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The Return...

ChanceAtLife35 posted 2/2/2021 14:20 PM

Hello SI members,

It has been almost a year since my last post and if I am honest I feel I have let myself down in many ways as I know in my heart this is good for me for my healing, understanding, and gaining the tools to heal from my affairs and all the wounds and shame that I have experienced in my life. Why did I stop posting? I was afraid to be here, afraid to be judged, criticized, seen as anything beyond normal. Thatís in my head, not yours. This is about me and how I view myself. I have never felt safe, or trusted anyone because I didnít feel safe or trusted myself. I recall the last messages I sent to a few of you, and I recall how helpless I sounded, how I ďneededĒ people to save me as usual. So cowardly of me to do. I am responsible for all of my actions that brought me here making every decision that caused unmeasurable hurt and trauma to my BS and DD and DS.

Currently, I am working from home since last March. I am still active in my 12 Step Program, and IC. I have not made contact with any of the APís, but last April I sought attention from co-workers because I was feeling emotions and didnít take the time to sit with it and process what is going on so as negative coping pattern I wanted them to distract me. My BS found out and I spent a night in a hotel. I slept off and on the entire night and I didnít have anyone there. I called in work the next day. Since that time, I have kept communication professional with the co-workers which I havenít seen in person since last March. This place helps me, I know this. The only thing holding me back is me. I need all the help I can get. I am a lot better than I was, and I have learned so much too. I stay home and go out for essentials. I talk to my sponsor daily and avoid anyone that is deemed toxic. I was recently diagnosed with a mental health disorder but I refuse to let the label given to me deter away from whatís deeply going on with me. I am sick of being scared. I need to be a part of this space. I realized the safest space is in my 12 Step meetings that I attend twice a week virtually. I feel comfortable and I open up about so many things good and bad. My sponsor is so brutally honest and supportive and I donít know where I would be without his guidance. I confess, I was in too much shame to be here. One of my counselors recommended I read ďDaring GreatlyĒ by Brene Brown,Ē and I felt like she was talking to me and telling my story. I am ready to have uncomfortable conversations with all of you. I am my worst critic and that has caused so much damage to myself. My thoughts and feelings are always constant and I believed the negative ones and I realize now they are not true. I am good enough, I am capable, and I can change. I have caused so much hurt and pain to my family and those closest to me. I canít keep focusing on people liking me or giving me stability or my identify. I wanted all my APís to love, care, listen to me, not judge or criticize or me, or have me talk about my feelings. Well the truth is all those things are my responsibility to give to me.

As much as I avoided coming here, I felt immense guilt knowing I was letting myself down and hindering my healing with myself and my family. My Aís are on me, no one else. I had no right to put any blame on my BS. There is no point in me running and hiding anymore. I take any advice at this point. Spend all the time I need here. I wonder how you are doing too. I donít know what the future holds and donít care to know. To be present is the most important thing now.

I also watch a ton of documentaries that help with psychological issues and infidelity. I meditate and walk and journal any chance I get. However, being here will get my further then where I am. I am better emotionally and mentally but I have a ways to go and thatís okay. I am not alone and we are in this together. I apologize for not being active on here and I know being here is worth another chance at life.

foreverlabeled posted 2/2/2021 14:39 PM

Welcome back Chance **big hugs** its good to see you.

I don't have much to offer in response to your post. But if there is one thing I know to be true here at SI its that we will hold your feet to the fire. It will be completely opposite of what you seek in people, so you are in the right place 😉

SI is an amazing tool to help us get our shit together, so I suppose I have a question for you.

What is going to be different this time for you here? I think its great that you have stepped out of the shame that has been holding you hostage. Whatever it is you are back for I hope you achieve it

I am ready to have uncomfortable conversations with all of you.
†I like your attitude!

ChanceAtLife35 posted 2/2/2021 20:52 PM

Hi FL!

It's so good to hear from you. I appreciate your kind and thoughtful words and huge ***hugs*** to you too. What's going to be different? Not going to run and hide and sit in my corner of shame like i always have. I have learned enough and faced enough to know that what i have been doing is never going to give me the results i want. Ever. I am miserable to be quite honest and the feelings of disconnectedness and not confronting my feelings just kept gnawing at me every single day. I have the support i need and now i can use this site to aid me in my recovery. I have to count on me now for once. No one can ever fix what is broken with me. And then there are the 3 people that are still in my life that mean the world to me. And to show up for myself because i have lived my life out of fear and trying to be whatever i thought people wanted me to be. I have changed in many ways and that's giving me hope to finally get back on here.

Username123 posted 2/2/2021 22:56 PM


Do you answer all of your BS questions without being defensive, evasive or starting a fight?

Do you answer all of his questions with 100 percent honesty ?

Have you read "How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" by Linda J. MacDonald ? This is the Bible for WS.

Username123 posted 2/2/2021 22:56 PM


Do you answer all of your BS questions without being defensive, evasive or starting a fight?

Do you answer all of his questions with 100 percent honesty ?

