Cleaning the closet with PTSD

Journal Entry: June 21, 2014

Last night I could not get to sleep without my husband. Since it was a travel day and not officially a workshop day, he was available to talk with me, and call me, and text me as much as he wanted. And he did. Mostly, I was busy with D and my parents, but I always responded, and then he wanted to get a good night’s sleep before Day One, but I could not sleep. I was still feeling vulnerable regarding the presence of the stalker whore, and I was terribly lonely. I tried watching boring TV, reading a boring book, I even started cleaning out my closet. I finally fell asleep somewhere around 4am, and woke up at about 8am. There was no way I would get more sleep than that, plus 8:00am is when my husband is scheduled to call or text me that he is off to his first day of intensive sex addiction treatment. Sure enough, pretty much right on the 8 o’clock hour, my husband phoned me. I was so happy to hear his voice. He said he was parked outside the house where he would spend the day being tortured, ha. He said I should try and get some more sleep, but I couldn’t. I got up, did my 35 minutes on the elliptical, and ate breakfast.

I ran some errands during the day in preparation for my trip out of town tomorrow, but basically I had no plans. I really felt more comfortable in our house, not out in public. Every time I went anywhere, I felt vulnerable, like I was being followed. So home was where I stayed pretty much the whole day. I had promised myself the one thing I would accomplish this weekend, was to completely clean out my closet. I have a good-sized walk in closet and over the past five months, I had not bothered putting things back in their place. Winter clothes were still strewn about. Suitcases filled with clothes, some dirty, some clean, dotted my closet floor. I needed to go through everything, absolutely everything. I like using my bed as the place where I put all the clothes and shoes I am keeping. The bedroom floor is where all the giveaways go, as well as piles for laundry, for dry cleaning, and then there is always a garbage pile with things like tags ripped from new clothes and just thrown on the floor, tissues from recent crying jags where I retreated to my closet for solitude, broken hangers, and the like. I took a break for dinner and then waited for my husband to call at the designated 6:30pm hour. Each evening their intensive was to end between 6 and 6:30 and then they were free to head back to their respective rooms, wherever they might be, but they would always have homework. So I settled myself on an edge of my bed, a very small little bit of real estate that was not currently covered in piles of clothes or shoes, and waited. I waited and waited and waited. I watched some TV and waited. I did not want to call my husband. For all I knew their session had gone way long and I just needed to be more patient? The waiting and wondering was causing me a great deal of anxiety. The Director knew when our phone calls were scheduled. He would know that not calling would cause me trauma, he is the trauma expert, after all. I started getting anxious. Finally, at about 7:45pm, my husband texted me, and asked if it was okay to give me a call. I texted back asking if he had just finished his session. He said, no, they had finished at about 6:15pm, but he was just so exhausted and didn’t feel like talking. He said he went to the grocery store and got some snacks and then went back to his room. He was about to go off to a little Italian restaurant and eat dinner by himself. He wanted to talk before he ate his dinner. Well, fuck him. The time for talking had past. I had asked him for consistency and he knew I was waiting on his phone call. Just because he had spent the whole day in a room full of people and then was gallivanting around town without a care in the world, without the paranoia, the vulnerability, without thinking of me at all, didn’t mean he was going to be rewarded for it. I texted him that I was not interested in talking with him when he felt like it, or when he was ready. That all I was getting was a quick check in and he didn’t even respect me, and my needs, enough to give me that when he said he would. What an asshole. His needs are always so much more important than everyone else’s. I turned off my phone and sat there, and then I started crying. The issues with my husband do not begin and end with his cheating. They begin and end with his selfishness, his self-entitlement, and his ego. Everything is always on his terms and based on his desires. The cheating is just merely a symptom of this self-entitlement. My crying turned into sobbing as I realized, I was out of sight, out of mind. I am just not that important to him. This may sound petty to some, but my husband has cheated on me for 15 years and is supposed to be trying to change, trying to make it up to me by being a better person, by putting my needs first. I am actually not that demanding. I am trying to be understanding and sympathetic and loving and what do I get in return… he was too tired to call me for a 2-minute check in. Well, fuck him.

