Category: Coping Mechanisms

Anger and Rage

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Despite it being over eleven years since ‘The War’ in our lives it has only been over the past  years, as I have been pulling my book together, that I have started to think about the role of anger and rage in the lives of those who have been betrayed. 

When considering the person who has been betrayed it is perfectly understandable that they feel rage and anger with regard to what has happened to them. It is also understandable that due to this their actions may be erratic, out of character (perhaps because their world has been turned upside down!) and at times downright mad. I threw Rich’s underpants out in the road when he was not with me, and I never did pick them up! I threw his stuff on our neighbours drive and at the time I didn’t give a shit who stole it. I punched Rich and gave him  black eyes! That would be because I had been driven mad with grief, pain and fear. No I was not acting in my normal rational way, but that may have been because at that time I did not know what normal was anymore. 

For the people who read this blog who are the people that betrayed, those who have caused the heartache and pain, you may want to read it if you want to use it to help your relationship and rebuild.

I need to warn you all  now, in some places I am going to be  blunt! 

My reasons for this particular post are these:

  1. To help those who have been betrayed to understand that what you feel is normal, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I have read other’s stories and in it they say how the person who broke their heart has used their understandably (un)reasonable behaviour as a weapon against them; have said how they have changed, swear more, drink more, over react to small things. This is normal; if you read our story you will see my rage and anger in it from day one, when Rich left. The Rage did subside to anger over time but it still  lasted for at least another two years after our ‘War’ began. In the beginning the rage and anger did get me through what were some of the darkest times of my life; but over time I had to let them go otherwise I knew that  they would eat me up and destroy not just us but me as well. You may want to read:  Beware Bitterness – It will be your enemy

2. To help those who have betrayed understand what the other person feels -we all feel it, and if you want your relationship to survive you need to understand that you caused it; so don’t bitch about it, and own it!

When Rich came back he never once criticised me for my anger or rage, he just looked and acted ashamed and sorry; heartbroken that he had turned me into such a raging banshee at times! He never judged me, he took it because he had caused it; no matter what it was that I did (and there were many things).  If you are judging someone whose heart you have broken for the way they behave as a result of your actions, then I am not sure what you will expect from the future. We all have to accept our responsibilities. 

3.That leads me on to the last reason for this post. I have come to realise that a lot of the rage and anger that I felt was actually about myself. I was  so angry with myself for not listening to my gut feelings in the months, or even years (who knows!) leading up to the outbreak of ‘The War’. I was angry with myself for losing myself in our relationship; losing the person that I had always been because I just focused on what we had and nothing else; I was angry with myself for letting myself go; angry with myself for not challenging the behaviours I had been faced with; and more than anything I was angry with myself for being so arrogant: believing that  what we had nobody could take away from me; so I didn’t always treat our relationship with respect or take the time to understand Rich’s insecurities throughout our relationship that lead up to ‘The War’. 

I know for some people this will cause outrage, especially if they are at the start of their journey. It was only as I researched and wrote my book, and read my old journal that I understood that a lot of the anger that I used to feel was actually directed at me. Sure I had deflected it onto Rich, let’s not forget that everything is their fault right?! But in reality the one person who had really let me down was me. 

That is why I always say to people when they ask me how they can survive the pain: Always have yourself first, without yourself you have nothing. I did that, and I still have myself first;  but over time as the pain subsided my journal gave me the abiility to reflect; through this I was able to  see not only the other person’s failings and frailties but my own as well. 

I know some people think it is a cliche: but this is a journey you are on; like it or not, you are adrift on that ocean of despair and at the beginning only you will get yourself across it. So use that rage and anger, accept it’s part of the process, but don’t hang on to it forever and at some point I would suggest that you have a conversation with yourself about who you’re really angry with. 

Controversial I know!

Moisy 

 

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Coping Mechanisms: Little boxes, Little boxes, Little boxes made of ticky tacky

The title to this post belongs to Malvina Reynolds who composed this song about social housing, but it is so apt for my post! 

broken open box

I thought that given that I have now shared with you how three months on from starting my Mad Journal journal I had decided view to it as tool I could use for ‘A New Beginning’, that I would tell you about the discussion I had with my then teenage son; and how from it I learnt about one of the main things  that I would need to use to get us to where we are today: Acceptance. 

