Newest Member: PeanutButterPixels


Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. ~ Augustine of Hippo

Contaminated boundaries

Rummaging around through some of the old boxes in my mind’s attic and came across something I see very differently now, metaphorically trying on that old wedding dress….

When I had begun dating XWH, I had just come out of a relationship where the guy just couldn’t seem to bring it across the marital line. It’s what ended the relationship and felt like time wasted. That was never going to happen again! (Forest vs trees failure - gear up the lesson, round two).

After six months or so of exclusivity, I told XWH that I would not waste my time if it began to look like we weren’t progressing toward marital commitment…that there would come a point where we would move on. We discussed what would be a reasonable reevaluation time and I set a date. I thought this was practicing good boundaries.

He drove it right up to the deadline date. I mean, we’re talking the very weekend. I felt like he was playing games (funny that!) and specifically made other plans just days before that weekend. It angered him. I felt empowered. (Boundaries! I shall not be runneth over! He will taketh me seriously!!) He proposed a few days after.

My word, was I foolish!! Because what he literally demonstrated to me is that he would only do what he had to do to keep me.

And such was my marriage. Always on the edge of losing me. Just a matter of where I was going to draw the line…and my ability to convince him that I was really serious. Worth also mentioning that my ability to hold that line became exhausted by his repeated attempts to always push it just a little beyond that…. It seems almost funny now to think, Fuck compatibility (bc we rarely fought) - it was a GD war zone!

Obviously the R period wasn’t going to be any different.

How did I miss this? How did I feel like I was practicing good boundaries - when I missed the point of actually needing these kinds of boundaries? Why did it not matter more that my boundaries became the stopgap for his behavior - rather than his own lack of an internal moral compass? (Or his values, priorities, etc for the other less deplorable behavior).

How would any, all, of it had been different if I had moved from a position of self-protection (with all that boundary work)…and instead just been an observer to who he was? Allowed him to just show me who he was - without the "threat" that my boundaries posed to that.

Perhaps I would have known.

Perhaps I just didn’t want to know.

Perhaps my boundaries were less about my own values and priorities (and truly reflective of my own self worth)…and perhaps they were more for the sake of molding him. The goal that was less about who he really was…and more about who I really wanted him to be.

It seems so simple and obvious now.

So perhaps - in the last of the "perhaps" - this late realization for me will serve someone else now in the moment.

3 comments posted: Saturday, December 9th, 2023

Sense of Truth

There is a phenomenon happening across the globe that parallels so closely with the experience of infidelity that it sometimes makes me wonder if I was being prepared for this very time. I hope that I will be able to succinctly explain it because it’s one of the rare times where I feel like things are entering consciousness from the outside in versus the inverse (which is how I believe it to traditionally be - we see the world as we are). Nonetheless I think it may have benefit for those that are navigating the question of "Do I have the truth?"

Caveat: It is not my intention for any aspect of this thread to turn to politics. If it does, the meaning and the thread (rightfully so) will be lost.

There is an inclination for things to be presented and held as THE truth. Truth is not being discovered or learned as much as it is being TOLD…like it’s some one dimensional thing and the keepers of it hold all the power.

That’s not necessarily a new thing…and many many of us have experienced this and its subsequent by-products as we have tried to still squeeze it from our WSs no matter how much they try to convince us we know it all.

Truth has….a feeling to it. Its own sense. As does the absence of it. It (eventually) overcomes…no matter how long it may take. Many of us have experienced this in the "I knew it!" moments when it finally surfaces. Some of us have been puzzled by a strange relief we felt after dday…or wishing (WTH!) that our WSs would just "do it again". We are designed to SEARCH for truth…and whether we are ready to acknowledge it or not, most of us just know when we have it. Something in our spirit just becomes satisfied - no matter the horror of it in reality.

But here’s the point: How many of us are willing to just accept that sense - or lack of it? I mean, just accept it….or that we don’t yet have it. Full stop. How many times do we feel we must DISPROVE something that has been presented to us as truth…like somehow it IS truth until we disprove it.

