I Just Want My Life Back!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
I Just Want My Life Back!
16
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 1:54pm

I know this is an all-too-familiar theme here, but I feel like I am losing my MIND, three weeks out from NC with xAP (okay - really 1 week since I sent him a txt msg a week ago today to say, "hope you're doing ok" w/ no response - taught me a lesson NOT to do THAT again).

I can ALSO see him online as part of Yahoo's new email console version of Messenger.  I deleted him weeks ago, but I can STILL see him when he's online there.  Tried and tried to delete him there, but it doesn't work.  Evidently he has to delete ME for it to be final.  He either wants that tether to me or can't be bothered.

I keep checking and re-checking his FB page (my only other line to him, where I'm not even a FB friend).

In the meantime, can't stand my Narcissist PD H.  Thank heavens I have an appt to see a (highly recommended) therapist tomorrow!  I want my life back!  UGH!!!!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 4:58pm

Thank you, Clarity!

There was a time when I would have considered the act of going to therapy to be a weakness.  When I left and divorced my first husband - on top of moving 450 miles away to a new city where I knew just one person, and starting a new job - I toughed it out alone.  It was a very difficult time; a time that was needlessly prolonged by not getting the good help I needed.  Little wonder that I had trouble meeting new people (let alone men) - I'm sure I came across as being extremely depressed, vulnerable and needy!  I was just not myself at all. 

This time around, pursuing good therapy with a qualified counselor is 1000% the best gift I can give to myself.

I hope this post is helpful to some of my other sisters and brothers who are suffering alone.  Please, if anyone reading this is struggling with their recovery, I urge you to ask close friends and/or people you trust for recommendations on a good therapist.  Don't stick with just one - interview several and go with the one you like the most.  It's an incredibly healthy step in getting through this very difficult and challenging time.

((HUGS))

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2011
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 4:50pm
I have heard that it is possible but extremely unlikely.
And then you have to deal with the whole, is it fair to your spouse to be friends with someone you had an A with, ever?

In the beginning of my ending (and I know I am not unusual in this), I did hope and think that maybe we could be friends again some day. BUT the further out I am the less I think I would even want this if it were possible.

I mean, think of the scenario: xAP and I are friends again many years from now. What if he did try to restart the A? I would be so incredibly p*ssed. Like, seriously, buddy did you think I was just sitting around all these years waiting for you to make another move, you have some ego, blah blah blah.

I also think I would never really be me with him again. I got badly hurt in the A. He was much less open with me than he had been in our previous 10 year friendship. I know this is because he became self-protective. But it sometimes made me feel like a blow up doll. I felt like I was LESS of a friend than I ahd been previously.

So even if he swore on his children's lives he would never try to cross the line again, I just don't know that I would be the real ME with him anymore, KWIM?

I just don't trust him as much as I once did.

So, no I don't think you can be friends again.

I will say this though. When I ended, that thought devastated me. Now, this far out (17 months out of the A and 9+ months NC), I care a lot less about that than I used to and now generally accept it as one of the prices to be paid.

It gets better, i promise.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 4:41pm

Wow...what a difference a different therapist can make.  And you sound like you have a good fit with this one.  And most importantly, you come out of this sounding hopeful!  

I'm thrilled for you, pacdover...really, I am.  There's a lot of work ahead for sure, but with the right therapist who will guide you, you are at least moving forward.  

((hugs))

Clarity


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 4:32pm

Thanks for this, Cominginfromtherain.

I appreciate your assessment of the situation - yours sounds so similar to mine.

One question I do have is, is it possible to one day be friends with your xAP again... say 5 or 10 years down the road?

((HUGS))

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 4:28pm

Thanks, Starlite!

I had my visit with RB, one of three therapists under consideration today and I think she is the right one for me.  Wow.  SP, the previous therapist I'd seen on just a few occasions may have mis-diagnosed my H as having Narcississtic Personality Disorder (NPD).  There is no doubt he has unresolved anger issues, but RB thinks he *could* have anxiety and self-esteem issues instead.  This gives me hope, since people with NPD are pretty much hard-wired that way/difficult to change.  Anxiety and self-esteem issues are treatable.  RB wants us to come together to our next appointment so she can meet Jeff and see us interacting as a couple.

She also feels I have a problem with verbalizing what I want.  I grew up in a large family and just went along with the program (had to - my poor mom had to run the day-to-day details of our lives like she was running a corporation while my dad was out earning a living to support us).  While we were clearly loved a lot, and we were a close-knit family, mom was so exhausted all the time - and my parents frequently fought in front of us.  It was very loud yelling fighting (no physical contact).  So, my "role model" for love & marriage (as well as that of my husband's, frankly) is not the greatest.

