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User Topic: Does having a traumatic childhood make it harder to heal?
Scubachick
♀ Member
Member # 39906
Default  Posted: 2:50 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I had a very dysfunctional and abusive childhood...the kind they write books about. No one noticed or cared if I came home at night or if I went to school. As a teen I drank and did drugs with my mother. I was a shy, anxious, insecure, quiet, severely depressed and I had zero self confidence and major trust issues. I truly felt unloved by my parents. The only positive part about my childhood was my sister. She was my protector, my bestfriend, my everything.
When I met my husband at 18, I was damaged goods. I had a hard time adjusting to being treated so well. My husband provided a safe place for me to fall and I began the long process of therapy to undo the damage. It wasn't easy but I made great progress in therapy and I really blossomed into a confident, loving, trusting, healthy woman.
Years pass by and then bam...My sister dies at 38. I've never been more than 5 miles away from sister in my entire life.Turns my whole world upside down. A year and a half later I discover my husband's EA. The only man I've ever trusted and the only man who I ever felt loved and respected by. I feel like all the progress I made in therapy was stripped away. And I'm once again the scared, insecure, little girl with very little coping skills. I feel like an idiot for allowing so much of who I thought I was to be wrapped up in one man. How can the man that helped build me up, be the same one that brought me down?. I've been in therapy long enough to know what I need to do to fix myself but I don't do it. It's like I'm frozen. I feel so alone, vulnerable, hopeless. I feel like I don't have a purpose in life anymore. That feeling of being alone is brutal...I can't seem to shake it. I'm having trouble even opening up to my therapist about these feelings. It makes me feel pathetic and weak to admit that an EA can make me fall apart like this. I don't know how much of the trauma relates back to childhood or what. Can anyone relate to feeling like this? All I know is I'm getting worse and it sucks.

Posts: 712 | Registered: Jul 2013
silverhopes
♀ Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 3:26 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes, I can relate to this. It's like it brings back so many things - things that might not connect directly, but they DO connect because they are part of the same web of pain. And we fall on what we know because the memories that come back are so powerful and so frightening.

Therapy is really good, with the right therapist. Even though DBT is prescribed specifically for folks with Borderline PD, I think it's a good therapy for ANYONE because it specifically deals with coping mechanisms that can help someone overcome past traumas as well as present ones.

That feeling of being alone is brutal...

Yes it is. It's brutal and painful. I'm honestly still struggling with this as well right now - so I'm trying to accept it. Trying to accept the feeling of being alone, and then to find all the things about it that are healthy. It's hard.

One battle at a time. One painful detail at a time. It takes a long time to overcome them so don't take on too much at once. Be thorough in your healing.

(((hugs)))


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 3905 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 3:52 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I can relate. I've been let down badly by every single person I should have been able to trust and who should have loved me unconditionally, since I was about 3 years old. Major major abandonment issues. I think finding out about my husband's betrayal has ripped all those old scars wide open. It's brutal. But in a way I see this as a very good opportunity to start fixing all my issues, make myself emotionally healthy. {hugs}


BS 46
Together 29 yrs, M 25 years
2 daughters 24yo(married with a brand new little daughter) & 19yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 1022 | Registered: Oct 2012
ArkLaMiss
♀ Member
Member # 14918
Default  Posted: 4:44 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Absolutely. My egg donor shot and killed my dad when I was a teen. I married my husband at 19. I thought he was someone I could trust. I was wrong. I will never trust again. I will never tell him, or anyone, my deepest darkest secrets. Only person you can trust is yourself.


Just HOW stupid do you think I am, exactly?

Posts: 1203 | Registered: Jun 2007
cantaccept
♀ Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 5:02 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes, for me it has. Every internal fear from my childhood has resurfaced. Fears I didn't even acknowledge until now.

Those same feelings of being alone, abandoned, used.

At this point I am working very hard on accepting and becoming comfortable, believing that I make myself safe. I have control of that and behaving in ways that make it clear to others of what I will accept, boundaries I guess.

Also seeing my strength, my abilities, appreciating me.

