Dark Night of the Soul yields a Brand New Day

Posted By: bttrfly

Dark Night of the Soul yields a Brand New Day - 09/25/20 02:48 PM

Good morning. I've asked that all my threads be pulled because I am not sure if exh or OW could find them, link them to me, and I didn't want to deal with that. Everything that can link me here is gone. Yet, I wanted to share something with you because I think it is important.

I think there are steps we LBS' must take for our own sanity. None of these are new to you if you've been here for a while. But I'm going to lay them out as I see them:

Step 1: The most important thing we can do is accept that our marriages are truly over. If there is to be something in the future with our spouses, it will need to be a new and improved relationship, and what (or even if) that relationship will be is currently shrouded in mystery.

Step 2: It's time to focus solely on ourselves. What are your core values now, in this moment in time, as a soon-to-be-newly-single person?

Step 3: What do YOU really want, separate from your relationship with your spouse?

Step 4: Once you've done the work to figure this part out (steps 1-3 are crucial foundational steps, in my experience), you know your core values, know what you want (or maybe just what you don't want as a starting point). Now, how do you intend to manifest that new reality for yourself? It's important to spend some time here.

Step 5: Accepting that you are on your own, how do you want to disentangle from your errant spouse so you can spend your precious energy on yourself and your children, if you have them? How do you want to behave so that when you look back in 1, 3, 5 or 10 years, you don't have remorse, guilt or shame at your behavior? This behavior ties directly, in my experience, to your core values. I wrote my values out as a list. Taped it to my monitor at work. Kept it handy so I had reminders for when my exh monstered at me. Did I do it perfectly? No. The point is, over time I did it better. Closure is important.

Step 6: What kinds of things interest you today, re: GAL activities? How can you challenge yourself so that you continue to grow through this? Try things you did before your marriage. Try things you did during your marriage. Try things you've always wanted to try but didn't for whatever reason. Don't let fear stand in your way. BTW, this ought to be done concurrently with steps 1-5.

Good luck.

As for me, the morning of the equinox, I printed out all recent communication between exh/ow and myself, my own writing about my resentments towards Exh, and the list of all the things he did to gaslight me which I've remembered in the past two months. I brought them out to the partially-finished labyrinth I'm making in my backyard, walked the labyrinth, praying all the while, sat down in the center and burned it all while drumming right during the time of the actual equinox. I also prayed for help to release it all, let it go so that I can be free to live a life of prosperity, love, peace of mind and heart and that there be an internal shift so that I let go of everything else except that which is truly meant to be with me for the rest of my life, for my highest good. I added in prayers for my mom and my son. I concluded with the loving kindness meditation, with exh being the difficult party and the group being all associated with him, including OW, exMIL and his friend who helped significantly harm our marriage. You can find many versions of that but I'm ever grateful to Roist's suggestion for excelling at life. Searching for it will give you what you seek.

Once everything had burned away in the abalone shell, leaving nothing but ash in its place, I scattered the ash on the ground, giving it to the earth and the wind to do as it wished. I then walked the paths out, saying thanks and went into the house to shower. When I got out of the shower, there was a text referring a client to me (prosperity), which is an answer to a prayer about finances, a subject that's been weighing heavily on my mind for the past several weeks.

In the few days since, there have been other signs that something or someone was listening and my prayers are being answered. Most importantly, I've said the loving kindness meditation in that same way once a day, every day. Yesterday was day three. I feel like there's been a definite shift within, separating the person (exh) from the action (all the $h!tty things he's said and done both before, during and after the D). My resentment seems to be gone. You know, I don't believe in confusing equanimity with indifference. By definition they are two distinctly different things. Indifference is defined as lack of interest, concern, or sympathy; equanimity is mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. Indifference is not in place of my former resentment, nor has true equanimity taken complete hold quite yet, but neutrality and acceptance are definitely here now, with glimpses of that equanimity shining through.

Then last night son and I were talking ... it seems that things are not all rosy on the western front (by that I mean with exh and OW). They are no longer living together, as exh has moved to yet another state (are you keeping track? now that's state #4 since all this started in 2015), and she does not want to live there, wanting him to stay in her state. Despite her insistence on calling herself his wife, they are not married. There is a wedding which son has been invited to, which has yet to take place. It is all apparently exh's way or the highway. He continues to dominate in ways he did with me as well. My point: NOTHING has changed here. There doesn't seem to be a lessons learned, just a continuation of, or as some would say, the further example of, the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. While I feel a bit sad that they are having a tough time, because heartbreak is awful, regardless of whose heart is involved, I am also so very grateful I'm out of that dynamic with exh. I'd never thought I would ever be here, feeling this way, but here I am and the peace is so worth the length and breadth of the journey to get here.

