On Tuesday night KR confirmed my suspicions that he has been having “flings” (his word, not mine) on the side.
After dinner, we stepped outside for a cigarette. KR asked, “Can I tell you something without it starting an argument?” Thinking to myself, “Yeah, that would be great,” since we really haven’t talked much lately, I simply said, “I’m tired of arguing with you, so yes.” He then proceeded to tell me that he had a fling about 4 years ago; and she recently contacted him to tell him she contracted an STD, trichomoniasis. (Red flag — 4 years ago?!)
At first, KR tried playing it off as something that if he has this STD, he (and “she”) probably got from me, another remnant from the rapes in ’98 or the promiscuous years that followed. The problem with that theory is when I was diagnosed with HPV (Human papillomavirus), a direct result of the second rape, the doctor tested me for everything. HPV was the only positive. Also, shortly after I moved in with KR, I had my GYN doctor test me again because I was worried that my ex-boyfriend might have given me something since he had been having an affair. Those tests were also negative, though I can’t be certain for which ones that doctor tested me.
All of this rapidly went through my mind Tuesday night as I tried to comprehend, then, process what he was telling me. I made these same points to him; yet he seemed unfazed, telling me that this STD is extremely hard to test for, going so far as saying it is really hard to diagnose trich in men and he would only get treated if I came up positive. When I called yesterday afternoon, the local health department told me that these were lies. It’s an easy test; yet unless there is an active infection, the test could be a false negative. The nurse I spoke with told me to urge KR to come in to be tested and treated as well.
At first, KR refused to tell me with whom he had this fling. He finally told me a name, whether or not it’s the truth, I can’t know for sure. Obviously, I can no longer trust him. I also asked him how many of these flings he’s had since we’ve been together. He wouldn’t give an exact number, only admitting to more than one.
I managed to remain calm during this entire discussion — never once raised my voice. After we came back inside, he asked, “So you’re not mad?,” I guess because I was so calm about it; but in reality, I think I was simply shut down mentally and emotionally. I replied, “I’m more hurt than mad; but yes, I am a little angry.”
NO. There’s no “little” about it. I feel positively livid deep inside — enraged by his lack of commitment — this infidelity that shows no loyalty to me whatsoever. I feel infuriated by his disrespect and fiercely bitter of his deceitfulness. I’m utterly disgusted to think of what all he has exposed me to — all while guilt-ing me into feeling like I was at fault for trying to cope with my past to the best of my ability. Yet, I am also hurt, humiliated, and disappointed in him for the very same reasons.
And I’m scared.
I’m scared because ALL of this is triggering the same insanity and fears that I struggled through with both rapes and the break-ups of both my marriage and my last relationship. I’m scared because it takes me back to that dark place….
My counselor was correct in stating this is a toxic relationship. It’s felt “toxic” for a while, now. I had no idea just how toxic until Tuesday night. KR endangered my life by exposing me to STD’s, an act of betrayal like no other. This is precisely the type of behavior typical of addicts. I recognize it as such because it’s that same careless attitude of indifference I experienced during the most dangerous phase of my own addiction, while working at the beer bar and dating PI. No excuses. I was as selfish back then as KR has been these past 4 years! He can’t love me because he’s too caught up in his sex addiction, let alone the drugs and alcohol he’s been using to numb his guilt.
Maybe, it’s Karma.
I suspected KR’s infidelity for most of the last 2 years. I “chalked it up” to irrational paranoia, caused by PTSD induced flashbacks, nightmares, and anxieties. Maybe, it was the other way around. Maybe, my gut instinct was telling me “something’s not right,” and the PTSD symptoms were triggered as a result rather than the cause. That compulsion to shower immediately following every time we had sex and my aversion to sex, in general, makes me wonder, now, just how powerful the subconscious really is.
My appointment at the local health department to be tested for STD’s was this morning which meant I had to face yet another fear — my fear of doctors.
I tossed and turned in bed from 10 pm until 6 am, barely drifting in and out of a restless sleep. I got up an hour earlier than planned exhausted. By the time I arrived for my appointment and the nurse checked my blood pressure, I was in such a panicked frenzy that my BP was 166/95! I was also on the verge of having a severe panic attack, gasping for every breath. The nurse was so sweet and kind. She tried to calm me prior to checking my BP again by saying, “Go to your happy place. Take a few deep breaths.” It lowered a little, 152/?, but still much higher than normal.
I am so glad the nurse practitioner I saw is female. I told her everything from why I was there today to everything about rehab and my mental healthcare to my past experiences including the rapes, HPV, and Lupus. I just kind of blurted everything out, unable to stop myself after I began. I apologized. TMI. She said, “No, no. It’s helpful to know.” Or something along those lines. I really liked her and felt comfortable in her presence. I’m so thankful for that.
She didn’t actually test for trich. She said that since I was exposed to it from a known infection, it was best to simply treat it with a megadose of the antibiotic metronidazole just to be on the safe side. After we talked for a while, the NP ordered blood work and a urine sample to test for Hepatitis C, HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia, as well as the thyroid panel to check on that issue. She postponed the Pap Smear for 2 weeks in order to give me a little more time to get used to the idea and hopefully less stressed out about it. That was very kind and understanding of her. That will also give the tests time to come back so she can discuss them with me.
For so, so long, I felt like I deserved all the bad stuff that happened to me, so worthless, like sex was all I was good for. Last night at IOP after telling the group about all of this, my counselor told me I deserve better. Do I? Do I really? I don’t know how to believe that, but I would like to. He spoke at great lengths about self-worth, asking each of us how we determine our self-worth. Honestly, I don’t know how to answer that right now. I just know that before I can figure it out I need to feel safe, and I no longer feel safe with KR.
And that breaks my heart.