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

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

  1. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    564
    1,121
    123
    Hmmm. Yes. I have been posting a lot more than usual and spending more time reading other journals (yours included!) as I do some deep dives and introspection and look for insight from addicts that might help me come to terms with difficult things. Nofap has been SO HELPFUL. A year ago, I never thought I'd be a part of a place like this - never dreamed there WERE places like this. But some of the people and ideas here really impress me.

    So, on to your questions (btw - I love this kind of thing - seems I'm always the one asking, but when I get asked, I find it so helpful to my thinking process.)

    1) He makes reference to deep, old pain and says that it manifests in the following (among other things): intense fear of abandonment; fear of rejection, (which usually goes like this - fear that he is defective, fear that his sexual desire is somehow harmful and destructive); fear of unworthiness; conviction that a real relationship with close connection is not possible for him, but because he has a deep desire for one, he engages in constant "searching" for another partner; fear that he damaged like his father.
    But here's the rub. He cannot come up with any single, big event or trauma that is an obvious source of the pain. It's damned frustrating, as I (and he) would love to have a tidy explanation. He has also discovered and reported a long-time hatred (his word) of women. But my observations of his behavior are that he is DESPERATE for the attention and approval of women, particularly and creepily those aged 14-22 or so. In fact, I have a belief that he "sees" himself as being that age also. He is a compulsive flirt, show-off, etc. He has a standard behavior, which I refer to as his "vaudeville routine". In ANY interaction with a girl, casual or not, he will instantly launch into an animated, arms-waving "I just flew in from Cleveland, and boy are my arms tired!" kind of showing off. The poor girl, usually a store or desk clerk who has been trained and socialized to laugh politely at the jokes of old men, will laugh nervously and back away a couple of steps. And that nervous laugh (which I think he interprets as returned interest) will convince him that he should turn the whole thing up to 11. It is goddamned embarrassing for everyone involved. But I digress...
    His background = Only child, father (alcoholic) abandons family for secretary when husband is about 3 years old, mother leaves him in day care while she returns to school for a teaching degree in order to support them. Husband is a bookish, non-athletic boy who is bullied in elementary school, but moves, then does better in junior high and high school. His first reported sexual dysfunction is at age 15, when he repeatedly molests a 9 year old cousin (this is something that came out for the first time about 7 months ago, during the Mother of All Disclosures), father dies of cirrhosis when husband is 20 and has not seen him for about 10 years.

    So what is the pain? Who knows? There are plenty of likely candidates - abandonment by father, let's just say "odd" relationship with mother, bullying, "misfitness". Later traumas may have contributed, but I think the early offense points to a childhood trauma. He was good and disturbed by age 15. He remembers no sexual abuse. He has related to me his first masturbation experience, which seems pretty vanilla. So..??? He claims to still be "looking" for the trauma, but I suspect it is either a bunch of small stuff (which you described so well recently in your journal) or a really HUGE thing that he has blocked. He has shown an AMAZING capacity to block or distort things that happened in his past. I have spoken to a few of his close relatives who know about his addiction and the differences between his recounting of events and theirs is truly impressive.

    2)MY parents? I'll trust that this is not a typo and go with it. My parents married when my mom was 18 and my dad 20. I came along about a year later, so I was raised by children. My dad was/is very authoritative with his kids and with my mom. Lots of physical punishment for the kids (it was 50 years ago in the south), but I never saw him strike my mom and don't think he did. He was and is an asshole. I grew up watching him belittle, bully, and embarrass my mom at home and in public. This was usually done fairly subtly, but I recognized it even as a kid. Growing up, I watched her silently cry in the car on the way home from events many times. He was the King of the Household. I spent most of my time just trying to escape his notice. My mother was afraid of him and never intervened when he got physical with my brother and I. So as a kid and to this day, I think of my mom more as another child in the family than as a parent. Sad. I think she sees him as kind of a father figure. He drives her everywhere, she always does whatever he wants to do, she defers to him in almost everything. How does he see her? Funny thing is that I believe he thinks of himself as a devoted husband and family man, who is kind of burdened by a simpleton of a wife, but who will do the right thing by her out of a sense of moral obligation. I honestly don't think he ever cheated on her and he was an unfailingly good provider who never spent a lot of money on himself. So, a long but dysfunctional marriage probably not a lot different from many originating in that time and place.

