It still hurts

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Lanikai Beach, Oahu Hawaii.

We are recently home from paradise. I returned from my six weeks of healthful living in North Carolina, spent one week at home seeing my own doctor and signing up for a local wellness center that offers all the fun classes I will want to take in order to preserve the exercise portion of my healthy lifestyle, and then we boarded a plane for Hawaii to celebrate Blue Eyes’ 53rd birthday.

Transitioning back to real life is difficult. All the stressors and temptations are, of course, still very much here. Blue Eyes did well while I was away. He attended a whopping 45 SA meetings. He enlisted the help of his friends to keep himself busy with healthy, fun activities. He was lonely, but that was to be expected. He always took me for granted, so I knew he would miss me. Truth be told, I am quite a presence! I, on the other hand, managed just fine 2300 miles from home. I loved it there. For five and half weeks I had no desire to return home. Then, as going home became a glaring reality, I adjusted my thinking. I made myself ready. By the time Blue Eyes picked me up at the airport, I was ecstatic to see him.

The first day back was stressful. I could feel the familiar tightening in the chest whenever I was anxious about something, or when I started thinking about all the stressors that home life entails. I did not feel that feeling once while I was away. I am struggling with scheduling in the necessary mindfulness activities that were such a big part of life in NC. Due to our busy schedules, I have been relying on walks, free weights, and the elliptical for my exercise when I would really like to be at the wellness center taking yoga classes and HIIT training. My eating has been okay. I really need to focus on sodium and fat. My weight has come down about three pounds since I returned home, which is good. It’s not just about weight, however, my normal blood pressure readings rely on low sodium, low stress, and some high intensity exercise. I am a work in progress.

I can say that my home doctor was beyond thrilled with my results. My fasting blood sugar reading was down 50 points from my appointment just prior to leaving for back east. My A1C dropped 1.5 points, almost into the normal range. Considering it is a three month reading and I was only gone six weeks, that is a very good sign. My weight was down 20 pounds and my triglycerides were normal for the first time in decades. My total cholesterol and bad cholesterol were cut in half and my good cholesterol more than doubled. To say I experienced incredible results is an understatement. I went from 11 medications per day to 5. In three months, she would like to reduce my medications down to 2-3.

For the most part, life is good. Really good. Our beach house is days away from completion. It looks like we will be able to spend Thanksgiving there as a family. What fun. I know I have a lot to be grateful for and in reality, I am incredibly grateful. The thing is though, I am also forever broken. The gaping hole of pain and trauma has narrowed to the smallest of cracks, but it still hurts. The wound may have healed, but there is still a scar and sometimes that scar is painful.

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Twilight at Ko Olina

While we were in Hawaii enjoying the gorgeous view from the deck of our Oahu timeshare, somehow we launched into the topic of childhood, specifically my childhood. I was talking about how my sister experienced severe anxiety when transitioning between our parent’s houses. She was 9 months when they divorced and during her toddler years both she and my mother were tormented by the back and forth of the custody arrangement. Truth be told, and after loads of therapy, I realize I was traumatized by it too. At seven years old, I took care of her as best I could because our Dad was ill equipped. Somewhere in the middle of that conversation, my voice cracked and there was a big intake of breath and I couldn’t hold the tears back. Blue Eyes jumped up and asked what was wrong. All I could mumble out was “how could you hurt me so?” I have literally spent my life taking care of people, innocent, vulnerable people, but also capable adults. I know I sound like a broken record, but it just gets me every time, like a stab to the heart, when I think about the fallacy that by being good, honest, open, kind, and loving, that that same level of love and compassion and respect will be given back to you by the people you love. It doesn’t work that way. Sometimes we are taken for granted. Sometimes we are betrayed by the ones we love most.

It just isn’t fair, and it.still.hurts.

I have much, much more to share about the past 10 weeks, but I needed to get this behind me. I still cherish this space as my way of unburdening myself. Of knowing there are people out there who understand.

