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Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part 3

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27 · 28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34

hopefulkate posted 9/5/2017 11:15 AM

Hi Lavendar - so glad your trip went well!! Baby steps!!!

As you can see...healing and building of trust takes time...(ahem...see me last post just a second ago...)

It sounds like that is great progress in that he acknowledges this - right?

My guess is that being home is a trigger in itself. We have moved twice since, and I am VERY thankful because we are no longer in the house where DDay happened and I spent the first few months just...debating on whether or not i wanted another tomorrow.

The second house was a rental, and still early on so there was a lot of crying and triggers there....

This house is our home for the next few years. I very much look forward to our next move when I am a lot more healed.

Not sure if this is your issue or not, but it has helped me.

How are you now?

Lavender0916 posted 9/5/2017 18:20 PM

What I love about this forum is the ability to relate and some of my coping mechanisms are the same.

My home is not a trigger by unfortunately the city is. We don't live in the city or near it but everytime my WH has a job in it or wants to visit a friend I get triggered because he used these people as lies to see the A "bitch" P. He is usually very good with proof. However my brain gets carried away, then the heart races all while I am at work. It has eased a bit that I am on my way home and then I can cry a little. WH should be on his way home too. I do not hold back and let him know if I cry or was anxious. On my trip with him I still had doubts about our future and if it's all a lie. He is in therapy, so there is my 3 months and then crossing fingers MC is in the near future. On the trip I asked him why he strayed from me with tears and he said he cannot answer until we have MC! Ugh. He acknowledges how sorry he is...

hopefulkate posted 9/5/2017 19:24 PM

Lavender, can you elaborate on his unwillingness to share his why? Is it he doesn't know or he doesn't want to say unless there is a witness to help?

If he doesn't know, fine. If he does, then he gtfo until he finds his big boy words....imo.

I get it though. My WH wants to go see his best friend who is related by situation to the A, and I get a little sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

Hmmm....more stuff to work on. Good point about relating!

Lavender0916 posted 9/7/2017 12:45 PM

Here is what I think. He is afraid. Plus, i do not truly think he knows himself what the teen did. He does have awareness. My IC, my daughter's DID IC both say he needs at least 6 months of IC before we can even tackle MC. Knowing me I will start pushing it by 4 months.

I explained alot of triggers my WH last night which I think he only absorbed 2. It is different in his ability to "do" and not "try"

devotedman posted 9/8/2017 05:51 AM

Knowing me I will start pushing it by 4 months.

Don't. That tendency might be the co-dependent coming out. That tendency is certainly not "letting go of the outcome" and focusing on yourself to discover and do what _you_ need.

If you're cooking, do you take stuff out of the oven 30 minutes early? Do you change your car's oil 1,000 miles early?

Your H needs to 'cook' for a while in IC before he can be ready for MC. Push for MC before he's cooked enough for it and you guarantee a bad outcome. Understand that MC is there for the M and that requires (and largely assumes) full buy-in, openness, honesty, and truthfulness from both. Your H needs _time_ to get to the point where he is ready to be fully open/authentic/feel safe with everyone in the room.

Heh. As a brief aside, wouldn't it be great if, when cooking, 1 hr. at 350 in the oven was exactly the same as a half-hour at 700? Halve the time, double the temp!

Don't do that to your H. Let him cook until his IC says that he is done enough for MC.

The whole thing is very scary for him. If he is being honest with himself then he's going through changing his world-view, set in childhood and abuse, and that changing is very hard. He has to catch every reaction that he has and learn to take it apart and see what assumptions are driving the reaction. Then he has to examine the assumptions to see what is behind them that led to them even being assumptions. Then he has to reason out whether that those 'things behind' are valid.

Mindfulness and true change are very hard to do. It is _work_. It takes time to develop and apply those new skills. It takes time to change those basic assumptions set when he was supposed to be learning how to interact with the world and form assumptions that would be good to use as an adult. He has to really, really _push_ himself to do it.

Change is big, change is hard.

Here is what I think. He is afraid. Plus, i do not truly think he knows himself what the teen did. He does have awareness.

How do those last to sentences that I quoted go together, please? How could he have awareness and not know what the teen did?

