Married 2.5 years
Reconciling after divorce
Even though I continue to explore my "whys" and try to piece together the puzzle it still shocks me.
I am also disgusted at my behavior. I think about it constantly. Every morning when I awake it is the first thing I remember. Sometimes I will feel nauseous and other times it will feel like there is this weight on me that will never be lifted.
Disgust, repulsion, shock, disbelief, fear/confusion (who am I?) depression are all feelings I have towards the A and myself.
It is normal but it can be hard to deal with.
What helps me is knowing that every day I am taking action to be a better person. That action may be as small as reading an article, going on SI or validating my BH's feelings. But it is action and the more I take action the less powerless and hopeless I feel.
Yes, that selfish cruelty was a part of me-but it doesn't have to always be.
"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom" Anais Nin
W/H-currently has a new girlfriend. We are still living in same house.
I just feel like I was on another planet. Still trying to figure out who this person was that was capable of doing something like this. And scared that that actually existed inside me.
And it is very difficult to move forward, start to give yourself the validation you thought you needed to get from other people when "this" is in your past. But that's what we are supposed to do to be healthy. We are supposed to believe our mistakes do not have to define us. That we are not bad, we made bad choices. Tall order to fill...
[This message edited by bewuzzled at 6:51 PM, June 18th (Monday)]
And not trying to t/j but:
This is not to take away from my responsibility for the A but when I think back to that time I feel as if I was a "zombie"-just going through the motions of my life and feeling extremely numb. It has also been hard for me to comprehend how I could have done something so malicious.
This completely. I was at a large annual event last weekend. I remember exactly what happened in the day or so before this event last year. I actually remember being at the event, yet not being there if that makes sense. I was a total mess, yet to the outside world except as it turns out my husband I think it was un-noticeable, and this was common after A events for the entire year it happened I think. Last weekend I was chatting with friends, organizing (I help organize this event), etc...and literally after the event I stopped and thought 'whoa, this is SO different from last year.' I can't even explain it, but the conversations with friends I had, they were genuine, I was not distracted, fully present and aware at the event. It was such a good feeling.
So yeah, embarrassment, shock, etc, that was all part of the aftermath of the affair as I had to re-live it and tell my BH (and still now as I have to tell my therapists). I had never been a liar before, never lived a double life like that, never said that kind of stuff to someone other than my husband, never purposefully deceived someone like this, and never been such a mess in my entire life.
I think we all feel this way.
One thing I have realized is that I have a serious problem with compartmentalization. It developed as a defense mechanism when I was younger and is one of the biggest challenges I face.
BS wonders sometimes at the fact that I compartmentalize everything so thoroughly, but I finally shared with him what I went through as a kid. It helped him to know where my compartmentalization came from. Not sure if you have shared with your BS your traumatic event as a child, but it might help them feel like they understand you better?
The disconnect between "me" in the affair and "me" currently is amazing. The things I did didn't faze me at the time, even though now I look back with total humiliation.
My BW was reading some of her journals from the time right before, during, and after my A, and my words and actions at that time truly sicken me. I have such a hard time remembering a lot of the details, because A#1 was 14 years ago, but she has it in black and white. I think even then I was trying so hard to compartmentalize my feelings and not be in touch with how much pain I put my wife through back then.
I keep trying to explain to her that I am not doing that this time, that I am not trying to hide myself from experiencing what she is feeling right now.
She looks at me and just asks how could I do all of this if I really love her. She does not understand how I can say that when I was having my As that I only thought about myself, and looking back what what I did really makes me sick. I realize that it is all of my fault, i did those things to the one person in my life who really ever loved or cared for me.
Have any other WS done this?
Of course, my gut reaction is to think this is more TT, but now, at this point, I believe she is really just struggling to remember stuff. We have, hopefully, all the "big" stuff out, and now my questions are just getting into specifics. I'm trying really hard to emphasize with her, but it's hard, since I'm OCD, and remember SO much better than she does... hard to grasp that some of these things can just be 'forgotten'.
In my case, it is stunning how much and how quickly I can forget. The desire to purge the thoughts/feelings/etc is very strong and effective. I'm still exploring it in IC but suspect it has to do with preserving the self-image of oneself as a 'good person'... answering the "how do you sleep at night/ live with yourself/etc" line of questioning that I imagine many of us on SI ask and are questioned with.
Have any of you discussed in IC how to handle compartmentalizing so this doesn't happen again? I would imagine it is a habit started very young for survival or preservation.
How to you notice or prevent this from happening?