Originally Posted by scout12
Have you put up your Christmas tree yet? That could be a fun distraction. Never fails to lift my spirits.

Just today I realized that Thanksgiving is actually next week and Christmas is right around the corner. (When you wrote this I was thinking it was too early to think about this yet and now I'm realizing it isn't.)

The Christmas tree... last year I boxed up all of H's family ornaments separately and put a letter inside to him, basically saying... I don't remember what exactly, but that I was sorry things had happened the way they did and I'd always care about him. I remember choosing not to use the word "love". I really thought that one way or another things would be settled by this time... either we'd be S (and who knows if he'd set up a tree or not, but if he did, the letter would be out of my hands and in his) or we'd be together and the letter would be meaningless. I don't really recall if I had any expectations around what would happen if we were still together. I think at that point I didn't imagine that as a scenario, really, except that the letter wouldn't be needed. Writing it gave me a bit of closure. (Hey, see how these little rituals work for me?) I guess I imagined either I'd pull it and trash it or we'd look at it together and be glad for what didn't happen.

Now it feels a bit like a ticking time bomb. I think I should pull it before he sees it. Its existence, and the very fact that his stuff is boxed separately, is making me feel vaguely depressed about decorating for Christmas-- mostly because I feel like the smart thing to do is box his stuff up separately again at the end of this season, and then how long am I going to feel the need to do that?

I know. Thinking too far ahead again. At least all of this is wholly under my control-- when I decide I want to pull out the decorations, whether or not I pull the letter, whether or not he even clues into the fact his stuff is in a separate box, how I choose to box stuff up afterwards. And, nothing needs to be decided today.

He's been kind and solicitous the last couple of days. Back to more PT (which I still don't really know how to process so don't really respond, but I don't pull away either) and acts of service. Today he made me lunch, we ate together and in conversation a past trip to my hometown came up. We were trying to figure out when it was, me trying to place it in the timeline of the A (because I remember him being a jerk). Turns out summer 2018, full-on A, me knowing nothing but the fact that he had turned into a total @ss.

I didn't say anything about it but I know I got quiet. He hugged me and said, I wish when this comes up that you could think of the good parts of that trip, not the other stuff. I said, something that has really stuck with me that you told me was that she really hated it when we went on these family trips. It bothers me that she thought she had the right to feel that way and that it mattered to you.

He said, it didn't matter enough for me not to go. And, we did have fun on those trips. Her existence doesn't negate all the positive things between you and I during that time. And, I can't do anything about it. It is in the past. I said, I know. I get it. This is just a process for me. Also, you were a jerk on that trip. He said okay, he was sorry, then when I got up to do the lunch dishes he hugged me and took them away and said he'd take care of them. (Also he folded all the kid laundry which is my least favorite chore and his too. I'm going to take a page from Sage's thread and wooba and WF's advice there and move this particular task on to the children. They are absolutely old enough to fold their own laundry!!)

He's still minimizing, but whatever. For me, I'm glad that I was able to control my own emotions, talk calmly, tell him something that mattered to me rather than keep it inside, and walk away feeling a bit sad but not overwhelmed. I can only control me, and I think I did okay.

Eagle-- I know I read your thread previously, I'll re-read it. Hugs to you!

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