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may22 #2906957 10/28/20 05:57 PM
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Initially when my wife came back we went through a period of Hysterical Bonding. We always had a pretty decent sex life and neither of us ever had any complaints in that department. Now she has decided to put sex on the back burner and I have to say that has been difficult not to have that level of intimacy with her, I miss it (amongst lots of things). Anyway what's interesting is Kristen has suggested (and it may not be the case) that your H could use the "no sex" as justification to restart his PA and perhaps my wife has also used the "no sex" because she may be back in touch with OM.

There are certainly circumstances where no sex can be healthy but I do think it can also put another barrier between couples and adds another "problem" that they need to overcome to work back to get the level of intimacy that feels safe and satisfying again.

WMWB #2906960 10/28/20 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by WMWB
Initially when my wife came back we went through a period of Hysterical Bonding. We always had a pretty decent sex life and neither of us ever had any complaints in that department. Now she has decided to put sex on the back burner and I have to say that has been difficult not to have that level of intimacy with her, I miss it (amongst lots of things). Anyway what's interesting is Kristen has suggested (and it may not be the case) that your H could use the "no sex" as justification to restart his PA and perhaps my wife has also used the "no sex" because she may be back in touch with OM.

There are certainly circumstances where no sex can be healthy but I do think it can also put another barrier between couples and adds another "problem" that they need to overcome to work back to get the level of intimacy that feels safe and satisfying again.

I think you have to be careful when making these assumptions when one spouse may have one foot out the door. Sex may be just another reminder that there is no emotional connection or intimacy in the relationship and use it as justification.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

“Don’t chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people – the ones who really belong in your life – will come to you. And stay.” ~LH19
may22 #2906992 10/28/20 10:52 PM
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Hi, May. I wanted to drop in and wish you Happy Holidays if that is possible with all the covid stuff going on and your ongoing family drama. Wow, I can't believe you're still caught in that vortex. It was a year ago this week when my husband decided he wanted a divorce but it never happened. After about 6 weeks of personal anguish, I decided that was enough and started to move on on my own. Then out of the blue he came back. We're okay. We have been married a very long time (over 30 years) so we just fell back into the old relationship with a little more heightened sensitivity. He's very considerate and seems to be sorry about what he did, but I don't dwell on it. I hope everyone else here who I knew is okay. Anyway I hope that you and your family have a nice holiday season.

may22 #2907067 10/29/20 04:26 PM
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Hi May!

I have been thinking about your situation as mine has taught me some new lessons lately (I hope to update my thread soon!) and wanted to share some thoughts.

I know this is hopelessly pedantic, but I think you need to find ways to further detach. Not in the unloving sense, but to really, really feel deep in your bones that you will be just fine whatever happens. What would it take for you to get to 'meh'? I think that complete detachment will really allow both of you to start from a clean slate. I can't imagine how impossibly hard it is to get to that point with someone whom you interact with day in and day out, with how hard you have worked to save this M and get to M2.0. But I really truly believe (because I am living it at the moment), that total detachment is the only path to move forward, whether alone or with H.

I made the mistake of believing that total detachment was going to be fueled by my anger towards H, so that's where my focus was. That his unsavory side would be the thing that brought me to 'meh'. But total detachment comes from within-- more of a deep, deep understanding of your own self-worth, a recognition of YOUR values (irrespective of how H is or is not validating your values), becoming into your own, and completely differentiating from H. Basically, finding yourself again. An amazing poem was shared with my recently that encapsulates this so well:

LOVE AFTER LOVE

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror, and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

--Derek Wolcott

I don't have a recipe for reaching this place. In my own process, once I came out of the sadness and depression, rocketed by anger, I settled into my true stasis, which is love and compassion. I had to fill my own empty cup first; self-love and self-compassion, before there was any to share with H. But now that my own cup is filled, I am able to differentiate and slowly finding there are reserves left over that I may choose to share.

I reached far out there in woo-woo land to help me get here. I have relied on psychotherapy, tarot, psychics, amazing astrologers, energy healers and my own inner faith to help me find this place. And I know I still have a long journey ahead of me, but for the first time I see it as MY journey, not one that is attached to the outcome of my M. I can say without hesitation that I am now truly detached.

