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Gerda Rises Up to Go On

Posted By: Gerda

Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/27/19 10:23 PM

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Gerda's Prayer Takes the Form of Angels

ďOh, how I have wasted my time?Ē said little Gerda; ďit is autumn. I must not rest any longer,Ē and she rose up to go on. But her little feet were wounded and sore, and everything around her looked so cold and bleak. The long willow-leaves were quite yellow. The dew-drops fell like water, leaf after leaf dropped from the trees, the sloe-thorn alone still bore fruit, but the sloes were sour, and set the teeth on edge. Oh, how dark and weary the whole world appeared!

For those paying attention, yes, I have gone back a few chapters in the story of the Ice Queen. Gerda had made it to the castle, but shortly after her tears melt the ice in Kay's heart. My tears have not melted anything except maybe some of the beautiful hearts here. So I realized I have not made it to the castle at all. Or that I don't know what the castle is.

Seven years in, and I am stronger and clearer-headed. My faith is I think stronger than ever, but I no longer try to understand God's plan for me and I think I am entering a new period of understanding that I can't ever get God to do what I want by being good. And this has set me on a totally different path of faith, one that is a lot darker in some ways.

I am no closer to believing that this is real. I live my life, I have joy and a whole life of my own, very full of many things I love to do and be, advances in my artistic career, and even friendships I didn't have before which are sometimes confusing. But I don't know what standing is anymore, as I face my H in court and see in some ways pure evil. Standing has been my identity all this time, and it was never confusing to love unconditionally. But this divorce is a whole new thing -- not the divorce but what he is doing to make it happen. I realize that in some ways he wants me totally destroyed. And yet I can so clearly see how broken he is, and I even feel sorry for him. That terribly broken man sitting in the court is not my man, but I can't stop believing that my man still exists. Even when I read the threads of my friends here -- sjohn and sbj and DnJ -- and see the acceptance in your posts, and hear about your dating, I get really sad. I don't believe it is real in your lives either. Everyone I know is always marveling at how happy and normal I appear, esp since H moved out. But I'm still on my knees at least once a day, totally bowed in grief. I have healed somewhat from my past but there is a gaping wound related to my future.
Posted By: Gordie

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/27/19 10:37 PM

Thinking and praying for you. My post got deleted so trying again. Your gaping wound is real and donít feel you need to hide it. As your Lord invites Thomas to do, stick your hand in there. Acknowledging it and your helplessness in healing it is your first step in opening yourself to your Lordís healing. You know this.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/29/19 12:51 AM

Gordie, you have no idea how good it is to see your name on my thread, let alone your beautiful message.

You said, "You know this." I don't know if I know it anymore. That is part of the struggle.

I thought about what you said for a long time last night and this morning, about sticking my hand in the wound. I am not even sure I know how, more than I have been doing all this time. For starters I just prayed for a while visualizing it. It's a mystery for sure. I am going to keep thinking about it.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/29/19 01:04 AM

Today something awful happened.

In the morning H came to pick up D10, and D10 had asked me yesterday if I could be "friendly with Papa" again, as I was before. I told her I was sorry I hadn't been able to do that, that it was hard because of the way he was in court but I would try. So I was outside when he came, about to walk the dog. The dog was limping and H noticed this, after never noticing the dog at all these past years. He checked his paw and pet him, etc., and the dog was going crazy licking him and whining. D10 and I were looking at each other, and I knew we were both thinking, Wow, maybe H is still in there.

When she came back in the afternoon, she told me that Papa brought his friend, but don't worry, she is really nice, she is so nice, she is actually exactly like you, she is the kind person you would like, not like (the godfather who paid for his lawyer and who is weirdly often there when she sees H. I have told her is not a real friend to our family without saying why). I knew immediately who it was, but I said, "Oh what is her name," and it was the name of the OW from going on years now, the one he called, "My secret other wife," but I had thought it ended a while ago, I think it had but I guess he started it again. I don't know what I did with my face then, D10 was saying, "What's wrong?" And I finally mustered some response that nothing is wrong and ran out of the house for a little while. When I came back, I decided to make sure it was her, so I asked if she has kids. (I know that the OW had two young kids and H was always talking about how she was a "real Catholic since birth" as opposed to me, and how they were so moral and god fearing that they weren't sleeping together and that she wouldn't leave her husband because of her faith. ) D10 said happily, yes, said their ages. I asked if she was married and D10 said, "Well, that's the thing. Papa said she is married but she probably won't be very soon. So that's the one way she isn't like you." I said, "No, D, she is not like me. Not at all." She asked how I knew and I said, "I know who she is. She is not nice. She is a lot like (godfather from above)." I had so much trouble controlling myself, so don't judge me for saying that much. What I wanted to say was a million times worse, so that was pretty good in comparison.

And then I dropped her at a playdate and spiraled for three hours.

Also realized this might be why he is so violently set on getting me to sell the house quickly. He did the same thing a few years ago when I first found out about her, said he was taking his half of the house so he could marry her. I remember saying, "So you are going to break up two families and start a new one and you think all the kids are going just adjust to that?" And he said, "Yes, if you don't poison them against her." Now it's many years later, I am not even sure how many, and it's like he is replaying his first replay.

And here I am, looking for some hugs from my friends here. I imagine you must think it's insane that I am in year six and still so hurt by these things but as I said above, I still don't believe this is real. I still can't adjust my heart or my mind. It's like I have two lives, and sometimes I have to re-enter this horrible reality and I just look around wondering how I got here and not believing it, waiting to wake up.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/29/19 04:27 AM

Hello Gerda

Sorry about the tough day. You held your tongue very well when speaking about OW.

I hope you can believe me. Please do not feel judged or prosecuted. People here give advice and suggestions with the intent to help and illuminate, not to belittle. (((Gerda)))

I do understand when you speak of how it is like living two lives. It feels so unreal or maybe surreal is more apt.

For what it is worth my dear friend, you are making progress - no matter how much it doesnít seem like it to you. I see the movement. As I said, I hope you can believe me. Itís up to you if you will.

The double life does eventual become one, becomes real - all of it.

There is much denial, the inability to believe, in all of this. Things just donít feel right. Much like letting go of fear, one needs to rationalize things. To see things without the emotional attachment. If you recall, I found being accurate in thought and heart helped me walk along the path. Allowed me to rationalize things.

In my opinion, you are much further along than you think (or feel or believe whichever case youíd like to consider). You are more and more accepting your situation, the horrible reality you spoke of. And accepting that STBXH is not the man you knew, and that H might still be trapped somewhere deep inside. Whether he will ever emerge is beyond anyoneís knowledge, and left to the unknown future.

It is becoming more real, not less.

Perhaps it is not that you are waiting to wake up from this horrible reality, it is you are trying to go back to sleep.

Donít worry, things will merge and clarity will come. Stay the course.

Be accurate. Use your mental assertiveness, the sword and shield.

Iím right here beside you.

(((Gerda)))

DnJ
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/29/19 05:06 AM

Prepare yourself for a dark reply. I am really really sad tonight, so I apologize in advance.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Whether he will ever emerge is beyond anyoneís knowledge, and left to the unknown future.

It is becoming more real, not less.

Perhaps it is not that you are waiting to wake up from this horrible reality, it is you are trying to go back to sleep.


Yes, you are exactly right. That's it exactly. I don't want to walk anymore through this sort of daylight. I don't want to hope anymore and yet I can't give that up either. I am not losing my faith in God but what I thought it meant to follow God feels like it is killing me. Your total lack of any connection at all, I know it is devastating, but that is what I long for. To almost never have to see or know. To not bear witness to this anymore. It is so filthy to me, I feel like someone is holding my face in a pile of sh$t, like a mean dog owner does to a dog to train him.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Donít worry, things will merge and clarity will come. Stay the course.


What is the course? I can't even remember. All I have in front of me is endless horrible divorce proceedings, the depositions, the screaming and fighting no matter how silent I am or reading my book or looking up at lettering above the judge's head, "IN GOD WE TRUST."

Originally Posted by DnJ
Be accurate. Use your mental assertiveness, the sword and shield.


What is accurate? I can't remember. Can you do the thinking for me? I mean, can you spell it out for me in the post? It's like this past week I forgot how to read what is happening. I need something to follow, my mind is in a free fall and I can't figure out what the sword or the shield would be for me now, in my specific circumstance. Can you teach this kid to ride the bicycle again?

Originally Posted by DnJ
Iím right here beside you.


But you are not right here beside me. The physicality of my loneliness is precisely what is eroding my hope. There is a fog everywhere, in my head and even all around me, things literally piling up in my house because I can't muster the energy to attack that either. I feel like my loneliness is clawing at my heart, trying to rip its way out. This love I have been carrying for so long, with nowhere to give it.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/29/19 05:23 AM

Gerda, you and I look at the world very differently, but I see your pain tonight and I want you to know, from someone who has been there, that there is a place beyond the pain. Neither the divorce nor these feelings will last forever. As for your H and the OW, I worked in a place that had a policy never to hire people who had previously left. You see, experience had taught them that some people are convinced there is something better out there, so they are never happy. Or they try something new, and don't like it, and want to return to the old, but they aren't happy when they do. The same things that caused them to leave were still there when they returned. Retreading old, failed ground, is not a sign of happiness or moving on. Quite the opposite. And don't feel bad about what you said to your D. He was very wrong to take her around this woman, particularly without discussing it with you. Everyone complains about the erosion of values, but if you want your children to have a sense of yours, you have to take a stand against the things that threaten them.
Posted By: job

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/29/19 12:52 PM

Gerda,

I am sorry that things look bleak at the moment, but now you know what is driving his madness and vindictiveness towards you and wanting a divorce.

I find it interesting that he as circled back around to the same OW and she is still married. I would be surprised if she divorced her h after all of this time.

To me, it was very inappropriate to take your D around this woman and also to be having a discussion w/her about the woman not being married much longer. Too much info for a child, even one that is smart and more mature than he is.

I wouldn't say anything more about the OW or the man who helped pay for his legal fees to your daughter. You don't know if your h is grilling her for info and being a kind young lady and wanting her daddy's approval may talk too much and not realize she's doing it.

Gerda, it's not you...it's him. Work through the pain and then release it. You have to continue moving forward and not look in the rear view mirror for what once was is now in the past. Focus on you and your children and getting through the next few months.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/29/19 03:40 PM

Good Morning Gerda

OwnIt is so very correct - there is a place beyond the pain. The feelings of torment, loss of control, divorce, pain - they do not last.

She may very well also be correct, and her companyís policy, about not rehiring a person who has left or quit. Iím not sure about one strike and youíre out fits this exactly, but it is sure worth thinking about.

jobís advice is spot on as well. This is all about H, not you.

H is having inappropriate conversations with D10. As much as she is looking for validation from her Daddy, he is looking for validation from her. And he will gain inside knowledge from her, so be wary of what you share with daughter and son.

A very hard thing I had to learn, and was so freeing and helpful. The OP is someone of significance in our spouseís life. That other person will (probably) becomes a person of significance in our childrenís lives - possible, depending on what goes down.

Spouse and child - it is their relationship. Our job is not to maintain it. Our job is to not destroy it.

My XW and OM are still together coming up on two years. The kids visit her, and OM now. At first they hated him. Now they can cook breakfast for him. Forgiveness, not condoning. You can only control you, and hate is a terrible burden to carry around. Teach and show your kids well.

Originally Posted by Gerda
Yes, you are exactly right. That's it exactly. I don't want to walk anymore through this sort of daylight. I don't want to hope anymore and yet I can't give that up either. I am not losing my faith in God but what I thought it meant to follow God feels like it is killing me. Your total lack of any connection at all, I know it is devastating, but that is what I long for. To almost never have to see or know. To not bear witness to this anymore. It is so filthy to me, I feel like someone is holding my face in a pile of sh$t, like a mean dog owner does to a dog to train him.

Gerda, please read this carefully. I am proud of you.

Pushing back denial is painful. Opening up to what is actually going on is so hurtful. Questions are normal and necessary. This shows a great inner strength, especially admitting it. And by the way, when you find your way through this, not much is ever going to cause fear again. Just a little pep talk from the other side.

Hope lives in our belief in possibilities. I would not want to see you give that up. Hope looks towards a better future - and there are many that are possible. Focus on you and all the hopeful outcomes of your life, not Hís life. Your life.

Likewise for the light we walk in. As that light spreads into all the dark corners and recesses all manner of buried and forgotten pains and demons scurry about looking for a place to hide and fester again. That is all this is. Do not stop shining your light, give them no place to hide.

Originally Posted by Gerda
What is the course? I can't even remember. All I have in front of me is endless horrible divorce proceedings, the depositions, the screaming and fighting no matter how silent I am or reading my book or looking up at lettering above the judge's head, "IN GOD WE TRUST."

The course. Focus on you and the kids.

What does Gerda need and want? And do not include H in any answers. I know how hard that is - letting go. Trust this. You have those answers inside yourself, and you are starting to discover them. (((Gerda)))

Originally Posted by Gerda
What is accurate? I can't remember. Can you do the thinking for me? I mean, can you spell it out for me in the post? It's like this past week I forgot how to read what is happening. I need something to follow, my mind is in a free fall and I can't figure out what the sword or the shield would be for me now, in my specific circumstance. Can you teach this kid to ride the bicycle again?

Can I do the thinking for you? smile

Gerda, my shield is polished bright, and my sword is sharp. I walk a razors edge between encouraging and controlling, inspiring and rescuing, and sometimes I fail and step over that line. Remember you have the final say in what you do.

Accurate is like I just stated above. The truest, openest, most vulnerable version of reality. In accuracy - I am a fixer. I would love to rescue you. Instead I encourage and inspire (I hope smile ).

So be accurate in thought and heart. First thought - this will rationalize what is going on. Then heart - after a good rational grip on things oneís emotions do not run away on them and can be accurately viewed.

Intellectual car stuff is first. All the court screaming, anger, motions, and so on. See it, without emotion, for what it is. (By the way the following answers are only for you, no need to post them)

Who is proposing what? Who is pushing for what? Are there things you are pushing for? What are they? Are your emotions getting in the way? If so, in the way of what? How are S and D doing? Am I getting the bills paid? Is there food on the table? Am I really focusing on me? What am I really focusing on?

Ok, thatís enough examples.

Now, emotional car. How do you feel? Be vulnerable and true in your assessment. Acknowledge it. Accept it. Are you proud of it? Does it fill you with warmth, love, light, hope, joy, and such? Why and why not? Strengthen what is working and change what is not.

Focus on you and craft your reality. Sword and shield. You will fall off the bike more than you want too. Get back on, find you balance, and keep pedalling.

Originally Posted by Gerda
But you are not right here beside me. The physicality of my loneliness is precisely what is eroding my hope. There is a fog everywhere, in my head and even all around me, things literally piling up in my house because I can't muster the energy to attack that either. I feel like my loneliness is clawing at my heart, trying to rip its way out. This love I have been carrying for so long, with nowhere to give it.

I understand.

I also have piles of stuff all over my house. Piles of things from two years ago I need to go through. There are piano awards to hang on the walls, last yearís graduation pictures to print out and frame, piles of old homework and mementoes to store away, seldom used rooms in complete disarray, and such. The accumulations of a life on pause. Trust, itís ok, and it will get better.

I have started, but itís a lot of stuff. smile

Accuracy:

The physical loneliness. Have you even been with someone and still felt alone?

Loneliness is an emotion, triggered by the physical absence of a person, of a temptation. Looking at this accurately can provide ways of accepting and overcoming the emotional suffering it inflicts. I find you to be a very good person. I imagine you would be great company - even for yourself.

The erosion of hope is an illusion. It is the probabilities that are changing. We tend to tie hope to probability, instead of possibility. Hopeís strength lay in possible; expectationís strength, and lack of, lay in probable. For example, my perceived probability of XW awakening is diminishing. Everyday it gets lower and lower - if and when I think about it. smile However, the possibility of her awakening still exists, just as much as before. Therefore hope still exists, just as before.

Now, the big stuff. I am not like before. I have changed. Let go, dropped fear, forgave, and so on. Strengthened my beliefs, stand tall and proud, and face this in full light. I still hope XW awakens - for her. She and I have no relationship. Whatever the future might hold, we, her and I, have to craft something new. Even it were to be friends. It is very humbling to see where our control stops, and where the wisdom of respect and forgiveness really matters.

The probability of a reconciliation is not zero, itís very low, but not nil. That being said, my life, both day to day, and big picture, is not planned, designed, or lived by any possibilities or probabilities of her awakening or reconciling. Stand for you - is such an accurate position to live from.

Find the light and push back the fog that clouds your mind. You facing a divorce and many unknown outcomes and fears. I know and remember the crazy realities of my life at that time.

Breathe, focus on what is truly important - You and the kids.

Keep the business part of this as business. Uncouple and detach the emotional part with accuracy and rational thoughts. Decide on your headings, those grand lofty goals you would like to achieve, and walk towards them. Believe in, and follow the beacons in your life.

I am proud of you.

DnJ
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/29/19 11:37 PM

Gerda - just want to say I am sorry. Wish we could take the pain away. Itís awful, it really is.

Feel it and process it but know that you are strong. You deserve happiness and peace. You will build it over time, brink by brick.

Take it moment by moment. Be gentle on yourself. Believe better days are coming your way.

It does get better...
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/30/19 02:33 AM

Originally Posted by OwnIt
Gerda, you and I look at the world very differently, but I see your pain tonight and I want you to know, from someone who has been there, that there is a place beyond the pain.


OwnIt, it is precisely because of our different world views that I really found your message so touching. I guess my pain must be really palpable right now and it made a bridge between our visions. Your compassion really touched me and was so loving, thank you so much.

Originally Posted by OwnIt
Everyone complains about the erosion of values, but if you want your children to have a sense of yours, you have to take a stand against the things that threaten them.


This gave me a lot of courage to continue to stand up for those values. D10 said something else about that woman tonight, and because of what I said, I was able to say a few clear-headed things.

Thank you, OwnIt!
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/30/19 02:39 AM

Originally Posted by job
Gerda, it's not you...it's him. Work through the pain and then release it. You have to continue moving forward and not look in the rear view mirror for what once was is now in the past. Focus on you and your children and getting through the next few months.


Job, as usual your post had so many tidbits for me to stick into my brain. Thank you! This one above most of all. It's amazing how often we LBS's need to re-hear that it's them and not us. Though I guess I mostly do know it's him, I just get confused about what choice I should make as a result!

I am trying to work through the pain, and to not look too far ahead, as you say. I am really really suffering but trying to just let myself sit with it. Tonight I was the reader at Mass and after I sat back down I was thinking, "OK, I am really suffering but I just stood up and gave my reading to all these people, I am still able to give something even though I can barely function." The rest of the Mass I let myself go and just cried in my little corner but I think I need to do that for a few days. Sometimes I think of this whole thing as a first earthquake at BD1 and then all these aftershocks, sometimes almost as big as the first BD and sometimes just little violent tremors.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/30/19 02:43 AM

DnJ, I read this already a few times but I need to read it at least a few more. Rescuing sounds great right about now but I am sure you are right that it's better to teach me to fish than to fish for me, teach me to ride a bicycle, teach me to install a base board heater, etc.

Still when we are in free fall, it is very helpful to get someone else's goggles on til we can find where the heck we put our own glasses. I am going to wear yours for a couple of days. I don't even feel like looking for mine. Glad yours are so clean and clear.

Well, okay, maybe I am not going to wear yours. I am still in the pit. But I am going to keep trying yours on.

More later, but please know that I am taking each line to heart and that I am extremely grateful and more. Also you know how I always say that when God wants to tell me something, he tells me twice? Well, it must be about hope this time. See below, a note from my spiritual father that came today.

I know that this causes you a great pain, a lot of guilt, a sense of failure, a sense of being abused... Accept this as a temporary trial.
Hopefully you will get 0ut of the slavery of Egypt and toward the promise land; but before reaching the promise land there is the desert. In the desert there is not goal, no direction, no joy, only hope.
As you go through this desert, don't make any plan, not even think about your future. Rely completely on the Lord; He knows and He will show you His mighty power. Believe that He has your life in His hand.
Keep on suffering for your children and put all your hope in the Lord. In the future He will show the way.
Keep your faith and Hope, because the Lord never abandons those who love Him.

Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 09/30/19 02:47 AM

Originally Posted by HaWho
Gerda - just want to say I am sorry. Wish we could take the pain away. Itís awful, it really is.

Feel it and process it but know that you are strong. You deserve happiness and peace. You will build it over time, brink by brick.

Take it moment by moment. Be gentle on yourself. Believe better days are coming your way.


HaWho, getting a post from you is always very special. I was always told to read your posts because we had a similar situation in many ways. Thank you for reaching out and for this leg up. Knowing that you understand the painI I am in is very comforting, as is knowing you are on the other side of that mountain. I will try to keep having hope.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/02/19 10:45 PM

Not even sure where to begin -- but yesterday, Oct 1, I had to pay H $2500, order of the judge. For a couple of days, he kept writing to me that I should pay it early because his landlord wanted the rent early. I ignored that.

On Oct 1, I opened up e-mail, and there was an endless vicious diatribe from M about my "late" payment and the announcement that he would be moving back in that afternoon.

I ignored that. I didn't have the money at all, so I put it on a credit card on PayPal and took off $500 for the child support he was supposed to pay. I had rented a car to take D10 to the beach for the day and was trying to get out the door.

Within a few minutes, huge onslaught of texts that if I didn't give him the whole thing in an hour, he would be at the door and I should let him know which floor or rental unit he should move into and he was glad because he wanted to see his son and be in his home and gather his things. S14 wasn't coming to the beach, and I was terrified that H would show up. All my L could offer as advice was to change the locks and call the police. I was out walking the dog and beelined to the locksmith to come change the locks while I was at the beach. I had promised D10 all summer we could do this day trip and there was no way I was going to cancel but I didn't want problems with S14 seeing H or with our renters witnessing any drama.

And so I decided to put the other $500 on the card. I figured it was better that we report he didn't pay child support than that I risked not following the order -- but most of all it was worth $500 to avoid a scene in front of the kids and all the horror of trying to keep him out.

I didn't read the long note, sent it to my BF, but I saw a little of it. He is unraveling even more than usual. And kept talking about his home and how he needed his home and time at our rental upstate, his "lucrative and 'lovely homes". It's interesting -- When he was H, home was such a big deal to him because his parents were never really making him feel at home and he had left his country as a little boy and ended up as a latchkey kid, etc. When he started going crazy, he kept talking about the idea of home and how he would create his own home since I didn't make him welcome in ours. (This was total rewriting, home was total sanctuary and I loved making things homey for my family, we always loved being at home and working on things together.)

More notes followed but eventually he calmed down after my BF wrote him back with some details about our finances and why he had to find a cheaper place, and he was able to see that I was serious about sending his crazy notes to her and not reading them.

Today he wrote to me and my BF a very normal sounding note that I had to pay the back rent on his storage unit and also really nice paragraph about he fixed the car and I was welcome to use it any time!!! ?????

Lord it is tiring.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/03/19 01:29 PM

By the way, BF meant Best Friend! I just realized it might sound like boyfriend!
Posted By: job

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/03/19 01:42 PM

Gerda,

Do not pay the back rent on his storage unit. You gave him ample notice where it was and what he had to pay. It was up to him to either pay the rent or get his belongings out of there. If he had money to have the car fixed, then he has money to take care of the back rent on that facility.

I would like to know how he's driving the vehicle without a driver's license. Is the car in your name and do you still carry the insurance on it? If you do, you need to notify your DMV that you no longer have the car and drop the insurance on it for now. Drop the insurance and advise your insurance company that he doesn't have a valid driver's license. This is not about revenge, this is about protecting yourself if he has an accident.

Notice how he changes up his demeanor when he gets messages from your BF? Now, he wants to look like a great guy in her eyes and is trying to make you look unreasonable and insane. Do not drink the kool aid that he is serving up and I am sure your BF knows what he's doing.

Do not be afraid of him. He is nothing more than a bully and knows that you will jump when he says how high. He sounds like he might fit in the disordered personality arena. So many of the things he says and does reminds me of that personality disordered...but that is my opinion from what I have read about him over the years.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/03/19 03:58 PM

Hello Gerda

I agree with job, and had a similar post until I pressed the wrong button on this touch screen device. Lol. Argggg!

Good job ignoring Hís shenanigans, emails, and threats.

Itís pretty apparent that H can and will change his demeanour quickly making himself look like the good guy. My XW did the same kind of thing.

I would stay away from borrowing the car, or other helpful offers. It will backfire onto you, no matter how it goes down. The car is his, leave it at that. Pretty sure you are doing that - just assuring.

