I'm still working this out.
Been having a recurring dream over the past few months. Each time I have it, the details get more and more vivid. Faces and names become more clear. This time, I had a very clear location. A friend encouraged me to write it out. So here it is. TBH, I'm terrified to post this. But I'm clicking submit before I chicken out.
Excitement swirled thru the air. This trip had been planned for weeks and it was finally here! Chicago. Land of the Cubs. QS was beyond thrilled but beyond a subtle smile, you would never know he was bursting at the seams with child-like anticipation.He was finally going to be able to scratch this off his "bucket list".
The flight has been non-eventful. Upon landing in O'Hare, we'd gathered our luggage and found our rental car with relative ease.Which surprised us both. We had a couple hours to kill before dinner with our group that night, but instead of seeing the sights,we opted to check-in to the hotel early. Quiet time alone is so scarce with two small children at home. Those few times we have it, we cherish and indulge in it.
The afternoon hours slowly ticked by. We enjoyed one another thoroughly and completely. My phone would periodically ping with alerts as more of our friends descended upon the city. QS would nuzzle his face into my neck as I replied to the incoming messages. We laughed. We talked. We touched.We even dozed off and slept for a short while. It was bliss.
As the meeting time approached, we came back to reality and kicked into gear. It was our typical, unorganized, chaotic ritual of getting ready. But we did it and we were on time. With one final shot of Noir across my pulse points, I slid my sandals on and picked up my handbag. QS grinned. "Put the bag down Hottie and give me a hug." I laughed, "So...what was all his afternoon? Does that not count as hugs?" I wrapped my arms around his neck as his hands slide around my waist. He kissed me softly and murmured, "That was then. This is now." I swatted his arm,"Let go.We're going to be late." He sighed in mock dismay and picked up the keys, "Okayyyy."
We made our way down to the lobby. We were both fell into a comfortable silence. Nerves were setting in. For me anyway. We were to meet old friends, but there would also be some unfamiliar faces too. That always makes me nervous. My body was starting to do the anxious, subtle, yet uncontrollable shiver it always does in this setting. He leaned over and gave me a quick kiss before the elevator doors opened. I smiled and he grabbed my hand.
"Heyyyyyyyy!!!!!!" someone squealed to our left as we stepped out of the elevator. I laughed. There was Spazzie! As well as NIK and Moo. We exchanged hugs and pleasantries, then piled into Moo's rental and zoomed off to the restaurant. Upon pulling into the parking lot we saw a small group outside. Must be the rest of our people. It was a noisy exit out of the car as we all wanted to hurry and join the rest of our group. QS never let go of my hand. I whispered, "You ok?" as we made our way across the parking lot. He nodded. "Yeah. Just watching everyone. You?" I nodded my reply.
We stepped up onto the curb and approached our group. Sisoon, plainsong, Gonnabe, Mr. & Mrs. Dixie. All familiar faces. It was so great to see them again! We introduced ourselves to the newbies. Ascendant and his wife. Someone said Solus was running late, but to go ahead and start without her. We made our way into the restaurant and were quickly seated,thanks toour reservation.
We were seated at a giant round table halfway to the back of the restaurant. It wasn't too crowded, which seemed odd for a Friday night, but nobody was complaining. Less noise meant we could converse amongst ourselves with more ease. There was a flutter of "Where do you want to sit?" but we finally got settled in.
My back was to the main area of the restaurant. QS was seated to my left, followed by Ascendant, Mrs. A, Gonnabe, plainsong, sisoon, Razzie, NIK, an empty chair for Solus, Moo, followed by Mr.& Mrs. Dixie. I was excited. It had been a while since I'd seen Dixie and we had some catching up to do.
The waiter came and introduced himself, notified us of the daily specials, took our drink orders, and walked away. Then 5 or 6 small conversations started all at once. I leaned towards Dixie and asked what they had done since being in the city that morning. She is militaristic in her travel plans, so I knew their day had been eventful. As she spoke, I glanced at QS. He seemed to hit it off with Ascendant. Their subject matter was mostly likely the Cubs game we were to attend the next day.
Cameras flashed. Moo and Razzie were at it. Someone complained about unflattering pics being posted on SI. So we snagged a passing waiter and the entire table posed for "official" group pictures. It was then our waiter approached with a tray of drinks. He passed them,took our food orders, and disappeared again. The restaurant seemed tobe getting a little fuller. I noticed movement more and more in my peripheral. The house music volume increased. It started to get a little more noisy in the dining area.
Dixie asked out our flight in and as I started to tell her about our morning, I felt someone touch my right shoulder, and heard a male voice, "Excuse me ma'am. My daughter dropped her toy and its under the left side of your chair. Do you mind?" I didn't even look up, just leaned down to pick up the toy. "Oh sure. No worries. I have kids too so I know how...." my voice trailed off as I turned with the toy and looked into the eyes of AP.
