Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum

Recovery 101 … from what again?

34 Comments

In recent weeks, I had a person come onto this blog, with the very best of intentions, I feel, but who reiterated to me the discourse of “just get over it.”

big-girl-panties

 

For the first time ever, I deleted comments. I have always approved everything anyone has written here, believing that all views are worthy of sharing, even if you, or I, disagree. My reasons for deleting the conversation in its entirety are to do with my tendency to let things get under my skin, and the obsession that it invites. I got rid of the comments in order not to keep going over and over them. I know the person involved stated that they would not return, and I believe that my replies to them may have been read as negative and unwelcoming. I still feel I would like to say something about this experience to the rest of you. I know I am not really all that well, mentally. I also know that I have experienced an extreme, in my reaction and subsequent life, to Roger’s affair. My difficulties in moving forward in my life, attempting to work on me, to become a better person, and rediscover joy and peace have been incredibly frustrating. It has uncovered something in me that I didn’t fully recognise prior to this life event. I am a deeply flawed person, who is negatively affected by other people’s actions. I hate that this is who I am, and have fought being this person pretty vigorously for the past seven plus years. I like to think I am independent, caring, understanding, and open minded. However, I have not been able to implement lasting change. Despite receiving some very good, and some not so good, counselling, hypnotherapy, etc, and working away at ‘programs’ and the like, I haven’t found a way to make the happy stick, or to cope well with the constant mind movies, grief, and feelings of low self worth.

The person who commented here offered to help me with advice about how she (I am only assuming gender because of the user name and content of our discussion) had healed. I was cautiously optimistic that we could open an interesting dialogue, and that maybe she could offer something that I had missed these past few years. I waited to hear more about a) what it was that she had healed from, and b) what the techniques or methods were, or involved. For two weeks, we danced around the concept. I emailed her, after asking if email would work, and her saying, “yes, could do.” She never replied. Then she came back on after I posted a few days later that I was feeling a bit let down about her timeliness – or lack of. I had an awful experience during my suicidal times in this journey, whereby Roger and I had conveyed to a therapist that I had attempted suicide, and was therefore in crisis, and the therapist DID NOT SHOW UP. For TWO appointments. It was utterly devastating, that someone who I was relying on to help me get through the most difficult period in my life, just didn’t care enough to ensure he had the appointment times right. So, I thought it best to say to this person, “thanks, but no thanks.”

After I did, she came back on and basically tore me a new one. The way that my ‘real life’ friends have. It was another way of saying, ‘you loser, you just let this happen, and you are basking in the pain. Get. The. Fuck. Over. It.’ Like I haven’t thought those same thoughts, and tried like hell to do so??? She told me I wasn’t trying, and that I wasn’t open to change. She told me I had fallen in a pit, and instead of fighting to get out of it, that I had set up camp there. The thing for me is this. I know. I know that parts of what she said have some truth. But to be fair to this little hurting girl, I did fight. I fought like fucking crazy! For more than five years, I was pretty sure I would be okay, that I would fight and fight and fight, and I climbed, I scrambled, I scratched at that earth, and I would progress, but always fell back in the pit. After more than five years of this epic battle, I sat one day and thought. If I have fought this damn hard and have made so little real progress, maybe I am just doing the same thing over and over and over, and learning nothing. Maybe – just maybe? HA! – I need to try something new? Maybe if I instead try to beautify this space, that might work, change the place I am trying to escape from into one that I can live in, and accept as different, maybe a little less beautiful, but still a place I can survive in, hopefully one day to thrive?