You got this well in hand. Pay the $2500 and let him be the person who is not fulfilling his obligations. Your side of the street will be nice and clean.

DnJ
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/03/19 09:13 PM

DnJ and Job -- Thank you so much for weighing in.

Don't worry, I was actually never on the title of the car and I cancelled the insurance and he did get his own license. So that's all his problem now. He even somehow managed to find the money to get the car fixed and pass the inspection! So I guess the car was worth more than I thought!

I've been trying to figure out why I feel so terrified all the time, unfocused, etc. The peace that came with his moving out was intense, but it is being eroded by dealing constantly with the divorce horrors.

I have been reflecting on my stance on this divorce and if I would do better to give in to all his demands and be done with the horrible interactions and his ability to keep harassing me. But what I always come to is that what I am asking for is more than reasonable, and that I have the right to try to keep a half-decent life for my kids if I can. I am not asking for alimony (not that he has any money for it), I gave him the car, I have rented out half my own apartment to be able to give him money every month until now. I am pretty much solely responsible for the kids in every single way and don't really even get any child support -- I just took a deduction off paying him, and when I tried to do that this month, I was forced to pay him the whole amount so I got no child support at all! And I am not disputing that he will get what he is due, only when. I am running the rentals entirely alone (as I have since before BD) -- and that means doing all the reservations, bookkeeping, greeting guests and dealing with issues, cleaning toilets and rooms when I can and managing cleaners when I can't, doing all the garbage and maintenance and what limited painting and other stuff I can manage -- all to keep his asset warm for him and pay all our joint (largely his) debt and get nothing for it except that I don't pay much rent. I am not even fighting for the right to stay in the marital home with the kids til D10 is 18, though I would like to. I am only fighting to stay here for sure until June so I don't have to move the kids during the school year -- esp my son, who has such severe school refusal problems already. And that I be given until then to repair my credit and get the refinance that I have been told by the bank I can get as soon as my credit reaches 650. I have implied that if I can't do that by June, I will sell.

I would really like to insist that we stay here til S14 graduates high school, since it's his school refusal issues that are the most severe and the reason that I have to be home every morning to work on getting him up and out, often for two hours.

I feel like what I am asking is more than reasonable and in fact it's not even fair that he would get so much when he does nothing in any way to support either the family or maintain the asset -- and that I have nothing to be ashamed of for holding my ground. But I am in a constant state of doubt. Everyone is always screaming at court that I am trying to hold on to what is his. The judge has told H to get a job and support himself but she keeps allowing him to demand more money out of me when he threatens to move home. Sometimes even my L pushes me to settle for these absurd timetables H keeps pushing. My L has no kids and does not seem to understand the impact this is having on the kids and my desire to limit further stress until the summer. There was never a GAL because we settled custody, so the extreme issues my kids have with learning disabilities and emotional disturbance of my son has never been openly discussed in court.

H does not want to wait until June. He does not accept any of the court-ordered appraisals and is insisting that everything get put on the market, despite all the appraisers being who HE chose -- because he thinks there will be some kind of bidding war to push the price up higher than the appraisal. Today his L made an "offer" that I sell everything but don't have to close until June.

Sometimes I think that as much as he wants money fast, what he wants most of all is to get control of everything and prevent me from having any agency over anything "left over" from our married life. He is so vengeful and vicious.

I think the biggest problem with MLC in divorce court is that the same rules are being applied here as to any other divorce, and the MLCer is taken seriously, as if all the demands make sense. So something that is totally way out there becomes the starting point for compromise, and thus compromises are not comprises at all, but more of the same insane demands watered down only very slightly. And whenever we do go to court and to my mind H is getting reamed and chastised all over, he thinks that he is succeeding! So we aren't even reading the reality there in the same way either!

I am not really even sure what I am asking here.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/04/19 01:54 AM

Hello Gerda

Good post!

Originally Posted by Gerda
What is accurate?

That was from a few days ago.

I believe you accurately captured your situation. Nice job! Really sharp sword, and bright shield.

Now, do not give in to his crazy demands. This horrible proceeding will not last forever. I would not give to much credence to H or his lawyerís screaming rants. Just because something is louder doesnít make it more true.

However, when your L expresses concern over timetables and such, listen to him. Seek to understand why he is recommending what he is. Remember he is on your side.

You lawyer, from what you have said, sounds rather nice and levelheaded. With custody being already settled, further disruption to you and the kids isnít a court priority. Sorry to be blunt here. The court is now only splitting assets and figuring out support and alimony. Lawyers have seen lots of this stuff and get a pretty good feel for when and how to go about reaching the best deal.

This part is definitely business. Stick to business. Get your best deal - and only you can define what is ďbestĒ.

I could be way off base here. I think trying to stave off disruption until summer, is going to be a problem.

All this being said, you are being reasonable and fair. And dealing with H, a man who has lost the plot, and doesnít care or understand about reasonable and fair anymore.

Originally Posted by Gerda
I am not really even sure what I am asking here.

I donít think youíre specifically asking for anything.

I think you are finding an accurate and accepting view. Pulling it all together.

I really liked your post. You stated lots of things, problems, and concerns. However, I didnít see any fears. Just concerns. Was really wonderful to see. Did you notice that?

Gerda, you are one strong lady. You can handle concerns. And you know you donít have to do it alone.

Sword and shield.

DnJ
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/06/19 01:03 AM

DnJ, I am wondering if you are intentionally ignoring the opening where I admit to being in a constant state of anxiety and terror. I am sick and tired of your positivity and inspiration and hope! Just kidding, I love it. But I am not very good at it (yeah, i know you are going to quote that and cross out the "not very"), probably because I don't want to be good at it because on some level I like to be trapped in my thought trap. I know I am nowhere near where you are in terms of acceptance of my new life and my future life. And I don't know if it's because I don't want a new family or to live that blended family life and you are open to it. And yes, I know that is part of the jumping ahead thing we are supposed to avoid, but right now it is defining my stand and making it feel very negative and yet I can't see it any other way even though I try most of the time to not even think about it!

D10 kept mentioning the OW today. I did tell her last time that that woman is very lost and should be spending her time with her family and her own H, but today when D came back from a night with H and told me that Papa is painting and doing handyman work for OW, I almost threw up. My best friend is in education like me, and likes to give kids all the tools of life from the get go, to be leaders and participants in everything; she thinks that I should tell my kids everything, including that I had cancer and that H had this other woman all this time, etc., so that they can be informed and make their own choices. But I don't know. All this time I didn't tell them about the adultery because I wanted them to believe in marriage and not to fall into repeating the choices of their father, since that always seems to happen with kids who had a cheating parent. So I am not sure what is best there (and in fact I would love to hear a whole bunch of opinions on that from all the wide variety of outlooks here), but I sure wish I never had to hear about that woman!

But if you read what I just wrote on BPD's thread, you can see a little of your influence does occasionally sink in. Today in fact I was trying to force a DnJ discipline on myself, but I couldn't remember what was accurate, what was the sword, how to shine it, etc. As a way of climbing out of my almost unbearable loneliness tonight (D on a sleepover, S somewhere out there with his skateboard), I wrote on that thread something really really specific, hoping it would sink into me too.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/06/19 03:18 AM

Hello Gerda

Originally Posted by Gerda
DnJ, I am wondering if you are intentionally ignoring the opening where I admit to being in a constant state of anxiety and terror.

No, Iím not ignoring it.

Your last post had this:
Originally Posted by Gerda
I've been trying to figure out why I feel so terrified all the time, unfocused, etc. The peace that came with his moving out was intense, but it is being eroded by dealing constantly with the divorce horrors.

Then went on with 6 paragraphs, a few of them quite large, rationally explaining what is going.

You used the words ďI thinkĒ when describing a few idea, and others you just plainly stated the facts with sans emotion.

That is mental assertiveness - the sword. From my side of the screen - you detached, uncoupled from the irrational pull of your situation. For a little bit. Please see that.

That is exactly the start of it. Seeing and believing it is possible. Itís not about seeing it in me or others; it is about seeing it in you.

I think I didnít ignore anything, I think I saw pretty clearly. It does help having walked through that maze before.

Originally Posted by Gerda
I am sick and tired of your positivity and inspiration and hope! Just kidding, I love it.

Gasp! Wow! That was a bit a scare until I continued reading.

Positivity, inspiration, and hope. smile And I have actually dialled myself back, online.

You are right in that I am open to (and want) my life and future life, even that blended family part - although that is my least favourite bit.

At first I had to just accept what is and what is not. I didnít want it. I just had to accept it. To open up to it. Hey, it ainít going no where, so what choice do I have. Then after I got open to the idea, it wasnít so bad. It wasnít so good either. However there is good in all things, even though it might take some significant digging to find it. The good does outweigh the bad, by a significant margin.

I do believe in telling the kids, age appropriately of course, about the situation. Shielding them from certain information will backfire eventually. Adultery is a good example. I donít think that because Dad cheated his son will cheat. I believe childrenís behaviour comes from how the parents deal with the different stimulus. Not talking about something, burying it, and it will come back later.

How we talk about things, like adultery, is just as important. We need to keep our prejudices and feelings out of things. Value and beliefs should be discussed along with the facts of what is happening. And no bashing the other parent. They are a hurt, torrented, and desperate people doing desperate deeds. Kids can understand that. Kids can accept that. Kids can most definitely choose better and not bitter.

As for instilling a belief in marriage to children. Nothing is more powerful than demonstrable role model. How you, the sane stable parent lives her life will convey much more than words ever will. They have two role model already, and will have for some time.

My beliefs, and demonstrations. I love my kidsí Mom, my wife. I did not date, or stray while married/separated - or even after, apparently. I was kind in my limited interactions with her, even though inside I was destroyed. I continue to be kind and value the many great years of marriage. I did not rewrite my history. Instead, I write my future.

I do apologize for my sometimes lack of specificity; it is done with intent. (((Gerda))) I really want to hear what you think and believe.

I will answer, specifically as I can, the questions you posed on my thread.

DnJ
Posted By: Grace21

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/08/19 02:13 PM

Originally Posted by Gerda
Hopefully you will get 0ut of the slavery of Egypt and toward the promise land; but before reaching the promise land there is the desert. In the desert there is not goal, no direction, no joy, only hope.
As you go through this desert, don't make any plan, not even think about your future. Rely completely on the Lord; He knows and He will show you His mighty power. Believe that He has your life in His hand.
Keep on suffering for your children and put all your hope in the Lord. In the future He will show the way.
Keep your faith and Hope, because the Lord never abandons those who love Him.



I love this, and can really relate. I am backtracking a bit. Worrying too much about H and his GF, and not relying enough on God's guidance and promises. Very timely, my friend.

I'm sorry you continue to have so many trials. It's hard to understand how people can be so mean, spiteful, and vindictive.

Originally Posted by Gerda
I have been reflecting on my stance on this divorce and if I would do better to give in to all his demands and be done with the horrible interactions and his ability to keep harassing me. But what I always come to is that what I am asking for is more than reasonable, and that I have the right to try to keep a half-decent life for my kids if I can.


You are doing what is best for your kids and you, and that is always the right path. Stay the course. Stay strong.

You have the strength, my dear Gerda.

Grace
Posted By: Yail

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/08/19 04:43 PM

Originally Posted by DnJ

Not talking about something, burying it, and it will come back later



Hi Gerda,

I don't believe we really know each other welll, but wanted to echo DnJ's sentiments above. I think not talking about things (anything, really) is in part a behavior that may lead to NGS and/or other avoidant behaviors. I know that I learned some of that from my own parents, and I'm actively seeking to re-learn how to engage with the world around me.

If your parents see you authentically engaging with the world around you - including the difficulties you are currently facing - they will see that at the end of this their mother will come out out a stronger woman despite/because of the adversity she faced.

And they will internalize that they too have the ability to face the world head-on. I think that's what's needed in a strong marriage. The courage to keep trying, even when things do eventually get hard. Because all marriages reach a point where it gets really, really tough.

Personally, I believe in having a growth mindset (as opposed to a fixed mindset). There's a definition for that: "In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard workóbrains and talent are just the starting point." So we are all still growing through life, and with the growth mindset you can tackle the tough parts of a marriage, not just give up and say "Oh, I wasn't built for this."

Sharing the details with your kids and being age-appropriately honest with them shows you are in a growth mindset becuase you're looking at the world around you and responding in a way that is best for you. They can see you working through it. That will stick with them.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/09/19 04:45 PM

Originally Posted by DnJ

You used the words ďI thinkĒ when describing a few idea, and others you just plainly stated the facts with sans emotion.

That is mental assertiveness - the sword. From my side of the screen - you detached, uncoupled from the irrational pull of your situation. For a little bit. Please see that.

That is exactly the start of it. Seeing and believing it is possible. Itís not about seeing it in me or others; it is about seeing it in you.


Thank you as usual for writing such thoughtful replies to me and giving me so much of your time and care.

I was thinking about this part of the thread the last few days. It may have to do with the state of mind we are in when we come to this board. I was thinking about how I am known for being a very shrewd and daring woman in my business life and how H used to say of me, "She laughs at work." H's MLC hatred of me is largely based on his feeling that I am so pragmatic in business, taking risks but always aware of the worst-case scenario to be prepared for, putting emotion aside to get a deal done. My artistic life requires a constant ability to put myself out there and get rejected many times before getting work/acceptance.

What you said here is what I do most of the time but I never think of myself as wielding the DnJ sword or being clear and accurate, etc., because my heart hurts so much.

But maybe I really am like that almost all the time except when I collapse in the arms of God or in the virtual arms here. All I did in the last five years and what I am doing now to keep our physical ship (house, biz, tax issues, food/clothes for kids, etc) from sinking was nothing anyone I know could have done. Or to use your car metaphor, I have gone thousands of miles on fumes.

The cross maybe is more the heart burden than the rest. I am walking and living and dealing but my heart hurts so much through it that I am squirming inside all the time from the pain.

And there is another thing that I will save for your thread because it addresses something you said there.

Originally Posted by DnJ
I do believe in telling the kids, age appropriately of course, about the situation. Shielding them from certain information will backfire eventually. Adultery is a good example. I donít think that because Dad cheated his son will cheat. I believe childrenís behaviour comes from how the parents deal with the different stimulus. Not talking about something, burying it, and it will come back later.

How we talk about things, like adultery, is just as important. We need to keep our prejudices and feelings out of things. Value and beliefs should be discussed along with the facts of what is happening. And no bashing the other parent. They are a hurt, torrented, and desperate people doing desperate deeds. Kids can understand that. Kids can accept that. Kids can most definitely choose better and not bitter.


OK, so what do you think is an age appropriate way to tell a 10-year old? I have no idea. I have an idea with other peoples' kids, I work with kids for much of my work and consider myself a teen whisperer. But my own kid, and all the baggage I am no doubt lugging in my heart/head? I don't know which things are right and which are a secret desire for her to hate H. I am not fully aware of that desire but I imagine it is lurking under there somewhere. Some need for revenge that still persists underneath my desire to let God be the only judge here, and to forgive everything and to stand. Certainly I can admit I would want her to never encounter OW and if she does, to hate her. I know intellectually why that won't work but I am just being open about what is in my heart.

Originally Posted by DnJ

My beliefs, and demonstrations. I love my kidsí Mom, my wife. I did not date, or stray while married/separated - or even after, apparently. I was kind in my limited interactions with her, even though inside I was destroyed. I continue to be kind and value the many great years of marriage. I did not rewrite my history. Instead, I write my future.



Do you still love her?

For my part, I think I still love the Artist Formerly Known as H even if his body has been overtaken by the MLC alien. But I can't remember him that well. Some of it might just be obedience to my vows. Some of it is genuine compassion for him, locked somewhere inside that monster, and of course the whole point of my screenname, Gerda, who walks miles barefoot in the snow because the ice queen has frozen Kay's heart, and she can melt Kay's frozen heart with her love. Not that I think I can do that by walking anywhere. But just by standing, to be open to the possibility.

There is some part of me that feels very strongly that once I let my kids see me love someone else, the game is up. I don't ever want to do that. I hated seeing that as a child. It is part of what led me to Christ, understanding that my feelings about remarriage as adultery that were just instinctive as a child were actually part of the Christian faith. I am not saying I wouldn't love another man besides H. I haven't acted on it but certainly I have felt it. I am only talking about legitimizing it with an actual relationship that my kids see.

And that is why I get confused about standing. I know I can have a great life without H. It's the limitation I have placed on that life that gives me pause.

All that said, I did realize after a dark talk with S14 the other night (he said he didn't want to live, etc), that they need to see me really love my life. So I am going to try to fake it til I make it on that front. No one needs to know that the one thing plaguing me (I mean besides the daily horrors H sends my way) is the thought of being alone til the end. More on that on your thread. The rest of my life can be great either way.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/09/19 04:57 PM

Grace, thank you so much for the encouragement, and I am glad my spiritual father was able to minister to you too. I am very lucky to have him, even though he has moved away from my city, he still writes to me when I ask him for advice.

I have noticed on your thread that you seem to be walking a fine line between doing what you have to do and letting some other forces creep into your vision of it. The whole divorce process is so focused on what is just and equitable, literally, that it makes me sometimes forget where to put my energy as far as what God wants. For example, I think that fighting to keep my kids in their home and community is something I can stand for. But trying to get some of the extra monetary things that would be right but would require a lot of vicious fighting, I am willing to let go of those. I have taken care of everything myself since BD and before it without any help from H. Using the court to get him to do what's right now is not of interest to me if it requires that I turn as ugly as H has turned. I am fighting as long as I can keep my kids in our home but that's my outer limit for this mess.

(((Grace))))))
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/09/19 04:58 PM

Yail, thank you so much for writing; it's always nice to see someone I don't "thread with" that often come by and weigh in, I need and want that very much!

I am not sure I totally know what you mean. I see what you mean in theory, but are you specifically talking about how I talk to my kids about the adultery? Also in the case of my son, he already refuses to see or speak to H since he left in June. H keeps writing to him saying he doesn't know why; he has forgotten that he abandoned S at BD and spent 6 years ignoring him! But I can't see any reason to sit S14 down and tell him about the adultery, unless I was sitting the kids down together. I always thought if I said anything it would need to come out of the context of something my kids said or asked. My D does see him and is now being forced to see the OW so I did think maybe I should say something more, but I am not sure what purpose it really serves. Doesn't it just add to D10's burden?

I understand what you are saying about growth. But I always get confused in application of ideas that make sense in theory!
Posted By: Yail

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/09/19 09:30 PM

Yeah...I was wordy but not very clear crazy I have a lot going on in my world and I think I had a brain hiccup or two mid post! smile

Originally Posted by Gerda
I always thought if I said anything it would need to come out of the context of something my kids said or asked. My D does see him and is now being forced to see the OW so I did think maybe I should say something more, but I am not sure what purpose it really serves. Doesn't it just add to D10's burden?


I think this is the perfect summary, and I see your thought process clearly now. I would be having the same back-and-forth. The easiest solution is certainly answering questions your kids have in an open and honest way. But if they're not asking, that does become tricky. I'm not a parent, I can't speak to how to navigate.

I will think on it some more, and may pop back in if thoughts come together in a more coheasive way.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/10/19 05:04 PM

Oh my gosh, Yail, not at all! You are being clear, I just tend to need a script to understand advice! But yes, I do think all the things I am good at with other peoples' kids become totally foggy when in the thick of my emotions with my own.
Posted By: sjohns6

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/10/19 08:31 PM

Hi Gerda! I wanted to chime in on a few things.

First, the kids. I also have a hard time with knowing exactly what to tell them. My kids don't know that W had (at least) an EA. I feel like I'd like them to know some of the WHY behind things. But, they haven't asked of specifics, and they are staying with W every other week. D does not have a good relationship with W (even though it seems like W has been trying lately), and son seems fine but somewhat indifferent with her. My relationship with them is great. At this point the EA was about 2.5 years ago. They haven't asked for specifics and their relationship already isn't great with W, so I haven't given them the details of that. I think if she was still actively in that EA, or that it had continued on longer than it did (OM got married shortly after to someone else) then I may have made the move to tell them. I don't want to unload on them more than they can handle or need, but my struggle has been with exactly what that means. I've been feeling it out and I think I've made the right decision for my sitch, but everyone's is different.

I also wanted to touch on dating. I would advise most people against it until they are fully healed. About 6 months after W moved out (which was about a year and a half after BD) I started going on a couple of dates. Mainly I was really lonely and I felt like I had progressed to a point where I wasn't depressed every waking hour of the day. I felt like I was better enough to explore opportunities. The truth is, I was lonely and wanted to feel loved. So, I met a girl that I really like and have been dating her for a while now. I now realize that it was a mistake. This girl I met is amazing. She is smart, funny, a great cook, loves almost all the same things as me...and she really likes me. At first it was great! Well, its still great, but I realize now that getting myself involved with someone else before I was healed was A) slowing down my healing by distracting me with another relationship, and B) not fair to her because I can't really give her my all.

Thing is, I realize I've hit a bit of an emotional wall. I really like her, but I can't seem to get past a certain point with the development of my feelings for her. I realize now that its because I haven't really fully healed from the sitch with W. So, now it seems that dating has caused more complexity within my situation. I like everything about this girl, yet I realize that I'm not really ready to be in a full time relationship. I wanted you to know how dating is for me so you could gain some insight in to what it might be like if you did. It would probably feel great at first being that you have been emotionally depraved from your H. Its nice to have someone to tell you all the things you've wanted to hear from H. But, after being told those nice things, there is a relationship with someone new to maintain.

I'm sorry to hear about all the nasty things H is doing to you in court. One day you'll be seeing all this stuff in the rear view mirror. Won't it be nice to eventually get out from under all this mess? It will happen...its hard during this part, but you will get past this to the next chapter of your life.

(((Gerda)))

-Sam
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/12/19 06:02 AM

Sam! I loved this post, everything about it. First of all, this is the longest post you ever wrote to me, it was chock-full-o-thoughts and all were really valuable and helpful. Also I loved how you said what you said. You really know how to measure your words, and your kindness is just beaming through all your words -- I can see exactly why you felt moved to write these things, and I totally hear you on all counts. I am glad you understand the complexity of what to tell the kids. Sometimes I feel this desire to tell all, but I can tell it's not coming from a pure place so I have tried not to. I am sure I say more than I should, but I have thought a lot about something someone wrote to me here, that I did have the right and indeed the duty to share my values with my kids and to try to transmit them. With that as a goal, it seems easier to know what to say and when. But like you, I think it's probably best to wait until it's really clear that they are either asking or need to know. I did sort of lie about it when they asked in the past, and I kind of regret that now, but maybe it was the right thing at the time. I still don't want to tell them I had cancer; they are still rather attached to me as I am literally the only consistent grown-up in their lives, the only one who has loved them consistently via words and action. I feel like they have this psychologically-rooted fear of losing me, just as a sort of background noise in their lives, and I don't want to worry them further when it doesn't really help them to know it. Sometimes I want to tell them because I want something in return -- obedience, appreciation, etc -- and I know that that also is not coming from a pure place so I haven't acted on it.

About the dating -- That sounds like a hard situation to be in, I mean because you can see intellectually how much you like her for all the right reasons. As a woman, I am trying to think of what I would think if I were her. It's a tough one. I would not believe you that you hadn't healed yet. I would think it was because of me. But via my perspective as a stander and a person of faith, I think it might not be possible to heal enough to be all in. The one-flesh is always gonna be one-flesh. If you've decided you are never going to go back even if your exW wants you back, then I think it's more a matter of accepting that. I actually see it as a positive thing. I think it's good that you were that committed to your W that there is a piece of your heart that will always be off limits to anyone else. If this woman is the right woman for you, I think she would have to understand that. I meant to write about this on your thread and forgot, maybe I will go over there to say what I was going to say.

But as for me, I am not planning to date or work on a relationship, don't worry. I don't see it as waiting for healing, for myself. There is the one-marriage-til-death issue, of course. But also I don't want that life of blended family or to bring that into my kids' life. I only contemplate something a little darker, honestly -- based, as DnJ always says, on feelings and not beliefs! If I am going to do something that fits in with my beliefs, it would be to do nothing until God makes it clear that I should stay single or that I should annul my marriage. I don't see myself doing that but time -- or God! -- will tell.

Thank you so much, seriously, for taking the time to write all that. Very very helpful and just always so great to hear from you. And my invitation still stands for next time you and your kids are heading northeast!
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/14/19 06:05 PM

Good Morning Gerda

It is nice to hear how clear and accurate you are, and that you know you are.

Also the going a thousand miles on fumes is a good description. So, what (or who or where - Iím not wanting to limit you smile ) refills your tank?

Originally Posted by Gerda
Do you still love her?

