I’m saying those words

arches

Arches National Park, Utah. Road Trip October 2015.

The words I swore I never wanted to hear again. The words that pissed me off, and confused me, and made me think people just didn’t get what I was going through. The words that made me want to scream. Now I’m saying them too. I hear those words coming out of my mouth, and I see those words, those beliefs, in my comments to other people. Those very same words people said to me, to try and comfort me, to let me know I was going to be okay… now I believe them. I guess that means I’m actually really truly healing. Healing to a place others have been before me. Many many others.

So what exactly am I talking about? This shit, this shit with my husband… it isn’t about me. Those were his wounds, and his lies, and his baggage. All the stuff he did, it hurt like hell, but it wasn’t ever about me. I internalized it. I bled out of every orifice. I cried millions of wet, salty tears and now I know for sure, it was never about me. What was about me? My healing. It was all on me. Fear abso-fucking-lutely overwhelmed me. I didn’t want to give up what I thought I had. I didn’t want my past tainted with lies and betrayal. I didn’t want to write a new future.

I have finally figured out… I don’t have to. I don’t have to be afraid, I don’t have to give up my amazing memories. I don’t have to give up the good of what I had, and I GET to write a new future. This new future includes a healthier me with a set of dark brown eyes that are WIDE OPEN now. A me that is wiser. There was a truth I didn’t know I needed to know, but I am actually glad now that I know it. So what exactly are those words I have been hearing all along, but for a very long time was not really able to absorb?

It’s not about you. How many times did I scream inside my head to myself and scream outside my head to others, how could it not be about me? Well, it wasn’t. In the process of what he was doing, to HIS life, with HIS life, he hurt me. I HURT and I wanted what he did to be about my hurt, but the only way I could heal was to let go of the hurt, for me and my sanity, and let him deal with what was really going on inside him, which had nothing to do with me.

You need to detach from your husband’s recovery. And in that process of distancing myself from his figuring out what was really going on inside him, where it all came from, and why he felt like he could hurt people, I learned a lot about myself. How he rationalized doling out pain on others instead of dealing with his own hurt… well, not my problem. I gave myself permission to let it ALL be his problem. No matter how I looked at it, there was nothing I could do to help him. It took me a while to recognize I was trying to do things for him, and it took me a while to realize not only was it not my responsibility, it was not my place, and it would never work anyway. I stayed. I set boundaries. I let him know I believed in him. I let him know I still wanted to be his partner. That was all I could do. I could have left at any time. I could have moved on. It was always my choice based on the facts in front of me.

Whether he heals, or not, you will be okay. I heard this, mostly from trauma therapy, but it took me a very long time to believe it. And when I finally did believe, I knew everything was going to be okay for me, I mean I really knew it, it my soul.

Be kind to yourself. In the end, I had to let the trauma envelop me before I was ready to come out from it. I couldn’t ignore it or pretend it wasn’t there. The trauma hit me like a tsunami and it left in it’s wake a slow realization that I had been permanently damaged in some ways, but the greatest parts of me, were totally salvageable. I had a strong foundation and everything else, well as I re-build, I know I can weather any storm now. I gave myself permission to grieve, and heal, and move forward knowing I have always held myself accountable for my own behavior, and I have loved being a caregiver, and I still cherish my ability to feel deeply and forgive in a way that allows me to move forward. But most of all, I have learned to really look deeply inside myself, and love what I find there.

 

43 thoughts on “I’m saying those words

  1. I love this post Kat! It is such a wise word for all of us walking through the devestation of infidelity. I know especially in the beginning, it felt impossible not to believe my husband’s lies and betrayal weren’t about me. But what you write here – Its an absolute truth that we need to grasp and hold firmly onto. I’m so grateful for your healing and also that you continue to encourage others and give hope. Thank you Kat ❤️

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  2. Hi Kat. Thanks for a wise post. I keep re-reading it. “Fear abso-fucking-lutely overwhelmed me.” I love that phrase. I have felt so afraid. I think I am hitting a bottom realizing that not only do I have no control over my husband’s recovery, I have no influence. But as you say, it’s not my place. It is HIS recovery. Like you, I don’t want to lose my best friend so I am staying. I have set boundaries and let him know that I want to continue to be his partner. I’m willing to believe I will be okay whether or not he recovers, but I’m not there yet.