It is so hard, especially when that gut screams. When that feeling of terror arises. When h left me, I had to face my biggest fear, live through it. I never even realized I was living with this fear, I just twisted myself into what ever form I thought would please him, never even considered myself for years. I was abusing myself and didn't even know it.

It gets very confusing. It is painful to face.

IC is crucial for me to work on this.

(((scuba)))


"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key"

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
wh boots5050
attempted R, it was all a lie

Divor


Posts: 1422 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 5:57 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Absolutely, they play into the healing process. From what I can tell, many people on here have FOO issues.

I am sorry to hear about your painful past. My parents D when I was 12...my Dad basically disappeared over night and didn't see him until I graduated college and flew out to see him with my then girlfriend, now wife.

What do you want from me? Was his first question to me when we had our first alone time.

Had no idea the damage I sustained by my past....until my wife had her A and I went into weekly counseling sessions....counselor quickly focused on abandonment issues.

I see you suffer from them too.

Major major abandonment issues. I think finding out about my husband's betrayal has ripped all those old scars wide open. It's brutal. But in a way I see this as a very good opportunity to start fixing all my issues, make myself emotionally healthy. {hugs}

Thanks itsaclimb...this is the stance I am taking. If it weren't so painful it would actually be exciting because this journey has put into place things about me that have floated and eluded me since I was 12.


I will never trust again. I will never tell him, or anyone, my deepest darkest secrets. Only person you can trust is yourself.

ArkLaMiss...this is the stance my D brother has taken, and it is a valid one. He has similar abandonment issues as I do. My concern is that by taking this stance (and it is a natural one for people with Abandonment issues to take) it will not only negatively affect my marriage, it will limit my relationship growth with our girls. My brother told me once that if his daughter did something really bad he could see dis-owning her. He wasn't joking, wasn't mean, wasn't said...just very plainly stating how he felt. He has since started to share some of the pain he has repressed that he felt over his D. Gently....I also thought I could trust myself. I trusted what I did for and with my wife was done completely out of love. Turns out some of what I did also was done out of my fear of abandonment...feeling if I did x, y, z my wife would not abandon me....and if I didn't, she would abandon me. It has been an unnerving journey for me as I have met parts of me that I didn't know existed....discovered some new truths within myself. KWIM?

Cantaccept summarized this....

I never even realized I was living with this fear

It is scary.

Yes it is. It's brutal and painful. I'm honestly still struggling with this as well right now - so I'm trying to accept it. Trying to accept the feeling of being alone, and then to find all the things about it that are healthy. It's hard.

I too am trying to accept that being alone doesn't mean I have abandoned someone or been abandoned.

Good thread....will follow with much interest.

Scubachick...I am seeing more and more why what you posts resonates so well with me.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:09 AM, October 15th (Tuesday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3982 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 6:14 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You mention that scared little girl inside you. it has been brought out that I have a scared little boy inside me.

An exercise that helps me grow is to become aware when circumstances trigger that scared little boy response, sit on that feeling for a bit, imagine myself as that little boy...then imagine me as the man I am going to that little boy and comforting him....let that little boy cry and shake....the man part of me soothing him, stroking his hair, wiping his tears....then, as the boy calms, focus my image onto the man....recognizing the strength he has, the appreciation I have for him to comfort this scared little boy.

It works some of the time...and have faith it will work more and more the more I do it.

I feel your pain. I know it is bigger then this simple exercise. Just trying to help out.

Any chance you can or do have a real life girl friend to visit with? I am sorry for the loss of your sister, and realize she was your go-to person. While it is healthy to be able to stand on your own, this type of struggle is bigger then any one person. I know it would be nice to have that person of support be your spouse...but it just isn't for many of us right now. Maybe you could PM a female SI member if no real life person is there for you?

Dang...I feel your pain. I have a policy of not PM women SI members...in case you are wondering why I did not offer or send you a PM.

I tend to talk a lot when I get anxious....