One day when Rich was at work Tom found me crying; he was still so worried about me, and in exaspiration he asked me why I just couldn’t let it go and be happy that Rich was back.

I told him that I just could not just move on from what Rich had done; how all my life I had always had the coping mechanism of visualising a box and putting whatever was bothering me into that box, putting the lid on it and filing it away.  But this time it was not working; I had even tried to put the fucking thing in a lead lined box and weld the lid on and still it came back out and bit me on the arse every day! I just could not stand the thought of having this thing in my mind  for the rest of my life. The things in that box broke my heart every time I thought of them: Rich laughing at me with her; Rich kissing her at Tankerton; Rich setting up house with her; the dressing gowns hung his and her style on the back of the door; how long it had been going on and on and on and on… https://makingthisbetter.com/2018/10/20/may-the-detritus-of-betrayal-fighting-for-my-dignity-in-so-many-ways/

Tom looked at me incredulously and said ‘well that’s not going to work mum, you have to face it and deal with it! How stupid that you thought you could put it in a box; that is not dealing with it!’ He was right! But I was lost! I didn’t know what else I could do to help myself because this had always been my coping mechanism and I couldn’t think of another one. I could not bear the thoughts and images in my head; and more than that I could not bear the thought of what Rich had done to me. 

So I went to my ‘thinking’ place, the Downs, and sat looking out at the expanse of sea and sky and I just let all  of the contents of that box wash over me. Rich had laughed at me, Rich had set up with someone else, Rich had sex with someone else, Rich had lied to me, everything… I cried and cried, but eventually I said to myself ‘This is where you are Moisy, like it or not! You have to get up and get on with it. Stay or go, just make sure you are sure before you make that decision. Don’t be afraid of which one you make.”

I had to accept that it was what it was; that to stay was going to be really painful and that we may not survive in the end. Accept that I was on my own. Accept that although Rich was with me I could not look to him to give me emotional support, not after all he had done. What we had was gone, what I was left with now I didn’t know if I wanted it; and for my own sanity I had to look after me and make decisions based solely on how I felt. 

I had to accept the fact that these fucking things in my head were in my head, they controlled it right now; and by accepting that I actually took some of their power away; because part of their power was the element of surprise – just when you thought you were okay there they were again! 

So I learned over time to say out loud ‘Oh! There you are!’ or ‘ I wondered when you were going to rear your ugly head!’ Another saying was ‘I knew that was coming!’ Or ‘Tell me something I don’t know!’ It worked, accepting it worked; it took a long time but it got easier every day. 

In addition to this, were the small things that Rich did during this time, Lots of small things: showed me affection, cried, showed gratitude, reflected; and over time, as you will see, this started to make new pictures in my mind. More importantly when I thought about giving up, when the thoughts overwhelmed me the small things made me realise that the man I would be leaving would be the man stood in front of me;  not the man who left me he was just a memory. I still see that today: The man Rich is today, he is not the man who left me. 

It is small things, like pieces of a jigsaw they all fit together to make a bigger thing to make something new; but the timeframe is a long one, and you have to be in it for the long haul if you want to stay; and you you have to accept that ultimately you may walk away. 

So the things in your mind: accept them, embrace them, tell them that  your not afraid of them, take their power away. 

Moisy 

 

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The new beginning – Finding me again

 

Tuesday 31st July 2007

It’s not easy but I think I can do it – in getting the unwanted pictures out of my head.

I am now lying on the downs at Tankerton. The sun is shining and the wind is blowing everything out of my mind.

I have had a difficult day today. Not in having those things on my mind, but the sadness.

There are two issues:

  1. Getting the thoughts in my head under control.
  2. The sadness for what I have lost. The grief for the bereavement, for the waste of that love that I had, that I had never had for anyone else.

Time will heal that, I know it. How and what form that healing will take I don’t know.

