promised nothing like that would ever happen again. He seemed extremely upset about it so I believed him. It took me months to introduce the "r word" in reference to what we call "the incident". When I did, he broke down and became inconsolable again, leading to another cycle of suicidal ideation, withdrawal, and me trying to stabilize him, hoping he would be able to comfort me and apologize at some point. I didn't really ever get a chance to express my feelings about it.

As tends to happen, things would get better and seem great for a while, and then everything would crash and seem unbearable again for a while and I'd question the relationship, causing him to lash out and become suicidal and self loathing. Anytime I expressed any of my feelings about it, if I seemed afraid, hesitant, sad...he would lash out, pull away, and go into a downward spiral.

Other patterns began to emerge. A secret phone call from his ex, that I accidentally walked in on...he tried to hide it, lied about it, and then confessed that she was calling him to notify him she had been diagnosed with an STD and that he would be contacted by the local health department to come in for testing soon. He vehemently denied having sex with her recently, but claimed that she told him she had to give them contact information for all of her sex partners many years back, just in case the infection had been dormant. Nothing added up. His story changed. I didn't believe him. He tested negative, but I felt sick.
I began to snoop in his phone occasionally. Everything was always cleared and deleted. All of his text messages, everything was always completely wiped clean and empty when he was at home. I'd see little glimpses here and there of him deleting texts, in passing sometimes in public, but he'd deny it, or claim it was just this or just that.
I would find nude snaps from women in his snapchat, after he denied that he even had snapchat on his phone. Then he denied he knew the women at all and they were spambots. I discovered they were added to his friends on snapchat from his phone contacts. He'd delete them, delete the app, and continue insisting that he had no idea how any of that happened, and promise nothing like it would happen again. In his first marriage, he would meet all the women he had affairs with at gas stations. I'd find women's names in his contacts with the names of local gas stations, but he'd just say they were old, or it was just a girl selling something that he was going to call about, or other excuse.
I found internet history indicating he had been browsing craigslist casual encounters. When confronted, he claimed he was just looking out of curiosity out of habit and wasn't trying to meet anyone.
I discovered that his primary interest in pornography was very extreme content, such as "painal" where the woman is visibly in pain and distressed from anal sex, anal prolapse, fisting, and violence.

Interspersed while this was all going on, I was also still trying to continue to have a sexual relationship with him, but trying to make it a healthy one, on my terms, but he wasn't really capable of it. He would consistently violate my boundaries and hurt me, and then claim he didn't mean to, it was just a mistake, etc. It was not rare for sex to end with me crying, and him apologizing and then shutting down and becoming self loathing. I kept thinking it was just my fault, I was too sensitive, and I must need therapy to get over it so we could be happy together. One thing that happened on multiple occasions was that despite my very clear, bold, frequent assertions that I DID NOT want, he would still suddenly attempt to fist me. I do have friends who enjoy the practice, done properly, but him having learned from extreme and violent porn, he wasn't even attempting to do it in a way that would be healthy or pleasurable for me. There were no conversations about it, nothing. During normal sex, I would all of the sudden find myself held down, with his massive hand trying to force its way into my body, and in such incredible pain that I could hardly breathe, and then be left sobbing on the bed a few minutes later, while he angrily stomped away to sulk about how he "messed up again and didn't know why" or he "just forgot that I said no and doesn't know why he can't remember". I'd be left to heal visible bruising and tearing, in a lot of pain every time I sat down, crying to myself all day long, while he would refuse to speak to me or look at me at all.

I wanted to leave, but I was completely financially trapped.

Over time, I brought up the possibility of him being addicted to the violent porn, and it causing him confusion with consent and healthy sexual relationships. He eventually told me he was going to stop viewing porn, and wanted to stop having sex for a few weeks "to get his head straight". Weeks turned into months...every time I asked, he would refuse. He said he was afraid of hurting me and me leaving him. After while, I discovered he was still viewing porn. I tried offering him porn I knew was created ethically, that still had some of the content he enjoyed, but involved connection, consent, and chemistry between partners. Maybe he just needed to learn? It was always short lived.

