Where did the feelings go?

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My view the day before we left Portland.

We recently returned from a trip back east. I had a splendid time despite the fact that it rained most of the time we were in Chicago and, our flight to NYC was cancelled and rescheduled so that we had to travel on The Peacemaker’s birthday, something we didn’t want to have to do. But we did it and it all turned out fine. Our last day in NYC was wonderful. The weather was gorgeous, blue skies, warm sunshine, gentle breeze, brightly colored leaves on and off the trees, brunch at a cute little Brooklyn bistro with both our boys. And, we even returned home to more sunshine. Crisp, sunny autumn days are my favorite.

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Chicago River view before we departed our architectural boat tour and before the rain commenced in earnest.

Because of our situation, and because there is no forgetting what has transpired over the past few years, there were bumps in the road. Blue Eyes struggled in Chicago. He is deep into a new work project and that’s one of the reasons we were in Chicago in the first place: business. We also celebrated his birthday there. Birthdays have been difficult for Blue Eyes since going no contact with his family. I realize celebrating his birthday without the people who gave him life, and without the people who were there (good, bad or otherwise) for his entire youth, just sucks. Why can’t they be better people? An unanswerable question. They are toxic. Lots of people love Blue Eyes, but none of that matters when all you want is for your family to love and accept you unconditionally, and they just don’t. They’re not capable of absolute love.

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Chicago River Architectural boat tour

I wasn’t really sure what was going on with Blue Eyes while we were in Chicago other than we both knew Chicago had been one of the trips he took with the last other woman. He was thinking this was the first time we had been in Chicago since he was there with her, but it wasn’t. He took her on a business trip in 2009. He and I visited Chicago in 2011, a little more than two years pre-dday. I was completely clueless that he had been there with another woman, because I was clueless about a lot of things. Chicago was never a big deal to me. I wanted to visit, we did, that’s it. When I found out he had taken her to Chicago, the bigger deal was that he left with her less than 24 hours after we had been together on a trip. Of course his business trip with her to Chicago was pre-planned, and all about his addiction, and so no matter how lovely our holiday was, no matter how much fun we had, or sex we had, no matter how perfect everything was, he would never cancel an opportunity to feed his addiction… he lived off those trips. Chicago definitely wasn’t, in my opinion, one of his more egregious betrayals in the scheme of things. But yeah, now he is living without those trips. Without his drug and his work life has become quite strenuous the past couple months.

As we sat eating room service breakfast on the morning of Blue Eyes’ birthday at the Four Seasons Chicago on the Magnificent Mile, with a gorgeous view of the lake I might add, Blue eyes apologized for having brought the other woman to Chicago and for just plain being who he is. The Peacemaker and I just stared at him in confusion, full mouths of food gaping open. No one had mentioned the other woman. The Peacemaker and I certainly weren’t thinking of her. I mean seriously, I don’t think the Peacemaker EVER thinks about Blue Eyes’ other women. He doesn’t know much about them and doesn’t want to know anything. They represent some seriously bad shit his father did while feeding an addiction and betraying and abandoning us in the process. We were confused as to why Blue Eyes brought her up at all, especially on his BIRTHDAY! He was definitely worn down and having some phantom pains left over from his arthritis days, specifically, inflamed joints. Even he realizes these are brought on by his own obsessive thoughts and psychosomatic tendencies. He had been walking with a limp for a couple days. The last thing I wanted was to be thinking about that horrifying creature during this special time with my boys, but I also didn’t want to appear frustrated with Blue Eyes on his birthday for being open and honest and voicing his own pain. After my trying to make light of the conversation by asking Blue Eyes if she had stalked him through the streets of Chicago with her camera, which The Peacemaker said didn’t sound that strange (WHAT???), we diverted the conversation quickly away from the other woman.

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Frank Lloyd Wright home.

After breakfast we headed out to the Oak Park suburb of Chicago. We toured the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio, the Unitarian church he designed, as well as a dozen other FLW designed homes in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district.

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I love love love architecture and specifically home design, so I was in heaven strolling the leaf strewn streets of Oak Park. The strangest part of the day, however, was seeing a book titled ‘Death in a Prairie House: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Murders’ in the studio gift shop. I was prompted to google Frank Lloyd Wright to get the full story and what a strange story it is. Of all the FLW architecture I have seen, I had never heard about his personal life or about these murders nor did I realize he was a serial cheater. I didn’t realize he left his wife and six children for his mistress or that his mistress abandoned her own husband and children in order to be with Wright. OR, that his mistress (his first wife refused to grant him a divorce for many more years) her children, and others living in Wright’s home in Wisconsin were brutally murdered by axe as the house (named Taliesin by Frank Lloyd Wright) burned around them. His personal story continued to be fraught with trouble and yet his career flourished. We learned many other details about Frank Lloyd Wright, the man, and the architect, during our tour. I found the whole thing fascinating.