Do whatever it takes to get yourself here. My guess is that once you have a toehold on detachment, it will capture H's attention (not that this is the intent, simply a byproduct of the journey). This will do the inverse of what has been happening in your situation so far: H will start working for you in earnest, which will free up more psychic space for you to continue to examine yourself and your R objectively.

And although it is a good start, I don't think detachment comes from ignoring H's jabs or your triggers. I think that detachment comes from a deep wellspring within YOU. Who are YOU, May? What do you love about yourself, what are you worthy of, what would you say to yourself if you were truly a friend to you? Can you separate your self-worth from your coupledom?

You are amazing. I have every belief that you will come on the other side of this journey an even more amazing person than you already are, if that is even possible. And every single lesson you learn, you are teaching to your daughters. My wish for mine is that they see that self-love is more important than being loved by others. That they will ALWAYS have themselves, that there is a deep well within them that will serve them during the hard times and get filled back up during the easy ones.

(((May)))

may22 #2907077 10/29/20 06:54 PM
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May have you worked through the possibility that you may just have to let the past go? To completely forgive, not bring it up again and find a way of accountability moving forward?

What about what type of transparency you would need? What would that look like? What about asking your H to find an accountability partner? What if he joined a men's group?

I think if there is ever a place for M2.0 you have to let go of M1.0 --- not just forgive but to literally not bring it up again.

Perhaps reading the book The Love Path would help you find a way to reconnect with your H.

It seems that your H is genuinely trying to hold on and to work this R. You are in control May... you get to decide but I caution you that if you don't find a way to forgive your H and put it in the past you will continue to stay on this crazy cycle. The vows were for better or for worse and so sadly our spouses can show us the "worse" for sure. Realize that neither of you will be happy in M2.0 if you have not let go of what happened. I'm not asking you to forget.

If you don't think you can do that I don't think any amount of IC, or MC will bring you happiness. We are all flawed... can you still love this man despite his flaws?

may22 #2907106 10/29/20 09:06 PM
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Hi everyone,

So good to hear from all of you! I've been noodling on a lot of this over the past couple of days and had a really productive session with my IC yesterday with some concrete actions I'm planning over the next week-- will share more on that in a bit.

Right now, I need advice around one quick thing, though. H has significantly ramped up his tactile and "loving" behaviors. I have mentioned some of them--bringing thoughtful, small gifts for me; saying "love you" at the end of a text (used to happen all the time, truly can't remember when I've seen it last, though... years for sure-- it hit me hard when I got it); acts of service (my primary LL-- and this is a change from a month or so ago, when he started spewing about my imaginary poor housekeeping skills in the infrequent times he'd actually lift a finger around the house); and a really significant ramp-up in non-sexual touching. Like, enough that I'm weirded out and I don't know how to respond.

After the first BD, I noticed that if he touched me accidentally, or I touched him-- like our knees would touch as we sat next to each other, or our feet would touch in bed-- he'd move away. At first it was like he'd jump away. Then it moved to our legs would be touching for a minute or so and then he'd move away. But he always moved away. Early on, when we were in MC the first time around and I learned that his LL was physical touch, I started doing it more-- touching him as I walked past, etc. He told me it weirded him out, he felt it was forced and so I stopped. (He was in the A at the time, I just didn't know). So I've been very very careful to not initiate any physical touch. In the spring, when we were trying to R the first time, there was maybe a month where he started to ramp up the non-sexual touches, and then it all went downhill after AP reached out to him. I'd say we are at double what it was back then and he won't move away if we accidentally touch.

I used to be a dolphin trainer so my immediate instinct is to reinforce these behaviors, but I'm weirded out by where they are coming from (are they authentic? Or is he "trying"? And if he's "trying", is that necessarily a bad thing?) So far I've been small and careful in my responses. Like, when he added "love you" to the end of an informational text, I responded with hearting it rather than the thumbs up that I normally give. I don't move my leg away either when we touch. I've been verbally appreciative of the gifts and the acts of service, and done a couple of nice things for him in return. (though acts of service is pretty far down on his LL list.)

