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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:43 pm
Posts: 64
What a day!

For the first time since dday I found myself enjoying the morning dog walk and was not just going through the motions. People I met smiled at me and passed the time of day. Something that does not happen much these days. A little smile and a few words about the weather with a fellow human being. Such a normal thing. But today it really hit me that such interaction had become totally extinct in my life. I truly had become a controlled, caged-in living dead in my relationship! I can see it so clearly now. But today was different somehow. And then it dawned on me that I was walking along with my back straight (during the past years I somehow learned to walk so hunched that my breasts curve inwards and re-emerge under my shoulder blades!) and with a slight smile on my face (usually I look down and hide to the point of carrying my nose between my feet!). I guess I felt like a weight was lifted off me this morning. If only a small weight, but it made a big difference. I felt lighter for not being in quite such pain any longer, the day being lovely and my dog behaving well (he’s a friendly lovable rascal).
Happy just for being alive for the very first time in goodness knows how long.


The afternoon brought with it a ‘destination nowhere’ phone call with my partner. He rejected my coming towards him. I offered that I would come back home so we could work through this together. I told him that I did not look for perfection or completion, but for us to share this path. I was hoping we could discuss and set some boundaries/guidance rules that would make me feel safe on our journey, while they would at the same time affirm him in his values and self confidence by keeping to them, and with that in place we could face the rocky road ahead together. I opened the door, but he was not ready and closed it back shut. He kept hiding behind a whole long tirade of ‘old way’ excuses that kept him from showing up for himself, me and our love. His choice and I realize I will have to go with the flow on that one. Also he seems to have suddenly regressed into not quite recognizing the severity of his addictions. A lot of denial shone through in his words too. I feel he is at a crossroads and will hopefully figure it out. Or not. We will see. I am done being his therapist and his choices today left me with new resolve for my own healing.

Initially during this phone conversation I felt my heart steadily sinking like a lead weight. But then I had an EPIPHANY. I did not want to keep on going round in circles. They are not my circles any longer. In fact I was tired of this phone call by then, because it was heading for ‘Destination Nowhere’. I needed a break from his SA ‘logic’. So I managed to calmly tell him that and ended the phone call in a civilized manner. Progress!

And best of all I did not sink into the vicious emotional circle of dispair, sadness and hope after we put the phone down. Nope! I ran a hot bath, grabbed my favourite book and 2 triple chocolate muffins and sank into the soothing water. I did not care about how I would squeeze both those two muffins and myself back into my jeans later (wasn’t easy lol) – I was just calming and enjoying the moment.
I feel that I am as fine as can be expected 7 days post dday. I have a long way to go still, but there is light at the end of this endless seeming tunnel.

I would also like to share with you something else that is positive and which helped/helps me a lot right now and I hope it may help some of you too. It’s about the book that I am currently reading. EAT, PRAY, LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert. I watched the movie and was fascinated. It really hit a nerve – in a good way. Now that I am reading the book (which is more extensive) I am even more inspired. What a wonderfully couragous woman the author is. This is inspiration outside of self help books. Ideal if your hopes are down and you need a boost for your soul. This is a true story. Uplifting and IMO perfect for partners who have to deal with such intense pain at times and need to rebuild themselves. I can only recommend it. And here is a quote from the book:

“ My Life had gone to bits and I was so unrecognizable to myself that I probably couldn’t have picked me out of a police line up. But I felt a glimmer of happiness when I started studying Italian, and when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt – this is not selfishness, but obligation.”

YES! :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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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:04 am 
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Newdawn,

Just wanted to welcome you to RN! So glad you've made it here!
I'm already enjoying your posts so much. You do sound like Dnell, quite a lot, which is marvelous. You both have so much strength and wisdom ... it's quite an inspiration.

Now ... a little bit about rejection ... from my own experience as a partner ... my H always said he wanted to work it through together and have me as close as possibile but then no actual honest sharing occurred ...like you, I've got only denial, minimising, justifications... This really puzzled me quite a bit and I was not able to let go of him as at least at times it felt like he really really wants to do it together, he just doesn't know how... Of course, he does not agree even to this day that he held back. He thinks he shared all there was to share. In time I just grew tired of so much begging and trying to make him see. So we've grown apart. I don't know what really goes on with him and I'm fine with that. I know I will find out sooner or later. We cannot be together as long as this honest, open sharing does not occur with consistency. And I'm also done putting pressure on myself to decide the future of our relationship. The only pressure I put on myself is to reinforce my boundaries against myself (ironically, H respects them more than I do but that's part of my other issues ...).

