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Anger/Vent - Unvalidated abuse

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truthsetmefree posted 12/31/2019 11:53 AM

I'm angry.

But I want to be filled with rage. I WANT to be filled with rage. I SHOULD be filled with rage.

"That's not good for you", they say. "It's like drinking the poison and hoping they will die."

Yeah? Fuck you. Because I've earned the right to be filled with rage. YOU should be filled with rage for me. And goddam it, rage has a place and purpose. It says - it wasn't right, you didn't deserve it, how you were treated was deplorable. Deplorable. And what you have lost is unimaginable.

My son's girlfriend lives with her paraplegic aunt. The result of a car accident years ago, when she was 19 years old...and when she begged her friends not to move her afterward. They did anyway. There's a thousand ways to mitigate any rage she may feel. She was willingly in the car. They were wild and crazy kids. Her friends were truly trying to help. Shit happens to us all. How she has such a positive outlook after all of these years...not just a life lost but a gratitude for a life also saved....I have no fucking idea. It's humbling. I feel like I should be doing better.

But at the same time, her loss and subsequent challenges are validated on a daily basis. Not one single person can look at her and feel she should somehow be doing better. If she wanted to kill herself at any point and time, it wouldn't even cross my mind to suggest that her suicide would be selfish. Are you fucking kidding me?

Here's also the things I would never even think to say to her:

What role did you play in this?
It could have been glad you didn't have to deal with (fill-in-the-blank).
You should be over this by now.
You have to quit thinking about the past and get on with your life.
Work on yourself.
Well, at least you got a good settlement out of it. You're lucky...I wish I didn't have to work.

What. the. everloving. FUCK?

Do you know why people don't actually say these things?? Because you would have to say that while you are looking at a person that is visibly living with unimaginable would have to say that to a person that is confined to a wheelchair or bed and using a physical assistant device to manage any modicum of daily physical activity. I have nothing to say to her beyond, teach me. TEACH. ME. Because I feel like I am now an emotional paraplegic.

I know. Overdramatization. I feel the shame as soon as I write that. Reference all those statements above that I would never say to her...but that I say to myself...and that get further validated by what is said to me by people that CARE about me. Cue anger. Swallow said anger. Because anger is not good. You could actually BE a paraplegic. You're ungrateful. (Cue the gods that may then inflict some other further lesson on me...omg, no, no, no. I'm sorry. I won't be angry anymore.)

He took 20 years - two fucking DECADES - of my life. I learned in the last couple of years that he was engaged when he first asked me out. This was NEVER going to turn out differently...not even from day one. And my agency was stripped throughout every single day.

I spent 20 years in a largely sexless marriage (off and on again - depending on his manipulation tactic at the moment) while he feasted from the buffet. What little sex I had exposed me to any number of STDs - while I had never in my life practiced unsafe sex.

I lost my dreams of a happy, intact family by no action of my own. My children are a by-product of having been raised in such an abusive environment...and that has a generational effect. There is likely more hurt to still come.

According to science, my physical brain has been re-wired by this experience. As I try to adjust and process it all, my own body is likely working against me. I can't make it do what I just want it to do. A large part of this is due to how covert abuse infidelity is.

And the worst part - I had no idea the depth and breadth of how I was being abused. Therefore, no one else does. I must continue to process it through the bits and pieces that come through....the memories that surface and the new connections/realizations that were made. Oh, that day he was so angry and picked a fight for no's because he needed a reason to leave to go meet his OW. I didn't just lose a perceived future...I lost all of my history. It's like watching one of those fucking thriller, twister movies....where that end scene causes you to have to go back and put all the weird pieces from earlier together in a new narrative. Except there's no ability to re-watch it all....there's no DVD. Every single one that comes in is like a face punch...delayed, years later...but a punch no less.

When given a choice between being hit or being cheated on by a spouse, most people would choose to be hit. I've been in both types of marriage (Yeah, I know...What role did I play in it? I need to work on myself.) I would definitely choose to be beaten...not because I necessarily think it's less painful, per se...but because it is something that can literally be witnessed. It is there are bruises in the mirror and friends that are genuinely appalled at the treatment. Nobody consoles/mitigates a beaten woman by reminding her of the many times he brought her flowers...or the great settlement in the divorce. And if she's having trouble healing, then it's understood because it's a recognized TRAUMA. Even if it's just the one that's abused that recognizes it.

