Susannah's Going to Stop Trying to Control Things .....Tomorrow

Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by Susannah, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. Trynagetbetter

    Trynagetbetter Fapstronaut

    I can say that how he describes the addiction is SPOT ON (sounds exactly like I feel at times: resentful that females seem to have so much incredible, visceral power over me, my body, and my emotions. And I felt powerless to do anything but stew in desire, squirming at their mercy. But I was not wise enough or mature enough in my thinking until decades later to realize how much garbage I had been drinking and how it had turned into an unhealthy addiction and warped view of women/sex. Whether he is still using porn, or using that truth about porn to CON you back into a relationship with him... I cannot say. I find women's intuition mostly right; trust it. And sounds like you've closed that back-door anyway, so that's good.

    Simply put: We lie to ourselves about what we are watching. We pretend. We so desperately want to believe that quick, easy sex can be real and fulfilling, readily available and personally accessible, beautiful and without consequence. We flee hard truths as cowards into a fantasy world, paying no mind to the lives of those who create & sustain our illusions. And yes, the unintended consequence of cowardice and the refusal to face hard truths, to take responsibility for fixing what is broken... this does diminish and dehumanize many people. I am barely 9 months sober and still so much fog...so much to unlearn.
     
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  2. Strength And Light

    Strength And Light Fapstronaut

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    This is such an excellent journal Susannah. I'm really just getting acquainted with it/you/him. There's a few things I read that I might have something to add to, but at this time I'd rather just say thank you for taking the time to share this journal here, to help yourself, to help your ex-SO (not sure if that's the right title), and to open up your story so this community can learn from it, relate to it, advise on it, and just generally nod our heads in acceptance of it. I'm getting choked up with gratitude as I type this so I'll just keep it at THANK YOU.
     
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  3. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    I really admire that you are able to recognize this in yourself and say it out loud. With your attitude, I have no doubt you'll be able to undo this damage. I'm not so sure about my husband. His warped thoughts about women have led him to places even darker than porn use. As much as I want to think that anyone is capable of reform, I'm afraid this may be too deep in him.

    It is interesting to consider where these thoughts come from, though. These ideas were presented to both you and him from somewhere and it probably happened pretty young. Neither of you is to blame for that. But in his case, he ran with those ideas, carefully cultivating and nurturing them for decades, even after he had the capacity and information to know better. That's on him, and disease be damned, I can't seem to get past the offense I feel at his admission of hating the entire class of humans to which I belong. I'm afraid I'll always see him as an adversary.
    Keep it up! I'm astonished at the progress you report in a mere 9 months. I'm sure it's a source of inspiration for many here.
     
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  4. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    Mutual admiration society. I really enjoy your journal and insights, too!
     
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  5. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    My husband and I were invited to three holiday parties today. Needless to say, we didn’t attend any. I thought about going to one or two, but the thought of having to explain why I was attending alone (“Hi! Where’s *husband*?” ), exhausted me, so I declined. None of my / our friends or my relatives know about his illness or our separation. We were the “perfect” couple from the outside, so it will be a shock when they eventually find out. Going as a couple and pretending for the day also seemed like a bad idea. Thanks to his disclosures, I now know that some of our friends were more than “friends” in his fantasy life. Awkward. And then there would be our friends’ daughters to ogle. And grand-daughters. And great grand-daughters. And possibly some unborn female fetuses. No one would be safe. When I think of all the things his addiction has taken from us, from me, I feel such resentment. When I was living with him, even the simplest things were a struggle. Leaving solved some of that, but a lot remains. It invades my mind all the time, either in the form of memories, associations, decisions to make, things to consider, or just resentment.

    So instead, I went over to visit and we spent the day gardening and fixing things around the house. God-damned rabbits have eaten all my broccoli, so we built a little fence around the green beans before it was too late for them. My husband has never been very handy. He’s under the impression he is, but I always took care of the mechanical stuff around the house. I guess that when he was at the age many young men are when they learn basic handy skills, he was very busy learning to make pictures of naked women appear on primitive computer screens. It's probably too late to remedy this deficit now. This spring he tried to fix a door on the barn and messed it up royally. So today “we” had to sort it out. I want the place in good shape if we want to try to sell it later in the year.

    Then we warmed up some leftovers and had supper while listening to a playlist that daughter #2 had kindly sent to us. After dinner we played some music ourselves. We used to play together almost every night and I really miss it now. So that was nice. All the way home I thought about how and when to tell people and fantasized about how wonderful it would be to just disappear without a trace.
     
  6. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for your post...you sound very accepting and wise of what your relationship is instead if trying to fix it,..accepting.
    I’m not sure I’ll ever be there. I’m working on it though.
    Thanks again for the example
     
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  7. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    I predict you'll get there. Especially if you do what is often so difficult for us - find a way to support yourself the way you've supported others.
     