45 thoughts on “It still hurts

  1. These words really spoke to me. I feel very much the same way about being a good and caring person. I thought that finding a person who loved me and being kind and loving to that person would mean that I would be treated with kindness and love– I was naive enough to believe that it was that simple. And to be honest, that idea is so deeply rooted in my brain that I still haven’t been able to shake it. I am still struggling to wrap my mind around the idea that someone who loves me can hurt me so much. I know sex addiction, and the years of trauma and struggles that cause it, wreak havoc on a person’s life and that my husband’s behaviors were the only way he had to cope with his world and the pain it brought him. I think this is true: my husband didn’t do these things to hurt me, he did them as the only thing he knew to help him hurt less. In that way he was trying desperately to be okay and to love me somehow in the middle of his pain. I know these things, but I still come back to: I’m in pain. I’m in pain caused by the person I love. And that’s what is still so very hard to come to terms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel the same way. I am currently sick with a flu that has transitioned into walking pneumonia so I am not at my best, to say the least. I still feel at times like I need to do more than my share for everyone else to be happy. I did a lot in the past so my husband didn’t have to worry about so many things, so he could focus on what made him happy. Apparently he was miserable. Who knew? I feel so tired sometimes. Yesterday my husband had to take a treacherous drive through some snowy backroads during a winter storm about 90 miles from our home because our younger son lost the keys to my car while visiting a friend’s ranch. I would have done it, but I am sick. I was worried about both of them so tried to stay in touch. My husband decided he was too stressed out to respond to my texts, even when he was at the destination. I honestly think he was feeling resentful that he had to take about six hours out of his weekend to do this for our son… so I worried from home waiting for him to confirm everyone was okay. Like so many other times in the past while he was acting out, I worried and he disregarded (ignored) me. He reminded me that of course he wasn’t “acting out” this time and that I knew that. But what he doesn’t get is that he doesn’t have to actually be acting out to be behaving badly. My feelings are important. Any time he is rationalizing that he doesn’t need to respond to me or my needs, it sends me back to that place all over again. ❤

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  2. Yes, it will always hurt. What is done can not be undone, and what is seen cannot be unseen. I suffer with this too. In the middle of a rough day, I end up crying in a bathroom stall wondering why I can’t be loved. These tears in our hearts are there. This is part of life I guess. Nobody gets out unscathed. But I am so proud of you. You have overcome so much, and even if you don’t see it, when I look at you and what you have accomplished I see a tremendous success ❤️❤️❤️

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  3. Oh Kat..I have missed you. I am so glad your time away was so good for you and that you and BE got a much needed escape together. I feel your pain though when you say it still hurts. I think for us, it always will. But I also think that the more time that goes by, the less that hurt will take our breath away. I am grateful for you my friend and in this season of counting blessings, I am counting you and everyone here. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. XOXOXO

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    • Thank you so much, Leigh. I hope you continue to enjoy your time with the grand babies and that you have an amazing Thanksgiving. Hopefully you will post some pictures of your new house once it is complete. Soon I will post some beach house pics. Although we will celebrate Thanksgiving there as a family, it won’t officially be done until mid-December. xoxo

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  4. Hi, CK. What wonderful trips you are taking! And now a place at the beach!
    And then the memories……..
    I am too lazy to go back and read so if I have already suggested this forgive me. YouTube has a 25 minute talk by Marilyn Van Derbur. She was a Miss America in the 50s. She was wildly successful. Great athlete, top of her graduating class, motivational spleaker and a victim of sexual abuse by her father for 13 years. She is just talking to a person out of camera range and she seems somewhat serene. That is far from the truth. Her story is a horror. While she does not go into detail about what was done to her she does describe the aftermath. It will break your heart. Your husband, and others, suffered something bad enough as children that they began to self medicate while still young. It was a dirty secret and one he probably never recognized as coming from his pain. It does not matter what kind of abuse a child receives he is helpless. Please watch her video with your husband. I think he will recognize himself.

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    • I think you have suggested this youtube video before…. but I don’t think we ever watched. I will wrangle my husband and we will watch. I have written much about BE’s childhood wounds and how he grew into the sex addict he is today. He absolutely did not associate his childhood with his shameful behavior. He had convinced himself that he had a great childhood. But of course he was compartmentalizing and rationalizing all over the place. Like the fact that as long as I didn’t find out, he could manage it all. And after every time, he would never do it again. Once he received his diagnosis and therapy commenced, a lot of the pieces of his broken puzzle came together. On many days he still hates himself. We are all works in progress. Thanks for following.

