In the past 9 months, I've done everything I can to rebuild my life. IC, worked hard to get back into the job market, rebuilt friendships, took care of myself... and, most importantly, I've maintained NC.
This past week, I finally got an offer for a coveted position in my field. It took me months and multiple interviews to get it. It's a job that even XWS wouldn't be in a position to get right now. And I'll even be taking in more money than he did.
I was ecstatic and proud for a couple of days. Friends were posting things about it on FB and, I'll admit it, I was hoping he'd accidentally see (this is the kind of thing that might bug him). A colleague of ours got a similar position and I saw that he "liked" the news. That hurt me a little... still not sure why. But at least it was that kind of hurt that passes pretty quickly.
On xmas eve, I had nightmares about him all night. The kind I used to have right after DDay. I woke up xmas morning really sad that he wasn't in the house with my family. I hate that feeling. I hate when I miss him at all.
For xmas, I bought my father a rather expensive gift (a gadget) that was a replacement; he once owned one of these items but, after I S from XWS and moved out, we realized it was missing. I fully suspect XWS has it. We were in the middle of a move when DDay happened and I realized months later that he had gone through our boxes and kept the things he wanted and then shipped me out boxes of things that were either just mine or that he didn't want to keep. I was so anxious to get out of there (he started raging at me after DDay 2 and got abusive) and end it, I didn't fight him over that kind of stuff.
But it reminded me of what a despicable person he turned out to be. There's the cheating and lying, of course. The abuse (which had never happened before I discovered the A). But he has completely removed himself from the lives of family and friends as well for the most part (beyond likes on FB and what friends tell me are really, really bizarre posts). And, when it comes to my family, he ended up being such a mooch. There's stuff like keeping my father's electronics that were a loan, literally going through boxes and stealing my things, making no effort to pay back money he owed my family. And now I'm remembering that he allowed my father to pay for a plane ticket for him last April to come out to see me... when his A was already in full swing. Christ... who does that?
Yet I miss him on xmas. Yet I can't even enjoy my own successes right now.
I don't know what's wrong with me the last few days. I should be really happy and proud of myself. But I can't stop thinking things like "he would have loved living in that part of the country" or "he would have loved this or that perk of my new job". Maybe it's because this was something we both worked for (or, so I thought) for years and now the payoff is here, and he's not? I've been so strong all of these months... why am I having these thoughts again?
Two steps forward and one step backwards, is still progress.
I am SO sorry that you don't feel happy and proud. You deserve to feel those things.
You have come so far in your healing journey. I know it is easy to say and hard to do - but don't let him steal this accomplishment from you. Go out there and do a the kick-ass job that you know you can do and enjoy your life.
I get the frustration and confusion about your feelings - so stew on them tonight and start tomorrow anew!
I just got a good job after working in $10 an hour dead end jobs for years. I'm not making a ton, but it feels great to get those paychecks and support myself. I have a feeling that once YOUR paychecks start arriving, you're going to remember how great you feel about where you are. Hang in there!
I am so proud of you for all you are doing for YOU!!
Block him from FB. Even block anyone in the periphery who triggers you.
It took me a few months to block him as it felt so, childish? I wanted that fucker to block me. But one day for whatever reason something triggered me hard and I realised I needed to block the lot of them. It helped. No surprises. No land mines.
I was with the X for 40 years, married 33. That's a lot of memories and shared experiences to 'forget', but those pangs of "Boy, would he have liked this!" don't happen as frequently. The D was almost 3 years ago.
It does get better
For me I invested so much of myself into him for such a long time. Putting him through university, unlimited support and advice for his job to keep getting promotions, teaching/mentoring him on specific skills that enabled him to advance, reviewing his reports and emails etc. It was truly a onesided relationship that was all about him.
Now that I have so much more free time and energy I can focus on me and my career. It has skyrocketed. It still feels odd to focus on me, abnormal.
I try now to reflect on how much I achieved inspite of him, with him gone I am professionally progressing in leaps and bounds. I still feel the urge to contact him and tell him of my successes (WTF ). The stupid thing about that is I know he wouldn't care, he would be jealous and I would be 'punished' for being better/more successful than him.
He always hated that I earned more $ than him (I don't have a degree so its been hard graft and earning a proven track record to advance in a professional field). I still do .
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". –Maya Angelou
I have realized that since I was with XWW for 26 years, that any time anything of significance occurs, my thoughts immediately go to her. Pure torture? Yes. Completely normal and understandable? Yes.
You are normal. Consider yourself tested!
There is hope. Once you truly commit to focusing on yourself and letting go, it comes back, and you will appreciate it like never before.
This holiday has been triggery for so many of us. You have been really strong through all of this but you really aren't that far out and it is expected you will have little setbacks from time to time.
Did I read right that you will be relocating? Soon you will be so busy with your new home and new job you will have less and less time to think about exWH.
We are about to start a whole new year with all new possibilities.
Yes, I'll be relocating... to a place that literally couldn't be further away from where XWS lives geographically. (Kudos to one of my friends IRL who pointed this out to me!)
I'm glad to hear I'm processing things fairly normally, given your experiences.
It will take me a long time to get over the basic cruelty of what he did-- but so far I haven't seemed to take a misstep by continuing to look out for myself.
... and I have an appointment with my IC in a few days, too. <3