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Losing my progress

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by leb10, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. leb10

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    I haven't updated in a little while and just wanted to put some thoughts out there even if they're dark and scary.

    It's been two months since I told my husband that I'm gay. It's been incredibly rocky and then oddly calm between the two of us. At the end of June, he found out that he was going to the west coast for business in the middle of July. He was adamant that I needed a break and had to come with him and even arranged for his parents to watch the kids. I didn't think the trip was a good idea because I don't know how to move forward and didn't want to give him false hope. He got a little hysterical at my hesitance to go so I booked the ticket.

    We got back a week ago. The locale was beautiful and I got a little bit of alone time which I really needed. I spent that Monday I had to myself trying to be gayer as an experiment. I went to the "gay" side of the beach and hung out there for the morning, let my eyes wonder a little, smiled at the gay guys I saw at lunch, and read a lesbian novel. It felt great. I didn't interact with anyone but it gave me a little confidence.

    The rest of the week I had less time to myself and the time I spent with my husband was super confusing. I still enjoy his company. We still laugh sometimes. But there's a constant elephant in the room. The first night of our trip, we had a bunch of drinks and he told me that however things go between us, we'll still have our kids. That was nice to hear? I took it as a good thing and let the rest of evening go with the flow. We ended up having really good sex at 2 AM. But I'm 99% sure it was more related to the alcohol I had than attraction to him. It sounds terrible when I write that out.

    Later in the week, I started feeling worse emotionally. I went down very a negative mental spiral while we were trying to take a nap one afternoon before dinner. I felt such intense self loathing and general inadequacy that built up until I wanted to hurt myself. I was laying there with his arm draped over me thinking about how trapped I was and how I would always feel like I need to just try harder to be happy. I tried to mentally count the number of ibuprofen tablets we brought and if it was enough to "do the job" then thought a razor could do it too. It terrified me that I even thought about something so dangerous so I woke him up and had really terrible sex just to feel something different. I haven't told anybody about that episode. My husband has felt my emotional distance but we haven't talked about anything since before the trip. Bringing our situation up again feels almost as hard as it felt before the first time I told him I was gay.

    It scares me that I consider the feasibility of repressing this forever to keep living my current life. I think about how no relationship is perfect and not feeling attracted to my husband is just the "not perfect" flaw I have to deal with because I have been blessed in so many areas of my life. That I need to change and just keep improving so I can leave my less desirable parts behind. That my kids deserve the life we built with two incomes, a stable and supporting homelife and two full time parents. But then as soon as I think that, a piece of my screams and I start the circular inner dialogue all over.

    I hope sometimes that I'm not a lesbian but just really depressed and going through a severe self sabotage episode because I might be able to overcome that. I wish I could talk about more of my dark emotions with someone but I'm afraid to get that honest. I found out before I left that my therapist is leaving the practice and I need to start with someone new. While I didn't connect with her as much as I wanted to, it feels like a momentous task to call the referral counselor. I feel like I've quickly lost the small bit of progress I made. Everything still appears ok on the outside but now I don't have a therapist, my husband appears more optimistic, and I feel crazier than ever. All I can think about when I'm not consumed with childcare or work or how much I need to stay, is what it would be like to meet a nice girl, kiss her, and feel the world shift a little. I can't feel anything emotionally right now other than negative things and it sucks. I'm not sure I'll ever let myself accept that I can divorce my husband and change our family dynamic. Sometimes that's all I want and and sometimes I don't know if I'll be any happier as a lesbian.

    Now that I'm at the end of my post I can't seem to stop reviewing and editing so I can click "post" because I'm telling myself I'm being far too dramtic. This leads to such intense desire to delete the damn whole post, lock these emotions away and pretend everything is fine tomorrow when the sun comes up. Ugh. I'm so exhausted. Thanks for reading if you made it this far down.
     
  2. Searching1

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    @leb10 I am so incredibly sorry for what you have been going through. I know it was not easy to share that, but I'm proud of you for being so honest. This is some serious life shit we are going through. I'm currently crying sitting at the beach in the dark looking out at Tahoe lake while my husband give me space to be on my own. None of this is easy. I have so many moments I think what the HELL am I doing. I'm crazy. I'm losing everything wonderful and hurting everyone around me.

