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Ruminating in Hindsight, My Work

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4

foreverlabeled posted 9/11/2018 17:20 PM

"Whatever our issues are, no matter what we are fixing, getting your shit together requires a level of honesty you canít even imagine." There was nothing easy about realizing I was the one thatís been holding myself back this whole time and having to admit I've let myself down in the worst way. It was harder to admit that I already knew my character was flawed even before I was cheating. I just didnít care enough about myself to ask why and what I can do about it. That would take change, and change is hard, right?

I learned quickly that I was fighting two fronts. Essentially, on my BSís front Iím working to ďget itĒ and on my front Iím working to ďown itĒ. And it seems my work was different yet the same on both fronts. And at some point, owning it became all I could do for us and for myself anymore.

I had to start somewhere, and I saw two things that I did have complete control over and worked towards strengthening both fronts.

1. The truth
2. Blame-shifting

But, I went into self-preservation mode on dday and to do these things didnít come as a natural response for me. This is actually a common thing, not saying itís right, just human nature. Its often referred to as cheater script because we lie, deny and minimize trying to save ourselves and control the fallout in our favor. To achieve that we all basically say and do the same stuff because itís the only way ďoutĒ. It wasnít physical, itís your fault, It was only, this only that. Itís a psychological reaction, the stress response kicking in. We go into survival mode. I often suspect TT, defensiveness, victimhood, and a whole host of obstacles are due to remaining in this acute stress response. Realize, my survival is all about me, right? A person gets selfish and desperate, I learned for survival to go CYA mode. It all fits the cheater script doesnít it?

Except, now Iím learning that if I wanted to survive with H, Iíd have to go about it differently. I would have to start with those two things and continue with everything that I learned in ďHTHYSHFYAĒ by MacDonald which is also the basics I learned here. I would like to credit my remorse for following through with these things, sadly I think a large part of it was simply basic instinct to survive. Donít get me wrong I was deeply sorry and wanted to make things right and if it werenít for that, maybe my survival would have looked different. I have even thought that perhaps I needed the adrenaline of survival to act on my remorse. It was hard stuff getting the truth out there, I was crazy afraid of it. IDK, but the point is that I had to actively work to get myself out of this survival mode. I canít grow there. So I practiced the opposite of selfishness and desperation.

1. Compassion
2. Humility
3. Gratitude

By practicing these in my life basically every second of every day to everyone and everything *including myself* the more I moved out of the stress response. IC was really good for this too. But, it wasnít enough because I still felt at any moment EVERYTHING could blow up (and there was truth to that) so I was still on guard, still stressed. An extra step was needed.

Letting go of the outcome.

This was so hard for me to do and still is when I get an idea in my head. I think a lot of us struggle here. From what I understand desire for a specific outcome is healthy, attachment? not so much. Attachment is where feelings of false control breed. When so much energy is put into one outcome you can become blind to everything else. Letting go of surviving this with my H started with detaching from that idea. Of course I didnít want to. And as hard as it is to face the scary unknown, that (the M, surviving this with him) in and of itself was already determined an unknown. I was surrounded by unknowns and quite frankly always have been. Life is one great big unknown after all.

That realization at the time was both terrifying and reassuring all at once and a transition began to take place. The more I could convince myself that I didnít need to be in a constant state of survival, the more I could relax and open myself up to my H and really get it. AND open myself up to myself to really own it.

I had a huge problem though. My biggest difficulty early on was getting lost in the fearful feelings. The moment I started indulging fear I became engrossed in reactionary thoughts and feelings. Anxiety inducing thoughts because often my reaction was to go straight to catastrophe. My thoughts of myself were extremely negative as well and the emotions attached would take me so low. This obviously had to change, so I learned a handy little tool to help with that. And it was as easy as challenging these thoughts. And so, every time I noticed a negative thought I stopped it and replaced it with something else, sometimes being only slightly less negative, but it was a start. These days I canít remember the last time I truly put myself down and meant it, and itís only because I started here. Challenging my thoughts meant opening them up to new/different thoughts and ideas.