Yes.

And in truth, I love her more now than probably ever before.

Love is strange. And is not enough.

I did hang on very tightly and had to let go for my own sanity. I had a lot of despair and desperate love pains. Lovingly letting go, freeing someone to let them figure out their path, ahhhh that feels good. That is peaceful.

Loving someone else, as you said, I know I can do that. My heart is big enough, and healed enough.

The obedience to vows, the possible limitations to ones life. Yep, things to reconcile within yourself.

If it helps, from the heart and mind of DnJ, there is no right or wrong here, just your perceptions. Perhaps you are adjusting them. Perhaps they require adjustment. My certainly did.

Originally Posted by Gerda
There is some part of me that feels very strongly that once I let my kids see me love someone else, the game is up. I don't ever want to do that. I hated seeing that as a child.

Hate is a really strong and powerful emotion and response. Your strong feelings regarding what could happen if your kids see you love someone else. Sounds a lot like a emotionally based response - a fear.

Do not make decisions based on feelings and emotions. Follow your beliefs and values.

Beliefs are a force within you. They include thought and emotions, and are beyond them, something more. You can have a belief based on fear and hatred, but I am pretty sure you would rather not.

To be clear, I am not admonishing you in the least. I am suggesting you look into this value, this belief, and find the hidden deep reason behind it. The belief wonít change (maybe) but the reason for it, will. And then so will you. And your perceptions.

Originally Posted by Gerda
OK, so what do you think is an age appropriate way to tell a 10-year old?

To start with: D10, I love you and I still love your father, even though at times he really bugs me.

I think Dad is really hurting inside and is feeling a lot of emotional pain. It kind of explains some of his behaviour and what is going on. (I would suspect questions and observations will arise about his inner pain, his behaviour, his leaving you, and so on)

(Explain his MLC as just that)

I believe something happened from Dadís childhood, something traumatic, and it hurt him deeply. He was young and didnít know how to handle or cope with it. He has no one to ask questions too, or he didnít want too. So he just ignored it. Unfortunately when we get older sometimes these old wounds open up and surface. And they really hurt, so people try to outrun the pain. Of course you really canít, but Dad doesnít see that right now.

I have a really good friend, his name is DnJ, and his wife did something similar as Dad did. He explained to his kids and younger nephew and niece that this is kind of like a broken arm, except it is the mind. Just like the arm, it is broken, and it is very serious. It causes extreme pain, and your arm canít work correctly.

Unfortunately Dad doesnít see, or doesnít want to see, how broken his mind is. And unlike an arm, oneís self really cannot see it is broken. Just think about that, your mind tells you whatís wrong - but what if your mind is wrong? Hmmmm.

So, I and you still love Dad. It is ok to be kind to him, and be compassionate to his suffering. It is also ok, to feel angry at him sometimes as well. Or any other feelings. In time things will settle, and you and Dad will find a balance. Ha, even Dad and I will find a balance.

You know Dad and I are getting a divorce. Dad has other plans at the moment. Youíve met his GF and married people donít have serious Mom & Dad type relationships with other people.

- - - -

That is just some ideas, I did consider writing your daughter a letter, like I did your son. I can if you would like me to supplement your approach to this. It is up to you.

Gerda, this is hard stuff, figuring out what to tell our children. Look to the end goal here. Do you want D10 (think D18 or further) to hate Dadís GF? To really harbour a deep grudge towards this woman? Or Dad? Of course not. And neither do you.

We as the sane stable parent do everything in our power to be the rock for our children. To prevent this from have a devastating affect on their future - something I completely believe is possible. This is more than just words, it is actions, and it is choices. It is leading with example and grace and light.

And sometimes a change of perceptions is required.

DnJ
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/20/19 07:05 PM

First of all, thank you so much for the post, awesome as usual. I have in fact said something like most of what you advised already, with D10. I have been saying a lot of that for years now. And thank you for offering to write to her, I will think about when that could work and let you know. Very very kind of you. But really it's just the adultery part I didn't know how to say. But this week that woman was AGAIN at H's very limited time with D, and she was going on and on about how nice she is and how her kids are in Sunday School and I almost passed out, so I did finally tell her the truth. She was not able to take it in very well, she said, "Papa cheated on you?!" but then switched the topic. I haven't told S14 because he doesn't see H anyway, or talk to him, so I am not sure there is any purpose right now other than a dark side of myself wanting vindication.

I haven't written back to your excellently long and thoughtful post partly because I am drowning in work and had to do massive prep to rent out my apartment for this week. (My aunt was going to be out of town and I was so desperate for money, we live in a place where this is easy to do, lots of tourists.)

But partly because I realized that there might be something about me that you will not understand and it seemed daunting to explain it.
Originally Posted by DnJ
Look to the end goal here. Do you want D10 (think D18 or further) to hate Dadís GF? To really harbour a deep grudge towards this woman? Or Dad? Of course not. And neither do you.

Because yes, I do want D to hate that GF. Depending on what you mean by hate. Not the kind of hate that consumes, like that song, "I live in my enemy's head rent-free." Not that she would not practice forgiveness. But I do not want her to have relationship with someone that immoral -- and I consider it dangerous to my daughter's emotional and moral development when she is forced to hang out with someone who is that immoral as to actively have an affair with a married man for years, including when his wife had cancer and was clearly standing for her marriage. That woman was eating in our family business (literally, a restaurant) and interacting with my staff when I was out of town, was probably in my bed at the same time. A new GF is one thing. This particular person is another. So yes, I want D to hate all that that woman represents. I want her to mistrust her and never show her a piece of her precious heart. I want her to reject outright that kind of person. I want her to pray that she goes back to her own husband and not break up another family.

And I don't see that as a bad thing, to believe that. I see that as a good thing.

You are always asking about my beliefs, and here is the thing -- my belief is that marriage is a commitment til death. My circumstances therefore are a real test of that belief. My belief has not and will not change. Will God forgive me for doing otherwise? Yes, of course. Even if I start sleeping around, He will forgive me. The question is how do I live in order to be all that God intended? How do I get closer to God? Catholicism offers me a way out of this conundrum -- annulment. But to me this is just a legalistic way to undo my belief. One day I might do some or all of these things that go against my belief.

My spiritual father wrote to me with his usual astonishing wisdom/love, and I will include a clip here to say it much better than I can. But I think the point is that this feeling of dying and all the pain we feel (or you more in past tense) are natural. They are the consequence of my belief. If I change my belief maybe the pain will be less. But that is not possible for me. I am instead focusing on accepting the "death" that Fr describes below, the grain of wheat, lil' Gerda.

You have to distinguish two levels of our life: the natural (psychological, social, legal...) and the spiritual (soul, God, gospel...) It is absolutely normal that you feel to protect your daughter (the best thing you have in life as a mother) from the intrusion of the other woman. It is important for you as a mother to keep the relationship close to you as mother/daughter. So it is normal that you have all those feelings. (Look for instance any mother-animal would be very aggressive and would kill in order to defend her offsprings). So naturally you are reacting as any good mother.
Spiritually you have the the faith to overcome all this and raise your spirit to another level, which is the level of Christ. You say that you feel that you are dying; and that is really what is happening; your motherhood is dying, not in a natural way but because the intrusion of this woman. If the grain of wheat does not die, it will not bring new life.

So what can you do? BE STRONG! The truth will come out; your daughter for now is finding something new, that she did not have before; but there is only one mother, and some day she will realize that the love of a mother can come only from a mother.
I think you are right to let her know that what that woman is doing is wrong, but at the same time you should show that you are above any jealousy or vendetta. You can show her that God gives us the capability to forgive even the worst injustices; and that she can always count on HER MOM.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/21/19 02:46 AM

I take back part of that. I have never explained it as well to D10 as you do in this letter. On the other hand, I am not you. I am the mom she ended up with. I made mistakes and I will never know if I chose rightly each step of the way, but at least I can be sure that she saw me keep choosing to love.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/23/19 02:31 AM

Good Morning Gerda

Originally Posted by Gerda
I made mistakes and I will never know if I chose rightly each step of the way, but at least I can be sure that she saw me keep choosing to love.

I have made mistakes along my path as well, we all have.

You are a great loving Mother. One who cares enough to listen to other views, and does the best for her kids. Son and daughter recognize it, and someday, when they really ďseeĒ, they will be amazed at what you did for them.

I do understand the dark side, the hatred you want your daughter to feel towards OW/GF. The wanting for her to reject that immoral behaviour and ideals. These two things need not go together. They are two separate things.

Daughter can reject that immoral path, without hating it. To walk in the light, one needs to understand and accept the dark. We all carry both within ourselves. Hating the dark, and one hates a part of themselves.

Your belief in marriage and vows, I do share. I too thought about annulment and figure it is just a loophole; also what happen to the childrenís status if marriage is nulled. I didnít look further into it as I decided not to go there.

I empathize with you and had/have similar internal battles. As too why is this such a conundrum. Here is my take on it, and I wrestled with it until a light bulb moment happened.

I didnít want to get divorced. I want to keep my word, my vows. But, to keep them, I had to consign myself to living alone, and being lonely. I would unwillingly have to follow Godís will, because I am suppose to. And then Iíll be alone, and no other relationship, living out my days in a big old house all by myself, etc, etc, etc...

<click>

Itís all about control and lack of control.

When forced to do something against our will, we rebel and donít like it.

Having to keep my vow because God says so, or the bible does, or my vows said so.... What a minute. I want to keep my word. So keep my word because I want too. Not because I have to. Because I want to. Well that certainly turn this upside down.

So keep your word until you want to change it. I control me.

Originally Posted by Gerda
...my belief is that marriage is a commitment til death.

I hear you. I understand that belief. And til death is a very long time, hopefully. Donít need to look that far ahead. I know I was, with all my predicting of my future. Just look, say, to next week.

Be gentle on yourself my dear friend. Answers present themselves when we are at peace, and when we least expect them.

Acceptance and forgiveness.

I had to accept something I didnít want too. And forgive the hardest person to forgive.

I accepted that I can change my belief of my vows. And I had to forgive me for realizing that I could.

Now, I am internally exploring my belief of this. It is no longer carved in stone. I may end up altering it, or perhaps strengthen it even further.

I was willing to die for a belief. Now, I live for a belief.

I like what your spiritual father said. Much like the grain of wheat, we do somewhat die, and from that such incredible grown can happen.

Be strong Gerda. (((Hugs))) This is one of those hard earned moments. Man oh man, there are too many of those our paths.

DnJ
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/23/19 04:22 AM

DnJ, I am glad you wrote to me today, it was good to "see" you. I read your post and will have to mull over it a bit. We may be saying the same thing or we may be saying the opposite, I am not sure. I agree that feeling forced to miserably accept a "directive" from God is a path to disaster. I imagine our MLCers felt this way somehow. But I also think that there can be great freedom in surrendering one's will to what you don't want to do, I think that's why those things are in the bible, as God knew we would not want to do those things so He lays it out for our benefit, just like I lay out for my kids that they should not eat ice cream for every meal. Or that they should not lie or steal, and why, etc.

I have certainly found that to be true for many things, and it is the reason I am still standing.

I just don't know about the current discomfort. And lately everyone around me is telling me that I missed the signs, that H must always have been like this, that this was always in him, etc. Some friends will say things like, "Well, he was always lazy compared to you, you were always the one doing all the work at the business," etc. Or talking about how there was always some part of him that was unreachable or various other things that seemed to others like a sign of something simmering. I am also reading a book about divorcing a narcissist to try to get my head around the clarity i need at court, and it is incredible how accurate it is in describing how the narcissist goes about the court process in a totally destructive way that draws the LBS in and makes the LBS appear to be "difficult" too. This is exactly what is happing to me -- all I want is to settle but the judge screams at both of us for refusing to settle. Last time I was there she was yelling at me, "Do you really want to be those people who waste all that time and money refusing to settle? Stop it!"

But as a result of these things, I start to doubt my entire life with him, to wonder if he was lying for 18 years or if I was blind. I remembered that a long time ago, before I came to faith, he was talking about his faith and his need for God, and he said, "You have no idea how terrible I am." At the time I didn't get it. When I came to faith I thought I understood what he meant. Now I wonder if he was facing who he actually had been all along, and decided to give in to that. I don't want to believe his rewriting of history. But for some time now I wondered if I married, in a sense, my mother, since so many things are exactly the same since MLC, and all that is happening is exactly what I went through as a teen with my parents, and I always thought I would avoid at all costs!

DnJ -- do you battle that too or are you very sure that your W was nothing like who she is now? Are you confident that you couldn't have known?

Tomorrow I have court and I am battling Ye Olde Fears.

Tomorrow's agenda -- to show the court that I am physically afraid of H and he cannot return to the house, that I am out of money and can no longer pay him anything, that he has not paid child support last month and I assume won't this coming month and that I have now proposed settlement three times and he refuses to settle. But it's hard to get my lawyer to see how important all these things are.

What I fear is that she won't listen to any of this and just like last time will scream at both of us for not settling and will try to punish me for not settling by allowing him to move back even though I want nothing more than to settle. I fear that I will have to promise to give him money when there is no way for me to get anymore. I fear that he will be allowed back.

H thinks that the court-ordered appraisal is wrong, that he will be able to get 1.5 times the appraised value in a bidding war that I guess will magically happen immediately after putting the house on the market, that he can force me to sell instead of buying him out. He does not even respond to the idea that it would be better not to move the kids during the school year.

I am falling asleep while writing, last night could not sleep at all so it must be caching up to me. So I will close up shop but with extreme gratitude and will write a better reply about your other options soon.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/23/19 11:58 AM

Good Morning Gerda

Best of luck today with court.

I am glad you are reading a book about divorcing a narcissist. I bet it was amazing and affirming when Hís behaviour was laid out on the pages you were reading. There is comfort in that. In knowing you/we are not the only ones. This is more common than we realize(d).

I think you and I are dancing around the same idea; slightly different views and syntax.

Surrendering oneís will and not eating ice cream every meal, or lying, stealing, cheating, etc... - is the first step. That blind obedience. One then rebels and challenges the idea, usually has some karmic cause and effect befall them, finds the wisdom within said idea, and then chooses to follow their new found wisdom. Chooses their free will; no longer surrendered.

I did/do this kind of thing. Lol. When W and I were first moved in together and all of life is at your command, all that freedom. We had Nanaimo bars and ice cream for a few meals. Oh my goodness. I felt sooooo sick. Haha haha. We choose to not eat half a pan of sugary goodness for supper.

The people around you, me, us LBS, that live through a spouse suffering such a crisis, these people are also trying to wrap their head around what is going on. However, their view, their lens, their understanding is not yourís. The MLCer rewrites their history, weaves such a tale, which ensnares themselves and quite often others in the periphery, those outside the blast radius.

We, LBS do get caught up in that rewrite as well. Sword and shield Gerda! You know the life your lived and had before he changed. You have pictures, letters, memories, etc... Doubts are perfectly fine, and normal. I think you know better than to drink his koolaid - or those who mean well but havenít lived this.

Originally Posted by Gerda
DnJ -- do you battle that too or are you very sure that your W was nothing like who she is now? Are you confident that you couldn't have known?

For 30 years her and I enjoyed our lives together.

I think she was always this person, this tormented soul from long ago. It was just hidden from me and her.

You see both views are correct. And with that in mind - Yes, I am confident that I couldnít have, and didnít, know this. And she was nothing like she is now. The MLCer changes completely 180 degrees, and that new person was always lurking within them, silenced for so long, unheard for decades, until they burst forth.

Have faith in your choice of mate, lover, friend, and companion. You had many good years - Do not forget that.

Now let go.

This is so very hard Gerda, and I feel for you. Iíve live through it. Lost more than ever, and then gained more than I ever thought I could.

My hopes are with you today.

DnJ
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/24/19 01:38 AM

I don't know if I survived today. I guess I am still alive. I was so miserable on my way in and thinking about how I was heading to my crucifixion and suddenly i thought, wait, I do not have to be crucified, Christ already did that for me, and I felt a lightness. But my L told me to be more vocal today and it got out of hand. At one point my lawyer had to push H's lawyer away from me physically, H's evil horrible L started to get in my face again and so I leaned into his face and started shouting, "You are going to get in my face? Come and get in my face!" And my L had to sort of push him away from me. And at one point the L's were arguing about H wanting to add an insane amount of money to the appraised value to "allow" me to buy him out instead of forcing a sale and H was sitting there so I sat next to H and started saying, "You arguing for a million for the kids? You want to trade a million for the kids? You need that million for S14?" And H ran out of the room. Mostly it was endless screaming again. They will not give ground on anything, will not accept the appraisals and insist on forcing a sale, trying to force everything. I had tried to give way on a lot, agreeing to put house on market in order to be able to try to meet the price of the highest bidder, but then I took stip home to review and I am just in shock. They are demanding I keep paying him every month when I am totally out of money, forcing me to continue cover all carrying costs and saying he will NOT PAY CHILD SUPPORT NOW BUT WILL I WILL RECEIVE A CREDIT BORROWED OFF HIS SHARE OF THE FINAL SALE!!!! I feel like my lawyer sold me down the river. I am not going to sign but I am sick at heart. My L is not doing anything for me. So so so lonely today. My S14 heard me talking on phone to L when I didn't know, and now he also knows about OW, had a panic attack at school. H picked up D10 from school and when she came home she told me that OW and her H live in the same house but don't sleep in the same bed because she's Papa's girlfriend.

I don't even know what I am saying right now, I am spiraling.

Thank you, DnJ. I wish you were here but I think this time you will have to make the tea, I am in a puddle on the floor and just want to cry but the kids are here...
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/24/19 02:31 AM

Tea?!?

Sounds like whiskey time. Lol.

I am so sorry Gerda. Be strong.

You have custody agreed upon, right? What is the arrangement? 50/50? Share if you like. Be accurate. smile It helps. I know Iíve ask before and could probably find your answer, but Iím lazy. Haha. Or giving your mind something to do.

So with custody settled, all thatís left is money. Negotiating is taking a toll on you, and your accounts. I do trust your judgement in this, and I support your efforts at court. That being said, if the settlement is getting closer, or close enough, your health and happiness is worth a lot more. Only you know all the details.

I do wish we could sit an enjoy a cup of coffee and tea - heavy cream and sugar. (Those haters can go svck eggs. Haha. I still laugh from when you said that.) Advice and encouragement - Iím really a lot better in real time. smile Oh well, youíre stuck with me like this.

Let the kids think about things for a while. When they come to you, listen and validate their views. For right now donít worry about correcting Hís misinformation about sleeping arrangements that he told D10. Kids have a way of ďseeingĒ the truth of things.

D10 has already acknowledged Papa cheated on you - this shows she knows about proper relationship values and roles of Mom and Dad. She also call OW, Papaís girlfriend - this is good. D10 needs to accept this, and understand it. And that is perfectly age appropriate. Well done Mom!!

Listen and validate. Gentle steer D10 and S15 when warranted.

I know this does not feel good. You know Iím going to say something about following feelings. Sword and shield dear friend - logic and reason. Intellectual car stuff.

Pour out your emotions here or into a pillow or on a walk. Then get in that car. Think about your situation. Write down your thoughts - those well reasoned thoughts and the goals you are after in negotiations. I would love to hear them, and completely understand if you choose not to share them here. With goals written down, regroup, breath deeply, and keep moving forward.

(((Gerda)))

DnJ
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/25/19 02:37 AM

Gerda:

I'm sorry this is so tough on you. I keep trying to think of what I could say to make it better for you in some way but I lack the belief to comfort you in the way that you seem to want to be comforted. I think I also see a lot of myself in you. Mental strength and toughness, probably control issues, and maybe some interpersonal rigidity. Not being able to have any control in my situation has been very tough and I have battled it greatly. But, at some point I stopped fighting it and decided that this whole situation was a great way for me to learn humility, grace, and letting go. I try to focus on that now, and to fight what feels like ego wanting to win or get my way.

I sometimes wonder if you did a little frame shift on how you think about these matters it might empower you. For example, you frequently refer to yourself as "little" Gerda, implying perhaps subconsciously, that you are weak. You seem more like the mighty Gerda to me. Very sure of yourself and your belief in your own positions. I have many times gotten the impression that your husband is afraid of you and I wonder that you don't use this more to your advantage.

I also wonder why you guys have so many courtroom showdowns. If things are becoming violent, then the parties should not be meeting up. Did you try a mediation with a qualified family mediator where you and your husband are in different rooms for the whole time? One session where you bang everything out. This is how most family cases resolve when people can't work it out between themselves.

I know you don't want to have to move the kids during the school year, but if that is causing so much stress to you and expense, it seems like maybe it might be better to do it now. I imagine the lawyer has given you an indication of whether they think the house will have to be sold as part of the divorce. If it is to happen, then wouldn't it be better to give him half of a real number now and be done with him rather than half of a hypothetical number that you have to spend countless stress and dollars getting to?

Also, what did your lawyer think about him withholding child support pending an offset at sale while you have to pay him support now? Seems an odd situation. If he can offset and has the means to pay his lawyer, then why wouldn't you be able to do the same?

I have heard it said many times that if you can't change your situation, then you have to change the way you feel about your situation. That would seem to fit here. You seem very much like a survivor to me. Someone who will find a way to make things happen to make things happen one way or another.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/25/19 03:18 AM

OwnIt, thank you so much for writing, and DnJ too. It means so much! I will respond when my head is a little clearer, you said a lot and I want to think about it and write back properly.

I came on here tonight actually to ask Job to send me a refresher about how to see the OW and the affair/remarriage, etc.

A few years ago, H started up about selling the house because he said he wanted to marry OW. It seems that now he is finally undertaking his plan. (He doesn't want to work, obviously, so that's how he can have money. I remember once finding her credit card info at our house, I guess he convinces all his women to pay for things.) D10 has been asking me so many questions and talking about H and OW and reporting all these inappropriate things they said/did (and also told me H gives her wine to drink when she is with him) and then my son found out about OW and we had to talk about it all together for a while, and so I am just consumed with this horrible feeling of dread and pain, stopped eating, etc. I felt like I healed so much this past year since H moved out, and her reappearance alongside now having to talk about it all the time with my kids has really knocked me over. I have that sick, can't-eat, endlessly nervous feeling I had after BD, as if I have learned nothing and not grown at all. (And having two terrible court dates this week is not helping!) I may be wrong, but I feel that if it were some other woman who came along now, I would not be that bothered by it. The fact that it is still her, that she and he finally succeeded in wrecking two families with his help, is really hurting me. I looked her up and saw that she worked at the same college he and I both worked at in 2014, when I had cancer. I never knew that before and didn't want to know. It is so horrifying to think that she is still around after all the time I spent on my knees asking God to send her back to her family, etc. I remember when I got that job at the college where he worked, I asked him if the OW was there as I needed to be prepared, and he told me no, that she was long-distance. A couple months later I discovered the cancer, had mastectomy and had to take time off from that college. All these things falling into place in my mind now are a whole new feeling of grief. I have those fantasies I had in the beginning of showing up at her workplace or finding her husband, etc.

I know it's crazy and a total regression! I need LBS love and a hand out of this pit!

I can't believe I have been on this journey for so long and this is such a setback for me, as if I am starting over.

I need a refresher course, Job and anyone else. I was looking at this post --

https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2484619#Post2484619

But I don't know how I could prevent my D from being around her as my H now brings her almost every time. D even asked if they could sometimes see each other without OW, and H said, "Why? Don't you like OW? Don't you like her?" My priest said the same thing, to keep my D away from her. But it doesn't seem I can.

XO from Regressing Gerda
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/25/19 03:53 AM

P.S. Last week I wrote on this thread that I don't really think of OW much, just that when the thought of her came, I did have those dark thoughts, but it wasn't that often. That was true. This that is happening now is a new regression to the way I was before, years ago after BD.
Posted By: Westo

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/25/19 09:42 AM

Iím so sorry to read what you are going through,

but to read that he is giving your daughter, at the age of ten, probably the most dangerous drug there is, is disgusting.

This, on its own, would stop me sending D to his house.

I have years of experience with alcohol (which Iíve stopped imbibing for months) and itís time for people to be educated in the danger of giving it to children and thinking that because itís a legal drug itís ok.

Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/25/19 11:22 AM

Good Morning Gerda

Iím sorry for what you are going through.

I will be brief this morning.

It is wonderful that your children are talking to you. Do listen and validate whatever and whenever they come to you. It is great that they feel so safe with you they can confide all their mixed up and dark emotions. You are doing very well.

This will undoubtedly cause some further clarity of past events. When explaining to our kids, our minds listen as well, and things move around and eventually click into place. This at first feels like a setback, and Iíd like to assure you it is a step forward.