How did we get to this point?? That we feel we must disprove it for it not to be true? Is truth really dependent on that? Does it require that we must defend it in such a way…or can it really stand in its own? And if it can’t stand on its own, can it even BE truth?

Would having this perception, awareness, change how we engage with our WSs "truths"? Would we even need to engage with those aspects? Would it make things easier if we just didn’t? Would it make it more difficult for our WSs to stop recreating "truth"? (Good grief, haven’t most of us experienced that mulberry bush as nauseum??). Are we really searching for truth…or are we really just trying to force our WSs to acknowledge the truth? Like they don’t already know it or something??

What would happen if we were to just stop defending truth? Isn’t it the feeling - that sense - we are actually looking for? Can that not be the waypost rather than mucking around in all the shit details? "Nope…doesn’t feel right" could be enough.

I ask myself what would it take…like, literally, what would it take? And I realized - at least for me - that answer is simply trusting in myself. Not that I have it all, not that I’m simply right, not that I can’t grow beyond what I currently believe and believe something different. But simply, at the moment, this is not true to me. And THAT is MY truth.

What is any truth worth if I don’t believe it? If it doesn’t create that sense? And why in the hell would I try to force myself to?? How could that possibly get me any closer to it if doing so fundamentally requires that I don’t believe myself?

Wondering more and more if this search for truth isn’t really about getting the truth..but more that the truth we have we don’t like.

11 comments posted: Saturday, December 2nd, 2023

The intolerance of being insignificant

Sixty months of alimony checks…the 60th one due this past September 1. You can do the math and then add 20 months of separation. It’s been a while.

I don’t have it. The last check.

59 have come on time. The last one? He’s been promising it since I contacted him Sept 7.

What are the odds this is a game? My guess is 59 to 1. What is the reason? Significance. All this time later. I guess the last one slipping through your fingers is the hardest.

These types never change. Circumstances aren’t a factor. And it’s so damn amazing to me just how insignificant the cheating becomes in light of all the other shitty behavior.

The little day-to-day stuff…the tiniest tendrils of the root of a bad weed…continually reaching out for new ground, more…just always more. Thinking I had plucked up the damn thing - over and over, a different obstacle every time - just to have it leaf out once again…always just creeping under the surface.

I’m so glad this f’ing check is late.
They don’t ever change.

6 comments posted: Saturday, September 30th, 2023

My sweet boy

I lost my kitty three months ago….my sweet boy…my Theo. He was eleven…too young…too soon…lost years I was due because life has already taken so much. He was beautiful…Life was so gracious in how he was brought to me. And now Life seems cruel for taking him so soon…just nine years after I got him…and on the same day I lost my mom. The last phone call with my mom was actually about Theo…he had had surgery that day and I was worried about the anesthesia. Such relief to bring him home, groggy but whole…to only get the phone call three hours later that would shatter my world in a way unexpected. Like Loss and Grief had slipped in anyway…through a window while I was guarding the door. Partners in crime, Loss is the snatch-and-grab thief whereas Grief is the squatter…the one that comes to live in the subsequent void.

So here it is again - Grief…this shadowy mist that just hangs over every valley in my heart…that breaks and rolls to allow rays of sunshine before it closes in and envelopes all like it has actually become a part of me.

I know this territory…my own internal landscape…so I can continue to navigate the terrain of my life even in this mist. I also know well this shape-shifter cloud of Grief itself…that it will move and form, each day different from the prior. And I also know it will be but a season…that even Grief dies its own death, to then be rebirthed into Love once again. That the two are so interchangeable they cannot ever be truly separated.

And yet still, it is Grief…and it must live its life as I live mine…even we are so intertwined as to be interchangeable. This is simply the cloak it is wearing today. Like the mist it will eventually lift and roll out; and it will return again, dressed in different attire.

Yet even though I know this dance, try to give myself over to the music of Life, it hurts when Grief cuts in to lead, and when it seemingly missteps so squarely on my toes. I am no longer dancing but being pulled through the music, swirled and spun now from having lost the beat some three steps ago. I know that I will eventually find the music again…but for the moment I have no choice but to let Grief lead.

