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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:43 pm
Posts: 64
Hello Everyone.

I am new here and this is my first post on my journey to healing. I am inspired and in awe of the strength, love and hope that I see here.

And I would like to apologize for my initial post here to have evolved into such a long one.

Before I move on to the workshop work I would like to ask for help with something that is an immediate crisis point for me.

I have lived with my partner's deceptions for 11 years now. I look back on those years and I view them as the most painful, abusive, controlling, chaotic and loveless time of my life. But I also very much view those years as my journey of personal growth.

I am still reeling from it all. 18th Nov revelation day .... a year of deception behind my back. Right under my nose should I say. This was the worst and most extreme SA relapse in our relationship so far. The most desperate cry for help perhaps. I am no stranger to post relapse confessions and 'total honesty' and the intense pain it brings to me while he moves on very soon after as if nothing had happened. I am putting the word honesty in inverted commas, because I always knew in my heart that pouring out all the details of a relapse alone with no change afterwards was not really honesty. Not core honesty with himself. Which IMO starts from within and not by going through the motions of uttering words. Having said all that, at this point and after this recent confession I can see potential for a real turning point. But I am having trouble moving forward.

From what I have read so far, many of us have lived years or decades even in this loop of shattered illusions - tainted honesty - relapse and everything that goes with it that affects our lives and hearts so much, often on a daily basis.
It has worn me down over the years, emotionally and physically. My partner was very clever in his subtle, but powerful manipulations. He offered me just enough to get my hopes up in times of crisis. Just enough to keep me dangling. His need to control me is a big issue in our relationship. And to be honest I chose to let it go too far. At the cost of much of myself. For that I have to take responsibility.

After a decade of things getting progressively worse, I found myself thinking of me as a living dead. And I started to question my frame of life and the choices that I had made in the past. The vision of being free of him and his ways became more and more tantalizing. I think this is what he sensed and which may have contributed to him making the choices he made (relapse). He could never bear the thought of loosing me, but was not equipped with any skills to emotionally sustain this relationship and keep me in it forever. Even though I had to suffer so much for his inadequacies my heart still goes out to him nevertheless. What a bleak place to be for him!

I am here because my partner encouraged me to join RN. When I asked him if they provided support for partners too and he said yes, I thought it may just be what will help me. He also encouraged me to read about his recovery work. Which I did. And for the first time in this relationship I see a chance for real change. This time is truly different. Because for the first time he has initiated this himself. Recognized that something is wrong and that he is destroying his life. I am so proud of him and I think he is doing really well.

I was fully expecting that my heart would be able to embrace this big change. This is as good as it gets in early recovery. My wish seems to come true finally after so long...this is what we all long for when living with a SA.
But my inner struggle prevents me to say yes to our relationship.

1. I cannot find 'it' in my heart. This thing inside me which I call my 'it'. It kicks in before I decide to make a leap of faith and commit to something that is worth fighting for in my opinion. But instead of finding my 'it' I feel like there is not much left for me to give to this love. Do I really still love him? I don't know anymore and this already started long before his confession day.
Maybe it was just too much erosion to my feelings over such a long time? Do I still want this at all?

2. I think it also has to do with the fact that after his recent confession I can now add to my bag of mental images which so far are cross dressing fetishism, pain enjoyment during masturbation, womanizing, oggling and degrading women, mastery of deception and anal sex ....

But as of newest revelation there is now also lusting after school girls...which really is a biggy for me. I am a survivor of childhood abuse and have come through so much in my life on my way to healing my soul. This goes against my core values and boundaries. His thoughts were about giving this poor girl (real girl living in our village) a lift in his van and he dreamed she would masturbate for him. A girl in her early teens is still a child to me. And the thought of a girl being violated by an old man lech is revolting. He tried to play it down, but I asked him what if I had had thoughts like this towards the boys (my step sons) when they were that age? He went very quiet after that....and it made him think.
Sadly, with regards to my partner SA cycles/patterns a thought very rarely is just a thought. I have learned this through many a painful confession he made. And the overall framework is always the same. I had many years to observe it. In his patterns it starts with a thought. Usually its meaning and potential minimized into nothingness in his mind as long as it does not go hand in hand with an erection. Thoughts he has eventually transition into planning which is usually accompanied with arousal as this is where he gets his kicks from, then progressing into creating the situation and carrying it out. This can stop and start and evolve over a long period of time and a thought can be put back into his mental storage box in order to be pulled out for the next relapse theme (they vary) he may choose. Hence any 'just a thought' perceptions on his side makes all my alarm bells ring.

3. And he also told me there were thoughts about animals. He got inspired by reading what other addicts on RN practiced. The potential darker side of this site, which I suppose is always a risk. He mentioned dogs....and we run a dog rescue!!!! And we foster them in our home!!!!

A small part of me would still like to stay connected with my partner through this journey. But I don't seem to be able to get past potential violation of children and animals. Not even in thought. Core values, but I so wish I could find a way to get over myself in this.
What played a part in his SA before may have been bizarre, caused himself pain (his choice) or felt revolting to me when I heard about it. But it never had any potential to abuse a living being, other than himself. To me this makes a huge difference. I feel repulsed and shocked and at this moment in time I just want to heal and free myself from what I let myself become during the course of my relationship.

