Journey through the nightmare

Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by Warrior and seeker of TRUTH, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. I am learning about getting around here. I posted this in the partner section, but thought it would be good to post here to since this post ended up being a summary of my story.... I have been in RECOVERY for several years with the big D day the end of 2016. Prior to this, my husband's addiction trickled out in bouts of pornography discoveries and partial confessions. It was devastating and I reached out to my local Church for help and support (I regret that many well meaning people did not help point either one of in a direction to get help for addiction and trauma/ my husband did not hit his bottom and I don't believe was ever truly honest). Our marriage was founded on a faith in something bigger than us. A faith in God. I was a new Christian when I met my long time Christian husband. I have lost this grounded hope in Christ. I question all truth….Fast forward, several difficult life circumstances including the loss of my mom and a drawn out miscarriage all at the same time, and my husband confessed that he was not being emotionally available and had been acting out again to pornography. As a 'good wife' on bed rest for threat of a miscarriage he had pretended to be in 'need' sexually and I tried to relieve him. Anyways, it makes me sick to think about still. So selfish. I finally let go of the baby after people came to pray for us, and afterwards my husband confessed what he had been doing. He buried the very little baby in our backyard. I thought that was the low, which it was a low, but the help needed didn’t happen. We moved to gain more support with family near by, and when I asked how he was doing with the pornography struggle, he lied. In the world of RECOVERY, I now know that my intuition has been turned upside down through lies, manipulation and gas lighting. In my story, this time period was a time of starting fresh, and healing. I remember asking how he was doing because he was always so level and chill while I was a mess. I was actually going through a healthy grieving process. I look back at that time and I realize I did that without my husband. I even sought out counseling for my grief thinking there was something wrong with me. He did not have the skills to be there for his wife, did not let me be there for him, and he was continuing to lie about his pornography acting out. We had a son, which was also a very healing and scary pregnancy. My husband worked out of town every couple weeks, and I felt things were off, and chalked it up to being the stress of the job. I told him no more to this job dynamic. It was too hard on our family. We will pull together and figure out something else. Finally, a new job came about right after we had decided that we would all move (not ideal) so we can be together. It wasn't even a month of being home, and I felt more than ever that things were off. I believe that once he was home these feelings would dissipate greatly. They got worse. One thing led to another and through a phone discovery, my world flipped upside down to discover that my partner in life, the man I believed had my back, crossed lines in ways that I never imagined he would. He had been with another woman, and later I would find out many women. Many of you may know the phases of shock, and extreme emotions. I lost a lot of weight really fast, and I felt like I went from building this beautiful life to being pushed into a dark corner with bombs going off all around me. My son was only 9 months old, and I was homeschooling our two daughters. In fact, I was reading about European history, and when my world got flipped upside down I started reading books about ‘sex addiction’ and do people survive this? Educating myself about what the HELL I was dealing with took most of the little energy I had. To say I felt overwhelmed, is an understatement. To top it off, he checked out. He abandoned me, and became emotionally abusive. It has been a messy journey of finding support getting into recovery, separations, multiple disclosures (the depth of where his addiction escalated devastated me over and over, and every trickle of information increased my fear and on the look out for danger) and more. Today, we have both come a long way. I have watched my husband go from numb, hard, and cold to slowly coming back to life. I cry writing this line because I care about his well being so much. I am also afraid of him hurting me. I had to deeply search for the right kind of help (still am in a lot of ways), but am in a much better place. He is choosing recovery, and continues to mature, grow, and heal all while raising a family, and dealing with every day stresses. In my recovery, I talk a lot about polarized emotions. I love him, and I hate him. I am relieved the man I fell in love with is getting help, and I am so angry. I want to be held, and I don't want to see his face. Last summer we went through a therapeutic disclosure. I should add, that first year was filled with more leaky disclosures that reopened the wounds and added trauma on top of trauma. Last fall we moved back in together as a family, and there was a bad scary relapse in December. I thought we were done. He seemed so discouraged and so was I. It was this moment of, "We fought, and we failed. What I believed could be so beautiful is actually one really sad tragedy." By some miracle, we held onto some sort of thread and there has been a huge turning point in recovery. Many good days, and a continued roller-coaster as we work through the web of all this. I hope for healing and restoration in our relationship and fighting the good fight for our family.

