Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Denial and Detachment

Edited to add at 2:30 p.m.:  This was a scheduled post from last night.  I woke up with a Migraine and it's gotten progressively worse throughout the day.  Please forgive me if I don't get back to your comments or your blogs until tomorrow.  Thanks for understanding my rockin' Hooligans!  

**Potential Trigger Warning for SA partners**

2008

“I’ll sleep in the spare bedroom tonight.  You’ve been snoring.  I have to get some sleep.  Sound good?”  I asked already knowing the answer.

“Yeah.  Okay.”  Devin replied, not looking away from his computer.  He had two now.  A Mac and a PC. I never really questioned his need for a second desktop.  I knew his PC had been crashing lately.  When I allowed myself to think it through, I knew it was because he was getting viruses from the porn sites he was visiting. So, I tried not to think it through very often.

I walked further into the bedroom to see what Devin was looking at and tensed at the sound of him clicking quickly out of a site on the screen.  He opened up a different website but had one minimized at the bottom of the screen.  I couldn’t read the name of the site and allowed myself to dismiss its importance to the deceit and lies that were becoming the norm in my marriage.  I knew it was a porn site, I didn’t have to physically see the site, I could read the guilt in Devin’s eyes. 

I said nothing. I added another brick to the wall that I was building in my wall of denial.


Instead I kissed him but got no response in return.  When questioned, Devin replied, “What do you want from me? I feel detached.  Detached from you.  Detached from the kids.  Detached from work.  Just fucking detached.” 

He tells me now that there are chunks of time he can’t recall, wasting away at the computer.  That moment though, he recalls vividly.  It pains him because he literally felt detached from life and wanted to stop looking at porn and couldn’t stop looking, page after page, site after site, and to comfort himself he drown himself in even more porn.

I vividly remember that night too.  I lay in the extra bed wondering what he meant.  Detached?  As I lay there battling with insomnia I heard him stumbling around in the bedroom, I heard the creak of his desk chair.  I worried he might have a low blood sugar and finally went to check on him.

I walked quickly around the corner into our bedroom to find Devin on a vulgar porn site, and with (what I learned years later) an IM box open while he was looking for his webcam that he kept hidden from me.  He quickly turned the monitor off.

I said nothing. I added another brick to the wall that I was building in my wall of denial.

2012


It is now me that is learning a healthy type of detachment.  I was in a very unhealthy form of detachment just a couple of weeks ago.  The pendulum had swung from one degree to another.  I was enmeshed in Devin’s recovery, then backed off to a healthy level but still had a problem not “mothering” him.  I decided to detach myself from it completely.  Give it all to him. 

That is what I am supposed to do.  However, I was beginning to detach completely from him.  The survival skills I had learned while I was an addict kicked in.  I put up walls.  I should be a mason.  I’d rock and roll at it.

The only problem is, the walls got so big and encompassed so much, that I began not to care about anything pertaining to Devin.  That is not a healthy place to be.  Not to worry.  I didn’t stay that way for more than a week or two before I realized that when he told me something I should be happy about or even mad about I didn’t care. Instead, I was throwing it into the same place where I store his recovery. 

I saw my rockin’ counselor and she assured me that I wasn’t as bad off as I thought I was simply because I recognized the unhealthy detachment.  That I could be detached but still love my husband and remain mentally healthy too.  I needed to remain somewhere in the middle.

The best part is now, there are no more nights spent apart from my husband.  Turns out he has sleep apnea; okay, that’s not great but at least he has a c-pap machine and I can be next to the man I love every night.  There is no more clicking out of the computer screen when I walk into the bedroom.

Oh, and the PC?  That mo-fo made it’s way to the dumpster December 7, 2010…along with the webcam and various other items Devin turned over after disclosure...

46 comments:

  1. Its nice to be able to look back and see how far you have come, eh? I look forward to being able to do that some day. Hopefully sooner than later...

