November 24, 2020 at 10:04 am #369829
“I was never hit by my parents, and in turn, my siblings and I never hit each other”- a powerful statement. But his experience is different from yours, and in turn… he has (verbally) hit you.
As a child he felt the acute pain of being betrayed by those he looked up to for love and protection. This pain was so intense that he shut it down automatically by repressing it, dissociating from it. Hence he told you the stories “in a no big deal manner”. But do not be mislead by his style of delivering his stories- his childhood experiences of betrayal were a very, very big deal for him.
“When we were together, every Friday and Saturday night we would make ice cream cones and bring them into bed, propped up, just chatting or watching tv”- I am imagining this scene. In his brain, it was special, comforting, this is why he referred to you as his home. Problem is, he needed those Friday and Saturday nights, enjoying ice cream safely, with loving attention- when he was a child. Forty or fifty years later, it’s the wrong timing. The ice cream will not take away that repressed, yet very real and ongoing acute pain of his childhood.
anitaNovember 24, 2020 at 10:58 am #369831
Funny you should mention “betrayed by those he looked up to for love and protection.” He has said to me, referring to my high school past, that he felt “betrayed.” I could never understand that since I didn’t know him. Misplaced betrayal perhaps.
I’m off to therapy. I just need to get through these holidays. My heart is heavy.
KatieNovember 24, 2020 at 11:30 am #369837
“Misplaced betrayal perhaps”- you didn’t betray him, so it is not a maybe that his feeling of betrayal is misplaced- it is surely so. Isn’t it?
“My heart is heavy”- I hope it is lighter after your therapy. I would like to read- if you feel like sharing- what happened in your therapy session today.
anitaNovember 24, 2020 at 2:14 pm #369846
Many things were discussed. My therapist said communicating with him opening the door and letting him stand in the foyer. Then things get comfortable and he moves into the living area of the house. Meanwhile, none of the issues that brought us to this breaking point are discussed. He feels that I need to either hear in the conversations that he recognizes his behaviors are not appropriate, or I need to get into a therapy session with him. Of course, I’m giving you the condensed version.
He also felt that perhaps he thought holidays would be spent together as they were in the past, as he asked me “What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” But, he’s not being welcomed back into the family until he makes amends with me…and my daughter. Can’t just waltz right back in where you left off.
I feel better after therapy. I’ve known my therapist since 2008 and he doesn’t hold back. Years ago I would talk about how easy my relationship was with “bf”, which is the way it’s supposed to be. Now, it’s the exact opposite.
Therapy does kick my butt though. Emotions flow and it’s exhausting. Right now I feel like I’ll give it a bit more time to see what indications he gives me that he’s really worked on himself, or I’ll talk about being invited into a therapy session.
KatieNovember 24, 2020 at 2:36 pm #369850
I like your therapist! I agree- if I may say so- that he should be allowed to move “into the living room area of the house”- the idea of it angers me. He has to make amends to you in a very serious manner, to ask your forgiveness, to show you his commitment to do right by you, before he is allowed back in.
It is a matter of basic decency- he has hurt a woman who did nothing but love him- if he doesn’t acknowledge it- at the least- it means that he is not a decent person. And why would you allow an indecent man into the living area of your house…?!
anitaNovember 25, 2020 at 2:22 pm #369896
My therapist is awesome. He tells it like it is, and is very forthcoming in “this is what I see should happen”. I know some therapists want you to figure it out on your own, but he’s not that way. He listens, asks questions, wants to know how I feel about something, then much discussion. If I say, “What should I do? I just don’t know.” He offers the advice that I need. He knows me well enough to give the answer specific to me.
Yesterday on the way to Dunkin Donuts with my daughter, seeing all the decorated houses for Christmas made me mention “I’m not ready for the holidays. I just can’t get into it.” Her response was “You shouldn’t let one person ruin the entire rest of your year.” She said it not in a soothing way, but in a “get over it mom” way. That really upset me. I’ve spent 5 Christmas’s with my “bf” and this year is not my normal. I thought she would have more empathy, but she did not. Hence, my disappointment in possibly not seeing my son tonight.
I’m going to try my best to enjoy the day tomorrow.
