SurvivingInfidelity.com Forums
Wayward Side
User Topic: Escapism
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Stop  Posted: 2:03 AM, May 12th (Sunday)

I think that sometimes when we go there in our heads, it's because we are looking for the feeling of the escape. The escape from our everyday lives, from the humdrum stuff.
(authenticnow)

xAP was my escape from all the things I couldn't/didn't want to deal with. If every thing else brought me emotional turmoil, I always had someone to turn to who understood me and the stresses I faced in my real life. He was an outsider who would always be on my side.
I ran to him with every little issue I would face. Never really resolving anything irl but at least having a person in my life who would listen and appear to care.

Now he's not around anymore to run to. But the stresses and crappy stuff are still there. It doesn't just go away. I think that's why mental NC has been so difficult for me as he's still my escape. I still run to the memories to avoid real life. I've been tracking when my thoughts run to xAP and it's when I'm stressed or worried or tense.

He really was a drug. My happy place. I ran away from my problems like a coward. Never wanting to address them with the people concerned. Instead, I went into a fake world where there were (mostly) always roses and validation and similarities in thought processes. It worked for a short time but now I have to grow up and face my shit.

I've also realised some other stuff. What's really happening here is my intense curiosity as to what is happening in xAP's life. I recognise this is still mental contact but it's not missing him as such, it's more about not knowing and I always used to know.

I think it may be about letting go of the control element. The fact that I am not a part of someone's life anymore and detaching from the need to know.

Everyone says it's not the AP one misses but the feelings associated with them. I'm starting to understand this. The conversations were intellectually stimulating and made me feel knowledgable and smart. The fact that he would take time out of his day to talk to me made me feel special and valued.

These are the things I miss. Not the actual person. They are all voids in my life which now need to be filled in a healthy way. Bookclubs, starting a course, writing research essays etc.

I need to feel the anxiety now and not cover it up with a drug.


Posts: 362 | Registered: Mar 2013
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 5:51 AM, May 12th (Sunday)

You have to sit and think about why OM was such an easy escape. He is not the guy who is with you during the real life stuff. To do this, you have to put your mind to placing value into what is real, has depth, and is truly important.

For me, it was remembering holding my H's hand when his mother was dying, thinking about getting through issues with our DS, getting our first apartment and painting it and putting our money together for our wedding. Kids with fever, sitting at the table going through the bills...together. This is your real life stuff that your AP has no clue about.

But the stresses and crappy stuff are still there. It doesn't just go away.
What crappy stuff is still there? How are you working to figure out how to deal with the crappy stuff in a healthier way?

Life will always have challenges. You need to develop the tools to deal with them. Are you still with your BH? Start to go to him, instead of away from, when things get tough. Start thinking with the 'team' mentality. Once I realized that H and I were on the same side it felt good to know that. Not some guy who really couldn't give a shit and was getting sex from a married woman. He was not on my side, he was reaping the benefits of my being fucked up and willing to give it away.

They are all voids in my life which now need to be filled in a healthy way. Bookclubs, starting a course, writing research essays etc.
Good for you. You're heading in the right direction.

I need to feel the anxiety now and not cover it up with a drug.
Yes! That's very important! I spent a lot of years running from my feelings. You have to feel it to heal it!


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 37981 | Registered: Sep 2007
BaxtersBFF
Member
Member # 26859
Default  Posted: 6:53 AM, May 12th (Sunday)

I thought much the same stuff about the AP in my case. Finally, someone understood, and would take the time out of their day to talk with me. It was so hard to differentiate between the AP and the hit. Keep working on that.

Looking back, I can see that the AP was quite good at playing a role which allowed me to feel that high from a couple different angles. So everytime there was contact, it seemed like it was something real. There was always the right answer to the situation when the AP was involved.

What I came to finally realize, and yes, it took a bit of time to accept this, is that the AP was a pro manipulator. They had this talent for having the answer, and because of the high I got with every contact, I took it all hook, line, and sinker.

I think for many of us, the AP is certainly not who we thought they were. It just takes a while for that realization to come about. And as long as we do the work, as long as we keep trying to take those steps forward, reality will become apparent with each step.


WH - 44
BW - gerrygirl

Posts: 6099 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Boise
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 8:17 AM, May 12th (Sunday)

I think for many of us, the AP is certainly not who we thought they were. It just takes a while for that realization to come about. And as long as we do the work, as long as we keep trying to take those steps forward, reality will become apparent with each step.

I really hope so.

So far, I've figured out AP was a major cake-eater.

I don't know why I feel I need to analyse AP's character in order for all this to make sense. I'm looking for answers and there aren't any.


Posts: 362 | Registered: Mar 2013
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 8:32 AM, May 12th (Sunday)

I think you need to get your focus off OM. Stop trying to analyze him and stop giving him head space. That's counterproductive to your healing.

I feel like you might be doing this to get the focus off yourself. Instead of analyzing him, figure out what's going on with you and work on that.


