Journal of My Story..... Thoughts | Feelings | Healing | Partners Recovery

Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by HonestyMatters, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    My husband is starting to have realisations that he needed to start seeing 8-10 years ago (realistically even longer), before Child A even reached double digits, and before Child B & C followed suit. Now as the youngest moves to middle teens and the older siblings closer to adulthood, he's starting to see (or at least get a glimpse) at how insidious his addiction has really been to this family, like a cancer it has ravaged through and permeated everyone's lives and affected not only me but our children.

    It's better to start realising something now rather than never. But it's also like FINALLY arriving with buckets of water or a hose to put out the house fire that burnt out yesteryear. Unfortunately you can't just rewind your children's childhoods or teenage years. You can't just give them all the direction, guidance, love, support and time that they should have gotten back then. They only get one childhood. The damage is done. And Now you've got an even bigger problem on your hands, one that has been snowballing for about as long as your addiction, and is now about 1000x the size that it ever would have been. If only he had EVER listened to the countless conversations that were tried to be had with him about this. About the ramifications and consequences that would undoubtedly unfold. They feel anger, resentment, loss, betrayal, sadness, misguided and even depression at times too. Over all they've endured, all they have lost or never received. I TOTALLY get it, I know what they FEEL because I felt it all those years too, and still do.

    The decisions you made and the behaviours you chose, that caused you to become distant, withdrawn and emotionally & mentally unavailable didn't just hurt your wife but it hurt and continues to hurt, your children too.

    And on top of it all, a lot of this blame gets directed at me. And I wonder why that is?? Because WHO blamed me all those years?? and WHO "GASLIT ME" in front of them all those years?? Their FATHER of course!!

    It reminds me of the "Nails in the Fence" story, the moral being no matter how many times you say sorry, the holes in the fence remain. They will remain there forever. The fence will never be the same.

    And now it's all about playing catch-up basically, I just don't know that THAT can ever be CAUGHT up!!!

    (Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we set out to deceive!)
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  2. Trappist

    Trappist Fapstronaut

    Sad realization. :(

    Made me think of my relative’s booze addiction and the generational nature of it. We were warned many times helping to inoculate a bit. SA/PA not so much, but I read and see a generational thing, too.

    Not to ignore freewill in this.

    Inoculating kids now still work?
    Recall Alateen was encouraged to begin to give kids understanding and recovery.

    Edit. Like nails story...
     
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  3. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    Yes, they say some family lines are just more addiction prone than others. Apparently studies show, that "Addiction is due 50 percent to genetic predisposition and 50 percent to poor coping skills"

    I guess ALL any parent can do is educate their children as best they can, try and be the best role models possible and try and guide them in the right direction. And Never stop talking to them. Then as you say you can't stop "freewill". I think it would be naive to think that most teenagers won't experiment with different things at times. All you can hope is their smart enough to not stay there. You can drill it into their heads as much as you like but at the end of the day it's ultimately out of our hands. Pot smoking is the issue at hand at present and quite frankly there could be far worse things. It's terrifying for any parent to know how easily they can get their hands on ANY drugs or prescription meds these days. With social media & tech they have a far greater reach and what they can easily get access to in the playground alone is friggin SHOCKING!!
     
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  4. hope4healing

    hope4healing Fapstronaut

    Hey @HonestyMatters , just wondering how you're doing since you haven't written for a little while. I hope everything is going well. :)
     
  5. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    Thanks @hope4healing , been having issues with husbands lack of empathy and validation over different issues and then lots going on with the kids and their teenage issues and behaviour..... just get overwhelmed with it all and the never-ending load of things to deal with in life in general...and work etc etc but yeah trying to hang in there. Hope you are going well too, thanks for caring xxx
     
  6. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    Getting back to my journal again this evening. It's been a stressful couple of weeks but then has been improving over the last week. Husband & I went through a very rough couple of weeks and we had separate sleeping arrangements in place again. We have now reconciled and are trying to move forward, again. He has been keeping up with his IA recovery work and I can see him putting a lot of effort in most days so that is a definite positive. Our issues were related to me not feeling heard, understood or validated yet again. He just has no concept of how I feel at times and I just feel like my feelings often get negated and just seem so insignificant to him. So many arguments stem from this. I just hope this IA work really helps him and things can be different and so much better between us.

    So I have been keeping up the MA recovery work although I'm very unsure of the whole 12 step part of it. GW actually sent me some very helpful information and some 12 step alternatives rather than the more Godly ones so I am going to integrate those instead. The MA work has certainly got more involved but it's going well so far. My husband has been completing his 5C's and also doing his dailies. He's also connected with another person doing IA recovery for the daily calls so I'm very pleased that he reached out and did this and is staying committed to the program.

