Worth fighting for

bamboo

Just about 20 months ago I received trauma therapy in Los Angeles. The particular psychotherapist I visited specializes in working with developmental, relational, and shock trauma. From her website, “she is a specialist in the Sex Addiction-Induced Trauma Model and she is trained to work with the addict, the spouse, and the couple. She is also a Certified Clinical Partner Specialist and guides her clients to drop into the interior realms, emotional capacities, and psychobiological functioning to round out a wholistic treatment approach. She is a Somatic Experience Practitioner and certified in EMDR. She is certified using the Neuro Affective Relational Model, Touch Work, Embodied Mind, Mindful Body, and Attachment-Focused EMDR. She specializes in stress, anxiety, and depression, mind/body connection, developmental shock, relational trauma, sex addiction and partners of sex addicts.”

I traveled to Los Angeles to see her in bulks of time, three separate trips, approximately 25 hours total. I briefly documented my first two visits with her here Day One: How did I get here? and here Day Two: Can we fix this mess?. Those two posts don’t really talk much about the actual therapy, and it was so early on in my journey that I was no where near being able to “get” much of what the therapist was giving me. What I realize now, more than a year and a half later, was she was trying to give me my life back. She was trying to help me understand that my life, my happiness, my security, my resilience, my fortitude, my power, does not lie in what my husband is, or does, or in our marriage. Betrayal induced trauma is a bitch. The collective “we” of faithful spouses understand this concept acutely. We feel the anguish deep in our bones. The heartbreak of knowing the person who would never hurt us, has done so, rocks us to our core. I know these feelings. I begrudgingly share them with you as someone who never deserved to be treated with such disrespect and abuse.

BUT. There came a time where the lightbulb went on. The trauma started to give way to healing. The reality set in. He did do those awful things I defined as my nightmare. He did them. Alone. He made the decision to cheat and lie. No one coerced him. Society didn’t give him a pass. I didn’t give him a pass. NO ONE gave him a pass, and, he knew it was wrong. The entire time, he knew it was wrong. The nightmare was real, and yet, here I am, surviving. I was a person before I met my husband. A young, vibrant, loving, love-able, nurturing, kind, compassionate, caring, healthy, strong female. During my marriage I was all those things and more… wife, mother, daughter, friend, sister, aunt… I took all those roles on willingly, gladly, stealthily. I do think one of the things that was lost a bit along the way, however, was me taking care of me. I took me for granted. I had depleted my reservoir of self, so when my husband’s secret life was revealed, I was devastated. I had counted on him, depended on him. He was, after all, my life partner, the one who would never break my heart. He was my rock. I was living a false reality. Post d-day, it was time to take back some of what I was giving away. To realize the only way to be truly healthy is to be kind, gentle, loving, and nurturing to myself. Being kind to myself is not mutually exclusive to being kind to others, but it was crucial to healing from the pain. All those lessons taught me by the trauma therapist all those months before began to take hold. She certainly knew what she was talking about, I was just not ready to listen. When I put my husband and my marriage aside and started fighting for myself, that is when I began to heal.

We are fucking worth fighting for. Family, friends, the press, the media, hollywood, all those people and things that theoretically mean something to us… they don’t. Unless they are building us up, reminding us how worthy we are as people to have happiness, honesty, kindness, joy, love… bliss in our lives. Unless they are validating who we are and what we want for ourselves, their thoughts and concerns and criticisms mean nothing. All the societal naysayers, all the blamers, all the rationalizers and minimizers, they must be summarily, and effectively eliminated from our thoughts. Feelings of self worth and self esteem must win out over loneliness, guilt, shame, despair and self-defeating behaviors. Stay or go, we can do this, we can believe in ourselves and believe we are bigger and better than the pain of betrayal.

Peace ❤

PostScript: This post was inspired by two betrayed spouse bloggers whom I call friends. They are kind, funny, delightful, loving, insightful, beautiful inside and out, and they know who they are.

