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Losing steam, uncertain of my course.

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  • #379147
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Boris1010:

    I am sorry you experienced these difficulties. I am a very low tech myself, but what if you copied the texts and pasted them into a word document and then copy from the word. doc and paste here?

    anita

    #379229
    Boris1010
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    It’s the “paste” function that doesn’t work here; the source of that ‘paste’ is not relevant.  “Copy” simply places the highlighted text or image into temporary memory storage (“Clipboard”), and “Paste” dumps the content of the ‘clipboard’ into the active input field of a document or web page (such as this ‘reply to’ text entry box).

    Hate to spin off on a technical tangent; it’s a little like my Zoom meetings, where the technology can interfere with the flow of a meeting sometimes: problems logging in, people forgetting to mute or unmute their microphones, frozen or choppy video, stuttering or slow audio (which ironically enough can sound like the speaker is pretty well sloshed 🙂   ), and other minor things that pop up.

    Besides… it’s over.  All I can do is be who I am, and the real sting for me is that this was the first time I tried to be fully and authentically who I am (or who I see myself to be), and to have that first foray end like this is disheartening.  What I was surprised to learn from all this was the apparent depth of my desire for a clean start, to shed the baggage of my past.  To be seen with fresh eyes that don’t also see all of the not-so-good things that happened in years past, as is the case with my current situation.  When my wife looks at me, she sees more her idea of who I am, and a lot of past associations… sort of a composite image-over-time, not who I am right now.  It’s tough to get past things when they keep getting brought up on a regular basis.  There are things I’m trying to improve about myself and my behaviors, and when I frequently “get my nose rubbed in it,” it’s both irritating and engenders a feeling of “what’s the point, what’s the use?”

    Of course, I know that the point, the use, is for me to improve myself *for* myself; improving myself for others is simply a by-product of that.  Still… it feels like trying to swim with a scuba-diver’s lead weight belt on.  Discouraging.

    I don’t know… there were two brief moments with her (AA friend) in which I never felt so very close to another person; mutually understood and shared suffering was one moment (both of us perusing a “Do you think you have a drinking problem?” pamphlet, and “comparing notes” about the behaviors listed there (“I’ve done that…”   “You have??  ME TOO!”), and it was a moment that I think lifted a guilty load from us both.  The other… harder to describe, but extremely emotional – – for me, anyway.  I wanted more of those moments, understandably enough, I think, especially since moments like that have been so lacking for me prior to them.

    Enough wallowing.  It’s done, and the only way I could have done anything differently would have been to do what I’ve always done: cobble up a new mask to fit this person, so I would be accepted (or at least, not rejected).  If I need to be someone other than who I am to keep something going, then it’s not worth doing so, and is wasted effort.  I’m slowly finding it easier to expose more of who I really am, the more I practice acceptance and mindfulness and read books geared towards such things (“Radical Acceptance” and similar/related).  I don’t think either one of us was anywhere even near ready; in fact, my therapist was of the opinion that I had “dodged a bullet” when things unraveled.  He’s probably right.  And dwelling on what’s past is another thing I’ve always done… and it hasn’t served me well, so I’ll not dwell on it any further.  I’ll “mine” it for lessons, and pack it away with other things I don’t want to forget… but also don’t want to ruminate over.  Pointless rumination does nothing but prolong pain, and prevent healing.  Thoughtful reflection and looking for lessons is a far more healthy and fruitful way to go, I think.

    At any rate, I truly thank you both, Anita and TeaK (by the way… is that “Tee-Kay,” or “Teek,” like the wood?  I’m guessing the former), for your perspectives and your thoughts, and just for being willing to help others.

    #379230
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Boris1010:

    Thank  you for sharing your zoom meetings experience, heard of it of course, never experienced one.

    What I get from your recent post is that your wife cemented her idea of you in her own mind and she  keeps bringing up that idea when talking and interacting with you. She sees you with stale eyes, in the same old way as always, and because of that- in the context of your relationship with her- you are cemented, bound to her idea of you and imprisoned in it.

    In contrast, your former AA friend saw you with fresh eyes (“To be seen with fresh eyes”), and that allowed you a measure of freedom from your wife’ stale idea of you, freedom “to be fully and authentically who I am”- you had a glimpse into the possibility of being more than your wife’s stale idea of you.

