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OldNeighbour posted 6/26/2020 19:06 PM

Neanderthal, Iíve followed both you and LDís post since day one. I have to say and Iíll say it once. You are not the miserable bastard you envision yourself as. Iíll tell you something very quickly if I may, I was you once. I had anger issues, I didnít care in a way I should for women, I too was a mad hatter. I was like you an alcoholic and humongous asshole. Trust me, you wouldnít have wanted to know me

The Bottom line is that I awoke one morning a changed man, it was no huge revelation. I didnít find god, I didnít do anything except realize that the person I was, wasnít the real me.

Iím a very nice and loving person, everyone in my community sees me as such and respects me.
Now to the point of this post.

Neanderthal, I see me in you, not the angry asshole, but a good man, a good husband if thatís what you want to be, I see as well a very loving father and family man. Most of all, I see a changed man. I implore you to take a good look at yourself, fall in love with that person looking back at you in your mirror, I bet you can and will see that person Iím talking about.

Iím a simple man and Iím not saying donít divorce, neither am I saying donít reconcile Thatís entirely your choice, but please know that and I believe itís true, that most people youíve interacted with in here see you in the same light as I.

I wish you peace and comfort in your deliberation and move forward in your life.

Old

[This message edited by OldNeighbour at 7:10 PM, June 26th (Friday)]

sisoon posted 6/27/2020 15:06 PM

My response - unasked for, to be sure - is similar to OldNeighbor's, hikingout's, leavingorbit's, Bigger's, anoldlion's - except that it's harsher: I think your self-flagellation and withdrawal from home is self-serving.

My WAG - maybe it's a SWAG - is that you know a lot about who you are and who you want to be, but you're afraid you can't become who you want to be, so you're withdrawing.

I think you're selling yourself short. I think you're selling yourself out.

Your choice, but I hate to see you do it, N.

JMO, of course. I could easily be wrong.

[This message edited by sisoon at 3:07 PM, June 27th (Saturday)]

Newlifeisgreat posted 6/27/2020 16:06 PM

Old Neighbor nailed it!!

Neanderthal posted 6/27/2020 17:19 PM

I'm not really sure what to say. Here I was thinking I was getting out of infidelity. Today was extremely hard.

I'm sorry to disappoint so many of you. Maybe I am running. Maybe I'm just looking for a place to hide. I don't trust myself and I certainly don't trust LD.

Ask LD, the last week or so has been so much better for me. I felt relieved. I didn't have this huge burden, expectations or choice to make. I had a path, and I just needed to follow through.

Like Bigger laid out. We must detach since divorce is happening. So I won't be posting much on here anymore. I'll also do my best to avoid her threads as well. Anyone that wants to, can PM me.

Notmine posted 7/7/2020 09:13 AM

Neanderthal, please put the 2x4 down. I cannot even imagine how difficult it is to deal with both the feelings of a BS AND a WS. You are doing the best you can at the moment. That is ok. You are taking accountability and doing your best to be a better person. That is big boy work and you should be proud of that. What will help get you out of this kind of pain, shame and self-hatred is, to use an AA slogan, a commitment to take "the next right step". The step can be big or small, but it keeps you moving forward.

I would strongly encourage you to find some sort of support so that you do not have to live in your negative feelings. This would be a next right step. If alcohol has figured into bad decisions in your past, living in the feelings you are posting about is downright dangerous. There are many support groups online now. It is easy to sit in without participating if that is what you need. I hate to see you suffer needlessly.

In making the step to remove yourself from an untenable situation, you have made the next right step toward what you feel that you need to be safe. This is a step forward for your family. It is a step toward valuing yourself. I am gladdened to see that you are moving in a positive direction.

I wish you the best in your journey. Remember, if you are going through Hell, for God's sake, don't stop! (hope that doesn't sound too contrived - it seems to fit the narrative).


Neanderthal posted 8/19/2020 14:26 PM

Its been almost 2 months since moving out.

I had a large update written out to post here, but I decided to deleted it. I'll just stick with what I currently need help with.

Holes.....Like most waywards, I am full of them. I keep looking for things to fill the voids in me. Some of them have been good things like AA meetings and IC, but they just aren't enough. I feel empty.

