Is this normal after so long?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2009
Is this normal after so long?
11
Wed, 11-21-2012 - 10:15am

I am nearly 11 months out of my A - but I don’t feel healed these days, I feel a deep sorrow  and emptiness in my life that can seem to  be filled. I think this is how I was feeling before I started my A with xAP. Desperate for attention, desperate for someone to notice me. I feel inadequate and useless most days, and when I feel this way, I just don’t want to do anything. I hate being me, I hate the feelings I have of myself inside and I want to cry all the time.

I miss my xAP so incredibly much sometimes, but just thinking of him doesn’t hurt – it actually soothes my aches. I don’t actually to think of him very much – but when I feel really down, I will go to bed, and I will think about him, and think of the good times. I will wonder if he thinks about me, misses me or even loved me. I will think about what it would be like to be with him, feel him and love him with my whole heart.

My reality scares me, the responsibility of my reality scares me – 2 children to help raise, and educate, a husband to care and support, a job to succeed in and a being a good daughter to help my parents. Should I have been a mother? Should I have been a wife? Am I able to be a person who does not think of unhealthy ways to comfort herself? Will I ever stop hating myself for being alive. Will I ever not wonder what it would be like if I wasn’t here anymore? I am so tired of feeling this way, and I tired that I have felt this way for most of my life.

Please don’t get me wrong. I love my children, with every part of my body. I loved them since the moment I held them, I have never doubted I could love them – but I have doubted that I was good enough for them. My husband it a kind person, and I loved him so much when we married – I could not live without him in my life, he was everything I ever wanted – and I have no problem being with him the rest of my life – but I find it hard that he does not understand who I am, and what drives me as a person. He doesn’t inspire me, he is always finding reasons why not, or why I do things wrong, or criticizing what I do – or should I say don’t do properly (loading the dishwasher wrong, not cleaning my side of the bed, not giving him enough sex, not being affectionate enough, not disciplining the children enough, not being open enough, the list goes on).

I have been trying to figure out what I’m feeling for a while now – I don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Could be down to starting a new job, and starting from scratch, having to learning so much new stuff, and new people and trying to settle in the best I can. I don’t handle change very well – ever since I was a child I have had difficulty settling into new place, as we moved a lot when  I was young. I was a bit of a loner, and in the end the only real friend I had were male friends. I have always felt more comfortable in the company of men – but it’s true, that it’s very difficult for men to be friends with women. I have never had a problem being friends with men, but as soon as they cross the line, I am too scared to make them feel rejected or think I’m a bitch – so I just cross the line too. So now I don’t really have any friends, or at least I  have made a point of only having female friends, but I’m just no good at it. I don’t know what to do, or say, or how to act – I have so much good in me, but I think I just end up being someone women hate. I’m too scared to share with anyone about my xAP in fear that I tell the wrong person, and I do not have 1 person in this world I can trust with this information – in real life I mean.

I have missed being here so much, and I think partly being away from here too long, has been dangerous for me. I found it extremely helpful to read here, be helped, and help others. The board being changed has been tough on me, and I still don’t really know if it works, and don’t have the patience to figure it out.

Well I’m going to sign out now – sorry for the miserable post – I have nowhere else to go.

Love

WGO

Every recovery is a kind of rebirth

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Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Wed, 11-21-2012 - 1:07pm

((((WGO))))

I wish I could sit beside you and give you a great big ole physical hug.  I really admire you for all you do.  

I'd like you to go to the mirror and say "Wow, I am awesome...look at what I am able to accomplish.  I'm a great person, a great mom, a great wife and a great new employee; and as nice as it would be to hear words of appreciate, I don't need anyone to pat me on the back...I can reach."

Yes, do that right now...I'll wait...  *hmmm hmmm hmmmm*...okay, and I want you to do that every day.

I'm sorry you are feeling so miserable...probably because you are exhausted and running out of gas.  And the Holidays tend to amplify the hard stuff going on inside.

