Journal of My Story..... Thoughts | Feelings | Healing | Partners Recovery

Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by HonestyMatters, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    I seen he was on NoFap this morning and wrote a short post. I thought maybe he may have updated his counter back to zero. He said his counter doesn't mean much to him previously which I get in the sense that you shouldn't be so intensely focused on the number of days but at this point in time I think it means something to me. To me it would show that he is admitting on here and owning that he slipped. He's acknowledging it and being honest. Maybe could have even written something that was honest and stated I slipped but No there was nothing like that and I don't know why???
     
  2. Queenie%Bee

    Queenie%Bee Fapstronaut

    1,201
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    I’m telling you . 645 days no PMO or so I thought . He made it 615ish no M .still no P . Even all the work we were doing , I had to ASK , in therapy for fucks sake . When he admitted to M I was more in shock that he didn’t disclose to me that he had . Ugg my heart goes out to you .
     
  3. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    What's all the work he's done over the years to date? I can imagine your disappointment at no disclosure after such a long time but still that is an amazing accomplishment in days i mean....so good, but yeah massive blunder on his part not owning up to you - huge set back. .. And yeah, having to get it out of him at therapy would have really sucked!
     
  4. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    So I'm feeling at a loss with our marriage and everything about our relationship or his recovery.....

    I am at a total loss with him. He has made no attempts at amends and is oppositional and splitting hairs over absolutely everything to the point that I feel I would need an eternity to get through to him, for him to understand me, for him to care, for him to show some compassion and concern or even empathy. I understand that in a marriage this is a 3 part process.....and that all the parts have to work together. He is not interested in working with me or trying to make amends...he has not expressed anything at all that reflects this or that he understands this or even cares.....at this point in time he only sees 1). He does not see ME or the RELATIONSHIP.....

    3 Part Process
    1) Porn Addicts Recovery
    2) Partners Betrayal Trauma Healing
    3) Marriage / Relationship Healing

    He won't listen, he denies everything I say or feel, so I am putting it in the "Out of my Control" basket because I don't know what else to do with it and so now I am just going to focus on me....

    :emoji_heavy_check_mark: My Healing
    :emoji_heavy_check_mark: My Goals
    :emoji_heavy_check_mark: My Personal Growth
    :emoji_heavy_check_mark: Self-Love, Self-Compassion
    :emoji_heavy_check_mark: My Future
    :emoji_heavy_check_mark: My Life

    :emoji_hearts:
     
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  5. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    Just watched 2 of a 4-part series of videos on “Facing Trauma” presented by Jason Clawson and in-particular liked “The Trauma Tree” in the second video. I thought it would be useful for me to attempt creating my own Trauma Tree.

    This is a video series in Bloom if anyone is interested in watching it….

    https://bloomforwomen.com/courses/


    The Trauma Tree

    upload_2018-9-30_11-19-41.png


    Leaves / Branches: Symptoms

    upload_2018-9-30_11-11-20.png


    My Leaves & Branches (Symptoms)

    • Not coping
    • Difficulty in daily functioning (that which was once easy)
    • Unable to concentrate / stay on task
    • Unmotivated (as opposed to previously always being a highly motivated & driven person)
    • Uncertainty
    • Fear
    • Alcohol overuse (no longer - stopped drinking at all 15 months ago, no real difficulty in doing so)
    • Smoking cigarettes (no longer - off/on last 5 years. Currently smoke ecig only past 2 years - have done off/on last 5 years)
    • Becoming numb (detachment)
    • Insomnia for years since discovery of his addiction
    • Rumination over his addiction
    • Confusion
    • Panic / Overwhelmed
    • Frustration (on so many levels)
    • Anger (often leading to raised voice or yelling out of sheer frustration)
    • Feeling stuck
    • Controlling (me trying to make improvement / change in relationship)
    • Controlled (my efforts don’t work / partner resistant & oppositional)
    • Worry
    • Miserable
    • Unfulfilled
    • Sad
    • Loss of sense of self
    • Lack of direction

    Trunk: Challenging Disorders


    upload_2018-9-30_11-10-43.png


    My Trunk (Challenging Disorders)


    • PTSD - Betrayal Trauma (Husband related)
    • Severe Anxiety
    • Depression

    Roots: Trauma Experiences


    upload_2018-9-30_11-10-11.png


    My Roots (Core Issues / Past Trauma Experiences)

    • Toxic Problematic Relationship / Marriage
    • Husbands Porn Addiction, Masturbation Addiction (even without P), Internet Addiction, Download & Movie Swap Addiction
    • Emotional & Mental Abuse (as a child & by husband)
    • Emotional Abandonment (by husband)
    • Lies (by husband)
    • Betrayal (by husband)
    • Broken Trust (by husband)
    • Insecurity (as a child & adult)
    • Extreme Communication Issues in Marriage
    • Severe Frequent Domestic Violence (as a child - not at us, but in front of)
    • Infrequent Domestic Violence (in marriage by husband)
    • Sexually Abused (as a young child – approx. age 5 to 11)

    Water: Fuel for the Tree


    upload_2018-9-30_11-22-45.png


    My Water (Fuel for the tree)
    • Lack of healing, real help or intervention
    • Loss of hope - his addiction out of my control
    • Husband’s lack of effort & consistency to repair marriage / seek help / do recovery work / to commit / to progress
    • Husband's passive aggressive behaviour - silent treatment, forgetting, not emotionally invested or mentally available
    • Husband gaslighting me
    • Lack of support
    • Feeling neglected / abandoned / unloved & unimportant to my husband
    • Not enough of me focusing on ME - my healing, making myself whole & complete regardless of him or what he does
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  6. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    I haven't journalled for a few days but I've been spending more time reading other members journals & posts and writing some of my own the last few days and I really appreciate being able to share and connect with this NF community. Everyone has their own battles and there are so many wonderful resources and different viewpoints and ideas that I truly find very helpful in my healing and my journey. It is so good not to feel alone. For so many years I have felt alone in this battle and it's one of the hardest things I've had to endure. All of our immediate family are in another state and my couple of closest friends don't live close by so I've felt very isolated and have had no real outlet other than my husband who due to his denial was no help whatsoever, he only made my pain worse with the continued betrayals, and so this community really does mean the WORLD to me and I'm so grateful to be able to share and connect with you all as we all try to heal and recover in our own ways.

