Newest Member: onthefence2024

maise

BW (SSM) D-Day: 6/9/2018 Status: waiting to finalize the divorce

"Our task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."

— Rumi

New Beginnings

June 9, 2018 was my first D-day with my ex-WS. I think back to that day and how lost I felt. I remember feeling like the emotions I was experiencing were so bad that I wanted to return to not knowing so that I could get my life back. As I started to unravel the reality that was now my life, one of my friend's expressed her concerns in how focused I was on learning about my ex-WS and their why's and said, "maise, my concern is that you are so focused on your ex-WS and helping her that you are not focused on you...my worry is that she will recover with your help and move on and you would have delayed your own healing." A valid concern honestly, but I knew deep down I would never let myself not learn from this horrible experience.

When I was 14 years old, I was gang raped. I remember making up my mind then that any time I experienced anything awful I would always learn from it somehow to better myself and build myself up. Otherwise, what was it all for? There was no chance in hell I was going to have something that awful happen to me for no reason. Learning and growing and building myself up when bad things happen gave me direction and helped me keep momentum to overcome hardships. This was no different. Albeit, harder in ways I couldn't have imagined.

I knew I felt emotions stronger and more powerful than I ever had in my entire life when d-day happened. What I didn't understand was why they were so strong. They felt crippling...and for some time, I did let them cripple me. I turned to every single self-destructive avoidance tactic I knew and even added more to try to escape these feelings I was having that I couldn't make sense of. There were so many of them, each one so magnified, and some days it felt like an assault of all of them. All I wanted was for them to stop. I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

When I got into IC, I remember thinking I didn't need it. I felt like my WS was the one that did this to me, she needed it, I was fine! My IC handled me delicately, and made it a point to focus on me throughout our sessions. Something I found confusing and challenging to do.

Over time my IC and I would celebrate the sessions where I didn't bring my ex-WS's name up, and managed to focus the sessions on self. I learned that my emotions were so strong from d-day because of the nature of how our emotions work as humans. As children, our emotional experiences are processed differently. Our brains are not developed enough to process them like we can as adults. We are also dependents and so leaving our homes and caretakers is not often feasible. So our magnificent bodies and neurological systems do what they know to do best and implement coping skills that help us survive our environment. Only many of these coping skills for me (and probably many others) do not serve us anymore into adulthood. My avoidance tactics were no longer serving me. It was time to stop rug sweeping emotions to survive, and learn how to process through them to come out on the other side.

I learned that it was these very coping skills I had in my youth that contributed to the magnitude of the emotions that overcame me after d-day. When we experience an emotion, our brains will trigger another time that we have experienced a similar circumstance that brought up that emotion. If we learned to avoid it in our past, our brain will continue to trigger that past emotion when we feel it in our present day, therefore magnifying the intensity of that emotion because it is being felt twofold...once from the unprocessed event(s) from our past, and now in the unprocessed trauma of our current experience.

Well, sadly, I had MANY unresolved traumas from my past and all of the emotions that d-day brought with it was like a cascade of dominoes falling triggering every single past event where I felt similar emotions that I had not resolved. That's why it was so encompassing. That's why I couldn't escape the emotions like I had before. It felt like a bomb had exploded and ALL of the feelings were there to stay no matter what I did to escape them. Nothing worked short of blacking out in an alcohol induced amnesia - and even that was short lived. I had to make a choice...do I lose myself in amplifying emotional avoidance tactics that don't work and become someone I do not recognize, or do I face these emotions head on and allow myself to feel them and process them?

The choice was not easy, allowing these emotions to be present put me in a state of anguish. But losing myself further was not fair to myself or my children. So I made the hard choice and started processing each emotion one by one with the help of my therapist.