That ultimately worked its way to challenging and changing my beliefs. This was the crux of my work, I think of it as my own Age of Enlightenment. I started questioning everything and discarding long held beliefs that didnít serve me anymore. But before I could just throw things out all willy-nilly, I sat down and started to compile a list of what I valued. I needed something to reference. Honesty/Truth was at the top of my list suddenly. I had this belief that lying was a problem solver. That belief neither serves me or my values. So that one could go...like itís that easy huh? Itís not, I promise you that. I still feel a pull to this belief it was so ingrained. I practice honesty every day, rewiring or forming new habits, whatever you want to call it takes dedication and hard work. Who knew you actually had to protect and cherish it. Or yíknow in other words, value it if it was to be long lasting.

I put a lot of thought in my values and how Iíve expressed them in my actions. I said I valued family, but my actions destroyed my family. I also questioned if my current values even have meaning to me. Turns out some things I valued was only because I was taught to. It had no substance to me upon real examination of my true self. I started with my values for fundamental reasons. I found myself needing to pour a new foundation of my own, what went into that foundation was going to determine well, me.

So, it takes getting honest and worse becoming VULNERABLE with yourself, thatís where the REAL work begins. This almost did me in, the introspection. Not even kidding I wanted to stop here. Nope, fuck that, you canít make me. This was actually a daily argument I had with myself. Iíve spent a life time keeping all of this inside me ďprotectedĒ and to open it up risks exposure and emotional harm or so I thought. It was just another false belief. At some point I was listening to a pod cast about my Briggs personality type of all things and I heard vulnerability and introspection described like this; Imagine there is a dragon inside of you (my fears of turning inward) then think about what dragons guard, GOLD. Slay the dragon (conquer your fears) and youíll have all the riches in life (authenticity, self-worth, joy, health, itís endless). I took that as an absolute truth and it encouraged me to go there. But however you want to think of it hereís the bottom line, I went there and better off for it.

I wonít lie and say it was a beautiful experience every moment of the way discovering myself and once in, I wanted to give up every day for months. Then something happened as I started doing this work, it wasnít as painful as time went on. I was actually eager to learn everything I possibly could about what makes me, me. And how to authentically live. Be unapologetically the BEST me. The real me. I wanted to wholeheartedly love myself for the first time ever and nurture that hurt child within.

It meant a lot of acceptance as well. Accepting that I havenít exactly been the best person and I need to own the bad-for-me choices I've made and the ugly choices hurting others (beyond the scope of infidelity too). I didnít have to go through it all one by one, I just had to practice a general forgiveness. I wasnít giving my best in life, sometimes I think along the way my stress response kicked on and never turned off. Life seemed about survival and itís all about selfishly looking out for number one. On the flip-side, I needed to accept the good too. I can assure you in the moment I didnít see much good, but I knew I wasn't a heartless monster. I made good choices in life, worthy of recognition. During my struggle with introspection I often spoke about acceptance and the power in it.

I need to mention something though. None of this would have been possible without a few things.

First, I had a true desire in every sense of the word for change. I will never be grateful for the destruction I caused to gain this desire, it was the destruction itself that provided me this want. I didnít want to be a person capable of such extreme abuse EVER again. Whatever it took. I am not an abuser and that is exactly what I did. THATíS not me in my core. That sadly was my lifeís pain expressing itself in an abusive form. I can fix this.

Second, I needed tools because I didnít know how to fix this.

Knowledge, the most useful of all tools. I knew I was out of my element on dday, my first internet search was ďI cheated how do I help my husbandĒ. There it was, all the knowledge I could ever ask for at my fingertips. I didnít waste any time diving right in. I learned all about what his healing would look like and mine. It grew into more than that, I was actively seeking knowledge in all things.

IC was a must because I didnít know what ďhealthyĒ looked like and without understanding it, I wasnít going to change much. When that wasnít an option I was reading a lot of self-help. I was careful when considering my whys. Iíve seen strong attachments form to FOO and other reasons that border on excuses. My self-help approach wasnít so much finding out why I have these issues but more so, how do I fix these issues.

