C’s Blog 6
After a two-week hiatus, E and I begin the blog again. E and I did go to my hometown last week, and for the most part the trip went well. At least, until I went to an SAA meeting in my hometown and I was emotionally choked up afterwards. We hugged in the hallway of the church. She knew I missed my friends in recovery there, knew that a part of me wanted to live back in my hometown. She did something very brave. The day we were to leave to go back to our home, she said if I wanted to stay in my hometown I could. She would understand. For her to do that showed me just how deeply she loves me. And I appreciate just how much courage that took. E is a very courageous woman. Of course, without her, my living back in the hometown would be pointless. It would be too painful to be without her. So I realized that where ever she is, there also is where I call home. I miss my family and my friends, but without E, I would not be happy or healthy. She is truly my love. So here I am back at home, at our “Lily Pad” as we call the beautiful home we rent close by the mountains. The natural beauty here is quite amazing, and healing.
Speaking of healing, E and I watched an amazing DVD put out by Doug Weiss called “Helping Her Heal” which is directed at addicts in relationships. It is a very difficult DVD for me to watch as an addict, because it goes into great detail as far as the damage I have done and the hurt I have caused E. It is helpful, I think, in that he gives some tools and advice in being supportive of the co-addict and helping her to heal from the pain the addict has caused. I would highly recommend this DVD and would recommend multiple viewings as E and I are planning on doing. A very powerful tool for recovery!
As I mentioned in the last blog, I have a heart condition and E has been very understanding and supportive through the process. This Wednesday (the 18th) I have an ablation treatment and one of the best cardiac doctors in the country is doing it and I feel like I am in good hands. Still I am praying and asking for prayers for Wednesday and trying to set up a therapist appointment for me and E beforehand. Please wish me well!
E’s Blog 6
C and I returned to his hometown and to the place we first met and fell in love. It was a trip we had prepared for with therapy sessions and with many conversations of what we could do to make sure we both stayed healthy while we were there. For me, I was worried about being triggered by all of the places that C may have acted out and by just being in a place where a lot of the pain C had caused me had taken place. He was worried about being triggered by the same things. We both wanted to have a fun trip meeting with friends and family. All of the meetings with friends and family went very well. They were fun and we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves. C is having a major medical procedure soon and that was weighing heavily on both of us and I believe our fears over this were responsible for when the trip went a different direction. I had been triggered off and on, but each time I was, C was in a bad place and so I would not share. I continued to do this. On Sunday we were supposed to go to church together before having Easter dinner with his parents. It was one of only a couple of things I had asked to do on the trip. When it was time to go, C was not feeling well and we ended up resting in the hotel instead. I was disappointed but also understood. Monday we were driving to another city to see friends and would be driving past the city where my grandfather is buried. I had asked if we could stop and pay our respects. C had agreed, but when we could not immediately find the cemetery he got impatient and we ended up not doing that either. At this point, after stuffing my triggers, after doing everything C had wanted to do and nothing that I had wanted to do, I just shut down. I was feeling taken for granted and very distant from C. I was wondering if he was so triggered that he could not even see how selfish he was being. Instead of talking about it, because C was so stressed out, I just shut down.
We went to lunch with his friend and then on the way back to our hotel we decided to go to a tourist city that I love. It turned out to be the final straw for me being able to cope. I was staggeringly triggered in this city and could not share it with C. When I tried to share he discounted my feelings and I ended up saying things that I meant, but that could have been said in a nicer way. In the evening we attended one of his SAA meetings where many of his friends were also. He broke down afterwards and I tried to comfort him, but he was not in a place where that was possible. He was lost to me at this point. It was a very long night and in the morning we were supposed to fly back home. As we drove around finishing last-minute things, C was continuing to romanticize his hometown. I told him that if he needed to be there that I would understand. If it was what he wanted, I would not try to stop him. I love him and I want him to be happy. I reminded him that he is not a hostage where we live now. He took his time thinking that over. (I would have been devastated if he would have chosen to stay). He had a turning point after that. A realization that where we live is home and was able to understand the saying, “You can’t go home again”. It was a bittersweet ending to a trip that did have some really wonderful memories. We did take time to have dinner in the same shopping center where we met over 20 years ago. We shared some tender words and kisses where we used to “park” on our dates in the early 90's.
Before, during and after the trip we watched a DVD titled, Helping Her Heal. This is a wonderful and painful DVD to watch, but I highly recommend it. It goes into detail about what the partner of a sex addict feels when they act on their addiction. It helps the addict to really own the pain they have caused and gives tools to the addict on how they can help their partner heal. It is a lot to absorb and we are going to watch it over again until we feel like we have understood it all. I would recommend watching it in segments and not all at once. If the addict can hear what is being said in this DVD I believe the healing process will be less painful for both people in the relationship.
An end note to our trip was that I was triggered way more than C and his triggers were around things that were not part of his sex addiction. He was triggered with wanting to smoke, but he was able to work through the triggers and not give in. C felt he was in a protective bubble while we were there and his sex addiction was not a problem. On the other hand, I was feeling the trauma and pain of his past addictive behaviors and would have really loved that bubble to have extended over me! I am grateful to be back home with C and to once again be moving forward with our lives together.