I tried to help myself by applying the addict-person separation model. But truth is I cannot quite internalize it enough yet to get me over this dilemma. Even though on an intellectual level I can understand it. I would really, really appreciate some guidance and suggestions. Thank you.

_________________
NewDawn x
Giving up is not an option...
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
she became a Butterfly!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:40 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
Dear newdawn,

I am sorry you find yourself in this dark and painful place. I have been there, and I understand how much your life had changed, and the impact on you and your values.

In your writing you embody strength, balance, and emotional stability, even in the midst of such upheavals and additional details in discovery.

When i first came to RN, I felt a self-imposed pressure to make decisions quickly. In some ways it was probably me seeking stability in chaos. What was advised to me was to consider waiting a year before making any big decisions. In retrospect I see what this helped me do is ultimately make bigger decisions from a place of relative calm. It reduced the likelihood of me questioning myself later, or leaving, rashly, and returning based on emotions instead of values.

Such a course of action may help you either find your "it" OR more firmly come to see there is not one for you.

With that said, we each have the inner knowledge of when enough is enough. Your bottom line will likely differ from mine, and that's ok.

A mantra that has been of use to me lately is, "when in doubt, do nothing" but that is best for me, in my current scenario. I have granted myself space to decide whether our marriage will make it, and from the advice of a wise partner here, told my husband I would give it a year to decide.

Your own journey differs. I will echo partner's mentor here Nellie James and kindly say, give yourself the gift of patience. It truly is a gift to you. It's ok to simply wait. It's also ok to go, but you will feel better, long-term, if that is a decision backed by a strong, reasoned value system you check against.

With care,
Meepmeep


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:38 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Newdawn, I am so glad you are here. This is a community no one wants to join, but I have found tremendous support here with women who really know and understand what you are going through. We are all somewhere on this healing journey but we are not alone.

I could have written your very words. I have over 30 years in my relationship and my "discovery" has been going on for 3 years. I can say that the intensity of my emotions and their extreme swings have improved. When I first joined RN, everyone told me "go through the lessons." I honestly coudl not understand how they would help me, but they did. So, I encourage you to go through the lessons.

Please do not blame yourself. I too feel like I stayed in an abusive relationship for way too long and that it's my "fault." Please do not go down this path. It is okay to feel what you are feeling. I have given myself permission to be confused, to muddle along, to feel a panic, to feel shut down, to feel like I need to decide RIGHT NOW when it is actually is in my best interest to not decide right now. RN talks a lot about making decisions based on values and not emotions. It took me a while to get that, but I do now. And, any decision I make right now would be based on emotion. As I am getting calmer and more clear, and that has taken some time, I can feel that I will make decisions that are in my best interest based on my values and vision for life.

But, for right now, I know exactly what you are going through now that you know some of the content of the fantasies. It is very hard in these moments to separate the man from the addiction. For me, it's like "what man" since I feel like I have been living with a stranger. My husband says to me "But they were only fantasies. I never acted on them." and when he says that I both want to get in the car and drive away as fast and as far as possible or do something violent. But, that moment passes and there is some truth to what he is saying. They are fantasies. Not healthy. Very scary. Frankly, repulsive and digusting. But, fantasies. Not real. I am not defending any of these compulsive behaviors or fantasies. The scary thing for me is the awareness that addiction progresses and that, that scares me. On the other hand, bringing this stuff out in a weird and awful way starts the process of separating the addiction from the man. It means they are becoming more honest and vulnerable with us. You have the right to say what you do and do not want to know or hear. That has changed a bit for me over time. What I do know is that my husband had a traumatic childhood. The more I have learned, the more I realize that really awful things happened to him. For that, I have compassion. I hold him accountable for his addictive behaviors and the destruction they have caused, but I do not blame him for becoming an addict. The RN lessons really helped me with that.

As MeepMeep says, there may be something you hear that is such a violation of your values and beliefs that you cannot bear it. But as long as you are safe, as long as your animals and others around you are safe, I think it is okay to just allow yourself time to process the trauma. I needed and still need time. My husband needs time to get healthy.

Here's how my emotions have been given my situation: At first, shock. Overwhelming shock. Then disbelief and denial. Then utter rage. Then incredible sadness. All of this was very intense. And I was so volatile. I could be sobbing one minute, then numb the next minute, then enraged the next minute. It's exhausting. But, the RN lessons helped; time helped; I have gotten into indivdiual therapy which helps; meditation helps; detaching from my husband and his addiction helps; doing something for me everyday really helps.

My husband is working on RN; he's gotten an individual counselor; he is going to 12 step meetings; he's gotten us into marriage counseling. I think he has the right team and the right approach to getting healthy.

My marriage counselor asked me two questions which I will need to answer but I will need more time to answer them:

1) Will you be able to recover from what he has done or is it too damaging?
2) Will you be able to forgive him?