Mindfulness is a technique that helps me practice honesty. Itís a tool I use when I want to keep anything in my conscious, to yíknow, be mindful about. I would take honesty moment by moment with awareness, keeping it in my forethoughts. Itís diligent work. Sometimes no matter how much I practice, a lie would just come out (something insignificant) and I would want to correct myself immediately, ďSorry that was actually a lie, they werenít really out of milk I just forgotĒ. Yeah, things like that. And by valuing honesty and putting my thoughts there, a knee jerk reaction to stop and tell the truth started taking place. We talk about rewiring of the brain, there it was, in action.

Coping turned out to be a tool I needed to RElearn.

And so on it goes.

Third, courage. When we take on ourselves it feels like a lot at first and maybe it is. Some of us have done years of avoiding. Itís going to take a lot of determination and courage to keep up the fight. When it gets hard I stop myself (try to) and acknowledge, it is what it is. Sometimes I would get so uncomfortable just peeking in a box, my thoughts and feelings would freeze up on me and I couldnít go there. Itís okay to say not today, Iíll try again tomorrow. I had to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, I knew that much. Itís not so easy but, totally doable, and courage helps.

Fourth, I actually had to DO the work. One of my favorite proverbs for this, ďIf we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.Ē Sometimes it felt more like I was crawling or dragging my feet. I would get lost and circle around. I would stop to dig in or rest. But what I valued more than giving up was perseverance (a new one btw). And so, I kept progressing.

Today my work doesnít feel like the hard work it once did. It only feels like a responsibility I owe to myself, which is taking an interest in my greater self and trying to love whatever authentic me comes from it.

[This message edited by foreverlabeled at 9:20 AM, February 2nd (Saturday)]

kairos posted 9/11/2018 17:56 PM

Thank you. I needed this.

foreverlabeled posted 9/11/2018 18:38 PM

I read your post pdxguy. My only advice with your manipulation question, is that manipulation is rooted in deceit. The only way I know how to combat that is live in truth. I just don't know what your personalized plan will be to get to that. I wish you luck and I'm glad this post could help.

toby posted 9/11/2018 18:40 PM

Amazing post, foreverlabled!!!

foreverlabeled posted 9/11/2018 19:23 PM

Thanks toby.

I hope to encourage others. I know first hand how hard this work is and the pull to remain the same. It just doesn't get you results IF that is what one is after.

Support and encouragement meant a lot starting out.

hikingout posted 9/12/2018 08:57 AM

Foreverlabeled,

This is such a spot on, excellent post. I've read it three times already. I really think it should go in the healing library articles much like the Guide for Withdrawal.

It hits so many of the important elements that I think most waywards lack. I know I certainly do. The topics are a true road map of all that should be worked on and what that looks like. I felt encouraged that these are all on my list. I feel I have miles to go but it's nice to kind of get some sort of external confirmation of the track I am on.

From what I understand desire for a specific outcome is healthy, attachment? not so much. Attachment is where feelings of false control breed. When so much energy is put into one outcome you can become blind to everything else. Letting go of surviving this with my H started with detaching from that idea.


Attachment is one of the things I too struggled to understand. I read some where that attachment is "I want you to make me happy" and love is "I want to make you happy" This was helpful to me because I could see that what I had with AP was attachment. What I shared with my husband for many years was definitely love. But, in derailing our marriage, I too see how the attachment existed and recognizing ways I was controlling the outcome.


We go into survival mode. I often suspect TT, defensiveness, victimhood, and a whole host of obstacles are due to remaining in this acute stress response. Realize, my survival is all about me, right? A person gets selfish and desperate, I learned for survival to go CYA mode. It all fits the cheater script doesnít it?


YES. I didn't do all of it, I didn't TT at least, but I do believe those early months are nothing but survival mode for a WW. This is why I would tell any new BS to take a hard stance. 180. Watch and wait. We are sitting in our same issues on DDAY and after that allowed us to have an affair in the first place. The affair is not just some dumb mistake, it's a culmination of broken coping mechanisms, unhealthy boundaries, a lack of authenticity/integrity, and beyond. Which is why the crux of the work is:


Whatever our issues are, no matter what we are fixing, getting your shit together requires a level of honesty you canít even imagine.

A wayward doesn't have that honesty. I never lied to my husband prior to the A. BUT, I wasn't living my own authenticity. I played a role, and controlled how my husband saw me by people pleasing him to death. Never "burdening" him with my needs. My mom was the exact opposite, she was demanding and selfish in so many ways with my dad growing up. I was a daddy's girl, I never liked watching it. So, when I grew up I wanted to be a different wife. But, I did it at the expense of not speaking up enough. Not having boundaries with my husband or children. Until the need to escape was inevitable. That is living a lie. I didn't do it purposefully, or even recognize it. I thought I was creating the life I wanted, I didn't understand it was so detrimental. No wonder I didn't feel seen, I wasn't allowing it. Anyway, the honesty and authenticity takes time because often the wayward doesn't even recognize the problem is them or who they really are at core. I didn't. I am still discovering that as well.

I was actually eager to learn everything I possibly could about what makes me, me. And how to authentically live. Be unapologetically the BEST me. The real me. I wanted to wholeheartedly love myself for the first time ever and nurture that hurt child within.

This is so insightful, true, and beautifully written. This is currently where I feel I have the longest to go yet, and the one that is going to take the most time. Also, this:

That belief neither serves me or my values. So that one could go...like itís that easy huh? Itís not, I promise you that. I still feel a pull to this belief it was so ingrained. I practice honesty every day, rewiring or forming new habits, whatever you want to call it takes dedication and hard work. Who knew you actually had to protect and cherish it. Or yíknow in other words, value it if it was to be long lasting.


Protect and cherish. YES. DAILY COMMITMENT. YES. This is not just the crux of our work, this is what we hold for a lifetime. I think this extends to anyone who is trying to dedicate themselves to self-growth. It's a daily mindfulness of each day adding up to a bigger picture. I just love everything you have to say here.


Okay, if you can't tell I am very excited about your post. I think we really need more of these things in wayward, and I recognize there are really pretty few long-timers in the scheme of things. But, I really would love to see more of these things from people longer into their journey than I am. This is pure gold. Thank you for taking the time to write it out in an organized way and share it.

foreverlabeled posted 9/12/2018 10:54 AM

Was that organized?? I was trying to keep it to a rough time line but as most know this isn't exactly linear stuff.

I agree hikingout, and I've seen this side of the board struggling so much in this area. We get tons of advice about how to help our BS's, I could write pages just on that. What we don't see enough is what our work looks like beyond that.

I don't think I did a good job explaining just how much time this all takes. Which is kind of funny because I struggled with the concept of time in the beginning. In fact it was one of the biggest reminders throughout my threads early on. It took me close to 8 months just to get comfortable with the IDEA of introspection, never mind the months passed trying to avoid it or dipping my toes in hardly past the surface.

Facing fear was challenging for me. It was a strong theme in the beginning in all of my posts. If I resisted anything it was rooted in fear. I was just afraid of it all. And each time I chose courage over my fears the more I believed in myself number one, and the more I wanted to keep going. Courage feels 100x better than the worst of my fears felt.

This work over the last 2+ years has been the HARDEST thing I've ever taken on. I'm not sure there was anything easy about it ever along the way. It's easier now that much is true, but the struggle is still alive and well.

humantrampoline posted 9/12/2018 12:00 PM

foreverlabeled,

This is an incredible post. I agree with hikingout that it should be part of the permanent library or in the Guide. There are only a few WS who share their internal work, and many who are looking for that material. It takes a lot of courage for the WS who share intimately here.

I think you did portray how much time and struggle and effort you put into the work.

In your profile story, you mention being a MH and how much his betrayals hurt. It's hard for me to get my head around why it would hurt so much when you were engaging in the same exact behaviors. But it makes me wonder how much of your healing and this work was related to healing from that trauma. Do you have any thought on that? Do you think your healing journey have been different and in what ways?

and hikingout,

No wonder I didn't feel seen, I wasn't allowing it.

Wow and ouch. That's powerful. Somehow it strikes a cord with me.

foreverlabeled posted 9/12/2018 17:47 PM

I don't think they allow cussing in The Healing Library

In your profile story, you mention being a MH and how much his betrayals hurt. It's hard for me to get my head around why it would hurt so much when you were engaging in the same exact behaviors. But it makes me wonder how much of your healing and this work was related to healing from that trauma. Do you have any thought on that? Do you think your healing journey have been different and in what ways?

