Hi NJ2 - I haven't posted on your thread(s) before. But I can identify very strongly with your most recent post and especially your words above...
I've been diagnosed with dysthymia in the past - although I remember arguing with the psychiatrist who diagnosed me because I didn't see myself as a generally "down" person and could often be pretty happy. But, when I was experiencing whatever those low periods were, I remember obsessing about things that weren't actually that important and tending to see everything from a very self-centric perspective ("They must hate me to treat me like that" vs. "They are probably just having a really crappy day/life" or "They're just a jerk"). I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've seen some pretty dramatic differences in how I perceive things depending on my emotional state. I know that something as concrete as our pain thresholds can be affected by depression, so it makes total sense that we'd respond so variably to other stimuli as well.
For me, the issue here would be understanding when to listen to my intuition ... and when to say "Nah - it's just the depression-induced paranoia. Ignore it" (however one does that). I get that our emotional state affects our ability to cope with problems, but to think that they also affect our ability to decide whether there's a problem at all? Sigh.
I think that keeping a diary like you have sounds like an amazing way of objectively observing and understanding yourself over long periods of time. Perhaps I missed it, but have you tried IC just for yourself? I've found it very helpful in recent months (with the right therapist - the wrong one just sucks).
I also wanted to share that when I was put on Wellbutrin for my (more recent major) depression, I definitely saw mostly good changes in my mood and personality. But, I also had a much shorter temper than usual and had far less empathy for those I love. I also wouldn't say that I was less optimistic exactly, but maybe the word might be ... cynical? Maybe that could also be having an impact? If you see similar things, it might be worth mentioning your thoughts around this to the medical specialist who prescribes Wellbutrin for you. FWIW, the psychiatrist who treated me told me, semi-off-the-record, that exercise was probably one of the best treatments for milder forms of depression. (As soon as I find the time/energy to test out this hypothesis, I'll get right back to you!)
Anyway, many thoughts with you... and a hug.
Thank you for your candid response. Now that I seem to be feeling more "normal" or on a high- I'm not really sure which- I can objectively look back at some stuff. One thing that concerns me is my misinterpretation of that old diary. I had read it maybe a year ago in the midst of all this and became very angry with H. I was convinced that what I read about our dating period was proof positive that he was a terrible boyfriend and a liar and cheat right from the beginning. I lamented to him about why I ever put up with his behaviour back then and how everything in the diary was proof positive of how I was mistreated in the relationship......
Rereading it now .....? Its completely different.... I dont understand how I could have misinterpreted it so grossly. I mean really- it was me -not him- who was busy lusting after everything that walked. It was me who wanted to sow my oats after ending a LTR. I clearly stated on one page "I dont know what love is but surely it doesnt mean never being able to kiss other people....fidelity doesnt mean you can never be with someone else..." He was the one saying I love you and I wouldnt respond. He was talking marriage and commitment and I was the one evading the issue. How on earth did I misconstrue the evidence so markedly? I remember reading the diary at a furtive pace and writing down dates and getting worked up over every bit of evidence of his failure as a BF.......
This all makes me feel very uncomfortable. It makes me feel like there is a possibility that I am seriously ****ed up sometimes....There was one time long long long ago....and I hesitate to admit this- but hey its all anonymous...there was a time when I became obsessed with thinking I was somehow connected with aliens. No ****- that is what I thought. I didnt tell people cuz I knew it sounded crazy. I wrote to an author on the subject about why I felt I had been contacted or chosen....I thought my son had been chosen as well...I was at times terrified by the idea. I dont know how long the obsession lasted maybe 6 mos? I was researching and making notes of evidence....eventually the idea was gone- I thought hmmmm well that was a weird thing to think....and never exalmined it again- H knew about this- he would listen and just accept that I had some weird ideas. He attributed it to a high IQ-(its in the 98th percentile) he thought i just saw things more abstractly than some people.
I cant remember why I thought the diary had even been clear evidence of his infidelity- I cant find hardly any references to any philandering other than my own. There is one day where someone had asked if they met me with him at a bar and I say no. I question him about it and he says it was me with him. I look back in the journal and yup- we were there together. There is almost constant reference to my own interpretation of our relationship as being one where I wasnt obligated to be faithful because there had not been any specific rules laid out. In my words "without a specific oral contract being discussed the level of commitment in the relationship is purely based on the amount each individual wants to put into it". I justified being with other people based on that.
I also am thinking about some of the VAR recordings. There was one where I felt there was clear evidence of sexual noises and another womans voice. When I listened later the womans voice was mine and there were zero sexual noises.
Is it possible that I didnt see what I thought i saw at the wedding? (OW winking and sticking her tongue out)
Is it possible that the BJ noises didnt exist?
Is it possible that much of this has been paranoia/delusion and projection from my own A guilt at a time when I was depressed and extremely conflicted in the emotions surrounding my parents. (their affairs- both had at least 2 ) They were talking about them often during my Mom's final days. I was trying to be supportive under the circumstances but it made me angry and disparaging towards them inside)
MC has said all along that all of this is 80% on me. The lieing is his but the suspicion and paranoia are mine (fueled by his lying which was fueled by my explosive anger and extreme attempts to control what he was doing)
Last night when we were talking about all this -calmly- was the first time I have ever seen my A as more damaging than anything he has done.(if I have the truth) I really felt that I was ultimately the victim in all this. I can now see that what I did was a far more evil thing. It was planned, it was long, it was purely cake eating, I was coming home to him after being emotionally and physically with OM and climbing into bed with him as though nothing had happened over and over again. Pure evil.
He said he doesnt want to take another poly but will. He says he can say with confidence he has done nothing sexual/romantic for the last 20 years with anyone other than me.
If he is extremely conflict avoidant and I have been extremely paranoid and delusional at times it is possible there wasnt much with OW. An EA to be sure while I was struggling with my health and depression -maybe a PA too? But he has had a level of commitment to me greater than ever before. (MC, IC, the weekend marriage retreat, 2 church based courses on how to be a better partner, the physical work he has done on the farm, the sexual and emotional intimacy that has been on a deeper level than ever before, the new pursuit of common interests and hobbies with me instead of with his friends....)
He has stated that over the past 2 years through all this he has come to know and love me more than he ever has. He has admitted that he had been treating the marriage more like a business arrangement. You do your thing I do mine, we raise the kids, we have sex nothing deeper needed. This is what he saw in his parents marriage. Feelings of any kind were discouraged.
So I dont know how to feel.
I will go to some IC before we go back to MC. I think I will also ask for another psychiatric evaluation. Maybe this has been more damaging than I think.
So that may be a whole new problem.