I fall apart

Journal Entry: May 1, 2014 It’s a beautiful first of May day, sunny and warm. My birthday is in May and I have always been partial to the month. May and September are my favorites. Although some little blossoms show themselves in March and April, everything blooms in earnest in May. My new therapist’s office is in an old Victorian house not far from our home. It has its own garden and I stopped to admire the blooms, all pink, and orange, and purple, and white. I really do hope this new therapist works out. I decided I want a therapist who will focus on me, the whole me, and how I can be stronger in the face of the trauma and also stronger in the decisions I am going to have to make about my life. Every day seems to be a battle with myself and I don’t want everything to be about the sex addiction, or even my trauma. I want to be able to move away from the trauma and I think working on my own inner strength will be key.

Our first session went well enough, although there is only so much that can be covered in 50 minutes. I really don’t mind diving deep into my childhood because despite a few bumps in the road, I loved my childhood. I’m sure there will be more diving in the next few months. The strange thing about this therapist is, she talks, A LOT. I always thought therapists were supposed to listen and nod and give out little nuggets of wisdom that heal your world and make it all make sense. Not this lady. She talks more than she listens. I am going to keep an open mind, but why can’t I just walk into a therapist’s office and know it’s a good fit? Why is it so difficult?

When I returned to my car, there was a call from the LA trauma specialist. She is available for a two-day intensive on May 15 and 16. I am going to take it.

Despite the obvious reasons for needing a trauma therapist, namely the shocking disclosure less than four months ago that my husband has been cheating on me for 15 years and my inability to get through a day without sobbing and sounding like a wounded animal, I am having extreme anxiety about an upcoming milestone in our lives. Our 22-year old son will be graduating from college on Memorial Day. My in-laws will be there. I have not spoken to my in-laws in about a year. My husband has not had any communication with them since February. My husband’s parents have no idea that their son is a sex addict. They have no idea the things he has done. They have no idea the affect they have had on him (not to mention their other children). They are oblivious and in denial. They continue to treat him like shit. He will never be good enough for them. There was a big family falling out in February and at the time, my father-in-law wrote my husband an email telling him that they were so disappointed in him that they would take his name away from him if they could. Really? My husband has done nothing to them. As a matter of fact, most of my husband’s pain stems from childhood wounds perpetrated by them and yet I am the one he betrayed and lied to. Much of his acting out with women can be traced to destructive arguments and falling out periods with his parents and siblings. I am an innocent victim who ran interference for my husband and children for 30 years. About a week ago, I fell apart. I realized part of my trauma stems from their abuse of me as well, not just my husband’s abuse. They couldn’t destroy my self-esteem or confidence, because I possessed those things before I met them, but they did traumatize me and the trauma had been dormant all these years. I no longer have the strength to face them. If I encounter them at my son’s graduation, I will fall apart. When I spoke to the director of the LA clinic, he suggested I call and tell my in-laws they are not welcome at my son’s graduation. Well this is not a decision I can make. They are my son’s grandparents and I have run interference all these years. I absorbed all the blows so my children would never feel their pain. My son will want them there. The director then recommended I not go to my son’s graduation. I am in tears. I cannot miss this day in my son’s life. I will not miss it. I must be strong enough. My husband has committed to running interference for me now. He has finally admitted that he let me fight his battles for him because he was not strong enough. He knows now that he has to be strong enough because I am broken. My goal for the intensive trauma therapy in two weeks, will be to gain the strength to face my in-laws at my son’s graduation, and not fall apart.

12 thoughts on “I fall apart

  1. I do hope the therapy works, I only know you from your blog but to me it sounds like you are trying to handle everything bar yourself. You are strong for your kids, you try and carry on, and in some ways you are carrying your husband too. Life shouldn’t be like this…

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    • I appreciate your support, Henry. You are correct, I always have tried to handle everything by myself and make sure everyone else was happy and content and well taken care of. I thought my husband was taking care of me, but I was living in fantasy land. I did not realize how broken my husband was (is) and that there was nothing I could (or can) do that will make things right for him. I was so confused when I found out about his cheating and addiction because, selfishly, I thought, he would never do this to ME. He loves me more than anything. But I was very wrong. Its not about love, it is about survival in his mind. He has always been this way and despite our seemingly “normal” looking marriage and life, he was always an addict. As my husband’s therapist of four years (who my husband was also lying to) said to me… “stop trying to make sense of the senseless.” There is no sense to be made of it all, just treatment. We’ll see how it goes because, yes, life shouldn’t be like this! If you could magically heal my husband and I could magically pay off all your debt, how great would that be. Too bad magic is an illusion.