So.... any thoughts? I will say that even though I'm suspicious of the reasons, it feels good. I'm not a big toucher by nature, but this is making me realize how starved I am for human touch besides my kids.


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
may22 #2907113 10/29/20 09:45 PM
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Kristin, WMWB, LH... the sex is a difficult issue, because of the SSM. It is definitely not the case where it is something we can fall back into because it has been years since we had a healthy sex life.

When H met AP, he says we hadn't had sex in six months. I dispute this, but it is true that we probably had sex only a handful of times in the six months prior. (I know it hadn't been six months since I knew it was bad to always say no and so if it got to be more than a month I'd say yes the next time even though I didn't want to. Yes, I know this is incredibly unhealthy and all the rest.) H then "realized" after conversations with AP that our marriage was in fact not a good one because of the SSM, and that I had "stolen" years of his life away. He decided to stop initiating to see how long it would take me to initiate, and I never did. After a couple months of this, he started the PA with AP. Maybe a month or so later I initiated (because I was realizing whoops, it had been a long time) and he told me I had broken him sexually and he was now the one that didn't want to have sex with me. (Wow, the gaslighting is blinding me right now.)

It was a year after that conversation, a year of MC and alien H and zero sex that we went away for a long weekend together and I had my epiphany around my feelings for my H and around sex. We had a lot of really hard conversations and had sex for the first time in more than a year, and it was like the scales had fallen from my eyes and my heart. (of course, now I know that H was viewing that weekend as an ending and a precursor to D. I had no idea he had been in an A for more than a year at that point. I'd asked him point blank several times if there was someone else and got gaslit every time.) My attitude towards sex changed instantly, and I started the process of researching female sexuality and trying to learn more about what had happened to me. I also forgave H for all the little resentments that had built up over the years and felt love for him again.

Then we had about a year of these weird midnight encounters, where he'd wake up in the middle of the night and initiate. Sometimes afterwards he'd act all guilty and mopey (because he felt like he was cheating on AP) and I got the drip-drip-drip of truth... first, a couple of months after our weekend away, the ILYB; then a few months later the EA; then a few months after that I learned it was a 2 year long PA. The night he told me it had been a PA I think we had hysterical bonding sex and that continued for a month or so. I've had a hard time figuring out for myself what was driving this on my side-- the MC said I was basically marking my territory.

When we tried to R in the spring, sex to me was something where I wanted to show a 180, and I was frankly frustrated that he wasn't all that into it (except for the midnight encounters, which continued). When we laid the ground rules for our second R attempt (the trip), we both decided we didn't want to have sex for awhile. On his end, he wants the staring into each others' souls romantic connection sex, and we haven't really done that throughout. AP is a big specter in this for both of us and I kind of got to the point where even though I am finally appreciating sex and wanting to explore my own sexuality, I don't want to feel like there is a third party in the room, in my head or his, and I don't have that security at this point. Also, most of the programs that address rebuilding sexual intimacy between partners call for a break for awhile and then slowly starting back up with non-sexual physical contact... I just think it is a subject of so much tension and emotion for both of us, for so many reasons, that taking a break is not a bad thing. I don't actually think he is using this as an excuse to get back together with AP, since we set this prior to his (most recent) decision to R. So it isn't like anything has really changed. I think it is very possible that this is part of what happened in the spring, though.

And for all that... I mostly don't respond for the middle of the night initiations any more, even though they continue, though not as frequently as before. I pretend I'm asleep. And some nights, when we've been having drinks and chatting (kind of like date nights at home, though we don't call it that) we end up having sex. He's also initiated after fights I think because it is a reconnecting experience for both of us. So we aren't NOT having sex. We just aren't having it very much.

TMI I'm sure--- sorry guys! This was actually helpful for me to write out, to look at this full timeline from this particular lens. Anyway, all in all to say, if this is what drives him back into AP's arms... OK. I'm comfortable with that. I don't want my own fledgling sexuality to be messed up by sleeping with someone, even though I happen to be married to him, who isn't feeling it for me. Hopefully, we get there together. But this--feeling like a sexual being again, not just a mom-- is something that is important to me, for me, and is a gift I've received through all of this trauma to date. I don't want to squander it.