This morning I felt stronger, but as the day wore on I’m kinda getting down. My son has a manuscript he’s working on so he may not come over until tomorrow morning. No big deal, I just was really looking forward to seeing him tonight.November 25, 2020 at 4:45 pm #369904
It’s twenty to eight pm your time, 20 to five my time, and yet it is almost dark. Try to relax best you can tonight and tomorrow. Your therapist sounds great, I am glad you have a quality therapist. Your daughter wasn’t empathetic to you probably because of her emotional struggles, too struggling to have the capacity for empathy. Maybe she is jealous of your love for him, wanting more of you for herself(?)
Tomorrow morning you will see your son and the three of you should have a calm holiday, keeping it simple, easy, have calming music if needed and puzzles too… Let me know how it goes.
Happy, or better: Calm and Pleasant Thanksgiving to you, your son and daughter!
anitaNovember 25, 2020 at 5:39 pm #369911
Tonight on our way to Dunkin Donuts, my daughter said I seem quiet and am I thinking of “bf”. I said was but trying not to focus on it too much. She reminded me that I have a lot to be thankful for, and reminded me of our Thanksgiving from 2011. My son, who at that time was her age, 22, had a head injury, concussion, and areas of bleeding requiring 2 brain surgeries. His traumatic brain injury left him without any disability; however, he was in and out of the hospital for about a month. This was during the time when I was going through a divorce with my abusive alcoholic ex. That was the worst Thanksgiving ever. I waited in the ICU waiting room for my son to come out of surgery. He could have died.
My daughter has had her own struggles in the past with suicidal thoughts. She’s come a long way but still has a long way to go.
Amazing how my daughter today I guess recognized my struggle, and found something to try to have me put things into perspective. I always thought the 3 of us (her, my son, me) were a powerful force. I will be with them tomorrow and be thankful that they are both with me. We’ve gone through hell together and somehow always make it out. I have to always remember this….we are stronger than we realize.
I wish you a pleasant Thanksgiving.
KatieNovember 26, 2020 at 5:57 am #369925
Good Thanksgiving Morning, Katie:
Thank you for wishing me a pleasant Thanksgiving.
What a story, a real-life amazing story! This is a Thanksgiving to be thankful for- the three of you together, The Powerful Force of Three- “gone through hell together and somehow always make it out”.
“I have to always remember this… we are stronger than we realize”- do remember this today, and focus your attention and your love (a powerful force)- on the three of you.
Whenever you find your mind wandering away, feeling sad for who is not there, bring your attention back to the ones who are there with you. Smile at them, maybe ask them individually about their wishes, dreams and/ or hopes for the next year, what they think about this or that, giving them new opportunities to express themselves to an attentive listener who thinks/ feels that they are enough to make it a Lovely Thanksgiving after all.
anitaNovember 28, 2020 at 5:32 am #370065
I hope you had a nice holiday.
My Thanksgiving Day started out very well. I was happy to see family, my mother, my son…those I haven’t seen in awhile. My kids and I seemed to not stray too far from each other; knowing that the three of us aren’t together that often and wanting to stay close. Thankfully, no one mentioned the “bf” because my family knows what’s going on. And, it wasn’t important for them on that day. After all, he was welcomed into the family but was not family.
When it was getting close to time to leave, there was talk about my great niece, who is 2, getting a new bed because my my nephew and his wife are expecting child #3 in January. Great niece is getting a queen bed just like a little queen. Then my niece was talking about her king size bed and how there’s so much room that when her fiance moves while sleeping on one side, she doesn’t feel him move. She was talking about how great that was. This was the only time I kind of felt a lump in my throat. My “bf” and I at his house slept in a twin bed with plenty of room. We always wanted to be next to each other, holding each other. At my house I have a king size bed and we were always in one small spot in that bed..way too much room.
When my kids and I said our good-byes to the family, we got into the car and I couldn’t hold back the lump in my throat. I started to cry; told them I just need a moment. They understood. Then, I wiped my tears and we drove home.
I heard from “bf” yesterday. He asked if my mother wondered why he wasn’t there. I told him my mother has been aware of the situation for awhile so there was no question asked. I guess he doesn’t realize my entire family knows that we aren’t together. Why he was wondering what my mother’s reaction was, I don’t know. I was talking with my mom last night and told her he had asked that question. She said “my answer would be ‘grow up'”. She made me chuckle.
Now onto the next holiday, which again will be a challenge. But I do get to see my son again in a few weeks. He mentioned he was coming home one weekend to get some work done for a company he’s worked for before.
