Street Art at Wynwood Walls, Miami
Disclaimer: I wrote this post as the third in the trilogy of ‘I woke up to nothing’ posts. I’m over those feelings now, but March included a couple of really difficult weeks. The sadness even spilled over into our business trip to Paris, but again, I’m doing better. I’m handling life better, again.
I’ve never had so much, and felt so empty.
That was the title of that third post. I want to be the strongest woman in the world. I want to take my husband’s emotional neglect of me and my feelings and just brush it off and walk proud. Chalk it all up to his stress levels, to him being overwhelmed with work, with life, with his being a recovering sex addict, every.single.day. But I can’t. I won’t. It doesn’t seem fair that I should continue to be treated with neglect, no matter his mood. No more excuses. I know addicts “think” they are doing everything they can to be better partners, to acknowledge our trauma, our needs, our healing wounds, but what really matters is how we feel. We know, now especially, when things aren’t right.
I truly feel like I have endured one of the cruelest betrayals imaginable. I’m healing nicely, but I’m still with this person who hurt me. I don’t really care what he’s stressed about today, or that he was abused as a child, or that he’s tired, or that he is a recovering addict. I really don’t care. I’m not a doormat or a punching bag. Enough is enough. Five years of healing and understanding have come and gone. This is no longer a new thing. Two weeks ago I wrote those words: I’ve never had so much, and felt so empty. I felt that emptiness deep in the pit of my stomach. I’m surrounded by beautiful things. I have a lot of material possessions. I travel well and often. I have a beautiful family, and yet the emptiness is there. This isn’t malaise, or melancholy, or depression. It’s not menopause. The core of my emptiness comes from that deep dark knowledge that I gave my love to someone who abused it and doesn’t appreciate it. He will tell you he does. He will tell you he cherishes me, that I am everything to him. That he loves me desperately. But all I really care about now is that he shows it. He still struggles knowing how to show me. I find this exasperating. We’ve been together 35 years. I don’t need any more fancy things. I need him to respond to me in a loving and kind way, when I need it, not when it’s convenient for him. I want him to put my simple needs before his own very complicated ones.
I have been willing to walk away for a very long time. I stay because I love my husband and because I am a loyal and compassionate person. I realize now, however, that I need to be loved and respected in the same way I love. Addicts (and selfish people) create a lot of excuses to rationalize their behavior. I’m tired of the excuses.
I just spent a wonderful 3+ days with Totally Caroline in Miami. I’m currently on a plane. Tomorrow I commence my 30 days of healthy living many miles from home. I will use this time wisely, as I have done before. Spring renewal. I’ve moved away from the sad, empty feelings and am giving myself the opportunity to clear my head of the baggage that comes with living with an addict.
Spring in Paris
Happier posts to follow…