    So my husband and I have had separate sleeping arrangements for 3 weeks due to my Gaslighting boundary. Admittedly, I adjusted my original consequence for this because I realised for this one, it just wasn't going to work and so I plan on redoing that formally in writing, on a couple of them shortly. It's a learning process and this whole boundary / consequence method is new to me and will need adjusting from time to time until I get it right. So the first week we remained affectionate and on good times and continued our communications until a few other issues arose and we both withdrew from each other but him mainly as he didn't want to discuss anything with me and I didn't want to resume communications until he apologised for his behaviour. So the last 2 weeks were without any real connection, affection or time with each other. I decided that until we could discuss this without it becoming a heated argument the separate sleeping arrangement continues. But I was fine with that and comfortable to keep our space until such time he was ready to deal with it.

    So yesterday morning he said he would like to try and discuss it and so last night that's what we did and I'm pleased to say it went well. I put the timer on for 1 hour because I know this is something that he gets annoyed at because our discussions can go on and on. Often, we get caught in a loop, going around and around in circles, not really getting anywhere and time just fly's by, and before we know it, a couple of hours have passed. So this definitely helped. As well as when he seemed to start disconnecting a couple of times I was able to say, can you stick with this and focus we only have 15 minutes left which he seemed to pull himself out of the haze he started drifting into (disassociating i believe). I had written up a list of all the ways I feel he Gaslights me which I'll write below and then also an explanation of what it is exactly and examples of how he does it to me. He admitted that he does do these and that it's definitely something that he needs to become more aware of and work on. He also agreed that this is why we have ALWAYS had so many communication problems and this is where it largely stems from. Of course, there are other things on both our part but this GASLIGHTING is a huge one. We agreed that the reason why it happens is largely driven by his motive to either deliberately deceive, to maintain his denial and often just because he refuses to back down just because he's being stubborn or pigheaded. Because our 1 hour was up. We agreed that we would continue this with a Part B this afternoon / tonight so that he gets the opportunity to discuss with me the areas he thinks I Gaslight him. And also, if time permits some other problematic areas that we've not been able to discuss properly as yet - but they may have to be a Part C. Depending how time permits...

    MY GASLIGHTING AREAS of CONCERN with him
    • Blatant Lying
    • Withholding Information & Stonewalling
    • Denial & Avoidance
    • Refusal to Admit Wrong
    • Victim hood
    • Blocking & Diverting
    • Creating Chaos & Confusion
    • Questioning my Memory, Emotional Stability &/or Competence
    • Minimising
    • Words Vs. Actions
    • Projecting
    • Everyone Else is a Liar

    So all in all I felt that last night was a success and we both got through it without being upset or ending up in a fight. At the end, we both cuddled and stayed there on the lounge cuddling for about 5 minutes and just talking about things and I asked if he wanted to resume normal sleeping arrangements which he did and so did I. Admittedly, he got all horny and started getting very sexual and I said I just want to try and be intimate rather than making it all sexual and he said he couldn't help it. He wanted sex and I said well I'd rather wait til later and I want it to be intimate and feel more connected than just for the sake of meeting sexual needs. He agreed but was feeling uncomfortable with his erection. I got him to read a thread on NF that I wanted to show him anyway which I think soon distracted him from his hard-on and eased that. It was a great thread, and then we got on with sorting a few jobs and getting dinner.

    A couple of hours later, we hopped into bed and read a few of the PA & SO journals together in the Relationship Reboot forum so that was good and I enjoyed us doing that together, and then we made love which was really lovely. He focused on pleasuring me which was very thoughtful of him and he usually does enjoy making me feel good and it certainly helps with his current PE issue at the moment. We ended it with great sex that we both enjoyed and it was passionate and very pleasurable. We had some small honest chats about a few sex related things which felt very intimate and I think he felt equally as happy as I did - at least I hope so (I'm pretty sure lol) It was getting quite late but we put a movie on in bed and watched that together for an hour before getting sleepy and going off to sleep....

    So yes, feeling like we have made some progress there and I hope we can continue it..... :emoji_heartpulse:
     
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  7. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    So...in an effort to heal from my Betrayal Trauma I have decided to undertake the "Healing Trauma from Sexual Betrayal" course on Bloom. It's approx 5 1/2 hours in length plus all the time completing assignments etc....I think it will be most helpful and so far I am enthusiastic and feeling like I'm getting a lot from it. I completed the "What is Betrayal Trauma" course first and completed my Trauma Tree. I have decided to post my responses to the exercises in my journal and I welcome any feedback or comments.... There's 37 components and I've just completed the 2nd one (an exercise on past trauma) The first component was a video on Betrayal Trauma.

    2/37 - Betrayal Trauma Course

    Your Story of Trauma

    Every trauma has a story. In order to understand the pain you feel today, you must first understand where the trauma all began.
    Think of your trauma. Is there anything from your past that affects the trauma you face with your relationship today? Write the story of your trauma below:


    As a young child and adolescent growing up I always felt a lot of insecurity and instability. My mother was a single parent who struggled to raise us on her own due to her own marriage and relationship problems which left her insecure and in a lot of pain & trauma. It was also a huge struggle for her financially being on the single parent pension and no other income. She was in multiple toxic relationships after divorcing from my father at 4 yrs and we were subject to seeing a lot of mental, emotional and physical abuse. We also moved around a lot and often from state to state. This is how I ended up going to 17 different schools. I don't ever remember feeling safe or secure. There was never ever a close network of family or friends that I felt I could turn to and feel safe or protected. Not having a father that I knew or who I could trust or confide in may have exacerbated these feelings.

    The trauma I face in my marriage now with my husband’s Porn Addiction has also caused me a lot of insecurity in more ways than one. It has brought us to the brink of separation or divorce on multiple occasions and my level of security and stability in the relationship has been severely compromised. My whole world has been turned upside down and inside out. Everything I thought to be true, that he would never lie to me, that he would never hurt me, that he only desired me and was not interested in looking at other women was all a lie. The fact that our financial security was severely damaged due to termite infestation around the same time of his PA discovery was like a double-sided knife. I felt like everything was cruelly torn from my life and my marriage, or at least from what I thought I had. Trust in my husband, that I knew who he was as a person, and that he would never lie or betray me and especially in regards to acting out sexually. My feelings that I was enough and that he didn't need or want other women for his sexual needs, wants or desires. My self-esteem and confidence were just totally crushed.

