28 January 2014

As For Me...

First of all- thank you so much for the outpouring of love and support you sent my way via comments, emails and texts.  There is power in solidarity and I FEEL it.  I love you for it.  Sometimes when I comment on blogs I feel small and insignificant.  But each comment here, EACH one, and every email MEANS something to me.  It makes me feel like I matter, I am loved, and people care.  That never gets old for me.

Finding out about lies, and dealing with a relapse after Pete's longest stretch of sobriety in years was hard.

But peeps- I've been doing this recovery business for a few years now and I think it's actually working! It's hard to put my finger on what exactly feels differently about my life.  Especially since I'm STILL dealing with these issues, as much as I've wished them away.

I took a parenting class a few years ago where the gentle, grandmotherly teacher suggested that perfection wasn't the goal of the class.  It was just decreasing percentages.  Instead of yelling at my kids 90% of the time when I was frustrated, the goal was to only yell 70% of the time.  This is how recovery has helped me.  I still have codependent behaviors, I still trigger back to trauma, I still hold a grudge sometimes and I still get angry.   But my percentages are down.

I am less panicked and desperate when Pete acts out.

I am less irritable and anxious when I see my lack of control.

I spend less time in bed and on the bathroom floor.

I personalize Pete's behavior and resentments less.

I feel more acceptance and patience.

Forgiveness comes more easily.

There are so many analogies about perspective.  But I love the words to "Let it Go" from Frozen.

It's funny how some distance, makes everything seem small. 
And the fears that once controlled me, can't get to me at all. 

A couple years ago, even months ago, Pete's pornography addiction seemed like a mountain ahead of me. So HUGE, so overwhelming, so consuming, so terrifying, so traumatizing.  But gradually it looks smaller, takes less of my energy and I find myself being more easily distracted from it.

I wouldn't say that my fears can't get to me at all.  But they get to me less.  And I can spend more time in gratitude and less time in despair.

So I'm doing okay.  Better yet, I think I'm doing well, all things considered.  Thank you again- so much!

10 January 2014



A few months ago, when Pete wasn't talking to me about his recovery because I had emotionally withdrawn, I wondered about his sobriety.  A friend told me how to check a google search history.  At first, the search history wasn't on, so I turned it on.  I checked it every day for a few days, and it always came up clean.  This gave me some peace of mind (obviously it's not fool proof) but Pete had also agreed to tell me when he broke sobriety. So I went with it. 

After his confession on Monday I kind of had that annoying nagging feeling. During his confession I specifically asked if this was the only "episode." He reassured me that it was a one-time deal. A blip. A slip.  

Yesterday I had the idea to check his google history. I hadn't done this in a long time.  But I decided to do it.  I'm not a fan of snooping if it's done out of codependency.  I had never needed to snoop before. He always confessed.  But I went ahead and pulled it up.  I looked over it.  It didn't match what he had told me. There were other searches.  A lot of them, on two different days besides the day he had confessed about.  I tried to work it out logistically in my head but it didn't make sense.  My heart started to race.  I started to sweat.  I called him.  He admitted to it. 

My trauma went to a couple new levels yesterday.  

1. I've never caught Pete before. (Except one time I read a text conversation with his dad.) I've never seen searches or images.  I've never had that nauseating feeling when you read the words your husband typed into the Google box. The names of the women who are the objects of his fantasies.  I could not stop sweating. 

2. Pete has always been honest.  Or I thought he had always been honest.  Except that one time, when he wasn't.  And now I feel so ridiculous saying it. I've told everyone else that there is always more than what the addict is admitting to.  But I'm the exception.  Addicts are liars.  But Pete is the exception.  Yeah, Pete has been mostly honest.  But once there are lies, how do you EVER know what's a lie and what isn't?  Trust is so fragile.  So easily and quickly destroyed.  And such a painful, excruciating reality check.  

I hate those old feelings of being a fool, being deceived, duped, manipulated.  I HATE those feelings.  I want to scream and throw up and run until my lungs are on fire.  I want to punch pillows and break plates. I want to curl up and sob. I want a hug that never ends, from a friend.  I want to be manic and active, and the next minute I want to be lazy and lethargic.  

I thought I was at the beginning of the end. I thought this was going a new direction.  I thought my posts on this blog were winding down. 

But he is still sick. 

Eventually I won't be angry at him for that.  Eventually I'll find acceptance.  But today it hurts.  

