Home→Forums→Relationships→He cheated on his girlfriend with me, but dumped me for her in the end
- This topic has 111 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 9 months, 1 week ago by HoneyBlossom.
March 25, 2022 at 7:04 am #396096AnonymousGuest
Hugs back to you, and you are welcome. You are working hard for long hours, no wonder you are exhausted! I hope you rested well by the time you are reading this.
“I also wanted to say that despite receiving the same type of abuse as you both, as I read your words, I wanted to punch out both your parents and mine too. How dare they.” – your (mental) punching is much appreciated!
“I have no doubt you were both beautiful children… I feel such love for neglected and abused animals. They are so easy to love and so deserving of kindness. Perhaps (I) see myself in her and in caring for her, I am caring for myself” – thank you, all children are beautiful and should be treated with kindness. I like the idea of you caring for yourself when you care for your dog.
“I did discuss in therapy, but it will always be painful” – what happened in my childhood is tragic as far as the life of this one individual is concerned (me), but I feel less and less pain about it the more I share about it. I will never pressure anyone to share about their childhood pain though and I respect anyone’s preference to not talk about it.
“I could never have treated my child as I was treated… he has grown up to be very confident and is living his dream life” – congratulations for a job well done, motherhood is the most important job there is.
March 25, 2022 at 9:15 am #396106AnonymousGuest
- This reply was modified 1 year ago by .
“I encourage you to tell me whenever something crops up that you would like me to change in the future and please clarify any assumptions or misunderstandings” – I encourage you the same.
“Would you mind clarifying why you feel uncomfortable with me saying ‘I’m very sorry for the way you were treated!’?” – I was uncomfortable thinking that after every time I share with you about how I was mistreated as a child, you’d respond with “I am sorry” or “I am very sorry”. Anticipating such a repeated response discouraged me from sharing further.
Why does a series of I-am-sorry, or I-am-very-sorry responses bother me in this context? Because when I, for example, accidently bump into a person because I am not looking where I am going, I’d say “I am sorry!” What I am sorry about, in this example, is making a person uncomfortable or alarmed for a moment. When that happens, I say my sincere I-am-sorry and I move on. On the other hand, years and decades of a child’s misery is too much of an eternity to fit into a series of I-am-sorry, particularly on the computer screen. To me, a repeated I-am-sorry in this context feels perfunctory, careless, dismissive.
“You are correct Anita, that is my interpretation of love… I encourage you to share your own definition of love if you would like to” – I agree with your definition, that a necessary ingredient in love is Respect. Without respect, there is no love. In yet other words, love and disrespect (and love and abuse) are mutually exclusive.
“In this quote your mother essentially stated that she didn’t like you” – interesting, in the quote of my mother saying: “the only thing I like about you is (this)”, I focused on the I-like, as in: she likes me… for this. When I read your valid interpretation, my focus moved from she likes me (however minimally) to she didn’t like me.
“It is a rather horrific thing to say to a child. It made me feel sad and angry for little Anita” – thank you for shifting my focus above, and for your empathy here.
“As you said, fight, flight and freeze are instinctual responses to danger and the purpose of this instinctual response is to protect yourself. I hope this clarifies why I used those words?” – yes, you clarified why you used the verb to protect. I made the point that it is nature’s choice, not my individual choice (that is behind the FFF response to danger) because I used to feel very guilty for… everything (including for nature’s choices), so when I read your words (to protect) I injected into it a suggestion that you did not make, which is that I made an individual choice to protect myself, and that as an individual choice, it may have been the wrong choice, for which I may be guilty. I then proceeded to defend myself against an unmade accusation. I need to be more aware of this kind of injection, or projection in the future.
“Do you think your mother did or said anything to elicit those feelings of her being a hurt little girl that you should protect?” – she fit the histrionic personality disorder criteria to a tee. She went on for hours and hours… and hours about her painful life past and present, crying, wailing, talking about suicide, about her life not worth living, showing me her wrists, where she already cut herself, or where she would cut herself, or both, I don’t remember. These episodes ended only when she was exhausted and what proceeded was an eerie silence lasting for days and nights, her silent withdrawal. She would then return to her normal until the next time, and then again.
