Still healing, but no longer a broken mess
Hi, it's been a little while since I last posted and I wanted to update everyone on how I'm doing.
As the title of my post says, although it's just short of 3 months since D-Day(or Shatterday as I sometimes refer to it), I am proud to say my healing continues to progress. It has truly helped that I have remained faithful to zero contact. I have purged my living space of everything of his, and I now no longer feel his energy. I have gotten used to my new routines and continue to practice daily meditation and self-affirmations(if you haven't delved into this, it's a little strange at first, but with daily repetition it really makes a difference.)
I can't say I don't think about him anymore, or at times feel low,I still do, but I don't have those mind movies I had in the very beginning.
One thing I haven't done yet, is write a goodbye letter. I feel like I am ready to do that now.
I am going to post this now on the "Stay no contact, post here" thread, so feel free to read this.(And yes, as the thread states, this letter is for my eyes, and the site members' eyes only.)
4 comments posted: Wednesday, May 24th, 2023
I'm less of a broken mess
Hi, it's been a while. I last posted that I felt like I was falling apart, but since that time, I think I've started to turn a corner. It hasn't even been two months since DDay, but with each passing day it has been getting a little bit better.
I had really been struggling with no contact, but I steeled myself, and I'm proud to say I have NOT caved in.
What's truly helping is a coaching program I joined in late March, and one of the things that they teach is decluttering. Physical, mental, and digital. I still have pictures of him on my phone, and I'm not ready to delete them altogether, but what I will do is get a thumbdrive, download those pictures and videos to this, and wipe them from my phone. I will put the thumbdrive away out of reach, or maybe give it to someone I trust to keep it, and allow myself the time to decide if somewhere down the road I want to keep them, or get rid of them. Physical decluttering-I'm making a pile of things of his to bring to the Rescue Mission. Mental decluttering is more challenging, but I'm constantly practicing. I'm doing daily meditations and occasional nighttime hypnosis right before I fall asleep.
The counselor I saw a few times did end up ghosting me, but I decided I don't need him. I talk to my psychiatrist every week and he checks in to make sure I have enough medications, and if needed, he would change something. I don't think I need to change anything, though.
I'm eating better, staying hydrated, and sleeping much better at night.
I realize it's still going to take a long time to fully heal, and I know there will be triggers that may catch me by surprise and it may appear I'm going backwards(the rollercoaster ride is real), but the things I am doing to help myself are proving to be tremendously life-saving.
Looking back on this relationship, I am 100% convinced I was entangled with a covert narcissist. The betrayal, the lying, and the cheating was NOT my fault. When I am ready to be out there again and start dating, I now have a wealth of knowledge about the narcissistic abuse cycle and how to catch the red flags quickly. Or-if I don't find my person(but I think I will : ) ), I am truly learning the most important person to love, and that is me.
7 comments posted: Thursday, April 27th, 2023
I'm a broken mess part 3. I feel like I'm falling apart
So I'm back again. I was going along this week, feeling a little more like myself, when all of a sudden this afternoon, putting down mulch around muddy areas of the yard triggered a breakdown of sorts, I don't know why. I literally felt like my heart was being ripped to shreds.
I can't stop thinking about what he did, I can't! Everytime I try to distract myself, it's like my brain wants to hit replay on the day I found out, the enormity of the lies and betrayal, the thought that he is probably just going to pick himself up and find someone new without a care in the world, while I am literally destroyed. He took EVERYTHING from me! The relationship I thought was being cultivated, the future I envisioned, it's all completely shattered.
It is taking every bit of strength I have not to contact him. In my head I have entire conversations with him,telling him exactly what he did to me. (Please keep telling me not to contact him!I haven't had any contact with him since the day I found out, March 7. )
The counselor I am seeing right now is ghosting me too. I'd like to drop him as well. He may not help me anyway, I think I need someone more specific to what I'm going through(someone with expertise in betrayal trauma?).
I think I need to stay with counseling for a long time, too. I have to get to the bottom of why it is I attract narcissists into my life if I'm ever going to find peace within myself.
5 comments posted: Thursday, April 13th, 2023
I’m a broken mess Part 2
I first posted two weeks ago re: finding out about my significant other’s betrayal(10 year relationship).
Because I now think of this as my safe place, I feel like I can write here what I am not saying to anyone in my family, to my new counselor through my EAP, or my psychiatrist.
I thought I was doing okay last week, but two times during work I had the "shakes" and weepiness.
I had that again this afternoon. I have been working since the day I found out, and I thought it would help distract me, but my concentration is tanked and I’m making small, stupid mistakes.I am having very dark thoughts, including that it would be easier to go to sleep and never wake up again. (these are just thoughts. I made a promise to my psychiatrist, who I’ve been seeing for 11 years, that I would call him first if I ever felt that I had a plan).
I haven’t been with my job long enough to accumulate enough PTO and can’t afford to go out on leave, but what can I do? I don’t want to just sit around and do nothing, but on the other hand I don’t want my job performance to suffer.
Is this something I should tell my boss?
I don’t feel comfortable continuing to talk about it with my family. I don’t feel like they have the patience to deal with my "silly little problem" when they have their own problems. I live with my elderly mother, as I mentioned before, but I’m careful what I say around her as I think she might just snap at me and tell me to get over it, he betrayed me the first time, so just deal with it.
I also feel guilty when I hear news about shootings or some other tragedy, and there are worse things.
