I'm working on the honesty part. By that I mean, there are things I genuinely don't remember. He has uncovered all of my texts, e-mails, Facebook, everything. A lot of what I remembered, and shared was wrong. Its not an intentional lie, but has the same impact. My IC has suggested that this is because I minimized what I was doing to myself in an effort to justify to myself what I was doing. I don't know if I agree with this but, it's one of the many things I am trying to process, and work through. But it's super frustrating.
As for my why, this might be long:
I have no self esteem or any self worth.
I put up a good facade. Most people who meet me would be shocked to learn that there isnít even an iota of self love. I come across as a very self confident person, and often the lack of self esteem when it does show is mistaken for humility. If only that was what I experienced. Instead, if anyone bothers to listen closely, I can be heard making statements that show I feel like Iím nothing. Iím not good enough, cannot do anything right etc. Iím fairly sure I donít believe that I deserve the good things in my life.
Growing up I was always compared to my older brother. He is a brilliant underachiever. He has potential coming out his ears, and many scholastic things were easy for him. I saw him as lazy and couldnít understand why he self sabotaged. I, on the other hand, felt as though everything was a struggle. In his shadow I never felt as though I could shine. Not at anything. My drive to complete school, and get the highest level degree of anyone in my family was my effort to make up for what I didnít get as a kid. I needed to be recognized and validated for being my own unique little person that I was. It sucks realizing that my parents never gave that to me, and that they are not capable of doing so. Even in spite of my outperforming him I still have the message reinforced that I am not as special or important. Heís the golden child fuck up who will always be rescued.
My IC has suggested that this lead to: self sabotage, self fulfilling behavior, and a choice to destroy what I valued most. Iím inclined to agree. At first when the suggestion that I was trying to make my BH hate me I was confused and couldnít see how that would be something I wanted. Truthfully though, I have to admit that my subconscious might have been speaking volumes about how I feel. If I donít like myself, how or why should anyone else? It makes logical sense, Iím just not sure Iíve bought into it yet. I also suspect, and have stated that itís because Iím not sure I actually deserve to be happy. I want to be, but maybe I just donít deserve it. Right now that is completely true, I donít believe I should ever be happy again. People who destroy others (me destroying my BH) donít deserve happiness, not if they have no intrinsic value.
Iím undecided if I have any, or just have extremely poor boundaries. I have expectations for how I will be treated and interacted with, but rarely stand up for them when they are violated. In the aftermath of what Iíve done, trying to have boundaries with BH is complicated, confusing, and difficult. But equally important, if not more so.
Historically my boundaries have not been respected. In my FOO various members of my family have shown little or no regard for my independent needs. If mother did something, the family did it. No matter what it was, we all did what she wanted. I resented my brother for being the black sheep because if he bailed it was excused. I was the good child, so I always showed up. The few times I have stated my boundaries (until three months ago) they were completely ignored. Either I didnít know what I was talking about, didnít really know what I wanted, or wasnít serious. To avoid conflict I did not reiterate, not ever.
Potential Sexual Abuse
This is something I am only beginning to look into. Initially when asked I stated clearly that I could not recall anything, but that wasnít right. I do remember being molested when I was about 9 (I think) with my best friend. We had babysitter who was in highschool. He thought it would be a great idea to reach into the sleeping bags of the little girls he was trusted to watch and feel them up. I remember holding very still. I was surprised, I was scared, I was confused, and I wasnít sure if what he was doing was something I was supposed to like or not. He never sat for us again, because unlike me, my best friend reported it immediately to her parents. I never told anyone.
There are other troubling physical comfort memories I have with my dad, but I donít know and canít remember if they were related to more outright instances. I remember asking him not to walk around naked anymore because it made me uncomfortable. He actually respected that boundary, but I remember how awkward I felt, how uncomfortable it was to see him... It was just really bizaar. I donít know if thatís normal for children to feel or not. Iíll have to ask my IC. I also remember (not sure how old I was) lying in bed with him one morning. He slowly moved my so that I was lying physically on top of him. I remember that being awkward, uncomfortable, upsetting. Again, I remember holding very still as though I was paralyzed. But I donít remember anything more than that. However, those memories make me wonder what else might be there.
I lost my virginity early. The first time was with one of my brotherís friends. He was 18, I was 14. While I consented, Iím not entirely sure now that it was true consent. No 14 year old has any business consenting to something like that. It was so incredibly painful when he penetrated me that we stopped as fast as we started. It was terrible. He immediately dumped me and moved on so he could ďget laid.Ē I was humiliated, disgusted, terrified. I couldnít discuss it, or share it with anyone. I did not have sex again until just over a year later. Again it was painful, and my boyfriend then was very kind. We also only had the one tryst. I was totally not ready for sex and took it out on him. There was another boy, another similar outcome.
Selfishness, and thoughtlessness.