I also spend way to much time thinking about all my mistakes in life. Not just infidelity related.
I just recently found out one of my sisters is terminally ill with cancer. We have been estranged for most of my adult life. Fortunately we had started talking again earlier this year. Its been wonderful to get to know her and also so frustrating! I am so mad at myself for not picking up the phone and calling her 15 years ago. From what we've talked about these last few months, we could have definitely helped each other.

With LD's blessing, my daughter and I are going to visit my sister. My little one has never met her aunt. They deserve to know each other. Even if its just for a few weeks or months.

Just FYI, I have somehow stayed out of all of LD's threads for the last few weeks. It's been extremely difficult to do, and I almost left SI for good. But I just can't let go of this place. So please do not discuss anything from there over here.

hikingout posted 8/19/2020 14:54 PM

Hi Neadrathal.

Shame is a hard thing to overcome because we tend to collect it in our life and never heal it. It's that inherent thing that makes us feel we are not as good as other people are. It's the thing that drives self-flagellation.

Healing for any of us has to start with self-compassion. I can't tell you how to get there exactly. I tend to think that is a different path for different people.

But, I can tell you some things that helped me.

1. Gratitude Journal - Every morning I write down 3 things I am grateful for and I reflect on those things. I feel the joy each of those individual things bring me. It sounds trite, but in all reality studies show this starts to re-wire our brains. You will find yourself looking for things to write down tomorrow. You will also find yourself connecting more with those things you wrote down and reflected on. It creates a spirit of love in your heart, and that will be one of the seeds that will heal you.

2. Waking up and doing the best you can each day. Create a vision of who you want to be and align your behavior with that every day. Sounds simple, but it's not. Do the harder things sometimes than the easier things. Our confidence and self esteem thrives on it - our brain rewards those accomplishments with a little dose of happy chemicals.

3. Become aware of your thoughts. I am horrible at meditation practices, but I have found some that work for me. The thing that helped me the most was the book "The Power of Now" by Eckhardt Tolle. He has podcasts if you are not a reader. What he teaches is to be an objective observer of our own thoughts. We learn to understand they are not true yet they guide everything we do and feel. We use our thoughts to torture ourselves.

4. Journal, go to therapy, support groups. These are all things that it seems you are doing.

5. Self care. The root of all love is action. When we actively love someone else we do things for them in their best interests. Think about how you naturally do that for your daughter. Now, consider how you show yourself love. Do you take care of yourself? Get enough sleep, exercise, take vitamins, eat well? Those things sound stupid but people who love and respect themselves tend to these things.

6. Actively try and be a bit softer with yourself. When you think about something you did that you feel guilty about or regret, think "Okay, you are right. That sucked, I should not have done that. I will not do that again, I know better and I will do better". We can not change the past, we can only change the present. We can't even change the future. I have tried to remember that and when I am depressed I find I am thinking about the past, and when I am anxious I am thinking about the future, when I am present I am calm.

7. Along those same veins, find activities that make you be very present. For me, finding those things was an awful process because I had to get out of my comfort zone. I tried everything from salsa dancing to pottery, to other things I actually learned I was either always going to be terrible at or I actually hated doing them. But I did find that if I am running I am present. If I am writing to people on here, I am present. If I am writing in my blog I am present. If I am cleaning my house, or if I am spending time hiking with my husband, I am very in the moment. Those are the things our soul needs and the more that we do them the more we will self sooth.

I also had to learn that I needed to stop struggling to forgive myself. I used to really work on that. I have learned it's not necessary. Instead, understanding why I did the things I did (no matter what they are - not just the affair), understanding why I no longer need the behavior, and understanding how I will do better in the future...those have all brought me peace and a sense of self compassion. I can still hate some of the things I did, but I can appreciate what I have learned from them and how I have grown from them. It takes a lot of practice to get to that peace.

I can understand the void you are feeling. I think anyone newly separated or divorced, or someone even starting any new chapter in their story feels uncomfortable. Try and remember that being uncomfortable can bring a lot of blessings and growth in your life.

