Heather, Welcome to the other side! Yes, it does get better but you have to travel the Yellow Brick Road, hit every pot hole, twist and turn and then one day, you reach the finish line. You come to realize that they truly gave you a gift, a gift of time, exploration and finding yourself once again. I'm glad you've finally reached the point of truly understanding why we always say it will get better.
As for the selfie, my xh doesn't look any better. Your description of your h describes my xh to a "T". They are truly broken people and will stumble around the world until they either seek help or continue to choose to be the way that they are.
As for your D12. She's a very smart cookie. She knows more of what's going on than think. If she doesn't want him to have her account info, then I wouldn't give it to him. She's old enough to make that decision for herself.
I hope that you have some fun and relaxing things to do over the weekend.
Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to. The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement.
I woke up this morning to another epiphany. Something is shifting here for me in this journey...
We walk the yellow brick road and you reach these milestones. Like I'm on this 1,000-mile-journey and there are high points, low points, crossroads, mountains, rivers to cross and glorious views once you get closer to your destination.
My dreams were full of Smokey. In my dream, we were in our house in Ohio and he had just returned from a long journey. He was exhausted and went to the bedroom to sleep. In the later years of our marriage, he spent a lot of time sleeping...but, this was a little different. I was so excited for him to be home.
I was telling a dear friend about the latest developments and how he was coming out of the fog. She was supportive and loving and understanding. She saw Smokey as someone who had been through so much himself and she was sympathetic to his pain.
After she left, I went into the bedroom and gave him this joyful kiss on the cheek. I just wanted him to know how much I missed him. He looked tan and healthy...He looked the way he looked 20 years ago. He wasn't angry. He was smiling and happy to be home.
This morning, when I woke up, I had some clarity about our beginnings.
My first memories of Smokey were when I was 12 and he was 14. Our father's had been best friends (his step dad was the best man at my parents' wedding). His step dad had fallen out a bit with my parents when he married Smokey's mom (a single mom who had been abandoned by Smokey's real father when Smokey was two).
Anyway...I met Smokey when my parents were still together. I was coming into my own. My parents were together, imperfectly, but this was before my dad had left and my mother remarried crazy stepdad and all the pain...I was probably the healthiest I would be for decades.
Smokey fell head-over-heels. Told his mom that he was going to marry me.
Well, being the somewhat normal preteen, I was repulsed. I thought he was crazy and scary. He looked like a kid who had lived in the woods..which he sorta did to avoid his abusive mother. At one point, my parents looked at buying a house in their neighborhood and I was terrified because we would be around the corner from Smokey.
The bottom falls out from under me. My dad leaves. My world becomes a nightmare. Smokey is troubled and causing his parents all sorts of issues. We form a friendship. He begins to look more handsome to me. I begin to develop fantasies about him as this James Dean who adores me is misunderstood. I search desperately for some boy, any boy, who will become my fantasy and rescuer. Smokey becomes one of the leading men in my series of fantasies about Prince Charming.
I leave my abusive family after years of struggle, emotional abuse and terrible, ugly family problems...at the age of 19, I move out in a violent episode where I finally lash out at my step dad and push him against the wall by grabbing his collar.
I have no where to go. I spend one night with a questionable guy from Al-Anon. The next night I show up on Smokey's doorstep. He is hungover from a bachelor's party. He is a mess...somewhat like he is now. An alcoholic mess who is about to get kicked out of school for the second time because of his addiction.
I fall in love.
This is where it gets tricky.
What was born in fantasy becomes real. God gives me this oasis of love and euphoria that I had never felt. After all this pain, I have joy.
Smokey gets clean. We are probably the healthiest we ever are together. Then, the baggage we both have, along with his addiction, slowly unravel the good...We both become toxic to the other with our neediness, codependency, etc... At one point, I ask for a divorce...not because I want live without him...but, because I see a need for us to have a clear boundary between him and me. This is after we were together for 5 years or so. I could see that marriage made me very much a needy suction cup...and he became an angry, overwhelmed guy. He refused to divorce. He was afraid we would leave each other. I could see the legal definition would save us from each other.
I've come full circle. I have reclaimed that 12-year-old girl I once was who believed she deserved a decent partner. The 12-year-old who was beginning to understand her own value and what talents she had to offer the world.
How freakin weird is that?
"You know, it's times like these when I realize what a superhero I am." Tony Stark/Iron Man
“Focus on what you can do, then do it with all your heart.” Lois Wilson