And be very careful about promoting _your_ perception of why he did something to being _his_ reason for doing it. Now, you are undoubtedly right, he _is_ afraid. Promoting that normal fear into being his reason is logically risky, however. It might be, it might not be. You could be exactly correct, you could be entirely wrong. Keep an open mind.

I explained alot of triggers my WH last night which I think he only absorbed 2.

Yeah, that's pretty good, actually. Your triggers are far more natural to you than they are to him. Remember, this man is going through huge change and him assimilating more change (your triggers) on top of that is just adding to his mental workload. As is you understanding, as opposed to hearing, what he says about himself.

The brain is a processor of information. Like any other thing it has limits to how much work it can do. Throw in too much change at once and it gets overwhelmed. Some things get ignored, some remembered, and they all get assumptions piled on top.

Change does happen. It just doesn't happen all at once. Exactly like him being ready for IC in six months as opposed to four.

Lavender0916 posted 9/11/2017 16:04 PM

Thank you so much DevotedMan for that big time!! FISTBUMP.

You are so right. My Co-Dependent stuff comes out to try to control and obsess his whereabouts during the day are getting out of hand. He needs to deal with consequences if I don't feel safe. Furthermore, same thing about therapy. I just had my individual session and she said there are some "gaps" still with transparency but all in all he "appears" to be working on the right things. Nothing is absolute in life so I never want to say we are on the path to full recovery, until it truly is...My IC stated so far seems to be working on the M. It could all change next week, next month. Who knows. But right now...I need to recognize the work he has put in. I am very critical - especially when burned.

Your H needs _time_ to get to the point where he is ready to be fully open/authentic/feel safe with everyone in the room.

I should know better too. He is absorbing a lot right now. Plus, I should also shift my energy on the work I NEED to do for myself.

Thank you again Devoted Man. So helpful.

hopefulkate posted 9/12/2017 09:26 AM

Glad you get to pause and refocus on you Lavender! Trying to do the same over here.

I was writing a book for us betrayed partners whose spouses have the "it wasn't me" excuse. Yes, excuse. If you are not fully conscious, then by reason of insanity you won't be found guilty.

Doesn't make our pain any less real. If anything, it makes those of us who feel this is a deal breaker question everything about life in ways we never imagined. (Not a bad thing, just a hard thing.)

Anyway, I was writing it. But I can't. Every time I write something I get this wave of fear I don't know what I am talking about because I was lied to my entire life. So who the hell am I to say anything? He's probably still talking to her and they are laughing at me behind my back. Obviously.

Much safer to let anyone else tackle this. For me, I think I need to go back to building walls. I don't think they are so bad anymore. I'm tired of being hurt.

And to be clear, MrKate has done nothing since dday to justify the above fear. In fact, he has worked tirelessly to help me.

But the A was enough. Maybe time will help.

devotedman posted 9/12/2017 14:23 PM

Every time I write something I get this wave of fear I don't know what I am talking about because I was lied to my entire life. So who the hell am I to say anything?

Self-doubt is creeping back in, eh?

Picture in your mind a grassy knoll with a cliff. At the bottom is the ocean. hopefulkate is standing at the edge watching the waves.

Older man with dirty-blond hair, blue eyes, wearing an eye patch walks up. Holds a fist out. You do too, and the two of you fist bump. He turns and walks away.

You are exactly the mostest-rightest person around to be writing the book. Look at it this way - who has more experience than you do? Some happy hippie professor, or hopefulkate?

More seriously - why the self-doubt? Why are you letting it control your activities? Why let it screw with your self-esteem?

hopefulkate posted 9/12/2017 18:54 PM

Thanks, as always DM. A heartfelt fistbump right back. Great question:

why the self-doubt? Why are you letting it control your activities? Why let it screw with your self-esteem?

Now...dear friend, maybe you can help me answer it?

I'm not sure. I am having anxiety over the AP again. Not sure why.

Might have picked the wrong time to stop seeing my counselor 😂🤣😳

Skan posted 9/12/2017 20:29 PM

I think I need to go back to building walls. I don't think they are so bad anymore. I'm tired of being hurt.

I volunteered for the Humane Society in animal rescue for some time. I can remember animal hoarders, where there would be lots of animals in very small cages, starved, pretty much unable to walk due to lack of food, AND, not having been able to actually walk, in the confined cages they lived in. Sometimes for all of their lives until we got there.