What I'm trying to say is ... You've experienced your partner's backing off as rejection ... very true, from your perspective. From your partner's perspective I can almost guarantee it's fear, not rejection. Fear that he won't be able to be honest with you, fear of your reactions, fear of having to be held responsible when he doesn't feel in control of his own behaviour. My guess is he wants time to sort things out for himself without the added shame and guilt of facing you every step of the way. That is something very powerful that he probably feels he cannot deal with right now. I've noticed it with my H over and over again. When he says/realises something about himself, it's all good. But when I point out the same thing, he denies, minimises, justifies, goes back on his own realisation ... "I'm not that bad, it's not really like that, etc.". I thought it has something to do with pride ... but I don't really know ... Why is it that it's perfectly ok to hold yourself responsible but when someone else does it, it's not ok anymore ... I guess mea culpa is much easier ... the only trick is .. you have to build awareness and it takes a lot of time and conscious effort.

I could go on and on about this subject of "working things through" in terms of sharing things related to addiction in real time frame ... well, my best guess is ... it's not going to happen ... not for me, not for you. It's something to do with their fears, with guilt and shame, with not knowing or feeling the need to share, with distorting the notion of truth and honesty, with lack of skills to sustain a real deep connection.

I think you are doing great. You've covered in just a few days what took me more than one year to grasp. Yes, you need to find your balance and joy and leave him to himself. When he is ready he will share, no more guilt and shame, no more minimising or justification ... Being close to you might crush him now because a part of him perceives you as his role model, someone he looks up to. He is not ready to live up to it so he feels the need to run away. He needs time to built up self-esteem so he can approach you from a better position, to be able to say ... this is who I was, this is who I am ...

I know how it feels ... all of it ... from the disgust, to the shock, to the panic of what if he hurts someone else, to feeling guilty that I've stayed, to fear of the future ... But I also know how it is to say morning to a neighbour after months of being half-crazy, the joy of being in the sun, the joy and peace of having an epiphany, the comfort, wisdom and guidance of RN community.

We all just strive to be the best of what we can be. You are well on your way.
Wish you all the best!

_________________
"A wholehearted attention feels like the nurturing presence that I always wished I had in a parent. Now I am free to be there for myself in a way that I assumed I needed from someone else." Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:07 am 
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Hello Ursula, thank you so much for sharing part of your journey with me. And I am really pleased that my posts are of value and are not only helping me, but others here too.

I think I am 'lucky' to be a survivor of childhood abuse. I am saying lucky, because I have worked hard at overcoming a lot of the relating issues. I was a woman who recreated poisonous aspects of her past by choosing a certain type of partner. We find each other through some inner recognition. I was also a woman who sought romantic satisfaction from relationships in a way that was not doing me any favours whatsoever.

I was at the tail end of my healing journey from childhood sexual abuse when my current partner came into my life. And sadly the old recognition must have kicked in for a little while. Remembering that, also gives me compassion for his current journey and I try to tap into that at times when all I want is to do is to kick his butt from here to Timbuktu!. But I realized soon that it did not feel right any longer for me to be with a man who made me feel uneasy (ticking time bomb) most of the time. So I embarked on more therapy and healing and managed to sweep out the rest I needed to get rid of for me to keep functioning during this rocky relationship.

Sadly by then I also realized that my partner was not prepared to change. He tried constantly to sabotage my healing/therapy and proved his unwillingness to me many other times by exactly behaving like your other half -I could have written your words myself Ursula! Oh boy-yep. This is exactly how it was for me too and always dangling an emotional carrot in front of me, just enough to keep my hopes up.
As the years passed I went through various stages (which helps me now also) clutching at air, by compulsive information seeking, being his therapist and then after a while I gave up and just kept watching. I was not a "receiver of relapse info-virgin! any longer by then. It had become part of my anticipations.

During that time I realized that the woman I am now would not choose such a man any longer. Adding to my feeling of being caged in, but still hanging on to that tantalizing dangling carrot he used to mislead me. Which over time due to his unwillingness to change anything lead to a loss of my desire for him. But he never sought a physical relationship with me so it just kept drifting on and on.
All these things and much more lead to us growing apart and with that I can only assume him feeling more and more alone (me too). And with him not being able to seek/communicate I came to realize that we never had a real future. And he must have sensed it. Despite everything, we always had a special connection. So I can understand what drew him to seek the attention of other females and AO in the ways he did. He simply did not know what else to do. And I also realize that he loves me and longs to be truly with me. With that comes vulnerability and so he did what he always did - he ran. I am not making excuses or taking blame for his actions. We both made our choices and are guided by whatever we have inside us at any particular time.

When we were on the phone and he did not want me to come home, I actually told him that I saw him at a cross roads. I saw him like a rabbit caught in a car's headlight. Frozen. I agree with you totally that he is afraid. Terrified more like. I also told him that I understood that. It is normal to feel like that IMO. I gave him what he asked from me (he wanted me back). But when he got it he panicked and rejected my offer. I do not take it as rejection of me as a person ( I know he wants me so very much, just does not know how go about it). He just rejected my offer as such at that point in time. This is how I see it. With my offer came a sudden huge choices for him. Break through some of his self imposed limits and take this as an opportunity to expand and heal or wait a bit longer or even never go there. Meaning that he would have to let go of his old ways a bit more and replace them with something brand new. Biggy! His last relapse was only a little over a week ago from what he tells me. It was during the build up of pressure of how to come clean with me about what was going on behind my back. But it is his choice now. His alone. If he is ready he is, if he isn't he isn't. He needs to figure it out himself what is right for him and I will not wait around biting my nails while he does that (I am done with that also!). I am managing to let go a bit more now each day. Which really helps a lot.