16 thoughts on “Worth fighting for

  1. One of the things that resonates for me about this post and about you, my friend, is that trauma notwithstanding, you are one amazing cookie. Just two years. Two short (looking, but seriously, short) years and you have the perspective that so many of us chase. I have an intellectual level of calm and understanding of what-the-fuck happened in my life – and happens in so many otherwise “comfortable” lives. But I just cannot get these damn emotions to play the game by the rules. I understood VERY early on about the trauma, about my healing (and I guess, by extension, OUR healing, but that was a very distant consideration, I knew I had to fight for me first and foremost almost immediately.) But I possibly didn’t fully comprehend that I am not an easily persuaded personality! I was/am devastated by betrayal. In all forms. And still struggle with getting my feelings to line up the way my brain is desperately trying to convince them they “should” – lol. That said, there is certainly a much higher degree of acceptance. But perhaps not quite the acceptance I was striving for. More acceptance that this is who I am. I am an emotional person and I will walk through life with a much tighter scar than many. I had hoped for a more Peace Love and Mung Beans form of acceptance. A bit of que sera sera shit. Nope. Not happening. 😂 Thanks for this post. But most of all, thanks for your precious friendship 💋

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    • Yes, those two years seemed so loooooong, and drawn out and excruciating. But on the other hand, WTF happened the last two years? I actually have to go back and read the blog to remember. I think that is a good thing, not being able to remember all the minute details? We all have such unique personalities shaped by many many events in our lives. I do think accepting what happened and giving up on what we thought was real, that wasn’t, is a huge part of the healing journey. But really, acknowledging that we have control over how we let things affect us, is just as important, more important? When I was quizzed by BE’s most recent therapist all those months ago… “well, if staying with Blue Eyes is so god awful, why do you stay?” At first I said I don’t know, because the pain was so acute, but even way back then, I knew that if BE could change those things about himself that had propelled him to lie and cheat, that weighing everything, I would stay. That is not a path for everyone, obviously, but the truth is, we do have to question why we stay or why we go and when we answer ourselves, we have to believe ourselves, and believe in ourselves. Believe in our reasons, embrace our reasons. In my eyes, you ARE a very unique personality (yes to that tight scar) and you have an equally unique position in that you have life goals you want to fulfill that don’t include Rog, but which keep you there living life with a partner, who is still your partner, but is not your partner in many ways. An emotional dilemma for both of you, and a unique carve out of responsibilities and roles that is about honesty and open communication, but all under the blanket of regret, hurt and pain. I know you feel guilty for a lot of things and no one can ease that pain for you. Nope, you will never be a que sera sera lady. But, I do believe you can get to a place where you really do accept what you have chosen for yourself and truly embrace it and let go of the guilt trip. I appreciate our friendship so much and never look at either of our situations as better or worse than the other, just different. Regardless of where you feel your emotional journey has taken you these past six years, you have done a lot, made a lot of progress, accomplished some pretty lofty goals and still managed to raise three exceptional kids. It’s okay to let yourself off the hook, my friend. It’s also okay to start carving out a different life for yourself if you want one. Everyone understands. Thanks so much for the love and support, but you brought up the word “cookie” and that is not okay right now. 😉 Ha, just kidding. ❤

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        • Yes, Americans are a unique species of human, me being of the variety who if asked what food I could not live without if stuck on a deserted island, it would be cookies (biscuits are a whole different thing to us :)… wait, no CHEESE!!! It would be CHEESE, which I also cannot have right now!!!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, NH. I feel like I have shared a lot of the bad and ugly, so I’m trying to share the good too. I have learned it is not just time that gets us through, but also our attitude and how we feel (really feel) about ourselves deep down in there. We are warriors! xoxo

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  2. We ARE all fucking worth fighting for!!!!!!! Lovely post Kat and you know it is good to read inspirational thoughts from others. It is always handy to have a reminder to stay on track and remember who we are fighting for. Love it xxxxx

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Reading your H’s blog was quite an education for me. He is enormously blessed to have you on his side and he seems to realize that. Hopefully the path is smoothing out for you both….Good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your comment. I do believe he does realize how blessed he is and that makes staying a whole lot more doable, and enjoyable. Things are definitely smoother now that he is living in his own reality and I have metabolized a lot of the trauma.

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