It's been quite some time since I've been here. For those of you don't know me, I'm EO - 31year old single (now attached) lady!
About two years ago I found this special place where I was welcomed with open arms and showered with encouragement and support. I will never forget the wisdom and tremendously strong, and caring people here, without whom I most likely would not have been able to get to the point I've reached so easily.
I was in a one year affair with a married co-worker whom I still work with today but am glad to say that I am now in a fulfilling relationship with a wonderful, AVAILABLE man and I am very much content and happy.
I wanted to give those who knew me an update and those who don't know me an introduction and to share all the things I've learnt since I've been out of the A for 1 year and 3months now!
I can see there are a lot of people on the board old and new, all at different stages of their ending and I just want to say you are all doing an amazing job. Being here i the first place is proof to yourself that you are serious about ending and therefore, moving forward with your life. The decision to end will have been one of your hardest and most significant points in your hourney so far so be very proud of yourself. Don't underestimate the choice YOU have made to end and don't give up. There is so much wonderful advice and support here, as long as you keep reading and keep talking you WILL achieve your goal. PROMISE! I did and if I can do it, you all can!
I came here first when I decided to end the affair and like others I broke NC and reset the clock. But that's ok. There is no judgement here,no one shouted at me or showed great disappointment. I was simply encouraged to accept what I had done and move forward with my next choice.
There is lots of wisdom here so keep reading. I just wanted to share a few bits which helped me immensly in my journey of ending and also helped me grow and nurture a rewarding relationship:
OUR CHOICES DEFINE US. NOT OUR PAST. One of the best pieces of wisdom I have gained from this board and my therapy was taking responsibility for the choices I make. Everyone makes mistakes, but it's the choices you make once those bad chocies were made that matter.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF. This was a real 'penny-dropping' moment for me when I finally understood that much of my pain was from putting the responsibility on others, my XAP, father, men in my life for 'hurting me' when it was actually me who ultimately 'chose to let them hurt me'. It's so easy to blame and lash out at people who you feel have let you down and hurt you but you my dears are the only person who can control what you do and don't get hurt by. Next time you feel pain, ask yourself 'why do I feel this pain?', 'why do I let this person/situation bother me so much?' Keep doing this and with practise you'll be able to identify the true reason within.
IDENTIFY YOUR FEAR AND OVERCOME IT. I thought I had a fear of commitment and that's why I entered into an A and that's why I went for 'wrong men'. This wasn't the case at all. I am excited about commitment and relationships, always have been. My fear was being left and abandoned and hurt and not being cared about. A married man provided that in an ironic way, he was already a father and husband and it was clear he would never leave them, the perfect characteristics for what I was looking for! Surely it would work?! Wrong. Once I dentified my fear I was determined to overcome it and opened myself up to a new relationship - the fear of being hurt and abandoned is still there but I have learnt how to identfy it and deal with it much better.
CLOSURE COMES FROM WITHIN. I've read some posts of late and can see some of you are in a difficult stage and there are questions about closure. Many will tell you that closure truly comes from within, for only you truly know why you began and why you ended the A. Your XAP will not be able to give you closure as quite simply they are not you. They are not mind readers and they have their own reasons for entering and ending the A so how can they give you closure right? Doesn't make sense.
Some of you have talked about writing letter to XAP - this is a good idea BUT NEVER SEND! Save, re-draft, re-read, but NEVER SEND. Writing or saying what you need to out last is in itself a very useful and cathartic exercise but no good will come in expecting a response that meets your needs. It will only lead to more unanswered questions and confusions and doubt. Use this borad, your journal, your friends as an outlet and sounding board instead. Much more effective ;)
I wish each and every one of you all the luck on your journey. Keep the faith and you shall succeed.
To all, my dear old EASers - you know who you are. You all rock! Much love :)