Author Topic: forever changed?  (Read 1143 times)

aquarius25

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forever changed?
« on: September 21, 2017, 07:13:52 AM »
This is something that I have been becoming really aware of lately since I have been trying to make new friends in the town we moved to. One thing I am realizing is that I don't relate to other women like I used to. I feel forever changed. In some ways for the good, some maybe not so good, either way, I am different. I am not the same. Do any of you ladies feel or experience this? I feel like when I am trying to build new friendships I have less patience for small talk of nonimportance. I am not really interested in acquaintances that we call "friends". I want real friends, soul sisters. I would rather have fewer friends and have them deep-rooted than a bunch of lukewarm friends. I feel like this experience has shown me that I need support. I need people I can count on, and people I can give support to as well. I don't care for fake, I want authentic and integrity. I am just beginning to realize how rare that is in this world. I have less and less care for the opinions of others. I find I am discovering who I really am and not wanting to pretend to be something I am not, not even for a second. I am really blown away by just how strong this feeling is. This is new to me. I have always been a pretty authentic person, just in the past, I think I was more tolerable of others who weren't. Now I just don't really want to be around people like that.

AppleJack

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Re: forever changed?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 03:16:43 PM »
My counselor said certain events in your life can be time stamp moments, where you are one person before the time stamp and another after. One thing I have grieved and continue to is the loss of who I was before d-day. For me the world just seems a darker place and I find it harder to find the good in things or see the beauty of the world. Closer to d-day I felt totally disconnected, like there was the world and this life I use to have but I was no longer integrated into it, like i had been ripped out of my own life some how. I don't even know how to put it into words really. I think it will come back slowly as I heal. I had another time stamp moment when I was 16 and had been assaulted and I remember the same feelings of total disconnect from the world, like I was just floating through it watching it but no longer a part of it, and everything just seemed colourless.
I've been reading the body keeps the score and he talks about how healing is integrating our experiences, but there can be a tendency to want to remove the experience altogether.

I'm lucky in that I did have deep friendships before d-day happened, but what I did was not reach out to them anyway, as I felt like I couldn't trust anything or anyone anymore. I did finally tell them a few months ago when it seems like we were going to divorce and really that was the best thing I ever did because they were all very accepting and supportive and not just of me either but also of my husband and his struggles. So not the response my anxiety riddled brain thought would happen.

Emerald Blue

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Re: forever changed?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 05:46:23 PM »
Yes, yes and yes! I understand what you are saying, absolutely!

Without a doubt, this experience has changed me. From where I am now, I believe this experience has changed me for the better. There was a cost, mind you. The trauma and the hurt that after d day kept erupting like a volcano that wouldn't sleep was not an experience I'd wish on anyone and at that time I felt I'd lost sight of who I am, but in reality, I had to go through some necessary changes.

So what changed? I had to take control of my life. I had to educate myself about porn addiction. I had to rebuild my self confidence. I had to reconnect with my husband, emotionally and physically. I had to rediscover my sexuality. I became better informed about the porn industry (and it's part in the sex trade) and develop my own personal and political voice. I developed a more positive body image. I'm a lot more assertive than I used to be. In some respects I haven't changed that much, but in other respects I'm very much a changed person.

I have always lived by the saying "I'd rather be despised for who I am than loved for who I am not". It's a quote but I can't remember who said it, but I totally get it. I've typically always had a small cluster of close friends that matter a lot, people I can share my interests and thoughts with, and who bring good things into my life and hopefully I do likewise in their lives. Above all, these are people I can be myself with. No best foot forward, no putting on a false public face, just being ourselves together. Most of my friends are a bit quirky and there's always a uniqueness there. I guess that's true of all people but there aren't many I click with. That's not to say that I don't get on with people I don't quite click with, I can and I do on social occasions, but their conversations leave me hungry for real connection and I find these sorts of superficial interactions very draining. Spending time with a close friend makes me feel energised and inspired, usually.

I didn't feel like I was going through any kind of positive transformation in the worst months following d day, probably not for the first year even. I still have moments of self doubt, I still have waves of emotion rising up and there is always potential for triggering situations. We still have stupid rows. There's still a lot of work to do. I feel that the changes I've been through may have been difficult, but necessary.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

Emerald Blue

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Re: forever changed?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 06:17:36 PM »
Aquarius, it's one of those situations where you just have to keep going. There are no ways to fast track out of the grieving process. I wish I didn't have to go through what I did but this is one time when there's no alternative. There is no longer that place of safety and strength that you believe that existed, like a refuge from all the crap in life. It's the place we want to go when we feel we really need it but we realise it's just not there. We can't rely on the relationship to comfort us and give us strength, not for this. I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. I find that I just have to keep working on my recovery and our recovery as a a couple. I sense that he is entering a new phase of his own personal recovery. After d day, it became clear that he was not emotionally mature enough to cope with many life situation. When he quit porn he was overspending, comfort eating and drinking too much alcohol. Not excessively so, but this were not emotionally healthy signs. He seems to be getting past this now and he now realised he has to take better care of himself. He's also beginning to talk about his addiction in a more detached way, is a lot more forthcoming about his emotional state when he was using porn and a lot more understanding of how it affected me. All good signs. I don't react so emotionally now. I listen to what he has to say and I stay calm. It's been a difficult journey, but there are no shortcuts and roadmap that gets us from A to B to C and onwards.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

aquarius25

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Re: forever changed?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2017, 09:58:39 AM »
Thanks everyone for your insight. I agree with everything said. I understand things don't happen overnight. I am just sharing as I am becoming more aware. I know things like this are a process, sometimes the process is lonely. There are days when I feel like my main friends that I am most open with are here in this forum. It's hard to sip a glass of wine with you ladies, lol. I will get there. In the meantime it gives me the opportunity to learn to love myself, to be comfortable alone, and to really be ok in my own skin not relying on anyone but rather pour into my faith. I am trying to maintain an attitude of openness and positivity.


aquarius25

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Re: forever changed?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2017, 10:40:23 AM »
I had posted this in my journal and thought it was relevant to the topic here so I thought I would share. Do any of you ladies relate to this? Thoughts?

"Yes, the more I process this "recovery" the more I am realizing that recovery isn't the right word for what partners do. Addicts recover, partners do not. It would be better to say we learn to heal from the hurt but we acclimate to the new version of our lives. We don't recover because for most of us our life doesn't become better (sometimes it isn't necessarily worse either) it's just different. We have to learn how to become new people. THis is a new normal and we have to just learn how to live with this new reality. We heal from hurt but we never recover from the addiction, we were not the addicts. We have to adjust to a new life.

For most partners, the question becomes, is this new life something we want to be a part of? Can we handle and adjust to this new normal? For some it's yes, for some it's not. There is no right or wrong here. In some ways, this life is better, but in some ways, it's not. The real question is can I be happy here? I am learning to adjust. I am finding joy in new areas of my life, but this life is very different from the previous. From the outside, it looks similar but it doesn't feel that way on the inside. I have more masks I wear now, not for myself but for the benefit of others. I am different. I am working on learning how to be ok with this new person. I am working on not focusing on the negativity of this new life because that would build resentment in my relationship with my husband. For this marriage to work, we can't have resentment. I am working on focusing on my goals for myself in this new life."