First, thank you for the praise! You have been instrumental in me getting here, and so thank you again!
What great questions you posed, so as an exercise for myself too, I'm going to go through them.
Let me ask you now, are you glad that you stayed? Your sig still mentions the bit about giving it a year. Is that year up, yet?
Yes, it's now been about a year and a half. There are days I am glad I stayed, and there are days I still beat myself up about staying, simply because I still argue in my head about the actions being a deal breaker. But, along with the PTSD we all get from such betrayal, I am still dealing with depression that I have always had, as well as an increase due to the baby and hormone fluctuations. (No murders! )
Overall I am glad I stayed. Our family is stronger than ever. I finally started to work on my stuff, which helped me to finally help my oldest with his. All in all this was a needed punch in the face, but it still hurts if I let myself think about it for too long...which I do because I'm stubborn and a sulker! I did change my sig...good point!
Seriously, where is hopefulkate in terms of where you want your now-modified life to be? Are you happier than before his meltdown? Is he? Considering all of it, are you satisfied being at this point in healing at this point in time? Not forever, but for now?
What a BIG question. Even though I am still in pain, and don't know if I will fully recover to stay, life is 110% better. And that number isn't even possible, that's how much life has improved! I do believe his breakdown was a needed push to get us to fix ourselves, and given all that I have read, we are both doing amazingly well. But I am an avid avoider of emotional pain, so to just "be" with it, for so long, has been hard.
He is amazing. His strength and resolve to heal and help me is incredible. So, for now, yes, I am happy with how far we have come. And perhaps one of the most amazing side effects of all of this, is that with my new knowledge (I lost count how many books I have read), I am able to help a lot of other people. I started to be more open about my struggles (can't talk about the affair or his abuse yet openly, though I look forward to that day), but I do talk about PTSD, the brain, and the stigma of mental health in hopes of just opening up the dialogue. Seems how I can give back is by sharing. And the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive with people reaching out to me to talk and for advice or just a companion to share the pain for a moment. I am thankful for that, and proud(?) that I can at least take something that was so painful it almost made me take my life, and turn it into an experience that can help others. I do hope this continues and we can be a success story and my help can be even more meaningful. But recognizing finally that no matter the outcome, we will be ok, has been liberating, and that message is also one that is hard to give (as you know because I refused to take it at first!) but oh so important in life.
Is he to the point that healing is not so very painful as once it was for him?
Not yet. But it's not as scary, and that's a huge difference. Now that he is integrating more, he is close to being able to just let it all out. He wants his counselor to just ask him for the details, because his people pleasing part will have to do it, and his protector won't stand in the way, and the child will be so happy to let it all out.
To her credit, his therapist is doing an amazing job at getting at all of his alters to get them comfortable with him. They did another coloring exercise and when she brought out crayons that kid came right out to color. He had to draw a dream four times, and each time after cross it all out with a big black marker going left to right and right to left (in order to merge the brain's hemispheres) and delete the bad of the dream. Powerful exercise. He didn't want to do it, but he looks forward to going back to let the rest out.
He is afraid to "shout" from the rooftops what happened to him, because he is afraid that if his brother and sister find out, that it will result in them killing themselves or worse. He is very overprotective of them, even though they are his abusers (all kids at the time)...so, who knows where the story ends, but that is where we are at the moment.
We have intimacy, a fabulous sex life, can date and play, he leaves me notes and makes me feel loved. In return I am still here.
Ok, ok I have to do more than that, but it is harder for me to be all in. Some days I can!! And those days are like the adrenaline rush of courting when we were young. Some days I can't, and so he just holds me if/when I cry.
Not done yet, but both of us are working, and both of us (and the kids) are growing.
And Katelet is the most amazing baby in the world! Very thankful to God for such a blessing. Born with a smile and a laugh...and the boys love her so very much. Much to feel sad about (actually just one month's worth of betrayal, years of depression....) but SO much to be thankful for. I need to do that second part a lot more I think.
And now...how are YOU!?