To the BSs, is the pain of being in the presence of your WS, so extreme? That you cannot operate in their presence?
At the beginning, I couldn't much function EXCEPT when he was around. Ironically, he was the only one who really made me feel better. He was the only one who truly knew what we had just lost as a result of this. He was really the only one who truly understood what I was going through (ironically again). I still do much better when he's home than when's he not. It's been very odd for me bc I've always been pretty independent.
As to the rage, for me it has definitely lessened with time. I still have the occasional meltdown, but it was 3 months between the last two. And I think the last one wasn't as intense.
Things are pretty bad, its quiet at least. I think I'll start by cataloging the feelings. My
BS is back but I feel a very quiet angry emotion from her, a deep frustration and contempt. On my side, I'm feeling frustrated because I do not know what I can do to make it better. Is helplessness a feeling?
Yesterday night, I felt exhausted and the frustration turned to resentment. I wrote down what I was resentful about, cataloged it and then I realized it was more about my feelings of failure. That I cannot change the way my BS sees me and that I got to let that go. I can only change me. I tried to visualized her rage, contempt and violence, her triggers along with the difficult situation we are in as a huge curling wave. I know I played a big part in creating this wave, and that I'm swimming in it and its gonna crash onto me. I felt alone too. And I realize I gotta learn to surf this huge wave I call my life. I have to learn to surf instead of just getting smashed by this wave constantly. That is my intention and it made me feel better, lighter. Its calmer now, so I begin to reach out to my BS (action) but her silent anger is communicating to me that she wants me to stay away, that it is too late.
I'm still feeling frustrated now as I try to reach out to my BS unsuccessfully. But I understand my frustration now and accept it and let it pass. The problem is that once my BS triggers, the rage comes out, the insults fly, the aggression is at an incredible level, my toddler is crying as well in the midst of it. Its difficult for me to maintain calm, to manage the situation and not get overwhelmed and join in the anger. That's when she sees my attempts at staying calm and managing as running away, which provokes her even more, until either I or she must leave (my conclusion). She feels abandoned and that just pisses her off more until she becomes quiet and resolved that I'm not helping and that it is too late for me, that I will not change (my observation). When things are calm, I begin to reach out with the poor communication skills I have. Its better now that I have read the non violent communication book, but she is resolved that it too late.
I admit that this is a lot of my perspective, I say this because I don't want this post to be read by her and become more evidence that I don't get it. I admit I didn't want to post yesterday for that reason, so I had to figure it out for myself first before I posted again.
It is what it is.
Multiple EAs from the beginning, 1 EA after marriage
For once I got a clear picture of what I'm "supposed" to do when my BS triggers. I asked my BS, "Can you articulate for me what you actually want me to do as opposed to telling all the things you don't want?" With the help of my MC, she finally said "I want you to show me you are sorry and not to be defensive. That is to not clam up, get quiet, but to stay with me and keep telling me you are sorry." I asked, "Even if you are attacking me? I got no right to pause, no right to feel angry, to feel frustrated, no right to try to calm myself down first, to find some clarity?" The answer I got was NO, I got no right to any of that because I am the one who caused it. That she would not be beating on me so hard if I had shown, her definition of remorse, early during the Trigger which is probably in a span of a few minutes or less. With this my MC instructed me to see my BS as wounded, incredibly hurt even though the things that are pouring out of her mouth are hurtful. He said, you basically gotta compartmentalize. Now that is freaking brilliant. Compartmentalizing is easy for me, I've been doing it all my life. But in this case, I need to compartmentalize the Wario who is actually feeling hurt and shame from the foulness that is coming from my BS and operate above it (of course we can unpack it in IC later). Know what that pain is, neglect my own and offer what I can to my BS. The problem now is that my BS is so fried from this last Trigger, that she has detached and is unapproachable. It is now "too late".
We are just recovering from the last Trigger, we (my BS and toddler) are exhausted. I'm trying to hang in but still trying to reach out to my BS. I want her to know I do care, I am trying, I'm tired and its hard. And not to just listen to all the people on SI telling her to just say fuck it to the marriage. They don't know what the hell is really going on and they are just projecting their shit and calling it support (I'm kind of venting here).
Trying to do something different.
[This message edited by grains at 10:37 PM, February 8th (Saturday)]
Tomorrow, I have a long standing IC appointment, hope its a good one.
How have other WSs dealt with defensiveness under fire? Do you tense up as well, grow silent as you hear the insults, the rage? Do you compartmentalize to get past it? Comments?
Thanks for reading on.
Thanks again for your help.
Yesterday was the first day of my leave of absence from work. It was a pretty busy day. I managed to start rereading/listening to "How to help your spouse heal from your affair" (audio book). I also continued to read the book on Non-Violent Communication, I'm learning about Empathy and Listening to others. I also had an IC session where I unloaded the past 3 weeks worth of frustration and figured out strategies or mindsets for handling future trigger situations. He pointed out that my level of frustration from my BSs trigger reactions should not be a surprise to me, that if I expect it to be different then it is insanity. That I have to change my expectations and hopes, to expect judgement, rage, insults, violence, no understanding, because she is hurt, she does not feel better and will not feel better so why hope for it. Change my expectation and perhaps I can see past all the shit and see that she is hurt and NEEDS me to help. If I see her in need and not as an attacker, then I will not defend. Then I can hear what she is telling me she needs and perhaps give it to her. We will see how that will work...
Today my BS and I had a MC session where we structured what the leave of absence would look like so it doesn't become an exercise in what I failed to do.
We also talked about my SI posts. My BS told me during the session that she no longer reads my posts and finds them dishonest, that I write them to impress the readers of SI. I told her that the only audience I'm trying to impress on SI is her, that I do have her in mind when I am writing them, that they are somewhat edited. however, I did feel pressured in posting each day and finding the time to do it while I was working was difficult. That it became yet another example of how I failed her. This is not the point of posting, I guess
I'm going to continue to post for me and I'm going to take away that source of stress, it may not be everyday, but it will be for me.
"Don't just do something, Stand There" Buddhist Saying
(I'm sort of just cataloging my journey so I can look back to see what I have done)
Its been a couple of pretty rough days since my last post. My daughter is sick and needs a little more attention than normal at night. I've been keeping up with my reading on Non-violent communication. I also got a chance to practice what I learned in IC about letting go of unreasonable expectations. My BS and I had a bit of a moment over seeing the doctor for my daughter's cold/flu. I heard all the judgement, I got upset, but I apologized and reviewed my mental notes during my last session.
I said to myself, as I was in the shower, I cannot expect her not to judge my every move and see it as dishonest, I cannot expect her to trust me on anything. It is unreasonable for me to expect different, just apologize for getting upset and trust in your own standards for what you are doing. You cannot live according to the negative image that she sees you right now, you must see past all that pain and defensiveness, she is just protecting herself. You got to trust in your own judgments and believe that what you are doing is not the self-centered shit you used to do. I tried to apologize but my BS retreated, understandably, I tried a little harder and then let it go. The next day I presented my point, still got some judgement but stuck with it, things turned out alright. I'm happy with this, not sure if my BS sees this as a change, but at least I feel better.
Trying to do things different so things turn out different.
Taking it one day at a time,