DnJ
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/25/19 11:36 AM

Originally Posted by DnJ


This will undoubtedly cause some further clarity of past events. When explaining to our kids, our minds listen as well, and things move around and eventually click into place. This at first feels like a setback, and Iíd like to assure you it is a step forward.

DnJ


I am sure we all have to go to work and I have to go back to court again this morning! but you are going to have to come back and explain that one!

Westo, I couldn't agree more. But it seems that there is nothing I can do. The custody arrangement we have is already quite favorable to me, my L told me I couldn't do better even with a GAL. I have no money to hire one anyway. But I might hire one when all this is over.
Posted By: Grace21

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/25/19 02:20 PM

Gerda - my heart goes out to you,and I'm thinking of you this morning as you go to court.

It's wonderful your kids are talking, asking, and seeking. This will help you all heal.

I am very concerned about your statement that your H gives your D10 wine. I'll be blunt. This is child abuse, and you should consider how you can forbid your H from seeing her unsupervised. Sorry to put it like this, but this is serious.


I understand your feelings on the OW and the longevity of the relationship. I am struggling with that now. It seems clear to me that while we were in MC, even though he said he was no longer seeing her, he was. That means it's been on-going for upwards of 3 years (or longer). Now he lives with her. The random dalliances almost seem less hurtful somehow. *big, loud sigh*

I must remember that is all on him, not a reflection of me (although it's so hard not to believe that), and in spite of it, H is still miserable. And, even though I still don't want a D, I believe God's word tells me it's o.k.

I hold on to this, and I am praying it will help me live a truly fulfilling life going forward without constantly looking in the review mirror what was (or wasn't, as the case may be).

(((((Gerda))))

Grace
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/26/19 01:45 AM

Thank you everyone for checking in on me -- and yes, Grace, you know exactly how I feel, and yes, a dalliance would be far preferable. The domesticity is far more disgusting and hurtful.

Well, today I signed my life away to H. I was in that court room and everyone was screaming and the court attorney kept saying that she was going to order a trial because of all the fighting and H's L was dominating everything, and even though it's clear that everyone hates him, he was able to push everything H's way. I began to realize that my L was just not going to fight for me. So finally I said, "Fine, go to trial," and then they started up with the fact that H would be moving back in Nov 1, and at first I said, "OK, fine, great, the kids will love it," (sarcastically) and then I realized what lay ahead of me, all the fighting and motions filed and abusive e-mails and exposure to his evil ways to either keep him out or let him back in to force him back out, gambling on if he would want to now that he is stealing another man's wife openly. I realized that DnJ was right, my health was more important, and that this way would be horrible but at least it had an end in sight. So I agreed to the settlement.

I have to pay him $1250 a month til the house and our cabin (also a rental but very beloved and I use it when I can get there) are sold or he is bought out. This counts toward ED.
He does not have to pay his paltry child support of $500 a month, he gets to credit it towards ED until he gets his money from the house.
The 22K I paid him already does not count toward ED, only 5K of it does.
He gets to pick two brokers and I pick one of them and then he runs the entire process of selling and I have nothing t to do with it and he gets to do this til June. The only limit I was able to get was that they can't come when the kids are home and they can't interfere with my rentals but there will be a huge sign on my house and the kids have to walk past that for seven months not knowing if they will get to stay here. I have to match the offer he picks and he has until June to play the market. If no offer gets picked, he gets to reappraise the house at his own expense by same appraiser and I have to match that price, even if no offers came in that high.
I am allowed to buy him out of our cabin within 30 days but have to come up with the entire buyout, nothing I paid him so far can count toward the cabin buyout but only the big buyout of the house.

I kept protesting, but this makes no sense! He is not paying for anything! I am servicing all our debt and I don't even get money for child support! He refuses to work! And the court attorney just kept hissing at me, "You are enjoying his asset and keeping him away from it. Stop being intractable!" I think she believed the lies they kept telling about the income.

At one point, H was screaming that I was keeping everyone stuck in poverty for ten years, and that I had no right to try to hold on to a house I couldn't afford when I was hurting his children and he only cared about caring for his children and making sure they get fed! Even though he was openly refusing to work to pay the paltry $500 a month he is supposed to pay and his method of paying it is to sell their home!!! And his L said to him, You can get custody from her if she doesn't feed them.

And my L was pushing me, he kept saying, "The court is turning against you, they will force you to sell now with no chance for buy out!" But he never really managed to get me anything at all because H's L refused to bend on ANYTHING and the court did not care about my kids so my only option was to go to trial to try to get a little more fairness with no guarantee that I would!

IT WAS LIKE A FREAK SHOW OF ABSURD EVIL!!!!!

Now this is almost all disgusting and unfair and horrible. And it may mean that D10 will also no longer want to see H, so he has truly sold his children. (When I had to explain to her why the house would be put on the market instead of me trying to buy it out from H, because he wanted to try to see if he could get more money, she said, "I don't want to see him on Wednesday, I do not want to see him!" I told her that we would always have a good home no matter where we lived, we would have love and I would always make it cozy for her. But she was disgusted by H's greed, though she didn't know how to articulate that.)

But I traded it all for freedom from a trial. And now I am looking for a program to block e-mails and bounce them back so they won't even go to my spam. I can't block his calls/texts I guess because of visitation. But if anyone has any other ideas of how to block him as much as possible from being able to find me during the next seven months of him being the wicked king running the sale of my home (all a way to play the market to see how much more he can get than appraisal, though it may be that he gets less and then I still have to pay the appraisal!), please let me know.

Exhausted Gerda is in shock at the state of this world. No fault divorce allows all of this to happen. My story was never told, no one cared about the kids once custody was set, all they cared about was dividing the assets.

I guess it might be worth it to hire a GAL now because of the alcohol thing, etc., but I don't even know if it's worth it since she sees him so rarely.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/26/19 02:31 PM

Good Morning Gerda

(((Hugs))) & Tea

I am sorry and happy for you.

You did everything you could, and H still is h3ll bent on his path. It appears from my vantage point that H had no plan on further negotiations and would drag this on indefinitely. Lord knows there is ample examples of that around here to suggest that is a standard script response from these lost soul MLCers.

I am so very proud of you.

Your health, your kids, YOU - are worth more than all your property and assets combined.

With this decision made, things are now just a puzzle - not a problem. You know all the financial implications, the best and worst cases, all what it would cost, etc.... You, my smart friend, can solve this - because it is now in your control.

I do have to run this morning, but had to stop in and let you know - You did great!

I will pop in later. Please breathe and believe you did the right thing for you. Feelings will stir over the next while, and they will wither.

Talk soon.

DnJ
Posted By: Grace21

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/26/19 03:30 PM

((((Gerda))))

It seems that way too often, evil wins here on this earth. So sorry. But, I see this is a way for you to be free to have the life that God is planning for you. That is a win for you. Hug on your kids and make that cozy home for them.

For now, though, take a breather, have that cup of tea DnJ offered you, and take one day at a time.

You will rise from these ashes. I know it.

Grace
Posted By: job

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/26/19 05:20 PM

Gerda,

I am so sorry that you've been through the h3ll and back this week. He literally has taken the control away from you, i.e., first the car, now your home and cabin and whatever else he can think of. I feel terrible for you. However, once things settle down a bit this weekend, you will be able to think clearly and come to realize that if all of this should come to pass, you will finally be free of some of the financial burden you have been dealing with.

I have a question that has been on my mind for quite some time...what is the reason that your h can't work a full time job? Is it a health issue or he just doesn't want to work? If it's because he doesn't want to work, I'm surprised that the court didn't tell him to get a full time job. As for the child support, I'm absolutely shocked that the court didn't opt to have it taken from the support money that you are paying him.

As for the home and cabin, I know you love the places, but they have been a ball and chain around your neck for quite some time. Once you have had time to breathe and just sit for a bit, think about where you want to move to and start looking. It doesn't hurt to start planning now because your properties may sell quicker than you think.

These MLCers have to tear everything down to the foundation in order to rebuild their lives. They do not care about anyone else but themselves. It is unfortunate when the LBS and children are caught in the cross fire and the MLCer is so vindictive/angry and wants to control everything...right down to making us feel like they want to destroy us. But...in true fashion, the people they truly want to strike out at, but can't/won't, are the people who stunted them emotionally many, many years ago.

Gerda, you will rise above all of this mess in time. Right now, everything looks dark and bleak...but I can assure you, as each day passes, things will become more clearer and you will find a way to get to the other side. I know, I've been there myself. Now, take the time to truly breathe!
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/27/19 01:08 PM

Originally Posted by job
... once things settle down a bit this weekend, you will be able to think clearly and come to realize that if all of this should come to pass, you will finally be free of some of the financial burden you have been dealing with.

I have a question that has been on my mind for quite some time...what is the reason that your h can't work a full time job? Is it a health issue or he just doesn't want to work? If it's because he doesn't want to work, I'm surprised that the court didn't tell him to get a full time job. As for the child support, I'm absolutely shocked that the court didn't opt to have it taken from the support money that you are paying him.


Hi, Job and Grace and DnJ -- I don't want to get into all the nitty gritty of the details of my two places, but they are what enable me to work less so that I can attend to the special needs of my kids and continue one of my jobs that requires a lot of auditioning. Where we live is a very expensive city and I will not be able to avoid a full-time job if I am no longer living rent-free because what I will walk away with after debts and the massive taxes and fees are paid is not enough to buy even a two-bedroom apartment. Right now we live in a modest shabby leaky but extremely homey and bright and charming three-bedroom at the top of the place and pay the mortgage with the rentals of the two other units. The financial burden has been having a husband who won't work or give us anything or help me with anything so that we could keep the place. The rentals pay for the mortgage and my work pays for me and the kids to live (albeit simply), but they don't pay for all our debts and for the endless outlay of his rent and whatever else he is spending this money on. But if I buy him out, I am only paying out his share without having to at the same time pay so much out in taxes/fees. I can continue to pay down our debt over the next two years and then I would still have this wonderful place to live that allows me to be there so much for my kids. H even put in the custody agreement that I am not allowed to move more than five miles from here even if we sell the house!!!! Five miles in a major city is a lot, and each neighborhood is very different. I am so at home here, have lived in this neighborhood since 1995 and I love it so much and know everyone and so do my kids. But I wouldn't be able to afford it if I sell. I know that there is a freedom that will be great for me but I also know why I have been trying to work out a reasonable deal. I saw at court on Friday that, as you say, Job, he is not going to be happy until he strips me of everything. It is very strange because he was not this bad until he went for divorce. He was angry but he didn't seem so h3ll bent on destroying me.

As for your question about job and child support -- this is my question too. My L kept saying, "They can't force him to get a job," and that if we went to trial, the next judge could likely force the sale without me having the right of first refusal if I can effect a buy-out, he was saying that that was what he was getting for me. This court seems obsessed with protecting his right to the "asset" with no connection to his deadbeat ways in everything else. The current deal very literally shows that he is taking child support out of the children's home but no cares because hs payments are being put as a credit on the eventual buyout and he doesn't have to actually write a check til he gets the money. And the amount per month is a joke, it's based on a salary of 25K a year, but he will get a huge sum of money if we sell. The court does not care, their mandate is to protect the asset and they never ask about the children. My ability to keep things afloat on fumes has worked against me, they think I am hiding money and aren't willing to look at any specifics without a trial. With another judge, it would almost definitely be different. And I was ready to go to trial because I didn't think it was enough and I think that a new judge (our judge, who is known as the worst and laziest in the system and who rarely even hears the conferences, would not be hearing the case) would take into account the story and his total deadbeat behavior. The whole reason I didn't want to go to trial was because of the threat of H moving back in.

DnJ, you are right, the feelings are terrible and have not withered yet. I am swimming into the unfairness and betrayal daily. I wonder a lot about how this OW could be with someone who is that evil. No matter who you are, how could you be with someone who treated the mother of his children this way? It would be one thing if I was on the offensive and doing vicious things, but really I didn't do anything except keep standing for the marriage, taking care of the kids and yes, slowly protecting not even our finances but just his ability to sink us into further debt. Slowly he became convinced of this insane narrative about the house and income and it just exploded into this insane divorce proceeding where he became so openly evil.

Even if I said, "yes, let's sell tomorrow," so I could be done with him, he wants to play the market until June. There is no way out for me until then.

So I have to make peace with another seven months of waiting and wading through this h3ll.

All I can do is block him wherever I can but I will have to deal constantly with the drama of the broker and anything about visitation.

I am wondering now if I should fire my L. I feel like I could have gotten the same deal by myself.

Now I only want to settle what the debt total is. My L was saying they are going to try to get out of paying the marital debt, which is massive, and I just don't think he is ready to fight. It's just what is on paper, it is easy to prove, and should not be negotiable. I don't want to start over with someone else, but it's just too much money to accept anything less and almost all of it was not debt I caused, rather it was me who has all this time worked to slowly chip away at it while H did nothing. Most of that debt is from opening our last biz, and a lot is from when I was sick and couldn't work much and had to pay for everything on cc's because H wasn't functioning at the biz anymore and never thought to work an extra job because of his endless dissertation. And now I know, because of his affair consuming all him time.

I am trying not to lie in a ball but I am falling way behind in work because I am so sad. I feel like I wake up every morning as we all did after BD, thinking, "No, this can't be real." But I am trying to keep things going -- last night had friends over to carve pumpkins, today having a bunch of ladies over for a clothing swap. In between I feel like I am dying and I went back to the MLC diet. Maybe that's all we can expect in these moments, to keep going through the pain.
Posted By: job

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/27/19 04:09 PM

Gerda,

After reading your thread this week, I just have this sense that the judge and both lawyers are fed up w/their clients and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if your lawyer advises you that he can no longer represent you. As for your h's lawyer, he may very well say the same thing to him...but he gives me the impression that he is money hungry and will be there for your h no matter what, regardless of the things that your h comes up with.

As for the marital debt, it should be 50/50 since all of this debt happened while he was still living in the home and as your spouse. Whatever debt that has been incurred since he left the home is another matter...but you already are aware of that. However, the judicial system may look at his situation as: he lived in the home, did very little and you accepted him for who he was and he didn't contribute all that much when he was there, so they may look at him as a house husband and not a "money making provider", but rather someone who stayed at home and ran the household while you worked.

Gerda...at what point will you come to realize that you just may have to move from the home that you are living in? I honestly don't see any way around it and your h is h3ll bent on you selling out or buying him out, which he knows you do not have the money to do so. Have you ever thought of suggesting that you and the children remain in the home until the children graduate from high school and then sell? I do know that this particular card is played a lot in my area.

I know that you like where you are living, but there may come a time, very soon, that you will need to either come up with the funds to buy him out or move. Your situation is very a difficult one, but the reality is...someone is going to have to make a decision about this and it may come down to the judge stating what needs to be done by a certain time. Gerda, I know you want to stay where you are, but to be on the safe side, start looking around just in case. A home is where you are w/your children. Just know that no matter where you move to, it will be home to you and your kids. The court does not care about anything but settling up this case and closing it out. They figure that the children will continue to live w/you, as their mother.

Do you have any idea of the logic of him wanting to play around w/the brokers until June? That doesn't make sense unless he's hoping that you will fall even further behind in debt and then declare that you've had enough and are willing to give him everything to get rid of him.

I've mentioned before that you may have to declare bankruptcy to get out from under your debt. It's a legal strategy that many have used and there is no shame in declaring it when the debt is too high and it's taking too long to pay it off. I know that you don't want to do this...but you may have to in order to get out from under all of that debt.

Gerda, I wish I had something to offer you in the way of a solution, but your situation is very unique and both of you appear to be very set in how you see your situation. I wish that the lawyers could sit down, negotiate and come up w/something that would be acceptable to both parties. It's costing both parties lots of money, time, energy and patience.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/27/19 04:29 PM

Good Morning Gerda

Originally Posted by Gerda
Exhausted Gerda is in shock at the state of this world. No fault divorce allows all of this to happen. My story was never told, no one cared about the kids once custody was set, all they cared about was dividing the assets.

I live in a province with no fault divorce legislation, much like your state has. So, I do understand your feelings. Yes, the courts are not concerned about what he or you did - there is no fault so it is irrelevant. The only things to settle were custody and money. It starts at 50/50 and negotiates from there.

It does seem evil. And yet there is wisdom in this approach as well. These laws were not created out of rashness and maliciousness. It did take me some time for me to realize the societal value from such an approach. Cold and efficient - to those of us right next to the fires of this horribleness. Just what is needed to find a resolution between to warring parties. I hope you come to see that as well some day. You deserve peace from such a long struggle.

Originally Posted by Gerda
My L kept saying, "They can't force him to get a job," and that if we went to trial, the next judge could likely force the sale without me having the right of first refusal if I can effect a buy-out, he was saying that that was what he was getting for me. This court seems obsessed with protecting his right to the "asset" with no connection to his deadbeat ways in everything else. The current deal very literally shows that he is taking child support out of the children's home but no cares because hs payments are being put as a credit on the eventual buyout and he doesn't have to actually write a check til he gets the money. And the amount per month is a joke, it's based on a salary of 25K a year, but he will get a huge sum of money if we sell. The court does not care, their mandate is to protect the asset and they never ask about the children. My ability to keep things afloat on fumes has worked against me, they think I am hiding money and aren't willing to look at any specifics without a trial. With another judge, it would almost definitely be different. And I was ready to go to trial because I didn't think it was enough and I think that a new judge (our judge, who is known as the worst and laziest in the system and who rarely even hears the conferences, would not be hearing the case) would take into account the story and his total deadbeat behavior. The whole reason I didn't want to go to trial was because of the threat of H moving back in.

Yep. Division of assets. Remember just business.

It seems cold and heartless. However, these are real people, doing really hard jobs, within the framework of our laws. Iím sure more than a few go home and feel bad at some of what they see and deal with.

One can fight against it. Punch the wall, and get bloodied knuckles. Or find acceptance of the unchangeable, and find their strength for what they can control and change.

Originally Posted by Gerda
D10 has been asking me so many questions and talking about H and OW and reporting all these inappropriate things they said/did (and also told me H gives her wine to drink when she is with him) and then my son found out about OW and we had to talk about it all together for a while

You, D10, and S15 talking is great. They have lots of questions and are asking you for guidance. Asking their Mom.

Accept the unchangeable, and focus on what you can change/control/influence.

D10 and H giving her wine. First off I agree it is not the best thing for him to do. There is also a lot of assumptions of frequency, amount of wine, and so on - worst case ideas spring to mind usually pretty quickly. Breathe.

You cannot control what he does when he has care of his children. And a little wine is not child abuse. Not in a legally ďnot allowed to see his childrenĒ kind of way. Morally - different discussion. However, both are beyond your control. H is going to do what H is going to do. Uncontrollable and unchangeable.

What you can control and change - talk to D10. This is the best place to affect change, in this situation. Show her the wisdom of her not drinking the wine. ďThank you Dad, but no wine for me.Ē

That is best. D10 get control of her life, and her choices. Yes she is young, and she can handle it. Her learning that she can say no to alcohol will have huge benefit in many aspect of her life. This is another example of how us, the sane stable parent leads by example. You cannot fight H, an MLCer, head on - bloodied knuckles. You can outthink and outflank him. Good and moral will defeat evil or irrational. Have faith and strength to do it.

Originally Posted by Gerda
I am wondering now if I should fire my L. I feel like I could have gotten the same deal by myself.

NO! Do not fire your lawyer.

Please do not take on all this upon your shoulders. I empathize with your feelings - I could have got the same thing myself. Maybe. Maybe not. I think H and the courts would have destroyed you without a L. Regardless, you Gerda, do not need that pressure - leave it to your lawyer.

Originally Posted by Gerda
I wonder a lot about how this OW could be with someone who is that evil. No matter who you are, how could you be with someone who treated the mother of his children this way? It would be one thing if I was on the offensive and doing vicious things

The affair partner is also emotional broken, they have to be. Two emotional broken, self centered, hurt, desperate people trying to be a couple.

How he is treating the mother of his children, says a lot about him. And OW willingly being with H, says lots about her. Being treated offensively or viciously is a poor defence when defining ďoneísĒ own character. So even if you were treating him badly H would still have a very shaky leg to stand on.

To turn that around a bit. My childrenís mother, XW, for example. Her treatment of me and her kids, is no excuse for me to treat her, or anyone else, poorly. That says something about me. I think you have similar views.

It helps to not think, and reinforce your belief of H being evil. He really isnít evil, he is just acting like it due to irrational pressures he cannot fathom. Empathy and compassion. What do want your actions to say about you.

Seven months, and things will settle further then and along the way. You are already defining the scope of the task you face. It has edges, a boundary, is definable, and is solvable.

Originally Posted by Gerda
I know it's crazy and a total regression! I need LBS love and a hand out of this pit!

I can't believe I have been on this journey for so long and this is such a setback for me, as if I am starting over.


Originally Posted by Gerda

Originally Posted by DnJ

This will undoubtedly cause some further clarity of past events. When explaining to our kids, our minds listen as well, and things move around and eventually click into place. This at first feels like a setback, and Iíd like to assure you it is a step forward.

DnJ

I am sure we all have to go to work and I have to go back to court again this morning! but you are going to have to come back and explain that one!

Iím happy to explain.

Look at where you are - right now compared to days ago.

Days ago: Felt like crazy and total regression, stuck in the pit. Like I said, feels like a setback - it is not.

You are moving forward, this barrier, this ďsetbackĒ was always in front of you. It was something you had to face and overcome and accept. You needed to look at old feelings and sort them out. This only feels like going backwards.

Look where you are - right now. Emotions have stirred, settled, things moved around, and something clicked. You clicked. You are important - most important. That is forward. You have made a huge step forward, even if it feels otherwise at the moment. This is counterintuitive until you live through it.

Originally Posted by Grace21
It seems that way too often, evil wins here on this earth.

I wanted to expand on what Grace said. Please forgive me Grace, your words inspired and I believe this is still within your intended spirit.

It does seem like evil wins far too often. It is a dark, toxic, force that slips its way into things. Itís outcomes are usually sensational or sensationalized by stories or media. We see it everywhere, and see little in the way of it failing. Its influence is pervasive and its power seemingly unstoppable. All that is a facade. Dark cannot survive the light.

Good can always triumph. Start here, look at all the people gathered, helping one another, healing, sharing, encouraging, providing hope and strength. Shinning their light and pushing back the dark.

Good happens everywhere, and goes unnoticed most of the time. The countless little things a loving parent does for their children. The helpful coworker, the nice stranger that hold the door, a pleasant greeting, a kind word, a sincere smile. Goodness happens, and does silently take hold and gain purchase within peopleís hearts. Its spread is wide and affect even the most unkindly of people.

Good and evil exist. Neither survive without the other. Each is a choice and belief. When one really looks around one sees far more good than evil. But it does appear differently. Evil lies and attempts to loom larger than it really is. Good patiently journeys on, strong and secure in the knowledge that when someone takes good into their heart, really takes it in, that light will forever change them. Evil cannot compete against that kind of power.

Originally Posted by Getda
I am trying not to lie in a ball but I am falling way behind in work because I am so sad. I feel like I wake up every morning as we all did after BD, thinking, "No, this can't be real." But I am trying to keep things going -- last night had friends over to carve pumpkins, today having a bunch of ladies over for a clothing swap. In between I feel like I am dying and I went back to the MLC diet. Maybe that's all we can expect in these moments, to keep going through the pain.

Gerda, you did everything you could do. H made his choices, did the heavy lifting, and to some extent forced your hand.

You gave ample time and space, and H needs more. He has much inner work to do, and demons to stop feeding and learn to accept. He is on his path and he is lost.

Now, you regroup, focus on you and your kids. Acknowledge your feelings; I didnít want to end up separated/divorced either, it takes time to accept this.

Keep things going (no trying - doing smile ). Carve pumpkins, have friends over, live, and get to the other side of all this pain.

And laugh, it really does your soul some good. Here Iíll help - I am thinking that I should have a bunch of ladies over for a ďclothing swapĒ. See when I say something like that, maybe a bulletin at the post office - ďLooking for ladies to have clothing swap with. Tonight around 9:00 pm at DnJís house.Ē - I get in big trouble.

Quote
bunch of ladies over for a clothing swap

Now, I canít get it out of my mind. Lol.

Take care my friend.

DnJ
Posted By: job

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 10/27/19 08:59 PM

I did have one more thought about your situation as I was driving home from my mother's. You have tenants in your home that in a way are paying the mortgage on your home as they are renters. You have to remember...the courts do not look at that situation the same way that you do. They are looking at the rent being paid to you as additional income and your h and the lawyers may be looking at it the same way as well.

