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And real life rears its head again

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cayc posted 6/11/2013 23:48 PM

What a ridiculous f*ck up of a day. Two things happened, somewhat intertwined, so forgive the convoluted storytelling.

OLD guy has become an exclusive thing, so that he's now TG (for tattoo guy, thanks NIK!). We've been really enjoying getting to know one another and I've just been feeling really good. Good about him. Good about me. Just content. I know we're moving too fast but on certain levels I don't care. But we all knew that wouldn't last, right?

One of my criteria for someone to be datable is that they have no career ambition. Sounds funny I know, but I'm serious. If a guy really wants to be with me, my career will have to come first. And his options for work will be limited. As in, there are jobs, but there is no career path to them. TG fits this criteria. And not in a slacker way. But in a way of a cataclysmic life event changed his priorities way. A cataclysmic life event that meant bad decisions were made, that are having results today. I know that's cryptic, sorry. Basically part of it is that TG has a 17 year old girl whose mother announced to him and all & sundry several years ago wasn't his. And hence he stopped paying child support. Well. We know where this is going don't we.

Anyhoo. TG has been stressing about telling me about this because he's ashamed. And he assumed I'd refuse to date him if I knew. But the financial fallout affected another decision we wanted to make meaning he had to tell me. Well f*ck. And I"m choosing the sort of guy for whom this isn't an easily resolvable problem b/c there's no money to throw at it to make it go away.

As this was playing out today, TG was shutting down. And I was getting the cryptic comments of how "you deserve better than me". That's a phrase that enrages me. I've heard it from every guy I've ever been with (making a complete farce of the statement). And it enrages me b/c to me it's code for "I don't want to be with you but I'm too chickenshit to tell you so I'll make it out about how awesome you are and that I'm not good enough". Well, I didn't know what was going on, but the message I was getting was that TG didn't want to date me any longer.

And then, in the midst of this, I learn that some of my current colleagues were out and about and were presented with my xWH's attempts to create a new position that would place him in my daily path of travel. Now, I know he wasn't doing it for those reasons, but it's still an effect. And my colleagues all know the story of my D, so it's embarrassing that this occurred. That they all ran to tell me (as in I'm not sure it's helpful for me to know about it) but once the cat was out of the bag, I went to talk to my security officer, knowing full well that there's really nothing he could do.

So, there I am in my security officer's office, telling him. And simultaneously thinking, f*ck, TG is breaking up with me, and my security officer is repeating what he's said before, if I'm not willing to state that I have a physical fear of xWH then he can't act. He's basically encouraging me to make that statement. And boy, would I love to do so. But truthfully, as you all know, it's not that I'm physically afraid of him, it's that I'm mentally afraid of him. Does that make sense? And then in the course of the conversation, it is revealed to me that my xWH has been issued an invitation to be present at the main party we host for the year. It occurs in 3 weeks. Yes, you read that right. xWH will be attending a party at which I am required to attend and stay for the entire event. So. At this point I am crying. Because dammit. This shit. TG. WTF??? My security officer said he would personally approach my xWH and make it clear that if he came near me or spoke to me at the event, then action would be taken. And my security officer once again said, are you sure you don't want to report that you're physically afraid of him? But still, I said no. Sigh. I'm am freaked the f*ck out about this.

So after this convo, I tried getting ahold of TG but he was shut down. Ugh. Because it reminded me that I don't know him well enough to understand what that means. But eventually, he responded and we talked. He was stunned when he found out that I thought he was breaking up with me. But for sure he was thinking, I have to tell her about the child thing, and she's going to reject me for it, so might as well steel myself for rejection. Hence the shutdown. Hah. We are two peas in a pod b/c I was basically reacting the same way. Exacerbated by xWH nonsense.

TG and I had a really nice open conversation. We talked about how we both have the habit of putting doing the right thing ahead of our own personal safety generally causing negative blowback to us. We talked about our shame in how we had behaved in the past and certain bad decisions we had made. We talked about how dating is hard when you come to a relationship with crap like this. And everyone does, it's always something at our age. But we reconfirmed that we care for each other, want to continue getting to know each other. TG really got my frustration at the "you're too good for me" phrase and promised to never repeat it. And we resolved another looming issue that will keep TG in my local area so that we can continue to explore our relationship at a leisurely pace rather than finding ourselves going too fast.

