Newest Member: AcesEights

Wayward Side :
The process of discovering our true "Why's"

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Need2Do ( member #71669) posted at 8:23 PM on Thursday, February 20th, 2020

Daddydom, I realize I am late to the post, but I have a question for you:

I had a lot of bad people do a lot of bad things to me in my life that got me to where I am today, this broken and sad little man. But those people who hurt me, they don't care. They probably don't even remember what they did to me that is still causing me pain and anguish today. So, who owns my abuse now? Them? No. Not them. They don't give a shit. I own it. I'm the only person that is carrying around the pain anymore. Which means I am my own abuser, because no one else is hurting me now, except for me. And I'm done.

How did you get yourself out of the victim mentality? How did you stop sabotaging your life, and stop all this? I ask because I think I am still in the victim mentality myself, and I think it stops me from getting out of the cheater way of thinking and moving into remorse. This is my guess, as i caught myself today thinking like a cheater again during my IC session.

Anything that you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

posts: 57   ·   registered: Sep. 25th, 2019
id 8513043
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 DaddyDom (original poster member #56960) posted at 10:19 PM on Thursday, February 20th, 2020

How did you get yourself out of the victim mentality? How did you stop sabotaging your life, and stop all this?

You ask a good question. It's taken me four long years of therapy, lots of painful self-honesty, and the support (often at great costs to themselves) from my family and others, such as SI, to even get to the point where I am starting to feel the fog actually lifting, and starting to figure out who it is I really am, and want to be.

For me, getting out of that victim mentality involved a few things.

I think the most obvious first step was in realizing that it existed. I honestly never saw myself that way. I thought I was a very giving person. And to be fair, I was, but what I didn't realize was how every interaction in my life had a price tag on it, and that price was attention and affection. I had spent my entire life being someone that everyone would find amazing and wonderful. I just never realized that it was to feed my attention addiction.

Next, I had to understand the root of the problem. Why was I so needy? What did it get me? Why couldn't I do for myself what others did for me? This took therapy. I honestly had to go back and examine parts of my life. I needed to understand where my sense of shame came from. I needed to understand why I felt I mattered so little. I endured a very abusive and neglected childhood, and that put a lot of messages in my brain. Once I was able to go back and understand some of my past from the viewpoint of an adult, it was helpful. I could see that the abusive people in my childhood were really doing the best they could, that they themselves were victims of abuse handed down from their families, and so on. Moreover, I was able (after time, practice and acceptance) to go back and "rewrite the script in my head" about what things happened and why.

For example, my original source of shame turned out to be the time I peed my pants in pre-school as a small child. The teacher called my mother to bring dry clothes. When she got there, rather than telling me that it was okay, that this happens to everyone and to keep my head high, my mother chose instead to make jokes about it with the teacher, in front of the other kids too. It mortified me, and I got the message that I was stupid and worthless for making a mistake. That one small event set me up for a lifetime of hurt. (It's not that simple of course, but you know what I mean.) Any kind of criticism from anyone else, or any kind of insecurity or failure on my part, made my intrinsic value shrink. Over time, it disappeared altogether. I was the fat kid in school, so I was teased and bullied all day. At night, my sadistic brother tortured me, and my narcissistic mother made everything about her, and tied my value to how it made her look and feel.

In therapy, I was able to go back and rethink these moments in my life. I was able to tell myself that wetting my pants was normal, and that it happens to everyone, and that it didn't devalue me in any way. I was able to tell myself that my I didn't have to find my own value in others, that I was just enough on my own. This was so very hard. I'm sure, even reading this now, you might be saying to yourself, "Nah, I don't really love myself and don't see the point of it". That's how I always felt anyway. But it works, and it can be done. At some point you need to get sick of carrying around all that misery and emptiness. You get sick of being a drain on everyone including yourself. And you make the changes you need to make, whether you think you have what it takes to do it or not. When we need to, we find a way.

After years of this soul searching, I finally got to a point where I wasn't scared anymore. I stopped needing my wife to make me feel valuable. I stopped needing anyone to make me feel anything in fact. To be honest with you, I was actually to the point where I was ready to "walk", away from the relationship I mean. The thing about that was, I have never, ever, really walked out of a relationship. I couldn't. That would have left me alone with my victimhood and no one to make me feel better. But through hard work and therapy, I had gotten to the point where I no longer "needed" my wife to make me feel whole. And surprisingly, that's when things got better for us. With the neediness removed, all the selfishness and defensiveness also went away. It opened the door for my wife to feel seen and heard by me again, and to start seeing me as "safer" to be with.

