Hi Somber! Glad to hear you're doing ok. Sounds like separation is working for you.
And yeah, as shitty as it is, expect to feel the sadness more before you get to happiness. I've come to realize that a lot of the sadness/despair I felt after leaving were feelings I had been forced to stuff down while we were together in order to survive. So once I left, I finally had a safe space to actually feel them, and it was like my brain knew and decided to purge them.
You know when you're organizing a closet (or in my case my entire apartment right now)? It HAS to get messier before it gets clean. You have to clear out all of the old stuff, poke around in every cupboard, wipe down every shelf, sweep, vacuum, dust.
All of the stuff that was in the closet or cupboard looks like it has exploded on the floor. All of those "feelings" you stuffed away are exposed now. And they aren't going to go away on their own, they have to be explored and felt before you can either decide to keep them or get rid of them.
But you then get to slowly look through each item and decide what you want to keep (what is still serving you) vs. what you want to get rid of (what no longer serves you). You can toss all of those old coping mechanisms that were great for when you were in survival mode but no longer serve you in the new thriving mode you're trying to create.
And then you get to decide exactly how you want to organize all of those "keepers." Healing from trauma is really like spring cleaning for our brains.
re: aversion to sex, yes CBS, I did have that. Still do to an extent, though it has lessened over time. As in, even being horny/feeling sexual at all used to cause me great distress. Now I feel "safe" in feeling that way, but am not yet ready to share any of those feelings with anyone else.
Blackthorne, sorry you find yourself here, but also glad you're able to get support! I can't imagine how you ladies are doing it with kids in the house and trying to get on these phone calls. I was barely surviving when I was still with him and had the girls in the house, I felt like we could never adequately address anything because one or both of the girls were always around, and it's very difficult to have a hush hush conversation around something so deeply hurtful.
I, of course, have been trying to do all kinds of self work.Funny how the people who need the most help won't do anything about their issues!
Yes, unfortunately, this seems to be the truth in most cases. Those who need the help the most are not only ignoring it, they're actively avoiding it and even running away. But then again, that's pretty much what their sex addiction is anyway, right? Running away from their problems.
Re: rebuilding trust. I was with my X for 7 years. for about 6 of those years, I knew about the masturbation addiction. I chose to rebuild trust surrounding that. And I truly thought it worked. At the time I discovered the physical affair, then subsequently discovered the drugs and the escorts, I would say that I had the MOST trust in him I had ever had before. It's part of why it hurt so much. I thought we had worked through it. I felt as if we were stronger than ever. Then BOOM, I find out that he had just found new outlets for his addictions, as well as getting better at hiding it.
I don't think I'm the kind of person who could just leave after the first few times. I needed to know I had done everything I could. But with the benefit of hindsight, I don't know if staying and doing everything I could was worth it in the end. I'm trying to forgive myself for being the kind of person who is wired to try to make things work, because while he is absolutely responsible for everything he did to me, I'm also responsible for staying, and that haunts me at times.
I'm not saying it's impossible to rebuild trust. I actually did rebuild it. I know it may seem backwards or impossible, but it's true, I did trust him. My trust in him was real, even though his honesty wasn't, if that makes sense.
In the end, yes, I rebuilt trust, but my trust was misplaced, and I ended up even more devastated than I would have been had I left at the first major discovery.