As I did this, I was able to find an independence in myself I did not know I could. I was able to file for divorce from my ex-WS, I was able to conquer alcohol, and I broke many of my codependency's which allowed me the tools to build new relationships with everyone around me. Doing this gave me a life I only ever dreamed of but did not know could be. I thought codependent living was the only way to live. And burying my feelings and traumas was a strength and was the only way to survive.

I'm so grateful for my journey. I refer to my life and past experiences now from a pre-d-day and post-d-day lens, maise before she got help, and maise now. D-day itself, 6/9/2018, is not really a day I think about my ex-WS's infidelity. In fact, the date itself is not really that significant to me as it relates to her anymore.

I wanted to take the time to write this post because of today's date. Today, is June 10, 2024, six years almost to the date that I experienced my first d-day and my way of walking through this world changed.

Exactly one year ago today, I established my first romantic relationship since my ex-WS, with my current partner. He's everything I've never had. I know if I hadn't done this work, I would not have known how to allow myself a healthy partnership, or healthy relationships all around. I find it beautiful to have had our anniversary date fall on the date following my d-date anniversary. One being symbolic of trauma that brought about much needed change, and the following day being symbolic of changes made, a new journey, a happier existence and the creation of space for a healthy relationship to now flourish due to these changes.

If you've gotten this far, thank you for taking the time to read this post about my journey. I hope you and your loved ones have a beautiful day today. If you're still in the throws of pain from infidelity, know that there is beauty to come on the other side when you choose you.

3 comments posted: Monday, June 10th, 2024

Healing the Child Within by Charles Whitfield

for anyone recovering and doing inner child work. This was recommended to me by my therapist and I really loved this book for my recovery work. Still refer to it sometimes now.

0 comment posted: Wednesday, June 5th, 2024

Grieving the loss of a parent

Sigh. I’ve noticed that I’m a person that isolates and cries alone. I’ve been so conditioned to cater to the emotions of those around me that I hold mine in public, cry for them, and then once alone, maybe cry for how I’m feeling. I don’t really reach out. One of my cousins today said to me, "maise, we are here. Don’t isolate like you usually do ok?" Which completely caught me off guard because I literally noticed just that morning for the first time ever that I isolate.

My dad died yesterday. 11/8/2023. He was 56 years old. Today is his birthday, yesterday was his mom’s birthday, who is alive and well and was with him in his final moments.

My family gathered, my brother didn’t mend the relationship with my dad and so he did not go. My mother checked in on one of my dad’s brothers (my mom hasn’t talked to anyone in that family in more than two decades). She sent me, her daughter, a brief text saying, "I’m so sorry, I know this is hard for you." Before that she told me she would attend the funeral to be there for his family…not to be there for her kids which are his kids, for his family…sigh.

My dad had a very detached relationship with my brother and I. I guess that means to my mother that we shouldn’t care when he dies…

He was never fully absent…my parents were married, he saw us in brief moments, we were connected to everyone in his very large family, I would stay with my aunts and uncles and cousins…he just…he didn’t know how to be closer.

I was very angry at my dad for a really long time. I saw how he affected my mother and my brother and it made me so mad at him. I also remember wishing he was closer to us in his presence. He was always close in proximity but very detached in presence. I used to watch all those family shows as a kid and think, I wish I had a dad that loved and cared about me…that I could hangout with and have a close relationship with.

Anyway, after my experience with my ex’s very very painful infidelity in our marriage - I got myself into therapy and really learned how to not only recover from past traumas and from the affairs and learned how to grow in independence and walk away from my ex, and the marriage…

I also learned how to grow compassion for my dad and to make amends in that relationship. I forgave him for his brokenness and his inability to live up to the expectations I had of him as a father. I learned to meet him right where he was at and to have a peaceful relationship with him there. For the last five years of his life, he and I were at peace in our relationship.

Toward the end of January of this year, my dad was diagnosed with a Glio Blastoma Multiforme. Gosh….how painful it has been to watch him in that journey. How painful it has been to watch the fear in his eyes, the determination to stay in absolute denial about what this meant for him, to watch him in his final days ask me where my brother is…to have my brother not show, to watch him end up exactly where he feared and did not want to be….