    Today, our paths have crossed into more couples recovery. My husband is working hard at developing empathy and holding space more me to heal and build trust in myself and with him. It is so hard. I am doing a lot of self care, but to be honest I feel a sort of body shut down in me. I am so tired, and I know I am doing a lot of grieving. I have done so much grieving work already, and now I have entered into this season, where I NEED to be heard and understood. I am trying to stay in a place of grace and give space for my husband to grow and mature in his recovery. I am super short fused to him being defensive and I have a lot of fear. I hate feeling so up and down in my emotions. I am on the fence about going to my doctor to discuss my depression symptoms. I have good days, but I am really struggling with hopeless feelings. PTSD from betrayal trauma is a real thing. Looking for the light. Thought I would try and keep it short, but this is what came out as soon as I started letting it out. Thank you to anyone willing to hear me out.
  2. Square79

    Square79 Fapstronaut

    Oh my dear.. I so feel you.

    I hear you and what you have to go through is awful.

    I adore you for your power..
  3. Square79

    Square79 Fapstronaut

  4. Yes. No easy decision for sure. There is a time frame in my mind of 5 years (with boundaries, and intense recovery). If we are not having more good days than bad, a lot of healing, and living in a more thriving marriage then no more. Not good for anyone or the kids. Absolutely no right or wrong judgement here when it comes to making such a big decision in such awful circumstances.
    Lostneverland likes this.
  5. I'm not doing well lately, and this is where I am at. Very lost.
    Safety and Trust. It doesn’t exist. I am in almost constant pain, and he doesn’t realize how much the coldness and continued lack of care penetrates my already bleeding heart. My cherished life is shattered all around, and he takes the broken pieces and cuts me further. I want to run, but I have no place to go. I can't outrun the pain. I am not meant to do this alone. All I see is a future of struggle and more pain for years to come as I divorce and try and face each day and care for our children. I stay in hopes that things will change, being patient with the growth and change, but the way it feels in every ounce of me, is my pain is more annoying to him. My attempts to have boundaries are met with such resistance, and the lack of care is just as much if not more hurtful. I do not feel precious to him. I do not feel like his beloved wife. He is not a protector of my heart. It cuts so deep as I don’t believe that this is who he is, and I love much of what we have been even in the last few months since December. I fought because there is so much as stake, and my love doesn’t want to let go, and I felt hope. What I feel right now is powerless, hopeless, fear, and indescribable pain. What I make up about all this is that the condition of his own brokenness drives the way he shows up. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I need a miracle, a lot of miracles. This is beyond my human capacity, and reaching out only goes so far. All my own attempts to do what I can with what I have feels futile. I can’t even begin to say what I need. I know what hurts. I know all my wounds are just bleeding out right now. I can’t stop the bleeding. I can’t stop the heartache. I believe I could try and express where I am at again (again, again) and will only result in more pain. Every option I can think of means pain. I am trapped in this pain.
  6. When we are being cut over and over again, the first step to take is to get away from the knife. No healing is possible as long as we continue to receive fresh injuries. There will be pain to contend with for a long time perhaps, but it will never end if new injury is not prevented from occurring.

    I pray for you and your children. I pray for your SO, too.
    Shatteredsoul and RUNDMC like this.
  7. Just got back from a trip to the ocean. I almost didn't go, but ended up talking and just being heard made all the difference for me. We also had a counseling session right before leaving. I felt ok about the session. Now, the whole family looks forward to this trip every year. In a lot of ways, it is where I fell in love with my husband and it is a huge part of our life together. It is especially important to my husband who has been going every year of his life. A place to reconnect and find himself. Everything leading up to this trip, the decision to go, the counseling session, the ongoing depression, kind of hit me life the waves of the ocean. That first day surrounded by all my husband's family, extended family and more I got hit my an enormous wave of loneliness and grief. I no longer felt like I belonged there. This is my family too, but only by marriage. Most of my blood family is dead. An awareness that life can very well go on for him and he will always have his special place. My children will always have this special place. To me I felt this overwhelming loss. Going through all the grief, I feel incredibly insignificant. Also facing all these beautiful memories: Growing in love, long deep discussions about faith, announcing that we were expecting our first baby at this place, and all the memories as a family that I treasure. All of my memories are tainted by the poison of his lies. I had a space to go off alone, and I just cried. I freaking cried until I looked in the mirror and was yelling at my reflection to stop crying. When does it get easier facing all the losses? I have faced many other things in life, painful things, and nothing compares to the pain of being betrayed by the person I committed to be married too. I mean it is like a wave. Eventually, I get it out and move on until the next wave/trigger/reminder. Some pass by without much energy, and other times I'm drowning in it. There were a few more moments that I was triggered, but I didn't have any more gut wrenching flow of tears. I wish it was more simple: Life sucks sometimes. Now, move on with what's left of your life. Oh, and just ignore the fact that you got blindsided and ran over by life. Just TRUST it will be ok. Ya, I guess my brain doesn't believe that is true. So there is that despair feeling, and then the next breath can be filled with hope and "I got this!" Dam rollercoaster. I still love him, there is progress, and there is a long ways to go for healing and trust building.
    The big thing for me right now is continuing to work on what I need to be emotionally safe and continue to heal and grow. I have put off for a while seeing my doctor about depression. I am afraid of a whole new whirl wind of finding the right medicine or the possibility of hindering the process of grief. Since a lot of things that usually lift me up were not working and my own kids were starting to say things about how I am tired all the time, I am taking steps to try and get unstuck from the drowning feeling of depression. It is a hard pill to swallow in more ways than one. Maybe some pride about not wanting his choices to have impacted me in this way too. Anyways, I also explained to the doctor that my symptoms get worse around my cycle too. Do I have a hormone problem now? I never had a big issue with PMS type symptoms until the last few years. She explained that often peaks in a women's 30's and is quite normal. Having young kids, and life stresses feed into it. Did she say NORMAL? I was struck by, oh, right, I am experiencing normal. My body goes through changes, and I want to love myself through these changes. I want to get unstuck from the pain and belief that my husband never really loved me well and was faithful to the wife of his youth. I grieve the confidence that we could be a great old couple. I am still young, but I am feel the weight of life for sure. Hoping for healing, hoping for getting unstuck and to a place of acceptance. Anyways, enough rambling.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
  8. How quickly the tides can change.

