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Author Topic: My bags are packed, I've taken steps for after I leave, but I'm stuck (part 2)  (Read 796 times)
Palinurus

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« on: July 08, 2020, 02:39:25 PM »

It’s a really schlocky action movie with occasionally good dialogue and some brilliant cinematography, but those aren’t enough to carry it. My therapist and lawyer have both signed off on the letter being ok with no red flags. It’s weird but all I have to do now is load the car, maybe tell him briefly in person, give or leave him the letter, and take off.

Easier said than done, of course, and I’m having major anxiety about it. Doesn’t help that an important professional project hit a major snag yesterday. I’m just trying to listen to my brain and my heart and trust that I’ll know what to do and when to do it. Currently lying down and breathing deeply to relax.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 03:54:06 AM by once removed » Logged
onthewater79
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2020, 08:05:21 PM »

Thanks for the update. Sorry to hear about the professional snag. It can be so hard to keep up with the demands of work and tend to a toxic relationship. I always feel super reluctant to share anything to that effect w my boss. Hope you've been able to calm down.
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Palinurus

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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2020, 08:40:42 PM »

I’m glad you got the catch up time with a friend. I got an email from an old friend out of the blue today that helped with my stress. Sadly the professional project got torpedoed after seven years of work. I’ll dust myself off and keep going, but I didn’t need that stress.

Weird thing is, husband got more upset about it than I did. I momentarily had to comfort him about my loss. He did eventually realize he should just give me space to process it but only after I told him if he kept sympathizing it might make me despondent!

Palinurus
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onthewater79
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2020, 11:42:57 AM »

Wow 7 years - that must sting. And good for you for taking it in stride. Stay strong and stay the course. :-)
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Palinurus

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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2020, 12:13:28 PM »

Thanks. I’m trying. This project unraveled over 24 hours and it’s pretty heartbreaking. It was personally important to me and getting close to successful completion. I think it was helping me maintain a separate sense of mission and self in the marriage. I’ve got other irons in the fire and this project *might* be salvageable but I’m not holding my breath. I’ve learned so much doing it though that it’s not the end of the world if I have to rip it up and start again. I can probably make something better happen faster.

It’s tough because my eagerness to get back to work on something else is really motivating me to cut the cord so I can pursue it in freedom but the feeling of grief and loss feels like it’s set me back in my own sense of wholeness and differentiation. I’m gonna sleep on it and see how I feel tomorrow. Probably need to reread bits of SWoE. I still need to edit the letter a bit. If I can make the break early next week I will be happy. This board has been so helpful easing the shame I’ve felt about not moving on sooner since it seems like something hard for everyone who’s got a pwBPD in their lives.

How are you today Onthewater79? Where’s your partner? Are you still getting some relief?

Best,
Palinurus
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onthewater79
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2020, 12:42:26 PM »

Thanks for asking. Today just feels heavy. Partner still gone, don't know where, and while I care for him I'm just not interested in knowing more. I'd consider it a blessing to have tie to myself but I know he'll be back, and this time around I am not saying Yes when I mean No. I have to address the wreckage (that I've been a party to). Codependency is just deplorable.

Work going well, in the plus column.
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onthewater79
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2020, 12:26:34 PM »

It is just the last straw. Saw my bank account - he has stolen thousands of dollars, I'm guessing to gamble in Reno. Don't know if it's worth confronting him or just getting out of this rat's nest. I am so furious and even more furious with myself.
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Palinurus

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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2020, 06:26:04 PM »

Onthewater79,

That’s brutal. I’m so sorry. I understand being angry with yourself because I’ve been there (and still am sometimes). That said, I think being angry at myself distracts me from affirming what I actually deserve, which Is to not be in a relationship that triggers anxiety and shame. What are you thinking about now that you’ve seen the theft? What would it take to make you whole?

Be as kind to yourself as you would be to anyone else whose suffering you encountered.

