“You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.”
~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler
And so it was when I discovered my husband was a deviant sex addict. I can never be the same. He broke something in my core. I can be repaired, but the scars will remain and reminders will come.
This wasn’t simple betrayal. It wasn’t “just” being lied to. And it surely wasn’t a little secret that “didn’t mean anything, I swear” – to quote my sex addict. It was so much bigger than all that.
At the exact moment of discovery, my life was ripped into two distinct pieces – before and after. As if that weren’t enough, each broken half was then sent thru a truth shredder, leaving me with giant piles of twisted wreckage.
Truths were intermingled with lies to the point that I had no idea who or what to believe anymore. I was trying to understand a situation that cannot be understood by normal people, all while my brain and body mounted a fight against the extraordinary trauma of it all.
At each phase of my now adult children’s lives, I witness their deep pain as they wrestle with an increasingly mature understanding of the truth about their father. One has chosen denial; the other, truth. Both paths have their own special kind of hell that grieves me daily as a mother.
There isn’t any ‘getting over’ what he did to us. The damage was too great. He opened a Pandora’s box that can never be closed. None of us can ever again enjoy the bliss of ignorance about the evils and the sick underworld he forced into our lives.
There is only moving on, rebuilding, and learning to trust the world again. Someday, I hope to no longer have nightmares. I hope to awaken each morning to a sense of joy and purpose rather than dread and remembrance and pain. This is the aftermath of marriage to a sex addict. This is PTSD. This is my life’s work.