Son and I spoke about exh, his newly-revealed (to me) cheating, our thoughts on the timeline of events. It was good for son to tell me when his fears for our family started, yet another secret revealed that he doesn't have to hold deep inside himself. I did not throw anyone under any buses. I was, however, very honest about relationships needing to be balanced. The concept of "hand" in a relationship was discussed at length. "hand" = power struggle. I fought against exh's increasing need for control, and felt bad for a very long time, like my lack of acquiescence killed our marriage. Now I know that nothing should ever be that way. Balance in all things. I made sure son knows that in a healthy relationship there is more balance than not, with each party sharing the lead at various times. Perhaps I was too open with him, I don't know, but we had more honest communication about our family situation, which has only led to more closeness in the past. I also reminded him that he is not a pie, with slices to dole out to the various people in his life. The slice he has for me will always be mine. I'm him mom, he will always love me. He can still have a slice of pie for OW, as he continues to feel bad that he likes her. My point is that his caring about her takes nothing from how he feels about me, because that is not how love works. That message was received with a big hug back so I know he "got" it.

Anyway. I'm not going to be posting very much, but I do plan to continue to pop in on occasion and try to keep track of you. I wish each of you many blessings, ease during your heartache and most especially peace on the other side of your journey. xoxoxo

Oh - thread title is partially from a Van Morrison song on his most recent release, Three Chords and The Truth. Well worth a listen, even if you aren't a huge Van Morrison fan!
Posted By: harvey

Re: Dark Night of the Soul yields a Brand New Day - 09/26/20 05:21 AM

That was fascinating. I wish you the best. I had never really thought about the definition of equanimity, but that certainly hits at the heart of DBing.
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Dark Night of the Soul yields a Brand New Day - 09/26/20 10:24 AM

Here's the thing - by accepting the old marriage is over, focusing on yourself and who you are now, who you want to be, how you want to live, and finding new GAL activities you will inevitably become a better version of yourself, and the kind of person only a fool would leave behind. Your errant spouse may seem like they are moving forward (and they are), but they do seem to keep looking in the rear view mirror. They do like to think we're where they left us. By moving forward ourselves, it does shake them out of their complacency. This doesn't guarantee that they will come back, but it sure gives you something to do in the meantime, and you may just find that you either don't want them back, or that the new and improved marriage is based on some hard-learned lessons and is stronger for it. Either way it's a win-win, and really, what do you have to lose?
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Dark Night of the Soul yields a Brand New Day - 09/26/20 02:10 PM

Amazing, Buttrfly. Felt like I was there with you as you told this story -- and wished I really could know you in person. Even deleting your threads is a sort of fire with prayer. Thanks for this post and all your moments of on-line friendship to me.
Posted By: AndrewP

Re: Dark Night of the Soul yields a Brand New Day - 09/26/20 02:14 PM

{{{{btrrfly}}}} - You've always been a bright light for me. Keep shining my friend.
Posted By: Sage4

Re: Dark Night of the Soul yields a Brand New Day - 09/26/20 05:28 PM

Wise words I needed to read right now. Thanks for your wisdom, B.
I also love your ceremony. What a powerful journey you are on right now!

Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Dark Night of the Soul yields a Brand New Day - 10/21/20 12:56 PM

Hi Everyone,
Stopping by. Hope all are hanging in there on their journeys. Remember, YOU are on a journey, and so is your errant spouse. No one knows where the journey will take you, nor does anyone know who will join you for the ride. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and stay open to whatever possibilities may come your way.

Been several weeks since my last post. I've personally been on a bit of a roller coaster the past four weeks. In many ways, I feel much better than I have in years, while in other ways it's been difficult. Dad's birthday was over the weekend. Mom's memory continues to degrade. Son continues to spiral, but he may finally be ready to do things differently. There is SO much pain in that young man's heart. I've reassured him that I am not going to ever leave. He and I are solid, despite where he's at personally. It's rather painful to watch his journey knowing I can only support, but he's steering the ship and no one really knows where that ship is going. However, that said, he knows to the depths of his soul that I am not going to abandon him, ever. I pray that gives him strength.

