Scab

It’s been a while since I last posted and I thought I’d check in. Overall I’m doing okay- January was a hard month.  I didn’t talk to my husband much and we got into a huge fight the night before my son’s birthday party and both my children were in tears. I know a lot of the anger and sadness I felt then had much to do with Dday being 2 years ago that month.

 The day of the party we were civil with each other and I had a chance to tell my siblings that my husband and I weren’t doing too well.  A few days later my sister in law and I were texting and she helped me refocus. It’s hard still, with certain triggers and times, not to be absorbed by all that happened. 

Two years and 2 months after the worst day of my life I would say that I am healing. I have more good days than bad but I still think of the affair daily and it still causes an enormous amount of pain. I think the best way I can describe where I am at this point is to say that I have a very deep wound and it has a very thin scab over it at this point. I’m still aware of how broken I am, how thin the line is towards being absolutely insane. 

I was shopping one day and saw the brand of chocolate my husband had brought for n. e.  and I wanted to take my cart and smash right into it. I still scream obscenities out loud when I’m alone and I think about what an absolute and complete asshole my husband was. 

I understand brokenness better now. I don’t automatically shake my head in confusion when I hear stories of people losing it. Now, I’m more likely to nod in understanding. I’m so close to that line and it’s still so inviting at times to teeter right off and embrace the crazy.  To give into all the nervous restlessness I feel when I’m overwhelmed with images, triggers, grief, or rage.
But there is a scab- it’s thin but I’ve worked hard to let it form and it’s helping to protect that deep wound. I’m working to make it thicker- when the sight of my husband caused me nothing but heartache in January- I would go into another room. There I sat and emailed every resource and contact I had until we found some counseling again. That has been a huge blessing and it’s led us to further healing in the form of a beautiful couple who has walked this ugly road too 15 years earlier and meeting with them gives me tremendous hope. 

My scab will just be a scar one day and I’m grateful for that.

Advertisements

Sanity 

So 2017 hasn’t gotten off to the best start. It hasn’t been the worst…but it definitely hasn’t been the best either. I had high hopes that it would feel like a fresh start but the sadness I had been feeling post Christmas continued to linger on and I found myself not only feeling sad but once again feeling angry as well. Part of  this has to do with Dday approaching. Everything once again feels so raw. The other part of it has to do with triggers. There’s still a big part of me that feels like I can’t just live my life without being reminded of things my husband shared with the ow.

A few days ago, a friend had written about a Broadway play he had seen. I wasn’t familiar with the play previously so I looked it up. As I was reading, I thought it sounded like a fantastic performance to watch. There was a link on the article that directed you to the main actor’s Playbill page. There I saw that he had been the star in a play that my husband had seen with the ow- he was in it the same year they watched it. So then watching his current play lost its appeal for me. I couldn’t get past the possibility that I would be enjoying the performance of an actor my husband and the ow enjoyed together. 

Later in the week, I read a blog where a wife shared a particular brand of soaps her husband had gotten her for Christmas. It was the same brand of soap the ow had asked my husband  to buy her for Christmas. The blogger wrote about how lovely the soaps were, and how her sweet husband had made a bubble bath for her with them. All I could think, as I read it, was that her husband had brought these beautiful, expensive soaps for her while my husband had brought them for the ow. It just makes me feel so sick- I picture her opening up every gift and I hate them both! 

On New Years Eve we were watching the televised special with our kids. I was looking at some store sales at the same time and this velvet dress caught my eye. I thought it was beautiful but a bit too revealing for me. I then googled velvet dresses to see if I could find some other, more modest ones. When my search pulled up, there were some images too.  I immediately saw one that reminded me of a dress I had when I first started dating my husband. He had loved seeing me in that dress.  I got excited thinking about how I could get it and surprise my husband.  I though that it would be a sweet reminder of our early love. I clicked on it and it took me to the store that sold it. It was the same store my husband once brought a dress from-for the ow.

I had not thought about that stupid dress in so long but now I was sitting there remembering everything. How I had seen a confirmation for the store on my husband’s email. I had asked him about it. He told me he had brought a dress for me. I was so touched my him buying me a dress – something he had never done before. I remember asking all these questions about how he found it and what made him want to buy it for me?  He answered all my questions with lies.

When the dress never came. I asked him why it hadn’t arrived. He made up more lies. Meanwhile, based on other things I found that were meant for the ow- but I thought were for me, I imagined that my husband was going to surprise me with an elaborate date to go along with the dress. He actually even pulled up the dress and showed it to me when I questioned him once again about why the dress hadn’t arrived. I felt like the biggest fool when I realized that all those other things I had discovered, along with the dress, were all meant for someone else.

