In the name of staying accountable: Last night I looked all over the Internet for a former POA.
That was triggered by my finding out that he is no longer a member of the social website we met on.
I think I can honestly say that my main feeling was of concern for him. He was pretty addicted to me - and he could get very intense and depressed and emotional. So, yes, I was a little worried about him. I didn’t cause his problems; but OTOH, his involvement with me was inappropriate. So, my presence in his life probably didn’t help matters.
So, according to my online snooping, his work/business situation is still the same. He is still married to the same woman. There are two new grandchildren since I last did internet research on him.
His marriage/love life/sex life was troubled and dysfunctional. So was mine at the time we met. But I know now that us getting involved with each other was the wrong thing to do. He needed to work with his wife, and I needed to work with L - neither one of us should have tried to deal with our relationship problems, by stepping outside our own relationship.
Part of me wants to dig deeper, and see if there’s any way I can just find out if he is OK. I really feel empathy with his pain.
Healthy Adult Me says, “No contact. It could hurt him worse to hear from me again. Not to mention hurting his wife, or L, or even me.”
So, no contact. And now I have to refuse to google him again, or do any more detective work. His life is HIS to figure out. Not mine. I need to let go of whatever happens to him, and deal with my own life.
Please help me stay accountable to this.
Last Edit: Jul 30, 2020 7:43:01 GMT -8 by RoseNadler
I can say with all honesty I have been where you are. A little cyber snooping for YEARS on my first PoA in high school. Last year I decided I didn't want to know what was happening in her life. I had all I needed to know. I said to myself, "You know SexlessW, this is sick that you have continued to cyber stalk her this long. You need to step off RIGHT NOW from doing this." And I have (for now).
Whatever your xPoA's issues are, they are his. He has a wife, children and new grandchildren. He is exactly where he needs to be.
You are not his emotional caregiver, nor are you part of his life in any way. Now, I know that is harsh to say/write. That is what I would say when I needed to separate myself from my xOM and my xPoA: He is NOT part of my life and I am NOT part of HIS life; therefore, it's not my responsibility to "help" him through any "rough" times he is going through.
You are on the right path. Send out a prayer to him, pray to your HP that his life IS going as it should be, that his new grandchildren are healthy, that his children are healthy, that he is finding his own path. He did himself a FAVOR by getting off the social site he was on. It was time for HIM to move on. Remember my big preach? Actions scream, words whisper? His actions are showing you he is on his own path.
Your actions show that you are sticking to you NC path by NOT Googling him or searching for him. That is going to be part of your past. Next time you feel that urge to "check up and see how he's doing" - drop by here or engage with L or watch a bad episode of a bad television show.
Thank you for your answer, sexlessw. I agree 100%.
I suspect he may have left the website because he needed to be away from places where I was. And if that is true, it’s even more important for me to stay out of his life.
I’ve been on the other side of that equation - somebody loved me less than I loved them, and let me know that. And then, when I was beginning to heal and move on - they checked on me “just to see if I was OK.” Well, I WAS okay - until they scratched the scab off the wound.
When I think about it, I realize that I no longer even WANT what I once had with this man. What we had was a very consuming, intense, emotional relationship - all online. We used to write very sexualized stories to each other. When I look back at it now, it seems over-the-top and exaggerated and slightly ridiculous.
So, I think that this situation was a kind of progress-marker for me. The things I thought I couldn’t live without - I now no longer even want. And my recovery mind is enough stronger than my addict mind, that I have kept to my promise not to google him again. I found out that he didn’t try to harm himself - which I was a bit worried about. And it seems he has a pretty normal, ordinary life. What may be going on inside him is none of my business.
Last Edit: Aug 2, 2020 10:10:43 GMT -8 by RoseNadler
At the time you engaged with him online, perhaps that is what you needed AT THAT TIME. Now that the time has passed, you have MOVED ON - and he is too. You were both spending too much time on what you were doing. That is how you learn. That is how you realize you NO LONGER NEED what you guys "had".
Yes - that bit of contact from somebody we thought was part of our past. "Are you okay?" "YES I'M FINE - now go back to where you were." That's all it can take is a hit of contact from an ex. Wait - that sounds familiar!
Oh yes a PROGRESS MARKER for you. Indeed - he is living his normal, ordinary life, he didn't self-harm and he got off the website you were both on. That's all that you need to know. Progress at its HIGHEST level.
I’ve had a lot of time on my hands, so I’ve been online a lot. IRL, I’m quiet, introverted, a little socially awkward. But when I write, I can sound like this amazing intelligent, interesting, and funny person. That’s why I like writing better than talking, ha ha.
So anyway, I have a subscription to Medium. All kinds of people post essays there, about all kinds of topics. And what do you know - it attracts a lot of smart, interesting people.
My brain is hungry. I’ve always had to deal with that. So when I go online, and I’m at my best in writing....and then I happen to meet really smart, interesting, funny men....I can get into big, big trouble. That has happened several times in the past, and led to full-blown addictive acting out.
I’m telling you all this as background: This is a situation where I’m proven to be at risk for acting out.
So, this man on Medium posted a response to an essay I wrote. He thinks I’m smart and interesting. He definitely sounds smart and interesting (he has a Ph.D., and education is attractive to me.)
I have not answered him yet. I didn’t give his answer more than a cursory reading. I don’t think he said anything inappropriate.
But I’m sort of scared to answer him. This is EXACTLY how trouble started for me, more than once in the past.
I seem to have an addiction to intelligent, funny, quirky men who write well. (Funny - my long-term partner, L, is intelligent, quirky, and funny. I definitely like the type.)
It seems rude not to answer this man at all. But I’m afraid to. L and I are doing well again, and life has been pretty good. I don’t want my life to go crazy again. I’ve got my own intelligent, funny man right here at home.
Medium! I sometimes read articles on that, linked from Reddit (I won't share which sub-reddits tho).
As for the PhD man who answered you, respond to HIS POINTS about YOUR points. Nothing else. There is nothing more to read into what he wrote about what YOU wrote. Are you reading into his response that he's looking for a relationship?
Keep in mind HE IS NOT LOOKING FOR A RELATIONSHIP or a HOOK UP. He is responding to what you wrote in an intelligent way - and quite possibly with proper English grammar and spelling (que horror!).
Respond in kind - with proper English grammar and spelling. Keep it on topic. Then move on.
Well, I chose to handle it by giving his response to me some “claps,” but without writing anything back.
After all - not everybody who posts an essay there responds to people who write to them.
The Addict Mind is thinking, “You’re letting go of a chance with a guy who might really suit you! What if he’s the last one?”
Recovery Mind: “L. L has those qualities you love, and we are already together. You won’t have to do the dating and play the games and take the gamble.”
Addict Mind: “But the chase can be so intoxicating!”
Recovery Mind: “You’re 56 years old and you’ve been doing this since you were 11. It’s not like you were deprived, and never got to have the (dubious) fun and excitement of the chase.”
Addict Mind: “Oh, yeah.”
Recovery Mind: “And how many times did you take that gamble and lose? Has stepping out on a stable relationship with a healthyish man EVER produced the results you wanted?”
Addict Mind: “Well....no.”
Recovery Mind: “If you were alcoholic and some women friends wanted to go to happy hour, what could you do in that situation? What if you were diabetic and somebody you didn’t know very well offered you a cookie?”
Addict Mind: “I know you’re right. I guess I’m scared L will abandon me, and then I’ll be all alone, without anyone waiting in the wings. That thought terrifies me.” (Becomes Inner Child.)
Recovery Mind: “Hey, I’m right here, and I’m not going anywhere. I know you get scared. Let me hold you.”
Last Edit: Aug 9, 2020 8:32:53 GMT -8 by RoseNadler