Most of the animals were able to overcome those beginnings and live as normal of a life as they were able to. Enjoy the freedom, the love of a family, the nurturing given to them. Some could not. They could not leave that cage behind them, physically and/or mentally. They were terrified, if they were not confined. They turned themselves off mentally, so they could never be hurt again. They had no trust left in them, and no inclination to open themselves up again, for fear of the hurt.

Yeah, walls can be really comfortable, if that's all that you know. Even when those walls are unhealthy for you, and keep you from living the life that you were meant to live. It's OK to go back and shelter, for a little while, while you rest up and take those next steps out of the cage. It would be a real disservice to you, to your loved ones, and frankly, to us, if you let the fear of pain drive you back into the cage. Rest. And then step back out. We'll all walk by your side.

hopefulkate posted 9/12/2017 20:55 PM

st. And then step back out. We'll all walk by your side.

I've had tears falling freely since I read this. You have no idea how kind these words are. Thank you, thank you so much.

I know I am not alone here, but how I wish I could have heard words like that growing up, or even better, from 20-40.

Thank you.

Is it so strange to feel such pain from such kindness? Do you know what I mean? Perhaps it is the quench of a deep thirst I keep forgetting -or pushing aside. Whatever this is, it's deeper than any words can describe. The words, equally healing.

Skan posted 9/13/2017 13:53 PM

I know I am not alone here, but how I wish I could have heard words like that growing up, or even better, from 20-40.

I wish that I/we were there for you, to be able to give you the truth of those words.

Is it so strange to feel such pain from such kindness? Do you know what I mean? Perhaps it is the quench of a deep thirst I keep forgetting -or pushing aside

You feel what you identify as pain, because it's foreign to you. That which is foreign, is suspect, strange, unrecognizable, potentially harmful, especially if harm has been the go-to normal. You try a new food, and while part of you is exhilarated and curious, to try the new, there's also a part of you that anticipates, at some level, that the taste won't be good. If you've taken a big bite of a hot pepper, when you're given a sweet pepper to try, even though you've been assured that it is sweet, you saw it taken out of a bag that says "Sweet Peppers," and the person offering it to you has taken a bite before you and said YUM, there is still that inwards cringe, that this "sweet" pepper will bite you.

When you're hydrated, water is a boring drink. When you thirst deeply, it's the most exotic, refreshing thing that you've ever had. SI is a deep well filled with people who have a deep thirst. Dip your cup in and drink until you're filled.

Lavender0916 posted 9/14/2017 01:03 AM

I want to say a very bold statement here...maybe feeling confident after my co-dependent meeting..or its just the wine.

HopefulKate is an EXTREMEMLY INTELLIGENT HUMAN BEING. When she and I chatted we picked apart our spouses issues from a very scientific level. I call her my cosmic twin from out east

Call it Vulcan, but it was how we have to make sense of it. "There has to be a reason". Then the emotions catch up with us. We were never allowed those as kids, through adulthood Like she said - lied to us always. That's where the help of Skan and DM come in and guide us through.

Who else could write this book but HopefulKate? She truly understands this from a partner of SAS point of view. There is a quote in Star Trek between Dr. McCoy and Spock..."Your guesses are better than most people's facts". That is Kate!!

Hopeful - we are all by your side and know you can do this. It is not a race. I learned more on this forum then any book I have read since DDAY, If you want to talk and I scribe so be it. If you want to break for 4 months so do it! We are here for you and we all share that betrayal pain and completely understand. There is a reason it is on the PTSD scale. Hugs in plenty...fistbumps too.

devotedman posted 9/14/2017 09:19 AM

I must go to work very, very soon so I might get this right and I might not. Questions, clarifying or expanding, are most welcome.

I just read the last couple of pages and I have come to a most startling conclusion.

Life is scary.

YouMeI lied to hopefulkate's counselor. My first thought when I read the he said that she did not feel 'safe' to him was, "Well, yeah, of course. What the hell else is he gonna do?" That was a gut reaction, telling, and true. See, she wasn't _safe_. The adult trained by years and years of abuse is going to placate and tell her exactly what she wants to hear. She's more likely to either go away or make nice if she hears what _he_ _thinks_ that she wants to hear. Dudes, that habit of placating and making pain go away is how you survive. And that word is true to a 6 year-old. That is what _survival_ looks like.

