Feelings Mark 2

I have posted before about my difficulty connecting with my “feelings”. Sometimes I don’t know what I feel – I mean really Don’t know what I feel.

other times, like now I DO know, but I don’t trust it.

This morning I Feel better, I feel calmer, I feel less anxious, I feel that my future will be better without him.

But I feel guilty for thinking that, and I can’t help feeling ( or is it thinking) that I am somehow wrong.

He (exP) tells me that he misses me, but if I examine my feelings minutely , I don’t miss him. Last night me and sons 1 and 3 sat in our front room after I had made the boys’ dinner. We watched the “jungle book”, the new adaptation. Son #3 and I cuddled up on the sofa , and son 1 kept 1/2 ( or perhaps 3/4) of an eye on his phone. Lola snoozed on her bed. I drank a couple of Becks blue lemon, and donated one to son 1 (in the absence of any ‘proper’ alcohol he seemed happy enough with it)

An unremarkable, I dare say boring, family evening. But. For us it was pretty special. No one yelling at the kids to get their feet off he sofa (he exp- lay with his feet on the sofa ALL THE TIME) no bad atmosphere because the kids were ‘in adult space’ ; no brooding presence because we were watching something he didn’t want to, NO TENSION. bliss.

I was thinking about the end of my marriage. I struggled for a long time trying to MAKE exH see that smoking pot all day in front of kids who were then 8,5 and 2 was a bad role model, unsafe, made him paranoid and very scary. To me it was SO obvious, why couldn’t I make him understand it? The break point came when he took son#1 to a gig in London one evening. Son 1 was 11 years old. My ExH got so paralytically drunk / drugged, that he was asked to leave the club. He was in no state to get home, so son #1had to work out how to get a paralytically drunk man home from central London. In the days before he had a mobile, with only his wits to help him. That was enough. It was as though he (exH) had to do something SO awful that no one could put up with it, before I was “allowed” to call it a day.

But it took me several weeks to work out that it didn’t really matter if HE (exH) thought his behaviour was acceptable. I DID NOT, and that my feelings and beliefs were just as Viable and valuable and important as his. And I could not MAKE him understand me because he DID NOT WANT TO CHANGE. Oh, and that I did not need his agreement to divorce him.

Fast forward to now. The reasons that my relationship with my exP (formally known as Mr Lily although we are not married) is over are MY reasons. They are deal breakers FOR ME. And he will never agree, he will never think I’m being reasonable. But I Do. And that IS good enough. He will not agree, he will not understand. That will not happen. And I will wait forever for the day that he says ” yes, you are right, I have behaved unreasonably ”

I am afraid, that he will undermine me if I see him. That he will convince me again that I am WRONG. that it’s ridiculous, stupid, blinkered , that I don’t know what I Feel. And that what I feel is stupid.

I need to think about this. Why should I believe his version of My reality? Why do I do that? Is he coercive? Emotionally abusive? Just outspoken? Harsh, cruel. I don’t know. Or is the “fault” mine, that I have not stood up for myself ( or the boys) enough, not argued each little point that I disagreed with, allowed him leeway, which he took as tacit agreement – that I agreed with him. Am in fact as wrong as he says I am?

Why have I ignored my “feelings”, no , my deepest instinct telling me, SCREAMING AT ME THAT THIS IS NOT OK, for such a long time? Why have I not raised this issues In a take it or leave it way? I have been questioning the future of this relationship for 3 years.

What is wrong with me?

And WHY am I still not 100% sure it’s done. Because it should be. And not one person, even HIS friends, who have seen inside this house what goes on, have said that I should consider ‘the other side’; not one.

 


12 comments

  1. Big hug
    It is a hard hard thing to leave what is familiar, even if it is shitty.
    It sounds like you are slowly beginning to trust yourself and realize your feeling are all that matter! That is so awesome. You are a strong woman.

    Keep connecting to that inner peace that you feel when things are as you want them to be. Is it there when you imagine reconciling with mr Lily! If not, what would that offer you?

    I also struggle with how I feel. I have been working on Alexithymia therapy with my therapist, as I score high on the test. But some of that is spending years trying to make everyone else happy at our expense, and not realizing it. It takes time to figure out how sensations and emotions connect.

    You are on the right path.

    Anne

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    • Interestingly I score low on the alexithymia tests. I think I’m just weak and have low self esteem. And of course I am a people pleaser. And a carer and a not hostile/ cynical creature. Sigh. Therapy for me …

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  2. Wow! This post and your last one are so powerful. After reading them my first thought was what an amazing woman you are! I agree with Ann, it’s hard to leave something that’s familiar-even when it’s horrible. When you described the scene last night, at home with your boys watching a movie and how peaceful it was, the thought that came to mind was, “Now they can breathe!” While it may not have seemed like it while you were living it, I think there was almost a holding of the breath by everyone-just waiting for the next explosion. That’s a horrible way to live and extremely stressful. Please don’t doubt yourself. You say that you struggle with your feelings. So you are in somewhat new territory here coupled with your newfound sobriety. It’s okay. You are doing all the right things. Try to find that peaceful place you were in last night watching TV. When things get tough, think of that and then compare it to a night with your Ex. Yes, it may be tough for awhile learning a new way to live. But it can also be exciting for you to be able to create that new way in the way that is right and healthy for you.

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    • Yes, we can breathe. We can interact. We can rebuild our small family. We can learn how to interact with each other with love and not with competition, hostility and blame. Thank you 🌷

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  3. Lily you will have many a weak moment, questioning whether what you have done is right. Let me ask you this, If you had a friend that you adored, and you could be a fly on the her wall, and saw her partner treating her and her children the way you and children are treated, what would you tell your friend? Would you say that she and her children deserve so much better? You and your children are entitled to nights like this every night. Good luck

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  4. Lily that sounds like a wonderful evening. If you build up a whole bunch of those, I bet you will never look back! I can relate to so much of what you have said – not speaking up for myself, letting someone tell me I am crazy or wrong about how I feel. I am now realizing how much I have swallowed my feelings and let this happen. Taking the first steps is hard, but clearly worth it. I love reading about people who have given up drinking, worked through the hard stuff and are enjoying the other side. I really want to make it there too so I keep working through all these emotions. I appreciate your sharing your story as it helps me figure out mine as well! Hugs

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    • Kelly, I am not remarkable in any way. I’m an ordinar woman with her share of faults .. But I’m walking a path I know I need to , which will improve my life and that of my kids. When I look at my dying friend I give thanks that I have the opportunity. Don’t force yourself, read, absorb, think, reflect . It will, come. With love lily 🌷

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  5. The more details you give, the more it sounds like you’re absolutely doing the right thing. Your evening at home sounds lovely and much deserved. The fact that nobody else who knows you both is questioning the rightness of your decision speaks volumes. I too have walked on eggshells at home and now I don’t. I could never go back to living like that and you don’t have to either. Stay strong, hugs x

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  6. I think as wives and mothers we have a string sense of family and doing what is right. The conflict you are feeling is normal because you are making the decision to walk away from someone who is not right and yet at the same time realising that single parenting is no easy road. I think deep down you know you have made the right choice and only time will heal the pain that comes from making such a big decision.

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