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do others recognize your new found authenticity

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cinnamongurl posted 3/20/2013 22:25 PM

I think I've become hyper vigilant of wayward behavior of everyone I speak to lately, and I think its because I have really been trying very hard to be conscious of every interaction I have with everyone I interact with. It's tough. I recognize myself and my own behaviors in these observations all too clearly. And though I know wayward is not a place I ever want to return to, recognizing this behavior has got me paranoid about how i come across, NOW... after digging so deep and learning so much, I'm just afraid that since my judgement was so horrendous for a few years, I could end up back there. In that pit of despair building up triple reinforced walls so thick, I couldn't see past and continuing to construct fantasy worlds within these walls. this is my biggest fear: losing that connection with myself that allowed me to conquer self hate and begin my ongoing battle with all those demons, deep inside and bringing them out from those walls into the light, where I see they're not so scary after all.

And another layer of that fear is that my change isn't visible to anyone but me. IC says she can't believe I'm the same person I was just 6mos ago. But I just have this nagging voice in my subconscious that keeps wanting me to punish myself with harsh words and thoughts.. a sort of negative reinforcement for happy feelings. IC tells me to stop and "check myself" when I feel this way, to try and go back to how I was feeling and what I was thinking back then, and then compare it to now. She points out that the very core of my thinking has changed, and how the rest of me is just following suit, at its own pace. Don't know if that makes sense, but it does to me.

Anyway, I did have a question before I got all caught up in my head, does anyone else fear that all their work changes might not come across as obvious to others, such as BS?

ophelia24 posted 3/21/2013 03:53 AM

If the changes are real, it will be noticed. As real change is sustained, not just being "good" for a while. We can't fake real, core growth. We can't unsee what we now see, about ourselves, and others. When I started to look at my shoddy boundaries and things that I never questioned a few years ago, I can now look back at myself with at best - bemusement, and at worst - sheer horror that I ever thought what I did was Ok.

A year ago, the thought of loving myself and my BH enough to tell him the truth of old affairs was so foreign to me, that when a brave friend nervously mentioned it a year ago, I absolutely balked at the thought. Impossible I thought. Three weeks ago, the thought of not coming clean became absolutely impossible. It was like a splinter that needed to come out of my heart and every molecule of my body screamed to have this out. The secret was sitting there between my BH and I like a canker. He could feel it too, although didn't understand why he didn't feel quite safe with me.

I now see the change in him. And I feel myself growing, changing also. The truth really does set you free.

And I now am super sensitive to other people and feel horrified at some of the things they think are Ok to say and do.But also understand that mindset.

A small example today was when I brought meat at the butcher and the woman serving me was casting a leery eye over a customer who had obviously been there for awhile choosing her meat and she commented that "I probably shouldnt say this but all the crazy people are out today". I looked at her and said politely "No you probably shouldn't say that as I may think you will say that about me when I leave". She blustered and tried to cover up, but it made me realise how terrible peoples boundaries are. Mine included.

Ongoing work.

Sorry, slight T/J - real change will be noticed and people change also in reaction to our change.

ophelia24 posted 3/21/2013 03:56 AM

When I say "bemusement", I'm not talking about my affairs, as my attitude around them fills me with horror now, and sadness. But rather, bemusement that I thought it was ok to say things like that woman in the butcher shop, and it didnt even occur to me how shitty my boundaries were, even in saying Yes to something, when I wanted to say No.

Sorry, raving, just wanted to clarify.

cinnamongurl posted 3/21/2013 05:58 AM

No worries O24. I get that! I made another post the other day about my mom and the way she hides behind her own set of lies and how that makes me really upset. I can see where I learned how to compartmentalize my thoughts and feelings just by watching her. Though it frustrates me to no end, I have learned 1) to identify those thoughts and behaviors (in myself) and anaylize them and come up with new ways to deal with conflict rather than avoid it and 2) to be able to honestly express to to her how her lying and rug sweeping are hurting my healing.

I guess I'm just feeling scared of not coming across genuine in my words and actions. I know I'm telling the truth and doing the gut wrenching work o f breaking myself down and fixing each little piece, I just don't think BSO believes me. And of course, this is all due to my past lies and TT and cheating, I just see the anguish in his eyes as he doubts everything and how he goes from sweet to angry and paranoid so quickly.

cinnamongurl posted 3/21/2013 06:02 AM

I wish I could fix this. Sorry, just having a hopeless couple of days. I would love to see him smile more. It breaks my heart over and over again to see him in so much pain.

authenticnow posted 3/21/2013 06:09 AM


It takes time and consistency. I remember finally feeling authentic and living in truth and when my BH doubted it, I would feel so shocked. How could he not know? I was feeling it so strongly and for a minute I didn't realize he couldn't see inside my mind or heart. Of course he couldn't trust it, after all the lies. So all I could do was keep showing him. It took a long time, but we got there.

cinnamongurl posted 3/21/2013 06:17 AM

Thanks AN. I appreciate the encouragement. I start to feel so beat down sometimes. I know its wrong to do so and counterproductive, but sometimes my heart just gets so exhausted and I don't know what to do but cry.

authenticnow posted 3/21/2013 06:19 AM

I know its wrong to do so and counterproductive,
No. You have to feel it to heal it.

Just don't let yourself get caught up in a pity party. There's nothing wrong with feeling the feelings, just don't get stuck there .

cinnamongurl posted 3/21/2013 06:20 AM

Time and consistency... I've noticed the work becomes less forced and comes more naturally now.

cinnamongurl posted 3/21/2013 06:24 AM

I often have to tell myself to take a moment and breathe, to regain perspective its easy to let those feelings take over...but a pity party is not a fun party to attend, indeed!