And hopefulkate is exhibiting another reaction, at least I think. She sees her safety threatened by YouMeI's lying to her counselor. She sees that he _can_ lie. She recognizes it and then immediately turns around and starts questioning whether she can recognize it. And then that throws her into a funk and she expands the answer to cover all of _their_ interactions.

Life, one scary fucker, eh?

In the last couple of pages I've been thinking. I see a lot of people that aren't really mindful of different circumstances, different situations, and letting their spouse show them who they are in a mindful, detached, considering, (compartmentalizing? Oh, that rabbit hole!) way.

So YouMeI lied to the counselor. She sees that and panics. But, put that into a context that hopefulkate sees as survival and I bet that her reaction to YouMeI's lying would have been different. Guy with a gun to your head asks a question? You betcha, lie your ass off. That is what YouMeI saw in the situation and reacted to and that is what hopefulkate did not see. In some ways, she can't see it the same way. All that she can do is try to empathize.

Then Lavender0916 recounts a little story where she and hopefulkate are discussing their spouses. To the both of them that state is a safe state. They're fine with it. _That_ situation isn't so scary, or at least not for them.

But, in other situations, life _is_ scary. Those situations are different for any of us. To hopefulkate, writing a book is _scary_. An uneducated guess is that it is new territory for her and she is feeling what some would simply call 'jitters'. But, because of the triggery (for her) subject, and moving, and other situations in her life, she lets the whole thing become _scary_.

hopefulkate, it does not need to be scary. Life is a lot of facts going on around us and then we interpret those facts through our filters and then !bang!, emotional reactions hit. Sort of like when a Mom is all scared because little Joey is out 15 minutes late and she's all hand-wringing and shit and then !bang! little Joey walks in the door and Mom goes apeshit and yells and grounds him. Those 'facts' that are flying around us all of the time get different interpretations and emotions and _meanings_ that we assign.

Life is _scary_. But only because we make it so. Or allow it to be so? I dunno. I _do_ know that we'll be fine if we work on ourselves and are mindful and, mostly, allow ourselves to be fine. We cannot control the outcome no matter how much we want to control the outcome. All we can do is try to steer and hang on for the ride.

Questions?

[This message edited by devotedman at 9:22 AM, September 14th, 2017 (Thursday)]

hopefulkate posted 9/14/2017 11:32 AM

SI is a deep well filled with people who have a deep thirst. Dip your cup in and drink until you're filled.

Beautiful Skan, thank you! This should be posted on the front page.

Wow, Lavender, thank you thank you thank you! That was incredibly kind of you. And we are kindred sisters aren't we?! Not surprising this is so dang hard, huh?

Side note: (New) Spok is super sexy!

All of this support, thank you. As Skan said, it is somewhat foreign to me, and I have a number of people IRL also supportive of this project. I really do not know how to handle...nice. Mostly I just cry. At least they are good tears!!

DM - your points of reflection and questions are so, incredibly helpful. Thank you for them.

I was debating where to post this, but this feels more like home, and more like I will be understood.

What is interesting, DM, is that I *knew* in that moment, that YouMeI was acting in survival mode. What has upset me, as you did nail, is that I see him lying. And yes, he does lie often. At least recently (the past day or so) he mentioned listening to a podcast that will help him to stop these white Iies. I know this is simply a way to control your environment- but that is also how I got lulled into a false sense of security and got badly burned. The TT was all about controlling the outcome. The A was all about him surviving. Unfortunately/Fortunately, I am almost too aware and see things that scare me.

I also know change this deep takes time.

I also know that I need to let go of the outcome.

So, here is my question back to you and the group:
Does letting go of the outcome = trust?

My fear around letting go of the outcome is certainly PTSD. If I let down my guard and stop 'watching' for this bad thing that may or may not come, if it does come again, then I will be hurt so much more because I won't be braced for it.

So I thought, well, I trust that he won't do that again. INSTANTANEOUSLY I disgreed with myself.

