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I don't F'ing get it.

Hurtandbroken987 posted 11/7/2019 10:36 AM

What the fuck is wrong with me? Now mind you that question is kind of rhetorical and I'm not looking for some magic answer but seriously what is it with this bull shit slide I'm on?

I slept great last night, I had my boys with me, I woke up feeling refreshed, energized, HAPPY, I was making jokes and laughing when I came to work with some of my coworkers and then all of a sudden I felt this slide start to happen.

Now here I am typing this. I'm starting to slide down, and that feeling of hopelessness and that empty fucking hole in the center of my chest feels like it's opening up and consuming me. The pointlessness of existence, the lack of feeling, the idea that anything is going to be ok. It's all being consumed by this hole. Why the fuck does this happen? Again, not necessarily looking for an answer but I can't exactly stand up from my desk at my shit job and shout it out to the office. Whatever.

Justsomeguy posted 11/7/2019 10:43 AM

Yup, I get it. Maybe something triggers you subconsciously? The oscillations do get better. Meds help, especially in the stages.

Oldwounds posted 11/7/2019 10:46 AM

You've suffered a tremendous emotional trauma.

My IC described it as the emotional equivalent of being hit by a bus. It takes months and years for some physical trauma to heal -- and it is the SAME for emotional trauma.

Give yourself some room to heal.

Be kind to you in these brutal 'slide down' moments.

Take the good sleep, the fun with the fellas and look forward to the next time you will get a good moment.

When I first got here people described it to me as an emotional roller coaster of big ups and fast downs. I fucking hated that ride.

But I got through it.

So, the not so rhetorical answer is, your reaction is normal.

Nothing wrong with you, you've been injured big time and it will take a while to feel better.

OptionedOut posted 11/7/2019 10:46 AM

I wish I knew. I'm so very sorry Hurt. Just know that you are not alone. It happens to all of us. We're here for you. For each other.

ShatteredSakura posted 11/7/2019 10:51 AM

I hear ya. Exactly how you described it, is what I'm going through now too. One moment I'm okay, the next nothing seems matters anymore and I feel like I have a hole in me.

So other than knowing you're not alone, at least on the bright side you're able to get out of bed and face the day.

Hopefully time will heal us all.

Lemondrop10 posted 11/7/2019 10:51 AM

I am sorry this is happening to you. But as the others said, even though it completely sucks, it is normal.

I still go through it as well. I haven't really figured out why, although for me it happens late in the day usually, kind of like I used up all my optimism and positive feelings for the day. Or something very minor will happen and completely tank my mood.

I get through it by having faith that eventually it will get better. And knowing that the feelings will swing up again with time.

outofsorts posted 11/7/2019 10:52 AM

Hi Hurtandbroken,

That happens to me too - and it sucks. It just sucks.

I'd be moving along having a fairly okay day, not even necessarily thinking of the infidelity, and then all of a sudden I'd feel a desperate need to cry - like that would make everything better.

Our MC at one point described it as a governor on your emotions like a car might have a governor on it's motor to make sure it doesn't go too fast.

I also saw another poster (forgive me, I don't remember who) describe it as "limbic lag". The more primitive / monkey portion of your brain (limbic system) has been severely traumatized by the infidelity and it wants to make damn sure that you just don't go back to business as usual. If you were a cave person and you were attacked by a wooly mammoth while getting water from a lake your limbic system would not want you to go back to the wooly mammoth lake - you should be running because it could happen again. It's a survival mechanism. And I try to remember that on days / moments when I really feel crappy for almost no reason. This will get better it just takes time and lots of processing.

fooled13years posted 11/7/2019 10:53 AM

Hurtandbroken987,
Yup, it totally sucks that this happened and that you experience this at the most inconvenient times.

I slept great last night, I had my boys with me, I woke up feeling refreshed, energized, HAPPY, I was making jokes and laughing

Take heart. The good times and experiences will increase while the sucky moments are decreasing over time.

Charity411 posted 11/7/2019 15:06 PM

I used to go through this. It fades eventually. After years of thinking about it I think maybe I figured out part of it.

This is going to sound strange, but I think subconsciously my mind didn't want to be totally done with him. Strangely, the sadness made me feel like I was still somewhat in the relationship. So if I started to feel too good and like he didn't matter anymore, my mind went back there, because to feel pain was still feeling something, as opposed to nothing. Feeling nothing meant I was truly alone and not in love anymore. When you take mental abuse long enough, your brain gets convinced that sadness means love.

RedHeadTemper posted 11/7/2019 16:20 PM

Feel exactly the same way. I haven't really gotten any work done for months. Like, bare minimum, if that even. I don't cry, never did. But now I'll get up in the middle of sitting at my office and go ball in the bathroom like a High School teenager. Then get back up and back to work.

Something that's helped me is I've got sad, angry, and happy Playlist that I'll put on to process the anger pain and hurt.

