Healing and making changes

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2012
Healing and making changes
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 8:11pm

First, I had a great day at work today! I met my xap at work 2 years ago and he left 6 months ago. So it's been 6 months without him at work and that part has been wonderful. It's been a process too, one thing to just get past all the triggers, seems like we'd been everywhere together! second is coworkers who were 'talking' and/or upset about our friendship.  After 6 months I'm finally feeling like 'just me' again, not "that person that was friends with him and he got fired".

Since no contact I'm feeling lots better about interaction with everyone at work, I don't feel that dark cloud of secrets over me, its wonderful!

Now for the questions. I want to know how those who have healed and made changes accomplished it? When I was going to therapy we talked about past issues and I know I've had plenty of issues to cause low self esteem, lack of attachment, etc... I know the issues, but you can't change the past, you can only move on... so how do you do that without just 'stuffing' the feelings and moving on?

I know as I've worked on affirmations and worked on staying busy and doing new things its fine for awhile, until its time to slow down again and then the tears hit.

A couple of things worry me about the future, 1. this type of thing happening again (not the married part) but being willing to 'settle' for less than what I really want. Even though the logical me can give a list of his negative qualities and I don't want that, there's still a part of me that wants him (xap) back (single) and we could work it all out.... (yes, I know that's insane, just telling you what that little part of me thinks) 2. Getting in a hurry to take on whoever shows up and likes me, actually this has happened before with my H, when we met, he was crazy about me, and I wanted a new family, so I went along with it. (again, settling)

I never felt a connection to anyone in my life before xap. I wasn't close to my parents or siblings. I am close to an aunt and uncle, but they have their own kids and while they love me, I'm still on the outside. I never really felt love for my H, I did feel a strong friendship at times. Part or most of the reason it was so hard to let go of xap was that I'd be completely alone. Logically I know that's not true and since he was getting farther away, he wasn't there for me either. But I still feel like we had a strong connection...I know we do or we wouldn't have to do no contact.

If anyone can make sense of all this and offer some advice or ideas, I'd love to hear it.

I am going on a couple awesome vacations this fall and I'm putting energy and hope into those for getting away and think things out, but I have the fear I'll get back home in the dead of winter and "now what?" Do we just forge ahead with positive affirmations and hope for the best ?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-20-2012
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 9:17pm

Hi, k. I'm going to have to go back and read your story. I'm unfamiliar with the details. I'm wondering about your name. Is it metric or is k a person?

To your first question, for sure, people who get out of A's and stay out of A's do some remarkable healing. But there's something beyond the healing too. It's personal growth. It's a very grey area in between the two. At some point it's hard to tell what's healing and what's growing. It's not about stuffing down feelings. You have to bring them out. Examine them all over. Examine them under a white hot light. Often that's painful because we have to admit things about ourselves. Maybe that we're not perfect. Maybe that we've been blaming other people for our past failed relationships. Maybe that we're really insecure and enjoyed the attention of a trolling AP. (That was me.) Now, the good news is no one ever died of self examination. It's really just about exposing the lies we told to ourselves. If you're an emotionally vulnerable type, it helps and can be safer to have a professional guide while walking your personal landscape. However you do it, drag it all out. Ask yourself what it was about xap that made you feel close to him when you hadn't with anyone else? Why aren't you together? What made that impossible? Have you read the Chemistry Lesson in the healing library? That post really speaks to me. I've spent a lot of time thinking about the lies I told myself and the lies my body told me. It's a hard thing to do. In the end you're stripped bare, cleansed of personal deceptions. I think that's when I'll be healed. I'm not there yet. Things keep popping up and I have to deal with them. I studied brain chemistry in school and at one point we were studying nicotine addiction. It's a hard one to kick because it affects structures all over the brain. When we stimulate those structures, even long after quitting, it can bring up the cravings again. I've come to appreciate that affairs are no different. There always seems to be something new to deal with. So, I keep bringing out the victory banners and then putting them away because I realize I'm not quite done yet. Fortunately, it's not a race. It's just something I have to do.

I believe in affirmations. But you can't say just any old thing. You're reprogramming yourself with affirmations. It's like combing wool. It's a way of getting everything to run in the direction you want. Affirmations also take discipline, though. (That's where I fall down.) We had a poster, Dee, who came in with an exercise. We had to say I love you out loud to ourselves in the mirror. I couldn't do it. I couldn't do it and mean it. I still can't. Maybe if I had made an effort to fake it with myself until I really took on that feeling then maybe I'd be further along right now.