I don't know how other people feel, like those who are only a BS. All I know is it hurt because I'm human and betrayal hurts. Maybe I don't hurt as much as a BS, it's very possible. I know I had tons of empathy, why he would and could do something like that. And truth is I haven't done much work here. I think I feel most hurt for his lack of remorse and what followed. This hurts deeply.

My journey is about fixing my shit, I really don't think it would be much different than any other person trying to get it together.

How is was different is that I think it made it more confusing and complicated for me being a MH because we're on the complete opposite sides of the remorse spectrum. Me being sorry and my heart full of empathy dying to this right, if he would just turn back to me as well. One of those outcomes I was grossly attached to.

[This message edited by foreverlabeled at 5:55 PM, September 12th (Wednesday)]

FearfulAvoidance posted 9/12/2018 18:34 PM

Thank you for taking the time to write all this out. And also for following up with how long this process took you to actually begin. I am not even a year into R, and almost a year and a half from actual DDay. I have been beating myself up relentlessly for not being further along than I am. Granted, I'd be further into the digging had I not let fear and avoidance rule me for so long after the dust started to settle after DDay... anyhow, thank you thank you thank you for this.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 9/12/2018 20:09 PM

This is such a spot on, excellent post. I've read it three times already. I really think it should go in the healing library articles much like the Guide for Withdrawal.

I agree, you did a great job laying out the groundwork.

I have watched your journey, foreverlabeled. Youíve grown tremendously.

Knowledge being a powerful tool is so true. I think so many of us are able to fool ourselves once, however when we gain the knowledge we lose the ability to lie to ourselves and others so easily.

I do think itís important to have ways to build self checks in periodically. Bad habits are easy to fall back into. Thatís why I have hung around here for so long. It keeps me accountable. I hope you will stick around too, if only to check in here and there.

Unhinged posted 9/12/2018 22:49 PM

I don't know how other people feel, like those who are only a BS. All I know is it hurt because I'm human and betrayal hurts. Maybe I don't hurt as much as a BS, it's very possible. I know I had tons of empathy, why he would and could do something like that. And truth is I haven't done much work here. I think I feel most hurt for his lack of remorse and what followed. This hurts deeply.
Oh, I think you know well enough what a BS goes through and I can't imagine that it hurt you any less than it did the rest of us. Healing is a choice and you've made the choice to heal. So there's that.

Is your XH remorseful now? If he's doing even half the work that I watched you do I'd say you two have a pretty good shot at reconciling and living happily(ish) ever after.

This could be the source of that anxiety you were feeling early this summer when you moved back in with him. It would seem you might have a few unresolved issues wearing your BS hat. Do you have any lingering questions about his affair or his whys? Do you feel safe with him?

I loved this post, too, btw. It's beautifully written and chock full of insights and wisdom. I certainly hope others will gain from it. I hope you stick around, too. SI needs members like you.

Stay cool, my friend. I truly hope that you and yours are healing, finding peace and joy.

humantrampoline posted 9/13/2018 07:33 AM

foreverlabeled,

Thank you for replying.

I apologize if I implied some inhumanity on your part. Your attitude and actions don't indicate that. Not being a WS/MH, it's just hard for me to understand the situation filtered through my own personal thought processes and experiences.

If you don't want to discuss the MH part, or it's a t/j, that's understandable and ignoring the rest of this is fine.

Are you saying that you cheated, then later you felt remorse, and then he cheated and didn't feel remorse? That would be extremely confusing, painful, and frustrating because you were once where he was and then had insight you tried to impart to him.

Are you currently starting to reconcile with him and he's remorseful but not as much or as far along yet?

Some of my healing work as a BS is similar to yours. Certainly there is a reexamination of my values - have they changed or not, how do I live authentically within them after this. And there is the realization that staying with my WH means dealing with or react to this situation in a way that is unnatural for me. My natural response to cope with adversity or trauma is not compatible to reconciliation. I'll have to fight that urge and learn new skills.

At some point, it will be necessary for you to process and heal the betrayal trauma whether it is a separate process or not. I wish you well.

Again, thank you for this.