    I've started listening to the The Presence Process audiobook and I also have the hardcopy as well. He is reading this book with his AP and he thought it's the kind of book I'd enjoy so I decided to read it too. I managed to get us both an audio version so he can listen on his drives and sometimes I just like to listen rather than read. I also decided to convert the Helping her Heal to an audio format so that he can listen to that on his drives to work too. I really hope he takes the time to listen to it a few times, because Doug really explains how it is for the betrayed spouse and how to help her and I really feel it's essential if we are to heal our marriage and be able to grow and move forward.

    I'm about to do some MA exercises and catch-up with my MA group meetings.

    Hope everyone is well!

    :emoji_sparkling_heart:
     
  7. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    So for my MA Recovery work I have 3 sets of Alternative 12 Steps that I like and can far better understand and relate to.....

    I think I will draw from all 3 versions depending on which resonates best as I work through each step in the MA Program/Recovery. The way I see it, is there is no need to limit myself and they all have something good & profound to offer.

    The Buddhist 12 Steps:
    1. Practice acceptance: You can’t control certain things in your life. You lose a lot of energy trying to change things that are out of your control. Your futile attempt to change things you can’t control causes you stress. This can have negative consequences in your recovery. So work on accepting things, starting with you.
    2. Develop confidence: Life can be unstable and doesn’t provide a guarantee of anything. When you have faith and confidence, you are able to deal with whatever is thrown your way.
    3. Create a place of refuge: It starts as a physical place where you can feel safe or where you can decompress. Eventually, you can learn to find that peace anywhere.
    4. Make time for self-examination: It’s easy for us to be overly critical of ourselves, but that’s not healthy. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Instead, focus on your strengths and on things you can improve.
    5. Set up a self-honesty team: Sometimes we have a skewed view of reality. Having a support system that will tell you the truth and give you quality advice is valuable.
    6. Be willing to move past limitations: We all have strengths and weaknesses. Learning to optimize your strengths and not dwelling on your shortcomings helps you attain your goals.
    7. Cultivate a sense of humility: Admitting that you need help and be willing to receive advice helps you stay humble. This can be difficult because you may want to believe that you can do it all. Allow yourself to accept your imperfections.
    8. Have a forgiveness practice: Resentment can take a physical toll as well as plague our minds with negativity. Forgiving yourself and others will lift that weight off you.
    9. Give back where it’s the hardest: In active addiction (betrayal trauma), you hurt many people, especially those who are closest to you. Giving back to others can help right the wrongs of your past.
    10. Admit when you’re wrong: You’re not always right; if you were, then you wouldn’t get yourself in trouble or hurt others. Admitting when you’re wrong sometimes is humbling and prevents the “black and white” thinking of addiction (betrayal).
    11. Keep your spiritual life fresh: Whether you meditate, pray or do yoga, finding your spirituality help you grow in your recovery.
    12. Practice unconditional love every day: Loving and feeling compassion for others helps you stay grounded. You show your appreciation of others and of life when you practice unconditional love.

    The Humanist 12 Steps:

    1. We accept the fact that all our efforts to stop using (feeling betrayed) have failed.
    2. We believe that we must turn elsewhere for help.
    3. We turn to our fellow men and women, particularly those who have struggled with the same problem (betrayal).
    4. We have made a list of the situations in which we are most likely to use (be triggered)
    5. We ask our friends to help us avoid these situations.
    6. We are ready to accept the help they give us.
    7. We earnestly hope that they will help.
    8. We have made a list of the persons we have harmed and to whom we hope to make amends.
    9. We shall do all we can to make amends, in any way that will not cause further harm.
    10. We will continue to make such lists and revise them as needed.
    11. We appreciate what our friends have done and are doing to help us.
    12. We, in turn, are ready to help others who may come to us in the same way.


    The Agnostic 12 Steps:
    1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction (our betrayal) - that our lives had become unmanageable
    2. Came to believe and to accept that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity
    3. Made a conscious decision to entrust our will and our lives to the care of the collective wisdom and resources of those who came before us
    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
    5. Admitted to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs
    6. Were ready to accept help letting go of all of our defects of character
    7. With humility and openness sought to eliminate our shortcomings
    8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
    9. Made amends to such persons whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
    10. Continued to take a personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it
    11. Sought through meditation to improve our spiritual awareness, and our understanding of a new way of life, and to discover the power to carry that out
    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, tried to carry this message to other addicts (betrayed Partners) and to practice these principles in all of our affairs

    Where there's a will, there's a way....

    :emoji_peace:
     
  8. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    It’s been a good weekend. Husband and I have been getting along well and connecting. We’ve been getting things done, and have been feeling loving and affectionate toward each other. It’s lovely when things just work and flow and we can feel at ease and just enjoy each other’s company. He fixed a water feature of mine just a little while ago which I’m so pleased about. It was given to me on Friday and it’s just gorgeous but the reservoir is too small so needs topping up with water too often. Anyhow, we thought we might be able to grind out the catchment in the base so it’s twice the size and he did a great job, very neat, straight edges, like it was meant to be. I’m so glad, he knows how particular I am and want everything symmetrical and spot on and he did a superb job!!!

