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Sunday, December 4, 2016
"You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one."

I've read that quote before.  I saw it on a meme last night though and it was exactly what I needed to see! I've been in a holding pattern.  Really, since hubby started recovery.  sigh.  It seems like it's lasted a bit now, maybe a couple months, maybe less.

But, leaving behind the last chapter is so difficult.  I feel like I have been in deep denial about my identity.

I knew who I was.......

I was someone who, "had it all together."  I was prepared, responsible, kind, yadi yada. Well, I don't have it all together anymore.  And it's my fault.  It's my responsibility. 

I feel like both my sponsor and my ex therapist both listened to my story and wanted to make me the good guy and Hubby the bad.  They wanted to say that I was being too hard on myself and that Hubby has big problems and I'm being too easy on him.

This. Just. Isn't. True. And it's not helpful for me. 

I guess, I'm good at convincing people of this, even when I don't want to be. 

Yes, Hubby has big problems.  But, SO DO I!!!  Like, major ones.  It's so easy to look at how much hubby is working and say.  He's only working this many hours per week.  But, guess who else is only working ____ hours per week?  ME!  I know we need more money and I'm not doing anything about it?  Why?

I am complaining about it?  To a certain extent.  I am definitely getting very stressed out about it?

Why I am I not acting?????

That is not Hubby's responsibility.  And anyways, I can't control anything he does.  And even if I do leave him.................. it's not going to be to go find a guy who can support me financially.  So, I have to get this under wraps.

So, now I'm venting at people who want to be nice and pity me for having such a poor mate.  Well, Hubby has strengths where I have weaknesses.  In some ways, we are still a great match.

After high school, I went through a bit of an identity crisis.  A small one, but a real one.  I always considered myself an athlete.......At least for many formative years.  Who was I?  An athlete?  But, then I got injured.  And you know what, this is actually still a sore spot for me.  Evidenced because I get teary when I right about this.  Even though, I came to peace with this many years eyes get watery.  Anyways......  I got injured and decided not to do high jump anymore in order to preserve my back and then just didn't end up doing any intramurals because I was working 2-3 jobs during college and decided to do that instead........ I used to have nightmares/bad dreams about high jump.  I used to high jump in my dreams and then wake up and cry about it.  It didn't take over my life, but it was a transition in identity that I remember being difficult for me.  It was a long time ago and I haven't considered myself an athlete in a long time and I am PERFECTLY ok with that.

But, losses need to be grieved. 

Right now, I am reliving many chapters of my life instead of moving forward.  I am reliving when I first started my business, I am reliving when I first had J and was balancing work and bills and family life really well, I am reliving the time at our old house.

Something I haven't talked much about is that no matter what was happening in our life, I always put "family first."  That was my big thing.  I told Hubby that before getting a divorce I thought a person should go to therapy for as many years as they were together.  I knew there was a limit there, you don't need to be in therapy for 5 years before ending a 10 year relationship, but................ I was very very very serious about commitment....... and the destruction of divorce.  I felt therapy should be tax deductable, etc. etc. etc.  And whenever we had money troubles or anything else, I always prided myself on putting family first.  It was my guiding principle.  Before we had kids, I got lots of marriage books on strengthening the relationship before adding the stress of kids.

Things felt good.  My biggest fear with having kids was "messing up" our relationship.  That's a little blunt and misleading.  But, I knew you needed a strong foundation before adding little ones into the mix.  It was best for everyone!  Oddly enough, it was partially the kids which led to Hubby's trigger for bipolar, I think.  We don't want to say that because he loves the kids more than anything and, in many ways, they keep him going.....  But...........  being a dad triggered him.  He was an orphan, he lost his parents.  When J was born, he took on the parenting duties full time.

I relive that chapter a lot too.  he shared nights with me.  He was there.  He was present.  It was before we lost him entirely.

So, interesting that this post begins with.....  

"You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one."

.......Because, I have simply just relived chapters of my life in this post.  This is what I've been doing lately.  I've also been avoiding getting everything out in details and kind of trying not to relive, yet staying stuck.  So, I haven't been writing all this out and I think that keeps me there even longer.

I've been thinking on that quote since seeing it again last night and it reminded me of something I read a long time ago when learning about trauma.  My Certified Sex Addiction specialist is the first person who told me about it, although it comes from the work of Peter Levine. 

I tried to find it in the book I read in the past and couldn't, so did a quick google.  I can't remember the precise term, but this passage describes it...

"Individuals may also suffer from repetition compulsions, which are unconscious, habitual reenactments of elements of a past traumatic experience (if not repetitions of the precise trauma itself)."

I grabbed it from this article here.....

This is what I've been doing.  So, to give myself credit.  I need help getting myself out of this cycle of reliving my past.  I'm trying to get there, but I do think I need to get into more precise trauma work. I started the Peter Levine book almost a year ago and then put it down, despite finding it extremely valuable.  I am more ready for it then ever before.

I want to look forward to my future again.  And look forward to a future that isn't just dependent upon hubby's therapy. 

I have to go back to the basics. 

What do I enjoy?
What are my goals?
What do I love?

How do I make myself at peace with my life?  And what do I have to do to get there? 

Then, I need to do it. 

So, one more time for that quote from the meme......

"You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one."

Ok..... I'm ready to write my next chapter...   slogan - "Let it begin with me"


  1. This is absolutely beautiful raw vulnerability. Thank you for opening up. How did I not know you got injured?

    I am totally a rereader, both figuratively and literally. In my life, I think they're related, now that I think about it.