I have been away from WordPress for a couple days. I miss it. I miss reading about how people are doing. I miss posting on my own blog. I don’t want to fall too far behind since I have still not caught up on my old journal entries.
I am currently in Hawaii managing our company’s corporate retreat. We are treating our employees to five days in paradise, all expenses paid, families included. The weather is gorgeous. Everyone is having a blast. We were here in February meeting with a salesperson and preliminarily booking the trip. I cannot believe how much time has passed since we were here, and we got the text from my husband’s ex-AP, and I scratched my arms all to hell. A lot has happened in 10 months.
My job this week is to coordinate everything. Make sure everyone is happy. Make sure our year-end meeting goes off without a hitch. Give out employee bonuses. I planned a couple group dinners. Tonight was one of them. A great meal overlooking the ocean was enjoyed by all. We’re getting to see our kids. It’s all good. Except when it isn’t.
The last three nights I have woken from nightmares, really bad nightmares. Two nights ago, I literally ran out of my dream. I have never been so distraught in a dream before, that I felt like I needed to escape it. I wish I had written it all down the moment I woke up, but I was sobbing and shaking and pulling away from my husband who was trying to comfort me. It took quite a while before I was calm enough even to speak. And then, I didn’t want to have to think of the dream for fear of bursting into tears again.
In my dream, my husband and I are returning from dinner. The dream takes place a little in the future, maybe five years or so. We are a little older, but not much. My husband looks a little older, and a few things in our life have changed. For instance, we no longer live in our home that we have owned for 18 years. We are living in a high-rise condo in a posh part of town. We are walking up the front steps of a newer high-end residential building. There is a condo on the first floor of the building that is for rent. There is a handwritten for rent sign in the window, and the sign is in my husband’s handwriting. I know that my husband has wanted to purchase real estate, but I didn’t want him to (in the dream). I remember telling him he would just use the properties to house his whores. As we are entering the building, there is a pretty young brunette looking at the for rent sign. She is trying to peer into the windows. My husband asks me to go to the lobby and wait for him. I go inside, but I can still see him from where I stand. He approaches the brunette and stands very close to her. He is smiling, flirting. As he is talking with the brunette, a pretty blonde woman in her late 20’s approaches my husband and starts yelling at him, “I can’t believe you are doing this to me. You are a fucking asshole.” She yells it over and over. He finishes talking with the brunette, and she smiles at him, and he smiles at her, and she walks away. He turns away from the blonde and comes into the building and walks towards me. The blonde presumably leaves. I look at him and I barely recognize him. I feel sick. I ask him if he is fucking those women. He tells me we should not talk about this in our condo building. We walk next door to a retail space, a small mall, of sorts. I look him in the eye and I realize he has been lying about his sobriety all along. He is not sober, he is fucking other women. I ask him if he owns the condo for rent. I ask him how many properties he owns and in how many does he keep his whores. He tells me that despite my reluctance to purchase property, he has been purchasing condos for rent or resale for the past five years. I ask him who manages the properties, since I know he doesn’t have the time, and also in how many does he put up his whores. He tells me “he” owns about 10 properties, that his father manages them (the father he supposedly has had no contact with for years), and that two of them are exclusively for keeping his women. I ask about the blonde. He tells me she has been living in the first floor condo for a couple years and he has been having sex with her regularly. I can see the blonde woman standing across the street staring at us through the windows of the mall. I ask him what is going on, and he diverts his eyes from me, and then tells me the blonde is pregnant with his child. This whole time I am experiencing the worst symptoms of my trauma response, sick in the pit of my stomach, tightening of my chest, I am crying, and backing away from my husband. I am sad, and sick, and angry, and frightened, and I need to flee. I start walking away from him. I can hear him begging, pleading, like always. I run faster and faster away from him as the tears are streaming down my face. I am now sobbing, sobbing in real life. I am caught between my dream and reality. I have to get out of the dream, and I run right out of it. I can hear my husband lying in bed next to me talking to me, shaking me, trying to wake me. I pull away from him, and when I can speak, I ask him not to touch me. It takes me a full 15 minutes to realize where I am. I am afraid of my dream.
Yesterday morning I also woke early in the morning sobbing gently from another horrifying dream in which my husband is cheating on me. This time, we live in our home, but it doesn’t look like our home. My older son is coming out of my walk in closet with his good buddy and he is saying, yeah, I used to have oral sex day and night, but now that I don’t have a girlfriend, it sucks. I never have oral sex. I remember thinking why is he coming out of my closet. In my dream, my mom lives with us. I have no idea why. Our younger son is in the family room playing video games, but it looks nothing like our family room. I walk into the kitchen and my husband is in there. I ask him where he has been. He doesn’t look at me, he just mumbles something that I cannot make out. I ask him to speak up, to look at me. He looks at me and says, I am going out on a date with my girlfriend. As tears stream down my face, I say, what girlfriend? He says I know her, I met her once through some of our friends. He turns away and won’t look at me. He sees my pain, and he doesn’t want to deal with it. He just wants to go off with his girlfriend. My mom is standing in the doorway of the kitchen and just gives me this kind of, “oh well, I guess he is at it again,” face. I am humiliated. I feel like a fool. I wake up with tears streaming down my face and it is hard to breath. Once again, my husband tries to comfort me (in real life), but I really want nothing to do with him. He is causing me so much pain, in my dreams.
