Cor its unbelievable, it could have been me writing these Posts......
Infact my eldest said to me the other day
"Mum, your trouble was & still is, is that you have always been subservient,& everybody reconizes this. So therefore,coz you can never say NO everybody walks all over you.Maybe, as much as it upsets me that you & Dad are Divorced, it might be the making of you, IF YOU LET IT!!!!!! "
Was that an eye opener.
My 2 adult children are the ones giving me the lectures & the stern talk to...
How the roles have reversed.
I love them both to bits & am so proud of them both.
Fear is the key word.
The fear of being on my own.
The fear of making decisions.
The fear of having to take control of my own finances.
The fear now is that I have to believe in myself.Stand up on my own 2 feet & be counted.
For so long,he made all the decisions,had the last word on things.
Yes, I had hate to say it but he was "The Bread Winner"
I always worked P/T (mainly coz we needed the money)
But mainly, we both decided when the children came along,I would be the "Stay at Home Mum "
Over the years,its amazing how the YOU becomes, well unreconizeable.....
I''ve been up on & off all night.
Now there is yet another Sunday to contend with........
Eliza I think for me it was more about a way of being rather than specifically knowing what to do all the time.
No one has all the answers in life. I still am working stuff out, we all are its a lifelong journey. I''ve learned far more from my mistakes than things that were easily accomplished. My divorce ended up teaching me the most about myself. I am grateful everyday for those lessons.
I agree with the posts from FOS and also the last one says something important. If you don''t respect yourself others won''t. Classic example is this. I worked for years in a job that I loved working my way up the company. I was with my ex at the time and I had little self worth. I can''t blame him for that BTW the reason I ended up with someone like him was for that reason. Because of my ex''s limitations and my own people pleasing tendencies, my self worth got worse. Anyway although I was working my way up the company and doing well, they would never pay me anything near the going rate for the job. They brought people in with less experience than me and paid them much more. I was just grateful for my job and my promotions so I never said anything. I knew I was selling myself short, it hurt me everyday. But I just let it go thinking I didn''t deserve any better.
Anyway, fast forward, I get made redundant and those newer more highly paid people got to stay in the company. Years of top performance ratings etc, five promotions in ten years from graduate to director made no difference. My ex took off at this point too, the walking purse had gone out of business (HRHs description and he is right) I had to leave despite slogging my guts out (people pleasers are good at that) and then they tried to screw me on the redundancy pay. Well, for the first time I stood up to them properly. I got was I was due. Think they thought I was so subservient they could get rid of me on the cheap. Didn''t happen. It felt good for the first time standing up strongly yet professionally for myself.
I took this new attitude into a new job. Self respect, not people pleasing I mean. This time I don''t need to fight to be treated properly. I get paid properly for what I do. No conversation necessary. I''ve been promoted twice there in three years. I''m certain my new colleagues sense that I am not someone who will take being dicked around. It''s all in the mindset and attitude. It''s not about having an attitude or being angry and bitter. That''s never been it for me. It''s about knowing ones own worth and not settling for less than I deserve. I don''t particularly behave differently really. I just have self respect and people instinctively know the difference between those that do and those who don''t and treat accordingly.
It''s also worth mentioning karma here. Those people that were more highly paid that got to stay in my old company either were forced out of the company some months later on much less favourable terms than I got. Not only that but those people now are either actively seeking work or in jobs that are not the same level. The ones who are left behind in the old company are trying to get out because it''s now so awful and join me at my new company.
The old company have tried to get me back too and I refused to engage. Think they realised when I''d gone that I was doing the work of two people for 50% less than the going rate. I am happily now paid what I''m worth and respected at the new company much more than I ever was at the old one. That''s what a difference in mindset can bring. I pretty much do my job the same, although I no longer slog my guts out. This was brought into focus when my new boss sat me down after a few weeks and said to me that he understood the environment I had come from and he didn''t expect people to work themselves into the ground. I was told to take things more steady. Amazing!
For me, things started to get better when I actively worked on my codependency and made a decision that I would do the best I could for me rather than obsessing and focussing on him and what he did and why. Because ultimately my marriage was a sham, a delusional fantasy where I thought I could connect with someone who had no capacity to care for anyone apart from himself and his own needs. When I addressed the things that led me into that situation, my life began to change beyond my wildest expectations. Believe me, the breakthrough is all in turning the focus around to you. Then you will understand your own potential. That is standing in your own power.