I froze. The blood drained from my face. He looked at me quizzically for a moment, then recognition hit his eyes. He muttered, "Oh boy." His hand reached for the toy. I couldn't move. The shock of seeing him completely paralyzed me. What is he doing here!? He doesn't live here! Why here? Why now? I was seeing him in person, and breaking my no contact rule. And all in the presence of my husband and SI friends. My left hand shot over and gripped QS's thigh. I felt him turn towards me. AP tugged the toy again. In my initial shock, my grip had tightened around it. I released it when I noticed the tug. He nodded. "Aubrie..." and walked away.
My eyes glazed over. Dixie was staring at me, realization struck her. She caught the word he said. "Aubrie". Only one person called me that. My affair partner. Some of the conversation at the table has died downas people started to notice something was amiss. I shook myself, "Ascendant, what's in that drink you haven't touched yet? Lots of alcohol or just some?" He answered haltingly, "Uhh, some? Why?" I shook my head, reached for the glass and said, "We'll buy you another." and drained the tumbler. The liquid burned my throat. QS quietly asked, "What is going on?" I shook my head with the strange taste of the beverage, then leaned toward my husband's ear. "That was AP. He's here. I just broke NC."
QS looked at me in shock. "Do what!?" I repeated myself adding, "That must be his family over my right shoulder."QS turned and glanced. He nodded. "Yep. Its him." Tears stung my eyes. "QS, what should we do? Do we leave? I'm so sorry!" He shook his head and shocked me with his reply. "I'm sitting right here. I did nothing wrong. I'm hungry and I'm going to eat dinner with our friends." I was shaking uncontrollably. "Are you sure? Really sure? I'll do whatever you want." He patted my leg. "Hush. Its fine."
Wary eyes around the table continued to watch us, not entirely sure ofwhat just went down, but slowly conversations started again. Dixie leaned in. "Are you ok?" I nodded. But my stomach was lurching like an ocean in a hurricane. Bile rose in my throat. I felt my body convulse. "I'll be back!" I whispered urgently to QS, then took flight for the restroom, scared I would loose the contents of my stomach in the dining area.
I burst into the women's restroom which was thankfully empty. I staggered into the handicapped stall, tears blurring my vision, and vomited violently. My body shook uncontrollably. Over and over, my stomach clenched. I continued to vomit. My stomach was empty, but my body was completely out of control. It convulsed repeatedly. Tears streamed down my face. The panic hung in the air like a thick fog. I felt a hand on my shoulder. Dixie's voice. "Shhhhh, its ok. You have to breathe. Mrs. A, grab a water." I heard the restroom door open and close. Smells, sounds, they were so vivid. So pronounced. But yet my thoughts and vision were a swirling mess.
The door opened and closed again and Mrs. A entered the stall with a bottle of water, "Do you want me to get QS?" She asked softly. I nodded, unable to speak thru the sobs and convulsions. Dixie continued to speak quietly and soothingly. She rubbed my arms, handed me the water, telling me to drink, making me focus on breathing. My mind continued to race, but my body was starting to calm down. The door thumped and I heard his voice. Then he stepped into the stall. Dixie took a step back.
The tears flowed freely as QS squatted down in front of me. My arms snaked around his neck. "Babe...Babe...oh God, I'm so sorry! I never...meant....to hurt you. I can't....I can't take it awayyyyy...." He pulled me into his arms. Kissing the top of my head. "Hey, hey. Its ok. I'm ok. He's nothing to me. Settle down honey.Don't let him ruin our weekend. I don't know or care why he is here. Let it go. Shhhh. Stop crying. Look at me."I looked up into his gray/green eyes. "I love you. All of you. What happened is in the past. Stop crying. Clean up. Let's enjoy the rest of our dinner."
Mrs. A whispered, "Not to butt in or anything, but the family left. After he recognized you, Ascendant said he packed the family up and bailed." QS nodded. "See? Its ok. Come on. Let's go." I stared at him with doubt filled eyes, taking a swig of the water, and brushing tears from myface. He winked as he straighened up. I nodded feebly as he pulled me out of the floor and to my feet. He gave me a small hug and said, "I'm going to go back. Clean up. You're a hot mess. Always knew you would be if you drank." That last comment referred to an inside joke of ours. He smirked, then strode out the door.
Dixie and Mrs. A watched me silently. I looked at both of them. "I have to take his lead....right?" They both nodded. I sighed heavily and asked, "Do I look bad?" They glanced at one another knowingly, then both proceeded to give me the "Nah. Not too bad" "Oh not at all. Just dry the tears and blow your nose." bit.
And then I wake up.
