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Wayward Side :
Failing at humaning


 Copec (original poster new member #79885) posted at 6:39 AM on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

I sometimes wonder how I ever made it this far in life. How does someone that has no boundaries, lack of self love, non existent communication skills (with the relationships that matter most like my marriage), always has to be a martyr, expects perfectionism, is unable to determine what reasonable thoughts are and what unreasonable thought are, etc etc, manages to make it this far in life. I obviously failed miserably as I had an affair, but I often wonder if it’s better for everyone if I am never in a relationship again. I have no "humaning" skills. I screw everything up. I don’t even know how to tell if when I fight with my husband whether I have valid feelings, thoughts, or emotions cause I assume he’s always right and I’m the crazy person who doesn’t know anything about anything. My poor communication skills are the cause of every issue. I can’t tell if he’s being unreasonable in fights, I just assume it’s all me. What is wrong with me? Has anyone ever felt this way and where I do I even start to learn how to be a human? Since I ended my affair almost 2 years ago, I’ve been trying to figure things out. And get these days where I feel hopeless. Like I’m a lost cause and I just need to be dumped on the side of the road and left for dead cause I’m not helping anyone. I guess I am helping my kids cause I love them so much and am doing my best to give them the loving, caring, open, emotion feeling, communicating relationship with me that I never had from my mom and dad. And I am in healthcare and I know I take care of my patients so well. But for the life of me, cannot figure out how to prioritize myself, set boundaries, not over analyze. Am I just better off alone so I don’t bring anyone into my mess of complete lack of humaning skills. I get so upset when someone gets upset with me, particularly my husband. Like I’m a failure. I’m constantly reading and trying to make sense of who I am. Any recommendations on books for creating boundaries, highly empathetic people, learning proper communication in conflict. Anything will help. I need to keep learning otherwise I feel like I will implode.

WS/mad hatter-8 months post DDay.

posts: 20   ·   registered: Feb. 4th, 2022
id 8719700

foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 3:10 PM on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

I'm sure there are easier ways to go about it, less damaging as a whole. I'm sure there are ways that I still can't imagine how its even achievable without some kind of catalyst behind it. But, there is nothing quite like a dday to shine a light on all the dark places within us that we now cannot "successfully" compartimentalize. I think what you are feeling and experiencing is normal when faced with yourself like never before.

Not to mention, experiencing a dday... the thought of going back to mine just now typing this out gave me a tinge of anxiety. Because I mean, it is an explosion of massive feelings and not the nice ones. It only adds to the atmosphere of chaos.

We tend to (or at least I did) get all up in our catastrophic feels. And when we think nothing is going our way or we are will never amount to anything, then that is the stage we set and we will continue to walk down that path. We are what we think.

And here's the thing, you don't have to take on yourself in one big lump. That's frightening to even think about. I do not suggest that. That's a surefire way to burnout and self sabotage.

But you do need to start somewhere. You want to think about it as if you are laying your new foundation. What we build ourselves with matters if we want it to be sustainable and long lasting. I don’t want to discourage you from integrating new concepts like communication skills and what not.

But most things we would like to see in ourselves is born from rudimentary or fundamental core issues, same as the things we want to change. Setting boundaries is great and something you should strive for, but if you don't have your worth built up, I imagine your boundaries will crumble under pressure.

As shitty as it was, I saw an opportunity in dday. Again, nothing quite like a dday to strip you down and expose your worst. It was the most vulnerable I've ever felt, but I saw this chance to adorn myself anew. We are at ground zero and I know its hard to see the horizon but its there. Endless opportunities if you allow for it and make room for it.

It starts with thought, and as the saying goes, thoughts turn into words, words turn into action, actions turn into habits, and your habits define your character.

I ended up working somewhat backwards, at first anyway, because I put thought into my character as it stood (ew) I looked at my habits and realized I need new ones. My words weren't the best (especially regarding myself) , and that landed me on my thoughts/though process. Then I started working forwards. I was full to the brim of negative thinking. Like always. I started paying attention and jesus 🥴 I'm not sure I ever said anything nice about myself. Especially too after dday with the shameful feelings and spiraling of any and all emotions.