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  2. Having to deal with crappy in laws just adds to the mess -I imagine. Not sure if I’m fortunate in this area or not as despite that a lot of husband’s problems stem from childhood, his parents have always been wonderful to me and our family. I guess the rule must be always wear the mask for the outside world. Makes it really tough sometimes because I’m sure husband thinks his family of origin is fairly perfect , probably why he can’t see reality when it comes to his behavior. Wonder if his dad was a sex addict too? I know many parts of mother in laws life mirrors mine. But when we ever talk “abuse” or “cheating” don’t come up. Husband’s sister however recently divorced husband that was caught cheating and they abhorred his behavior. Wonder what they would think of their “perfect” son if they really knew the truth. I’m always thinking and praying for you crazy kat – hang in there !! Your friend chely

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    • Thank you so much Chely, for your comment and your support. I am still trying to catch up on blogs and don’t have everyone’s stories down yet. I’m not sure I even have mine down yet. I could write a whole separate blog just about my in-laws. My mother encouraged me to journal about it years ago and she said, in her words “they are going to drive you insane if you don’t get it out.” I have written some about them in older journals, but her advice resonated with me after dday, so I immediately started a “betrayed” journal, which I am working from here. Some day I will get caught up to present :). My in-laws are in denial about their whole lives. They are so driven by outward appearances, money, and power, that they couldn’t feel a real emotion if it bit them in the ass. When their younger son committed suicide, my mother-in-law called me and said, “how could he do this to me?” She is a textbook narcissist. It was like Stockholm Syndrome for my husband. When I first met him, he told me how wonderful and loving and perfect his family was. I actually accused him of taking me to a different (horrible) family as a joke. He now realizes the truth about his childhood, but it took boat loads of therapy over the past 10 months and there will be more. Nothing I ever said made any difference to him and how he let them control him. And if my in-laws knew the truth about their son, they would just blame it on me!

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      • Yes I can see that both situations with in-laws (mine & yours being different) present different dilemmas. Both I think equally perplexing. I just know that (trying) to live each day and come to any type of decision has become impossible for me . I realize that not having enough information is standing in my way. My gut wont let me continue, it’s trying to tell me something, probably something I would rather not hear. I feel as if I have no choice because of some recent things. I am going to ask my step-dad for the money to hire a private investigator. I cannot live without the truth. Probably can’t live with it either but it’s a chance i must take. The absolute truth may be the only thing that will make him open his eyes. Otherwise I have nothing left for him. As painful as I know it will be I realize that I will most likely have to leave him. Sad, so sad – what a waste of so many years.

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        • Hi Chely! Maybe others here in the blogosphere can help you with private investigator advice. It sounds like a good idea to me (I read a couple of your more recent posts). Not knowing what is going on in our lives is devastating. Our situations are similar in some respects and different in others. My husband’s mistress of 8 years called me and although I was too shocked and dumbfounded to actually ask her any questions, over the past months I have received lots of details from my husband. They are all heartbreaking, BUT, to my knowledge (and since he pretty much hasn’t left my side–his choice–for months) he is not cheating any more… with his sobriety, not even porn & masturbation, which have always been his medication (apparently). I am working on the betrayal, but I would go insane wondering every day what he was doing and if he was acting out. In my opinion, the longer you go not knowing, the more difficult everything becomes. I knew there were details my husband was holding back on, and until his 1st step disclosure last week, I did not know what those details were. Now I do. A heartbreaking post for a later date. They were still things that happened in the past, but they did happen, and he was still lying by omission. If your husband is cheating in the present, better to find out now. They hide because they can and because they are ashamed, they are caught up in and can’t find the strength to stop. What I have learned recently is that this is ALL about the cheater and their deeper issues. They must get to those to heal and be the man they want to be, or not. Either way, you NEED to know! I’ll keep reading your posts and praying you get the answers you seek. *hugs*

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          • Thanks so very much for your kind words, advice and support. Sometimes just having someone who understands makes this life a bit more “liveable”. I agree that they don’t know how to stop, the pain and shame they feel is real – not an excuse but it’s the deeper issues -that’s why I haven’t given up – I hope he finds the strength for himself when this all comes out in the open as I know it will soon. If anyone has advice from experience using a private investigator I’d appreciate any advice. Thanks again Kat-your a good woman!

