The “processing” process

My therapy session today looked again at some recurring themes in my life. Control, anxiety , low self esteem, poor boundaries, lack of self respect (drinking / abnormal eating patterns) .

Sober, I have made some quite significant progress in understanding how these things link together, in part how they originated and the healing process and self awareness is developing. My therapist tells me she believes I will not make similar mistakes again – that “processing”, becoming self aware, ‘knowing stuff’ is a kind of a one way street – once you know this stuff, you can’t ‘un-know’ it… and that a space where I learn more and shore up my self respect, will mean that if I am ever brave (or foolish) enough to enter the dating pool again, I will know what I good for me and what is not.

i don’t quite share her confidence yet, but as I have no intention of doing any such thing at present, I suppose that doesn’t matter. And yet I think about it. Angela asked me why? And I think it’s because. I am afraid I will never again love anyone as much as I did ex P. I do see, and believe, that what I loved was a mirage, the “too good to be true” charming, handsome, interesting person he presented as. The reality, which started to emerge after about 12 months, is that he is undermining, selfish, bullying, critical and dishonest. All that he presented to me initially was a facade behind which an anxious, insecure, narcissistic and aggressive person was lurking.

I remember the early days or our relationship;  a breathless whirl of adoration and excitement, how lucky and happy I felt, how I felt, I had finally, at 46, met “the one”. How we seemed to say and think the same things at the same moment, how pleasing and cherishing me seemed to be his first priority. And yet it was all SO wrong.

in the end he had chipped away at my already fragile self confidence, making comments about my appearance, my ‘crap’ son, my ‘shit business’ (which incidentally provided him with every penny he spent for years) , shouted at me for coughing In the night, refused to discuss anything with me that he didn’t want to, threw things at me, abused emotionally all of my children (although the eldest the worst) and left me tens of thousands of pounds in debt.

And then I get angry all over again. Really really angry. With myself for being so spineless, for having seemingly learned NOTHING from my marriage; for allowing him to take advantage of me, for believing his words and not looking at his actions, Angry with him for all of the above reasons but most of all for NOT caring at all how I felt.

I know that anger fades. I don’t want it because it indicates that strong emotions remain. Anger or hate is not the opposite of love;  no, the opposite of love is indifference. And I know I will, in time “process” the anger, express it, mull it over, talk it through and it will settle. What I am afraid of is that the intensity of love will never return. I will never meet anyone I can love as I loved him … and that’s bollocks because what I loved didn’t really exist.

I just have to have faith that in time I will process that too.

 


8 comments

  1. I was just thinking to myself the other day about something similar. I questioned whether I’d ever feel the same way that I felt about my ex-husband, except for someone new. Of course, what I was feeling for him was actually how I felt about my idea of him, not who he actually was. My idea of him painted him as my best friend, my confidante, the person who knew me best and accepted me regardless of my quirks. What he actually was, was a man who is very good at maintaining a facade of happiness and satisfaction until the moment he sees a way out. He’s a man who will smile to your face one day, then treat you like a stranger the next. He’ll turn his back on years of history, struggles and success, if he no longer feels like your presence benefits him. The person I thought I loved, and the person I was actually with, were two completely different men.

    It’s hard to come to terms with this, but I’m glad you’ve begun to see it for yourself. Facing the truth is the difficult part; now that you know it, hopefully you can feel even more freedom to move forward in your life in a way that’s good for you.

    And as for finding love again, I wouldn’t personally write it off quite yet 😉 you honestly never know what might happen.

    Cheers ❤️

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    • Thank you. Your experience sounds very painful, do you think, with hindsight you could have spotted these traits earlier? Because if not, how can one ever trust anyone again ? ☹️lily 🌷

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      • I actually do think so, yes. Part of my personal problem was that, in actuality, I knew that he possessed some of those traits long before we married – particularly the trait that caused him to say goodbye to lifelong friends over minor arguments, and the trait of unfaithfulness – but I blatantly chose to ignore them because I was convinced (and he had me convinced) that I wouldn’t ever be victim to those particular traits. That’s the part that really sucks – I knew some of these things about him, yet I proceeded anyway.

        I think it helped me be more cautious, too. When I started dating my most recent ex, he would shower me with adoration and affection and attention. I was his world. But I noticed that if I ever said I didn’t like something, or if I didn’t respond the way he anticipated, it would be a pouting tantrum for the next several hours. I started feeling uneasy, like the whole thing was unstable and ripe for an implosion. So when I ended things, my hunch was proven right; the guy started stalking me online, wouldn’t listen to my requests for him to stop contacting me, and moved across several states to live in my city (he was a 12 hour drive away when we started dating).

        That may be an extreme example, but my point is that quite often, when we know, we know – we just have to be willing to listen to ourselves and listen to our instincts. They’re there for a reason. ☺️

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      • It mist have been dreadful for you – both relationships, but I find it hugely reassuring that, even though you chose to ignore them, your instincts recognised these traits.

        I saw things in my ExP too that I ignored, although deep down they concerned me. E.g. No income; almost 50 years old and no home, stability, few long term friends (well none actually ) and other things. I ignored them because I fell in love.

        In the future I hope I will LISTEN to what I ‘know’ see and believe… like you did.. xx🌷

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  2. Give yourself time.
    The more you get to know yourself, the more confident in your own decisions and needs you will become.
    It doesn’t happen over night, but it does happen, every time we forgive ourselves, every time we say no to things we really don’t want to do, every time we hug ourselves and say I love you.

    You are doing it. It’s so beautiful…

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    • Thanks Anne. I know it needs time, and my rational brain accepts and welcomes this. My damaged part wants to block out the uncomfortable feelings and pain, with more limerence … I won’t though. Love Lily 🌷

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    • Thats so kind. If anything I have written has helped than I’m so pleased. I write mainly as an outlet for myself, I can look back and see how I have changed and developed. The key, is and was sobriety. Where I am now is hard, but at least its real, and things will get better.. I hope they do for you too. Lily xx

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