Keep working at it, and don't give up. It takes courage, humility, an open mind, and determination. It also involves a lot of pain and sadness. And you have to accept, 100% accept from the get-go that all this work may not save your relationship at all. But that's not the point of the work. The point is to save yourself, and in doing so, rebalance the rest of your life. While it is no guarantee of saving your marriage, I do think the opposite is true. I think that without this work, there is no way to really R, because until you are able to love yourself, you will never really be safe for anyone to love.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1176   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017   ·   location: Marblehead, MA
id 8513143
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Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 5:04 PM on Sunday, April 5th, 2020

Hi,

Firstly a thanks to Dom for this post. I'm over two years post d-day following a 2 year EA with work colleague. Following initial denial, then refusal to accept I had problems, anger at BW for wanting to help us, stuck in affair fog, more anger, threats by "ME" to leave, more anger at BW for looking on forums....the list goes on. In fact I'm almost a cliche! What every forum tells you not to do..... I did it.

In addition to the EA there were other instances in the marriage where I let my wife and marriage down. these other things I'm currently working on and both trying to understand "the whys" but also stop the continual stream of lies I've been telling her and me for at least 18 months post d-day. Things have been better these last 12 months, but it has been a long hard process for her and me.

Not only did I cheat, I resisted helping, I resisted looking deep into myself and thinking.

This thread is helping.

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs. Two ONS (2000) D-Day's 2003 August '17 and Jan 21

posts: 94   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8529317
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getbusyliving ( new member #71058) posted at 7:53 AM on Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Thank you. I have copied this and some of the other comments and really been digesting this information. It has got me thinking. I believe my WS still needs alot of external validation for work, home, coaching (aka 'attention') and and it makes me question how 'safe' he is, if he doesn't get it. We are 3 years down the track and been working reasonably well on our R but he hasn't done any of the work you describe and dug deep on his 'why'.

posts: 41   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2019
id 8530360
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ViridianBlue ( new member #72844) posted at 3:40 AM on Thursday, April 9th, 2020

Daddydom, thank you for this wonderful post. I’m in the midst of figuring out my whys. I just did this exercise and it pointed me to my childhood. I guess that’s no surprise. One place it brought me to was the need to rescue people, or the thought that I had some control over other people’s actions if I were just “good enough” or tried to be what they needed. My mom suffered from depression and I often tried my best to be the best daughter, hoping that she would feel better. I don’t know exactly how to work through these thought patterns that played a part in my awful decision to step outside of my marriage. Anyhow, thank you for the insights and I will continue to dig.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2020
id 8530668
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HardKnocks ( member #70957) posted at 3:46 PM on Monday, April 13th, 2020

Needed this *immensely* today.

Thank you so much!

BW 30-year marriage.
DDay2 2/20 5 month EA/PA
Recovering

posts: 333   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8531864
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Snowyjune ( new member #72831) posted at 8:14 PM on Friday, April 17th, 2020

Thank you very much for this. It provided a great insight into ways to dig deep.

I especially liked this bit..

finding out the answer to the mystery, but leaving out the all important steps needed to figure out how we arrived at that answer, and how we are sure that's the correct answer to begin with

This really got me thinking.. And ended up with a long long letter to my BH and I'm really just scratching the surface.

Always thought knowing the end result would suffice, and never saw the comfort it provides to BS from the due process.

Thank you for the immense help.

ME: WW
D-day: 23 Aug 2019
5 months of EA/PA
TT for another 4 months
D-day 4: Apr 2020

posts: 46   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2020
id 8533397
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 4:38 PM on Sunday, August 23rd, 2020

Bump for Rose2206

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3509   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8577754
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sundance ( member #72129) posted at 6:29 PM on Sunday, August 23rd, 2020

Keep working at it, and don't give up. It takes courage, humility, an open mind, and determination. It also involves a lot of pain and sadness. And you have to accept, 100% accept from the get-go that all this work may not save your relationship at all. But that's not the point of the work. The point is to save yourself, and in doing so, rebalance the rest of your life. While it is no guarantee of saving your marriage, I do think the opposite is true. I think that without this work, there is no way to really R, because until you are able to love yourself, you will never really be safe for anyone to love.

^ this is also for Rose.