When I was going through my negotiations, I finally had to ask my lawyer: "Who are you working for...my husband or me? It appears to me that you should be working for me since I'm the one writing the checks to you. Now, get cracking on my case and let's get this mess moving." Once he realized that I could see that he was being passive and just playing around ramping up the billable hours, he soon got to work. He found out that he didn't have some sniffling biddy sitting in his office, but someone who knew what was up and wasn't playing games. Sometimes, you have to get tough w/the lawyers who are suppose to be representing you and maybe it's time to get tougher w/yours.

Gerda, please take care of yourself and your children. Leave all of the heavy lifting to your lawyer and yes, get tougher w/him. After all you are paying him to represent you.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/03/19 10:02 PM

Job, though I have been unable to post, I really appreciated all your posts, as always, and did take what you said into account. I tried to get tougher with my lawyer. He insists that he was being pragmatic with knowing what is possible. Now I am pushing him to settle on the total debt and a few other things and he is dragging his feet. I am not sure if I should try to find someone else but I am just getting so tired!

DnJ, you did make me laugh with the swap. And I read all that you said and chewed on it. What you said about good and evil especially. I would like to thank you with another Citizen Cope song -- Healing Hands. But about what you said about good and evil -- I know that this is what I have always felt, from the days reading The Chronicles of prydain and those of Narnia, and just knowing so clearly that we have to be that light in the darkness and do battle -- and I identified my stand as my stand against evil. Now I am trying to redefine how to do that to some degree. I am not allowed to stand anymore in the same way. I don't understand it very well anymore.

I am reading a book about surviving narcissistic abuse -- MLC or not, my H's particular brand is clearly NPD for the interim, if he ever wakes up -- and the thing I like about the book is that the writer, a survivor, talks a lot about cell memory and how the body takes on the trauma. And that the trauma came from long ago, you sought a partner who would feed your addiction to it. So that no matter how much therapy and prayer, etc., you do, your body continues to react and you are in this PTSD state of terror half the time, even if the rest of your life seems to get better and better. Until you heal body and mind, you can't stop that addiction -- which includes a dependence on the outcome of MLC healing me instead of just healing either way. This articulates exactly what my experience is. My mother was mentally ill and had an MLC to boot. I was always looking for a man who wasn't like my father, and to be a wife completely different from the type of wife my mother was. But I realized about three years ago that I had married my mother! Their MLC was so similar! The financial irresponsibility identical. Even the script -- e.g., "You've been doing this to me for twenty years." She said that to my dad but after he was gone she would say it to me! I remember saying to her, "But, Mom, I am only fifteen."

Anyway a lot of times, you, my dear friends, try to 2x4 me or even just 1x4 me, and tell me to let go, stop focusing on OW or all those other standbys we all need to hear, and I write back some long boring explanation about how I think I did that but there is something else. And I guess I finally figured out that it's this deep visceral thing -- my body not aligning with my mind.

And today is one of those days. D was with H yesterday and overnight, and I found a little peace in all of it, was working and even doing some writing and feeling great but I always have to steel myself not only for what my body will do when she is with him -- my terror that I am giving her into that craziness for a whole night -- but for her return, when she will go on and on about the OW.

I get confused about what you all encouraged me to do, telling her the truth -- I think I say too much when she brings OW up. The pain is so terrible, I just try to be silent when she is talking or to look like I am listening, but my whole body is hurting, I feel like I am taking a shower in pain. Today she told me how Papa texts OW all the time and tell her loves her, etc. My mind knows that this is the reality now, and that it's not me, and that probably this R will crash and burn one day, but my body is thinking DANGER DANGER and the pain is literally in my limbs and my stomach and my arms and my heart -- it is the old pain, from a long long time ago. I feel like I am sending D out into a darkness, and then when she returns, she pulls me into it too. I am afraid that D even senses something about me, that I almost feel mad at her for telling me.

DnJ, these are feelings only, they are not TRUE, I know this. But I have to do something with them when it's happening or D will see what I feel and internalize it. I am sure I have already damaged her in this way.

What I wish is that there was a way to cut out all knowing, that D would never be a conduit for information. Every time I start to heal and to enjoy my life, I have to re-encounter what they are doing through D and any little bits of scab that have started on that wound just get ripped off.

The rest of the time, I focus on me and my kids, I build my life, all of those things we all know we must do and which allow for joy in our lives. But I need to find a way to deal with the Wednesday and every other weekend encounters without it destroying me. It can't just be a 2x4. I am one of the toughest women I know in every other regard, but this slays me every time.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/04/19 02:44 AM

Hello Gerda

I am glad you appreciated the ďgood and evilĒ.

Originally Posted by Gerda
what you said about good and evil -- I know that this is what I have always felt, from the days reading The Chronicles of prydain and those of Narnia, and just knowing so clearly that we have to be that light in the darkness and do battle -- and I identified my stand as my stand against evil. Now I am trying to redefine how to do that to some degree. I am not allowed to stand anymore in the same way. I don't understand it very well anymore.

I was going to ask you why you arenít ďallowedĒ to stand anymore in the same way. I am guessing you mean because of the divorce.

A couple of things from me to you. My heart to yourís. (Oh my, I do write like itís just you and me talking. Oh well, in for a penny in for a pound.)

Originally Posted by Gerda
knowing so clearly that we have to be that light in the darkness and do battle

Who or what are you battling? What darkness is your light pushing back?

The battle is within you. Thatís the battlefield. Your light and your darkness.

Standing starts as a stand for marriage, relationship, H and then evolves into standing for yourself. Yes, your stand is not the same way anymore - it is now stronger and for you. Find your light and beliefs, lead with them, and stand for them.

Stand until youíre healed enough to stand down. You will know when - life will be peaceful, gentle, and happy. Then you can make proper choices; there is no need to worry about or rush to this.

Originally Posted by Gerda
Anyway a lot of times, you, my dear friends, try to 2x4 me or even just 1x4 me, and tell me to let go, stop focusing on OW or all those other standbys we all need to hear, and I write back some long boring explanation about how I think I did that but there is something else. And I guess I finally figured out that it's this deep visceral thing -- my body not aligning with my mind.

Long boring explanation smile - nah, its all good.

My take on the misalignment stuff I saw as cars - physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual - all travel their own lanes along the same highway, and all need to get lined up so none are too far behind or ahead. A good balanced life.

Originally Posted by Gerda
D was with H yesterday and overnight, and I found a little peace in all of it, was working and even doing some writing and feeling great

I found this bit of gold. A great realization of possibilities, of life. It was a bit hidden in your post. Focus on the better not bitter.

Originally Posted by Gerda
I get confused about what you all encouraged me to do, telling her the truth -- I think I say too much when she brings OW up. The pain is so terrible, I just try to be silent when she is talking or to look like I am listening, but my whole body is hurting, I feel like I am taking a shower in pain.

Intellectual car my friend. Detachment from H and his life. Emotions and pain cannot and do not exist in the realm of intellect.

You are a smart strong woman, stay focused when D is telling you about H and OW. Listen, validate, and speak with reason and intellect. Later after D and you talk, you can, and need to, emotionally feel all this and work towards accepting it.

Originally Posted by Gerda
My mind knows that this is the reality now, and that it's not me, and that probably this R will crash and burn one day, but my body is thinking DANGER DANGER and the pain is literally in my limbs and my stomach and my arms and my heart -- it is the old pain, from a long long time ago.

You clearly state the ďcarsĒ and where they respectively are. Your mind knows. Your heart (subconscious) is getting there. The physical pain is caused from a hurting psyche; it manifests as actual pain. During my tormented days my entire chest - neck to belly and completely through from front to back - hurt nonstop. It was relentless. It was irrational. It was ďalmostĒ too much (thank you God). And it passed.

Originally Posted by Gerda
I feel like I am sending D out into a darkness, and then when she returns, she pulls me into it too. I am afraid that D even senses something about me, that I almost feel mad at her for telling me.

I was mad at my wonderful kids also when they went to see their Mom. Mad because Mom still (sort of) wanted to see them. Youíre right an almost mad feeling or upset. And when XW didnít want to see her kids, I felt relief and kind of happy. It was validation that this isnít about me.

It was all driven by fear. And something I had to find forgiveness for - to forgive myself. What kind of Dad gets mad from their kids seeing their Mom, or happy when those kids get thrown away from their Mom. A scared and hurting one.

The battlefield is ourselves. Good and evil. Light and dark.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Good and evil exist. Neither survive without the other. Each is a choice and belief. When one really looks around one sees far more good than evil. But it does appear differently. Evil lies and attempts to loom larger than it really is. Good patiently journeys on, strong and secure in the knowledge that when someone takes good into their heart, really takes it in, that light will forever change them. Evil cannot compete against that kind of power.


Originally Posted by Gerda
DnJ, these are feelings only, they are not TRUE, I know this. But I have to do something with them when it's happening or D will see what I feel and internalize it. I am sure I have already damaged her in this way.

Gerda, feelings are true and need to be acknowledged. Thoughts are also true. As well as beliefs.

True and false become confused when our cars are at different spots on the path. Oneís views of things depends from where they are looking.

You know feeling are not ďtrueĒ. Feelings will flit and fade. Do they become false or just non-applicable?

As I said a lot is driven by fear. Iíve written quite a bit on letting go of fear. The rationalizing of, and uncoupling of possible future events.

One possibility that feed my fear and my feelings of mad towards my kids - the thought feeling that D15 (at the time) would want to live with her Mom. Thoughts rationalized what and why I was afraid. Sword and shield, I stopped feeding it.

As for ďI am sure I have already damaged her in this wayď. There are two possibilities:

First, lets say you have. Itís in the past, and you cannot change that. Move forward letting go of fear and not feeding those emotions. Listen and talk with daughter and continue being a great Mom.

Second, and more probable. You havenít damaged her. Keep moving forward letting go of fear and not feeding those emotions. Listen and talk with daughter and continue being a great Mom.

Originally Posted by Gerda
The rest of the time, I focus on me and my kids, I build my life, all of those things we all know we must do and which allow for joy in our lives. But I need to find a way to deal with the Wednesday and every other weekend encounters without it destroying me. It can't just be a 2x4. I am one of the toughest women I know in every other regard, but this slays me every time.

It takes time to alter the irrational part of ourselves; feelings, emotions, and beliefs.

I do tend to encourage a far bit, even with some practical advice and things to do. smile

So, Wednesday and every other weekend is Hís time. Does son and daughter go, or just daughter? What are the times for Wednesday? 8:00am to 8:00am? How about the weekend? Friday 8:00am to Sunday 8:00pm?

I am sincerely interested, and this rationalizes your situation. In case you were wondering; Iím not just prying at something painful for no reason. (((Gerda)))

One way to deal with the custody days. Look forward to those Wednesday nights. You know, that golden realization of yourself that I highlighted. Enjoy it. Enjoy your Gerda time. Write, read, watch a movie, post to me. (Oh ya, other people reading along. Lol)

Work towards not steeling yourself to the return and discussions from daughter and son. Look forward to those times. See them for what they are - you being a great and sane Mom helping her children grow and creating a fantastic long lasting relationship between Mom and child.

I get how it slays you, really I do. It will pass.

Time is a wonderful companion walking beside us. Let it work itís effect upon you.

Compassion, empathy, understanding, and forgiveness.

Light.

DnJ
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/04/19 03:21 PM

Originally Posted by DnJ

I was going to ask you why you arenít ďallowedĒ to stand anymore in the same way. I am guessing you mean because of the divorce....

The battle is within you. Thatís the battlefield. Your light and your darkness.

Who or what are you battling? What darkness is your light pushing back?DnJ


It's not the fact of the divorce. It's the way of it. H is destroying me and the kids in a way he didn't do before. And exposing them (or at least D10, more directly) to the adultery in a way he was ashamed of before. I did ask him to take time away several times over the last six years but he wouldn't go -- and I even found a letter from him from before he filed where he said he would be able to love me and the kids once he had the money from his half of the house and wasn't under my control anymore. Part of the reason I did not push him out was so that the kids could continue to have their dad but I would be able to keep them safe from his many poor parenting issues. Now none of that is in play, he is literally siphoning out everything I have emotionally, physically, financially, etc. He is abusive and undertakes many evil acts and has enlisted the most evil man I ever met in his L, allowing that L to even threaten me physically. I obviously could not take him back like this for my own health and safety, and I have to push harder to cut him out of my life for the same reason.

But inside me I still can't believe that the man I knew will never come back. I somehow feel guilty for not believing in him anymore. And part of me still does believe in him and think that the best thing for my kids and their kids and their kids and on and on is for us to be grandparents together. The worldly part of me is reading these books about abusers and talking to too many people and thinking, Wow, I really had no self worth and I need to fix this wound and never let him back.

I agree that there is a battle within me. But I am not talking about that one. I think I am a little more clear on that one.

I am literally talking about battling the devil. I believe in that in a literal way, that my family is under attack by an actual force of evil.

The darkness in me I am battling too. But my stand was against the devil's attack on my husband and family.

Originally Posted by DnJ

A couple of things from me to you. My heart to yourís. (Oh my, I do write like itís just you and me talking. Oh well, in for a penny in for a pound.) DnJ


I had to look up penny in, etc. Your unmodern ways remind me of Atticus Finch or George Bailey sometimes. A compliment. But yes, it seems like most of my DB friends do not visit my thread anymore, and the conversation keeps being between us much of the time. Hopefully it will help all the hordes of miserable LBS's out there to slog through our dialogue now and in days to come.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Stand until youíre healed enough to stand down. You will know when - life will be peaceful, gentle, and happy. Then you can make proper choices; there is no need to worry about or rush to this. ...... The physical pain is caused from a hurting psyche; it manifests as actual pain. During my tormented days my entire chest - neck to belly and completely through from front to back - hurt nonstop. It was relentless. It was irrational. It was ďalmostĒ too much (thank you God). And it passed.DnJ


RUSH?! I am on year seven! When the heck fire is it going to pass?!!! H started over after seeming to be trying to return. But do you mean that I am not supposed to decide about standing until I feel peace and healing? I kind of understand that idea and sometimes I accept it. But I feel like I keep regressing as far as the pain.

Originally Posted by DnJ
]Intellectual car my friend. Detachment from H and his life. Emotions and pain cannot and do not exist in the realm of intellect. You are a smart strong woman, stay focused when D is telling you about H and OW. Listen, validate, and speak with reason and intellect. Later after D and you talk, you can, and need to, emotionally feel all this and work towards accepting it.DnJ


DnJ, I do think my D is in danger. I am happy S doesn't see him and avoids that danger. I know the danger very well. My mom was the same. I can say without reservation that the damage from that has damaged me for life. I can heal, I am happy about my path to God, I love my children, I like myself sometimes. But definitely I wasted many many years of my life riding that damage. I knew it before but thought I had healed. Now that I look back on the last twenty years, the intimacy issues with H and the financial lack of responsibility he really always had, I am only seeing clearly now that many of my choices came out of that pain. I see my D10 responding to H in exactly the same way as I responded to my mom -- that anxiety of making him angry, that worry all the time about his feelings even as she says he is crazy, the obsession with what he is doing and how to fix it.... She comes back from time with him a different person and it takes a while to get her back down to earth.

Originally Posted by DnJ
I was mad at my wonderful kids also when they went to see their Mom. Mad because Mom still (sort of) wanted to see them. Youíre right an almost mad feeling or upset. And when XW didnít want to see her kids, I felt relief and kind of happy. It was validation that this isnít about me.

It was all driven by fear. And something I had to find forgiveness for - to forgive myself. What kind of Dad gets mad from their kids seeing their Mom, or happy when those kids get thrown away from their Mom. A scared and hurting one.


I am glad to hear this from you. I like to see that you are human and not just pure enlightenment. Your response and mine on that front are exactly the same, except that I am not sure it is wrong to want to keep them away from someone who is dangerous to them emotionally. Your kids are older and not obligated to stay over at her house. It's the sleepovers really that terrify me. Seeing H for the day or an afternoon, that does not scare me. It's the household, the home aspect that scares me. Does that make sense?

And also that I want them to be very clear that he is crazy and that they do not have to trust his words or placate him. If they don't know that, I fear they will be just like I was, attracted to that kind of person as a mate. I know you will say that is fear, but it is also science. It is a very common trajectory.

Originally Posted by DnJ

One possibility that feed my fear and my feelings of mad towards my kids - the thought feeling that D15 (at the time) would want to live with her Mom. Thoughts rationalized what and why I was afraid. Sword and shield, I stopped feeding it.


Yeah, but she didn't do it. She stayed with you, where she is more than safe. She doesn't even really see her mom. So how do you know it was sword and shield? You never really had to face it becoming real. I have had to face it and my fears are realized. I have to make peace with something different than you did and I am not sure how.

Originally Posted by DnJ
As for ďI am sure I have already damaged her in this wayď. There are two possibilities:

First, lets say you have. Itís in the past, and you cannot change that. Move forward letting go of fear and not feeding those emotions. Listen and talk with daughter and continue being a great Mom.

Second, and more probable. You havenít damaged her. Keep moving forward letting go of fear and not feeding those emotions. Listen and talk with daughter and continue being a great Mom.


OK, this one you have really laid out for me as a script without any interpretation needed or without an opening for Gerda's arguments. So I think I can do that one.

Originally Posted by DnJ
So, Wednesday and every other weekend is Hís time. Does son and daughter go, or just daughter? What are the times for Wednesday? 8:00am to 8:00am? How about the weekend? Friday 8:00am to Sunday 8:00pm?

I am sincerely interested, and this rationalizes your situation. In case you were wondering; Iím not just prying at something painful for no reason. (((Gerda)))


Pry away! I am lonely and self-obsessed these days and quite happy if someone wants me to tell more about me or to offer me a virtual hug! Though I did have a horrifying situation this weekend when a dad from D's school offered to help me patch my roof and then started hitting on me while we were up there on the 45 degree angle. It was so gross! He told me he wanted payment in the form of a hug, that he was getting a divorce, that I looked hot patching the roof, etc., and I could't even move because I could fall off the roof!!! Finally told him I would hug him after and then I ran down the stairs to the street so it would only happen on the street where I wouldn't be alone with him and my neighbor would hopefully walk by. And he said he couldn't hug me in public as he didn't want people to see doing that! I said, "If you can't hug me on the street then you shouldn't be hugging me at all. Go restore your marriage!" It was actually a funny story once it was over but gross. But I digress.

The actual time is Wed the weeks he had her on the weekend and Tues and Thurs the weeks he didn't. First and third weekends, Fri pick up from school til Sunday night. And a bunch of vacation complexities. But he NEVER has taken the full time, and constantly asks me what the schedule is, cancels part of it, makes arrangements with D separately and then I have to undo it, etc. I am happy about this. I kept telling him the schedule was just Wednesdays and he has never tried to take the other afternoons. And I kept telling him she had a sleepover even when she didn't so that she wouldn't' go to him for more than a night because she doesn't want to. And he always shaves away at the weekend time that he does have. He even openly will tell her he is spending part of that time with OW instead.

Originally Posted by DnJ
One way to deal with the custody days. Look forward to those Wednesday nights. You know, that golden realization of yourself that I highlighted. Enjoy it. Enjoy your Gerda time. Write, read, watch a movie, post to me. (Oh ya, other people reading along. Lol)


I do. But it's a battle. And I really do feel that I am putting D in harm's way, no matter what you say. So I can't look forward to them but maybe I can --

Originally Posted by DnJ
See them as you being a great and sane Mom helping her children grow and creating a fantastic long lasting relationship between Mom and child.


Originally Posted by DnJ
I get how it slays you, really I do. It will pass.


WHEN?!?!!!!?!?!?!??!?

Originally Posted by DnJ
Time is a wonderful companion walking beside us.


Suck eggs. No. I am tired of how long this is taking.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Compassion, empathy, understanding, and forgiveness.


Yours is good. Mine is on strike. I joke. Sort of.

HEY I HAVE TO GO TO WORK!!!!!
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/07/19 05:27 AM

Hello Gerda

Thank you for explaining what you meant about standing, divorce, and how it is with H behaving in such an evil manner. H is sure on a destructive path.

Originally Posted by Gerda
do you mean that I am not supposed to decide about standing until I feel peace and healing? I kind of understand that idea and sometimes I accept it. But I feel like I keep regressing as far as the pain.

I donít know about ďsupposed toĒ. Itís more of a suggestion. Youíre a grown woman, and can do what ever you want. smile

BUT, yes. You are supposed to make those kind of decisions from a place of peace and healing.

Originally Posted by Gerda
I am glad to hear this from you. I like to see that you are human and not just pure enlightenment.

Lol. Ya, Iím human.

I figured youíd appreciate my telling of that.

Originally Posted by Gerda
It's the sleepovers really that terrify me. Seeing H for the day or an afternoon, that does not scare me. It's the household, the home aspect that scares me. Does that make sense?

Yes, that makes sense.

A visit is short. A sleepover, that home aspect, normalizes it somehow.

What is it that terrifies you? D sleeping over isnít it. Rationally, she is asleep. What possible future outcome(s) is this triggering?

Originally Posted by Gerda
And also that I want them to be very clear that he is crazy and that they do not have to trust his words or placate him. If they don't know that, I fear they will be just like I was, attracted to that kind of person as a mate. I know you will say that is fear, but it is also science. It is a very common trajectory.

Itís both. Yes, they can be attracted to that kind of person as a mate. And you are fearful of that.

Altering the trajectory of that is possible. I think youíd agree, one would have better results when clearheaded and not ruled by fear.

I agree with kids seeing the actual picture, in their case how their Dad is behaving. I would use the word irrational - not the word crazy - when discussing him. Remember he makes up 50% of them; they know that. Kids already wonder about the genetic disposition of this, and whether they can escape a similar fate. Crazy vs irrational, be accurate.

Originally Posted by Gerda
Yeah, but she didn't do it. She stayed with you, where she is more than safe. She doesn't even really see her mom. So how do you know it was sword and shield? You never really had to face it becoming real. I have had to face it and my fears are realized. I have to make peace with something different than you did and I am not sure how.

True. My daughter didnít have to, didnít choose to, and never even got the choice - she was tossed aside.

I never had to face it becoming real. That is the very place fear lives - in the not yet real possibilities. Once something happens there is no more possible future event - itís here. Fear goes away, and concerns and other worries come up.

My fear was that daughter would want to live with Mom. She couldnít, but that doesnít stop fear. Fear is irrational and doesnít make rational sense. You are looking at my fear through your rational lens.

How do I know it was sword and shield? I had to face my fear, without it ever becoming real. Face that I was scared of D wanting Mom more than me, something pretty common and standard in families - Motherís Day is huge compared to Fatherís Day. Had to face the resentment of D blaming me, wishing for different, wanting a Mom, not measuring up to Mom (which I do fall short of, she was an amazing Mother), and so on. All things possible - In My Mind. And quite irrational.

Mental assertiveness to rationalize the underlining fears triggered by thoughts and feelings of D wanting to be with Mom. Fears are rooted within ourselves. Triggered by external events perhaps, but the source is within us.

Fear is an amazing thing. I feared separation / divorce right until it happened (the real fear of course was abandonment). At that point it became a problem, something real which I could work through and solve.

Originally Posted by Gerda
If you can't hug me on the street then you shouldn't be hugging me at all. Go restore your marriage!

Hahaha. Good for you.

Hitting on you while roofing. smile

Originally Posted by Gerda
I do. But it's a battle. And I really do feel that I am putting D in harm's way, no matter what you say. So I can't look forward to them but maybe I can --

No matter what I say? Hmmmm. Sounds like a challenge. Just kidding.

No, you are quite correct. You feel how you feel. And you will continue feeling how you feeling until you change it. Whatever I say may influence you, but you control you. No one can make someone feel something directly.

ď So I can't wonít look forward to them but maybe I can --ď. Canít / wonít. One has possibilities and choice, one doesnít. Your mind is listening.

Originally Posted by Gerda
Suck eggs. No. I am tired of how long this is taking.

Haha.

Suck eggs. Still makes me laugh. And think of coffee with sugar and heavy cream.

Have a great day.

DnJ
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/15/19 07:38 PM

DnJ, this is not my reply to you yet. I have to take time just for that.

Today I just wanted some empathy from All Those Who Know about my kids --

Last night D10 cried and cried and cried. She started by telling me that she doesn't sleep well when she goes to H's house. Then she cried and cried about how she just wants him to come back. Then about what a terrible person he is. Then a long one about OW -- apparently H told her on Wed that OW was buying scrunchies for her daughters and thought of D10. D10 cried and cried to me, "I don't want her to think of me! I don't want to be in her mind! I don't ever want to see her or know her!"