I don't know what the point of my post was/is. I was angry when I started it...and like so much of the time, anger acknowledged can also be anger then diffused. It's a sucky part...because as soon as I make space for it, it goes. Lather, rinse, repeat. I sure as shit hope this ultimately proves to be healing. I do feel as a society that it's time we redefine the act of cheating...that we come to see it for the extreme abuse that it is. We have judicial systems that now protect domestic assault victims without their request/consent. But we still maintain rights for cheaters as equal partners. From a personal responsibility perspective, I will say to anyone that's in a relationship with a cheater that is not clearly remorseful (not just regretful) and taking extreme measures to make restitution. GET OUT. It is an abusive situation.

tushnurse posted 12/31/2019 13:37 PM

Excellent Post TSMF!!!!

It is abuse. No matter what others may say. Those of us who have survived it, know this.

Glad you could get your anger out. You are strong, and healing.

Dorothy123 posted 12/31/2019 13:46 PM

Great post.

You have been heard.


DevastatedDee posted 12/31/2019 13:56 PM

Preach it. That is absolutely nothing but the truth. All of it. My hurt is gone, the love is gone, but I still have the outrage from being fooled so profoundly.

MalibuBayBreeze posted 12/31/2019 15:19 PM

I do feel as a society that it's time we redefine the act of cheating...that we come to see it for the extreme abuse that it is.

Unfortunately I don't see this happening. Infidelity is so rampant now that I honestly believe that those of us who kept our vows, who believe in being faithful and forsaking all others are in the minority. I read an article the other day estimating that 60 percent of marriages experience infidelity and that your chances of being cheated on are greater than it not happening.

Very disheartening to say the least.

It's so ridiculous, the following actually happened. On Christmas day I was in the elevator of my mother's building going back upstairs after having gone down to my car. A couple gets in, I'd say in their 60's. I had my floor pressed already and the husband looks at me and says "You're going to 4? How about you come with me to 5?" and winked at me. He was standing in the way of the door closing and as this thing stood there grinning at me as if he expected me to accept his slimy offer, his wife grabbed his coat by the lapel and pulled him inside. She was clearly pissed. Later on as my WH and I were going down in the elevator for something the same couple got in. I said nothing until later when I told the story as we unwrapped gifts.

This is an awesome post and an epic vent and we get it. Your rage is shared by many here. Our wounds are not visible to outsiders but we know they are there along with triggers, PTSD and a whole host of others "gifts" we receive as a result of our spouses cheating ways. If society looked at it as the abuse it is, I doubt it would have any impact however. Just as awareness doesn't prevent domestic, child and animal abuse sad to say.

Hugs to you and may you find a way to channel that justified anger towards something good for you. ❤

deephurt posted 12/31/2019 15:45 PM

I agree with all the posts. Itís abuse. Iíve been sexually abused as a child and this is worse imho. I donít understand why society doesnít see it as abuse but I suspect itís because the powers that be are kinky cheaters themselves so we wouldnít want to shine a light on it and validate the abuse that we all feel.

hansvoleman posted 12/31/2019 16:13 PM

I suspect itís because the powers that be are kinky cheaters

{no politics}

Sadly I think MBB is right in that it will never be recognised as abuse but because to see it as such we'd have to look at some ugly societal truths. We haven't managed to do it here over child abuse so I doubt it will happen for adultery.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 2:08 AM, January 1st (Wednesday)]

ZenMumWalking posted 12/31/2019 23:41 PM


I know exactly what you mean. And I am so sorry that you have gone through this, none of it should have happened to you. And sometimes people are just so stupid, I can't believe the ridiculous things they say. Where have empathy and compassion gone??

Sending you strength to keep moving forward.


Maudlin posted 12/31/2019 23:46 PM

I could have written this, I feel exactly the same way. I liken this to my husband dying, really. The man I was supposed to be married to just. Is gone. In his place is a monster. But when your husband dies people bring you casseroles, they donít ask what was wrong with you to cause the death. They donít say they ďdonít want to pick sidesĒ against the murderer.

He stole my entire youth, and I will never not be angry and rage filled for that. Never.

You have been heard.

Dragonfly123 posted 1/1/2020 02:39 AM

TSMF you have been heard. Iím nearly two years on and yesterday had to park the car and scream at the top of my lungs because the rage had built up to such levels. I then just sobbed. In that bloody car park. Tears rolling down the steering wheel. I hear you loud and clear.

It is abuse. My personal agency was taken for a couple of months. I simply can not imagine what hell you (and others) must live in, who unknowingly were with cheaters for years!!

Huge hugs.

burninghouse posted 1/1/2020 04:11 AM

This post really nails it. Yep, it's abuse, emotional and mental abuse that has serious physical repercussions too, trauma brain being just one.

We need a metoo movement for infidelity. Our voices need to be heard. The abuse is exacerbated by the silencing of the pain and trauma that gets swept under the rug, shoved aside, denied when few really acknowledge it for what it is. There are a few pioneering professionals who truly get it but it is by no means generally recognized as abuse.