Thumos posted 11/7/2019 16:45 PM

Now here I am typing this. I'm starting to slide down, and that feeling of hopelessness and that empty fucking hole in the center of my chest feels like it's opening up and consuming me. The pointlessness of existence, the lack of feeling, the idea that anything is going to be ok. It's all being consumed by this hole.

I'm with you, brother. I can't tell you how many times I've felt like I was ready to get back in that saddle and was approaching the horse with pep in my step and a gleam in my eye. And then, womp womp.

Here's the thing: Our WW's adultery has precipitated an existential crisis we didn't want thrust upon us. So it's a very uncomfortable, practically untenable spot to be in. However! Good news! Ironically, these are exactly the kinds of questions you need to be asking in your 40s and 50s. Some people never get there.

(By the way, in one sense, as I type this, I'm giving myself some advice for the very same set of problems you've laid out. That, I think, is one of the strengths of SI. We're helping ourselves when we reach out to try to help others.)

So here goes:

1. It may or may not help you to read some of the early existential thinkers like Kierkegaard, or the Stoics like Marcus Aurelius. Yes, I really mean that. Example: The Stoic Seneca said, "It is not right to pardon indiscriminately ... we must therefore take care to distinguish those characters which admit of reform from those which are hopelessly depraved.” That sounds a hell of a lot like the advice here on SI to let an unrepentant spouse go their own way, while considering the possibility of reconciliation with a remorseful, empathetic spouse. Other advice pertains to your state of mind as well.

2. You're in a state called liminality. Which is a bit like that lyric from Rocket Man: "I miss the earth so much, I miss my wife. It's lonely out in space." Liminality is almost precisely like that. The safe, relatively warm spaceship you were in has been blown to smithereens and now you're out in cold, dark space trying to figure out where to go. You can't go back to the spaceship because it's gone, and even if you could step back a few moments in time, that spaceship would still explode and you'd be right back here. Somehow, someway you have to move forward, but which way is forward? Which path in an infinite void will take you to a new safe landing spot? I'm very much feeling "stuck" in liminality myself. I'm on the horns of a dilemma. Do I stay with this woman that I do love, or is her infidelity a deal breaker for me in spite of her desperation for us to remain married? I don't have the answer yet. The only way is through, not around.

3. In that sense, another thing that might help is to read about what is called the Hero's Journey. Oddly it's used as a story template for the greatest Hollywood films you've seen, but it can also be applied in the existential journey of liminality you now find yourself in. It was developed by the famed mythologist Joseph Campbell as he looked at commonalities among mythology across human culture. The same patterns repeated over and over. You're at the midpoint of the Hero's Journey, the worst part. The screenplay already started several pages ago with the turning point crisis of your spouse's affair (in the Hero's Journey that would be called "the call to adventure" - nice way of putting it, no? ). You're now in the low point of the hero's cycle, the Abyss or The Ordeal (also the Dragon's Den). Beyond the Abyss lies a place where you will seize a treasure of great worth before finding yourself transformed, reborn and on the Road Back. The Road Back where? Home, of course.

4. Lastly, I can recommend a book called the Way of the Superior Man. What's interesting about this book is it has been found completely acceptable among the left-of-center folks, but ironically it's laying down a lot of basic principles important to your inner integrity as a man that progressive folks would find offensive if it weren't sugar coated with the writer's flowery prose. It's like the writer slipped it past the man-hating censors by disguising it as a New Age self-help tome. It's a great book, and will help you implement some very practical things. As with any other self-important self help book, take what you find useful and discard the rest.

A few examples from the book:

"Feel your suffering so deeply and thoroughly that you penetrate it, and realize its fearful foundation. Almost everything you do, you do because you are afraid to die. And yet dying is exactly what you are doing, from the moment you are born. Two hours of absorption in a good Super Bowl telecast may distract you temporarily, but the fact remains. You were born as a sacrifice. And you can either participate in the sacrifice, dissolving in the giving of your gift, or you can resist it, which is your suffering."

“Every man knows that his highest purpose in life cannot be reduced to any particular relationship. If a man prioritizes his relationship over his highest purpose, he weakens himself, disserves the universe, and cheats his woman of an authentic man who can offer his full, undivided presence.”

“You are only punishing yourself when you want to be in a relationship with a woman more than she wants to be a in a relationship with you.”

[This message edited by Thumos at 4:51 PM, November 7th (Thursday)]

3rdstrike posted 11/7/2019 19:15 PM

HandB, I am right there with you! I never know when it's coming or what it is that triggers it.

Thumos, You are the best damn human Cliff Notes of everything we need to be reading. I'm being 1/4 sarcastic and 3/4 serious when I say there should be a forum labled "Good sh*t Thumos reads: Abridged for the busy betrayed spouse on the go!"
I honestly enjoy reading your posts.

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