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Adrift and sad

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84CF posted 4/10/2014 05:07 AM

Been a while since I posted to this site and I'm not sure where to put this one, but it's the middle of the night and I'm awake and alone and sad. Not in a cheery mood so forgive me in advance. Just need to shout into the void here.

It's been 10 months since d-day, 8 months since separation and virtually no contact with my WW. To the outside world I appear basically fine. My friends don't really ask me about things anymore. I have a lot of new activities, new people in my life. Most would say that I'm well on my way through my "new beginning."

But inside, I am still profoundly sad. I know that my WW is not worth the anguish, that I'm much healthier without her, that I wouldn't take her and her chaos back into my life. Yet I still can't shake the sense that my world is not "right." I wake up each morning and I still feel like I'm living in an alternate reality. I feel so emotionally closed off, so essentially empty, that I can't really gain any pleasure from new people or new things. I find myself pushing people away, or at least keeping them at a safe emotional distance, because I don't trust anyone or anything anymore. My work is not in a fantastic place. I'm in a creative field and I feel like all of the inspiration, all of the flavor of life has been sucked away. And I don't know how to get it back. I keep busy and keep pushing myself to meet new people and do new things. But it's a constant struggle that yields little pleasure, little relief.

It's so hard not to feel still like I've been wronged horribly. I try to embrace the change as an opportunity to improve and to grow. But I still don't know where to grow from here. I don't know how to become an even better, more confident, more aware, more able self. I'm still in perpetual disbelief about the way my wife has been able just to abandon her life with me completely, and the way in which our mutual friends are content to shake their head along with me but never call her on it, never get involved and just pretend like her behavior is acceptable, or perhaps they do think it's acceptable after all. Their acceptance makes me feel the worst perhaps of anything. I try not to care. I try to be my own person and to be understanding that it's difficult at best for people on the outside
But it's fucking not right what she has done and continues to do. It's not okay. And I fail to understand how people can allow her to pretend that it is.

And so tonight, in the middle of the night, I worry about my life. I worry about who I have become, whether I will ever feel comfortable in my own skin ever again. I worry because I don't even know where to begin, and I fear that what I am doing -- putting one step in front of the other and continuing to move forward -- is simply not enough. I worry that I will forever feel like a shell of my former self, living a life that I did not choose. And it makes me afraid and sad.

PurpleRose posted 4/10/2014 05:25 AM

It is so difficult to heal from the pain of infidelity. I am sorry you are struggling with who you are in the aftermath. Waywards take so much from us when they cheat - and something's just won't ever be "right" again....

Are you in IC? This is a time to lean on outside help, 84. Sometimes we can't fix ourselves fully and need to ask for help.


cmego posted 4/10/2014 06:25 AM

What you are feeling is what all of us have either felt, or still feeling. It's been 4 years post d-day and still things don't feel exactly "right". Almost like constant limbo sometimes. 80% of the time things are good and settled into a good routine, but there are 20% of flashes of "off-ness". Mostly around holidays or anniversaries of some sort. When we are together as a "family", things feel off kilter.

Did you know about someone that had something happen in their life that was devastating? 10 month, a year later…were you still constantly asking them how it was going? Thinking they were "wronged" and should still be hating the person that did that to them? My point is, what is signifiant in your life isn't significant in someone else's. My ex did terrible things to me, but other people were still his friends. It isn't "their world" and you can't hold them in yours.

I hit my really low point about where you are, about 10 months post S, and that is when I got into intense IC. People were tired of listening to me and my Mom finally said, "It is about time for you to be over this…".

What really helped me was accepting that what I felt for my ex (loyalty, compassion, security, friendship) is not what he felt for me. The words were the same "I love you", but the meaning behind the words was very different. You will never get into her mind and figure her out. You can't heal her. You don't have to forgive, but you do have to accept. She doesn't think the way you do.

I was also creative and the mojo left. I forced it back to some extent, but it never fully returned. It is somehow tied to my stress level and emotional safety. I did some creative purging (vented onto canvas) and that did help. I just haven't returned to it as a comfort. I've replaced it with new creative things, I guess.

Part of it is just surviving. It takes a long time to get over trauma. The beginning, and you are still in the beginning, is.just.survivng. I was about 1 year post S and 15ish months post d-day before I felt true lightness and happiness again. I will never forget that moment, standing in my kitchen, laughing honestly with my kids about something…and I felt peace.

If you aren't in IC, start. It is good to simply talk to someone. Second, what you are feeling is normal. Come on SI and talk it out. Listen to other stories and learn how other people healed.

AlwaysBeenStrong posted 4/10/2014 06:36 AM


I am exactly where you are. I feel like a walking zombie just getting through the day. I pretend to be ok, yet at home alone, every little thought consumes me.

I especially understand how your friends, family etc. can look at you and tell you how horrible waste of space they are and then in the next minute are kind to the same wasted space. I really hope my sister doesn't come across my stbx...she's been waiting to give a piece of her mind to

I am just patiently waiting for this "time" thing to heal me and to find happiness in things that I used to find happiness in. Focusing on myself seems to be the best therapy. The divorce diet has worked wonders. I lost 225 immediately, have slowly lost 45 and my wallet is the only thing getting fatter

You are not alone.

kiki1 posted 4/10/2014 06:53 AM

it will get better for you. not like it was, but better than it is now.

at 10 months past dday, you are not far into this journey and are still verytraumatized. It is a terrible blow we were dealt.

you are not alone, we have all felt this way. i'm 4 years past dday and some times that lonely sad feeling will still twist my heart and make me want to cry at what was lost.

but i am able to move past it more quickly, it doesnt hurt as badly as it once does.

keepp posting, seek ic if you havent already. it will get better 84. truly.