I don't know if any of that helps you, but that was a lot of what helped me, what I feel has healed me. I hope you can find the same kind of peace.

bewuzzled posted 8/19/2020 15:33 PM

I feel I am more self aware than I have ever been. I see it in my interactions with friends and coworkers. I am trying to believe I am redeemable as a human being. My daughter deserves that

Of course you are redeemable. We are not only our mistakes. You can learn and grow and you are loveable.

I am trying to set LD and our daughter up for success through this divorce process

I think this is loving and right, and shows you're a good person.

Be kind to yourself ( I know, harder done than said) and remember the things you're doing right.

leavingorbit posted 8/19/2020 16:24 PM

Shame is really tough. I was just discussing this with my IC today. There are still some things in my past that are pretty triggering for me, so we're working on those with EMDR and some other tools. One of the long term things that's been helpful for me is the use of sins and omissions, or basically fourth step work. Pretty much, you write down everything you've feel you've done that's hurtful or harmful. Then, you write about each thing in context, i.e., what was going on, where did you learn that, where did the thought process come from, etc.

It's not excusing the behavior but instead providing a framework, and actively understanding how you got there. Without understanding how we get there, it's hard to change and to exercise self-compassion for how we reached that critical mass. The examination for me has been so, so helpful when I put it into practice. It's hard. I have a tendency to be really hard on myself and that shame will uproot everything if I let it. My IC explained it as understanding finally that nobody had ever been in my corner, but I can be in my corner now. Be kind to yourself. It'll be really, really hard without digging through those things and confronting them, IMO.

I agree with Hikingout about forgiveness, and Bewuzzled about being more than just one aspect of your history. I think understanding is a more important goal than forgiveness. Seek to understand. You're not some hideous monster that sprung from the earth. You're a human person with human failings and you want to do better.

Neanderthal posted 8/19/2020 18:47 PM

Hikingout, Your posts are worth reading more than once. Thank you.

If I am writing to people on here, I am present.
I wont lie, I really didnt understand why you were so "present" when I first came to SI. In fact I almost PMed you asking why? I kept thinking, go do something less depressing. But through the last year, it became clear that helping others here was also a way to help yourself. Again I am thankful that you are.

A gratitude journal is something I will try also.

If feeling uncomfortable is a good thing.....than I got that part handled right now. lol

bewuzzled and leavingorbit,
thank you for the support.

I am dreading the moral inventory of AA. I have alot to account for.

Chili posted 8/19/2020 19:13 PM

helping others here was also a way to help yourself

Have you tried this Neanderthal? I wasn't ready to do it here on SI until much later in my healing, but I did a lot of volunteer work that first year or so.

I found that being a "random" helper worked best for me - helping with an event or a day here and there. It reaffirmed many things for me (including sometimes putting my own ruminating crap in my head into perspective). I also felt useful. And it gave me a *something* to do.

I think one of the first things I did was spend a Saturday stuffing backpacks with school supplies about this time of the year. You'd be amazed how many organizations will take you up on a "need some help today?" phone call.

And even though these might be strange days - there's a ton of stuff you can do in your own space as well.

I'm sorry to hear about your sister, but it sounds as if the reconnection has been good for you both.

Is your IC giving you suggestions on how to interrupt the loop from playing over and over in your head?

leavingorbit posted 8/19/2020 20:03 PM

I am dreading the moral inventory of AA. I have alot to account for.

I come from a family of addicts, all but one now sober. I remember asking my sister something after I got sober. I said, werenít you ashamed and worried telling all your crap like that? Wasnít it hard? I felt sick over the fourth step. She had gone told her story in inpatient after a horrific rock bottom. And she said no. Everyone just gave her love and support. Theyíd all been there. She said it was like walking into the light. Iíve always remembered that but I didnít really get it until this summer. I feel different about it now. Lighter? I donít know. More at peace. Ready to see the monster under the bed.

In my experience, it really does help. Itís only taken me, oh... 2.5 years sober from alcohol, 1.5 in ED recovery, and 1.75 in SA recovery to start to come around.

Iím not saying run out and do your inventory immediately!!!!! Instead, maybe passing on the seed that my sister planted for me, if it helps.

