Journal Entry: May 16, 2014
I sent this message to my friend during my lunch break:
Hi D. I am killing time since I have a 1 hour and 40 min break with no place really to go except the bed bath and beyond across the street, or the sundry shop in the lobby (that doesn’t even sell magazines!). This intensive therapy is rough, but good for me. She is also preparing me for the possibility that after her full assessment, I may need to go to an inpatient facility. They don’t do inpatient therapy here, so she would need to try and figure out a good fit. It’s just a possibility at this point, I guess for a couple reasons. 1) she is worried about the self harm, and 2) she doesn’t think I have the skills or support system to get through these next few months with B without it. She is constantly making me stop and breath. Lots of mindful meditation, refocusing on a positive image, grounding, deep breathing. Anyway, it’s good for me; you know how uptight I can be. We haven’t even talked about B’s family yet, or the graduation. I am interested to hear the final recommendations. Not sure two days here is going to give me all I need. I’m certainly not planning to go to an inpatient facility, so I will probably be back in LA very soon. Bye for now. Love, Kat.
Today’s session was more stressful than yesterday’s. Even though the anxiety was minimized now that I was familiar with Tee, her office, and her process and I was no longer feeling alone in this journey, today she really let me have it in terms of how I have been neglecting myself. Not only have I been neglecting my needs in my marriage prior to discovery, but also neglecting my needs on this path of healing. So basically, I am not healing. Yesterday was all about my childhood, my family, and my personality. I feel pretty comfortable with who I am and how I grew up and if I had a nurturing, loving, loyal husband, I am sure I would be just fine. I thought I was fine. But, the truth is, I have a needy, addicted, disloyal, dishonest spouse who is sucking me dry. And what am I going to do about it?
Answering this question was incredibly uncomfortable for me, because I have absolutely no idea. I don’t think she expected me to know…. she knows I am suffering trauma. The point of today was to help me realize my own inner strength in this battle and to help me realize I need to be putting my needs first. Realizing as I do that I cannot fix another human being, I can only keep myself strong and do what I need to do to survive and thrive. She helped me with tools for calming myself down, for redirecting my thoughts, for tapping into my strength. We talked briefly about my boundaries in my marriage with a sex addict. We ran out of time before we had a chance to talk about B’s parents, or the graduation. She knows I have trauma from the abuse by my in-laws. She knows I need more help.
I don’t want to leave. I want to stay in her office, and spend every day with her until I am healed. I do not want to go home, I do not want to face my reality. I want to sleep and eat and put my head down on her comfy sofa heaped in fluffy pillows, and cover myself with her soft cashmere blanket.
I begrudgingly walked out with a plan. My husband and I would work with our therapists at home regarding how to handle the in-laws and the graduation. She backed off on the in-patient therapy after I explained to her I had never intended to kill myself and did not have suicidal thoughts. I would return to LA for more intensives with her. She would email me June dates by Monday. Knowing I would be able to return to her was maybe the only thing that gave me the strength to actually be able to exit the building and get into the car with my lying, cheating, betraying jerk of a husband.
Meanwhile, back in Addict Land (Addict Land is sometimes confused with Fantasy Land, a very sick sort of Fantasy Land) my husband and I had spoken earlier in the day about his potentially telling one of his friends about his addiction. I was going to be in therapy all day and although he had work and potentially more 12 step meetings he could go to, and therapy work, I knew he would be lonely. Other than me, our kids, his 12 step and his therapists, my husband lives in isolation. He doesn’t speak with his family anymore, and he has not told a single friend about his addiction. He hasn’t really spent time with any of his friends since dday. I suggested, if he felt up to it, he might want to share with a friend. Someone he could turn to for nonjudgmental support when he needed some. Obviously there is no one out there who is going to be able to solve his problems, or give him answers, or take the pain and shame away, but I have D when I need a shoulder to cry. She is someone who doesn’t judge, she is merely there when I need her. Of course this person my husband might confide in needs to be male. That’s all he needs, another female shoulder to cry on. He chose two friends that he sort of felt comfortable talking with, but the first thing he wanted to do was send them the Patrick Carnes book ‘Don’t Call it Love: Recovery from Sexual Addiction.’ He wants them to read this book so they can better understand the addiction. The fact is, as a society, we do not understand sex addiction. Patrick Carnes’ book explains it well. Dr. Carnes has a number of books, but this is the one that was recommended to us, and reading the book really enlightened me on sexual addiction and its insidious nature. My husband’s first choice of friend to confide in, we’ll call him “Smiley,” did not answer his phone and B lost his nerve when voice messaging picked up. B called his 2nd choice, I will call him “The Traveler.” I have been reading a blog lately and the author gives everyone a name instead of an initial, I like that. I am going to start doing that :). “B” will now be “Blue Eyes.” Anyway, Blue Eyes DID get ahold of The Traveler. He intended to tell The Traveler that he had something to confide in him, but he wanted to send him a book first and then when The Traveler had finished the book, he could call Blue Eyes and they would discuss. The call did not go at all as Blue Eyes had expected. The Traveler suspected something big was up, and he suspected he knew what it was. Blue Eyes told The Traveler his story, although he did leave out a number of pertinent details, in my opinion, because the first thing I asked was whether he told The Traveler that his acting out partner was an old, smoking, hoarding, alcoholic whore, which he did not tell his friend, of course. Anyway, back to the phone call. This is not a joking matter as Blue Eyes was devastated by the phone call, and even I was crying when he talked about it. Apparently The Traveler, who was briefly married years ago and has gone through many women before and since, was diagnosed as a sex addict about eight years ago. Although he is in therapy, he is not in recovery. His childhood wounds also run deep. The Traveler considers his much younger girlfriend an acting out partner, not a legitimate potential long term mate, and he regularly hires prostitutes. The Traveler also cautioned Blue Eyes that he probably would not be able to salvage his marriage. Sex addiction is simply not conducive to marriage. Wow. Blue Eyes was devastated. Not by the marriage BS, but by the fact that his good friend had suffered, and was suffering, in the same way he had and they had never shared with each other. Sex addicts suffer alone in silence believing they are the only ones that behave the way they do, until something devastating happens to them, like arrest or discovery by someone they care about, and then they have a choice. The Traveler had chosen his addiction. Blue Eyes is choosing recovery. At this point, The Traveler is not a safe friend for my husband. Blue Eyes will continue trying to get ahold of Smiley. I’m pretty sure Smiley is NOT a sex addict.
We spent the weekend relaxing. We left Los Angeles a little more ragged than when we arrived, but we left with a plan. We’ll see how things go back home.