We made it to Amsterdam. When we got off the plane at 7:15am Amsterdam time, 12:15am Salt Lake City time, with no sleep and running on less than five hours from the night before, AND not getting one good night’s sleep the entire previous week, I knew I wasn’t going to go sightseeing when we arrived at our hotel. I knew I was going straight to bed. Thankfully, most likely due to Blue Eyes’ Intercontinental Platinum Ambassador status, our room was ready at 8:00am! We went to our room and I went straight to sleep. The bed was amazing! I set my alarm for three hours sleep. Then when the alarm went off, I set it for two more hours. I want to shout from the rooftops,”Sleep, glorious sleep, I am so glad you have returned to me!” The funny thing about me, before dday if I was sleep deprived I generally did not get grumpy, I got loopy. I mean really silly, talking, laughing, being goofy. It is generally the reason I find late night comedy SO funny. After dday, the sleep deprivation just rolled into the whole sad, weepy, and basically depressed and irritable Kat. Thankfully happy, silly, loopy Kat is back. And now that she is back, Blue Eyes has started asking me if I have taken an Ativan, or something. I have already mentioned how leery I am about taking prescription medications especially the ones for pain relief and ones that are mood altering. I am obsessive compulsive. I do not like being out of control…. another reason I don’t get drunk anymore. Even in college the “I can’t remember what happened last night” kind of drunk only happened a couple of times. I learned to manage my alcohol so I was never in a compromised position. I am not taking Ativan!
The other thing I love when I am sleepy, is sex. I am so much looser when I am that silly kind of sleepy. I am extremely affectionate and I want my husband, badly. I’m pretty sure this works for Blue Eyes because, he never tires of sex. Yesterday we both reaped the benefits of that good kind of sleepy both before our “nap” and after. I didn’t even feel bad that we were going to be in Amsterdam for less than 36 hours and we were “sleeping” part of the daylight away. I just didn’t care, but in a good way.
When we were finally awake and showered, we set out on a walk of this amazing city. I have been to Amsterdam once before (once outside the airport that is) and ironically, even though it was not a work trip, I ended up sightseeing by myself for a whole day. I am actually pretty good at it. My son was in class (he was on his college semester abroad here in Amsterdam) and Blue Eyes was in bed with tummy trouble. I had a blast walking around and taking a canal cruise with a bunch of “old” people that were going to be on our cruise ship. It seemed all the tourists in town that were over the age of 60 were heading out with us on a Celebrity inaugural cruise from Amsterdam to Barcelona. It turned out to be a wonderful cruise experience on a brand new ship. For the first time ever, our cruise ship suite was immaculate… those things really take a beating as they do not allot any time to refurbish them. So in Amsterdam, I toured around meeting people and having a good old time. Thankfully Blue Eyes only had a 24 hour bug and we spent the second day with our son, but our son does NOT do touristy things. So we rode public transportation, ate where the locals eat, saw his apartment, and wandered around. As we were walking through the old city he told us he was going to skirt around the Red Light District, no need to go there. I thought well, there probably wouldn’t be anything to see anyway as it is the middle of the day. But as we headed down an alley, I could clearly see he had not missed the entire district. I didn’t stare, but I was very intrigued by the ladies in skimpy lingerie in the windows. I had been warned NEVER to take a picture of them, so of course, I…. didn’t :). Blue Eyes and The Pragmatist did not even see the ladies. The Pragmatist walks really fast, and Blue Eyes was just focusing on keeping up with him. I was the one wandering about eyeing the merchandise. We also walked to a little restaurant near his apartment to get take away food. The Pragmatist went in to get the food and I stayed outside. The restaurant was right next door to a cannabis coffee shop. It was interesting to see that the entire time I was standing there, not one single woman went in or out. Not one.