From the introduction to the first lesson I have also come to internalize the man and the addiction separation. Which also helps me now, but does not change the fact that I need to see him take responsibility for his actions past, present, future (like I do too for mine) in order for us to have a chance. That's the deal here.

I totally understand what you say about me being his role model. We were both quite aware of this all through our relationship. It was a big trigger for him on his ongoing mission to make me 'smaller' in every way he could. But I think he will find himself and I sense a great guy emerging. Probably much the same kind hearted good man I always knew was there under all the gunk, but he will be without the addiction to taint his great personality beyond recognition. This is my hope anyway.

I am also working on my first lesson now. I realize that I still have a good amount of mental gunk to sweep out. But with the lessons and support here and the tools/self awareness that I already have by being a survivor of SCA I have no doubt that I will come out the other end. Even though I still wish I had a 'life fast forward button' so I can skip the painful bits :w:

You say I have covered more ground in only a few days. I rather feel it took me 11 years of practice to get to where I am today. I found that with each relapse I found myself recovering faster afterwards. I guess because he left me to figure everything out for myself and never gave me any support whatsoever in dealing with the aftermath of his excursions - I did just that. I figured it out for myself (and not him so much any longer). So this last dday is just the last straw for me to finally truly want to break free from his addiction once and for all. So please don't think I am a miracle healer. It took me 11 rocky years to get to where I am. You say I am well on my way, but from where I am looking you are not so bad at all yourself. You are showing the strength of a Hercules!

My motto has always been "Giving up is not an option". But modification/change is an option and running my head into a brick wall repeatedly is not implied by my motto. I fell into that trap far too long.

We will all become survivors in the end. And the way I see it, given the magnitude of what we are all going through as partners, we are super human beings! No matter at what stage of healing. We all have the courage it takes! And let's face it, what would be the alternative???

Healing Hugs.

_________________
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: Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:00 am 
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Such kind words from you, Ursula. I look forward to feeling strong and wise sometime in the future. It's taken me years to get to this point of being somewhat calm. And, I feel enormous pressure on myself to decide all sorts of things.

You both have helped me think through this issue of rejection and fear. I do see sex addiction as a symptom of an intimacy disorder. I do know of one woman whose husband got in control of his compulsions. He did not do RN, but went to individual therapy, 12 step meetings, an intensive clinic. But he never learned to be intimate or even close. She is still unhappy. I do think Jon figured this out and I hope with the right help my husband can figure this out. But, who knows. I do know that with my husband what happens is: I do something that makes him feel close to me; I like it and start trying to feel closer (always a mistake but that took me forever to learn and I STILL make the mistake); he feels threatened/fearful; he has to create distance by picking a fight, being mean, criticizing, getting distracted, something; I feel rejected and I withdraw; he feels this withdrawal as abandonment and comes back at me to ease the feeling of abandonment; and on, and on, and on. It's exhausting and unfulfilling and crazy making. I do see my role in this and how hooked in I get due to my horrible early family issues.

I had a former marriage counselor tell me that I need to "stay in one place" that was not too close but not too far. But how do I figure that out? And what about me and what I want and need? And, talk about exhausting, unfulfilling and crazy making.

I do get that some of these men (our men) crave something from us, but they are clueless as to what "it" is and can't define healthy intimacy let alone healthy sexuality. I do get that there are tremendous emotional holes in these men and mine wants me to fill it and blames me that I fail to do so. And I do get that my over focus on my husband's issues distracts me from mine.

I also get how fearful they are of honesty now that we know about some of their addictive behaviors and thoughts. I do get they are terrified that telling us will cause us to be (pick one or all): disgusted, repulsed, repelled, angry, enraged, hurt, devestated, and ultimately, confirm their fears about themselves. Worse yet, we could leave. I get this. I also understand that they are not yet recovered enough to separate their addiction from who they really are (since at this point my husband does not know who he is beyond the addict) and they need us to believe in this "good guy" image of themselves. I get that my husband is utterly devestated by the realization he is not the "good guy", the moral, honest, trustworthy guy that he so thought he was. (Stunning, on so many levels, but that's addiction). And I really get that they see "honesty" as the problem, rather than the original betrayals of their addictive compulsions.

"Getting" all of this has helped me in so many ways. But, as we know, it is not enough. I appreciate you sharing your journeys. It inspires me and reassures me. I wish I was further along in mine but accept my struggle.

It's snowing today and beautiful outside. I will try to appreciate that.