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    1. It is important to look back and see progress in oneself. Painful but vital. I hope that one day, Melanie, you can do that too. I am hopeful that you will heal, you deserve it, girl!!

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  2. It's sometimes odd and difficult to look back at what you did, especially in the name of denial. It's a good way to realize that you, and things around you, have changed though. Denial is a very powerful force, and it's never good to have even a little of it. It's good you stuck by your man through all that, and now both of you are getting better, helped by eachother. Or at least, that's the ideal.

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    1. It was so hard to look back at the denial stage of my marriage. It sucked ass. Doing my 4th step forced me to face it and while it was painful - it did me wonders! You're right, Mark, it changed me for the better and made me stronger. I'll stick by Devin as long as he remains in a healthy recovery =)

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  3. Glad to hear about the progress and it was interesting to hear about the past as well. It sounds like you gave it a good hard honest look and that was probably tough to look back on in your mind. Best of luck in the future with your husband! :)

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    1. My past is very, very interesting, Matt *chuckle* (you should know I have a bizarre sense of humor which is probably what allows me to survive so well!)

      Seriously, I did take a long and deep look into that part of my past...difficult but well worth it.

      Thank you so much for your well wishes. They really and truly mean a lot.

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  4. I've never asked you if during his obsession with sex sites he lost sexual interest for you? Or did you have sex life with him during that time? Was he able to have real sex or just with his porn sites?
    Did a psychologist tell him what he tried to compensate with the sex sites? Did they find a deep reason why he was doing it to that extent? Something from his childhood?

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    1. PS hope our Annzie is holding on today. We're thinking of her....

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    2. Aren't we a nosey parker, and yeah hopefully all goes well for her and the hubby today too.

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    3. Nosey parker? That must be a NS thing...LOL

      I have been holding Anne close to my heart today and praying for her and her hubby.

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    4. Devin's sex drive began to diminish the more the addiction grew. That lead to me trying to grab his attention (my Shame post). He was using masturbation and porn and no longer had the ability to connect with me on an intimate level. By that I mean, I was the woman he loved not objectified and his mind could no longer become aroused by that, he lost the ability to be mentally intimate - not physically intimate. He wasn't objectifying me therefore he had no interest in me sexually no matter what I tried. To complicate matters further, TMI warning here men, that much MB makes it difficult to have an erection without...MB. A vicious cycle, huh?

      The CSAT he went to and now my rockin' counselor both feel that he is unique..most SA are abused in childhood and he wasn't. However, he does share the common thread of being abandoned by his dad and neglected by his mom. Then, he married very young and not having a "normal" marriage to model after, he tolerated verbal and physical abuse from his first wife for 13 years. He didn't find porn until halfway through that marriage and then the seeds of addiction were planted.

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    5. so a simple conclusion would be that he didn't really experience real love before and can't connect sex with it? Kinda like Charlotte and her McDougal husband in SEX AND THE CITY.

      Eat my shorts, Cat, I'm a psychologist, I can ask anything :)

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    6. I don't watch Sex and the City so I don't know the reference =)

      But, your assessment is fairly accurate. He has no understanding of intimacy - true, deep love. He can love me for me and does but when it comes to opening up on the difficult stuff, he tends to shut me out unless I pry and pry. On a psychological level, the disease itself is quite fascinating...

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    7. you would actually probably find the similarities in SEX AND THE CITY funny :) Her husband didn't want to consumate their marriage for a long time even though she is gorgeous. He kinda connected sex with something dirty and sinful thanks to his upbringing and his overly protective mother and so he couldn't connect his angelic wife with sex. In the end she kinda solved the problem by gluing the pics of her head onto the naked bodies of big boobed ladies in his BIG JUGS magazine :) to which he loved to masturbate :)

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    8. Aww, shucks Dezzy, you think I'm angelic with big jugs - and I have to agree LOL - just teasing of course (kind of)

      It is actually quite similar...it almost...almost makes me want to watch it. I will say, she came up with a very creative way to solve their, um, problem =)

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  5. You have come so far in this denial that you should both be very proud.I hope that dumpster that he threw the lap top in is at the bottom of the pile of thrash by now.