I have realized that I spend a lot of my life just going through the day. I have not practiced living every moment with intent, and attention. I can walk past a change BH made in the house and not see it for months. Right after Dday he took down the mezuzahs in our house. I did not see it. I expected them to be there, so I didnít look for them. Once he pointed it out the absence was glaring. I felt like such an idiot. He assigned that to my not caring about them, but I know itís because I am thoughtless a lot of the time. The mezuzah outside our bedroom was really important to me, for us. But everything I did in my As undermines that, and discredits it.
To engage in any sort of active deception and to cheat on someone you love (or donít love if you are a psychopath) is to be selfish. Itís inherent in the act itself. But Iíve been selfish in other ways. I expected my BH to participate in the dysfunctional relationship I had with my mother, and to be ok with it. But my relationship with her directly impeded my ability to form a proper bond with him. She was always the priority. I, and by extension he, never was. How selfish to ask someone to put up with that. How selfish to ask someone being ok in second place. He always should have been 1st. Well, I should be 1, and he should 1.1. Our importance to me should have been equal, all the time.
FOO issues out the wazoo
I donít know if these issues are worth noting independently from whatís already been listed. BUT, Iím going to any way in the search for completeness.
Mother - HPD/NPD - Iím learning a lot about the source of my lack of self esteem, and my lack of sense of self. When a mother does not recognize the autonomy of her daughter due to NPD it is difficult for the daughter to see herself as separate as well. It is one of the reasons Iím not sure my accomplishments are mine. Any celebration of my accomplishments always seemed to center around her. Life events must impact the entire family in the same way they impact her. If you donít agree she will ostracize, disown, criticize etc. Not just to your face, but to everyone. She was always jealous of my relationship with my dad. Also made no bones about criticizing my husband at every and any opportunity
Father - ? - he has major rage, and anger management issues. I am still unsure if there was other forms of abuse. We never really ďgot alongĒ when I was a little girl, but began to as I got older. He also had terrible boundaries and when I was about 17 or 18 felt as though it was fine to discuss the details of the problems he was having with my mom, with me. Ick. Three-ish years ago he came out. That threw everything into a tizzy. As you can guess from what I wrote about my mom it did not go well for me. They got divorced a year later, and that did not go well for me. Children, even adult children should know the truth, but should not be expected to be involved or take sides.
Brother - molested my childhood friend. Has terrible boundaries, and I worry that he is truly a sexual predator at worst, and a sexual deviant at best. He has more potential than you can shake a stick at, but no drive to succeed. Every failure is met with mom swooping in to rescue him. The reinforced message is that he is more important than I am. Or that he is more deserving than I am. It kills me. I love my brother, but he broke my heart when we were kids. I never demanded better treatment.
I work in a field where infidelity is seen as common place. That is not to say that all people in my profession condone the behavior, but the attitude seems complacent about it. People brush it off as something that happens. The people we come into contact with have a similar track record, and similarly permissive attitudes.
My poor boundaries have lead to many bad friendships. What I am beginning to realize is that the people I called friends were anything but. No one who is always on your side without regard to whether you are right or not is not your friend. Not really. My ďfriendsĒ encouraged me to drink, to flirt, to find happiness at any cost. While I never told any of them that I was sleeping around on my husband, I doubt they would be surprised. Some of them might even outright condone it. So cut they are from my life.
Each of those factors played into my own rationalization. I felt good, so it must be good. I felt pretty, so it must be good. I felt valued, so it must be good. I felt accepted as I was, so it must be good. I did not come clean during any of the many chances I had over the past two years because I was afraid, I was selfish, and I was in denial about how bad it was. Donít get me wrong, I knew it was bad, I had great conflicts with myself about it. But somehow I convinced myself it wasnít that bad, or that I was getting something I needed, or I wasnít actually happy with my husband.
Instead, I loved (and still love) my husband. Things werenít perfect, but we were working on them. Well, he was 100 % and I would on occasion. My mother was acting like the NPD crazy ass queen she was. She doubted me, and so I doubted me. My friends told me to get happy at any cost, so I got happy at the cost of my relationship. I threw everything away, I took HUGE risks over NOTHING. I risked my health, my husbands health, I risked my career, my entire life for moments of false esteem. For moments of false happiness. I demeaned myself, my marriage, and my husband in an effort to be validated by people who are lower than worms. Why? Because I minimize, and because I have no self esteem, and Iím selfish - instant gratification over longevity of gratification. What an idiot.
So, my road to recovery is clear. It begins with global acceptance of who I am, what Iíve done, and who I want to be. I must find value in myself because I exist. I need to stop caring what other people think of me. The only people whose opinions matter live under the same roof for tonight: me, BH, and our dogs. Two of the four of us donít particularly like me right now. I have to learn that boundaries are good, and how to enforce them. I have to learn how to engage in conflict in a healthy and meaningful way so that I can live a fulfilling and meaningful life. And who knows what else lies around the corner. I must live actively in the now.
Question- Is your mother diagnosed NPD?
ďThe goal is to have more heart than scars."
I'm sorry. That comes across flippantly. But the more I read, and the more I learn the more accurate the unofficial diagnosis becomes.