    I have found that the weeks I hold things in from my husband I suffer the internal battle and it hurts so bad. Things have been so open now.. but it is following a few weeks of agony on his end. You need to talk to someone about what you are feeling- whether it's a therapist, husband, or close friend. It's too much to handle on our own. I have had my own periods of feeling insane and experiencing panick. Now that my husband is accepting that everything is happening, I am just wanting to take a step back to see if this is what I want.

    Please keep posting and expressing how you feel on here at least. Don't keep in your head. I hope you are keeping a journal. And I hope you get seeing a new therapist soon! Sending so much love your way ❤️
     
  3. Lucky in Life

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    leb 10 I am so, so sorry to hear you are having such a rough time of it. Please take good care of yourself, and I completely agree with findingmyself1 in the hope that you'll talk about these issues with someone you trust.

    Both of you - leb 10 and findingmyself1 - are going through such a difficult, painful time right now and all of us here on EC are always here. You are both so brave, and so honest. We're rooting for ya!
     
    #3 Lucky in Life, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
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  4. Mysteria

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    I'm so sorry you're struggling so much! I'm really concerned; take it from someone who has been there; you want to stop those kinds of thoughts right in their tracks. They can become terrifyingly logical quickly if it's not dealt with.
    Do you have a PFLAG or an LGBT center in your town or someone who might be able to recommend a gay-friendly therapist? OTOH, a good counselor is a good counselor; I just looked for one I thought I could click with this time and I couldn't have got luckier. Might I suggest you go see your PCP too? Your depression may very well be situationally induced but medication can still help. No matter how or why you got depressed and/or anxious, the fact is you are, and it might help things keep from being overwhelming. There. I'll get off my soapbox now. :slight_smile:
     
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  5. silverhalo

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    Hey I'm not sure I have many words of wisedom to add but I'm really glad you managed to write the post, sometimes letting things out can help a little.
    I know the future seems scary whichever way you look at it but nothing can be scarier than dealing with those kind of thoughts. Starting a fresh with a new counsellor seems horrible but maybe you can find one you have a real connection with.
    You are doing a great job so far and we are all right here if you need us.
     
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  6. Moonsparkle

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    Hi Leb10,

    I think it is interesting that if you reread your post you will see that the only time you felt great and felt confident in all of it is when you spent some time on the gay side of the beach. This seemed to be a place where you felt comfortable, comfortable enough where you could just sit and enjoy reading your book. I almost sense that you found this to be a place where you could take a deep breath, let it out, be at peace, and be comfortable being you. And as you navigate all of this I would not lose sight or how your day at the gay beach made you feel. There's a big takeaway here.

    I am not sure I have any advice here either, other than like others have said, I can identify with so many of your feelings. I've kept journals since junior high, mostly just spiral notebooks of random writing, but often with the theme of 'why do I have to be so dramatic?', 'why can't I get it together?' And a bunch of thoughts of how I SHOULD be able to be this way or that way or the other and just be happy. So I certainly understand this line of thinking.

    I'm really glad you didn't delete your post! And I don't think you are being dramatic at all. I think you have outlined your story and simply expressed your emotions attached to all of it. Nothing dramatic there. Just real.
     
  7. MzMrAlexa

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    To me it sounds like you and your husband have just grown but differently. We all grow and though we like to think that we will grow with our partner on parallel paths, more often than not that is not the case and we must choose either to keep what we have (security) or let go for what might be beyond. If you haven't read it there's a short book that I've read a couple of times during periods of life with a lot of change called "Who Moved my Cheese?". It's not about Sexuality or Gender or any of that, it's about accepting and embracing change and it's a very short read.

    And the other thing is that I think most people who discover that the binary / hetero, boy / girl model we were taught doesn't fit us at some point or many go through periods of self-loathing and anger. Some because of the culture we were raised in, because we don't like change, because we didn't ask to feel or be different from the model we were taught was all that there was or because Society isn't necessarily fair. And we don't have the market cornered either as most people are their own worst enemies from time to time, just try to find supportive people who will remind you that You're Ok as you are, and that Change though we may not always want it is necessary and is the rule not the exception.
     
    #7 MzMrAlexa, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
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  8. leb10

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    Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. They were really heartwarming to read this morning. I feel a little more positive when the the sun is up.

    My first step back to a path of progress is to call tomorrow and setup an appointment with the new counselor. And I need to tell her the scary things too. I don't always tell people in my life about heavy things because I don't want to be an emotional burden. But I need to use therapy more effectively because I pay them to listen and help.