Can I recover? Some days I think yes, some days I think no. Can I forgive him? I don't know yet. I give myself permission to not know and in the meantime while I figure it out, I will focus on me and my life.

With compssion and understanding,
dnell


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:43 pm
Posts: 64
I am so pleased to find both your replies to my post meepmeep and dnell. I am so very grateful to be in a place now where there are fellow travellers who understand. And oh boy! I so need to talk. I have been stumm for so long and I feel like the floodgates are opened. Until now I was not aware of how much I craved to know that what I am experiencing is real and that there are people out there who are going through much the same – AND come out at the other end the best they can be. During my relationship I have started to adopt a brain washed way of thinking that made me doubt my perceptions. I was told more times than I can recall that I was imagining things. I guess I started to buy into that. And it did all seem a bit too crazy for it to be actually happening to me. This is what happens to others. Surely? You read it in magazines or see a distorted version of it on Jerry Springer and such like.

Dear Meepmeep, you speak from my heart. Thank you so much for sharing some of your story with me. It really helps.

Since writing the post I have experienced a little change of heart. I agree with your advice and have decided to be more gentle with myself and to not pressure myself. You were right, maybe my 'it' is not as out of reach as I anticipated. And just relaxing about it made it possible for me to open my heart to sharing this journey with my partner. Sadly he rejected this offer today. I think he is in a state of panic, because after confession I have become a reality factor in his life again. I see him at a crossroads not knowing what to do. But IMO it is not up to me to figure that out for him or what the next step will be for him. I am done with being his therapist.

I am not sure if I can get my head around things as they stand, but the best way will evolve. I think it is such a good idea to put a time limit on staying and waiting to see what happens, like in your choice one year. I will consider a time frame for myself. Great advice!

Dear Dnell, thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. The sequence of emotions you describe is exactly how it was for me. To a T!
But I found they were at their worst in intensity and expression when my partner ‘came clean’ the first time which was very early on in our relationship. But his confession back then was one of the “ I confess my sins – you are my elected saviour and give me absolution – and I in return learn absolutely nothing and carry on as always “ type of revelations. The years progressed and our relationship deteriorated, peppered with relapses of varying themes, followed by superficial remorse and empty promises and increasing control needs and withdrawel of love and affection. He once confessed he envied me my strength and courage and somehow needed to quench that.
This time I find myself changing the fastest ever so far post a dday. One week on and I am still only a half baked cookie, but I am already experiencing noticeable progress which I am finding encouraging.

You mention about blaming myself. You are so right, it is an easy trap to fall into. But I have now come to think of the past years as a journey of personal growth. It is my way of taking responsibility for my choices and seeing the positive rather than viewing the years as wasted. I hold my partner accountable for his actions for sure. And I wish I would not feel so angry at him at times. But this is also getting less now already. One of my values has always been not to hold grudges for too long. I never want to end up bitter and hopeless. My worst nightmare! It will be ok I am sure. How, I don't know yet. But ok it will be. Because: What would be the alternative?

What also helps me now is the knowledge that I have gained during the time when I decided I needed to work through my childhood abuse. I consider myself a survivor now. I have a lot of inner resources still from back then. They were not dead, just burried a bit. This comes as surprise, because my partner was so angry at me at the time when I had completed my journey and tried to sabotage my healing with all he could muster. One more misguided way of using his high intelligence and inventiveness. He at the time made a feeble attempt at therapy, but did not ‘show up’ other than keeping appointments. He never completed his therapy. Instead he put much of his efforts into sabotaging my success in my personal growth. I was not allowed to explore my sexuality. Which for a survivor of childhood abuse is much the same a rediscovery as it is for SA. We become very vulnerable and yet strong. I was also stopped from keeping my spirituality. My haven ( I always highly valued my clean cosy home)... he wrecked the house room by room in a steady progress. Another of his compulsions which I find just as crazy and hard to stomach. If not more even.

I have also recently lost both my parents. I do not live at home right now, because I wanted to be their carer during their last battle with cancer. We were extremely close. D-Day came while I am still grieving. Also I have nearly lost my own life in July. All this while he was at play at home – different planets completely. Quite astonishing really. I think my ill health and my mom’s passing and then my dad’s kick started his journey. For all the wrong reasons of course. But this seems to have changed now into the realization that he has to be the motivator in this and nobody else.

All this crisis and to my further surprise I find myself stronger and not weakened by it. What I have survived in 2014…well, I will survive this crisis too!!!!!

I totally agree with you that the lessons are very valuable. I am reading through the initial pre information right now and have set my goal to complete the first lesson as soon as I possibly can. I will grab all the help that is on offer.

I applaud your husband’s will to change. He seems to initiate his healing which my partner is now finally also doing. To me this is the clincher in my decision to consider at least giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Your marriage councellor is a very wise owl. The questions are totally pin pointing what are my questions also. But don’t you sometimes wish for a fast forward button in life? I do :g:

_________________
NewDawn x
Giving up is not an option...
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
she became a Butterfly!


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