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#374474 - 11/06/11 09:30 PM reminders of life before all this
lovingBen Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 38
Hi everyone!

Like all of us here, I've had an exhausting, heartbreaking, and surely also a loving and deeply connected road with my guy.

the last few months though have really beaten the snot out of me, and with tons of encouragement from many folks on here, i made the decision to take a break in order to take care of me first...and for the first time, i have finally realized over the last few weeks what that has really meant in a real way.

i lovingly explained that i will always be here to catch him when he falls, and to talk about anything whenever he wants or needs to...but i also firmly put my foot down, again in a loving and supportive way.

i told him that he has reached the point in his recovery where he has to stop relying on just me and and his T, that he needs to self-educate and start making sense of his own confusing and scary feelings, and own that there are consequences to whatver choices he makes about lying to and manipulating me, and using how much i have self-educated to love and support him as a means to get away with doing hurtful terrible things behind my back while keeping me exactly where he wants and needs me to be at the same time.

i told him that if he wants or needs to keep doing that than he doesn't get the benefit of having me in his life in the same way deceived and manipulated way anymore...that i will not try to control him, but i will exercise my right and freedom to make my own decisions about what i will tolerate...that, for now, we need to be best friends, nothing more.

i truthfully promised that I will always be the one he trusted to tell and i will help him through this however i can..but now he needs to own his own role in stepping up in that process and experience the real consequences (at least with respect to me) of not doing so. he owes it to me and himself to get with the program and take responsibility for his own self-educating so he can find wholeness and peace with himself.

he cried and pouted and apologized and pouted, and pouted, cried some more and then and pouted again...and in less than a full week came crawling back, pitiful, saying all the right things to get me back...but this time i was stern in my conviction not to be manipultaed right back into his chaotic world subject to his exclusive and powerful control.

i have somehow heartbreakingly held firm to this, and held true to the boundaraies i created. make no mistake it is literally killing me, but i feel like the time has come for both of us that we each expereince life without the other in this way for a while. enabling this is only allowing him to rationalize getting stuck in this twisted spot breaking my heart over and over without fear of losing me

i have no real idea about how he is processing this because he either doesn't talk about it, or when he does, i have refused to disregard the fact that i know he will lie and say and do whatever he can to suck me back into the total mirage of reality he has lived in for 25 years.

on the other hand, after licking my wounds and refueling my own engine a bit, i have re-ignited my other friendships and have started going out again...and i even joined, where btw, i disclosed on my profile that i have been spending much time self-educating about how to support a survivor...and have already met some others who have gone through this too... which has been something we have been able to share and to use as a hallmark of our mutual ability to love, even under very difficult and painful circumstances.

let me just say, i have had several awesome dates without any of this looming over me, without needing to constantly be mindful of triggers and codes, and without being forced to celebrate tiny breadcrumbs of normalcy as if i just won the lottery only to be destroyed a day or two later having discovered some other atrocious lie or betrayal.

life with real and genuine courtship and sanity, without chaos and mistrust and fear and hurt....nites with real sleep and without tears....sound like a life long gone by???

i forgot about all this these last 2 years. i forgot that i am a loving and kind soul who can indeed joyously share that with another kind and loving person without all this pain.

i will always love him, he knows that. i will always be here as his recovery partner and best friend, he knows that. i will also very likely be here as his lover and partner when he gets through this should he still love me in that way, he knows that too.

but for now, he can't be "the one" for me. i can't keep enduring the pain and the mistrust...

the deep, deep emotional intimacy we share in between the lies and acting out behind my back just isn't worth it any more...or at least until he takes a few more meaningful steps in his recovery that reset the scales in a meaningful and palpable way.

so, to all of us supporters out there who are in a position to step back, or out, or whatever...we are not trapped or forced into choosing between one extreme or the other. we can insulate our hearts without abandoning them, and can truly love and support them without ruining our lives.

like them, we can have it both ways too, only with pure love and honesty, instead of lies and manipulation, so long as we stay stern in our convictions about their obligation to own their own recovery.