    Seriously thank you all for your support. EC has been such a great find for me. It's such a supportive place

    @Findingmyself1 Thanks for your response. I always feel the worst when I think about all of the conventional things I have and how they should make me happy. My getaway trip should have felt like a honeymoon but I don't feel different and that was heartbreaking. Best of luck on the move and I hope you have a better last day at the beach :slight_smile:

    @Lucky in Life I will. Thank you!

    @kunoichi I'm definitely considering medications. It would be nice to ease some of my physical symptoms. I plan to talk about it when I start with my new counselor. Fingers crossed I can get an appointment quickly.

    @silverhalo Thanks for the support. It really helps!

    @Moonsparkle I agree! I feel better when I'm alone or alone with the kids. Being around my husband just makes me feel guilty. When I'm alone I think about what the future could be like and when I'm at home I think that I can't really change anything. I definitely analyze all my feelings to assess if that's what I should feel and it's so counterproductive. I've been trying to use some CBT self talk to help curb that dialogue but it doesn't always work. I'm can be very convincing.

    @MzMrAlexa I like what you said about change. I agree we have grown differently. It'll be the 13th anniversary of our first date on Friday and our lives have changed so much since then. Even if I wasn't struggling with my orientation I think we'd need help letting each other be newer versions of ourselves. And yes - the binary and it's norms are hard to break free of! It's really sad when I think about how hard I've tried to conform, even at an early age when my mother was pushing me to like boys and dress more feminine. I didn't know why I didn't want to at the time and wish I had listened to myself a little more. At least I am now, kinda.
     
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  9. RJay

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    You are so brave. I know it doesn't feel like it, but you are. Thanks for sharing your pain and vulnerability here. I know it helps me when I do it, and it helps everybody else too. Never hold back in therapy!

    I think you are going to get to a place of more clarity soon... like I did. Once you get there, it does get better!
     
  10. leb10

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    I appreciate all of the kind words and encouragement. It's made my heart a little lighter.

    Just wanted to give a little update. I've regained some ground by getting my butt back into my workouts and making that therapy appointment. I see my new counselor tomorrow afternoon. While I'm ready to start building rapport, I'm not really sure what my goal for therapy is now outside of ending my marriage? I guess I'm still a place where I need a to share my thoughts with someone and that's a good enough objective until I'm ready to have that conversation with my husband and contact a lawyer.

    In general, I just don't seem to have the energy or desire to bring up any of my current feelings to my husband so we've been continuing to act like everything is fine even though it's not. We haven't touched each other in several days but still seem to make fine small talk and catch up on a show or two. It's bizarre. Our house is like dreamland sometimes and it feels like I'm enabling this unhealthiness. I feel guilty for acting like what I think is cowardly. Although he seems content to not bring it up either.

    I had dinner with my best friend tonight. She's known about my situation now for almost two months and it was great to talk about how I've been handling everything. She's so encouraging and cares about me so much. It's almost overwhelming because I'm not sure I can provide an equal amount of emotional support back right now so it feels like I'm "taking." If she knew I worried about that, she would tell me I'm worrying too much. Thank goodness for true friends! I'm headed out of town next weekend to visit my two of my closest college friends. I think I'm going to tell them that I'm a lesbian and that I have to figure out how to end my marriage. I feel such an intense desire to share and be honest with a few key people in my life. It's really exciting but mostly scary.

    This post feels really upbeat. Maybe it was my run tonight that picked me up after I tucked the kids into bed. It's nice not to feel completely miserable so I'll try to keep it going as long as a I can.
     
    #10 leb10, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  11. Searching1

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    I'm so happy to read that you are back on track and feeling more optimistic! This is all definitely a long slow process and we can only go forward as we are ready. You will eventually get to where you need to be. I totally get being in that weird fake reality of not bringing things up with your husband. Sometimes it easier when it isn't something you both are drowning in. But you will know when you just can't keep it in and have to bring it up again. I'm sure it will feel great being able to talk with your friends! I've been feeling more of a need to tell people lately myself. I hope things keep on feeling better :slight_smile:
     
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  12. silverhalo

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    Hey @leb10 i wouldn't worry about your friend. Friendships are about give and take but it doesn't need have to be simultaneous, at the moment you need her to lean on and she is happy to provide that for you, in time, maybe 2 years from now or whenever she might need you and then you can return the favour :slight_smile:.

