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PhantomLimb posted 1/20/2014 15:47 PM

I think I'm finally ready to face that friend and former co-worker of X's. This is the one who took the job with the two of us right before DDay. When DDay happened, I quit the job, but she was stuck and had to stay. She left the position ASAP (and the poor thing is now unemployed) and is back now.

We had dinner once since she's been back with a group and friends and didn't really talk about her experience with X. It wasn't the right time. She did kind of hint that there might have been another A, though. And she also confirmed that he was not doing well at work (despite the fact that he told me he was the most perfect and brilliant human on earth in that office).

But she was very, very respectful and professional throughout this whole thing. Knew I NCed and S from X right away and understood that meant I had to NC her too while she worked for him.

And she's told me a million times that she'll tell me as much or as little about what was really going on out there as I want.

I haven't been able to handle it until now.

I want my friend back. I don't want this between us. Everyone has told me that she was extremely loyal to me, stayed away from X as much as possible.

And mutual friends have said that she hasn't spilled much about what went on out there, except that the general sense was that whatever he was up to was pretty egregious, both personally and professionally.

I know it's controversial around here to go "digging." It definitely could backfire. But I NCed him so quick, I never really got any sense of what was true or not. I almost tanked my career for him by taking that job-- and it may be the case that he was tanking his career way before I even had a clue what was going on. I only have a year of his claiming that everyone around him was incompetent and crazy... when it seems it was the other way around.

When he broke NC last week and I almost lost my mind in anger over it, I actually felt like it was really, really helpful in a way. I'll take anger and truth over this frozen and idealized image of him in my head and cluelessness. I think it's the only way I'm really going to get past this and finally heal/move on.

Anyway, lunch on Friday. We'll see what she says. I'm going to let her tell me whatever she wants.

cayc posted 1/20/2014 16:11 PM

I suppose as long as you go into it knowing you aren't going to like anything you hear ...

Otoh, I have one friend that is my repository of xWH talk. Her husband was burned by him too (xWH encouraged OW#umpteen to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against my friend's husband, who at the time was his closest friend at work). So that's the person that I sit around with and talk about xWH and analyze wtf happened. For example, they recently married this past November (hrmz the same month we did, oh why and hello there Mr. Dumb and Dumber!) and they married in a hotel in a random city rather than in OW#umpteen "I am the quintessential southern girl with the drippy accent even though I wasn't born or raised there" big rich family's home. So we sit around and laugh about why she felt the need to lock him in with a random hotel wedding instead of the big thing with maids of honor and so on. Oh and then the 12 piece china setting she registered for! That sends us into gales of laughter, who does that anymore? Especially in a job where you move every 2 - 3 years!

It probably does neither of us any good to go over it, but my point is I get that the need can be there sometimes even if it's not advisable.

PhantomLimb posted 1/20/2014 16:47 PM

I just have NO idea what really happened. I only have the one-sided bullshit he fed me for a year.

This is the only downside to complete NC the way I did it (immediate and iron clad): he is still preserved in my head as this great guy on some level... just based on the good memories of the M.

I find out he was passing his penis around the office the second my back was turned and OW was just the first one dumb enough to jump at the chance, my ability to write off the asshole completely increases 10x over.

NC is great when it comes to talking directly to him and avoiding the toxic bullshit that comes out of his devil head. But it's not so great for understanding the truth of what happened to your M and how much you were deceived.

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 4:48 PM, January 20th (Monday)]

SBB posted 1/20/2014 17:10 PM

I wouldn't do it for a number of reasons. The main one being that you won't get what you think you're going to find.

Any info she gives you will be what ends up bouncing around your head as you try to make sense of the nonsensical. It will be what you think of when you can't sleep at night, when you're brushing your teeth, driving along... whenever.

Any new info is like another DD. All of the old hurts come up on top of the new hurts.

It will make you angry at first but anger is just hurt's welcoming party.

What are you digging for?

When I was digging I was looking for something that made letting him go easy. Despite all of the awful stuff I found I never did find anything that made this easy.