With compassion and warmth,
dnell


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:25 am 
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Oh dnell, you really have summed up my relationship pattern on closeness/intimacy and also some of my inner struggles. Like you it took me years and oodles of therapy and searching to get where I am today. And it does not seem enough by far right now, as this challenge is different yet again. But I am finding now after the first dday shock is over, that the past years have provided me with resources that I can now tap into. I am really surprised by this. Even though my last therapist told me this would happen. I doubted her, but she obviously knows her stuff. Having said that - I am still feeling more often than not, like I am trying to find my way blindfolded. But what helps me is living one day at a time. This I have learned during my very recent journey when caring for them and watching both my parents die of cancer. I literally trained myself to find little pockets of pleasure each day. Sometimes they were as tiny as a grain of sand. But it still made me feel like I had lived at least a little bit of joy each day, even though I was going through the most horrendous trauma.

And I keep asking myself at times when I catch myself yet again putting my life on hold - when will I start living? How long am I going to wait at this emotional bus stop? The bus may never arrive even. Who knows. I also set myself mini goals each day. Something simple like wash hair, cook a nourishing meal. Something normal that is good for me. Normal and simple. Little things that sometimes seem beyond strength on a bad day. But I keep them small and set myself up for success. And above all else I am determined to survive this! So in the end the clincher is my ever favourite question to myself: What is the alternative?????

Oh I so miss the snow! We don't get it much here. This is one of the things I miss from when I still lived in Germany. Snow! The smell, the silence that it can bring depending where you are. I love to listen to the sounds when it has snowed. Make a snowball for yourself and throw it as far as you can and imagine all your worries are wrapped up in the ball and you can throw them away and they will just melt. Just like that. For that moment anyway :g:

Healing hugs.

_________________
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: Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:22 pm 
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Dear ladies,

it has been a terrible time since the last time I posted, back in September... However, I have been reading all the posts, and trying to make sense of this journey, and this thread says it all... Thank you so much for so eloquently putting words to my spirit and feelings. It feels like we share a common bond, and we are a universal archetype.
.
I would like to share something that has happened this past while. I reached a point where I decided that an 'emotional divorce' was my only option, since at my age, 63, and in a 38 year marriage, that looked like a rational choice...However, hope needs to be alive, to be able to put one foot in front of the other... and I felt myself falling into hopelessness... I restarted on antidepressants, and whether because of that, or in spite of that, I arrived at a moment of clarity where I said, 'I need to physically separate from this situation'. When I talked with my therapist, and shared those feelings, she recommended that as a last ditch effort a three day intensive session with a couple therapist... we are scheduled for this in early January. As part of the intake interview, the following question was asked: "Have you ever been sexually abused?" and I matter of fact stated that there were three instances: an uncle who touched me when I was nine years old, a rape when I was eighteen, and a priest who used me to masturbate him... Now, it is only when the question was asked that I consciously processed the past... I somehow had managed to put all of this out of my consciousness. This is an awful revelation. Now, after handing in my intake, and my husband handed his, I asked my husband if he had shared the physical abuse that he endured from his father, and of course he said 'no'. And he offered to show me his intake, so I showed him mine... Well, this history of mine hit my husband like a ton of bricks. He wept for me, and for the first time, when he said that he was sorry for what he had done, years of deception and P/M, and emotional coldness etc., there was an iota of sincerity in it... He said that he always thought I was stronger than him... so I said that my history and his knowing it did not make me any weaker, and that why would he think I was weaker now...

Anyhow, it is this business of my strength vs his lesser strength that is resonating with me, and I have heard echoes of this in this thread, and also in your 'It' thread, Newdawn, and in the responses from Ursula and Dnell. I have always believed that my husband has an intimacy disorder, and the P/M is but a symptom, and also that it was a power trip, that he acts from a place of weakness, and that the choices he makes are to make him feel stronger, and in charge.

Strange that my husband used the word 'stronger', not 'strong'... like in a contest and someone has to dominate the other...

Sending loving thoughts ...


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:07 pm 
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Endofmyrope, I am so relieved to hear from you. And, I am so terribly sorry about the sexual abuse you faced when you were young. Such a terrible violation. My heart goes out to you and I send a virtual embrace your way. And, I am so relieved to hear you are back on anti-depressants and have a therapist who sounds compassionate and helpful. I'm no spring chicken and my view is that even now I can benefit from healing from my childhood trauma. I wish we had all never had that trauma or had dealt with it earlier in life, but that is not our reality. So, I am so encouraged that you will have help in your well deserved healing.

My husband's individual therapist recommended an intensive marriage counseling session and when I read about it and spoke to the therapist, it sounded really good. I was encouraged. He decided to go with a different, weekly marriage counselor, and while I was skeptical at first (Having gone through two different marriage counselors who didn't help him one bit), I am glad to have this counselor available. Since this is the first time my husband has been honest with his therapists, he finally has an opportunity to get the help he needs.

