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Thread: Thekid55's Healing Journal

  1. #791
    Platinum Member thekid55's Avatar
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    Dropping by for another update.

    The biggest lesson that I've learned through this entire process: You're responsible for yourself and yourself alone. It doesn't mean that you need to be heartless, rather you have to make sure you're happy with yourself before anything else. I spent so many years catering to the needs/wants of others that I lost sight of what made me happy. (e.g., I was codependent on my ex-wife, I did literally everything to help my Mom, but it was never enough for her, which led to me feeling shame). I can't worry about what happened in the past/ask myself what I would have done differently, etc. The past is the past. All I can do is learn from it and change my own behavior.

    Also, setting boundaries is huge. I always let people steamroll through my boundaries. Both of my parents were people pleasers, so it's behavior that I saw and thought was normal. It is not normal, at all. People will take advantage of you if you don't have any boundaries/bend over backwards to please them. My Dad would constantly complain that my Mom didn't treat him well/was mean, but he failed to act and never stood up for himself. I used to feel bad for him, but I don't anymore. He failed to act as a man and that had residual effects. I allowed it to affect me, which I own and accept, so I had to take time to learn from the situation, fix my own thinking and move forward in a healthy way.

    Over the last few months, I've slowly started to change. I have more boundaries and I've been putting myself first. I've made sure that I'm happy and doing things that I want to do. A lot of people that have been in my life for a long time have reacted negatively to this because it's a clear change in my behavior and they aren't getting the same reaction as before. Some want to try to steamroll and control---and I'm not letting it happen anymore. My ex-wife was hell-bent on getting a reaction from me, but I never gave it to her. My Mom loves to try to shame me that I "Don't do enough for her", but I know my truths. My Dad wants me to accept his new wife, but there's a clear conflict of values. He opted to have an affair with her and marry her. I believe in always being honest and true---and having an affair is not being honest and true. It's one thing to handle your business and start a new relationship---it's another to have an affair for years and then act like it's all good when you finally grow a pair to end your existing marriage.

    I've spent so much time in counselling, self-reflection, self-study, reading, etc. that I've totally transformed my outlook and mindset for the better. Onwards.

  2. #792
    Platinum Member thekid55's Avatar
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    Back for another update. Overall, things are good. All of my divorce paperwork is signed and filed with the court. Just need a judge to sign-off on it and I'm finished. I made my first alimony payment to my ex last week, so I only have 11 more to go. Short-term, it'll hurt a little, but long-term, I'll be okay. I'm working for one of the largest companies in the world right now and am working in a strategic role for them. Things are good and I'm super optimistic about the future even though some of the tasks/duties/responsibilities can be boring/dull.

    My new girlfriend is great. We've been dating for a few months--and we're having a lot of fun. She wants more and more of time and presence, which is cool. She just started a new job, so I'm trying to give her a lot of time and space to get situated. We've been going to fun shows, fun events, etc.

    I know a lot of people have given me grief over 'jumping' into another relationship, but honestly, I operate much differently now than I did with my ex. Things I've improved upon from the last relationship to this relationship:

    1. I've gotten very, very good at just listening. I've stopped trying to be a problem solver and have just shown more compassion and understanding. I've learned that it's disrespectful to try to 'fix' someone's life or offer advice when they don't ask for it.
    2. I've gotten very good at ask questions and setting boundaries. I try to put the attention on other people 90% of the time and just listen. I try to interject with my own experiences when the time is right, but more times than not, I just let them talk. I find listening to other people to be very interesting.
    3. I give people a lot of space. I don't bombard anyone (e.g., girlfriend, friends, family, co-workers) and just let them come to me. I have plenty of things to keep me busy.
    4. Positive encouragement. I try to be the biggest cheerleader in the world for my friends, girlfriend, etc. I try to pump everyone up because the world is just so negative now.
    5. I'm more assertive with my wants/needs/desires. If something doesn't suit me, I express it. I'm not afraid to have an unpopular opinion.

    That's it for now. I'll catch ya later.

  3. #793
    Platinum Member thekid55's Avatar
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    Hi all, dropping in for another update. It's been a few things---and things are good. My girlfriend and I have been having lots of fun, going out a lot, and just enjoying life. We've been spending time with friends, going to football games, going to parties, etc. We both are developing feelings for each other, but I'm still very cautious.

    I heard from ex last week. I have to pay her alimony for 12 months and thus far, I've made two payments. The second payment was delayed due to a bank error. When she asked me about the error, I sent her the schedule of all payments and left it at that. The schedule had confirmation numbers, delivery dates, etc. I don't think she read the schedule at all because two days later, I got a really mean text from her (She must know about my new g/f, who is a blonde):

    "Thekidd, I don't care if your blonde girl's only task on the 1st of the month is to find me and hand deliver my money so it's delivered on time. Make sure it's delivered. I did not nothing wrong to you, I was your wife, I tried my best, and I respected our marriage. You pulled me through the mud for no reason. The least you can do is do what you agreed to." (I didn't respond to this because I sent her the schedule of payments once the banking error was fixed.)