    Last Monday we celebrated our anniversary. Gave it space to allow the day to be what it needs to be. It actually was a fabulous day. Connecting, having fun, and hope for the future. Talking about normal things like getting into a new hobby like paddleboaring. We enjoyed being outside, we laughed, we were intimate, we were vulnerable. An awareness that there are a lot of hard days working through healing from addiction and betrayal trauma. It is always so good to be reminded of how amazing we are together and our family is just awesome.

    Wednesday, I had my first EMDR appt where I began to process through painful things related to his choices and discoveries. It was a scary, but good experience. My brain kept bouncing to all these places and people including Church, God, events.... The belief that I am invisible and desperately trying to find safety. I want to trust God. I have lost so much trust in myself. The counselor kept bringing back to separating his choices and speaking truth that I do matter and am cared about. I felt panic and fear at one point, but as we continued through the EMDR the energy came down a lot. My husband struggles a lot giving anything up for a while, and being more consistent than not in creating the safety I need to heal and work through all this trauma. He also had an SAA meeting, so by the time we saw each other it was late. Right as we were going to bed he brought up that he wants to do pull out cash for his donation to meetings and lunch money. He had mentioned previously knowing that it would be a potential trigger for me (the boundary is to not carry around cash). When I mentioned that I am not comfortable with that yet, he started getting defensive. He lacks true willingness and understanding so often. It doesn't seem to matter sometimes if I am ready for something or not, and the defensiveness always makes it worse. He says he wants to give me time, yet this attitude is so common. My fear doesn't come out of thin air (he acted out in big ways around similar statements in the past, and he recently broke sobriety, and struggles with my triggers and trust building). It was late, and the energy went up quick. I needed to disengage. The next day, he was struggling, and he did amazing at communicating that he needs to not reengage about the conflict right now. He has stuff going on inside him and is just not in a great place. I respected that and we proceeded to have dinner and time with the kids. The next morning while getting coffee, I gave him a small hug, and he confessed he broke sobriety. I asked why, and he said he didn't really know, that maybe the really good days, and then the fight caused him to feel trapped. I looked at him, and said, "There is something going on underneath?" He nodded. The shock pain and confusion hit, and I started asking some questions and the anger and fear was there. I cut him off I guess and he just went into the cold stone wall mode. Trying to disengage, but man done in such a painful way. He has a history in the last couple of years of these horrible relapses following really good days. We have been talking a lot about being very intentional and careful post vacation and anniversary, and suddenly through acting out, and the responses to acting out, I was so triggered. I took some time upstairs alone. I cried, and could feel the fear and pain. I took a shower, and knew I needed to take the kids and I to a safe place. I needed a safe place to process and I needed to know the kids were safe, and not be forced to spend a Saturday without them because of whatever was going on inside of him. I told him I'm calling his mom, and then came back to let the kids know that we were going to Nana and Papa's. He needs the time to work on him. He got mad. He wanted to be able to just hang out with the kids and I came across as telling him what he needed to do for him. I told him that I am just trying to do what I need to do to feel safe. I apologized about offending him. Tried to explain that I am just trying to figure out what to do and I'm flustered. We were both angry. I sat there willing to figure out what to do. I said all I want from him is to show some remorse. To be sorry, give me a hug, and understand that this isn't easy. He responded to that by yelling at me that I already decided what to do and to just go. So I did.