    Whew! Is that the kind of thing you were looking for?
     
    kropo82 and Strength And Light like this.
  2. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    564
    1,121
    123
    Yes - it was very moving at the time. I think it was the first time he really stopped to analyze what he was feeling in real time.
     
    Hros likes this.
  3. RUNDMC

    RUNDMC Fapstronaut

    41
    56
    18
    The trauma model is generally invoked by people who believe in equality at the soul level. It doesn't account for the concept of some souls simply being darker than others. Darkness consumes and destroys as its basic nature, while people of light in the same or worse circumstances create and heal.
     
  4. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    564
    1,121
    123
    Interesting to contemplate. In this model, can persons with a "dark" basic nature (if aware), overcome it? Do persons of "light" unfailingly create and heal? Are actions diagnostic? In other words, if you see a person who has been creative and healed as a response to a bad situation, can you assume they are a person of light? How self-aware can one be about this, ie does one always know which they are?
     
  5. RUNDMC

    RUNDMC Fapstronaut

    41
    56
    18
    A primary trait of darkness is deception. Darkness will pretend to be "coming around," "changing and growing," and "overcoming," while continuing to energy-vampire off of whatever light life form they can parasite off of. It's a con. The basic nature will never change, any more than water will become sand or the sun will become the moon. A thing is elementally itself.

    The test for light souls in such a situation is to finally refuse to serve, support, or aid and abet evil in any form.

    In my view, those with the brightest lights are the least aware or self-aware about this, because they project their traits onto others and have a hard time grasping the nature of evil (since it isn't their own nature). And they are highly unlikely to recognize their behavior as serving or cooperating with evil. They believe that putting energy towards darkness is a good thing to do. It isn't.
     
  6. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    564
    1,121
    123
    Hmm. Must think about this. Not claiming to be a "brightest light" or anything like, but it has occurred to me that one reason I stayed as long as I did is that I kept projecting my traits and attitudes onto him, expecting him to respond and understand as I believe I would have in his shoes. I have believed him to be basically good, but blind and misguided. I was continually shocked by his behavior, deception, and revelations.
     
    fuzzywaz and RUNDMC like this.
  7. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    564
    1,121
    123
    What is their motivation? What are they getting from it? Creature comforts? Satisfaction of manipulating someone into "serving" them?
     
  8. Trynagetbetter

    Trynagetbetter Fapstronaut

    Beautiful and haunting truth. This should should be published somewhere: an Op-Ed piece in a national paper, perhaps? So many of us understand this instinctively about our culture, but no one calls it out. It's as though we don't know how to confront it: Rom-Com movies and sexy movies always star 20-30 something year-old women. In Hollywood, 40s shows the audience perhaps an older, hotter mom. 50-60s+... entirely different (non-sexual) roles. One of my biggest motivators for fighting to be clean all these years was the realization that if I didn't figure this out and stop P, how could I ever be sexually attracted to my wife when we are 50,60,70,80? And how weird would it be to sexually desire someone who one day is my daughter's age (or younger!)? I have been working on attaching desire to a specific human being not a specific age/shape. And I will tell you, it is an all-out war (against society, culture, art and media) that requires all my energy and attention to keep fighting...I don't mean to excuse his wandering eyes, I'm simply saying the sexualization of young women to sell product and direct male behavior is ridiculously out-of-control. I'm watching large swaths of men be destroyed for the profit of a select few.

    On another note: I didn't realize until reading more closely that your hubby was drawn to such young girls. For me, (1) I went to an all-boys parochial college prep school for H.S. and (2) I was a virgin by choice until I got married. So high school and college "experimental years" were blank for me. I noticed that even as an adult, I always preferred watching "coming of age movies" and the corny "let's lose our virginity before graduating" movies, and also the "hot, single and traveling in Europe" movies etc. etc. For me I was trying to "fill in the gaps of what I thought I missed." (I didn't know many girls as a teenager!) I still have to (though much less frequently) make conscious efforts to let it all go, realize I have the intimacy I always wanted, and to enjoy the life I have, not try to (re)live the experiences I think I may have missed.