KatieNovember 28, 2020 at 6:02 am #370067
My Thanksgiving was the calmest Thanksgiving I ever had and the food was delicious. Good to read back from you today. Good to read that your kids and you didn’t stray too far from each other, staying close, and that no one mentioned “bf”, that “it wasn’t important for them on that day” because, after all, he “was not family”.
You shared that you had a lump in your throat when your niece talked about how there is so much room in her king-size bed that when her fiancé moves on one side, she doesn’t feel him move; you remembered how you and “bf” slept holding each other”, even though there was plenty of room on your twin-bed.
“bf” contacted you the day after Thanksgiving asking if your mother “wondered why he wasn’t there”. You told your mother about his question and she said, “my answer would be ‘grow up'”- I share your mother’s sentiment. “bf” seems self-centered, it’s all about him: did anyone talk about me, was his question, kind of.
“bf” is not what you imagined he was when the two of you slept so close, holding each other, all-loving, all.. yours, so to speak. He is self-centered and quite selfish, I say.
When you have a memory/ an image of love with him- add to that image the image of him as a self-centered, selfish man who indeed needs to grow up- it may prevent that lump in your throat or dissolve it, if it was already formed. Seeing more of reality makes us mentally healthier.
anitaNovember 28, 2020 at 6:54 am #370069
When he and I were together, we would go to my mom’s to visit her (they live in the same town). She absolutely loved him. She loved talking with him, she loved to see how connected he and I were, and she felt that I finally found the happiness that I so deserved after such a horrific marriage. I really think he is wondering what her opinion is of him now. I believe he still wants to feel accepted by her. But, that acceptance comes with a stipulation…me. My mother is concerned of how I am doing, not him. She wants happiness for me; she’s indifferent about what happens to him in his life. She has told me many times that he blew it. He had someone who loved him very much, someone he could have had a happy life with, but let childish issues get in the way of that.
My dad passed away in 2009 at the age of 72 (my mom was 68 at the time). My mom is going to be 82 in January. She talks about how life is short. She didn’t plan on having my dad taken away so soon; they didn’t have enough years together in retirement. Most of her retirement has been without him. She values life and relationships. And the fact that bf doesn’t value those things she feels makes him a fool. I miss my dad. He probably would have told bf to his face that he should man up and stop being a child. My dad did not show much affection, but he had a protective way about him and was quite a force to reckon with.
KatieNovember 28, 2020 at 7:47 am #370072
Your mother loved him for as long as she could see that he benefited you, that he was good for you. Now she is angry at him because he is no longer benefiting you, in fact, he is harming you.
You wrote that your father, who “had a protective way about him and was quite a force to reckon with”, would have told “bf” that “he should man up and stop being a child”-
– I know this is a figurative language, saying that “bf”, a grow man of almost 60 (if I remember correctly) is a child, and should “grow up”, as your mother said, but let’s look a bit deeper at this:
referring to a man as a child who should grow up, suggests that he is an innocent child, harmless, silly and all it takes is some maturity for him to do what’s right. But “bf” is not more innocent than he is a child. And he is harmful to you. See my point?
anitaNovember 28, 2020 at 8:05 am #370073
I do see your point. He’s not an innocent child and it should be so easy as to just grow up. He is making decisions and behaving as he would as an adult. I believe you have mentioned this before.
Today I don’t feel like doing much of anything. I’m actually feeling a bit down and have spent most of the morning with my cat hanging out in front of the fireplace. It’s Saturday and I know I don’t need to feel pressured to do anything, but still feel very unproductive.
My mom texted me this morning that she was having her first cup of coffee and wished I was there with her. I miss her but feel the trip to her house at this time would be so emotional for me and I don’t know what to do about that. As I said, bf and her live in the same town, as it’s the town we grew up in (it’s about 1.5 hours north). My trip to see her would be the same trail I would follow to see him, except once I reached town, I would turn left to see her; turn right to see him. It’s the trip I will need to take on Christmas Eve. Mom has Christmas Eve.
I think for now I need to get outside and take a walk. As much as my cat is enjoying my company, I need to do something to pull myself out of this hole. If I left myself, I could cry all day.
KatieNovember 28, 2020 at 8:22 am #370074
Nothing like a fast pace walk in the cold air outside to list your mood- it does it for me every time, it refreshes the brain, literally. Let me know how it goes.