So, I know this post sounds defensive, and I accept that maybe it is somewhat. I also accept that I have some deep flaws and nicks in my character that have made this journey a far more difficult one than another person may have found it. I don’t deny that this person had some things ‘right’ about me, I told her that. But, to some degree I am now standing and making a stand. My journey, my way, in the sense that I am not new to this game – and I have tried the traditional forms of therapy, and mind techniques, etc. And, they haven’t worked for me, thus far. So, I have and am trying alternative ways to cope with the thing that has affected me far more deeply than it ‘should have’ really. My point here is that surely it is okay to disagree, or to say so without being told off like you are a very naughty 5 year old? At the end of the day, who even is that stranger to try to apply a one-size-fits-all philosophy, without knowing me, or my journey? She is no doubt a kind and caring person, offering to help someone who is not doing so well, but, for me, in this situation, I always have to remember …

morticia

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34 thoughts on “Recovery 101 … from what again?

  1. You know HC – you’re doing the very best that you can! As time goes by and this well of sadness still continues to exist in me, I think to myself that this pain seems to be bottomless. What our husbands did is no small thing- it’s awful and I HATE when people attempt to minimize it!

    The other thing it is – I’m still so baffled as to how my husband could convince himself that it was a small thing, that it wouldn’t affect me, that as long as it was hidden it was okay? All of this messes with your mind, yes- but I feel like it messes with our soul. People who love us should not willfully hurt is- it’s wrong!

    I know what I’ve gone through. I read the things that women have done to themselves to just escape the mental anguish and I get it- it is deep. No one knows your story the way that you do-no one can tell you how to heal or when to heal or what your healing needs to look like. You’re a person that wanted to end her life but you’re here- you’re showing up – thats so much progress right there- no one should make you feel like where you are is inadequate. I’m proud of you and have received so much from you and I’m grateful for it!! So many hugs to you!

    • Can’t see a “like” button so replying to register my support for Kaye’s comment. To me there is no “getting over it”. I am gradually learning to cope with the fact that my beloved OH saw another woman behind my back and lied about it for 8½ years. I think that is about as good as it gets. *hugs*

      • Thanks, Ash. I have heard a variety of “get over it” in these years post-infidelity. It comes in many flavours, and wrappers.

        It really is. Finding your way, and making the good moments even better, being even more grateful for what is good, that is certainly as good as it gets. Hugs back xo.

    • Thank you kaye. I agree. And my disappointment/distress was not all because she was trying to tell me what to do, or that my pain was not real, but that she appeared to offer a lifeline, and then kept playing me like a cat with a ball of wool, removing the prize every time there was contact. She called me impatient, and yeah, okay, I’m impatient. I’ve only waited seven and a half years, working on myself, to try to find some peace. It obviously just needs a bit longer ;-).

      It does mess with you, trying to come to terms with a love that means someone can willfully, deliberately choose to hurt us and put us in danger. I don’t love like that. I know I have hurt people, but I don’t recall ever choosing to do so, other than maybe some cutting words at times? It is a difficult thing to come to terms with. But you will, it is a slow and deliberate journey. You are making progress, I see it xxx.