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      • Yeah I wonder how that will unfold, when and if, (I think that it will soon) the time comes that Idon’t have to a part of keeping his dirty little secret any longer. What will they think of their perfect, abusive sexually addicted son. And the legacy bestowed on him, that becomes my sons torch to bear. Oh that part is what sucks the most, I knew the damage that growing up in that environment would do to my boys and still I wasn’t able to protect them. From him or my co-dependancy problems. I get so mad at myself because I KNEW BETTER and let it happen anyway. Oh the power a Narcissist has over us when we are weak. Thanks I’m getting stronger EVERY DAY!!

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        • I am glad to hear you are getting stronger. You have the power to overcome this. We all do if we just believe in ourselves (I figure if I say it enough, I will believe it 🙂 ). Be strong for your son. When children become adults, they need to realize parents are just people too, fallible people. No excuses. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own actions. We are dealing with this with our younger son right now. He doesn’t want to listen to his Dad… in his words because “his Dad is a shitty role model.” Well, his father is a successful CEO of his own company who put food on our table and allowed our kids to go to private school when they wanted to and play any sport they wanted to and travel the world. He has done a lot of great things for his kids and for me, so no, he is not all bad and is not to be blamed for every shitty thing that happens in life. However, I can only have this level of forgiveness if my husband is changing and recovering and honestly, wanting to be that better person. Otherwise, all bets are off. Hang in there! I am dying to hear how the private investigator situation goes…

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          • Yes I think the investigator is going to be the catalyst I need to be able to confront him. Without that he will always be able to come up with some excuses that are (plausable) and continue to deny. He still hasn’t ever confessed to even having sex with “her”. But way back I found hidden condoms so if thinks I bought his excuse he is delusional. I am getting stronger, didn’t even cry yesterday at all. I guess i’m mentally preparing myself to be able to “let go” of him because i’m not sure if even with solid evidence that he will admit that he is broken and needs help. Maybe i’m over thinking, and thinking the worst and he is being faithful, but my gut keeps trying to speak to me and I imagine not news I really want to hear. I mean even if my fears are unfounded, and he is behaving, the amount of affection and intimacy is SO LOW between us that i”m just not feeling the “love” from him (like I hear of the efforts by other unfaithfuls that are trying to recover). Being a narcissist I know that his emotions don’t go very deep, but I have seen how he can be loving and caring and attentive (years ago) and it’s not the same, maybe because his secret is exposed and doesn’t feel the need to hide his feelings anymore. I don’t know, what I do know is I want a husband who WANTS to be with me, not is because of proximity. Sorry don’t want a “roomate” life with him. I’m slowly loosing the “feeling” for him. If he can’t show me how he feels (well maybe he is) about “us” fairly soon it won’t matter what he is doing because I will have changed MY MIND about him. I try not to forget the years of abuse that led into this nightmare. He really does need a male mentor who has survived this to help him. He will not read or seek answers to any of his delimmas, so i’m not expecting a big turn around,( but a light bulb moment would be nice), but i’m doubtful. I mean if that’s the life he really wants then go for it, but i won’t be waiting at home for him with open arms. I think the investigator is more to help me, know the truth, so I can get over him. He is such a master at this game – not sure if proof in his face will even effect him. I’m very lucky to have found friends ( here in blogging land) who (unfortunately) understand the trauma all betrayeds experience everyday. It is the only thing that kept me from slipping into oblivion. But frickn time does heal by default and the fact that my husband can’t take that stupid mask off at all and face some reality is allowing my love for him to die. I see him now for who he really is, a coward that wants out but doesn’t want to share the spoils of our lives so he’ll just push me away thinking the co-dependant in me won’t ever leave him. News flash for him, i’m stronger than he thinks. It’s sad but that is the scenario I see playing out. Hope your guy keeps doing the right things (as he appears to be doing) and I will continue to hope for the best outcome for you. Thanks for being here!!

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            • Don’t know how I missed this comment? I hope you are making some progress. My husband is attempting to do the right thing, but old habits die hard. At least my husband does have the male role models in his 12 step. It will be difficult for you to get anywhere in your marriage until your husband is truthful and confronts the reasons he strayed. I hope you find answers soon, Chely! Just having someone to talk to that understands is half the battle.

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              • Yes i so agree- just being able to speak to another who understands is the medicine needed for our open wounds. I actually am feeling stronger lately- i know that for me it has to become about me and what i need in life. I’ve got to do whats right for “me” now not neccessarily “us”. Doesn’t mean im out (yet) but may not be that far away. Theres a lite shining down and its calling me to walk that direction – one step at a time. Always good to talk with you Kat! Thanks & hugs. Chely

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