    “Of course, I know that the point, the use, is for me to improve myself for myself”- we are social beings, or as the song says: we are people who need people, can’t help it. To be free to be you, it has to be in the context of a close relationship with another person, and unfortunately, your wife ain’t it.

    anita

    #379235
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Boris1010,

    you’re welcome, and it’s Tee-Kay 🙂

    I’ve been wanting to mention your marriage, because that’s what you’re left with and what you’re living every day… Your relationship with your wife is important and I wonder if you’d like to talk a bit more about it.

    You’ve said you got married at the age of 19, that you were quite immature for marriage, and that in your 30s you stopped drinking. Which means that you’ve been drinking at the time you got married and in the first more than a decade of your marriage. But your wife tolerated it? Or you were in the navy and not so much at home in those first years? Was it your wife who forced you to quit drinking in your 30s?

    After you quit drinking, you became clinically depressed and numb, a little like a robot. Is it then that your wife started having affairs with other men? How come she never wanted to leave you? What do you think you provided for her? Security? She must also have a feeling of superiority, always mentioning your past transgressions, as if she herself didn’t have any. And you have a sense of inferiority, believing you’re hollow, cannot think straight, cannot trust your judgment etc etc… So the two of you are a match in that sense. As long as you feel inferior, she’ll be bringing it up and reminding you how flawed you are indeed…

    If you’d like to talk a bit more about how your marriage got to be the way it is, please do so, it might turn out helpful.

    #379249
    Boris1010
    Participant

    Okay… just wrote “The History of Western Civilization” in reply (I’m constitutionally incapable of just dashing off a quick, brief reply).  Too much probably irrelevant detail… and also, upon skimming it, a whole lot of things that could pretty positively identify exactly who I am and who I’m talking about.  Probably too much of that in here already.

    In brief: Drinking was “weekend binge” variety.  She joined in smoking pot, but only for a while, being basically a non-drinker.  Alcoholism in her family, and she wanted no part of it.  Were together like any civilian couple, as I worked on a Naval base and she locally.  No at-sea or overseas duty.

    It was she that pressed me to stop drinking in my 30’s, and I did so, but for ‘external’ reasons, not for me, because I thought I needed to.

    The affairs started at less than one year married, and continued off and on for the first half of our approaching fifty year marriage.  She did leave me once, for almost a year, but when it didn’t work out with him (he got violent, tore up the apartment in a fit of rage), I ‘rescued’ her from the situation.  No affairs for years after that, but two more followed, one of them a long-term “friends with benefits” arrangement.  I think she loved him, but he never asked her to be with him, so she settled for me.  There’s a wonderful feeling for you: being settled for.  Just like being the last one picked (technically not picked at all, just all that was left) for basketball in gym.  Same feeling.

    I think security, plus I am loyal to a fault to people/places/things, and unswervingly dedicated to those I’m loyal to.  Something she does acknowledge and appreciate.  I’m *very* good with my hands, and can fix or build anything, so having a live-in handyman is a real perk, too.  I know she considers herself to be far more spiritually advanced than I am.  And she’s probably right, for all I know.

    I have trouble trusting my own judgement, because when I consider a situation, I see multiple possibilities for why it might be happening, and no one seems any more likely than any other to me.  I seem to see possibilities that many don’t, and my perfectionist fear of being wrong prevents me from coming down on any one (legacy of dear ol’ stepdad).  No trust in any choice, since I can’t decide which one to go with – – feels like flipping a coin.

    That’s the nutshell version.  Interested to see what *you* see!

    #379258
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Boris1010,

    thanks for sharing some more. Here’s how I see it… Your wife comes from an alcoholic family (was her father an alcoholic?), so she was attracted to men who remind her of her father, although she wasn’t aware of that consciously. One of her affairs, for whom she left you for a year, was a violent man (possibly also an alcoholic?) who “tore up the apartment in a fit of rage”. Although a part of her is attracted to alcoholics, another part craves security, and that’s why she chose you.

    You became “safe” in your 30s when you quit drinking. You were extremely safe – you were predictable like a robot, you did your job, was an excellent handyman, and tolerated her infidelities. She could meet her other needs (for romance, excitement, emotional sharing) with other men, but her strongest need – for safety – was met by you. You were her safe base, something she probably didn’t have while growing up.

    You on the other hand had extremely low self-esteem and believed you don’t deserve better, when she started cheating on you early in your marriage. You were a weekend drunk, which contributed to your feeling unworthy. When she started having affairs, you probably had one more reason to drink, to soothe the pain and hurt. It wasn’t anything new for you to feel miserable, so her infidelities were just one more source of pain, that you added to your list. You continued the practice of binge drinking on the weekends and forgetting about all the troubles… until something came up in  your 30s, and you were forced to stop.

