My husband and I went on a long weekend trip. We went to see the Raiders play at home, in Oakland. We flew in and out of San Francisco. The city is a huge trigger for me. Other than flying in and out of there and stopping VERY briefly at Pier 39 to get a gift from the Hard Rock for his sister for watching our kids – we spent zero time in SFO. Which was great. The very little time we did spend at Pier 39 was giving me anxiety and taking me to a place I didn’t want to be. Pier 39 is where he hung out with her. The thought of it makes my stomach drop. Being there is even worse. She is STILL the last woman my husband had sex with in SFO. And it STILL bothers me. It pisses me off.
I didn’t want to spend time in San Francisco for obvious reasons. However, affair aside, I wanted to explore new places. We’ve done the whole Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 thing. I’m kind of over it (I’m sure him being there with his affair partner has alot to do with it but I also really wanted to see new things). I asked for a new experience. And he delivered. He planned absolutely every detail and kept it all a surprise.The places we stayed were beautiful. He was attentive. Gave me alot of compliments. Was a gentleman. I told my husband (and meant it) that taking the affair out, I’m completely happy with him and where our relationship is and seems to be heading. We’ve had an incredible amount of growth over the past year.
The trip was not without a few minor hiccups, but that’s life right? I’m focusing on the fact that we made it through without having any real major issues. We had one small fight, which could have escalated quickly. But it didn’t. We both used new tools to communicate better.
Yesterday I went to my second session with the EMDR therapist. She taught me 5 new calming techniques. They are designed to help me stay in the present. I am going weekly until we’re done with the treatment. We are starting the actual reprocessing of memories part next week and she feels that I could be done with that before Christmas! We are going into the belly of the beast, for both of my traumas. I will be addressing the abusive boyfriend and abortion. I really have no anxiety here. I feel that I’ve addressed my issues with this. The residue from this experience is how I’ve adapted my response to situations. It caused me to fear attachment and abandonment at the same time. I responded to this trauma by keeping people at arm’s length. Having a wall. Shutting them out, but so desperately wanting them to break through. I wanted someone to see how broken I was and put me back together. To my husband’s credit he tried to do just that. But I never let him in far enough. Even if I did let him in he couldn’t fix me; that’s an inside job. I had to fix myself. The EMDR will help me stop these behaviors by reprocessing what I felt about myself because of the trauma.
As far as his affair, we are going to completely rip open the wound. I have to imagine my worst nightmare scenario. She said to think about what that looks like. HA! I live it every single day. I know what it is, no thinking necessary. My worst case scenario is that he shared a connection with her that he and I don’t have. Never did. Never will. That she is what he really wants. That he loved her. That she is his soulmate. That they are more compatible than us. That he saw her more than he’s admitted. Fucked her more than once. That they talked about a future together. That he still thinks about her. Misses her. That she wasn’t the only one. That he is still lying to me. That I’m going to get another anonymous message or even contact from her giving me more evidence of his misdeeds.
I’m excited. I’m anxious. I’m nervous. I want this to work so badly. I’m scared that if it doesn’t work, I’m destined to be stuck in this hell forever. My therapist has assured me I will be able to think about his affair and the details and not get sucked back in. I will be able to go to San Francisco or Vegas and not want to puke. I will be able to hear her name or see her face in my mind and not have my heart sink into my feet. I will be able to hear a song on the playlist she made for him and not want to punch them both. I will be able to see quotes about love or being destined to meet someone or soulmates or love that can’t be and not think about the two of them. I will be able to have sex and be intimate with my husband and not feel like crying because I’m wondering if he did “that” with her. All the triggers I am experiencing will become just details of his affair and won’t evoke such an emotional response. The memories will still be there. Those can’t be erased. Yes, the memories are here to stay but they won’t paralyze me.
I am hopeful right now. I want to have the questions and uncertainty of him being truthful to stop haunting me. I want her face to stop haunting me. I want the images of them together to stop haunting me. I want to get through one damn day without feeling the pain. Without getting sucked back in and re-questioning every detail. Its a living hell.
Its a living hell, but I’m hopeful that I just got my ticket out of there.