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Long term effects of the trauma of separation & divorce - changes in yourself?
#1
Hey folks - it's coming up for two years since this whole process started (April 3rd 2017). The year long non-molestation order expired 4 days ago and I'm fully settled into my new life. There is a schedule for the kids, I know what money is being paid for CMS, my ex wife is out of my company (was a director). I have my house, with my furniture, and two kittens!

However Now things have settled down I've noticed some much larger changes in my personality and how I go about things.

I'm much less likely to take risks, if anything seems like it's going to be hassle or a problem, I just retreat into my own world, in a place where I can control everything. My home basically and byway of doing things. It's caused problems in relationships.

With conflict in general, again in relationships, I'm much much more likely to go "Ok then!" and walk out, just cut things and people off.

I'm scared of getting too involved with anyone again. I know this is damage, but I couldn't in an real sense, see myself getting married again and I don't know if I could ever fall in love with someone so deeply, and so trustingly, as I did with my ex wife, who really was the love of my life.

I'm so worried about things I installed security cameras in my house that I check all the time.

I also catastrophize all the time - every time my boss calls me to speak to him - I think I'm about to get fired. I'm a contractor, I'm supposed to be used to the risks and moving around but I worry about it all the time.

Anyway - thought it might be a cathartic discussion to have. Have you noticed any changes in your personality? What are they?
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#2
So I just posted a thread before I saw this, about letting go of the bitterness. It’s much the same.

Definitely agree with the catastrophize, I’m also a contractor and I do not feel safe at all. On a daily basis I’m waiting for someone to complain that I’m leaving early on a Wednesday for the school run and it’s all going to come crashing down. Also agree with retreating, I don’t speak to any of my old friends, im constantly thinking the ex has been spitting venom and now their wives don’t like me. Curtains drawn, doors locked, lights and phone off, holed up with Netflix is the only time I feel safe from tomorrow’s horrors for a couple hours.
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#3
Some of it is a natural consequence of being single. For example if you lose your job there is no one else to lean on and help with the bills until a new job has been had so being out of work for a period will lead to mortgage arrears etc

Risk taking lessens as you need to be there for the kids.

Relationships. Past relationships that have gone wrong will always affect future relationships whether you were married with kids or not. Through this you have unconsiously set a level of what you will or will not tolerate. Or maybe the time just isn’t right.

I guess for you guys there is also the fear of committing to the extent where you could again lose out financially or get hurt.
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#4
Tam, this is a question and a topic that I already think deeply about and I reckon I'll need a whole evening to articulate my thoughts.  What I would say straight away is that splitting up with the mother of your kids - your life partner for most of us - is like no previous split.  For me, it always hurt when a relationship ended, whether I did it or she did.  But you pick yourself up, dust yourself down and you move on and often become a better person.

All of that is relevant here, but this is like no other split.  It is one of those huge moments in your life after which you can never be the same again.  It changes the course of your life and many lives around you.  This is become more apparent by the day for me, and while it made me panic initially I'm beginning to embrace the change.  Lots more to say about this.
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#5
Thanks for the replies all, interesting to see how others respond or deal with things.

It seems to go in waves, or peaks and troughs, over quite long periods, months, I feel great and confident, other times I can hardly drive the car because I'm worrying about crashing it.

The non-mol order being lifted last week has meant we are now in direct contact for the first time in a year. I have an unanswered email from her to deal with and that is stressing me out as well, real feelings of panic about it. Last time I spoke to her she had me arrested - so I'm not exactly keen on renewing that part of my life.

Pffffft.
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#6
(01-17-2019, 09:02 AM)Tamagoto Wrote: Thanks for the replies all, interesting to see how others respond or deal with things.

It seems to go in waves, or peaks and troughs, over quite long periods, months, I feel great and confident, other times I can hardly drive the car because I'm worrying about crashing it.

The non-mol order being lifted last week has meant we are now in direct contact for the first time in a year. I have an unanswered email from her to deal with and that is stressing me out as well, real feelings of panic about it. Last time I spoke to her she had me arrested - so I'm not exactly keen on renewing that part of my life.

Pffffft.

Tam,

I have responded to the life-changing 5h1t by giving myself a set of new objectives and targets, some of which I know will be easy to reach, others less so. Targets range from happiness stuff like travel/new bike etc, while others are more complex like write a book. This keeps my mind off things, and at the same time, when I do achieve a target, I feel I have accomplished something in the face of all this madness.

Stay strong - I value your advice and philosophy in life!
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#7
I have lost trusting people.

My ex has done that, and now I will moan about not going out, arrange to go out and cancel because I can go out trusting who I go out with
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#8
Great topic!

A lot of my friends /colleagues say they want the "old me" back. Sadly, he's gone. It's taken me a while to realise this but I'm at peace with it now.

How anyone can go through what we've been / going through and not be affected is beyond me, and, being honest, I don't believe anyone who says they're not.

I too have a "OK then..." attitude to most things in life now.

Having experienced a life times' stress / worry / depression in the past 12 months means I now view conflict / reationships completely differently... My time is my greatest asset and I guard it completely and I will not compromise who I now share it with.

My new outlook is neither good nor bad... it just is. And, I'm 100% alright with accepting what "is" rather than what I "want".
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#9
(01-17-2019, 09:02 AM)Tamagoto Wrote: Thanks for the replies all, interesting to see how others respond or deal with things.

It seems to go in waves, or peaks and troughs, over quite long periods, months, I feel great and confident, other times I can hardly drive the car because I'm worrying about crashing it.

The non-mol order being lifted last week has meant we are now in direct contact for the first time in a year. I have an unanswered email from her to deal with and that is stressing me out as well, real feelings of panic about it. Last time I spoke to her she had me arrested - so I'm not exactly keen on renewing that part of my life.

Pffffft.

Tamagoto - I'm half way through your journey ! Yes agree about the waves - I like my freedom, argument-free days, more time to look after myself on the flip side, I'm now worried about making will, losing job, checking my insurance, constantly checking my phone if anyone's looking for me etc - All of this I believe characteristics of someone thrown from a full time husband/dad to a meager single. 

What however tips the balance rather positively is my unwavering desire to do better in life so that my children, who I feel I owe it to them, are able to lead a happy healthy life. PS: No I have not thought about my funeral plans just yet !
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#10
One thing i've noticed is i'm more emotional on things such as films, songs and some post's on social media sites that show sadness or struggles, more easy to shed a tear for some reason .... used to be a proper hardfaced cun% to be honest ... channelling all my efforts to get fit loose a few stone and become a better person.
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