New year, new look. I did a little tweaking of my blog design. I like it, for now. I wish it was a new look for my body, but alas, this year has taken a toll. I feel older, sluggish, exhausted by the stress of it all. It seems I am always sick with something or other. At least I am past the sobbing stage where I get so dehydrated my body cramps up. That was awful. I need to get in for some physical therapy. The torn meniscus in my right knee is starting to give me pain on the stairs. I need to strengthen the muscles around it. I need to get back to tennis, I haven’t been playing since I cut my arm open in May. The physical wound is healed, the emotional pain, well, we’re still working on that over here. I’m getting too old not to do something with this body. I have also resorted to a lot more comfort food than I had been allowing myself, because well, it is so comforting. I know what I need to do, but most of the day I don’t feel like doing what I need to do. I want to do what makes me feel better. I can hear my healthy, skinny friends telling me healthy things do make you feel better. I know, exercise helps, eating healthy helps, I know.
A year ago, I was feeling pretty darn good. I was excited to head to the coast the first week of January, for a day, to take a look at properties to purchase. We had just spent an amazing week with the family. Everything was great with me and my husband, but then again, everything pretty much always was. Our life was starting to balance out. Blue Eyes wasn’t working like a maniac anymore. He was putting aside his laptop and mobile phone to focus on us. I instinctively felt a calm passing over him. He seemed so happy, taking our dogs down to the beach for a game of fetch. With a mini aussie pup around, it’s hard to be down. I had absolutely no idea a storm was headed my way that was potentially going to destroy everything I had spent 30 years building.
The new year brings with it a lot of hope for really amazing things to happen over the coming months and I just had a gut feeling 2014 was going to be wonderful. My favorite “lucky,” if you will, number has always been 14. I am drawn to even numbers and I was born on the 14th of my birth month. Our kids were in good places, our older son about to graduate college, our younger back with us, safe and sound at home. We lost our empty nest status, but we gained youth back in the house, and a house/pet sitter for our trips away. Maybe not such a great house sitter as our son is a partier and our house resembles a fraternity on many days, but it’s (almost) all good. Actually, 2014 was shaping up to be pretty wonderful.
Today, I am here in my home office cleaning, reflecting back on 2014. Wow, I could not have been more wrong. I think back to a year ago today. I had cleaning my office on my to-do list all the way back then. I never did get to it, all year. I am finally getting to it, today. Our house is a disaster. The older boy left early this morning for New York. He and his girlfriend broke up, so he is no longer living in Montreal. He seems really good with it. He loves New York. He already has a bunch of job interviews and has sublet a room from friends in Brooklyn. Ah, the life of a confident 23 year old. He is a whirling dervish of activity, and leaves our house in a state of general disarray, every time. The cider room was a temporary paint studio. The kitchen, his temporary office and venue for delicious and very messy culinary concoctions. His bedroom, well, that will take a couple days to sort out. It’s time to get my act together and take my house back.
As I clean, I am drawn back to those days, the days pre-discovery. As I dust off the pictures on my desk, an engagement photo of me and my husband when we were both 22, Christmas 1985, compels me to sit down and just stare at us. The young and innocent. My husband was already a sex addict. He was masturbating obsessively behind my back. He even admits now that when he was in his addictive cycle, even way back then, he would fantasize about sex acts with his ex-girlfriend when he masturbated, the one he considers his first acting out partner. She would masturbate him in public, unreasonable public displays of affection. Voracious sex numerous times a day to the detriment of his health and his education. Thank goodness their relationship was short lived, but the memories lingered. He got a huge thrill from it. She was broken, he was broken. I had no idea. I asked him why he even contemplated having a relationship with normal old me. He said it was amazing and he never felt bad, shameful, or humiliated when he was with me, but it still wasn’t enough. No one could have stopped him on his addictive path.
I was the aggressor in our sexual relationship. My husband was sexually shy with me, even though he had obsessively fucked his ex-girlfriend anywhere, everywhere, all day. He said he hated the feeling, that it felt wrong with her and dirty and he loved our love, and our love making. He wanted that life, the healthy one, but… he is a sex addict. It wasn’t enough. Also, that first acting out partner was my first stalker. After they had broken up, and he was dating me, she called and when he refused to speak with her, she tried to engage me. She called all the time, wanting to talk. She showed up outside my classes. She wanted to be friends. At one point, she was waiting outside the library for me and asked if I wanted to get coffee. How did she know I was in the library? I told her I did not want to be friends with her, and I walked away. Eventually she gave up. I was never scared of her like I am of Camilla.
My good friend suggested when I am down, that I look back at pictures from before he cheated. Well, that actually doesn’t work because as I look at our engagement photo, I know now that, even though he did not cheat with other women until we had been married 10 years, he still had a secret sex life. I have said it before, and I will say it again, that I have nothing against porn… EXCEPT, when a person is a sex addict. When a person has a loyal mate, and a loving sex life, going behind her back to masturbate yourself in secret, obsessively, continually, is not really a keen idea. In the case of my husband, it was a definite sign of his illness, who knew? I never understood why Blue Eyes was so shy to consummate our relationship. I knew he wasn’t a virgin. As I read about sex addiction now, I have learned that sex addicts are generally not great lovers as they are insecure and so used to self-gratification and porn that they are afraid sex with a partner won’t live up, or they are so self conscious they cannot perform. Although Blue Eyes was timid at first, once we had sexual intercourse, he never looked back. I think, at least for a while, our lovemaking replaced his masturbation and he became very confident in the bedroom. Breaks from his addiction, however, were always just part of the cycle. The addiction always came back.
As I sit here, I long for the innocence of a year ago, six days pre dday. I long for those clean moments of happiness, where I laughed out loud without catching myself and realizing, everything sucks, why the fuck am I laughing. I feel like a hypocrite. I long for the day when I look at pictures of us in college, or with our children when they were young, or even pictures of all of us last year in Paris for my 50th birthday, and don’t think about how it was a lie. I no longer go searching for the pictures that tell a new story of lies and betrayal. I guess that is progress.
I completed the task of cleaning and organizing my office today. I found some things I had ordered, like some fun mugs for our new beach house, that I had never even bothered to open when they arrived. Now that’s depression for you. At least I feel pretty good about completing a task. Maybe I can actually string together two relatively sane and productive days, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I’ll see how I feel when I wake up… if I can sleep.
Cheers to 2015! May it be a whole lot better than 2014. This year, I am keeping my expectations very low. Less room for disappointment.