My dad’s father ended up bed ridden and in a vegetated state for 9 years after a brain surgery gone wrong when he was 50 years old. Medical malpractice. My dad feared he’d end up in that same way…bed ridden, unable to do anything, in a diaper, not functional, suffering…how painful it was to watch him decline into that very state in a matter of weeks….

I am so heartbroken to have my dad die at such a young age…for him to have been fighting it the entire time and not have been ready. I am so sad that I don’t have a dad anymore…

Part of me is sad at the idea and fear that as a result of him dying, that I’m no longer connected to that part of my family also…

My 14 year old daughter sent me such a beautiful message yesterday. It was so warm, compassionate, empathic, loving, supportive. I’m so grateful for her. I thought to myself how great she is…then I realized how my little one can be so caring and empathic and present in how this affects me. I thought of my mother’s response in comparison. Y’know, with a detached father and an emotionally neglectful and emotionally abuse mother, it’s no wonder I ended up with a cheater….I mean sheesh.

Anyway, I’m grateful for what surviving infidelity has brought me. I’m grateful for the lessons, grateful for my new found relationships, grateful for the compassion and the forgiveness that I’ve learned, grateful for this platform of support. I’m so proud and happy at my new found very hard earned independence and my peace. Because of how absolutely fucking painful and triggering and god awful the infidelity I experienced from my ex was, I got into therapy and pushed to heal so many broken spaces within me. Because of my healing, I was able to have a relationship with my dad for the last five years of his life. I was able to find peace in that before he died, I’m able to process grief differently now.

I wanted to take the time to write this out. To post. As I mentioned earlier in this entry, I have a tendency to isolate. I have not told my friends, I haven’t really reached out to anyone. I’m up at 3:06am, crying silently, typing this out, reflecting.

I love you dad, I hope that you have peace. I’m so deeply sorry that you went out like this. Happy birthday.

20 comments posted: Thursday, November 9th, 2023

Dating and trust after infidelity

Hey everyone,

I haven’t been here in quite some time. Lots of continued digging into my healing with therapy, lots of adjustments into single life and independence and kids and all the things. I’ve dated off and on but nothing serious (purposely as i just didn’t feel ready).

Anyway…I’ve met someone now that’s definitely wanting to build up to a more serious space over time and I’m finding myself immensely cautious and fearful of trusting him. I’m trying to pay attention to red flags that may arise and attempting to make sure I communicate and journal and whatever else…

Right now he has a female friend that he’s been friends with for 7 or 8 years staying in the guest bedroom at his home as she visits from out of town. Old me would have totally been chill with that - wouldn’t have cared at all. I have friends of all kinds and I wouldn’t cross that line so I used to feel like others could do the same. Now? I find myself thinking, "What if this is just like your former WS and you’re being played for a fool again? Run!"

He did tell me about this visit way before hand and asked me how I felt about it. I told him it would be fine, I don’t want to control or block anyone…and I of all people know that if the person I’m dating is gonna sleep around or betray then they’ll always find a way to do it. Not my job to control them. Nothing I can do to stop them.

Now that she’s there though I’m feeling all of this distrust. I find myself wanting to stop communications and just remove myself completely, it’s like I’ve already made up my mind that this is not a trustful situation and I need to run before I get too deep & find myself hurt all over again!

It feels heartbreaking at the same time though bc I find myself wondering if I will ever be able to feel safe and build trust with someone again?

Sigh.

How did you maneuver trust and dating after infidelity?

8 comments posted: Friday, September 23rd, 2022

Book Suggestions on Sexual Aversion/Disgust

And or related to moving past aversions or disgust feelings likely brought on by prior sexual traumas?

6 comments posted: Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

Happy birthday to me!

🤗🙂🥳

12 comments posted: Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

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