I've found that the answer often lies in the forum(s) we frequent outside of this thread.
For the last few weeks, I have been reading and posting in the separation/divorce forum. At times, I would visit General and a few times dabbled in New Beginnings.
Then knowledge of this annulment arrived...and the forum I immediately went to?
"Just Found Out." Haven't been back to "separation/divorce" at all, other than to check on Ghost and Nature Girl. No "new beginnings" visits...and also of note, I suppose, no "reconciliation" visits.
This to me means I need more time...unless something major would happen in the next 3 weeks.
Does anyone else find their "forum visiting" reflective of their current emotional state?
And has anyone ever found themselves reading/posting in all the forums on the same day? (I have done this, lol...didn't realize it until I saw my screenname appearing repeatedly down the right side column ) Another indication of the craziness going on inside my head!
But then I read the profile, and it said he was looking to hook up with men, women, men/men, men/women, transvestites. And I thought OH MY GOD, thank GOD that's not MY husband. He would NEVER do those things.
But he would. He did. He continues to do them.
Also, I recall that the list of things that he was interested in was REALLY REALLY bad. I can't remember even one detail, so obviously I've very conveniently forgotten it.
I just had my head in the sand. My IC is going to be very interested in this story, I'm sure. Why would someone look the other way and make excuses like that?
Part of it was that I just didn't want to lose my "life" as I knew it. I had a baby. I was afraid. But there must be more to it.
This SA thing is just so humbling and humiliating.
***(((GHOST)))*** Hang in there. I'm beginning to believe that D-Day was the best thing that could have happened to me. Even as I sit here typing, feeling such shame, I also am beginning to feel like I can figure out MY part of all of this and maybe, possibly I can come out of this okay - stronger, smarter. Possibly. . . .?
Last week I was blissfully reading New Beginnings and imagining posting an online dating profile someday on EHarmony or something. Then STBX did some terrible things here in front of my children earlier this week, and now I'm back in S&D, and here of course.
I do think that our forum visiting is reflective of our emotional state. Definitely!
I think you should keep reading it ALL until you figure out what to do. No matter what you decide, we're all here for you.
HE IS AN ADDICT! There is no use in prolonging the agony. None. Time to move forward, but dammit, it hurts so bad!
WS, before I found the last batch of BJ/dick shots I found I mostly stayed in JFO, G, and ICR/SA. I seldom even visited S/D or R. I just was in complete Limbo, really. The times I visited R I would get sick at the thought of doing MORE hard work, forgiving MORE of WH's abuse. The times I visited S/D I would get sad & scared at the thought of court battles, lawyer fees, and tearing my family apart & hurting my kids.
But once I found those pictures, ohmygosh, the complete mental clarity when I got over the physical shock.
Okay, y'all, back to packing!
Hugs to all my sisters here...
I'm now to tired to post, but I'm in a crazy mixed up spot. Trying to figure out what to do with the marriage.... feeling hopeless and angry. Not the best combination.
Will post more in coming days. This is where I need to be.
Yeah, well, I guess it didn't mean that much after all if he wasn't even wearing it when he was served those divorce papers!
Funny, in the communication back & forth between his lawyer & mine, he's not once even asked for me to return it. Never even mentioned it.
The kids are back home now, happy & thrilled to have seen Daddy. So glad that's over with!
I'm so happy for you that it went well tonight.
I have missed you so much!!!!!!
(Although, I hoped the reason you were gone was because things were going well...)
Selfishly, I am glad you are back, but I am sad that you are feeling hopeless and angry.
Nature - I think you may be the most level-headed person I've ever met. I'm so sorry that you're going through this, but you continue to amaze me with your rational actions amongst the chaos! Your kiddos are very lucky to have a mum like you. Glad dinner went well tonight. Continuing to pray for you.
Ghost - Praying for peace for you, for calm amongst the storm. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be in your shoes after 40 years (it is devastating for me after only 9). My only advice (since I know we both have a tendency to do this), is to stay away from the alcohol while you grieve. Don't use it to self-medicate. Face the grief, and be gentle with yourself. The sadness will feel like it's going to kill you at times, but remind yourself that it won't... Endure it, or see a doctor for ADs. But don't self-medicate, and I will try to follow this advice, too.
Kat - Any updates on your son?
In my particular case, WS never had an extended OW...just numerous short-term ones. And nothing emotional, always sexual. Ironically, he avoided sex with me.
But like I said, each case can be different. Educate yourself; protect yourself; get support.
I think I posted earlier that I have started attending NA meetings...not because I'm an NA or WS is an NA, but because I "happened" upon the meeting. (Higher power intervention?) It helps me to learn about the disease of addiction in general, and it helps me to have a support group IRL, which is difficult since I live in a rural area.
Anyway, this past week there were several new people that came to the meeting. A lot of them were women. And a lot of the things they said hit home for me. It seemed to me that *causes* for the narcotics addictions were almost clearly divided among gender lines. The men who spoke, described how it had started as a recreational activity that just escalated beyond their control. The women who spoke, described how they had experienced some type of trauma or hardship - death, divorce, abuse - and had went to drugs to help cope, eventually becoming dependent upon them.
This sent up so many red flags for me because that is all of us...going through trauma / hardship, being overwhelmed with emotions and circumstances beyond our control. I think we are all very vulnerable to this right now.
I don't think I am a drug-addict, but it made me think about all of the drinking I've been doing recently...and the reasons for the drinking - not to socialize or enjoy the drink, but to numb out some of the despair and grief. I also thought about some of the painkillers I had taken (left over from WS's back surgery and my dental surgery) right after Dday as well as at some of the most trying points of this grieving process...