But as I am writing this, and although I have cried with sadness today (a short cry, letting it all out like Sherri said. It is true it doesn’t last long anymore; no more heaving sobs – not if I don’t give way to it. There’s just grief.) I also know that despite what I have lost I would not want to go back to it:

  • A big fat lump that had really let myself go.
  • Someone who I am starting to see now was very frustrated, angry almost inside. Because what did she have? Everything centred on Rich; and although I was jolted out of that (kicking and screaming at the time.) I never want to be that person again. I don’t like her.
  • A couple who became so insular, so immersed in just themselves. You see Rich would want to go back that (because of his own insecurities, because of his own fear.) I don’t.

Rich has changed since he has been with me – Beth was right, I dragged him up with me. Although he is quite capable himself he does not believe that without me by his side.

In fact, perhaps sub-consciously he always knew I would come to my senses and that is why he thought he could not keep me.

So why am I with him now? I do find that thought popping into my head. Because I know how much he loves me; and when someone loves you that much and you do love them, then why walk away? There is something to work on.

The life we have created together keeps me here as well. I enjoy his company, and he makes me laugh. Sometimes he also gets on my tits.

I had to get on my bike today and come here on my own. Regain my independence and do things on my own. I do notice that when I am with Rich we do both slot into that ‘doing everything together’ mode. I did, however, only realise today how many arrangements I make to do things with other people. This has been a totally sub-conscious thing.

At the moment part of me still wants Rich to ring me, text me, reassure me. But the more I do things on my own the less that will get; and I need to do that. Rich will totally freak, just look hurt and say “Whatever you want.” But not really mean it. That is no-longer my problem.

I am enjoying myself, being myself, confident, self-sufficient, and not constantly thinking of someone else.

I am going to go to the pub on my own and have a glass of wine before I go home; and I haven’t brought my mobile with me; this is me time.

This has really helped.

 

Mois

 

Reflections 2018

I remember this day clearly. It was a beautiful sunny day, not hot, the wind had a slight chill in it, but there were bright blue skies with small puffs of cloud moving along quickly in the wind; and the sun was warm.

Tankerton is a pretty place with rolling downs that lead down to the beach and sea, dotted with beach huts on stilts. On this day there were lots of people there and I can remember watching them all and thinking how happy they all were, and here was I with my world in pieces, never knowing if I would really be happy again.

But I have learnt over the years that you see what you want to see, and I believed at that time that everyone was happier than me. Obviously that was not true, but when you are in a place where nothing seems to make sense you believe that everyone else has their shit together. Trust me they don’t; it’s the good old demon in your head spinning you a line!

This was such an important entry for me, because as I said in my previous journal entry I believed that we needed to start again, a new beginning and to do that I had to find me; I was right, I had to find myself again.

I had become ‘lost’ in Rich before ‘the War’, everything revolved around him; I worked part time so that I could support him in his career, whilst I renovated and managed the house and finances. I had lived my life for Rich and I knew that I could no longer do that; Rich could be part of my life but he could no longer be the centre of it – I had to be that.

So the start of that was to go somewhere on my own, and the choice is pertinent because I chose to go to the one place where Rich used to meet up with ‘her’ on his way to work. I chose this place because I knew that I had to face my fears to be able to move forward into my new life and to not let my fears and memories beat me anymore!

For me there are three main things in this entry that resonate with me today:

  • That I recognised that I did not want to be the person that I was before, in fact did not even like the person that I was before. When I read this entry it did stop me in my tracks, because I had recognised that even then.

Today Rich and I have looked back at the people that we were before ‘The War’ and we do not like them. How much we drank, the places that we drank, even today we have been talking about how we accepted people’s bad behaviours without question. We both agree that we really were a pair of arseholes.

  • The fact that I have said that I was an angry and frustrated person; because I can see now that I was. The Moira who wrote this entry was absolutely right I had been angry and frustrated; I had not been using my skills to their full potential and because of that I had would get angry and lose my temper at things; or make small things more important than they really were.

After ‘The War’ when I had begun to find myself again someone had said to me that I had ‘dumbed down’ and I knew that they were right: I did not want promotion at work, did not want to work full time, did not want to use my brain because that was the easy way out, and ‘The War’ made me see sense, as I have said in this entry; albeit ‘kicking and screaming at the time.’

I believe today that everything does happen for a reason, and that at times messages are sent to us and when we don’t listen then a lesson is sent to us; and more often than not that lesson is a hard one.  Even today I believe that my sister was right, I was being sent a message, a kick up the arse if you like, to find myself again.

