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 Post subject: Some thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:36 pm
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So I met with my soon to be ex husband last week. We ended up sitting and talking for a couple of hours. Lots to process, but there's one thing that has stuck out in my mind. Even now at the end I still wonder if anything was ever real in our 16 year marriage. So I asked him, yet again, that question, including some specific things he had done or said both negative and positive. His answer is something I have been pondering since. He said, "have you thought that maybe I said and did those things to manage my own emotions?" Well, yes I have honestly. But frankly not to the extent of including the positive as well as the negative.

I think I have finally "gotten it" - this is not about me at all, and yet has affected my life profoundly. This is and has always been about him managing his life, emotions, ups and downs with a set of habits that are at best immature. Immediate gratification, manipulation, lying, charm, avoidance, even honesty, have been used as ways to manage himself, not to develop, learn or engage the world or others around him but as a way to keep a perceived "balance." Which sadly is quite out of balance.

I finally understand and know that while he has lived a life in ways that are destructive to others and himself, it wasn't because of me, about me or anything like that. It made me feel sad for him, for the man he has chosen to be and the life he has chosen to life. But at the same time, I felt free and detached from the quagmire he is still stuck in.

I feel sure there will be some more 3 steps forward, 2 steps back moments but wow, I am setting myself free of this heavy, heavy burden I have carried far too long. And oddly a small feeling that hopes he will get well some day. So funny after so much near hatred and anger and hurt at what he has put me through to wish him well, but I see that growing inside of me. It's all very interesting and curious to observe in myself, in him. And the freedom of leaving him completely to his own devices. Sad, but as I told him, there came a point where I had healed enough to recognize my own self preservation is important to me. That my happiness, feeling safe, feeling free...those are all very important to me. :g:

Looking back on my own journey I have to say to myself...."you've come a LONG way baby." :sat:

_________________

"What day is it,?" asked Pooh.
"It's today," squeaked Piglet.
"My favorite day," said Pooh.


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 Post subject: Re: Some thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Quote:
this is not about me at all, and yet has affected my life profoundly


Autumnrose, so much wisdom in your words. I can feel your peace and freedom from unburdening. And, the focus on you, your future, your life...it's just wonderful. I'm so glad you have been here and will continue to be here to share your journey. It has been so helpful to me.

This questioning of what was "real" and what wasn't during our marriages... Ah, I was caught up in that for a long while. I think Jon said something along the lines of, "the events you shared were two parts real, one part illusion; and the "passion" you shared was one part real, two parts illusion." I found that to be helpful. I know that other partners have come to terms with this question by valuing their own experience. They do not need to negate what they remember or felt since it was theirs and theirs alone. I know my husband looks back and says he has fond and proud memories of some of the things we did together. I kind of sort of believe him, but I'm not sure he knows the truth. It's probably complicated and some part real and some part illusion. But, more importantly, for me, I've decided that it really isn't important to the me now and the me in the future if my marriage was real or not. I realize what I wanted in a marriage was something I did not have. And, that, alas, is real. Painful, but a helpless reality. So I feel unburdened from clinging to denial, wishing for what wasn't, knowing I can't go back. Does it really matter if it was real or not? Does that make any difference to me for now or in the future? I believe it does not make a difference. So, I mourned what I wanted and did not have; I mourn the loss of time and my youth; but I must focus on the time I have left. That realization has taken me so long to get to but it also feels so much lighter than my past.

In solidarity,
dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Some thoughts
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:20 am 
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Posts: 131
Soooooo well said, Autumnrose!!! The best thing you can do for yourself at this point is to let go of his recovery and forgive him his behaviors. He was so busy managing his image to you and the world, he never stopped to 'observe and be aware of himself' it never occurred to him to wonder why he does what he does because he is tooooo busy managing the image of who he wants to be!!!
And dnell's words are still ringing in my ears......I like the ' illusion' description, because it seems that is what it really is, even to the addict himself!! It's not as negative as 'false' front that I had in my mind regarding my husbands mask!

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It is always OK in the end...if it's not OK, it's not the end!


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 Post subject: Re: Some thoughts
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
:g: :g: :g:

Nellie


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 Post subject: Re: Some thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:12 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:36 pm
Posts: 1291
Thank you so much for your replies.

I have been reflecting on the process I went through with healing from the childhood sexual and physical abuse I suffered from my step-father. It's funny, I got into therapy rather young, I think 17, because my first husband had gone into yet another treatment program for his alcoholism and an astute counselor realized I was suffering deeply from my abuse. One very good thing that came from that time. I got help mainly to help him. :s: The irony of that now at 50 years old, well it makes me chuckle at myself.