    Financially I became very insecure, the termite damage had cost us upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars that had to be loaned and on top of our already high mortgage. And being out of the work force for a decade and a half raising 3 children meant that I had no financial income to be able to support myself and my children and our major asset (our home) was now majorly devalued. All the stability and security that had come with making a life with my husband, to have someone who would always love me and that I could always trust and depend on and to have built together a fairly solid financial situation for ourselves was more than I had ever had. When it all fell apart I was floored and I had never felt so insecure and uncertain and unstable about everything in my entire life. In many ways it was worse than when I was a child. When I was a child I never knew it any other way. It was all I knew and I had no-one depending on me. As an adult, and having built (or a least thought) that I'd built a better life far from the one I'd had growing up I had so much more to lose. I felt more vulnerable than ever before and I had 3 young children now depending on me and no financial security to fall back on at all either.

    Some other past traumatic experiences that may have affected my present trauma also include the occasional physical aggression / violence that has occurred in my marriage. Having lived a terrible amount of physical violence as a young child and adolescent growing up, the times it has happened in my relationship have impacted me severely in the sense that this is something that I swore on my life I would never be a part of in a relationship or subject to. I am still strongly of this viewpoint today. So the trauma experienced from situations that have occurred in my marriage is no doubt compounded by what I went through growing up.

    Another one I'm not 100% sure on is the physical, mental and emotional abandonment by my biological father from the time I was 4 years old and onward, and whom I've never met or had a relationship with to this day. It is said by many professionals that we can attract partners into our lives in attempt to unconsciously try and resolve or heal past wounds or hurts with the significant opposite sex in our lives when growing up i.e. Mother or Father. So in my case, being a female it would be any unresolved issues around my father. Well for me, it was a non-existent relationship because he was never around and I was very hurt and never understood this as a child. I knew all the problems between him and my mother and why they divorced but not why he always hid from us and we were never able to locate him and why he never reached out to us, even as adults. Whether there is truth in this trying to resolve unresolved issues or not I don't know, but what is definitely true is that my husband has always been a very emotionally and mentally distant man. He has never been someone that enjoys or feels the need to connect and share thoughts and feelings on a deep and meaningful level and because of this, I have always felt that something was amiss and felt abandoned and alone and isolated from him. This is something that has always bothered me and I have always told him this and that I feel like there's an emptiness and very much an unfulfilled part in me and in our marriage. It is also something that I have tried to fix and work on our entire marriage but have never been successful.


    Something Today that.....

    :emoji_two_hearts: I am grateful for... "the free courses on BLOOM"

    :emoji_raised_hands: Inspired me... "the video I watched below and the message that the value of my life is not determined by how others see me but how I see and value myself and that while some will see little to no value in me others will see much"

    :emoji_closed_book: I learnt... "that if you do the right work right, healing is really possible"

    :emoji_om_symbol: I did to take care of myself... "my Bloom course, reading/sharing on NF and a 10 minute meditation"






     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  8. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    MY CHECKLIST
    • My husband has been honest with me :emoji_heavy_check_mark:
    • My husband is initiating & connecting with me thru Daily Check-In :emoji_heavy_multiplication_x: (not since Thursday evening which I also initiated)
    • My husband is regularly communicating with me about his recovery work (either through talking or through his journal) :emoji_heavy_multiplication_x:

    I am still having trouble with my husband being consistent in doing some of the Daily things I've asked him to do. The biggest one is the 10 minute Daily Check-In that I want him to initiate with me. This is just to connect with me and let me know how he is going with any thoughts, urges or difficulties related to his porn addiction. Even if he is going well I want the check-in regardless and him to connect with me about it. What he mostly tells me is things are going well and he's not getting any thoughts or urges about porn or other women. But a few weeks ago when I tried to dig a little deeper he was honest and said that during the day at work he every so often gets moments where he feels the need to do "something". These would previously be the times he would look at porn, or movies with naked women or p-subs or images of women. So although he is telling me he still gets these "need something" moments most days, he's still telling me that he's not having thoughts or urges either. So I'm finding it difficult to understand how he could be having no thoughts or urges related to porn or other women but still getting these "need something" moments. So in regards to Daily check-in he hasn't done one since Thursday evening, which I initiated then and it's now Monday. This needs to change.

    Also, I've asked him to make a simple planner for his recovery work that has his "Daily To Do's" on it, and then with a few other topics that he said he'd like to focus on slotted in on regular nights of the week i.e Betrayal Trauma, Relationship Intimacy. These are topics in addition to his daily recovery work that he has expressed an interest in learning more about. I don't believe he has completed the planner yet, and I asked him for a copy when he's done it so I can just see what his plans are. That was discussed about a week ago for the second time. Another thing I've asked him to do is find Tools or ask on the NoFap Forum some suggested Tools / Ideas for what to do when he gets the "Need something" moments. I don't believe that has happened yet either. I've also asked him to keep up a Daily Journal or a least every few days on NoFap. He started one with his first post but has not since added to it. I've also asked him to try and make note and let me know how he is going with his recovery work, what specific things he's doing, what he might have watched or read and what he learnt or got out of it. And he could touch on this during our daily check-ins or if not then, he could even just briefly mention his activities / learning etc in his journal if that's easier so I can see how he's going and how he's feeling. One of the biggest problems I've always found with him, is him staying consistent and following through on the things he has said he will do.

    So, I really need all the above to start happening and with consistency! I will say that I am very pleased with how much time he is actually spending on NoFap reading through posts and journals. This is all very positive and definitely a step in the right direction.

    I think from now on I will complete a checklist at the top of my journal either each day or every few days when I post....
     
  9. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    Healing Trauma from Sexual Betrayal Course continued....

