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Joined: Jun 2000
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Sometimes I hate journals! At one time, the journal I kept was helpful. I only kept it for the year that my H had his 7-week A.<P>I wrote & expressed my feelings, vented, kept records of what time my H came home, or if he didn't come home, recorded suspicious incidents, wrote about when he fell off the wagon, when OW tried to contact, etc. etc. I also used my journal to record/monitor H's actions.<P>FYI: My H & I are 2+ years in recovery.<P>This evening, I happenned to be going through things and found my pocket secretary for that horrible year. It was a condensed version of that journal. I skimmed through it and read bits & pieces of it.<P>It upset me to read it. After reading it, I realized that my H was a complete & total A**hole? How did I end up staying with him? Why did I give him another chance?<P>By reading this, I was reminded of the horrible way I was treated and how much little respect my H had for me. It was awful to read & hurtful to read. I feel stupid...as if I let my H get away with it, by giving him another chance.<P>The man that he is today...how can this be the same man from 1999? His despicable behavior from the year 1999 is a 180 degree from his current behavior.<P>Problem is that after reading bits & pieces, ugly triggers resurfaced. I feel suspicious again...wonder if my H really works overtime (even though his paychecks reflect the overtime paid)...if he's late...wondering if the reasons are legit. I wonder if the OW truly is out of the picture, or has my H gotten better at covering his tracks? Am I being made a fool again?<P>Understand where I'm coming from?<P>If you keep a journal, what do you do with it? Do you burn it later? Months or years later, do you read what you wrote?<P>I hate my journal. I hate what's in it. It reminds me of the short-comings in my marriage. It reminds me of the OW and my H's unfaithfulness.<P>Why am I unable to get rid of it? All it did was make me doubt my decision to stay & doubt my H again. Anyone else have this problem?

Joined: Jul 2000
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I tore it up and threw it away. It was too painful to read. Keeping it once I was sure that we were well into successful recovery was counterproductive to me. Every once in awhile I opened the drawer and saw it there and it was like the A rushing back to me and slapping me in the face. Even worse if I picked it up and read it. I'd feel the pain all over. Plus I never would have wanted my children to find it and read it someday.

Joined: Jul 2000
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Survivor, I believe that keeping the journal is a sad way to remind ourselves that we were betrayed in the past.<P> No one wants to be caught in that place again, thus the urge to remind ourselves. <P>My "calendar" is on the PC and I can go back to each incident in the past 2 years. It was helpful when putting the pieces together, but now it can result in triggers and all the feelings of the just discovered A.<P>I have not erased it yet. I agree with fairydust, it is a head's up reminder, not to let myself forget that I trusted blindly and was crushed by H EA. <P>H has done the proverbial 180 and lately triggers have been few and far between. It is almost 1 yr from DD. H and co-worker both left their jobs. She moved away. There is no contact.<P>I have copied the articles on Forgiving from MB and each night I read one of them to myself. It is taking effect and I remind myself of the steps to forgiveness without effort now. I am doing this for myself, as we must. Not forgiving, doesn't have any impact on those that have hurt you, it is only causing you more pain. <P>Hope this helps. L

Joined: Jan 2000
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<BR>Well for me keeping a journal was how I kept my sanity. I am starting on my third book having been journalling since shortly after the A was disclosed. I don't go back and read what I wrote. Maybe some day when I am 80 I will do it as I reflect on my life. I will keep them tucked away somewhere and they will be passed on to our children someday. <P>Maybe that doesn't sound like such a good thing, but I have not only written about the A but how I felt and how I handled it. How things have changed, and hopes for the future. I think that it is an important record for our kids of how I handled this very torturous event in my life and am proud of the things I discovered about me along the way. I think they would be/are proud as well. My writing is full of anger, pain, hatefullness, but also hope and love and now peace. The whole cycle is there and I want it preserved, that is why I wrote it down. <P>They show a journey. Now I write about mostly everyday things that are happening. About the kids, work, friends, but also about the progress of my marriage and relationship with H. These are important insights and are a part of me that may help our kids someday in the future. They are too important for me to give up now.<P>When I do flip through and glance at what I wrote, I no longer feel the fear, pain etc that I had when I wrote them. <BR>Things have changed and I am in control of ME now and the past can only affect me if I let it. There are important lessons in the pages, ones I have learned so I don't need to reread them. <P>So I guess for me, there is no question. Mine are keepers and will be passed down for generations to come I hope so all my future family will know a little more about there crazy 'grandma'.

Joined: Jan 1999
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I found mine recently as well. 1999 had to be the worst year of my entire life!!! I couldn't make my self tear it up and throw it away. The journal helped me express those inner thoughts I couldn't share even with my therapist. I ended up putting it in a box with some things to be stored in the attic. I, too, got ticked off all over again when I started reading some of it.

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 352
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My opinion is to just file it away and not throw it away. Maybe someday it will be useful. Just don't read it. It's a very traumatic part of your life and this is a healing part of it. There is nothing wrong with all the anger expressed there. The WS should not get off that easy. Maybe in 20 years they can look at it and see what they did. It is very hard to recreate all those thoughts and feelings. I think the journal can be read without anger once a person is totally recovered. Maybe this can be used to measure degree of recovery. If there is no anger while reading it then there is 100% recovery. This is just a theory though.

Joined: May 1999
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Hi NT (oops...Survivor, I mean!!)<P>I love Victoria Ferrar's take on the journals.....mine is similar!!!<P>It is a record of how life ebbs and flows, and should be continued......<P>Life is good, gets BAD, gets better....<P>This is reality, is it not? <P>Journaling the GOOD of what was done after adds to the "journaling" being a tool for use of HOW to truly grow through life and overcome adversity, pain and very volatile emotional upheaval.<P>You should be able to look at those journals and ones that should follow and be VERY PROUD that you and H were able to come through it all!!!<P>What would it take to get to that point?<P>BIG HUGS,<P>Sheba<P>PS - Noticed a while back that you emailed with BC.....how is she doing? If still in contact - give her my best please. I think of her often. Thanks....


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