During Week 2 of Affair Recovery’s Hope for Healing’s seventeen week program the participants are asked to answer the question, “How did I get here?” and read it to the small group.
A benefit of this experience is that it reminds me that there is nothing unique in my actions. That what I did is not better or worse than the behavior of the 40 percent of other men and women that betrayed their Love(s), lives and self. Just the nuance is different.
Although I have talked about this in bits and pieces in other posts I thought this was an accurate reflection of where I am today and in this moment.
I’m sharing this with you because when things were at the worse for me I thought I was alone. You are not alone.
Also, a reminder for you: if you betrayed your Love(s), life, and self I want you to know there is nothing you did that makes you unredeemable, unloveable, and unworthy of forgiveness and acceptance. It may not be forgiveness or acceptance from your primary or secondary partners, but regardless of what others think of you, your life will move forward. How you move forward is your choice.
Lastly, if no one else says this to you today, “You are loved exactly as you are regardless of what you have done. Seek to own only what is true and not what others imagine is true about you.”
Below is my response to AR’s question.
See you around Space Cowboy.
How Did I Get Here?
I am here because I betrayed my Love(s), life, and self. My current situation is the result of keeping secrets and telling an escalating series of lies to people that I love and that love(d) me. I did this in order to avoid being vulnerable and appearing weak in front of people that I love and that love(d) me.
I am here because I’ve spent much of my life unaware of the extend I am wounded by my parent’s alcoholism, abuse and neglect, and the resulting emotional and social isolation.
I am here because the skills I brought to my intimate relationships made me ill-prepared to love and accept love. As a result I utilized dishonesty, manipulation, and avoidance to prove, and maintain my value to others.
I am here because in my most intimate relationships I put my need to be loved and accepted ahead of my values. My intentions were betrayed by my inability to act accordingly on a consistent basis.
I am here because the skills I have made me ill prepared to transform my anxieties, attachment issues, issues of abuse into something constructive in my life. My fear of risk, uncertainty, and being ridiculed, harassed, bullied, and abandoned resulted in selfish and self centered choices that harmed, hurt, and wounded people I love and that love(d) me.
I am here because I have moved from one relationship to another without reflection, thoughtfulness, and compassion. I didn’t take the time to learn lessons and heal the wounds inherent to love and life.
I am here because I betrayed my wife and slept with other women. I slept with multiple women in my marriage to stem my terror of not being enough, being abandoned, and being unwilling to articulate my needs and wants. I believed the stories my shame told me that I would never be enough for my wife and she was going to divorce me.
I am here because I betrayed my next partner of seven years because I slept with my ex wife. I did this because I didn’t maintain boundaries, felt I was responsible to fix her feelings, and didn’t know how to walk away from her pain. I made her feelings my responsibility.
I am here because I broke my commitments to myself and to other people.
I am here, because knowing all of this, I did nothing and pursued relationships with women I thought could fix me instead of pursuing growth and vulnerability.