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About dedoubt

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  • Birthday 07/15/1970

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  1. Wrote this to a friend tonight: Thank you, sweetie. I've had a paradigm shift about all this pain I have been carrying. Though it still tries to drag me back down, I realized that being really horribly abused by my father taught me the nasty lesson that love = pain. It has been wrapped up in my core being my entire life, in everything I do. When I fall in love with someone, it feels more like real gigantic love the more pain is attached to it. It is sick and has ruined much of my life. The worse someone treats me, the more desperately I hold on to that person. Though x has many good attributes (and those are the parts I love), the actual reality of living with him was like being in an abusive relationship. I am not saying he was deliberately abusing me, but his illness affected everything in our life in such a hideous way, it was very similar to living with my father. The constant stress, the fear (there were times he was terrifying, screaming, breaking things), the way I needed to moderate my own behavior to keep him from falling apart, always being on edge not knowing if I would be getting the sweet loving x or the mean cold version (sadly, the cold version was more common). Because of his hallucinations and delusions, he frequently accused me of the most horrible things (like cheating on him- he thought the babies we lost were someone else's, and that I killed the babies, among other terrible accusations- he was suspicious of me so much of the time- I never cheated on anyone, ever). Not to mention things like him looking at other women and flirting with them right in front of me, a *lot*, or excluding me from being around other people with him. Anyway, I could see the Light in him, I loved him so much, I wanted to help him get healthy so we could have a good life together, but I should have given up much sooner. It was pathological the way I kept trying. I couldn't see that I deserved to be treated so much better, regardless of whether it was an illness causing the horror. I deserve to be seen for who I am, to be treated well, because I am a really good, loving person. It has taken me a long time to understand this, and it will probably take me a long time before I really believe it, but I have to try. And part of that is to see that this desperate feeling about x isn't some beautiful tragedy, it is continuing pathology. I don't have to hold onto this pain to justify the years I spent loving him, or to somehow make myself believe that he really loved me as much as I loved him (maybe he did, but from what I saw on facebook, it looks like he is already dating someone else- which just, fuck that, being with someone else so quickly is just shitty, after the nightmare he put me and the kids through- it just shows me clearly how little I meant to him- he said he wanted to be apart so he could be alone and get healthy, but he started drinking again and whatever). Sorry this is so long. I am just sick of keeping all of this to myself, to be suffering and feeling like I deserve it. X's soul is beautiful, but the filthy shroud he is covered in is not. And he is choosing to keep that filthy shroud wrapped tightly around himself. I feel like I was battling his demons to save him for so long, and I failed. Now I need to battle my own, because I have been on this precipice for so long, I can't even believe there is a beautiful, solid ground for me to find safety. Every day I have to fight the drive to annihilate myself. And I can't do that, I have to find a way to live and be happy. Otherwise my abusers and evil win.
  2. Thank you all for your help. I am so tired of being beaten down by life, and it seems like every time I turn around, it is something else- but what I realized is that it all goes back to being abused. All of the bad shit. If I had been properly cared for as a child, my life would have been so much different and better. My brother keeps trying to be ok with it by saying that adversity made us stronger, more empathetic, etc. But fuck that. We could have been happy, good people if we hadn't been abused (and had an alcoholic mom who went on to marry our idiot stepfather who also didn't take care of us), instead of struggling for every good day.
  3. Ha, I wish. There is nothing saintly about it. Just lifelong sickness of pretending my father isn't a monster.
  4. Thanks, you all. It is shocking to be 46 and still be questioning myself about whether I was abused. Even one of the incidents would be enough to convince me if this had happened to anyone else outside of my family. If I read what I wrote, and it was written by a stranger, there would be no doubt, I would be horrified and tell that person they should cease contact. But I guess this is what abuse does to people. To get through it, everyone has to pretend it is normal (my older half siblings were not there for a lot of it, so maybe didn't see how pervasive it was, they tell us we are exaggerating etc. EVEN THOUGH they were abused! My sister was thrown through a glass door!). To be abused by a parent who is supposed to love you creates such a huge rift in reality. It has left me so polarized, I either don't trust people at all or put all of my faith in someone. And that someone is usually a person I shouldn't be trusting. I have stayed with really really sick partners because I can see the good in them, I hold onto the good to a pathological degree and keep explaining away the bad. Because that is what I had to do with my dad my entire life. (This is why I am still devastated by divorcing my husband, 5 months later, even though life with him was hell. I keep focusing on his good attributes and gloss over the seriously bad aspects of him. "Oh, if he just got treatment, he would be fine and we could be happy together." "He is so loving and sweet and smart..." The reality is that he has SZA [actually, it looks more like SZ at this point] and even with treatment, he had years of drinking and really shitty, douchey male behavior which formed him into someone I shouldn't be with. Just because he occasionally showed me his good side doesn't mean that is who he is overall. Though at least he is doing the right thing and staying away from me.) The cognitive dissonance is so severe, I have a constant dialogue going to try to keep myself from falling prey to forgetting. Which is making me feel crazier all the time.
