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User Topic: Where's your bar?
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 5:05 PM, March 28th (Thursday)

I was talking with a friend the other day about this. Expectations and the focus on "happiness" that seems everywhere. Things, people, substances, accolades. I know I've posted how some people actually treat their "happiness" like a precious difficult pet. Always needing to be catered to and fed. Seems long before there's a third party in the marriage that persons happiness is the place holder until the obsession with things or people come along to temporarily assuage that vacuum.

I'll never forget one of the first times I volunteered at a kitchen I overheard a conversation. "What makes you happy?" asked near an older gentleman. His quiet response was "warmth". It was 31degrees outside. I felt about 2 inches tall. I had been thinking about all I needed to do before the upcoming holidays and how daunting it was...how tired and not very well I was feeling as I drove there in a heated car from a warm house filled with food.

I understand no one should invalidate their pain and difficulty by saying others have it worse. I'm not saying that nor do I believe it. My question is more about how much we experience pain is fed by the bar we set. I never believed that people that are supposed to love me will. That I would always get what I give. That my life would be safe, kind, easy. What I did expect was that any attack would be from outside, from circumstances I couldn't control, from things I didn't cause. Realizing that was a huge eye opener and sent me right into a tailspin.

I wanted to badly to experience the pain for my ex I saw on this site expressed so eloquently. I yearned to feel guilt that would indicate to me some humanity for my actions. Nothing. Nowhere. I read a brilliant comment today by someone I greatly respect (probably very one sided )
"My response was predictable and preventable". Holy shit. Absolutely. I've said forever you treat people like shit don't be surprised when they return the favor. That was it!!! I still look at my ex and shake my head. While he didn't lose his cookies when I had the affair, he sure did when I left.  Every post I read here about the pain and rage he experienced with my choice to leave. How could he not have expected that considering his actions throughout our time together??? It stunned me.

Then it hit me...my response was predictable and preventable...except for one small detail. It wasn't for me. I had NO idea how my response to his fucked up choices would affect ME. What fresh hell I'd experience. Did he deserve what I did? In my mind? You bet your ass. In fact, I was "kind". Did I? My bar was set so low for others treatment of me that I accepted shit from myself that about killed me.

While I had no expectations of my life I sure as shit did for myself. It's accepting that failure that still gives me restless nights. High expectations with low bars don't work.


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
EZ24get
Member
Member # 29752
Default  Posted: 5:39 PM, March 28th (Thursday)

I think that, unless my expectations are kept only on myself, I am setting myself up for disappointment. Even still, I am not above doing it. Hell, it's conditioned in for a long while! I just have to see that, when the inevitable comes, the fault is actually mine.

Expectations kill, as far as I can tell. At least when placed outside of myself.

As far as a bar goes,... that 'Golden Rule' is not so difficult to achieve, though it can get complicated when expectations are attached...then, even more-so, when that is done without any 'fine print' being made available about them.


Told my request was one so unlike being you. Then, was punished for asking, by watching you become all that I needed, for someone new.
...so,..he traded my heart,for a hard-on.

BW~ me 38
CH~ he 38
20 years on 12/12/12, 2 kiddos 14&17
D-day 1


Posts: 67 | Registered: Oct 2010 | From: here
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 7:50 PM, March 28th (Thursday)

well, when I was growing up I lacked that stuff - health care, food at the end of the month, underwear, etc. As I grew up I noticed this is what I was missing in my life that other kids had, so I made it my mission to have that "stuff."
So I got it and I still had that hole and didn't understand why I couldn't be happy with it or without.

I expected happiness when I achieved my goals. What I got was discontent and that made me feel so guilty because I certainly had everything I needed. But it was really that I had the wrong goals... and it was really that I didn't sit down and think for three weeks when I was 25 what my values were and how I wanted my relationship with others to look like. Well, I had 4 babies by then. And then when I was 42 I was bonked upside the head because I hadn't figured that out. And I hurt the person I loved the most. What we both were striving for was within our grasp but we were going the wrong way.

When I started my A I said to myself, I can handle this. I absolutely could not handle it. And it floored me. Was I a better person for that? Or worse? Can you pull yourself out of a rabbit hole if you haven't defined yourself beforehand? It's pretty damn hard. But I suppose its why you're there in the first place....

[This message edited by rachelc at 7:51 PM, March 28th (Thursday)]


his Dday: 2/10 but TT until 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.


Posts: 5238 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Midwest
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 9:48 PM, March 28th (Thursday)

I think my bar is safety and being healthy. The happiness bit can come whenever, as long as we still have the ability to amuse ourselves. Life's too interesting to not find something to feel happy about. Which is ironic since I deal with depression.