Neanderthal posted 8/20/2020 06:52 AM

"acts of service" (volunteering/helping) another AA term has also been on my radar. So far I'm starting with my family. I have an early 20's niece with no solid people in her life. So I just listen and try to help her as I can. AA also has opportunities to offer sevice but schedule issues and my lack of commitment are holding back.

I have had so many posts or responses to people on SI and then I delete them. I have no business offering anything other than ((((hugs)))).

I was seriously considering joining the PTA at my daughter's school. I talked myself out of that as well. If you know my story, PTA is probably way to triggery. Plus school is LD's safe place. I am stone wall detaching, so more interaction with LD is a bad idea.

Volunteering is a great idea. I'll find something. I have to be mindful of my KISA tendencies though.

My IC wants to try something new. Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT). I think it will require visiting more often. That may have to wait a bit. Finances still aren't stabilized.


Leavingorbit,

Unpacking my moral inventory is front of others isn't the problem. It's unpacking it to myself which scares me. I also believe it'll be a never-ending exercise. My memory is really bad. So I know I'll forget things, just to be reminded of them days, weeks, years later.

hikingout posted 8/20/2020 08:23 AM


I wont lie, I really didnt understand why you were so "present" when I first came to SI. In fact I almost PMed you asking why? I kept thinking, go do something less depressing. But through the last year, it became clear that helping others here was also a way to help yourself. Again I am thankful that you are.

You are right about that.

The reasons I have been very present on here have evolved over the time but it has all been because of the way it has helped me in many stages. In many ways what I write now is reinforcing what I have learned. It's just a form of journaling with the ability to be provided feedback. Keeps me in check. Also, it's actually less depressing to me that there are all sorts of people going through similar things. Not because misery loves company but because it's very difficult to find that understanding in other company. All this to say, there are many benefits here for you as well if you want them.

One of the long term things that's been helpful for me is the use of sins and omissions, or basically fourth step work. Pretty much, you write down everything you've feel you've done that's hurtful or harmful. Then, you write about each thing in context, i.e., what was going on, where did you learn that, where did the thought process come from, etc.
It's not excusing the behavior but instead providing a framework, and actively understanding how you got there. Without understanding how we get there, it's hard to change and to exercise self-compassion for how we reached that critical mass. The examination for me has been so, so helpful when I put it into practice. It's hard. I have a tendency to be really hard on myself and that shame will uproot everything if I let it. My IC explained it as understanding finally that nobody had ever been in my corner, but I can be in my corner now. Be kind to yourself. It'll be really, really hard without digging through those things and confronting them, IMO.

This is excellent advice. It's definitely a more simple way than I had to describe what I was trying to say about gaining self compassion. Understanding ourselves and where we have been and why we have made the decisions we have allow us to release some of those things as who we are now. When we can see we know better now, we can gain confidence we will operate differently and you can clear a path for peace.

Pippin posted 8/20/2020 16:05 PM

Neanderthal, I'm giving you a different version of what a couple of other people said, in the way that it makes sense to me. Maybe a different angle will help you?

I am dreading the moral inventory of AA. I have alot to account for.

When I finally started to get better it was because I started searching desperately for TRUTH. My God, at the moment, is Truth. I know he has other features (love, justice, etc) but for me Truth is the one that I need. My FOO was so full of lies and deceit and hiding and omission. I substitute the word Truth for God when I am reading the Bible, and in prayers, etc.

A few weeks ago my mother called and said she would be driving across the country to visit my brother and me. We haven't seen her in more than a year. She is from a state on the quarantine list for my state and is required to quarantine for 14 days after arriving before she can interact with other people. She planned to leave her state on August 1, arrive here around August 7, stay for a week and then leave. I said . . . you can't do that, you have to quarantine, we have a place you can stay and then you can be with us as long as you'd like (she's retired and single). She said, it's OK, don't worry about it, I'll use bleach at the hotels I'm staying at along the way and I'm not sick. I said no. We have to submit an app every day saying that we have not broken any of the rules before going to work and school and I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to show the children that rules are optional or ask them to lie. She was pissed! The conversation over, she's visiting my brother and not me. She said she might visit next year when this virus thing is over. When I got off the phone, I was a little shaky but the feeling I had was most like relief. For F's sake, THAT is what I grew up with, constantly. I remembered examples of lies that were told, facts obscured, so that she could do what she wanted. No wonder I was such a mess.

