Hi everyone, I have made great strides towards my full recovery and am getting to the point where I think this is not the proper forum for my posts. I wish I could find a similar site for people struggling with separation and divorce issues. I will check in here from time to time and who knows, maybe there will be something I can offer to help. Here is an update of my “saga” and some new things that I have learned.
First, Lori is doing very well recovering from her surgery! She is in quite a bit of pain but the surgery went well and I can already see that she will be very happy with the results. I am SO happy for her. I know this (there are several more steps needed to complete the reconstruction) in the end will make her feel so much better about herself.
I am doing very well not imposing myself on her. I am giving her the space she needs to heal from the surgery, complete her school year, and work on herself. It has been very hard to be there for her as a friend (and have her as my friend) and not cross the line with an “I love you”, a hug, a kiss or other forms of affection (which I want to give her very very much). It is also difficult not to have her there to listen to what I’m working through and learning in therapy. I am able to share a little with her, but not in the way I would like. But she is NOT my therapist OR as I’m learning, she is not my MOTHER.
I have been working through my emotions rather well lately. I’m learning to separate them and understand where they are coming from. For example, I was driving to work Monday morning feeling very overwhelmed (from the weekend of taking care of the family, household and seeing Lori in so much pain), yet I was proud of myself for being so strong and how I am learning to process my emotions. I thought; I can’t wait to go to therapy tonight, my therapist will be very proud of me. Then I thought; I wish I could share all of this with Lori, she would be very proud of me. Then it came to me.....what I really have always wanted/needed, is my parents to be proud of me!
At therapy I realized that so much of what I have always needed from Lori was really trying to fill a void of what I didn’t get from my parents. Also, what made me particularly vulnerable to being manipulated by my abuser was “things” that I needed from my parents that I was not getting (attention, affection, and general emotional support).
I was wondering out loud to my therapist, “how could Lori not want me now? I am a kind, sensitive, loving man, a great father, and now a living, feeling human being again!” Her response was “when have you felt (how could she not want me) those feelings before?” Yes, my parents again! During my SA, I was the one who would get punished. I was the one who was sent away to school. Yes those are familiar feelings.
As far as the relationship between Lori and I, my therapist did say; it is Lori’s path to come to realize (or not) that our relationship and our family are worth saving (to her). Lori already knows how I feel about it. And I understand fully that the best thing I can do is stand back and let her go down that path. I must say, that is very scary because I have no control over where her path will lead (I suspect her mind is already made up).
These are all huge break throughs for me, and I am so proud of myself to have come this far. I think I am now well down the road of recovery, and am already happy and feel love for myself. I hope with all of my heart that Lori’s path will lead her back to me, but now I think that what ever happens I have what it takes to find happiness and fulfillment from within myself.
I thank you all very very much for your love, kindness and support. I could not have come this far without the support I have found here. You will all be in my heart and in my thoughts; I wish each and every one of you the very best. With much love, Ed