    3/37 - Responding to the Chaos

    Internalisation - How could I have been so stupid not to see all the lies, to see that it had never stopped, to see that he has just continued to fool me and deceive me all these years. This was me to a tee. I have felt like such an idiot for trusting him, for believing in him that he really had changed. Also, feeling shame for what he is doing. I never thought I did, but after listening to this video I have felt it. So many times, if I have been speaking to someone close about his porn addiction I have felt shame because I am thinking that they may be thinking that he's doing this because there is something wrong with me. That I don't satisfy him enough, that I'm not fulfilling his needs, that I am not enough, that there must be something that I'm doing or not doing to cause this. Even though in myself I know that it's not my fault, I feel shame because I believe that other people will see it as my fault and therefore I do feel a level of shame.

    Fight, Flight or Freeze - I have always gone into Fight mode. The more I thought about it, the more angry I felt about it, and after each and every discovery, and the lack of coming forth and being honest with me the more into fight mode I went. Fight mode has been my coping mechanism, my way of protecting myself even though in the long term it really is doing me more damage. It is interesting (and scary) to know that those who have been stuck in Trauma a long time and in particular those who have never processed any early childhood traumas are more likely to die 10 YEARS earlier than the average person because of the constant high levels of adrenaline and cortisol pumping around their bodies. If that is not reason enough to heal myself then I don't know what is, very frightening statistics... Also another thing I like that the presenter really makes clear is Trauma must have a VOICE, it must have an outlet. This is something I have never had trouble with, I've never bottled things up so that is a good thing, but I need to focus more on releasing it without "exploding or getting so angry" as such.....any form of having a voice is good. Even if it's just journaling like this.

    Isolation - Not confiding in anyone and instead internalising it all. I did do this to a certain degree until I couldn't any longer and confided in my mum and a couple of close friends. But only to a certain degree because at some point I felt that they felt I need to just move on and to get over it. But this has always been difficult when we keep going through cycles of d-days, more lies, and not really getting anywhere. And my anxiety and depression over the past 12 months was at it's absolute worse and I've felt I've had to really hide it from friends and family. And then there was the d-day yet again only 2 months ago that I have not confided in anyone. Mostly because I feel ashamed that this is still a huge problem and I feel ashamed and that they will think I'm stupid for still putting up with this and not getting out, if it is causing me so much pain, trauma, anxiety and depression. They may not and it's probably more that I feel that they will think that deep down, even if they don't say it...and so i have said nothing and in turn isolated myself again because I'm not good at hiding how I really feel. I'm not good at pretending everything is ok when it's really not. So therefore I avoid.

    Most common responses to the Chaos: Anxiety, Depression, Loneliness, Social Isolation - I would have to say yes to all of them. It is exactly what is / has been going on with me.

    3 Things to start Doing

    Emotional Regulation: When we are in fight, flight or freeze mode the amygdala of the brain is extremely anxious and we need to calm it down by stopping and taking 3-5 minutes out and doing a short breathing / meditation exercise. This will help get us out of the 3 F's.

    Social Connections: Get support be it through places like forums, through support groups or through trusted family and friends.

    Take Care of Yourself: You are in fight or flight mode and your mental & physical self needs a break so make sure that you give yourself this often.

    If you could go back and tell yourself something what would it be - for me "I would tell myself that I'm not crazy and that my instincts were right all along. Something felt amiss, something felt off and it was, I was right. There was always something going on, this behaviour never stopped, he was still lying to me and my intuitions were right. It wasn't all in my head, and it wasn't just because I didn't want to trust him"


    4/37 Finding your Path to Recovery

    1) Addressing the Trauma - Ask yourself, how is this experience altering your view of Self, Others & Society?

    By being stuck in fight might I am separating from myself. By isolating myself from others, by feeling shame or feeling like I can't trust anyone anymore, I am separating from others and by looking at society or the world negatively as a whole because of how I am feeling, because of how sexualised the world is becoming and because of what I am going through in my relationship, I am also separating from society. By definition, separating from self, from others and from society is being stuck in Trauma.

    Recognising the physical signs of trauma. For me, it's definitely not sleeping properly, waking up a lot, not being able to get back to sleep, stomach and bowel issues, heart pounding, shakiness, high blood pressure, feeling fatigued a lot, not able to focus or concentrate and not physically taking care of ourselves through exercise and proper nutrition because of how we are feeling which further affects our physical health.

    How is it influencing other relationship - yes I'm probably pushing other people out and probably not getting the support I need. I definitely need to work on trusting others. As he says, we must trust others so that we can get our needs met. We all need to feel loved and feel nurtured and we need that eye contact with others that says you matter. We need someone to look us in the eye and help us to feel felt.

    2) Finding a Safe Place - In order to heal we must have a safe place where we can go. Whether it's up on a hill, in a park or your bare feet on the grass relaxing your body. Whether it is a peaceful place in our mind like the beach or in the mountains, at a yoga class, talking to a sponsor or whether it's our bedroom, we must have a safe place. In having a safe place, we can switch our defense mechanism of fight, flee or freeze off. Trauma is defense. The only way we can get out of it is to feel safe.

    My safe place is my bedroom. Taking time out and meditating. Closing my eyes and trying to imagine a peaceful place. A warm embrace from someone loving and having someone understand my pain and suffering without judging my trauma.

    3) Internal Work - It's so easy to get caught up and lost in the partners addiction. What they are doing, or not what they need to be doing and becoming obsessed with it. One of the best ways of working on your internal self is through establishing social support. "We all need a place to rest and relax, we all need a safe place, a refuge"

    Dr Kevin Skinners 5 Phases of Healing

    1) We acknowledge that we are suffering
    2) We find a safe place to begin our healing
    3) We deal with unresolved hurts and pain
    4) We begin to allows others into our world
    5) We experience the feeling of being nurtured -
    we nurture and allow others to nurture us.


    :emoji_heartpulse:
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  10. Queenie%Bee

    Queenie%Bee Fapstronaut

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    I thought the free course was great !!! Xoxo
     
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  11. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    Yes, it's a great site! I really appreciate these sites that offer such comprehensive courses for free. They obviously genuinely care and it's not all about the money! Hope your going ok today....xxx
     
  12. Queenie%Bee

    Queenie%Bee Fapstronaut

    1,201
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    I’m bettter than I was 12 hours ago for sure ;) I updated my journal . Roller coaster keeps on rolling
     
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  13. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    MY CHECKLIST
    • My husband has been honest with me :emoji_heavy_check_mark:
    • My Boundaries are in place & being met :emoji_heavy_check_mark:
    • My husband has initiated & connected with me about his thoughts, feelings or urges thru Daily Check-In :emoji_heavy_check_mark:
    • My husband has regularly communicated with me about his recovery work (either through talking or his journal) :emoji_heavy_check_mark:

    Healing Trauma from Sexual Betrayal Course continued....