I suppose we can give the external appearance of keeping it together, but if we have become bankrupt internally...emotionally, physically and spiritually...well we've got ourselves a situation.  Are you able to set yourself up for some counseling?  Are you able to carve out some time during each day for some quiet, 'me' time?  Not 'me' time as in *ME, Clarity time* :D...'you time'.  That is so important in order to refuel and renew. 

Do you have any time off over the Holidays?  Hold old are your children?  Are they able to assume more responsibility? Are you able to tell your husband to STFUA/H when he criticizes you?..okay, probably not the best wording, but there has to be a way to make that stop.

I am a big fan of list making...it's proactive and feels good to start taking charge.  How about making out a list of your needs and how you can begin getting them met.  There's something empowering about being able to check off 'done'...or at least striving towards 'done'.  The top of your list can be to Make A Needs List...bing bada bing "DONE!"

Btw, have really missed you around here. 

((hugs))

Clarity

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Wed, 11-21-2012 - 7:45pm

You sound ripe for another A.

KWIM?

Those were exactly the thoughts that I had when I got involved outside of my M.

I am guessing that a lot of people relate to those thoughts.

Communication with your spouse is one of the keys to a happy marriage.  You have to be able to DO it, both ways in order to get your share of the feel goods from your M.

Have you been making the effort to get involved back in your M and your H life?

You sound like a weary traveler, not the same old WGO that used to post here.  Maybe you need to make more effort in getting back into the rhythm of coming here and exchanging your thoughts with others who do understand and who can help.  Looks like you are avoiding the help that is available just because it is an effort.

You also may very well be expierencing depression.  Are you doing anything for professional help?  Are you avoiding it?  You might need some help, or more help.

We are here, we want to help, you have to make the effort and want it.

Good thoughts, and welcome back.

We only miss what could have been. I know I don't miss what it really was.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-23-2003
Wed, 11-21-2012 - 8:04pm

WGO -

Not only is it normal - it is actually kind of expected, to feel what you are feeling at this point.

It takes a while for all of the A toxins to get gone, right?  And it takes time to get over the xAP, blah blah blah, etc. - but then, there is a whole other process to deal with.  You have to deal with, well, you.  Not the xAP.  Not going NC or staying NC.  Not grieving or working through the loss of the A.  Now that those other distractions are out of the way, or at least, set aside, you have to face yourself, and deal with that.

What demons do you have, WGO?  You hate yourself - but why?  You say that you have felt that way for most of your life - but why?  What causes that?  What about you is so very awful, undeserving of love, unworthy?  Why are you not good enough for your children, for your husband, for your family?  How do you know that - where does that come from?  I would guess that it isn't anything external at this point - that instead, it is your own internal dialogue, that you are viewing all of your relationships and interactions within them through this really terrible lens.  That your inner voice only ever has negative, mean things to say to you.  About you.

But, that voice LIES.  It isn't accurate.  It isn't true.

And you can change that dialogue.  You can talk back to that inner voice.  You can tell it that it's wrong.  You can tell it to go to hell.  You can BREAK that cycle, WGO.

Listen, I KNOW how it feels.  I promise you, I get it.  And I made some very self-destructive decisions based on what that inner voice kept whispering to me.  I spent my life trying to live down to the image I had of myself in my own mind.  And I too hit the point where I spent far too much time wondering why I even bothered, why I was even here, thinking that everyone and everything would be better off if I just...wasn't...here.

It's not true, though.  It wasn't for me - and I have every reason to believe it is just as untrue for you.

It's time to start fighting back, WGO.  Fighting back against yourself, against the self-hate, and the negativity, and the shame, and the ugliness you think you see inside of you.

Fight hard, WGO.  Because you are SO worth fighting for.

Love,

Kim

    

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2011
Wed, 11-21-2012 - 8:18pm

WGO ((((Big Hugs))))

Sounds like you are stuck in a rut these days - I think the hardest part of recovery is the finding ways to feed your own needs after the A.  Like you there was a lot going on and I was so unhappy with my life after my A.  I wanted more - I wanted a better profession, a better bunch of friends, a better home life.  I wanted to be proud of myself and it took me a little bit before it happened, but I'll share my journey.