    It does seem the molestation of the 9-year old when he was 15 plays into his pain. It's hard to imagine that he himself was not a victim at some point prior...
     
    vxlccm and fuzzywaz like this.
  9. RUNDMC

    RUNDMC Fapstronaut

    41
    56
    18
    The nature of darkness is ultimately subversion and sabotage. Darkness will take whatever is whole, healthy, and strong, and weaken, twist, pervert and destroy it. It is anti-life. Destruction is the entire point.
     
  10. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    564
    1,121
    123
    Thanks - I'm giving this all a good think.
     
  11. Strength And Light

    Strength And Light Fapstronaut

    2,234
    8,363
    143
    Yes and thank you very much. I'm sure that was an effort and you were very forthright. Once again, I find this very admirable.

    I'll try to explain my motivation for the questions by starting with question #2. Not sure that this is the right word, but one of your "platforms" that's been repeated in your journal entries is that our culture disregards (sexually) women of a certain age and that men are shaped by culture and thus ruled by this societal law. I think it's generally accepted that our culture puts a lot of it's sexual value in youth. Biologically it makes some sense to do so, but our culture does seem to turn those few inches into a country mile, yes. But when I saw the platform repeated often enough I started to wonder if you believe that all or even most men subscribe to this. I started to hypothesize:

    Maybe Susannah's dad left her mom for a younger woman when she was a child. Lil Susannah developed a belief (conscious or subconscious) that all or most all men disregard women sexually after a certain age. So her behavior worked to serve a confirmation bias: She marries a man who's sexual desires abruptly cutoff when women reach their early 20s. Confirmations of her bias is in steady supply in her home whenever she needs it. But why does she need it?

    Obviously I was wrong about your parents marriage. But I still wonder about the belief and if it's being used as a confirmation bias. So new current theory: She needs the confirmation bias to keep her from putting herself at risk of being in a relationship with someone she can't control - she's afraid of repeating her mom's mistake(s). But how does the confirmation bias help with that? It allows her to carry anger, shit tons of anger. Anger is powerful and without that anger she feels terribly at risk of being taken advantage of like her mother, of being overpowered. Exhibit A: Her furious outburst at the fast food place about the sexualization of a young woman on a magazine cover last week had an ultimate result: Her husband weakly and meekly agreeing with her, in contrast to his own preferences. She has successfully evaded being controlled like her mother by doing the controlling herself, through anger, like her father. Exhibit B: Max wanders into her journal and sprinkles some benign, polite compliments. Her two responses to him were reinforcements of the age difference. His expressed polite fondness for her was a threat to the confirmation bias, and thus a threat to her source of anger she uses to soothe her deepest fears. So she reminds him of the age difference and chases away the compliments with teasing. The confirmation bias is now safe once again. The "security anger" isn't in jeopardy.

    I would like to take this sentence to say that I, real name Adam, have this working hypothetical theory at this moment but this has no bearing on what I think of "you". I think you are kind-hearted, brilliant, creative, loving, supportive and the bee's damn knees, even if everything I just guessed at were true. I say this because I know judgement is a concern, likely because of this:
    Judgement is a proof that you've been noticed, so I can understand why you may be conditioned to go unjudged. What I've written is not an assessment of you the person. It's a theory about some conditions you may or may not be in, based on my arbitrary personal hunches which are rooted and steeped in the conditions I absolutely am in. Long story short, please don't take my wild guesses as a personal attack. You are awesome and I will not be convinced otherwise! I'm also deathly afraid of your judgement.....

    Ok now let's go back to question #1, pertaining to your husband:
    A quick recap of the haystack we can't find this needle in:
    That last one is interesting because that puts your husband at around 10 years old the last time he saw his father - roughly the same age as his first molestation victim. What happened around age 9-10 in your husband's life that he was no longer in contact with his father? Was this his own personal wish? If so, was this wish maintained by him for the duration of his dad's life? Did this non-contact go against his wishes, possibly creating an anger or hatred toward his mother, a resentment?