20 comments posted: Tuesday, March 28th, 2023
I'm a broken mess
I'm a new member in the club nobody wants to be in. Bear with me, I'm part of the walking wounded and this is my story:
I have been in a serious long-term relationship with my boyfriend for 10 years. Six months into dating, there was another betrayal, not cheating and not a break-up, but something happened(I don't feel that I can talk about it here, but just know, it was really bad.) He was so remorseful and seemed so genuine at the time, I really believed it was all due to a miscommunication, amd I let him back into my life. Our relationship continued to grow for 10 more years.
D-Day was March 7, 2023. It was the second day of my workweek, so I was busily plugging away. The night before, a notification appeared on Facebook messenger that someone was trying to send me a message. I initially ignored it because I've gotten these messages in the past from hackers. During the next afternoon though, when I was taking a lunch break, something made me take a look at the message and I couldn't make heads or tails of what I was seeing. A woman had contacted me to tell me she had met my boyfriend back in July 2022 and had not been aware of me until the past Sunday(I think it was March 5). She wanted to tell me she was devastated as she didn't know about me, had been struggling with reaching out to me, but felt that I should know "about finding out he was a pathological liar and opportunist." My first reaction was one of disbelief, this had to be someone who was just a whacko who had some prior connection to him. I felt sure my boyfriend would tell me he had no idea who in the world this was either, I was that trusting. When I called him, he didn't answer, so I texted him to call me as I had gotten a disturbing message. When he texted me back asking me if I wanted him to see me to talk about it, my heart literally sank all the way from my chest to the floor of the car. I called him back immediately and this time he answered. I went right into asking who this woman was. He repeated he wanted to sit down with me, and I told him no, he was going to tell me now! He finally admitted to meeting up with her. I had to push him to get the truth out, asking, you met her and then what? He had trouble answering so I continued to push. You met her and then what? Did you do more? He said he did more. I finally came right out, and said, did you sleep with her? He said yes. My heart started beating a million miles a minute and I just started shaking. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, it was like suddenly I had tunnel vision and a loud roaring in my ears. Then he started in with the excuses, telling me how he had thought I had broken up with him last July. The story with that: half of my family was going on a cruise this April 2023, which I was reluctant to tell him about right away, and he found out during my mother's 80th birthday dinner. I pulled him aside that night and told him I was sorry I didn't tell him right away, explaining that he wasn't being excluded, most of my family was actually not going on this cruise as well as him. He had also been okay 4 years ago when my mother and I went on a vacation by ourselves. Also, the two of us were actually going on a cruise in a couple of weeks ourselves. After we talked, he seemed to accept this, and everything went on seemingly normal. We did go on our cruise and had a wonderful time. During no time from then on was there any indication of a problem.
Back to March 7. I don't remember the drive back home.And somehow or other, I managed to show up for work the next day, and the next. I told myself I would not wallow in self-pity. But on the inside I am screaming. I honestly feel like I'm going crazy at times. I have been scouring the internet in between working and when I'm at home, looking up every article on infidelity, even digging to see if he is on secret dating profiles. Nobody would suspect I am a functioning human being, but at my very core I am wretched. It feels like a million tiny knives are sticking into my heart. I go back and forth between being grateful that the other woman reached out to me, she was an unsuspecting victim herself,telling me she had been cheated on 10 years ago by her ex-husband who had an affair when she was giving birth to their first child and had no desire after just getting into the dating world to be "the other woman", to hating her and ruminating over and over just how many times the two of them dated, how many times were they in bed together, when my boyfriend was with me, was he secretly texting her, just every scenario you can think of. What adds to the mess is he and my brother had become very close friends over the past few years. My brother is stepping back right now to process everything. Right now he is away on business, but indicated to me that when he returns and is ready, he will "deal" with him."(No, not beat him up-my brother is not like that!) The unspoken implication is, he will break all contact with him. For my sake. Because his(as well as my whole family's) strict loyalty is to me.
This man was with me every holiday, has sat down with my family, was friends not only with my brother, but my sisters as well, and I don't know how he had the audacity to look them in the eyes when he was betraying me behind their backs. He gave me some story on the phone March 7, again how he had thought back in July for the trip he wasn't included in, that we had broken up, he loves me, but we should have been married by now, I was starting to see him less and less(this has been true for a few months, but I just started a new job while working on the side for my previous job, and I was exhausted all of the time, in between trying to be there for my mother. I also had some real upheavals in the past three years, being laid off from a job I had for 15 years, then 4 days after that my father dying, changing jobs a couple of time until I found the right fit, and my mother's aging process.)
My sister-in-law said a few days after March 7, he reached out to her, telling her he made a "terrible mistake, and I would never trust him again." I almost felt like laughing. He "loves" me, yet the minute a problem came up in our relationship, he made the conscious decision to go out and seek another woman claiming he "thought I had broken up with him." I also wonder if EVERYTHING in our relationship was a lie. Was he seeing others? If so, how many? What else besides infidelity was he keeping from me? There are also the practical things to consider, like did he expose me to a potential STI or STD? My feelings are going up and down like a rollercoaster. One moment I feel calm, then the next suddenly I'm shaking and feeling like I'm going to throw up. It got so bad yesterday that after lunch at work I called my manager to let her know I wasn't feeling well.(She is a very nice person, and said not to worry, just go home and rest.)I am so full of anger, sadness, disappointment, you name it. The proverbial knife has been stuck in my back. I feel like it was all jokes on me, the trusting fool, and am a sad loser who is now doomed to be alone for the rest of my life.
9 comments posted: Saturday, March 18th, 2023