Over the past few months I have talked about lies: How we lie to ourselves, how they lie to us, how we believed our own lies. Lying to ourselves
I have talked about questions: you know: the one’s we ask incessantly and know that we will never believe what we have been told. Then the ones where we question ourselves and on and on. Read about the never ending questions here
I have touched on fear a number of times 2009 & still So many things to fear….
As I have been busy pulling my book together, and corresponding with other people who are in the painful place that I found myself all those years ago, I have been reading about my own fear then, and others have shared their fears with me from what they are going through now. I never really realised just how much a part fear plays in this whole infidelity sideshow; or how important it is to face that fear if you really want to survive. So I thought that it might help others if I shared my timeframe of fear with you. Because my fear is behind me now:
But before I start with my ‘timeframe of fear’ let’s start with Rich and his fear; because let’s be honest this is where it all started:
Rich was afraid that I was too good for him. He was afraid that one day I would wake up and wonder what the hell I was doing with him; he was afraid that he would come home from work one day and I would be gone. That voice in his head told him that he was not worthy, told him he was not good enough and every time he listened to it his fear got bigger.
So all it took then was for a narc to arrive and play on all that fear and bingo! Rich went with the fear and the narc!
If you had asked me then I would not have realised at the start of our relationship that I had any fear. Where Rich and his love were concerned I was confident in that love. I was also a confident person who was confident in the love she had for her husband. (I was not wrong, Rich did love me then, as much as he loves me now, often having an affair has nothing to do with love and everything to do with fear.)
But as the clouds started to form on the horizon of our happy life (you can read about some of that here ) I started to fear that what I thought I had was perhaps at risk.
Then I was gaslighted, the link above shows you some of that, as does this one March 2007 – The Build up to Hostilites begin and my confidence in what I had diminished as the gaslighting took hold.
My fear then became very real and damaging to me: I was afraid that my marriage was under threat; I was afraid that I was imagining things; I was afraid of my image: I no longer felt confident in the way I looked. I was afraid that my husband did not love me anymore. I was afraid I was losing my mind: I can remember so clearly when I got a lamp from the side of my bed to inspect my bed for blond hairs. I can remember the fear that I was not listening to myself: because I wasn’t.
In fact at that time I became really ill, looking back I had a series of chest infections and they thought as ‘The War’ loomed on the horizon that I had pneumonia at one point. I know now that this was the impact of the lying, and the gaslighting, and the fear.
When ‘The War’ broke out I was afraid of losing my house, not being able to put a roof over my son’s head, and not being able to pay my bills. I know now they were things that could be resolved if you put your mind to them.
But more than that I thought at the time that the biggest fear was how I had made a fool of myself: I had let them lie to me, I had allowed them to make a fool of me; I had let them gaslight me and I had lost myself.
I was so afraid that I had lost the ability to see what was in front of me. I was afraid that everyone was laughing at me because (as I have said in my book) ‘how had he turned our life upside down for a woman who had made a play for nearly every other person’s husband that we knew. Why did it have to be my husband who had fell for it?‘
I feared other people’s pity.
I feared being on my own: back out in the world of singleton’s. In fact that terrified me. I feared losing control: which was why I got on my stepper every day sometimes two or three times a day. That is why food would turn to cardboard in my mouth: because the thinner I got the more I felt that I had control over something: a dangerous place to be.
I feared that all the people who had thought that I should not marry Rich (they thought I was ‘too good’ for him whatever that fucking means!), who tried to persuade me not to; would now be able to say ‘we told you so.’
But I got stronger in those twenty one days that Rich was away. I faced some of the fears: I used my anger and rage to do that and I turned the anger and rage back on the fear: I went back to work, got more hours at work, made myself do what I had to do: every day; I pulled on all the strength: I had not to be defeated; I did not play the games they all played; I rose above it and I did not lose my integrity. (‘No matter what they take from me they can’t take away my dignity.’) listen here
By doing this I knew that I could keep the house, put a roof over Tom’s head, make ends meet. By maintaining a dignified silence I knew that I was better than all the other players in the game; and this gave me confidence. So when the fear told me what a silly cow I had been I could tell it to fuck off, and let go of it’s hand.
