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#417010 - 11/23/12 07:23 PM Re: My reality [Re: outoflove]
CdnDW Offline

Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
You are entirely powerless over him and always will be, but this is OK. You will feel very lost because you feel powerless over everything when you first accept this, but then slowly, you begin to see your truest sense of power. Self-empowerment! You have ultimate power over yourself and your choices and, as an adult, you have the POWER to walk away. You have the power to say “NO MORE” emotional abuse. You have the power to build the LIFE you WANT and NEED, and when you find that power, you will realize that you neither want nor need ANYONE in your life that is EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE. This is his pain and he is the only one who has the power to change his own life. No matter how hard ANYONE tries, they are powerless over this. You, or anyone else could never be “good enough” to make any impact on his pain because he is in complete control. This is probably why he abuses you… because it gives him a false sense of control over his pain. But he may have been powerless when he was a child to care for and protect himself and heal, but he isn’t now and he must want to be happy. He must want to heal. It is unacceptable for him, or anyone else to transfer their pain and suffering onto another. Just because he was hurt in a profound way as a child does not make him unaccountable for his actions now. You can't "abandon" an adult. This IS abuse and you DO have the power to walk away. You have to want to be happy and you have to want to heal.

Write yourself a letter, as I did, that starts with “I will no longer remain codependent on our relationship to define who I am and whether I am worthy of love and respect and good enough to make him recover.”

Free yourself and feel empathy that he chooses not to do the same for himself. Empathy is not what leaves you feeling hurt and neither is love. What leaves you feeling these things is being stuck in the idea that he owes you a different outcome. But he doesn’t. YOU owe yourself a different outcome NOW. You owe yourself joy and fulfilment and self-love. Being a wife does not mean being someone’s caretaker, metaphorical punching bag and therapist, it means being a friend and lover.

I KNOW it isn’t easy. I have struggled right along the same path. I have grieved for what *should* have been, but dammit it wasn't, so the sooner I accepted that I (yes, I) let it happen, then I empowered myself to have a different now and a different future. Knowing that I let it happen gave me the power to know that I can prevent it from happening again!

I love my Husband immensely and was constantly tempted to just say "forget my needs, I'll accept anything you throw at me as long as you promise to never leave me!" I was terrified of being alone, I was terrified I'd never have a love as deep as I felt for him. I was terrified that he would leave BUT, I pushed steadfast because I know this was all I could do. I would have lost myself completely if I didn’t do this and my survival was more important than love for ANYONE else.

THE CAUSE WAS NOT HIM. It was in me and I am now trying to fill the void by breaking my codependance. I am trying to build and live life in my own joyful vision, and I have let go of the outcome. This does not mean getting my hair done or taking time for myself, this is working HARD at respecting and profoundly loving myself. I am at peace with whatever direction my husband chooses by ensuring my own direction will be giving myself everything I need. Our relationships should never fill a need in us. We should fill our own needs and our relationships should complement what we have given to ourselves.

On a post not too long after signing up for MS I wrote the following “I didn't come to this forum for my husband. I didn't come here to find out how to help him or fix him. I came here for me and my healing. I hope that through my example and my progress, my husband will begin his own healing, but this is secondary.” And guess what, he has!! When I STOPPED being co-dependant and set my boundaries and started to respect MYSELF, so did he.

You CAN do this. It starts with a phone call to a CRISIS LINE NOW. It starts with letting him care for himself and finally taking care of yourself. It starts with finding that light inside yourself that does not wish to be extinguished and fanning the flames. It starts with letting go of resentment and any emotional attachment to how he has been acting towards you. It starts with reading this

I hope you choose yourself. I hope you choose your own survival. Every single one of us on this planet deserve happiness.
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

#417020 - 11/23/12 08:03 PM Re: My reality [Re: outoflove]
northernflicker Offline

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 88
If I understand correctly, your CSA husband left your marriage and you feel betrayed, hurt, discarded, abandoned, destroyed.

