Trauma is a bitch

I listened to the studio version of this song… “I Don’t Wanna Love Somebody Else” by A Great Big World so many times post discovery day I thought I would just die right then and there, listening to that song, crying out those words. Wherever I was, in my office, in my closet, in my car by the side of the road, I was sure my heart would shatter into a million pieces thinking about how I did not want to lose what I had spent 30 years building. I didn’t know what to do with what my husband had done. Fear overwhelmed me.

It’s so true… I built a world around him. That’s what couples do. HE left it all unspoken. HE buried it alive and I think he thought he would spontaneously combust from all those fears and shameful thoughts screaming in his head. His truth being exposed was inevitable. When his story burst out of him, we were both caught up in a storm of confusion, a wave of horror and panic. How could I stay? How could he live without me? How could I live without him, HE WAS MY LIFE!!!

Trauma is a bitch I never wanted to meet. That was my mantra for many many months. I felt like I was fighting a whole other Kat. Someone I never even knew was inside me. Everything felt like it was do or die. I couldn’t calm myself. I could no longer reach inside to a place of peace. I could no longer find my happy. There was very little anger, at the beginning. There was deep deep sadness that exhibited itself as deep deep sadness, pain, torture, horrifying agony. It left me crumpled on the floor unable to move, eat, sleep, speak. My eyes were opened up to a place inside me I never knew existed.

I had to heal from that place. Me, by myself, I had to let go of any blame for the situation I was in. Shit happens. People do bad things, but this was a journey I only wanted to travel once and even though the path is not linear, there is a way out. The way out was inside me.

“I don’t care if loneliness kills me. I don’t wanna love somebody else.” Those were broken words spoken by a person in deep sorrow. I very much do care and loneliness will not kill me. My journey did not begin with Blue Eyes, and it will not end with him. It will end with me. Me taking care of myself in the only way I know how, with grace and forgiveness, but most of all kindness to myself. I deserved to come out of the storm and I am. I take responsibility for my life and my choices.

“Oh, I thought that I could change you. Oh, I thought that we would be the greatest story that I tell. I know that it’s time to tell you it’s over. But I don’t wanna love somebody else.”

The song was written by a young man in love for the first time. Sometimes relationships don’t work. We move forward from the pain of that. Blue Eyes is the only intimate love I have ever known. Once I realized I could survive, no matter what, I was able to embrace him as the man he is, not the man I wanted him to be, or the man I thought he was.

Trauma is a bitch I never wanted to meet, but healing is the friend I found living inside me.

27 thoughts on “Trauma is a bitch

  1. “I was sure my heart would shatter into a million pieces thinking about how I did not want to lose what I had spent 30 years building. I didn’t know what to do with what my husband had done. Fear overwhelmed me.”

    20 years for me but the feeling is the same. I don’t know what to do. I dream about being kind to me and loving me…but the actions don’t always follow. So full of fear.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand what that’s like and I’ve been feeling it for quite sometime now.I was so sure that I could never ever love anyone else,i felt that way causing myself deep pain and unnecessary inner turmoil.I had to let go to heal myself; that’s the power of letting go,it opens your eyes to so many more possibilities.

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  3. I’m constantly trying to deal with the ongoing changes to how I process my trauma now with my husband of 34 years. This week, something as simple as the books he reads now…. As a sex addict in Recovery for one year, I have lived with sex addiction/ alcohol issues, shopping addiction, eating issues, and now compulsive exercise and reading. His latest book, The Handmaiden by Margaret Atwood. I saw the trailer for the movie and it was obviously rated R. Book reviews all suggested an adult book, sci fi, about breeding, sex was the main theme, women oppressed, prostitution etc.
    I pointed out in my mature voice that I had concerns about the book he was reading….he got defensive, basically said Amazon said it was OK….I’m trying to ask if Amazon knows he’s a sex addict inRecovery with a wife who is trying to watch and see him projecting an image of a man in his integrity.
    It was pointless, in his frustration, he asked if I knew how hard he was working and said for the 100th time that I was hanging on so tight to his past acting out that I just needed to let go….I just needed to let go!
    I tried to explain that for me I needed to accept the truth of our Disclosure last January…I was still having s hard time dealing with the magnitude of this betrayal, I needed to process what he did, and I needed to heal.
    He said yes and you need to let go of this…..
    Today, in my pissy mood, I guess he’s right, I need to let go of my fantasy of him as a loyal husband. He was a serial cheater who became a full blown sex addict. He was not who I thought and I need to accept that he could not have been more of a dead beat husband and father.
    So today…I woke up and looked at him and thought OK…I’ve let go…..and everything I loved about you was a fantasy….I’m left with the nightmare of who you really are and have to listen to you telling me daily how hard you are working not to act out again.
    Wow…it makes me really accept that my fantasy husband was much better than my reality husband….I’ve totally let go of the fantasy….Today I’m not sure if I can live with the real, cheater, liar, manipulative, addict I’m with right now! Such a harsh reality to face…..I really loved and believed in him! But I do have to let go with the man I put on a pedistal….he fell of that in 1999!
    Thanks for everyone’s posts…..🙏

