I'm that girl

The good girl. The designated driver. The one who looks around for who might have dropped that $20 bill in the mall parking lot and then turns it in to the security desk. I’m the one who got straight A’s, always. The teacher’s pet. The good friend, never the mean girl. I’m the one who at six years old spent whole weekends cuddling my baby sister because she had anxiety over being separated from our Mom. I’m the one who pays her bills on time and in full, and always has. I’m the girl who never cheated on anyone.

I’m also the girl who doesn’t hate the unscrupulous builder who lied and cheated his way to hundreds of thousands of dollars of our hard earned money. I don’t hate the bully lawyer, who, red-faced and sweaty, pounded his fists on the arbitration table knowing all along that the game he was playing was for a victory. So much lying and manipulation. I still believed the truth would win. I still want to believe that.

I’m the girl who ruminates about how I can help the guy who invaded our house, broke a bunch of stuff, and bled all over our things. In my mind, I still see the drops of blood on my discarded office chair and on that hand-made quilt my mom gave us for our 20th wedding anniversary. I see the shattered hand-painted one-of-a-kind Turkish plate so violently smashed in our hallway. I still see puddles of blood all over the since removed carpets, and I still think about what could have happened. We found out he was released from jail a week ago. They say he’s an honorably discharged 31 year-old vet with a job and an address. That he didn’t intend to steal anything or hurt anyone. We found out that he was arrested the day before the break in for assaulting a police officer, but that wasn’t in his record yet. I’m so thankful our son had the wherewithal to get out of the house and to safety, but I also think about how to get that guy into rehab.

I’m the girl who when my husband told me about his secret sex life, I felt sorry for HIM. I’m the girl who has spent the past six years learning to understand sex addiction and to forgive. Because not being able to forgive the person who shares the most intimate aspects of your life, is mean. Right? I am still learning to trust because my subconscious sends constant reminders of things he did and said that broke my heart. Even right there, I started to type “the things he did and said TO break my heart,” and then I deleted and re-wrote it, in a passive way. To take away some of his blatant culpability… because… he loves me right? And a person who loves someone wouldn’t do those things TO their love. There is some reason he could do those things. Addiction makes perfect sense to me, until I try to understand how the person I thought I knew for 30 years, could be so very cruel.

Being the nice, loving, forgiving, empathetic girl that I am is destroying me. That angry, indignant behavior that helps us all survive, was nurtured right out of me at an early age. The voice in my head that should be saying “take what you need, don’t let others use you,” isn’t there. I always took care of others and what I learned in trauma therapy the first time around, is that I need to get some of that anger back somehow. It’s called self care. I need to be selfish sometimes instead of selfless. Even typing this sounds so very wrong. When I have Blue Eyes bring me a cup of tea, I feel guilty, and I know why. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I don’t want to burden people. When I told Blue Eyes that I had emailed the Los Angeles trauma therapist, his comment was, “I hope she can see you while we’re there next week.” Sounds alright, right? Until I realized he was talking about the expense of time and money from having to make a second trip to LA. When we found out she’s out of town this week, but can see me next week for intensive trauma therapy, Blue Eyes actually looked disappointed. It will mean flying back to LA again next week. It will mean spending a lot of money, and I feel guilty.

I am a changed person since I found out about my husband’s secret life. The home invasion sent me right back into the girl who wants to hide in her closet and release some of the pain. A girl who looks around and sees people who want to hurt her. A girl who sees blood everywhere. I was NEVER like this before. I never had a lonely or depressed day before discovery. I’m not kidding. I just wasn’t that girl. I never questioned my status as the caretaker, and I rarely had a bad day. Well, I never had a WHOLE bad day, maybe an hour? I was the girl who could do anything, handle anything. I honestly don’t even know who I am anymore. Sometimes I go through days without remembering much and sometimes I honestly cannot believe this is my life.

38 thoughts on “I'm that girl

  1. During my Masters research, this. Just this. The majority of my participants were women. Who had been cheated on or abused in some way by the people they loved. Gendered expectations of these “good girls” added to their trauma. When we struggle to forgive, when we have always forgiven, is so foreign to us good girls. We make the wheels turn in life. When ours get stuck…oh boy…trouble at mill.