Keep me posted.

Palinurus
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Palinurus

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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2020, 06:12:24 AM »

Ugh. That theft is appalling Onthewater79. I know how easy it is to be mad at ourselves for allowing the abuse, but I think that directing the blame back on ourselves is one of the things that encourages us to take more abuse.

I have felt so much shame for tolerating the things my stbxBPDH has done and staying in the marriage. Part of my recovery though has been (and will continue to be) sorting out Where my responsibility ends. I’m realizing that a lot of the things I stuck around after were rooted in his fear of abandonment and I stuck around because I felt bad. But now I know I wasn’t responsible for his fear or how he expressed it. I stuck around out of (misdirected) compassion. My impulse was good, I just didn’t know how futile following it would be. It doesn’t mean I bear no responsibility, but I was working without information that would have helped me negotiating those situations healthily. The shame is easing gradually.

What are you thinking now that you’ve got that information about the theft? Is Reno where your partner has been lately? Is he still away?

I finished setting up my new bank account this week and have moved the mortgage and utility autopays to that account. I’m going to carry the mortgage and utilities for a couple months while I stay elsewhere and he figures out where to go.

I’m pretty close to ready.

Keeping you in my thoughts.
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onthewater79
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2020, 11:06:31 AM »

Thanks, Palinurus. I'm sorry to have gone MIA (not to mention the fact I seem to have taken over your thread ... who's the narcissist here ...).

Misdirected compassion is a great way to frame it. A chief reason I stay.

He did not go to Reno and says he did not take money from the bank and said he would sort it out. I have heard that before. Honestly I haven't even done my own review of the account -- have already moved paycheck to another account anyway. He may rectify but if history is any guide he will not.

I've hired an atty on the finance front and taking steps, however slow, to get out of this. Trying to be patient with myself while not allowing for inaction. I am up against a formidable foe, however. He can flip on a dime.

How are you doing today? Glad to see you're taking steps forward as well.

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Palinurus

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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2020, 12:22:26 PM »

No worries! You’ve had stuff to sort out. You’re also more than welcome on my thread; I’ve found comparing notes to be helpful.

I was planning to take off yesterday but he was using the car. I was going to pack the car today while he was on a work call but he didn’t take the call and is parked in the room whose closet my bags are in. This morning we had the umpteenth conversation about his needs and how *he’s* scared to express them because of *my* anger!

I’m leaving the house for a couple hours soon to run an errand so I’ll get some space.

I’m realizing how much of my stuck-ness has been rooted in trauma bonding. Like he’s been pretty sweet and calm this week and although I have no hope of the marriage surviving the semblance of peace is tempting. but now he’s stressed and starting to experience inexplicable physical pain. It’s totally another round of the cycle.

I’m glad you’re taking steps. It’s empowering even if it’s sometimes terrifying. I’m learning so much about myself.

Hopefully the next time I post I’ll have made it off the end of the diving board. Hopefully the water isn’t too cold!

Palinurus
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onthewater79
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2020, 10:19:49 AM »

I can relate on the trauma bonding piece. We had a relatively peaceful weekend (one meltdown on his side, but I'm so used to it by now) and the thought pops up in my head that maybe this could work, though I know whole-heartedly it cannot; so why do I wait, and settle for crumbs. To be fair, what I give him is largely crumbs and a perfunctory version of myself. But it's how I have survived the last few months. I am tired of being so inauthentic and withholding.

The physical pain -- mine experiences that too. Or says he does. I wonder if this is common, and if it's manipulative malingering or if it's a real experience.

Hoping you are in a good mental space today.
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Palinurus

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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2020, 11:19:27 AM »

I think the physical pain is common. It was a constant for years. Some of it was related to his sensory sensitivities but it gets worse when he’s about to de compensate and get overwhelmed with fragility.

I did the exact things the last two days he said would be enough for him to feel cared for and it’s kept the peace. I’ve been cutting back alcohol and upping my exercise to keep myself clear-headed.