I've noticing my pattern. When I am dealing with family stuff, I get terribly anxious, I feel unsure, and have precious little confidence in myself. I feel disposable. Shocker I know. And it goes across the board. Like suddenly, I can't do anything right. I feel bumbling and those voice whisper to me. "You should have tried harderrrrrr" "Why are you settling?" "Why can't you do anything riiiiight?"
I also feel a vicious uncontrollable urge to give myself physically to QS as much as possible, constantly. Like if I give as much of myself as much as I can, he will accept me and not reject me. Which sounds like Golden Vajayjay Syndrome. But it's not quite the same thing. I don't feel like a prize or special or like sleeping with me would establish world peace. But maybe if I give every shred of myself to him, he won't leave. That if he takes my physical body, he is in essence accepting my heart and soul? Which sounds cheap and shallow and utterly ridiculous typed out.That turns the whole thing intoa transaction and banishes intimacy. And really, fear actually prevents me from giving every piece of my heart and soul.
Standing up to FOO was actually a healthy step in my life. And they rejected it. Having 4 As was a really crappy step. And yet somehow QS has accepted me as I've made positive changes.My mind struggles to comprehend it. If "family is everything" is true, why did they reject me? And if *they* can,what about QS?
I *get* that he is here now.I *get* that he loves me. I *get* that we are working together. But it's really hard to let go of the fear when there is a new wound and the people who you thought would always be there, aren't anymore. Thus reinforcing the lifelong idea that I really will never be "enough". Kwim? I had started to release fear. But the whole family fallout tightened my grip on it.
Man, this is getting deep, fast. Why does there have to be 100 angles to everything? I'm a reeeally slow,stubborn learner.And if you have actually made it thru this novel of a post, please go easy on the lumber. This hurts enough.No need to knock me unconscious.
[This message edited by Aubrie at 5:17 PM, April 10th (Thursday)]
D-Day, June 10, 2012
You write very well, I could picture your dream as if I were there myself. I could feel your panic, it must be very distressing when you wake up from it.
I have no advice except maybe share this post with QS? Is he in the right place at the moment to support you?
Chin up. Unwavering. Fight. I can do this.
Maybe that's his approach. He knows I need reassurances, but instead of giving them, forces me to find them on my own? And I get the whole "healing is individual" speal, but, I don't know. Maybe I'm just too needy.
It's so strange to me how a dream can be not only so real, but an interpretation of real life. I received a link for dream symbolism yesterday. Nailed a lot of it. Kind of scary.
voice whisper to me. "You should have tried harderrrrrr" "Why are you settling?" "Why can't you do anything riiiiight?"
This sounds critical, like your dad's voice.
Which sounds cheap and shallow and utterly ridiculous typed out.That turns the whole thing intoa transaction and banishes intimacy.
I don't think it's cheap or shallow. I disagree with turning it into a transaction and banishing intimacy. If he DOES accept your body, and DOES accept your heart and soul too, then that is ULTIMATE intimacy. I've experienced a cheapened version of intimacy more times than I can count. For the first time in my life I think I'm learning that. It's like, now I know what intimacy is supposed to look like and what I've had in the past is cheap/shallow. I have a standard now by which I can compare. I'm just saying, I know the difference. And if you think about it, you do too. The "intimacy" you had with your APs was cheap and shallow. What you have with QS is real. KWIM?
But it's really hard to let go of the fear when there is a new wound and the people who you thought would always be there, aren't anymore.
I've experienced abandonment too, by one person who was supposed to love unconditionally, my father. I absolutely get what you're saying and I struggle with these same demons. I have a lot of insecurity (from this and other things) and SO is constantly having to reassure me, both with words and actions, that he's not going anywhere. Does QS say anything like this to you? SO seems to just repeat, as often as I need to hear it, "I'm not going anywhere." It really helps.
[This message edited by abbycadabby at 11:02 AM, April 11th (Friday)]
Another part of my agreement with sisoon is that if I want something to help me deal with old beliefs and feelings, it's always ok to ask him for support I think might help me (hugs, holding, etc.), and he will decide if he is in a place to give that to me. (Usually he is.) But he doesn't want to hear and be pulled in to trying to fix my issues. He gave me support for my issues all through our marriage, and I took in as much as I could then, but the missing part now is giving that love and support to myself, which I am working on in my IC and MC.
A little long-winded, but the main point I wanted to make is that this sounds like a positive dream to me, despite your internal issues which were so painful to experience.
it's always ok to ask him for support I think might help me (hugs, holding, etc.),
I have wonderful friends who I speak to. They are supportive, they analyze stuff with me. But I struggle letting it "all hang out" so to speak, with QS. I don't show him the very ugly pieces. He's seen enough. I work it out on my own. I feel this ache to share it all with him. I *want* to. But I hold it back.