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
may22 #2907114 10/29/20 10:00 PM
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Hello my dear sweet May,
I've missed you, and apparently missed a lot. So I'll update on my life on my thread at some point here, but I just read through practically a book about where you're at right now. I have a few thoughts.

-I stand by my very early recommendation that you and H promise to shelf this dissecting the MR whether it be M1.0 or M2.0 to a specific time and day unless something is absolutely pressing. You guys are in a never ending cycle of p!ssing each other off because neither one of you are willing to let go of what in M1.0 put you both in a position to need a M2.0. this is not to equate what you did and what he did. They aren't equal, and there isn't a ton of causation as much as H would like to think there is. The only causation is your SSM made him miserable and question himself, you and your mutual love and affection. His A made you question yourself, him and your marriage. So for that you guys are on equal ground. If you keep you two keep circling the same thing over and over again you're going to circle yourselves right down the drain together. Some one has to be the stop in this cycle. Should it be you...nope. But if it's not you who will it be?

-The anger. Oh hunny the anger. So I hit another anger wall, I'll update that in my own space, but I just want to remind you and any one else of something I told you before. This from the perspective of a WW that went back for a while, the betrayer will be in (maybe not in the way you want or need, but in their head in) long before the betrayed will be "over it." You will be angry far longer than he will be working getting over AP. You will be sad far longer than he will have doubts about a future for the two of you. And with that deal if you really want to give you two a shot at a future you have to assume some responsibility for that anger and sadness of your own. In they way it's not your job to heal him. To help him get over her. To hold his hand while he learns to forgive himself. It's not his job to sop up all of your anger and sadness no matter how much of it was his doing. The fact is he hasn't made you be angry. He hasn't made you sad. You gave him the permission to let him make you feel that way. And now where you're at, you're giving the ghost of AP permission to very strong feelings and a ton of energy she doesn't deserve. You're also given you're husband 2 years ago, 3 years ago, 1 year ago, a man who no longer actually exists a whole lot of permission to rob you of positivity, and happiness, and wide eyed faith that things always work out in the end. You've allowed the ghosts of people to steal your softness. Your anger and sadness are completely valid. But you can't allow ghosts to tie you to the past and let you drown in all the heaviness of that time. May, you don't have to let go of it all, but at some point here you do need to start letting go. You need to give your soul a chance to breathe. You're future is completely unwritten and totally within your control.

- As far as the touching. I'm going to tell you what you told me. Why is this so scary? you may need to explore that. Personally I think you're terrified this is April all over again. That being said if he's reaching out let him, and do your best to find away to lean in. I'm still very weirded out when my H does somethings. It takes a few attempts on his part for me to relax and ease back into it. He grabbed my hand while we were driving and pulled it up to his lips and gave my hand a kiss. The first time I cried. The second time I worried. The third time I smiled. And now it's just something we're doing again.

This all takes time. So much time. So many baby steps. And so many leaps of faith. So much pulling apart all that affair PTSD from what is happening now. None of this is easy or intuitive. It so much work individually and together. But you got this my dear. You have it.

may22 #2907118 10/29/20 10:36 PM
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Oh Wayfarer, I've missed you!! I think of you a lot, you know. I swear when I'm having trouble I think to myself that I need to pull on my inner WF, put my big girl panties on, and move forward.

I really want to hear how things are going with you guys when you have a chance.

I've been thinking a lot about how you got thrown off when H leaned in and why I'm thinking that way now. I think you're totally right that I'm worried we're back where we were before, or that I'm going to start to lean in and open myself back up to getting hurt again. I feel like I'm holding on so fiercely to this "I'll be OK no matter what" and almost living parallel tracks, one where we are on the road to piecing and one where he might just get back in touch with AP tomorrow and then he's out. Or, a year from now he's not over her and I can't stand it anymore and I'm the one to leave. IDK. I can't yet let go of that parallel track, because I am scared to leave it behind in case I still need it.