  • The third and most important thing from this entry is that I can see that I wanted to stay with Rich because he made me laugh, because I enjoyed his company, that we get on well together, and that these were the things that made me love him. Real things, not romantic things; sometimes we forget that relationships are many things not just love and sex.

But I also love that fact that I can also see that he “gets on my tits.” Looking back now I probably get on his “tits” as well! That’s life!

I did go to the pub; I sat in the garden on my own and showed myself that I did not need to fear being on my own. That I needed to embrace being my own person, an individual who did not start and end with Rich; and this was the start of doing this. So I had two glasses of wine whilst I read my book.

Moira had started to find herself again and it was crucial to our survival.

Moisy

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She’s Always a Woman     Billy Joel

She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child, but she’s always a woman to me

She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth, but she’ll never believe
And she’ll take what you give her, as long it’s free
Yeah, She steals like a thief, but she’s always a woman to me

Ohhh…she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants, she’s ahead of her time
Ohhh…and she never gives out
And she never gives in, she just changes her mind…..

Journal entry – I was dreading Christmas

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Friday 21st December 2007

I am writing to update my journal, but this time not because I feel the need, I just want to update it. I went to Beth’s on the Friday after my last entry and cried, I said that I thought I need to go back to the counsellor. Beth and her friend Louise gave this advice for both me and Rich:

  • Stop trying to get back what you had. You will never get that back, and if that is what you want you need to find someone else, because you will never get it back with Rich. Instead of trying to recover something make something new, and better.

 

  • Stop thinking that whenever you are fed up it is always because of what happened. It may just be because you’re tired, got the arsehole with work, whatever! But because what happened is always foremost in your mind you always take your feelings back to that. In the same way as Rich always assumes you’re going to leave him. STOP doing it!

 

  • Forget things that were said when you both got back together – as you were both mental!! You both said things you did not mean. Rich said things just because he did not know the answer himself. (Rich and I talked about this and why I started this journal. He is mortified by what he said about being flattered that two women were fighting over him, and does not find it an ego boost in any way now.) My Journal – First Entry

 

  • Rich has to understand that my barriers are up –and may well be up for a couple of years. But whilst I have my barriers up I should still be me – which I had not been when I was writing in my journal in the last three to four entries. I had created distance between us as well, was not being tactile, not being me. By doing this (to punish Rich in a way.) I was making myself miserable.

I took all of this advice on board and my head is sorted. I had a blip of four days, but no-where near as bad as before, and I could control it.

We have been to France again and had the most fantastic time.

Rich breaks up from work today for Christmas and we have eleven days off together. I am so looking forward to it.

We are having a shindig for Tom’s eighteenth birthday tomorrow and Rich is so excited to be part of it.

I think that says it all!

 

Mois

 

Reflections 2018

The first thing I thought when I read this entry was that I had completely forgotten this conversation which surprised me, because it was a very important one and helped me massively in dealing with things in the future; they were both so right!

Rich was the one that had to let go of what we had, as you know from what I have written in this book I had come to realise that a long time ago. But for me the most important piece of advice they gave me was to stop thinking that everything revolved around what had happened to us! Whenever I had a problem in life I would immediately link it to what had happened, what Rich had done to me, and therfore everything had to be his fault. Quite simply it wasn’t!

I could have felt pissed off because I had a bad day at work, or because someone had upset me, or something had gone wrong as things do in life.  But when anything happened I would get in the car and the ‘demon’ (oh yes! He was still there it would take a long while before he no longer existed. I sold him with my car!!)  would get into my head and turn  my upset around and tell me it was all because of what Rich had done to me. It was all about ‘The War’!

This was a massive thing for me because as soon as I understood what I was doing I was able to tell that fucking demon to shut up! But I also started to realise that ‘The War’ did not define me, it was not the total of my life, and I had to stop letting it be that. Although it influenced my life greatly and made me the person that I am today it is a contibuting factor in the person that I am today, but only one of many.

For Rich: He would think that anything that went wrong was his fault, because of what he did, he would take sole responsibility for every little thing, from the boiler going wrong to someone upsetting me at work. Sometimes he still does that even now, and I just stop and say to him “What are you saying sorry for?” He normally laughs then and says he doesnt’ know.