So, I don't trust him. Perhaps I can't trust him. But it seems, I don't trust myself to be ok.

I had a peaceful moment the other night. I decided it was time I dust off my math books (their A was during my first math final going back to school finally, and I have had a hard time looking back to it). I thought of all the things I wanted to do for me and it was soooooo lovely. Books I wanted to read, instruments I have but still haven't mastered...

And then my panic set in and it was a dark place and all those wants and desires faded away again.

Then back to my project: What am I afraid of? Writing a book about how to survive this - and not end up with the happy ending I was writing it with the intention of. Giving hope to others when I fail. Being a fraud.

Writing about his A and being contacted our outed by the AP that what I believe to be the truth (and I do) is all a lie, and I get hurt again. (I want her dead still. I honestly do not see why this is too much to ask for.)

My family reading it and saying, 'that didn't happen'. (Everyone here understands this one, sadly.)

And if I want to be an advocate for mental health, then I can't publish anonymously....and it seems like my mom is no longer interested in her story being told (totally fine) but then is super unsupportive of anything that doesn't help her RIGHT NOW....(ahh this is familiar at least! )

So....fear. I am fear based. Trauma based, PTSD filled, anxiety, depression....these are my familiar.

But.....The opposite of fear is, faith.

You all will hold my hand through this? I'm so so scared....

Of all of it....

hopefulkate posted 9/14/2017 11:34 AM

Today's Yeti Comic. Appropriate, no?

Lavender0916 posted 9/14/2017 12:17 PM

Something I missed in my previous post. I went back and read a few.

I know I am not alone here, but how I wish I could have heard words like that growing up, or even better, from 20-40.

This rang so true with me. It was the A that made me realize all this time with my WH I was emotionally on my own. My parents both contracted cancer around the same time and died a year apart. I took care of them, back and forth 2500 miles away. All the while "thought" my WH was supportive of me and what I had done. 6 months after my dad passed I found out about the first DDAY. Of course I was lied to up and down that it wasn't what I thought it was. I am learning in Co-Dependents Anonymous that I have to learn to love myself before anyone. It makes me cry a ton wishing I had that support and love in my early years so I could rely on myself. That love and support I depended on from my WH/SAS was never really there. He does love me, but the only way he knows.

HopefulKate, I have tons of fear too. Fear of not being able to survive this. Fear he is still sneaking around and lying to me. Even with proof in my face. Fear he isn't going to his therapy sessions even though he says he going. I don't know why I am so scared of the outcome if he doesn't comply? Because like DM said. Life is very scary. It's going to take him a lot of time.

I got your hand HopefulKate, none of us will let you fall.

Lavender0916 posted 9/14/2017 14:23 PM

DevotedMan, I guess I have to ask; How do you save the marriage when all the Survivor knows is to lie then deal with scary truth? I see success stories here so I know it's possible.

I am in a very bad funk today and feel that even though my WH "seems" to be doing the work. There are gaps in his whereabouts and I fear he still sees the AP or talks to her. He shows me his phone, there is no messages, emails or calls. If he had a second "secret" phone I would never know about it. He would lie if I asked. Faith as HopefulKate puts it.

I pray he truly is going to therapy. He asks for checks to pay for it. How could you lie about that? They would not clear. I second guess this because when DDAY #2 happened he said he was seeing an IC and he wasn't. I didn't give him any boundaries til DDAY #3. When finally he showed me proof he was in conversation with his current IC, which he seems to like.

HealingGirl, says this all takes lots of time if I want to walk the road. 3 months, another 3 months, 6 months more. HopefulKate is in this 2 years and I am proud of her.

Just want to cry...

devotedman posted 9/14/2017 18:07 PM

LavenderRose0916 asked:

How do you save the marriage when all the Survivor knows is to lie then deal with scary truth? I see success stories here so I know it's possible.

Lying to survive is very familiar to me. Being very familiar and an old go-to I will admit that there are times when it is still a go-to. Surprise me with a really hard question and, if it hits me on a bad/triggery day/point then my first inclination might be to blurt a lie and then go with it. Sort of, maybe.

The big thing is - I've learned not to do that. But it took a long time and back-sliding does happen regardless of the best of intentions. I had to learn that saying to someone, "I do not feel that that subject is appropriate right now," is an appropriate response to some questions or topics. So is, "I don't want to talk about it." Even to an SO. Even, LavenderRose0916, from your WH to you.