    Like the others who have commented here, your words describe our shared experience and emotions. I also struggled with what he did TO me/us, despite knowing that is not the way he framed it. Not having an addiction diagnosis possibly made it more “acceptable” to kind of “blame” him, and having an addict for a brother, I know we give addicts a lot more rope, because, addiction, right?

    Your post reminded me of how I talked to friends in the early months after D-day. I recall saying to one woman, “yeah, well, I was working too hard, and probably drinking a bit much with the stress, and he coped by having an affair,” like it was “okay,” and understandable 🤦‍♀️.

    There were many conversations like that, where I kind of made excuses for him. Or, as my therapist said, rescued him.

    Because, as good girls, that is what we do.

    Love you, Kat. Can’t wait until you see the trauma specialist. Mine was very helpful xxx

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This post and every single comment really resonates with me. I’m that girl too, and I have been throughout my whole life. I feel bad… like an unworthy burden… asking for anything from anyone. (And don’t get me started on the times I actually dare ask something of someone only to have that need go unmet.) Go to LA and meet with the trauma therapist as often as you need to for as long as you need to. It’s essential to your health and well being. Whatever it costs will be well worth it. You didn’t balk at sending BE to any of the therapy he has been able to take advantage of, and now it’s your turn. That’s not selfish. It’s just necessary.
    xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Blackacre. I’m going. Counting the days. I’m just so very tired of the hits. I know the trauma therapy will help me through this rough patch. What I really want though, is for the hits to stop. And unmet needs, yep, real! xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m right with you on the hits. I think the tides are turning for me? Cross paws. I know in my heart that this will happen for you. The trauma hasn’t gotten stuck deep down. It’s right there to deal with and you know what to do now. Hugs. p.s. I’m “that girl” too. I’ve learned to ask for my needs from my husband and he’s improving with that, though he sometimes reverts to a 7YO or a 12YO or an obnoxious 19YO. Not as much anymore and it’s his stuff, not mine, to deal with.

        Like

  3. Very glad that you’re going to the trauma therapist. B.E needs to wake up again and get a bloody grip on himself.

    As I said to Tiger Lily on her post today, it is so incredibly painful when our value, or lack thereof, shows blatantly in their behaviours and decisions. It is so incredibly wearying and I am exhausted. I feel that, emotionally, my husband is an 8 year old. Eight or six or nine year olds are not equipped to consider peoples feelings.
    They just ‘ARE’..
    ..like any child. Self involved and completely unaware.

    When it comes to us, they are overwhelmed little boys inside their heads. 💔💜

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Kat, what you’ve written resonates with me as well. It has taken years for me to learn that I am the one responsible for my self care, even is P isn’t on board and I feel guilty. As far as spending money on you? If I recall, through all of this you have been very good about taking care of Blue Eyes, building a meditation building and furnishing it. Did he ever express that he feels guilty spending that money on himself? He is doing it for his self-care; and it is time for you to do the same and not feel guilty! And of all people, he should be encouraging you to do whatever it takes to heal from the trauma caused by his addiction. It’s so hard for the addicts to change from always putting themselves first to putting others first. And to make sacrifices in their own lives to do it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Mary. I thought I was in a pretty good place in terms of self care, I have done a lot for myself too, but I am really being tested. Yes, Blue Eyes feels guilty about EVERYTHING. It’s part of his thing… but old habits do die hard. He regrets his immediate response and claims I was mis-reading him but I don’t believe him, and I really don’t care. I need the therapy and I will be getting it. I’m just disappointed that I have been hit so hard by recent events. That trauma is just right under the surface. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I relate to so much of what you shared here. Trauma changes us. It’s as if we suddenly wake up from an innocent state (which perhaps is the way it really should be) and realize you need to take care of yourself – partly because no-one else is doing it. You also know you’re on the verge of being emotionally destroyed. Trauma is a wake up call like no other. I think putting yourself first, and being fierce about self-protection for a while, is really important. It’s necessary in order to be strong again, and to eventually thrive again. You’re doing the right thing. Put yourself and your needs first CraztKat!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for your words of support, DLH. It’s strange how I literally feel like I have zero energy. Even after a full night’s sleep, I’m tired. I’m pretty much at a point where I have no choice but to slow way down. I feel like curling up into a ball and sleeping for days. But I know that’s not the answer. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    • DLH – This really resonated with me – “..Trauma changes us. It’s as if we suddenly wake up from an innocent state (which perhaps is the way it really should be)…”

      It really stinks that trauma happens, but the wake-up call is helpful for us to continue to grow. Hard, hard life lessons and work, though. Hugs to all.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Someone “trained” you to be this way, so long ago you don’t even remember it. My mother did it to me. I do have early childhood memories like you about feeling responsible for my younger brother. I still do.

