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Update on the process of finding out my "true and deeper why's"

Rose2206 posted 9/5/2020 19:12 PM

Dear SI community,

I’d like to share with you guys how “writing down my why’s” has impacted me so far..

After days of thinking about it and struggling to find words (which I still am), I started to write down my “why’s”. It began with -blaming my BS for things in a way. I wrote down how I remember that I felt back then.. After continuing to ask “why” for every point, I had a breakthrough! Here are my thoughts on this particular thing.. Tears started running down my face and I was unable to control them when this came up within my thoughts..

I tried to fit in. MY ENTIRE LIFE. Beginning in childhood. I always fit in everywhere and nowhere. The person that is “cool” with everybody but does not have one circle of friends. Not just “one group” I hung out with. Liked by many, really known by nobody… WHY?!...

I never felt I BELONGED anywhere. Until I met my BS. The moment I told myself, I want to marry this man. I want to spend the rest of my life with him. We started to call each other life partners. It filled me with happiness. But looking back, something in me slowly started to change. I got triggered by so many things.. (things, problems, trauma I went through in my previous marriage that I never resolved or even talked about to anyone)..
I started to manipulate myself. The feeling of belonging somewhere, to someone scared me. It meant to be fully vulnerable.
I had not faced the past myself.. How could I have been fully unguarded and allow myself to be happy. To fully open up and embrace the happiness that was right in front of me. I couldn’t.:(. Instead, I ran. I ran from what seemed to be too good for me. Someone that gets their entire self worth from others can’t feel belonging right?!.. I manipulated and destroyed my own happiness. The TRUE feeling of belonging because I could not believe it.

….
It destroyed me when I wrote it down. It is the most selfish and in the same moment most self destructive thing..
My next why will be: Why did I feel that way? WHY was an affair my escape?! Out of all the things… WHY did I choose to lie. To hide. To deny myself the feeling of true belonging.. WHY was I not honest with myself then. WHY was I not honest with my BS?! WHy did I not embrace my feelings of belonging and love to my BS but instead destroyed everything?!
….


Thoughts and advice are appreciated

Pippin posted 9/6/2020 09:09 AM

Hi Rose, I know how hard it was for you to look at your whys without anger at yourself and to write them out. This is a great first step! I hope you feel good about it. When something is that hard it is good to take a moment to feel peaceful and good about yourself before going to the next step, which is going to be hard.

What I am getting from what you wrote is that you both desperately want intimacy and you are desperately afraid of it. You want to be in the group but not really known. You knew immediately that you wanted to be with your husband but fear began to take hold of you as you became closer with him. You even have trouble with intimacy with yourself - that's why it was so hard for you to look at your whys and write them down. I don't know exactly what you fear but it probably has something to do with fear that when you are known for who you are, it will not be enough, you will be insignificant and unimportant, uninteresting and someone who doesn't matter. That would be terrifying for most people. I doubt you let your husband see the real you, all of you, and you probably blame-shifted because you expected your husband to know and understand you without really opening up to him, and felt that he was choosing not to because he didn't care and you weren't important to you. And you probably didn't know yourself and your vulnerabilities well enough to understand when they were playing out in your everyday life and your relationship with him. It left a huge opening for an AP to come in and tell you that indeed you are all of those things you fear you are not, and the secrecy and hidden nature of an affair is a convenient explanation for all those times the AP didn't show interest or make you feel important or whatever.

Rose, what you fear is NOT TRUE! You matter! You are interesting and wonderful and important! I like you and I only know you from squiggles on a screen! I love your energy and enthusiasm and zeal and zest. I love your willingness to cut out people from your life! (though as I said you need to revisit that at some point but it can wait). I love your willingness to search out help! I even love that you choose a beautiful username that does not let your worst actions dictate who you are. (I did the same thing, unconsciously, though mine was the name of a tiny and troubled hero rather than something beautiful). There is so much to love about you! This is what is meant by self love - seeing those things and holding them close and knowing that they mean you are worthwhile and wonderful.

Next steps - as I put together my whys/hows it was such a big puzzle. There were so many pieces that fit together. Why lying and hiding felt like second nature. Why I assumed that my husband despised me and why I was afraid to ask if it was true. Why sex was the easy go-to instead of some other thing. Once you start to get into your whys you'll find there are layers and pieces and it's important to keep looking and have an open and curious and nonjudgmental mind. I wonder about you - why an older man in an authority position? Why sex? Why was it easy to hide this from your husband? What finally made it all stop? You will come up with more questions to and paths to follow. Try not to sit in anger at yourself or shame, it won't help.

And going forward - this is VERY important - what will you do when you feel the pull to hold back intimacy from someone who has shown they are trustworthy? How will you know when you are hanging out on the fringes of a group wasting your time with false and shallow interactions instead of living really connected to yourself and other people? THIS is what will help your BS or future partner. Knowing that you are aware of your vulnerabilities, and that you know what you need and can ask for it from him, and have self-care tools to soothe yourself when you are feeling on edge, and have the tools to make other choices and then to actually MAKE those other choices.

