chasingthereddot

like a cat chasing the laser pointer we can talk about whatever people chase


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You are not a dumbass.

She makes me think of this book I read where a creepy neighbor dresses up as a woman so he can spy in people’s windows and not be caught. It’s about this vibe of mental illness mixed with probably learned narcissism and the world view of a three year old that it’s all about me. At the same time, I recognize that we have similarities, we both want to be loved, loved in a way to know that a man would love us enough to forsake all others, to focus on us, be patient, kind, thoughtful, and cherish us. The difference is how we try to go about filling that desire and/or how we interpret that desire.
The painful part is that someone can look you in the face and bold face lie to you. Over and over. The first time this happened, it was like my brain went on auto replay of the past 7 months of my life figuring out all of the inaccuracies and intricate details of the lies I was told and the lies I believed. There is nothing like trusting someone to find out what an asshole you have been for believing them. Let me be clear here, I’m not calling myself or anyone who has been lied to an asshole, the meaning is that I felt like a royal, top of the line, grade a asshole for believing some of the stupid, idiotic lies that my husband told me during the first affair.

Going through that process felt to me like an endless loop of my brain reviewing software code looking for glitches, finding a glitch replaying the code until the glitch was explained. It was a terrible feat to get myself out of that and also to allow it to happen to some extent. The second affair didn’t bring that on as much, for one because he got better at what he chose to lie about and when he chose to screw around during the day or other times he was “supposed” to be gone. Plus, after the first time around, a part of me died toward him anyway, it’s like I could check out easier.

So – if you are reading this and feeling like you identify with being a dumbass let me tell you this. You are not a dumbass. You loved someone. You trusted someone. You thought he or she had your best interest at heart. You were wrong, they didn’t. It doesn’t mean you are stupid, it means you were lied to by someone you loved.

Then there are the kids, you look at them and you see how much burning love they have for their father and you think, I can make this work. It can work, we can be one of the couples who “makes” it even though he cheated and lied. Years go by and you let yourself accept a standard that isn’t you, a standard of life that you would not have previously accepted. I fooled myself into believing we could make it better. I was wrong. We were not meant to be one of those couples who makes it work and learns from an affair. Special note to those couples – I congratulate you for doing the work and being open to perceive your partner in a new light, with fresh raw honesty. I think there are many people who learn and become more real post affair. I did. My other half did not.
I think there is a stigma sometimes that I am too open with my story. It’s almost like married people don’t really want to stay close to you when you were cheated on. Like it’s contagious. Perhaps it is, who knows, well, I’m sure we could search and find someone who does know! We are all just humans doing the damn best we can. Shit happens to us, we react in some way, good or bad, and we move on. We either hold on to what happened like a dung beetle holding fast to a fresh find or we let it go like the dandelion seed blown by the wind. Either way, hopefully we learn.

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Loving without abandon and feeling no fear in the face of that love given so freely.

Sometimes when I feel distracted, I write for a few minutes to get the creative process of life flowing through me. I feel like I better start finding ways to think of other people soon of ways to support and help other people in a way that makes a difference in life. I say that because it is easy to get caught up in “me” when in pain, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional pain.

What can I do to get accomplish my goals while still helping others? Write? Paint? Take photos? Market my photos better? What to do? What do you do when you want to make a change, but the world around you is changing so much that you aren’t even sure which direction to step? You feel as if you are on a merry-go-round and when you step forward you have no idea what you will end up stepping into if you get off of it. It’s like knowing there is a positive change within you and not being able to go there yet because you need to find a way to heal or hurt, or hurt then heal. And you can only hope you’re doing it right. That you are taking the right time to feel the crap feel, the pain that you know you must in order to move past it.

When the love you loved, loves only itself and that love lies in the face of love.
Get really still and see what happens, what do you find out when your ears cannot hear and your eyes cannot see? Get really still and let it happen, let the words come to you and flow. Can you do it? Can you let it go? I might not be able to in every moment, but I want to live in the flow. Peacefully, richly, vibrantly, knowingly, trusting in me, vividly, transparently, shining and running free. Loving without abandon and feeling no fear in the face of that love given so freely.