    Me quoting all that stuff came off as kind of patronizing or sarcastic, so I want to point out that you absolutely did mention all those things in what you wrote here:
    Just cooling my jets before I start getting smug like I'm inventing the wheel. :rolleyes:

    There is likely an ENORMOUS guilt about the molestation of the cousin, which might be why he's so desperate for approval from young girls - a way to temporarily suspend the guilt. This young girl doesn't hate me so I can't be that bad. I'm safe, right? Right???

    Whatever happened when he was 3 is going to be tricky to evaluate or comprehend. This molestation of the cousin is significant. Underneath it is the bullying and some mom and dad stuff to resolve, but on top of it has to be a MOUNTAIN of unresolved guilt, shame and self-hatred. That mountain is where I'd place my shovel to begin uncovery. What actions can he take to begin to forgive himself for a crime he committed as a juvenile? He may have spent decades trying to uncover justification, but his efforts might be better spent working toward delivering his true remorse to the victim, if even in the form of a letter. That would be monumentally scary, but there aren't a host of better options to "pay for" something like that. Perhaps the victim may have a suggestion? There are a whole host of worst-case-scenario outcomes of taking this approach in apologizing and expressing his deep remorse to his cousin. As with all of us here truly working recovery, he may need to face his life's deepest fears head on, including all the worst-case-scenario outcomes, in order to recover his life from the grips it is in.

    With all of that said, I am really nervous about everything I just typed. I suppose it all comes down to intent. I'm confident the intent is there, I just wish I had ways to deliver my intentions without risk of offending or hurting people. A work in progress...
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
    Max Fisher and kropo82 like this.
  12. Strength And Light

    Strength And Light Fapstronaut

    2,234
    8,363
    143
    I've been squirming quite a bit about the audacious post I wrote here yesterday. You aren't the first person here to receive an unsolicited, back-alley analysis like this from me. Each time I've found myself motivated for something like that I begin to cringe, and each time I carry out with it nonetheless. It doesn't feel compulsive, at least not in any way that I've ever known. But I always wonder about my motivations behind it, because it's usually a bit surprising I'd imagine to be on the receiving end of it. It's like I'm inspired to paint portraits but I zero in on things that aren't usually flattering to the subject...but I'm making the painting for the subject. It's crazy.
    Am I trying to hurt people? If so why? And why my favorite people? Is this some type of intimacy avoidance, subconsciously designed to keep people at a distance? Am I trying to impress people with how special I am, like I believe this type of psychological profiling makes me really talented? Am I trying to "break people down" if I put them on too high of a pedestal?
    I don't know, but when I'm doing it it doesn't feel malicious. So I end up just feeling crazy for it and searching for answers why. It's gross and I'm sorry. You didn't ask for or deserve to be the subject of my weird projections. Maybe it's how I've been self-soothing? I project all the things I'm guilty of onto someone else to feel better about my own issues?
    And the aftermath is like quicksand. Anything I say or do seems to intensify the situation. Apologizing feels like I'm playing the victim. "Have pity on me, for me."
    Sigh. Hope I haven't tarnished your Hope Hope Hope.
     
    Max Fisher likes this.
  13. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    Wow, what a thought provoking back-and-forth: your question @Strength And Light, your answer @Susannah, the analysis, and the meta-analysis. Amazing.
     
    vxlccm, Max Fisher and hope4healing like this.
  14. fuzzywaz

    fuzzywaz Fapstronaut

    416
    779
    93
    This is so well put. It is shocking to me that the weeks of crying, months of depression and all the damage to my sense of self and reality that resulted from the first d-day weren't motivation enough for my husband to do everything in his power to never put me through that again. It is extremely demoralizing that after a period of time, it all apparently went out the window. Only an idiot would not take that as a genuine reflection of a lack of deep love, respect and caring....
     