IMO this is an act of self harm. I understand the curiosity, I understand some of it is professional curiosity. You're trying to find something that will help you reconcile who he is with who you thought he was. I do get it.

I understand the need for some sort of 'closure'. You won't ever get it. Not from info about him, anyway.

Too much energy in his direction. The involuntary stuff is hard enough to deal with. Having this conversation is you increasing that energy towards him voluntary.

No judging. I did it too and more. I had the conversations you didn't get to have. I had that False R you didn't get to have. I saw all of the regret you didn't get to see. I had all of the pretty words you didn't get to hear. I ate the details up like you are trying to eat them up now.

None of it helped my healing. False R strengthened my resolve but time would have done that for me anyway, without the brain damage. NC is what helped my healing. With him and any info about him.

Having said all of that I do know we all need to get there in our own time. I just want to prepare you for the fallout. You will be disappointed.

devistatedmom posted 1/20/2014 18:25 PM

I don't necessarily see this as you digging around for info. I mean, yes, you may learn some things you didn't know before, some of it may make things clearer for you, some of it may hurt you. But...

You said you want your friend back. She stayed loyal, even knowing you couldn't talk to her at that time. This is hanging between the two of you. I see it as clearing the air, getting it out there so there aren't any secrets...then the two of you can be friends again.

I say go for it, get it done, just brace yourself that it may set you back for a few days in healing as you will have new info to process.

PhantomLimb posted 1/21/2014 01:10 AM

I totally hear you, SBB. In fact, I think I've internalized you at this point. I imagine you as this faceless angel on my shoulder... and my desire to go digging here is the devil.

What I'm thinking would help is if I ask her to limit what she tells me to what happened with his job for now (why did he get transferred). I also would like to tell her about that coworker who is harassing me; if she's comfortable with it (they are FB friends, no idea if they are close IRL), she might be able to communicate to that woman to cut the shit and it ain't never going to happen.

If I'm comfortable and solid, if she wants to tell me a little more about what happened in terms of his As, we'll see. That kind of stuff I may not need to hear.

And just being able to tell me about her experience in the job itself (and why she quit) might be enough to clear the air so we can be friends again. I'd love to have her back!


Part of me thinks I need to hear this stuff, too, since he broke NC a couple of weeks ago. I'm very, very paranoid that he's going to hoover. Being able to confirm my suspicion, for example, that he tried to cheat on me two summers ago with a different coworker, would help me reinforce my anger and boundaries.

One development since he broke NC is that I blocked his emails from my inbox by setting up a filter... but today he showed up on the chat feature. I've only seen him show up on chat three other times since DDay: on my birthday, on our anniversary, on the anniversary of our first date. Each time I ignored him, but thought it probably wasn't an accident.

(Naturally, I blocked him from chat now... don't worry!)

Anyway, yeah, it may set me back... but I'm just looking for some more truth to help me get past this place I've been stuck in where he still takes up too much of my mental space. Every time I hear what an absolute shit he is, I let go of this ideal of him a little more.

I feel like I'm starting to punch through the ceiling of this...

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 1:14 AM, January 21st (Tuesday)]

SBB posted 1/21/2014 05:38 AM

I looked for shortcuts too hun - there aren't any. As I said I never did find information that made any of this easier.

I had to walk away - physically and emotionally. Had to. It was still incredibly hard.

It gets easier. This is year 1 for you. In R they say 2-5 years of solid work and rough times. IMO its the same in S/D.


Amazonia posted 1/21/2014 05:53 AM

PL, it sounds like you're digging for his story, rather than your own.

cayc posted 1/21/2014 06:32 AM

I have to chime in again on this. PL I really hear you when you say what you experienced was a huge glitch in the matrix with nothing after it. That to some extent you're still floundering a little on what? what just happened? In your shoes my curiosity would get the best of me and I would want to know too.

