We have a number of different views out of our 14th story hotel room here in midtown Manhattan. We’re here for business, but also visiting our Brooklyn son. The above is the view I have been staring at most of the day. I don’t seem to be able to control my mood here in the city. I think it’s a hormone issue. I feel so lethargic. My belly hurts. My ears ache. I need to see the doctor when I return home.
A couple weeks ago Blue Eyes purchased a book about menopause at the big Powell’s Bookstore in downtown Portland (it’s famous now, the bookstore, not the book). He wants to better understand what I’m going through, I think. The book is huge, even in paperback, it weighs a ton. I think it’s upwards of 800 pages so I wasn’t about to lug it with us back east. I do, however, want to read it. I can’t imagine Blue Eyes finding the time to get through it, although he is a speed reader. It’s called The Wisdom of Menopause by Christine Northrup.
I’m reading The Goldfinch right now. I had forgotten it had been recommended to me a couple years ago and then I saw an ad for the movie recently and remembered I had wanted to read it. I’m liking it a lot, at about 1/3 of the way through. It’s been nice reading it while in NYC, although the main character is off to Las Vegas right now, but I think he’ll be back.
In the meantime, here I am. Waiting to meet up with my son to grab some lunch and look at art for the new offices. I’m distracting myself from working although I have tons of copy to write for our new website. Blah!
Last night was strangely triggering. We’re here in NY, the last place my husband took the other woman. We’re in midtown, generally where I had booked his hotel for the conference/speaking engagement he was participating in. I still remember the conversation in our kitchen when he told me it was such a short trip, he didn’t think I should go… we were going on vacation shortly after his return anyway. “All that flying, yeah it’s NYC, but just stay home, don’t stress yourself, Kat. I won’t have a moment to spend with you… ” That conversation was more than 6 years ago. But the phone records, were in my face, a year and a half later, all the calls and texts to and from her while they were back east, and after their return, straight up to the minute we left for Hawaii. That infamous Maui trip and my snorkeling accident. It all just tumbles along into a big soppy wet snowball mess. The last year of his sex addicted madness.
I’m not mad, not crying or even sad anymore. Just still astonished that he was capable of all that, for so many years. A real slap in the face of what I believed about him. I don’t feel like an idiot anymore. I don’t feel bad about myself or that I ever did anything wrong. I know sex addicts hone their deception skills, they learn to lie about the most benign things so the big lies don’t seem so out of place. They rationalize their behavior. They lie, cheat, and steal just like any other addict. It’s exhausting to think about.
So why do I think about it? I frankly don’t know. Little things like hotel room beds sometimes get me. The horrible conjured images of them together don’t bombard my brain anymore. Not at all. That stopped at least a couple years ago. It’s not about the sex, although menopause is zapping my sexual energy, I don’t really care. If no sex is a deal breaker, I say deal broken.
Don’t get me wrong, Blue Eyes isn’t suffering, but seriously folks, sex is absolutely not mandatory for a loving intimate relationship. My step dad had his prostate removed more than 15 years ago and my parents are still one of the most loving couples I know. And yeah, my step dad is still going strong, loving life after the cancer showed back up in his spine 6 years ago. He’s an inspiration, for sure.
But back to me, in a hotel room, in midtown Manhattan. It doesn’t matter what drives it, but the last vestiges of betrayal trauma linger. I’ve learned to take care of myself in these moments. Not do too much. Not try to be someone else’s idea of normal.