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    • Wow. I know these feelings well. In order to do what they did, they live in this self absorbed place where they refuse to acknowledge how their behavior affects us. We are taken for granted. As if we will always be there no matter what they do and yeah, boo hoo, we know recovery is hard. Life is hard. Being the spouse of a sex addict and being lied to and cheated on is hard. It’s all hard. With my husband, when I started feeling taken for granted, talked down to, ignored… when he refused to understand and be gracious and humble and work diligently towards real recovery, which in my mind means being aware of our trauma and being kind and recognizing triggering behavior, we discussed separation. We discussed his getting his own apartment until he was able to come to a place in his recovery where he could show me he cared enough about me and our marriage to do the right thing. The right thing does not include triggering behavior. They of course are not perfect, but when we tell them something doesn’t feel right to us, why would they not stop doing it? Because control is a big part of addiction. They want to be in control. Well, they can’t control our trauma responses. Regardless of whether your husband feels the book is okay for him to read (sex and prostitution, um, no, not okay) it is triggering to you, so therefore, put the book down. He made a mistake, he should own it and put the book away for now or forever and read something appropriate. But they have a difficult time with boundaries, thus the reason therapists are so hot to have addicts and spouses set up boundaries in the first place. Even the thought of living on his own in a lonely apartment was enough to kick my husband’s ass into gear. But all addicts are different. The thing is, people can say it is his recovery and he needs to own it, blah, blah, blah, but if they want the marriage, they need to follow the rules we institute, for our own safety. Why would we stay if they are just going to continue hurting us with their behavior? What I kept trying to get through to everyone was that I was not trying to control him, I was trying to minimize the behavior that he continued to exhibit that hurt me, that brought me to my knees in agony and fear. When he started doing the right things, I started healing, really healing. I wish you peace and strength. This is a thankless journey on many days, but there are people out here who understand. Hugs to you! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kat, I cannot thank you enough for your wonderful posts. I have been reading and rereading your older posts and they are so very helpful as are the comments that follow. I am 5 months past D-day. I have read your post “Things I have learned after five months of trauma and a boatload of therapy” and it was so spot-on for me. It inspired me to write my own list. Most important for me is realizing that my #1 priority is my health (physical, mental, spiritual ). Next is understanding that my husband truly is an addict and consequently, is effing nuts. The sex addiction is his problem and only he can fix it. He is in recovery and sober as they like
    to say but it’s slow. He’s still working on that first step. But my focus has to be me. Self care and healing. Thank you. You are an angel. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for the very kind compliment.

      Every time someone references my old posts, it kinda makes me cringe and want to go back and read what I wrote. I know I was so incredibly broken. I hope people can see the progression from the deep trauma and sadness, to a better place. I have found that better place. It does take so much time and a lot of painful moments of surviving. When I woke this morning, a lot of things were weighing on me so I sat up in bed and did some deep breath meditation. I have to pay attention to what I totally took for granted before. My health has suffered, and I am taking ownership of that. It is my life and my body after all. I have to remind myself often, no excuses.

      Blue Eyes started going to 12 step meetings about a week after diagnosis. It took him a few weeks to find the right meeting(s). It took him a couple more weeks to find a sponsor. It took him another nine months to complete his first step. He is nearly 32 months from his sobriety date and he is still on the 9th step. There is no timeline for the steps and they are never complete. Even when they have made their way through them, they will circle back and revisit the concepts, their own goals. They learn a lot from the steps and those meetings and if they take it seriously, they can grow into a much better person. Fellowship and the friendships BE has made have also helped him immensely. He doesn’t have to constantly explain himself. They get him. It’s the same way I feel about the blog and the friends I have made here.

      Keep taking care of yourself! xx

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      • I also have been reading through your older posts. The raw pain, frustration, and anger resonate with me right now (3 months from DDay). I find your older posts actually very encouraging because I can see the growth in your journey– both personally and in your marriage. It is so inspiring to me to read both your older posts and your current posts to see how much you have accomplished. Thank you for keeping the older posts up– they have brought me peace and hope in my journey.