So here it is again this morning…up early and screaming to be fed - same as the other cat that remains. The wrong cat - if there can be such a thing. The sweet and unique cat that would not possibly be the wrong cat in a different situation. But in this one, she always was…she was to be Theo’s companion not mine - for my heart was already full. And now we are left with each other…each with a void that neither can fill. It’s awkward and I honestly don’t know if it will ever change; the void must shape-shift as well.

I really miss him. It’s so strange to feel the ache in my heart and to realize how much I loved him - even more now than when he was here. Presence brings width and Grief brings depth. And soon enough the great divide of Time and Space will be irrelevant. Only Love exists any way…and Grief is just one component of that great Love.

Until then my sweet boy…until then. ❤️

8 comments posted: Sunday, May 21st, 2023

He’s remarried.

He’s remarried. I knew it was likely only a matter of time and I wondered how I would feel when it happened - and especially given that I haven’t been on the first date, have no interest in that.

I think I feel nothing…though my brain still seems to be struggling with it and I don’t quite understand that. I’ve asked myself all kinds of internal questions - what if he did this? What if he did that? I keep coming back to the same thing…there’s no heartbeat there.

And somehow that feels…strange. Not a bad strange…and I don’t really know why I’m posting - other than to try to figure out why my heart has seemingly resolved it but my brain is still trying to put pieces together. Not just all the past…but also my current (lack of) response.

Idk…maybe I got to "meh" without seeing the road signs along the way so that just leaves me questioning if I’m really in Mehville. Maybe I expected my arrival to be more glorious - red carpet and the key to the city. Or maybe this is what Mehville is - where you really just don’t give a shit…and perhaps not giving a shit is just simply, well, boring. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just processing that he really is exactly what I learned he is because he did exactly what I expected him to do (in SO many ways!). Maybe I’ve been validated in my perceptions…and since it’s seems to no longer be speculation, I now have to actually process that the picture is really a true and accurate depiction.

I have one last logistical piece to get in place before I can completely cut him out of my life. (It’s what led to this discovery.). I wonder if that’s the hanging chad in my brain…if cutting him out completely (even when just that tiny sliver is all that remains) will be what finally frees my brain to really empty that trash bin. You know, the place you move your computer files to but leave hanging out in there until you finally have the conviction to be sure - yes, I really do want to permanently delete all of this stuff.

And then I wonder too - have I not really moved on? Do I really have no interest in dating….or am I really just too wounded, too much in self-protection, to do that? Does this stick with me because it makes me feel he has moved on and I haven’t?

I’ve examined that so much and I just don’t think that’s the issue. I just have no interest in dating…and I absolutely have great reserve about sharing my time, space, and everything else in my life. I like where I’ve landed; my life is calm, content, and entirely my choice with little consideration for someone else’s needs or wants. I’m enjoying this freedom immensely and sincerely. I’m sure if my person showed up one day I could make the concessions and also enjoy that immensely too. I’m just not interested in kissing even one frog to get there…not sure I would even do it if I knew, with certainty, kissing that one frog would ultimately get me there. So in that regard, I’m questioning if this thing I’ve longed for and worked toward so many years is even something I actually EVER really wanted - and especially now that *I* have become my person, if that makes sense.

I’d just like for my brain to quit kicking in the door, graffiting the walls, and leaving me a mess to clean up. I just wish it would let ALL of it go…poof. I’ve had moments where that has happened - one was an unexpected text and I was literally trying to figure out who was this (ex’s name) that was texting me. And once I realized it was him, I didn’t read the text and literally forgot about it for the rest of the day. So when it pops up this is something that genuinely takes me by surprise - and that pisses me off that it still has the ability to do that.

I don’t know my point or what I’m needing. I guess maybe to know if anybody else still struggles with aspects of this and any tips to overcome it. Geesh, for so long it seemed my heart was the enabler and my brain the stronger one. I really didn’t know what to do with this dynamic now!

7 comments posted: Saturday, August 27th, 2022

Best friend’s son died

I’m sorry, you guys…I haven’t even been able to get to my last thread here and now I’m starting another one.

WHAT DO I DO??? How do I possibly help??? How do I possibly try to carry her through these next days, weeks, months, years???

