Monday, 14 March 2011

After the sex.

He went home.  I went to bed and got barely a night's sleep wondering what on earth I'd done and with a zillion things racing through my mind.  I was also a little bit happy.

The next day we had planned to spend together as it was our daughter's birthday, so we were together all day.  It was a little awkward, but nice.  It felt a bit illicit.  I started to feel uneasy through the day.  I thought I'd just gone and buggered up everything I've worked for over the previous 2 months.  I started to be anxious about what to say and how to draw this back.

In the evening I asked dh to email me his thoughts on everything.

Firstly, you looked beautiful today, not that you dont everyday and even in old jogging bottoms and t shirt you are irresistable. But sometimes its like you are shining like an angel.

About me and you I feel hopeful, since we have looked at the abusive side of things i have always wanted to meet it head on and address my problems (once i realised i was abusive), i have been unsure of whether you even want to stay together and at times very sure that you dont. Last night hasnt changed how i feel about addressing my problems and i dont see it as a guarentee we will be together, i see it as a sign of your intentions and how you feel about me. As to whether we stay together is about how I have changed/will change and if you can accept me back, as at the moment as you know there are still things we disagree about.  Right now all the things we were recently 'discussing' i just feel like they don't matter to me now, i know you may need more than that as anything less than me denouncing my old ways is a compromise, as well as in a few weeks or mths i may feel actually i cant let those things go and self destruct as i cling on to what i see as right.
If I can be the husband you deserve i feel we need to kind of start again, i dont feel like i have been an independant person living in partnership with my wife, it has felt more like we have been a tangled and emotionally volatile ball rolling through life reacting to situations. i want to treat you better in every aspect of our lives. I dont want to fall into the 'controlling man' catergory, but i feel i need to control my life rather that letting run out of control and then blaming you as you are standing next to me when it goes wrong. If i can control my own life at the same time as supporting you through yours i will make myself and you happy.

I fully realise that over the months we may have some more altercations, i hope not but for us to come to an agreeable partnership unless i wake up suddenly free of any former traits then it may take a bit more than just attending coventry 2hrs a week. But please know (especially if things turn a bit sour) I love you R, you are so special to me and i want to give you everything in life that is good.

I love you, i love you, i love you
I read this and it felt like it might be OK.  Thoughts were still whirling through my mind, and I replied to this email.  I replied over the course of a series of emails as my thoughts kept changing.

Email 1:

I am afraid.  Your email reassures me, but I am still afraid.  Have I made a mistake, should I have maintained a distance for longer?  For your benefit and mine?  I feel I have none of the answers so I have to try to go with my gut feelings and hope that it turns out the right way in the end.   
I think your description of the volatile emotional ball is a good one and is how I picture it too.  I am just unsure right now how much if any of that was engineered deliberately by you?  The book seems to say quite clearly that actions by the abuser to control, manipulate and confuse are deliberate but what I seem to hear from you is that it never has been.  This makes me confused and then I wonder if this is a new trick?  I think most of my reaction to your abusiveness over the years has been shock (that someone would say/do that) disbelief (that *you* would say/do that to *me*) then confusion (I can't believe you would so I must be wrong/have misunderstood etc) Now I distrust you and myself, because I have beenwrong so often and I know thatyou have at least consciously contributed to that over the years.  So how on earth can I be confident in myself choosing to act in ways everyone everywhere says are wrong??  Getting involved again, believing you are being honest and truthful, hoping you will see it all through and change.  It all points to me being naiive and allowing myself to be hurt again... 
I wonder how we should start over again.  I am aware of my victim reactions and really struggle to control them.  I overwhelmingly want to dismiss my fears and 'get back to normal' because anything else is terrifying.  When you say or do something I feel uncomfortable or upset over it's really hard for me to stand up and say so (dunno if you can believe that but its true).  I have had to be forcing myself to make rational decisions for the last two months, believing it is for the best.  They don't come naturally and I have been forcing myself to ignore my victim, emotional reactions.  It has been a minute to minute struggle.  I think I have failed over the last 24 hours, but I hope it is not all lost.  The last two months have been the hardest of my life and I don't want yo do that again, but I am opening myself up for that. 
Do either of us know how to conduct ourself in a good, healthy relationship? I don't know how we would go about starting that, but think we should probably wait to start again til you are further in theprogramme? Or should we start slowly now? Dating maybe......obce a week or something?  I am so scared of making a fucked up stupid decision.  I feel like I have done that so often and have had so much pain as a result.  What is wrong with me that I am choosing that possibility again? 
But, god, I love you too A.  More than you can probably ever know.  Am I the biggest idiot in the world?  I wish I knew the future. 
I guess pouring out my ongoing pain and confusion is no help to either of us but there it all is anyway.