“As a small child she used me as a confidante. Telling me all of her fears and pain” – she told me a whole lot about a whole lot, not only during the histrionic episodes but in between (during her normal) talking to me a lot, a whole lot, too much, non-stop, couldn’t escape her ongoing barrage of words.
“It sounds like you had a lot of empathy for your mother“, “and potentially blamed yourself for her condition. Would you agree?” -yes.
“If you don’t mind me asking what are your thoughts about this now, as a mature adult?” – now, after lots of healing work, and after having no contact with her (my choice) since 2013, I understand that the child that I saw in her eyes, heard in her voice, the child for whom I felt great empathy, that child was gone before I was born, and its mental entity (aka her inner child) is locked within the woman she became.
I still feel empathy for the child that she was (the one I never had the chance to meet), but I know that there is absolutely nothing I could have ever done to mother that child…because I was the real child born to a woman, not the other way around.
In regard to freeing and healing her inner child, even if as an adult, I had a psychotherapist license, (1) an adult-child lacks the objectivity needed to be able to act as her mother’s psychotherapist, (2) it is not possible for an abused person to act as a psychotherapist of the abuser!
“I would say that I found sexual and physical abuse most painful and disregarded the impact of verbal abuse and neglect as a child” – my mother insisted on washing me way into my teenage years, I remember the acute shame and the dread every time I was required to call her name while standing naked in the bathtub. She insisted that I wasn’t capable of getting all the dirt off of me.
“Frequently, she explained away her abuse… saying that ‘she didn’t know better’” – same here. Since I was a teenager and read some self-help books, I tried to help her to… know better, but I failed.
“I can understand your feelings of guilt. I had feelings of guilt with my own mother” – if you would like to answer, what was your guilt about and what is the status of that guilt?
anitaMarch 25, 2022 at 2:25 pm #396123
Thank you for your replies and kindness! I will have to reply tomorrow. Things have been a bit stressful and busy today.
Best wishes to you both ❤️March 25, 2022 at 2:39 pm #396125AnonymousGuest
Thank you, Helcat, for your note and for your good wishes. I hope you will soon experience calm and that you rest well.
anitaMarch 27, 2022 at 3:29 pm #396338
Hi Anita and Helacat. I go to hospital for surgery later today in a couple hours. Just going to have a short sleep. I worked 2 sleepovers this weekend and started work 5.30am today. Probably won’t go back T to work u n til Friday.
Missing my dogs as I haven’t seen them 2 days. I’m looking forward to being knocked out with anzesthetic for a few hours as I just want everything to stop for a while. When I came home from work yesterday, I had to mow my grass which takes a few hours then went back to work.
Hopefully by end of this week, I will be feeling better.
Take care and I will post when I can. XXXMarch 27, 2022 at 3:36 pm #396339AnonymousGuest
You are an amazingly strong woman, inspiring! I mean, working so many hours, two sleepovers this very weekend, mowing the grass after work, and going to surgery in a couple of hours? You amaze me, HoneyBlossom!
May you rest well and have a successful surgery! I am looking forward to reading from you when you can.
anitaMarch 28, 2022 at 8:58 am #396355
Sorry for the delay, it’s been a stressful couple of days. My thoughts have been with you. Good luck with your surgery! Please take it easy and rest afterwards, I hope you feel better soon.
I love dogs too, they’re such beautiful souls that radiate joy. I feel like they’re more trustworthy than people.
It sounds like you’re a great mom. Congratulations on breaking the cycle.
I remember asking my therapist if the pain would every go away. She said it’s unlikely, but the pain gets smaller and easier to bear in time. Personally, I have found this to be true.
