Gambling Therapy logo

Hi, Angela! First of all (and I say this KNOWING that some of my PTSD is “popping up” again and I am EXHAUSTED), a lot of the negative things you are feeling about yourself are distorted. I will share something more about that in a minute. I was talking with my daughter this afternoon. We lost two of our pet cats when the CG’s brother bought house to avoid settlement and threw me out immediately. So I was saying similar, that if I had been “stronger, smarter … a better person”. But logically, I CAN’T blame myself. I was having to figure out to repair cars and all sorts of things. I did not only the best I could, I did my best to figure out what else I could do, etc, etc. That’s good stuff for a crisis/emergency and people can sometimes do heroic things in a crunch, thanks to adrenaline and so on. But NOBODY is designed to live like that, 24/7. It would kill you.

And though some people sometimes tell me, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, I disagree. First, I never signed up for any strength contest or training. Second, what doesn’t kill you can sometimes cripple you or hurt you in other ways. I’m sure most people mean well and might even be helpful, if they knew what is needed.

I know not supposed to get into agendas and all that, but “the situation” is TOTALLY abnormal and UNHEALTHY. You and me and everyone who is carrying more than their weight is being unfairly burdened. If our partners had drug issues, etc, well that can be tested for and people DO seem to “get it” in terms of that sort of thing creating bad environment.

If you can keep it in mind that in abnormal and very difficult/stressful situation, you are maintaining … well that sort of helps me keep perspective.

I ran across something a while back I read as a child (and just checked to see if a link is okay, for this sort of purpose). It’s a Norse story about three of the gods who have an encounter with giants. They are challenged to a few contests that seem very easy, but they all fail to complete them. The lead giant, Utgard-Loki (or Skymir) takes them out of the giant kingdom and tells them the truth, ending by saying, “Had I known how strong you were, I’d have never let you inside in the first place. You were nearly the end of us all.” If you are interested to read it (it’s short) it’s here:

All of the tasks were completely impossible; the fact that the gods were able to accomplish what SEEMED meager and foolish were actually valiant achievements, when the context was fully revealed. I like the story and find it to relate, because there is PLENTY of illusion going on.

In reality, you have strengths that likely, you might not even be aware of or appreciate. You know, stuff that “comes easy” so it’s normal to you but impossible or hard for someone else. The whole situation can shake one’s self confidence and that is where the toxicity of the situation needs to be remembered. You were not designed for tasks that are impossible; it’s like being on a hamster wheel and never having freedom to explore, change, accomplish. To LIVE. Those of us with children are necessarily and often legally more tied into the situation and for an often lengthy period. I’m going through rough patches right now, but I KNOW things CAN and do get better. That doesn’t necessarily mean the CG will, but that option is always there for them if they decide to take it.

I hope some of what I write is encouraging; I know there are a lot of encouraging people here. It helps me to remember some of this through writing it out.

And one thing I can say in all honesty and from experience (having gone through two divorces from him and not even knowing about the gambling til about 5 1/2 years ago), most of my own frustration and negative feelings comes from KNOWING, without a doubt, that happiness and building a pretty good life after is possible (speaking from the viewpoint of going on alone, though I am sure that recovery and going on together that can happen as well).

I’m wishing and hoping the best to and for you as you go forward!