Here's an example - skip this if you don't want to hear about my stuff - we have had trouble with an annoying fire alarm all summer and my husband has spent endless hours with dishonest and incompetent electricians trying to fix it. (it is especially a huge hassle when it has gone off in the middle of the night). Yesterday I left my lunch in the oven to heat up and put it on high so it would be quick (you know where this is going . . . ) I took my lunch out and a couple of minutes later the fire alarm went off. I did not see any smoke and I smelled a little bit of something smoky but in my mind I was immediately making it not my fault. After my husband scrambled to turn it off, he came over to the kitchen to see what had happened. I was tempted to lie, diminish, minimize, etc. and even started by saying that stupid alarm has a hair trigger response. He said "well that's quite a coincidence" - he's very gentle with me. He asked if my lunch set it off and I said "do you want the defensive answer or the answer that is probably true?" and he said he just wanted to know if he needed to call the electrician again. So I said "it was my lunch" and then asked for reassurance that he didn't hate me and then asked for MORE reassurance that he didn't hate me (physical, not words, words don't help me AT ALL in situations like that. Basically, a bit of foreplay is what i need to know he doesn't hate me!) So in that silly little everyday interaction he can see - I am aware of my temptations, I know where they come from, I know how to settle myself, I know how to ask for the help I need when I am troubled and I know what kind of help is helpful to me (the kind he offers is sometimes not what I need so I remind him of that and he's grateful for the reminder - I don't blame or get angry that he doesn't remember). Most important, I make a different choice than the one my emotions and fears are telling me to make! It is extremely reassuring to him. And it also gave me a chance to show that I understand him. My comment about the hair-trigger alarm - after I settled a little bit - I understood that he would take that to mean that he had failed, that he had screwed up keeping our family safe, and he would be battering himself inside. So I quickly told him I knew that was happening and it wasn't true, and we both decided it was a wonderful thing to have such a sensitive alarm to keep our family safe, because fires happen quickly and suddenly. And he said at least he didn't have to do the weekly check on it that he does which was another sweet way of putting my mind at ease.

Rose, I'm very glad you put a stop sign on this post and also that your BS is giving you a bit of time and space to figure yourself out. This might be a bit hard to hear - can you imagine what he would think if he asked you for your "whys" and what you said is that you want to fit in and never felt like you belonged? Can you imagine him weighing that explanation against the hurt he has suffered? It would probably be another hurt instead of something that heals. So, pick yourself up, set your self-anger and self-judgment aside, and keep searching.

[This message edited by Pippin at 9:21 AM, September 6th (Sunday)]

Rose2206 posted 9/6/2020 21:26 PM

Thank you SO much for your response!
I never felt like I belonged anywhere UNTIL I felt that with my BS. I felt belonging for the first time. And it frightened me.. I wish I would have known things about myself that I am discovering daily now.. I wish I would have had the courage to tell him I was afraid. Tell myself that that was the case. Instead I manipulated myself and the situation to make sure I will not be happy. To not belong bc I did not feel worthy of it.. I made sure I am not worthy.. and by doing so, I harmed my BS in the most horrible way possible.
I am so ashamed. Sad and mad at myself for all of it. Those feelings are constantly with me. But I have been learning to use them to be and do good.
He must be hurting so badly and I wish I could turn back the time!
I will continue to be better than I was yesterday. I am determined to live wholehearted!
I do hold on to hope for R. I do think of my BS all the time. But the most respectful thing I can do to support his healing right now is do as he asked and give him the NC. And I must use this time. Not to drown in self pity and depression, but to learn what the hell was/ is wrong with me! To grow into who I really am. Without hiding from myself! Embrace and shape myself into who I want to be today, tomorrow and every following day till the end of my days!

Also Pippin, my BS did previously mention he likes your and hour husbands Lord of the ring names on here :) - (if you have not seen Lord of the Ring in concert I highly recommend it!) My BS and I went to see it a while ago and it was amazing!!
- also, I haven't really thought about my profile name on here.. it is interesting to see you point that out as I never paid attention to it.. Roses are my fav. flower... I guess now thinking about it, it all kind of is starting to make sense.. even the rose itself goes with what i have discovered within my why's somehow..

Thank You for your wise and encouraging words.
Tonight has been very difficult as I miss my BS so very much. But I must trust that he is doing what he needs and what is best for him.

Pippin posted 9/15/2020 08:59 AM

I haven't really thought about my profile name on here

Here's some fun wayward homework for you - listen to Aretha Franklin's A Rose Is Still a Rose. It's not your story but maybe you can learn something from it. Learning happens in a lot of places :) And while you're at it, listen and dance along to Respect because it is nearly impossible to be depressed when you join in with her! And, for me, listen to Think, my anthem for BS who have been banned from the wayward forum

Lord of the ring names on here

My favorite poster is Maia - you can imagine how happy I was when I learned that her name doesn't come from the earth goddess but from the order of wizard that included Gandalf (the Maiar, singular Maia). Do you remember when Pippin betrayed his friends' trust by looking into the palantir at Sauron? And then Gandalf took him on Shadowfax to Gondor to fight in the big battle and redeem himself? The image of the little hobbit riding bareback on Shadowfax across Rohan with Gandalf behind him for protection and guidance still makes me happy.

How are the whys coming along now?

Rose2206 posted 9/15/2020 14:28 PM

gosh have you guys seen Lord of the rigs in concert?! It is amazing! Watching the movies with life music of a full orchestra was breathtaking to the point that we all had tears in our eyes! I highly recommend it!

My whys are coming along thanks to counseling. I just have to write them down sometime soon. I have started writing down. I make notes here and there.
But certainly something I need to keep up writing it down.

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