March 28, 2022 at 9:30 am #396357
- This reply was modified 12 months ago by Helcat.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply! Apologies for the delay, it’s been a stressful couple of days. I find it difficult to discuss a stressful topic and manage daily stressors at the same time. How are you doing?
I really appreciated that you shared your feelings with me. Now that you’ve explained, I can understand why you feel that way. Needless to say, this was not my intent. In my experience, there are three main contexts for saying sorry. The first you outlined already, the second is a meaningful empathetic apology when correcting a more serious mistake or poor behavior. The third involves empathising with a painful experience. The latter was my intent.
A question occurred to me. Did your mother ever apologise to you?
Language is very much open to interpretation. We are not mind readers and we don’t know each other’s intent. I think the sensitivity of the topic can further add to that. I don’t know about you, but I do find that discussing such things brings up old feelings. But I am finding it helpful for identifying when this occurs throughout my day. It is helping me reframe things. I understand now, that I’m not necessarily upset by what is in front of me, but that certain things such as arguments cause painful feelings from the past to arise.
From what you have shared about your mother, my mother seems very similar to yours. To the point that I find myself joking that we could have had the same mother.
My guilt as a child was about fantasising that she would die so I might be free from her. Fortunately, I no longer carry that. I think it was understandable given the situation.
Another main difference, is that I didn’t have a lot of empathy for my mother. When I was younger I did, but as I matured I became more aware of the abuse and I grew very tired of her behavior.
From my perspective, people choose how they behave. Not all who are abused go on to abuse others. The ones who don’t, don’t want to pass on the pain that was given to them. They also understand the importance of doing something more difficult like practicing self-control as opposed to lashing out at others, which is very easy. I made that decision when I was 12, I believe that there are opportunities that people have to repeatedly make that decision.March 28, 2022 at 11:07 am #396358AnonymousGuest
I am okay, thank you. “it’s been a stressful couple of days” – I appreciate you for replying to me even though you’ve been stressed, and on top of it, this topic being distressing. Many people wouldn’t have bothered to reply.
“There are three main contexts for saying sorry… The third involves empathising with a painful experience. The latter was my intent” – I used to hate every I-am-sorry and other expressions of empathy because I had to live without empathy for too long, growing up with a mother who owned empathy and insisted that none of it belonged to me. Plus, she was a very insincere, two-faced person, showering people she despised with flattery and gifts. Fast forward, when I read your I-am-sorry, I believed that it was an expression of sincere empathy on your part. But I didn’t trust myself to keep viewing it this way a 2nd, 3rd, 4th time if you repeated the expression.
I now feel okay with original expressions of empathy: it is easier for me to trust the sincerity of an original expression of empathy over the standard I-am-sorry because for too many people, I-am-sorry in any context is a knee jerk reaction, not a sincerely felt expression.
“A question occurred to me. Did your mother ever apologise to you?” – no.
“Language is very much open to interpretation. We are not mind readers and we don’t know each other’s intent” – I agree. This is why, when displeased with something we read (or hear or see), it is important that we ask ourselves: is there a possible different interpretation to the one that displeased me just now: is there a 2nd (or 3rd) possible interpretation? And then ask the other person questions and find out the correct interpretation.
“My guilt as a child was about fantasising that she would die so I might be free from her” – I fantasized the same, and I fantasized about being left an orphan with a chance of living elsewhere. I daydreamed about who would take me in and how it would be, living with them.
“Another main difference, is that I didn’t have a lot of empathy for my mother. When I was younger I did, but as I matured I became more aware of the abuse and I grew very tired of her behavior” – I remember very well feeling intense anger at my mother ever since I was a teenager, or earlier. I did not become aware that I felt empathy and love for her until the last few years, long after I no longer had contact with her. I think that the role of the anger was to protect myself from her (it is dangerous to love someone who hurts you). It was only when my decision to never see/hear her again solidified in my mind and heart a few years ago (a few years after my last contact with her), that I relaxed and remembered and felt empathy and love for her.