But anyway, with said. Some of my favorites book starting out were the following,

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life - Jen Sincero

F*ck Feelings - Michael Bennet and Sarah Bennett

Codependent No More - Melody Beattie

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck - Mark Manson

How Could You Do That?! - by Laura C Schlessinger

posts: 2580   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8719745

MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 3:53 PM on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

Hi copec,

I can sooooo relate to where you are right now. I beat myself up all the time. This week was like, "this shame spiral brought to you by your failure to perfectly mother your children!" *infomercial voice*

I read codependent no more amd it was a great help in detaching myself from the external validation of others. I have seen a difference between how I used to be desperate for external validation to feel like I was even allowed to exist. I still have a need for positivity from my BH, but I can seperate the natural desire to be valued by those closest to me from the need to justify my existence.

Still though, its not enough to remove the unhealthy attacment and reliance on others for my own value. I have to be able to build myself up internally too. I am Catholic, so I tend to use stuff from the Bible. Dont think of the following as me preaching, its more me trying to get a handle on the situation. And its ash wednesday, so theres that too 😁 Anyway, Jesus talked about cleaning a house of bad spirits (memories, ghosts, skeletons in closets). He said it wasnt enough to clear out the house, if it remained empty, all that nastiness would only come back and fill the empty space. He said you had to back fill it with what was good, pure and right. Otherwise you will only be right back where you started.

Mentally, I feel like I keep fighting to clear out my inner demons, but they keep coming back. I am stuck. I cant fill up the emptiness with goodness and beauty.

I think this lent Im going to focus not on giving up so much as surrendering and allowing God to fill me up with His love. I cant love myself and I cant let Him love me right now. I am afraid that if I dont surrender to Him, I am going to lose myself all over again to my own inner hell.

So yeah, you have been heard. You are deeply understood. Please be kind to yourself. Noone elses kindness can come in until you allow it from yourself first.

Easier said than done laugh

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 656   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8719753

 Copec (original poster new member #79885) posted at 7:09 PM on Thursday, March 3rd, 2022

These messages are so helpful. Thank you for sharing such helpful advice. I am coming to realize that my self love is minimal.

Forever labeled, I love all the book recs and your insights. Thank you so much! I will not attack all of my issues in one lump, great advice.

MIgander, the story of the empty house. It’s perfect and so applicable. Thank you for the caring abs understanding.

WS/mad hatter-8 months post DDay.

posts: 20   ·   registered: Feb. 4th, 2022
id 8719960

DrJekyll ( member #43618) posted at 3:03 AM on Friday, March 4th, 2022

I spent the first 35 years of my life coasting through full of self loathing. I have had these same feelings, where I believed life would be better for all without me. That I only bring pain to those around me. But the truth is the opposite. We bring pain through our affairs. But the self hate and worthlessness are these enemy of healing. One of the things that helped me greatly was when these thoughts would come in, I would repeat "I am worth loving" it is something that you will have to beat into your subconsciousness. Keep your chin up. Humans are the most messed up thing on the planet. smile

A wound can be stitched shut, but it decides when it will heal on its own.

ME: WH HER: BS (holesinmybucket)

I do not PM with Women

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. C.S.Lewis

posts: 1266   ·   registered: Jun. 3rd, 2014   ·   location: Midwest
id 8721022

JBWD ( member #70276) posted at 9:50 PM on Wednesday, April 6th, 2022

A good book to approach the kind of "where to go" dilemmas WS face- "7 Habits of Highly Effective People."
It’s a good way to help try and break down the many areas we think we’d like to (NEED TO!!!) change to become better humans.
My therapist literally hounded me to start this for a month, and then I BURNED through it. I was initially resistant because it reeked of "self-help," but we in fact deserve and should strive for self help.

The foreword did a good job articulating the definition of an "effective" person as integral- Means what she says and does what she means. Living intentionally and in concert with values and beliefs.

