I need something pretty to go with this not so pretty post. I took this in my cutting garden with my macro lens. The bee’s wings are so shiny and beautiful to me.
After posting about structure yesterday, Blue Eyes came home from his very long day, which started with a 7:00am 12-step meeting, then numerous appointments including sales meetings where he needed to gather enough energy to pump up the guys for a very busy upcoming quarter at the company, and a visit to the bank to collect documents for the monstrous construction loan for our beach house, and he collapsed in my arms in tears. I was busy making dinner… my hands were full of utensils and my shirt was a mess and he just melted into me. I was literally and figuratively holding him up. I dropped everything and held him and hugged him and listened. It really was the first full day of the new schedule and it took a toll on him and he wasn’t hiding it or hiding behind his addiction. He attended his 12 step AND worked a full day AND had to perform in multiple meetings as the CEO of his company. He sobbed that it was so difficult. After sending my brother off in a taxi for his plane trip back to Salt Lake City, Blue Eyes said he felt like everything was crumbling around him. He had called me in the afternoon. I suggested he collect some herbal tea and sit somewhere quiet and meditate, just try to clear his mind. The level of energy it takes to be in recovery from addiction, and be a functional husband and father, and run a multimillion dollar company, is overwhelming to him.
We sat down to dinner and Blue Eyes was still clearly ungrounded. We took the dogs for a walk later and that felt good for both of us. During his scheduled alone time in the early evening, time he has earmarked for his physical therapy exercises, or step work, or mindfulness practices, he decided he wanted to be with me. I was on my Pinterest account fantasizing about planning a trip to London and having afternoon tea at a Moroccan restaurant when he asked if he could read something to me. Blue Eyes is almost done with his fourth step (the moral inventory) and the fifth step is basically discussing those defects with God and others (in Blue Eyes’ case that is his sponsor), so the sixth step is right around the corner. Working the 12 steps through meetings follows the twelve months. Now that we are in June, the sixth step is discussed weekly in Blue Eyes’ SA meetings. This process does not by any means reflect a literal 12 step/12 month process. Depending on the person, working the 12 steps can take months or even years. This will be Blue Eyes’ second June that he is in the program. The steps mean more to him now that he is actively working them. Even though he is not technically complete with steps four and five, he is well on his way to thinking about six, so, nice timing that it is now June. What he wanted to read to me was a chapter in one of his step books about the sixth step. He proceeded to read the chapter and then chapters and readings from other books about the step. This is not something I am normally involved in, but I wanted to be supportive by being there physically for him on this stressful day. Blue Eyes cried the entire time he was reading the texts. As he was reading, my mind started to wander. It wandered to a place where I could not separate out what he was saying from his acting out behaviors. And then I could not separate out all the effort going into him understanding who he is with what he has done, while I sit here being all supportive. If I was good at graphics (or not so lazy), I would put up a little chart showing how I feel about how much time and effort in our partnership is going into his recovery (or even before dday, was going into his addiction) and his finding himself (I would even separate out the percentages of his time going into each type of recovery), and how much is going into helping me feel whole after my world was shattered into a million pieces. I did not shatter my world, he shattered my world. His addiction (defects, low self esteem, family of origin wounds, etc… ) have been with him all along so being able to define them sounds so much easier than me figuring out what the hell happened to my life, my husband, my memories, my safety, my security. I have always given and given and given. Now, as part of the partnership, I want something back. Is it too soon? Am I asking for too much? I haven’t really asked for anything from him emotionally over the years. I took what he gave me.
I persevered, and eventually brought myself back around to what he was reading. Is it too soon in the process for him to be able to give me what I need? I am seeing glimmers, but is it because I am better defining what I need and asking for it, or is he finally coming around to realizing he fucked over a lot of people? It seems that the progression for recovery of a sex addict includes a lot of the addict getting in touch with who they are and what they have done, for their own recovery. I feel like being able to discuss with me how he feels about what he did TO me should be included in this process. This may not be ABOUT me, but it sure as hell does affect me in numerous ways and he needs to acknowledge those ways, otherwise, other than taking care of myself, which I can do alone without all the drama, how long am I supposed to wait?
What we should have done after the readings, for our together time, was read something more uplifting, or make love and go to sleep. What we did instead, however, was decide to watch some television. We are pretty much caught up on all the funny and/or non-triggering programming we had on queue. We decided to go back to the Amazon show ‘Transparent.’ We had previously watched three episodes of the 10 episode season, but then Blue Eyes was triggered by the adulterous relationship/lesbian sex. He said he was ready to start watching it again. As it turns out, I wasn’t, at least not watching it with him. There was a scene which included a large breasted older woman and a younger man (woman was originally his babysitter) and BAM! My mind went straight from the large breasts/paid help scenario of Blue Eyes’ pathology, to that horrible image I cannot seem to dispense with and it is me dropping Blue Eyes at the airport before one of his long flights. Me kissing him good-bye and telling him how much I would miss him and I wish he didn’t have to go and if he could possibly shorten the trip, please do. Him kissing me good-bye and walking into the airport where he would meet someone else. My heart feels the pain of his betrayal over and over. Tears flowed, I sobbed a little (or a lot? I don’t remember). I cried myself to sleep. Blue Eyes desperately tried grabbing at every apology he could think of. Nothing worked because apologies don’t work.
This morning, I was feeling pretty okay, but Blue Eyes wanted to try and make it better, for himself. He asked for it. When you open the door for me, I walk through. He said he just didn’t know what to say to make me feel better, or that he just couldn’t apologize enough (am I going to be writing these same kinds of posts five years from now? I sure hope not!). There would never be enough apologies for what he had done and he is correct. I don’t want his apologies. I need him to validate my pain. I have said it before, numerous times. I need him to say, out loud, how he thinks it must feel to be disregarded, to be tossed aside (for whatever reason), to have basic needs ignored or disrespected. To lie there with a woman on top of him, grabbing her breasts, and not think of me at all. How does he think that feels? It is absolutely not about the other women, they mean nothing to me, it is about how my husband treated me. Like trash. Am I trash? Do I feel like trash? No! But that does not negate the fact that he DID do that. How can an adult person who was abused turn around and abuse an innocent victim and how, as an adult, does he think I can heal when the person who abused me was my very own life partner. His parents abused him. He has chosen to cut them out of his life completely. Can he not see the correlation? I chose him to protect me and my feelings, nurture and love me, and he chose me to do the same. I did what I agreed to do. He failed miserably. How does he think that feels? Don’t say you’re sorry… say, “you cannot imagine how fucking horrible that feels and then burst into tears.” That’s when you burst into tears, Blue Eyes! I know you can do it. Give that to ME. It’s not the pain I want to instigate, it is all the emotion and deeper feelings within him that makes me know I am not alone in this, over here, ME, still stuck on the outside from what goes on inside him. I need to know I am not being disregarded, again, in the name of recovery for himself. I need this. I know how incredibly painful it is to go inside this place of deep pain and despair. I KNOW! I will not make him feel alone or disregarded or disrespected. I will melt into his arms and thank him profusely for giving me something I need. Because I need too. I am not too proud to say, “I really really need this.”
Is it too soon? Will it always be too soon?