I channeled DnJ and Gordie as best as I could. I wanted to throw up and cry and scream, "No, Lord, no!" to God himself. But I listened and tried not to offer too much by way of solutions except to tell her that she was learning so much to know what she thought and felt and that she could set limits and stand up for herself. She could tell her dad that she doesn't want to have OW around at their times together, etc or even say the truth about her feelings about her, even if H didn't respond the way she wanted. I told her about myself as a teen with an MLC mom and my stony approach to the stream of boyfriends my mother had at our house. I told her that she could call me even at 3 in the morning if she wanted to come home from H's house, and I would come no matter what.

Then we went upstairs and S14 wanted to know what was going on, and so we told him about it and he listened and asked a lot of questions -- e.g., "Is H going to live with them and be with her kids?"

Later when they were sleeping I stood over their beds and prayed for them to feel the comfort and peace of God and to just find the courage and strength they needed to get through this terrible ordeal and still thrive and have joy in their lives.

Then this morning S refused to go to school. He has refused to go five times in the last two weeks, and I had to go to a meeting at his school just yesterday. It is a special school for kids like him, so they are not going to kick him out, but it's so stressful!!!! But anyway today it was about not being able to put in his contact lens and he was screaming with rage, etc., and then finally admitted that he was really upset about the OW and about his dad. He kept asking about H loving the other woman's kids or being with them on Thanksgiving and also he kept saying that it just bothered him so much that H didn't know he had done something wrong. S14 has not seen or spoken to H since May. We talked about mental illness and I explained how helpful for my own emotional health it has been to block H from my e-mail because H sends S14 some really over the top texts and is constantly trying to get D10 to pass messages to S14 or get S14 to come with them, etc. But S14 said he wants to keep him on text because he wants to write him some mean replies. I said that he should write them and then burn or delete them because it would probably just get a more painful exchange going. I said all his feelings were the right ones, because this situation was awful, and it would be weird if it didn't make him feel awful. And then we talked about not letting this ruin our lives, and figuring out our own joy and our own path, etc. But he still wouldn't go to school.

LORD THIS IS PAINFUL. I would love to hear from all my DB friends right about now.

I had been feeling pretty good about some of my mothering lately -- I was going to tell you that I always was thinking that S14 really missed the roughhousing that a man does with his kid, and so recently I started roughhousing with him like crazy and he loves it, we are both laughing the whole time. I honestly don't love that, I am not a roughhouse type and am very small while S is getting very big and manly; but I just go with it for S and it has been a great connector for us.

But wow the last 24 hours was tough.

DnJ, I think D10 is ready for your letter; and S14 could use a refresher.

More later on the rest of what you wrote.

Hugs to all from A Shaky Gerda.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/15/19 08:18 PM

Gerda,

My S had a day not long ago of sitting in my room crying and saying he just wanted him to come back. But most of the time he doesn't mention him at all or seem to care one way or another. Not the greatest answer, but always the right one--time. It does get better with time.
Posted By: Grace21

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/16/19 12:41 PM

Gerda -

I don't have any magic words to make it all better. It's terrible to watch our kids suffer. And the thoughts they have about so easily (seemingly to them) being replaced by some random women's kids. That cuts to the core, for sure.

(((Gerda)))

My daughter called a few days ago and cried on the phone for 20 minutes or more. I just held the phone, and said a few times I was sorry she was sad. Sometimes that's all they need. To just let it out to a safe person. Sometimes we don't have to do anything except be there and listen. Sometimes no words are necessary.

You are doing a great job, though. Listening, validating real, true feelings and thoughts. God is in your presence. Continue to allow Him to soothe you.

Love from afar,

Grace
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/16/19 05:16 PM

Good Morning Gerda

You should feel good about your mothering, you are doing a great job.

It is nice to read about the roughhousing and the connection between you and son.

I have wrote two letters, one for each, daughter and son. They will follow this post. I hope they help.

I turn 52 tomorrow and S22 and his GF showed up a day early. It was a surprise since everyone else is coming out tomorrow. Lol.

DnJ
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/16/19 05:17 PM

Hello <Gerdaís Daughter>

Your mother asked me to write to you. I understand things in your home have been difficult for a while and are becoming more difficult in the recent months. Your Mom and Dad are divorcing and your Dad has moved out and you are upset.

I empathize with how you feel. I have four children, three boys ages 22, 21, and 18, and a girl age 17. Their Mom is behaving similar to what your Dad is like. They do not really want to spend too much time visiting with their Mom. She sometimes says hurtful things to them and other times she does not speak to them at all for months. Their Mom moved out of our home 26 months ago, her and I divorced a short time after that.

It was sad, painful, and difficult at the beginning. As time went on things became easier and more pleasant. My oldest son works in a tire shop, the other two boys attend university and my daughter is in grade 12 with an average of 95%. My family and I are 2 years passed their Mom moving out; I assure you it does get better.

As a Dad who has watched his children get through what you are experiencing I would like to share some advice. This is really important so please listen very carefully.

First, everything going on between your Mom and Dad is exactly that Ė between your Mom and Dad Ė it is not your fault. It has nothing to do with you. You have done nothing wrong. This is very important; you are not to blame for any of this.

Second, your Mom loves you very very much. Probably more than you realize. You and your brother mean the world to her.

Third, your Dad loves you also. He may not show it like he did before, but he does love you. Sometimes it just gets lost inside him and it takes a while for him to find it again.

Now <Gerdaís Daughter>, I have heard that you are a smart and loving young girl. I imagine you are a lot like my daughter when she was 10. I suspect you enjoy reading, playing games, running around outside, and talking and cuddling with your Mom.

I also figure you are rather inquisitive and seek to understand things. Therefore I am going to explain a bit of what you are experiencing and what you can do to work through it.

Having your parents separate is a hard thing to work through, regardless of age. It is perfectly normal to feel upset, sad, and angry. Itís ok, and needed, to cry. How you are feeling is completely normal. Talking to your Mom will help. Talking with your brother can help. Sharing your feelings will allow you to accept them.

What I mean by accepting is along the lines of how you feel better after crying. You see, feelings are not forever. They ďfeelĒ like they will last forever and then will disappear for a while. Think of a time when you were angry at a friend; in a couple of days that anger was gone. It takes time to accept your feelings.

Letís start with Dadís girlfriend. I know you feel you donít ever want to see her or know her. You are upset with her, and want nothing to do with her. My children felt the same with their Momís boyfriend.

It is really good that you realize your feelings. Also realize that this woman is just your Dadís girlfriend. She is not your Mom. You have a Mom and a Dad; and that will not change.

At first my kids hated their Momís boyfriend. Their Mom was of course blind to this, because she was infatuated with her boyfriend, which means she is kind of in love with him. Slowly my kids accepted their feelings and their anger and hatred lessened. Now, they can and do visit (once in a while) with Mom and him. They donít necessarily like him but they donít hate him or live with anger in their hearts. They are not friends but theyíre not enemies either.

It takes time to work your way through things and accept your feelings. You do not need to rush it. And in truth you cannot rush it.

Accepting your feelings towards Dad is also going to take time. I know you love your Dad. You also are angry at him, mad, upset, etc... Not to worry, you can be angry and upset with someone and still love them. Remember feelings are not forever. The anger will lessen and the love will remain.

Something else you may have felt a little of already or it will still be coming. Every now and then you will feel happy with and for Dad. You will also feel happy with and for Mom. This is ok. Mom and Dad have separated, and their individual lives are going to get better. You are part of their lives.

It is ok to feel this happiness. Sometimes one tends to feel like they are betraying their family when they are happy with the ďnewĒ arrangements. Iím a Dad who has helped his kids accept some very strange behaviour with their Mom, supported them through my divorce, and I am letting you know its fine to accept your parentís as they are in their lives. It is ok to find enjoyment and be happy in your life.

So a few tips just for you:

Study and do your homework from school. It will pay off huge in ways you cannot imagine. If you are having difficulties with something ask your Mom. I know, I know, ask my Mom?!? Well she is pretty smart and can help. Trust me on this one.

Get a good night sleep every night. This really helps and is so easy, just go to bed at 10:00pm and get up at 7:00am. Being well rested makes everything better.

Be polite and say please and thank you. It is amazing how much happier the world will be by doing this.

Feel your feelings. Accept what you are feeling. It is ok to be sad, happy, angry, or even nothing. Sharing your feelings helps get them out. A word about being mad or angry, find a safe way to express it, to let it out. Going for a run, doing push ups, something physical helps.

Be compassionate towards your Dad. He is having a very hard time dealing with things right now. When you are compassionate and maybe even a bit forgiving you will feel so much better.

Hug your Mom and tell her you love her. She knows you do, but it means so much when you show her.

Last, and most important, have fun! You are allowed to enjoy games, walks, time with Mom, movies, ice cream cones, and so much more. You donít need to feel guilty for having fun. As a matter of fact, I think you should have some ice cream as soon as you finish this letter. Find your Mom, give her a big hug, and politely ask if she would like to join you and brother for an ice cream cone.

<Gerdaís Daughter>, I know I have said a lot to you. Please feel free to reread this as often as you like. Remember those three important points. Focus on the tips and work on following them. I have a feeling you are more than capable of doing so. I may have stirred up some further questions and I know your Mom is very willing to discuss anything with you.

Sure would be nice to enjoy an ice cream with you.

All my best.

DnJ
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/16/19 05:18 PM

Hello <Gerdaís Son>

This is DnJ. Have you been following my advice from the two other letters? I hope so, and I hope it has helped.

I understand you are pretty upset with your Dad and his girlfriend. A pretty reasonable response if you ask me.

Like previous conversation between us, I would like to pass on some wisdom from a Dad who has seen his children experience what you are now facing.

Having your parents separate is a hard thing to work through, regardless of age. It is perfectly normal to feel upset, sad, and angry. Itís ok, and needed, to cry. How you are feeling is completely normal. Talking to your Mom will help. Talking with your sister can help. Sharing your feelings will allow you to accept them.

What I mean by accepting is along the lines of how you feel better after crying. You see, feelings are not forever. They ďfeelĒ like they will last forever and then will disappear for a while. Think of a time when you were angry at a friend; in a couple of days that anger was gone. It takes time to accept your feelings.

Letís start with Dadís girlfriend. First off realize that this woman is just Dadís girlfriend, she is not your Mom. You have a Mom and Dad; and that will not change.

I know you feel angry about Dad and her relationship. I empathize with your feelings regarding Dad and her kids.

I watched my children progress after their Mom moved out with her boyfriend. At first my kids hated their Momís boyfriend. Their Mom was of course blind to this, because she was infatuated with her boyfriend, which means she is kind of in love with him. Much like your Dad, their Mom could not see what she was doing was not right, or perhaps she refused to see that.

Your Dad is suffering an emotional crisis and is making decisions based more on his emotions. My childrenís Mom did, and is still doing that same thing. When a person is infatuated, that becomes their focus, that other person. A person in an emotional crisis has that affect amplified. I know you witnessed some strange behaviour with your Dad and have seen what I am referring too.

Slowly over time, my kids accepted their feelings and their anger and hatred lessened. Now, they can and do visit (once in a while) with Mom and her boyfriend. They donít necessarily like him but they donít hate him or live with anger in their hearts. They are not friends but theyíre not enemies either. This man is an important person in their Momís life at the moment, and there is nothing they can do about that, except to accept it or not.

This is hard to accept at first. It takes time to work your way through things and accept your feelings. You do not need to rush it. And in truth you cannot rush it.

Accepting your feelings towards Dad is also going to take time. I know you love your Dad. You also are angry at him, mad, upset, etc... Not to worry, you can be angry and upset with someone and still love them. Remember feelings are not forever. The anger will lessen and the love will remain.

Something else, every now and then you will feel happy with and for Dad. You will also feel happy with and for Mom. This is ok. Mom and Dad have separated, and their individual lives are going to get better. You are part of their lives.

It is ok to feel this happiness. Sometimes one tends to feel like they are betraying their family when they are happy with the ďnewĒ arrangements. Iím a Dad who has helped his kids accept some very strange behaviour with their Mom, supported them through my divorce, and I am letting you know its fine to accept your parentís as they are in their lives. It is ok to find enjoyment and be happy in your life.

Do you remember the very first bit of advice I offered you? Well actually it was three things, and they were very important.

First, everything going on between your Mom and Dad is exactly that Ė between your Mom and Dad Ė it is not your fault. It has nothing to do with you. You have done nothing wrong. This is very important; you are not to blame for any of this.

Second, your Mom loves you very very much. Probably more than you realize. You and your sister mean the world to her.

Third, your Dad loves you also. He may not show it like he did before, but he does love you. Sometimes it just gets lost inside him and it takes a while for him to find it again.

Sometimes we all need a reminder that this is not about us. Your Dadís life is very much about him.

That also speaks to the compassion and understanding I encouraged you to seek and follow. Your Dad is having a difficult time. Being kind and compassionate really allows you to grow beyond this, to feel so much better, and I believe you are doing very well along that journey.

I think you are 15 now, wow so close to driving. Gosh, wonít that be exciting?

Have you been attending school regularly? At 15 years old I know you know the importance of that.

I also realize that our emotions can get in the way of us doing things. Ensure you are feeling and talking about your emotions. This will allow you to accept your feelings. And remember anger can be let go really well through physical activity, like running, doing push ups, yard work or shovelling snow. You donít want anger or other emotions building up and spilling out all over.

Do take care of yourself both physically and emotionally.

All my best.

DnJ
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/17/19 01:44 AM

DnJ = True Gift of God

Will write more soon
Posted By: CanBird

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/20/19 03:34 PM

Hi Gerda. YOU ARE A GREAT MOM. I'm sorry you and your kids are going through this. As a mom (D3), my heart goes out to you and the kids. Gosh, it's one thing when our emotions run high, but to see our kids struggle is another pain we ache to comfort and wish them never to deal with.

YOU ARE listening and doing the very best you can under these unwanted circumstances. Know that YOU ARE a blanket for them and a rock. The way you handled that situation is amazing. I see your courage and applaud you.

I haven't read your entire sitch/history, but see you post often. I just wanted to reach out and say hello and send you a BIG, "YOU GOT THIS!!" ((((( HUG))))) from mom to mom.

Smile and know YOU can do this, that & anything.

Have a blessed day smile
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/23/19 09:46 PM

CanBird -- Thank you for the reply, that is really sweet of you.

There are a lot of crazy stories around here, but only a few of us who had a live-in for as long as I did. I started posting in 2014, then left for a long while as the comments I was getting were confusing me about my stand. I came back when I got more desperate and made some really good friends who have helped me a lot. Though I must say that coming here does sometimes confuse me about my stand. I think my H is perhaps even more mentally ill than some of the stories you read here, but I am in a period where I am not sure of anything anymore, except my faith in God.

Anyway, thanks for the virtual hug.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/23/19 10:00 PM

Well, DnJ, I haven't had time to write a proper reply to you, as usual. But wanted to tell you quickly that D10, who does not actually like to read much, was riveted by your letter. She read it all in one sitting, with total focus and attention. Afterwards seemed to have some ownership of it, as if it was none of my business. Though she did say, "DnJ said I should go to bed at 9, so I am going to do that." The next day I prodded her again by pretending I hadn't read it and she told me you said to remember that nothing was her fault, and that things would get better and that you had "very very good advice." She asked if she could write back and I said yes but so far she hasn't done that. She is not so into writing and reading like her mom, which has been one of life's great humbling experiences, since reading and writing is pretty much my entire identity.

S14 was a different story. He has been very defiant lately and refusing to go to school, missed 8 days the last three weeks. So he saw the letter as something to defy and so far wouldn't read it. I am going to try again when he is less defiant. Interestingly whenever he wants to make up with me, he starts roughhousing. I guess I was right about that being a good idea!

I am in a weird period of intense reflection, partly from the book I am reading, "Whole Again," which I highly recommend but which is, like DB, sometimes slightly contradictory to my faith journey. But I have to say that, despite what you said, DnJ, about not doubting my past, I am looking pretty hard at some things from my past with H that I can't deny were a red flag. I do wonder sometimes if all this time he was covering up this monster as best as he could, or if this monster is not the real him as I have thought all along. An old friend was over the other day, looking at all my photo albums because we've known each other since I was 12, and he was looking at photos of me in my 20's when I was first with H and asked me if H was threatened by my looks and the sensuality I exuded. I was totally flabbergasted by this question. I thought he was joking. I was looking at the photos and I felt like I was looking at someone in a movie I saw, not myself. And then in the last few days remembered how I used to feel about myself in college and before I met H, and how for most of my marriage I felt ugly and undesirable, a little embarrassed even about myself. Now though I do still do my girly dressing up everyday and am very flirty out in the world, I can barely even look at the mirror without cringing and am always mystified when I get any attention, like these other people must need glasses. It's like there are two versions of me, and I pretend to be the attractive one but secretly know I am not. I have been thinking about my relationship with H all these years, and how it came to be that I felt this bad about myself long before BD. I have to admit to myself that this is true, and that he was always terrible with finances, I was always digging us out of trouble, and that he really almost never did things to show me I was really special to him -- stupid things like special gifts for my b-day or bigger things like working extra to help dig us out of debt or so that I could buy myself a good winter coat while trying to be a full-time mom and run our business, etc.

And maybe it was both. Maybe I brought out the best part of H, or he was trying so hard to be his best self all those years, and he just couldn't do it. Or maybe it really is MLC. I know it doesn't matter on many levels what the truth is, and that letting him go can't include these kinds of musings. But it impacts my vision of my stand. If this monster was in him all along, then the question is how much healing God can do for someone like that, or what God expects of me now.

Like I have said before -- everything before seemed forgivable, even though the worst things. The way he is conducting this divorce and torturing me, this seems different to me somehow. He is clearly delusional, and living on lies, but still, it seems different. Can someone go that crazy to desire to not just leave but actually destroy his family this viciously and that not be the "real" him?

This is a long conversation so I think we all need to gather at my house and talk it out.

In fact you will be proud of me for one thing-- I decided that I wasn't going to just cower in fear and trembling while H runs the sale of my house the next six months, so I am having an open house every other week and invited folks to come sit by the fire and share food and kids can watch movies, play games and roast marshmallow. For city kids, the latter is especially exciting. Did one so far, just one mom and her kids came but it was so nice not to be lonely.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/23/19 10:13 PM

P.S. I wrote "open house" there and just realized that might sound like the open house of selling it! I just mean the kind where people can drop in and hang out and enjoy some company. And some naimmoooommeeeemooooo bars.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/24/19 03:30 PM

Good Morning Gerda

I am glad D10 (and you) appreciated the letter. Your retelling of her riveted reading of it bought a smile to my face. As well as her ownership of it.

Originally Posted by Gerda
ĒDnJ said I should go to bed at 9, so I am going to do that."

Lol.

I am very pleased she heard that she is not at fault.

S14ís defiance (sorry I called him S15, thought he was) is unfortunate. He is a little young for that adolescent rebellion, although it is starting Iím sure. Refusing and missing 8 days of school in the last three weeks does point to something bothering him.

Keep working towards the middle ground between the two of you, he will share. You are right with the roughhousing; a connection between the two of you. Also a physical expression of his unknown or known aggression. Perhaps a punching bag would be helpful for him as well. Moves the focus of physical release from you to the bag. You still are active, holding the bag for him, so still in his world and process. Could try a gym for a couple of times to see how he takes to it. Just a thought.

Originally Posted by Gerda
...despite what you said, DnJ, about not doubting my past, I am looking pretty hard at some things from my past with H that I can't deny were a red flag.

I think we all overlooked red flags when we were young and unaware.

I am just encouraging you to ensure you donít rewrite your past history to fit this new crazy present. Not to make oneís history worse or better; to be accurate. I think youíre doing fine by the way.

When I reflect back to before XW, or when we started out, thatís 30 plus years ago! I was a different person from who I am now, and in some respects Iím not. Matured like a fine wine. Oooo, yes - thatís what Iím going with.

Originally Posted by Gerda
It's like there are two versions of me, and I pretend to be the attractive one but secretly know I am not. I have been thinking about my relationship with H all these years, and how it came to be that I felt this bad about myself long before BD.

Ēsecretly know I am notĒ
Ēfelt this bad about myselfĒ

Long term thoughts and feelings become beliefs, become a force inside of us. Unwanted beliefs, undesirable beliefs, take effort and time to alter.

ďsecretly know believe I am notĒ
Ēfelt believe this bad about myselfĒ

Seeing accurately is a needed step in changing oneís outlook.

Gerda, you are attractive. That is not some petty vain complement - I donít even know what you look like. You are an attractive person, mother, soul. Now you know, from my point of view. Now, you work on making it a belief. (((Gerda)))

Originally Posted by Gerda
But partly because I realized that there might be something about me that you will not understand and it seemed daunting to explain it.

Is this tied into any of this? That question is more for you. Although I am curious as to what is so daunting.

Originally Posted by Geda
he really almost never did things to show me I was really special to him -- stupid things like special gifts for my b-day or bigger things like working extra to help dig us out of debt or so that I could buy myself a good winter coat while trying to be a full-time mom and run our business, etc.

He is a troubled man. I am sure his love languages were not spoken much, not verbose, and not articulated well. A pretty common affliction unfortunately.

What do think his primary love language was?

Originally Posted by Gerda
Maybe I brought out the best part of H, or he was trying so hard to be his best self all those years, and he just couldn't do it. Or maybe it really is MLC. I know it doesn't matter on many levels what the truth is, and that letting him go can't include these kinds of musings.

We all need a certain level of understanding before we can let go. Itís ok to partake in musing, just donít get lost there.

Perhaps you did bring out the best in him. He was putting his best foot forward. And then MLC took him.

Originally Posted by Geda
Can someone go that crazy to desire to not just leave but actually destroy his family this viciously and that not be the "real" him?

I believe in possibilities. So yes.

A person could be so desperate that destruction of their life and family seems like the way out. Desperate people do desperate things.

Your H is doing it viciously, my XW did is expeditiously.

Your H is like my XW; this is the ďrealĒ him - at this moment. He behaves opposite of what once he did. He may find his way back, he may not.

The mind is not easily fixed. The very thing that defines oneís reality is skewed and it takes time, fate, karma, and luck to put enough stimulus in their way to penetrate that foggy cloud of fantasy and slowly realize when and where they are. Not all have the fortune to met these in a timely fashion, nor choose to face them.

Originally Posted by Gerda
In fact you will be proud of me for one thing-- I decided that I wasn't going to just cower in fear and trembling while H runs the sale of my house the next six months, so I am having an open house every other week and invited folks to come sit by the fire and share food and kids can watch movies, play games and roast marshmallow. For city kids, the latter is especially exciting. Did one so far, just one mom and her kids came but it was so nice not to be lonely.

I am proud of you for many things, and for you being you.

And an open house is awesome! Well done! Take that fear. No cowering and trembling around here. Yeah! Food, fire, roasting marshmallows, games, etc...

Iím glad you cleared up what you meant. At first I did think you were talking about the open house for selling the place.

An open house. What a good idea.

DnJ
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/27/19 05:04 AM

Originally Posted by DnJ
Refusing and missing 8 days of school in the last three weeks does point to something bothering him.


You might have forgotten this but D14 missed 75 days of school in 7th grade, maybe 40 in 8th and now in 9th has missed maybe 15 so far this year. So getting slightly better I guess. But back to being a daily h3ll for me every morning, trying to get him out the door takes hours. He is in his second special school because of his school refusal issues.

Originally Posted by Gerda
he really almost never did things to show me I was really special to him -- stupid things like special gifts for my b-day or bigger things like working extra to help dig us out of debt or so that I could buy myself a good winter coat while trying to be a full-time mom and run our business, etc.

Originally Posted by DnJ
He is a troubled man.


For some reason, this was the most comforting thing you have said to me in a while. Inside our own little worlds, it's amazing how validating it is to know that you see that, even though you and everyone here has made that clear many times over. I am doing that book on healing from cluster-B disorder abuse and am realizing how deeply confused I get -- not intellectually, but in my visceral response to everything. I am finally trying to do these healing exercises, all this time whenever you, DnJ, or anyone else here talks about healing, I have no idea how to do that other than via prayer. This book has some very practical visualizations, etc., and I am going start doing those this week.

Originally Posted by Gerda
Can someone go that crazy to desire to not just leave but actually destroy his family this viciously and that not be the "real" him?

Originally Posted by DnJ
I believe in possibilities. So yes.

A person could be so desperate that destruction of their life and family seems like the way out. Desperate people do desperate things.

Your H is doing it viciously, my XW did is expeditiously.

Your H is like my XW; this is the ďrealĒ him - at this moment. He behaves opposite of what once he did. He may find his way back, he may not.