As the time went on I cried because by the third week of Rich being with ‘her’, I knew that my off button was starting to get ready to switch. I was exhausted from it all and wanted to move forward. I had been engaged before, I had been married before, and in both cases as the time wore on, and their behaviour continued I switched off. It was not what I wanted so I switched off. I can remember even today crying to the man I was engaged to: saying that I loved him so much, but that I knew that one day that love would just switch off because I was not happy. It did, and I was the one who eventually called time. I knew this was happening with Rich, and I recently commented to a friend about this, after reading his fantastic post. You can read it here and I was so afraid of that.
But then Rich came back: and as a result so did my fears: I feared that he would choose her over me. When he actually returned home I feared he would go back to her. When we went to the house to collect his stuff I feared he would not come back with me.
I feared that he was talking to ‘her’ again, laughing at me.
Then I feared that everyone was talking about the ‘silly bitch who had her husband back.’ When we went to that pub and Rich played the arsehole with the barmaids I feared losing myself again. You can read that here
I was afraid about what Rich had told the counsellor. I was afraid that people pitied me: the poor cow whose husband went off with that old slapper.
I was afraid that they saw me as weak. In fact only this week my sister and I were talking about this blog and my book and she reminded me that I asked her if she thought any less of me for having Rich back. I had totally forgotten that.
But that all made me angry: why should I feel this way because of something that Rich had done? I had proved in those days that he was away that I could survive without him, and that meant that I stopped fearing being on my own; yet again I let that fear go.
Then it started to change: I started to accept that what we had was gone and I feared that I would not stay. As I got stronger and stronger and achieved more and more promotions, got thinner, got more fit I feared that I was closing the door on Rich and I; and at that time I did not even know if I liked what we had in the first place. In fact looking back now, and reading my journals right through until 2012, it was the biggest thing I feared: that one day I would walk away. I stayed, but it was Rich who kept me here.
I feared that Rich was lying to me; this was all led by the fact that he had lied to me before and therebye if he was lying to me again it meant that I would be letting him lie to me again: which meant I would be lying to myself again and then I would be lost.
That terrified me more than anything because as I have always and will always say: if you don’t have yourself you have nothing. So I asked the never ending questions trying to catch him out on a lie and to prove to myself that I was not allowing him to lie to me again. I checked his phone, phone records, where he had been, his texts, until in the end I was driving myself insane.
I was afraid to get in my car every night because I knew that the demon from my head would be waiting for me to tell me about all the things that I feared: Rich did make a fool of me; I let him. Of how they laughed at me, how people pitied me. That is what the demon was: a manifestation of every fear I had.
As Rich worked harder and harder to keep me, I was afraid that I would leave him in the end. I was afraid that I could not live with the fact that he had an affair; afraid of having that knowledge all my life. As I asked myself often ‘how can I live with that?’ And in the end I was afraid (ironically) of throwing away something that I knew was real and breaking Rich’s heart.
Over time, as you can see from some of these posts and from my book, I learned that the only person that you truly have in life is you. No matter how much you love someone, no matter what you have, the only person you have from beginning to end is you. So many people are afraid of that: when in fact I believe they should embrace it.
Having this knowledge, and knowing that it was not something to fear but in fact freedom gave me the strength to ‘tip people bollocks’ with regard to what they thought. It was my life, it was my choices. I let that fear go.
I faced the fear of Rich lying to me again by knowing that if he did I would walk away. For me I was worth more than than that, I had found myself and was never letting her go again. It was up to Rich to make the decision re any more lies, he was safe in the knowledge that I would leave. At that point it enabled me to put the fear of him lying behind me: it was his problem not mine. But as time wore on and Rich worked so hard to keep me I realised that the lies of the past were nothing to fear because actually all you have is the here and now.
So here is my advice: Write down (so you cannot lie to yourself) all the things you fear. Then look at how many of them are linked to what others think. Do other people live your life? I am lucky I have the ability to ‘tip people bollocks!’
Also ask yourself how many of your fears are generated by your partner; honestly generated by your partner not by your own head! That way you can use that knowledge to tell the voice in your head to fuck off! Letting another fear go.
If you fear so much, ask yourself why. If they are because of the actions of someone else (in the here and now) then ask yourself what you can do to stop those fears. Because this all ties in with if you want to survive then the person who betrayed has to be contrite. Remember all you have is yourself, don’t lose that.
I really hope this helps.