  2. It’s me, Paula, the old broken record. No two lives are the same. You will never walk in anyone else’s and no one else will ever walk in your shoes. There is no one size fits all when it comes to anything really, but especially not betrayal trauma. Every experience you encountered in your life leading up to the day your world came crashing down, and every experience you have had since, shape how you feel, behave, live. Your life is your own to march through, tip toe through, or stumble through. This is YOUR space. As people have counseled me, delete or not, whatever fits YOUR mood. I wonder if people feel good about themselves with judgment laced comments and advice? We both have experienced some pretty scathing comments on our blogs, ones we don’t deserve, but we don’t deserve any of this. Life truly is not fair. I wonder how people rationalize it? I wonder if they walk away from the ordeal feeling like they have positively contributed to you or your life? I know when I leave comments I take it very seriously and sometimes I fret over whether I have upset someone or possibly made their day worse, or more stressful, not less. I would never want to do that, but I am as fallible as the next person. For months and months I never commented at all. I didn’t feel I had the right to add anything, and then I focused pretty solely on encouragement. I have followed blogs in the past that got my blood to boiling… I even made some comments if I thought what they were writing could possibly hurt vulnerable readers. How dare I? We are each responsible for what we read and how we feel about what other people think and feel. I merely stopped following anyone I felt was being hateful or dismissive of things I personally had deep feelings about (similar to what I have had to do here in the US on my FB post election). I stopped following all judgmental blogs or blogs that gave me a bad feeling or elicited a stressful response. I do love the kind and encouraging comments I regularly receive on my blog and I also encourage people to contact me personally through email. There we can connect on a more intimate level. And for all who have come for advice because I may be further along in a journey they are taking, or they connect with my personal story, or they just want to chat, I get just as much from them as they get from me. I hope they know this. You are far ahead of me time wise on this journey and I have read your blog and connected with you personally and cannot wait to meet you in person. I am planning a whole fucking trip to New Zealand to meet you, Paula. You are incredibly inspirational to me. Hear it. Believe it. Paula, I adore you, love you, for exactly who you are. We all struggle. We may not all struggle from the same things, but we all struggle. I learn from you. Early on, your comments on my blog convinced me not to invite crazy by contacting the other woman. From the very beginning I responded to you through your comments. I instinctively knew you were a strong, immensely intelligent woman trying to rebuild your life path after having a monstrous portion of your world crumble before your eyes. You got back up. You tried the path you felt others expected of you, maybe even that you expected of yourself. You are now forging a new path. Simply, you are an inspiration. Transitions are hard. This much change in your life in a short span of time (schooling, going from intimate partners to friends, jobs, kids transitioning, thinking about splitting assets) must be incredibly stressful. We all need a solid support system, not anonymous people judging our journey. You know I love a good vent post. ❤

    • Mwah! I know kat. I can’t wait! Not long now, is it?!

      I guess it is always hard to feel judged, for someone to make you feel like you are not doing enough, you are failing at recovery. I feel it enough on my own without someone else pointing the finger. I don’t think that person was wrong, per se, just unaware of, as you say, my own life experience and the shocks that brought me to this place, the level of double betrayal, and the ongoing saga after D-day, etc. She doesn’t lie there with me on my gynaecologist’s bed, getting her cervix scraped and burned of cancer cells from the HPV that was shared with me. I know I am a damaged work in progress, doing the best I can to stay as positive, kind, mindful, etc, as I can manage on a daily basis. If someone offers help, they bloody better be genuine!

  3. HC, I agree with Kaye,

    You know me, I would never say “get over it” and I do not want to hear it as I am not over “it” and I never will.
    Healing leaves scars, and betrayal leaves craters.
    I too am deeply flawed as I am not as some others who forgive and move on. I am also not like the ones who state that they contributed to the affair…I get angry when I hear that. It were his actions and his secrets and his continuous lying…
    I admire those who seem to be able to do that; perceiving betrayal in ways that they find helpful…but I am not like them.

    But on WordPress I also met people like you and they have helped me.
    My husband’s choices were deeply selfish and he hurt me and our children. I thought I was a strong woman, but I am struggling. I am fighting and I still feel broken.
    It is nearly 4 years after D-day, but not after his lying.
    I have hurt myself too, in various ways, you can read them on my Post 52.
    Hugs and love,
    Elisabeth

    • The thing with being kind and loving, is that we are terribly vulnerable to abuse and deceit. It is the flipside of the coin, Elisabeth, I believe. There is a brokenness, but also a wobbly strength that comes from the spot(s) repaired. Keep going, life gets better, I’m certainly not ‘there’ yet, but further from the worst of it every day.

  4. To me there is a difference between (1) when a person responds with a comment that tells me what to do…as I am doing it wrong…and they are doing it better…
    or (2) when there is support and encouragement but a difference in perspective. I do not like the first type, but I have approved some. The other types, they come from people who care and either had different experiences or have a different view on the issue.
    Many who write on affairs are hurting and are easily hurt by behaviours of others in general. They (including myself) are more vulnerable. I had an interesting exchange with one follower. Initially I did not “get” the responses, and felt judged, but later on I noticed it came from a person who was deeply hurt.