I cried for quite some time and then fell asleep, probably from sheer exhaustion. There I was sleeping on a pile of clothes, and shoes, and purses. I woke up a few hours later and realized I still needed to finish cleaning my closet. I turned on some music and went to it. I also turned on my phone and saw that my husband had been texting and calling obsessively. Oh well, tough shit. He stopped at about midnight. Good for him. I finished cleaning my closet at 3:00am. I wanted to stop so many times. To just throw everything back in on my closet floor and give up. But I didn’t. I finished what I started. The next morning I slept right through my husband’s morning text. I could tell he was worried about me, but he should have thought of that before. He has a real issue with understanding the consequences of his actions. I think I have mentioned that before. I am tired of always being the mature one. Always being the one who forgives and forgets.

I am tired.

12 thoughts on “Cleaning the closet with PTSD

  1. Holy crap. I have never, ever commented on a blog, but I’ve been sitting here for 4 hours reading yours, and after this post I can’t help but make my virgin post! Even though so many of the details are the same, the part that made me decide to comment was your closet story. Right now, I am looking at (and being overwhelmed by!) 3 trips worth of unpacked suitcases, combined with my winter sweaters and clothes that are scattered in piles that have grown out of the confines of my walk in closet, because I haven’t had the energy to do anything for nearly 5 months. For some reason that hit me more than anything. My timeline is yours – almost to the day, except one year later. This year. The details of his acting out are different (the affairs were shorter, but my ((former)) best friend was involved : / ), but again…holy crap. I have been telling myself I need to start an online journal or blog for months, but I was so overwhelmed at the thought of going back and writing all the days I missed, and now it’s kind of like that’s been done for me. It’s like I’m reading my own blog. Except Instead of cutting, I use wine. Just as numbing and not quite as painful, at least in the short term 😉 I have read to the point that you were at this time last year and, even though this is one of the few nights I feel like I could, I’m not sure I can put my laptop down to go to sleep – and I think you probably know more than anyone that that’s saying a lot! I have read so many blogs of so many very….I’ll just call them “exceptionally angry” ladies, that I have started to lose hope. I hope with all of my heart and soul that when I keep reading, I’ll see that you and Blue Eyes are doing better than ever – I want to cheat and read ahead, but I don’t want to miss the journey. Thank you for writing this – it has been a bright spot in what has been the worst and darkest part of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My emotions are all over the place when I get a comment like this. I immediately get tears in my eyes, because you know, another woman going through this pain. I get goosebumps when I read how similar our stories are. I feel sad, and yet it validates my blog because if even one person feels less alone in this hell we are going through, it’s worth it. I hope you decide to journal and blog one of these days because it is cathartic (please let me know if you do as I will want to read your story). I started journaling from day one (as you have read), and going back through was incredibly painful, but I have found the blogging to be really comforting a lot of the time. It is frustrating at other times, and stressful others (like when I lost two blog followers on one day and they let me know right in the comments why they were unfollowing me, sad… ) but overall, I do feel less alone and just letting the words flow helps me talk myself through some of the difficult days. I actually made a friend through this very blog whose dday is almost exactly one year before mine and she also uses wine to sooth the pain. Anger is not my overwhelming emotion, but I do understand the ladies who are angry. I am sad, which I have found to be maybe even more destructive? Who knows, it’s all destructive, but it is all part of healing. Read on, feel better, keep commenting. I love a good dialogue :). Oh, and definitely go to sleep if you can. Many days I do still struggle with that.


