I got the ok to paste my post in the I can relate.... I have a difficult time relating to people so music is a big part of my life. I spent a good majority of my life self medicating with music and learned to use it as a tool. I'm listening to this one as I type, because even with the cloak of anonymity in the wild wild web I have major trust issues. As Gomer Pyle would say: 'Well Surprise, surprise, surprise.':
I will try my best not to ramble on and keep it male-friendly (short, precise, and to the point). So, here is my story/background:
alcohol/drug abuser xBF during early HS yrs. Confessed to me after starting treatment that he had just been using me (for sex). I was beyond devastated and in shock, he was my best friend and I very much loved him.
exwH - 9 yrs older, verbal and physically violent. He ended up spending some time in jail after assaulting ex#3 (I was #2 but was unaware of #1 for several years). Together from summer before HS Senior yr until -well, its complicated, but apx late '92 for official D.
3 kids, been adults for awhile now.
exWF - 8yrs my junior. He fell in love w/COW and left, I had nervous breakdown. I dragged my feet when committing to a wedding date, it was "my fault" he had A. 1999-2005 apx
BH - Oct 2007 - current (M=2009) 5yrs my Sr. Reminds me of RDjr - he's my Iron Man :) Has 3kids fm his exWW of 17?yrs
Me - FUBARD. Well ok, I'm exaggerating. Just need a lot of work (which I am on board to do!), CSA Survivor, Rape Survivor x2 (+.5?), Physical/mental Abuse survivor, misdiagnosed as Bi-polar now changed to PTSD/Anxiety/Major Depression, may be sex addict, codependent, DID etc etc.
Whew, that wore me out right there! Who do I send the co-pay to? Or maybe this is where I leave a cliff hangar and say 'to be continued until next time..."
In all seriousness, I thought I had my shit together before I met H after connecting with a really good therapist. Unfortunately we never got to the root of the real issues but she did give me some really good tools to work with. I would have continued to go to her had I not moved. And of all the therapists I had been to, she restored my faith in the process.
It's kind of hard to find a starting point since one part of history relates to another and it is all relevant, so please bear with me if I jump from one to another and then back again full circle. And maybe you can recognize a couple of dysfunctional patterns here (I try to add more fun and less dys).
To try to heal from the various abuses of my exWH, I used unconventional methods. I got involved with a couple in an open marriage and become good friends with the both of them. I experimented, almost immediately figured out that I was not bi but the wife and I turned out to be pretty good friends and she would often let me "borrow" her H. They were safe, I felt safe, and I thought this is how a marriage should be since they were open and best friends. They took me to my first big Singers Party and from there I got involved in the BDSM community. I did that mostly because I thought it would help me get over my fear of being abused - and it did! It really did help me become more assertive in many aspects and my career life took off (I had tried traditional therapy and it was not as helpful). I also had a lot of fun being single and the LAST thing on my mind was to be tied down. If it was a married couple, I always got to know the wife as well and I knew my boundaries.
Work took me to another state so I embarked on another journey and another quest to find a local group for my escapades. I did, and I remembered that I had met a Dom in my home state that lived not too far away so I reached out to see if he was still available. We hit it off and I spent a few weekends at his place when the kids were visiting their Dad.... until, he raped me. I dont want to go into details, is there a need to go into details here because my downfall is that sometimes I think I have to explain simply because of the fact that I cannot wrap my head around it. Anyways, I was so confused and didnt think I would be believed because of the history of our relationship and hell, this was the 2nd time I was raped so I started to think WTF is wrong with ME??? Had I known that he had a history of SA, maybe I would have filed a report (but then again it was easier to chalk it up as a life lesson and let it go). I left the BDSM scene and never looked back except some mild kink (and I do mean mild).
Met exWF soon after, no longer Swinging after going to a couple of parties together. He came from a good, unbroken family who had a lot of friends and a big social circle. I had issues with being older than him - especially with 3 kids! My hangup, and I was emotionally unavailable and he was still too much of a kid. I suspected him of cheating but I was so busy with work that I didnt investigate, and just looked him straight in the eyes and said "Not in MY bed!" Work moved me again, and I offered him an out because I was going with or without him and it was a long ways from his home. He decided to go with, we got engaged, I could never bring myself to set a date (after all I was married to my work!), he had an EA turned PA with an even older COW. I had a breakdown when he decided he didnt want to go to counseling and everything was "my fault". **I miss his parents and sister more than I will ever miss him** Shortly after, work sells and starts layoffs. I didnt want to move to HQ since there was no guarantee of term of employment so opted for the severance. Moved to another town not too far away, had a few friends there (though all male) and one let me rent out a room for me and the youngest still in school until I could find a place of my own.