You said something that made me pause and realize it was my situation as well. My husband also views everything as a competition with me. It's weird. And, no wonder we don't have a partnership, let alone an intimate relationship. I think the origin is his feeling unlovable and worthless, and then he gets all angry, controlling and competitive and that makes him feel, I don't know, stronger? I know the anger feeds his entitlement and his resentment which makes him feel he is owed his sexual acting out. Ugh. I hate typing these words and thinking about it, but it seems to me to be true. Anyway, more stuff for him to work on.

Thinking of you,
dnell


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:36 pm 
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Newdawn, I wanted to let you know how sorry I am about the loss ofyour parents. And, so close together in time. It is so hard. I have lost both my parents as well and while we did not have a great relationship, it did feel like the tethers of my balloon were cut and I wasn't so anchored. I also very much felt my own mortality. I wish I could give you the words to help ease the grief, but you sound very wise and strong.

And, the bus stop about our life! That's it exactly. These lack of decisions of mine drive me crazy as I wait in limbo. One of the wise coaches here said I needed a mini vision during this time and I am working on it. I'm getting one, kind of, sort of, but, whew, I am so slow. Baby steps, as the coaches say. I'm celebrating baby steps.

dnell


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:57 pm 
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Dear Dnell, thank you for your warm words.
I always knew, even before Dday, that there was an unequal balance of power, mainly because of H's large earning power, and my feeling dependent, though the decision to stop working and stay home with the children was a joint decision. His professional position also was another tool, and being a woman!

Take care. This will be my first foray in joint therapy, the therapist is an Emotional-Focussed-therapist. ' Hold Me Tight' and 'Love Sense' by Dr Sue Johnson explains it. Am wondering if this is all too late, but will see where it takes me... I hesitate to use the word 'us' because there is no more 'us'.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:09 am 
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Morning ladies and thank you so much for your replies. You cannot imagine how much they help. Just to share, take inspiration and feeling understood. I make it my goal to count at a minimum one blessing a day. This is my first thank you today.

Dear endofmyrope,
I am so sorry that you have such a hard struggle in the past months. But you being here shows that you need to take action for yourself. Which is wonderful!
And as you can imagine as I read about what has happened to you as a child, my heart goes out to you so very much. I truly understand the impact of what you experienced, on your emotions/life.

Your name is 'end of my rope'. I am a great believer in our choice of thought in how we view ourselves and our situation. The way I see you right now (even though you may disagree) is not dangling at the end of a rope. I can tell that your feet or at least the tips of your big toes have touched the ground. Build on that. Visualize that your feet are FIRMLY touching the ground. Then over time (it may take a while) slowly let go of that rope. One day you will achieve this and it will feel right. It will come to you if you really want it to, I promise you.

I remember my aunty being raped during the war. But it was always hush hush...common belief was back then that one just got on with life as if nothing happened. The shame was with the victim and not so much the abuser. Warped! This sadly carried on for many decades further. Also we try to rationalize it when we are adults. For example, If we were 'only touched' or if it ‘only’ happened once, twice, three times, then surely it is not bad. We compare ourselves to the victims who had to endure penetration, repeated rape etc. We try to minimize something huge, where the severity cannot be measured in the act, but must be measured in IMPACT of the act on ones emotional world. This is so complex and yet so simple. And the sad thing is that we tend to recreate some elements of our abuse in our relationships, until we confront our demons. In many ways we are not so much different from SA in what we need to do for our own healing.

But know you are not alone and that it is never to late. Never. You can still heal and learn to live with your past without it impacting like it did previously. And I can promise you that once you 'faced the music' you will change. Things will look different. And even though it is a painful path, you will emerge stronger. There is great strength and confidence in knowing that you are a survivor. A sound building block for most things that life throws at us.

You also mention the issue of power imbalance. Him seeing you as the stronger partner. This way of thinking almost always would naturally evolve into some sort of battle/competition. It is the nature of that way of thinking/insecurity. And I can totally relate to that! I was always put on a pedestal of strength and love. Some fantasy podest he had erected for me and then plonked me on it without my consent. Of course this also resulted in him looking to me for absolution and 'curing' him. I think a lot of SAs need to see us as strong so they can create their reason to blame us/ hide behind / excuse their relapses and behaviours when we don't perform. We then inevitably become the failures in their warped minds and they punish us for it in some ways. IMO our strength in fact becomes a significant part in their reasoning for AO….IMO, over time we even become a major, major trigger for their relapses/AO. Simply because they have set us up to fail! We never stood a chance in the first place, to fulfill their need for absolution, cure or building of confidence. This is how I have come to see it over the past years.

I realized years ago that his AO behind my back was much of a power thing. And his way of saying ' I feel too weak to be your equal so I will over power you with my sperm! You will not know any of it of course, but I will! ' Oh the power......oh the independence....oh the shedding of needing to be loved......NOT! When I looked at what his masturbation thing actually was I recognized how warped the whole concept is. And from then on it lost its power over me more and more. This is why I do not suffer quite as much today as I did in the past, hence enabling me to focus on me now.