    As for the rest of it, I a man glad you are feeling better.
     
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  13. leb10

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    I had my therapy appointment with my new counselor this afternoon. It was everything I hoped it would be. She's specifically LGBTQ and just got it. She got it all. My frustration and hurt with my parents, my exhaustion from having my world flipped upside down, experiencing the constant emotional roller coaster, the fear about my very complicated work environment, concern for my kids. All of it. I leaked tears of gratefulness on the drive home.
     
  14. Searching1

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    @leb10 I am so so glad! That is wonderful news. A good therapist is incredible and it's so nice to have someone that truly gets it. All of your concerns I completely relate to.
     
  15. Lucky in Life

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    So glad you've found a counselor that's just right for you, leb10! Excellent!!!
     
  16. leb10

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    It's been 200 days since I told my husband. I thought I would have more things figured out by now but I still feel so stuck. I can't move forward because the only place to go is the divorce conversation. I cannot bring myself to say "we need a divorce, what we're doing to each other is so unhealthy and we can't stay like this." He's so codependent and emotional that I really don't know how to handle it.

    We had a pretty big fight three weeks ago when I wanted to go to an LGBT speaker event. He sees me embracing LGBT things as moving further away from him. He's not incorrect. He refuses to talk to anybody about what's happening and has really seemed to reach the end of his emotional capacity of dealing with it all. His work is suffering as is his general health and well-being and it's my fault.

    I was away two weeks ago for work and he was gone last week. It was so liberating to be alone. I really felt in touch with myself. And when I came back and he was gone, the house felt lighter and I felt like I was a better, more engaged mother. I loved that so much. It was a glimpse of what I could feel like.

    We're in this awkward zone of not talking about the elephant in the room right now. I don't know how long we can stay here. I am so mad at him for so many reasons, as I'm sure he is with me. One doesn't realize how flawed a relationship is until all the love is gone.

    I feel like I need to figure this all out soon. I can't bring myself to be more honest with him without being hurtful. I hate hurting him and I need to because avoiding that is exactly how I arrived in this terrible situation.
     
  17. silverhalo

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    Aww Leb10 I'm sorry you are finding things so tough.

    I think whilst it's very difficult and awkward you need to talk to him more. Sometimes the truth is painful and hurtful but the pain from the truth is better than any pain from a lie (not that I'm suggesting you were going to lie) and often better than a slow agonising death. You are not happy in the relationship and it is within your rights to want to leave it. It's not all your fault he is suffering, he could chose to get help or talk to someone about what he is going through, it is his decision not to and so he has to deal with the consequences of that decision.

    I know you would like things to progress quicker but sometimes things just have to run their course. Maybe you are finding now is the time for progression. We are all here to help you 100%.
     
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  18. NeonSocks

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    oh @leb10 I wish I could offer you more words of wisdom, but all I can tell you is to hang in there! I know things seem tough right now, but do not allow yourself to feel ashamed or guilty for feeling the way you do. This whole process sucks and it is a difficult journey to navigate. But each day you are getting stronger and that in itself is a victory.

    Allow yourself the moments and space you need and in time things will get better. Sending you all the EC hugs and support I can!
     
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  19. Searching1

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    I am so so sorry, @leb10. I know too well of what you are feeling. It's easier to not bring things up and avoid causing more hurt. It's so painful to see someone we care about become destroyed by all of this. I agree with Silverhalo that not forcing things and letting things happen naturally is okay and probably needed. But maybe you are at a new point of knowing you are ready for next steps. Keeping open and honest is so hard but I have found that in the long run it helps you both understand each other better and ultimately get to a better place than if you don't address each of your feelings.

    I know this is so hard. We started this right around the same time and I too and just so painfully done. It has been too long. Something has to change. None of this is your fault. Hang in there and trust yourself. Sending a big hug!
     
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  20. RJay

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    Hey, I'm sorry to hear things are feeling so dark! Just beware of feeling like his suffering is "all your fault". It's not. Really, it's not. All of us on this earth have the capacity to handle shit with strength and grace or fall apart and be a victim. You didn't wake up one morning and decide to inflict pain and suffering on your husband. Also remember, the only way out of a situation is THROUGH. The longer you put off the tough conversation, the harder it will be. Everything will be OK on the other side.