[This message edited by Ladyogilvy at 12:49 PM, September 27th (Tuesday)]
Lady, I can't imagine how betrayed I'd feel if my ex refused to tell me the identity of his OW. What do you plan to do?
imthe, yes, writing things like that is definitely cathartic. Try journaling about it and it will really help you get things out. Even just a set "I'm going to write for 20 minutes about nothing." helps to get you started. I'm so sorry to hear what you went through. It's incredibly rough for any child and it has huge lasting effects. I know that it has for me - even when I think that I'm not affected by it sometimes I am.
@ Ladyogilvy's WH:
I know you'll read this. Give Her What She Is Asking For! Are you wanting to R or not?! If you're a member of SI, do the reading. T-R-A-N-S-P-A-R-E-N-C-Y. Take responsibility for your actions WH, and do the work to R.
My heart goes out to you for what you endured, and for what you were able to do at such a young age to protect your brother. I would second island_girl's recommendation at journaling as a starting point, and get back into IC. Not all Counselors are created equal; shop around. Read up on EMDR; it might be a helpful addition to any work you do.
The couple who came by after I got a handle on things made an offer on the house. The current counter on the table will require the STBXWW and I to put up $5K each to walk away from the house. The appraisal was last Friday, and the potential buyers did a home inspection today. I have to double-time now to look for a potential place I can go with my 2 Dachshunds, just in case it all goes through.
Last Wednesday was the 1-year anniversary of D-Day, and it fell on the night of my GC. It was very hard going, and it really brought some stuff to the surface. I have a lot to think about.
I've been triggering off-and-on since Sunday, but not so much re the childhood issues (though there may be some related stuff attached). I got invited to fill a cancelation at a work-friend's wedding. I car-pooled up with the other late invite who is the coworker who knows the whole story (thanks to the Tequilla episode on the STBXWW's b-day in December). We talked re each of our respective wedding days so long ago, and I was fine that evening. She had asked if I thought I would ever get married again.
That question got me to thinking re the whole length of my now-defunct marriage, how it started, the connection my STBXWW and I had, the last years as I now see how she pushed me away and my crappy coping mechanisms coupled with trust in her let her convince me that what my gut said was a growing distance was just the "normal" way couples interract over time, let her convince me we were fine. I should have listened to my gut long before...again I have crappy coping mechanisms. Honestly, I could have done more work to make the marriage better. I own at least 50% of the trouble in our former marriage.
I want to get to a place where I will be able to trust someone again. I want to think that if I meet someone new, I will pick someone I can give my trust to again. There is a song by Martina McBride called, "That Wasn't Me"...has a line that says:
You can't love if you can't trust
Her memory's hurt you long enough
Let your heart see
That wasn't me
I know I'm not ready to date yet, let alone think of this. But I realize that if I cannot find a way to trust someone new, how will I be able to truly share my heart? Sorry, just my musings at this point.
You know, I used to be a big roller coaster enthusiast. The nice thing about physical roller coasters is that, while the ride is wild and exhilerating, it is over in under 2 minutes. This emotional-roller coaster thing sucks. How do I get off this ride? Oh wait, thats right...time (worst 4-letter word of all). Oh yeah, and lots more work on my part. Ugh. Soooo wish there was a fast-forward button.
Well, lets end this mini-novel on a brighter note. I started taking Ballroom Dancing classes again. It is very fun; something I had to give up with the STBXWW as she had no rythm, no interest in dancing, and was horribly jealous (she was always sure *I* would be the one to cheat...that's a big red flag for any future persons of interest). Apart from the joy of rediscovering an activity I used to love, learning new dances altogether, etc....dancing also gives me something I do not otherwise get in real life -- human contact.
I have also re-connected with some of my female friends that I'd let go of because of the STBXWW. I am getting out with more friends in general. And one of the students I helped my teacher train just passed his shodan (black belt) test. And my instructor promoted 2 of my students (just moving up through the kyu ranks, but still...) tonight after consulting with me.
Note: Edited as I had the wrong songwriter...
[This message edited by CanISurvive at 4:23 AM, October 17th (Monday)]
Moved my stats to my Profile; click there for my story.
