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Disgust at affair behavior

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Darkness Falls posted 6/18/2012 16:46 PM

I am so embarrassed by the things I did and how I behaved while I was in the affair. I just cringe when I think of it all. I look back and still can't believe that while I was doing these things, I was OK with acting this way. It is difficult to "live in the present" and tell myself that that's how I was and not how I am. I have a hard time separating the two, because I'm just one person. I still did those things, even if I don't do them anymore. Does anyone else feel this way?

wintergreen posted 6/18/2012 16:52 PM

I just feel like I was on another planet. Still trying to figure out who this person was that was capable of doing something like this. And scared that that actually existed inside me. I think I know how you feel.

Lost333 posted 6/18/2012 17:39 PM

I definitely relate to how you feel. This is not to take away from my responsibility for the A but when I think back to that time I feel as if I was a "zombie"-just going through the motions of my life and feeling extremely numb. It has also been hard for me to comprehend how I could have done something so malicious.

Even though I continue to explore my "whys" and try to piece together the puzzle it still shocks me.

I am also disgusted at my behavior. I think about it constantly. Every morning when I awake it is the first thing I remember. Sometimes I will feel nauseous and other times it will feel like there is this weight on me that will never be lifted.

Disgust, repulsion, shock, disbelief, fear/confusion (who am I?) depression are all feelings I have towards the A and myself.

It is normal but it can be hard to deal with.

What helps me is knowing that every day I am taking action to be a better person. That action may be as small as reading an article, going on SI or validating my BH's feelings. But it is action and the more I take action the less powerless and hopeless I feel.

Yes, that selfish cruelty was a part of me-but it doesn't have to always be.

WarpSpeed posted 6/18/2012 17:44 PM

Your future is more important than your past. You can't unmake the past, but you can build a beautiful future. Sounds like you're working on doing just that.

Best luck

thegooddokta posted 6/18/2012 18:47 PM

Yup. I feel this way too. When BH asks me questions I cringe at my own answers and think to myself " did I really do that? Did I say that?" Its such an awful feeling. It was like being possessed or having a brain tumor. I never would have believed I was capable of being that person....but I was....and at times it even came easy. Scary shit that needs addressing.

bewuzzled posted 6/18/2012 18:50 PM

I just feel like I was on another planet. Still trying to figure out who this person was that was capable of doing something like this. And scared that that actually existed inside me.

Me too.
And it is very difficult to move forward, start to give yourself the validation you thought you needed to get from other people when "this" is in your past. But that's what we are supposed to do to be healthy. We are supposed to believe our mistakes do not have to define us. That we are not bad, we made bad choices. Tall order to fill...

[This message edited by bewuzzled at 6:51 PM, June 18th (Monday)]

Arais posted 6/18/2012 19:17 PM

BS here. I just posted a question about this. It is really scary to think that you all don't recognize yourselves during the A. Isn't this nuts? I see my WH and how much he is suffering and it is tough to understand how he could have made choices that could cause this much pain and shame for himself. Why didn't this feeling kick in at the time? Did anyone here think twice about taking that step into an A? It is strangely good to hear that others are experiencing the same thing as my H because I wasn't sure if I should believe him or not.

helpemegetoverit posted 6/18/2012 19:52 PM

I can totally relate.

And not trying to t/j but:

This is not to take away from my responsibility for the A but when I think back to that time I feel as if I was a "zombie"-just going through the motions of my life and feeling extremely numb. It has also been hard for me to comprehend how I could have done something so malicious.

This completely. I was at a large annual event last weekend. I remember exactly what happened in the day or so before this event last year. I actually remember being at the event, yet not being there if that makes sense. I was a total mess, yet to the outside world except as it turns out my husband I think it was un-noticeable, and this was common after A events for the entire year it happened I think. Last weekend I was chatting with friends, organizing (I help organize this event), etc...and literally after the event I stopped and thought 'whoa, this is SO different from last year.' I can't even explain it, but the conversations with friends I had, they were genuine, I was not distracted, fully present and aware at the event. It was such a good feeling.

So yeah, embarrassment, shock, etc, that was all part of the aftermath of the affair as I had to re-live it and tell my BH (and still now as I have to tell my therapists). I had never been a liar before, never lived a double life like that, never said that kind of stuff to someone other than my husband, never purposefully deceived someone like this, and never been such a mess in my entire life.

I think we all feel this way.

frostian posted 6/18/2012 19:55 PM

Yep I'm so sickened by it. The worst thing I've ever done. I really feel like dying over it most days. It's what I think about 90% of the day. My A was particularly disgusting. The guy was a huge creep, physically abusive, and one incident was non-consensual (though I put myself in that situation and I did go back and I do not in any way make any excuses for what I did). It was acting out on so many sickening issues from my childhood.

PainfullyStupid posted 6/18/2012 22:32 PM

I have talked in depth with my therapist about this exact thing. It is frightening at times to realize how much I betrayed my own core beliefs.
One thing I have realized is that I have a serious problem with compartmentalization. It developed as a defense mechanism when I was younger and is one of the biggest challenges I face.

wintergreen posted 6/19/2012 00:39 AM

One thing I have realized is that I have a serious problem with compartmentalization. It developed as a defense mechanism when I was younger and is one of the biggest challenges I face.