    • Indeed, I also approached this person initially with some respect for their own wound, hey, we all carry some. It was her lack of engagement, and talk of being ‘healed’ along with her offer to tell me all about her method, but then withholding that “magic” (LOL) that pissed me off! There is no healed, as far as I can see. But there are ample opportunities to support, be supported and continue healING.

  5. Paula, when Roger was ass deep in FIFTEEN MONTHS of his affair and killing part of you it probably was thrilling, and fun and sexy and and and and……. What he and other cheaters do/did looks awfully exciting.
    If he were to describe himself he would probably say he is mostly a good guy who did a terrible thing.
    Here is what he actually was….conniving, treacherous, underhanded, duplicitous, cunning, scheming, lying, dishonest, sneaky, unprincipled, calculating, devious, unscrupulous, deceitful, but the one that is nearly impossible to get over is the lying. It alters your reality, your memories. He had sex with this woman in your nest, around your children and he lied and lied and lied. I teach a class to adults about expectations, behaviors, boundaries etc. I put a list on the board of every conceivable bad behavior I can think of with them choosing the top three. The ones they always choose that they cannot tolerate are murder rape and lying. Being lied to on a consistent basis changes the brain. Cheating isn’t some little mistake. It is a deliberate act of sabotage. It is the Trojan Horse coming into your home and killing you. There is nothing benign about lying. Cheating is just the sick extension of the Big Lie.
    I have no idea why anyone can expect another person to grieve in a planned way.

  6. My father in law last spring got caught in the back of our trailer with our donkey. My oldest son told him as he was asking for help “You might just have to make the ride with the jackass!!” My father in law replied,” Bullshit!!” We all laughed and laughed because he never cusses and it was funny. It was funny unless you were the one forced to ride with the jackass.

    I guess what I’m saying is you don’t have to get over it. You don’t have to take a long ride with a jackass. You my sweet friend choose to get out of the trailer and go on your own. It might not be a smooth ride but it’s better than the one you were on.

    Hugs and my total support in whatever you do 🙂

    • Thanks Kelly. I love donkeys. Riding with the jackass might not have been so bad. Doesn’t that say a lot about my conflicted journey? 😉 (When will there be a donkey emoji????)

  7. Oh, Paula…I’m just so upset for you right now. I’m so sorry that someone chose to behave this way towards you. It is relatively easy for someone on the outside looking in to make snap judgements and offer quick surface solutions. That is because outsiders have absolutely no idea who you really are, they don’t feel what you feel, they don’t see things as you see them. Only you can live your life and you are rocking it! After all you have been through and still dealing with, I hope you know that people who throw out shallow remedies like “just get over it” are not worthy of your time and thought. There are people who truly care about you, your journey, your struggles and your good, kind heart. You take care of YOU, dear Paula. Sending huge hugs 🤗

    • Don’t be upset. I’m okay. I appreciate everyone’s support, but I wasn’t posting this because I think the woman was entirely wrong. More that telling someone to behave a certain way when they have already tried that way and found it didn’t work for them, and then berating them for not being capable of that is like trying to teach a fish to ride a bike. I honestly feel she was wanting to help, but unaware of my struggles with therapy and making mindful changes stick. If she had experienced the frustration with trying to implement lasting change in your mindset that I have, I’m sure she might have had a little more empathy for my journey.