Anywho, I went through several years of healing. And I did heal, the ptsd, the terror, the trauma all slowly healed as I worked to understand why I had been used and abused. But I remember quite clearly fighting and flat refusing this idea that I had to forgive him to move forward. I had been told that by my mother when he "confessed" to touching me when I was 14. At the time I thought this mean they all knew everything that had happened to me and was very confused as to why I was suddenly the focus....it was me that caused all of this. My parents made me go to their marriage counselor who told me I was to blame for their marital problems. In true teen fashion, I simply refused to speak to the man after that and just sat there in silence while he tried to get me to talk. I thought it was mean to blame me as I was only 8 years old when he first molested me.... how could that be my fault? I knew that even back then. About 20 years later my mother told me that he had said he touched me one time because I was being provocative. Once wow! More like hundreds of times, but no one bothered to ask me. No police were called. No one questioned this at all. I was just put into counseling with various people to fix my overly sexual nature. God it sickens me to think how so many adults colluded with my abuser so the abuse could continue and I could be blamed for it.

Anyway, my boyfriend, later first husband took it upon himself to rescue me from this abuse which had at 16 had become quite violent and I still am not sure how I physically survived the attacks with hammers, boards...etc. No one ever believed me when I told them he was mean to me. !D

Once I started getting real help as a young woman, I went through so many various stages. I remember going through anger, fury really mixed with a lot of hurt. I remember going through sorrow. I went through asking questions, wondering why me. Obsessed about that sometimes. Then there came the time to consider forgiveness. I was quite resistant because of being told by so many that was the key to my healing. I refused. I started thinking about apathy, could I get to just not caring about him? Could I just let go of him in every way? That became my focus and I can honestly say I finally was able to let go.

This is long mainly because I am using this as a way to process. :sat: My soon to be ex-husband would love it if I would just forgive him, move on, become his buddy and play 'we're cool exs that are still friends." Yeah, not so much. Some things were said last week that left me reeling once again and I have realized I am not able to have him in my life really at all. He causes me harm and is an unsafe person for me to have in my life. He can have his story of our marriage and break up that are minimizing, rationalizing, dismissive etc., but I do not need to be part of it. But forgiveness, ah, I am sure I will get there eventually but will likely take a different road. I first need distance and space from him and the harm he causes me. For him to be back in my life is a different issue but will be tied to him making amends. If that doesn't ever happen, I am okay if I never interact with him again.

It's so sad that he has torn so many lives apart, but in particular himself and me. But from now on, my main focus will be on me. If it isn't good for me, it isn't good for others likely. This is so backwards from what I have always lived, as a mom who always put herself last. :sat: I will repair my life and enjoy it, darnit. :g:

_________________

"What day is it,?" asked Pooh.
"It's today," squeaked Piglet.
"My favorite day," said Pooh.


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 Post subject: Re: Some thoughts
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:24 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Autumnrose, my heart breaks for the abuse you received in your childhood that was so viciously compounded by the adults who should have been helping you. I am also enraged on your behalf. How could any decent, reasonable adult blame you for your abuse or causing problems in your mother's marriage. That is an unbearable burden you have had to carry. And, why would you forgive any of these people? Why would that be in your best interest? What have they done to EARN your forgiveness? For me, there is a difference between acceptance of what has happened to me and forgiveness. I have forgiven others for harm they have caused. I have been forgiven myself and NOT forgiven, and it is very painful not to be forgiven when I have tried to make amends. But the harm I have caused isn't in the same universe of what you have been through. I disagree that we owe forgiveness; or that we MUST forgive; or that there is something wrong with us if we choose not to forgive. We can heal and move forward without forgiving our abusers.

I know that the trauma of betrayal from my husband's sex addiction is amplified by my early childhood trauma. I am just coming to grips with understanding that early trauma and healing from it. I do understand that my parents, because of their own abuse, just did not have it in them to be parents. They were limited. They wounded me, deeply. Do I hold them responsible? Yes. Do I understand why they were abusive? Yes. Do I forgive them? Well, they're both dead. They cannot make amends. I accept what happened to me. I need nothing further from them even if they were alive.

Will I forgive my husband? I don't know. I haven't ruled it out. It would be nice if I could do so. But, it's going to take me some time. But, like you, it is much more important that I continue on the journey of my own health. I need to FORGIVE me, which is so sad and tragic when I think about how much blame we have absorbed from those who have abused us.

I send you my virtual embrace and compassion and solidarity.

dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Some thoughts
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:15 pm 
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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
Quote:
I finally understand and know that while he has lived a life in ways that are destructive to others and himself, it wasn't because of me, about me or anything like that.
This is such a good realization; worth celebrating. :g:

Quote:
I feel sure there will be some more 3 steps forward, 2 steps back moments but wow, I am setting myself free of this heavy, heavy burden I have carried far too long.
Yes, and good.

Quote:
There came a point where I had healed enough to recognize my own self preservation is important to me.
Excellent.

Finally, I agree that we don’t owe forgiveness to anyone. That said, forgiveness is not for those who transgress, but for us. Of course, we can choose to not forgive, but (at least in my experience) non-forgiveness prolong anger beyond it’s usefulness.

Really good work, Autumnrose. Thank you for sharing with us.

Be well.

_________________
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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