On the other side I think that maybe many SAs sincerely want to be like us. Meaning that somehow they deep down share our values. But they just don’t know how to live them. My partner cross dresses for kicks. And I remember once actually saying to him
'If you could find a way to achieve this then you would cross dress in ME, in my person'.

I also strongly believe our men are good men. Why else would we even give them a chance otherwise? Unless we are total self abusers. Which I don’t think we are. I believe we can somehow see behind the curtain and spot the true man with his currently tortured soul. I know my partner has the potential of being a wonderful, wonderful man once he stops abusing himself and others around him. But I decided I am done with loving ‘a potential’ and ‘if onlys’. Now I need to see real change for me to even consider a ‘forever’ in this relationship. That’s the deal here. Nothing else will do.

For you both to be embracing couple’s therapy is a wonderful way to take charge of your situation and hopefully to achieve answers and togetherness as a result. We all need to grab every tool in the box.


Healing hugs!
…………………………………………………………………………………………

PS. I would also like to share with you my story and how my sexual abuse as a child affected my relationships. It is a long ‘add-on’ to my reply and may take a bit of time to read. But the reason why I feel I want to share this, is that I remember my many times of struggle and crisis when I derived many ‘aha! Moments’ from reading other people’s stories. I found inspiration and hope in many of them. Some times I would ask myself ‘how do/did they do this?, how can I get to that point?’ And I took what applied to me and left the rest. I am hoping that reading my story, in some small way, may help you on your journey. Reading your reply today also helps me with mine. More than I can tell you in words.

OK. Here it goes…..

When the sexual abuse happened to me I was only 5 years old. And it happened only months after I watched my grandma drop dead in front of me one morning when she baby sat me, and I was locked into her appartment with her dead body until late at night that day. So I was unlucky enough to have 2 huge traumas at a very early age.
Back then in the 60s they told my parents that I was too young to remember any of the events. That was the stage child psychology was at during that time.
But fact is I DID remember. ALWAYS. Deep down… Even though I did not understand when I was a little girl, but as I was growing up of course I started to put the puzzle together. Whenever I wanted to talk about what happened to me I was told point blank that it did not happen. My parents took so called 'expert advice' on that. They did do what they thought was best. Fact is though, I do remember the pain of the abuse only too well if I choose to go back to that memory.

As I grew up like many of us, I read a lot of romantic novels and my ideal of love became that of fairytales and passion (looking at lyrics of love and fairytales today, I think most of them are pretty dysfunctional really). This coupled with my history was detrimental! Disaster!!!

From then on through my teens and into my middle 20s I did choose boys and later men who were controlling and abusive and in my opinion now (looking back today) SA. One of those relationships lasted 18 months. I was in my middle 20s then - and this was the most toxic relationship I had had so far. I got emotionally, sexually and physically abused. And I also truly believed 'if only I loved this man more, then things would be hunky-dory. My 'love' would surely spell the end of this suffering and create love hearts and roses and eternal happiness and while I was at it would also cure poverty, aids and cancer in the world - so much power my love had. Yeah right! Of course it all ended with me in a total heap!

But the blessing in it all: this particular relationship resulted in me looking for help. I went cold turkey from this unhealthy, addictive relationship (I am not kidding when I say that I well and truly experienced physical and emotional symptoms of withdrawel symptoms when I left this man!!!!) and embarked on a journey of self discovery and healing.
I discovered my life's vision which was nothing like the life I was living at the time. So I spent the next 2-3 years achieving the finances etc to put my vision into practice - and I did it! I changed from high flying career woman to almost hippy and I swapped the city life with living by the ocean. I just packed my bags, took my little car and moved to another country and started feeling truly alive for the first time ever.

During my time of transition I met a man who I found a bit boring at first. Normal and Healthy was a concept I still had to put into practice and it still felt new and alien to me. But I recognized the signs and gave this man and myself a chance. I spent over 12 years with this wonderful man. For the first time I experienced a gentle, loving, trusting, intimate relationship. This man knew my history and what I still had to learn. He embraced it with so much compassion and love, and we got very close through it all. We did not stay together, but our parting was in friendship and love and we still remain very close friends till this very day.
After this relationship I was single for quite a long while. By then I had achieved a successful new life just like I wanted it and I was content. I did not feel lonely at all, even though I did not share my life with a man. I look back to that time now as one of the best ones in my life. It was a time focused on nature, physical health and spiritual contentment.

Then I met my current partner.... Looking back now, this master of deception, portrayed himself as the personification of intimacy, loving, sharing and compassion, coupled with deep love for me.
In hindsight I remember my feeling 'uneasy' quite early on in the relationship. I recognized something was ‘off’, but I was so confused by it all at that time. Was I imagining things? However, because I had come from a gentle, loving place, this new relationship continued to not feel quite right to me.
Then came the pain! The crazy cycles. The roller coasters. But I fell into the trap for a short while of thinking I was strong enough to carry us both through this. And little did I know then about how destructive and forceful this 'thing'/SA would become.