    When you stopped drinking, you cut off your feelings altogether. You couldn’t afford yourself to feel anything because it would push you right back into drinking. With you being clinically depressed, she could relate to you less and less, and probably had even more need for other men. She even left you for a year, but then was shocked to the core when her boyfriend became violent. She run back to you, to her safe base. She was sure you’d never leave her, or never raise your hand on her. It felt good. That part feels good for her. When you started drinking again after your accident, she was adamant you seek help, because she couldn’t afford to lose the only thing she cherishes in your marriage: safety.

    You say don’t trust your judgment. That’s because you’re cut off from your emotions and your gut feeling. Without it, we cannot know what we want, what’s good for us, or even what’s right or wrong. We can’t decide with our emotions being cut off. So working on switching your emotions back on is really important. You’ll also feel better about yourself, because you’ll know what you want and what you don’t want.

    I guess somewhere deep down you’d find a lot of resentment towards your wife, for all the affairs and looking down at you over the years. Perhaps the sort of resentment you feel towards your stepfather?

    You say you’re loyal to her. Physically, yes. Before the AA woman, you didn’t have any emotions, so it was easy to be loyal, I guess. After that, you started an emotional affair (albeit one-sided) with the AA woman, and all that suppressed love and romance and excitement – which your wife craves for too – went to another woman. So you’re physically loyal, but emotionally not.

    Anyway, these are my remarks for now. Do you think I am seeing it right?

    #379268
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Boris1010:

    When you were a teenager, about 19, you met (I assume) another teenager, “an intensely social creature” who married you, a “nineteen going on fourteen.. extremely immature.. social cripple.. intensely shy, withdrawn, socially awkward.. the rejected outsider, teased and taunted and excluded”. I assume that (1) she was an unhappy teenager in her home of origin and wanted out quickly, (2) that she was sexually attracted to you, and (3) that she viewed you as too shy, too awkward, too rejected to say No to her and to a marriage with her as soon as she wanted it.

    As a young married couple you worked on a Naval base and she worked close by. At one point on, she worked as a teacher. If the marriage was a ship, she was the captain at the helm, steering it: “there’s been a whole lot of life we’ve faced together with her at the helm pretty much; I always play a supporting role”.

    For the first 15 years or so into the marriage you drank and did drugs. In your 30s you stopped drinking and remained sober into your 60s when you “got hurt on the job, surgery, chronic pain, inability to work, loss of sizeable 401K, home, just about everything”. At that time, you “wound up on opiates for chronic pain and under their influence, decided that if anyone deserved a damned drink, it was me”, and you resumed drinking. While this crisis was happening, your wife the captain steered the ship very well and saved the two  of you from losing everything: “Managed to land on my feet strictly through the efforts of my wife, who of the two of us is the only one that possesses a working brain and the drive to put it to use”. When she found out that you started drinking again, she “issued an ultimatum: AA or away. AA it was”.

    About her attitude and your anger: “she tends to recall mostly the bad.. not letting me forget.. insists on holding on to the past.. She’ll remind me, literally every week, that ‘so and so’ is going to be here, so I need to be aware of that and ‘behave’. In reference of an incident that happened once when I was drunk and ‘grayed out’… she never forgets a slight, and will continue to bring that incident up until one of us dies”.

    About loyalty, hers: “The affairs started at less than one year married, and continued off and on for the first half of our approaching fifty year marriage.. one of them a long-term ‘friends with benefits’ arrangement”. Yours: “I am loyal to a fault to people.. unswervingly dedicated to those I’m loyal to. Something she does acknowledge and appreciate”.

    A few synonyms to loyal (Merriam Webster): constant, dedicated, devoted, steady, true. It is easy to see her 25 years of extramarital affairs as being sexually and emotionally untrue to you. I can see that you were emotionally untrue to her from the very beginning of the marriage: “I was intensely self-involved and selfish and basically a loner anyway.. I really had no business getting married, but tell that to a horny, immature nineteen-year-old.. and was pretty much emotionally absent from things”. Her disloyalty involved other men. Your disloyalty did not involve other women until most recently.