WHAT DO I DO?????? (Not to mention I just started my new job TODAY!)

And where do I pull this reserve from? I just lost my other close friend last October…and I’ve already been trying to carry what I could for her family, for her 16 year old daughter. How do I do this??? HOW???

My heart is SO broken…and I am so powerless.

He left behind FOUR young children. My friend has had the two youngest for the last year - 2yo & 3yo. This whole thing has been like waiting for an anvil to fall on your head. And now it has. crying crying crying


12 comments posted: Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

Starting a new job…but feeling a little “Eh”

New job after not working for the last 7 months (company sold and I elected not to stay).

Good opportunity in my skill set. They want me and have offered a nice salary and sign on bonus. Hours are easy - probably less than 40/wk. Location is great - 5 to 10 min from home and I will likely also have the option to work from home at times. I’ll be working with friends from my prior company so I’m already going in knowing my main coworkers.

It is the perfect job in so many ways.

So why am I feeling so "eh"…actually bordering on sadness??

I don’t have to work - so that basically means I can walk away at any time. I feel like I need to work because my self-discipline gets so lax when I’m not working. It’s not like I am going to be giving up a ton of other enjoyable activities I am currently doing. I like the industry, what I would be doing - so I don’t necessarily think that’s the issue.

It seems like it has something to do with commitment - which I’m seeing that in many other ways too (ie, not wanting to make appointments, *schedule* a dinner/HH with friends, etc). And again, it’s not like I already have a full schedule so it’s not a time constraint thing. I happily do NOTHING all day. Some have suggested this may be depression…but I mostly feel happy and content…with doing nothing - other than that has NEVER been my MO (so I feel a lot of self-imposed guilt in that area).

The other piece I am dealing with is some kind of "awareness" about death and how precious time is - especially since I’ve lost both my parents and a close friend. Something about that has totally changed my perceptive in a way that’s hard to understand. I’ll turn 55 this year and it’s like I’ve become super aware of the remaining "good years" (if Im so lucky). So it feels like I need to make the most of this time…while simultaneously struggling with exactly what that means (because nothing seems to actually meet that criteria).

It’s a weird place and I’m not even sure if I’ve done a good job explaining. Life is somewhat meaningless against the paradigm I once had - and that’s ok because that was all an illusion, limited concept, anyway. But at the same time, I recognize time is also precious and limited - gotta get all the juice out of the squeeze. And these two ideas seem to be struggling to co-exist.

I sure could use some help unpacking this if anyone has any insight or wisdom.

3 comments posted: Monday, June 6th, 2022

Kidney Stones - Any experiences?

I think I’ve got another stone…all the characteristics just not officially diagnosed. Every previous time it has landed me immediately in the hospital…so I don’t have any actual experience with *passing* one (surgical removal - always get stuck in ureters).

So far I’m able to manage the pain of this one at home. Fingers crossed because I have really crappy health insurance right now. I had one really bad night…but it’s been manageable since then. Now more colicky and just a whole lot of pressure.

Any advice to maybe speed this along (other than pounding the water)? Any experiences that you can share to maybe help me figure out where I am in the process?

As always guys - thank you! ❤️

5 comments posted: Monday, March 21st, 2022

Can I tell you guys something? - Vent

My first XH (not the WXh - geesh!) is dead and I’m glad.

That doesn’t fit the given PC - especially given that he had a mental illness. But I don’t fucking care. I’m sorry that he’s the BIOLOGICAL father of my children…I’m sorry that I chose so poorly in that aspect (and my kids are fabulous grown adults, btw). But other than that, I finally have slept soundly…and if that required him dying then so be it.

I ran into an old schoolmate tonight…and he brought up how sad all that was. Yeah? I’m fucking glad. But there’s no place for me to say that….now that he up and died. He’ll go down as "unfortunate". Forever memorialized as all that *could* have been. (Cracked out on heroine and his body left/not found for three months behind an old business building - how fucking sad, right?)