    A few hours later, I get this message "*Sorry, correction: only task that day is to hand deliver my check instead of bl0wing you. Make sure it's delivered".

  4. #794
    Platinum Member thekid55's Avatar
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    Hi all, popping by for another update. A long time, a wise man told that life is measured in decades, not years. Since there's less than 1 month remaining in this decade, it's a good time to reflect.

    I started this decade the same way I'm finishing: grinding and working hard. In 2010, I was a junior in college, doing two internships and networking like crazy. Now, in December 2019, I'm working for the largest media company in the world in a director role. All of the hard work that I put in at the beginning of the decade has paid off. I'm enjoying my current experience, but I know it's not a long-term thing. That's a post for another day, though.

    I started this decade going through a tough break-up, but my ex and I ultimately got back together and were married for about 5 years. I'm ending this decade by leaving that relationship behind, for good, and starting a new chapter in my life. My family life has been up-and-down, but that's life when you're dealing with different people, different personality, people start aging, etc.

    I only thing that really, really bothered me was how my divorce went down, financially. I spent 8+ years being the breadwinner for my now ex-wife and I. I did everything in my power to provide for us, I worked so many hours, I pivoted when the time was right, took on new projects/opportunities, and helped pay of $50,000+ of her student loan debt, bought her new cars (in cash). I did all of this out of love because I loved her and love being a provider. What I didn't like, however, was how she refused to give me $15,000 for our joint expenses (She had at least $80,000 in cash in the bank) and I still have to pay her alimony for 9 more months. The alimony isn't tax deductible, either.

    It's just demoralizing to work so hard, for so long, and see many of the benefits walk away in the divorce. What I did learn, though, is that you need to be happy, no matter what. I wasn't happy in my marriage anymore, so I needed to blaze a new trail for myself.

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  6. #795
    Platinum Member thekid55's Avatar
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    Back for another update. I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!

    My new girlfriend and I celebrated Christmas about a week ago; we went to a show, exchanged gifts (she went way above and beyond for me, I got her tickets to a show that she really wanted to see.), and had a nice dinner. Her family lives in the south, so she went down there for Christmas. Ironically, my Dad moved and lives about an hour away from my girlfriend's family, so I'm flying down there for the weekend. I'll see my girlfriend, Dad, Dad's wife in some warm weather. Hopefully, this is a good visit.

    Last weekend, I did a volunteer event for some underprivileged kids. The kids are full of energy and just wild at times, but that keeps it fun. These kids have tough relationships at home, so spending time, taking them to a show was great. I also went to two Christmas parties, which was awesome. I went to one party with my girlfriend's friends, a lot of whom I've gotten close with. I also went to another party with my lifelong friends back at home. Due to the events of my life, I haven't seen most of these friends much over the last few years. Things have just gotten crazy and I shut down on purpose. Fortunately, we can all pick-up where we left off and we had a great time.

    After the Christmas parties, I decided to visit my Mom and spend a few days (Dec 22nd-26th) during Christmas with her. Our visit started a little rocky; she brought up some family issues and I expressed disappointment and hurt that my words/feelings were never being considered. My Mom never listens or addresses my words; rather she just spins things back on herself. I closed the conversation by saying that we 'agree to disagree' and went to bed for the night. On the 23rd, I woke up early and went to a friend's house so I could work for a few hours. I've known this particular friend for nearly my entire life and we were always best friends. I haven't seen him as frequently over the last few years due to all of the drama and crapp going in my life. I shut down and in turn, shut important people out of my life because I just felt hurt and not like myself and didn't want others to see me like that.

    Anyway, I returned back to Mom's after seeing my friend---and she started throwing all of these daggers at me. She said some really harmful, nasty things to me about me, my life choices, my girlfriend, etc. She's a mentally sick woman, so I have a hard time in this scenario because I need boundaries in my life and I've gone through this same exact scenario many, many times over the last few years. Still, I give her chance after chance. I agreed to stay---as long as she didn't pull anymore crapp. She was fine--until Christmas Day. We had a nice day on Christmas Eve (took her to an appointment, got her good food for dinner, got breakfast things for us for Christmas morning, my sister came over for Xmas Eve and she had fun). Heck, on Christmas morning, we made breakfast together and had fun. Things turned sour when she couldn't physically get out of her bed and I tried joking with her to make her feel better. She reacted her negatively and started her guilt tripping. She even said to me that we've both tried to have a relationship---and she thinks she shouldn't have a relationship anymore. A few minutes later, she fell asleep, and once again, I felt crushed and went for a run. After an internal debate on whether to leave or stay, I left and made the 3-hour trek home. She was asleep when I left and I left her a note. Merry Christmas, right?