Oh, the damage that we do to each other and ourselves.

The advice about forgetting what was said when we first got back together was also good advice because  we were mental and not thinking in any way rationally. I know that most people struggle with this, because we crave to be ‘normal’ again, to think straight again, when in actual fact our lives have been turned upside down, and shook about so why do we expect that of ourselves?

I love the quote: ‘‘I thought I was going mad but the unicorn in the kitchen told me I was okay!’ (I think that came from Walking the Journey’s blog you should check it out; if not it would have been the lovely Dolly Allen @’The Queen is in’)

Rich did say things to me that weren’t true, things that contradicted themselves because he just wanted to say whatever I wanted to hear to make me feel better; to not hurt me anymore. After that  he moved on to saying things to try and explain it to himself,  because he was at a loss as to why he had done it; then he progressed to berating himself for what he had done, what he had said and totally lost himself; and as you will see from my book this eventually had  massive impact on his mental health.

A good example of our madness is that when I started this journal it was because Rich had said that he found it a compliment that two women were fighting over him. By the time I had come to write this entry in my journal  he was mortified that he not only said it but that he thought it at the time. He still feels that way today.

With regard to my barriers,  they did stay up for quite a few more years to come; but I can tell you honestly now, I have no barriers where Rich is concerned and have not had any for over eight years (yes I can remember when they came down – keep reading.) So they can come down eventually it just takes a ton of hard work, reflection and listening. At this stage in our story I love the way ‘this Moira’ holds onto the hope that her head is sorted because I know that she still has a long way to go before she gets to that point.

As I said before in my previous post Coping mechanism – make new memories Tom’s birthday was on Christmas Eve so we held a surprise eighteenth birthday party the weekend before and it was a great success. I look at the photos now and see how thrilled Rich was that he was there involved in the celebrations.

On Christmas Eve we all went out, including Darren and took Tom to the pub, an English tradition. I remember how Rich was so chuffed that he was there to be able to give Tom some money and send him to the bar so that he could order his first drink legally. We left the boys in town after that and made our way home to prepare the meal for Christmas day. It was something so normal, and I kept my head under control because I felt a responsibility to the other people around me to make sure that this festivity was not marked with tears.

I can remember that Christmas was wonderful; we had gone overboard to make it special, with a Christmas tree on the balcony as well as in the house. After dinner we all opened a present and my present from Rich was the most beautiful watch, but the most beautiful thing for me were the tears in Rich’s eyes when I opened it. I knew he was so sorry and that in itself meant more than the gift.

It was important to us that we could make it special for many reasons but not least because at one point in the year we had both thought that we would never celebrate Christmas together in our beautiful house again.

Like I said it is the small things that are important.

Things like this  are all steps that you take to make things something new, a ‘new normal’ It is important to note though that they are contributory steps, every step contributes to the future that you will have; but I do know that if Rich had not been working with me, and taking those steps with me, then I would have been taking them on my own.

Moisy

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Coping mechanism – make new memories

 

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I know that a lot of people who read this blog are dreading The Holidays, or as we call them in England festivities. Most of them are looking back at the Thanksgivings, and Christmas’s before the shit hit the fan nostagically, remembering how wonderful they were, and thinking how they will never get them back; they may well be feeling as if they were a lie, all just a load of crap; they are probably feeling both! But more importantly some are actually afraid of them and the memories (triggers) that they will bring.

I think one of the things that compounds the feeling of dread is that expectations rise; we are constantly told  that everyone should be bappy during The Holidays. Media and adveritsing ram down our throats that everyone is happy and you should be too and if your not you’ve failed.

What a load of bollocks!! Sorry it is the only way to say it!

So we come to dread them; tell ourselves the stories of how the Thanksgiving’s before were always so happy. How the Christmas Holidays were full of fun and laughter; and the demon in our head tells us that we will never be that happy again.

He’s lying I know!  You can be if you want to, with our without your partner you can make something new, make new memories, something honest to look back on.