 Email 2:

I am obviously in purge/revalation mode so gonna keep going....

I know I have issues including but not only:  1. A desperate need to be loved and 2. A desperate fear that you won't or don't.  Irrational but present in me.  Driving lots of my behaviour over our 14 year relationship.

I do show all the behaviour associated with Stockholm Syndrome.  I am painfully aware that the last 24 hours I have been reacting to the fear/shock/disbelief that I felt as a result of your email.  I wonder if I have fallen into the cycle again.  Being hurt and then relief at someone taking the pain away, even though the person who caused both was the same person (you).  Does this make everything I have just done/felt a sad part of being a victim?  

This is what I amworried about.  Am I still making abuse victim decisions and reacting purely in that capacity?  I think it's too soon for me to believe the answer could be no.  This scares me.
Email 3:

I think I would like to step back again.  I am hoping to get abuse counselling sorted out this week so that I can be confident and reach a place where I am a strong and independent woman who doesn't rely on you for all my self worth and to feel loved.  So that I can hopefully make healthy decisions and conduct a healthy relarionship. I am nowhere near that yet. 
I want to get some distance again so I can think clearly.  I think maybe we start to rebuild our friendship, try to get some time to ourselves but I am not ready to get back into relationship mode yet.  Know i love you and this is want I want.  But I also want it to be right, for us and the kids.  I hope this doesn't piss you off but I think it is for the best. 
Let's start slowly and hopefully build some strong foundations for our future.
I felt so much better after going through all these fears and emotions and telling him!  And also felt relieved that I'd said that I was not happy with what had happened.

I thought I would be able to tell a lot from his reply to this, which came the next morning:
 I totally agree and echo your feelings about having space to be your own person. The other night i had 2 things on my mind once it was apparent you were in a 'friendly' frame of mind the first was obviously desire to have sex with you, you are a hot woman R and difficult to resist. The other thing I was very conscious of was by either having sex or not would you see that as giving me control of you again. If I said no and left, would you feel worse afterwards. At the time I felt whatever happens because you have laid your emotional cards on the table you would feel bad afterward. I didnt take advantage of you but I do think I should have recognised you were very vulnerable and I should have showed restraint, so maybe I did take advantage......... 
As far as physical relationship I will do whatever you want, i think we should abstain from intimate affection until we are properly ready. I don't know how long that will be but I think when we both feel ready we will know, the other night did feel wrong as from my point of view it was driven by desire and missing you. If you think we should set a time span that would be fine and if you wanted to then extend till whenever I will understand and respect that. 
Depending on next few weeks and discussing difficult things, maybe we could meet socially somehow for an hour or so? 
I love you, you do whatever you need to I will put no pressure and help when I can.
He had the children that day and I spent the day chilling out, reading, a bit of housework, baked a cake, went to my eldest daughter's show etc.  It was my dh's birthday, so I got him a card and wrote something inside that showed that I hope we can eventually work things out.  (I hope).

So today - the Monday after the weekend before! - I am feeling really positive.  The tumultuous previous week has taught me a lot.  I'm not overly happy with all my actions, but I know why I chose them so I am not beating myself up over it all.

I feel that the two months of total distance from dh was good for me, but I need longer.  It won't be total distance now.  I have said that I am happy to meet up - away from the house - once a week for a couple of hours, maybe in a pub, restaurant, go for a walk etc (just meet up away from the home and kids).  For the forseeable future - maybe six months - I think this is how our relationship will be.  Separate, but we will spend a couple of hours a week together.

I don't know how it will work out, but it does feel like the right step at this time.

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I appreciate all your comments, advice and support.