And while I'm not dependent on these things...hearing these other women speak made me think that what I am doing is unhealthy and really exposing myself to risk, as this seems to be the way that women are most susceptible to becoming addicted to drugs - using them to help cope.
So I wanted to share this with all of you...especially those of you who are in the beginning stages of despair and grief. Be careful.
I really feel like my higher power may have intervened for me by placing the NA meeting at just the right time and place for me to find.
Love to all.
Sager- Iím glad you popped in to say hi, Iíve been worried about you. Please share when you feel strong enough.
Ghost- Thank you for the update. No advice, just hugs and hope that you treat yourself well.
Choosing- Itís great to see you here, sharing your story. I share your feelings of humiliation. You asked why would someone look the other way. My guess is feeling overwhelmed. Maybe it was just too much too process, to cope with. So you Ďput it awayí so to speak. Definitely speak to your IC about it. I too am stronger and have more self knowledge. (sp??) I havenít reached gratitude for DDays, but I can see it in the future; regardless of the state of our M. Unfortunately Iím still indecisive, but I know myself better & thatís a blessing.
But we "come to realize" in the 12 step vernacular, that WE are being made sick by trying to maintain a healthy relationship with a sick person.
Thanks for writing this. I needed the reminder today.
NatureGirl- Thank goodness your kids had a good time with daddy. Itís so important for the littles to have as much positive interaction as possible. As far as finding the wedding ring- it always boggles my mind. In my case SAWH bought himself a new ring less than three months after DDay #2. I had to have my mine cut off the same day. Heís never bought me one. Heís never understood why I feel thatís a slap in the face.
Ostrich- I understand that an addict acts out, uses, to fill a need. In the case of an SA, they act out in an effort to push their feelings down. Sex isnít out of desire or need or emotional connection. The addict uses the high from the orgasm to cope with their feelings. Sex addicts are incredibly damaged people and donít have sex for the same reasons Ďnormal peopleí do. In the case of your WH this woman seems to have been his Ďdealerí so to speak, his steady source.
In my case, my SAWH had at least four concurrent IRL women, 25+ sex/dating profiles, a regular phone sex partner and an online long distance EA partner. Some of the acting out fizzles and some of it doesnít. Addiction is highly individual, each addictís pattern is different. Unique to that person. For the BSís itís all heartbreaking.
"Live a life not an apology." Edward R.Murrow
"I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it."
[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 9:02 AM, February 25th (Saturday)]
I think I was writing out my post when you wrote yours. Thanks for the reminder re: sliding into addiction. In my FOO drinking is the addiction of choice. Over the last two years I've been incredibly careful never to have more than two drinks a week. I could tell that if I let it, I could easily have fallen into the bottle and not come out. My other coping method is self-injury, which is new to me since DDay #1. My IC worked very hard to help me find alternate coping methods.
Thanks for the reminder, it was helpful to me.
edited to finish post, hit submit too soon
[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 9:00 AM, February 25th (Saturday)]
Last weekend I asked my DS#2 to come home. I wanted my whole family to be here and I wanted to apologize to them for not shielding them from some of the dysfunction. I also was hoping that fWS would tell DS#2 his story.
DS#2 was shielded from some of the obvious stuff. Unlike DS#1 who is older, he didn't see me waiting up at all hours for fWS to show up, and didn't know and see some of the things DS#1 saw. But he did see that I was treated badly.
So at dinner I told them both how proud I was of them. I told them I wanted to make a speech but DS#1 was having none of it. So my truncated version was "I'm sorry I didn't shield you from some of the dysfunction you experienced," or something along those lines. That probably was enough anyway. DS#1 jumped in, "this isn't your fault. Your are a great mother. I screwed up and I have to fix it." Well of course I don't buy that 100%. It is, after all, the mother's job to protect her kids and raise them to be responsible people. But I do buy it 75%. So I didn't argue with him although I did reiterate what I had said previously.
DS#2 chimed in with similar sentiments. But he still didn't really know what we were talking about.
fWH told him the story a little while later. Then came upstairs to let me know. DS#2 and I had a talk. He is an amazing person. He, apparently, was completely in the dark. His only perception was that I was treated badly on occasion, and would, in turn, treat HIM badly. Although, he also recognized that he often deserved strong parenting because he was a tough customer. I apologized for having done that, I, don't consciously remember although I wouldn't, would I? I expressed my sadness, and told him that I simply wasn't as strong as I used to be, and he should be prepared for that. He said some wonderful things (did I mention that he is a great kid) and said the main thing is how we proceed in the future.
So both my sons know. And both of them are now warned of the dangers of SA, mental health issues and the genetics. And both took the news as I thought they would, with grace and dignity, and neither of them have rejected either of us.
And one final thing...all of you, and to me as well.
Life is TOO SHORT to live it in misery.
Our close friend, she is 54, sort of my adopted sister, was in a car accident last week. As a result, and probably the cause of the accident, they found a brain tumor.
It's called a glioblastoma. Stage 4. They give her 6-12 months to live. There were NO neurological signs. She is going to undergo treatment, but the statistics are really not in her favor. At all.
She is trying to cram 40 years of living into 6 months. She said she "doesn't want to be an updated version of 'Love Story' or 'Beaches.' She hates all that melodrama. But seriously. 6-12 months.
So. Take care of yourselves. I truly would like to meet all or some of you IRL. You have no idea (or maybe you do) how much comfort and support I feel from you.
*********(((((((ICR-S/P of SA friends)))))))))*************
[This message edited by scaredyKat at 9:12 AM, February 25th (Saturday)]