I am doing better in terms of my healing. It might be difficult to tell since I have not been writing as much. I love to write, so I am not quite sure why the big breaks from blogging. Perhaps just the nature of the blog. I started it to write out my pain, in a public forum, to hopefully help release it. Over time, I am healing, there is less pain, I am writing less. A natural transition, I suppose.
I have learned to separate from my husband’s recovery. I am doing more activities independently that make me feel good, good about life, good about myself. We had been home for months with no traveling, which is very unusual for us, but this sabbatical from travel was done partly so Blue Eyes could get in some consistent recovery and healing. Being able to attend regular 12 step meetings/fellowship and therapy appointments is critical. We also stayed home partly to keep an eye on our budding beach house project. Travel still holds triggers for me…
Two weeks ago we set out on a short two-night trip to New York City. This NY trip was very similar to a trip Blue Eyes had taken with his acting out partner in April 2013. In the scheme of things, 2013 seems like ages ago and yet, at the same time, feels like yesterday. July 2015 held the two-year anniversary of the last time they had sex. August 2015 held the two-year anniversary of his breaking things off for good and his last communication with her. Today is the 21-month anniversary of her phone call to me. This means very little to me at this point. I don’t feel sadness, or anger or pain. It is a bit of a coincidence that I noticed the date at all. I feel tired and beaten down by this process, but I am more numb to it all now. I do better with triggers now.
Our flight to JFK was scheduled for very early in the morning, same flight as theirs. I was tired and a bit cranky when we set out for the airport at 4:30am. As we drove past the other woman’s exit off the freeway, my mind went back to an unhealthy place and I thought what the fuck was he thinking as he drove to the airport that April day over two years ago, their last trip together. Trip #11 (Eleven has definitely turned into a very UN-lucky number for me). How did he feel leaving our home, with me sleeping soundly in our bed. Did he feel anxious, or just excited. Did he think about being caught, or was he immune to those feelings at this point, eight years into their relationship. I hate when these thoughts invade my conscious mind. I tried pushing them away. I tried redirecting. Instead, I must have looked like a confused zombie, quietly fighting with myself inside my head. I was tired and traumatized, but not one teardrop fell. Blue Eyes was driving and he looked over at me. He could see I was off. He said nothing. I quietly and monotonously uttered the words “what were you thinking?” He didn’t answer.
By the time we entered the airport, checked in, went through security, and arrived at our gate, I was over it. I was square in my current reality, no longer trying to make sense of the senseless, no longer mired in the past. Our flight was uneventful. We arrived 30 minutes early. While on the plane I had been making plans for the next day. We were staying in midtown Manhattan and Blue Eyes had two business meetings in New Jersey. He was planning to Uber it. I would have quite a bit of time to myself and I didn’t want to waste it. I planned to take a long walk using a couple suggestions from blogger friend, Totally Caroline, and a couple ideas of my own. I didn’t want to sit around the hotel room all day, working or whatever. I wanted to get out and move and see and be immersed in Manhattan. I wanted to see how many steps I could take in New York City in under four hours.
After arriving to our hotel, Blue Eyes and I were exhausted. We knew we needed to make it an early night, so we ordered in room service. As we sat eating the delicious food, I asked Blue Eyes if he had noticed my mood shift that morning. He said yes, but he wanted to focus on driving. This is a typical deflection for Blue Eyes. If I had asked him about the features of the new iPhone 6, for example, he could have rattled on endlessly, driving along just fine. Ask him about something he doesn’t want to talk about, however, and he needs to focus. Not surprising, but disappointing nonetheless. I asked him what he had done when the other woman had asked him uncomfortable questions or put him on the spot. A question I already knew the answer to. He admitted that he ignored her. It was just easier that way. All things do come to an end and he knew her anger would too. He knows my bouts of sadness will too. So, I mentioned to him how disheartening it is for me that he treats me the same way he would this woman he didn’t care about. This woman he used for his own sick games. I asked him how he thought that made me feel, being treated the same by my 30+ year life partner, as he treated a woman he never cared about.
I made my point. The conversation was over. I could tell he was thinking about it, thinking about his actions and the consequences. There were no shouts of anger, no tears of deep sadness. Just the reality of the situation. Something he can continue to work on if he wants to remain married to me. Write it down Blue Eyes, if you have to, make a note so you can discuss with The Shrink. Figure it out, because, it is never too late for me to change a bad situation.
I tried to sleep in the next morning, but the sun was shining brightly through a crack in the blinds in our cozy hotel room on the 34th floor overlooking the theater district. Blue Eyes was gone and I had the big king bed to myself. I lounged, checked email messages, Facebook, etc.. I leisurely showered and ordered breakfast from room service. I set out from the hotel at approximately 11:15am with my walking shoes on. I headed up fifth avenue to do some window shopping. On the way I passed some amazing sites like Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Tommy Hilfiger store dedicated to Rafael Nadal in his underwear, wait, what?
I stopped in to Bergdorf Goodman, on the advice of Totally Caroline, and as much as I would have liked to drop $2500 on a Balenciaga dress (if they had a size to fit me), or $800 on a gorgeous Hermes silk scarf, we don’t have sales tax in Oregon.
I left BG’s and headed back up fifth avenue along Central Park to the Guggenheim. Of all the museums in the city, I had chosen The Guggenheim because I wanted to see their Impressionist Collection and their Kandinsky Gallery and I knew I could see it all in a short period of time. They also had an interesting Doris Salcedo Exhibit that I managed to also see, all in less than an hour.
Above: Guggenheim Exterior, Below: Guggenheim interior ceiling.
Above: Vincent van Gogh’s Landscape with Snow, February 1888, Below: Vasily Kandinsky’s Dominant Curve, April 1936.
I left the Guggenheim and proceeded across Central Park. I zigzagged my way through and watched briefly as they were setting up for the Pope’s visit that Friday. Across from the ball fields, I watched them erecting a large stage, preparing for Beyonce’s Saturday eve visit. Central Park is an amazing place. I asked directions of a nice lady walking a beautiful dog, part border collie, part bernese mt. dog, two of my favorite breeds in one. She told me about the castle up ahead and suggested I climb to the top for a great all around view of the park before exiting, so I did. In my hurry, I didn’t take any pictures.
I exited the park near W 74th and headed straight to Totally Caroline’s other recommendation: Levain Bakery, for their chocolate chip walnut cookie, oh my! This was one spectacular cookie. I also ordered a cup of decadent whole fat ice cold milk.
Even though I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and it was well past 3:00pm and I had walked almost exactly seven miles, I could only get through 1/3 of a cookie. Me, a certified cookie-aholic. At this point I made the mistake of sitting down on one of their tall bar stools at the counter. I realized I was done walking for the immediate future. At this point Blue Eyes was back at the hotel changing into casual clothes. I texted him and asked him to Uber up to get me and then we could Uber over to Grand Central Station Oyster Bar for a Lobster Roll. He did just that, and we did just that:
We walked back to the hotel post lobster roll. Later that evening we met our oldest son for dinner near our hotel at a really trendy but outstanding ramen shop named Ippudo.
Our son was suffering from a head cold and had even missed work that day, something he did not share until he was with us and most likely the reason he chose a nice hot, rich bowl of ramen for dinner. His having a monster cold is an ominous declaration to be discussed in a future post. We walked back to the hotel and I collapsed on our comfy, fluffy, king sized bed in utter exhaustion. I ended up walking over 9 miles that day and it felt good. Very good.