So I don't perceive you as digging after his story. I see this as you trying to make sense of your own. With the added wrinkle that a friend is involved. My friend I told you about? She and her husband (who is now my colleague) talk about my xWH a lot. If I were to limit my conversations with her b/c of xWH, it would damage the friendship because we'd both feel constrained and awkward. Meaning if you re-kindle this friendship, I don't think this convo with her will be a one time deal. Maybe you won't obsess like me and my girlfriend, but it'll come up again. Fair warning.

What will happen is you will learn things. You think you will learn things that will make you see your xWH differently (as in badly) to help you stop thinking of the good memories. You will definitely learn some ugly stuff about him. But you will also start marrying up what you hear with your own timeline. So this is going to challenge you again with that cognitive dissonance where it will be "oh, that's what that was", or "holy shit I was doing xyz being oblivious when that happened" and so on. You're going to walk away from this having to look again at yourself. Not a bad thing, but just be prepared that this isn't going to make you feel better, or answer all the questions.

PhantomLimb posted 1/21/2014 19:35 PM

A couple of things:

(1) She no longer works for/with him and the place where he works is on the other side of the country. So once she tells me about what she experienced going out there to work for him after DDay, that's it. She quit the job and there is no further communication with him on her part now. Our friendship can proceed from where we are here and now.

(2) I kicked ass after DDay. I S/D are fast as humanely possible after it was clear R wasn't going to happen. 180ed before I even knew what it was and NCed him almost immediately. Focused in on my career and nailed one of the premiere jobs in my field. To put it simply (without trying to brag), I'm hot shit right now professionally. Personally I went immediately into IC (up to three days a week at certain points) and I've been working on me. Reconnected and built even stronger relationships with friends and family. Every time I thought about him, I did something for myself. Traded in the SUV for a Mini. New clothes. Exercise. A massage. Got my hair done. Got a facial. Hell, I got Botox today on an eyebrow that I've always thought was a little wonky and it bugged the hell out of me. And I understand my biggest problem in the M was that I rugswept... and I'm determined not to do it again. There isn't one difficult thing that I haven't faced head-on in this battle.

Except knowing what really happened on his side.

As far as I'm concerned, that is part of my story. Everything that led up to DDay happened when I wasn't there. I only have his version of why his (all female) colleagues hated him. I only have his version of why he wanted me to take a back-seat in my career to take a job in his office to help him out. The only version I have of why he didn't want to R is because of things that I did wrong in the M that weren't things that should have been dealbreakers anyway.

We had maybe 5 conversations total after DDay. None of them were face to face. 5 conversations to end a 10 year M. I saw enough to leave. But I didn't see enough to truly understand who this guy was that I was seeing.

PhantomLimb posted 1/25/2014 01:24 AM

Just an update that (the 4+ hr !) lunch went really, really well. I think she was more nervous than I was.

I told her she could tell me whatever she needed to for her to feel there wasn't anything between us and I knew I had the skills to cope, even if it was difficult. I also told her I had no interest in his personal life now, more the professional mess I almost walked into.

She didn't say anything that I didn't already suspect, but it was very good to confirm it. I wasn't crazy and he wasn't gas lighting me more than I expected (so no other As).

Among the revelations:

-- the coworker he hated and wanted fired is widely viewed as the more competent of the two, which is why she was promoted. All of that stuff about her being crazy, etc he tried to feed me was bull. It was the other way around.

-- he was basically kicked out of the division and none of the employees were willing to follow him. Says a lot about how he is regarded.

-- OW is smart but not a nice woman and "rubs people the wrong way." She was described to me as very "manly" and it took my friend weeks to figure out she was the OW, because she couldn't believe it.

-- X hired only women, would fire those who saw through his BS and hired permanently those who sucked up to him. Made my friend very uncomfortable.

-- he is telling people his transfer is great because his old division didn't have the resources for him to really spread his wings. She said it's an open secret that he's full of it. And he's been given some benchmarks to make with the new boss, or he gets canned.

-- he acted like things were fabulous and life was great-- until my friend gave her notice and was about to leave to come back to my city. She said he started talking about me a lot then, and it was clear he really misses me and the NC was tough for him (FTG).