TG also reconfirmed that he is willing to listen to me when I'm having a tough time too. He's not afraid to hear of what's up vis a vis my xWH and how it's making me feel (which is partly that I divorced the asshole so why is he still present in my life! dammit).

Wow. What a frustrating day. But I feel pretty good right now. I feel I got supported by my security officer. I feel I got supported by TG. I feel like he and I sorted out a communication problem in a rather calm, adult fashion. And I got to know him a little bit better.

There are still unanswered questions about TG. But my eyes are open. I know what I need to see in regards to this financial issue of his, and I know I'm strong enough to walk away if I don't see what I need. But I really hope he does/I do. Because wow. I'm content in his company and I treasure that and want to keep it.

Amazonia posted 6/12/2013 06:08 AM

Good job working through things together with TG

Re:XH - I understand on some level not wanting to be blatantly dishonest about your fear of him, but you have a pretty physical reaction when you see him, right? Nausea, etc? Does that count as physical fear?

What happens if you were to lodge this kind of complaint against him? Does it affect his job? Or do they just work around it to keep you away from each other? Or do they let him keep his job but in a new location?

cayc posted 6/12/2013 06:47 AM

but you have a pretty physical reaction when you see him, right? Nausea, etc?

Yes that, including turning white as a sheet and nearly fainting. Ugh. Unfortunately "physical fear" is code for I think he's going to hit me or try to kill me. And while he has hit me in the past, I don't perceive that he's angling to attack me now.

If I were to lodge this kind of complaint against him, he would be removed from his post and returned to the mothership HQ, but not fired. But I wouldn't come off blameless in that people would know I was someone who rocks the boat. And rocking the boat, when I can't credibly say there is a threat on my life (goodness sometimes I wish I were a liar lol) would be foolish.

This thing with TG. I've been ruminating on it all night. I think I'm also a little glad b/c what happened put the brakes on things a little. We were moving waaaay too fast, and now it'll slow down some. My home will remain my sanctuary where only I can go, and based upon my reaction to the xWH news, it's clear that I still have some work to do on me in terms of handling emotional news. Because when I heard it, I went right back to square one in terms of fight/flight, as in, get *everyone* who might hurt me out of my life pronto. That's no way to live. And while TG has his IRL issues, he himself internally and spiritually is a kind, thoughtful generous person who thinks the world of me. I don't want him opening his heart to me to result in me hurting him b/c I can't handle adversity.

Oh real life. Welcome back ha ha.

phmh posted 6/12/2013 06:54 AM

I totally understand not wanting to rock the boat; however, it sounds like a lot of people know about your situation and your boss is suggesting that you say it. Would there really be repercussions for you?

Your brain is part of your body, so if you are afraid of him mentally, to me that's the same thing as physically. Psychiatrists are MDs -- medical doctors -- not some other designation.

I don't think it's a lie.

cayc posted 6/12/2013 07:14 AM

ould there really be repercussions for you?

My impression is yes, but I am going to do some talking to people over the next few days, other agents I know, a few friends at post, and make a consensus decision rather than a knee-jerk reactionary decision.

I'm ashamed though. I'm ashamed that I can't just detach completely. All of you that have kids with your xWS's and can't get away. I don't think I could do that.

cayc posted 6/12/2013 07:23 AM

Oh and the other piece of this is TG. Because I realize I was taking everything he told me about himself at face value, because that's typically how I am, I believe what people tell me.

But it was a reminder to me that I'm not in the position mentally to do that right now. Because in fact, I am suspicious, and I can't tell if I'm suspicious b/c of my baggage or if because there's something in what he's telling me that makes me uncomfortable; it's not clear to me at this point. So I doubt his narrative of his life to the point that I'm tempted to get a PI to verify it, as in paying cold hard cash for peace of mind since I'm not able to calm my brain on my own.

Isn't that awful? That that's what my life has come to? Immediately damming another person the second they demonstrate that they have shitty moments in their past too b/c I think, what if they are sugar coating it???