This time, we did not go anywhere near the Red Light District. We walked from our hotel through a lovely area of little shops, mostly they were closed because it was Sunday, I guess. Although it was a beautiful day at 57 and sunny, there was a windy chill and we went into what we thought was a coffee shop to get a cup of tea. It was actually a bar (they probably also served coffee and tea), but they were having Karaoke hour, or something, and there were 4 or 5 people with microphones singing the same slow monotonous tune in Dutch and which I can only assume was out of tune? It was not appealing to our ears and we left and instead we stopped at a little Lebanese restaurant because they advertised hot, fresh mint tea. We sat out at a cafe table on the sidewalk and decided to order some delicious falafel and labneh with pita. The hot tea really warmed us and was so refreshing and full of whole mint leaves. We walked through Sarphatipark and because it was a beautifully sunny day, there were so many people enjoying the park playing ping pong, and fetch with their dogs, walking kids around in strollers, playing ball, socializing and exercising. We wandered back to the hotel before it got dark and really chilly.
We ended up ordering room service as the hotel restaurant is quite fancy with a prix fixe menu. We have taken to sharing recently, so room service made more sense. We were going to watch a movie, but after our lengthy dinner conversation, we were too sleepy to get through a whole movie.
Dinner conversation started with Blue Eyes talking about his recovery. He has recently had a couple friends open up to him about their own personal issues around sex. Last week was emotionally draining for Blue Eyes because of this. He normally is able to bounce a lot of this shit off me and I help him put it all into perspective. Last week, without me around, he was off balance. I think he felt honored that these men would want to share with him (one did not even know Blue Eyes is a sex addict), but at the same time, he feels a big responsibility to these guys, to be there for them, to help them. He is ill equipped right now to help anyone as he struggles with helping himself. We talked it through a bit. I then decided to explain to him what had happened on the plane earlier that day. I told him how his touch and his words had helped send me plummeting into the abyss. How I just don’t feel special anymore. How I know he did and said things to other women that should have been exclusively mine. I should have been the only one he was telling he loved and that he was calling beautiful. I am so flipping over the sex part, who fucking cares about that, it is about the emotional devastation to me. I no longer feel exclusive or special to him.
As the conversation progressed, I told Blue Eyes that now, nearly 14 months since dday, I realize he will never truly know how I feel. I have given up on believing he will ever be able to understand. He is not able to. He is not equipped to. As a child he never had the blessing of knowing he was loved unconditionally. He learned not to trust people. He learned he could only count on himself. I know now that at that point in time when I learned as a child to be kind, and compassionate, and to not do things to others that I wouldn’t want done to me, that when I learned it is better, more rewarding, more genuine to tell the truth, he was being taught to lie and hide things about himself because he was bad and shameful. He was taught he would never be good enough and he was not important enough to be validated. He was not important enough for his father to want to spend time with him. His mother blatantly belittled and chastised him and told him he was a failure. They broke him and I would not, until now, understand how deeply those wounds go. They are so deep that he is unable to feel the kind of compassion and love necessary to get outside of himself to be truly empathetic. As a child I learned to trust, that I was worthy of people’s trust and that they would not let me down. He learned to be distrustful and that he would never be trusted nor would anyone in his life be trustworthy. It didn’t matter that I did trust him, unconditionally and that I am as trustworthy as it gets. In his head, he didn’t believe it.
Blue Eyes can understand that I feel sad, but he cannot absorb how sad. He knows I feel humiliated, but he has always felt humiliated, so he does not know how it feels to be devastated by this kind of lying and betrayal. I told him that if I had cheated or lied or done something destructive to our relationship, he would never feel the pain of it like I do because he would be expecting it and somehow he would feel it was his fault. He would feel like he deserved it. He would feel he was never worthy of my love in the first place, so he was bound to destroy it. Part of Blue Eyes’ recovery process is actually learning to trust and believe in people, learning to believe he is worthy of our trust. I want to be able to trust him, but first he must learn how to trust in his own self worth.
I am not bitter or angry about my new understanding of Blue Eyes’ limitations. I am looking forward to seeing the progress Blue Eyes makes in this journey to learn to love himself, and to believe in himself, and in turn, believe in the people who love him. We had this conversation during dinner last night in Amsterdam. Blue Eyes did not deflect or attempt to avoid the conversation in any way. Not even when I told him how sad I feel when I associate his behavior towards me with his behavior towards other women. Not even when I tell him I don’t feel special when he holds my hand or tells me he loves me while on a plane on our way to Europe. Or as the wonderful Paula (Horsercumin) said, when “he robs me of all my glitter.” He didn’t run away or act like a child. I did not cry and go away to that place where no one can hurt me. We both stayed present and talked like mature adults, and that, in and of itself, is progress.