I UNDERSTAND COMPLETELY because this happened to me. I didn't find out he was abused as a child until well after he'd left and when I found this place his behavior made sense. He has been gone 14 months now, with another woman.

My pain was intense for about ten months but right now I'm in a good place. You will get there too if you let yourself heal, if you don't define yourself by your husband, his past and his choices.

Focusing on you doesn't mean a new dress or getting your hair or nails done. It means knowing and loving yourself and becoming a happy and fulfilled individual. It can be difficult and it does take time.

You have found a wonderful, understanding place here. Let your pain go here. Consider the advice you receive. The survivors, families and friends are wonderful people with big hearts, big shoulders and a wealth of experience. Pleas lean here and find your strength.

#417043 - 11/24/12 12:57 AM Re: My reality [Re: outoflove]
Candu Offline

Registered: 07/01/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: outoflove
What does that mean - Live for yourself?
To me this means absolutely nothing.

To me, life is about love. It is about relationships and giving.

And how has this been workout for you? Yes life is about love and giving. But you also have to love yourself. And you have to receive love. And how has that been going? Do you not have needs? Are they being met? It sure doesn't sound like it to me.

Originally Posted By: outoflove
Living for myself? It makes no sense to me. Does this mean buying myself a new outfit - getting my hair or nails done? All superficial band-aid fixes. Stuff like this would probably make me feel better for about 5 minutes. Then, it's back to the loneliness of the real world - minus the money I just spent on "myself".

No it is not about the superficial stuff. But sometimes the superficial stuff has its place. When was the last time you went out and had fun? One of the reason we have money is so that we can do things and experience things. Travel and vacations are one good example. You might think of it as a waste of money but often those memories are precious in the long run.

Originally Posted By: outoflove
Everyone tries to make it sound so simple.
"It's not your problem, it's his."
"You need to focus on yourself."

It's not that easy. Is it easy for a survivor to overcome their abuse? To move forward - to move onwards? No."

The same goes for many of us spouses. It's not easy to move on. To let go. To forget about someone who is in so much pain."

Do you think we all don't know that? The people here are not your general population. We all hurt.

This is where I break into tears and can't go on. The word 'hurt' and the emotion behind it (sometime even without emotions due to CSA) can instantly break me up. So I cried and took a couple of Tylenol as I felt a head ache coming on as well. I then went to the kitchen and pealed some potatos, cut them into small cubes, and boiled them in order to make some potato salad. (I have no junk food in the house so this was my comfort food) I had to concentrate on calming down otherwise I would have cut myself. With the container of potato salad I sat down in front of my computer. This was a mistake. I wasn't ready and my reaction was too strong. I ate half the potato salad on the couch. Then cleaned for while. I think I can continue now.

Do you think we all don't know that? The people here are not your general population. We all hurt. We are not just throwing suggestions out without having some understanding of what you are going through.

But based on what you wrote (very powerfully written) I read it as that you are done. That you can no longer take the abuse that he is transfering on to you.

Originally Posted By: outoflove
Live for myself.

How am I supposed to live for myself when the person I care about most is dying on the inside?

When someone becomes a piece of your heart, they become a part of you.

No it's not so easy to just move on.

No it is not easy. And if it was you would have done it a long time ago. But can you continue on the current path? Where can it lead to? Do you see any real possibility of positive change?

#417062 - 11/24/12 07:27 AM Re: My reality [Re: outoflove]
HD001 Offline

Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 276
Loc: us
Out of love. I read your posts I feel like could have written them myself. My little sister is here visiting I tell here I'm so tired I want to die. Please don't tell me I shouldn't feel this way just listen. There are no answers no words that heal. You are not alone I walk this hell path as well and look up at the sky and ask why. And still the earth is silent. I wish you peace.
Everything comes from within

#417084 - 11/24/12 05:02 PM Re: My reality [Re: HD001]
Candu Offline

Registered: 07/01/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: HD001
Out of love. I read your posts I feel like could have written them myself.

For a minute I thought you were writing under a second user name.

