I hate effing roller coasters

roller-coasterSorry, I don’t meet the height requirement to ride your emotional roller coaster.

I have been having some lovely conversations lately with a couple of betrayed spouse blogger friends. I really do cherish these relationships… I’m pretty sure they know that, because I tell them all the time.

As we all struggle through, with very different situations, very different lives, very different partners, living in three different countries on two separate continents, running themes pop up. When I first started this blog, it was all pain and confusion. Then, I slowly started to accept and understand my new reality. I was still in a desperate situation, with excruciating emotional and physical pain, but I was moving forward. There were such low lows back then, and a few little glimmers of hope. Now, after months and months of my own recovery from complex post traumatic stress disorder, which from everything I feel deep inside, was mostly temporary, I have realized a few things. Some of the things I could do to help myself, were gently, and not so gently, communicated to me by friends, blog commenters, therapists, and others, but each of us is on our own journey. We bring to each situation a unique set of circumstances and personality traits, and trauma from our past, some experiences help us, some hold us back. I am determinedly working on those traits that hold me back.

I figured out early on that I needed to focus on myself, on my situation, and on my life. Outside sources often caused me greater pain and confusion. Some of those sources were books designed to be informative and helpful, books about infidelity, books about sex addiction. Some were actually helpful in allowing me to understand the disease that is sex addiction. Some were designed to be helpful to wives of sex addicts. Those were hit and miss and often traumatizing and mired in antiquated co-dependent themes. The sources I found the most destructive to me personally were forums. It is difficult for me to separate mine and my husband’s actions and personalities from those of others and many are stuck in negativity, self loathing, hate, or even more destructive to me, sadness. Frankly, the only person I really know, is myself. I want to be able to rely on my own instincts and judgment. In a comment to a friend yesterday, I said the following: “I do understand wanting answers, but I think in the end the only one that holds the answers is us. It just takes a while to realize that many of these people that talk about and write about infidelity and betrayal are doing it for the money. Many of them have no idea what it feels like. I felt so much more grounded the day I decided the Internet and the books really held no answers for me. My situation is mine alone. I am the person I need to master. I am the person I need to listen to. Blue Eyes will never be able to hurt me like that again. I have released myself from his torment. But I do understand…. it took me months to get to this point. Only I know what I have, who I am, what I’ve lost and what I’ve gained.”

And I continued with the following… “I realize getting to this better place, with the betrayal etc… takes time and everyone is different, but my story really changed the day I realized Blue Eyes wasn’t who I thought he was, and was never gonna be and the choice is mine. It’s all fluid, day by day, but I’m (mostly) not influenced by outside sources anymore.”

So, I do believe everything I said, it was just yesterday after all. Even though I can understand seeking answers from outside sources, and honestly I think the thing holding Blue Eyes together right now is his connection to 12 step, therapy, and the buddhist community, all of which are outside sources and include lots and lots of reading materials and new practices he can use to replace old bad habits with new good ones. Unfortunately in the end, for me, I realized those questions that actually do have answers, can only come from me evaluating my own situation with a keen eye, an open mind, and a forgiving soul. Whether I stay with my husband, or not, I needed to take my hurt out of it. I have the power to do that. The power to release that pain is mine alone. I know the trauma therapy helped me build a better foundation for self reliance. I do know that having this betrayed spouse blogging community has helped me not feel so alone, but as far as the rest of it, the Tedtalks, and videos, and books, and forums, they are just noise to me.

I also talk pretty openly with these friends about sex, and our sex life specifically. They are safe and understanding like that and I appreciate the outlet. Although sex is a big part of my relationship with Blue Eyes, it is not a part of his sex addiction recovery… “And when I say ‘Blue Eyes is a sex addict’ kind of jokingly about …. and whatever, I am just a sarcastic person. How we deal with sex is the same as always, and irrelevant to his healing. The bigger deal is Blue Eyes needs to learn to love himself and forgive himself. That doesn’t have a whole lot to do with me (and NOTHING to do with sex). That’s all about him and that is why recovery resources for him are so critical and not to be downplayed. That was what was always wrong with him. He didn’t think he was worthy of love. He didn’t love himself. I see so many people write about how they don’t love themselves. If we don’t love ourselves, how can we truly be healthy and happy?”

And,

“We have to learn to live in our own reality. It takes a while to realize we cannot have back what we had, or even what we thought we had, or what we want. When reality keeps slapping us in the face, at some point, we have to pay attention. I lost the man I knew, but he was only partially real. I’m still a bit blown away, but I think I can live with this new man. Again, day by day… in my new reality, knowing I have full control over only myself and my feelings, and my decisions. It is enlightening and heartbreaking all at the same time. I think Blue Eyes is eternally grateful and damn fucking lucky I am actually the person he married and I am, at this point, sticking it out with him.”