Ther might be some hope for my marriage if I can get my H to join me.  I think he'll appreciate RB.

In other news, still maintaining NC!

((HUGS))

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2011
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 11:01pm
Sweetheart, I think I can relate to the need for external validation when you don't get any from the ones who are supposed to love us the most (my mother when I was a child and your husband now). Also one of my dearest friends had what I believe to be an NPD father.

I was very fond of my xAP, who was one of my closest friends for 10 years before the A.

However, people who.really care about each other do not generally enable each other to be their worst selves.

My xAP and I are no longer friends. What we did was not born out of our friendship, like I believed in the A, but a resukt of our own voids.

By ending your A, and staying NC, you will start.to.come.out of your A fog. Then you will be able to.decide what.to.do about your M with a clear mind.

Very honestly, NPD is not curable, and I don't think you can have a healthy relationship with a sufferer. I am pretty much NC with my mom.

But the A was an.escape.for you. You need to deal with the reality.

I wish you lots of strength.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 4:54pm

Hi, Starlite!

Thank you so much for this.  Self-love, indeed, is so vitally important.  I agree, being able to register our thoughts here, privately, has been a HUGE help.  It has to be similar to group therapy.  Very healing.

I like your STOP advice - I recall reading about that previously - very, very timely indeed.

Yes, my therapist came highly recommended, so I am looking forward to my time with her for sure.

Very, very wise advice - thanks again for being so generous with your kind advice.

((HUGS))

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 4:47pm

There is nothing wrong about feeling only kindness towards your xaffair partner...we don't have to hate or dislike them to move forward.  In fact, it is better when we move on with no ill-will towards them or towards anyone with whom we end a relationship.  It allows us to maintain and/or forge healthier relationships.

The thing of it is, is that this is all about you now, pacdover...your healing.  Viewing FB keeps you engaged, and unilaterally I might add because it's not doing anything for him, and is only impeding your progress forward.  I know you know that.  We want you to move forward and expend your energy on getting better and stronger so you can examine your life and marriage with clarity...lol, so you can know how to proceed...and proceed in a manner that is in YOUR best interest.  And over time, I'm sure, with the counsel of a professional, you'll get to your core issues...and hopefully never need any external validation that you are a beautiful woman...because you will know it to be true.

((hugs))

Clarity


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 4:17pm

Hi, Clarity.

I think the FB thing is hard because I feel only kindness toward my xAP.  He is a very kind, quiet man, who was a good family man before his wife left him for a mutual friend.  It was a deep betrayal, but he still fought hard to hold his marriage together, while she dithered in her on-again, off-again position on the future of their marriage -- EVEN with him knowing she cheated on him.

When we came together, we needed each other and the intimacy we shared was wonderful.  For me, it was a validation of my attractiveness as a woman, something I rarely get, if ever, in my own marriage. 

Living with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder has meant (at least for me) surrendering/channelling most attention in general from people to him.  He dominates conversations and covets the attention of other women.  He sometimes makes me feel invisible. 

My H finds it hard to tell me (without being prompted) how beautiful I am and the only time he'll acknowledge how lucky he is to be married to me is in front of my father.

In the past 6 months, my closest friends have come forward to tell me how concerned they are for my personal happiness.  They've seen my H in action, in prime form.  When I met with my therapist recently, she remarked how weak I seemed - like an abused woman.  I knew it was a difficult situation, but thought there might be some hope.  She all but suggested I leave him.  We instead reviewed all the things that were working in my life - my own loving family, my sincere and supportive friends, a challenging career, a menagerie of pets who only offer constant unconditional love.  She asked why I give all my power and sense of self-worth to him.  As you can imagine, I left her office in tears.

So, the FB thing is hard because I feel only kindness - and gratitute - toward my xAP, for helping me feel desirable and wanted again.  And I think on some level, I have helped him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 3:39pm

Hi, Worth.

Thank you for your advice.  Extremely helpful - and comforting to know that we are not alone. 

Damn it, I previously blocked him on Facebook - and then unblocked him.  And of course, FB has a 48-hour wait period before you can block someone.

What makes this so hard is that we were wonderful friends.  He was always so sweet and kind to me.  He's going through a terribly difficult separation and pending divorce. 

When I wrote to him to ask him to stop any further contact, he wrote back to say he would respect my wishes.  This guy is a class-act.

My H has his own demons... Narcississtic Personality Disorder, unresolved anger as a result of his bi-racial upbringing, a constant need for attention on himself.  He awakes in a cloud of subtle anger that sometimes (not always) builds throughout the day.

My A has only cast a much brighter spotlight on my M.

Really looking forward to seeing my therapist tomorrow.

Thank you again, Worth.

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