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It's been so long....

caseyg posted 5/15/2019 11:52 AM

I joined SI in 2006, after my ex husband's first affair. It was a life line and helped me so much in those horrible first months. But I didn't seek outside help - I just started running. Literally. I trained for two marathons while I tried to deal with the hell of the situation, and pushed down all the emotions with every step. Now I know, after a lot of therapy, that on top of the infidelity, I was trapped in a Narcissistic/Emotionally abusive marriage.

But I stayed.

And had three babies in four years with him. When the youngest was six months old, he started a second affair with his secretary - ten years after the first. When I found out, I fell apart. I came back to SI - and my posts from that period make me tear up. I was so lost, so weakened from the years of abuse. My trust was shot, but my mind had been so scrambled from years of gaslighting, devaluing, blame, guilt. I allowed so much ridiculous and damaging behavior from him.

I started therapy a few months after that second DDay... and learned a lot about myself, and him. I got a bit stronger, and he moved out, but the manipulations remained. He didn't go NC with OW, but was begging to come back. I started to see the beginnings of strange mental health issues in myself from the stress. And I was terrified to tell him I needed a divorce.

That's when I reconnected with an old friend from High School, who helped me remember who I was before all of the mess I was in. I started laughing again. His friendship and support was the only thing that could have gotten me out of the abusive situation I was in. I posted here multiple times and got amazing and blunt advice and 2x4's. But none of it was enough. It took four therapists and the minute by minute support of an amazingly kind person to finally de-program me.

I still feel guilt that technically I eventually became a "Mad Hatter". I was not in my right mind for so long, but that isn't a good enough reason. I couldn't stand up to my ex, I was terrified of him. Eventually I divorced him, after he discovered the truth.

I've been diagnosed with PTSD from that marriage and situation - which comes with serious focus/memory issues that have forced me to leave my previous career. My brain simply won't work well enough anymore from the damage. I've done multiple sessions of EMDR, and still struggle with memories tied to the marriage and the impact of the affairs.

I regret the way I had to get out - I wish I had been able to leave before my relationship with my old friend got to where it did. But I know, had I not reconnected with him, I would still be in that marriage. I would still be suffering.

I wanted to post here because this place was so helpful to me twice - and I weirdly wanted to confess my "MH" status, which I know there is no good excuse for. And I do carry guilt for that.

I also wanted to leave my story here as a warning to people who might be in relationships that have infidelity and emotional abuse. The damage done is real, sometimes physical, and long lasting. And apparently doesn't even show up until you are out. I hope if you are in that situation you can find someone to help you get out, or find the strength in yourself (that I didn't have) and get the help you need.

I'm remarried now, to that high school friend who is kind, gentle, loving, and wonderful. I wish every day our story was a little different, but I will always be grateful that he was the one who finally stepped in and helped me.

So, thank you SI, for providing a safe place to tell my story so many times. And my heart breaks for all of you who find yourself here.

mindfullness55 posted 5/15/2019 12:06 PM

Caseys, Im so glad for you that Im going to tell you how glad I amIm taking the hand gun out of my mouth and throwing it in the Hudson River tonight. Thank you, theres still some hope.

SisterMilkshake posted 5/15/2019 12:31 PM

@mindfullness55 Please get some help ASAP. Do not kill yourself. That is not the answer and you will pass the pain on to others. the very least call this number NOW: Call 1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Please call them and post again to let us know how you are. People care.

@caseyg Wishing nothing but peace, serenity and happiness going forward in your life, caseyg. Thank you for sharing your story. I do believe in shades of gray. Not every situation is black and white.

caseyg posted 5/15/2019 12:54 PM

yes - mindfullness55, please get help if you're in a place that dark.

It does get better - Don't lose hope that it can.

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