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Hey Kimmerz, you are not alone in that dance. I dance to that tune as well. Been doing it a little longer perhaps, but same dance just the same.
It gets better and easier. Some of the things that help is to walk away from trying to understand that which is not understandable. Gives yourself time to process without hindrance. Then you come back and process some more. Rinse. Repeat.
You were together a long time, K. It'll take time and won't happen overnight. But keep at it and you'll find that you are closer today than you were yesterday
Me:41 D:17 S:15 "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" MLK Put the glass down...
As I said yesterday H and I were discussing yesterday arrangments in regards to getting D9 to MD appointment.
I later replied with what plans I had made with the kids for the special trip. We plan to drive half way, spend the night in a hotel, and enjoy some bigger city fun things. Then we're going to head the rest of the way in the morning, get the MD appointment taken care of, and then head back home.
I never got a response back from him yesterday, which I thought was odd given he was so chatty and of course texting at work away from OW. I think he makes a point to text away from OW alot.
And for the first time in almost a year have I seen this man appear just a little sad. He was just here and picked up the girls for their overnighter. He avoided eye contact until I told him to please let me know if D12 had any dizzy spells or feels sick for she just had two shots this afternoon.
I think I might have shook him up a bit. I let him know I will do this on my own and can do this without him. Im really wondering what his expectations were. The last time he got like this was about 3 months after he moved out. He was all worked up that he wasn't invited to his own daughters birthday party! I remember him asking what the plans were and when I told him I didn't know, his remark was " well was just wondering if I should take the day off. Guess it all depends if Im still invited or not. It doesn't matter Im working the morning that day anway".
Gee is it me, or was that a guilt trip or what? So what did I do at the time? Re assured him he was always invited to her b day party and then went on about details in regards to her birthday party that D12 had talked about but couldn't decide on. I also know that at that particular time I had finally reached a good stage of detatchment. I had read that when you actually start to cut the cord of that energy connection with someone, they sense it, and will then start in with ways to engage you again.
Well guess what? Today I have felt a sense of detatchment and calm that I haven't felt in months, and it feels SO GOOD.
Kaffe, I read over your post again, and yes you are so spot on!
There truly is a difference between empathy and sympathy isn't there? It's very easy to see someone's situation and sympathize, but empathizing is a whole different ball of wax.
Honestly I don't recall him ever having alot of empathy for anyone. Sympathy, oh yes, but empathy, well not much.
A good example of what empathy could be what happened at work today. There was someone that was really having a hard time, that was overwhelmed but alot of changes in her life and was crying because it was bothering her so much. I TRULY could identify with her, given this has been my life for almost a year. As I listened to her, I started crying, because i literally could understand without a doubt the basic pain she was feeling.
Where as I see many people that appear to be in situations that are difficult, and I have sympathy for them, but I do NOT KNOW what it's really like to feel what they're feeling.
It's also possibly to have empathy for people even if you've never truly experienced whatever situation they're in, but understand the general feeling.
Perhaps H has sympathy and see's me as a single woman with a temporarily handicapped child that's working her ass off to support them and is starting to get tired. Maybe he realizes he played a big role in this, so he figures the least he could do is just step up to the plate, be cooperative and give me a little extra money.
You're right Kaffe, I don't think he's given any thought as to how I feel about this, and whether or not Im comfortable with how he acts in regards to how he interacts with me now. I think H has just done what he wants, and what the thinks is acceptable to HIM.
Geez rose colored glasses coming off here now....did he ever think about anyone but himself?
You know I had told my aunt a while back, that if I were in the position of being the WAS, it would have to be for such a strong reason that I knew it had to be done. And if I knew I was breaking H heart by doing this, dear lord would I have done things differently. Just as you stated Kaffe, taking responsibility and being accountable to friends and family when confronted about it.
H did appear that way, was telling everyone he had moved out right after he did. Guess he blew up on his mom about me and why he was leaving, and then everytime he saw someone in public that asked about me and the girls he would tell him he no longer lived here at the house. I know of a mutual friend that said to him " THINK ABOUT WHAT YOUR'RE DOING here, ok?" We had another mutual friend semi blast him at Xmas in the store. And of course when his aunt confronted him via face book he admitted he asked for a divorce and then unfriended his ENTIRE PATERNAL SIDE OF THE FAMILY. Now that hurt me, because his Dad's side of the family are such a rare type of good people you'll ever come across.