I’m fully ready to go logistically Now. I’m really anxious about it but trying to replay in my head all of my very good reasons for doing so. I know I won’t be emotionally ready but may have to dive anyway. The only way out is through, I guess.

Palinurus
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onthewater79
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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2020, 12:44:33 PM »

Godspeed. Cutting back or cutting out alcohol can be quite helpful; always felt it added an extra element of chaos that was difficult to manage in an already unmanageable situation.
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2020, 03:29:02 PM »

Hey Palinrus, What are your gut feelings about the r/s?  There's bound to be fallout if you leave, but don't discount the possibility of finding greater happiness.  If you are unsure which way to go, I suggest you sit and wait for the water to clear.  It's about finding the right path for you, which is something only you can figure out.

LJ
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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
Palinurus

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« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2020, 02:33:17 AM »

Onthewater79: thanks. Alcohol itself doesn’t usually foment chaos for me, but it can exacerbate my anxious tendencies and is a major trigger of abandonment fear for my stbxuBPDh (like one sip of wine and he can’t talk to me because I’m “drinking”). I knew this week was going to be pivotal so I decided to minimize that variable so I could move forward with clarity.

LJ, I’ve fundamentally known this marriage was over for 18 months. I’d been trying to see if it was still salvageable just in case but I know it isn’t deep down. Knowing that future happiness was likely has really helped me move forward.

But hey, I dove off the board. I’m in a safe place. I have lots of support. The water’s cold and a bit choppy right now but I’m not planning on drowning. I’m a decent swimmer and I’ve been through worse.

Thanks to all here but especially Onthewater79, Lucky Jim, Cat Familiar, and Frankee.
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onthewater79
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« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2020, 10:30:54 AM »

Proud of you, Palinurus. Keep us posted on your progress if it helps. You have given me a small bit of hope that it may be possible for me to do the same.

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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2020, 12:08:56 PM »

Excerpt
But hey, I dove off the board. I’m in a safe place. I have lots of support. The water’s cold and a bit choppy right now but I’m not planning on drowning. I’m a decent swimmer and I’ve been through worse.

Great to hear, Palinrus.  Of course the water is cold and choppy, but you can handle it.  You chart the course from here.  Keep us posted.

LJ
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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
Palinurus

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« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2020, 12:26:19 PM »

Thanks Onthewater79 and LJ.

I’ve been on the phone with people nearly nonstop. H called a friend of mine and said a lot of weird stuff including trying to discredit my family as a good support for me.  I talked to one of his friends to make sure he is getting support. I have two unread emails from him in my inbox but at least he is respecting that I asked to keep to email for communication. I have therapy at 2 and will likely read them with the therapist there.

This is hard as hell. Part of me just wants to run home and hug him to stop the pain but when I think of everything I’ve been through I know it’s not worth it. I’ll be with family soon for a few weeks out of town and that will be healing.

I’ve got really great friends and family.

Onthewater79, you will be able to do what you need to. The thing that’s most critical to me right now is that my friends and family know what I’ve been through and so when I question my perception of things (after years of having it distorted), they can remind me what’s real. Nobody is questioning my decision or undermining me and I can cycle through lots of people to talk to so nobody gets too bogged down being my sole support. I had to spend time rebuilding that deep bench after I’d let myself get isolated but it’s so worth it now. They supported me while I stayed and they’re supporting me now.

Almost past my first 24 hours.
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2020, 02:50:49 PM »

Hey Palinrus,

Get ready for F-O-G (fear, obligation and guilt), not to mention blame and harsh judgments.  It got so bad with my BPDxW that I made an arrangement with my sister whereby she would screen emails from my Ex and let me know if there was anything that required a response.  It's about determining what boundaries are necessary under the circumstances (limiting communications to emails, as you are doing, is a wise practice).  I also let my family and friends know that they might hear from her.  They were great and said they would tell her what to do, if and when she contacted them!