Christmas was always such a happy time in our house, we had the additional celebration of it being Tom’s birthday on Christmas Eve (I know! Don’t ever have unprotected sex in March, that’s what I learnt) and it was always a double celebration. The year that ‘The War’ broke out in our lives was the year that Tom was going to turn eighteen – which is a big deal in England.

In my normal indominatable way I was not going to let what had happened ruin what had always been a wonderful time of year for us; and I was especially not going to let it ruin Tom’s birthday.

So for our first Christmas I made new memories – we made new memories. We changed things we used to do – like going to the pub on Christmas Eve in the afternoon – and we went to the pub on Christmas day for a lunchtime drink before dinner.

We started a tradition of visiting a small quaint pub in the medieval city of Canterbury for lunch when we did our Christmas shopping – a pub that had not been tainted in any way by ‘The War’. In fact we continued that tradtion right up to the last Christmas before we left England for our adventure in France.

We started a tradition of playing Monopoly on Boxing day, we kept presents back to open after dinner, and I bought a Christmas tree to put up on the balcony of our home to show people that we were still together, and that I didn’t give a fuck what they thought! It  gave the illusion that we were deliriously happy; and whilst we were in a better place (God knows it couldn’t have been any worse!) I can assure you that there was still a lot of shit to go through!

All of these things seem like really small things (always remember small steps)  but they then enabled us to follow those traditions the year after, and the years after that, new traditions, new memories that helped us to not look back with poignancy at the one’s we used to have.

So if your fighting to survive this is my advice:

Stop looking back, I know it’s hard but at this time of year just keep saying to yourself ‘it’s all about the here and now. If I get through this one the next one will be easier.’ And it will!

Make new memories, small things, perhaps new baubles for the tree, a different tradition for the day, a photograph to look back on when times are hard, this is one of the main ways that you will be able to face the future events without fear.

But most importantly if you want to survive you have to try, you have to make an effort if not for your relationship for yourself.

Remember you are grieving, rightfully so, for what has been lost, and all that entails including any holidays,birthdays, Easter, anniversaries, none of them seem real now, none of them seem honest when your world has been blown apart by an affair. The first year is the hardest because you have to face every one of them – with another lovely little anniversary known as Dday thrown in!

I can remember every one of them frightening me; so I  held on to a peice of advice I was given when my darling mum died: ‘Get through the first year and the others will get easier because you have done it once already.’ But you have to let it get easier, you have to let go.  It was good advice and I used it when my world was blown apart by betrayal.

Oh and Tom’s birthday – we threw him a great big party in our house, and Rich cried, because he never thought he would be there!

I will be sharing my journal entry from the first Christmas we were back together – ironically I did not write in it over Christmas but the entry is just before so look out for it.

As always I hope this helps. Stay strong, and remember – always have yourself because without yourself you have nothing.

Moisy

 

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Beware Bitterness – It will be your enemy

 

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Bitterness: To be upset and angry by something that happened in the past.

Bitterness:To be consumed with anger and unhappiness

My definition: Bitterness: To allow anger and unhappiness, because of something that has bappened in the past, define your future.

I have said in some of my previous posts that I was not prepared to let what had happened to me (and at the beginning it was about me, remember? I had to find myself and be myself first) define me. I was not prepared to be dragged down to other people’s levels and, more than anything, I was not prepared to let my life be consumed by bitterness.

Since ‘The War’ my sister Beth  has said to me that she initially wanted me to have Rich back because I ‘wasn’t getting any better’.

Before this ‘War’ I had always been the type of girl to pick myself back up, move forward, even meet someone else; but this time during the twenty-one days that Rich was gone I was still the same as the day he had left.

Yes I had took all of our money, I had left Rich with nothing. I had started divorce proceedings, I had sold his’ possessions to do so, I had changed the locks, thrown his stuff out, everything I could possibly do. But I was still crying, every day, nearly all day. So when Rich wanted to come back my sister (I have said before she is a clever cow sometimes!) had persuaded me to have him back because, as she said, ‘Then if you split up it will be on your terms and not his; and then you will be  able to move on.’ She was right! I can see that even now. If we had not survived I would have least been able to prepare for it, to know that what we had was gone and more importantly that I did not want it anymore, enabling me to move forward.