I am a Phoenix; I may be in the ashes stage at the moment, but I am now actively working on my Rebirth. =)
PS: I edit posts for typos & clarity
Shortly thereafter, I met another girl. She also claimed that she had been raped. It was a very nonchalant comment that quickly moved to something else. I guess my job and personality seemed to attract that sort of thing (a short term girlfriend before was beaten up by her ex-husband). Two years later we got married. Over the span of the next several years we had two kids, and I put myself through college. I worked some really odd hours, and she dealt with depression from what I was lead to believe stemmed from her pregnancies.
About four years ago, we did have some distance between us. By this time, I'd left the police department and gotten a "normal" job working in an administrative job for a city. We had a big discussion one night about what direction we were going to take. We decided to work on us. The next day I found out she had been introduced to another guy by a supposed friend at her work. I found this out when I saw an explicit text come across her phone that she happen to leave behind. She and him were making plans to spend the night at someone's house for a party, despite our conversation the night before. From going through the messages, she hadn't said anything explicit, but I could certainly see where he planned for it to go. I called and of course he didn't answer. I left him a message. He heeded my warning because he never contacted her again. I blew up. When she got back I was ready to end everything. We talked, and spent several days arguing and all sorts of fun stuff. She started counseling for depression, got on medication, but stopped counseling after two sessions. After that, things kind of went back to being OK again.
Two years ago, my wife lost her job. No biggie, she's lost them before, but this time she couldn't find another one. She has never had a problem finding a job. I tried to encourage her and show her it wasn't anything to do with her, but the economy was just overall going downhill. It started to put us in a bind, but I knew we'd be OK. She started getting really distant from me again, and guarding her phone, staying up all night, etc. I should have known better. I thought to myself so many times that I wanted to take her phone with me to work just to see who sent her anything. I wish I had.
Finally, she went "shopping" after I got home one evening and came back with alcohol on her breath. I confronted her. She said a female friend of her's went out. I knew this was a lie because her female friend wouldn't have paid for the whole tab. She said it was a friend from high school. I started watching her phone bill like a hawk.
After a couple weeks, I confronted her again about all the numbers. She said she was meeting people on Facebook games. Two numbers stood out, so I did a check on them. I also did more digging. I found out she sent naked pictures of herself to those two numbers, and shortly thereafter, naked pictures of herself had gone to quite a few numbers. It was at this point that she told me something that after being married for almost nine years I did not know. When she was 5 or 6 years old (about the age of our two daughters), she was sexually molested and raped almost every day for about six months to a year by a much older cousin. She'd tried to tell her mom what happened when she was in high school, but her mom told her to drop the subject.
OK, so I go into police mode and put all my emotions on hold. I throw us into an EAP for marriage counseling, and I get her into personal counseling immediately. During the marriage counseling, I just spend six sessions begging for the truth I know I'm still not being told, and it keeps going back to the fact that she was sexually abused. We come out of the marriage counseling having accomplished nothing. She continues in personal counseling, and slowly I start to learn some things about what happened. Her family relationship is poor at best, so I work with her to try and rebuild what she wants. We confront her parents, stuff like that.
Meanwhile, I'm in full on detective mode. She'd deleted every email on the day I confronted her about the initial texts, so there was nothing there. But based on conversations she had with other people, I was able to bluff her into admitting stuff. It took a little more than a year, but I found out she was responding to craigslist personal ads. The one person she went out with was a craigslist ad, but nothing happened, just drinks at an applebees. She went to dinner and a movie with a guy she knew from high school one time, and it took another 8 months to get her to admit that not only did she have sex with him at a motel, but she also did the oral sex thing in the car in the parking lot of the movie theater, which lead to the motel.
As far as I go, she's been able to completely play as if that whole thing is something that's utterly meaningless to her. She keeps saying she has no idea why she did it, but she says when she couldn't find a job, she felt worthless. Then she was suicidal, she thought she didn't deserve anything she had, she felt like the only way to get attention was to be provocative. The only way to get that one guy to pay attention to her was to give him oral sex, and she says she did not want to have sex with him. She doesn't even like to do that. The hard part for me is not only did she never admit to anything, I drug it all out of her, but when she did come out with the truth, at times she would embellish things. She said when they were in the motel that they took a shower together. She said that once, but then she said that it never happened. To me it almost seems like she's trying to make it seem like the whole scenario wasn't the hooker scene it really appears to be. All he didn't do was pay her at the end of the day. They never saw each other again.
He wanted her to go out of town with him, and a few days after this one incident, she told him she couldn't do it. She told me that ultimately it wasn't what she wanted and she felt out of control of herself, but she had no idea how to stop it.
