My Absence.

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CoffeeLeaf
Infuriated
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Location: New Zealand

My Absence.

Post by CoffeeLeaf » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:27 pm

Yeah, I know- call CNN, story of the year; I've been gone. However, I left right after I said I'd try and organize a "getting started" for newcomers page. Maybe no one missed it, but, I feel bad. Truth is, I've been very sick...

***Cliff Notes version at the bottom.

I've had some other events happen within the last year that have been very hard on me, and my husband wasn't exactly on board. I had to deal with a major life change, and all the while, he still hadn't really dealt with what his family did to him.

He's essentially stuck in the anger part of the grieving process. It's created a black hole that sucks all of his time, energy, emotion, and desire, and it's only there because he keeps running away from the fact that in order to really get over this, he has to figure out how to be the man they never taught him how to be. Lessons he should have had at 3, 5, 12 years of age have been completely skipped.
He has nothing to fall back on to deal with any hardship, and through these three rough years, he's had no idea why he's like this.

I felt the divide between us growing, and had to watch him allow it to happen. It hurt so much, but, I didn't know what was wrong with him, either.

A wife's job is to hold her husband's heart, and constantly organize the contents, and make sure everything is in working order (well, that's one of her many jobs; don't get me wrong.) Being denied that was excruciating for me. We used to talk for hours about everything under the sun.

He was no longer the man I married. He was just an empty shell; angry, bitter, careless, lazy, and uninterested in everything, including me.

I fought to get him to be on my side with this new thing, and he said terrible things to me, but I wouldn't let him run away. He was terrified I'd leave him, when he was clueless about his own outbursts.

Two months ago, my stomach started hurting whenever I ate, and it seemed I wasn't digesting what I ate properly. My hair was falling out in handfuls whenever I took a shower, and I kept finding turned white and brittle.
I went to the doctor, thinking I had some sort of anemia, or an infection in my gut. It was "just stress."

Eating was excruciating. My guts would clamp down, and I'd get nauseated. I had absolutely no energy, only with great effort did I keep the house clean. And my heart felt like it was going to be ripped in half whenever my husband tried to hold me, and tell me he loved me, and pretend everything was fine. What part of me looked fine? It felt more like he hated me.

I finally sat him down and told him that if he didn't come around, I was leaving him, because he was literally killing me. I can't continue like this. I can't even drink without being in pain.
I didn't want this to be my family, and I didn't ask for that to happen, but, it's destroying our marriage how he wouldn't let it go.

He gave in, and we've started to talk more. I can only hope that he means what he says, and so far, he doesn't like me threatening to leave, because another woman isn't going to land in his lap, and honestly, losing me would devastate him more than he even comprehends. At least he's aware of that.

So far, we've been exploring what kind of man he wants to be, and I'm trying to really get him to think about what attributes he wants, and what actions he takes, that sort of thing. He seems to get it, and knows better than to argue.
We're learning about authority and dominance, and what it means when someone wants to have those things over you, or take them from you without your will. He's understanding what it is to be a "doormat", and how that's ingrained bad habits, and how he was never taught anything else.

To heal from this, he has to understand what it is to be a man. Strong, truly masculine, defiant towards authority- not accepting, uncompromising in his morals (once he decides what they are...), and the counterpart to the woman I'm trying to be.

I'm sorry, but, even now, I'm pretty weak. I don't have much mental or emotional energy to help anyone else, even though I've thought of what I promised. I'm doing better, but I won't be able to offer anyone much until I've recovered a bit more, and it was all I could muster to at least say I'm sorry, and explain what happened.
Hair is still falling out, and I still find white strands, but, I can eat much better now.

In any case, I thought I'd offer the community this warning, at least. Just when you think it's over, and the in-laws are gone (haven't seen them in over a year; they don't care), things can still come back to bite you.

Cliff Note: Sick with complications from an intense amount of stress, mostly due to life changes in addition to strain on my marriage. I have absolutely no energy to help around with the forums, and I apologize. I'll try when I'm better, but, it might take a while.
Last edited by CoffeeLeaf on Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jigglypuff
Nuclear
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Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:32 am

Re: My Absence.

Post by jigglypuff » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:57 pm

I'm sorry for your struggles Coffee. I've missed seeing you on the boards.

Stress can take a huge toll on your physical well being. Remembering back on what it was like for me when I had to deal with DH's cowardness and lack of emotional support while the Ils were tearing me to shreds. I didn't realize it then but I now realize I didn't just suffer through narcissistic injury, I was also dealing with PTSD. I was having horrible anxiety which made my body ill. I believe I suffer today with several illnesses brought on by extreme stress. My father's side carries many odd genetic disorders and they've surfaced in my body while I was in my lowest emotional state. I wasn't myself for many years. It's only been in the last couple of years that I'm becoming whole again. The downside has been my lack of trust in people and isolation. I used to be a very social, approachable person with a great sense of humor. I've changed and everyone has noticed it. I no longer care for friends or want to share any deep parts of me. It's hard to carry relationships with other women when you aren't willing to share that about yourself because that's how women normally bond.

I'm glad you're beginning to feel better and you guys are working things out through counseling. Wishing you guys all the best.
'As the days go by, I think of how lucky I am... That you're not here to ruin it for me'

CoffeeLeaf
Infuriated
Posts: 406
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:04 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: My Absence.

Post by CoffeeLeaf » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:31 pm

Aw, thanks, Jiggly. I added a Cliff Notes version, because I just realized how long that was.