For me - I realized I needed to find things that made me happy - simple things.  Bodhi (who I miss dearly on this board) suggested a method of playing out scenarios for us to gain a bigger perspective of things during the aftermath - get some index cards and one side write it out - what you want.  On the other figure out ways to make it happen and what will happen if you do it.  so I made a list.  all the things I wanted different.  Then I got to figuring out and playing out the scenarios so I could make a plan.  Some things were easy.  I wanted a better hairstyle (I hated my fat girl short hair thing), so I saved $1 every day for two months and I went to a hair dresser of a friend who's hair I liked.  I talked with the hair girl and got her ideas about color, cut, etc.  I like my short hair, but hate my greys, and wanted something quick and easy - she did a trim (and it was scary!) and then styled it different and I love it.  See something as easy as that can make a huge difference.

I wanted to feel more confident in my career and stop just working for a paycheck.  Since I divorced my then H at the same time as ending my A this was important for me.  I needed to know that I could provide for my kids (I have full custody).  I went back to school while continuing to work fulltime.  This wasn't easy, but I knew I was good at the job I was doing and wanted to find how to move into management or middle management.  I spoke to my boss who wasn't very helpful at the time, and then talked to our HR gal who explained what kinds of jobs they hired in my field that would get me out of paycheck to paycheck thing.  She also informed me that I needed a Bachelors degree to move up to management.  Going back to school allowed me to form new friendships and since I chose to go to school online (CTU), I finished my Bachelors in just over 2 years from nothing.  I made some great friends all over the world who shared similiar struggle with me,  but also gave me new perspective.  I hated school when I was young - and I was surprised to realize how much I loved it now.  I had a purpose!  With school came some mentoring by a few key professors to change my career path into the field I'm in now - two years ago I had a major moment where I realized I had to stop waiting for something to change - I had to change it myself.  I'm half way through my masters, in a career where I am good at what I do and I work for a company that recognizes my contributions.  That has made a world of difference in my life.

Other small things - I had to stop worrying about what everyone else thought.  WHO CARES?  Is it your life or their's?  You cannot live your life doing what everyone else expects.  Something else - have you decided on your boundaries?  Before my ending - I had none.  LIke you I always got along better with men, so when they crossed the line, I went along for the ride - to afraid of what they thought to have a backbone.  Same with my very large, very involved family.  They all had advice, wanted to know what was wrong with me - but how do you tell someone you feel like a hollow shell in the midst of all of them?  It started with me saying NO.  Can you, will you, on your way home just...... I started by saying NO.  Oh lawsie!  You'd have thought I said their children smelled like wet dogs!  was it an inconvenience?  Nope.  I just didn't wanna.  I realized that while we are related by blood, and I love them very much - I needed to create my own little family.  I had very few friends.  Even fewer real friends - you know the kind you read ecards about - that'll help you bury a body and bail you out of jail?  None.  So - I decided I had to figure out ways to meet people.  I started attending all the "parties" people around me invited me to - pampered chef, pinterest potlucks, tupperware - you name it I went.  I bought nothing, but met some fun people.  Eventually it led me to bunko parties, movie premiere get togethers, book clubs... and some really close good friends who I feel more akin with than my own blood relatives.  These women (and a couple of gay guys) like me for me, understand me, and are there to make me laugh, bring me soup when I'm sick, and hold my hand when I needed to just cry.  

Making changes is scary.  but once implemented, it makes the next change easier and so on.  Get purpose for you.  Find hobbies, school, random acts of kindness, make ONE single change.  I could never have begun it without working with my therapist.  She was the gusto behind me making little changes - that let me make the bigger choices like divorce.  I realized I didn't want to be locked into a "nice" relationship.  I didn't want to just get by.  I wanted more.  Two and a half years later and I can honestly say I'm happy.  I'm single.  I have two kids in college and one in high school now.  This upcoming year I'll finish my Masters degree.  I love my job.  I love my pals.  I like making the choices in my life.  I bought new furniture this year - by myself.  HUGE thing for me.  Silly but I loved it. 