(pay particular attention to the very last line)

Rusty: You scared?
Linus: You suicidal?
Rusty: Only in the morning.

posts: 78   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2019   ·   location: USA
id 8577789
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RandomName ( new member #75313) posted at 10:42 PM on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020

Thank OP, this is what I'm trying to figure out. Thanks for sharing the process, applying now with pen and paper

posts: 27   ·   registered: Sep. 2nd, 2020
id 8582384
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Rose2206 ( member #75050) posted at 12:55 AM on Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

Idk how to tag people on here (if even possible)

But THANK YOU guys for bumping this up and pointing things out for me!

I must say, I am beginning to like myself better for the things I have been/ am doing. (I am aware that there is a LONG road ahead of me but it is a start to see some changes). I started to notice changes in the way I am thinking. I notice when I begin to have selfish thinking and try to stop it as soon as possible (like on my way home from work today. I just wanted to message my BS {who wants currently NC so he can heal}, I noticed I wanted to message him because I miss him.. I miss him so much! - but that would be a selfish thing to do. It is selfish thinking! So, I did not and am not messaging him! I must respect his needs above mine.

It sounds like such a minor thing. But for me to think, wait and then stop and change my thinking/ behavior seems huge.

DaddyDom your posts give me hope that one day I will maybe be able to write like that. I will say that in theory the part of : do it for yourself, regardless of R, makes so much sense!!! I 100% agree with all of it. But in reality... to love myself after what I have done and the fact that I lost my BS due to that makes it seem like self love is impossible at times..

Thank You all on here for your support!

[This message edited by Rose2206 at 7:43 PM, September 2nd (Wednesday)]

posts: 70   ·   registered: Jul. 31st, 2020
id 8582441
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 DaddyDom (original poster member #56960) posted at 2:18 AM on Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

@Rose2206

Sounds like you are on the right track. Forgiving ourselves for what we've done, and learning to actually love ourselves, for ourselves... can be a complete reboot for most people. But you seem to be starting off the right way. I did the same thing... just noticed my thoughts, tried to catch the ones I didn't like and replace them with new, better ones. That's how you start to build a new you, one that reflects your ideals of who you want to be, versus who you are today which was likely defined for you by others in the past.

It must have been a struggle for you to not call your BS. Learning to lean into ourselves instead of relying on others can feel scary and empty. You did a good thing however, by not calling as he requested. And I'll let you know a secret - as much as it hurts when you first start to make changes in yourself, the process of going through the pain is important. It allows your body to process the emotions so that they don't end up "stuck" (PTSD). It will get easier with time and you will get stronger with time, and this work will pay off.

For now, do the work, be honest and vulnerable with your spouse, and keep doing your best to be whoever you want to be.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1176   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017   ·   location: Marblehead, MA
id 8582487
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Rose2206 ( member #75050) posted at 5:45 PM on Friday, September 4th, 2020

@DaddyDom,

thank you!

I went to IC yesterday. I told the therapist that I am struggling to find my "why's" because I struggle seeing them as reasons for my behavior instead of excuses. I do NOT want to make excuses.

He assured me that he is seeing changes within me that reflect that I am not making excuses. He described it as: he is seeing a new strength and humility in me that he had not seen before. (I had not seen this therapist for a few weeks due to his job change and saw someone else in the meantime).

It was a good session. Hard, but good. We talked about the "why's". He helped me to discover a pattern that has been there since my child hood. He guided me down the path of asking why after every step. To dig deeper, very much like you described above with the breakfast example.

Tears started coming up while talking about my childhood. He asked why?.. more details came up. Things I always told myself never mattered. After all, no childhood is perfect right?!.. never did I realize that some things still put me in so much pain that I can still feel it like it was yesterday..

I asked him: How is it that people that went trough a lot in their past and use it as fuel to be wonderful people that would never harm someone? How did I think I was that way?.. he said: well, 1st that the % of people that experience trauma and never work through their own emotions is slim. That people that are able to use it as fuel to be better, are people that do what I am doing now after they experienced trauma. You confront it. But that is hard. And that many people do what I did in mys past.. they distract and they run. Tell themselves it will be okay without ever facing their trauma again. Never talk about it to anybody.

And one day it will come up, because the time we spend running and not talking about what is hurting us, we can not be ourselves. We don;t like it. We do not value ourselves enough to face the truth. To be honest about our own emotions with ourselves..

Here is a question I have.. I want to write down my why's.. I was able to walk through stuff with my counselor verbally. But I am struggling to write it down by myself. It almost feels like a writers block in the sense that I can't seem to organize my thoughts. To find words that would express what I am feeling/ thinking... have you experienced that? Or have any idea how I could overcome this barrier?