“From my perspective, people choose how they behave. Not all who are abused go on to abuse others. The ones who don’t, don’t want to pass on the pain that was given to them…. practicing self-control as opposed to lashing out at others, which is very easy. I made that decision when I was 12, I believe that there are opportunities that people have to repeatedly make that decision” – said so well I wanted to repeat it. Congratulations for making this decision when you were 12 and thank you for making it!
“I find it difficult to discuss a stressful topic and manage daily stressors at the same time… I don’t know about you, but I do find that discussing such things brings up old feelings” – it is difficult and stressful for me too, to have this conversation with you, but I am willing to continue. Having said that, I am sincerely okay with you choosing to not continue; you are welcome to end this conversation at any time for any reason, and I wish you the best no matter your choice.
anitaMarch 29, 2022 at 2:53 am #396374
Hugs and THANK YOU to you both. I’m finally home, not long ago. All went okay. The tumor was larger than showed up on scan. I see surgeon again on 12th April with pathology results which will show if they got it all.
I noticed more technology at the hospital since last time. Had 3 tubes going into me plus oxygen and they gave me a lot of narcotics to keep me as comfortable as possible. It was only discomfort and not pain – especially tubes into my weewees which I didn’t like much. Didn’t get much sleep as the nurses kept coming around. Had some probs with my blood pressure but got all the help I needed.
Doggies don’t come home until tomorrow. I don’t anticipate driving tomorrow. I want to be sure all the narcotics out of my system and I had some today too.
My friend Rosemarie collected me and brought me home. She has been s o wonderful. Son been in regular contact. The one ex I have stayed in contact with every now and then been sending me texts. There was no big breakup with him. It was more of a fade-out with him when I moved to country, but that was not a relationship with a future either. He had been o n his own for 16 years when we got together. Couple mint h s later he was diagnosed with lymphoma. I stayed with him through all that. By his own account, he gets very grumpy and difficult, and it’s a much better arrangement for me to remainbfriends only. We do share a passion for horses and dogs and he has always had around 6 cats as well. Lives with his adult daughter near the beach 5 hours away. He has visited me before and going to pass through in a few weeks. Been inviting me to go stay with him and his daughter when I can. I might get there one of these days.
I hope you are both well. Haven’t seen Pink around for a bit. Hope she is okay.March 29, 2022 at 5:45 am #396399
I’m glad the hospital staff and your friend have been taking good care of you and your friends and family are checking in! I hope the results will bring good news for you.
It was very kind of you to support your ex through lymphoma when he is very grumpy and difficult.
I bet your dogs can’t wait to see you tomorrow and they will smother you with love.
Things have calmed down on my end and I am less stressed now. Family drama lol.March 29, 2022 at 6:12 am #396401
I have been less stressed since yesterday. I will probably take breaks from replying as before and leave you a note when things are feeling overwhelming.
You are very deserving of empathy Anita. It’s unfortunate that some parents just see children as possessions or an extension of themselves instead of as individuals with their own needs.
Thank you for clarifying that more original expressions of empathy are suitable for you.
I hated the phrase “It’s okay” for a long time. People would say it in an attempt to “calm” me while they were abusing me.
Ah thank you for explaining that this feeling of empathy was accessible once the relationship ended. I don’t think I have ever relaxed my views regarding my mother. I have difficulty forgiving people that refuse to acknowledge their mistakes. Some things, I believe cannot be forgiven.
I did remember thanks to our conversations that my mother was younger when she had me and my father was at least 10 years her senior, with an abandoned other family. He abandoned us too which is why there is little mention of him. As an adult I find his behaviour very concerning because birth control existed and he didn’t seem to care about the damage he left behind in either situation. When I was younger I fixated on him as an absent figure as a good person somehow because the moments I spent with him he was kind to me. Someone who wasn’t there was somehow better than the person that was there abusing me.