    The kids were safe and happy to be at Nana and Papa's. I am comfortable talking to my mother n law a bit, and shared a bit about what was going on. She was understanding and gave me the space to think. After talking to her, I said I would like to try and talk to him about how to spend the rest of the day. Hopefully he has had some time to cool off, and can take the kids for the afternoon. I would like to come back and process through some options for me. So much fear and things have been bumpy. I am scared, and the behavior is oddly familiar. He didn't answer my call or text message. I ended up taking one of the kids for a long walk. It was nice to connect one on one with the daughter that doesn't always speak her mind. The physical walk was good, and so was the time. I took the kids to the park, and hours after I had messaged him, he wrote back, "No." I tried to clarify what he meant, if he remembered about my support group later that night, and I was met with cruelty, disrespect, and a lack of communication. Left to determine if it was safe to come home. I needed diapers, the kids needed to bathe and eat, so I came home. He was gone, and I was not prepared to find a bunch of holes in the doors upstairs. What do you say to the kids asking what happened? I tried to focus on caring for the kids, and while snuggling with them after showers and food, I started getting emails from charges at bars. The trigger turned big. The pain turned into agony. Reliving a horror. I went upstairs, tried to call him to stop the insanity. He wouldn't take calls. I cried in agony. His mom asked that I would text her if he came home. I put on a show to try and distract the pit in my stomach, and he finally came through the door drunk. I was relieved he was ok, and terrified at the same time.

    The battle within him is war. I believe a huge part of it is spiritual and this thing with control. He did not remain in a stone wall stupor the next morning. He eventually came to me, and was so sorry. I felt myself in a state of freeze. I don't know what all he did in his stupor, but what I do know is that he made a lot of poor decisions. I spent hours that day outside, and the gals from my support group continued to pray. My body feeling the effects of cortisol flowing through me for hours on end, not being able to eat, and my gut getting all messed up. The gals in my support group have been praying, understanding, and gentle with me for 2 years. They too have been betrayed, know the agony of the journey, but also have the confidence that God is real, is with them, and good. I was encouraged to quite my soul. I chose to press into the promises even though I don't believe it. The pain, fear, and loss of truth have been so loud. It takes a lot to quiet my soul, but I started to know HIM again. His word speaking and getting through that wall I have put called FEAR and LOSS OF TRUST. I hope to hold onto to His peace as I press forward.

    One of the gals I talked to is also a recovering addict. She has been addicted to all sorts of things from chemical to process addictions. She has been listening to my story and struggle for a long time, and I felt like I needed to call her. She is not only a prayer warrior but she understands addiction and believes that my husband has not fully surrendered to recovery. There are a lot of reasons for this, and I believe that there is truth there. It is possible that things like drinking, the slippery slope of internet use, etc are all vices. If he cannot give up these things for a time, and still struggle so much with self control, there is something there. Surrender. Oh how, I pray that he would choose to enter in and find God. Let God into his recovery, find freedom, battle hard. Find the hope that is there despite the circumstances.

    I asked my husband to move out. I asked that he would still be a part of our lives and keep as much normalcy for the kids. They start school in just a few days. I want the space to feel safe, and for him to take the time to really think and work on him. He won't have the boundaries I need at home, and it is up to him what he chooses to do. I wish it didn't have to be this way right now. I wish he didn't make the decisions he did. This is not what I want. It was I need. I hope he doesn't give up, and uses this as an opportunity to grow. I still do not know exactly how things will unfold. Trying to rest in what I can do. He is angry. Mostly with himself I think. I don't see a complete failure and monster. I see so much more than that. He has come such a long ways, and I imagine he is scared, and really discouraged. I hope he keeps fighting and doesn't settle or give up the good fight.

    Prayers and good thoughts are appreciated. I know that fear, pain, loneliness, and longing can creep in and rob me of peace and my HOPE in life.

    I love my husband very much. He has a lot of thinking to do, and I need safety and space from him to work on my recovery. It is like pulling teeth to get him to respect and understand what I need. It seems like he really battles. I know he is really trying, and some of it is the struggle to get his needs met. Also learning to relate to others, to consider others, sacrifice in a loving way. Things like that. Ugh. One day at a time.
    Tao Jones likes this.
  9. Queenie%Bee

    Queenie%Bee Fapstronaut

    I think that is the mantra both spouses share . ONE DAY AT A TIME . When I’m where you are , I have to break it down to one minute at a time . Look too far ahead and we break down . But we HAVE to look ahead just enough to see if there’s even hope anymore. Xoxo

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