It took my breath away.....not as strongly as my DD did, but it was a powerful experience none the less.
My wife was not condemning and was supportive. That felt good.
Since it was a powerful feeling I felt it for as long as I could....then sat with it a bit longer. Then I turned to thought (which I admit is easier/ more comfortable for my analytical self to do. ).
I realized I had just found the earliest time I can remember that I started to ignore and repress my self. We spend a considerable amount of time in therapy on validating EACH OTHER. What I think I am learning is that it's dang hard to expect someone else to validate you if you first chose to invalidate yourself.
Not sure exactly of all that goes on....but resentment is mixed in here to a good degree......kinda "my spouse should just know what to do and since they don't I am mad but I can't express that" sort of twisted logic.
So it appeared to me, after this most recent self-discovery, that FOO coping skills do another thing for us.....they help muffle who we were designed to be, limiting our potential.
Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.
This growth we all feel is quite possibly us uncovering more versus to the original song in our hearts. We were learning this song as children, but that process got derailed along the way. We got stuck in the chorus.
I'm still in a bit of shock over my new discovery of 48 hours ago......but am hopeful that I will add lyrics to my internal song as a result of this.
I see other SI members finding and exposing more of their inner songs as well. It provides much comfort.
Those who pray, please pray a quick prayer for me.
God is with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:55 AM, May 2nd (Friday)]
Just wanted to offer you support while you sift through all of this.
I went through similar, I did not acknowledge it until I was in my late 30's. I always knew about it but had rationalized it and put it away, or so I thought. Now, I realize the effects it had on me, on how I viewed myself and then the abuse that I accepted as "normal".
For me it came to forgiving myself, I was a child, and letting go of the pain of it. I was abused by damaged people, I did not deserve it, I was innocent. I do not have to accept abuse now, I am an adult and I deserve to be treated kindly and I am strong enough now to protect myself.
I should have been protected by the ones that were supposed to love me. Very similar to what I am experiencing now with stbxwh.
I wish you strength and healing with this. It is a tough one.
I would now like to be known as Can!
dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
attempted R, it was all a lie
Thanks for you continued support....and for mentioning that you traveled a similar path and healed along the way.
I always knew about it but had rationalized it and put it away, or so I thought.
I visited with my older brother in person this week. Didn't lead him anywhere just asked him if he ever had a sex talk with our parents. From that one question he detailed exactly what I experienced.....account for account. We couldn't remember which summer this was but it is likely it was the same summer. We are only 18 months age different.
During his monologue to me regarding his experience he ended it with all the same rationalization that I had done.
Then I asked him if he is considering doing the same actions with his daughter.
"Hell NO!" was his immediate answer.
I then asked him....."Whats wrong with us? How can we rationalize what happened so easily when it is us in that child spot....and be so quick to rise to warrior level when it is any other child?"
He had kind of a stunned looked on his face.
He finally answered. "Because we survived."
I then revisited how I reacted upon my DD....which was absolutely in line with how I reacted as a child to that shock.
I was 42 years old and operating a system that I used 30 years earlier. It wasn't until I placed my daughter in my shoes (a tip my first IC used to help me see the truth of the situation) that I started to see the abuse that had just taken place.
God help me....I was working hard to rationalize the situation, to minimize it. Sadly, it fell right into what my wife was so willing to do.....she listed all of my faults and short comings in an email and word documents that I found. This helped me hurt myself.
You mention forgiving myself. I have been working on forgiving myself for my choices and actions upon my DD. I am doing this. In a wierd way this recent development concerning my childhood helps me understand my "DD self" better.
I am hopeful this growth in understanding will help me grow to forgive myself in this area of my life too.
This is going to be a similar process. Right now I have "should" statements in my mind regarding what happened to me as a child. Someone SHOULD have protected me, nurtured me, cared for me. Since I have been down that road because of my wifes affair and those "shoulds"....I am less scared this time then I was then. This is growth. I, with help from God and others, can grow more.