      But it matters not. That is probably my point with this post. I have dealt with this judgement by others as being weak and less, for a long time. The blog allows me to dump my feelings and keep moving. Thanks Linda xxx

  8. Ah fuck….head…explosion….jaysus. ‘She’ Dr.phil’d you! “And what are YOU doing to get YOURSELF out of that hole” “how are YOU helping YOURSELF heal” oh exsqueeze me, I didn’t realise there a prescribed way to get over massive betrayal and loss.
    Paula you feel and have expressed better than anyone how you feel and the disappointment you hold because try as you might you just couldn’t get the train back on the track. Some randoms forthright opinion is not going to help or hinder that.
    And those nicks and flaws in your personality? Japanese pottery inlaid with gold doll! Pure gold.
    I know for a fact that if my betrayal looked like your betrayal I would be in a very, very similar position to you right now. The only saving grace was I didn’t know her, it wasn’t on my doorstep.
    We do what we know – and that my dear is pure Oprah. Better than old Dr.phil anyway! 😍😘

    • I know owlie. I just needed to talk it out in this post. Put it down somewhere so it didn’t burn a hole in my brain! I don’t think for a minute that I know it all. But I have been around the traps a bit, and tried a few things. And most of all, I know me. I was quite surprised that she first said she had read every post and every comment. I am pretty sure that would take about oh, a lifetime!

  9. NEVER explain yourself. you are too good for that. you are an adult woman who is entitled to her thoughts and feelings (even the shitty ones). Tigers don’t loose sleep over the opinions of sheep! ❤️❤️❤️

    • S’all good, caroline. I don’t think I am any better or fiercer, or anythinger than her. Just that I do know I have tried. I do try. I am mindful in everything I do. (It’s fucking exhausting!)

  10. Paula, it sounds like that woman was taking you on a ride from the start. Who the FUCK do people like that think they are? They are sad little egomaniacs who elevate themselves by kicking a boot in someone else. Our journey is own. I have plenty of naysayers over my side of town and comments of the ‘get over it, get over yourself’ type stink of ignorance and superiority. People always think that if someone cheated on them, they’d be long gone and the cheater long forgotten, but the truth is, the pain and loss is a soul-destroying destroying mind fuck that you never fully recover from. As well as deleting the conversation, I hope you told her to fuck off and go back to her perfect little life. Not. SWxo

    • Hi SW. I have no idea what her agenda was. I think she was probably genuine. But her passive aggressive tone rang alarm bells straight away. I err on the side of thinking she genuinely thought she had all the answers. Paint-by-numbers recovery. ‘Cos that’ll work for sure. Snort! I was not rude. But I did bluntly tell her that she was barking up the wrong tree. I think that is why her final reply was condescending. How dare I not take her advice, huh? Hey, I wish she had the answers. (Hell, I wish she shared what the hell she thought her secret healing method was!) I really do. But the truth is, as you say, it is a mindfuckingly soul destroying thing. And no, recovery is never complete. Merely a process you keep working at forever.

      How’s the exciting new job? Hope you are kicking some arse there! 🤓

      • It’s definitely something you keep working at forever. Every now and then, you remember something: a small detail, a turn of phrase, a place. At least the drugs I’m on help to not ruminate.
        New job is amazing, I’m so very lucky. Exhausting working full-time with 3 young children, but loving it. SWxo

      • Perfect! I know it is bloody near impossible, but try somehow to look after you amongst all that busy. My 35 hour a week job – also with three fairly young kids – that turned out to be 60-70 hours – was a huge factor in the breakdown of our relationship. I was trying to be a grownup about it, communicating with him that it will end *here* and I will renegotiate the contract (I was getting paid for the extra time) but Roger decided to fuck my ‘friend’ instead of being a grownup, talking and working towards that date. Poor sad, lonely little sausage. Dirty fuckers.

        Damn, those are some good drugs, lol! I never had that relief in the year I was on anti-d’s and anti-anxiety meds. In fact, I felt super pissed off, disempowered and sad that a selfish man had made me so damn depressed and distressed that I had to pop pills to survive, every time one went down my gullet – but hey, that says a lot about me, huh? Bloody glad they are so helpful to you. So bloody glad.

  11. Hi my old friend – you and I have both been here in the infidelity world for a long time – you at 7-1/2 and me at 6 years already. I have been here to see how hard you worked at it. Nobody tried harder, and I learned so much from you as we journeyed through the muck of infidelity.