    Love,
    Meemaw

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    1. Meemaw!!!!

      We are both so proud! No worries, that desktop is long destroyed!

      xoxoxo

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  6. Hindsight can be great to look at sometimes, as you can see how far you have come. And I'm sure chucking it in the dumpster was fun too, always fun to smash stuff hahaha at least the cat thinks so. Glad all is still getting better too, the cat wouldn't want to hear you rant about it not, then it be so long his eyes would blur hahaha

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    1. Enjoy your winter, smash a desktop? No, that doesn't work. Damnit, how am I going to do this poem next week?

      I think I'll have to find something to rant about just to piss the cat off...I so like doing that. Making the cat angry, makes me so very happy!!! I know, I'll rant about all the Canadian tourists that have descended into my area and wipe out my grocery store!!!!! LOL

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    2. LMAO the cat just thinks that is funny, Canadians stealing your food hahaha

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    3. Oh, Pat, you have NO idea...hmmm, an idea for my light hearted post this weekend?? Nah, better stick with the flowers so I don't piss you off LMAO!!

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    4. Cant piss me off. Will just think it is funny

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  7. It's hard sometimes to look back at how we behave. I always find myself looking back and thinking "Man, I was suck a dick!" I even think that about myself now, in the present.

    I think it's very clear how far you have come since then and that is something to be proud of.

    And yes, I'm with others in my concern for Anne. I have no clue how things are going with her. I am in the dark. I have seen her out making a few comments here and there. She hasn't made it over to my blog though. Not that I care if she reads my blog or not, but it would be a chance to ask her how things are since I don't have her email. Whatever is going on, I wish her and her hubby well!

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    1. Well, I don't think you're a dick at all, Dan! You're one of my favorite bloggin buddies!!

      I have come really far in the last few months I think. I know I made my most progress when I began working my steps - that, for me, was the key. I didn't think I'd need it because I'm not the addict but it worked =)

      As for Anne, she's got some stuff going on with her hubby today. He's having a repeat of the surgery he had last time, today so you can send her some thoughts and prayers or swing by her blog and drop her a comment. I don't think she'll be around a computer for quite some time though...I drop her comments to let her know I'm thinking of her...

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  8. Good reflections - good to look at the progress once in a while, and then remember to ignore that aching desire for total perfection and just take the next step then next day...

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    1. Wait, what? I'm not perfect? Fine!

      I'm finding that coming right after my fifth step and now working on my sixth/seventh, I need reminders of how far I really have come, how much progress I have made.

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  9. Oh God, this might be one of the best lesson I've ever learned regarding marriage. I am so afraid that one day when I had to, I could not pass a denial stage as what you did ): I am not as mentally strong as you. I just hope nothing will happen in my future marriage testing me like this.

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    1. Well, Joshua, try not to read to much into it as far as a marriage lesson. My husband is a sex addict. The American Psychiatric Association does not recognize it but many psychiatrists are concerned about it. About 8 percent of men in the United States (and 3 percent of women) have it.

      Many people who stop by here say that they are not as strong as I am and I will tell you what I tell them; you'd be surprised just how strong you really and truly are. Once life tests you - you will pass that test!!

      Thank you for stopping by, Joshua!

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  10. You are a brave chick Elsie. I used to maintain my journal, then later afterawhile I had to tear all those up because I had been writing only negative things and it was reminding me how much of a knucklehead and shallow person I was.
    But after reading this post, I am thinking I shouldnt have. We should be able to look at the past , rewind and remember the mistakes along with the remedies and struggles we had to endure to overcome and correct those mistakes. It gives us strength, hope and inspiration to proceed further.
    If I try to walk in your shoes, I am getting angry and I want to cry aloud, I dont want to babysit my partner, and he needs to realise that and wake up and man up. I am sorry, I know I am not helping.
    I learn a lot from you Elsie, you are doing a wonderful job for narrating well your struggles in a inspiring way. Thank you so much.