Now I have something to say that might be hard to hear and I say it only because I had the same experience. My xap put in a lot of effort to seduce me into the A. By the time he "won me over," I felt like a giggling school girl with her first boyfriend. I'm from a very straight-laced part of my country and he is from a very hot-blooded part. I was no match for his ways. He manipulated me into feeling things for him. Because of your history, and this is part of the work you have to do, you're going to have to go back to the beginning and ask yourself why you felt close to your xap. Was he very attentive? Did he make you a little team at work? Did he do thoughtful things? My xap and I had to go to a gala dinner within hours of meeting. He spent the entire time asking questions about me, focusing on my life, my education, my work. To the absolute exclusion of the other people at the table. When that didn't work, he got me alone for coffee. When that didn't work, alone for drinks. I'm sure he'd about given up when it suddenly all kicked in. Left to my own devices, I wouldn't have felt anything for him beyond a friendly working acquaintance. So, sitting here six months after the end, I feel a little foolish but a lot wiser for having been manipulated for someone else's sexual purposes. Anyway, that's the work you have to do.

But there's no hoping for the best in all of this. You have to work for the best. The happy news is I know you can do it.

Enjoy your vacations plural! Forge ahead with that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2012
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 7:03am


Thank you so much for your detailed and thoughtful post!

I lost a job a little over 2 years ago and started a new job which is very different than what I was doing. Xap is very good looking, charming and fun to be around. He was friendly to everyone, and that was something I thought was so nice about him, he was kind to every person he saw. When he'd see me, he'd ask how I was doing on the new job, he'd stop and talk and always made me laugh. He broke up the stress and became a bright spot in my day. We started talking more here and there and we had a lot in common. He is easy to talk to and whenever we'd sit down to talk, it was hard to stop,

Slowly,, well it wasn't that slowly when I look back at it, but I started looking forward to his smile and a break in routine and enjoyed talking to him. That turned into wanting to talk to him more and more... since we couldn't talk that much at work I wanted to talk after work and weekends. (that was in my head for a long time, but then became reality after a few months)

I still love to talk to him and we can still sit and talk for hours, but it doesn't work anymore because we are also very attracted to each other and he has a wife. The wife was gone when we met, she had left him the year before and lived on her own, not speaking to him or any contact. After we were together a few months, she came back and wanted to try again, so they've been 'dating' on the weekends for the past year. She still lives in her own apt. Xap expected her to leave for the first 6 months or so and talked like we'd be together eventually. He won't leave her, he wants her to leave. She's not going anywhere, she's got the perfect set up, her own place and plans for the weekends with the family.

I can tell a difference with the affirmations, I collect them from everywhere. It's interesting that I check into facebook and usually there's exactly what I needed for that day. Recently while I was trying to just Let Go, there was a picture of a hand, and written on it was "just Let Go, it will be ok". THAT made the tears roll!! But it also helped, I've finally let go to the point of NC, I know I still have a long way to go, but I feel much better now that I've at least let go of contacting.

Thank you again!


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 11:16am

Morning k :smileyhappy:

Yep...accepting and let go are the first steps.  We can waste so much time trying to fit a square peg into a round hole....and if we do finally make it fit, we had to shave off  too much of ourselves in the process...and then we are just a funny-looking spindly little toothpick that no longer resembles ourselves...and now our xaffair partner is using us to clean between his teeth....ewwww.  We were never meant to fit from the get go.

There's so much to learn about ourselves.  It can seem so overwhelming.  "How am I suppose to incorporate what I've learned into every day life."  I guess it starts with us becoming aware of our perspective and response. We are still going to respond for a while as we have done in the past...some of it being so ingrained...but now we are going to stop and assess...and self-correct.  Eventually, over time, we can stop second guessing ourselves because we become assured that we are responding in a healthy way.  It just takes time to undo and redo.

You are sounding better every day...keep up the good work.




iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2012
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 11:50am

Thanks Clarity, but I'm not feeling better today, my mind feels like it has taken 2 steps back. I felt so strong and confident yesterday and today I feel like mud. I just want to be ok and move on!! I hate the rollercoaster feelings and the crazy in my head.

One of the affirmations is "Trust the process of life, surrender control to God and the universe for your highest good."  Sounds nice, but then I start second guessing it... I was going along life fine and look what happened!! I wasn't looking for someone to fall in love with, it just happened out of a new friendship.  Yes, my marriage wasn't great and changing jobs is stressful, but then this?!  I know it won't ever make sense, but it kind of makes you wonder what's next! In my work I've heard LOTS of wild and crazy stories of peoples lives.. maybe that's part of what scares me about the unknown.

I'm just tired...

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 12:45pm

K, Honey

Please try to stay in the present.  Seems you are exhausting yourself with all this worry about what the future "might" hold... and ruining your today.

There's this rather crude saying "If we keep one foot in YESTERDAY and one foot in TOMORROW, we pee all over TODAY.   

Okay, now to wipe that crude saying out of your mind rather quickly, think of this funny sign at our local Elks Lodge.  "Free beers tomorrow. "  Well, tomorrow never comes...because when you come in tomorrow, tomorrow is today again!  Gives me the giggles.

Take each day as it comes...do better each day...tomorrow will take care of itself.




iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2012
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 1:52pm

Thank you Clarity,

You are right, being with my mind is exhausting!! It doesn't sound like it, but I do try to stay in the present.

 All is well, I'm grateful for all that I have. :smileyhappy: