I haven't been able to hold onto much in the way of thought process today, though I wish I could somehow summarize all that has happened in that internal landscape in the last 24 hours.
Forgive me if this is less poetic than mechanical. I'm feeling fragmented and feel the need to be linear to find my bearings. We'll see how this goes.
I've read a lot in the last few years to try to understand what is going on in my relationship, to make sense of what is happening to me, what is happening for him. I've read about sex addiction, sociopathy, narcissistic personality disorder, depression, trauma, PTSD, and C-PTSD. Of course I diagnosed each of us with all of the above with the first half of the list going to him, and the second half to me.
The need to understand has been fierce. All driven by the deep yearning for definitive answers about what to do. And all this knowledge has made me an armchair expert, able to explain in small bits rather eloquently the complexity of the sex addict-partner relationship, but it has not really ever given me the magic answer(s) I longed for. All the while I was sliding further and further into the black hole.
One thing I wanted to know, for sure, was Roi inherently good at the core who had just caught a nasty disease, or was he inherently evil using a "good guy" facade in order to keep everyone off balance just enough to allow him to continually escape consequences?
I also wanted to know, for sure, just who was the crazy one in this relationship. In the beginning it was really disorienting the way he handled things. He once told me about an incest incident in his family of origin, and it was just tossed into the conversation with no set-up, no pause for reaction, no follow-up. My brain was all, "wait, what? Rewind, rewind, what the hell was that?". When I interrupted Roi to go back to that topic he seemed perplexed that it even warranted attention.
I need some good analogy for this odd behavior. All that comes to mind is the cartoon image in my head of one person sitting back in a chair, completely at ease, chattering endlessly. Speech bubbles surround the speaker's head and they are filled with shocking thoughts and actions like, "One time, my brother slept with my step-mother. He was like, 16 I think." or "My mother often left me at the movies while she went shopping for men. I was, I don't know, 4 I think?" or "I used to think I was addicted to porn". The listener sits with a look of puzzlement and concern, and that person's head is transparent and you can see that several wrenches have been thrown into the inner gears and things are starting to smoke in there.
And there's just one source of "the crazy" that has been relentlessly building in me.
I've read in many many places stories of partners wondering if they really are the one that has been crazy all along. Sometimes these questions are still being asked by people who've been separated from their partner for a significant amount of time. They wonder if the addict, or the NPD, or the sociopath, or the [insert your favorite personality disorder here] was right, because it sure can look that way. When your partner can continue to function -- because some can stay mostly calm, functioning, and even look HAPPY through all that's going on -- and you're just losing your shit, and your hair, and your weight (or gaining it), and apparently your marbles, it doesn't make sense. If they're the crazy one, why are you the one that looks like you were released from the psychiatric ward three months too soon due to health insurance cut-backs? You've stepped through the looking-glass, and everything on this side is an endless puzzle you can never solve. It all begins to get real wobbly under the feet of your sanity.
I had one of those nights last night, and if I don't start to put every step toward the direction of the door, I'm going to lose my sanity completely.