Problems continued. Hiding. Secrets. Sexual comments. Hurting me. I felt constantly unsafe.

He finally committed to going to a counselor.
We went for months, but his behavior only escalated. Even to storming out of the therapists office when asked to try to acknowledge just the physical pain he had caused me in his recent sexual attack.
He became increasingly distant, angry, controlling.
I wasn't allowed to visit friends or go anywhere without him. I wasn't allowed to work. One reason he gave was that when he and his ex wife worked separate schedules, that contributed to his decision to have affairs. He wanted me available to him 24/7.

I had tried to leave several times. I have a daughter from a previous marriage, and we all lived in a condo owned by her father's dad. When discoveries would happen and I would say that I just couldn't take it anymore, my partner would often refuse to leave, or promise to find a place to stay soon, or would stay somewhere else temporarily, and eventually come back groveling and promising and sending flowers. I didn't have anywhere else to go, and I had never had anyone apologize to me or buy me flowers, so it was extremely confusing.
Once, I had completely packed up and planned to move in with my pastor at the time...he didn't know anything about why I was leaving, because I was too ashamed to tell anyone, but I made it clear that I needed to. I got rid of almost all of my belongings. My pastor had helped me through my divorce from my daughter's father and had seemed supportive, so I trusted him. But days before I was set to move in, he gave me a stern lecture on taking responsibility for my lack of commitment to my relationships, outright blaming me for causing my partners to be unfaithful and abusive, etc. I was shocked and dismayed. I cut contact with him, left the church, and lost my last avenue for support that I thought I could really count on. I had no childcare and couldn't figure out how to work so I could leave.

Discoveries still happened, craigslist casual encounters, text messages, porn sites, facebook messages, etc. Once he confessed to me that he had sexual fantasies related to BDSM about tying me up and using me as a punching bag. Continued pouting, sulking, ignoring me, angry outburts, yelling at me in public, etc. We hadn't had sex or been affectionate in such a long time, I felt like I was sure that he didn't love me anymore, and possibly never did. I discovered he made plans to meet up with a girl at a local concert, one I had wanted to go to but couldn't due to an appointment, so I wouldn't be home. All the betrayal hurt so badly.

I finally decided to go visit my family out of state, whether my partner liked it or not. While there, he threatened me, called me names, and smashed a hole in the wall of our apartment, because he said he was hungry and didn't want to make himself food or go get any, and he was angry that I went on a high altitude hike with my dad and brother, and he was angry that I took my dog with me, but I did that because I was afraid of what he might do to her while I was gone if he was angry. I decided that I needed to find a way to leave him ASAP. My sister gave me a book called "Why Does He Do That?: Inside The Minds Of Angry And Controlling Men". She said it helped her leave her ex boyfriend. I read it in less than two days and everything seemed so clear. When my partner called to begin his regular apology phase, I told him I read a book, and it explained his behavior, and that it wasn't acceptable, and I needed to leave. I had found several articles on the author's website for men who have been confronted by partners reading the book, outlining steps they need to undergo to change their abusive behavior. I sent him the links, and he promised to read them and do everything ASAP so he could fix everything and we could be together. He became fixated on the idea that somehow he was flawed, that he for some reason lacked the ability to feel empathy, and he couldn't change, but he promised me he would find a way. He promised he was reading the articles and he understood and he would be better. He promised to find a group for abusive men, as suggested by the website/book.
I came home from my trip ready to make plans to be on my own, but I still had no resources and no support, and I hoped maybe he really might change...less than two weeks later, got a frantic call from my mother telling me that ambulances were on their way to my younger sister's house, her husband had suddenly collapsed. While on the phone with her, I listened to the emergency personnel arrive, begin resuscitation attempts, my sister wailing and begging her husband to please wake up and not leave her...he didn't make it. I was in shock. I knew I had to go up there right away and be with my family. I woke up my partner to let him know, and his first comment was "who cares?" I was shocked. He had never shown that level of cruelty before. I told him that was such an inappropriate thing to say, and that I was getting ready to drive out of state to be with them. His reply was "well, i'll try not to break anything again this time" (referring to him punching a hole in our wall during my previous trip) and left for work without another word.