I thank you for this post Kaffe. It's helped me see things in such a broader perspective, put all the pieces together to one simple thought.
The ability to have empathy.
And I will thank God every day that I have this ability, for it's probably one of the greatest gifts anyone could posess.
I guess with the transition I feel Im going through, this is where I can feel some empathy towards H. I've briefly felt the huge emotions he seems overwhelmed with. It feels so intense that you get to the point you don't care YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO MAKE IT STOP. This is the point where you can be rational or irrational. I've been so overwhelmed lately with stress, yes I've thought about actually seeing if the kids could stay with H for a week or two. THEN I THOUGHT ABOUT MY CHILDREN AND HOW THIS WOULD BE VERY TRAUMATIC FOR THEM...being away from me so long. WE are a unit and will tolerate seperation for a short time, other than that we want to be together.
At that point, hands down, it was clear to me. Mamma needs to find other ways to take care of herself, without ditching her kids and it can be done! I don't have to run away and wallow in my own selfishness, I can find a way to thrive and not run away. yes I need to make more time for myself, but I do not have to ruin lives to do so.
I wonder if we could put it in dart guns and shoot the MLCers in the butt with it like wild game and see if it makes any difference?
I don't know, the ADs made W worse and deeper into MLC...since she is off the "major" one and only on a milder one, she is getting better at processing her "stuff", better at being a parent, etc...the "major" one numbed her to everything but herself...either zombie OR spewing angry alien (SAA - mode). But she was on a pretty heavy dose with no family involvement with prescriber (we all would have said that Mom is different, and not in a good way...)
Oh, and I will get back to you on your post n my sitch...i just want to put some quality brain time into it...been juggling too many things that past few days.
There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly. --Buckminster Fuller
Every problem has a solution. Not every problem is mine to solve.
According to a lot of research, Empathy is chiefly a right brain activity. We all use both hemispheres, unless they are severed in some way, which is rare, but in some people there is strong left brain predominance, or they have trouble accessing all of the right brain functions.
This is all speculative, but interesting, as a defining trait of MLcers seems to be a real lack of empathy and understanding of the acute pain and hurt they are causing others. Even if they see it, the most they can manage is fairly weak sympathy.
absolutely! And I do want to place the caveat here that none of what I posted has any scientific basis, whatsoever!
It is simply an interesting artefact that appears to happen in those whom are diagnosed with, or suspected of, MLC.
Kimmerz, although empathy is a right brain activity (and this is stated with my very limited knowledge of brain function) it would not necesarilly suggest that MLC is more primarily a "left brained" individual. If there was a sever between the hemispheres, most if not all right brain functions would be affected, as in what might occur in a head injury (by whatever means).
IF this were actually the case, then it is just as likely to be some (temporary) chemical imbalance (rather than neurological) as the "condition" does appear to correct itself over time (at least in many observable cases).
What I suspect might be interesting to know is how many of these suggested observations are a condition of defence.
IOW, while it may appear that the empathy switch is turned off... it might be more accurate to say "the switch is broken" or "the switch has a faulty or overly sensitive breaker".
People with MLC might be observed to have (slight, moderate or more) empathy for many, but appear to break the circuit with those they have the most emotional connection to.
So for example, with the spouse or children or those close to the nuclear family whom are sensitive to the situation, and the MLCer does not want to cause emotional pain to, the switch turns off when emotionally related topics come up.
ie. With the example of my W an the miscommunication I used as an example above, it appeared that my W TRIED to empathize and it was as though I was able to visually see what was becoming immense emotional discomfort and so the switch "broke" and she defaulted to shame and blame, unable to receive and process the results that the empathy centre would have returned to her.
So in your metaphor Kimmerz, it COULD be like some default CMOS chip that, when the breaker flips, the return code of -1 is returned and the brain simply follows a low level, default instruction. A hard coded, defence instruction.
The brain is an amazing organ which is crazy how self protective it is of itself and loyal in the same way to it's host...
This switch may already be overly sensitive in those whom are prone to MLC. As is often indicated, people in MLC have some prior trauma in their life which may be real... or may actually be perceived (and unconscious) trauma from their past...
Which could lead to why there seems to be many similarities between the WAS and the MLCer, with the difference appearing to be primarily their inability to empathize and therefore their inability to take responsibility...