So much to think about here. The hopefulness of yes -- I don't even know if I have that anymore. Lately I see myself as walking alone as I always did. I have been a loner since I was about 14, had lots of friends but loved to be alone, and I am realizing I don't have to be afraid of that. I can return to that force I had before. I am finding myself again the last week or two, via the healing and some work on my artistic stuff and realizing that there were many things about H that were precursors to this. I am remembering what a force I was before now -- maybe before H -- and looking back at so many memories where H was unhappy and I was trying to change our lives or work more or start a new venture or put something on layaway that he really wanted to make him happy again. I know I really loved him and I know I felt he loved me too. Right now it's hard to remember any of that part.

I do still believe that God can heal any of us of anything. I just don't know if H will ever be able to hear God to open himself to that healing especially because he thinks he is deeply in touch with God now and has many justifications for his shameful behavior towards me and the kids.

Originally Posted by Gerda
The mind is not easily fixed. The very thing that defines oneís reality is skewed and it takes time, fate, karma, and luck to put enough stimulus in their way to penetrate that foggy cloud of fantasy and slowly realize when and where they are. Not all have the fortune to met these in a timely fashion, nor choose to face them.


I don't believe in fate, karma or luck here, I must say. There is just free will and the will of God. I recognize now more than ever my powerlessness to do much of anything. It's helping me to put it all in God's hands. Even if God doesn't do it, like what Shadrach and Abednego say outside the furnace. The other day I realized that I oftentimes believe that there is a mistake and I have been left to rot in h3ll, but that via faith I have to know that I am not in h3ll. What I would be without God -- bitter, vengeful, angry, blame-fixated. So in a certain way, I am already tasting heaven even though I feel all the time like I am in h3ll and can't escape. My H believes he has finally reached heaven on earth; he can't even look around to see what has happened, that he is in fact living out H3ll on earth.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/27/19 07:19 AM

Hi Gerda, I saw DnJ's list above. Yours is vicious, his was fast, and mine is (I don't know, maybe torn). I agree though. Each has their own special flavor.

You may not feel it, but I do think you are sounding better. Because you have lived this for so long, I think after you get through this last part, you will move from loneliness, to contentment, to happiness. I know you will.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/28/19 12:35 AM

You are a deep thinker, Gerda. I enjoy chewing on your updates. Lots to consider. I'm in the process of catching up on DnJ's old threads and yours are next on my list.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/28/19 02:03 AM

Hello Gerda

I am glad my words provided some comfort. And yes, I definitely see your H as the troubled man and tormented soul he is.

Itís nice to see you are finding some practical visualization on healing. It sounds like that book is making quite an impact.

Originally Posted by Gerda
I know I really loved him and I know I felt he loved me too.

That is some fine intellectual reflection. Write it down for later.

Feelings will sometimes say differently. Read it during these times.

Thoughts and feeling will influence oneís beliefs.

Make that thought a belief within yourself. You know it is true, it happened. Our histories are immutable and we do ďknowĒ them. This can be a strong force and conviction.

For me, that is a key piece of my compassion, understanding, empathy, and forgiveness. Itís more than I know my XW loved me and I her. I believe it - and that is beyond feeling and knowing.

Originally Posted by Gerda
I don't believe in fate, karma or luck here, I must say. There is just free will and the will of God. I recognize now more than ever my powerlessness to do much of anything. It's helping me to put it all in God's hands.

Oh, if you and I could just sit across from each other at a table, what discussions we would have.

What if fate, karma, or luck is just God asserting his will on someone who is stubbornly asserting their free will. Well not so much a direct action by God, more an emergent affect that comes about from one seriously deviating from the path.

I look at raising my kids when they were young. I love them and I had desires for them, a will I would like to see, a path for them. My ďwillĒ was not thought out to the small details of their lives. It was a more general higher looking stuff.

Perhaps Godís loving us and raising us in a similar manner; a much more complex and thoughtful plan I am sure. Still high level enough for oneís free will to have meaning. For chance encounters to happen, randomness, luck, and such.

Sorry, straying into a theology discussion. Possibilities - this is me. There are many. And at my core, I love possibilities - itís where hope lives.

For what itís worth, I believe in Godís will and free will. Putting H in Godís hands is a very good path to take.

I am so glad you are tasting heaven and realize it. There are many blessings and gifts along this path, such an incredible opportunity, one that most people will never get to know. Makes me sometimes ponder whom we should really feel sad for.

DnJ
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/30/19 03:23 AM

DnJ, I will reply later-- just got back from a really good Thanksgiving trip to see cousins, my father, an old and very good friend. My kids got to be around my cousins kids, including a very cute baby, and it was just so good for them.

But one thing I would love to get some responses about from everyone here --

You may remember that I wrote to my MIL when H moved out, explaining that I couldn't live with someone who was divorcing me but always wanted to be in each other's lives and hoped we could come to see her soon as we always did. It was always me keeping her in our lives and funding trips -- esp after BD when she stopped coming because she said it was too upsetting. And she wrote back that it was both my and H's selfish choices that led to us screwing up our lives and that she wanted nothing to do with us, but that maybe one day if H healed his R with the kids, he could bring them to her -- and until then, she would pay for tickets for them to come to see her because both kids needed to get away from me and H. Added that H would always be their blood. Basically said that she never wanted to see me again. I have known her and loved her since I was 23, even though she can be difficult at times -- and also she became very political and turned against us a little from that as well, though I never bring anything up, it is a big deal in her life so she looks down on us as "liberals." She was with us constantly after S was born, then over the years off and on and slowly less as H started spiraling. I am 48 now, so that's 25 years she was throwing away and I think thought she could finally be alone with my kids without me.

Neither of my kids wanted to do that. Both wanted to see her, esp D10, but neither wanted to be away from me to do it. And D10 keeps telling me that H wants to take her to see MIL and I have been terrified about it. D10 told H she would go for a couple days but not for 5, she didn't want to be away from home that long, and H said it wasn't worth going in that case. D10 was as usual pretzeled by the whole thing. The in-laws are in FL and I was thinking of trying to take them to another city in FL on vacation; I thought that if I do end up there, I'd let MIL know she could come to see them and I might even offer that they could go to her house for a night or two but I also thought I should do nothing of the kind and not open up any cans of worms this early.

And obviously I do not want them around such hateful people though when she wrote that letter, I did write back to her that she was wrong about what had happened but that if she ever changed her mind, she was always welcome in our lives.

Never heard from her after that and she started sending her packages (she always sent the kids packages a few times a year) only to H's apartment. But after a while I think she realized she would never reach S14 that way, so she sent one to my house, and she included some gifts for me in it. I wrote to thank her and we had one exchange but nothing particularly warm from her and no more from her after that.

So today D10 asked to call her from my phone while we were traveling, of course she had to leave a message and text because MIL didn't pick up since it was my number-- and MIL called back. While they were talking, MIL asked to speak to S14, and shockingly he said yes and spoke to her for a few minutes. I don't think he spoke to her since May, when H moved out and she sent that letter. After he told me that MIL said she just wanted to see S and D because "Papa (meaning H) is driving me crazy." And I said "Oh really, wow!" in a hopeful way thinking that maybe I could take them to a place near her and let her know she could come and see them. And then S added that that MIL said she would pay for tickets for them to come to her. I wasn't thinking that clearly as a wave of hurt washed over me, and we were just walking in to a place to meet my father, so I burst out, "Well she can't just make visitation with you! I am the custodial parent! She is going to have to talk to me about it!" And S got a very hard expression in his eyes and said, Yes she can, you can't stop us from seeing her. And I said, "I want you to see her, but there is a visitation agreement, she can't just make her own rules and arrangements without talking to me." And then we met my father and I excused myself and went into the restaurant bathroom and cried my head off.

Later I told my father about it, and he thought I should not allow them to go because it seemed like such an unhealthy environment. And it is an unhealthy environment-- I was always there to deflect the various troubles one could encounter there -- including extreme racism and the alcoholism of my FIL, rifle in the corner to hide when we got there, etc. We do have lots of good times there but I definitely feel like I have to be there. And my kid do not like to be apart from me for more than a night or two -- right now S can't even be without me for a night without having a panic attack. But if she really offered them tickets and I said no, the kids would definitely see me as the bad guy. And I do want them to stay connected to grandparents, even if they are not the best people -- I just get really tied in knots about not being there to protect the kids from some of the craziness. And of course I am very hurt about it and picture the idea of putting them on a plane to send them into that household that caused so much trauma for H all those years. I think what I mean is that all families have their darknesses, and that I was okay with the kids being exposed to it but not with leaving them there without me. And all these years, H never wanted to see them without me either, he felt that he needed me there to not get crazy around that residual trauma. H was also helpful to have around my family for similar reasons, though not as intensely needed!

I am of course already worrying about something that may not come to pass. I kind of doubt that S would follow through on actually going there without me, but I want to be ready with what I really do when the time comes. So I would love to have a bunch of you chime in on this one!

XO from Gerda the day after Thanksgiving, very very thankful for all of you!
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/30/19 06:02 AM

P.S. S14 brought it up again tonight during our usual late-night talk. But this time said that what MIL actually said was, "Mama and Papa are driving me crazy, so I just want you and D to come."

I told S that I did not think it was a healthy environment there but would not mind if he went for a night or two and that I felt really sad and uncomfortable that she would talk badly about me to my kids in that way, that what was best for the kids would be to see their grandparents without that kind of talk going on. He said he didn't really want to go anymore but said, "You poisoned me against it now." I tried to explain that I wasn't trying to do that and wanted him to see his grandparents and wasn't sure what to do but just knew that this was not very healthy. I started to explain my FL idea but then he switched the topic -- e.g., shut it down.
Posted By: job

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/30/19 03:13 PM

Gerda,

I am very happy to read that you and the children had a nice Thanksgiving and were able to spend it w/family.

Now, let's visit the MIL situation. First and foremost, what popped into my head was...how in the world could you afford a trip to Florida and when you are having financial difficulties at this time. Yes, you want your children to visit their grandparents, but you continue to talk about your finances and trying to scrape funds together to pay your bills.

I certainly would not send the children down there by themselves and if you had the money and could make the trip, I would stay in the area and advise the in-laws that you are coming down and will be staying at a hotel (give the hotel name) and the dates. You could tell them that they are more than welcome to visit w/the children, but they will be spending their nights at the hotel.

As for your son having the impression that the in-laws can set visitation is a concern to me. I may be wrong, but he sounds like he's in the stage of rebelling against rules, etc. Of course, teenagers are like this, but I get this impression he's having a very difficult time understanding what a person in authority has the right to say or do when it comes to making decisions that are in the best interest for him and his sister. Do you sense that he doesn't respect you or your decisions?

Your son has missed a bit of time from school. As an incentive to get him to go, why not suggest a possible trip to FL in the spring or early summer if he goes to school every day unless he's absolutely sick? As a mom, I know you want to do everything possible to give them a happy home life, but you shouldn't reward either of them when they have exhibited bad behavior. Just my two cents.

A trip to Florida is a nice idea, but unless you find a goose that lays golden eggs, I do not see where you can pull out enough money to go down there for a few days at the moment. That's just my opinion from reading about your financial woes. Maybe a trip in the spring or early summer would be a better idea????

Posted By: Westo

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/30/19 04:24 PM

Hi Gerda,

I agree with Job. I wouldnít let the kids go on their own either. Iím also a little concerned by S use of the word ďpoisonedĒ.

Itís a strange word to come out with and sounds like heís heard the term too many times...maybe from your H?

I think your kids have been through the mill enough without hearing negative opinions of you from your MIL, especially if they stayed there and FIL was tanked up after a few drinks.

I would do as job suggests and stay in a nearby hotel. Then S can never accuse you of preventing him from seeing his GPís.

Itís one thing after another isnít it. My thoughts are with you Gerda....I donít know how you havenít cracked up by now.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/30/19 04:30 PM

Hi, Job-- Thank you for weighing in! About paying for it -- I would rent out my own apartment to pay for it. I can only go if i rent out my apartment for the dates I want to go, that's why the meeting with Grace is up in the air! This is how I have paid for any trips I ever take. Me and my kids almost never go anywhere as a family but S14 is starting to spend more time with us so if I can cover the cost with a rental I would try to do it. Ticket prices are going up up up the closer we get so it might not happen if I don't get the dates I want to go rented at my own place!

I think my main question is more how to deal with MIL. She obviously has no clue how divorce and visitation works, but I think if I try to explain it to her, she will just be driven to get my H to take them, my son will refuse to go, and then H will take my D alone. I am trying to figure out how to detach from her the same way I do from H but in a way that is best for the kids. What you advise seems to touch upon that-- but are you saying that I should purposefully go to their city? I wasn't going to do that. I was going to go to another city that is a couple hours from them. I think it would be way too much both for the kids and just in terms of appearing manipulative to go to their city. But do you mean to just ignore what she is doing as far as trying to get the kids to work with her directly? And to not say anything like, "Please don't disparage me to my kids?" Generally I try to be really Christ-like with her, saying not much but always being kind and on point. As we know, I often get confused! But my fear is that I will try to do something strategic and make it worse.

About S and the school issue -- I hear you but S's school issues are part of his diagnosis -- ODD, ADHD, etc. Therapy has helped but his school refusal is part of his diagnosis. It would be a little bit like never taking a trip with someone who was dyslexic in order not to reward her when she struggled to read. And the types of consequences that work on D do not generally work on S. I do my best with consequences with him but it is a real battle that anyone with a kid with ODD will understand! And obviously the MLC was a massive trigger that has caused endless ripples in that regard. S goes to a special private school that the DoE pays for because his issues are so severe. H always denied that there was any problem and said that I was "denying S's destiny" by trying to get him to go to school! I don't think he even knows where S goes to school now!
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/30/19 04:45 PM

Also, I know what you mean about me having the authority to choose what is best for the kids, but the problem is that H and MIL are feeding them so many weird ideas about me and about what is possible/allowed/okay that I am always battling a false narrative. I don't want the kids to think I am keeping them from MIL either.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/30/19 05:09 PM

Good Morning Gerda

I see two primary fronts in this situation; and yes the word ďfrontsĒ is use on purpose - things are starting off like a battle and your goal and vision needs to look towards the entire war (i.e. finding a way to accept it and end it).

First and most important and immediate is the rebellious nature of S14. Teenagers do rebel against authority, which is usually their parents. It can also press towards school (skipping class), society (pushing the boundaries of proper expected behaviours, among other things), police, religion, etc... It can be maddeningly overwhelming for a parent, as a young person is finding themselves.

The direct authoritarian approach will not work effectively; it is the very thing they are rebelling against. So, the soft approach and knowing which battles to pick. The ability to let go that which you cannot change and the strengthen to affect and influence what you can - and the wisdom to know which is which.

Thankfully this is normal for a teenager. Yes, there is a spectrum and some are more trying than others. I would like to add the obvious comparison of our MLCerís behaviour to the rebellious teenager; although theirís is cranked up to 11 or maybe 47 is your Hís case.

My first thoughts were akin to jobís suggestion. I think it is an good idea for the kids to visit their grandparents. And coupling that visit to their resultant attendance and effort in school would be beneficial on a few ďfrontsĒ. Grades, behaviour, respect (of self and towards you), and so on. This requires buy in from S14. Requires him to choose to want to do it.

This is not bribery, you are appealing to his intellect and values, helping him see reason and gain wisdom. Hopefully he will choose well. This takes time and consistent effort from both parties as new habits are formed.

He can rebel against you, however disrespectful behaviour should not be tolerated. Seeing which is which, and acting on it takes a serious command of oneís inner convictions and strength. Truly, love and compassion is not always easy.

This brings up MILís disrespectful attitude towards you. Boundaries my dear Gerda. Until now, ignoring her has worked. However, she has reached around and passed you, directly to you children, and disrespectfully. Maybe not intentionally, however that matters little.

MILís intentions may be honourable and good; she needs to discuss them with the custodial parent!!! She cannot make arrangements with a 10 and 14 year old, send plane tickets, and expect you to just shut it and stand aside. No way!

I am not privy to the wording of yourís and Hís custody arrangement. In mine it stated D15 and S17 were old enough to decide whom they wished to live with, and could change their decision, and who ever they were living with would have primary custody. A pretty fear inducing document when one is recovering from all that happen with BD. Discussions with my children, open honest discussions, ones that exposed ďallĒ possibilities were had. That needs to happen. Children will, and are already thinking these scenarios - lose, ignore, push aside, whatever it takes - lose the fear and talk with them.

I let me children read the actual separation document. It affects them greatly as well as me. I think most times that document is stored away, and hidden - from them and therefore in effect from us. Them seeing it, holding it, reading the actual words has such power. The smell, the feel, the authenticity of an official document makes the situation real and pushes back denial. Kids also need to work through denial and see accurately. They are affected, ensure they have the tools to affect themselves and grow from this.

That earns respect, trust, and builds are strong relationship between you and child.

MIL requires discussions between the her and you as well. You need to clear up some of her attitude and set some boundaries. First is respecting you. If she wonít even talk to you, thinks that poorly you - well there is some work to be done there. Sorry about that, but itís probably going to fall upon you to make the first few moves.

This is me assuming that she is someone of whom you want in yourís and your kidsí lives. Is she an alright person? When answering this look deep inside yourself and keep your hurt ego out of it - see her for who she is - her faults and her good. Youíve said she and you had years of visits and good times, her blow up and accusations of you and H being too liberal and such is her irrational side taking hold. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure she beliefs a lot of it. That will take effort and time for you to demonstrate itís non authenticity and bring the falsehood she believes to light. And she needs to choose her path.

On a hopeful note, and you know me and positive hopeful possibilities, MIL did and is reaching out. Start with that. She has a desire to connect. Yeah itís to the children, but it will have to be to you as well with you boundary based ideals on this. You will have golden opportunities to show her who you are and can be. I see hope here, not despair.

I started this with ďfrontsĒ. This best way to win the war is not to battle it head on. Itís not even to win them over to your side. There is no sides, no ďfrontsĒ, no hills need be died upon. It is all relationships, find respect and trust, and the win-win that exists. That is not a comprise by the way. Each person has wins they want, and there is a solution in where everyone can achieve their win. And it is amazing what a win actually looks like to someone else. What they are fighting for, is usually not what you think.

As usually I am happy to discuss this, or any topic, further. I would definitely start with S14 and D10, they are the important people. Talk openly and let them read that hidden document that has so disrupted their lives.

DnJ
Posted By: job

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 11/30/19 11:52 PM

Gerda,

I do not see any issue w/staying in the same city where the in-laws live. I'm sure the city is big enough that you could stay at one end of it while the in-laws are at the other end. Nothing says you have to stay there the entire time. You could stay there one night, maybe two and then move on to another area w/some activities for the children. If you stay several hours away, now that, to me, looks like you are trying to be difficult and do not really want the visit to take place.

As for my thoughts on what your MIL did, I didn't state, not once, to ignore what she did. I don't know where you got that idea that I would say to ignore what she did, but you shouldn't "assume" as to what I am thinking. I was hoping that you would come up w/solution and then bounce it off of the posters for tweaking and/or suggestions.

Gerda, I have a question I want you to think about it. Why do you have such a difficult time communicating w/family members? You have no problem communicating here, on the Forum, and you give great advice. I'm just trying to understand why the people you communicate with, that are directly involved w/ you IRL, have a difficult time understanding what you are attempting to get across to them and/or they get bent out of shape w/your missives. Do you think you come across too harsh/blunt/tone or you go into lengthy explanations and people don't want to hear those lengthy missives?

I am trying to understand what is going on in the communications arena because it appears that you have some issues communicating w/your h, the MIL and sometimes even in dealing w/the children. Maybe it's time to take a look at some of your previous communication missives and try a different approach as to how you write them in the future. When you can't get through to them one way, try a different approach.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/01/19 04:08 AM

Hallo, Westo!!! So happy to see you here! I think we were on line at the same time yesterday so I didn't see your post until today. I love to hear your thoughts.

All sound analysis and good advice. I don't think I thought of actually staying near them on purpose; they live in a pretty small city, really it's more of a town, so I thought it would be really weird to stay near them when for the kids' entire lives we have stayed at their house. I also worried that H would see me as being manipulative or controlling but I guess at this point it really doesn't matter what he thinks!

Originally Posted by Westo
....I donít know how you havenít cracked up by now.


How do you know I haven't? : )

It's not that I think God is doing any of this, but I do trust that God works all things for the Good, and I keep trying to see meaning and beauty in all parts of my life, and to know that I must be part of something bigger. I did realize last year that I had to get H out before I did crack up, I think I was getting close, and S14 was too. I keep reminding myself that the most important things happened -- I got custody and I got H out of the house. If I stay in the moment, without fearing the future, I feel pretty good about who I am and hopeful about what I could be.

XO to you.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/01/19 04:31 AM

Originally Posted by DnJ


This brings up MILís disrespectful attitude towards you. Boundaries my dear Gerda. Until now, ignoring her has worked. However, she has reached around and passed you, directly to you children, and disrespectfully. Maybe not intentionally, however that matters little.


Oh, it was VERY intentional! It's exactly what she said she wanted way back in June, she just finally managed to get a word in to S14 to do it!

But can you give me one of your scripts? What can I say to her that I haven't already tried? I feel like I have tried it all.

Originally Posted by DnJ
MILís intentions may be honourable and good; she needs to discuss them with the custodial parent!!! She cannot make arrangements with a 10 and 14 year old, send plane tickets, and expect you to just shut it and stand aside. No way!
....

MIL requires discussions between the her and you as well. You need to clear up some of her attitude and set some boundaries. First is respecting you. If she wonít even talk to you, thinks that poorly you - well there is some work to be done there. Sorry about that, but itís probably going to fall upon you to make the first few moves.


Now this all sounds very sound but I think I have said it. And nothing has sunk in. To some degree, isn't the same surrender required here as with the MLC spouse? Why do you think I will be able to get any respect from her, and why should I even try? Isn't it just about the boundary and sticking to it? And Job in her last post also is suggesting that I am not communicating properly. But this is MIL, the woman who caused half the childhood trauma that led to H's MLC! I loved her all these years, but she is a very hard and hard-headed woman! She is extremely bossy and was always criticizing me all these years. Sometimes it bothered me, other times I shrugged it off or even laughed about it, but when I felt insecure I also did try always to justify myself or work harder to make her think well of me -- e.g., get my house in perfect order so she couldn't criticize it and then she would criticize it anyway. But I just have always felt that family is family and that you have to try to accept them as they are. But certainly NOTHING I say or do will convince her of anything, just as nothing I say or do will convince H of anything.

In fact, Job, if you are reading along, I don't actually understand how you are thinking this is about my ability to communicate. Isn't the whole point about MLC that we can't get through to them? I think I communicate quite well in general in the world and in fact most of my work relies on my ability to do that; but no, I am not able to communicate anything or get any clarity with H or, in the last couple of years when he started speaking against me to his mom, to her either. I totally gave up trying. I don't see this as having anything to do with me. If anything, I think I tried to communicate for far too long, and it's only now that I am cutting off contact that I am able to see things more clearly. The reason I reached out with this latest incident is that I have really been loving the no contact as a way to heal, and I don't want to leap back into any dynamic where I am trying to explain or justify anything. No contact is a much easier boundary than partial communication!

Originally Posted by DnJ

This is me assuming that she is someone of whom you want in yourís and your kidsí lives. Is she an alright person?


No, she is not a very good person, at least not anymore. I am not sure if she changed a lot too, but she chose to abandon her grandkids because it was too painful for her to watch our family dissolve. She was a great grandma when the kids were young. She has become angrier and angrier and more and more racist and hateful as she ages. But in person and in e-mail we were still able to have nice times, go to church together, cook or trade recipes, etc. And she is our family, so I just wanted to keep her in the kids' lives.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Unfortunately, I am pretty sure she beliefs a lot of it. That will take effort and time for you to demonstrate itís non authenticity and bring the falsehood she believes to light. And she needs to choose her path.


Not sure anything I do can change that, just like with H. Even the most loving and well-intentioned action/word on my part is misinterpreted generally. But yes, I will keep trying to just be a light, even if MIL can't see it.

Originally Posted by DnJ
On a hopeful note, and you know me and positive hopeful possibilities, MIL did and is reaching out. Start with that. She has a desire to connect. Yeah itís to the children, but it will have to be to you as well with you boundary based ideals on this. You will have golden opportunities to show her who you are and can be. I see hope here, not despair.


OK, I will try to see it that way. I did get so excited when she sent me the presents, but I think even my thanking her annoyed her and set her off again.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Oh, if you and I could just sit across from each other at a table, what discussions we would have.


Clearly -- and it would be so much easier than trying to type all this out, realizing all that I forgot and all that wasn't clear, editing, adding, still leaving too much out and leaving too much in and then feeling guilty for not getting any work done! Much easier to just talk it out and eat some naiiimoooooonnooomeeemooo bars.