I left for my trip and knew I could never go back from this. I broke up with him. I stayed out of state for more than 3 weeks with my daughter and my dog. I had to continue sharing space with him when I returned until I could find a new place to stay, or as long as things were remaining peaceful. I laid down my strict boundaries, and when I got back and moved all of my things out of our shared bedroom into a separate bedroom. Got a job. Spent time with friends. Began therapy at the local rape crisis center.

Months later, we began to be friendly. He was in a group for abusive men. He was doing well. He was being kind and thoughtful.
Over time, that turned into missing being together. He was helping me out around the house and with my daughter while I worked.
And that progressed to considering reconciling.

Our time apart had really changed our dynamic. We have been back together for quite a while now, and that same abusive behavior from before still hasn't returned, and I hope it never will. But the compulsive romantic and sexual issues have persisted.
One night, I decided to spend in his bed, because I felt a lot of trust had been rebuilt and I wanted to have that closeness with him again, even if only for one night. I woke up to him with his hand up my shirt, feeling my breast. This time, I jumped out of bed, and ran to my own room, and locked the door. I was reeling and terrified.
Of course, many hours later, he profusely apologized, said "he was horny and just didn't realize that would upset me, but he understands now and it would never happen again"...I was thrown into compete unsafe mode and carried a knife with me everywhere for a while after that just for comfort.
Time went by. Things seemed okay.
Months went by. They surprisingly still seemed okay! He maintained that he still wasn't viewing porn. He was still attending his group. No more clearing his text messages or anything like that.
But I lost my job due to childcare issues.
He had to stop attending his group because our finances got tight.
I worried.

Months went by...still okay?
Until I logged into the computer one day and saw a recent search for nearby hotels. My heart leapt in my throat. I went through his history. Craigslist casual encounters. Porn sites. Chat sites. Dating apps.
He denied it all except the porn. "but he was very sorry and he doesn't know why he did it and lied to me about it so much". I started compulsively checking all of his devices, looking for more clues, crying every day again. I knew it wasn't healthy and I needed to stop. I kept confronting him and he kept denying it all or making up implausible explanations.

My therapist referred me to the local Dress For Success program to try to help me get past some of my roadblocks to employment and financial independence. I completed them, and am in the process of preparing to go back to school. Focusing on my own future.

Doesn't make it hurt any less, when just a few months ago, I discovered he met a girl at a gas station, and had been messaging her daily on facebook, and had made plans to go over to her house "but not for sex, just as a friend", but he had hidden the entire interaction from me. Or when just a few weeks ago, I discovered him sexually texting a woman he met on another social networking website and exchanging nude photos, literally less than 24 hours after promising me he would definitely not do exactly that with anyone.


I think I've written generally most everything I can remember at this point. I'm sure I'll remember more at other times, and will probably add them then. This is my first time fully recounting the entire history of everything that has happened. :(


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:24 pm 
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Posts: 17
Exercise Two

I am attending therapy weekly.
I am keeping in touch with friends and family each week, so as not to isolate myself.
I am in the process of beginning school to pursue a career that will support me and my child.
I am honoring my boundaries and gut instincts about what I don't want to do, and what I need.
I will create a plan for healthy eating.
I will put away money toward weights so I can weight train.
I will take my child on a walk this week.
I will put money in my savings account toward my own living space.
I am accepting being a leader in the family.
I am asking for what I need.
I will put away money toward a new vehicle or getting my vehicle running.
I will apply for childcare assistance.
I will allow myself to dream.
I will allow myself to feel.
I will plan an activity with my child each week.
I will put money away for the dog's medical care.
I will take care of the dog each morning and evening.