There's a story my xWH told me when we first met about his PD experience. He framed it as he was drummed out of the force because he crashed his car during a pursuit. And sure, cops can eat their own, so I believed it. In hindsight, I now realize what was going on was he was a untrustworthy hothead, so when he made a huge huge public error that could have resulted in a lawsuit against the state, his fellow officers did not close ranks around him, they didn't understandably want to be tainted if the sh*t hit the fan. xWH got pissy about that and quit. Oh. If I had known the truth, then it would have affected my opinion of him back then. But I believed his narrative. So ... I'm fearful of doing that again. That's what I'm trying to express here.

jennie160 posted 6/12/2013 10:08 AM

Immediately damming another person the second they demonstrate that they have shitty moments in their past too b/c I think, what if they are sugar coating it???

But what if he is sugar coating it. Maybe your gut is telling the truth. If your feeling uneasy I wouldn't dismiss that. I never 100% believe anything anyone tells me about themselves anymore. I only believe what I see, if the actions match the words. I don't think I would do as far as hiring a PI but I would definitely be checking public court records and watching his actions.

Yes that, including turning white as a sheet and nearly fainting. Ugh. Unfortunately "physical fear" is code for I think he's going to hit me or try to kill me. And while he has hit me in the past, I don't perceive that he's angling to attack me now.

Sometime I think that being mentally afraid is worse than physically afraid.

Williesmom posted 6/12/2013 12:30 PM


At times like that, I just have to stop and breathe.

That may not help, but if it keeps your mind from racing to the worst possible scenario, it could make you feel better.

cayc posted 6/12/2013 12:47 PM

keeps your mind from racing to the worst possible scenario

Yes, that is definitely what's going on for me, in both of the scenarios that are stressing me. That's a really helpful reminder. I tend to go in to stress/panic/try to control mode rather than staying present and in the moment.

And I've got to remember too that while my knee jerk reaction is fear, that in real terms I'm so much stronger than I was this time last year. I can deal with xWH if he shows. And TG ... so far he keeps proving himself so why I'm acting like the other shoe is about to drop ... well, we all know that it's the result of 10 years of walking on eggshells that is the genesis of that lol.

peacelovetea posted 6/12/2013 15:10 PM

Cayc, I of course don't know you, but have you been evaluated for PTSD? The reactions that you are experiencing to your ex, and actually to TG too, are highly reminiscent of that kind of trauma response. There are good treatments -- EMDR, for instance -- and it is actually quite biologically based. It isn't likely to just go away on its own. I don't know your story well enough to know what you've already tried, so if you are already in treatment I apologize. I just hate to see you suffering that way.

I think its great that you and TG were able to talk it out. I have a similar thing with my SO -- we trip on each other's stuff a lot. But we always can recover, and that's the important thing -- and is actually really healing. I hope that you and TG can do the same.

osxgirl posted 6/12/2013 15:53 PM

I'd like to add - you say that your X has hit you in the past, but you don't think he's looking to do so now.

IMO, you have quite a legitimate reason to be afraid he may physically harm you. He has hit you previously.

You don't think the changes he's made that will put him around you again were done for the purpose of being around you.

You don't think he's looking to become physically violent.

But you have physical reactions to just the possibility of having to be near him. These reactions are a direct result of things he's done in the past.

Can you see that you are making assumptions about your X's motivations and thoughts? You are minimizing. You really have no idea whether or not he is orchestrating things to be near you or if he might take an opportunity to become violent again.

Is it such a stretch to say he has been physically violent in the past, and while you have no idea what his thoughts are now, you ARE afraid to be around him?

Have you talked with someone (an IC or therapist) about what you went through and the reactions you are having now. Someone familiar with the type of abuse you went through? You could probably get some references from an abused women's shelter (not that you need the shelter, but that they could probably tell you the names of some therapists/counselors that could help with your situation).

Personally, I think "rocking the boat" would be better than running into him unexpectedly and having the kinds of reactions you've described here. What would it look like if you suddenly faint in front of everyone just because you saw him?

ProbableIceCream posted 6/17/2013 23:40 PM

Seconded on PTSD treatment, EMDR especially. I had profound, severe depression for something like 3-4 years (about ten years ago), and PTSD treatment, largely EMDR, got me out of it when nothing else worked. Both CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and EMDR are considered first-line talk therapy treatments for PTSD. You can even do both.

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