I largely feel that this ordeal is finally behind me. Since my last post there have been several situations which reminded me of some of the more unsavory and ugly things my exh did both during and since our separation and divorce. The difference is that now those memories do not send me into a spiral of pain, sorrow, anger, resentment, etc. Rather I look at it and feel fairly dispassionate about it all. This happened, yes. He did/said/attempted that, yes, and I survived. I wouldn't say I'm actually thriving, given what's going on with mom and my son, but it's close.

I am finally ready to open my heart and life to another person again. I am NOT ready to open my bank account, lol. Funny how that works, right? But my heart and life - yes. I am ready. Took a while. Be patient with yourself. Give yourself time and space. Focus on yourself. Most of all, be well. xoxoxo
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Dark Night of the Soul yields a Brand New Day - 10/21/20 01:19 PM

oh and Cardinal, if you're out there - yesterday Belle gave her first dark chocolate beautiful egg. The day before, Violet did the same. Her's is a medium chocolate with dark chocolate speckles. The only free loader left is Gypsy, the Easter Egger. Can't wait to see what color she'll produce.

Miss you girl. Hope you're ok. xoxo
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Dark Night of the Soul yields a Brand New Day - 11/14/20 08:00 AM

Gypsy is a freeloader no more. On Veteran's day she gave us a beautiful seafoam aqua-colored egg (my favorite color).. she's laid one per day since. these girls are a great source of joy.
Posted By: kml

Re: Dark Night of the Soul yields a Brand New Day - 11/14/20 04:13 PM

Posted By: Irish M

Re: Dark Night of the Soul yields a Brand New Day - 11/15/20 04:34 AM

I need a chicken coop...

Hi butterfly xx hugs

Letting go is freeing yourself

We might think we finally let go many times on this journey. Saying it ever so often. Believing it. Then cycle back because our MLC pokes us. I truly hope you are free. It is peaceful. Iím at that place too.
At a point I donít feel sorry for my Mlc anymore. That they missed so much.

After all itís their choice. Our choice was to care for our kids, being the rock.

You should be proud of your journey.

Take care
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: Dark Night of the Soul yields a Brand New Day - 11/15/20 01:59 PM

Irish!!! {{{{{hugs}}}}}

Yes, you really do need a chicken coop!!! Build the coop and run before you get the chickens, though. Trust me on that!!

I really have let go. We had an unthinkable crisis with our son over the last two weeks which led to an answering of a long sought prayer - exh stepped up, in a big way that I could not do, for our son. Working together it seems may have at last given son the impetus to make some better choices for himself and get some real help, thank God.

I have to say that it's a mindf*** to be working together around this. The muscle memory is still there, especially when exh expressed concern for me recently, and apologized for something he'd said earlier in this crisis. It was there on my part when I found myself gently admonishing son for saying something that had to have hurt exh to the core. It's ok to say how you feel but try to be kind.

That being said, though, honestly that ship sailed a long time ago for me. I've (mostly) forgiven him -- qualified because every so often there is a bit of bitterness that creeps in, but it leaves just as quickly. I've experienced the peace you speak of and I am grateful that 5 years out I accomplished my goal of being able to look back and see that I (mostly) took the high road and always put our son first.

Still, I can't help wondering a bit if exh thinks it was worth it - this new life he's carved out for himself - especially in light of the very real damage his decisions and actions caused our son. While our son has made choices of his own which aren't good, they are so clearly coming from a place of deep pain and trauma and feeling as though exh abandoned him for this new life and new family. I'm grateful that I don't have to carry the burden exh has to feel around this. It's a mess and duplicates exactly exh's deep issues with his own father. Maybe there is healing in there somewhere. I don't know. I just know I wouldn't want to be in his shoes.

As for me and my life, Mom went on hospice yesterday. This means that she will have a lot more services and I will get some much needed help with her care. Nothing is imminent, but it's also visibly on the horizon. I'm hoping this help will allow me to be a daughter rather than a caregiver for some of this time with her.

In the meantime, I am working on actually settling into this house I built, which I've merely been more of a guest in since I got here. I've never fully unpacked as it's been one family crisis after another. The chickens have a better place than I do to call home in terms of hygge. Looking forward to nesting a bit over the next several weeks and setting the stage for 2021.
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