As I watched myself in this relationship (did not entirely like what I saw) I decided I need to do more work. So I got determined to deal with my history of abuse and how it affected my life. From reliving it, to feeling all the anger etc I had pent up, to accepting it as part of me that has no power any longer.
I discovered the power of choices and taking responsibility for mine. I did this through workshops, reading, and a form of therapy that combined conventional therapy with hypnosis. I found that invaluable in unlocking the denied memories I had. It was a major key to my growing from this.

As I was working on myself I found my relationship feeling more and more unhealthy to me. I by then felt uneasy every day. It was all a ticking time bomb I realized. Sadly by then I had surrendered most of the control over our business to my partner. Which is something I now deeply regret. He by being so chaotic and unfocused had dragged us into financial ruin and bizarrely could not see it (saying bizarrely…today I can see the warped logic and need to hide/deflect). Not even when we had to sell all our furniture or had to look for coins that may have fallen inbetween sofa cushions to get money for a small meal!

By then not a day went by when I not day dreamed of how my life would be without him in it. I was starting to examine possible ways of how I could achieve my breaking away from him. I was getting ready to leave. I reckon he picked up on that on some level. And of course as would be his solution to the crisis - he promptly relapsed!

I decided I would stay on in my current relationship once more after his relapse before this one. But I knew then that this would be the last time. And after recent dday I of course felt the initial shock etc, but more so what I felt this time was: resolve. I deserve more than that, even though he tried so hard to convince me that I didn't deserve more. I do! And thinking back on my last two relationships - well, my current one is NOT what I want (in its current shape anyway) in my life's vision. This is part of where I derive my will power from. I know what I DON'T want and even though I am still in inner upheaval on a lot of things, I feel I am very close to finding what I truly want in my heart.
I strongly believe that knowing what I don't want is the next best thing to knowing what I do want. Both recognitions are superb beacons of light.

Healing Hugs.

_________________
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: Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:31 am 
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Posts: 64
Dear dnell,

I love the way you have the ability to come straight to the point when you write. This is such a gift and your replies really help me in my journey. And the woman I see in your way of writing has got what it takes and will eventually cut through the chase and find her direction.

Yes the flipping bus stop scenario.... this is why I decided that I am done with limbo. If I don't take charge of my life this will continue. So I chose. I still don't quite know how I will put this into practice. I am hoping that I will have some epiphanies as the days/weeks progress and that the work shop & forum here will help me with this.

Thank you so much for your condolences. I feel you understand. And I feel every bit of what you describe. But I am getting a little better each day. You see me as strong? I suppose I am in many ways and in some I am less strong, but I still don't have all my answers. Just the confidence that I will find them.

Where I am today I perceive myself very much as a work in progress. I also see myself as strong now. Something I have come to realize when I was tested, this year in particular, with the death of both my parents, my own illness that nearly cost me my life in July and now my partner’s deception. And remembering the things I have already conquered in my past.

One of my biggest blessings:
I have been blessed with a great role model – my late dad. He had such a sad childhood and so many of his own demons to fight. But he was so strong willed that he conquered most of them in his lifetime. And he shared his journey with me in many ways.
I grew up watching this incredible man refusing to hide in his bad childhood and be willing to change. Shortly before he died he told me that it was me who kick started him into change. Having me as a daughter changed his life he said. My dad passed away a little over 2 months ago and I hope he knows wherever he may be how much he is helping me even now after he is gone.

He taught me the values of strong will and determination to see things through. Also the value of being willing to look at the reality of oneself and change when it becomes a problem. And he taught me to fight for what I truly want. And to try whatever I can think of to reach my goal. Not to give up just because the first attempt did not bring the desired results. He taught me this from a very early age and it was such valuable teaching that helped/helps me through my journey to healing in a big way.

In my situation now I find myself tapping into those values. I am still in mid struggle (otherwise I would not be in this forum) and my days are still topsy turvy. But I am so determined to get through this and I just know in my hearts or hearts that I will. I do not have all the answers yet, but I know I will find them.

I have now also finally relaxed about finding my ‘it’ (see previous post of mine) which I frantically searched for initially, so I can return back to my relationship. I have come to realize that my ‘it’ this time may not lead me that way. Once I realized this I started to make progress. And that’s the best I can be at this point in time. The rest will follow. I believe that with all my heart.

Healing hugs.

_________________
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: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Quote:
You also mention the issue of power imbalance. Him seeing you as the stronger partner. This way of thinking almost always would naturally evolve into some sort of battle/competition. It is the nature of that way of thinking/insecurity. And I can totally relate to that! I was always put on a pedestal of strength and love. Some fantasy podest he had erected for me and then plonked me on it without my consent. Of course this also resulted in him looking to me for absolution and 'curing' him. I think a lot of SAs need to see us as strong so they can create their reason to blame us/ hide behind / excuse their relapses and behaviours when we don't perform. We then inevitably become the failures in their warped minds and they punish us for it in some ways. IMO our strength in fact becomes a significant part in their reasoning for AO….IMO, over time we even become a major, major trigger for their relapses/AO. Simply because they have set us up to fail! We never stood a chance in the first place, to fulfill their need for absolution, cure or building of confidence. This is how I have come to see it over the past years.