#417086 - 11/24/12 05:24 PM Re: My reality [Re: outoflove]
outoflove Offline

Registered: 11/06/12
Posts: 26
Loc: USA
I'm sorry everyone.
I really am reading all replies and trying to take them in...It is just so hard and I have been trying for so long. I just don't even want to help myself anymore.

I'm sorry my posts affected you so much Candu...Truly. I feel like I caused you pain. I'm sorry.

HD001...Thank you.

My tears just won't stop flowing. I'm exhausted.
I feel that rather than telling my whole story here...putting my words into poems, of sorts, is easier.

I'm at a loss. I don't understand the point to life or why so many people have to suffer. And the worst part is the suffering we do is in silence because most of us cannot betray our spouses trust. We can't truly confide in anyone...

It is just so lonely.

Edited by outoflove (11/25/12 06:03 AM)

#417137 - 11/25/12 05:54 AM Re: My reality [Re: outoflove]
Candu Offline

Registered: 07/01/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada

That's as far as I could get five hours ago. I broke down in tears again. Afterwards I was so exhausted that I had to lay on the couch and rest for a couple of hours listening to quiet classical music. I then had some tea and Devil's food cake that I bake last night. It's just a cake mix so don't think that I'm great in the kitchen. I manage to feed myself and I try to eat healthier than I used to. I then went and did some grocery shopping, after I got back home I did an hour on the treadmill. More of that healthier stuff. Procrastinated a bit then sat down to try and post this. Some more initial panic but writing the above got rid of most of it.

Outoflove, you scared the crap out of me with your first post. I was ready for bed and I just check if there were any last posts to look at for the night. I was so concerned for you that I felt I had try and say something that might help. A few years ago someone I knew that I hoped would become a bit closer as a friend commited suicide. I had put off trying to get closer to him because I didn't feel I was ready yet and I didn't see the need to rush.

I'm sorry that your pain caused me pain that in turn caused you additional pain. Just don't do anything that can't be undone and I promise to not tell you about the pain you cause me. smile

Don't be too concerned about my pain and the resultant tears. They remind me that I realy have a lot more to work on. My abuse happened fourty years ago and it, and other negative influences, have always prevented me from getting the most out of life. But I was used to it and as long as I wasn't hurting anyone (at least tried not to) I was prepared to just carry on. But then I was dealing with some more stressful issues starting about five years ago and a few more cracks developed in the container holding the pain that I carry. About two years ago things were getting worse, and with additional problems at work, I was in meltdown territory.

And this is where I have to smile at my user name here. Initially I had used my first name but I was unable to post anything because I felt too exposed by using it. So it took a while but I finally was able to get it changed. But what to use as a name? I wanted to have something positive sounding. I finally picked Candu as in Can Do. The part that I find funny is that Candu is also the name of a Canadian nuclear reactor design. I feel like an aging nuclear reactor that is past it's best before date.

So I'm doing better than I was six months to a year ago. When I discoverd this site I would often start crying before I finished the first post. I banned myself from this site at work because of my reaction.

But like I said, things for me are better. And I forget how bad I was such a short time ago. But things are getting closer to normal and I'm wondering if I could just forget all this recovery stuff and just go back to how thing were. (even though it was empty/lonely I was used to it) Then something like the following happens.

I post a suggestion to a post in Family and Friends. And then comes the following post.

Originally Posted By: CdnDW
Anyone else wish there was a "Like" button for other's posts?? I like your post Candu!

And I cried for more than half an hour over this. (Hell it's causing me some tears right now) Someone liked my post. Someone thought what I said was worthwhile. (thanks again CdnDW) And I cry and tell myself I have a LOT of problems to deal with.

And I hope that eventually I can find someone to love me. Someone like you Outoflove. You are more than good enough.

#417139 - 11/25/12 06:23 AM Re: My reality [Re: Candu]
outoflove Offline

Registered: 11/06/12
Posts: 26
Loc: USA
Thank you, Candu. Your last line was so unexpected and touching that I broke into tears when I read it:

Originally Posted By: Candu
And I hope that eventually I can find someone to love me. Someone like you Outoflove. You are more than good enough.