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:54 pm 
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Posts: 17
Exercise Three

My gut instinct was that I shouldn't enter a relationship with him. I did it anyway because I wanted to believe his promises.

My gut instinct was that he was still too involved with his ex girlfriend, and still had feelings for her, so I shouldn't continue the relationship. I did it anyway because he promised that wasn't the case, and if it was, he'd fix it. I wanted it to be true, so I stayed.

My gut instinct was that he intentionally crossed the clear relationship boundaries with my friend, simply because he wanted to, and not due to any "misunderstanding". I let it go despite my doubts, because I didn't want to unjustly accuse him of having bad motives.

My gut instinct was that he knew what he did was wrong during "the incident" and not that he just didn't have a good understanding of consent...otherwise he wouldn't have lied. I ignored my gut because I didn't want to believe he would do something so awful after being so loving to me at other times.

My gut instinct was that he did have sexual contact with his ex girlfriend after we started talking. I ignored my gut because I didn't want that to be true.

My gut instinct is that he has sought out conversations, "friendships", social media connections, and other contact with random women he meets throughout the day purely for sexual/flirting reasons. I ignored my gut because I don't like the idea of him having sinister intentions with other women all the time.

My gut instinct is that he genuinely has a sexual addiction to seeing women be hurt, injured, in pain, damaged, abused, mutilated. I ignored by gut because I don't want to believe that's true about him.

My gut instinct is that he doesn't "forget" or "misunderstand" my boundaries when he hurt me in the past, he intentionally hurt me because that's what he's into. I ignored my gut because I wanted to believe that it wasn't intentional, I didn't want to believe he would do something that awful to me.

My gut instinct is that when he secretly made plans to meet up with her at the concert, it was intentionally hidden, and that he wants to stay in contact with her because he still has feelings for her. I ignored my gut because I didn't want to believe that our relationship doesn't mean as much to him.

My gut instinct is that when he was browsing craigslist casual encounters, he was entertaining the idea or making plans to meet up with someone. I ignored it because I didn't want to believe he would actually do that.

My gut instinct is that he is capable of sexually assaulting me again at any time, and its not by mistake or misunderstanding or lapse of memory. I ignore it because I don't want to believe he is actually like that.

My gut instinct is that he will do whatever he can with anyone he gets the opportunity to. I ignore it because I don't want to end our relationship.

My gut instinct is that he is still secretly meeting women at gas stations. I ignore it because I feel like there's nothing I can do about it.

My gut instinct is that he is still viewing violent porn and hiding it and deceiving me. I ignore it because there's nothing I can do about it.

My gut instinct is that there is still a lot hidden that I have no idea about. I want to believe there isn't. But my gut tells me there is.


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:03 am 
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Posts: 17
Exercise Four

Family
Work/financial gain
Helping others
Connecting with people
Being able to admit he has a problem/is wrong/apologize
Giving gifts




I believe he is ultimately self centered, so all of these qualities can and will be undermined when they don't give him the feelings he wants to have or if there is another self-serving feeling he is after.


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:14 am 
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Posts: 17
Exercise Five

A) I analyze things and try to fix them. I eat. I engage in self care routines. I try to reach out to people for connection/attention/support. I self injure. I lie to make myself look better. I engage in learned helplessness. I seek professional help. I seek distraction. When my needs aren't being met, and my normal methods of trying to fix the situation aren't working, I feel trapped. I can think of many times in my life that I regularly engaged in irrational behavior in order to cope with that stress.

B)I compulsively eat. The anxiety envelops my entire body. It feels like deep pressure in my upper back. Itchy, prickly, energy feelings in my arms and mouth. Burning pain in my arms and shoulders and jaw. I want to make it stop more than anything. I would do anything to get rid of it.

C)I think he would be more of a bully/troll to others, to feed his insecure ego.