Unfortunately - you are the only one that can make the choices here.  I feel your lonliness.  I feel your unhappiness.  It is not easy - but nothing ever worth it is easy.  I say - make a list.  List 5 things you want different - and list why.  How will these things make your life better?  How will it bring happiness to you?

You know the best part?  I don't feel lonely and afraid anymore.  YOU matter.  YOU are wanted, loved and adored - you just haven't learned about you in that way yet.  Don't give up!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2011
Wed, 11-21-2012 - 11:19pm
WGO, I am.having trouble.posting from my phone tonight, but I will try from the desktop tomorrow. For now (((((WGO)))))
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2009
Thu, 11-22-2012 - 5:23am

Thank you all for taking the time to write back to me

Yes, the thought of starting a new A again is very appealing right now. Problem is – I have learnt too much this year to make that choice again. Maybe that’s what so frustrating, that the self-destruction option is just not an option anymore. So I’m stuck feeling like I need to do something, yet I don’t know how to do it in a healthy way.

I also feel very guilty about my son. He started school this year, and last week we had our first parent teacher interview, where they told me they were really worried about him. They say he is immature and finds it hard to concentrate in class (he is the youngest in the class) and they think it would be best for him if he repeated the year again. I blame myself. I was absent in his life 3 years, I was not there to nurture him as a mother should. When he was a toddler, I started my A and from that say I was mentally switched off to him, and it hit me like a ton of bricks to see the result of 3 years neglect. I have used this year to come closer to my son, and it really has paid off – but 3 years damage can’t be repaired overnight.

My marriage functions well most of the time, we get along well – and when things really count my husband has always been there for me. My husband has started wondering if I am having an A. Yes 11 months after my A ended, he is worried I am seeing someone else. For the 3 years I spent in an A, he was not once suspicious of me having an A. And now – where I am finally out – he thinks the way I am behaving is a sign of an A. Maybe after 3 years of lying and cheating, and then trying to recover, and changing jobs on top of it has taken its toll on me. I am burning out.

I was picked on/bullied when I was at school. My brother was popular and I was his dorky little sister (there is only 1 year between us). He never stood up for me, and didn’t want anything to do with me.  I was a very slow developer, so I was out of high school before anything started happening to my body. The girls at school thought I was a looser, and used to make up places to meet me, and not turn up – they were cruel in so many ways, it’s still painful to think about. I made 2 male friends at school as dorky as me, and when 1 of them fell in love with me, I was so scared to lose my only friend, that I agreed to be his girlfriend. When I left high school – my body developed over night. Suddenly I was not the dorky little sister, I was the girl my brothers friends now wanted to spend time with. I cheated for the first time when I was 17 years old. It was a difficult time trying to figure out where my boundaries were, and ended up in some stupid, uncomfortable and frightening situations because I just didn’t know how to put my foot down and say no. I have cheated because I didn’t know how to say “thank you for the offer – but I’m not interested” – maybe because I know that rejection is very painful for me, that I don’t want to make another person to feel that way.

Again – I appreciate your posts, and have read them all several times, you are some seriously clever, wise and amazing people… who motivate me to make more of an effort. I am going to make an effort to get back into the board.

Love WGO

Every recovery is a kind of rebirth
Avatar for Sogladitsanewday
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2012
Thu, 11-22-2012 - 6:24am

Hi WGO!! [[[[[BIG BIG BIG HUGS AND CUDDLES]]]]] my love, I am so sorry to hear that you are having a hard time, and all the advice the other gorgeous people have given you is bang on, they are totally right sweetie, and I can't really add anything to it. I know previously you were on antidepressants and I wonder whether you are still on them? I do think you are depressed honey. You are not the same WGO who used to post.  Are you still seeing a therapist? You talk about so many issues in your posts sweetie, that is such a lot to deal with. And I know getting another job was essential for you to get away from xAP, but it's understandable that you are struggling with the weight of everything that you have taken on. You are not superhuman my love.

We really have missed you here WGO, and I really think you should try and make the time to post in, at least once a week, even if it's only a short post to let us know how you are, so that you can get the feedback and support that you need.

