Saturday, July 30, 2011

three weddings and a monk

Last night I got together with a few friends from my alma mater (an all women's college) and we sat around talking about lives, politics, social issues, and of course reminiscing. At some point it came up that I wasn't at a certain event, or had left early, and I felt my stomach do the old familiar drop as I was stung by the memory of why I wasn't there. 

It was a reunion event a couple years ago, and I had set out in the early afternoon for festivities, but as the day softly receded into night I began to get anxious about how many hours Roi had been alone so when the festivities were being moved to another venue, I took the opportunity to bow out. 

I wanted to stay with my friends, but I couldn't. My head was so tragically wrapped around the addicts in my life. I hadn't always been this way, but as their disease progressed, so did mine. Or rather, in the case of Roi, as my knowledge of the extent of his disease progressed, the more sick I became. And I started missing out on things. 


I had to cancel an expense paid trip to take part in a science of mind discussion with the Dalai Lama and a dozen or two major scientists from around the world because Kyd had pulled something that made it impossible for me to go. I missed the wedding of two very dear friends because I was afraid to leave Kyd with anyone, afraid to bring him with me because of how he might act. I missed another wedding a year later for the same reason, and then I missed the wedding of someone else very close to me because I couldn't, just could not bring myself to leave Roi alone for that many hours now that his addiction had come to light.

Roi had given me ample reason to fear leaving him alone. As I uncovered transgression after transgression after transgression there were any number of things he might do with too many hours strung together without supervision. When I would go out with my girlfriends, he would call old girlfriends and lovers. When he went to meetings, he would stop at strip bars on his way home. When he was left alone for a whole day he would spend it cruising Craigslist for erotic dancers and masseurs. When he told me he would be late coming over it was because he was on the phone with a woman. When he would say he was going to bed it was only a half truth; he would get in bed and then surf porn. If I went away for more than a day he would spend that time at beaches or parties or bookstores cruising for opportunities to meet women, but also to just look at them and maybe glimpse a little more than he was intended to. 

And if I didn't go away, he did. It seemed there was always a reason he needed to be away, and it was always, always, imperative. He guilted me at every turn. To say no was to be selfish, to deny him. In his his mind it wasn't, however, selfish to sleep with a woman in Jamaica while I was at home dealing with Kyd's first major legal trouble. It wasn't selfish to have a sexual encounter with a woman in New York while I was by my son's side in the hospital. 

I feel sick when I write these things. But mostly now I feel a fierce, concentrated anger that has nowhere to go. So I dance for hours until my legs and neck and back ache with purified pain. I kickbox the shit out of the punching bag in our backyard. I swim until my thighs and arms burn. I hand it over to my therapist in small choking doses. I walk away from Roi and Kyd again and again with a sweeping motion of my arm as though I can wipe away the pain they bring entirely. 


  1. I fully understand the concept of murder. I truly do.

    But, blessedly, ;) I'm gonna keep my big fat hand shut now... well, just because you already know what I wanna say, but I also know that it won't help...



  2. Murder doesn't cross my mind. Of course with each of them it's different. With Kyd is just an endless frustrating pain that I have to work to let go of over and over and over. With Roi it is being endlessly startled by his audacious selfishness and the hypocrisy of his generosity.

  3. I wonder if that anger is actually going somewhere. I wonder if it's being processed in your brain, bit by bit, as you work it out physically, you're also working it out mentally? IDK, rambling me....


  4. Great post! I really the missed life events, the anger, the resentment. And the throwing myself into exercise and work to get over it.

    This post is what I love about blogging. Being understood, feeling like I just talked to a friend. We are ALL connected in this life...

  5. L - Therapist said (I feel like a broken record) that emotions are meant to move through us and into action (except sadness) and my theory is that before the depression set it I was trying to take action, but the right kinds of actions, and then I got more and more financially dependent and wrapped into Roi's world and the anger no longer could be transformed into action so I shut down entirely. Now that the depression has lifted, the anger is back and it wants an outlet.

    Lou - Yes, that is the great thing about blogging. :) Before therapy there was no one I could talk to about the sex addiction because our one meeting was always falling apart and no one was showing up.

  6. The last paragraph is so powerful. It's like you are pushing this stuff outward, like old shrapnel that has healed within a once wounded body. You are so strong.

  7. Kelly! I was missing your commentary. :) I am strong, and vulnerable, and I'm learning how to use the former to protect the latter. Should be easier than it is.

  8. i'm divorcing my husband.

    yesterday, I finally found out all that I needed to know... after five years and its been brutal.

    he too, is a sex addict. its all come out.

    i'm not strong either... and i have no plan. maybe i'm the biggest idiot that ever lived, but at least i can hold my head up high.

  9. Lexie, that's sad. Sorry to hear this. Divorce is never a fun process, especially with kids. I hope you have a good local support system.

  10. i don't, really and I've never been divorced, but I've been advocating for my two kids for 20+, its just more of the same old. but, i'm pretty trashed right now. He's sleeping in his car at a shopping center that's about 5 miles away and I was just on the phone with him and I completely lost it. It took me forever to begin to actually TRUST ANY man. I was a victim of extreme beatings by a sadistic father. He would hide behind the door and then ambush me... So, intimacy is something I've always struggled with... but that doesn't give him the right to... We've been together for 25 years (i was 32 when we got married) and I only just now, have figured out, who he REALLY is. He's a misogynist, actually. I used to think that he was so lovely and honorable and no one on this earth had more integrity. I was the luckiest woman on the planet. what a fucking joke. over time, he systematically has killed the little that was left of my soul.

    i have a bunch of very good acquaintances-- well, maybe they ARE actually friends. I dance and/or sing with most of them. Wonderful women and one very close, very dear, dear friend... but I am not too proud to ask for all the help I can get from anyone who is kind enough and willing to help.

    I am going to come out of this, on top, Briar. I don't know how yet, but I am. i see it as a great gift. God has finally found a way to open my eyes to the truth I've been hungering for but didn't have the strength to see. I am at the bottom of the abyss and the only way to go, is up.

    I realize that is why I identify so much with your situation as well. I really do get it. I believe that in time, you will find your way too...

    hugs and love ~ Lexie