TarheelNurse posted 9/14/2018 00:53 AM

Thanks for this foreverlabeled. Incredible, thought-provoking post.

Sometimes I ďget itĒ and sometimes Iím not even close but donít realize it until after the fact. Same goes for ďowning itĒ. Itís not fair to my BH for me not to own it and make it all about me and my self-loathing techniques. I chose the path to get us here. Itís completely on me. Itís not fair for him to have to talk me off the ledge when he is in pain.

Itís easy to get in survival mode when something like this happens. We automatically went into R mode after Dday and have never looked back. Your post helps me look at things a little more clearer on how I can help my BH so thank you so much for that.

Compassion, humility, and gratitude...Nailed it. I had to add vulnerability because I have a tendency to put up walls but wow, spot on there.

[This message edited by TarheelNurse at 12:55 AM, September 14th (Friday)]

hikingout posted 9/14/2018 08:03 AM

Sometimes I ďget itĒ and sometimes Iím not even close but donít realize it until after the fact. Same goes for ďowning itĒ.

Bit of a T/J

TarheelNurse - I am proud of you for saying that. That is a very authentic statement, for one. And, this is exactly how it works. Everytime I think I get it, I grow. And, that is still happening. Letting down our defenses to say this and showing self-discovery is a step in the right direction. Unwinding ourselves after the affair is a humbling experience and I can see that you are beginning to see that.


When you got here, I tried to be gentle, but I also saw myself in you. I think we have in common that we have some perfectionist tendencies and like to be seen a certain way. We both have long marriages in which we didn't cheat - we like that image that we had of ourselves as the good wife, with some martyrdom mixed in. We both cheated at a time when we hit that empty nest time, I think there is a lot to this age and time in our lives in which we begin to question everything.


Anyway, acknowledging that you don't have it together yet is not weak, it's strong. I don't have it all together yet either. But, we continue to grow our understanding of our behavior and "owning it" requires vulnerability. Keep practicing, keep peeling back the layers, this IS the path to healing both for you and your husband.

Maia posted 9/14/2018 08:14 AM

it doesn't end.

The work I mean. You're right, it doesn't feel much like work as time goes by, it just becomes part of you you are. The most dangerous times are when temptation comes in the guise of relief.

So keep being honest. :-)

and then that anxiety thing? yeah. thats a killer.

perfect love casts out all fear. think about it.

great post. wonderful to see healing.

foreverlabeled posted 9/14/2018 09:24 AM

I don't mind the thread jacks, one hope for this was to open the discussion on the struggles here for any of us who can relate and someone might have something useful to add.

Thank you for taking the time to write all this out. And also for following up with how long this process took you to actually begin.
I kind of thought that I might have been minimizing the time and making it sound too easy. It was a lot to jam into one thread without it becoming too lengthy. I came here often worried about not getting it right still and one BW stopped by to post "you didn't become this way over night and it's going to take longer than a night to fix your shit" another one of those time reminders. Our BSs extend such grace for us knowing it's a risk. That grace covers our fuck ups after dday and we make plenty of them. One reason why we push actions to newbies, because I think what makes those fuck ups tolerable is when our BSs see that we are TRYING and we are going to keep working to get it right. Somewhere along they way I think they understand the time involved for everyone.

I have watched your journey, foreverlabeled. Youíve grown tremendously.
We did have a pretty good guide back then Seriously WOES you made me the MOST uncomfortable (in the best way) with hard but necessary truths. So I thank you for that. I think I've seen you mention SI saving your life, me too. I could dedicate everything I am today to the good people here who supported me and encouraged me every step of the way.

I think I had a couple things going for me that a lot of us didn't so early in. The biggest was landing here practically day one. I learned everything about getting here. Every time I got it I would own it a little more, the more I owned it the more I got it, back and forth and so on until it all just fused into one thing, the REAL work.

He is remorseful, Unhinged. He's made positive changes in very important areas. I have a lot of unresolved issues, questions, yeah. Its on me to go there and as usual taking my slow route to courage. He is safe, I think I am more safe with him today than ever. And he's working to insure I keep feeling safe and the best part now is he's taking the initiative to help calm my anxiety. There was a bit of a learning curve coming back together and holy hell so much more to learn. But I see us there happily(ish) ever after.