I also said, specifically to one of my friends:  “What he says doesn’t matter, it is what he does. We know from you telling us that he [her husband] is a wordsmith. Those words need to translate into action. When that happens, your roller coaster will even out and you will be able to get off, safely.” Pretty sure she knew how opinionated I am when she asked me to join her in a chat that now spans thousands and thousands of comments, and I love it!

And no sooner had I “counseled” someone else, in my very opinionated way, about eventually being able to get off the roller coaster, I found myself back on it again. Back on the damn fucking roller coaster. This is a journey, not a destination. A fucking long, rocky, twisting, grueling journey.

Last night during a late dinner, Blue Eyes and I were discussing the schedule for today and some things that needed to be done around the house, and Blue Eyes dismissed me with “I will not be able to help you out.” No explanation why, just those words. He was, at the time, standing at the kitchen sink. As I left the room feeling completely ungrounded, I said, “well, as long as you clean the kitchen up, that will be helpful.” I went up to our room and a wave of loneliness hit me. I wasn’t quite sure where it was coming from. Blue Eyes stayed downstairs in the kitchen, or his office, or somewhere, for quite some time after that. I was tired. I am fighting menopause, and continued construction on our bathroom, and lack of sleep, and anxiety over that big upcoming family event–my sister’s wedding, and next week’s trip out of the country, to Japan. I never know when the feeling of being overwhelmed will hit me. I felt like I was back on that roller coaster that I despise. There are no feelings of wonder and excitement, there is only dread and fear. Blue Eyes arrived to our bedroom late in the evening. We watched a couple comedies on television. There was no real communication between us. By the time I woke up this morning, he was gone.

After going down to the kitchen and realizing it was a big, fucking mess with dishes in the sink, stuff all over the counter tops, and perishables left out, I cleaned it and returned to my office. I sat at my desk, looking at our golden retriever with her big sad brown eyes behind the cone of shame she has to wear due to another burst sebaceous cyst on her side, that she cannot seem to leave alone, I realized why I was so ungrounded. Two years ago, one evening, while planning to take Blue Eyes’ then mini Aussie puppy in to the vet, along with the big golden retriever, for shots, I had asked him for help. That’s a lot of animal to wrangle and he had said, “I will not be able to help you out.” No explanation other than he had business meetings. There were no business meetings. The truth, he had met the other woman at a coffee shop, they had gone for a stroll, he had kissed her on the public street, they went back to her house and had sex. All while I was juggling a squirming 20 pound puppy not so elegantly in my arms while trying to maintain the leash of a 70 pound golden retriever with the torque of a mac truck. I remember the day vividly. I also remember the day I found out what Blue Eyes was really doing while I was taking his puppy for shots. That big hole in my soul opened up there, again, for a bit, and threatened to swallow me.

But, it didn’t. I let the pain out. I collected myself. I put it all back into perspective. I communicated my hurt and concern to Blue Eyes so he knew what he had said, and how he said it, had mattered to me, and then I moved on. I am fucking moving on.

You know the other thing I don’t read about, because it scares the fuck out of me and I am in denial, menopause. I hate menopause. I used to be regular, like clockwork. For the past two years, I have had a total of four menstrual cycles and then this past week, I wake numerous times in the night, covered in sweat. I am living with debilitating cramps, horrifying lower back pain, and buckets of blood. WTF?

Another ride I don’t want to be on. Let.Me.Off!

24 thoughts on “I hate effing roller coasters

  1. I’ve been reading some of your blog posts. I may create a blog here too. So much of what you write rings true for me. C-PTSD. Menopause. Extreme lower back pain — I know part of this is emotional and part is physical. I am traumatized by so many things — the risks my husband took, which could have put me in harm’s way, my life story / marriage history / sense of reality is shattered, extreme shame, witnessing and stopping a horrid suicide attempt (husband), therapy-induced trauma, and ??? It breaks my heart that my husband became so depressed that he wanted to end his life. EMDR helped with that trauma, but not the Betrayal Trauma.

    The forums definitely don’t help. I do feel it would help to, somehow, be “in community” with other women who ‘get’ this. There’s nothing in my area.

