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Repost my view on Remorse

uncertainone posted 2/19/2013 13:11 PM

This fell off and can't be bumped. Reported by request...hope it helps others.

I've been on this site about 2 1/2 years. Lurked about six months before that. The thing that struck me was the "remorse rollercoaster" I've seen so much. I never experienced that even when I hit the full effects of the pain I caused myself. I chalked it up to the fact I'm different in many emotional areas than those I see on SI.
As I talked more, in real life with others, and some SI friends here, I started seeing some that experienced it the same way so at least felt more comfortable. I've had a few members PM me in the past questioning whether I was. I'd question myself too.

Was talking with a trainer that was giving a team building class at work and got on the topic of how to help an employee facilitate change in a process or behavior that was counter productive. He'd done some work with criminals and recidivism and brought up "true remorse". He was telling me that studies have been done showing that an individual displaying "false remorse" many times goes through much more dramatic emotional swings...anger, disgust, fear, contempt, even happiness, while some of those that truly felt it appeared more neutral.

For me, when the enormity of my actions hit there was a great deal to process. A complete internal pull of all my resources inward to accept what I'd done and to sit with it for a bit. I'd have failed most BS's test right off the bat. I said very little, was very quiet, and distant. I had to work through what I was feeling and the intensity I was feeling it. It surprised me and actually paralyzed me for a bit.

I'd have been the last thing anyone would want to see from a "truly" remorseful wayward yet the work being done was very real.

I'm like that when I find out I hurt someone else's feelings. When I apologize I mean every word and do what I need to do to make sure it never happens again. It doesn't look like a hallmark card though. My SO has seen that. I also don't need apologies when I've been hurt. I know from the person's actions whether it will happen again.

I'm not posting as a spokesman for wayward's at all and know that everyone is individual. Just hope some don't assume that because their WS isn't showing what they thought they'd be seeing and should see that they aren't doing the work and not appreciating the enormity of their actions. It may be exactly because they are that they're seeing what they're seeing.

This shit takes time and a lot of very hard painful work. When some BS's find out the person they thought they could trust betrayed them it levels them, shatters all they knew and believed. Some of us go through a similar thing and are leveled by the fact we could do that to ourselves, much less someone that we promised to love and cherish.

I'm not posting this to elicit sympathy or empathy from BS's and would not even be comfortable with it. It seems so ridiculous to feel those feelings when I was the one that was making the very choices that caused this pain. That, in and of itself was a huge bowl of suck. I actually divorced myself and wanted nothing to do with me for quite a while. Gone was my inner dialog I used to enjoy and find so much comfort. Stayed away from friends, couldn't do things I enjoyed. Forget even trying to read a book or watch a movie. I wasn't there at all. I was in mourning.

The gift of R is something I still struggle with accepting from myself and had to find grace in order to even begin it. Luckily the HB has been fun.

AFrayedKnot posted 2/19/2013 15:01 PM

Thank you so much for reposting. This helped me a lot when I much of the same in my fWS.

still-living posted 2/19/2013 15:55 PM

For me, when the enormity of my actions hit there was a great deal to process. A complete internal pull of all my resources inward to accept what I'd done and to sit with it for a bit. I'd have failed most BS's test right off the bat. I said very little, was very quiet, and distant. I had to work through what I was feeling and the intensity I was feeling it. It surprised me and actually paralyzed me for a bit.

Thank you for sharing this. I see this often in my wife and conclude its a demonstration of acceptance and having control, opposite of someone who is not remorseful, not accepting, and desperately winging it.

tired girl posted 2/20/2013 16:50 PM

The first time you posted this it got to me, and it got to me this time to.

The part about being in mourning for yourself, divorced from yourself. Ya, that sucked. I remember my IC asking me when I was going to start doing the thing I love doing most, I told her I had no idea. I couldn't imagine doing it ever again.

I have been back at it for about a year now.

My remorse was never the loud, breaking down sobbing kind either. But I know Hlessons knew I was serious.

Just as I knew he was. He was the same way with his remorse. I probably wouldn't have trusted anything else honestly.

Nolimits posted 2/20/2013 17:18 PM

I actually divorced myself and wanted nothing to do with me for quite a while. Gone was my inner dialog I used to enjoy and find so much comfort. Stayed away from friends, couldn't do things I enjoyed. Forget even trying to read a book or watch a movie. I wasn't there at all. I was in mourning.

^^^ this (and the rest of the post) really has me thinking today. I don't claim to be remorseful (haven't done enough work yet) but I can claim some of this.