    Apropos of the money, are you now supposed to make every decision based on that because of this bullshit with the contractor? Nip that in the bud right now.

    xoxoxo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Everyone around me trained me, B. Not just my Mom, but yeah, her too. My parents were kids when they had me. Likewise I still feel responsible for my sister although I learned to detach from her dark side.

      No, I don’t have to make decisions based on the arbitration situation. And health will always be more important than anything. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is so hard to believe and to accept that this is now our lives. Nothing can change that. I still sometimes feel I am living in a parallel universe. I hold on to the fact that I would still rather be the ” good girl” who didn’t lie and cheat her way through life. That is who I am and who I want to be. However, I am forever changed as we all are and I don’t think I will trust completely again. Forgiveness? They say you need to forgive for yourself but I simply don’t see how you forgive such deliberate and cruel and deeply unnecessary choices our partners made. I think it’s like the Ted Talk posted on another blog, although talking about grief not forgiveness, you move forward not on. I hope you can move forward Kat, with your sense of self- the beautiful person you are- very much intact and know just how valued you are.

    Kate xx

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I picked this up to read this morning, but after the first dew sentences I thought I am going to put this down to read with my lunchtime cup of tea. Because so much of it resonated with me. I am so glad you wrote this Kat because the good girls in us, or the doers as I was called, feel that we just need to keep going. Because If I had stopped it would have made me vulnerable to giving up, and I just couldn’t do that. Right? If I had written this down I thought it would put me in a place where I would never get up from, and I was so afraid of that. I relate, I find myself trying to give people the benefit of the doubt, to help them, to be kind only to have it smacked around my head like a kipper. Or should I say I did? Go to the therapist, As others have said look after yourself. As I said in response to your recent post to look after yourself, it doesn’t mean you will lose that kindness it just means that you will be able to deal with, and not be bitten by the unkindness. I hope that makes sense. My heart goes out to you, stay strong until you get there then allow yourself to be what you need to be. Beautifully written. ❤️❤️

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I could have written those very same words but the guilt would have consumed me. Although my trauma was different, all of us struggle to make ourselves matter. And that’s just f’ing sad.
    So proud of you for LA. Do it. You deserve it. 🙏🏼💜

    Liked by 5 people

      • And now as I’m reading this – 5 days and counting. I’m so sorry this all happened and sent you back into that trauma, and I understand the “going back” — not sure if I blogged about it. This past spring a crazy neighbor researched my husband and found out about some things (medical license board publishes medical records and personal information about docs). World was scary again. I closed off for a little while. I went to hypnotherapy (she really helped me with my trauma) and it resolved quickly. I bounced back. I hope this intensive helps to bring you out of this. Don’t feel bad about spending funds you need to spend to help your health. Take care of YOU.

        Like

  10. > I honestly cannot believe this is my life.
    Wow, how many times have we all said that? How did this become my fucking life?! Sigh.
    The guilt is not deserved, CK. Get the help you need and hang the cost. As foreign as it is to you, it’s time to say ME FIRST FOR A CHANGE. Get yourself sorted. The time of prioritising everyone else stops now. I hope you get to experience some relief. SWxo

    Liked by 5 people

    • I had made so much progress on accepting my new life, but these latest events have set me back hard. I’m just weaker than I was, and the trauma is just under the surface. Ten days to therapy and in the meantime, I’m trying to stay present and take care of myself! ❤️ Thanks for the words of encouragement!

      Like

  11. I hope the trauma specialist can help you out. It’s got to be shocking to have gone through all you did. I had to go to one when I returned from the Iraq war and they are good. I don’t have any PTSD or anything; it was a routine checkup I received just to make sure I was good to go. The gal I met with was good. She helped me understand all I would go through and she was spot on. Good luck with that. I hope this guy or gal does the same for you.

    Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.