[This message edited by Rose2206 at 9:39 PM, September 4th (Friday)]

posts: 70   ·   registered: Jul. 31st, 2020
id 8583459
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NeverTwice ( member #74421) posted at 6:48 PM on Friday, September 4th, 2020

Rose,

I must say, I am beginning to like myself better for the things I have been/ am doing. (I am aware that there is a LONG road ahead of me but it is a start to see some changes). I started to notice changes in the way I am thinking. I notice when I begin to have selfish thinking and try to stop it as soon as possible...

And you have just taken your first baby steps in a wider, honest and accountable world! I can see, under the pain, a good person who lost their way. I also see someone who is coming to terms with the all-too-real consequences.

In other words - I can see your growth. And, now that you have found the right path to tread, go boldly. Bring that wonderful person to front and center. And I have, literally, seen the light bulb go on for you - between this comment and your first post.

The good people here will not steer you wrong. Keep building a better you - just for the sake of being the best 'you' attainable! Pulling hard for you and your SO. But know this - even if the relationship does not survive - you will be a far better person in your future relationships.

"Solid boundaries discourage trespassing." - Shirley Glass

posts: 176   ·   registered: May. 12th, 2020   ·   location: Las Tablas, Panama
id 8583495
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 DaddyDom (original poster member #56960) posted at 7:42 AM on Saturday, September 5th, 2020

@Rose,

Good, it sounds like you had a really good session with your IC. Honestly, he's the best person to talk to about the "writer's block", and it sounds like he's on the right track regarding your past and where the pain is coming from. You know it when you feel it, when the tears up out of nowhere, or anxiety, or anger... some really strong feeling pops up, and you know you've just said something that matters.

I'm not a therapist, but from own experience and study, I've learned that our brains do a lot to protect us from trauma. Putting up roadblocks, to both feelings and memories, is how our brains protect us, which is what I think you are experiencing now. Does your IC do any EMDR work? Many people have found it helpful to deal with trauma. EMDR helps to get those "stuck" feelings and memories "unstuck", in layman's terms.

Learning how to question yourself is a skill you will build up over time. What I will suggest in the meantime is to balance your "Why's" with "Now what's?". Pick something about yourself that needs change, and make a deliberate effort to start focusing on changing that one thing in your life. It is a baby step moment. Don't be too hard on yourself, you can't become a new person overnight.

As an example, I chose to be an honest person. I had told so many lies, lies on top of lies, to cover up my affair. And as I searched my soul, I realized that I had actually always controlled the outcomes by manipulating the truth, even though I had always seen myself as a "disgustingly honest person" before. So I decided that moving forward, I was going to tell the truth, no matter what. "Yes, those pants make your butt look huge.", "No, the check isn't in the mail.", "I'm not actually sick, I just need a day off." What it was, I was going to be honest about it.

You'd think that would be easy. However, it started to dawn on me how often I was less-than-honest or downright-lying, and I often did so without even really thinking about it, and had to "catch" myself and make corrections But that's how it works. Small corrections. Learning to catch yourself making mistakes, and making more small corrections. Over time, and it can happen sooner than you think sometimes, you form new habits. You reprogram the broken crap and replace it with something better.

Hang in there Rose, do the work, and remain humble. Learn to love yourself and you'll be amazed at how much else falls into place.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1176   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017   ·   location: Marblehead, MA
id 8583740
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 9:06 PM on Friday, September 18th, 2020

Bumped for MC64

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3509   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8589160
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Historicalcosts7 ( new member #75362) posted at 5:24 AM on Saturday, September 19th, 2020

This is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you.

posts: 20   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8589303
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foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 6:21 PM on Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

Bump

33 divorced Madhatter
Time is no ones friend, nor their enemy. It moves forward at its own fixed pace, careless of our wants to speed it or slow it.

posts: 2535   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8594210
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Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 4:45 PM on Sunday, November 8th, 2020

Bump. Both for me and those who have not read this before

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs. Two ONS (2000) D-Day's 2003 August '17 and Jan 21

posts: 94   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8606713
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Unhinged ( member #47977) posted at 5:29 PM on Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

(bumped)

Heading towards divorce
D-Day April, 2015

"The Universe is not short on wake-up calls. We're just quick to hit the snooze button."
-Brene Brown

posts: 6362   ·   registered: May. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Colorado
id 8628086
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