You are one of the original brat pack members of mine....and I so appreciate your support. I am sorry you have had a similar past.......I appreciate your willingness to admit it in an effort to comfort me. It does.
God is with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:23 AM, May 2nd (Friday)]
I have always loved my brother but it, like the love I have for my wife, is growing in ways I never knew existed.
No....not blissfully happy right now....but maturely grounded. KWIM?
Change is occurring. Even the pain of that change seems to be restorative in an unexplainable way. The internal song analogy is as close as I can come to explaining this change at this point in time. It is why I started this post.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:30 AM, May 2nd (Friday)]
However, I know you can handle this and put it in perspective WHEN you've dealt with all the feelings that this has brought up.
Right now I have "should" statements in my mind regarding what happened to me as a child. Someone SHOULD have protected me, nurtured me, cared for me.
this may be one of those times when ALL your selves (especially your parental self) show up at the table and comfort the 14 year old boy who went through this. Give him compassion. Thank him for being brave. Revel in the fact that you have parented well yourself and know right from wrong.
The part where your IC suggests putting your daughter in your shoes - My IC does this as well and it slays me. And makes things crystal clear.
You've dug really deep here. Sometimes I think the digging is harder than the processing of the event. At least we have now a target.
[This message edited by rachelc at 9:39 AM, May 2nd (Friday)]
4 kiddos in mid 20's
Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...
Reading your advice to sit down at the table in my visualization exercise gave me goosebumps....eyes teared up. Just realized I am still kinda holding my breath about this realization.
I could see real value in this. I will do this.
That exercise was key in getting me past the "shoulds" revolving around my wifes affair.
Thanks for your continued support.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:07 AM, May 2nd (Friday)]
I've said a prayer for you and your family.
DD #1 26 August 2013 - EA on FB and phone with a former flame OW#2 for about 8 months
DD #2 30 April 2014 - EA/PA for 10 months in 2011 with OW#1
Hoping for R
There was a period of time in my early teenage years when I had to deal with the (very!) unwelcome advances of a drunken stepfather. Raised it with my mother and her attitude was pretty much "well without him and his money we would be in deep shit, so just try to stay out of his way when he's been drinking". I imagine my daughter having to deal with that... and what my reaction would be.....
All these years, while I have acknowledged to myself that it happened and have mentioned it to my fWH, I haven't truly dealt with it. Having read your posts about the issue you are dealing with, I think it's time I perhaps did the visualisation exercise rachel suggested. I need to put this to rest. So thanks for being brave enough to disclose what you went through, and to be so open about how you are coping with it. It's given me the nudge I needed to wrestle my own personal demon.
It's really something, isn't it? To "know" something all if your life.....think you had it figured out.....then you visualuze any other kid in that same sitch and.....POOF! There goes your breath.......
I gained some comfort and support by posting my original post about my childhood experience, and am very grateful for that. But I am also grateful the mods granted my request to lock that thread. The pain it brought to the surface was crushing.
Life changes so quickly sometimes.
DD's were dreadful.....the worst in my life. My childhood event was pretty bad too.
These events left scars.
I wondered why good events didn't leave scars? Then I had this thought.
Before we had kids I could here about childhood abuse or watch a movie where a child was abducted.....feel tense, but not have my breath drawn away. I could go to a school play and enjoy the production but not have tears of joy in my eyes.
Since having our girls, that news that movie plot almost panics me. That talent show our girls participate in generate years of joy in my eyes.
I believe this is a factor of the heart too.....but instead if scars, it is an expanding of my heart.
Still figuring this out.....but I believe our heart is not static, it doesn't just get beat up and shrink over time. It ebbs and flows. We can lose track of this due to the shocking pain we can experience....but the heart can be restored and grow. It's not just a one-way process.
So appreciate you sticking by me....even as you learn of my own destructive choices and of my tainted past. A past that triggers you.
I am grateful my wife is choosing to do the same, and she is grateful I am choosing this path as well.