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Unless I Have Already Saved Myself

Today I want to remind anyone who has or is going through a painful time. You are loved, you are not alone, and healing happens.

Each of us suffers. We all have something that hurts our soul, messes with our mind, and threatens to change our core if we let it. The choice is ours. Let it or learn from it.

Learn, grow, and move on even in those moments when crippling doubt creeps in and fears start to knock around in your brain. You can heal, you can have a better life, and you likely already do if you notice it. It’s already yours because you are here. It’s already yours because you are in control of your actions.

One realization I had is that no one is going to save me but me. No one. No matter how talented can save me unless I have already saved myself.

May you be surrounded in light and love.

1463-grunge-texture-heart-1013tm-mix copy

 


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Sight of the Island

When I wrote in March 2015, I couldn’t look forward and know with certainty where I would be today. Here goes.

I never really did birthday parties for myself. Being sung to with cake all ablaze often brought feelings of anxiety for me, so if it could be avoided, I would. I mean all hanging out at a bar in younger days, sure! Happy Birthday. However, as I approached my 40th birthday in 2015, my thoughts on the subject changed. For my 40th, we would have a party. I picked the spot, menu items, wine, food, etc. Then turned over the rest of the planning to my mom and husband. The party was fun, place was great, overall a nice time. It happened to fall on the “bar night” of November, aka: right before Thanksgiving. So, extra time off to boot!

After birthday party recovery, my husband was set for a work trip to Brazil that Monday and I was all set to go back to work, kids back to daycare. Upon arrival at work I opened my email to find a message. The message was from a man’s email address and the subject read, “Your husband is a cheater”.  I thought perhaps someone found my husband’s name on the listing of Ashley Madison users. I opened it. And so the discovery began that yes, he was cheating again.

I was transported back in time. Back to feeling like I was lost at sea floating in the ocean with no life boat. Yearning for sight of land while my feet dangled in shark infested waters. Looking for sight of an island somewhere I could swim to and climb to warm my bruised soul in the sun. The island I had to rely on was me. My own ability to save myself. So, I did what I had to do.

Island


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There’s a lot of work involved

When I went through my spouse having an affair, it broke me down, shattered pieces of me, tore me up, pain etc. etc. blah blah. It’s been a while so I can tell you that in some ways I’m glad some of those pieces of me that were shattered did so. However, I can also say it’s a lot of damn work to learn lessons in life. So. Much. Damn. Work.

If you are a person like me who really wants to dig down and figure yourself out, it can feel like the person who had the affair got off easy (yeah I’m being crass with that pun too). They think, “oh that was a mistake let me move on” or maybe they end up with the other person meanwhile us other ones over here are left with a crap load of internal work. Working on esteem issues if that came up, or whatever the hell came up for us. It could be so many things and I know I can only give you examples of things that came up for me, but I’m not sure I want to dump those all in this particular post. Yet. Ha!

The work is about feeling through the pain and working through the pain to get to the other side where you can look at things differently. When I was in the midst of the shit, I used to read about people who had “made it through” and said their marriages were better for the affair. While that gave me hope, it also makes me wonder a bit because I’m not sure I will get there or if I’m there. Which makes me question whether I was really in my marriage at all before the affair. See, it always takes two to cause an issue. I’m just learning about this for myself and it will be partially for me to keep to myself, but staying married to someone who had an affair is hard work. For me, it’s a challenge because I’m willing to tear it all open and lay the bullshit on the table, my bullshit, my spouse’s bullshit and just look at the disgusting mess to see how what can be cleaned up, what has to be sown up, and what can just be appreciated for the ugly mess that it is. My spouse though, not so willing to do this. I guess I can see why. The pain laying there was “caused” by all conventional means by my spouse, so who would want to sit there and figure out all of the things that were impacted by their really really bad choices? “Oh yes let me stare at all of the pain I caused you and then let’s talk about it more?”…maybe not so fun for them. Even though I still wish it would happen, I can see how it might not.

I’m going to keep it short because boy I could (and likely am already) rambling about this. I want to say. It’s a lot of f’ing work to heal yourself, but it’s worth it. It’s worth learning who you are, what makes you happy (please note that I said what not who), how you want to live your life, what things are important to you? Keeping your mind open to answering these things can lead to interesting discoveries and new beginnings. Perhaps you will stay, perhaps you won’t, but in the end you better make damn sure you are better for it anyway and I know you can.