Sometimes I use 'happiness' or at least entertainment to distract myself from reality, because certain parts of reality are very painful. I'm not sure if this is a coping mechanism that helps retain sanity and hope, or if this is something that delays me from changing my reality to something healthy. Then again, maybe it's possible that as much pain as there is in reality, I'm getting more of it right than I think I am. I'd like to hope so.

The bar doesn't only include me. It includes my son. I'm responsible for him. So safe and healthy means for both of us, and he's learning, of course, as he explores. There's so much he needs protection from. I hope to keep him safe until he is old enough to keep himself safe and to teach him how. I want to give him a healthy childhood. That's how I determine where my bar is.


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
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 11:48 PM, March 28th (Thursday)

Life's too interesting to not find something to feel happy about. Which is ironic since I deal with depression.

Right??! Yes, it is. Silver, you know studies have shown people that struggle with depression actually have a more realistic outlook on life and you seem to have a real good bead on things!


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 1:06 AM, March 29th (Friday)

I didn't know that there were studies that showed it. Thank you for saying I have a good bead on things. That means a lot to me. I reality-test a lot because I have trouble grasping it when my symptoms are bad. SI taught me some good lessons (in the form of boundaries) on how to reality-test better. Still so much to learn. Reality is so valuable.


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
Betrayeddaddio
Member
Member # 30198
Default  Posted: 1:27 AM, March 29th (Friday)

I know I've posted how some people actually treat their "happiness" like a precious difficult pet.

I have always thought that people who whined about not being happy were narcisistic self indulgent types....I presently don't think I can maintain the status quo because I am miserable....and even worse than that....sad. I think sad is worse than depressed for me.


BH-42 WW-40 DD-5 DD-9 DD-11
D-Day 09/27/2010 Wayward wife had a 10 month A with married DB co-worker Separated Oct. 2013

Posts: 707 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: Canada
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 10:39 AM, March 29th (Friday)

whined about not being happy were narcisistic self indulgent types

Well, sure. People that are miserable are usually pretty self focused. It's natural. Pain can be very self involved. It's designed that way. A warning system that something is not right.

My mother was happy often. She was a malignant narcissitic psycho that got of on others pain. Literally.

Honestly I think it's a lot about reference. I shouldn't be here. I shouldn't have survived childhood or a couple brushes since then. I think life is an incredible gift. There have been times I'm almost bone crushingly sad, but there's always something so incredible that I see or hear that reminds me of how lucky I am.

I think if it's possible to view current as snapshots rather than cells it's possible to treasure more of the good and hang on through the bad knowing there's an end. There's always an end even if we have to sometimes be the one to bring it about.

Hang in there, Betrayed. There's amazing ahead.


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
tired girl
Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 11:25 AM, March 29th (Friday)

I never believed that people that are supposed to love me will. That I would always get what I give. That my life would be safe, kind, easy.

Me either. I am just now realizing how deep down this core of mistrust goes. Yesterday my IC called it almost a personality thing with me, it is so much a part of my core being. I never expect the best, I just don't expect.


I had NO idea how my response to his fucked up choices would affect ME.

Yes. Over the long run, it changed me, into someone I no longer recognized.

Like you, the bar for myself has always been the highest. I have always held myself apart, expected more, even when those around me couldn't give it and didn't. To fail so epically, well what the fuck do I do with that?

The lessons learned when you fall flat on your face are sometimes the ones you need the most.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5050 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
truthsetmefree
Member
Member # 7168
Default  Posted: 12:42 PM, March 29th (Friday)

Your positions intrigue me, UO...but then yet I'm never quite sure your position. From my perspective, you seem to struggle so hard to define yourself (or with the things that you believe go against yourself) and then, yet, you rally against the limitations of such definitions. And you know from our past conversations that I've long questioned this seeming need/desire (?) to continually beat yourself about in the name of self growth/awareness.

Maybe the solution doesn't lie in the degree of expectations or bars. And maybe this whole life thing is less about living according to our self-conceived, self-imposed definitions and more about just becoming open to the actual process of discovery. Maybe life isn't the test but rather the lesson. Maybe you aren't suppose to know who you are.

Have I missed your point? Admittedly, that's quite possible.

As for the happiness quest...I've given that up. A) I'm not really sure exactly what it is. I have to ask myself, Am I happy? - and I find I can almost always argue for both sides.
B) I haven't found a way to actually achieve it. It's too fluid to hold.

I chase peace now. I can always find and hold it -I always know when I have it.


Posts: 7682 | Registered: May 2005
DWBH
Member
Member # 35512
Default  Posted: 5:22 PM, March 29th (Friday)

I don't know where my bar is, but I do know that this experience has allowed me to find happiness in the ordinary.