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    • We watched the youtube video. Very emotional. She said the words I have heard from so many survivors… “if you knew the truth about me, you could never be with me” My sister said the same thing the night before she attempted suicide… “if you knew the truth about me, you could never love me.” I have written about this before, but the video has prompted another post on the subject. Thank you.

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  5. Hi Kat! So glad you are back. I can so relate to the healing process and the pain that is still there. Most of the time I am fine but the pain can surface at some odd moments very unexpectedly. We had our formal disclosure a few weeks ago. No surprises, I’m happy to say. My husband broke down in tears during the process. His therapist said to him, “What a gift you have been given with this woman who is willing to stick with you.” As you have said, neither staying nor leaving is easy. Either path requires growth. I have reached a stage mostly through therapy that I know I can leave and I will be ok. I even believe I would love again. But for now, I’m choosing to stay. One day at a time. Thanks for your thoughtful and inspirational blog. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you had a formal disclosure and there were no surprises. Stressful, but gives a bit of piece of mind. You are a gift to him, hopefully he is proving that he appreciates that priceless gift. I remember the day I realized I could go, no regrets. It opened a space in me to really truly respect me and who I am and how I got to be who I am. My time away was further validation that I would thrive on my own. Like you, though, I have chosen to stay and thrive with my best friend. If I ever stop thriving, it will be time to move on. Thank you for your kind words. xoxo

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  6. Oh CrazyKat I’ve missed you!!! So glad to see you back. Well I guess if you have to have a meltdown Hawaii is a pretty good place as any to do it. I’m sorry it still hurts so bad for you. I hope you can post pics of the house. So excited you guys will be spending Tksgiving there. Welcome Back 🙂

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    • Thanks tryinghard! After 2+ years of regular blogging, it was difficult and rewarding to take a break. I have not quite come to that place where I can take a conscious break from those little subconscious cracks that sneak their way in, but, they don’t knock me down anymore. I think they are little reminders to keep me and my needs as my main focus.

      ♥️

      I will definitely posts pics of the beach house. I am beyond excited for its completion.

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  7. I’m here and lurk.. have started a few posts, have a bunch of drafts.. just don’t have the gumption to edit and post and follow up. I agree .. sometimes someone in your corner.. who knows this brokenness from infidelity is pertinent .. I feel like everyone in my real life thinks I’m wallowing and dragging my feet at getting over it… which is a joke really.. I’ll never be over it. I’m still trying to weave it into my fabric. It’s part of me know… I’m a survivor.. somehow though, for me.. my husband unraveled all the trauma and abuse I’ve grew up with. Emotional abuse and neglect, harsh physical punishment as a child. A Narcissistic mother, who later abandoned me, and then died too young, sexually violated as a child, by male relatives.. so much I thought I had healed .. my husband in his careless act of cheating exposed all the ugliness that was my life before.. I learned to erect walls very well. Now I’m trying to tear them down.

    I’m taking care of me as best I can. I’m taking all the time I need, and doing it my way.

    I envy that you have the ability with your children as adults to escape for those nearly 6 weeks…

    I’ve considered running away, and on horrible days will drive aimlessly (I love to drive and listen to the radio ❤️) and escape for a few hours as though I don’t have to return to this craziness that is my life.

    My son just graduated boot camp. He is a US Marine, my middle daughter is graduating in June and my youngest is a sophomore. When she graduates, I will take a few months for me. I have no doubt. I’ve already looked into travel nursing. I’d love to take a contract for 12 weeks in Alaska and the Midwest.

    Sorry to hijack your post. But it surely resonates with me. I’ll never be the same. But I will always be the best version of me that I can.

    Hugs sweet Kat. I do love your blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sounds like you have a lovely plan post kids. Congratulations to your Marine and your imminent high school grad. These are fun times, and transitional too. It’s usually a good type of stress, but still stress. Your time will come and you will be strong and ready when it does. Time away is a huge healing salve, at least it was for me. And I totally hear you on the resurfacing of all those wounds we thought we had control over. All it takes is for that one person who we thought would do us no harm, to cause irreparable damage with their selfish behavior to make us question what was it all for and were we fooling ourselves. In my opinion we weren’t fooling ourselves. We had mastered most of the previous trauma, but we also trusted someone intimately, and they broke that. It does make cracks and the old stuff comes seeping out. You are never hijacking my post. You are talking out your life. That’s what we’re all here for. I love this blogging space. Big hugs back, Rac! ❤

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    • I love your plans, too, rac. And relate.