I've been thinking, though, that maybe what got you through all of this is that you leaned on the "he's leaving" through all of this. You bought into that-- or at least it seemed like you did-- and having that as your expectation seemed like it really helped you to get through the worst of it-- but then it got hard again, in the opposite way, when he started leaning in and you realized OMG he isn't going anywhere after all. Am I interpreting that right? I felt like I did the opposite in the spring-- really believed we were on the path to piecing-- and so this time have been wanting to take a wait and see approach but not let myself be vulnerable. (WWWD, right?) How are you seeing this from where you are right now, looking back?

I'll respond more later... I want to talk about the anger part (I'm also remembering in the spring you were like, where's that anger, May? it is going to swamp you when it finally comes!) and letting go and avoiding R talks for now. I also want to respond to Sage, Kristin, Newbie (missed you!), KC, and Alison-- lots of thoughtful stuff to chew on and parallels to what you're saying. (Sorry I write books on all of this. It is cathartic for me.) i have some very specific assignments from my IC right now that I think are really in great alignment with what all of you are saying.

But I also want to note that I spend a lot of time here (also with my IC) on these conversations and the negative stuff, when it really is only a fraction of our interactions, especially over the past couple of weeks (once the alien went back in his hole). Most of the time, we are doing well, having fun, laughing at each other's stupid jokes. Watching shows together and drinking good beer or homemade cocktails, cooking, doing puzzles with the kids, freaking out about COVID and the election and all the rest. These $hitty conversations happen once or twice a week. And I probably get triggered a handful of times a day, which isn't fun. I *want* to take my power back from the ghost of AP and my H and have total control over my own feelings and happiness... but I'm just not there, yet.

xoxo M


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
may22 #2907152 10/30/20 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by IronWill
So now when the spinning starts - i imagine a giant red STOP sign. Then, these are some of the phrases i repeat to myself:

"You have been over this a thousand times."
"You cannot use logic if someone is being illogical."
"How does this thinking help me? Am i feeling better now?"

IW-- the "stop sign" imagery and self-talk helps. Thank you for sharing this! I remember reading about the stop-sign technique, but it didn't really work for me so far (my brain is like, don't tell me what to do!) but the reasoning piece added on makes a lot of sense to me. I know how you feel with the brain working overdrive, click click clicking away, trying to hit on the right logical answer. Turning it OFF is always a challenge for me.

My IC had me using self-talk when I'm triggered about my feelings, which has been helpful, but more along the lines of self-validation. I like this extension into what to do (or better yet, not do) -- think that will be really helpful for me.

Originally Posted by AlisonUK
Is there a way of you offering your H a bit of what he needs, even intermittently, and you also being able to get a bit of what you need from someone or something other than your husband? Would that make the loop you are in a bit less intense?

I think this idea of self-soothing for MYSELF is what I need to do... and when I can do that, I can also be more forgiving of H in the day-to-day. Zooming out to the 30,000 foot level helps me a lot too. This is what I've been trying to work on with my IC the last few weeks--I just haven't hit on the right solution that helps every time. I can do it sometimes... maybe most of the time... but then once or twice a week I can't and then proceed to dump all my emotional garbage on him, he pushes it right back onto me, and we are back to that same dynamic.

I don't think it has ever been quite as intense as what you describe with your H, but I do agree that the same underlying forces are at work. How much of all this does your H understand? Or is he simply working through this on his own, responding to the boundaries you set up?

Originally Posted by KristinG
I find it also helps to think of the worst case situation and realize that you will still be OK if that happens. The feelings overwhelming you in that moment won't matter when you're through this.

Yes, that is a big difference where I sit today than where I have been at any other point in the journey. As I said to WF above, I wonder a bit if holding onto that narrative in my head is holding me back a bit, though, from also allowing myself to reconnect with my H. (I wonder sometimes if part of me is pushing him away in these interactions specifically to see if he'll go.) What I'm coming to is along Sage's lines-- I need to really embrace that ok-ness deep into my bones, so that I take it with me wherever I go, no matter what happens. That is definitely a WIP. Right now I'm having a hard time holding the parallel futures in my head.

