Paul left this morning for a business trip. At 5:00 am he grabbed my hands and whispered a prayer of comfort and safety, he hugged me tightly and slipped out the door.
I was kind of awake.
I have plans to spend the next couple of days doing whatever the heck I want. Ok. not really. I have four kids, if I could do what I wanted.....
I do plan on making macaroni and cheese for dinner.
And being a bit lazy when the kids go to bed.
I'm only slightly anxious about his business trip. It's a conference and he'll be really busy and acting out while out of town wasn't really his M.O.... But, my marriage has felt very out of sight, out of mind, so I never really know.....
On Friday, we miss each other by a few hours. I fly out with baby Bubbles for the Togetherness Project (WHAHOO!) a few hours before he flies in. And I don't come back until Tuesday.
That's what I'm really anxious about. We haven't been apart that long since D-day. And acting out because he misses me IS his M.O. (as crazy nutzo as that sounds...). I'm not even worried about the porn. What I am worried about the 10 months of sobriety. I think I am actually more afraid than I have admitted to myself that he has the ability to make choices that could cause vital damage to his recovery. And mine. And that is terrifying.
Every where I look, I am reminded of that fear. It's in his socks in my laundry basket. It's in the plate he used for breakfast in the sink. It's in the car when I adjusted the seat and in his toothbrush in the bathroom.
It's in my closet, the couch, my bed.
Everywhere I look I am reminded that I can't control him or his choices and he can, and has, hurt me. Deeply. It's fear and pain and hate and anguish. But, it's also love and connection and joy and hope.
That's Betrayal Trauma.
Wikipedia relates Betrayal Trauma to "Backstabbing". just saying.
I love the definition used here: Betrayal trauma occurs when the people or institutions on which a person depends for survival significantly violate that person ’ s trust or well - being.
My trust has been significantly violated.
So I am anxious. Anxious enough that I dreamed last night that I kept slugging and pounding Paul and he barely even felt it. He was looking at me like I was crazy.
Betrayal Trauma makes me feel crazy.
Because, I guarantee that nothing in my kitchen sink is reminiscent of porn. For reals.
Betrayal Trauma causes us to obsessively search phone and computer records. It causes us to have a real moment of panic when we are in the grocery with our husband and we see the perfect cleavage walking towards us. It causes us to second guess our vacation plans because there is a pool involved or an amusement park in the summertime (or sometimes because we feel that our friend vacationing with us could become a threat to his sobriety).
Have you ever been angry that your best friend got a boob job? Or cried because someone mentioned "laser hair removal"? Did you see your cousin post a pretty picture, that wasn't provocative in any way, and feel a moment of panic because your husband may see it? Do you hide in the closet when you change your clothes or refuse to fold his underwear?
That's Betrayal Trauma.
It's feels crazy.
But, with this addiction, it is VERY normal.
I am going to spend my evening, digging through my emails, folding laundry, watching tv and reading blogs. And eating macaroni and cheese.
And for the next 6 days, I am going to acknowledge every trigger and let give them back to Paul. And God. Paul is in charge of Paul. I am in charge of me. And I am not alone.
I have been hurt, but I survived. And I could do it again. Because I am Strong. I am Brave. I am Beautiful. And I have boundaries.
Besides, it's just a stupid plate. I can break it if I want to.
I am SOOO excited to see all of you at the Togetherness Project. And if you won't be there, you will be missed. I'll be thinking of you.
If you are offended or triggered by this post, please don't criticize my journey, read this.
According to Webster's Dictionary, the word 'redeem' means "to free from the consequences of sin." Although, it was not my sin, I still desperately need to be freed of the consequences.
"Redeemed women of God have tender merciful hearts, backbones of steel, and hands that are prepared for the fight." - Staci Elderidge
"Even though my heart has been broken at times, I want to retain a tender merciful heart- the kind of heart that is vulnerable, open to all emotions, and engaged in honest, intimate relationships. If my heart is hardened, no matter the cause, I cannot live to my fullest potential.
By setting and holding emotional, physical and spiritual boundaries and standing up with courageous determination to what I know to be right, I continue to forge my backbone of steel.
As women, I believe we want to fight against evil, and we have power greater than we've ever imagined to aid us in that fight."
- Rhyll Croshaw