Anyone else have mind movies every day, and then the overactive dreaming every night? For six years? Constantly?
I have been counselled about this countless times. The standard advice (once people finally get that I can’t stop them by “just letting it go”, or trying not to think about it….) is to let them run their course and eventually you will be desensitised. But that hasn’t happened for me. I have tried mindfully pushing them away, then sitting with them, letting them play out hopefully to peter out. I have tried hypnotherapy to devalue them. But I had a teary moment again today as I drove home. I saw (and when I say saw, I mean I literally SEE these scenes, very vivid and 3D) how delirously happy I was, back as a young 20-something, talking with him about cheating, how I understood that temptation comes to many of us, throughout life, but that how connected people communicate and work on their connection to bond them to their partner. My movie today wasn’t originally about Leanne – they most often are. This one was about the stag party prostitute he lied to me for over twenty years about. The one I knew he visited, the one I was told (and believed) that he had been pressured into a drunken hand-job with by “the boys” and had felt disgusted about later. The one I never knew he didn’t have the cash to pay, and a friend pressured him into the room and paid (more married men at a brothel doing things that I thought they were better than) and he had to surreptitiously find to pay back at the wedding the week later. I talked to him about it at the time. I was actually okay with it. We were young, he was curious, VERY drunk, and I asked him to tell me the whole truth. He told me when he returned home from that night how awful he felt about what he’d done – the hand job – and until after his affair, I totally believed that story.
So, today’s movie production was of him sweating, drunk, and pumping away on a prostitute in a brothel, with a bunch of young guys, the majority of who should have “known better,” “got that out of their systems before now,” etc…. One in particular disappoints me more than the rest (other than Roger) as I adore him and his family. Dumbass. Him, not me. But I feel like one too. As I told Roger when he finally told me the truth about two years ago (that I genuinely believe he kind of almost forgot about as it was so long ago – in the first year of us living together) I don’t care if he came in her hand, her mouth, or her vagina, or her….. It is all sex. I care that he lied to me about it, and created an atmosphere that seems to have allowed omissions and lies. He swears he never used a prostitute before or after that time, and that it really did disgust him.
But he doesn’t understand fully the repercussions of that lie AFTER he cheated twenty something years later! The first crime was forgivable (to me at least) especially if he told me the truth, but it is material to the second one. He does NOT seem to get that, in fact, it is the one time he has ever got angry with me during our post-affair years, when I have tried to get him to understand that it affects me monstrously because the two events are linked. The first lie set up the rest decades later.
But, I digress. My question is this. Has anyone else struggled with this debilitating problem? If so, what worked to soothe the pain, and reduce the occurrences? Even after separation? After letting the perpetrator go from your life? How do I get some sleep without this? How do I ever re-paper my mind with more pleasant images? Your thoughts, please.