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    • And also that recovery is a process. They don’t just wake up one day wanting to be different and therefore they are able to make all the changes overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and belief on their part and they will not be perfect in their pursuit of what they want for their life. None of us are perfect, even with a huge wake up call. This particular scenario is so difficult, however, because their relapses are so painful to us. This is the time we must remember it is not about us and continue believing the process. Boundaries are critical. My fear did not completely dissipate overnight, but over time, it did, completely. xx

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  3. Absolute truth. I recited all those things to others but when it happened to me, how could it not be about me? You are right. So spot on and you’ve laid it out beautifully for the rest of us. I love where you are at and the hope it gives the rest of us. Thanks for sharing your truths. And that photo, I love me some Zion.

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    • If my husband had been a narcissist, like his narcissist mother, and walked away from me and our marriage to live a depraved life as a loser asshole, Laurel, I am not sure where I would be right now. We all have similar and yet very different circumstances, but it is so important to know you deserve happiness and I hope you just wake up and grab it one of these days. Regardless, I read a lot of progress in your words. I hope you feel it too! xx

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      • Could the progress be that I am not so depressed about the idea of spending the rest of my life alone? I think I’m comfortable with that now….so comfortable that any other thoughts don’t even enter my mind anymore. I will say that sometimes I worry that I maybe…enjoy…the idea. I don’t know. Maybe just another protection mechanism.
        Maybe I should have stayed with the Loser. Maybe my life would be just like it always was…and maybe I would be just as miserable…but comfortable.

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        • From these words, it sounds like you are comfortable now, why contemplate being miserable with Loser? Not sure miserable and comfortable can live side by side? I know I was miserable whenever I had to speak to or be around my MIL, and when I disconnected from that, part of my life felt a lot more sane, a lot more genuine. I like your comfort in wanting to live your life focusing wholly on you. That makes sense and I know a lot of people who are very happy unattached. For me, it was a lot less about being alone, which eventually didn’t worry or scare me at all, but about losing my best friend. I wanted him to “get better” and to “get better” with me. Eventually I had to give up on the notion that I had any control over that at all.

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          • Having to bear the loss of a “best friend” was never something I had to deal with. Loser and I were never best friends. He reserved that honor for his tramps. I don’t miss him. I hate that he is happy with some tramp who is about as cheap as they come…and I hate that I lost my children to those people. It used to be surreal…but now, it’s not. I try not to think about them. I don’t have pictures of them around me. I do, however….worry that I have lost something of my sanity…because I DON’T miss my children.
            I’m not even sure I would say that I am miserable. I was miserable before…now, it’s sort of like a nightmare that I never wake up from. Every day though, I think it gets easier. Holidays are rough and will probably continue to be rough but……

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            • I totally get that. I disconnected from holidays a couple years ago. It just seemed too difficult, all the faking. I am much more reserved now and less social. Just focusing on you and what you enjoy is the best way to be. ❤

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              • That’s just it. I used to enjoy so much…making quilts…working in my yard…painting my rooms….now…nothing.
                I make my bed every morning and I keep my house tidy…but I could care less that the walls haven’t been painted…or the floors haven’t been waxed. I don’t care that I haven’t run my brand new weedeater.
                I basically don’t give a shit. I care about my blog. So many people have told me to write a book…but I don’t know how to write….I just sit there and bleed from every orifice….and act like I’m alive.

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                • I didn’t go into our basement for over a year and a half. I just didn’t have the energy to pick up after my kid anymore or do laundry. There are many days when I don’t feel like doing things I actually really love to do, but I keep my expectations low and don’t beat myself up for not being the same person I was. I will never be the same person I was, but I like the person I am. You do know how to write, for Pete’s sake, you do it every day, beautifully!!!

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  4. You are so right. I don’t know if I am ready to say it yet. But you are right. I don’t know if I’m ready to accept that I chose him when he could do this – and when I really believed he couldn’t. It’s the ultimate catch-22. But it’s not about me at all. I just sometimes still think it must be (even though I know it’s not, and that it isn’t about you or anyone else who was betrayed). Thanks for this. Good timing.

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    • I know those feelings well, Lucy. It doesn’t feel good to be systematically lied to, but in the end, I think we just believed in the good. Why would someone lie to us? With my husband, there was no need to lie. I am a very understanding and compassionate person. Unfortunately, the one thing I didn’t know about him, how desperately he was messed up from way before he met me, was critical to his long term story. It still saddens me that what he has could not be helped by me, and my nature, and my honesty, and my love, but that will not shape my story. I am still the same loving faithful person. He is the one that must write a new story for himself. xx

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  5. Thank you for this post my husband is coming home from treatment in Wed and I am just beginning to look at all of these thoughts and feelings. I am inspired by your words and hope to be where you are someday.

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    • Hopefully his homecoming will be a smooth transition. It is all overwhelming, but eventually things fall into place. One way or the other, like it or not, this is an opportunity for growth for everyone. If only it weren’t so painful! Hugs and strength to you. xx

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