You have every right to feel all your feelings (((truthsetmefree))). You have been heard.

hopefull77 posted 1/1/2020 08:10 AM

No one truly understands until it's happened to you...
Thank you for this VENT!

josiep posted 1/1/2020 12:23 PM

Yes! Yes! Yes!

I know I'm a broken record where you're concerned but you really do speak to me and say the things I'm trying to describe but am not able to. I'm 2.5 yrs. out and still having ups and downs but I've been reading about Runaway Husbands and it's helping me understand better what happened. Most of them are covert nacissists and most of them have substance abuse/addiction issues. But some of the things these women write just blow me away because they describe my life. The most recent was a gal who said she never had a Christmas stocking. That sounds small and inconsequential but when you go 47 Christmases without a stocking and you mention it every single year, not in a mean way but wistfully, and you never get one, you feel sort of bad about it. But it's so absurd to feel bad about a Christmas stocking, you talk yourself out of feeling that way. And you continue on, totally and completely unaware that it's just another little piece of the "abuse." And when you add them all up over 4.5 decades, it's not a pretty picture.

I am basically useless these days. I go in circles, I don't seem to be able to take care of my money - haven't written a check in the check register in 2.5 yrs. I have no idea how I spend my money; fortunately, I'm frugal by nature so I'm not broke yet but another few years of this and I'll be in real trouble. The worst part about that? I used to be an auditor and tax preparer. my house is disorganized and not as clean as I would prefer it. I look at all of it and then I go sit down and play a game on my iPad or read the news or S.I. or such. I don't get out of my house much and that's ridiculous because I live across the street from the ocean.

And I'm angry that I'm so helpless to fix this. I see a counselor, I take meds, but I still can't seem to snap out of this paralysis. I go in circles. I start things and don't finish. It's awful. It's like there's a disconnect in my brain and I can't seem to reconnect the correct neurons to each other so I can move forward. I'm not terribly unhappy anymore, I don't miss him at all and I don't mind living alone; things are good between me and my kids. But I'm just ---------------

And that is starting to concern me. I'm 70 yrs. old and if I don't kick my life back into living soon, I might run out of time. And that would really tick me off.

So I totally hear you and wish we lived next door to each other cuz it would be so nice to have one person in my life (my REAL life, not my online life) who gets it.

And I do get angry when I think about all this but I stuff it because if I act out and make a mess of something, I don't want to have to clean it up.

MalibuBayBreeze posted 1/1/2020 13:00 PM


crazyblindsided posted 1/1/2020 21:44 PM

And I'm angry that I'm so helpless to fix this. I see a counselor, I take meds, but I still can't seem to snap out of this paralysis. I go in circles. I start things and don't finish. It's awful. It's like there's a disconnect in my brain and I can't seem to reconnect the correct neurons to each other so I can move forward. I'm not terribly unhappy anymore, I don't miss him at all and I don't mind living alone; things are good between me and my kids. But I'm just -------------

Reading this thread has helped not feel so alone in this.

I can identify with so much. I feel like something did break and I too go in these circles or in paralysis. Iíve survived trauma before but something is different this time and not in a good way.

Pentup posted 1/2/2020 08:38 AM

TSMF, you speak for so many. I, for one, am glad to see you rage a bit. You got handed a very shitty deal under the guise of marriage. Twice. I think you need some rage in order to truly appreciate that and appreciate yourself . That YOU didn't deserve that and those that perpetuate that kind of abuse should be punished. I lean a little more toward the vigilante SI posse to go in the night and kick the crap out of the abusers but that more of a dream. 😎

As for the people who say stupid stuff, ignorance is bliss. I know myself that prior to living certain circumstances, not just infidelity, I had no idea how crippling and hurtful they could be. I think a lot of people walk around emotionally crippled or wounded. I also think that some that put on the good face, might be the hardest hit.

Josie, wish I lived closer to you. I'd drag you to that ocean, out to lunch and we would put on some music and dance your place clean.. You too were abused. If I could say anything, do all those things for yourself that you wish others had. Treat your inner child like you would treat any other child. You are such a treasure. Give yourself a hug. Go to the ocean today, soak in some sun and treat yourself somehow. You are worth it!

truthsetmefree posted 1/2/2020 08:59 AM

I am basically useless these days. I go in circles,

And I'm angry that I'm so helpless to fix this. I see a counselor, I take meds, but I still can't seem to snap out of this paralysis. I go in circles. I start things and don't finish. It's awful. It's like there's a disconnect in my brain and I can't seem to reconnect the correct neurons to each other so I can move forward. I'm not terribly unhappy anymore, I don't miss him at all and I don't mind living alone; things are good between me and my kids. But I'm just ---------------