God be with you.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:18 AM, October 15th (Tuesday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3982 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
TheRealDeal
♀ Member
Member # 39560
Default  Posted: 7:17 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I can relate to all of this, too. Fear of abandonment describes it for me. My IC has said it to me from day one of counseling. FOO issues

An exercise that helps me grow is to become aware when circumstances trigger that scared little boy response, sit on that feeling for a bit, imagine myself as that little boy...then imagine me as the man I am going to that little boy and comforting him....let that little boy cry and shake....the man part of me soothing him, stroking his hair, wiping his tears....then, as the boy calms, focus my image onto the man....recognizing the strength he has, the appreciation I have for him to comfort this scared little boy.

^^^^ this Blakesteele, my IC has be do the same exercises. I couldn't at first, I truly didn't understand what IC meant for me to do. But each week he works with me and now I "get it". I do it on my own now too. IC tells me to envision myself as 2 people, the adult and a little girl. If the little girl were scared, what would I, as an adult, do for that little girl to help her through that moment?

As Blakesteele mentioned, it works some of the time...and I also have faith it will work more and more the more I do it.

It does bring a sense of "why" I feel the way I do. How WS current actions directly relate back to my experiences in childhood and the FOO issues I've carried with me for 44 years.
Until Dday I didn't even recognize it as FOO...I knew something wasn't right with my life, but I couldn't explain to anyone what was wrong.

Addressing my FOO continues and I wish everyone peace if you go down a similar path. It is very painful and the immediate reaction is to withdraw/avoid and not go down that path...but once you start going through it to acknowledge and feel the long-held pain and then let it go, it's so much better on the other side. It's a release; a calm, almost a sense of peace within yourself. You feel validated and you begin to recognize within yourself a strength you may not have known existed before.

I know for me the pain of betrayal and the actions by your WS are not resolved by addressing FOO...but it allows me to grow stronger, to feel better about myself and builds my self-esteem. This in turn helps me identify what I need to heal and with that comes setting my boundaries.

[This message edited by TheRealDeal at 7:18 AM, October 15th (Tuesday)]


Me: 45, him: 54
together 18 years
DDay1 March 2013, Dday2 April 27, 2013, Dday3 June 1, 2013
We are in R and trying to make it
Never lose yourself trying to hang onto someone who doesn't care about losing you.

Posts: 252 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Northeast
Bobbi_sue
♀ Member
Member # 10347
Default  Posted: 7:47 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't know. I do believe our childhoods certainly help shape who we are but I feel adults need to take responsibility beyond that and stop blaming childhood.

I don't mean to be unsympathetic here. Obviously you have been dealt a raw deal. I am so thankful that my parents did not "do drugs with me" or anything like that.

However, I also had a dysfunctional childhood. My father was mean and cold and often told me that I was a fat, lazy and stupid. He said I'd never amount to anything and it was our mother's fault we were all so lazy and stupid. He was horrible to our mother.

I was unpopular in school and bullied, and had absolutely no self-esteem. Most of my siblings suffered even more from this than I did, I think. I stood up to my father sometimes but most of my brothers and sisters were afraid to. As a result, I was the most targeted child and yes he hit me sometimes if I was within reach. Once gave me a black eye and a fat lip. I know he smacked one brother with a shovel and there have been lots more physical incidents but I remember the verbal abuse far more than any physical abuse.

I got married to the first man who would have me when I was 19 years old. Turns out he was a serial cheater addicted to prostitutes. Yet I remained married to him for 13 years and had three kids with him.

After that, I married my current H. He also had an A in 2006 and that is what brought me to this forum. What does this have to do with my childhood? For me, I refuse to be a victim in life, at least not for long. If anything, my childhood gave me strength to realize I have the power to make changes in my life and nobody else is going to control my destiny. I loved my mother and she was a good person but watching her, I decided early on I would NOT live my life like her, always having to depend on a mean and hateful man for everything I ever got in life (which in her case was mostly nothing good). He always said our falling down house was too good for her so that was his reason to never do anything to fix it up. I suppose my mother must have hugged us when we were small, but I don't really remember any hugs or I love yous said at all in my household growing up.