Miraculously, on our last day in Chicago, after Blue Eyes finished with his business meetings, his joint pain vanished. I was certainly grateful, but it does beckon the question… how much control does he have over his ailments that they just magically disappear? While Blue Eyes was at meetings, The Peacemaker and I took a four mile walk in the pouring rain, pounded by wind, to Millenium Park and The Art Institute of Chicago. It was worth it.

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Cloud Gate, aka The Bean, at Millenium Park.

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Playing around with photography in the reflection of The Bean

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I never tire of the Van Gogh’s. The Drinkers, 1890. Art Institute of Chicago.

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And Claude Monet is my artistic hero. Cliff Walk at Pourville, 1882. Art Institute of Chicago.

Although we had a lovely time in Chicago, we were anxious to arrive NYC. Our late afternoon flight from Chicago to LaGuardia had been canceled, so we stayed an additional night in chi-town and headed to NY the next morning. To be honest, Manhattan is a bit dicier for me in terms of the betrayal trauma. New York City was the trip Blue Eyes refused to divulge until I was ready to walk out the door that fateful May afternoon in 2014. Finding out about their trip to New York precipitated my ER visit that day. It wasn’t really so much about NYC, per se, but just that he continued to lie and lie and lie and lie. I have been to New York a few times since discovery and trauma has haunted me there. This time, however, I refused to let anything bother me. Sometimes when I wake up next to Blue Eyes in a strange hotel room, disoriented for the briefest of moments, I think of him lying in a strange hotel room bed with the other woman. Those thoughts have devastated me in the past. Not any more. I have power over those visions, those conjured memories, now. I have put my foot down. I will not have the happiness in my life stolen away by memories of my husband’s bad acts.

By the time we reached our hotel last Wednesday afternoon, even though we were exhausted and I desperately needed a shower, it was The Peacemaker’s birthday and his wish was our command. He wanted Ivan Ramen. The Netflix series Chef’s Table did an episode on Ivan Orkin and his famed ramen, which we have watched twice now. We therefore took the subway from the Theater District down to the Lower East Side and walked over to Clinton Street so the boys could have their ramen. Blue Eyes’ days of pain and limping were long gone as he fairly well jogged to Ivan Ramen from the train station. To say my husband and my son are obsessed with ramen, is, frankly, an understatement.

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Triple Pork, Triple Garlic Mazemen Ramen from Ivan Ramen (all my pictures have my men gobbling up the ramen as soon as it was served, so I stole this pic off the web).

 

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In case you think I’m kidding about the ramen addiction, here is a bowl of miso ramen The Peacemaker made tonight for dinner from Ivan Orkin’s recipe. I made the homemade chicken broth from two chickens I baked yesterday, and he made the miso base and ground pork mixture. The noodles were purchased fresh from our local Asian Grocery Store. We realize this is not a healthy daily food option, but it is our fall favorite comfort food of the moment.

After our late lunch and on our way back to our hotel, we passed one of Blue Eyes’ all time favorite places, Russ and Daughters. I waited outside while they purchased their treats (fish and bagels and rugelach, etc…). I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they had purchased Chocolate Babka for me. A New York City favorite. YUM!

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That evening we had late night dinner reservations with our older son and some of his friends at Raoul’s French Bistro Restaurant in SoHo.

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We all squeezed into this cozy booth at the back of the restaurant. The place was hopping for a Wednesday night at 10:00pm.

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Most of the table feasted on Raoul’s famous au poivre steak frites (although I had the rack of lamb).

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And The Peacemaker did Totally Caroline proud by ordering the decadent profiteroles doused in chocolate sauce for his birthday dessert.

By the time we arrived back at our hotel and climbed into bed, it was well past 2:00am. The next day it was a bit drizzly out. The Peacemaker and I slept in, lounged around and read books while Blue Eyes took meetings all over the city. Not being alone in a hotel room sure helps take my mind off any unsavory happenings in the past.

Friday, The Peacemaker and I met his older brother + girlfriend for delicious Dim Sum in Chinatown.

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Dim Sum Go Go

Then we headed uptown for a nice afternoon visit to the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Guggenheim Museum where we took in the Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World special exhibit. Very interesting indeed. I love the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. Each time I am there they have a different selection of paintings on view with an exceptional collection of Kandinsky, Gauguin, Picasso, etc…

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It was a gorgeous night in New York City. We then met up with Blue Eyes at Grom Italian Gelato. Totally Caroline introduced me to Grom Gelato in Paris and I must say, I adore it!!! Especially the whipped cream… you must order it with the whipped cream!

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I never stray from the chocolate!