    About your wife: “I just don’t feel much of anything for her, and I’m now realizing that I never really did. It’s more a loyalty/ obligation thing”-

    – your loyalty to her is and has been then, a dry, emotionless loyalty. If I compare loyalty to chocolate, your loyalty to her has been like a chocolate cake mix (flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, etc.). A wet, emotional loyalty would be  moist chocolate layer cake with frosting. Your marriage is a tragedy really, isn’t it… I wish there was a way for you to add butter, eggs, milk, brewed coffee and vanilla extract into that dry cake mix and end the first 50 years of your marriage with a real cake!

    anita

    #379269
    Boris1010
    Participant

    Hi Anita… that seems an accurate enough summation.  The old saw, “Marry in haste, repent at leisure” often comes to mind.  It was an “impulse marriage;” just seemed like ‘the right thing to do’ at the moment.  We were both out “in the world,” on our own, for the first time, and maybe the attraction was that of familiarity in new and at times stressful environments.

    I just look back at who, what, and how I was at that time (which was a very confusing time as well), and I truly had no business being either in the Military OR getting married, to anyone.  I don’t think I was truly qualified to make either decision informedly, in the way that a child cannot sign a legally binding contract.

    We’ve been together for over fifty years.  Met in the seventh grade; drifted apart and back together a bit… then clinched things with marriage.  I can’t imagine what she saw in me… maybe a tractable “fixer-upper?”

    I’m sad at the way my friendship with my AA ‘girlfriend’ ended.  I’m also relieved that I didn’t have to look into my wife’s eyes, the woman I’ve shared almost all of my life with, ‘for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health’… and tell her that I was in love (or so I thought) with somebody else.  I don’t think I could live with myself for doing that, assuming I worked up the resolve and courage to do so.  I can’t knowingly inflict that kind of pain/harm on someone, just to buy my own (anticipated-but-not-assured) happiness.  I also don’t think said ‘girlfriend’ would be happy with what was left afterwards, even had she been so inclined.  Being wired the way I seem to be, I’d obsess over it, and I’m sure it would have overshadowed pretty much everything, ‘poisoning the waters.’   I’m told that nothing happens by mistake, and that things happen for a reason.  Not sure I believe in that (willing to admit the possibility, given I don’t know everything), but it seems that it worked out for the best for the ‘girlfriend,’ for my wife, and most likely for me as well.

    Had my wife not pursued me initially, I’d most likely be living alone now (assuming I was still alive at all, which I think is a generous assumption).  I don’t think I’m “cut out” to mesh well with others.  STILL far too self-absorbed, bouncing around in my own little world, which I have to be yanked out of if she wants my attention, for the most part.  It’s just how I am, not a deliberate choice.  It’s my “default state,” to use a programming term (not a programmer, just familiar with what goes into it).  I can haul myself out of it, but it’s an effort of will, and requires steady attention.  It’s “work,” not something that comes naturally.  Also still far too apprehensive, and overly concerned with others’ opinion of me.  People = anxiety, worry, stress, and masks.  No people = me being content, puttering with some project, or sketching plans for some idea for another project, just doing whatever.  No real worries, other than a generalized sense of uneasiness at interfacing with ‘the world.’

    Not sure what this says about me, or what to do with it.  AA says when I’m not sure, the best thing to do is nothing.  Which is where I’m at.  Finally fully realizing the degree of how discontented I am, and have been, but caught between the rock and hard place of loyalty -vs- personal happiness.  I don’t hate her; I bear her no ill will for anything (we’re all trying to get through, and we all do what we think we have to do to do it – – you operate with what you know and what you have at the time), I wouldn’t want to see her hurt in any way, I’d help or support her in anything… but it still feels like two separate individuals, who happen to live in the same house… with a lot of shared history.  Some good, some not so good.  We function well enough as a couple; she’s strong where I’m not, and vice versa.  Two partial people making up one effective whole one?  Don’t know about such things; my area of native expertise runs more to things and systems than to people.

    It’s far from an intolerable situation… I just know that much better is possible.  I don’t know if a “start over” is possible at this late date… too much water under the bridge that would always be the 600 lb gorilla in the room.  I could continue as is and it would be okay… just not great.  Didn’t even know what ‘great’ was until I met “her,” and even that turns out to be more me projecting my desires *onto* her than anything else.  Still… it did wake something up in me that I’m still looking at, trying to understand what is is… and what to do with it, if anything.

    As ever, thank you for your time and your thoughtful replies!

    #379271
    Boris1010
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    That seems an accurate picture, though the time scale is a bit skewed, which it would be without my providing a lot more detail.