Newbie-- soooo good to hear from you and I'm really glad you're doing well! You might consider posting an update for folks, I know there are newbies who are really in the darkest hardest part right now and hearing a success story about how dropping the rope really worked would be helpful for them. (Also, when I get down I think about you saying AP is TOAST and it makes me smile smile )

KC-- I can forgive him, I know... I talked with my IC about this yesterday, both forgiveness and trust, and working through the gaslighting. I told her that my gut is still to trust him and it is actually my head that stops me and reminds me that maybe I'm being foolish. My natural instinct is to trust and to look for the good in people, including him. I just want to be cautious, this time around, and be sure I'm taking care of myself first and foremost.

Also, while I'm totally open to forgiving him, he's got to be actually sorry first. A few posts ago Alison asked me what I'm looking for from him, and I said a glimmer that he actually feels sorry and empathetic about how I'm feeling when this stuff comes up for me, not just angry that me bringing it up makes him feel bad or guilty or whatever. I just think we have a long ways to go here.

Darling Sage... I heart you so much, you know. Thank you for the poem and your thoughts. I feel such a connection to you, in how we both look at the world, that you sharing this with me is more helpful than you know. It feels like you've moved so quickly into this place of zen detachment (WF had that too... I'm so envious of both of you) ... now what, ten months since WF was in the roughest patch and four since you were there? What am I missing? Knowing you have reached the promised land makes me feel hopeful for myself. But I do feel a little left behind, watching so many friends here grow and move on and here I am (by choice, I know!).

Originally Posted by Sage4
And although it is a good start, I don't think detachment comes from ignoring H's jabs or your triggers. I think that detachment comes from a deep wellspring within YOU. Who are YOU, May? What do you love about yourself, what are you worthy of, what would you say to yourself if you were truly a friend to you? Can you separate your self-worth from your coupledom?

This is exactly where I spent time with my IC yesterday, along with this idea from Wayfarer:

Originally Posted by Wayfarer
And with that deal if you really want to give you two a shot at a future you have to assume some responsibility for that anger and sadness of your own. In they way it's not your job to heal him. To help him get over her. To hold his hand while he learns to forgive himself. It's not his job to sop up all of your anger and sadness no matter how much of it was his doing. The fact is he hasn't made you be angry. He hasn't made you sad. You gave him the permission to let him make you feel that way. And now where you're at, you're giving the ghost of AP permission to very strong feelings and a ton of energy she doesn't deserve. You're also given you're husband 2 years ago, 3 years ago, 1 year ago, a man who no longer actually exists a whole lot of permission to rob you of positivity, and happiness, and wide eyed faith that things always work out in the end. You've allowed the ghosts of people to steal your softness. Your anger and sadness are completely valid. But you can't allow ghosts to tie you to the past and let you drown in all the heaviness of that time. May, you don't have to let go of it all, but at some point here you do need to start letting go. You need to give your soul a chance to breathe. You're future is completely unwritten and totally within your control.


Taking back ownership of my own emotions and healing myself, rather than looking to him to help me. Getting to know myself again, not May the mom or May the wife or May the working professional or May the friend or May the daughter, but ME.

She thinks we're on parallel tracks right now, processing our grief-- his grief over the end of the A, my grief over what I've lost in my marriage and what that all means to me and what I had believed to be true about myself. And neither of us are in a place to help validate or process the other's grief, but until we each work through this we aren't in a place to meet as equals and partners and figure out how to build a new relationship.

For me-- she wants me to address that deep well of ugly, ugly rage inside of me this week. That the rage and the sadness are uncomfortable for me and until I really process those feelings and get through them, I'll stay stuck. I want to reclaim myself and not be angry or hard. I want to love and be loved and let go because that is so much more who I am than this anxious and protective person I am feeling during these triggering moments. I have an enormous amount of rage towards AP (who probably doesn't think of me at ALL, never has, so why I waste time here is mortifying) and once I get through that pile, towards H.

So... any ideas? No rage rooms in my town... I was thinking writing mean letters of all the horrible things I'd want to say to her and burning it? Voodoo dolls? I think some ritual will help me here, especially because I feel so uncomfortable acknowledging how the ugliness of the feelings inside of me.


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
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