So my therapist today pushed me on some things that I have been thinking and feeling, forcing me to confront the thoughts I was having about myself and my worth since (and before) the D-day. She asked me to step outside of my life and disregard my relationship with WS and just describe him as if I were a stranger watching from afar. I used words like distant, apathetic, mean, angry, intolerant - things that I witnessed the weekend before he left, as a matter of fact, as he got into an argument with a guy selling a car we looked at. He was rude and I was embarrassed by it. The she asked why I would want to stay with a person like that -
"First Love" is so powerful - when I was 21 and the whole world seemed to be there for the taking, and a man from a foreign land said he loved me and would take care of me - I fell hard and committed myself to never losing this person, on pain of death, as he was the first to profess love and the first to truly WANT me in all ways - we talked, laughed, walked, loved, explored - all of it was passionate and exciting. But once the honeymoon was over, my commitment to making him happy was making me into a sad, insecure person who was living in a foreign land, away from her family and friends, and isolated from other forms of intimacy - I was beholden to him for everything I had, everything I did - I didn't even have a driving license or a car to use! And I remember breaking down, crying on the floor because I was so sad, lonely, confused, and all I wanted (all I ever wanted) was for him to put his arms around me and hold me tight and tell me it was gonna be alright. But he didn't do that this time, after about a year of marriage, no - instead, he yelled at me, in a rage about how I couldn't do anything right and how I was PATHETIC. Then, he kicked me in the leg and stormed off. On that day, I was hurt more than just physically - the bruise eventually turned some beautiful colors and faded, but mentally and psychically as well. I realize that I never thought I was good enough - always trying to make him happy and putting his needs first. I tried not to cry or be unhappy in front of him because I couldn't confirm his identification that I was PATHETIC. That I didn't mean as much as he did, that he should aim higher or somehow I should do more or better.
In the years since, I have tried and tried to make it work - I have done all i could to make myself somehow worthy in his eyes - I got a PhD (In psychology, even!), I cared for the girls and rarely asked him for help. I comforted and encouraged and LOVED him every moment I could. And every so often, I would see the shadow waiting in the corner, telling me that I wasn't good enough, that i would never be good enough. Slowly I stopped trying to make him happy and just did all I could to keep him from getting mad. I stopped fighting, biting my tongue. I stopped asking for permission to do things (like decorate or buy something, etc.) because he never wanted to be part of it, but didn't want it done without his input. I tried to give him space and work on myself while in the relationship -
And what I got out of it was him severing my connection to him in multiple ways over the last 2 years - no sex, no intimacy, no talking, no physical contact, he made a "cave" in the basement to play video games in and never came out, he took off his wedding ring and "forgot" to put it back on, then he put it back on and then he had to take it off because it was "too tight", etc. etc. etc.
I guess to him I have always been some sort of PATHETIC. I always was somewhat codependent, somewhat (ok, VERY) needy of his attention for validation of myself, needy for touch and affection and needy to feel important, precious, valued and loved. I assumed I would eventually get that - when his job wasn't so stressful, when the girls moved out to go to college, when I lost weight...
Ok, that is enough. Just needed to rant and put some ideas down on paper for reflection later. I don't have to do this anymore. I don't have to care anymore about him, his needs, or anything. And that is good - so why do I still care?? Why does the thought of him with an out of work waitress 15 years younger than him with 4 bratty kids who he even confessed to my youngest DD were somewhat "white trash" - why does it kill me to think of it? And when will I stop sliding back down this hill when I can see how beautiful things can be at the top???!!!