((((Throwaway999)))) I've followed your story and you are amazing and were far more generous to your WH through his final illness than I think I could have been. You processed and owned those choices based upon the best you knew at the time - and for your kids. That's really inspiring and I truly believe that as you heal from all of it, you will be empowered.
I am questioning everything now about who I am. I have good friends and family who say nice things about me, but it’s hard to believe them after you self esteem and faith in life has been shot to hell.
While my WH lived, I do believe that his suicide attempt kind of "derailed" my own healing.... as your WH's terminal illness did for yours. That sucks, but it's ok to give yourself some time and compassion for how hard it's been, and how confusing your shared history is.
How do you cope and get through? Does IC really help? I have been, but she never really told me anything I didn’t already know.....How do you get back to feeling good about yourself?
I think IC can help. May not be "necessary" for everyone, but it can help (like adding some Bouquet Garni to a soup- not necessary, but can improve the flavor).
I know I'm like a broken damn record around here, but IME, finding someone that specializes in TRAUMA has been the key for me. in the past, I always wanted IC who were my contemporaries or I felt had some "life experience" (I was never one to take advice from younger folks - a silly view I've since come to see VERY differently). But after seeing several 'older' IC post dday with little luck (with one exception, but she retired), I went for younger. And I couldn't be happier about it. Of course, personality plays a big role, but I think the most helpful piece is that her trauma training is RECENT and includes knowledge of all sorts of studies and other things learned about trauma in the past 20 years.
As I started to do my own trauma "homework", my mind was really blown away by how much current research has changed our views on trauma, on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), of how many of us are routinely diagnosed with symptoms (depression, ADD, etc) that are often more akin to coping mechanisms for TRAUMA. E.G., I've struggled with depression off & on for years. Taken AD, gone to IC, etc. It was only after dday and learning about my relational betrayal trauma that I began to see that past depressive episodes were likely a response to various situational things in my life that were triggers to past/childhood trauma. Gaining an understanding of this has significantly changed my outlook. I still struggle, but I am getting better AND am becoming a rock star in my ability to navigate/manage my own feelings and reactions to crummy things that just happen in life (ok, maybe not full on "rock star", but I got the Karaoke version down pretty doggone good )
So- all of my story to say that a compassionate IC that has solid trauma education & experience can be a game changer. IMO, the best ICs are someone that can call you out on your own rationalizations, rather than give "advice", or tell you what you already know. My IC routinely (and very compassionately) speaks her mind about the ways in which my brain wiring "goes to" certain places... basically provides a different set of rose-colored glasses through which I can try and view things. It can be really inspiring for me.
I absolutely believe one's "faith in life" can be restored, despite the despicable behavior of our WS, and even despite ANOTHER dday (which I suspect you already had inklings about, but those inklings aren't the same as the shock of actual knowledge... and I'm so so so sorry those inklings proved to be accurate - huge hugs Throwaway).
[This message edited by gmc94 at 1:51 PM, September 24th, 2020 (Thursday)]