  8. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    A large part of what I’ve been doing during my recovery has been trying to find the right mix between creating something brand new and reclaiming the best parts of my previous life. When I was immersed in the “Through the Looking Glass” world of SA, I felt I was always reacting to or recovering from whatever was being thrown at me. As my fellow SOs know, moments of peace of mind are almost impossible to come by and it wears you down. And as things get progressively “curioser”, you lose touch with the fact that the life you are living is not normal and that you are, in fact, a boiling frog. You forget that the world outside is filled with ordinary people doing ordinary things, people who would look at the details of your daily life in utter disbelief if you dared show them, but of course, you never would – not even your best friend since first grade….

    So now that I have eliminated most of the new firebombs from my daily experience, I have been trying to be as intentional as possible about what I put back into my life. It’s part of my response to living for so long feeling trapped and as if I didn’t have any good choices. The first couple of months I didn’t feel like doing anything. I just needed rest. I had fought hard and lost utterly an epic battle and I felt it. It was kind of like how I always imagined it would feel to be holding on to the edge of a high cliff for a really long time, then have your muscles just wear out. You’d slip loose and have a moment of terror, but then just feel a sense of falling, with no chance of stopping, so no more worries - just relief and acceptance. Then nothing. For those first two months I felt the falling, but then gradually, I began to understand that the “nothing” wasn’t coming, so I should do something, already.

    The first thing I did was some movement. For the last couple of decades, I had eaten well and worked out almost every day. In addition, I danced, played tennis, skied and fenced. I had kept track of my diet and exercise as well as fitness goals in a series of notebooks. I tried to hang on to these things for a while after the first D-Day, but the last entry I have in my notebook dates to about 7 weeks after that. I was 5’8” tall, 146 lbs, and had retained impressive mobility and strength – not too bad, considering I had not gone for a run or to the gym in those 7 weeks. But gradually all that went away, as I stopped leaving the house and instead, spent all my time trying to figure out what to do about our emergency. My strong muscles were replaced by weird injuries and spasms. I was sore somewhere in my body at all times. I developed TMJ from constantly clenching my jaw, which made it almost impossible to chew. So fast forward two years – most of the aches and pains are gone, but now I carry about 10 extra pounds and am as weak as a kitten. So the first thing I did was start taking walks. Nothing arduous, but it felt good to move. Now I am back to some light jogging and have been doing lots of gardening. I have begun cooking for myself and have been concentrating on a healthful, summertime diet. I know how to do this and I am confident I can recover at least some of the physical fitness I used to have. I guess that’s all I feel like writing for now. I’ll fill in more of what I am "adding in" over the next little bit. No rush.
     
  9. Strength And Light

    Strength And Light Fapstronaut

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    LOVE this!
     
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  10. Queenie%Bee

    Queenie%Bee Fapstronaut

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    Awesome . I too look forward to putting me first . I’m afraid of the “ nothing “ as well . I’m just trying to sit in the day I am in at the moment or I freak the eff out !!
     
  11. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Yes moving forward day by day . Putting yourself first in everything. Excellent post, well written and inspirational. Thank you
     
  12. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    It’s not unusual to come across articles, podcasts, forum posts, etc insisting that SOs who have survived living with a sex addicted spouse often end up “better off” than when they started. They are stronger, tougher, better communicators, and more self-confident. All thanks to having been fired and pounded in the forge of betrayal trauma. In fact, I, myself, have made similar claims over on @kropo82 journal, saying that I have learned a lot about myself as a result of the experience I’ve been through. I know I’m stronger, less gullible, more realistic about human relationships, and more in tune with myself. I have been humbled and now set my sights lower, but vow to protect myself at all costs and never put my heart in someone else’s hands again, which feels kind of empowering. In addition, I have a whole new arsenal of coping strategies as a result of working my recovery from PTSD, which I insist, no matter how “snowflake” and “victimy” it sounds , is real and diagnosed by professionals. I guess I’m glad to have those coping strategies now? (For a rollicking good time and opinions to the contrary, check out the inanity going on over on this thread ("Still Hard" in Rebooting in Relationship - @RUNDMC for the win! Sorry-I don't know how to link to a thread. )

    But increasingly, I find myself refusing to be grateful when people suggest that I consider how lucky I am to have been afforded this opportunity for personal growth. I was pretty all right before this nightmare descended on me and I’m pretty sure I could have lived out a happy and reasonably well-balanced life without it. It’s a little like when you hear about someone dying in a terrible, but obviously preventable accident and you think “What a stupid way to die.” Of all the ways the universe could come up with to test my mettle, THIS is what it chose? It dealt me the “married to a sex addict” card!? What a stupid and ignoble way to have to build character. Okay universe – consider me fucked with.