I dunno. Makes me wonder if I'm a lost cause. That I can never overcome the "not enough" that's been drilled into me. I never realized how tightly it was woven into the fibers of my very being. It's every freaking where.
[This message edited by sunnyrain at 1:04 PM, April 14th (Monday)]
First off? Kudos to remembering your dreams so vividly. Mine are gone 20 minutes after I wake up, no matter how vivid they are at the time.
There's a lot going on here, methinks. Also, I enjoy stating the obvious.
I've read it a few times now over the course of the two days it's been posted, so here's my take:
I think it's pretty clear from this dream and your posts that you hold a significant amount of some feeling (Anger? Loathing? Disappointment? Disgust?) towards yourself, and it sounds to me like it's going unresolved.
It also feels like there's a three-way cage match going on in your head between:
"How much YOU believe QS has forgiven you"
"How much QS says he has forgiven you"
"How much YOU perceive that QS' actions indicate he has forgiven you"
Meaning, I gather there is a disconnect floating around in the dynamic between your individual perspectives of the conception of forgiveness and how it manifests itself IRL. From what you've previously indicated, QS isn't much of a talker and sharer, per se, and so it's hard to get a good bead on where he's at emotionally for you.
It feels like you may still be pegging your personal forgiveness to QS level of forgiveness for you by taking your cues from how much it seems like QS has forgiven (and accepted) you. So, it fluctuates, dependent upon his mood, but irrespective where his actual level of forgiveness sits in his own mind. I don't think I need to tell you how dangerous making assumptions about where other people are at mentally is...you already know all that.
He doesn't give off a whole lot of verbal or non-verbal info regarding his inner workings, and so you may be unconsciously trying to assemble a picture using the limited information you're working with, re: his mental state. The HB stuff plays into it, I think, because it gives you some kind of feedback that QS is accepting and loving you...but it seems like you've already figured that out.
They glanced at one another knowingly, then both proceeded to give me the "Nah. Not too bad" "Oh not at all. Just dry the tears and blow your nose."
If you don't stand for anything, what will you fall for?
I want you to know that I HAVE EXPERIENCED GETTING PAST IT (emphasis, not shouting). It is only occasional, but my therapist says to have patience, it will increase. I needed to identify the internal messages, grieve the pain, let myself feel the anger, and consciously create the sense of being loved by my husband. He has always said that he loves me even when he is angry with me, but I had to let myself believe it. I have heard you describe many ways in which QS has expressed that kind of love for you. I agree with Ascendant that you may need to create that picture of his underlying love for you, instead of a picture that comes from your own negative beliefs about yourself and what you guess he is thinking from more surface behavior.
As far as asking for support, I did not mean to say that the agreements sisoon and I have would be the same as what you and QS would work out. You have different personalities, different life experiences, and different experiences with therapy. We have had lots of therapy, and sisoon is very good at nurturing himself and taking care of his feelings. QS has just started the therapy process and may not be in a place to be so available. Again, you need to ask him. (We worked out our agreements about communicating in the presence of our MC. We (or at least I) certainly never would have been able to do it alone. The main thing is, if he says he loves you and that you are a good person, at least hear that that is what he is saying. Don't try to guess what kind of support he would or would not be willing to give - ask him. This can change from one time to another, of course, which is why it is so helpful to agree what it is ok to ask, and to agree that a person who is asked for something has complete freedom to say yes, no, or not now.
I am writing from my own experience, so please take what is relevant to you and leave the rest. And we hope we will see you in Chicago IRL! (Yeah for me, I used an abbreviation!)
I'm sorry you're struggling. I really admire the work you're doing to understand and grow.
How do I believe my parents when they say they love me? (Not that they have recently) I have heard my dad say, "I love you, but I don't like you." so.many.times. There has rarely, if ever, been a simple "I love you" with no strings attached. I don't believe him anyway. Who says that to their kid? Every fricking thing is conditional. Always has been. For QS to say, "I love you. I'm not going anywhere." My mind goes to:
1. Does he really mean it? No strings attached? No conditions? No disclaimers? Not staying because of the kids?
2. And if so, why? He is quiet. So...."I'm not leaving". Well why not? "Just cause." That is very scary to me. And my mind wanders back to point 1. Is it because of the kids and the broken home concept? Is it because of religious purposes? Why? A simple quiet "I'm not leaving" scares me. Maybe because it is so simple? And it *doesn't* have conditions and disclaimers. And round and round I go.
He *has* expressed his loyalty and stability so many times. Even when he hasn't verbalized. Yet it's so hard to just let go and embrace. Because of everything else. Because the parental voices in my head tell me otherwise. And yes, I totally see I'm shooting myself in the foot with all this. I want a partnership with him. I want to heal *with* him. But I know I need to get a handle on this on my own too.
Doing some serious thinking here. Thanks peeps.