All of this recovery business takes work ... a lot of work, I know it's hard honey but if you don't keep putting in the work then things do start to slip and we start to wobble , I know I've done it too. You are not alone WGO, so please don't suffer in silence, don't do that to yourself, we are all here to help.

I know you will be feeling guilty about your son, but any damage that has been done can be undone, little ones are so resiliant, and you've already been working on that and doing a great job. Again, it takes work, and time, just keep doing what you're doing honey.

As far as H is concerned, well Rather is right, it's all about communication. Let him know where he's falling short, let him know what he needs to do. That's what I'm doing with my H, and he too is wondering what on earth is going on with me. I am preaching to him about the mistakes married couples make that lead to affairs, like some holier than thou WI woman, which is so hypocritical of me, but I am doing it to improve our relationship, and it does work. Don't let your H criticise you about the dishwasher or other non-important issues WGO. Just tell him you've got a lot on your plate with the new job and all that does with being a mum with young children and tell him to zip it unless it's something significant. Tell him to load the dishwasher. Be strong my love, you will get through this.

Sending you oodles of positive vibes and massive cyberhugs, lots of love, Soglad x o x o x

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2012
Thu, 11-22-2012 - 8:39am

Hey WGO, 

 Thanks for posting..I know I , for one..have missed reading your posts...and apparently? I'm not the only one.

I'm sorry you are having such a tough time. If it makes you feel any better? I was the really cool kid (sarcasm here) that went to junior high with 5 (yes 5) instruments in her hand every day. Also? I think I'm still waiting to develop;)

Okay...for what it's worth. I know that building self-esteem is hard..finding the questions in our identity is hard, etc. And I think you really are trying to find these answers. But one pivotal moment for me was when a T said to me "Rev..you were not created to accomodate and entertain others. You were created to be you. If you want to do something..anything..and it is not hurting anyone? Do it. If you don't want to do something then don't."

Sending lots of good thouights your way.

  The difference between who you are and who you imagine yourself to be, is what you do.

Avatar for happyasme
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2012
Thu, 11-22-2012 - 12:35pm

(((WGO))), Sorry for posting late on this.  I read your first post yesterday and I could not respond right away.  I was OMG, I could have written that exact same post, before my A.  Then you added your second post, the bullied little sister who developped late.  Wow, that's me.  The geeky little sister who never kissed a boy until she was 20, and from that point onwards made unhealthy men / sex choice one after the other, desperatly seeking validation from others.  This geeky little kid sister is still waiting to develop...  but there is hope, apparently women develop during menopause, and in the meantime there are padded bras;)

But seriouslt WGO sweetie, I am so far away from who I was, I'm not there yet, there is still lots of stuff I have to sort out.   Like everyone above said, you need to stop being defined by others.  Only you can say who you are.  You are the only one that has a right to say what makes you happy and what you want.  Only you can make the choices to get out of "stuck", because "stuck" sounds like where you are.  A little over a year ago, all this was a completly foreign concept to me.  I am in such a better place, that sometimes I barely recognise myself, I would have never thought this possible. 

You have lots on your plate, but start small, and it doesn't even have to be something important.  Wear your favourite outfit, that makes you feel good and beautiful, hug and kiss your kids and be fully present as you soak in their love.

You also need to reframe things too, not to take what others say about you and your loved ones at face value:

Your son for example is the youngest in his class, it's normal that he is more immature than the others.  He has classmates that are almost a year older than him.  A year for a 5-6 year old is HUGE,  My son was born in Sept, and his 1st grade teacher reassured me that those immaturity traits were normal for the younger kids and they would grow out.  And you are not totally to blame for this, he would still be the youngest in his class had you not had an A.

Super big hugs,

Happy

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2009
Fri, 11-23-2012 - 2:18pm
I can't express how much all your posts have helped. I am feeling a little better today and more ready to accept I'm a bit of a dork and thats ok :-) I feel less guilt about my son, and it was really helpful to hear about immature boys, actually I don't think men ever mature ;-) I am still taking my anti depressants, but they only really take the edge off. I'd hate to think how I would have felt without them! I will definitely be here more often, can't get by without you all it seems :-) Love WGO
Every recovery is a kind of rebirth

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