    Seems to fit together.  I’ll have to work on assimilating that picture into my own and see where it takes me.

    Funny you should bring up “… cut off from your emotions and gut feeling.  Without it, we cannot know what we want, what’s good for us, or even what’s right or wrong.  We can’t decide with our emotions being cut off.”  I recently ran across this idea.  Don’t remember what I was reading specifically (one of a pile of self-help books, dealing with emotions), and he cited case studies where specific areas of the brain had been damaged (pre-frontal cortex area, I think), and it left people almost emotionless.  They found these people incapable of making almost any kind of decision, having no feeling about any of the options.

    That’s a pretty good fit for how things ‘feel’ for me much of the time.  I see something, a situation, say… and I think about it, and come up with a number of possible scenarios or reasons for it happening, or choices I could make… and there’s just no one that feels any more or less likely than any other.  There’s no ‘gut hunch’… though I DO get that when troubleshooting electro-mechanical machinery – – never had a step-by-step procedure for diagnosing.  Took in the ‘gestalt’ of what it was doing or not doing, and when it was occurring, and almost immediately, I’d know where to start looking, and it was always either dead-on, or very close to it.  I’d “intuit” my diagnosis, or follow a ‘feeling’ or ‘hunch.’  Very rarely did I have to start at the beginning, and plod my way point by point until I found something wrong.  It s the only area of my life where that happens.

    Wonder if maybe this thing with my lady friend was a “jump-start” on getting back in touch with my feelings… Certainly feels like a dam bursting, or maybe like opening all the prison doors at once, with everything just rushing out and running wild.

    I will think about what you’ve said, as it seems very close to my own subjective experience.  Not sure how to go about that ‘getting in touch,’ but I’m sure there are plenty of places where I can find some direction with that.

    Thank you again for your insights and direction.  I do appreciate it a great deal.

    #379278
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Boris1010,

    you’re welcome. I actually read about that same research about the injured prefrontal cortex which then results in the inability to make decisions. I’ve just looked it up again, it was discovered by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, and it’s called somatic marker theory. He discovered that when the prefrontal cortex is injured, the information from our emotional centers in the brain (the limbic, aka mammalian brain – hypothalamus, amygdala etc) doesn’t reach the thinking part of the brain – the neocortex, and without this crucial info, we cannot make decisions. That would be like not having the gut feeling (or in case of injury, the gut feeling not being relayed to the thinking/decision making part of the brain).

    It’s good to know you do have a gut feeling with mechanical systems. It’s probably because you know those systems so well, you’ve been working with them for decades, so you can almost “feel” them. If you knew people so well, and primarily, if you knew yourself well – on the emotional level – you would have the same ability to feel things, to read cues… to have emotional intelligence, I guess.

    I don’t think I’m “cut out” to mesh well with others. STILL far too self-absorbed, bouncing around in my own little world, which I have to be yanked out of if she wants my attention, for the most part. It’s just how I am, not a deliberate choice. It’s my “default state,” to use a programming term (not a programmer, just familiar with what goes into it). I can haul myself out of it, but it’s an effort of will, and requires steady attention. It’s “work,” not something that comes naturally.

    Well, you did manage to yank yourself out of your autistic little world for the sake of your lady friend. And she didn’t even need to do much, you were eager to reach out and open up… So yes, I think your experience with your lady friend was a “jump-start” on getting back in touch with your feelings. It’s good that it happened, and maybe it’s good that it ended too, because you wouldn’t have been ready, you still need to do work on yourself. But you’re moving in the right direction.

    To help yourself, you can think of what is it that you felt when relating to her, what is it that made you eager to communicate and open up? You said there was a mutual understanding (“I’ve done that too!”), after which you didn’t feel so guilty any more. I guess you developed some compassion for yourself, when witnessed by another fellow traveler/sufferer?

    You’ve never received compassion from your stepfather (as a side note, I don’t know about receiving compassion from your mother, and in general how your mother treated you after the divorce?), on the contrary he criticized and condemned you all the time. With your lady friend, and I guess in the entire AA community, you haven’t felt criticized – you felt understood and listened to, you received positive attention, you received compassion and understanding, you received support and encouragement. All those things you lacked in your childhood… I think the AA community allowed you to open up, it was a supportive, loving environment. And then your heart leapt to one particular woman there. But it was AA that enabled you to feel safe to open up.