    6/37 Trauma Defined

    Betrayal Trauma is like being in a car accident. Being struck in Trauma can have a very serious affect on the way you think, what you think about and even your capacity to think. It changes your whole perception of everything around you.

    I see now, that for past 7 years I have been stuck in trauma and it has adversely affected everything in my life. Because of this Trauma a large part of my thinking and my whole way of being has been very fear based. I was scared and insecure. I felt unstable and unable to cope or thrive in anyway. Everything felt like a battle, a struggle and nothing brought happiness or joy to my life any longer. I felt stuck, like I was in limbo and hanging by a thread. A large part of this "feeling stuck & helpless" was my husbands denial and refusal to commit to any recovery work and so I felt very stuck in being able to heal and progress in our relationship. Trying to heal myself while our relationship just stagnated and he just stayed the same was very difficult for me to do. The fact that he is now behaving like he owns his addiction, not in denial, genuinely seems to be making an effort and wanting to do recovery work has given me hope once again. But I also realise now, that I must heal myself no matter what and if this falls apart, and he doesn't follow through like so many times before, if he doesn't stay consistent or committed then I can't let it drag me back down, down into that deep black well of sadness and emptiness like it has so many times before. No matter what, I deserve to heal, I deserve to be happy and I am worth it. I must do this for me regardless! I hope that I can! And I hope that he can too, and that he does what he needs to do and that we can heal our marriage and start a new and better life together.


    Betrayal Trauma is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & the Contributing Factors are:

    1) Reliving the event over and over again - through dreams, memories, flashbacks, your partners expression or behaviour, or a trigger

    2) Avoidance of places, people, events that may trigger feelings of anger, or insecurities i.e. the beach, shopping malls, pubs or where ever there might be scantily clothed women or other triggers

    3) Negative Cognitions & Moods - feeling like your partner will begin to act out because your not good enough or because of something you've done or said. You begin to internalise it and feel like his behaviours will be dependent on the way your behave.

    4) Emotional Arousal - you become increasingly angry in response to your partner. You are more angry than you've ever been before, say more hurtful and critical things than you've ever said before


    He talked about the topics below and how he will been delving into them more deeply throughout the course and how they link or tie into the current state of Trauma.....

    Early Life Trauma
    He touched on the fact that many people aren't aware that even when they're experiencing trauma in the present moment that their present state of being and emotions are also affected by past traumas.

    Negative Environment
    That many people don't have a safe place where they can confide in others, not with family or friends or loved ones and this actually increases the level of trauma they experience.

    Denial & Blame
    He discusses how trauma victims who are constantly lied to and where the porn addicted partner continues to deny everything or blames them for their behaviours, how these trauma victims experience even worse levels of trauma and how the trauma continues to escalate. Also, the length of time a spouse has been subject to this kind of behaviour increases the level of trauma and especially if they've been Gaslite to the point that they don't even trust their own gut instincts anymore.


    :emoji_two_hearts: Self care activities today.... "A workout, some of my Bloom course, and a 10 minute meditation"

    :emoji_sunflower::emoji_sunflower::emoji_sunflower:


     
  14. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    MY CHECKLIST
    • My husband has been honest with me :emoji_heavy_check_mark:
    • My Boundaries are in place & being met :emoji_heavy_check_mark: (updated on Tuesday and had him reread & sign)
    • My husband has initiated & connected with me about his thoughts, feelings or urges thru Daily Check-In :emoji_heavy_multiplication_x: (missed yesterday 11/10)
    • My husband has regularly communicated with me about his recovery work (either through talking or his journal) :emoji_heavy_check_mark:

    I'm not sure why but the last few nights I have woken up multiple times in the middle of the night and felt anxious & traumatised with my immediate thoughts being everything my husband has done over the years and how it will all pan out. I've mostly been able to get back to sleep again but when I finally woke up again this morning my immediate thoughts and feelings were the same. It's like a roller coaster of ups and downs. And I'm not sure why exactly. I've felt pretty good the last week or so and have been trying to focus on my betrayal trauma course. He has had a week of annual leave and so we've been able to spend much time together and he has done a lot of reading on NoFap and working towards his recovery. This morning I was feeling a little annoyed that he hadn't done his check-in yesterday and I wondered whether he even realised but first thing this morning he apologised that he hadn't done it without me mentioning it and he talked to me about how he's been handling things there and then. I also told him how I've been feeling the last few days. I told him that I find it hard to understand when he says over the years he just couldn't see or understand how I was feeling and what it was doing to me. He says he never understood betrayal trauma or what I was going through but this is what I find hard to believe or understand. I have never been a person to bottle everything up. I have told him countless countless times of how anxious and depressed I feel and why I felt like that. That I needed to be able to build trust and I needed him to be open and honest with me and how I needed him to do some recovery work, to commit to it and show that he really cared about beating this addiction and healing our marriage. He could see how badly everything was affecting me, he could see how broken I was and how different a person I had become. He often said how he wished I could just go back to being the person I used to be. So motivated and enthusiastic about building our lives together, focused on our children's lives and futures and on building our future, and always driven to achieve things, always trying to work towards something instead of feeling anxious, depressed, upset and feeling lost and lifeless. I told him I don't think it was ever a case that you couldn't see or understand how I was feeling, most of the time he would say he's sorry for what he's done but there's nothing he can do about it and that it's my problem because it's my thoughts and feelings and I just need to get over it. Which was true but at the same time he continued to tell me that he wasn't looking at porn anymore (when he knew he was) and that he refused to do any recovery work because he doesn't need it and doesn't want to do it. And it was my problem that I couldn't just trust him and I needed to just get over that. He also told me many times that I just have to accept him the way he is, that he isn't going to change and that he would rather just leave, sell the house, split up our family than to have to do any of the things i wanted because it was way too much effort. So I guess what I'm getting at is I believe it was very much a situation of he knew how damaged I felt and he could see it for years but he didn't care, he expected me to just get over it and accept him the way he was. Accept that he cared more about his own interests and being able to do whatever he wanted than about me or how i felt or what i was going through. That our relationship or Me, was not worth the amount of time or effort that was required of him and basically he just didn't want to. He didn't want to have to change, he didn't feel it was necessary. I know he can't go back and change any of that but he can OWN it. Not caring and only thinking of himself, his own wants and interests is very different to saying that he didn't understand or couldn't see what I was going through. That is all.