I am comfortable sharing these things with you Anita, as you share many similar experiences, are kind and insightful. I value our conversations, it’s just the topic that can be stressful at times. As long as I take care of myself by taking breaks when other stressors pile on I’m able to continue our conversations. I hope that you will take breaks if needed too? Please let me know if things become too difficult.March 29, 2022 at 10:47 am #396410
Dear Anita and Helacat, you are both such amazingly strong and aelf-insightful women. It’s too difficult for me to speak much of actual incidents of abuse. Firstly, where could I start. It went back as far as I can remember and it’s triggering for me to talk about.
I can though talk about my emotions by creating psychological distance from the events which happened over many years which entailed physical, verbal, emotional and psychological abuse. It shaped me to become a person who always felt that I was not as good as or as deserving as others. Within my own family, I believe I was the bottom of the wrung child. I know I was unplanned and unwanted (I was told that on numerous occasions).
Now I have entered my senior years, and who knows how long any of us have left. There is nothing I can do about my family or my life. My relationships resembled my family life in some ways. Thank God I live alone now where there is peace and I can choose who comes into my life and who doesn’t. XXXMarch 29, 2022 at 1:05 pm #396419AnonymousGuest
“I did remember thanks to our conversations that my mother was younger when she had me and my father was at least 10 years her senior” – as I read this, I had an amazed smile on my face, in regard to our similarities: my mother was 20 when she had me and my father was 10 years older than her.
“He abandoned us too… When I was younger, I fixated on him as an absent figure as a good person” – my mother and father got divorced when I was 5 or 6, he dated women way before and after the divorce and therefore was busy, later to marry a third wife and have 2 more children. I didn’t think of him as a good person because before I had the chance to form my own opinions, my mother repeatedly told me in so many ways that he was a bad person who hurt her so much and who spent his money (not on his children, my sister and me, at the time) but on “whores” as she put it. Looking back, I can see that he was indeed very impulsive and far from being a good husband or father.
“The topic that can be stressful at times. As long as I take care of myself by taking breaks when other stressors pile on, I’m able to continue our conversations. I hope that you will take breaks if needed too? Please let me know if things become too difficult” -I will and yes, let us both takes breaks when stressed. I am glad to read that you’ve been less stressed since yesterday, I hope this is still the case.
“I hated the phrase ‘It’s okay’ for a long time. People would say it in an attempt to ‘calm’ me while they were abusing me” – understandable, and thank you for sharing this, I don’t ever want to say that phrase to you, coming to think about it, I don’t like it myself.
“I don’t think I have ever relaxed my views regarding my mother. I have difficulty forgiving people that refuse to acknowledge their mistakes. Some things, I believe cannot be forgiven” – I want to clarify, I did not relax my views regarding my mother, and I do not forgive her, nor will I try to forgive her. What I accessed after a few years of no-contact was the feelings of love that I had for her early on, a feeling that resided under my angry awareness. This love for her does not mean that she deserves it from me, or that she is not who she is. This love means that I was a loving girl in the very beginning of my life.
Thank you for your original expressions of empathy, and for your kindness and grace! This is very refreshing to me and much appreciated!
anitaMarch 29, 2022 at 1:24 pm #396420AnonymousGuest
You didn’t mention the surgery, did it take place???
“It’s too difficult for me to speak much of actual incidents of abuse. Firstly, where could I start. It went back as far as I can remember and it’s triggering for me to talk about” – too much pain is attached to the memories of abuse, it’s difficult to … choose to feel pain by sharing about it, isn’t it?
“Physical, verbal, emotional and psychological abuse… shaped me to become a person who always felt that I was not as good as or as deserving as others” – the abuse did not shape you to become a person who is not as good and deserving as others; the abuse shaped you to become a person who feels/ believes that she is not as good and deserving as others.
“Thank God I live alone now where there is peace, and I can choose who comes into my life and who doesn’t” – a child does not have the option of living alone and choosing who comes into one’s life and who doesn’t, and that’s the tragedy of a child being born into abuse.
Thank you for your kind words, HoneyBlossom, and if I may say so, you are a good and deserving person!