But if Rich had not come back I would have struggled to come to terms with what had happened, to understand how I ended up where I was and I would have continued to run it through my head like a loop trying to make sense of something that would never have made sense – because it had never been what I thought it was in the first place!

At the beginning  stubborn streak in me, the fighter in me, was not prepared to let that bitch take any more from me than she already had. I was not prepared to be consumed by bitterness. I did not want that anger to stay with me forever, and I did not want to be unhappy forever. So, yes, at the beginning it was these things that made me fight against being bitter, and this fight meant that I looked at small tiny things that Rich did – like the housework FFS! A note written on the blackboard in the kitchen, reaching out to hold my hand even though her feared that I would pull it away. These small tiny things made up a big thing over time (you will see) and eventually the big thing enabled us to get to where we are today.

What would have happened if Rich had not come back? I would have done the same, I think it would have taken a damn site longer, but the stubborn fighter in me would have still thought the same, I will not be beaten and part of this was I would not be bitter.

As time wore on I no longer used ‘her’ as the incentive, I no longer needed to. I had found ‘me’ again, I had decided what my boundaries were and what I would and would not put up with, and I knew that what had happened to me had made me stronger; had actually given me freedom. I wanted to enjoy what I had found, so there was no room for bitterness in my life. It is up to you all, I cannot tell you how to handle things this is only one way that I did:

At the beginning I used my anger at ‘her’  to stop me from becoming bitter.

At the beginning I used my stubborness to stop me from being bitter

As time wore on I found myself, and I knew that I didn’t need to be bitter I needed to be grateful.

As time wore on I realised what I had was something new, and that it was better than it had been before because this time it was honest (more of that in a future blog.) This meant realising that Rich was not a knight on a white horse in shiny armour, but a flawed man who made mistakes and got on my tits sometimes!

I am passionate about this particular post, because I know how easy it is to slip down that slippery bitterness pipe; to be sucked in by the whispers from the demon that tell you that you are ‘entitled to feel that way.’

Are you? Do you want to feel that way forever?

If you need to do what I did and use the other person as a focus for not being consumed by bitterness, then do that – don’t let them beat you; and before you know it you will just not be bitter any more and you won’t give a toss about them! But only you can do it.

I know that there enough fighters out there who will read this and think ‘That is not going to be me! I am not going to let this beat me. I am not going to let this define me. I will not let bitterness consume me.’

I know you can do it.

Moisy

 

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Coping Mechanisms – The Bath of Despair

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Since I have started to share my book a lot of you have asked me what coping mechanisms I put into place to get me to where I am now, and I realised how important it was to share anything that I used to help others. So here is my first one:

Visualisation was key to my survival at this early stage, I had to put mechanisms into place to get my mind under control. At this point, four or five weeks into our reconciliation, it literally felt as if I was on an ocean, with huge waves coming along when I least expected them, pounding me and pushing me under the water and at times I felt as if  I was literally drowning in pain and heartache.

During these times I would breathe deeply close my eyes and visualise myself standing on a cliff top overlooking the sea with a handful of balloons; those balloons held my pain, some of them even held our relationship, and I would let them go, and I would watch them float away, and imagine them taking the pain with them, all the time whilst I breathing slowly and then I would get myself back under control.

But as the realisation of what had happened, where we were, and the fact that we would never be  the same again hit home I would just feel so down, so sad; as if there was nothing to believe in any more’ because really life was a piece of shit and everything I had now was contaminated and was not going to get any better.

When I felt like this I would visualise myself sitting in a huge roll top bath (we had a roll top bath at that time in our old house in England) and this bath would be full of blackness, it looked like tar; and i was sitting in it and it was sucking me under, and I could feel it sucking any joy I felt about anything out of me.

Like most things at that time I was not going to let it beat me; so I would picture myself holding on to the sides of that bath and pulling myself up. I would close my eyes and I could see the blackness clawing at me trying to pull me back and I fought against it, I pulled one leg up and stepped out of the bath and then the other leg until I was out of the bath. There was residue of the blackness on me but I knew that I would win, I would win.

And I did.

I thought that it was overcoming those powerful emotions that would keep Rich and I together. I was right at that time that I had to use something just to bring them under control but eventually I came to realise that my most powerful ally was acceptance.

Moisy

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