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:21 am 
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Exercise Six

A) done

B) Sexualized: Inappropriate sexual joking, comments. Flirting with women at gas stations, Dr offices, social media, etc. "Just looking", "just curious", watching sexually inappropriate videos in public.

C) All four areas, particularly objectification.


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:31 am 
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Posts: 17
Exercise Seven

A)
Communcation: I have communicated to him my complaints, information about healthy relationships, information about getting help, my feelings, my needs, my boundaries, my plans, my expectations, etc.
Managing: In the past, I did all the research, found counselors, set up appointments, blocked websites from our internet connection, monitored his internet browser history and messaging, reminded him of promises he had made to me to read or do workbook exercises, etc. Currently, I am completely hands off in all of those arenas.
Empowering/Disempowering: Telling him I believe he is capable of recovery. Giving him the space and resources, but not micromanaging./Expressing my doubts and misgivings about his character. Making myself/our relationship vulnerable to greater setbacks and damage by not honoring my gut and/or my boundaries or values.

B)Yes, I am in therapy, so I have sufficient support now for my own recovery. I also joined a facebook support group.

C) I think the biggest change I can make that could contribute to our relationships future success is continuing on my path to independence, so I feel empowered. Also, learning to process my feelings and becoming aware of my gut feelings, boundaries, and values and how to make decisions based on them. Acknowledging my own needs and finding ways to get them met. Not expecting too much from him while he's learning so he doesn't feel like a failure.


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:35 am 
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Exercise Eight

1. He doesn't prioritize making time to go through the lessons/doesn't seem motivated to make time.
2. He doesn't want to do the reading/is avoiding having to do the difficult introspection and work.
3. He still shuts down so quickly and easily when faced with my pain or damage he has caused.


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:48 am 
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Posts: 17
Exercise Nine

A) + B)

Recognition of fundamental flaws: He has begun recognizing and accepting his flaws and deficits. However, he does still feel defensive about them sometimes, or gets overwhelmed and becomes hopeless and self deprecating. He is reluctant to dig deeper.

Change is generalized: He has made some very significant generalized change in all areas of his life in the past year. It has made a big difference. He has extended what he has learned to his work life, etc. However, he still does have a tendency to only work on very specific items and conveniently reserve the other areas to keep back to future addictive exploitation (Oh I didn't know!)

Vulnerability and transparency: He has been willing to share some things with me. His urge to lie/hide things. He admitted (or at least partially admitted) his last acting out instead of lying/hiding it. He has been open with some other people about it, but that seemed to be mostly a form of self destruction/wanting people to hate him for what he's done.

Proactive vs reactive: He tends to be very motivated to seek out working on things himself directly after acting out, or when randomly reminded by me having a bad day with my feelings.

Slips, relapse: Lots. Lots of overt and subtle behavior continuing, with no promises or commitments to stop (due to frequent repeated violation of these in the past)

C) I haven't spoken openly with my partner about any of this recently, I've been avoiding it, because it doesn't seem like he's fully committed to recovery (although he says he is, he isn't actively pursuing it) and I'm afraid to seem pushy.


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:58 am 
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Exercise Ten

A)
1. My financial independence
2. My emotional health
3. My social support system

B)
1. Currently none. I am almost entirely financially dependent on my partner. I am in the process of going back to school for a career. I got food and medical assistance, need to apply for childcare assistance. I also have some online work, but may need to try to find more.
2. I'm currently in therapy, and doing self help work. Aligning my time management with my daily values, like being a good parent to my child and caregiver to my pet, and pursuing physical health, will also help.
3. Currently doing okay. Checking in on friends more often and inviting them places, or accepting their invites will be helpful. Searching for new activities or ways to connect with people and pursue my interests will help.

C) In progress.

