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Trigger has been tripped

Old 03-06-2017, 08:23 AM
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Trigger has been tripped

Well, just like the same cycle we have been on for quite some time, there are ups and downs with my XAH. For those of you who remember, my older DD does not go to his house anymore b/c of some things she did that was emotionally abusive to my DD. My DD bravely told her dad that she would never forgive his wife and that she would not be coming back over there at any point b/c of what they did. That she will still have a relationship with him b/c that's her dad, but that she wants nothing to do w/his wife.

My younger DD still goes b/c she has no choice. She does not like the wife very much, but gets along w/her to keep the peace basically.

My oldest did tell him she would go w/him to dinner w/her sister or something like that, but not with his wife. He said he would figure something out, and never did. That's been a couple of months ago.

So, things have been plugging along. Nothing big happening. Well, today my older DD tells me that her dad sent her a text that says he misses her. He then texts me and asks if I got any pics of my younger DD today b/c it was an event at school. I said I did not b/c she really did not want to participate. He then said he wanted to see if I do take any if I can send them to him b/c he is really missing the kids.....

Ugh. This makes me so mad. He misses them but does not ever elect to use his time during the week for my younger DD (she's happy about this). Nor does he ever make any effort to see my oldest DD, he sees her at an even we all go to (not together) once a week, for about 5 mins after that event.

It's all I can do not to engage and tell him all of this, but it just starts fights and produces nothing. I guarantee he wants me to intervene b/c he knows the kids are about done. I told him last year I would encourage our daughter to go see him and if he screwed it up, I was done, and she was too. So it should not be any big surprise, but we all know how that goes.

I hate the anxiety feeling this gives. I am also having anxiety b/c Easter is next month and I an not sure how all of this will work. Sigh.....
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:38 AM
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So he asked for pics...you didn't have any...end of dialogue, right?

The rest of it may be supposition on your part? Maybe just because he throws out an idle statement you know is nonsense (a quack) doesn't mean you have to respond to what you think was behind it?

Minimize the dialogue, yes? He asked, you responded. Done.

Sending you a hug.
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:48 AM
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He then said he wanted to see if I do take any if I can send them to him b/c he is really missing the kids.....
Kind of like when they say they want to stop drinking but don’t take any actions for that outcome.

No different here, words that say he misses the kids but no actions on his part for a better outcome.

It's all I can do not to engage and tell him all of this, but it just starts fights and produces nothing.
Exactly!

I hate the anxiety feeling this gives. I am also having anxiety b/c Easter is next month and I an not sure how all of this will work. Sigh.....
How all what will work? So it’s Easter, how would that change anything about what is currently happening? Let it roll as it’s going to and stop trying to control the outcome for all of them. Control the outcome for you, no anxiety, his relationship with his children is exactly that HIS. At his own hands, all by himself as an adult man
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Old 03-06-2017, 09:21 AM
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Thank you. Atalose, you are right. When I feel anxiety about a situation I blow them up into my mind of what will happen. If he wants to change this situation he needs to change it, end of story.
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Old 03-06-2017, 09:50 AM
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With my ex-husband I was always trying to cushion the blow for my kids from his disappointing behaviors, that cushioning included trying to get him to be the kind of dad I/they wanted him to be. My anxiety grew as every other Friday approached. The conversations I had in my head of how I was going to cushion my kid’s disappointment next, drove my anxiety sky high.

Once it finally sunk in that I needed to stop trying to control that outcome and just be there to wipe my kid’s tears away and support them while they worked through their emotions of disappointment, hurt, anger, etc, all of those conversations I was planning to have in my head stopped and my anxiety pretty much went away.

It’s not easy, we never want to see our children hurt but life isn’t always fair and they need to learn that.
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by atalose View Post
With my ex-husband I was always trying to cushion the blow for my kids from his disappointing behaviors, that cushioning included trying to get him to be the kind of dad I/they wanted him to be. My anxiety grew as every other Friday approached. The conversations I had in my head of how I was going to cushion my kidís disappointment next, drove my anxiety sky high.

Once it finally sunk in that I needed to stop trying to control that outcome and just be there to wipe my kidís tears away and support them while they worked through their emotions of disappointment, hurt, anger, etc, all of those conversations I was planning to have in my head stopped and my anxiety pretty much went away.