There have been times in years past when I worried that if he got better, what would I do with myself? This was my new identity.  But I have long since relinquished that identity. I REALLY wanted it to be over this time.  I was REALLY ready to move on to our new life.  Of course I knew it would always be there. But I have friends whose husbands have a year or two sobriety.  Why can't I have that? Why does it elude him, and me? 

**After I wrote this I went back to link to the post I wrote about the last time I discovered that Pete had lied to me.  It makes me wonder why we ever trust at all?

08 January 2014

Stream of Consciousness

Pete had a slip/relapse/acted out/messed up... whatever you want to call it.  I hate all those words.

I want to write about it- but don't really know what to say, or have time to refine anything or make it logical and analytic. (My specialty.)

So I'm just going to write.  I think it will be good for me.

Pete confessed to me to about his break in sobriety a few days ago. It was a few days after his four month mark, but he hadn't been to a meeting in a few days so he missed his chance to get a four month chip.  Yesterday as I was putting away the laundry I saw all his chips on the bottom of his drawer.  It was really sad for me.  After he confessed he told me that he had an appointment with his therapist that same morning.  He said his therapist had to pull him out of the depths of despair. I felt really grateful that he has a good therapist, and really sad that he was in such despair.

I don't get it. I don't know why this happens.  Why, after months of sobriety, he just gives in and indulges. It seems like there is always so much on the line.  The timing of this is horrible.  It was this time last year, when I lost it.  I packed up the kids and we left for five days.  I couldn't take it. We didn't even celebrate his birthday.  Totally ignored it.  His birthday is this week. And when he texted me telling me that he had "slipped" I felt a little triggered.  Is 2014 going to be just a repeat of 2013? I can't do that. I REALLY can't do that.

But I found myself feeling surprisingly okay with it.  Not "okay" with it, like I don't care or like I don't think it's wrong.  But I didn't cry. I didn't get too angry.  The strongest feeling I have felt in the last couple days is just apathy.  And a little bit of wonder at it all.  Am I being too dramatic? What's the big deal? Why the complicated mess?

I have good friends who have been pointing me in a new direction.  It has always been my M.O. to detach and withdraw.  Get to a safe place where I'm unaffected by his choices.  That has worked for me in the past.  But now, as I sit here, feeling a little unaffected, I think I'm going to try something new.  I think I'm going to try to continue this momentum we have.  I want to keep his companionship, I want to hear and share feelings with him.  I don't want to sever our emotional connection.  The physical connection is still out- sorry I'm not that good.

Anyway- I feel like it's going to be okay.  Everything is not lost. All the feelings and changes I've seen still exist, it just means it's not going to always been smooth sailing.  But I always knew that. Right?

01 January 2014

Our Gift

At long last recovery was taking hold for Pete.  And I felt like a plastic swimming pool on summer day, filling and filling with fears of vulnerability and emotional reconnection.  Wise people told me, “you’ll know it when you see it.”  And I saw it.  And I knew it.  But knowing he was in true recovery didn’t erase the trauma and distrust. 

Okay- he’s doing better, but what now? Can I love him again? Can I connect with him again? Can I ever have sex with him again?

I felt stalled out and stuck.  A few therapy appointments were helping me but the progress felt infinitesimal.  I wanted it, but I couldn’t resist slamming the proverbial door in his face whenever I didn’t get my way. 

Then something came along.  An opportunity for Pete, and me, and our family.  Something we’d talked about and dreamed of in the early days of his career. 

It caught hold.  It took flight. We started talking.  We were excited.  Ideas, dreams, hopes, feelings began to pour out of me.  And he ate it up. He listened, and like he always has, worked and made phone calls and sent emails to execute my wildest ambitions. 

We researched, we laughed, we exchanged giddy texts and eager phone calls. 

My faith still lacks the gumption to notice God’s hand in my life on a consistent basis.  But for once I see that he has undoubtedly given us this gift. 

It is a gift.  It has been the ice breaker of all ice breakers.  It has destroyed the awkwardness and hesitancy that held me captive.  It has reignited a shared goal inside us that has brought us together again.  It has given us pillow talk and passion.  My fervor and longing for this opportunity has trumped my pride and stubbornness.  We couldn’t do this if our marriage was rocky.  We couldn’t do this if Pete wasn’t in recovery.  We couldn’t do this if I couldn’t decide that I was committed to him.  As much as I wanted it, I wasn’t blind to those facts. 

As the holidays upon us I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for this life-changing gift.  A healing balm for my wounded marriage.  After Pete and I had done all we could do, after we put forth our efforts and reached out for help, we needed something more

And God gave.  

Happy New Year everyone.  Cheers to a 2014 that brings us all a little more peace and emotional safety.