D) 1. Tomorrow I will obtain the paperwork I need for my appointment Wednesday, and will verify child care. I will answer messages on my online account for payment. I will look in the garage for things to sell.
2. I will begin developing a meal plan and home exercise plan to commit to. I will call and make my next therapy appointment on Monday. I will not avoid doing the necessary things to care for my dog or child, because that just increases my guilt and anxiety.
3. Send my friend a message. Try to make plans with someone for next weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
Spot,

Welcome to RN. You've been through a lot and it's clear you are taking action to take care of yourself. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Those of us who are here know what a crazy-making situation it is to be in, so keep working through the lessons and you will get clarity about your values and boundaries to protect yourself and your daughter. You are not alone.

I want to let you know that these raise serious concern:

spot wrote:
My gut instinct is that he is capable of sexually assaulting me again at any time


spot wrote:
My gut instinct is that he genuinely has a sexual addiction to seeing women be hurt, injured, in pain, damaged, abused, mutilated.


spot wrote:
I woke up a while later to him climbing on top of me, penetrating me. I froze, kept my eyes closed, and stayed perfectly still. I was horrified, and I wanted him to stop


One thing we learn here at RN is to take our gut as truth. Your truth is loud and clear. These behaviors go beyond the scope of what this site can help you with. I see that you have sought help from a rape crisis center. I encourage you to continue to seek support through your rape crisis center and domestic violence hotline. Please consider your safety and your daughter's safety.

Be safe and well,
Rising to Challenge


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:13 am 
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RisingtoChallenge, thank you. <3
Going through the exercises so far have really helped to peel away the layers of denial I've been in about the severity of what he's done. I understand your concern.
Thankfully I've been attending weekly ongoing therapy at the local rape crisis center, and my therapist and I have a safety plan in place for myself and my daughter. I'm continuously taking steps toward my independence. Like you said, one step in front of the other.


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:53 am 
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Exercise Eleven: done privately.

Exercise Twelve

A
Right this moment, I feel very reluctant and resentful about the distance I'm having to put between me and my parnter. I feel strongly like I have to, need to, must, beyond the shadow of a doubt...but I feel very angry and hostile about it. At the same time I get moments of feeling very vulnerable and like I just want him to tell me everything I want to hear so I can come running back. However, if I heard any of it right now, I'd be disgusted, because I'd be sure it was a lie, simply to take advantage of my attachment so he could escape the consequences of his actions and keep me close to him so he wouldn't have to face any of this. I feel absolute contempt. I have extremely high anxiety, I feel lethargic and exhausted and heavy sadness, I feel extreme rage. I feel angry and disgusted about sex entirely. Anything sexual repulses me and makes me feel really upset. I don't want anyone at all to touch me in any way. I don't even want affection from my own child. I don't feel like I want to be in any kind of relationship with anyone on earth ever again as long as I live. I feel very guarded with everyone and irritated/annoyed by interactions with people. I feel like everyone is trying to take something from me, or insult and humiliate me, which makes me extremely angry. I feel embarrassed and insecure around other people and want to hide.

B
I'm honestly afraid of the effect this will have on me in the future. I'm afraid that my want to feel attachment and comfort again will lead me to violate my boundaries again. Or I'm afraid that despite being in a safe, healthy environment, I won't be able to accept it. I will always be looking for what's wrong and how to protect myself. Or avoiding connection altogether. I feel like I will no doubt be hypersensitive to anything at all that could be perceived as a red flag. I know I have a lot of grieving ahead of me.


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:50 am
Posts: 17
Exercise Thirteen