Sadly, we had only allotted a week back east and our flight home left us barely enough time to head over to Brooklyn and have brunch with our NY Boy. We had also forgotten that on check in, our hotel had given us a half dozen or so free drink tickets for the bar, so before leaving our hotel, Blue Eyes and I order iced tea and lemonades (we don’t drink much alcohol) and The Peacemaker ordered himself a Moscow Mule.

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Not a pivotal part of the trip, but I thought this drink was just so pretty, especially the copper straw.

We had a fantastic time. We celebrated two birthdays and were together as a family. The themes of the trip were definitely family, food, art & architecture and it was a whole lot of fun.

I can honestly say that I have come to a point where I can now travel, in airports (even our home airport, a place I dreaded for months and a place where the other woman stalked me), on airplanes, in hotels, in cities my husband visited with his acting out partner, anywhere, everywhere, and not feel a bit of trauma. I didn’t actually know at first whether this day would ever arrive, but it has. I am no longer in the throes of trauma. I no longer think about them together. I no longer double over in pain at the thought of his betrayal. I no longer question my choice to stay. I no longer cry tears of sadness at what I thought I had lost.

So, where did all those trauma feelings go? I don’t know, but they are no longer haunting me, and for that I am grateful.

29 thoughts on “Where did the feelings go?

  1. FLW’s architecture was amazing. I know nothing about him as a person, which sounds like a good thing. I too am an art lover. The Impressionists and the Pre-Raphaelites are my thing.

    Sadly, one of the places OH took the OW was the tea rooms at my local art gallery, which has loads of Pre-Raphaelite art and ceramics. It took him over a year to admit that he did take her there. I believe that is because he knew how much that knowledge would hurt me. To be honest it hurt more because he trickle-truth revealed it! I struggle with going there because of the triggers. But I do go! Why should I deny myself the art I love because he was a thoughtless/selfish fantasist?

    Glad the triggers are less hurtful for you now. I crave the day that happens for me. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, again, I need to go read your blog to get the full story, but why would your husband want to hurt you? Why was he punishing you? Did he blame you for the reasons he chose to cheat? You realize how crazy that sounds, right? It is always about them no matter because if they are so unhappy, they can choose to leave, with dignity. They don’t have to behave badly. And YEAH, the trickle truth is so awful. It hurts so badly that no matter the amount of pain we are in they would rather hide their secrets and hurt us over and over, like a thousand cuts.

      You should NOT deny yourself anything because of your husband’s bad acts. I have definitely realized that one the hard way. My husband’s betrayals also run deep, taking the other woman to places we shared as a family, and places that I thought were special to us, and also places I had never been, sharing them with her before me. When he was with the long term other woman, I know he wasn’t thinking about me at all, so I do not believe he did any of the things he did to hurt me, but he did, hurt me. So what’s the difference I guess. My quandary is how could he do things without thinking of me? Selfish, broken behavior, for sure. But that was his behavior and I am still the same awesome woman I always was. 😉

      We are approaching the end of year four and frankly I have grown tired of the pain, and the frustration and letting anything get in the way of my happiness. I’m choosing not to let it anymore. Knowing that I am strong enough to manage every facet of my own life and that I own the choices I am making helps me be stronger.

      Your day will come. My wish for you is that it happens soon!!! xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is 3½ years post-DDay for me. Yes, he used what he termed “the cracks that existed” in our relationship as an excuse to pursue the OW. She was his “escape” from his boring, mundane existence (with me)!

        It always galls me that they all seem to choose the opportunity to run away from their problems rather than talk to us about their issues. His excuse for not doing that? “I thought you would despise me and judge me. She accepted me for who I am.” Um, NO. She liked the false image you were presenting her with, not the real you.

        A funny fact…he never once farted in her presence! In 8½ years of clandestine meetings, he claims he never did because “she might think less of me”. Give me a break!!!

        And yes, he did also take her to places that were special to me. Our city has a big Christmas market every year. It was somewhere I loved to go as part of OUR build up to Christmas. He took her there at least two different years “but I always made sure I took you there first.” Like that is some kind of honourable thing to do. Makes me puke whenever I think of it. Selfishness personified! Also took her to a vegetarian restaurant (I am vegetarian BUT she is a carnivore).

        Where do they learn this shit? Much love. X

        Liked by 1 person

        • They ALL have SO MANY EXCUSES. The only thing they refuse to do is look within for the answers instead of looking for some other human who says nice things to them and has sex with them because, you know, there isn’t all the “baggage.” There was no “baggage” with us when the relationship was new. Life breeds complications and when we agree, for better or worse, and make promises, well, it is just bullshit when they rationalize they don’t have to keep those promises anymore. It is so wrong and so hurtful and mean and just plain lazy. It sounds like you know very well that this is all on him, his problem, his solution. As long as I remember (and really believe in my heart) that it was never about me, it has been a bit easier to heal. I also have the choice whether to stay and give another chance to him and the relationship or leave. Just knowing and believing that helps too. xo

          Liked by 2 people

          • Yes. Exactly this. His issues. His inability to deal with things like an adult. His betrayal of his own moral code. His addiction to shallow validation. His selfishness and cowardice.