    So yeah, I don't know what's brought these feelings on really. It's like a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs. I really just want to be able to move past these thoughts and feelings. I think to myself of how many things in life I could wake up and think or wonder about....there are so many options, so many wonders of the world but instead this is where my brain immediately goes. I'm so tired of it. I don't want to be like this anymore. Another thing that I told him last night, is he has to stop sexualising our talks or conversations all the time. It happens a lot. It doesn't seem to matter what we are talking about he seems to always make some joking comment to bring it back to sex. And it really annoys me. Every once in a while is ok but not everyday, multiple times a day. It just make me feel like that his brain is constantly thinking about sex and nothing else and he doesn't want to have normal conversations about other things.

    On a positive note, he has spent a lot of time on NoFap over his holidays and we've been able to just relax and spend time together which has been lovely. I hope he keeps focused and motivated once he goes back to work next week. Especially since he has just been given a whole new role to start when he goes back which will no doubt be challenging but I hope it doesn't sidetrack his recovery efforts.

    We went and had a lovely lunch at a cafe yesterday and we might go and see a movie this afternoon or tonight. We've had a lot of rainy weather so lots of time spent just snuggling up and watching shows together. Sometimes its just nice to stop and do nothing.
     
  15. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    MY CHECKLIST
    • My husband has been honest with me :emoji_heavy_check_mark:
    • My Boundaries are in place & being met :emoji_heavy_check_mark:
    • My husband has initiated & connected with me about his thoughts, feelings or urges thru Daily Check-In :emoji_heavy_check_mark:
    • My husband has regularly communicated with me about his recovery work (either through talking or his journal) :emoji_heavy_check_mark:


    Healing Trauma from Sexual Betrayal Course
    continued....


    7/37 - Setting the Healing Foundation

    This video is about reorienting yourself. About trying to reestablish your footing. Like the presenter said, Trauma is like being in a car accident and what is it you would do straight after a car accident - you would you try to reorient yourself and get your bearings back again. The next step then is to try to draw meaning from your experiences and to try and understand how the Trauma has affected you and what meaning you can take from it in order to respond with a purpose.


    8/37 - Understanding Me

    What meaning am I giving to this experience?

    At the moment, I feel there is no meaning. Life has lost all meaning to me. I feel destroyed and the best part of my life has been wasted and is now gone. From the age of 21 to now 42, should have been the happiest most fulfilling part of my life but it instead was painful, difficult, unfulfilling and a constant uphill battle with little reward at the end of it. I know I am going to have to change the meaning I give to this, but at the moment I don't have anything. Hopefully this course will help change that.

    How is it influencing the way I think, feel and behave?

    I'm really struggling to put how I've felt over the years into words as well as how I feel now. I have been going through this pain & trauma for what feels so long now I feel like I've gone through a lot of different stages or levels of trauma. June 2011 was when I first discovered his porn use. I was deeply hurt at the time and was just shocked that this is how he was spending his time.

    Our 3 children were all still fairly young, between the ages of 7 - 11. At this point, I had for years been striving to build the best possible loving and supportive home and family environment for us and our children and wanted to achieve a certain level of financial security and income so we could provide in every way possible for our children and to also attain our own dreams/goals. This had been my mindset since the birth of our first child and from the time we were married but for whatever reason my husband seemed to grow more and more distant, not really as passionate or motivated to achieve the same things. He said he was but it never felt like his heart was in it but just more going along with it. I could never understand it. Didn't he want the same things? We were both from pretty dysfunctional families and he agreed he wanted better for us and our children. He said he wanted all the same things but when it came to actually doing anything, he had to be pushed and motivated, seemed to be in a constant daze with no direction or ambition in life.

    I was at a loss with it. It was only when I discovered his porn use back in 2011 and caught him a couple of times after that, that it all started to slowly sink in. How he'd always spent a lot of time at work. I constantly argued with the extra hours that he put in for no extra pay. All these years he'd been looking at porn at work. He was the IT Officer back then so didn't have to worry about anyone monitoring his activity at work because that was his job. All that time, he could have been with us. Building a life and a future with us. Spending time with me or the kids. When he was home it was like he wasn't there, years and years of distant unreachable behaviour. He never wanted to play or interact with the kids much. He spent a lot of time in his own world, and I constantly felt we were never on the same page no matter how much talking I did. He was pretty vacant whenever I was around, and I felt disconnected from him. He'd mostly just watch TV at night when the kids were all settled and we had a chance to spend some quality time together. Or if I was studying (I'd started a part-time university degree in 2010) he'd be in our office and on the computer. I just felt like nothing really aligned with us and I tried desperately to change it but could never penetrate his wall or reach him.

    Not only was I hurt and felt betrayed by what he was looking at but it was now starting to make sense why he'd been the way he was for so many years. I felt so cheated from what I was trying to achieve. Cheated from the opportunity to create a wonderful loving healthy family environment in which our children could grow. For them to have two loving parents who were present, whole and complete, who had their lives together, had a healthy connected relationship and could focus on giving them the best childhoods possible. I had big dreams and ambitions to create that which I'd never had, for our children and to create a fulfilling life for us as well. I feel like he STOLE that from ME and OUR children and it's something I find hard to just get over and to just forgive or forget.