being reminded of "life before all this" has made me happy, relieved, as well as very sad, and even pretty resentful at god and the stars for allowing my most treasured person in the world to have been so victimized and deprived of the ability to love the way i deserve.

i pray every day that i will know when the lies have turned into truths, and that i won't miss it when that comes, like the boy who cried wolf. i am terrified that i am not wise enough to know when that is what is happening and that i will lose him and he will lose faith in me...but for now, the joy of true courtship, fun, and connection with others who are available and whole has touched and affected me in a real and meaningfully positive and healthy way for the first time in a very long time.

i hope this helps others who struggle as i have with whatever the hell putting yourself first could possibly mean in the midst of all this...when the one true love of your life has trusted you with unimgaineable horrors that you want so desperately to help them heal from...and when our own need for love and devotion and happiness feels so trite in comparison...

but i have found a little piece of peace recently...and i have realized how much "life without what life was like before" has taken from me...hopefully you can too!!

#374607 - 11/08/11 03:10 AM Re: reminders of life before all this [Re: lovingBen]
Gretta Offline

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 240
LovingBen I am so happy you have found some peace. I think we are all just trying to get there. It's not easy taking the steps you have taken. If you and Ben get together in the end you will be healthy and whole because you refused to compromise. Enjoy and I hope that Ben is getting the help and taking care of himself. It's a windy road with lots of pot holes.

#374622 - 11/08/11 05:10 AM Re: reminders of life before all this [Re: Gretta]
hopeandtry Offline

Registered: 07/29/10
Posts: 476
Hi, love. Glad to hear all this. I went through my ex pouting and manipulating as well. I keep thinking how I would feel if I happened to run into him somewhere now. I would feel tired and disgusted...not of him but of the disfunction and head games. Good for you living your life. I am trying to do the same. It is a good feeling, but I understand the sadness...I have that, too. PM me if you ever need to vent or just let me know how things are going. We will learn to take care of US and we will have partners who do welcome our support, but who also are working on themselves and therefore able to support us, too, when we need it. We will be happy.

#374659 - 11/08/11 06:29 PM Re: reminders of life before all this [Re: lovingBen]
unhappycamper Offline

Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 756
Loc: VA
You're fortunate to have rediscovered "what life was like before," and you certainly deserve to do so. Meanwhile, just remember that the term "survivor" in the CSA context means somebody who will =never= know what life would be without the bad stuff.


#374720 - 11/09/11 05:17 AM Re: reminders of life before all this [Re: unhappycamper]
hopeandtry Offline

Registered: 07/29/10
Posts: 476
@unhappycamper, for me it's not really about life before my ex. It's about being happy AFTER life WITH my ex. We all have bad stuff in our lives, and you are right, NO ONE will ever know what life would be without the bad stuff, BUT we can all know what life would be like with the good stuff.

Edited by hopeandtry (11/09/11 05:21 AM)

#375184 - 11/13/11 07:26 PM Re: reminders of life before all this [Re: hopeandtry]
lovingBen Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 38
hi again--

i think for me it's a little of both. loving ben has and continues to be one the deepest and most loving experiences of my life. i haven't "left" him...i just changed the parameters of our love.

he continues to tell me that he thanks god every day for me, and my willingness to self-educate and build sfae spaces for him to keep taking steps forward as he faces his demons.

finally learning to love myself again in this new way has been an important part of his journey too. the world looks and feels different to me too...the boxes and labels are gone, i have finally been able to see and understand my own capacity to love and unconsciously create safety.

ben and i will always have this closeness that neither of us have with anyone else...and maybe we will still end up together, who knows...and even if we do, it will ikley be non-conventional, which is something i have learned to embrace in the event that is how this is supposed to go, again, who knows.

for now, i just know that his journey is painful and scary for him, and me too, and that in the end, we will both be better men...i pray for the day his triggers and demons are less enough for him to be happy and safe more than scared...and i will be here for him the whole way, irrespective of how that needs to be for either or both of us...


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