    All this has got me re-reading Candide for the first time in 20 years. Well, all this AND the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. Let me back up. Recently, I have been reading about the huge earthquake that hit Lisbon, Portugal in 1755. I have become a little obsessed with it. This sort of thing has happened to me throughout my whole life – I get fixated on a subject and read everything I can get my hands on about it. (Strangely enough, these fixations have often coincided with things like a thesis that needs writing, a tax return that needs completing, etc.) At various times I have become a “lay expert” on the subjects of World’s Fairs, The Dead Sea Scrolls, Captain Beefheart, The Spanish Civil War and now, the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. And it was reading about the earthquake that put me in mind of Candide, who Voltaire places in Lisbon on that fateful day. But as I thought more about the book, I noticed there was another reason that Candide resonated with me at this particular moment in my life. The book was written as a satirical response to Theodicy, a then-popular philosophy that arose, in part, as a way to deal with the problem of evil. It held that the world we actually live in is the best of all possible worlds and that even terrible things are “for the best”, even if we humans can’t see how. Throughout the book, all manner of terrible things befall Candide and his philosopher teacher, Pangloss. Each time something awful happens, Pangloss tells Candide that it is really part of a perfect, divine plan and that everything is as it should be. He insists that the stable and contented situation in which Candide finds himself at the end of the book could not have been attained without having gone through all the horrors that preceded it. In the final chapter, Voltaire finally, finally lets Candide, after years of listening to the Philosophical Optimism of others, call bullshit. So I’m calling bullshit. I’m stronger, but it wasn’t worth it. It was a Pyrrhic victory. I’m sure surviving a ship-wreck would do tons for my character, too, but I think I’ll pass. Now I’m off to 'tend my garden' that I’m sure the fucking woodchucks have destroyed.
     
  13. Strength And Light

    Strength And Light Fapstronaut

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    While you are in the garden, be sure to prune the trees of some limbs they’ve worked really hard to grow. Some branches they’ve devoted much time and energy toward. This of course will initially shock the tree. But then watch how the tree responds over time. See how it really does grow back stronger and fuller, very naturally.

    What I’m getting at is that it might take a season for the shock to settle and another season or two for the new growth to take shape. Recovery moves at plant speed. It’s something I’ve noted in my own PA recovery.

    Yes, it’s just an analogy and it’s probably a little too cute and convenient, but I think there’s a sincere truth in it. I’m hoping you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you experience your Spring growth. :)

    As always, thank you for the wonderful journaling. You have a gift.
     
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  14. Queenie%Bee

    Queenie%Bee Fapstronaut

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    Omfg . Reading that BS just made me so angry . I’ll chose grace ;)
     
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  15. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

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    I have been through some real shit in my life and every time, I have been able to appreciate the growth opportunity I was "given", even before I was through it. I have always seen the light at the end of the tunnel and known how much stronger I will be, how I'll be able to share what I have learned with others going through the same thing, etc. You know how it goes... I always truly believed it. I still believe it. It is what kept me going.

    But the difference is that I don't appreciate it anymore. This is single handedly the most horrid, longest drawn out emotional turmoil (manifested into physical now) that I have ever gone through, with no end in sight - despite a husband in serious recovery and despite a lot of healing on my part. Being a partner to a PA/SA changes you in indescribable ways. It's the gift that keeps on giving. It trumps anything else that has ever happened in my life, and that's some pretty big shit. I think most partners can relate with that sentiment, as well.

    You are right on @Susannah . Thank you for saying what so many of us have not said out loud.
     
  16. hope4healing

    hope4healing Fapstronaut

    I couldn't agree more with all of this. What people don't understand when they say things about being "lucky" for personal growth, blah, blah is a great deal of that 'growth' is actually healing severe wounds (at least in the beginning). It's like saying to a burn victim, "Hey, you're lucky you get to grow new skin.":confused: And, like betrayal trauma, even after healing has happened, there are still scars that you have to learn to accept. You can somehow appreciate the personal growth but not as some kind of gift...rather, as what's necessary to continue on because, without it, you'd never heal or progress.

    As @EyesWideOpen said, some of the damaging effects are so significant, so permanent...you have to find personal growth just to balance it out somehow.
     
  17. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Personal growth...okay...betrayal trauma is the ultimate mindf**k. Yes I believe you can heal from it, but it changes who you are forever. Sometimes wiser and stronger...but holy cow does it suck to go through.
     
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  18. Queenie%Bee

    Queenie%Bee Fapstronaut

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    Ya I can’t really see any positives of being screwed over time and time again . I know it’s the choices I make , being better not bitter . I think that’ll all take time
     
  19. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    :) Thank you kindly - for the compliment and for the prediction.
     
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  20. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    Great observation. It's more appealing to spend my time and energy building on a new addition to my house than patching a leaky roof.
     
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