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I should have known

There were days when I thought I wouldn’t make it. Days when I wasn’t sure anyone could understand the searing pain that something so common, so typical could cause. How come no one talks about it? Am I an anomaly of the human race feeling as if I can talk about what happened without sweeping it under the rug? Maybe. Yes, it’s possible that I am. I think I’m ok with that.

We got pregnant in July. I found out while he was gone hunting. Yes hunting in July, you know a man will find a way to do his hobby all year round if he can. I sent him a photo and told him to do well for his new baby. I thought he’d be happy and he was. Only maybe he wasn’t.

After taking the test I went to float in our pool. Wondering if this pregnancy would be ok. If this little zygote would be able to stand the trials and tribulations of growing into a little boy or girl. I wondered if we would have to go through the pain of loss again. I hoped we would not. While he was out with the guys in a different state, probably not thinking about anything but the hobby. Maybe he was though, maybe I assumed the worst and he was really thinking about his dead parents, his dead family and how our first pregnancy ended in death? Would you call it death? I don’t know. Some do. Some don’t. That’s probably a good question for an abortion debate perhaps? Or a good question to ponder during some fervent church group meeting discussing the merits of a life. Talking about when life begins and ends, science maybe making a show from time to time, and perhaps not. Maybe I was wrong and he was hurting and afraid. I didn’t know. Who could tell? If I asked the answer would be I’m fine anyway.

This feeling starting creeping over me. Something was wrong. I asked, he denied. I asked again and again. He denied again and again. I started questioning myself. I know I wasn’t the greatest wife. I was crabby and stressed. Various things got to me. I resented that he let me bleed freezing and cold in our bathroom while what was left of our first pregnancy flowed away. I resented that if he had taken the time to look into my face when I asked for a heater in the bathroom that he might have noticed how white my lips were, shaking. That he might have noticed the fear in my eyes. I didn’t ask for help though. How could he know? I should be fair right? It’s a double standard to think he should have told me his pain and then expect him to notice mine showing up right in front of him in a pale bloody mess. Self being stuck in its own need, its own desire for being validated and right. Self keeping me stuck in ego.

So, there were more meetings and shopping trips for him during this time. I figured he just needed to change things up. He exercised, ate differently, and even whitened his teeth.  Never ever had he been interested in whitening his teeth. Not when I brought it up. Ever. I should have known, but denial’s loving arms were holding on to me tightly rocking me and singing a lullaby in my ear that should only be sung to my unborn growing baby. Lulling me into believing.

It must be my fault. I must change. I bought books. They were really good, helpful. He wouldn’t read them. I bought them electronically. He wouldn’t listen. I should have known. Dumb lies. Stupid alibis. I should have known.

I kept trying to get him to just say it. I signed myself up for counseling through work because I knew I needed to change. One day he told me it was me. I was ugly, fat, and he didn’t love me anymore. I should have known. I didn’t. Instead I internalized these truths he spoke that I had so often beaten myself up with while crying in a corner. Yes, I was ugly. Yes, I was fat. Who COULD love me? It makes so much sense. I should have known.

Then I did know. A short phone call was all it took to verify some information. Then I knew. I had been listening to a cd every day to work and from work about loving myself. I had been getting better even though he didn’t love me, I could love me. I could break those nasty thoughts that I was growing out of until they sprung from his mouth to my ears. Externally taken in instead of internally thrown out. I was growing, but that didn’t make it hurt any less. Now I knew. I should have known earlier, but I didn’t.

Pain. Lots of pain. Through it baby getting bigger. Actually, baby boy. HE was growing and hopefully healthy. I did all I could to keep this pain from him, even though I always wondered how I could shield this tiny creature from the chemicals swirling around him when I fought not to cry. When I would walk at 3am to burn off adrenaline from a bad encounter with the father. The husband who was still in our house, but not in our world. I drank smoothies made with fruits and protein powder and tried to keep him safe. My heart ached to protect him even though a part of me knew there was no way to protect him from it all.

