Anxiety abroad

Arriving Japan

I am currently in Japan. Blue Eyes is super busy with work while I get to enjoy some leisure and family time. We’re celebrating my Mom’s 75th and my niece’s (The Princess) 4th birthday here in Tokyo. My baby brother (GQ) has lived in Tokyo for 24+ years now and I’m glad we have business here as it gives us the chance to see him more often.

Japan holds lots of triggers as Blue Eyes brought the other woman here three times. I’ve been here a few times since discovery and have tackled the demons, but I’m not perfect. I’m also recuperating from bronchial pneumonia and sinusitis, so not exactly at my healthiest.

GQ booked us an overnight getaway near the sea that is subsidized by his company’s insurance carrier. It’s an Onsen Resort meaning it has a restorative hot springs bath. It also has a lovely spa and healthy and traditional Japanese cuisine included. Due to meetings, Blue Eyes was unable to make it on the overnight trip. He stayed in Tokyo and worked while I was treated to a full body massage plus facial plus time with my niece and her parents as well as my own parents. We luxuriated in the Onsen bath before bed and I slept like a baby.

Above: Onsen with indoor/outdoor hot springs bath

Below: Sunset view of Pacific Ocean from room

The next morning as I ate breakfast with my family, but without Blue Eyes, I started feeling a kind of emptiness. I could feel the underlying anxiety. I spent some time trying to center myself and figure out what was going on. After lunch we boarded a warm bus back to Tokyo. At one point I was feeling downright nauseous and all I wanted to do was get back to my hotel room and rest.

Traditional Japanese Breakfast

My brother had other ideas. He wanted us all to drop our bags at mine and Blue Eyes’ hotel and then go for gelato, some shopping, and dinner in Ginza, all walking distance from our hotel, in his favorite neighborhood. Since we spend so little time with our Tokyo family, I didn’t want to say no, but my stomach was churning and my thoughts went to a very bad place.

I wasn’t even dreaming. These were conscious and awake thoughts bombarding my brain and I was unable to turn them off. I pictured all of us arriving to the hotel room to find Blue Eyes there with another woman. I could viscerally feel my pain and humiliation as he scrambled to put his clothes on as I covered my niece’s eyes. I could feel my brother’s disgust and my sister in law’s horror. I could see the pain in my parent’s eyes as this ugly scene played out in front of them. My brother does not know about Blue Eyes’ sex addiction diagnosis and recovery. Potentially this is where my fear was coming from. What would we find in that hotel room when I opened the door and how would I explain it.

The walk from the bus station was filled with anxiety as I stayed in front of the group lost in my paranoid thoughts. Of course Blue Eyes was not in our hotel room with another woman. He wasn’t there at all and the room was perfectly clean, nothing strange, everything in it’s place. Blue Eyes was where he was supposed to be, at meetings. Blue Eyes doesn’t partake in that behavior anymore and of course my thoughts were irrational. Even when he was an active sex addict he wouldn’t have done anything so erratic. Blue Eyes hid his secrets well. He truly believed I would never find out.

As I mentioned in my last post, the wounds have healed, but there is scar tissue that unsettles me every now and again. Racing paranoid thoughts. There is absolutely nothing that Blue Eyes is doing now to warrant the thoughts, but bad feelings of the past don’t just vanish. Sometimes they creep in with no apparent cause other than my subconscious knows I was blindsided and I don’t want to ever be so thoroughly emotionally destroyed, ever again.

Tomorrow I will go with the family to Disneyland for The Princess’ Birthday. Blue Eyes will be in meetings, and I will be okay.

Strolling the streets of Ginza on a beautiful November evening

12 thoughts on “Anxiety abroad

  1. Kat, a thought-provoking post. I had a similar experience last summer when I came home unexpectedly in mid-morning on a week day. The same overwhelming anxiety from seemingly out of nowhere. The thoughts of, “What if he’s at home with a prostitute?” He was home,doing step work at the dining room table with the dog curled at his feet. No prostitute.

    I don’t think we will ever be “blindsided” again. We could be disappointed, shocked, maybe devastated, but blindsided, no. We know too much now. I agree with Moisy that as we get stronger, we won’t be emotionally destroyed again. It truly is about getting to be a better, stronger self. We can do this. We are doing it. I am doing it (albeit a work in progress) and I have seen other women do it. If our men want the honor of being with us, then they have to do it, too., become that better self.

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    • I totally agree, Maggie. I know Blue Eyes hated himself when he was an active sex addict, but… I know he also still hates himself sometimes. And I know addiction is a gnarly beast feeding on their insecurities. I know if Blue Eyes gives in, it won’t be in a hotel room that I am staying at with him, but anxiety is irrational sometimes. I know I won’t be blindsided in the same way, and I know I won’t be humiliated or devastated. I would be disappointed, but the truth is, I would be fine. I just wish that little ball of anxiety that lives deep inside me knew it. Every once in a while, I still have moments when I feel sort of, I don’t know, afraid to go outside? It’s strange, but a part of my personality that only shows itself when I am really sick, or totally stressed. I can tell you though, I am pretty great at hiding it. I’m sure my brother had no idea anything was wrong with me. Sometimes that scares me a little, tbh. xo

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  2. Oh that anxiety and fear. It is always just a moment away from happening.

    Like that dolly zoom shot in Jaws.

    It is in the moment when I come home later than OH and as I walk in I see him quickly put his phone down. I don’t ask to see his phone anymore, but just for that split second I wonder, what if…?