Consequences/Losses

-time and emotional energy lost that I would rather devote to my daughter, spent on having discussions and confrontations with him, grieving and trying to recover from his behavior. 1
-financial burden of the amount of therapy and treatments we have pursued, mainly on myself for my trauma. Also time lost, and job loss related to time off required. 3
-loss of closeness with my old core group of friends and a specific place/activity that I previously enjoyed, that is now related to his acting out. 3
-trauma, both emotional and physical, has interfered with my ability to work or look for work, keeping me financially trapped. 2
-managing and fixing his irresponsible, impulsive, and avoidant behaviors has taken up a huge amount of my time and energy, that would be better spent investing in my daughter and self. 2
-I feel resentment toward people in public, keeping me isolated. 4
-I have extremely damaged self esteem. I feel unlovable, incapable, unattractive, etc. I feel disgusted and embarrassed about being in this relationship and what has been done to me. Loss of dignity. 1
-I feel disgusted at the sexual boundaries I have broken in order to try to normalize his behaviors and cope with them. 2
-things I previously sexually enjoyed I may never be able to even tolerate thoughts of again, due to consequences of his acting out. I feel my sexuality has been stolen from me. 2
-I have physical trauma that causes me problems due to some of his acting out involving me. 2
-Any kind of physical affection, touch, or comfort doesn't feel safe, and makes me feel panicky, even from my own child, further damaging my normal relationship with my daughter. 1
-loss of my church and other friends, and the support available to me due to his acting out and my attempt to leave him, which drew criticism, scorn, and hostility. 4
-instability in my living arrangements, never knowing if I might end up homeless at the drop of a hat-- even getting rid of the majority of my possessions at one point out of necessity, due to needing to leave him. 2
-loss of my ability to freely give to my partner, and others. I feel as if I have nothing to give, and what I do want to give, I don't feel safe to give. I feel I must remain protected, guarded, can't let anyone "take" anything from me...yet I miss being able to do nice things for people I care about without it feeling dangerous. 3

I'm sure there is so much more, but that is what I can think of right now.


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 Post subject: Re: spot's healing
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:50 am
Posts: 17
Exercise Fourteen

*Over the next month, how much time do you intend to spend focused on managing, tracking and/or assessing your partner's addiction/recovery? List the role(s) you intend to play in his recovery. If none, say so. If some (and there are potential healthy roles for you to play), list them.

I plan to stay as minimally involved as possible. We are essentially separated but sharing living space for the time being due to necessity. I plan to not mention his recovery to him unless he asks me directly. I am not assuming any responsibility for reminding him or asking him to engage in recovery activities, as it has done nothing but exhaust and distress me in the past. While I might be curious/anxious about his acting out behaviors, I am trying my best to purposefully avoid the possibility of discovering anything by not checking on him in any way. I'm trying my best to detach myself from him as much as possible. I plan to only check or assess what directly affects me and my daughter on a practical level as far as his truthfulness or behavior (i.e. if he has committed to being somewhere at a certain time, having a certain amount of money available for bills/necessities, etc.) I will be supportive to him in his recovery if he chooses to pursue it and wants support/feedback.

*How much time do you intend to spend secretly investigating his actions? If none, how will you manage those times of mistrust and/or doubt?

I would like to spend zero time secretly investigating his actions. At this point, if I have a gut feeling, that is probably enough to tell me all I need to know. I don't wish to confront him or go to him for reassurance in times of mistrust or doubt any longer either. I plan to try to focus myself fully on my schooling, my future with my daughter, to engage in self care activities, healthy distractions, etc. I can take a shower, take my daughter on an outing, watch a movie, etc.

*What personal values are you willing to allow your partner to continue damaging over the next month? If none, how will you protect these values?

I don't want my partner to damage any of my personal values any longer. I'm working to try to figure out reasonable and workable boundaries that will protect me. At this time, I'm committed to an indefinite period of celibacy, for one. I'm doing my best to optimize my time management and improve executive function skills in order to keep what I'm doing in alignment with my goals and values, not allowing him to distract me and keep me from what I feel I should be doing instead. I'm staying in touch with things that are meaningful/inspirational to me in my commitments to myself and my journey, to help me remember my goals and values each day, especially in the difficult moments where conflict occurs.

*Over the next two months, what mistakes are you prepared to tolerate from your partner and why? What mistakes (if any) are intolerable and will serve as the catalyst to end the relationship? Note: think with your head here, not your heart. You are no longer ignorant as to what to expect in recovery and so, define those true 'bottom lines' for you and your relationship.