Itís not easy, we never want to see our children hurt but life isnít always fair and they need to learn that.
You just described my life friend.

It's gotten a lot better, but it still happens. It sucks that kids get their dose of reality from their own parent. Sigh.

Thank you for posting this. It helps me a lot just to talk to people who get it.
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by atalose View Post
Once it finally sunk in that I needed to stop trying to control that outcome and just be there to wipe my kid’s tears away and support them while they worked through their emotions of disappointment, hurt, anger, etc, all of those conversations I was planning to have in my head stopped and my anxiety pretty much went away.

It’s not easy, we never want to see our children hurt but life isn’t always fair and they need to learn that.

I agree - I found it far more productive feeling to focus on helping DD build her own tools & that all I was concerned about was HER perspective & anxiety about what was happening. That was something I could DO something about, you know? I also became painfully aware of how much I wouldn't be able to protect her from in life all around - friends, enemies, peer pressure, etc.

If it were me, I wouldn't speak with my ex at all - a simple, "sorry, no pics!" is sufficient & reasonable. You aren't obligated to engage with him & you don't owe him any explanations beyond simple answers to straight-forward questions.

((((Hugs))))) Mama, it's never easy but it IS manageable!
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:41 AM
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Thank you FS, you always manage to say just the right thing friend!

It does not help that I was already triggered b/c a family member of his sent me a long message this morning with nothing but toxic words about he and his wife in it. I told them not to do it again or I would block them.

These people take up way too much room in my head, I am frustrated about that.
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
These people take up way too much room in my head, I am frustrated about that.
What do you do when you find yourself in that bad loop of hearing all those negative, soul-robbing thoughts running through your mind over & over & over?

Reprogramming is hard - I sometimes had to verbalize out loud "NO - I'm going to think about x,y, z instead" or purposely distract myself with anything - singing, tv, reading, whatever. I found it helpful to have a mantra ready-to-go so that I didn't have to think hard about what to tell myself - "He is no longer my problem" or something off the wall & ridiculous like a sing-songy rhyme or whatever. If my focus is on *him* I need to bring it back to *me*.

Another great tool is to schedule it for later - mentally giving yourself permission to put this problem back on the shelf & agree to think about it at [whatever convenient] time (rarely do I actually do this, generally that time comes & goes & I've moved on with my day & the world has continued to revolve)..... OR setting a time limit on letting yourself think about it now - ok, I'm going to give myself 10 mins on this & then I have to move on & pick it back up later if I need to. (I never do)

At first I thought that whole scheduling this was nuts, until it worked! (stung originally suggested it to me years ago) The more you do stuff like this, the easier it gets & the less traction you lose every time something catches you off guard.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:04 AM
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I don't know why, but here I sit, with tears in my eyes.

That's the problem. I get into that loop and it's really hard to get myself out. Sends my anxiety through the roof. Brings in all of these feelings about other things that have happened that I keep thinking I am over, but if so, why do they continue to come up in my head.

I have to have regular contact with my XAH for MANY more years. I have to learn to not get my trigger tripped over such small things.

I am going to try the whole scheduling thing. I have thought that I would do so before but never really did. I thought I was getting ready to begin EMDR but now found out the counselor does not take insurance, and that's just not something I can afford. I will speak to my DD's counselor who is going to do that w/her this summer and see what she says.

It's like all of this resides just below the surface of my regular life and I don't know how to deal with it w/out the anxiety it brings.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:11 AM
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You've been divorced for a long time hopeful, you deserve to be FREE too. I once read a short book called, "Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It...." & it was all about reminding yourself of that simple fact, every day, many times. ((((((((HUGS)))))))))

Breathing exercises, mantras, meditations, self-hypnosis, EFT tapping, etc - any & all of these things can be helpful with "reprogramming".

PM me ANYTIME if I can help with ANYTHING!
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:31 AM
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Thank you so much friend!!!! Tight hugs!
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Old 03-06-2017, 02:28 PM
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I have learned that when I want to engage and jump in to fight the fight to remind myself to be responsive not reactive and to just watch myself, when I feel that urge I say to myself watching, watching, watching!




It's all I can do not to engage and tell him all of this, but it just starts fights and produces nothing. I
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:36 AM
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I did not engage. I did not have anymore conversation with him at all, and I am happy that I didn't.

Thank you for talking me through all of this as usual friends. I just love you guys.
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