Have you read "How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" by Linda J. MacDonald ? This is the Bible for WS.

Lalagirl posted 2/3/2021 05:27 AM

Welcome back, ChanceAtLife - it is very brave of you to begin this step in your journey.

ChanceAtLife35 posted 2/3/2021 20:03 PM


In the beginning post D-day and several months later, i did every worse thing possible a Wayward could do when it came to affair details and recovery. Minimize, justify, excuse, lie, TT, get defensive, victimize, relapse, broke NC, self-harm, you name it. I was afraid of being left, rather protect my feelings, and didn't want to face anything that i had done. Even though i saw my BS(SSM btw) go through the most horrific trauma, i was ice cold about everything still stuck in the A fog and fantasy of the A. BS has done a ton work and has healed tremendously, but i can't help but see how selfish and cowardly i was to let her sit in all of it for so long. I did buy the book you mentioned and many others, got in IC(active), and SLAA(active) to heal myself and aid us in recovery.
Now when i am asked questions, i answer them with details and with honesty, but i do struggle with empathy and being there emotionally, but it is no where near as bad as it was. For example and i need advice on this, BS asked how would you feel if you ran into the AP? There were other AP's with the last one was a LTA that exposed this horrible life that i was living. I have not seen any of the AP's and the last one since over two years. AP lives less than 15 minutes away and it's a small small world where we live and there were people that knew about the A that we could also run into, but we haven't. I told her i would feel anxious and very vigilant and i would call her first and let her know and do everything to get away no matter where i am not trying to get the AP's attention in any way. Stay on the phone and just be there for BS in those moments. I said i would call my sponsor too. I honestly want nothing to do with any of these people anymore and i see the AP's for who they are. I also want to support my BS too if she were to ever run into them.
My questions are what advice to do you have if either one of us run into the AP? I do feel anxious every time i go somewhere because we go to some of the same places i even took the AP to some of my BS's favorite places. We don't go anywhere now because of COVID, but how do we prepare once everything is back to normal?

@lalagirl, thank you so much! I am grateful to be back to start this journey again for the better.

foreverlabeled posted 2/4/2021 07:39 AM

Oof. I'm sitting here trying to imagine that scenario and I wish I could say I feel confident and stoic, fully prepared. But like you all it does is give me anxiety.

One of the last places BH and I went together, we saw the APs vehicle. We knew he was there, it was a very large complex and never did run into him but just seeing the vehicle filled me with panic. I certainly didn't have a real plan for myself, I just thought I would know what I'd do. I guess my issue was thinking that would never happen. So with that said I may not be the best one to offer advice here, ha.

My initial thought just having put myself in that frame of mind though would be to own that anxiety. Maybe do an exercise so to say where you keep putting yourself in these scenarios and each time deal with those uncomfortable feelings until they are desensitized. At least in thought of running into AP. Work past the initial feelings and I think it will open up to more grounded ones. You can think better that way.

I'm not entirely convinced one can fully prepared because emotions can be the wild card. Throwing a kink into the plan. I do believe your plan is pretty solid. But then AP could also be a wild card. Have you considered what would happen if she tried to approached you? Because (just trying to recall what I've learned about her) its a possibility. Especially if you are alone. Maybe carry some pepper spray

It sounds like you are miles ahead from where you started being there for your BS. If she were to run into AP I suppose the best thing would be to just be there for her. Support her and show lots of compassion and understanding for what ever emotions present themselves. Its tough. Going back to my close call, we knew it was a possibility to see AP there. In fact I was there with AP the night before dday. So it was all kinds of trigger for BH.

We made a plan and it was for me to point AP out and make sure I had bail money for BH if it came to that. Not even kidding that was the plan. He was going to confront the guy. What was I supposed to do other than support BH? I didn't like it but I was going to back him up anyway I needed to. The whole night was one big trigger for him. I felt terrible. I held his hand and tried to be a comfort. I didn't once leave his side. He let me and I was thankful, seeing how it was all my fault.

I checked in for days after to reinforce that I was sorry and there for him. Thats really all you could do too in that situation. I guess the one thing I didn't do was ask him what he needed from me, I just assumed. So maybe too ask your BS how she thinks she'll need you, and god forbid its her comes to be her reality, ask how she needs you after.

fooled13years posted 2/4/2021 08:35 AM

CAL35, I am a FBH
You stated

I was afraid to be here, afraid to be judged, criticized, seen as anything beyond normal
You are aware that this is a community of people who have either betrayed their spouse or had been betrayed by their spouse right?
This is about me and how I view myself
Most people I know are their own worst critic because while a person might be able to hide something from their spouse, family and friends they cannot hide anything from themselves.
I have never felt safe, or trusted anyone because I didnít feel safe or trusted myself
Is/was this because of what you did or what someone did to you?

