When I started this feeble blog months ago, a friend suggested I write about "real" stuff. I had grand plans for this blog, alas, it's simple my humble little place to share some thoughts with the few that read this. For my friend, this is going to be about "real" stuff. Deep dark stuff you don't really air to the world...But you know, maybe one of my readers will read this and know someone that needs to read it, for whatever reason. Or...it's just my therapy for today, to purge thoughts that have become trapped in my head and I wish for them to leave. So, I'm leaving them here.
For the life of me, I'm not sure why these old thoughts have crept back into my head. Memories. Memories I wish I didn't have, of pain that I would not wish on my worst enemy. Ok, secretly I've wished this exact thing to happen to a couple of people, but then I take it back. Really, no one should have to endure this. It's two memories, the first is worse than the second, but they both still sucked rocks. I remember exactly where these events took place, (one in a driveway, one on a porch), I remember the sick, numb feeling and then the devastation. My world was turned upside down, shattered, everything that was...was no longer. I curled into a fetal position and sobbed, praying to God to take away the agony, to make it stop! It didn't stop, it came in waves, washing over me, and crushing me into the ground.
If I looked at a calendar, and a football schedule (lol), I could tell you the exact date my ex-husband told me of his affair. We were in the driveway, had just left my oldest son with my mother, and I was a few weeks pregnant with my second child. He turned off the car, sat there for a second, then looked at me. I remember the look on his face, it was blank, numb looking. I was looking him right in the eye when he told me he had an affair. I'm pretty sure I said "Do what??", because, really, he did not just tell me he'd had an affair. So, he said it again. Damn. I'd heard right the first time. I then asked why he was telling me this. Seriously, out of the blue, left field, nowhere, I was smashed in the face. Don't husbands usually try to hide this shit?? That's what I always thought they did. Deny, hide, cover up. But never divulge the information in the driveway, on a Sunday night! WTF??
To be perfectly honest, I am not sure what happen between me being in the car and me being curled up in the upstairs bathroom sobbing. I didn't scream, or get angry at all, I saved that for later. All I could think to do was go somewhere small and dark to cry, and pray. There wasn't much conversation that night...there really isn't anything to say. Sorry? Um, that's not even close. I'm not big on sorry anyway...but that's another story. All I wanted to do was to be alone. It's what I do when I'm hurt, I just want to crawl into a cave and hide. I guess God listened to my prayers, because right when I thought I couldn't take the pain much more, it would subside. Then start over.
As I sat in my small dark place, I remember going over the last two years of my life (which was how long the affair lasted) and finding every moment, every memory, now empty. Anything that had brought joy to my life, was now rendered meaningless. When I looked forward, I saw nothing. When the sobbing would stop, I was filled with a feeling of absolutely nothing. Completely void of everything. I am not sure which was worse, the sobbing, or the void.
There is one thing I wish I could do. Well, there are several things I wish I could do...but one thing I've always thought would come in handy. I wish I could get angry. Don't get me wrong, I can and do get angry, just ask Austin at homework time. But when faced with something that will "hurt my feelers", I can't go right to that defense mechanism, anger, and cover up the hurt. Or at least push the hurt back far enough to so I can deal with it in spurts, maybe? Nope, I gotta deal with all of it, right up front. ~sigh~
So let's fast forward a bit. Still married to the ex, "survived" the affair, had two more children, then, guess what. You know that old saying "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."? Well, that's how my first marriage ended. Shame on me. I found out about this one because, well, I'm nosey. (paranoid) I just happen to pick up the ex's cell phone and...browse. I think he was caught a bit off guard when I opened the shower door and asked "Who the F is this?".
This time around, I was prepared, if one can ever actually be prepared for something like this. Out. You must, go now. I think the difference was that it wasn't just me that I had to take care of, I had three boys. There was no question about "saving the marriage", really, twice?? Looking back, I think I would have liked to do things a little different. My entire world was ripped apart, and my little boys were right there with me. It was a blur the first six months, I kept my head above water only because I had to. This time I couldn't curl up into the fetal position because I had three little boys that needed me to be ok.
I often find myself wondering if people really get what an affair does to a person. With the first affair, I was only told because some old neighbors said to the ex "you tell or we tell". I am, and will forever be, perplexed at this notion. Did the neighbors truly understand the devastation and long term pain they were, in effect, causing?? I also wonder what the other "women" (and I use that term loosely here) thought. Did it ever occur to them, while my ex was lying to me, that he was lying to them also?? It kind of seems like a logical leap, no? I know my ex didn't understand the devastation I went through (until recently). Why didn't he just leave, that would have sucked too, but at least I would have some ounce of dignity left...maybe.
There is no way for a woman to ever not feel it was her fault her partner had an affair. No way. If there is a way, please email it to me. It is a strange voice that is left inside your head, forever after. There are unwelcome times that I catch myself in the mirror and compare myself to "her" (it's usually the second her because she was the "up-graded" newer 1987 model). It pisses me right off because I like who I am, and where I am, I even think I don't look too shabby for a 1971 model!! I'm a classic baby!
It has been over four years, maybe even five, and I can still call up that exact feeling. I have forgiven...mostly...and I constantly pray to forget. It's the strangest little things that will bring that feeling back up to the surface. Stupid little things, that others might not even notice. But for me, they are devastating. For a second, which is too long in my opinion, I feel hopeless and lost, and unsure of me. On some occasions, I have to write in my journal, or blog, to get out of my own head and remember where I am now.
My life has turned into what I want it to be, and I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to pursue that life. I consider the affairs and divorce life's way of giving me the kick in the pants I needed. We, I, should have had the courage to end that marriage sooner. Life is so precious, and so many years were waisted being unhappy, but "sticking it out". There is no anger left, maybe a little hurt now and again. But I have so much more to be thankful for, and that pulls me through the random days of remembering. It is something that did not kill me, but made me stronger.