Here’s what it really was. He terrorized me. Caught between saving myself…and trying to pick the best outcome/situation for my children. You want to know what’s really unfortunate?? My kids went to school and activities where they had a "safe word" in the event that anyone tried to pick them up unexpectedly. My elderly parents were terrorized for years with the X’s 2am phone call death threats. My dad got a concealed carry permit when he was 70 because of that. You wonder why I fell off the map…why you never saw me at school reunions? I spent years in hiding. I signed papers that never allowed my kids’ names or pictures to be published in school events. I woke up disoriented from nightmares in the middle of the night…afraid to look at the sleeping sounds of my new H for fear that HE was what I had dreamt.

I lost fucking years of my life because of what he was, what all he did. And I don’t give two shits that he’s not still here to carry that out. But I have to nod my head and agree, yes…it’s such a shame. But the shame is not what everybody else thinks it is.

You know…sometimes when you don’t know all of it, you need to just shut up.

9 comments posted: Thursday, March 10th, 2022

I have a new man in my life!

So…this last month I finally decided to get online and do a little "shopping around". It wasn’t the first time I had looked, in fact had been considering it ever since my marriage ended; I just couldn’t seem to make myself get serious about it. I’ve surprisingly realized that I’m quite happy on my own…but there were just some aspects I was still missing - one in particular.

Admittedly, his description acknowledged that he had some imperfections…didn’t say a lot about them, pretty vague actually. But given the stated conditions, I wasn’t expected to make any kind of commitment on the front end. He was more than happy to let me take it slow the first few months to see how I felt about him.

When I finally met him in person, he was perfect! Those acknowledged imperfections were so small, had been way overstated. I think it was mostly based on how someone in his prior relationship had described him…maybe someone that didn’t really understand his worth. Nonetheless, he’s strong and handsome…and as a plus, he’s a beast in my kitchen (in a good way). It took me a little while to work through some of the initial challenges, figure out some of his minutia, but as I do, the relationship just continues to get better and better. I love him more and more with each passing day. And my friends and family think he is awesome too! He’s already most definitely a keeper!

And that one particular thing that I had been missing? OMG…he makes the BEST cup of java I have ever had. It’s ecstasy every morning…and sometimes even again later in the day. blush I held on for years with the EX because he was always so good about making me coffee each morning. If only I had known how much better was out there!

He originates from Breville and identifies as a BES870XL and I found him in the warehouse deals section on a well known online site. The only problem I have now is - and why I am posting - I just need a pet name for him.

Any suggestions? smile

11 comments posted: Monday, January 10th, 2022

I’m happy.

Just passed the 5 year mark on XWH walking out. I had given up on happiness ever coming. There’s also been a lot of other personal loss in that time. I sometimes just didn’t even know exactly what I was grieving. The heaviness just felt like it would never ever lift.

And yet somehow it quietly has. And what has been left is just a quiet, steady contentment. It’s actually better than happiness…more consistent.

I haven’t dated…actually have no desire. I honestly like having my own space and I’m not sure now that I’ll ever give that up again. Drama goes on all around me - some drummed up, much of it just life. At the end of the day, I close my blinds and all is calm in my own personal life. I am so very thankful for that.

For a long time I just seemed to not care about anything. It scared me…but I also thought maybe it was just a means by which my body and mind protected me. Sometimes though, I honestly wondered if I was just somehow broken. That’s still present but I’ve also learned now how to appreciate it…perhaps I’ve just recalibrated my emotional compass.🤷🏻‍♀️ Stuff just moves through me now…it comes and it goes. And I guess maybe I’ve learned how not to attach to anything. I just enjoy what I can because I’ve come to see that no matter what it is, there is something about it I always won’t like…But there’s also some aspect of it that I will miss once it’s gone. So I’ve learned how to look for that piece and focus on that instead. It’s truly changing my whole life. I’m so thankful for the experiences in my life that have brought this perspective.

I don’t really know why I’m posting. Maybe just to say, hey…I think I made it. Even if it took me 16 years in total to get here. Would it have happened anyway…without traveling this shitty path I did? I have no idea…and I don’t care. I’m here now and it is fabulous. ❤️

7 comments posted: Friday, December 3rd, 2021

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