Met H. He was not like the others I usually find myself attracted to. He was all Air and Fire (Zodiac reference) but I immediately felt at ease with him. There was not the immediate "I want to jump your bones now" (on my end) but there was chemistry. He was like a mystery and I like mysteries! I always tease him and told him he broke me because I broke a lot of rules when I started dating him -for example: no dating men with children still at home, nothing serious, no crazy exes, etc. I learned he had been married for several years and they shared custody. He also said they had a working relationship for the kids sake - I liked that! It was refreshing and I was willing to see where this could go. Things were going really good and soon I was meeting his kids and family. They welcomed me and were excited since I was the first GF he had brought home after the D. I was soon blinded to the reality of the world around me. First concern: the kids had no boundaries, they would be all over you and rather aggressive. I dismissed it as them being anxious meeting me and I wanted to understand their angst. Second concern: DD was crying when I encouraged her to play some more xbox with H's son (SS and SD had a large age gap from older brother and they were still at home). She wouldnt tell me anything and I really thought she was anxious from so many people around. I didnt find out til some time later what had really upset her. Third concern: H overlooked a lot of questionable behaviour from his kids, but I passed it off as him not wanting to make a scene, perhaps.
I'm rambling, arent I? Ok, fast fwd a bit from there: I witness a couple of unnerving incidents between SD and SS while H is at work (I was asked to watch kids). It triggered me, I immediately call H and tell him what I saw. He handled it pretty good, handled me good too. He calls exW who calls me, tt kids, tells me I'm making it up they said it never happened. I strongly suggest family therapy to H (and exW), thinking the kids are acting out on anger due to blended family issues. H agrees (I did mention I was less likely to stay around otherwise), exW told me to mind my own business. H doesnt back down and we all go. exW continues to bully, H doesnt want to 'stir the crazy pot'. Kids believe I hate them, I'm the reason Mom & Dad arent together etc (ummm, he was divorced way before we met!). exW went as far as to go to the counselor office to give them a piece of her mind - SS/SD are terrified to talk.
Somewhere down the road, exW gets po'd and refuses to let kids over on H's time. She calls me and tells me a "H and I have been screwin around behind your back, just thought you should know". (Deep breath). Ok. So.... vindictive exW making it up? As I told H, there was at least one time that I know where he put himself in a 'doesnt look good' situation with her. She had just kicked out her H#2 and wanted him to change her locks, she didnt feel safe. I told him to go, not realizing that she really could have called their adult son, or her brother that lived in town. The kicker - he had also got her a hotel room for the night because she "was really scared". He told me about it when he got home, he was gone for some time after all. When she made the claim, it triggered my memory of that incident as well as the time we were starting to see more of each other and he had told me that exW wanted to know if I would be interested in a 3some (WTF)?!?!?! Oh, and also his porn addiction didnt help the equation. I confessed to him much later that I couldnt say that I believed him (it was much easier to not believe her) and I had no proof other than her word which meant nothing. I also told him that I thought hard about it, because we were engaged to be married, and I decided that it wasnt enough to stop me from marrying the man that I loved. We married that week so she couldnt drag him to court for violating the morality clause (she didnt have an issue with me living with him when I was available to babysit when they were at work).
FF File for custody, long drawn out case based on abuse, some sexualization of SD, her drug addiction, blah blah blah. H barely received custody.
FF SS nearly 18, cops attitude that he can do what he wants, immune to house rules, moves out shortly after 18bday. Less stress in household. apx 6mo later, SD confides in me the abuse inflicted on her by SS (I suspected, but thought I was being hyper-alert). SS arrested, exW was told by H, exW blames SD and takes SS's word over hers (I'm made scapegoat by SS claiming it was my idea), exW & her parents hire SS attorney (instead of paying her court ordered half of medical expenses and insurance), atty gets trial delayed several times and eventually SD state of mind so bad therapist doesnt think she can take stand so low ball the plea to drop rape charge to sexual assault and he gets 10yrs probation.
