Journal Entry: January 12, 2015
Logging in and out of WordPress in Japanese, it’s pretty cool.
Living with a recovering sex addict really sucks. I can see them all, all the personalities that reside in him and represent the healthy and unhealthy bits. He cannot see them, or feel them. He is working on it, but it is a slow and painful process. The self-awareness that allows him to innately understand an emotion and why he exhibits it at any one point in time, it’s missing. I can see his moods staring back at me as if from reflections in a pile of broken glass. There he is the grandstander, the show off, the guy who likes to make everyone laugh, the center of everyone’s attention, the salesman. The salesman is covering up for the little boy who feels lost and alone and unloved. There is the predator, the man who feels entitled to sex with women who are too broken to know he is abusing them, and then the deceiver, the man who believes he will never get caught. The deceiver is falsely arrogant and adept at compartmentalizing. The procrastinator is the guy who puts everything off because he resents being put on a schedule or feeling like he is being told what to do. Most of these personalities derive from and are a reflection of the neglect and abuse Blue Eyes suffered in childhood. Much of his behavior and the underlying insecurities I could clearly see, even before discovery day. There is, however, a lot I did not know, and therefore, a lot I did not see. Those early days of adolescence for Blue Eyes included discovering a way to make himself feel better when he felt bad and then nurturing behaviors that masked underlying emotions. His teen years were fraught with self-doubt, obsessive masturbation, and self-loathing. After years of rationalizing and compartmentalizing, he honed his addictive behaviors, his infidelity, and his betrayal to the point where he floated smoothly in and out of his cycles, I am sure, without much thought or care. His habits were set.
We all put on masks every day, because we have to, to get through the day, but many of us know why we wear those masks. We are aware that we are wearing the masks. Blue Eyes rarely understands why he does the things he does. In the past, he never questioned why taking out the garbage or having to stop at the grocery store on his way home really pissed him off. He always had his addiction to help him cope. He did not stop to think, hey, why do these simple tasks that everyone has to do make me angry, or is what I am doing to cope with my negative emotions regarding every day activities normal? No, it was all done out of habit. If he had to do something he didn’t like, he rewarded himself with something he did like, addictive sexual acting out behaviors.
Blue Eyes was raised to think that being a success at your career meant you were a success as a person. He poured everything into his work. He worked excruciatingly long hours and often worked away from home, especially when the children were little. The more he worked, the more successful his business was and the more he rationalized his sexual acting out. What started out as masturbation and porn, turned into acting out with other women. He didn’t know why he was doing it, but he knew he needed it, a cost of doing business so to speak. It was all part of the deal. He did it because he had to, to keep all the balls up in the air, to keep the façade going. He did it to cope, just like he had done in childhood, to handle those things that were simply too difficult to manage without the addiction.
As we sit at my husband’s favorite Japanese ramen shop, Tenkaippin, at Shijo dori across from the big white Kabuki Theater in Kyoto, I know my husband is in one of his moods. He is in full on hyper addict mode. He is grandstanding, and I am just a mere member of his audience. He is excited about everything in front of him, the plastic bowls with the logo on them, the little jars of shoyu and gyoza sauce, he is reminiscing and he is acting a bit crazy and it leaves me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. It could be anyone sitting across from him now, at this little ramen shop. Now, when he is in showman mode, he wants me to believe he is excited because he is here with me, and it is special. But I know differently. Unfortunately, I am acutely aware of the circumstances surrounding his mood, even if he is not. Nothing is sacred about this situation, and the hyper addict state that drives him. Yes, he LOVES this ramen, but he loves the idea of it even more. He sat across from his AP in a ramen shop just like this, with this same excitement and anticipation plastered across his face while he reminisced about why this place means so much to him. She was not special. I am not special. We are all just players in his game, a game where reality gets blown out of proportion, and life is more exciting to him because of it.
When my husband is in addict mode, all the people around him are just players. We are interchangeable. We are faceless, and nameless, and we merely fill space in a game he designed so that he did not have to live in reality with the rest of us.