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        • I do think it is important to see the progression. I still have moments on some days that I feel sad, frustrated, fearful, etc… human feelings, but the overwhelming chasm of the trauma is behind me. No two stories are the same of course, but as painful as it is for me personally to go back and read my own words, it is a testament to how far I have come. Stay or go, we (all of us) will make it through. I never thought of myself as an overly sensitive person, I mean sure I cry at sappy movies etc…, I let myself feel, but I am pretty practical and strong and this betrayal brought me to my knees. It’s why I don’t frequent blogs/websites mired in hate towards the cheaters/addicts… if I surround myself with what I consider negative energy that fuels bitterness, I’m not sure I could remain open minded, level headed, compassionate even. I have always been a thoughtful and forgiving person. I don’t want this to change me in that way. If anything I say brings anyone the littlest bit of peace or hope, it warms my heart. Three months post d-day… I remember it, it was the most difficult time in my life. Being hurt this way is not natural. Coming to terms with the fact that addiction doesn’t fix itself, and it is a big leap of faith to believe our partners can conquer it, makes focusing on ourselves difficult. The addict garners a lot of attention. Be kind and gentle with yourself. I lost my way, for a little bit, thinking I was weak, until I realized I am the everything I need to be, for me! Big hugs to you! ♥♥♥

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  5. Letting go of the pain is the part I am STILL struggling with. I don’t want it. I fling it away, but that damn stuff is like sticky slime. It clings on! I don’t fully understand why it is still clinging on all these years out. I know it is destructive and my enemy. But I seem to have this AWFUL brain that won’t allow it to get too far from me. To keep me mired in misery when I want and need to be walking much more freely, far, far away from it all. Hell of a self protection mechanism when it does far more harm than good now! Searching for more techniques to severe myself from the closeness of the pain. I am so tired.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I sat with this comment for a while, Paula. I realize we are all different, our life experiences are unique, our stories of our husbands, our partnerships, their betrayal, it all represents our individual triumphs and defeats. I know letting go of the trauma, the burden, is more difficult for some. I know staying is hard and going is hard and being in limbo is even harder. I know you have the fiercest self protection mechanism of anyone I know. I hope more than anything that you can find that path that takes you away from the pain and towards the acceptance of a new life that can be beautiful, peaceful, tranquil, enjoyable, at least more enjoyable, and less tiring. I know I have said this before, but I think you somehow hold yourself responsible for this mess and in my opinionated way, and from my outsider’s view, I think you still haven’t forgiven yourself for you own perceived weaknesses. I think releasing ourselves from the pain is the kindest thing we can possibly do in life. I want that for you more than anything. ❤

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      • Lol. Severe myself! See, even my typos understand me! Yep. Absolutely. And I feel even more of a loser (knowing that is so freaking stupid!) that I am still struggling. It’s a totally efficient, self fuelled cycle of self hatred! Such an eco warrior 😉. I just wanna find the key to getting off. ‘Letting it go’ all Elsa stylz

        Liked by 1 person

    • For me it has been a real struggle to wrap my head around the fact that so many different Kats live inside me. I do know that the strongest part of me really wants to be happy and in order to do that, I had to start letting go of the pain. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • And that really is the crux of the matter. Letting go. For me, the pain became an almost tangible thing and really one of the only things that I could rely on. How sick is that?!?! It makes letting go of it that much more difficult. It’s a difficult job but oh, us lucky few, get to be those that can show our strength through adversity…🙄

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  6. So much wisdom and so inspiring. I am focusing on myself every day. I am embracing my pain and grief but in very small doses. I know that I must heal regardless of the outcome of my marriage. I am learning to make myself the priority in this process. My husband had his own work to do. I am still in love with the authentic man who lives inside of him. He is the only true love I have ever known, but I am learning to love myself just as much.

    I am grateful for all your insights on this journey. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You and Dr. Phil, ha. Makes me smile. Even though Dr. Phil has not lived our pain, I think he gets trauma and it’s effects. When we are going through it, it feels so debilitating. We have to free ourselves of our shackles. No excuses. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  7. “Blue Eyes is the only intimate love I have ever known. Once I realized I could survive, no matter what, I was able to embrace him as the man he is, not the man I wanted him to be, or the man I thought he was.”

    Such a powerful and mature and freeing thought! I think I already feel this way, so why am I tearing up reading it? Thank you for sharing that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • For me I think it affects me because it is difficult to give up on the notion that I can’t hold on to all this anger and sadness… it is freeing, but I think it is the last vestiges of the trauma holding on for dear life… for me trauma=fear. Somehow if I am not embracing the trauma, I am compromising myself? Those old feelings of walking into a trap. It is a bit like trying to shove off this deep part of me that felt like protection for so so many months. Nothing can take me down now and that is empowering. xx

      Liked by 2 people

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