  5. Ok, for those of you who don't have time to read the backstory, my question is how much obligation do I have to forgive and take care of my elderly, mentally ill father who was horribly abusive to me? Horribly abusive and still not admitting it or asking me for forgiveness. I want to cease contact, but worry that when he dies, I will be wracked with guilt I can never get passed. That not staying in contact with him will keep me from being the person I want to be (loving, good person). Keeping in mind that the abuse ruined my life, my ability to have good relationships, my body (I have fibromyalgia, probably caused by the abuse), my sense of self and trust in the world. ......... TRIGGER WARNING My father was abusive. He would rage, beat us, strangle us, hold guns to our mother's head (or his own, threatening suicide), beat holes in walls, verbally abuse us (while strangling me, holding me up in the air, would call me a "slimy cunt" and spit in my face- I was maybe 4 or 5), emotionally manipulate us (he would beat us, then collapse and sob, begging for forgiveness- if we didn't accept his apology, he would rage again). My mom told me that when I was a baby, she, my 2 year old brother and I were trapped in the car while he used a hammer to smash all of the glass out of the car. One of my older siblings was thrown through a glass door. I watched from the backseat while he was driving and beating my 13/14 yo brother on the leg, over and over and over, because my brother had gotten cake frosting on his pants leg- my brother's birthday cake, on the way to his party. Those are just some examples. He was also extremely controlling which was terrifying on its own (like, if we had to sleep near him, and we moved AT ALL or breathed too loudly/made any sound, he would rage at us, so we would just lie awake, rigid in fear). The police and social services were never involved as far as I know. My father is a genius and really good at appearing too much of an intellectual to be an abuser. He justified his behavior, blamed it on us, somehow every incident was ok because he apologized. And because we didn't have broken bones, cigarette burns, social services/police, the whole abuse trope, it took me years to realize it was not normal, that we were abused. Not just some bad spankings and being yelled at, but seriously abused. Once my mother finally managed to leave him for good, his abuse turned into neglect. He didn't pay child support, but spent money on himself (there were times we barely had food, but he would spend hundreds of dollars on custom made riding boots for himself, for instance), rarely saw us or spoke to us. And yet I still didn't understand how much damage he had caused me and continued to cause me, so when I was 16, then 18, then 21, went to live with him for periods of time. Finally stopped that madness when I got married at 22, and saw him off and on. A few times, he actually admitted to the abuse and apologized, but would then backtrack and say we were exaggerating, were "brainwashed" by our mom's "lies", etc. Fucking gaslighting at its finest. He still continued to neglect me as a daughter, rarely in contact, not calling even on my birthdays. And somehow enough time passed that I thought he was better, had grown spiritually blah blah blah. Saw him a few years ago, saw him in a rage against some man, I was terrified, but justified it to myself and still tried to believe he had changed. Recently he has been sick, and my situation has been dire, so I thought I should take care of my elderly father and get help with living expenses at the same time (we were going to buy farm property together). That somehow things are different now, that my kids should know their grandfather, that I should forgive and do the right thing to help my father during the last years of his life. So we went to see him again. And he has obviously been decompensating, just fucking whackadoo. He had a melt down in the middle of the night, and I was left in a horrible place of being terrifed yet cold and shut down. During his melt down, he took his pants down to look at some bug bite on his leg, wasn't wearing underwear, and a horrible sick feeling of dread took me over. A lot of things fell into place, things I can't deal with talking about right now, but suffice to say, all the therapists who have told me I was probably sexually abused were probably right (but, uh, my dad it too intellectual and British and proper and MY FATHER, so it isn't possible, right? And I am doing so badly, I am "probably just being dramatic" or something). So I decided that not only will I never live with him, but I think I need to cease contact permanently. But I feel like a horrible person for considering that and don't know what to do. My brother told me that just yesterday, our father was once more telling him that he didn't abuse us, we are misremembering/lying/being dramatic. Which makes me feel like we are back in the same dynamic, the abuse is still happening because our father won't let it go by admitting it and asking forgiveness, because I am feeling crazy for KNOWING IT HAPPENED and yet questioning my memory. That I am being a bad person for wanting to never talk to him again, for not taking care of him while he is old and sick. It is not a wonder my self is divided.
  6. Thank you, olga. Sorry it took so long to get back to this. Was gone for a month working, then a month long trip with my kids to visit family (ugh, nightmare trip). Was starting to feel better when I was 1500 miles away, but proximity to my ex impacts how I am feeling. And the time of year- what should have been our anniversary just passed, and the holidays- isn't making anything easier. I am definitely starting to be able to manage better, not ripped to shreds quite as often, but it is shocking how badly I still feel, almost 6 months later. Logically I have "accepted" the divorce. Emotionally and psychologically, I am still in limbo, just waiting to be with him again. Recounting to myself the bad times, the awful things that happened, how out of balance and unhappy I was with him doesn't stop me from wanting to be with him. If he wanted to get back together, I would probably do it instantly. Which makes me feel truly like a crazy person. Have also been thinking more about the troubles he had, and with some distance, it is easier to see clearly that it isn't so simple as his having just SZA. He had a therapist bring up the possibility of DID last winter, and it really does fit. For most of the time we were together, I kept thinking he had 3 distinct personalities (2 of whom sucked really hard), so it wasn't surprising it was considered by the tdoc. I don't know much about DID vs. psychosis, but he not only had distinct changes in behavior/personality, but often no memory of things he had said and done. And I guess that makes me feel a little better, to consider that maybe I was kept so off balance because I wasn't dealing with one person who loved me, but with 3 people, 2 of whom basically hated & resented me. Ugh, whatever the reasons, being able to remind myself that he is inded very ill, and ill in a way that interacted very badly with my illness, may make it easier to let go a little more each day.