Right before I found all this out, I went to my wife's personal counselor by myself and told her what I believed I was probably going to find out. I went in the next week and confirmed exactly what I told her. My wife had hid the affair stuff from her own counselor too. From there we started going together. The counselor kind of beat me up a lot saying that I wouldn't go for stuff she would want to try, and I would think it's all hocus pocus because I'd spent so much time as a cop. I didn't care about all that, I just wanted to get over this. I've felt stuff I've never felt before. Ultimately, she told me that maybe I should go confront this guy. I told her I didn't think that was a good idea. She asked me why, and I told her I absolutely could not promise this guy's family an open casket. That was when she told me there wasn't anything else she could do for me, and said if I wanted further counseling that I should find someone else. Needless to say, I've given up on going through all this again.
Does anyone have any idea how I wrap my brain around this? For me, the injustice that some guy out there would be such a coward to sneak around behind me and do that is unfathomable. The other is how do I understand how my wife could seemingly care about her family, but do something that is completely out of character for her? I have been around child sex offenders and victims plenty, but for some reason, when it is this close to you, and it affects you this personally, you never realize just how far the damage goes from the epicenter. I've read so many books on these subjects to be an expert.
We are working on this, and I give her tons of credit, she's doing her part. She knows she screwed up, and she is working her butt off, but I just have serious mood swings, anxiety, crap I've never had issues with before, but I guess it pales in comparison; I can't imagine what she endured when she was younger.
[This message edited by NotDefeatedYet at 12:44 PM, October 19th (Wednesday)]
I have to call the STBXWW to make sure she has her half ready, also to take re how we will split up the interest for our final tax filing as Married. Should be loads of fun.
How is everyone doing? Been quiet here lately, apart from our newest group member, NotDefeatedYet. Hope everyone is doing well...or at least as well as can be expected.
Started therapy for the umpteenth time last week....
We'll see what happens...
I know this all has something to do with not only my abuse but also my moms handling of it as well as my daughters molestation by my father and my mothers response to THAT!
And then my WS and his 6 year affair....
I need out of my self-destructive choices/cycle...
I need to breathe again....
NotDefeated, I'm glad to hear that you two are working on things. But don't let the CIS - though a huge issue - to overwhelm the betrayal and the consequences of her affair. They are two separate issues - yes, related - but very separate.
letitbe, I hope that counseling and meds work for you this time. It sounds like you're dealing with a lot.
let it be me:
Ouch, ouch, ouch, and ouch! Wow, that is a *lot* to deal with. As you pick an IC to work on all of this, my strongest recommendation is to shop around. As I've said in various posts across this site, not all counselors are created equal. The first one I saw post D-Day, and for 3 months following D-Day, was sypmathetic, but wasn't really helping. My current IC is much better. I tried to make appointments with a total of 8 different counselors before I picked the current one...and most of those were so overbooked they weren't taking any new patients! I met with a total of 3, gave each a brief synopsis, and asked a lot of questions re their approach. I then selected the current one, who has really helped. Look up EMDR therapy; you might find it very helpful in the short term. It really helped me.
You hit the nail on the head brother. She is completely blame-shifting, and gets mad because you call her on it. And I 2nd what both you and island_girl stated; the abuse was not a choice (who would ever choose that?), but fidelity in marriage is *definitely* a choice.
I am working in IC now to try to mitigate some of the damage from my abuse that has shaped some patterns, behaviors, and aspects of my personality. I am working on establishing healthier choices and behaviors.
While I was abused, I *never* cheated. That is a separate choice. While for her the two may be connected, it was still her choice to cheat. She will have to live with the consequences, and have to do the extra work to deal with both her past abuse and her choice of betraying her marriage. I hope for your sake she is able to step up to the plate.
I am slowly settling in to the rental. My busy life makes it difficult to unpack (work, walking dogs, martial arts, counseling, ballroom dancing -- full plate!). Since I will be moving in 1 year (when my job site moves to the exact opposite side of town), I am selecting what I will unpack and what I will simply store. I made some real progress in the last few weeks; turns out having to sell the home was truly a blessing (funny thing for an agnostic to say). I have only a few lingering items from the old home and old life, but the change of scenery has really helped me to start moving forward. Even if the rental home I'm in now is pink with white trim (inside and out; oy!).
[This message edited by CanISurvive at 2:54 PM, November 27th (Sunday)]
Hang in there, man. I know its a real blow when you lose the trust. I'm keeping you in my thoughts.