On my end: I pick up others moods and SD would trigger me. My flashbacks got worse. I was seriously looking at leaving before SS moved out because of the stress but I kept telling myself 'not much longer, they'll be out'. While H was making progress with being more present, I was sliding down a hole of despair. A combination of his porn addiction, which made me question my attractiveness and H's desire for me, and some of his previous history that was surfacing in more or different details (TT) My only female friend, who I consider a soul sister, lives miles away and was going through some medical issues.
H says he caught his exW cheating on him twice, she planned and executed. He admitted that towards the end of the marriage he was emotionally checked out and started to see another woman. What I had forgotten, or it did not sink in, was that his affair w/OW lasted for 4years. He caught her cheating on him when he parked outside her apt. Now, some TT was that he was still living with exW and sharing the same bed, the OW was also married and the apartment was "theirs". I remembered at one point, I had asked him if exW ever suspected him of cheating and he had replied 'yes, but she never found anything, I was always a step ahead'. So, recently this all starts to hit me/triggers and flashbacks galore! I wasnt accusing him of being unfaithful to me, but I did start to question as to how would I possibly know if he was when he was never caught by exW? He admitted to sexualizing just about every single woman he meets, porn is always up on computer, has sex video of OW in his collection of DVDs. Why am I not enough? How does he not think that his affair was not an affair????? I sat down with him while he told his kids that he never cheated on their Mom and never raped her!!!!! (um, yes, yes she did tell them that). How can I believe what is true and what isnt???
H and I start socializing with some of his male friends. I, for some off the wall reason, connect with one of them. This is the time when H and I had been talking about an open marriage like my friends from back home. I was able to proceed with his knowledge and transparency was a must.... he's always had my pw and I had never been unfaithful- it never even crossed my mind! H had his own F friend, who was in a poly marriage, and he would associate with from time to time. I'm not the jealous type and if he wanted to hook up with someone, all I asked was for safety and I wasnt so sure I was comfortable about knowing, or knowing details. After being betrayed in the past by others, sleeping around just didnt bother me. Anyways, I did not handle his jealousy very well. The OM never hit on me and I told H that he wasnt interested - the friend prided himself on always being faithful to his ex and forgiving her for 2 affairs. OM is also afraid of H in a healthy way, and respects their friendship. I took it too far though when I caught H going through my phone while I was in the shower. Any time H wanted to see the conversation I'd hand him my phone. I wasnt hiding. But this triggered me. I got angry and my self preservation kicked in - 'oh, you want to be like my exH and control me, I'll show you!' So I started deleting random text msgs telling OM I couldnt wait to see him again, emotional kibbles, etc. (H always ok'd it when I would see him and was always welcome to come with!). And then I had a really bad trigger /flashback from H. He smelled like beer. H said he saw the fear in my eyes.... hell, I dont even remember what he was doing - hugging me? kissing me? idk. The next day after work I am texting OM and telling him what happened, I'm panicking telling him why I was so scared but that I have to tell H (that was the one thing with OM is that I was learning to be more open with H all while starting to tell OM less and less). I had a deep secret that I had kept for over 24yrs. Without going into much detail, when my exH and I were separated he reminded me that he would kill me if I screwed around. At that point I was tired of him and I really think I just didnt care anymore and welcomed death. I hooked up with someone I had a crush on. the next weekend, exH shows up at my apt drunk, kids are with his sister, he starts stuff, I call cops, they tell me he just needs to sleep it off and that he promised he wouldnt cause anymore problems - basically they talked me into letting him stay there or he would have to go to jail (I had no phn at the time so he couldnt call someone to get him from my place). Fine, he can sleep on the couch. I wake up, he's raping me. few weeks later, I'm pregnant and I dont know who the father is (I was on pill). I filed for D after that, get protection order, but did not report to police (afterall, I let him stay there, right?! Did I remember to lock the bedroom door? Did I even close the door? He doesnt remember a thing, says it didnt happen...)