I took a couple of days try to get my thoughts straightened out, to try to bring in the new year in a better way. But this. SO MUCH THIS. ^^^^

I am so frustrated and angry that I can't seem to get myself pulled together...that I can't seem to help myself. Because, after all,...who else is going to? And this is one reason why I long to be have a motivator. Because this sadness is just so intense that I can't pull myself out of it. It literally feels like it is in my bones. Like my bones themselves are very damn heavy. No...I truly don't miss him. Who I miss is ME. I miss the person who could always make fabulous lemonade out of those life lemons. I miss the person who could always see the good in people, who always expected the best. I miss the person who could get shit done...who had a bubbly, happy spirit and a contagious enthusiasm for all of life. I sat down to do a mirror exercise not long ago - basically, a process where you try to actually see and connect with who you really are. I couldn't get through it because when I actually looked into my own eyes in that mirror, I was absolutely overcome by how much sadness they held. The first thing I said and without any thought - partly why it overtook me so - was, I have never seen such sad eyes in all my life. It's still emotional for me to recall it even now.

What do you do when you can't help yourself? I mean, like, seriously. Every day I am trying. Goddam it, I'm trying. I'm also a believer in the law of attraction. Not as in a spiritual practice but more a cause and effect. Of course, things are not going to get better until I can change how I feel and believe. Obviously, I cannot change my life with four day stretches of no shower and still in my PJs. I can't possibly create a life I want to live without first getting my shit together - no matter how simple I have to begin. (Josie...I can't even easily FIND my checkbook...and I once was one of the most organized people you could ever know.) But there's a part of me that has just emotionally checked out, turned a petulant child that's impossible to deal with because at the end of the day she just wants what she wants (for this all to have never happened) and she's not fucking budging, no matter how much I cajole, plead, reward, or shame. And I feel trapped with her. (Disassociation, anyone?) It's really hard to live with the two of us in this body...and I often pray to either just give over to the not caring - or to at least give up the despair I feel over the not caring...basically, please either let me genuinely care or let me stop caring that I don't care.

I could say a lot more but it would likely be redundant. I'm just pissed that he's stole as much of my life as he has, that he has stole my dreams. But I'm really, really pissed that he STILL is stealing even more time, that he has seemingly also stole my ability to dream anew. That's what seems the most unfair. And somehow this has seemed to shift from being his responsibility and fault - to now being mine. He couldn't do better...and seemingly now, neither can I.

truthsetmefree posted 1/2/2020 09:13 AM

I love you, Pent (we were posting at the same time).

I swear, there must be a bat signal that goes out to you every time! Iíll reread your post when Iím in a better frame of mind because you always say exactly what I most need to hear. (And I knew youíd be proud and an encourager of my anger. I think there is a key to healing in that aspect...because itís the one emotion that I canít seem to allow myself to REALLY feel. Geesh, I told one of the OW that if I forgave her - despite having to get an STD test AND spell my last name when I contacted her! )

Pentup posted 1/2/2020 09:14 AM

TSMF and Josie,
I'm not trying to minimize what you are feeling. So in case it comes out that way, I'm not!

TSMF, why wouldn't you be sad still right now? Why should you be all bubbly and organized and perfect right now? What more could you be doing? Seriously friend.
You have been dealt trauma after trauma in the past 2 years. In Victorian times you would still be wearing black and others would be giving you room to grieve and not expecting jack shit from you.

Grief doesn't go away because you want it to. It doesn't go away after the house is flipped or the settlement is in the bank. I really believe you are still grieving. Your marriage, the life you expected, your Mom, your Dad. Please! Cut yourself some slack. You will get there. Just like you posted to someone not long ago. Joy will seep into the cracks of your broken heart. Maybe a teensy bit at first, then a little more. You are doing a tremendous job just getting up every day. Give yourself a pat on the back the day you do. And the day when your pjs call and you don't. Tell yourself, this is ok too.

And when you feel like you are just too tired, take a nap,then get up and do something for someone else. Send a card or note or flowers, bake some cookies for your son, go buy stuff for a woman's shelter or the local animal shelter. Then give yourself a pat on the back and take another nap if need be. Rinse and repeat..

Allow yourself that self reflection but make sure to temper it with a little bit of giving to others. It does help. Hugs my friend.

[This message edited by Pentup at 9:15 AM, January 2nd (Thursday)]

Pentup posted 1/2/2020 09:36 AM

And I think TSMF should go visit Josie. ASAP.
Like next week.
Think it would do you both good.

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