    So even after 14 years of disconnected behaviour and me starting to put all the jigsaw puzzle pieces together from 2011 onwards, instead of him just getting a grip and dealing with his addiction properly he dragged it out and put me and our children through a lot of hell, fights, arguments, instability, uncertainty and unhappiness for the next 7 years. Our 3 children are now between 14 - 18 years of age. I feel like he has stolen the best part of their childhoods and a time that should have been special for us and full of lots of wonderful happy memories. Instead there's been a lot of pain, a lot of focus on him and his addiction and him not doing anything about it. The kids have lived through things I would never have dreamed of before I discovered his pornography addiction. After 7 years of fighting this addiction and trying to get our lives back in order and on track I feel like I've burnt myself out and have ended up in a state of severe anxiety, depression, hopelessness, no confidence or self esteem and the best part of me has just gone to waste and everything I set out to achieve with it. Although I fought hard to remain strong and to overcome all the problems we faced ultimately I ended up exhausted, worn down and beaten and felt helpless and lost to the point I don't know who I am anymore or where I am going.

    In what ways does your partner's denial or blame affect your trauma?

    It's affected me hugely. Instead of being able to move forward and heal over the years and get our lives back on track I have felt stuck because he was denying everything and blaming me for the way our lives were. With each and every lie, each new discovery of his ongoing behaviour I seemed to go further and further backward. Nothing I did, no amount of hours of talking to him or researching the things he could be doing helped. I just felt myself going deeper and deeper into oblivion. Because I was not coping, I became more angry, more traumatised and more frustrated that he wasn't dealing with it and was just lying about everything. He then in turn made everything my fault. That our lives were not everything they should be because of the way I felt and because of the way I behaved. That everything was just in my head and I was overreacting. That this problem I believed he had didn't even exist and I was the one making our lives miserable. Basically I was the one who was ruining everything. So in response to the question, I guess it made me feel even more traumatised, and like I was just losing my mind - it was a vicious cycle that just got worse and worse.


    Years ago I used to be a Gunners fan.... This song comes to mind when I think about the 14 years of our relationship prior to discovering his porn addiction. It was 14 years of silence, 14 years of pain....





    If I had describe all the PAIN I've felt over the years with a song....It would have to be Metallica's Until It Sleeps.....

     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  16. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    Healing Trauma from Sexual Betrayal Course continued....


    9/37 - 3 Steps to Starting to Heal - Video

    10/37 - Assessment A.C.E. (Adverse Childhood Experiences)

    Assessment Results

    Your Score: 8 (on a scale of 0 - 10)

    The ACE score isn't a crystal ball; it's just meant as guidance. It tells you about one type of risk factor among many. It doesn't directly take into account your diet or genes, or whether you smoke or drink excessively — to name just a few of the other major influences on health.

    Remember this, too: ACE scores don't tally the positive experiences in early life that can help build resilience and protect a child from the effects of trauma. Having a grandparent who loves you, a teacher who understands and believes in you, or a trusted friend you can confide in may mitigate the long term effects of early trauma.

    Think of your ACE score as a cholesterol score for childhood toxic stress. You get one point for each type of trauma. The higher your ACE score, the higher your risk of health and social problems.

    As your ACE score increases, so does the risk of disease, social and emotional problems. With an ACE score of 4 or more, things start getting serious. Scores show a graded relationship to the presence of adult diseases including ischemic heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, skeletal fractures, and liver disease. The seven categories of adverse childhood experiences are strongly interrelated and people with multiple categories of childhood exposure are likely to have multiple health risk factors later in life.



    11/37 - ACE Assessment Journal

    What did I learn about myself in taking the ACE?

    That I scored fairly high and therefore have a higher risk of disease, social an emotional problems.

    Is there a possible link between my emotional and physical health and my ACE scores?

    Possibly

    Is there a link between my early life experiences and my current relationship?

    Possibly in the sense that I have already experienced much trauma growing up and therefore the circumstances I find myself in due to his addiction and his sexual acting out is very threatening to my sense of well being, in my ability to feel safe and secure and to feel stability and certainty in my relationship and life with him


    12/37 - Assessment - Trauma Inventory

    Fear & Potential Threat of Life
    Your Results: Moderate-High


    Based on results from more than 450 people who took this assessment your answers indicate that you are in the moderate-high range of all participants who took this assessment which indicates that you have likely experienced some form of threat or questioned your safety in your relationship. Your scores are in the moderate-high range (between 51-75%). While at least 25% of those assessed reported more threats, fear of being injured, or had significant worries about their personal safety in their relationship, your scores indicate that you have likely worried about your safety both physically and emotionally.

    Most answers to questions related to physical safety were generally answered with responses of “never” or “rarely.” While answers associated with feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and safety were more likely to be answered with responses of “about half the time” or “more often than not.”

    It may be helpful for you to review the list of questions above and identify the specific areas in which you answered at least half the time or more. In general, these are important areas that will need to be addressed in your healing. Your responses indicate that you are experiencing feelings of helplessness or hopelessness. It is likely that you often question your ability to trust your partner and possibly others in society.

    Your responses for this category which assessed threats, fear of injury, physical and emotional safety indicate you have experienced times of not being safe, emotionally and possibly physically. In all relationships these experiences limit your ability to connect. As Dr. Porges said, we connect or socially bond only when we feels safe.

    Re-experiencing the Event
    Your Results: Low-Moderate


    In reviewing your responses and comparing them to the results from the more than 450 people who took this assessment your answers indicate that constant thoughts, reminders, or feelings of reliving the event are not consistent or frequent. This does not mean that these experiences do not come, rather they don’t happen all the time. There are some symptoms that you may experience (see below) that seem to be common for most of those who complete this assessment.

    For your comparison, a majority (60-80%) of those who completed this assessment scored higher than you
    did on this section. Generally speaking, those who score as you did do not report experiencing a lot of dreams or memories that make them feel like they are reliving the event over and over again.

    Avoidance
    Your Results: Moderate

    In order to provide you specific feedback we reviewed your responses and compared them to the results from the more than 450 people all over the United States and Canada. Your scored in the middle range indicating that you do avoid certain thoughts, situations, or people. The most common method of avoidance for individuals who score as you did is avoidance of specific situations like going to places where people are dressed scantily and distracting yourself through excessive reading, sleeping, eating, or drinking.

    While most of us avoid thinking about certain things or situations when we don’t like them, there are certain triggers that are frequently creating anxiety or stress for you. For example, there are certain thoughts you are trying to avoid and there are locations you are not able to go to. It is these things that you will want to watch carefully over time. While avoidance is not necessarily good or bad it can hold you back from enjoying parts of your life. For example, if you stop going to places you used to enjoy (e.g. the mall) because of how people are dressed, your life satisfaction will go down. In this situation, your avoidance of these activities is starting to limit what you can and can’t do and what you can and can’t think.