      I didn’t have an abusive childhood, in fact, it was pretty lovely. But there were scars I thought I had woven into my life, also. The sadness, and honestly? Shock, of my parents, who really loved each other, splitting – gay dad – and my university years’ violent rape. This betrayal has caused a huge shift in what I thought I had a handle on. Like us all, a work in progress. I guess the one thing I do love about it is that it crowbars us out of our comfort zones, it makes daring or challenging things more achievable. To leave temporarily and do something completely different, awesome. Love it xxx

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    • Rac– I love LOVE what you said “I’ll never be over it. I’m still trying to weave it into my fabric. It’s part of me know… I’m a survivor..” Yes, we weave it into our fabric and survive. Very, very well said thank you for validating.

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      • This journey since my husband’s affair has truly been an awakening for me.. in so many ways.. I’m a different person now. I’m still trying to figure out who I am now 💕 and how all these people fit in or play into my life.

        But I’ve survived 💯 % of everything I’ve been thru.. and I’ve been thru some major shit. I imagine I’ll survive this too!

        ❤️

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  8. 25 months out and I am forever changed too. Broken in places that nobody sees. It doesn’t hurt as much, or I’ve become accustomed to it.. not sure which.. but I feel differently about so many things in my life.

    Your numbers are awesome! Keep up the lifestyle changes ❤️

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    • This is why I still share here, Rac. I know we belong to a very unique and amazing group. No one who hasn’t lived through this kind of betrayal will ever understand. I really do still love my life, but I also still long for what I thought I had. Slowly the fantasy has faded.

      Thank you for the encouragement. I just purchased some clothes to take to the new beach house, and I am easily two sizes down. Fun!!! Best of all though is I feel healthier and happy. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh Kat, I just shared your tears. How I wish I could patch up that crack and erase the pain. Your pain and your ability to share it so realistically with us, helps us help ourselves and others. Thank you for the update and I can’t wait to see what you cook for Thanksgiving dinner. Happy Birthday to BE- what an amazing way to celebrate…. 💜

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    • I don’t mean to drag people down, but honestly it does help to release it here. I am so grateful for you and the other friends I have made through this blog. I know I am responsible for repairing my crack and I am thrilled that BE is diligently staying the path, that certainly helps. BE says thanks for the birthday wishes. He had a wonderful birthday. We will simplify Thanksgiving a bit. When building the beach house, we opted for one 30″ oven and a four burner cook top on the premise that this is our retreat and we would not be preparing lavish meals, but instead simplifying and enjoying ourselves. I have a 48″ wide double oven six burner range in Portland, and we rarely use more than three burners and only on Thanksgiving do I use both ovens. Hmmm. Our oldest will be here with his girlfriend and he is bringing his sour dough start to make rolls. He will also do braised red cabbage and surprise desserts. Should be interesting. My Mom and sister will fill in and I will attempt to fit a turkey to feed us all in the 30″ oven, if it all is delivered on time and works! I am just not going to stress. Furniture still scheduled to be delivered on the 22nd. Yippee. How big is your Thanksgiving feast? xoxo

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  10. Kat, my father disappeared when I was 3 and my brother was an infant. He never came back. We were left to be raised by an angry narcissist.

    Neither of us ever became the person we would have been, nor did we have the life we would have, if we had had other circumstances. We were “victims” of others’ shitty choices. When I was in therapy, my shrink used to tell me “she knew what she was doing”. (by the way I have not spoken to her in 20 years.) We don’t know what our lives would have been like if things had been different; we just know that some of the things that still to this day (I am 53, he is 50) impact who we are and the way we live and the pain of rejection and abandonment, which is not conscious, has tremendous influence.