    Lilla_My and hope4healing like this.
  15. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    564
    1,121
    123
    Hi S&L
    Thanks for the explanation/apology. It means a lot. I admit I was confused and hurt when I read your reply, and a little bit ambushed. I had been drawn in to providing personal information only to have “AHA! That explains everything!” and suddenly we’re talking about something completely different. But that was only an initial response and calmed right down. It was replaced by frustration, since I felt I had no good way to respond. Your analysis didn’t feel “true” to me, but what to do about that?

    1) I could ignore, but that didn’t seem respectful. It would also feel like tacit agreement with your assessment.

    2)I could rebut. I could go point by point and present evidence and studies, as well as personal experiences, that are in themselves, perfectly adequate explanations for my anger and that do not rely solely on any predisposition/pathology/intellectual weakness/cognitive distortion that I may have. But these protestations would serve only to reinforce your accusations, “Well, well, well – I seem to have touched a nerve with Susannah.” So that was a non-starter. I began to feel trapped. Delete the whole god-damned journal! As a person who already feels “invisible”, the last thing I need is to be made to feel that phenomena that I (and others) have observed all my life also do not exist! But this journal is a valuable historical document for me. So, no. I couldn’t delete it in what would have amounted to a fit of pique.

    3) Well, then what? What about @Trynagetbetter response? He seemed to have my back on this one and I felt not just grateful for his backup, but that I needed it. Why? Because I respect him tremendously, his observations matched my own, he was empathetic, he’s someone who has written fearlessly and honestly about gender and race in his own journal (and mine), and (if I’m honest) because he’s a man, so extra credibility points for my position. (Ick! on that last part, but I won’t deny it. It was a thought that I had.) So all those reasons explain why I appreciated his response. But not why I needed it. The real question was: The quality of his contribution notwithstanding, why was MY say-so about this not adequate? Why do I need to bolster my own experiences and observations with those of other, more credible (read, male) witnesses, as if mine don’t matter? TBD – still thinking….

    4)Finally, I could go away and consider your words and see if there was truth to them. And that’s what I ultimately decided to do. Whenever I find myself having a strong reaction to a criticism (usually when it is from someone I like and/or respect), I pay attention to that and try to do some introspection. Sometimes I see some or a lot of truth in the criticism. Other times I exonerate myself, but believe me when I say that is not the goal going in.

    Funny, though – because this all loops back around to @Max Fisher 's original quote and the (as yet by me) unanswered question – why do I care if someone is/might be wrong about me? It’s tricky, because I do actually care about my reputation. It was very important when I had my business and it is now important because I need to be able to function effectively in my town government and volunteer organizations, etc. But this seems like a different thing. Not reputation – but more like a basic disconnect about me, as a person. Not so much about wanting to be accepted and validated, but more about wanting to be understood? Why? Because relationships are formed (for me) at least in part, by some sort of mutual “recognition” born of discovery and understanding. It’s a tough concept to articulate, but like porn, (haha), I know it when I see it. So in our specific case S&L, (I assume all other potentially interested readers have stepped away to retch by now) I think it is about wanting very much to maintain a connection I felt I had made with you and a sense of alarm that that connection was in danger. Alarm, not that you “got me” too much, but that you didn’t “get me” at all.

    Shorter version: Thanks, S&L! We’re good.

    Ps. I KNOW that @Max Fisher is a grown man, but my oldest daughter is closing in on 30, so sorry - 33 seems like a kid to me. Add to that his sense of humor and the “young man” profile photo he was using that day and it’s all I could do to not tousle his hair and give him a quarter for an ice cream cone. No offense was intended at all, Max.
     
  16. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    564
    1,121
    123
    Yes. When I think of how much I would have changed, did change, am STILL moderating about myself and my behavior in order to best support him, all while receiving almost no reciprocation from him, I get a little sick. Right now, I'm deep in the process of trying to figure out why I did it.
    I think @RUNDMC may be on to something here (at least in my case). So, not only "an idiot", but also perhaps someone who is prone to project their traits onto others - someone who can't conceive of that level of callousness because they aren't capable of it themselves.
     
