Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In Which Straws Become Lead

There is a limit to everyone's endurance. So it is understood. It is not the entire weight of straw that breaks the camel's back, it is that one straw too many.

I was away for the day yesterday. Roi historically acts out when he knows we are far enough away from one another that the chances of him being caught go down. Or perhaps it is that he misses me? This is the twisted logic he might use to explain himself. Or that there is no pattern at all. It's random, and meaningless.

So this morning when I received an email from the accountability software he installed on his computer, I saw that one hour before I came home he was viewing photos of a woman in a bikini.

In the average relationship this would be grounds for some light-hearted ribbing. This would be grounds for not much at all. In the sex addict relationship, it is the tip of a jagged iceberg in the middle of a frigid and dark ocean. It is a sign that his compulsive side took over in the hours before I came home, when he knew I still had an hour of rainy highway driving ahead of me. It is a sign that there was probably more -- he knows ways to circumvent the accountability software.

It is a trigger for me, and for him. A woman in a bikini is much more than a woman in a bikini. She represents one small piece of a much larger obsession, largely revolving around beaches.

It is small. It is one straw, light as a feather, no burden at all by itself. It is one straw dropped carelessly on top of an already unfathomable weight.


  1. I am not a fan of the straw that broke the camel's back adage when it comes to explaining myself. I find myself feeling like Humpty Dumpty, after a sudden, unexplained fall.

    The thing that pushed me over the edge was very small when it came to Jermaine, but it was part of something bigger. It represented something bigger. So I get it.

  2. Oh yes, this is very small indeed when compared. And entirely innocent on his part, if one is to believe his story that it was an accidental click as part of a bigger list of links in a section of The Huffington Post. In which case I would be over-reacting.

    Only I've over-reacted generally. He's "not so bad". Not so bad as others.

    Only he dismissed the whole thing out of hand, didn't apologize, didn't come to me first when he knew I had received the notification, blamed me for not coming to me, all after a conversation just the day before about how these triggers, no matter how small, are traumatic. PTSD traumatic, and he claimed to understand.