    So I guess that’s the precondition for you opening up to people and coming out of your shell: a loving, supportive environment. If your wife offers a hostile, criticizing environment, that’s something to consider. You’d need to be seen with new eyes, but before your wife can do it (if she’s able to do it at all), it’s you who’d need to see yourself with new eyes. See yourself as this loving and caring, enthusiastic person, who’s reaching out, helping others, sharing his story honestly, sharing his pain and struggles, and being his authentic self… See yourself as the new you, the real you, who’s been hiding in his shell for so long, but now his time has come… Do you think you can do that?

    #379279
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Boris1010:

    You are welcome. Earlier I referred to your experience with the AA friend as your emotional awakening. In your most recent post, you described the emotional experience with her this way: “a dam bursting, or maybe like opening all the prison doors at once, with everything just rushing out and running wild”-

    – if the AA woman did not move away, if she responded to with matching passion, what would have happened next, I believe, based on your lifetime of significant emotional detachment (and your Asperger’s diagnosis), would’ve been that the dam of your emotions would have rapidly failed and all the prison doors shut down all at once, similar to what happened in The Awakening, the movie we discussed earlier.

    “People= anxiety, worry, stress, and masks…I don’t know if a ‘start over’ is possible at this late date.. I could continue as is and it would be okay.. just not great… Still.. it did wake something up in me that I’m still looking at, trying to understand what it is.. and what to do  with it, if anything”-

    – if you proceeded to have a passionate relationship with the AA woman, the anxiety, worry and stress would have escalated quickly, resulting in the shutdown I suggested above, because it would have been too much emotion for you to handle (too much water rushing out, too many prison doors opened all at once). Here is what I suggest: awakening gradually, patiently and in tiny amounts in the social context: a bit of cold water in the dam that you can pour over your face, a door opening a bit, enough for a tiny amount of fresh air.  Make it a slow, gradual, bit by bit awakening, the only kind that is possible and sustainable for you.

    anita

    #379497
    Boris1010
    Participant

    This is a test post.  Replies have stopped “taking” using FireFox.  Trying this with Chrome.

    #379498
    Boris1010
    Participant

    Another test post, using FireFox after a re-start.

    #379499
    Boris1010
    Participant

    Okay, this is bizarre.  My browser started ‘refusing’ to post.  I’ve typed several long-ish replies (don’t know any other kind 🙂    ) to your last two posts, and none of them “took.”  Seems to be working now, though.  We’ll try it again.

    Thank you both for your thoughts and suggestions.  TeaK, your take on things is pretty close.  It *is* AA that cracked my shell and started drawing me out, and maybe that left me ‘vulnerable’ in a way to opening further… but too much , too soon, and in an inappropriate direction.

    Time and distance are working their magic.  I feel bad for ruining a friendship that was of mutual support, by trying to make it into something it was not.  I regret depriving her of what was a source of support and encouragement (for a while, at least).  She’s on the other side of the country, lonely (said as much while we were still talking), and I *could* have been there for her still, had I not shifted my thinking from supporting her to what I wanted instead.

    I like your suggestion to examine exactly what I was feeling, and why I was so eager to reach out and make a connection.  I do my best thinking this way, putting things “on paper” and going over it… helps keep me focused, and enables me go come back to where I was if I get off on a tangent.  WHEN I get off on a tangent.  🙂

    My mom was supportive… but silent in the face of stepfather’s words.  If she had anything to say about it, she did so in private; I never saw it.  I took her silence as agreement with what he was saying.

    Wife is not really hostile, but the support is ‘selective,’ and control is an issue (lot of the criticism comes from that, not doing things the way she thinks I should, or going “overboard”); she has her issues, as I have mine.  I’m coming to realize that it’s that ‘control’ that’s getting to me, along with the gunnysacking (bringing up the past to make a point in the present).

    I think I *am* doing what you said: seeing myself with new, different eyes.  They don’t see deeply or very far yet, but in time.  Getting a much better sense of boundaries, of what’s acceptable and what isn’t, instead of just taking it all.

    Anita, I couldn’t agree more with your take.  With the perspective that a little distance is providing, I can see that it would almost certainly have been a bad outcome all around.

    Too much, too soon.  Need to crawl before walking, walk before running, run before sprinting.  Maybe in time we can see about flying.  Baby steps first.  I’ll take this whole thing as a “fore-warned is fore-armed,” and be more on top of things if and as they develop.

    #379500
    Boris1010
    Participant

    AND… I can’t tell you how much your support has meant to me, carrying me through one of the darker periods of my life.

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