Originally Posted by DnJ


Sorry, straying into a theology discussion. Possibilities - this is me. There are many. And at my core, I love possibilities - itís where hope lives.

For what itís worth, I believe in Godís will and free will. Putting H in Godís hands is a very good path to take.


Well I love theology discussions. The problem is only that I have to figure out this practical response to MIL and that need is siphoning out the time/energy to have a really good one! I will put off my answer for the next post.

Originally Posted by DnJ
As usually I am happy to discuss this, or any topic, further. I would definitely start with S14 and D10, they are the important people. Talk openly and let them read that hidden document that has so disrupted their lives.


This is a great idea, and I am gonna do it. I think it might be super upsetting to see it all in print-- it gives even me a heart attack to look at it. But I think you are right, the more knowledge they have, if I give it to them gently, the more power.

Thank you, as usual, DnJ, you always give me so much to think about!
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/01/19 04:44 AM

Originally Posted by scout12
You are a deep thinker, Gerda. I enjoy chewing on your updates. Lots to consider.


Thank you so much for the compliment. Yeah, I am nothing if not deep! Shallow would be easier for sure.

Originally Posted by scout12
I'm in the process of catching up on DnJ's old threads and yours are next on my list.


Oh lord, poor you! My old threads, ugh, what a long journey through a swamp. But hopefully a good read. : )
Posted By: job

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/01/19 01:39 PM

Gerda,

Circling back to my last posting, I didn't mention your communication skills w/your h. I was referring to people in general, for example, your in-laws, your lawyer and at times w/me. I post to you because I care about you. You read my postings and then respond to my postings referencing things that I did not mention. I don't know if it's because I have touched a nerve and you want to go in another direction by referencing things that I didn't mention or you want me to go into explanation mode, but I'm going to be more direct w/you from now on and hopefully you can then relax a bit and not "assume" something that I wasn't referencing. So here is my direct response to you for today:

I can understand why your MIL basically "abandoned" your children. Many of the in-laws do this when their child leaves a marriage, i.e., MLC marriage mostly. Blood is always thicker than water and no matter what we way or do, they will generally take the side of their adult child. Your MIL doesn't understand why things have gotten so out of hand in the marriage and for all you know, they are disappointed in their son and what has happened to your family.

I'm not making excuses for her, but there are two sides to every coin and I sense that this woman misses seeing her grandkids and would dearly love to see them. I do not know how old she is, but her health may not be the best or maybe she wants to confirm to herself that they are okay. After all, she may have been hearing rubbish from her son for quite some time and wants to see the children for herself.

I would send a missive to her and here is something you may want to think about writing: "MIL, son's name, has told me that you had a nice chat w/him and suggested that he and his sister come to visit you in Florida. That is a wonderful idea, however, in the future, I ask that you please discuss trip suggestions w/me first before mentioning anything to my son or his sister, as I am the one that would need to decide when a trip may be possible. I also ask that you not discuss w/him or his sister what is taking place between your son and myself, as they are children and should not be involved in adult matters. If I can manage a trip for them this year, I will let you know our travel arrangements far enough in advance so that you can prepare for their visit. Happy Holidays!"

Keep your missive on point, i.e., the visit and gently advise her that she needs to work through you.

Gerda, I sense that instead of speaking up and pointing out her behavior to her at the time she was being critical of you, may have given her the impression that you are a mouse and she can walk all over you. In other words, she is a bully in sheep's clothing. Maybe the way to get her respect is to start speaking up and telling her want from her. You don't need to come up with excuses or explanations, just state the facts, i.e., like a business deal and let the dust fall wherever it needs to fall. She needs to see the Gerda that we see here on this Forum, the woman who can write, gives good advice and shows compassion to others. Stating what you want from her in the future may not do anything to change the dynamics, but unless you try something different, you will always be a mouse who avoids contact w/others and she will continue doing what she does best...being manipulative and attempting to go around you at every turn. .

Gerda, you can do this. She has opened the door for communication, now it is time to show her the new and improved Gerda.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/01/19 03:48 PM

Good Morning Gerda

I like that you are looking into yourself; communication styles and such. And how open you are to listening and accepting suggestions.

Growth hurts. As we push out of a comfortable place and look to our less effective traits it can sting. That is a good signpost that one is on a worthwhile path.

Originally Posted by Gerda
To some degree, isn't the same surrender required here as with the MLC spouse? Why do you think I will be able to get any respect from her, and why should I even try? Isn't it just about the boundary and sticking to it?

A degree of surrender is required in many (maybe even all) situations when dealing with others. However, surrender may not be what you think.

It is control, and what and who you can control, and what and who you cannot. Surrender is not ďI canít control them, so they get to do whatever they wantĒ. Surrender is ďI canít control them. I respect their right to choose. And I respect and exercise my right to chooseĒ.

Why do I think you will be able to get any respect from MIL? Because you are worthy of respect.

A few thing on this point. Respect is earned, not giving. People will treat you as you let them, and respect you as you let them. You can see how boundaries get tied into this as well, in the way you allow treatment towards you.

Also oneís self respect and integrity must be present and strong. Other people will see it, will sense it, or the lack of it, and almost unconsciously behave accordingly.

Boundaries are for you. They are for oneís healing and preventing further determent to oneís emotional self. Not to be confused with a response to someone.

At first boundaries and responses appear very similar, and indeed they are in affect. The difference is the premeditation of conviction of which you will be following. A boundary is a wall from unwanted attack. It is your predetermined action that you will take when certain stimulus happens. A key component of a boundary is communicating it to the other party. That doesnít necessarily mean with words, although that is the usual; a consistent application of a boundary to a specific stimulus will get the message across as well, just less efficiently. Effectiveness however only comes from the consistent actions.

A response can tap into oneís convictions as well. You can apply your values and worth in a response without ďmuchĒ premeditation. It is just a response, and still in your control. The big thing is you are not needing protection. You are not being repeatedly attacked. Itís just a response without the wall.

For me, my boundaries are like my indifference - with compassion. Compassionate indifference. Compassionate boundaries.

The more one heals the more one can bring the wall of their boundaries down. Remember the difference between boundary and response - itís from within you. The effect is almost the same, itís the source that is modified.

Boundaries really start as a mechanism to build our shattered self respect. To realize our worth and stand back up. Once healed boundaries become belief. One knows, feels, and believes in their worth and value; and no one can take that away!

Isnít it just about boundaries and sticking to it? Yes, for a while.

Once you are strong, stable, secure, healed that wall is not the same wall anymore. I really hope I am getting the idea of the importance of compassion here. As you heal, that wall becomes a more permanent fixture in your life.

At first it may be built with hurt, anger, and vengeance; the wall being a much needed defence against attack. As you progress choose better not bitter, and rebuild that preliminary wall, that starter boundary. This is all part of finding, altering, strengthening, and following oneís beliefs. Build with you in mind, both for now and for the wanted future. Compassion always seemed to be one of the good materials to rebuild my life with - it is very strong and flexible.

In the specific case of your MIL, you can let the wall down a bit and see what happens. She hasnít been slamming against a boundary for quite some time, and you are well healed to have a self-controlled conversation with her.

Originally Posted by Gerda
Not sure anything I do can change that, just like with H. Even the most loving and well-intentioned action/word on my part is misinterpreted generally. But yes, I will keep trying to just be a light, even if MIL can't see it.

Be a light. Not try. Be the light. Believe it.

To be clear nothing you do can change MIL, just like H. Nothing and everything matters.

MIL, only she change herself. You can influence. And your influence affects her, and more importantly it affects you and your kids.

Originally Posted by Gerda
... can you give me one of your scripts? What can I say to her that I haven't already tried?

I really like the letter job has suggested.

Your first few communications with MIL are going to be mostly one way, Iím guessing. The letter is short, stays on point, is friendly, opens the door, and places the ball in her court. A very good example of the soft gentle approach. You can only control you. It would then be up to MIL to respond properly as requested. Depending on what happens a follow up may be required - responses or boundaries - it depends on MIL a little bit.

I think Iíll pause here. My kids are rising from their slumber.

I hope you are having a good day.

DnJ
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/01/19 07:10 PM

Friends, in addition to venting about the MIL, I really was just asking what kinds of strategies, scenarios/rules people have about visitation with in-laws, and if it was more strategic to try to work something out with her myself rather than tell her to work it out during H's time with the kids when I would have even less ability to protect. I figured that some folks on here would have some experience with that. I know Hamburg and SBJ have a good relationship with in-laws, jealous of that!

Until MIL's letter last summer, I thought we'd just go on as we have been for the past six years, where I usually took the kids to see the in-laws without H. I knew it would be more awkward post divorce but I also know it's the only way MIL will ever see S14 and I planned to keep my relationship with MIL friendly as it always was even after we stopped being close post BD. I had one aunt who stayed in our family after divorcing my uncle; they would just both be there on holidays.

Job, your example of a letter was really helpful. Thank you!

And Job and DnJ and whomever else, I appreciate the intention behind your 2 x 4's. It was interesting to notice how your perception of me affected my mood! I went through the seven stages of grief, I think! : ) I think it's really hard to really show our real selves here, but I don't think I realized how much. Definitely the self I show here is my most weak and fearful self -- I mostly come here when I am sniveling. People who know me IRL would be shocked to meet that side of me. I am considered an extremely tough and fearless lady IRL, often to the point of being intimidating. One of my jobs is in a men's prison! So your comments about me being a mouse, etc., actually made me laugh at first. But it is true that H and MIL trigger me and I regress big time, back to the girl with the MLC mom. In the book I am reading about surviving narcissistic abuse, the author writes about a "white-hot" fear of being in trouble, etc. I definitely get that visceral response with H and MIL. In fact, H texted me today to remind me that the court "commanded" me to pay him before midnight and my whole body lit up with fear when I saw it, before I talked myself down from that bodily response. So it's definitely a wound I need to heal and I will think about what you said a lot on that journey. Thank you for all the time and care you took in replying to me!

I would still love to hear how some other folks are handling the visitation with the in-laws.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/01/19 07:19 PM

And DnJ, you as usual have so many multi-layered comments/ideas/suggestions that it will take me a while to chew on 'em. THANK YOU!
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/06/19 07:47 PM

KmL, I think you are a nurse? I always see you post about medical things, and I have a question for you and maybe Hamburg and anyone else reading this who knows about stuff like this!

I have been thinking a lot about the last 25 years of my life with H, especially because I am reading these books on surviving narcissistic abuse. The incredible thing is that yesterday my brother told me that he had been diagnosed with NPD as a teen! I knew he was troubled, he was in the psych ward, did a lot of drugs, there was a lot of violence and craziness at home, etc. While reading these books, I keep thinking about how I was so familiar with cluster B because of my mother and to some degree my dad and thinking that I may have been attracted to that in H even thought what I thought was that he was the opposite of my family and anything I had known as a child! But my brother telling me that BLEW my mind. I grew up just surrounded by that, and I was known in all the extended family as the sane, clear one, the peacemaker, the one who could carry the whole family on her shoulders and fix everyone's problems. My mother was definitely cluster B, she was totally mad and definitely had an MLC at the exact same year of her marriage as H did in mine. But now realizing that about my brother! Wow. And now looking back at intimations of H's cluster B or NPD or whatever he is throughout our M, and all the light pretzeling I did all these years, and the in-and-out debt, etc., I can't deny that this is not just MLC. I think my H was battling it all our marriage, and finally at the triggers of midlife, he couldn't do it anymore and it was unleashed at full force.

My question for you, KmL -- H's triggers were massive financial strain, our business on the edge of collapse and all that we had built threatened with crumbling -- and then he started sh*tting blood and thought he had cancer. He began training for a marathon and started running 10-20 miles per day and eating no carbs and taking magnesium citrate. He lost around 80 pounds and stopped sh*tting blood but I am sure you are aware of the effects of the magnesium citrate. He felt he was being healed, I felt like he had an eating disorder, but the MLC was in full swing by then. At one point he told a friend of mine who had emergency colon surgery about the wonders of magnesium citrate and the dosage he was taking and she contacted me because he was taking 2-5 times the recommended dose and was taking it EVERYDAY. And sometimes H would have these episodes while running where he became faint and would have to lie down on the running path. He thought it was dehydration and didn't connect it with the mag citrate. My friend did research on mag citrate and found stories of people who had literally gone crazy from taking too much of that. Her doc had given her extremely grave warnings about using it very judiciously and only a couple of times when she was undergoing treatment. She was convinced that H's insanity was caused by the magnesium citrate. I told her it was a lot more complicated than that but I started tracking his use and saw that he would go through a bottle with 50 doses in maybe 10 days. I became really alarmed and shared the research with him. You can predict how that went over.

I know that there is a lot going on with H, many layers of mental health issues, trauma and physical issues. And my faith gives me another kind of take as well. But I wonder what your take is on the mag citrate and the physiological side of the story. He is still taking it at the same levels, I am sure. He is also an alcoholic and is juuling. I know there is nothing I can do it about this but for my own clarity I wondered about your take on that supplement in the context I have explained.

XO from Gerda
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/06/19 07:56 PM

Gerda, KML is a doc.

You may want to read this book, it answered a lot for me. Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/06/19 08:17 PM

Thank you, Own! I couldn't find a post where she mentioned her job but I am glad I was right she was in the medical field and hopefully she'll have some insight.

I will check out that book. I am a little bit overdosing on thinking about all of it right now but it's good to get more insight. Sunday is my birthday, lots of reflection....
Posted By: kml

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/06/19 08:31 PM

The main problem with too much magnesium is it can overwhelm the kidneys, so patients with kidney failure should not take supplemental magnesium. Usually in a person with normal kidney function 500 - 800 mg/d is safe. If he was taking it not to fix constipation but to induce weight loss by abusing it as a laxative, that would fit into the whole eating disorder thought.

And frankly, I'm not surprised that you think your H has NPD, because the weird way he writes totally sounds like a crazy narcissist to me. (As for your brother, who knows if that diagnosis was correct, I think teenagers in crisis and using drugs get mislabeled a lot. Does he strike you as a narcissist now?)

It does sound like the family dysfunction in your childhood may be the reason why you never recognized it in your H - you were accustomed to it. It felt familiar.

(In my case, the opposite was true - my ex was a fairly benign narcissist, and nobody in my family had any kind of pathology like that, so I feel like I was naive and just didn't know what to look for because I'd not been around it.)
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/07/19 01:27 AM

Thank you so much, kml, for stopping in and for your thoughts!

Originally Posted by kml
The main problem with too much magnesium is it can overwhelm the kidneys, so patients with kidney failure should not take supplemental magnesium. Usually in a person with normal kidney function 500 - 800 mg/d is safe. If he was taking it not to fix constipation but to induce weight loss by abusing it as a laxative, that would fit into the whole eating disorder thought.


Well he started using it to fix constipation alongside a complete and radical change in his eating habits but I am pretty sure he was taking at least 5 times the recommended dosage, so that would be 2000 mg per day. Since MLC started at the end of 2013. I don't want to get too graphic, but being the only person in the house who cleaned the bathroom, it was pretty intense daily. It was one of the good things about him moving out, that I would stop cleaning toilets daily. When I am sick and can't hold my food at either end, I get extremely dehydrated and sometimes even have a panic attack. So I imagine this has to have a brutal effect on his body, and I read a few anecdotes on the internet of people who had gone a little batty from it. But it sounds like you have not encountered anything about that. I remember my uncle had a nervous breakdown from mercury poisoning and seemed sort of stoned for almost a year, so I was thinking it could be something like that.

Originally Posted by kml
As for your brother, who knows if that diagnosis was correct, I think teenagers in crisis and using drugs get mislabeled a lot. Does he strike you as a narcissist now?)


Yes, he is one of the most self-centered people I have ever met. I just never realized until now that it was that all these years. I thought he was just like that and that never having kids made him never get over that self-focus. I actually feel like an idiot for not realizing it! And it actually made me feel a lot more forgiving -- I realized that he has been trying really hard to conquer that in himself all this time -- tons of therapy and all sorts of physical, nutritional and other practices, and that he might be doing the best he can. He might actually serve as a model for me as the best that someone with NPD can do after years of intensive therapy.

Originally Posted by kml
It does sound like the family dysfunction in your childhood may be the reason why you never recognized it in your H - you were accustomed to it. It felt familiar.


Thank you for your empathy, that is very comforting. What I am grappling with now is that I thought it wasn't familiar at all. I thought my H was totally different from what I knew. It makes me wonder if I was sleepwalking all this time on some level, except that he really seemed like a wonderful guy in most ways, and we were so close. So I think he was either hiding it or battling it or ... I don't know anymore.

Originally Posted by kml
(In my case, the opposite was true - my ex was a fairly benign narcissist, and nobody in my family had any kind of pathology like that, so I feel like I was naive and just didn't know what to look for because I'd not been around it.)


But did you notice any behaviors that bothered you? I would think that if you had never encountered it, you would find it really horrible and not something you had to put up with. Or did your H also seem mostly good until MLC?
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/07/19 07:08 PM

I guess this is journaling --

I am trying to sit with a feeling, as per the book I keep mentioning.

The feeling is --

D10 always comes back from a night or even an afternoon with H a little weird and a little mean to me, like she doesn't trust me anymore. It is so awful. Takes a couple days to go back to normal. Today I was determined to just be funny and fun when she got home and then I let her watch a show she likes. After a little while I came in to sit with her and watch it for a moment because I had done that this morning with S14 after he was a little grouchy with me and was surprised at how it made him light up and tell me all about the show and then come in later to tell me what happened next.

So anyway I did this with D10 and she physically pushed me away, trying to push me out of the room and saying, "You can go now." And I said, "Why? I thought you would like it if I watched a show with you, I did that with S14 this morning." And she said, "Because you are always on top of me and always trying to control me," and then looked really sheepish and confused. I knew where that came from and I froze for a moment, hit by those awful feelings. We LBSers always have to have so much clarity in these moments and I had none. But finally I said, "You think so? Who told you that?" And she looked really confused, like she wanted to tell me the truth but then she got a mean look on her face and said, "It's because you are." I didn't want to say anything about her dad so I forced myself to get up and leave the room.

I am trying to see my feelings/fears clearly as part of this process of learning to see them and then letting them go. I have a fear that she won't love me anymore or that H will get in the way of us being close.

-- I have a fear for her that she will inherit the confusion that plagues me when someone is trying to manipulate me and I can't remember the truth -- this was what happened with my mother all my life and finally when I was in my late teens I had to start being very cold around her most of the time in order to keep a clear head. And it is something that many on these boards have remarked upon about me, how confused I get in that context about things that are obvious.
--I am afraid that my D will see me (and hate me!) the way I saw (and hated) my mom, and that it will take many years for her to understand what really happened here. I fantasize about telling her more of the details just to "win" her over! (But don't worry, I don't do that.)
-- I even noticed I was afraid of a future D15 announcing she would live with her dad!

Wow, what a lot of fears and feelings of betrayal. Quite an old and murky swamp in Gerda's heart and mind.
Posted By: job

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/07/19 07:53 PM

Gerda,

You may not be trying to control your children, but is it possible that you hover too much? Maybe, they feel a bit smothered by your caring and wanting to be with them. Db them a little bit, step back a bit and allow them to come to you. Just as adults, kids need a little bit of space too. Your children aren't little tots any longer. They are growing up and yes, they too need to practice spreading their wings.

Maybe she heard something at your h's place or it could be that she's comparing her home situation w/that of others from her class. It could be that she comes home and compares the way that she is treated over at h's place and then when she returns home you hover a bit more than what she's experienced at the other place.

Do your children go to visit their classmates or have them come home and play w/them? The reason I am asking is that I don't think I have read that they do this, but you do mention visiting family and your friends once in a while.

Give them a bit of space, allow them to come to you and listen to what they are telling you. If they are telling you something that you do or don't do, maybe it's time to look deep within to see if there is any truth to what they've stated. If there is, then it might be time to dig deeper for patience and make some changes that will allow all of you to live more comfortably under the same roof.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/07/19 09:09 PM

Gerda - the therapist I saw told me it would take a full year for my kids to begin to settle after my ex moved out. They were 14 and 12 at the time. There was lots of acting out. And I did have to DB my older one a few weeks ago and that really changed the dynamic is in our r for the better.

For a solid year, every time they returned to my home they were extremely argumentative (older son) and withdrawn (younger son). My therapist warned me they would act out to the parent who was ďsafe.Ē My therapist met my ex and actually told me I would be dealing with the adjustment issues from the kids as my ex would not ďallowĒ expression of emotion. When he told them about the D, he immediately said ďthink about how you want to react to this because you will be men someday.Ē Talk about an a$$ who is emotionally constipated!!!!

KML said the same: kids will act out where they feel safe doing so. Wear it as a badge! The transitions back and forth are hard on them.

This is not really about you. You may feel good mothering in that way but it may be too much after transitioning to another house and maybe being in an environment where she had to be buttoned up. In my opinion, your goal is to welcome her home, tell her you missed her and love her and then say: ďwhat can I do for you?Ē Then just validate and honor it.

This may even be too much upon arriving home! For many months, all I could say when my kids came home was ďhiĒ because anything more ignited a battle. You may, eventually, want to express that you are trying to help her cope with the transitions. ďI am here to help you in any way I can;Ē whether that be spending time with you, giving you space; making you some comfort foods, etc.). We need to accept their irritability unconditionally at this point and show unconditional love while respecting the way they cope.

Donít get wrapped up in what that they parrot back from your ex or your fears on how they view you. Show them through your actions who you really are and they will see this in a year or so when the behavior is consistent...
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/07/19 09:09 PM

Hello Gerda

That was very good clarity and admission of feelings and fears. Well done.

A couple of questions for you. How fast did the fears spring up? How long until they subsided?

I like the visual - an old murky swamp.

D10 is sounding like a young girl; pushing back a bit. I am pretty sure she is a bit stressed when she returns from Dadís, and guess what??? You, being the sane and stable parent, get the flak. Kids cannot risk lashing out at their troubled parent, so we get double. Remember kids have to learn how to let go of their fears, anger, etc... as well.

As you said, she always comes back from a visit a little weird and a little mean. I do hate to tell you, but that is most likely going to get worse before it gets better. My kids had to work through their stuff, and Mom sure couldnít accept whatever they needed to say, and I was the substitute.

A good phrase, ďIím sorry you feel that wayĒ. Then leave the room if they want or need to be alone, and donít worry they just need a little time and space. We do tend to personalize what trouble our children are experiencing. Youíll find out that most of it isnít about you. Really. Honest. I know, I know, how crazy does that sound.

DnJ
Posted By: job

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/07/19 09:41 PM

Even though I am a day early, I still want to wish you a very Happy Birthday! Enjoy your special day.

BTW, your thread will most likely be locked before tomorrow, so you may want to start a new thread so that others can chime in on the birthday wishes.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/07/19 11:55 PM

Happy Birthday!

It has been a pleasure getting to know you! : )
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/08/19 12:33 AM

Gerda, Happy Birthday!!!!

About your D, I have mentioned that I don't ask my son anything about dad or try to talk to him about visits with dad. He comes back feeling protective of dad and quiet. I think at some level he may feel that he betrayed me or something and feel bad about that. I just let him be and stay out of his way. Within a day or two he starts opening up and sharing things spontaneously. If it becomes clear he wants to talk about something, we do. If not, we don't. With mine, I know the visitations won't last long before he takes off again, so I just let it go.

Yours will probably stick around and this will be an ongoing thing. Probably good for you to reach some kind of script for how you handle this now so you don't have to keep dealing with your feelings. Remember that you and your D are different people and how you felt is not the same. She has had different life experiences.

Just focus on your side, and being the best mom you can when the kids are with you. They learn from seeing you. They learn from watching you. That also includes the times you are stressed and tense. Try to be the soft place for them, but set firm boundaries because kids like and need structure. It will work out. Just a day at a time.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Gerda Rises Up to Go On - 12/08/19 02:07 AM

Job, Hawho, DnJ, Ownit -- What a good good good thing for this little soul to see all your messages about the transition issue and about my b-day. I am feeling very low tonight because D did mention more as the night went on. I was at a spa thing my father gave me,came back feeling so good and took D and her best friend home, where they came to my room to tell me that the other woman was there the whole time and and slept over last night. Our custody agreement says that is not allowed. (The weird thing is I would never have thought of that issue going into the agreement but H actually put it in!)

So it was a real lift to see all your messages. I am going to read them all now but will start a new thread because Job said mine might get locked. I will respond in the new thread. Thank you so much, Everyone.

New Thread:

Gerda Finally Sees the Broken Fragments
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