“[L]’s gonna be mad at you…”

Wellllllll I did it. Literally.

I thought being intimate after [L] was going to be this big scary anxiety inducing thing that I just was eventually going to have to deal with if I wanted to ever be “normal” again. So, in many ways I’ve treated it as such. I’ve been with a few people since him but never sober. Never ever sober. Until the other night.

Honestly, it went well; but obviously this blog isn’t about my sex life so we’ll just leave it at that.

What I wasn’t expecting was how I’ve felt since then. I keep thinking I’m doing better. My mental health team keeps saying they’re seeing improvements, I’m reducing my meds again, blah blah blah…… I had to take a xanax for the first time in weeks last night.

It started out like this: My friend came over for some girl time and I told her I had finally had sober sex and we were talking about how big of a deal that was for like my recovery…. and then that little toxic voice in my head popped up with “He’s going to kill me when he finds out I cheated”. You know, because God forbid I make any progress in life with out 10 steps backwards.

So once she left I just sat with those thoughts for a while….. they’re completely illogical. I KNOW this! I am not cheating! But we all know he wouldn’t see it this way, he’ll always view me as “his”. If he can’t have me no one can. I can truly say I don’t want to be with him, I’ve worked through a lot of those trauma bonds in therapy, and just the full total separation that is necessary to heal from narcissistic abuse like what I went through. I am feeling good, I am doing well in so many other parts of my life, so why is intimacy bringing up all this shit? Why is sober sex a bigger deal than drunk sex?

Well I think I at least figured that last one out….. Sober sex is a bigger deal than drunk sex because even [L] didn’t cheat sober…… I have always softened it by making excuses for him. Clinging to the idea (like I had been) that he only did those things when he was out of control didn’t hurt as much. Intent matters, it was much easier to think of it as a tragic accident than a deliberate decision of betrayal. [L] cheated, I don’t know how much but a lot, enough to know the truth would hurt me more than not fulfilling my curiosity to know. But he never did it sober, he was always drunk or using and he never meant to, it just happened, he wasn’t thinking, someone gave him (insert any drug here), whatever his excuse was he always had one. He would view this as worse than anything he had ever done, because I meant it. Simply put, he would kill me for it given the chance if he found out.

I made the conscious decision to be with someone else. I lived for so long trying to avoid making him angry, I walked on egg shells for years, I still have a constant gauge in my head measuring will this make [L] mad. An ‘Am I going to get hit for this-o-meter.’ That little gauge kept me safe (ish) for years, avoiding actions or arguments that I knew would set him off and therefore put me in danger. It’s not something that I can just get rid of, it’s become an inherent part of me and I owe my life to actively avoiding things that would piss [L] off. Sleeping with someone else is at the top of that list. So knowingly doing something that would have gotten me hurt in the past, even though I’m safe now, I can’t stop the natural anxiety that comes with it. I tried to ignore it that night and tell myself I was being illogical after the ‘he’ll kill me’ thought but the more I was alone with it the more afraid I became. All the way to an anxiety attack, and eventually to needing medication. I keep telling people I’m a private person now that everything was blasted in my past relationship and yes that was embarrassing and partially true; but the truth is I don’t really care who knows what about me for the most part. My biggest fear is too many people, knowing too much about me, and it getting back to [L] that I did anything he would deem betrayal. If he can manage to send me flowers from in there….. I’m pretty sure he could still find a way to hurt me if he thought I deserved it.

So, the xanax worked!

For a day.

Today [BABY] and I were driving around after I picked him up and he said “mom did you kiss _______” and I just mentally panicked and tried to move past it and change the subject. 5 year old’s can be persistent and hard to distract. So he says “I saw you, ya know”…… welllllllll shit……..

So at this point I have to have a conversation I’m not ready for at all, but I don’t lie to my child, so I said yes we did. He thought about it for a second and sing-songed “you’re in trouble…..” and I started to explain that mom was an adult and blah blah blah and he cut me off mid explanation and said “yeah, but [L]’s gonna be mad at you.”

Talk about not what I was expecting. I turned up the radio and cried the rest of the way home effectively ending that conversation. [Baby] didn’t see me crying, it was dark…..

**side note**[BABY] hasn’t seen [L] in over a year, but [L]’s the only person my son has ever seen me kiss…. [BABY]’s getting to the age where he understands the basics of relationships and all of the little kids at school are “married” to each other, they fight on the playground because ‘so and so can’t be married to two different people she has to choose’, and they’ve had to have talks at school about not kissing (most importantly because they’re five, but also we’re also In the middle of a global pandemic!)

So, we’re home and I think I’m done crying (for now), but I’m just still working on these emotions. I did nothing wrong, I did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. (I’m hoping if I just keep saying it enough it might finally stick) UGHH somedays that’s recovery right? We can’t prepare for every off hand comment, or uninvited thought, every day is different and being successful as a survivor often means rolling with the punches as they come. I truly hope and think things will get easier in this regard as well as others as time goes on and with more therapy, but I guess we’ll see.

Thanks for reading
[NAME REDACTED]

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