I realized years ago that his AO behind my back was much of a power thing. And his way of saying ' I feel too weak to be your equal so I will over power you with my sperm! You will not know any of it of course, but I will! '


Exactly! This is so well said. I was so confused about this for so long, but now it seems so clear. Here's what I think happened to me:

1) My husband married me since he thought I would "cure" him and make him "happy" (He was 40 when he married me and a full blown addict).
2) I'm clueless about all of this.
3) My husband, at this point, was so heavily into objectifying women that even when he met me I was not, how shall I say, up to snuff. I was "cute" but not desirable. So, I was already behind the eight ball in that I am: too short, too small breasted, not blonde enough, not "saucy" enough, just not "hot" enough.
4) I start failing to fill the emotional void and the addictive behaviors are already ingrained so here we go down the rabbit hole.
5) I try, desperately, to fix our dysfunctional relationship and drag my husband into counseling. Our second marriage therapist, who did not know about the SA, really was bad for both me and my husband. I did not realize that until just recently. She told him he needed to "float his own balloon." She wanted him to find his own happiness and meaning, as I did, and to bring that back to the relationship so that we would both be enriched. Of course, that's not how my husband heard this advice. He was enraged. I can't tell you how punitive he became after hearing this from the therapist. It takes my breath away how brutally he treated me and how much worse it got. His disgust knew no limit. When I asked him last August what he was so mad about, he told me he couldn't stand to pick up his voice mail every day and hear my recorded message. Know what this message was? On our system when you picked up the voicemail you chose a mailbox, and I had recorded for that box: "SA and dnell". That's it. Three words. Our names. He was enraged and disgusted by my saying three words. He said he could hear the intake of my breath. He could not understand why I didn't re-record these three words "to get it right." At first I thought this was just nuts. But then I realized he was so disgusted with me he could not stand my breathing. When he told me about this I could STILL hear the disgust in his voice. I really, really struggle with this level of scorn for me. The only description I have for this is....hatred. I think he hates my guts and I have to come to grips with this sooner than later.

So, why did my husband stay with me? I know why he married me. But, why stay? And, I think it is because I was fuel for his addiction. I think the scorn and hatred for me was part of the whole cycle.

I've told my husband and my current, and much better, marriage counselor that I need some way to understand this scorn and hatred. Haven't been able to hear anything yet.

dnell


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:08 pm 
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Posts: 661
An update to my last post. I spoke with my husband about the issues I described in that post. He said he didn't hate me, but was very unhappy and frustrated. And, he felt there was a real imbalance of power between us with him in the one down position.

I am appreciative of my husband's willingness to talk about this tough issue. He was not defensive or angry. He was open. I was reassured by the conversation. We will talk about it with our marriage counselor.

This issue of power seems to be really important.

dnelll


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:48 pm
Posts: 45
Dear ladies, your posts are so visceral and raw, and I so understand...

This business of hate and power seem to be part and parcel of the addict mindset... somehow, by discovering that we know this side of them, we forced them to confront it and held a mirror in front of their face, and they could not hide, and how dare we call them out... Dnell, I have felt this hatred from H... I went back to the thread that you started re. can an addict really love... This hatred is, I think, self-hatred that is projected onto us, who hold the mirror... The power issue is a real one, and I am going to take it up with my personal therapist and pick her brains.

Newdawn, my name 'endofmyrope' is end of hope-rope, or letting go of hope-rope... thank you for your thoughtful responses, am still tethered to myself-rope, and dig deep and hang on to myself...

The crucible of our past catches up with us somehow, and out of it, I firmly believe that we will come out stronger, like steel... I find myself loving myself more... weird but true...

Good night, sister souls


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:43 pm
Posts: 64
Good Morning enofmyrope,

endofmyrope, you mention the word 'sistersouls'. This is how I feel too. For the first time in years I feel that there are people out there (more than I could have ever imagined in fact) who truly understand my world that has changed so much since SA has tornadoed through it. What a wonderful gift on the way to healing!

The rope of hope. I love that! It is a fantastic start. There is always hope. Hope for a better life for each of us. And letting go is one of the keys (one I find extremely painful to forge) to buying our very own bus ticket at what once was destination nowhere bus stop. We will choose our own destination and travel to where we want to be, not where we think we should be. This is my little vision that keeps me upright when I feel down.

Yes! you are so right: we will emerge stronger. Have we not already, even if it seems just in a small way? I try to remember that when I have one of my down moments. And that you love yourself more now just goes to show how far you have come. You sound like you have found new confidence, faith in the future and that you are starting to remember who you are and not what the past years moulded you into. This is so fantastic. And as I had a bit of a rough time with it all yesterday it really helps me get back on track reading your post.

Healing Hugs

_________________
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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