I hope, in time, you feel better, too. You're a very sweet person, and you deserve to have a lot of friends. We don't always get what we need in our families, but, it's extra difficult when you're kept away from looking outside, too.

If you're so inclined, you might check out "adrenal fatigue". Here's an article; https://draxe.com/adrenal-insufficiency/
It can't diagnose you, but, reading this sort of thing might make you think about possibilities in your diet or lifestyle that you thought were normal or benign that might actually be sucking your energy.
I only bring it up because anti-depressants never did anything for me, and I was told by several medical doctors there was nothing they could do for me since I was 14. Hmph.

Melody
Nuclear
Posts: 1722
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:28 pm

Re: My Absence.

Post by Melody » Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:24 pm

So sorry CoffeeLeaf - I missed you too. I'm sorry you're going through this and HAVE been going through this. I'm very sorry your husband wasn't mentally there for you during your time of need. I hope things will turn around for you and him soon. ((Hugs!!!))

bsfighter1
Infuriated
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:27 am

Re: My Absence.

Post by bsfighter1 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:00 pm

jigglypuff wrote:I'm sorry for your struggles Coffee. I've missed seeing you on the boards.

Stress can take a huge toll on your physical well being. Remembering back on what it was like for me when I had to deal with DH's cowardness and lack of emotional support while the Ils were tearing me to shreds. I didn't realize it then but I now realize I didn't just suffer through narcissistic injury, I was also dealing with PTSD. I was having horrible anxiety which made my body ill. I believe I suffer today with several illnesses brought on by extreme stress. My father's side carries many odd genetic disorders and they've surfaced in my body while I was in my lowest emotional state. I wasn't myself for many years. It's only been in the last couple of years that I'm becoming whole again. The downside has been my lack of trust in people and isolation. I used to be a very social, approachable person with a great sense of humor. I've changed and everyone has noticed it. I no longer care for friends or want to share any deep parts of me. It's hard to carry relationships with other women when you aren't willing to share that about yourself because that's how women normally bond.

I'm glad you're beginning to feel better and you guys are working things out through counseling. Wishing you guys all the best.
Wow, what Jiggly said and feels is the story of my life. I'm trying to care again and not isolate (besides caring deeply for my children) but something has been numbed in me and forever changed when it comes to opening my heart to friendships. I talk to people and even confide a few things to a very select few who also reciprocate, but there is always this numbness there, like I really can't truly connect anymore on a heartfelt level. They say trials and tribulations make you stronger and better, to which I say hogwash. Not all the time. Sure, you might wise up and appreciate other things, but losing that 'heart' seems like quite the damage and sacrifice to do so.

Coffee, glad to hear your hubby is in counselling and that you set boundaries. Mine is still living in denial with bouts of anger over his abusive family, but never wants to talk about it and can't let them go. DH isn't interested in actually putting in the effort to reconnect with these so-called 'family' he's lost, he seems only interested in the quick fix and getting things back to the way they were so he can have the 'image' of us as a nice little family at gatherings and show off the kids. These days, I truly think he'd be okay to go right back into enabler IL territory with the toxics, with thekids alone and no me. I hope you and DH will find some resolve

CoffeeLeaf
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Posts: 406
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:04 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: My Absence.

Post by CoffeeLeaf » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:20 pm

Wow, what Jiggly said and feels is the story of my life. I'm trying to care again and not isolate (besides caring deeply for my children) but something has been numbed in me and forever changed when it comes to opening my heart to friendships. I talk to people and even confide a few things to a very select few who also reciprocate, but there is always this numbness there, like I really can't truly connect anymore on a heartfelt level. They say trials and tribulations make you stronger and better, to which I say hogwash. Not all the time. Sure, you might wise up and appreciate other things, but losing that 'heart' seems like quite the damage and sacrifice to do so.
=( It's a hard lot, isn't it? I'm sorry I don't truly know what either of you need to recover. I'm tenacious, and don't like to take "no" for an answer when I want something, including finding myself having slipped into a bad emotional habit, but, I don't know exactly how to install that in other people, other than gently insist that they're doing more damage and creating more unhappiness for themselves in the long run. I would recharge my energy reserves, find something to inspire me (visions of time with friends/replacement family members to spend time with and share kid's activities with), and throw caution to the wind. Not much else to lose, once you stop caring about what people think of you, and just be yourself. Never know- someone might dig that sweater you've had since '82, and you have a nice little chat over coffee about it one day.

In any case, we're actually not in counselling. My suspicions about what my husband needed were confirmed when I talked to my doctor. He said he "knew from the first time he saw me" I was very stressed, and that was at an appt. weeks before the second. He knew what was wrong, but, said nothing. During the second appt, I was on the verge of tears, and I broke down when he prodded me. He said he understood, and had seen plenty of men in the state my husband was in after we talked for a while. He said he knew some counselors who were very good with men, and could help us out.

However, he charged me extra for the time it took to tell me that. He's a busy doctor, I get it, but, that left a sour taste in my mouth. And why didn't he say so when he first saw me, if he knew? Besides, all he really did for my husband was tell me what I needed to hear. Thank you, sir. But, I don't believe your friends will get any of my money until I've at least tried to straighten this out myself.
I'm also worried they might fill his head with compromising ideas about how to view life. That is essentially what he needs- he has no idea what to live for, or why, so, he simply chooses the easiest option. He has no idea how to even place value on the fact that morals and masculinity are displayed by picking the harder option.

He has a lot to learn, but, he'll get there.

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