-- there is no relationship with the crazy woman who keeps calling me (she is an extremely conservative religious person), so it is likely she is a mole of some kind.

-- he would disappear a lot and no one knew what was up with him

And in general my friend just wanted to make sure I wasn't mad at her for taking the job and she wanted confirmation on some of her suspicions about X to make sure she was reading him right, because she was surprised he was so incompetent.

I'm glad I did it. I've got my friend back. I read the situation with X correctly and my NC and choic to immediately D was the right one. Whatever path X is on now, good luck to him. I feel like the people I care about have his number. I'm going to continue working on myself and understanding my role in all of this, so I don't repeat the same mistakes. And I'm ready to start living my life now, and not keep thinking back to this (now) past life with him... And no part of me wants a future with him in it. I feel like my boundaries have been strong, and they were reinforced today.

Thanks for helping me think this through, everyone. <3

SBB posted 1/25/2014 02:03 AM

I'm glad it worked out well and happy that you've reclaimed a friendship.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned that this is going to fuel the obsessive thinking. In the early days I had to resort to visualising a stop sign in my head whenever I noticed I was doing it.

Keeping thinking of you - your healing, your future, what it looks and feels like.

You're going to rock it.

PhantomLimb posted 1/25/2014 07:40 AM

I think that could have happened if I found out there had been other OW or that he was fine and dandy. But what she said matches what I knew, anticipated and experienced. That's empowering.

Also, he may be crazy, but he's not showing signs to people that he is truly mentally ill. That means more likely he's just an asshole. Good. Now I don't feel like I broke "in sickness" and I don't have to worry that I did the right thing in leaving him.

Last night I went to take a shower before bed and, for the first time in a year, I felt happy again. And no nightmares.

I'm ready to let him go.

careerlady posted 1/25/2014 10:48 AM

I'm glad you made the decision that you did. I guess I still believe in closure, and of course rekindling a good friendship is often worth the effort.

SusanR posted 1/25/2014 19:31 PM


Honestly, I wish I didn't know as much as I do. I went into Super Slueth mode, against much advice, and now there is very little left that doesn't trigger me. Everyday, it's something different and usually unexpected. I'll hear something or see something that reminds me of an email, a text, a post, a place, a song, whatever. I left no stones unturned and that still haunts me.

So, I totally understand your desire to know the details and I can only give you the advice that I didn't heed myself but, it will only hurt you to know more about what happened.

[This message edited by SusanR at 7:32 PM, January 25th (Saturday)]

PhantomLimb posted 1/25/2014 20:51 PM

Don't worry. I'm not going to dig any deeper than this. I'm not at all interested in what went on when he was having his A. I'm not interested in what he's doing now. He broke NC a couple of weeks ago, and he got crickets from me.

I almost gave up my career for him and he had fed me a bunch of lies about how great things were in his new job. That's what I really wanted to know. How close did I actually come to danger? How close did I come from being isolated with him, in a job with him and the COW, having missed my chance to make it on my own in order to support HIS career.

Everything my friend told me yesterday confirmed that I've made the right choice in moving forward with my own life. He's pathetic.

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 8:51 PM, January 25th (Saturday)]

cayc posted 1/25/2014 21:19 PM

Ahhhh so so so so so wonderful to hear that your NC with him affected him. Both to vindicate you and it gives me hope that my xWH was hurt that I literally never contacted him or responded to him from the day I gave the depo in our D onward and he spend a year finding an excuse to contact me once a month.

X hired only women, would fire those who saw through his BS and hired permanently those who sucked up to him. Made my friend very uncomfortable.

Your proof that he's a philanderer and was always angling, grooming OW looking for that chance to cheat, i.e. it was never ever ever ever ever ever ever you. Or anything to do with you.

Also, he may be crazy, but he's not showing signs to people that he is truly mentally ill. That means more likely he's just an asshole. Good. Now I don't feel like I broke "in sickness" and I don't have to worry that I did the right thing in leaving him.

BIG GRIN Yes indeed.

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