    I’m currently listening to an audiobook The Six Pillars of Self Esteem. I started reading the book a while back but I’m not always motivated reading so I found the the audiobook for it. There happened to be one on YouTube and I also came across this guy Clarke Kegley who summarises some of the more popular books and he’d done one for the Six Pillars of Self Esteem so I thought I’d share it. It was a good little summary. I’m putting the full audio if anyone would like to watch it.





    Clarke Kegley’s actually got some other really great videos. I particularly like this one on Journalling. This one’s mainly directed at Men but he has an absolute stack of them on journalling, and using journals for the purpose of achieving your goals and dreams. I really liked them, well worth watching.

     
  9. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    I finished listening to the Six Pillars of Self Esteem yesterday. It starts off a little slow but once it gets into the discussion of each pillar it's actually really interesting. It's jam packed with valuable insights and wisdom in raising ones self-esteem and how important it is to have in life.

    Improving my self-esteem is a goal I set for myself this year and so starting today, I am going to complete Nathaniel Branden's 30 week program using sentence completion stems. Each week there is a block of 4 - 6 stems to complete. Every morning I am to spend 10 minutes writing between 6 - 10 sentence completions for each stem. This is done Monday - Friday and then on the weekend you review your responses for the week and then complete another stem relating to your previous responses.

    The idea is to work as rapidly as possible without pausing to think, inventing something if you get stuck. Any ending is fine, the most important thing is to keep going. It shouldn't take any longer than 10 minutes to complete and if it does then I am thinking (rehearsing, calculating) too much. He says to try to empty your mind of any expectations concerning what will or should happen and not to impose any demands on the situation. The art of doing it well is to maintain a high level of mental focus combined with a complete lack of internal censorship. Doing the sentence completion on a daily basis is a kind of psychological discipline, a spiritual practice even, that over time achieves insight, integration and spontaneous behaviour change.

    The sentence stems all relate to the Six Pillars of Self-Esteem which are

    1) The Practice of Living Consciously
    2) The Practice of Self-Acceptance
    3) The Practice of Self-Responsibility
    4) The Practice of Self-Assertiveness
    5) The Practice of Living Purposefully
    6) The Practice of Personal Integrity

    So I've completed my first lot of stems for the day, it only took about 10 mins as he said. I did get stuck a few times but just kept repeating the sentence until something come to me without overthinking it.

    The kids are on school holidays here, so everything is out of routine which is nice change but I always find it throws me off getting things done. It's great to have them around more and to be able to just relax and spend time with them.

    Things are going well between Hubby and I and we are both still working through our MA / IA program. He's really feeling that his whole reason for turning away from me and turning to porn is in large due his Intimacy Anorexia behaviours. He's always found it extremely difficult to share his feelings and to connect on an emotional level. He's always preferred to keep himself at a distance and to withdraw. Whenever I've not been satisfied and felt our relationship was mentally and emotionally unfulfilling he would mostly blame me for our problems because I wanted too much or expected too much and all of it would just go away if I'd accept him for the way he is. He is starting to realise that even though he has been an IA for as long as he can remember and those behaviours suited him that he still wasn't really getting any of his emotional needs met either and more than likely why he turned to porn to try to fulfill them that way. So hopefully, with him dealing with his IA issues he may be able to get to the root causes for his PA. Last night he said that if he can learn to turn toward me more and build a better connection and bond between us, then he'll hopefully in time be able to completely eradicate any urge or thought to turn toward porn.

    So currently in his recovery work he has a few things he's focusing on. He has his Intimacy Anorexia program and also the Presence Process program that his completing with his AP. Since the IA & MA programs are quite individual and separate in their workings I have felt we are not really doing much together and I feel kind of left out. So I told him this and that I'd like to read a book together. We decided to read the Hold Me Tight - Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love book together by Sue Johnson. So far we've read chapter 1 and are taking turns in reading it out loud. Sue Johnson's approach is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and considering emotional connection has been the biggest downfall in our relationship especially due to his IA behaviours and PA, I hope that this will bring some valuable insight to both of us and help us to bond in a much more meaningful and healthy way.

    So for the coming months, I plan on reading the book with him, continuing with my Married & Alone Program, completing the Six Pillars of Self Esteem Program and also my CBT work for Anxiety that I've been doing for about a year now. I think we both have plenty to focus on there and hopefully it will all bring about positive change in both of us.

    This weekend, we are off to the Easter Show with the kids so that should be fun. It'll be crazy busy no doubt and I hate crowds but I'm looking forward to seeing all the cute animals and watching the different displays and things on. The kids are old enough now that we can go do our own thing. They'll just want to go on the rides for hours on end so we can enjoy some time together.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019

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