[This message edited by Nolimits at 5:24 PM, February 20th (Wednesday)]

crazyblindsided posted 2/22/2013 14:37 PM

Just hope some don't assume that because their WS isn't showing what they thought they'd be seeing and should see that they aren't doing the work and not appreciating the enormity of their actions. It may be exactly because they are that they're seeing what they're seeing.

This shit takes time and a lot of very hard painful work. When some BS's find out the person they thought they could trust betrayed them it levels them, shatters all they knew and believed. Some of us go through a similar thing and are leveled by the fact we could do that to ourselves, much less someone that we promised to love and cherish.

Thank you for posting this. I kept hoping my WH would show the kind of remorse I read about here but now realize that his remorse may be more neutral whereas mine was the sobbing kind.

I do think he has remorse now and it took a while to get to this point (many D-days and broken NC). He is doing and saying things that have been very helpful to our healing. He is putting in work to make it better now and to me that shows he has remorse for his past actions.

blakesteele posted 2/24/2013 04:05 AM

God bless you for posting this. I believe I am married to a WW that process like you state...and that WAS not even an option in my mind.

I too wish I had a WS that immediately denounced the afair and begged for my forgivenes...now I see another way my wife can possilby be dealing with the A.


Tired girl...thank you for pointing me to this.

AFrayedKnot posted 2/24/2013 12:39 PM

trytoforgive posted 2/24/2013 13:56 PM

I did the exact opposite of this. I was remorseful immediately- truly remorseful. Mascara and snot running down my face remorseful. Went NC immediately, sent my phone with him when he moved out so he would know that I was serious.

But that was my normal. I had been scraping at him for years. I had been begging him to love me for years, so when my A was outed, my begging and vulnerability came naturally. I just wanted him to love me.

It took about 2 years and lots of bullshit in between for me to realize that the person I had betrayed the most- and had been betraying for years- was me.

I looked like the perfect WS in the beginning- now? Not so much. Now I look like a human being that is healing and gaining strength and self-love. I am truly remorseful for what I did. And I am grateful for
every step that brought me to where I am. I'm not done yet- nowhere near- but the person I look at in the mirror everyday greatly resembles the woman and mother I want to be.

Thanks for the post, UO. You're awesome.

AFrayedKnot posted 8/1/2013 16:50 PM

When this was originally posted it changed my perspective on the reality of my expectations

uncertainone posted 8/2/2013 12:21 PM

I looked like the perfect WS in the beginning

Just posted about this in general. Yep. I read on here that reaction to finding out your spouse betrayed you to be, "holyshit, must save marriage...Can't lose them". After time it's "you're still here? God damn it!!!". Our immediate reactions ain't real sustainable, always. Good sometimes, not others.

Remorse is a word that to me is a lot like love. Transparent and reflects the background flora and fauna. Doesn't float above as this sacred thing. When we're healthy it reflects that. When it spills into our ugly nooks and crannies it reflects that too. Still can be there, just has aches chills and fever. As we heal those areas that reflection will look a whole lot better.

Funny how the expectation right out of the gate for the "flawed broken pathetic coward" wayward, as we're sometimes described on here and prolly more than a few are, is to have remorse down to a fine art. Nope. Takes a lot of slogging through shit to become proficient at owning that ground.

AFrayedKnot posted 1/26/2014 09:08 AM

Bump

Ascendant posted 1/26/2014 09:15 AM

Good stuff. Great stuff. Her and I talked about being 'internal processors'.

20WrongsVs1 posted 1/26/2014 13:02 PM

Funny how the expectation right out of the gate for the "flawed broken pathetic coward" wayward...is to have remorse down to a fine art.

Thanks for bumping, Chicho, this was "before my time" and it really speaks to me now, so I'd like to comment even though OP is gone. In the immediate aftermath of DDay, I was incapable of remorse, because (after childhood trauma) I'd become profoundly disconnected from my emotions. Had never really felt guilty about anything in life, ever...and not because I was as pure as the wind-driven snow

For me, when the enormity of my actions hit there was a great deal to process. A complete internal pull of all my resources inward to accept what I'd done and to sit with it for a bit. I'd have failed most BS's test right off the bat.

It took several months of therapy for me to truly *feel* ashamed of what I'd done, and become capable of delivering a sincere apology. That was a long time for BH to wait. Possibly too long.

20WrongsVs1 posted 10/10/2014 11:17 AM

Bumped again because I was thinking about this post today. Some WS may never achieve remorse, but hopefully most WS here on SI are continuing to slog toward it. Every day.

Funny how the expectation right out of the gate for the "flawed broken pathetic coward" wayward, as we're sometimes described on here and prolly more than a few are, is to have remorse down to a fine art. Nope. Takes a lot of slogging through shit to become proficient at owning that ground.

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