  7. Thank you so much. I was thinking about the pie chart idea you mentioned and thought that maybe I could do a variation. I am very tactile and visual, and I thought I should get some small rocks/pebbles and two jars. When I remember a good thing, I will put a rock in one jar, bad memories, the other. I may even have different sized rocks, because some of the memories are bigger/heavier than others... I'm pretty sure I know which jar will get filled first. Also, I have a job starting Saturday five hours north. I will be working a lot and staying on a friends' property (really good people, a beautiful farm) for a month. It will keep me busy and in a totally different space, which should help me not ruminate as much. I have also made a commitment to complete some projects and read some books while I'm there, so I won't have the time to torment myself as much. (And may not even have internet or phone service, so it will be hard to go online and look for things to make me miserable.)
  8. I can't see a tdoc at the moment. I have work up north for a month, will be staying in a camper on my friend's property 5 hours away from the tdoc I have seen a few times. I have an appointment with her for when I get back. Something I realized today is that a huge part of why I am having trouble getting past this is because I have been viewing all of the bad things as evidence of my lacking. That he didn't get better because I didn't help enough, or help in the right ways, or tried too hard (pushing him away, because he doesn't want to believe he is sick, so all of my efforts, getting him IP when he needed it, into treatment, etc. made him distrust me). That my insecurities made him love me less. That he looked at other women, flirted with them, looked at pictures of women online, looked up his ex's and the like because I am old, fat, not exciting, don't dress the way he likes (hard not to believe those things, when the women he looked at were my polar opposites). That he avoided going out with me with friends because I was too stressed, too anxious, too paranoid about what he would be doing. So while being heartbroken at missing him, the good parts of him, the parts of our relationship where I really feel like our souls were matched, I have also been running myself down into the mud, making myself feel even more worthless.Because somehow I have made myself believe that all of this is my fault. That if I were a better person, or more like the kind of woman he wants, we would have been happy and still be together. That if I hadn't been so massively insecure while we were together, everything would have been fine. A lifetime of hating myself has been confirmed by my husband not wanting me anymore. (Which is why I am tormenting myself with constant obsessive thoughts about what he is doing, who he is with, that he is so excited to be away from me so he can sleep with everyone, all those young women he always looked at.) Knowing all of this isn't helping me find a way to feel better, though. I feel even more worthless, knowing that I am 46 and still haven't learned how to be happy with myself. And all of my other relationships ended when I was no longer in love with the person I was leaving, actively hated them, usually, and they were still devastating. This is a whole new realm of pain, I don't know what to do... Sorry to keep going on about it. I just don't really have anyone to talk to about it. My friends don't want to hear about it anymore, and can't understand why I am not happy it's over...
  9. Thank you. I didn't mean your advice, I was talking about people IRL who have suggested that I focus on the bad things and not mourn the good.
  10. So, I have been taking the advice given by a lot of people to focus on the negative aspects of being with my husband, so that I can be grateful to be away from him. Unfortunately, being angry and thinking of all of the bad parts is making me more depressed and obsessive. It has my head spinning, I am questioning even the good parts and hating myself (and him). So now I have this terrible grief to get past and all of this other shit to find a way around, because the obsessive thoughts are making me feel like I am right around the corner from really destabilizing. What do I do now? My head is getting really loud (ie. feel like there is psychosis bearing down on me), I am not feeling any closer to getting past this, except I mostly feel dead inside.
  11. That's ok. What you described is typical behavior of a lot of people... I think I just need to not answer. If he even calls again...I will be gone for most of October and won't have phone service, so it will be easier.
  12. Thanks, you guys. It helps to hear this stuff from people outside of my day to day life. He probably was just checking in to see how I was, not trying to hurt me or anything. He is a good person, just doesn't always know the right thing to do (remember, he has sza and is often listening to voices directing him). He was probably bored, or maybe missing me and doesn't have great impulse control, and probably didn't think through how it might affect me to hear from him...
  13. Yeah... And it didn't help that he called me yesterday, after nothing for three weeks (including ignoring me when I reached out). "Just checking in" etc. I feel as if I am back to square one. Wishing we were together, feeling like an asshole for wishing that, missing him so much. Ugh.
  14. Thank you, olga. Your "voice" is always reassuring. It doesn't seem to be getting better with time, but maybe more time needs to go by. Thanks, Will. I know I need to get back into therapy, but I've been so busy, it's hard to find the time. Maybe NAMI can help, too.
  15. Thank you, will keep that in mind.