    I read from Anne here and there, and learnt about second surgery, hope god gives her strength and energy and her hubby returns to normal soon. I hate hate hate when this happens to people I like. I dont care about others, I want people I like to chase rainbows and butterflies.

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    1. Don't feel bad about tearing up your old journals. I kept old journals from my denial stage too. I had them in a spiral notebook but when I began to come out of the fog and read what I had written I had become so angry at myself I tore it into tiny pieces and threw it all away.

      It's the same when I have a severe trigger or I am angry at Devin or myself for all that has happened; I hop in my car, go to my spot at the lake where I know the base police will keep me safe and allow me cry and I just cry and write it all out. Then, when I'm done, I take it and rip it to shreds. It's therapeutic for me.

      Maybe it's just time to sit down with your parter and talk. That's the hardest thing we've learned, Devin and I. To talk about the "difficult" stuff. The day to day stuff is easy. Even the semi-difficult stuff is easy, but the stuff that involves what hurts each others feelings, pride and emotions - that's that hard stuff to talk about - but now it is much easier!!

      I know what you mean about Anne. I want nothing but happiness for her and her family too. Sunshine and rainbows!! Grrr - she deserves nothing less!

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    2. Yikes, that was full of typo's but you get the idea - still fighting this Migraine - sorry 'bout that LOL

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  11. Glad to see your able to look at the past and compare it to the present! I find doing that strenthens me and helps me move forward in life! I hope one day your out of this bad tunnel and into brighter days! (and I know you will make it! Your a strong person!)

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    1. I agree with you, Berserc. I think I'm making my way out of the tunnel each and every day...especially compared to where I was! Thank you!!

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  12. When you realize these details afterwards.. it tends to feel good to realize you're doing better, doesn't it? More control and knowledge on how to react. It's nice.

    Luck with the migraine!

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    1. I definitely feel so much better, D4. It's like night and day. To close my eyes and look back at who I was then - it's a whole different person. Amazing!

      Blasted Migraine is sticking around but much better than yesterday - thank you.

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  13. Clearly both of you have come a long way since 2008. Detached? That has to be a horrible feeling. I can't even imagine. Being detached from everything means a lot of voids in a life. Hope your migraine is better xo

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    1. We have come a long way since then. It's been a long journey for sure. Being detached is an odd feeling. It's a difficult place to reach too - especially when you're trying to be healthy about it....

      Stupid Migraine is still lingering - dumb things LOL

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    2. Hope you're migraine free today!

      As for detachment...you know i've been there and sometimes I waffle between different types of detachment. I had a pretty long hard phase of limbo where I found no comfort in anything he was, and felt a complete detachment, where there was nothing i could respect in him. Damn this is a long healing process, isn't it?

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    3. Yes, thank you, my Migraine is much better =)

      I talked to one of my group members and she said she's felt the same way. Unfortunately for her, it got so bad she detached completely and ended up divorced. That scared me when I heard that and I don't want to reach that point because if I ever get to where you were - I don't think I'll come back, I simply walk away, like my friend did.

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  14. I am working on detaching with kindness and love. Long ago, my therapist told me that sometimes you have to detach any way you can when you're in an unhealthy situation. I can just work on the kindness and love later.

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    1. That is exactly what my counselor said; "detach with kindness and love" but she meant from his recovery, not from him. I understand you are in a totally different situation. If you need to detach completely right now to remain healthy, than so be it. It just has to be so hard with her right there. Hugs to you NV.

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  15. I hope that nasty migraines goes away and you feel better soon.

    Love,
    Meemaw

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    1. Meemaw!!

      Thank you so much. It's being a bit of a booger right now so I'm laying low and working on my book today instead of playing in the sun. That's cool though. A little R&R =)

      xoxoxo

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.