Such a sweet thing to say about someone you don't even know - but I did need to hear it. I feel like I should write those words down and post them up in my home for me to see as a reminder. I really do not feel that I am good enough. I truly can say that I gave 100% every single day of my relationship. I gave, gave, and gave some more. In the end, he told me that the only way he could love me was if I hated him. Profound words. No matter what I did - it just was not enough. I wonder...Will I ever be enough? I highly doubt I will be. I'm sorry - just the way I feel.

I know that my first post is very scary to read. The pain is raw and real and it doesn't go away. I think that if there was an easy way to do it, I wouldn't be here today. But there isn't a surefire, easy way - is there? I have never been in this frame of mind before. Also - my dogs. I couldn't bear to leave my dogs without my love and care. They are all I really have left.

It is so scary when you think you have your life mapped out - you think you have love, trust and a safe place to lay your head. Then, almost without warning, it is torn away from you in such a vile, disgusting, violent manner...You are just left standing there...alone. Left to deal with the pain that someone else caused. Left to clean up their mess.

There are a lot of similarities to the way us spouses are treated and the way survivors were abused. It is like a vicious cycle that many survivors (especially those who have not begun to help themselves) cannot escape. Without help, they continue to create the same destruction, pain and suffering that they experienced as innocent children. It is just so unfair.

Yet I still love. I hold on to that love. Will it be my downfall? I am not sure. Many here, feel the same way I do - that they will never feel as deeply for another human being as they did and do for their survivor. I just do not see a bright light. I don't see hope. I want to - that is why I am here.

I am just rambling now.

Thank you, Candu, for your posts. I am happy you are here and I am so happy you are working on yourself. So many men out there choose to live destructive lives because dealing with their pain is too scary. So I think you are very brave.

#417141 - 11/25/12 06:43 AM Re: My reality [Re: outoflove]
RunningOnEmpty Offline

Registered: 10/08/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia

Edited by RunningOnEmpty (01/02/13 12:44 AM)

#417150 - 11/25/12 11:16 AM Re: My reality [Re: outoflove]
northernflicker Offline

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 88
It's not that you're not enough or not good enough; it's that he feels he isn't. It was said to me that the better my estranged believes I am, the worse he feels because he believes himself unworthy. It's a negative goes up, the other goes down.

Relationships with trauma survivors often begin with "you're OK, I'm not ok." ar this phase the suvivor is getting their self esteem from the awesome person they see you as. They don't feel good about themselves but feel great about you.

After the honeymoon phase the survivor starts to think "hey, if s/he loves me and I'm not lovable, then s/he can't be ok." They don't feel good about themselves and start to question your value.

by the end or the time things are bad the survivor has torn the still faithful and loving partner down to the point of "you're not ok, I'm not ok." You are no longer useful as a source of self esteem so the survivor moves on to another person. Rinse and repeat. They don't feel good about themselves or you.

This is not about you or how lovable or deserving you are. It is about emotional wiring that was broken by your survivor's abuser. Unless and until he is motivated enough and willing to address his issues he is incapable of being a good partner for anyone.

My husband decided that the person he had an affair with was motivation enough. That cut to the bone. He's not in therapy so I no longer believe it but such is the roller coaster ride. I now also understand the emotional cycle outlined above and see how it played out in my marriage. He tore me down. I deserve better and will not die on a sword to be a martyr for his pain. I would support him with the strength of 1000 armies if he asked me to, but he hasn't. His pain is about him, not me. I did what I could to preserve his relationship with his adult daughter from a previous marriage (rinse repeat in action throughout his life), but that is all I can do if he doesn't want my help.

You love and are devoted to your survivor. But your needs and your pain are real and valid. We teach people how to treat us by drawing boundaries, and you deserve to be treated well. And you need to heal. It's taken me 14 months to get back to me and I can say today I feel good.

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