I "won" the custody and moved to another state with my current H. Both parents and all my siblings testified against me.
I wrote my parents and sibs out of my life for several years, then my mother begged me to talk to her and "try again." My dad died 4 years ago without ever having apologized to me....
My mother is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, I am pretty sure. She lives by herself. My kids live here near me, about 450 miles from my FOO.
So last year when my son was getting married, he sent out little photo refrigerator magnets with a pic of him and his now wife.
In speaking to my mother on the phone the other day, she made a comment that my brother looks at that picture of DIL (which my mother said is not attractive in the picture) and makes fun of the way my DIL looks. My mother thought it was hilarious. I was outraged at this behavior.
I mean this is a grown man in his 50s ridiculing my DIL over the way she looks in a stupid picture.
Does anyone else struggle with these issues of whether to stay in contact with family members who have been abusive?? I do not get any emotional benefit from talking to my mother, and the brother involved I do not speak to at all. My head is swimming.
I did not challenge my mother on this issue, and now I am wondering if I should. I thought I could just keep calling her every couple of weeks, she is 77 years old, and I felt no need to rock the boat, so to speak. Or am I compromising my integrity here? Should I just say forget it?
I have been told I am ungrateful. I have been told that my parents were "too old" to deal with my problems. I have been told that I had better hope my kids don't do to me what I "did" to my parents...
I thought I could reach a detente with my mother, but this remark has gotten under my skin worse than anything in quite awhile.
I just don't know. I am so offended at this behavior, I am literally shaking. Anyone have advice?
[This message edited by shattered123 at 5:47 PM, December 5th (Monday)]
It is so difficult to deal with family. The hurts run so deep. I don't think that your mother or brother will ever change their hurtful ways. Some people are just so toxic that you have to keep them out of your life to survive.
I want to recommend a book that I bought years ago to help me deal with mainly my toxic sister. It doesn't read like a novel, more like a work book and it is faith based. I found myself in it and didn't like what I was and worked on changing myself and how I deal with other relationships.
Look it up on Amazon and read reviews. It's called "Toxic Relationships and how to change them, by Dr. Clinton W. McLemore
I think you should tell your mother how offended you feel. She will probably will not give a damn or tell you that you are overly sensitive. Do it anyway.
"There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, Things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go."
See you later...
I have learned so much recently about my voice in FOO issues. I have learned to say what I must for my own sanity's sake. I refuse to be victimized further by my own silence. It causes me more pain internalizing and obbsessing over issues than it does to vocalize respectfully that I have been hurt.
heart_in_a_blender is unfortunatly correct. They most likely will minimize and not accept responsibility for your pain, but you will feel much better about yourself for voicing it to them in a mature, respectful manner.
A few years ago, I engaged in shouting matches with her over the phone, demanding an apology. Really, what good is an apology when extracted in this fashion? She eventually did angrily say she was sorry, but then promptly my sister, who had just been released from prison, started calling and attacking me. So I know they are toxic, I have stood up for the truth for my entire life, and in the end, she is just withering away since my father's death. She has never acknowledged the truth and never will.
It would be so much easier to just stop talking to her. If I challenge her in any way, she will retaliate in a way that I do not want to deal with. I thought about sending her a picture of myself for her refrigerator and telling her, "here is another pic for my brother to make fun of.." I just might do that.
Otherwise, she is what she is. I have accepted that I only control myself. I thank God every day for the 450 miles that separate us. I have not seen her in over a year. I am still constantly on guard with her, and I suppose always will be.
Again, thank you for the kindness of your responses. I am definitely going to buy the book.
Just offering my condolences. Never had to deal with any family issues related to my CSAB.
One of my dear friends, and one of the handful of people who know my whole story outside of SI, hase a very toxic mother too. She rarely refers to her as other than "birth mother" or by her bm's 1st name. Her bm tried to give her away when she was less than 2 yrs old. Her father, in the service at the time, got his parents to take and raise her til his tour of duty was over (submariners didnt get a lot of down time). When I heard about her childhood, I counted my lucky stars I had the family I did (screwy as mine was, hers was much worse).
We get to choose our friends, but not our families. It might be best to just disengage until you've had a chance to get and read the book recommended above. Sending good thoughts your way.
[This message edited by CanISurvive at 6:23 AM, December 15th (Thursday)]