            MY choice whether to stay and work on this some more, or to decide it really isn’t worth my time. It does make me feel stronger… most of the time anyway. Thanks hon.

            Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yes, and don’t google Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal life. Just enjoy that amazing architecture. He was quite the talent. I would like to do a U.S. road trip to take in ALL of his designs. I’m putting that on my bucket list. 🙂

      Like

  2. I’m healing, but not quite where you are… yet.

    This little tidbit was shared with me by another betrayed wife, so I thought I’d leave ti here.

    “What happened was in the past. It’s not happening NOW.” All we have is now, right?

    It seems so simple doesn’t it? But we know it’s not, and Betrayal Trauma is a big, bad bitch.

    My friend shared that with me b/c we will be going through disclosure/polygraph in a month and of course I am having anxiety over it. The reality about what i hear, though, is info from the past. It’s not happening now. I trust that it won’t happen going forward.

    I haven’t felt like blogging, so I just haven’t been. I’m planning on going back to school. I know I am healing b/c I am inspired about this opportunity!

    p.s. You food pix are making me drool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you have found a new inspiration. Funny enough, the post I am currently writing is about my son suggesting I go back to school and get a masters in psychology, ha. I think he just wants me out of MY house! Kids! The trauma messes with us. Of course we know the acts we are so upset about are in the past, but the trauma comes from not knowing what was going on in our life and the shock at finding out what our partners were capable of… it’s like we didn’t know them at all. Then there is the fear of not knowing what they will do in the future. But we eventually realize we knew the person they wanted to be. They desperately hid that other broken person for fear of losing us, but also because it was habit, their way of coping. For me there has come a point where I realize this is in the past and my husband is doing everything necessary to be that man he wanted to be and so that helps me in my decision to stay. More importantly though, I realized I needed to get to a point that no matter what he does, I’m okay. For someone who has not gone through the trauma, it is difficult to understand how much the trauma messes with our mind. I would have bet everything I had that nothing could cause me to fall apart like I did and that at no point in time would I harm myself. I was wrong. The trauma was stronger than what I was at that point. It’s not fair, it’s not fun, but it does leave us with daily choices about our lives. Ones we alone get to make. I wish you much strength for the disclosure and polygraph. As difficult as it will be, I think it is an important step on the journey for the addict. Hopefully it won’t be too hard on you because as you say, it all happened in the past and even if you find out new facts or details, it’s still in the past and it is very very difficult for the addict to lay himself bare and give up his secrets. They thought those secrets were protecting them when they were hurting them all along. xoxo

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks, Kat. I am girding my loins to be as strong as I can and just “go” with the process to heal and turn a page through this disclosure process.

        I am so sorry you tried to harm yourself. I wish I had something more comforting to say. (((hugs))) It is a trauma many people don’t ‘really’ seem to ‘get’ unless they have been through it. It warms my heart to hear of your joy in your life – NOW. All we have is now. (Yes, I keep telling myself that.)

        I saw how badly my husband harmed himself, and, he almost died. Addiction, trauma and depression are killers.

        I have my Master’s degree, and I am hoping I don’t have to complete another one to reach my goal. With some research and work, I “should” be able to complete an add’l program to get my educational certification in TESOL (the new acronym for ESL). I’ve been passionate about this for a while and now I am taking steps. It takes time with state-to-state licensure boards and certification boards and universities. I can do it!

        Here’s to US, Kat. Survive. Thrive!

        Liked by 1 person

        • YES, You CAN do it!!! What an admirable and fulfilling career choice you are making. What’s a little jumping through hoops now after what we have been through.

          We are super women!!! I was an ace student, but once I earned my undergraduate and had kids and had a demanding career, I really didn’t want to go back to school. The thought of classes and tests and papers just did not excite me, but now, things are much different. Maybe I’ll start with a class and see where that leads me.

          You are an inspiration! xo

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to visit Chicago one of these days. Great photos, and very interesting about Frank Loyd Wright! I had no idea. I think you and I are just growing up a little. Maybe our skins are thicker. Maybe this is life’s way of protecting someone after they’ve been hurt a little too much. But they say that once you can honestly talk about something without crying, you’ve healed. I think your healing process is at its end. Yes you will still have an occasional moment, but look how far you’ve come…
    … *sigh* OMG those profiteroles from Christian Constant … 🐖 I die

    Liked by 3 people

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