What actually helped me was the FULL truth. Not only of what I had done and how that impacted others around me. I think that's where people get stuck in a shame spiral. Also - where that had come from. A coherent narrative from these are the lessons I learned about how the world works and what relationships are to this is how I applied it to this is where it went wrong to this is where I notice those patterns and decide to do something different (that's where you get to be proud!). Once I had the FULL truth I understood I was not an evil, bad person at heart but a hurt person, a person who had been learned quite a few really wrong lessons. But that's OK. Now I get to choose my teacher, choose my classes, choose my syllabus and be in charge. It's incredibly freeing.

I know you are not religious but there's the higher power thing in AA - what do you need your higher power to be for you? What do you need as your north star? Maybe it's self worth, the idea that you are valuable just as you are. Maybe it's strength, if you were told you were weak as a little person and that weakness was foul. I think once you have FULL story of where your thoughts and actions came from you can choose different endings.

Also. Accounting feels like a really, really harmful word if used incorrectly. Take care with telling yourself you need to account for your actions. I get the strong sense it will become a pit you will never get out of. Don't repeat hurtful things to yourself. Be gentle with yourself and guard your thoughts. A friend tells me that those thoughts are like arrows that fly at us from across the decades. Raise up your shield when you are under attack.

sisoon posted 8/21/2020 10:47 AM

That is SOME testimony, Pippin. I wish I had as much insight into my relationship with my mother.

N,

I've been pretty harsh with you, but I have ALWAYS seen you as redeemable. And what I or others think about that is irrelevant, because you are redeemable even if someone thinks you're not. I urge you to keep telling yourself that. I urge you to keep saying in your head, 'I'm redeemable.'

It starts with the truth. I know it may seem impossible to face the truth about yourself, but it's not. You're a pretty normal human being. You're no worse and no better than the rest of us. You can decide to tell the truth aways. You're entitled to nurture and love yourself - among other things, you deserve to love yourself, and it's the best way to bring out your best.

gmc94 posted 8/21/2020 11:28 AM

I have a tendency to be really hard on myself and that shame will uproot everything if I let it. My IC explained it as understanding finally that nobody had ever been in my corner, but I can be in my corner now. Be kind to yourself.
Rick Hansen's book Resilience (or really any of his work) can come in really handy on this front.

Followtheriver posted 8/21/2020 11:30 AM

Neanderthal,

Volunteering is a great idea. I'll find something. I have to be mindful of my KISA tendencies though

You may want to consider volunteering at your local animal shelter, humane society or rescue group, where you can put those KISA tendencies to good use. Even better is that it is something that you and your niece could do together. Win, win.

Whether you're a dog or cat person, there is so much good you could do and it only takes as much time as you are willing to give. So many are there through no fault of their own and want nothing more than human contact, a walk outside or even a short car ride. I promise they won't ask for much, but you will get so much more back.

I have had so many posts or responses to people on SI and then I delete them. I have no business offering anything other than ((((hugs)))).

I'm going to address this because this is simply just not true. At all. I personally think that you have plenty to offer new waywards and especially those in a MH situation here on SI. You are proof that no matter how dire a situation seems or a person feels, that they will survive. You are also proof that the first step to healing is being able to acknowledge what's broken inside and change is possible if they're willing to put in the work. That is a hell of a lot to offer, if you ask me.

Neanderthal, I know that yesterday morning you took the advice you had been given here about service and you actually posted your reply to a question over in general, trying to help someone. I saw it as a positive step since I have a feeling it took a lot for you to do that.

So IMHO, you had absolutely nothing to apologize for because you did nothing wrong. You wrote your reply from a good place, it was helpful and if someone had a problem with it, then it is their problem, not yours. I learned that after something very similar happened to me. I even thought about leaving SI because of it, but some good people here reached out and convinced me of exactly what I am trying to convince you of.