I don't mean to be rude but that's a lot of words to say, "I didn't respect my husband enough to stay faithful"
Your up bringing isn't an isolated one. Many have had worse and stayed true and faithful. I see what you did was engaging with worthless people who feed your ego, accepted and encouraged you. While doing what you did, you like gave little to no thought of your husband and his feelings. The impact it would have and what you had on the line. Had you, you would have never traveled the road. I have a doctor friend who came from a family of drug dealers, everyone of them have been to prison mom and dad included. We all chose our own path.
Bottom line, you never thought you would be caught. Even though you THINK you confessed. You were caught and lied before you "confessed".
I will agree that your husband is a great guy, and hope you can turn it around.
As BS, I don't think it's appropriate for us to come in to wayward side and tell the the WS what they are thinking. If the topic is too triggery for you, maybe it'd be better to refrain.
As for whether or not I respected BH. Obviously As, even just 1, send the message of a complete lack of respect. Loud and clear, that's what he feels. He feels abandoned, I did not apply myself to our marriage and removed myself from it. He feels as though I do not trust him, I don't and haven't for a long time (some of that is pre-A issue, some of that is post D-day issue). I agree completely that he has been beyond generous. I don't agree that he's the saint he's made himself out to be.
At the end of the day I know that I had As because I chose to. I was not raped, I did not prevent myself from being manipulated, convinced, or otherwise because there was a part of me that wanted to. Why? Because I wanted and needed to feel validated. I could not validate myself, so I sought it everywhere and anywhere else. Is it shameful? YES. Am I disgusted with myself? YES. Am I ashamed? YES. Am I also depressed, and terrified, and overwhelmed at the enormity of what I've done? Absolutely.
Can I convince anyone of that? No. It's not my job to convince anyone of anything. It's my choice to live it, and do it. I have a lot of things to unpack. I have a LOT of work to do on myself and my marriage should it survive this.
I don't have much hope today. I'm very sad, and I feel completely overwhelmed. This is one of the few ways I have to begin to unpack all that has happened.
However its not a trigger for me. Just really my opinions and looking to give her insight as to how her husband will likely view the things she see as her "Whys"
In my sig is a saying from my grandmother that gave me the biggest haha moment of my life when I defended my exWW actions to her. I lied to myself to ease the blow to my ego, I tried to convince myself that she didn't "do this to me" but she "did it to herself" because she had issues from her childhood. I see (my opinion) that Wayfrost is doing the same, just from the other side.
I see your point and will stay clear from posting in Wayward Side.
[This message edited by 2yrsblind at 11:19 AM, January 20th (Monday)]
I'm just saying that it's not our job to 2x4 in here...as BS we can still provide some helpful insights. Sorry for the t/j, Wayflost.
Your up bringing isn't an isolated one. Many have had worse and stayed true and faithful.
It's not right to clump all cheaters in one batch of "one size fits all" anymore than BSs. I can assure you a BS that is told that her WS's ONS is nothing compared to a LTA will be devastated that people are discounting their pain. They are different. You cannot compare. Bring in a person's mind, heart, and soul, and you really can't compare.
I see what you did was engaging with worthless people who feed your ego, accepted and encouraged you.
We all chose our own path.
I dunno about Wayflost, but I know I didn't wake up on a random Tuesday thinking, "Gee, I think I'm going to rip QS's heart out of his chest, stomp it into the pavement, leave it dying and bleeding, and walk away." Most of us WS don't. It's years and years of one bad choice after another, abuse, poor coping mechanisms, and life, that lead us to the "wayward" thought processes.
Ultimately, life issues aside, we still did choose to step over the boundary of our marriages. But the pathways that led to that decision are twisted, dark, and complicated.
Wayflost, keep digging and peeling back the layers. You're off to a very good start.
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
First of all, ((((hugs))). It's hard to wake up and realize the pain you have caused loved ones, and accept the responsibility for your actions. I think it's hard and also very admirable, because some people never get that far.
Second--it sounds like you are making great progress on your "why" and that's wonderful. I hope you continue on this journey to self-realization, and I wish you good luck on achieving your R.
Third--I am sorry for the pain you endured as a child. All children deserve more. You deserved more. Every person is worthy and has value, and I hope you find your way back to seeing your own value.
A lot of your FOO issues and experiences hit home with me, so I can feel where you're coming from on those. I know I can't help you out with it, but know that it's good that you're digging into yourself - discovering your whys. I wish you the best of luck!
"A lesson is learned. Life is. Simply. There is no Death. There is no Before. There is no After. All is in Flux. Simply."
It sounds like you are doing your best to figure out where you let yourself and your BH down, and to repair the damage after you identify it. Just sitting with the knowledge of yourself is a big step IMO.
Be careful you don't get too overwhelmed and dejected by your flaws and mistakes that you decide to hide from them again; just be aware of any tendencies to backslide, and try and have some compassion for yourself. It will be a long road but keep this in mind:
ďIf you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.Ē MLK