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 37981 | Registered: Sep 2007
ophelia24
Member
Member # 38438
Default  Posted: 5:58 PM, May 12th (Sunday)

I totally get the escapism stuff. I did it for years rather than face myself. Whether through booze, affairs, new jobs etc, I did everything BUT sit with myself and my misery and self loathing. Couldn't bear it. Or so I thought. Realised what I couldn't bear was to keep my living my life crouched in fear and self loathing. That's what drove me on. Still hard work though. But feel Im slowly really coming alive.

Ive realised, how we spend so much energy avoiding ourselves, that we then spend a lifetime paying the price for. The best thing I ever did was to just 'stop'. Stop running, hiding, lying (to myself and others) and start sitting with the truth. About everything.

Frightens me to think what if I had kept doing what I was doing? It also makes me feel grief struck at all the time wasted.

Keep going Trying, you are doing good. Its the questions we ask that are important. Which is where we go to start wanting more for ourselves. Takes courage. Which you have in spades.


“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.”
― James Baldwin

Posts: 283 | Registered: Feb 2013
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 6:19 PM, May 12th (Sunday)

Ive realised, how we spend so much energy avoiding ourselves, that we then spend a lifetime paying the price for. The best thing I ever did was to just 'stop'. Stop running, hiding, lying (to myself and others) and start sitting with the truth. About everything.
Ophelia, wow. Thanks for that.


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 37981 | Registered: Sep 2007
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 2:57 AM, May 13th (Monday)

I feel like you might be doing this to get the focus off yourself. Instead of analyzing him, figure out what's going on with you and work on that.

Been reading threads and articles for 4 hours non-stop. My head hurts with all the information. It's so overwhelming. You try to apply everything to your own personal situation but not everything does.

Is understanding WHY you do something the first stage in stopping the behaviour/thought? So, if I understand WHY my mental NC is so difficult it will get easier? Is that how it all works? That's why the "why's" are so important. I'm also working hard on my own why's. Digging and digging and right now it feels like my head is about to explode.


Posts: 362 | Registered: Mar 2013
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 5:33 AM, May 13th (Monday)

The whys are important, yes. But do you not really understand why mental NC is so important? What you put energy into will grow, every thought of OM, every time you focus on the feelings of the A, you are giving it power.

Mental NC doesn't feel good at first, but it's really not hard. Don't look at the FB, don't reminisce about conversations, etc. Don't keep giving him space in your brain. I am not minimizing how hard this is to do at times, you have to practice and stick with it, I'm just saying it's a simple concept. Now you have to execute it!


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 37981 | Registered: Sep 2007
ophelia24
Member
Member # 38438
Default  Posted: 6:35 AM, May 13th (Monday)

The only way is THROUGH Trying. And it can take awhile.

Yes, books are helpful, and being here on SI and taking in what people are saying who have done a lot of hard work, is also valuable. Hugely valuable. However, its always going to come down to you, and you sound about as patient as I am when it comes to wanting something/anything/everything to change,lol. I'm a shocker at patience! But you will get there, and yes, its going to take some time, heaps of time actually, and yet, sometimes everything can change in a few minutes or hours.

I was in that same place of distracting myself with thoughts/reminiscing/spying stage for years after my A (7 years ago). But then I didn't know SI existed and sure could have done with some 2x4's to the bloody head over the last 7 years. You at least know that this is not such a great place to be and are desperately trying to understand it. That is far more advanced than I was.

Now I realise that I indulged in the mental stuff because I didn't know that I needed to examine myself, my hurts, my pain at everything. Because I strongly believe that having affairs, does come from a place of hurt. But at the time, we trick ourselves into thinking that the AP is 'unique, special, blah blah', or that our relationship 'made us do it', when really, we are just hurting messes who are flailing around hurting ourselves and others. And that is where we need to go - to the source of our pain (I also looked at my old relationships and realised I had never ever been faithful in any of them, or had been cheated on myself, which then led me to look at my parents marriage, which trust me,wasnt pretty).

The difficult part is - knowing what path will lead you down there. For me, it was being thrust into a different environment and feeling fucking lonely and frightened actually. Which led me down my own path of pain that I will always be thankful for, even if it sucked most of the time, and I just couldn't understand why I was feeling this and where it was leading (started last August). But for once I just sat with it and felt it, and didn't run away and distract myself. Bloody hard to not follow old patterns, but then, I also knew where they would lead to and it was usually crappy.

As I've said to you before, trust yourself that you know something is really wrong, and listen to yourself that you feel this strong desire for more, for yourself and in your relationship.

And no matter what happens, you will be ok.


“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.”
― James Baldwin

Posts: 283 | Registered: Feb 2013
ophelia24
Member
Member # 38438
Default  Posted: 6:36 AM, May 13th (Monday)

Your Welcome AN


edited coz its late and got my manners mixed up.

[This message edited by ophelia24 at 6:38 AM, May 13th (Monday)]


“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.”
― James Baldwin

Posts: 283 | Registered: Feb 2013
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 11:11 AM, May 14th (Tuesday)

He really was a drug. My happy place. I ran away from my problems like a coward. Never wanting to address them with the people concerned. Instead, I went into a fake world where there were (mostly) always roses and validation and similarities in thought processes. It worked for a short time but now I have to grow up and face my shit.

Trying, if I didn't know better I'd swear I wrote this myself. Thank you for sharing.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1229 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Topic Posts: 12