    Will that clenching of the stomach, that doubt, that moment of fear ever really go away? X

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still feel those feelings too, especially with the phone. It’s not a kick in the gut anymore, but just a wondering… and a numbness. How could they have not contemplated how completely their behavior would devastate us? 😔❤️

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  3. That anxiety. A foreign feeling, that sneaks up on you and grabs you by the throat, so you can barely breathe! I understand. This is the part of the aftemath I did not fully anticipate. And like moisy, I thought the worst had happened.

    Until he did do it again, and this time, as caroline says, abandoned me. It’s like wounding me almost to the point of death, then, as I slowly recovered, he watched, playing with me like a cat with its prey, then just as I was about to make a run for it to freedom, he swiped the life out of me.

    I hope the anxiety settles and that you both start to feel better again with some settled time at home xxx.

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    • I’m feeling better, but BE is really sick now, and he’s the one with 2-3 biz meetings a day. Home in three days with a full weekend to recuperate. Yippee! Still enjoying Japan though. The truly sad thing, I think, is that I don’t believe he was ever trying to hurt you or that he ever stopped loving you (in his way), but his brokenness, his weaknesses he’s not willing to work on, have destroyed something beautiful… something you fought so hard for. Some battles we don’t win, but you have power over how you move forward from this. Same with BE. He didn’t do any of it to hurt me, but he did. They hurt us and it’s okay to talk about our process for dealing with it. Anxiety is real and it’s important for us to be aware and mindful, but also kind to ourselves. Big love! ❤️❤️❤️

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  4. You aren’t alone. I realize my demons never left me either, they are just locked a little more securely in their cage and I’ve learned how to avoid seeing them… most of the time.
    What’s strange for me is the cheating part is something I don’t care about anymore. It’s the abandonment. I’ve never truly been able to get over it.
    Hope u are feeling a little better. I think being home will do you some good.
    ♥️😘

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    • Feeling much better, thank you! Home in three days. I don’t have the same story as you, but I still do feel abandoned sometimes. Abandoned emotionally. He tries, but somehow things feel less connected than before. We’re two people working on being whole, but less cohesive as a couple. There’s a wedge between us… I believe it’s root is a complete lack of honesty about who he was and how he rationalized the secret life. What secrets does he keep now? Trust is tentative. Some days I feel alone, but I make it work. I know it’s not the same. Big hugs to you for being so strong! ❤️🤗❤️🤗

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      • “There’s a wedge between us… I believe it’s root is a complete lack of honesty about who he was and how he rationalized the secret life. What secrets does he keep now? Trust is tentative. Some days I feel alone, but I make it work.” It is uncanny how similar I feel to what you wrote. I wonder if my husband feels this way or has any understanding of how this feels to me? That couple’s abandonment is real for me too. When you are married to someone as long as I have been and he has been cheating the entire time with all the different ways he could cheat it is hard to not feel that sense of abandonment at times, even if he isn’t active in his acting out. Just because he is not doing it now doesn’t mean that when he tells me he loves me, he appreciates me, he is grateful for this second and only chance that I can believe him. I’ve asked him over and over, “You have told me you loved me for 40 years, you’ve held my hand, you’ve gone on vacation, we’ve been through so much yet now that I know about your secret life I am supposed to believe all those words of love and adoration?” How does that work for me or you Kat? How easy it is for them (or was) to just lie to our faces and go on with their daily secret lives. Trust is just an elusive concept right now. I trust in the moment. It isn’t a guarantee like I once thought it was. The good news for me is that I am finally having longer periods of time when I simply don’t care what he does because I will be fine in the long run. I am already changed deeply and forever. When things are going well for us, which they mostly are, I just look at him as my new guy who is fun to be with but who has a loooonnnnnngggg way to go to meet my requirements for a loyal partner whom I trust. I’m currently okay with that too. Hoping you can get some rest this weekend. At a little over 3.5 years from disclosure this is the longest he has ever gone without any sexual acting out in our marriage. Kind of screwed up way of looking at this, right? Some people get to celebrate long and faithful marriages and some of us get to celebrate faithfulness? That is just f*cked up.

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        • It’s all so complicated and so many emotions play in, every day. Addiction is scary. If indeed it drove such depraved behavior, and for so many years, how could they possibly be able to stay sober??? If they can now, why couldn’t they then? I know the women my husband sought out in his addiction are nothing like me. And since I know I’m an awesome wife and an amazing human, I do know they were drugs, as depraved as he was, but… he did seek them out and lied every day for 30 years. I know he thought he could forever keep his secret, take it to his grave, I would never find out, and I would therefore never be hurt. That is seriously fucked up thinking. As I like to say, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? YES, of course it makes a huge fucking sound. Just because we didn’t know about what they were doing didn’t ever make it anything but awful and cruel, no excuses. So yeah, it’s really difficult to metabolize it all and acknowledge our husbands just weren’t who they said they were. I guess frustrated is the stage I’m in, but I am in this, so I keep working on myself and acknowledging that I am choosing to stay, but it ain’t easy. ❤️

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  5. I loved this, especially the comment that you don’t ever want to be emotionally destroyed again. Is that not part of it all? We learn, and we learn to protect ourselves. I said to Rich once, ‘what’s the worse that can happen? Oh! It already has!’ And that is true. I believe that as you get stronger you won’t ever be emotionally destroyed again.
    Moisy ❤️

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    • I agree, Moisy. Not destroyed, but affected. A piece is missing, but I do the best I can. I have a great life, I know I do, but I will never be the same—good and bad. I guess I’m different in ways I never contemplated. Onward and upward! xo

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