I have survived infidelity in two marriages. If anything, my childhood made me stronger, and did not make it harder to heal from things. I think it helps to realize we have no control over others, but we do have some control over our own lives.


Posts: 5760 | Registered: Apr 2006
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 7:47 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I
know for me the pain of betrayal and the actions by your WS are not resolved by addressing FOO...but it allows me to grow stronger, to feel better about myself and builds my self-esteem. This in turn helps me identify what I need to heal and with that comes setting my boundaries.

Goosebumps here! This is exactly the route I stumbled down and now see it as a healthy progression. My journey led me to see I had serious boundary issues. I ordered the book Boundaries In Marriage...what I am experiencing is so very common!

I also agree this journey doesn't really help with the pain of the betrayal I feel from my wifes choices and actions...not in a direct way anyway. But as I become healthier it will do nothing but improve the health of ALL of my relationships, including my current M or subsequent adult male-female relationships.

I am committed to breaking this cycle. We did it with finances so I know we are not destined to repeat unhealthy cycles that gave birth to our FOO issues. We have choices. Painful choices can be healthy choices....right?

God be with us all.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3982 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 8:06 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Gently...Bobbi-sue. I am not blaming my situation on my childhood, or suggesting Scubachick do that. I am not a proponent of being a victim or exuding that mentality. I am recognizing a part of me that I was not aware of...a part of me that contributed to the disconnect my wife and I experienced before my wife's affair.

I am accepting that my childhood affected me. I did the best I could at the age I was. I feel that parts of me stopped emotionally growing at that time as I developed coping mechanisms that "masked" the underlying hurt and subsequent programming. (enter FOO issues)

I believe that is why the exercise I spoke of stands a chance of working...it is a transition of sorts, from my young 12 year old emotional state to the 42 year old emotional state. It is tapping into my strengths as a compassionate adult to heal the immature part of me.

My wife coming from an alcoholic home had the same sense of strength you speak of...the "See, I don't need anyone. I am independent and strong all on my own". Since her A she has changed her mind on her own strengths and how well she can control herself.

I have the power to make changes in my life and nobody else is going to control my destiny. I loved my mother and she was a good person but watching her, I decided early on I would NOT live my life like her, always having to depend on a mean and hateful man

This quote is so very similar to my wifes philosophy on living and marriage. This reluctance to reach out, to bond with another person, is her part to own of our disconnection. Can you see how this attitude can be a wall between accepting love and bonding?

IMO, real strength of character is reaching out and bonding to your spouse, expressing your needs, counting on yourself to be honest within that relationship so that the other has an opportunity to show you that he is willing to protect and cherish you. It is tough. None of us are perfect, we will get hurt. A strong person remains with an open heart in spite of that hurt. Sure, real abuse such as substance, verbal and physical abuse should never be tolerated. But unintentional hurts are part of being in a relationship (wife making you late to a formal business party, snappy quips at each other when you are tired or kids acting up, etc.).

We do have control over our own lives. I am seeking to control myself now. To do that, recognizing how I controlled myself since childhood is an important step. I THOUGHT I knew how I was controlling myself, that I was the healthy one in my M since I did not commit adultery. I NOW see how unhealthy I was and am going about changing myself. This is the opposite of being a victim.

I am not content to sit back and say "See, I knew my wife would abandon me. I was right. I was soo right to NOT open up to her and let her in...look how she hurt me!". This, IMO, is the victim mentality...to accept my position as static and out of my control.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:07 AM, October 15th (Tuesday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3982 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
Edith
♀ Member
Member # 38337
Default  Posted: 8:10 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

((Scubachick)) I also can relate. My childhood was also very much like yours, horribly abused by both parents, resulting in a dissociative disorder. I grew up and married an abusive man. When I finally began to confront my childhood abuse, I realized that I also needed to D this brutal man. So my parents and sibs banded together with my XH to sue me for custody. I prevailed, but at a terrible cost for both my children and me. My mother later admitted that they did it to punish me for "talking about the past."