HT, I just didn't know how else to answer that question. It was the best one I had. You're right to wonder how I could be hurt when engaged in the same activity. I extremely misunderstood the impact cheating has on another. I didn't know it to be THAT painful.

I think I had at least some remorse on dday, I say that because my desire to change sparked the moment I saw him first cry and I couldn't even hold him because it was ME who did this to him. It was two weeks later that I found out he has been cheating on me for quite some time now. Sadly he remained in self protection mode and remorse doesn't grow on those grounds. Finding out about my infidelity probably didn't help the matter much. But that was just the way it was.

We are at a point now that R is very possible, and it fills my heart with good stuff.

Followtheriver posted 9/14/2018 12:15 PM

Foreverlabeled,

You touched my heart this morning and made me cry. (In the best way possible.) You have reminded me of the person that I used to be and of the journey that I have taken to become the person that I am today. Healthy, healed and a much better version of myself. I strive and continue to work to find the best me that I can be.

Your words have given me the encouragement to work through some lingering insecurities and fear that have recently surfaced again. So thank you for that.

This is an amazing post that could only come from an amazing person. One that is well on her way to self discovery in finding her true self.

DaddyDom posted 9/14/2018 14:54 PM

@Foreverlabeled

I'm not even sure what to say. This post touched me in so many ways (ok, not THAT way) and much of what you said are things that I have encountered or struggled with, and still do. You seem to have done much better at digging than I have. I talk a good game but struggle when it comes to execution. My brokeness gets in the way of me fixing myself. Starting to work with an IC has given me some hope. Sometimes looking at the long road ahead can be so daunting. I know I'm just starting in many ways, to change, and the change scares me, even though it is something I want. It is like going in for plastic surgery and hoping to look like George Clooney but then wondering what happens when I no longer look like Daddydom? Because I've always looked like Daddydom, and if that's no longer the case, then who am I? Changing our core selves is similar, and I get afraid of having to accept the things I don't want to accept, and change things that have always been part of me, even if they are broken. Maybe it is dumb, but I think sometimes I find the parts of myself that I've learned to "love" over the years are the broken ones, not the ones that work and that I respect.

Anyway, thank you for letting us know your story and struggles, what you've gone through and what you still struggle with, and how you got there. I agree whole-heartedly that there are not enough posts on "how" to change, only that you need to do it, and I think that for most WS's, that's like being in a round room and being told to go sit in the corner. We end up going around in circles and getting frustrated when we fail to find what we were looking for.

Thanks for sharing. If you want to be my "coach" I'll take ya! LOL

foreverlabeled posted 9/15/2018 07:29 AM

FTR thanks girl, means a lot. Whatever you are getting ready to tackle I know you got it!

DD,

Sometimes looking at the long road ahead can be so daunting. I know I'm just starting in many ways, to change, and the change scares me, even though it is something I want ... Changing our core selves is similar, and I get afraid of having to accept the things I don't want to accept, and change things that have always been part of me, even if they are broken. Maybe it is dumb, but I think sometimes I find the parts of myself that I've learned to "love" over the years are the broken ones, not the ones that work and that I respect.

I get the impression from this that you really don't want to change, I get it. I used the word desire for a reason. For example, a person who desires to be a pianist would try to work harder and play well in order to achieve it. It feels different, runs deeper. I think you want this more because ISSF wants it, and you kinda have to do something if you want to stay married to her. That kind of want isn't going to sustain you.

If you would open yourself up to your BWs pain truly face it, you'd see what I did in mine and I think your want would become more personal.


It is like going in for plastic surgery and hoping to look like George Clooney but then wondering what happens when I no longer look like Daddydom? Because I've always looked like Daddydom, and if that's no longer the case, then who am I?

I'm happy to say you're all kinds of wrong here. I'm still me, I'm still freaking hilarious, the same sappy commercials make me cry, and I still don't like cheesecake. We get this idea that change is bad, I promise you this isn't the case. I'm a better mom, I'm more punctual I don't know what that is about it just happened, hell I showed up to work a week early last Monday and I feel better, better than broken felt. Why stay attached to brokenness of all things? Let that go first.

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