Eta: remove extra words

[This message edited by cinnamongurl at 6:26 AM, March 21st (Thursday)]

SandAway posted 3/21/2013 12:44 PM

but a pity party is not a fun party to attend, indeed!

Indeed is right.

I was having one this morning - wrote up a post then deleted it before posting because thats what it was - a pity party...

There's nothing wrong with feeling the feelings, just don't get stuck there

It is so easy to get caught up in ourselves when we see the suffering our BS are going through because WE CAUSED IT! I feel those feelings everyday and it is very difficult not to get stuck there.

ophelia24 posted 3/21/2013 13:20 PM

Hey CG, yes, I agree wholeheartedly with Authentic, it takes time to heal (as it took some time for us to gather those faulty fucked up coping skills that stopped working for us), for us and our BS. And believe me, our BS are watching us closely to see if how we are is real and longterm, and they will be for awhile. I think what is difficult for our BS, and from what mine has told me, is that as we were able to be such good actresses during our A's, (ie show no sign of having just been with the other person and in my case also, kept secrets for 20 years), they need to see if our changes are authentic, and not just a good 'act' to get them to be vulnerable once again. My BH is slowly trusting me again, which is a big ask considering how I haven't looked after his heart very well, or mine. He is absolutely entitled to feel cautious...our hearts are precious.

You will be OK. We both will be. And the one thing I am finally learning in my life, is that I do not control outcomes, I can not control my BH's healing (pace,amount, depth) but I can keep looking at myself - watching, listening to what I say and how I act. Living with integrity in all areas of my life.

Its weird, but because I've spent a lifetime trying to avoid ugly truths and not examining what I do and who I am, I'm actually beginning to find myself quite

A bloody lifetimes work I reckon.

Look after your wee self. And be kind to yourself (and the odd self 2x4 when, and as needed of course).

uncertainone posted 3/21/2013 13:45 PM

But I just have this nagging voice in my subconscious that keeps wanting me to punish myself with harsh words and thoughts

CG, if you grew up in a "closed" environment where you were unable to express your pain and displeasure it's common defense to need to "rugsweep" very real anger and pain. Unexpressed it becomes self betrayal which results in rage.

We learn to become moral masochists. Inflicting pain on ourselves with our thoughts to keep us "in check". If we deserve better then we have to fight for better. If we don't the unconscious guilt becomes overwhelming.

Sadly that habit becomes default. The guilt our choices creates triggers the punishment. could be a pity party and a cigar is truly just a cigar

Just check to see if your guilt in other areas triggers this same response. Owning is great. Shame not so much.

Like AN says, you have to heal it to feel it. Guilt can sometimes interfere with the "feel it" part and then shame chimes in to say "you don't deserve to heal it".

cinnamongurl posted 3/21/2013 19:30 PM

I know we'll be OK! We're working hard to make that a surety. Its just all the messy days in between that feel impossible at best that get me down.

I also spent the majority of my life pretending to be OK and hiding the pain so no one see. I didn't want to let my parents down growing up because my brother had such an incredibly difficult childhood, and I stepped back so my brother could heal. Then some bad stuff happened to me and I hid it again, didn't want to burden anyone when there were so many other problems that seemed much more important. As I got older, and bad things happened, soul wrenching heartbreaks and losses, I got better and better at pretending I was strong, I was fine, I was taking care of it myself. Because of that, I became absolutely numb. Couldn't feel joy or sadness. When the traumatic flashbacks started coming back after 5 yrs, I was assaulted with emotions... but that in itself was traumatic, so I went into denial... launched a fantasy world where none of the pain ever existed. Now I'm learning to filter through those events and emotions and own them and fix what part of me they broke. One at a time. That whole emotional assault was only a little over a year ago, and I can't believe how much I've grown. I'm depressed, but for the first time, I'm trying my hardest to let go of the outcome and focus that desperate energy on learning to live in the present. Yeah, its an emotional roller coaster of epic proportions, but they're my emotions and I'm just thankful to have found them again.

cinnamongurl posted 3/21/2013 19:38 PM

Thanks UO.

"We learn to become moral masochists. Inflicting pain on ourselves with our thoughts to keep us "in check". If we deserve better then we have to fight for better. If we don't the unconscious guilt becomes overwhelming."
"Sadly that habit becomes default. The guilt our choices creates triggers the punishment."

This is so spot on! Its really tough to reset that default! But "I think I can, I think I can"... so far its a work in progress!

cinnamongurl posted 3/21/2013 19:42 PM

((((Sand away))))
Next time I have a pity party, I'll invite you so we don't have to party alone! I'll bring cake.

UnexpectedSong posted 3/21/2013 23:03 PM

And another layer of that fear is that my change isn't visible to anyone but me.

I think that if you need that external validation of how you appear to others, then you have more work to do.

cinnamongurl posted 3/22/2013 06:08 AM

US, could be. I wholly admit i have a loooong way to go, but im glad i found the right path. Ive hit a kind of roadblock when it comes to letting go of the outcome though, and I constantly worry that BSO won't see the changes and it scares me he's going to leave. He doesn't talk much with me and continues to withdraw.

UnexpectedSong posted 3/22/2013 16:10 PM

Ok. So when you said "visible to anyone but me", you were talking about your BSO, not other people. You cannot control him. You could be a visible saint from now on and the infidelity could still be a deal breaker. Or you could stay a cheater, but he still wants you.

Just stay the course so that you will be all right, no matter what happens.

BrokenRoad posted 3/22/2013 20:36 PM

I was worried only about my BS, and to this day I still have a small nagging voice wondering if he does still trust me. I think it will always be there, just much smaller than it was in the beginning.

However, I do notice that other folks from SI do notice, and tell me so. That feels almost miraculous, since they know how dark my past really is.

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