    I didn't write much about this above, but My Mom loves to guilt-trip me that I "left her all alone on the holidays over the last few years", I'm viewed as a monster by her friends and our family for 'deserting her' after my parent's divorce, etc. It's just manipulation and over the last few years, I've distanced myself, only to give her another chance a 4-6 months later. Mentally and emotionally, I feel much better when I have distance from her. Whenever I'm with her, I figure that it's just a matter of time until she turns on me, has a breakdown, etc. It costs me a lot of time, energy, and money to visit her ($100/visit in transportation) only to leave disappointed 80% of the time. At times, I think that she tries to slot me into the role my Dad had. My Dad took her verbal abuse for 20 years--until he ended the marriage and left. Now, my Mom is trying to slot me into that role--and I won't take it.

  7. #796
    Platinum Member thekid55's Avatar
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    Time to reflect on the last decade, and more specifically, 2019. Overall, this past decade was a decade filled with growth, valuable life experience, and a lot of lessons. Some of my main accomplishments from the last decade:

    • Graduated from college with a double major & honors;
    • Landed a valuable first job in consulting that reinforced my work ethic. When the time was right, I pivoted to bigger opportunities and have worked for the two largest media companies in the world. I accomplished all of this by 30.
    • With my personal relationships, I experienced some high points (engagement, marriage) and some low points (divorce, family relationships falling apart, distance with some friends). However, each of these experiences thought me valuable lessons. I've learned relationships are not meant to last forever. Sometimes, relationships fall apart for a reasons that are explainable (one or both people out-grew the relationship, the relationship ran its course) and not explainable (I don't know what goes through other's heads, but I don't have any control.)
    • I've experiment with a lot of different projects (built a sports website, dabbled in various investments, had success playing games). All of these experiences have taught me to enjoy success and also how to overcome failure.
    • Learning how to accept things for what they are. At the end of the day, I can only control myself, my own thoughts, and my own actions. I must live with myself and my decisions. At the beginning of the decade, I always wanted things to be perfect. Life ain't perfect, thekid55. Buckle up and enjoy the ride. When things get tough, you'll learn more about yourself.
    • In terms of physical fitness, I ran a half marathon, got into amazing shape, feel better than I ever have in my life.
    • I've traveled a lot. I've seen a lot of different places (Europe, Caribbean, various parts of the U.S.). I will continue to explore and take adventures.
    • I've sought out mentors and have done a ton of reading about self-improvement, self-growth, etc. Reading is always a good way to 'steal' someone else's brain and get insight from a different perspective. Most people want to stay 'stuck'--and a lot of people reacted negatively when they saw me grow (and keep growing). When you keep evolving as a person, most people won't like it because you're breaking the mold/idea they had for you. Instead, focus on the ones that are celebrating your success. That's all that matters!
    • Swallowing my pride and go to counselling. I put that as an accomplishment because too many people don't go due to their ego. In time, I mustered the strength to go and deal with my demons. I cried once or twice in the counsellor's office, but it was part of my path forward. I also accepted that I was co-dependent on others (my Mom, my Dad, my ex-wife). I stopped focusing inwards and kept focusing on others. I've learned that isn't healthy and I always consciously try to focus on myself first.


    When I look back at 2019, I don't see a lot of pain; rather I see a lot of valuable growth. Some of these growth areas include:

    • Finally accepting that my marriage had run its course. For the last few years, things didn't feel right. My parents' divorce, which I've detailed at length, definitely changed me as a person. In fact, my parent's divorce showed me that life is too short to be unhappy. My parents gutted it out for a long time--and just weren't happy. I didn't want to go down that same path, so I made a change for myself and my future. Did that change come with emotional and financial consequences? Yes, it did, but long-term, it will all work out.
    • Accepting my relationship with my terminally ill mother. There are a lot of highs, lot of lows, but one thing has remained constant; boundaries. I've maintained strong boundaries with her and that has led to more peace. If she does something I don't like/if she tries to purposely hurt me with her words, I call it out directly and I've left to go home numerous times. It shows her that I won't tolerate it.
    • Accepting my relationship with my Dad and his new wife. Earlier this year, we got into an argument/dispute over it. However, I got to visit him and her during the holidays. I took the high road, saying that I'm happy for them and just want peace. They were both overjoyed and actually cried that they were so happy to have me back in their life. I'm not putting any expectations on those relationships and just enjoying them for what they are.
    • I've started dating someone new, who is a much, much better fit for me. She's very sweet, nice, and just fun to be around. At some point, I stopped having fun. Her energy, love for life, and spirit has brought that fun back into my life. We'll see where it goes, but we're just enjoying each other and letting the good times roll.
    • I was hired full-time by the Company that acquired my previous employer. Due to stupid politics, it's been challenging thus far and I don't think it's a long-term fit. Five years ago, if you would have told me that I'd have my current job, I'd be over the moon. However, I've changed and my priorities have changed. For now, it's helping pay the bills, but I've got my eyes open and my next path will show itself soon.
    • I've restored some friendships with my childhood friends. We're all living in different places, doing different things, but we all love each other and love being together. Over the last few years, I took my eye off of these friendships due to the turmoil of my life, but things are turning around. The friendships are a little different, but with age and time, that is to be expected.
    Last edited by thekid55; 01-03-2020 at 11:53 PM.

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