    Only I can heal myself. I’m hoping I can tap into my power. Thanks for sharing your journey here. It gives me hope that I can heal. We are about 16 months past “the bomb going off” and I still feel shattered.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome Be Lee. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We’ve been out of town on business and I’m not great with the mobile app, so forgive me. I’m now sitting at LAX waiting for our flight home. Finding the right people to share with is difficult and we all have unique needs and sensitivities. At 16 months, things are still so raw. For me there was still so much to process and trauma to tackle. I never found anyone in my real life who could really understand. I have found friends here, but sometimes we have to have a thick skin as anonymous can sometimes be synonymous with judgmental and even mean. Overwhelmingly though, I have found so much love and support here. I’ve shared more than I intended, and I found support here that I couldn’t have dreamed of. Of course this blog didn’t fix anything, but it helped me feel less alone when I was unable to connect to my best friend. Feel free to email if you need a sympathetic ear. xoxo

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  2. It is all the little things isn’t it? A death by a thousand cuts. Taking the dogs to the vets – no big deal, not in the grand scheme. But to be dismissed so curtly and then discover what he was actually doing, I find those are the moments that stayed with me the longest. I think sometimes it’s because the little lies rolled off the tongue so fluidly, it really has to make you wonder about the character of the person. I am super green jello about the trips you ha e planned, watch out n’orleans!!

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    • It really is all those cuts combined that make the pain so unbearable. I also find that when I spread myself out too much, my resolve wears thin and I am more vulnerable. Eventually maybe I’ll build back some of that old “can do everything” attitude, or maybe I will just forever be a changed person. Yes, New Orleans will never be the same! I ❤ my new friends!

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  3. It’s true we each will follow a different path to get where we’re going, but I am so grateful for blogs like yours to help me feel less alone in my pain. Thank you.

    I want to have hope, but also to see where I’m going with clear eyes. I used to close my eyes on roller coasters, but I’m learning that I need to keep them wide open at all times!

    Meanwhile – I’m 46, but I’ve been dealing with the pre-menopause ride for a couple of years already. It’s not been fun, but I prefer the times when there are 3 months between cycles, versus the 15 – 18 day cycles! And the cramps – good lord. It’s really not fair.

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    • Wait, 15-18 day cycles, what??!!?? I wish I hadn’t read that, now I will be paranoid waiting for that to happen. I liked the time I went five months with not a drop. That was awesome. I think I am paying the price for that now. So true, not fair. Thank you so much for your kind words. These blogs have been a god send.

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  4. It sure is a roller coaster ride isn’t it. If we step off the ride when we are down the bottom then we need to get back on. I can relate to getting off at the bottom and just hanging around flailing around and being lost and ungrounded and not knowing what to do, how to get back on, when …….I guess the main thing to do is to make sure to get back on. The roller coaster ride is really just about me and my journey and I am in charge of getting off and on. I hope that the roller coaster itself becomes smaller.
    I know it is not easy to enter menopause years. They can add so much negativity to our lives and you certainly don’t want to become a grumpy middle aged menopausal woman…..not that I think you would. I tried many naturopathic remedies and they did alleviate symptoms. Get sleep and look after yourself and maybe even try some yoga. ( lmao)
    Triggers will always come up and I loved how you handled this latest one. I will be thinking about your strength to not let it wobble you too much. Stay strong and awesome Kat! Xxxxx

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    • Thanks, CF. I’m glad we have each other. I will try not to become a grumpy middle aged menopausal woman… that would be a huge shift from my natural disposition, ha. I really don’t like roller coasters and I do wish I could get off completely. Perhaps my expectations are too high and I should, like you, wish for a smaller roller coaster instead. ❤

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  5. Oh Crazykat – you’re right. We all have our own stories and best ways to manage the devastation of what was once our marriage. I too have read everything possible, digested some, had a couple of lightbulb experiences but discarded much of it. I am me. He is him (currently undergoing change for the better) and, while there are commonalities among sex addicts, our unique set of personalities calls for some customized ways of dealing with our issues. I stopped seeing our CSAT in June but returned yesterday and she did ground me, guide me and validate my feelings. It is good to get it out to someone non-judgmental who only has our marriage and me as her interest.

    18 months later for me and it is still quite a roller coaster of feelings. And I hate it.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and may the best things happen to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We all do have to figure this out on our own… I just hate watching others go through the pain and agony. There is a little piece of me that knows I can always go back to the amazing trauma therapist in LA. I’m kind of proud of myself that I haven’t felt the need. I think just knowing she is there is a huge comfort. She has no idea how she saved my life. Some day I must tell her, that I can do, at least. We are 21+ months from d-day and thankfully none of the old OW triggers really exist anymore. There is still the numbness and pain down in there, especially when I feel minimized, but we are not even into year three yet, so I know it will become even less traumatic. I am so glad you have a CSAT for you. Having a good, qualified professional validate you is a comforting feeling. Reminds us we are doing good on an incredibly difficult life path. Hugs to you, dontsay. ❤

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