Due to acting out and escalated lying in the past month, we are already considering the relationship over, for all intents and purposes. If recovery is authentically pursued, I am willing to re-evaluate over time. At this time, I consider what has already occurred to be intolerable, and beyond my "bottom line".

*How much responsibility do you intend to invest in changing your partner? Versus placing the responsibility for change on them? How do you envision communicating your observations about their motivation/responsibility — both positive and/or negative? For those positive observations, how will you make them seem genuine? For those negative observations, how will you make them seem non-punitive?

At this time, I am planning to invest very little/none into changing my partner. I have already invested more than I can justify. He has all the tools and information at his disposal to use if he so chooses. He is fully responsible for his own recovery. I will not be reminding him, prodding him, asking him, crying to him, begging him, pleading him, nudging him, hinting at him, nothing. If he authentically pursues recovery in the future, I will be open to giving honest feedback, both positive and negative, from an objective standpoint, if asked, and possibly from an open and honest heartfelt standpoint if safe. However, at this time, it is not possible.

*Do you intend to motivate change in your partner by threats and/or rewards? Or by simply sharing your needs and allowing your partner to find the motivation to meet those needs? If the latter, how much clarity do you have in determining and communicating your personal needs?

At this time, I do not intend to be involved whatsoever in my partner's decisions to change or not change. I am distancing myself as much as possible. My needs have been communicated to him, and he is fully aware. His decisions are his own and will have no effect on my plans or behavior currently. There will be no threats or rewards either way. I am completely hands off.

*How do you envision moving beyond two individuals in recovery/healing to becoming a team in overcoming those areas of your relationship that have been damaged? What changes will YOU need to make in your own perspective to regain a sense of teamwork? What changes do you need to see from your partner for this to happen?

If that becomes possible, I will have to have regained a sense of independence and self worth. I will have to confront my anger and shame toward myself for what I've allowed to happen. He will have to have been authentically committed to recovery and showing profound change over a sustained amount of time. He will have to demonstrate a true profound understanding of what he has done and the damage he has caused. We will both have to be able to safely communicate openly and with vulnerability to each other to consider trying to rebuild trust and a sense of caring for each other.

*Apart from your partner's addiction, identify the current major obstacles that your relationship faces. For each obstacle, seek out any patterns that will eventually need to be worked through as a team. For instance, communication. We have fallen into a pattern of dysfunctional communication that must change. Here is what I can envision doing to bring about change to these dysfunctional communication rituals:

Many of those cycles were already addressed and worked through successfully prior to finding this program. We made amazing progress in the arena of communication, etc. The addiction/his acting out was really one of the last only things that was happening repeatedly to throw our relationship into chaos. We were handling it/communicating about it in a healthy and productive way, but despite that, it of course has continued happening, so I don't feel there's much else that can be done as a team or on my end anymore. Almost all of our work at this point needs to be done individually. I honestly can't think of anything we can work on as a team.

*Should you find yourself struggling to manage your own life (intense emotions, undefended boundaries, deteriorating values, neglected values, etc.) how do you envision getting yourself refocused and back in balance? List this general plan.

Attending weekly therapy helps me stay in check. I have begun daily journal writing as well to help me check in with my emotions, boundaries, values, etc. I've also been collecting inspiration to help me focus on my positive goals.

*What signs will you look for in your partner to generate confidence in the sincerity and stability of his/her recovery?

Committing time to working on recovery regularly, consistently. Seeming enthusiastic about doing more, moving forward, making goals. Seeming determined in working through tough lessons and exercises. Seeming proud of himself after working through them. Applying concepts learned to broad areas of his life.

*What unique signs will you look for in your partner over the next few months to generate warning of imbalance and/or insincerity?

Excuses for "not being able to" do any recovery work. Reading lessons here or there maybe, but not seeming to absorb or apply them. Seeming to only be interested in recovery when trying to escape immediate consequences.


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