JoshQ posted 2/4/2021 15:53 PM

I'm glad you have decided to return. I have only begun here a week or so ago, and I am finding this to be beneficial as I read and respond to atleast one post daily. The encouragement and sense of community is uplifting. I wish you the best in your relationship and in your . The difficulties that we carry many will not understand as a lot of our behaviors stem from our childhood. In my case, I deal with wanting attention and wanting approval from people, especially women because growing up my brother was far more attractive than me physically and socially. Acknowledging this and understanding my behaviors and reactions has allowed me on several occasions in the past week to reach out to those who I know can help me which has saved me from doing wrong to my wife once again.

ChanceAtLife35 posted 2/4/2021 19:05 PM

@FL, you said a lot of things that i felt in the moments when BS asked me the question and honestly even with the "plan" that was said, i feel there is no true way too prepare for what would happen in those moments. I know one thing for sure, i am not going to entertain anything AP has to offer. I feel anxiety just typing in these moments, but i really do feel with the progress i have made i will be able to handle the situation even if at that moment i am not in the best of moods. HAHA on the pepper spray, i always wanted one so i might take you up on that idea. Sorry to hear and thanks for sharing the experience about seeing AP's vehicle at the apartments. That have to have been a nail biting full panic mode situation. I am glad you didn't see AP and that's amazing of you to support your BS in those moments. To be fair, my BS feels that if she ever saw AP again, it might not be pretty(she actually already beat the AP pretty damn good shortly after D-Day). I wasn't there but she showed me a video of it's was scary to see her in those moments because that is totally out of her character and she blacked out the whole time). Fortunatley, she didn't get arrested or anything but it's sad that she had to go through a painful experience because of my horrible actions. I just feel again it's one of those situations where you just really won't know how to react until it happens. I will take your advice on being there and supporting her any way i can.

@fooled13years, Yes i am aware of the community here, but this is how i feel in general. I honestly never had a sense of identity(still finding it) and suffer from low self-esteem and confidence, and never felt i belonged. I experienced a lot of trauma and i was taught to box up my feelings among other things related to FOO issues. I just wore a lot of masks and did anything to the point of using my body for love, to feel wanted, to feel validated, for approval, to feel good. I have done a lot of work on myself so i am grateful i am healing the layers of all of this. I never trusted people because of how i was neglected as a child even experienced sexual abuse so trusting people didn't come normal to me. I was also told to walk whatever walk my parents told me too. Anytime i tried to "be" myself, i was put down and felt not good enough because of it. I know once i heal all of this, i will come out of it stronger and comfortable with myself.

@JoshQ, thank you for your kind and thoughtful words and i am so happy you found SI and seeking and getting the help you need. I notice how active you are on here and i think that is so courageous of you to do whatever it takes to get the help you need and support those you have hurt. Most importantly too, help you too. And i agree, a lot of my issues root from childhood and i too am working though them and getting down to the root causes so i can heal and build myself up. I wish you the best of luck on your journey and i want to tell you that you are worth it!

[This message edited by ChanceAtLife35 at 7:16 PM, February 4th (Thursday)]

Kate88 posted 2/6/2021 19:24 PM

BS here.

Unrelated to me being a BS, I think that self-esteem is really necessary in life to be a good person.

Maybe because if you have self-esteem you feel worthy of a good life with valuable things in it.

Maybe because if you have good self-esteem you want to maintain it by not behaving in ways that make you ashamed of yourself.

Maybe because if you have good self-esteem you feel like you can handle a bit of criticism or self-exploration so you're more likely to grow and evolve.

Maybe because if you have good self-esteem you are more likely to have empathy for others.

Maybe because if you have good self-esteem your less willing to trade your integrity for a cheap thrill (whether infidelity or otherwise).

I am a BS, but I have read most of the wayward forum and I have also listen to my WB a lot and low self-esteem seems to be a running thread. Not feeling good enough, not feeling worthy, not having a lot of courage to face up to the reality of how flawed we all are.

I was afraid to be here, afraid to be judged, criticized, seen as anything beyond normal

I think this is probably the root of most unhappiness and "bad decisions". No one is perfect and very few people are just "bad people". We just grow into versions of ourselves that are sometimes off course for the kind of person we want to be.

Shame can be toxic, and shame can cause people to hurt other, thus creating a viscous cycle of shame.

I think a brave step is to find the courage to be judged and to be criticised and to see it as a tool to get to a place where you're properly happy with who you are.

You are worth it, we all are. Whichever side of this equation we are on. I think when you love yourself it's a lot easier to love other people better.

I wanted all my APís to love, care, listen to me, not judge or criticize or me, or have me talk about my feelings. Well the truth is all those things are my responsibility to give to me.

The fact that you know this shows the light is shining on you, because I think this is basically the reason most people have affairs. They're just looking for something they don't know how to ask for, or maybe that they don't even know they need. They make terrible choices, yes, but I think they make those choices from within a schema of really not loving themselves that much (or knowing how to).

I am sick of being scared

This is wonderful. Being scared is human, and it's also a complete waste of time. Fear is the total opposite of joy and love. And I think regardless of who we are or what circumstances we got dealt that really love and joy were meant for us.

Courage to decide it's just not worth being scared anymore is a wonderful thing. I wish you the best on your journey.

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