So I met my current FWH and thought he had been sent by God to save me. Put all my trust into him. He was so understanding and supportive. I did the therapy thing for years and thought my heart and my head had been healed to the best extent possible. Then his A literally brought me to my knees. In many ways I still think I have been destroyed by what he has done.

I can say that this A has opened all those old wounds. The screaming, panic attacks, pure terror. I worked with IC a bit after D-day and was told that it was quite normal for such a betrayal to cause us to revisit old traumas. This kind of pain, unfortunately, is a part of us. IC told me it is like a big wound. It will heal with time and effort, but there will always be a scar.

PM me if you need someone to talk to. I pray that you will find healing and peace. Take care.

E.


Lies are manipulations. Always.

Posts: 387 | Registered: Feb 2013
Bobbi_sue
♀ Member
Member # 10347
Default  Posted: 8:18 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Blakesteele,
I don't disagree with anything you said but I am a person who has gotten where I am with mostly no counseling. In fact I think counseling is often a waste of time and money and often encourages patients to stay in the "victim" mode rehashing their terrible childhoods for years on end. That is just my opinion and I don't expect all to agree with me, nor is it my intent to try to push my opinion and experience in life on others.

This quote is so very similar to my wifes philosophy on living and marriage. This reluctance to reach out, to bond with another person, is her part to own of our disconnection. Can you see how this attitude can be a wall between accepting love and bonding?
I can see why it might be relevant in your case but it has no relevance to my case, whatsoever.
You might be surprised just how "bonded" I am with my spouse. We are huggy and cuddly and intimate EVERY SINGLE DAY and say ILY many times a day, are mostly likely closer than any married couple you will encounter, we hold hands whenever we are out and about and it is natural, not forced. We have had our share of ups and downs, it is true, but we have been married for over 18 years now and are closer than ever. I have no trouble bonding.

If, however, he were to cheat on me again, I might set a new record on how fast I could divorce someone (I filed for a D two days after th final d-day in my first M, and it would have been sooner if I could have gotten the appointment sooner).


Posts: 5760 | Registered: Apr 2006
Justmiserable
♀ New Member
Member # 39388
Default  Posted: 8:37 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I believe that my trauma from childhood made DDay trigger severe PTSD for me. My abusive family teamed with my ex husband last year to get custody of my teen daughter who had been acting out and really giving me a hard time. I was in complete shock and spent every night crying myself to sleep in her room. That's when my husbands affair began.

The amount of trust I had in him, that blind and complete trust, I know I'll never have for anyone again. I don't speak to my family now, even though my mother has cancer and time is limited. They have been mentally abusive my entire life, physically when i was younger, and finally cutting them out has shown me that I have tremendous strength.

I have an appt today with my psychiatrist (that I don't like very much but I desperately need the meds he gives me). I think I'm going to bring up this issue today with him instead of being rushed out of his office after he asks if my meds are still working.


me-BS,FWS madhatter (36)
him-BS, FWS (39)
2 children 17 and 13
Married 13 years
Ow-(36)Stranger that he met on POF
D-day 10/03/2012
status: in recovery, NC with OW since shortly after DDay

Posts: 36 | Registered: May 2013
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 8:58 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for not getting defensive Bobbi-sue. I apologize for indicating I knew you personally and that I indicated you have a "bonding issue".

This is tough work...I stumble. This whole line of thinking is new to me as of 7 months ago....the way I was before was decades in the making....going to take time to sort it all out.

God be with us all.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3982 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
Mindy321
♀ New Member
Member # 40993
Default  Posted: 9:00 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I too had a very dysfunctional childhood. I've got into therapy and have done loads of work in dealing with those issues, and in processing forgiveness.

About a month post-breakup when I was moving solidly into a very Angry stage, a flood of horrible memories from my early childhood came to me. Some I had recalled before, but some had been completely blocked this whole time. For me, it stems from the fears of abandonment and pain of rejection. And having such a dysfunctional childhood means I question my own judgment and ability to discern healthy and unhealthy motives of people near & dear to me. So yes, fresh injury can cause old ones to resurface (even after you thought you had dealt with them).


