I’m still a mess, in case you were wondering. I’ve been silent for some time. I teeter between having absolutely no words and having so many words there’s no way I can sort them out. They’re probably one and the same issues.
The last time I wrote my husband and I were still separated. I did write out a list of things I need for him to do for me to feel as safe as I can. We talked over it together. I met with my counselor the next day and discussed inviting him back. He had been staying in our home since we returned from the cabin trip, but acting as a housemate and sleeping in our boy’s room. I wanted him back as my husband. I was definitely not completely ready to give up the sanctuary that our bedroom had become for me. I loved having that quiet space to myself, I felt so free at night in my bedroom alone! But I felt like it was time. I didn’t feel that there was any reason for us to remain separated anymore. He did what was necessary at work as best he could and fired one of the women. We had had a meeting with his business partner and he wasn’t completely willing to let us do whatever we wanted where employees were concerned. The other employee has since quit and a man was hired. He had started doing the 90 day recovery program while we were at the cabin, which he just finished the preliminary 90 days of 3 days ago and is now at the beginning of the real program. He has stuck to it. As far as I know he’s still sober. I made it very clear to him, after discussing it with my counselor, that if I invited him back it would be with the understanding that I reserve the right to change my mind at any time, even if it means waking him up in the middle of the night and asking him to leave because I’m not feeling safe. Prior I would go and sleep elsewhere but I wasn’t going to do that to myself anymore. It was largely a ploy to attempt to get attention from him and I was done trying to elicit his attention. That wasn’t healthy. He should care about how I feel and pay attention to me on his own. I had intended to invite him back that day, which was a Friday, but he kept falling asleep before I got the kids to sleep (this has been and still is a huge problem in our marriage) so I didn’t actually get a chance to even have a conversation with him until Sunday night, I think, it may have been Monday even.
Things were pretty scary. I took my time re-familiarizing with him and doing all I could to feel safe. In some ways it was nice to have him back, in others it was hard. The images were back in my head, haunting and sickening me, and the drama has made its way back in. I am very grateful for the separation. It did help me in a huge way. I was able to remember who I am and reconnect with God somewhat and that made a huge difference.
Shortly after, I had the wonderful surprise of discovering that an impacted wisdom tooth I had was decaying and I was at risk of a severe infection. Everything took a back burner to this. It was a distraction, and that was nice in a strange sort of way. I was having major anxiety over it. I hate dentists. I have sensory issues. I am hypersensitive to just about everything. The most invasive thing I’d ever been through was cavity fillings and natural childbirth, both of which I’ve had traumas from. Being put to sleep was new to me and terrifying, as was having my gums cut open and teeth dug out of the bone. It took me over a month to finally get in to see an oral surgeon. One thing after another went wrong and the process of getting a referral and getting in to see someone just kept dragging on and on. During that time my tooth began to throb more uncomfortably each day, which was good because I became as fearful of infection as I was of the surgery. The surgery was my only way out. I saw an oral surgeon who was recommended by my husband’s business partner’s wife. Their teenage daughters had him remove their wisdom teeth and they never even needed pain medication. They slept for the first day and were back to normal the next day. I read a similar review on the office website. In short, this was not my experience. I didn’t sleep at all the night before because of anxiety. I woke up fully aware right after surgery and was not sleepy the first day, which was the only day I had childcare for my kids. I spent 9 days in bed on Vicodin and ibuprofen eating only apple juice, pudding, and ice cream (while my kids went nuts unsupervised all over the house). I followed the postop instructions to a T and far beyond, but I was still in a lot of pain even with the meds. I developed dry socket in all 4 spaces. I remained in pain. I’m now 4 weeks and several days past surgery and still in pain. I get by on just ibuprofen now, but if it wears off I’m hiding from the kids in my bedroom crying from the pain, and when I wake up in the morning and my meds are worn off its terrible. It takes me a long time to even get to the point where I can get up and medicate myself. I saw the doctor last Friday and he said it looks like I developed an infection in the muscle under the bone on my lower jaw. He sent me home to just keep on trooping and if I get a fever or the swelling gets worse I’m supposed to come back. All of this kept me mentally and emotionally busy for a bit, but as the physical pain began to lessen, when I went from Vicodin+ibuprofen to just ibuprofen, my mind went back to spinning all of those images and questions.
About a week before the surgery I discovered a bunch of lies my husband had been telling me all this time (8 months total). Things I’d looked him in the eyes and asked specifically multiples times even and he lied right to my face every time. He has yet to be honest. He is sexually sober, but not sober from dishonesty. Sadly that means he cannot even begin to rebuild trust and I’m with a man who I can’t believe a word from.
I still do not know how many women he’s been with as he has not written the roster I requested last November. He has avoided that really well. Except he can’t much longer because part of the recovery program is taking a full inventory of your life.
A few things I’ve recently noticed in myself. 1) I don’t take his crap anymore and my anger is surfacing in self-defense. I fly off the handle pretty quickly. I have no energy left for tolerating his abuse. I refuse to hear “I’m sorry” or listen to his explanations and I openly believe nothing he says. 2) I put myself down before he has a chance to. Any time that I do anything I think there’s a chance he will be upset about (because he would have been in the past) I apologize and insult myself. For example, the other day I sold something on Ebay that he had bought and we ended up not liking. I knew he wanted to at least make back what he spent, preferably more. I ended up losing $78 on the sale. I texted him, “I’m so sorry, I lost $78 on the sale. Another failure.” He has almost entirely stopped sending me messages of disapproval, so I send them myself. 3) I hide my feelings. This is a first for me in life. I do it because there’s nothing he can do to help. Usually if I talk about things I just end up feeling worse because of some dumb thing he says or because he doesn’t show me he cares at all (like usually he just falls asleep). 4) I define my worth in my kindness. I’m pretty obsessed with being kind, to the extent that I am unkind to myself because of it. I have started using my voice with him here and there, but largely I just be kind despite the pain and injustice.
Aside from all of that I’m basically just an up and down disaster. I still go into downward spirals for several days. It’s like falling into an emotional sinkhole, and then I emerge slowly and sort of miraculously and wondering what the heck just happened. My husband has been very patient, but I don’t trust it. I keep pushing and waiting for him to break character. I keep waiting for him to turn back into an adulterous, abusive, apathetic zombie.
(This entry was written 235 days after D-day on April 19, 2017)