It’s a scary place but recognize that you can only go up. Wishing you strength.

Me: WH (Multiple OEA/PA, culminating in 4 month EA/PA. D-Day 20 Oct 2018 41 y/o)Married 14 years Her: BS 37 y/o at D-Day13 y/o son, 10 y/o daughter6 months HB, broken NC, TT Divorced

posts: 913   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2019   ·   location: SoCal
id 8728363

DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 3:04 AM on Thursday, April 7th, 2022

Your story reminds me of a lot of the similar thoughts and struggles I went through. For what it's worth, it took me three years to reach the point where a "switch flipped" and even then (hell, even now) it still takes time, patience, effort and a ton of humility.

Am I just better off alone so I don’t bring anyone into my mess of complete lack of humaning skills.

Probably. At least, that's my answer if you stay where you at now. Like you said yourself, you are still working on figuring out who the hell YOU are. How is someone else supposed to love you if even you don't know or love yourself? How could you love another? Someone with no boundaries and impulse actions sounds like a potentially unsafe person to be around, even in a non-intimate relationship.

To me, you sound as if you are overwhelmed. You listed a lot of things that are causing you angst and hanging over your head. Add to that all the shame and guilt we feel towards ourselves, and it really can feel as if we'd be better off living like a hermit in the mountains, far away from other humans.

But that's not the answer, and you know that. Moreover, you are a mother, and still a wife, a family member, a member of your community, work, even SI... people depend on you and love you, even in your broken state. And some of those people, such as your kids, really do deserve your best.

Here's a question for you. What do you want for your kids? Do you want your kids to grow up and feel the same way you do? Do you want them to lack boundaries? Do you want them to not love or even know themselves? Do you want them to hide away from others and shun things such as love and joy and elation? You are their model. Think about your own FOO and what was missing in your life. You said above that you never got the love, compassion and affection from your parents that you needed, wanted, deserved, and look at the damage it did to you. You can model a broken person to them, or you can model a healthy person. Even a person that is TRYING to be healthier is a better model than what you had as a kid.

You start small. You work up. You break things into pieces. And more than anything, you give yourself permission to fail.

Here are simple ideas of how to start feeling good about yourself. First things first... make a small, easy change that you feel you can keep up, and that you can accomplish. For example, start letting people ahead of you. If someone wants to merge into your lane, slow down and let them in. Hold the door for others. Let the lady with fewer things get ahead of you at the checkout lane. Let your family fill their plates first and then take yours. Move over on the bus. Offer to help clean up.

In doing so, what you are actually doing is thinking of others first, to your own detriment, but on a scale that you can manage, and most of all, feel good about. All of these small actions are a chance for you to do something selfless, and yet still positive. It allows you to be a good person, but not to expect praise or rewards in return. Every single time you take a small action like this, you need to stop and acknowledge it. You did something positive and good. You did something selfless. And more importantly, you've started to establish a pattern of doing small, selfless, good things. When you add up a bunch of small, selfless, good things, what do you get? Someone who does lots of good things. Over time, and this can happen so much faster than you might think, you will find that you are no longer doing these things because it's a conscious choice, rather, it becomes part of who you are. Over time, those actions change how you think, even how you react. Where someone pulling into your lane in traffic may have enraged you before, it now becomes so much less stressful. Doesn't less stress sound nice?

Don't get stuck on who you think you are or even what others tell you that you are. In the same way that it was your choice to have an affair and damn the consequences, now it is time to make a better choice. I'm not saying you need to become Mother Teresa. Just be the person you want to be. When you go to bed each night with the firm knowledge that you didn't lie to anyone today, didn't hurt anyone today, didn't do anything overtly selfish today, did your best at whatever you did and maintained your dignity and self-respect in everything you did... you sleep really well. And when people put you down, instead of crumbling and thinking about what an awful person you are, instead, you can look back at all the decent and meaningful things you've been doing and will continue to do. No one diminishes you when you love yourself.

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: 1269   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8728410
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