    But we go on. We mostly thrive. But not entirely. He suffers more than I from things that hold him back from being his best self, because I have accepted more than he has in terms of (mostly) “getting” we did nothing wrong, and he still wants her to love and accept him and I don’t. I think I have achieved radical acceptance…though that is not to say that I have achieved wholeness. I wonder if anyone is really “whole”, or if it is just some imaginary state of being. I have learned somehow to only rely on myself for happiness and approval, and not wish for what I don’t have. He still wants the validation he can never get. He has a wife and 4 kids who love him madly, but he still wants what he can never have. Which is, essentially, for what happened and the way we were treated to not have happened, and for someone not capable of love to love him.

    It is really, really hard but everyone with reasonable intellect and mental health can choose life, choose true and complete acceptance of their shitty “whatever”, and not let the choices of others steal their life or hollow it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi B. Childhood is a complicated beast, under the best of circumstances. Add the kind of trauma you and your brother and BE dealt with well, it takes a strong person to come out the other side with a life they enjoy, no regrets.

      I never really questioned my childhood, my childhood role, until someone I love dearly, cherish, would choose his own brokenness over the promises he made to me. I’m a good person and I deserve to be treated with loving kindness and respect. The older we get, sometimes the more we take for granted and the more set in our ways we are. I took A LOT for granted and it is taking me a while to truly heal from the betrayal wound. I am thankful I am not metabolizing a life of abuse, merely a shocking spilling of lies and betrayal that scanned many years, but was dumped on me in one afternoon, followed by months and months of trickle truth. I agree with you. I totally have power over my life and my happiness. I am still a work in progress. We are nearing three years since discovery, I have passed the two year mark of blogging, and, looking back, things are so much better than they were. I have healed from the deepest of wounds. BE has continued his own path to enlightenment, which encourages me that I made a good choice in staying. There is just a little bit of hollow left in there, but I am working on it.

      Thanks for your wise comment. I always appreciate your input. I hope you are well. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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      • Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

        The point I really wanted to make is that many people have a similar choice to make–to choose to be happy and live well regardless of what people whom we trusted, whether relatives, spouses, or even close friends, do that negatively impacts us. It is hard but it is possible.

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        • I know. You are a shining example of that! Many of the people who comment on this blog are betrayed spouses who trail me in terms of length from discovery, type of discovery, or how they are dealing or for how long. In the end, we are all dealing with the same basic emotions and we all need people there to remind us we have the power. We can do it. It is very nice to hear encouraging words, and I need to hear them.

          By the way, I am working my way towards pescatarian. Wish me luck! xo

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          • You can do it! Another choice! I am veg almost 21 years now and you just decide it’s what you want to be. I never looked back or had any regrets; try to just think about it like keeping Kosher, there are things you do eat and things you don’t…it is black and white.

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  11. Aww Kat- welcome back I’m thrilled for the incredible changes you have been able accomplish while you were away!

    This post made me teary eyed. Like you, I know I have so much to be grateful for and I also am, but you’re so right when you use the words ” forever broken”. That is exactly how I feel as well.

    The more I think about and process the affair, the more I realize that my hurt doesn’t lie so much with all that he did with the ow but really with his willingness to hurt me so deeply in the first place and then to continue to do so.

    I don’t care how hurt or broken he was. I don’t care how neglected, overwhelmed or disconnected he felt. He had absolutely no right to step outside of our marriage but the fact that he did and did it until he was caught makes me hate him for ever being that man. I
    Hate how stupid and selfish he was- how careless he was with the life and family we created together.

    I sorry that it does still hurt. I’m so glad though that your husband kept himself busy and healthy while you were away. I’m glad that he honored you, honored himself and your marriage! You don’t deserve this pain you still feel Kat but I’m so glad that there’s still so much goodness lfor you to celebrate and enjoy!

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    • I wish I could say that nearly three years in I am magically healed, but I am honest to a fault and I’m not, healed. Most of the time I am fine, good even, some days great. But it does still hurt. Every day I heal a little more, but the betrayal has changed me. I’m less naive, but less trusting too. Some of my childlike wonder and unbridled joy is gone. How sad that they had such a precious gift of our trust and unconditional love, and they minimized us and took us for granted. Yes they were wrong and they have their reasons, and they’re broken, but none of those reasons come close to making it okay. I’m proud of myself for the progress I have made and the person I am. I didn’t deserve this, but I have survived and I am stronger and I do have a lot to be grateful for. And yeah, my husband is finally figuring life out. He needs to do that, for himself! xoxo

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