    Thoughts, Mood, & Self-belief
    Your Results: Moderate-High

    In each of the key sections of this assessment we added your responses to each question and compared your results with 450 others who have completed it. Based on your results your thoughts about self and society as a result of your partner’s behaviors have changed significantly. For example, negative thoughts about yourself (e.g. I am not good enough) have increased and your trust for others (e.g. I feel like it is hard to trust anyone) has decreased.

    Your responses the questions in this section placed you in the middle to high range.

    What exactly does this mean to you?

    There are many areas of your life that have been altered by your partner’s behaviors. You are likely to struggle in your trust for others in society. In other words, your partner’s behaviors have led you to question everyone and everything. When trust is lost, your foundation of stability decreases and it changes your entire worldview.

    You, more often than not, wonder whether you are good enough because your partner acts out. This means you are internalizing his/her behavior as if it says something about you. Common thoughts you may be having include: He/she wouldn’t be this way if I was better or I feel like it is my fault he/she acts this way. In addition, more often than not you have a hard time enjoying activities that you used to enjoy.

    One area that seems to be consistently difficult for individuals who respond as you did is shame. When we asked the question, “I feel ashamed because of what my partner has done,” almost ninety percent responded that they “always” feel this way as a result of their partner’s behaviors. This shame may also carry over to other areas of your life. For example, in another question we asked, “When I am in social settings I don’t feel like I belong anymore.” Sixty-five percent of the individuals in this category answers “always” to this question. The areas of shame and feeling like you don’t belong generally lead to social isolation which is a common manifestation of trauma.

    At this time, your betrayal trauma is elevated. It is influencing your sense of self (e.g. negative self belief, your trust for others and society, and hurting your overall life satisfaction. This experience is altering your life in many negative ways. We strongly recommend the following things if you haven’t already done so:


    1. Seek more knowledge and understanding of betrayal trauma and how to resolve it.
    2. Get professional help from a specialist in treating trauma
    3. Find a support group (12-step, forum like here at Bloom)
    Alterations in Emotional Response
    Your Result: Moderate-High

    Your responses indicate that you are experiencing moderate to high levels of emotional arousal associated with your partner’s behaviors. After reviewing the 450 responses we found that individuals who score as you did are struggling to find any relief. Your responses suggest that you are experiencing high levels of anxiety and stress associated with your partners sexual behaviors.

    In fact, individuals who score as you did responded “more often than not” on many of the questions listed above, except for the questions related to harming oneself. This level of emotional arousal indicates that you often find yourself in “fight” mode. You likely feel anger more than you would like and often find it difficult to calm your mind when things become difficult.

    One area that you are likely to struggle with is “hypervigilance.” This is a preoccupation with what your partner is doing. When it comes to closely monitoring your partner’s behaviors, trying to read his/her emotions, and checking up on your partner you likely responded “More often than not.” While this is a common, it is likely consuming your day-to-day thinking.

    In this section we also looked at anger. The questions dealing with anger were the second highest area of potential emotional arousal for individuals who score as you did. For your comparison, only 10-15% of individuals in the low range reported being critical or angry towards their partner “more often than not” or “always,” while 92% of individuals who score as you did reported being critical or angry with their partner “more often than not” or “always.”

    Emotional arousal (e.g. anger, anxiety, preoccupation) is common for individuals dealing with betrayal trauma and at this time your answers would indicate that this is an area with which you are struggling. We would strongly recommend that you seek support to deal with the painful emotions you are experiencing.

    Here’s a few suggestions that may be of help to you:

    1. Create new habits to help you relax your anxious mind (e.g. meditation, mindful breathing)
    2. Participate in yoga
    3. Learn new strategies to help you avoid being hijacked by your partner’s behaviors.

    Below you can find some additional resources if you would like more information.

    Persistence of Symptoms
    Suggestions

    If you have been experiencing the symptoms listed in this assessment for months or even years this would indicate that your mind and body are not experiencing relief. You are experiencing trauma that is not diminishing and instead is constant or growing. For your health and well-being please consider participating in at least one of the following activities or events:

    1. Find a personal counselor
    2. Attend a 12-step group
    3. Find a sponsor
    4. Participate in an educational class (see class Healing From Betrayal Trauma) as found here on www.bloomforwomen.com
    5. Develop a strategy or treatment plan for your personal healing

    Functional Impairment
    Suggestions

    If you find that you are experiencing many of the symptoms listed in this assessment, that your fears are not going away, and that it is hard to function in other important areas of your life, please seek help. We know that this is a difficult time and thank you for having the courage to take this assessment.

    We encourage you to participate in all of the activities here at www.Bloomforwomen.com. We have designed all of our educational classes to aid you in your healing and recovery.


    13/37 - Trauma Inventory Journal

    After taking the TIPSA (Trauma Inventory) what you learned?

    As I already knew, his long term disconnection in our marriage and all the years of lies and betrayals around his porn addiction have affected me mentally and emotionally. It's had a huge impact on my well being and the way I view and feel about life in general.



     
  17. Queenie%Bee

    Queenie%Bee Fapstronaut

    1,201
    1,959
    143
    I’m so glad you are doing the free course . It 100% jump started my REAL healing . I’m not “ healed “ but I feel stronger . Have you made the next step and had the phone call ? If you can get the call with Hannah , she’s a really good listener. Not an advise giver but a great REAL ear . There was something surreal in hearing my voice say things out loud
     
  18. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    Thanks @Qnb42078 . No I missed out on it. I was actually looking on their site for it yesterday as I seen you write about it. Then I seen that they'd sent an email offering it not long after I first joined but I hadn't been checking my email and so it's expired. It's ok though, maybe once I'm finished I'll ask if I can still do it...
     
  19. Queenie%Bee

    Queenie%Bee Fapstronaut

    1,201
    1,959
    143
    Is there a phone number on the email ? Or did someone leave a msg ? If you have trouble after , I have the phone number ;)
     
  20. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    Ok, thanku. I'll reply to their email first and see if they respond.
     

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