  17. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    564
    1,121
    123
    Also, I'm so sorry you find yourself back here.
     
    fuzzywaz likes this.
  18. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    564
    1,121
    123
    Thanks for your reply. I don't recall ever having seen this "biggest motivator" mentioned on these forums before. As always, I can count on you to be both honest in your self-assessment and humane and loving in your intentions toward your wife. And thanks for acknowledging that sexual attraction in aging partners is even a possibility. I can't remember who it was, but a 40- something on these forums once, while commenting about sexual attractiveness, said something like, "and in 20 years, it won't even matter." Umm. Really? Sexual desire and desirability automatically end at age 60 or at any other arbitrary age?
    Yes - thank you! Again, with the humane-ness!
    No doubt - but worth the effort, if for no other reason than to not give them (whoever "them" is) the satisfaction.
    Interesting. The perceived "missing out" may be part of it for my husband, but he has admitted more than once that he believes the most important factor is power. He has said that he targets young girls because of their powerlessness and claims never to have developed an attraction for any woman in a position of authority over him.
    I think Amy Schumer said it very well here:
    https://whohaha.com/inside-amy-schumer-last-fckable-day/
     
    Trynagetbetter and hope4healing like this.
  19. Strength And Light

    Strength And Light Fapstronaut

    2,234
    8,363
    143
    I'm almost certain this "sickness" you are trying to account for was the driving force behind my unskillful, accusatory posts. It might be a mechanism I installed long ago to try to "save" people from the type of unpleasant existence that my dad had that resulted in his suicide. Like in the way that the daughter of an alcoholic becomes a nurse. "Saving" people becomes a way to temporarily override feelings of low worth, a dependency of it's own. How absurd then to try to save you from feeling sick by delivering you to feeling attacked.

    I'm sorry Susannah. I could have saved you a lot of discomfort by simplifying to just this: Is it possible you've stayed with him all this time because his low self-worth makes him less entitled to act like your father and trigger fears of taking advantage of you like your father did to your mom?

    Boom. Easy enough question. I added in all the charts and graphs and video still frames and finger pointing and arm flailing and dramatic Johnny Cochran bravado because I needed to be right. It's my own co-dependency: the savior needs someone to save. I needed those things to be true because it makes me sick to not have control over saving someone from feeling bad. Fuck.

    That was a big realization I just wrote out that brought immediate tears. It's movement. I'm sorry it unfolded in your lap, but thanks for allowing it to fully unfold. Maybe this answers my question of why I only do it to my favorites. Because my favorites are the ones who are safe, the ones who will likely understand. THANK YOU.

    Switching gears. It's interesting about your husband and about @Trynagetbetter both sharing desires for much younger women while both also sharing experiences in their youth of being unable to date females of those ages. I have always been attracted to females right around my age - my wife is less than a year younger than me. As I've aged, so has the age of women I'm attracted to. Kind of like my taste in music. The stuff I liked as a young man just doesn't appeal to me in the same way that it once did. Important note: I've always had girlfriends, my entire post-puberty life. So I don't share this "missing out" factor. I can understand the appeal of clear youthful skin and body, but IMO your husband is probably right that there's got to be another element in play. I'm not saying @Trynagetbetter is a creep, not at all, but when he says he's using all his might and energy to try to transform his preferences, it's hard to believe that's all based on visuals. At least in your husband's case, it has to do with receiving intimacy without having to actually connect. This is done through power and influence. Much the same way a john uses a prostitute to receive intimacy without having to connect. It's done through the power of money.

    @Trynagetbetter I love you brother! I don't mean to associate you with someone who's an admitted child molester. Anyone reading this please don't make that leap!

    I've typed too much so I'll shut my yapper. Susannah thanks for your understanding. @Trynagetbetter you have a friend in me. @Max Fisher get back on your tricycle and beat it punk!
     
    Susannah and Max Fisher like this.
  20. Max Fisher

    Max Fisher Fapstronaut

    None taken. I felt like I got to sit at the cool table at lunch for a few day.

    Its a scooter these days grandpa...I have snapchats to do anyways.
     
    vxlccm and Strength And Light like this.

Share This Page