Time. Time goes by and things change. We grow or we don’t. We learn more about ourselves or we don’t. It’s up to us. Pain. It can be used to change for the better or used to dig a deep hole to hide in forever. It’s up to me. I decided to try to learn from it. I’m still trying. The spirit questioning and not knowing one single thing about what will happen in the future. I had no idea in any direction other than I would grow and I would fiercely protect this little baby who was now in my arms instead of my belly.

Growth. Spirit. It’s easy to forget that it takes work to grow.  The tree has to reach underground to grow tall, just like we have to reach inside to allow ourselves to change.  Be like water I used to tell myself. Adjust to the new things in life and be like water. Strong, able to carve valleys. Things will work out better than I can even imagine I would tell myself. In many ways they have, even though I should have known.


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Considering an affair, having one, and being cheated on

Many people have either cheated on their partner or have been cheated on.  Let’s have a quick chat about where you are and how you might feel.

For the “Considering It”

You may feel your partner isn’t giving you what you need or deserve.  You may find yourself obsessing about all of the bad things your partner does.  All of the things that bug you about this person are at the tip of your mind.  Maybe you think it’s all their fault that you are not getting what you want.  Maybe you are trolling those sites that promise “easy hookups” or someone at work caught your eye.  You feel depressed or angry with yourself or your mate.  You want to feel important and valued.  You feel that your spouse doesn’t appreciate you.  Note to those in the Considering It category:  If you and your partner have made a commitment to one another through commitment ceremony, marriage, or verbally and you both agreed not to see other people please consider reading some of these resources before you take steps to cheat.  Then decide what to do.  You have options: Try to talk about any issues, go to counseling, or end the relationship.  You can’t undo an affair once you go down that path.

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking

5 Love Languages

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Chemistry of Love or read a short article here by this author that explains the basics: Article

After the Affair – This is good to read if you are considering an affair because you get a view from both sides and it takes you through some feelings you could be having now.

For the “cheater” 

Maybe you feel great about having a new mate if you are in the beginning/beginning middle of an affair.  You might  feel alive, strong, and happier than ever like life is the best you have experienced before.  You might also feel angry and justified because your mate isn’t meeting your needs.  You could even feel some guilt here and there because you understand that you are potentially doing a lot of damage to someone you love/loved.  Maybe you decide to end up with the person you had an affair with.  It’s still good to understand the phases of love so you realize that you an the new person may go through something similar in the future.  A note to you: Please be honest once it all comes out, because it’s probably going to all come out.  You might be afraid, but do it anyway.  Yes you probably told some very stupid lies, admit them anyway.  Good people do things they regret and the choices you have now are all in your hands.  If you regret it, live a life moving forward with different choices.  Yes you made  a bad choice, yes it could ruin a long term relationship.  You can use it to beat yourself up or you can choose to learn from it and grow to be a better person.  Don’t let this be a pattern, learn how your brain changes when “in love”.  

Article – Read about brain chemistry during the “falling in love” phase.

After the Affair

How to Help Your Spouse Heal

Getting the Love You Want

 For the “cheated”:

You might feel like you are going crazy.  Everything you thought you knew is no longer valid and it makes you question your life, what is real?  What can you believe anymore?  You might feel like it is the end of the world as if you are on a small float in the middle of the ocean and it keeps getting smaller while sharks circle.  You may feel hurt way more than you thought possible.  Anger, the desire for revenge, and the desire to punish the person might pop up for you.  You may want to die, or to hurt someone.  A special note to you: You are not alone.  If you feel anger to the point of taking action against yourself or someone else, please get help.  Talk to a counselor.  Know that there are people out there who understand the blinding pain you are experiencing and who have lived through it.  You. Are. Not. Alone. Life can get better if you let yourself experience the pain and grief and know life loves you through it.  As Wadsworth alluded to the sun remember even though your life seems to be covered in dark evil clouds right now the sun is still shining behind the clouds.  Breathe.  Know you are loved. 

After the Affair

When Good People Have an Affair

Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay

Getting the Love You Want

No matter where you are on this list, many of the books linked are good to read to fully understand the topic and/or to help yourself  work through an affair.