I’m still counting down the days to trauma therapy… four more. One of the things the trauma therapist asked for was a document explaining what I hoped for our time together. What I want to accomplish. Here’s what I sent her. I honestly didn’t know what to say. It was difficult to write out how dysfunctional I feel. I didn’t want to be back in this place. I thought I was stronger than this. I know now that I need to show my weakness in order to be truly strong. This I have learned.
I’ll start with a little history. After our sessions in May/June 2014, I felt I was in an okay place. I would have liked to continue seeing you for a much longer time (forever), but the travel back and forth to LA was wearing on both me and Blue Eyes, both physically and financially.
Blue Eyes had been to Omar’s intensive (June 2014) and I had struggled mightily prior to that intensive (being only 5-6 months post discovery of Blue Eyes’ secret life) and after the intensive as well. You may remember I had cut my arm and required 16 stitches after a particularly traumatizing disclosure/self-harm incident, at the time of our first sessions together. I did continue to self-harm very occasionally for at least another year.
Blue Eyes had abruptly decided to stop seeing Omar after that intensive. He had his reasons and I agreed with him. We both believe Omar was instrumental in getting to the core of Blue Eyes’ childhood wounds, and the intensive was tantamount to lighting a fire under his recovery, but as you know, recovery is a very slow process.
We struggled for months and months. I was unable to really find any decent therapy in Portland, so I just relied on time and my own resources (and my blog). Blue Eyes connected with a therapist who was not a CSAT but had worked with many addicts including a couple dozen sex addicts. We tried couple’s therapy with a CSAT, which was actually a very disheartening experience for me as I went from feeling like a fly on the wall of therapy appointments that were exclusively focused on Blue Eyes and how difficult recovery is… or being blamed for Blue Eyes’ bad behavior. I kid you not. Old School SA therapy and the co-dependent model are well and strong out in the CSAT world. I didn’t last long in couple’s therapy.
As Blue Eyes started really recovering (12-step has been a huge part of this, especially the friendships he has made with men who really understand him) I started healing. That took between 3-4 years. I still don’t completely trust him, and my brain constantly reverts back to feeling like he threw me under the bus. I no longer ruminate on the things he did, but I constantly toss out comments about how he might be better off with someone else. It’s not that I feel like I’m not good enough… more that I just want him gone sometimes. He literally sucks the energy out of me with his neediness and ungroundedness.
I don’t feel the deep pain anymore, I don’t cry all the time, I can function at work, etc… but I feel numb a lot. Add to that that we have been in arbitration with the builder of our beach house for over two years and in October we spent four horrifying days in an arbitration hearing that seemed completely rigged. Even though contractually we were covered, and the law should have been on our side (and our attorney promised us from the beginning that it was), the panel found against us and we now owe an additional $800,000 to the unscrupulous and negligent builder who was paid in full for his contract, but went $420,000+ over budget (without any authorization), plus his attorney fees. Not only was the hearing torture for me as the other side’s attorney is a red-faced disgusting misogynist bully who reminded me of my abusive Dad (I actually burst into tears in the middle of him questioning our architect/designer), it also feels like a complete betrayal of who I am… an honest person. The beach house was meant to be a sanctuary for our healing, and it has turned into a nightmare. The house was custom built and is gorgeous. We absolutely love it, otherwise we would sell it. I’m not going to let the builder, or the obviously broken system, destroy that house for me. BUT it has brought up a lot of the same feelings from the betrayal trauma. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is this happening to me? I just don’t have the mental reserves any more for the stress.
About a week into dealing with this new reality and trying to figure out how to come up with money we don’t have and figure out why the system seems to be punishing us for having done absolutely nothing wrong, our Portland house was broken into by the meth addict.
Since that time, I have been on the edge of my own sanity. For days I thought I saw blood everywhere. I really didn’t want to be out of the house as I felt like people were just too close to me, or that some random guy was a meth addict and was going to attack me. I feel tense, and weak, depleted, and just sad. No matter how much sleep I get, I’m tired. I’m at the edge of tears, when I don’t feel completely numb. Then, on top of the rest of it, Blue Eyes has decided to reconcile with his parents after six years no contact. I’m not quite sure what I am feeling about this, but I think it feels like another kind of betrayal. He knows his parents are cruel and so difficult to deal with and have been really mean to me and my kids. They were mean and neglectful of Blue Eyes for 50 years… this he now knows. He wants to have a relationship with his aging father. Maybe I should have told him I didn’t want to be involved, but I have tried really hard to be a team player in all this. I’m just so tired and I think I feel betrayed that he would want this in our lives after everything else. Or I guess I feel like he should want to protect me from further trauma after everything he has done, but his needs are more important.
At this point I honestly feel used. Add to that, menopause. I am officially through menopause, which just means that my hormones are out of whack and sexual intercourse is painful sometimes. It is now quite obvious how much Blue Eyes uses me for sex. It’s easy to rationalize that sex is a healthy part of an intimate relationship, but I am married to a sex addict who uses sex to soothe every ache and pain, especially emotional. Because of everything he has done, sex no longer holds the same intimate connection it once did for me and when he seems to “need” it, it just brings up all the baggage from the sexual relationships he shared with other women. It’s a turn off and with all the current trauma, his neediness is exacerbating my distaste for any intimate connection with him. I just get little flashes in my head of all his bad acts. Like my body is warning me of danger.
And, another drag on my energy, family. I am still the one everyone turns to to hold things together. Since I was little, I have been a caretaker and there really is no one to step in for me when I need a little help. We talked a lot about this in our initial sessions, but I am just now realizing how much my own childhood has affected me. One or two hits and I’m still standing… this many hits and I just don’t want to get up anymore.
I want to address what I must do in order to change how I interact with other people. I want to be stronger. I want to address what is bringing me to such a deep low. I want to deal with some of the trauma related feelings I have… intrusive thoughts, nervous energy, not wanting to leave the house. This past weekend for example, Blue Eyes and I talked about numerous activities we would do, but then I just decided I didn’t want to leave the house. I don’t understand this. It’s like I’m two different people… my old self: healthy, active, confident, and then this new Kat, who is too tired to do anything at all.