I hope you really think about what I've said and please remember that there are dogs in shelters who are lonely and right now could use their own KISA and all the hugs you can offer. (Full disclosure, I work in animal rescue, along with being an advocate and supporter, in case you couldn't tell.)

Neanderthal posted 8/28/2020 08:55 AM

First thanks for the positive comments. I definitely needed them.

Rick Hansen's book Resilient
I just got the book. I'm hoping to start reading it this weekend. Thanks for the suggestion.

Followtheriver, volunteering at an animal shelter is a great idea. I will just have to figure out a way to not take them home. lol

Neanderthal, I know that yesterday morning you took the advice you had been given here about service and you actually posted your reply to a question over in general, trying to help someone. I saw it as a positive step since I have a feeling it took a lot for you to do that.
I did post and almost immediately regretted it. I don't want to hurt anyone anymore. So if me posting outside of the Wayward forum affects a BS negatively, shouldn't I respect that and stop?


***********
I was talking to someone else the other day about becoming self-aware. Most people are probably thinking how could you be so blind to your own inner-self? Well, my head was firmly buried up my own ass for waaay too long. Becoming self-aware is a wonderful and devastating thing to experience. On the one hand I see my many weak points and can work towards correcting them.

On the other hand, I see the 20 year path of destruction I've left in my wake. It's like looking back at what an F5 tornado leaves behind, and realizing all at once that I'm the fucking tornado! That's a lot to take in.

Someone in a general thread made a great point that really stuck with me. I hope its ok to share it, I think many of us here in the wayward side could be reminded of this.

"They don't get how their actions have tainted everything about the relationship. They see their cheating as a separate event that has nothing to do with their relationships to us."

I did this to LD first. Everything I am experiencing now, is something she had to deal with all alone. No SI, no IC, just rugsweeping. I cant help but look back at our entire relationship and see a little asterisk next to everything! She must of felt the same way, but I wouldn't know cause I rugswept. Nothing I did prior to or after my cheating could ever outweigh the negative affect of it. Yes I loved her, but how could she possibly believe that? Yes I was attracted to her, but why would she believe that when I called her fat? My actions said otherwise. We had 18 years of history together. With an * next to all of it.

This is no way an excuse for her affair. Or the trauma that occurred afterwards. But if I could so easily toss her aside all those years ago, what on earth should I expect from her? She cheated herself with her actions. She's a better person then that.

So everything is tainted for me now, but its been tainted for her, for years! I caused that with my actions.

As I am writing this, I see its still all about me, me me. Lot's of I's. Not about the pain and trauma she is feeling, felt and dealt with for years. I dont know if thats the wayward in me talking, or the betrayed part. I'll lean towards the wayward.

If you're a new wayward. Please don't rugsweep. Its an easy solution that will only delay the inevitable. No one wins when you rugsweep, not even the cheater.

Sisoon, I truly want to be redeemable. Hopefully some day I'll believe I am.

Edit to add this:
I know I may seem like I'm still just stuck. In some ways I am. How do I see that path of destruction I caused, own it, and then turn back around and lead a better life?

I know divorcing means my path and healing isn't with LD. With everything I've said, how do you accept that you cant correct, or make right what you've already done? This isn't just an infidelity problem for me. I'm also struggling to let myself off the hook for the lost relationship with my dying sister.

[This message edited by Neanderthal at 10:02 AM, August 28th (Friday)]

ff4152 posted 8/28/2020 10:17 AM

N

Iíve said this before but it definitely bears repeating. We can get so caught up in the mindset of ďLook what Iíve done. Iím such a piece of shit.Ē. We constantly look back instead of forward. You cannot change your past. You were a crappy husband/father/person? Ok fine. But that doesnít have to define who you are now and will become in the future.

Can you become the person you should have been all along? Of course. Youíre doing it now by just being here. You recognize that there are issues and are taking steps to fix it. Remember the saying, Rome wasnít built in a day. This shit takes time. We are oftentimes trying to change a lifetime of bad behavior. It doesnít happen overnight. Recognize and embrace the small accomplishments youíve made and build upon those.

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