    Sometimes, though, there is just too much to work through. I have often said that you suffered through so much that I would still be in the trauma phase if I were you. I still believe that. He and she and the two of them together were in your space physically and mentally, and you suffered physically and mentally, too, with the people around you all watching. I cannot imagine how you’ve managed to accomplish so much in spite of all that.

    If that woman thinks healing means there is never any more pain, she has probably been able to put up some pretty darned good filters. Indeed, if healing means that there is never any more pain, then I am not healed. Daniel’s affair did not merely poke a hole in my heart. My heart was shattered into a million shards. It took a long, long time to put the pieces back in place, and I doubt it will ever be perfect. There are pieces missing and pieces that no longer quite fit. But I am at the point where it does not control me anymore. That is healing to me. I will probably always be journeying to more healing, but I’m good where I am right now. You just have more to work through. There is no timeline to follow.

    You already know all this. You just need some affirmation sometimes, not condemnation from people who have no clue.

    • I feel much as you do DJ (lovely to hear from you!) It does not control me either. I have a life. It is not what I wanted, but I am mostly okay. But I also recognise that I am still grieving and grief doesn’t ever end. And that is reality. I accept it as part of the tapestry of this life.

      Glad to hear you are still doing well. Keep loving and living. Arohanui xxx

  12. I am right there with you. I can’t seem to heal from this. I don’t know what else to do or try nothing has helped. I seem to get worse as time goes by. All time has done is give me time to realize what type of person it takes to do this to someone they are supposed to love. Time to realize how many lies he told. How fake he was being. I just didn’t see the whole picture in the beginning but now I do and I just can’t get past it! It’s been almost 3.5 years for me now and I still hurt from it everyday. My story is similar to yours she was supposed to be my friend and they were doing that shit right under my nose, in my house, in the neighborhood!

    And just the other day I had someone tell me I need to get over it and stop feeling sorry for myself! Damn kiss my ass! I am not feeling sorry for myself, I am grieving and depressed and believe me I would love to be able to just get over it if I could I would. I would give anything to just heal from this. Anyway thanks for sharing your blog and story with us! I think you are doing great with your life going back to school and all I’m proud of you 😊

    • I’m so sorry, somuchhurt. I was determined at the beginning of all of this shit storm that I would NOT wallow in the pain. I don’t believe I am. I work mindfully every waking minute to feel better about myself. However, the grief is permanent. I ‘like’ your description of the pain as growing in the sense of the sweeping realisation about what kind of character these men lack. To act on such destructive urges. The level of deceit. Mind boggling. Just keep remembering that this is on them. Not us. Sending love and healing to you xxx

  13. I dont talk about this stuff anywhere but here. maybe with a counsillor or with Hub. I cant get out the everpresent thoughts anywhere else, and I do a damn good job of dealing with how this impacts my life.

    This is the beauty of the blog. its mine. Its yours. You get to decide whats on it. If its about being continually feeling butthurt, its no one elses business. they dont have to read. They can go away.

    Your post is spot on. No one else can tell someone how to heal. and sayin ‘buck up cowgirl’ is a bandaid for bulletwounds solution.

    • Thanks CR. Yep. I know. Just a need to get it outside of me and put it somewhere. It would be great if everyone understood that healing isn’t paint by numbers. It is different for everyone. Their circumstances and personalities. Doing the best we can. Seeking the best guidance and help we can. ❤

  14. Although I cannot understand what you’re going through first-hand, I have so much sympathy. I’ve watched affairs tear apart families. It’s not fair that you’ve had to experience this, and I am so sorry. I know that you’re not searching for validation, but I wanted to show my support. You’re in my thoughts.

    • Thank you Victoria. I really appreciate your thoughts. We both saw affairs tear apart families too. His best mate and his sister had marriages ruined by them. He seemed a sensible, loving, emotionally intelligent darling of a man. Then he lost it. It haunts him. And of course me.

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