Posts: 3 | Registered: Oct 2013
TheRealDeal
♀ Member
Member # 39560
Default  Posted: 9:23 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

For me, acknowledging FOO helps me heal and become a better person. In essence it is doing what SI recommends: Focus on myself.

Rather than dealing with the pain, anger, disappointment and other various feelings as I have in the past (ignore them, pretend it didn't happen, bottle it up until I explode, think I was the 'wrong' one, etc) I instead have learned healthy responses.

I've learned its okay to be angry and express it in a healthy manner. And then let it go rather than fester inside of me.
I've learned its okay to be fearful and how to say it out loud rather than think something is wrong with me for feeling that way.
I've learned to FEEL my feelings, something I've not done before. It was easier to "ignore them" and internalize it...until they came out in some other, destructive way.
I've learned my feelings are my feelings and no one can tell me "not" to feel.

I recognize I am not a victim and do not play a victim role. There is no blame being placed and the past cannot be changed. But I am an adult now and no longer need to deal certain things in a child-like manner.

My parents did what they did because it is what they knew. It wasn't the best, it wasn't the worst, but I did what I needed to do to protect myself growing up. I love my parents and we see each other several times a year (they live 1200 miles away) and speak to them on phone couple times a week.

I don't blame them but I recognize that the way I was raised (do not express yourself, do not get angry, do not show your vulnerability, because if you do then you will be ignored anyway, it's better to rugsweep problems and pretend they didn't happen) led to me doubting myself, doubting my self-esteem, not recognizing my own needs, not setting and enforcing my own boundaries.

working through those issues has allowed me to build my inner-strength and self-esteem.

Its not a path for everyone but for me it works. I feel better about myself; I actually LIKE myself now, something I have never done before. I have become a better person. Others can see it, they can even sense it.

But most importantly I see it and sense it about myself.

And ultimately in the end, that's what its about as I see it... Improve myself, and I'll be better able to deal with life situations and relationships

ETA: I am changing myself solely for myself. I am not changing myself with the intention of "winning back" or improving myself for WS. If that happens as a by-product of my changes I'd like to explore that. But if it doesn't happen, I now know that I will make it

[This message edited by TheRealDeal at 9:43 AM, October 15th (Tuesday)]


Me: 45, him: 54
together 18 years
DDay1 March 2013, Dday2 April 27, 2013, Dday3 June 1, 2013
We are in R and trying to make it
Never lose yourself trying to hang onto someone who doesn't care about losing you.

Posts: 252 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Northeast
ladies_first
♀ Member
Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 12:10 PM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't like to say "my pain is worse than your pain"...

But I will share the tool that was most helpful to me: the book ---“Journey From Abandonment To Healing” by Susan Anderson does the best job I have ever seen of thoroughly describing the cognitive breakdown -- sleeplessness, hypervigilance, inability to focus, PISD, etc. -- for the layperson. It's the Trauma Response.


"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
Reality
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Default  Posted: 2:02 PM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Pain of BIG magnitude tends to reverberate with similar pain, no matter how long ago. I was shocked when my recurrent nightmares started back up after learning of WH's affairs, but it made sense with the overlaps. The brain finds commonalities to try to understand new information.

So, yeah, revisiting old trauma when faced with new trauma is going to be part of the process, regardless of how thoroughly settled everything felt it was.

The upside is we all have practice. There is no preparing for the type of experiences that measure high on the trauma Richter scale. Unless you've gone through something, there's no real way to explain it to someone who hasn't. For those of us that have seen something of this magnitude before, there are some coping mechanisms in place from sheer necessity.

It's a mixed blessing, but like I think Bobbi_Sue was trying to say, there is a big element of taking from the experience what you choose versus being who/what the experience chooses for you.


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Bobbi_sue
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Default  Posted: 2:09 PM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Bobbi_Sue was trying to say, there is a big element of taking from the experience what you choose versus being who/what the experience chooses for you.
That does sum up my perspective quite well.

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