FF The more I get to know OM the less I like him, He's an alcoholic and refuses to get help getting over his exW. I constantly have to hear how much of a saint he was for forgiving her (please do not misunderstand, I do get that now, but I still think he was really unwilling to see his part in the decline of their M). OM offers to throw Halloween party at his house w/ us cohosting. H keeps putting off getting together to help clean. Tick tock goes the clock, H gets sent out of town on business, too late to cancel party, I go over to clean (and H knows). 1 Sunday and 2 after works for a couple of hours, H not liking it and doesnt want me to go over, I agree can wait til Fri. Gave list of to-dos to OM. Fri night, jack done my anxiety ramped up, really want to call off party. Got some girly things done and decided to suprise H by getting nipples pierced (he kept asking me to) and I was missing him so much!
OM spent week off drinking instead of to-dos. Told H I was done, doin the party and done with it after that. Sat: party. I'm really stressed, so much to do not enough time. Get done what I could, so tired barely ate in the last 2 days. Sat party starts and I kick back a couple of shots to loosen up. Normally, I get drink fast and sober up fast so staying drunk was not normal. (And I rarely drink, I'm a light weight).
Lost count of #of shots and mixed drink. OM passes out, didnt see him most of party. Friend asks if I want to hang at his (and wifes) place with a group. I knew I was too drunk to drive and I promised H I would not stay @ OM's. We leave, I leave without shoes (seriously?!), phn dead, who's car am I in anyways? We get there, some guy mildly hitting on me - I know I said I was married a few times earlier at the party and I was missing H - if he put his hand on my arm or leg I would pick it up and move it. Why am I not sobering up? Tired, feeling like I'm half asleep.
I watch friend, his wife and a few others leave, they're taking some home and would be back shortly. Next thing I know, I am standing at a door w/male, I ask him what he's doing and he says finding an empty room.... I think? was it in my head? am I dreaming? hey, where'd my pants go? shirt still on, bra still on, no lights... no, dont kiss me down there...ok, he stopped, wait, do I want you in me? hey, this aint real someone's going at me like a jack hammer - hey, this hurts! Whats - wait - is this real?! This aint real. oh wait, there I am! you're losing your erection? oh, ok, suck on it, ok....what? huh? losing it again? wait, where'd I go? It's dark in here (getting on hands and knees to crawl) Oh! there's the jackhammer again, (weird feeling of being body slammed back into my body) I think I'm going to be sick.... He's laughing, oh, this is funny, ok *laughs too*, finds pants and puts them on, goes to bathroom and throws up, wipes away tears - is that tears? Goes out to common room, strange guy and female. Guys pissed we were in his room. Female tells me to come out to patio where my newly acquired ONS is to join them, dont be embarrassed she says. Hey, whats his name? Whats your name- ok, good, she knows her name, whats your friends name? ummmm, errr, female gets name and introduces us (still doesnt remember next day). I want to leave, cant leave no shoes. no car. car at OM's house. cant drive anyway, would never make it home (live out of town). friend and wife return, friend is a bit surprised at news (I wouldnt go out with him when I was single because I thought he was too young) things settle down, guess I'll rest, gotta sober up, I want to go home. *Wake up, everyone still asleep except strange man (roommate) - could you possible take me to my car? I have no shoes... gives me a ride to OM's house, I start cleaning party mess, OM wakes up - yes, just got back went to afterparty, just tidying up a bit. Do I tell him? no, no, dont say anything. omg what am I going to tell H? I cant lie to him? go home and go to bed. find phn, shoes, keys, drive home (I think I am still drunk) - I'm ok, I didnt stay at OM's like I promised! Fuck, did this really happen? Skype H, dont tell him, you dont know for sure what happened and you cant tell him you dont remember! I scrubbed myself raw with vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. barely sleep, go back to friends apt and try to make sense of things. Had to ask for ONS's name. Ask him for advice, he said no good comes from lying but my choice. I agree, knew I couldnt lie to H anyways, just didnt know how to tell him. I told H later that day.
FF H found ONS, tells me his age. Barely 20, harsh things said, but deserving. I dont even remember what he looks like.
Still have nightmares. Still dont know WHY.
A long ways to go to get to recovery.
"Friend, friend can you see me
Walking here in the mist
Have you wandered as i have
In the silence deep as death
Have you as I have
Walked in the mist
Strayed from the beaten path
Near the mountain edge
Do you know this loneliness
Friend, friend do you understand me
Do you know any secret path
Have you wandered as I have
in the endless uncertainty"
Eivør - Í Tokuni (removed link)
[This message edited by derealizingMe at 5:44 PM, January 11th (Wednesday)]