Me: BH, 43
Her: FWW, 41 (ThornyRose)
M: 16 years, together 19
2 Daughters: 14 and 12
D Day: 9/25/2011; Lies & TT to 5/4/2012
~Double betrayal; caught them in the act~

Posts: 729 | Registered: May 2012 | From: WI
SandAway
Member
Member # 37775
Default  Posted: 6:13 PM, March 29th (Friday)

My bar is in the basement with the sports memorabilia, Tred and a few cold ones...

Happy Friday


fWW
BH Tred
M 16yrs
DDay Nov. 2011

Guns don't kill people; Affairs kill people


Posts: 439 | Registered: Dec 2012
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 6:47 PM, March 29th (Friday)

Haha I was waiting for someone to say this!!


his Dday: 2/10 but TT until 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.


Posts: 5238 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Midwest
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 11:57 AM, March 30th (Saturday)

I've long questioned this seeming need/desire (?) to continually beat yourself about in the name of self growth/awareness.

Oh my, not into punishment at all. Well, not this kind

The thing with me and this shit is that it's the worst thing I've ever done to myself. My self protection was so solid, I thought. The weaknesses that my choices and subsequent examination have uncovered are like shining a DNA black light over the Playboy Mansion...visable from space.

I don't form any conclusions but just work through each thing and profit from others wisdom here. Maybe a few reading can get something too. I'm not so selfish I won't share.

A few cold ones and some Woodford Reserve. That stuff is tres bien!!!


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
SBB
Member
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 2:45 AM, April 1st (Monday)

While I had no expectations of my life I sure as shit did for myself.

There is something in here about how surviving the almost unsurvivable changes us. My singular goal in life was/is to survive. Not just with my life but with my strength, my pride, my ability to love and be loved (not romantically - I never aspired to that).

I haven't felt in danger for 20 years yet surviving is still my number one priority, its the thing I'm most proud of about myself, its a source of great pleasure and comfort.

I'll survive this - I'm smiling as I type that.

I do have other goals and aspirations but they kind of pale in comparison to the big rush of surviving - it changed me. This isn't the worst thing to have happened to me so whilst I did/do feel enormous pain about it I find it hard to take it seriously. I mean - its not life-threatening now, is it?

It had never really occurred to me what a low bar that is until now. I'll have to mull this one over for a while.


I may have reached a point where I'd piss on him if he was on fire.... eventually!!

Posts: 5608 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 6:39 AM, April 1st (Monday)

yesterday I had such a bad day I wrote down - I am alive. So I get the surviving thing...

people here talk about goals, aspirations, where they want to be. I feel like I've done that already... Now what? And, shouldn't a person just be able to "be" and not do anything?


his Dday: 2/10 but TT until 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.


Posts: 5238 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Midwest
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 1:34 PM, April 1st (Monday)

There is something in here about how surviving the almost unsurvivable changes us. My singular goal in life was/is to survive. Not just with my life but with my strength, my pride, my ability to love and be loved (not romantically - I never aspired to that).

This, exactly. Here's the problem. When you are truly in survival mode you are hard wired to react to any danger or perceived danger. You're not responding with thought and reflection but doing what is necessary for you to get through. Your brain releases chemicals that trigger those reactions rather than responses as in a true survival situation there is no time to suss through the situation. You just register the threat and either run like hell, or fight as if your life depends on it. 

That worked great when I honestly needed it. Not so well when I didn't. I was very detached and not engaged. I thought I was and was able to enforce boundaries and conduct myself with complete integrity, or so I thought, because I was not ever presented with a situation that was a significant enough threat compared to the "boot camp" my childhood was.

As I started digging I recognized how closed my heart was and how silo'd my feelings and pain receptors were. 

If someone hurt me it didn't even register as I was pushing forward and jettisoning those that did with ease. 

It was when I encountered the pain from someone I chose to let in even just a little my fight response was just that. Fight. No Geneva Convention rules. It's like if you're taking a sledghammer to a wall when you want to engrave a mosaic. No room for finesse or skill. Just brute force will.

I always wondered and was concerned when talking to others about extreme survival stories where some very distasteful choices needed to be made. The Donner Party, the Andes soccer team, other stories that have the same pretty brutal options with a high "ick" factor. I never had the "ick" response to those and could pretty easily imagine making those choices with little problem, after all meat is meat and you need to eat to live.

This was also confirmed with the cat scan I had that showed I could shut off the empathy portion of my brain when looking at certain images. 

I never really saw that until I started digging. The fact that it hadn't cause a boundary or integrity breach was pure luck not anything I was actively creating or enabling. This has been a real eye opener for me and has provided a much needed piece. From what I've been reading and talking to my doctor about, this constant fight or flight "rut" I was in and the stress chemicals and toll on my body also fits the condition I developed very good. I always assumed heredity and since I don't have that info I accepted it as such. This makes far more sense, though. 


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
Topic Posts: 17