FaithFool posted 4/10/2014 08:32 AM

Ten months is not very long ago in SI years. In other people's lives it's TEN MONTHS DUDE GET OVER IT ALREADY.

You have more miles to walk on this path before you'll feel sunshine and see colours again. It's OK to feel this way, there is nothing wrong with you.

I'm six years out, and I've been alone since he left. I have no desire to kindle a new relationship with anyone because I'm too busy living.

It appears I've found the life I should have been living all along, doing what I want, when I want, finding a good balance between work, play and study. I will always be a student because I think we should never stop learning.

My x's infidelities were the biggest learning experience of all. After all this time alone, I've finally found ME. However I am with you on the drop-off in creativity. I bought a beautiful new guitar last year and am slowly getting back into playing again. This summer I hope to put everything else aside and really dive in, but the last few years my creative urges have completely dried up. I've been channelling it into new things -- instead of music I've been writing history papers and learning web design. It's all good.

You'll get there in your own way, but in the meantime, just lean into the sadness and realize that IT'S OK.

You're grieving and there are stages. You'll come out the other side eventually.

If you are still talking like this in three or four years, then you will need to consider some professional help. Get it now if you feel you need it now. We are all different.

Big hugs. This shit is hard.

[This message edited by FaithFool at 8:34 AM, April 10th (Thursday)]

norabird posted 4/10/2014 11:27 AM

You've been heard and are not alone, as all the wonderful, thoughtful replies attest.

My timeline is not quite as far on as you, but I also was not married, so I imagine I might be at a comparable place. I have great friends and many interests and keep happily busy. Yet the sadness is sometimes there despite all that, and the thoughts are this constant drumbeat.

Yesterday I went in to see my new IC and for the sixth session in a row all I did was cry the entire time. Outside of those 50 minutes each week you might think I was moved on, as a casual observer or even a friend of mine. But I walk in the door without fail and just weep. I'm mourning the loss of something precious to me. The loss of a belief in a person I loved, the loss of a connection that I valued and put huge stock in, the loss of all the emotion and faith and love I had invested trustingly only to see myself treated worse than I would treat my worst enemy, totally thrown away and disrespected.

I told my IC I felt stuck yesterday and she tried to get me to work through any negative emotions I might have had from my last encounter with the ex. But I didn't have the negative thoughts she was looking for--a feeling of worthlessness for instance. I just had a huge sense of loss. She told me at the end: "It is what it is", meaning my feelings. Meaning it was okay to have them and that I would keep having them until they lessened. I need to hear that sometimes, to have the feelings validated. I really can't affect them by willpower. I make the best choices for my new beginning that I can, but those decisions and good steps won't erase the pain. Only time will do that.

To me, it sounds like you are putting forth all of this effort, in the hopes that the new friends and activities will erase the pain and trauma and hurt. They can't do that, unfortunately. Perhaps you should carve out some space in your life to allow that grief out, to sit with it. If I feel emotionally swamped by my loss, I go home instead of forcing time with friends who I may love, but who I know I couldn't connect with genuinely in that state. I leave a night or two free a week for decompressing. Then I have more energy to engage when I do go out and be social.

You want to be healed and happy, I know. And you deserve to be. It's not fair that this burden is yours. But muscling through alone doesn't seem to be doing the trick. Don't give up all your great new steps, but add in some time to reflect and be sad; respect those feelings. It's not about letting your WW 'win' by taking those times out. it's about having some self-compassion for what you've been through.

You will get to the other side one day my friend. You are already walking there. I wish it weren't such a long journey but you are not alone in it--we are all walking the same path. You're doing amazingly well. Don't interpret that to mean you aren't allowed to wallow a little bit if you need to.

84CF posted 4/11/2014 09:29 AM

Thanks so much for your kindness, everyone -- PurpleRose, cmego, AlwaysBeenStrong, kiki1, FaithFool, and wise norabird. And yes, IC from the beginning, which helps, but of course there are no silver bullet solutions for any of this. Sigh. Another day, another step...

SeanFLA posted 4/12/2014 10:55 AM

No you're right, there are no bullet solutions. I found after a bit IC was becoming a mute point. It was like talking about the same thing over and over, like a broken record. But I see where many find it helpful. I realized that I had to go through the emotional process alone whether I liked it or not. Know it takes years, not months to process it all.

[This message edited by SeanFLA at 10:56 AM, April 12th (Saturday)]

gardenparty posted 4/12/2014 13:46 PM

I tried to explain it to one of my friends one time. I said it was as though I had been reading a book before bed, had a great night sleep, got up in the morning and picked up my book but it was the wrong book. I didn't know the story and felt like I started it in the middle and not the beginning. I still feel like that sometimes, that I am living somebody else's life. It is so odd and I have been divorced over 7 years. Every now and then I am like how the heck did I get here?

I am still sad that my children no longer have a family home and that I am not living as I had planned but those periods of sadness no longer overwhelm my life. For that I am thankful. You will get to the point also but it sure does take time.

Merlin posted 4/12/2014 14:58 PM

I still don't know where to grow from here.

Yeah. This.

traicionada posted 4/13/2014 19:17 PM

I fear that what I am doing -- putting one step in front of the other and continuing to move forward -- is simply not enough

So million dollar question, what would you like to do about it? Btw, there's no right or wrong answer, just personal preference. For instance, I tend to feel overwhelming unfulfilled if I have too much idle time so IC thought me how to fill my time with meaningful activities so I workout, read, volunteer for different organizations I'm passionate about but most important spend quality time who the people who make my life better.

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