This morning I woke up, and I am sure I was trying to block out the worst of the dream. I cannot remember much. All I can remember is my husband’s last affair partner standing in front of me. She is saying, over and over, “You are the one he is lying to, not me. I am the one he loves, you are the one he hates. He never stopped seeing me. You are the fool, not me.” I feel sick to my stomach. I just hate seeing that woman in a dream, or anywhere else for that matter.
The truth is, in real life, my husband is doing really well. He is doing all the right things. We have been doing great. We are in paradise. Our marriage seems to be stabilizing. He is pretty stable, considering. Why do I have such anxiety?
It’s December, and I am at a gorgeous pool, at a gorgeous resort, in a gorgeous place. Why am I waking up every morning in fear, with tears streaming down my face? What is going on?
9 thoughts on “Anxiety”
The nightmares are hellish, aren’t they. They mess with your head so badly that you’re convinced it’s all real, until the alarm clock jolts you into reality. And gosh, yours are so detailed. I found the nightmares eased after about 10 months, but they still make an unwelcome return from time to time. Sending you love. SWxo
PS Wow, wish I worked for your company ; ) You must be very proud of what you have created. Well done on continuing to even function at this time. Enjoy the rest of your time in Hawaii. SWxo
Thanks SW! Yes, we have a few people wishing they worked for our company right about now 😎. I am very proud of what my husband and I have created. Especially our little family and our successful company. I just wish it hadn’t all come with this high emotional cost. I wish the nightmares would go away. I am remembering less, but sleeping really poorly. I’m hoping when the company part ends and the personal vacation begins, I will be more relaxed. ❤
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Yeah, I still have the dreams. Over five and a half years later. It is 4am, I’ve been awake for over an hour. The dream I had tonight was one probably triggered by the season. Work Christmas party tonight. Christmas, how I hate thee.
I was at a Christmas party. Alone. I had come after work. Looked a million bucks, but needed to change. The party turned out to be in the OW’s mother’s house. She taught our two younger children decades ago, and was a friend. We both served on school governance committees with her. And I didn’t realise it was her house until too late! I walked out of the bathroom where I had briefly showered and changed, and it hit me, OMG, I am in A’s house for a Christmas party. Leanne will be here. Bugger. Leanne is probably ten to fifteen kilos lighter than me, all tall, very slim and legs forever. I am shorter, curvier and with the less “impressive” CV. I was bringing up children and working my arse off (unsalaried) in our business while she was climbing corporate ladders and investing in real estate and the share market. Although I know this is all bullshit, I feel vulnerable, and that I have to stay now and “play nice” for all of our other friends who know us both. No big deal as far as dreams go, but obviously enough to wake me and have me come here to try to gain some kind of comfort. Thanks for sharing, CK. You are not alone, and your brain is just in hyper-protect mode, when things are “good” we self sabotage to ensure we are not being played again.
Oh no, I am so sorry for your continued nightmares. I do believe it is anxiety about this retreat we are on and hyper-vigilance because things are going well that are causing my nightmares. I just love sleep so much and have not had a good night of it since dday. Indeed, it does suck! Hugs to you.
Forgiveness before healing -doesn’t seem to work. Yet that’s what we do when we stay, forgive without them actually earning it. After some time (at least for me) I realized I really hadn’t forgiven him BECAUSE he shows no regret or remorse, i cannot until he shows me why I should by his behavior. Maybe this dynamic (or similiar) is the cause of these horrible nightmares. Hope you sleep better soon.
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First, I’m so sorry for these nightmares. Nightmares are one of the worst things about PTSD, in my opinion.
Secondly, I think that when things are feeling positive, I almost have more hypervigilance, and am waiting for the other shoe to drop, searching for what can hurt me, what can go wrong. I’m not sure if that makes complete sense, but maybe that is what is going on, with the nightmares? Just a thought.
Third, I’m sending good thoughts and wishes for peace that these nightmares stop and you can enjoy your vacation and really get a moment to relax.
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I agree, the better things are going, the more anxious I become in my subconscious. I used to have nightmares every night that either my husband was stabbing me in the heart, or his OW was stabbing me in the stomach. Those passed months ago. Now they just seem more elaborate. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and wishes. Last night was good. ❤
I’m so sorry, Kat.
Have you told him about these dreams, in detail, like you described them here? They’re powerful… maybe, as excruciating as they are to experience, you remember them so vividly because you were meant to tell him these things. ??
❤ to you!
Thanks so much for the support! I did tell him about the dreams, eventually, in detail. He was horrified and really upset. He decided he would like to read to me from his meditations book, and make sure I am comforted before I go to sleep. I have been working on corporate retreat stuff before bed and he thinks that is a catalyst for the anxiety. I don’t know. Last night was much better. Hugs!
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