This.

BS wonders sometimes at the fact that I compartmentalize everything so thoroughly, but I finally shared with him what I went through as a kid. It helped him to know where my compartmentalization came from. Not sure if you have shared with your BS your traumatic event as a child, but it might help them feel like they understand you better?

Darkness Falls posted 6/19/2012 07:27 AM

Arais, yes, it is totally nuts. Yes, I thought twice about doing it and still did it anyway. I chose on purpose...even though I knew it was wrong.

The disconnect between "me" in the affair and "me" currently is amazing. The things I did didn't faze me at the time, even though now I look back with total humiliation.

badchoice posted 6/19/2012 15:56 PM

I feel the same way. The issue for me is also compartmentalization.

My BW was reading some of her journals from the time right before, during, and after my A, and my words and actions at that time truly sicken me. I have such a hard time remembering a lot of the details, because A#1 was 14 years ago, but she has it in black and white. I think even then I was trying so hard to compartmentalize my feelings and not be in touch with how much pain I put my wife through back then.

I keep trying to explain to her that I am not doing that this time, that I am not trying to hide myself from experiencing what she is feeling right now.

She looks at me and just asks how could I do all of this if I really love her. She does not understand how I can say that when I was having my As that I only thought about myself, and looking back what what I did really makes me sick. I realize that it is all of my fault, i did those things to the one person in my life who really ever loved or cared for me.

DWBH posted 6/19/2012 17:18 PM

BS here... This might be a bit of of t/j, but kinda ties to the compartmentalization factor. My fWW really struggles to remember many of the details, and even some of the more significant things from her A. While she's ALWAYS had a shitty memory, she also says she's been systematically deleting events from the A, due to her shame, guilt, etc.

Have any other WS done this?

Of course, my gut reaction is to think this is more TT, but now, at this point, I believe she is really just struggling to remember stuff. We have, hopefully, all the "big" stuff out, and now my questions are just getting into specifics. I'm trying really hard to emphasize with her, but it's hard, since I'm OCD, and remember SO much better than she does... hard to grasp that some of these things can just be 'forgotten'.

wintergreen posted 6/19/2012 18:31 PM

@DWBH: Mr Wintergreen's A was a couple years ago and he says he has forgotten a lot of it, the details, etc. Part of covering his tracks and trying to forgive himself, I think.

In my case, it is stunning how much and how quickly I can forget. The desire to purge the thoughts/feelings/etc is very strong and effective. I'm still exploring it in IC but suspect it has to do with preserving the self-image of oneself as a 'good person'... answering the "how do you sleep at night/ live with yourself/etc" line of questioning that I imagine many of us on SI ask and are questioned with.

thegooddokta posted 6/19/2012 18:59 PM

DWBH, I am trying so hard to not think about my AP and the awful things I did, that I think the result is that I am forcing myself to forget many details of my A. I'm not trying to TT or omit info, I genuinely feel like I can't remember stuff so clearly. Its also pretty early and I only recently ended my A, so I'm guessing I am blocking stuff out right now that will eventually come back. Some of this stuff is just too painful to want to remember.

Jems posted 7/17/2012 11:23 AM

I realize this post is a month old, but I just found it. This is something that I think about constantly. BH has brought it to my attention numerous times and it's so difficult for me to deal with. I am a mother, a wife, a teacher, a person full of faith in God. Where did I go for those two weeks? Why didn't I think about my family, my marriage vows, my future? Why, at the very least, did the guilt not stop me? I can only imagine the way BH must feel. As if there's someone else inside of me that was strong enough to overshadow the real me, who was obviously weak. I often look at other people - sometimes friends, sometimes strangers - and think "he/she would NEVER have done what I did! How can I ever completely feel confident in any part of my life again?". It's a devastating feeling.

Faithful w/Love posted 7/17/2012 12:48 PM

I love this these post, as I always wonder why wh does not remember alot that has happened in the last 3 years, things he said, things he did, things he let ow do, he can't ever remember things about us in that time.
What is sad is that I wish so badly that he would feel as you all do but that will not happen, we are seperating now as he told me that he does not love me, he treats me as if I was the one that did this to us.
I want to tell you that as a BS I am very proud of you all for the remarkable job you are doing to figure out yourselfs and the whys. It takes so much courage to do what you all have and try to save your marriage and families.
Bless you all and thank you.

Bobcat5 posted 7/17/2012 15:58 PM

I am uphauled by the way I behaved and the woman I was during my one year AF. I completely disregarded my morals, values and strong beliefs that has been a foundation in my life.I wake up each morning wondering how I behaved that way not feeling guilty for what I have done and who I have hurt. So sad to feel like that.

roccodom posted 7/17/2012 16:30 PM

Don't want to t/j either, but this is enlightening as a BS.

Scarey also.

Have any of you discussed in IC how to handle compartmentalizing so this doesn't happen again? I would imagine it is a habit started very young for survival or preservation.

How to you notice or prevent this from happening?

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