LJ

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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
Palinurus

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« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2020, 08:13:13 PM »

Hi Lucky Jim,

Uncharacteristically his emails were short and practically oriented and straightforward. For me the main takeaway is relief because a year ago he was sure he would die if I detached. He’s been reaching out to other people appropriately and so have I. I know it could deteriorate from here but for the moment I’m relieved.

That said, I have no problem marking his emails read or otherwise managing my engagement with them to hold off the FOG. Not easy but...

Best,
Palinurus
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onthewater79
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« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2020, 08:09:05 PM »

Glad things are going better than expected! I've taken additional steps this weekend on the financial side to separate and leave. He vacillates between threatening me and being clingy and accommodating. I am wondering if he would just leave me alone if he knew what I truly thought of him. Really dealing with massive fear today.

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Palinurus

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« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2020, 06:28:40 AM »

I’m proud of you for taking those steps Onthewater79. This has been hard and painful but as I check in with mutual friends they have helped me feel grounded and secure in my assessment of things. I’ve got a decent to-do list to keep me occupied today and will be staying with my godmother tonight before traveling with her and my niece and godson tomorrow. I’m basically just throwing myself on the good will of everyone who knew me before this marriage went south but it’s good to know that they all recognize me for who I’ve always been and not my husband’s distorted take on me.

Sending you support and what strength I can spare,
Palinurus

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onthewater79
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« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2020, 01:40:23 PM »

Thanks for the words of encouragement. I hope your week and travels are going well.
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Palinurus

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« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2020, 04:25:23 PM »

Thanks. I’m a couple thousand miles away in a peaceful, healing place. Emails with stbxH are increasingly cordial and we may talk in the next day or two but I’m also seeing signs of potential charming, so I’m not letting my guard down.

I’ve had a trusted friend read his emails Before I do or read them with my therapist present when I get apprehensive.

Anyway, he didn’t self harm, he’s reaching out to friends and family, and he may travel to see his old friends while I’m gone, so this could have all gone way worse. After last time I tried to detach his predictions of dying terrified me. There’s still some FOG, but I think I’ve achieved escape velocity.

I’m just so relieved to be here in this lovely place with people who I love and who love me.

Palinurus
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2020, 10:41:23 AM »

Hey Palinurus, Great report.  Keep up the good work!  LJ
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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
Palinurus

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« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2020, 10:13:40 AM »

Well I talked to my STBXH on Friday. It felt like a good step but it also brought out some residual anxiety for the last two days. I much prefer our email communication. I think I’m still purging some “internalized eggshells” which I imagine takes a while. Given that they’ve been building up for years I feel like they’re like the bits of confetti you keep finding a year after the party happened.

Really knocking the imagery outta the park today, huh?

So glad to be far away. with family, in a relaxing place for a month while starting to recover...
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onthewater79
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« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2020, 10:22:09 AM »

I'm glad you're in a safe place and able to start healing (I hope he is doing ok too). Thanks for the update.
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Palinurus

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« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2020, 11:07:08 PM »

I’ve been back in town for a week now staying in hotels and about to move into short term lodging while we work through the separation and divorce. Indications are that there will be some harrowing periods but five weeks out I’m a much more relaxed and happy human than i had been for 4-5 years. Friends and family are rallying around and I’m catching up with so many good people.

Thanks all, sure I’ll post more as things progress...
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onthewater79
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« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2020, 06:12:52 PM »

Great to hear an update from you, Palinurus. Sounds like you are doing well despite the potential bumps coming up. Very much an inspiration for me as I look to reclaim my life after nearly 3 years of chaos. I am getting much closer to exiting and have enlisted an excellent therapist who is keeping me focused and as calm as can be. I anticipate the fight of my life and probably the police escorting me out. terrified on a daily basis but still moving forward. Wish it were easier. Be well.
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