  2. One thing that has changed in our dynamic is that H is at the bottom of the pecking order. He automatically went there. If he does not toe the line in any shape or form then he pays for it. It is like he has to earn his way up but he will never be top gun again. Sad for him but he abused his privilege and I made it all too easy for him but of course never in a million years would I have thought he would do what he did. A few months ago kept me waiting outside his office while he had to finish something off … was not
    urgent …..but when he went to meet me I was gone. I found myself a really nice bar at the Sofitel and had a wine. He went crazy trying to find me ……..but for years he has kept me waiting with all sorts of simple excuses. Well, I am over it and I will not hang around waiting for him ever again. He is now on time but I said to him that night that I doubt he ever kept any of his dumb whores waiting. I am not to be taken for granted anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh my, it is like you could have taken those words right out of my mouth. My husband has always kept me (well, and most everyone else) waiting. Our kids used to hear, “just one more minute” or “I’ll be there right after I send this email” sometimes for hours, or he would leave them at the bus stop when he was supposed to pick them up… he just “forgot.” A few times he actually drove to our old house without even realizing it, so caught up in his own head, he was (and sometimes still is). At one point, about two YEARS after we had moved, he pulled in our old driveway and our then FIVE YEAR OLD, said “Daddy, you know we don’t live here anymore right?” And what did my husband say… “whatever you do, don’t tell your mother I did this.” Teaching my kids to LIE! to ME! UGH!!! Some people might say that there are a lot of people that do these kinds of things, and yeah, there is something very wrong with it. They are out of touch, not focused, it’s not right. And yeah, I am sure he never kept the whore waiting. One time I dropped him at the airport for an International trip (with her, apparently) and he had forgotten his passport. I had to race home, find it, and rush it to him back at the airport, just so he didn’t miss a trip with her. They were waiting together for me to get back to the airport, then he came outside by himself to grab it from me. I’m sure she was thinking, stupid bitch running off to fetch something for her husband so he can go have sex with me. It all just makes me want to scream!


  3. When this kibd of stuff is uncovered you go back over your past – together and before that – with a fine tooth comb. I also realised I have lived with a selfish and entitled man. Not overtly so, but he admits it was so often “my way or not at all.” That has changed and he feels pissed at himself for taking my good nature and long rein for granted.


    • The interesting thing is, I never really thought my husband was selfish or entitled. This is all new. He used to mainly just be obsessed with his career, but I never associated that with being selfish, just driven. Now, I realize, his work life and secret sex life were all intertwined in a really dysfunctional way and actually he traded time with us for time with these women. I did everything around the house, with the kids, even managed his business when he was off, all over the world… Ironically, this is what he used against me to encourage his other women. That I didn’t pay any attention to him, that all I cared about was the house and kids, etc… In actuality, he chose to be away, and he left me with all the responsibility. My husband is also pissed at himself for taking advantage of me, and somehow rationalizing his behavior. Now what I care about most is that he is working towards a real relationship/partnership.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Me neither, CK. Mine was absolutekly lovely mostly. But we both look back with 20/20 hindsight and identify his blinkered approach. The thing is, most successful business people utilise this to get things done. That is how they achieve property deals, etc. Push hard and focus. But long term, partners can certainly miss out. Too late after the horse has bolted though, right?


        • Yeah, how can they not see what they are doing when they are doing it. I have been reading about infidelity on the rise with females and that it’s not usually the soccer moms, or lonely housewives, but a higher percentage is women in powerful corporate positions… not sure that is all true, but I guess people in power can be skilled manipulators and users, and that is what my husband did, manipulated and abused the people around him. If you do it in business (or politics), why not in the rest of your life.


  4. Wow. So much parrellels my journey. I just had an aha moment when you said it was all about him, and your feelings did not matter first and foremost. Mine has done the same thing. Forgetting he needs to be accountable at specific times, not when convenient. I had a huge meltdown not to long ago, he did not call, was late and finally called he had run into someone (a female) and visited with her. She is not a threat but it always seems he visits with females, and he does not get that this is a problem. What gives? Deb tbyl Phx


    • Hey Deb. I know, it seems they are all very similar. My husband being accountable and checking in has been a requirement during this journey, really simple things like texts or short phone calls, and he fails a lot of the time. Why? It seems so simple to me. If they make it a priority, they can do it. They take us for granted. Out of sight, out of mind, even with everything on the line. I don’t think it is me. I think my husband would do this to any woman, and probably has. He’s working on it, but it seems so simple? My being so independent and not holding him accountable for the past 30 years has helped him hone his horrible habits. Not any more! Miss you!


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