When I get an SO we talk about talking. I tell SO that I think that it is a good idea to extend each other "Areas of Grace." Because I know what those scary feelings are like and because I know that I'll live, no matter what, I tell them that either of us can come to the other at any time, admit that something said previously was a lie, and talk about it without a lot of anger and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I do not say, "there will be no consequences," because there very well might be. I can, however, control _me_ and if SO comes to me freely and admits that they lied I can understand where they might possibly be coming from.

During my most recent JFO days I did the "pick me" dance. I begged, I thought about bargaining, but I always knew that I would live no matter what. I knew that I _could_ live without her. I just didn't want to have to.

I am in a very bad funk today and feel that even though my WH "seems" to be doing the work.

Your WH should be proving to you that he is doing right. He should be doing things to try to show that fixing himself is his first priority and then working on the M is his next-in-line first priority. You must realize that that must be the order of things. "Fixing" the M and then fixing himself results in an M that is between you and old-him. Fixing himself first then fixing the M results in an M that is between you and the new-him.

I do understand being in a funk about it. I understand that very well. I think that you want to be out of that funk. So I'll talk a bit about what I believe and let's see if that sits well with you, too.

Assumption: His current commitment to the M and truth is suspect.

Statement: He's a big boy. He should understand this. If he does not then ask him to talk with his IC about it. Sit him down and tell him how you feel. Not yelling, crying, blubbery-mess telling him but calmly and rationally. Try to talk as if you're telling your H about a friend and her H. Try something like:

"I feel afraid. It makes my stomach knot and I am unsure of what our current situation is. Being unsure makes me jittery and I'm confused. I want to be able to understand better what is going on and what our life is right now. I think that it would help if I could go with you to your IC office and just sit and wait during your session. I think that this would help rebuild my trust that you are doing what you say that you are doing. I think that that would help me be less afraid. I want us to work. Can you help me be more confident and aware of what is going on? Will you help me?"

That starts with a feeling, and emotion. It then tells him what physical results the emotion has. It goes on to tell him what you want and then presents something that would help you. It finishes up by asking for his buy-in to help you. You have to ask calmly and you have to accept whatever answer he gives calmly. You cannot control the answer, you have to let go of that. You can control you and your reactions.

You might also offer to go with him to talk to his IC. If you do you have to do it (the IC discussion) in the context of helping him, not you. That's his IC, not yours, and his IC's priority is helping your H.

You might also get your own IC to help with your emotions and how you're handling them. I am _not_ saying, "You're doing it wrong." I _am_ saying, "Talk to folks in real life. It helps."

His journey is just that - a journey. He is changing from a lying cheater into a man with some integrity. It isn't going to be "first IC meeting - lying cheater, 2nd IC man of integrity," it just isn't. That's the purpose of the Area of Grace times. Also, tell him that you value truth over immediate answers and if you ask something hard he gets time to decide what to say.

His answers to these things will tell you where you are on the Lying-Cheat-to-Man-of-Integrity scale. You get to decide what you will do with his answers. Are they immediate deal-breakers, or can you live with that awhile as he continues to improve?

Thoughts? I have a whole lot more to say and I'm breaking it up for now. Thumbs-up and a fist bump, little camper! }{

Skan posted 9/14/2017 21:50 PM

Does letting go of the outcome trust?

No. To me, it means that, no matter what the outcome is, I know that I will be OK. I will get through it. I will survive it.

That's not being passive aggressive and choosing to do nothing. You keep working on yourself to be the best self that you can. It's letting go of the things that you cannot control.

When FWH and I were in Retrouvaille, I thought that we would be one of those "star" couples that sailed through the program, learning more and more, opening up more and more, and at the end, would get our imaginary gold stars as we graduated. Instead, during our post sessions, a huge lie was exposed, and frankly, I left him for a while. Just walked out the door. At the end, I wasn't sure that I was going to stay married to him, and when I was offered the chance to read my closing "story," that's exactly what I said. I don't know how this is going to end, but I know that it's not up to me to save this marriage. I had to let it go. Best thing that I ever did, IMO.

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