Great stuff, you phrase it so well Shoegirl. It''s oddly comforting to view my marriage as a delusional sham too, all the evidence points to my STBX being an emotionally retarded controlling narcissist and me a doormat, feeling guilty for not meeting his ridiculous demands. I certainly need to stop dwelling on those injustices and focus on why I let it happen, and never let it happen again.
That''s precisely it Vastra. The important thing is understanding and reprocessing your understanding of the marriage. I got slated here by one or two at first for ruminating. The point was I found that I needed to reprocess and reinterpret what had happened in my marriage to break through the denial and delusion. Going over things and shifting my perception from inadequate hopeless ugly wife to a real understanding that I was abused and then finally understanding the part I played in enabling and allowing this to happen to me was a massive shift. It took years to be able to see this all clearly. I found blame unhelpful in the end, my ex and I found each other because of our respective limitations. If I''d had self worth, that chancer wouldn''t have got past the first date. He wasn''t great at hiding who he really was. I just was too pathetically grateful for his attention that I chose not to notice the MASSIVE red flags.
Ultimately I came to understand my ex was and is emotionally unavailable and unable to comprehend that there is a bigger purpose to life than his own self fulfilment (often at the expense of others I should add) Once I gave up trying to fix him or feeling like I was responsible for his limitations then life just began to work again. I found me again and began to understand my own potential to change my life.
We all have the power. We have the power to do what we want when we want how we want. But as eliza rightly alluded to, its not obvious where to apply this power and actually what do we do with it. This I full on understand.
Part of the problem is the task seems massive. And for you Eliza, its doing things that you have never had to do before. Its not like learning a few tricks. You have to learn how to first, open the box. What tool. Which way up. Wheres the flap and so on. And when you have the box open, the tricks are in bits and they need to be assembled. Where is the instructions. How do I read instructions written in Chinese and so on and so on.
But there is one overriding principle when dealing with a massive task that we have no idea how to achieve. And that is to cut it into chunks.
And its very frustrating when people are going about divorce and appointing solicitors. Getting Consent Orders. Selling the house. Decree Nisi. Decree unobtainable. And so on.
So what I would do first Eliza is back track a bit. Right the way back. Forget divorce and solicitors and all that cobblers. What do you need to know to function on a day to day basis? Cut that task down into chunks and then fast forwards until you find a chunk that you dont understand. Learn that part. Do some work on that bit and pop it onto the windowsill and pick another chunk up and process that. And little by little you will move all of it forwards until one day... Its all done.
Of course you will get pressure to get this done or get that done. But be a master at doing things in your own time when your ready. There is no mad rush. Some chunks can wait a bit and you dont have to do it all at once. No one can do that.
Lastly. We all talk the talk. But not many can walk the walk. And the problem is, that its easy to forget that we all at one time had absolutely no idea what to do. FFS I couldn''t even do an omelette at one time. C.
You always had the power !!
Did you have a great time when you were younger and single ? Could you go where you wanted, do what you wanted, spend the money available on what you liked. Were you tied down to anything at all or was the world your oyster??
Then along comes someone who loves who you are but over time they change you.
Then they tell you that you are the worst thing since sliced bread gone mouldy.
And because you trusted them you believed them !!
Were you always this weak slobering idiot who somehow fell down the deep hole of depression thinking the whole world was against you because just one person said it. I know I was.
Then I found that people actually liked me. Wanted to know me. Invited me out. Helped me through the worst patches.
Now that I look back I see that I achieved soooo much. Holidays, Ran my house. Earned money. Had a social life. Ran a business.
Wow !! New friends. New circles. New experiences. Survived 2 operations in hospital. No debts. Dated extensively.
Where was the power to do all these things in the depths of my depression ??? Inside me although I didn''t see it. It ran on auto pilot.
Did I survive. Yep. Have I got the life I want now? Maybe not quite got there yet but the only thing restricting me from doing what I want is ME !!!
My house is as I want it with colours and pictures as I want. It doesn''t matter whether there is a pile of clothes on the floor or the vac is not used for a day. Those can wait as I am so busy doing what I want to do....not what someone else wants me to do or be.
Its been nearly 7 years now and nothing stops me from doing what I want. Why?
Because I do not rely on anyone else for anything and have not handed the power to someone else.
So make your aim to be like the person you were before you met your x !!
We all have the power, but not always the means. If you open the toolbox, and find it empty because your husband stole all the tools to pay for sweets, you would feel powerless and lost. I would.
You have that power, you just need to focus on the basics first, then you''ll be in a better position to be yourself, whoever that has become.
Remember the pyramid of nerds? First is , then shelter, then companionship, last is spirituality. Tell me if you meet God on the way out of this mess;-)