So after seeing the dress and being reminded of all the deceit and heartache I couldn’t stand being near him. I told my kids that I was too tired to stay up to watch the ball drop and went upstairs to bed.

I remember thinking when 2016 began how my husband would be mine for the whole year. There would no longer be anything hidden. There would be no lies. There wouldn’t be a Dday in 2016. I imaged that when the year ended I would feel so happy over that. Instead, as I sat alone in my room on the last day of December,  what I felt was sadness. Sadness that there had ever been someone else. Sadness that my husband not having another woman was something I now felt I had to look forward too and rejoice over because it was no longer just a given.

 It’s so messed up and it’s so sad. I went back down half an hour before midnight. We watched the ball drop. I kissed my kids and my husband. Then we went up to bed- except my husband. He slept downstairs- he said he felt like I needed some space from him, and so that’s how we woke up into a new year.

Im still feeling the sadness- affairs taint so much. I am having to constantly do battle in my head. Constantly having to will myself to stay focused on the good happening now.  Constantly having to remember how good a man he was prior to the affair and how good a man he is now, but it’s difficult to do when there’s so many reminders of what a huge, disgusting sleezeball he was!

But, just like I expect my husband to fight, I need to fight as well. So that’s what I’m trying to do. The best thing for me has been my Bible and two books of prayers by Scotty Smith. Smith has certain prayers that deal with marriage, addiction, betrayal, unforgiveneess, and damaged relationships that are so tender and  spot on that I’m often moved to tears.  When he writes about addiction- he writes about  the brokenness, helplessness, and desire to numb  pain in such a way that the disgust I feel for my husband turns into compassion.

We’ve been reading through the book of Proverbs in the Bible with our children at night. We take turns reading, yesterday was my husband’s turn and he read Proverbs 5. It was hard to hear my husband read it. I could hear the sadness in his voice. Every sentence spoke to his actions and calls out his absolute stupidity in pursuing a whore.  The affair changed him so much – into someone he didn’t recognize and it has brought such destruction to our family.

It tries to change me too. I’m still taken aback by how much anger and hatred I feel. I was in the car recently screaming curses as I thought about the affair and I knew I needed to stop. It’s such a slippery slope and it’s far too easy to get hard and bitter. I cried and prayed to God to help me through this. I want people to pay. I want the people who messed up to hurt and not me- but, just like with my husband’s affair, the pleasure I would get from it I know would be swift, but the damage would be far reaching and would last beyond anything I could ever anticipate.

So I’m fighting  and trying to get away from the anger and hatred I feel. It’s justifiable- yes, but it wont do any good. I know that. Over and over I bring my broken self  to God and over and over again He brings me back to sanity. He is the only one that can because I know I can’t. I know if left on my own this anger will consume me- it is so hot and fast.  But with sane eyes I can see the man I love and know. I can see his brokenness and love him still. I can see my own brokenness as well but not let it define me.  I can see hope for us together and a bright future.

Im praying for a new year full of sanity for all of us. I know the sadness and the pain but there is wisdom and strength that has come out of that, and that’s something positive we can each carry into a new year.

 

 

1 Month✅

In two weeks it will be 23 months from Dday- 23 months!!! For a very long time after Dday I felt like I was losing my sanity.  There was  even a point where I became terrified that I was actually losing control over myself.

I was at home, waiting for the repairman one day. He didn’t come when he was supposed to and I had to wait longer.  During all that time all I could think about was the affair and I started looking at the ow’s fb. She had posted something vague and cryptic that immediately made me think that  the affair had started up again. I called my husband immediately, completely wrecked. He reassured me that it was definitely over and he had no desire to ever be unfaithful again.

Later he called to check up on me. I told him that I felt like she was doing this to purposely screw with me.  I questioned  how he could have ever been with someone so awful and how he could do this? He tried to explain- I kept asking what was so appealing?? About her and the affair. He said that the secrecy of it was exciting.

I lost it- I began screaming that denying his life with the kids and I  was appealing. I screamed and I yelled and then I hung up. When the repairman finally came I was sobbing uncontrollably. He thought someone had died. I told him everything was fine. When he was done and had to leave he told me he felt bad leaving me in such a awful state. Again I reassured him. When he was gone I felt like this man, who was basically a stranger, cared more about me than my husband did. After all, my husband was the one who had willingly brought all this pain upon me!

I found myself  getting worked up again. I wanted them both to hurt. I wanted them to pay but it seemed I was the only one suffering from their affair.  My husband came home early from work.  I  was so upset and I began doubting him. Maybe he was back with her and once again lying to me- I mean a secret, double life had been titilating to him, right?

I was sitting on the floor yelling at my husband, when my body started suddenly twitching and I couldn’t control it.  Also, at the same time, my voice had this strange quality to it.  I felt like someone else’s voice was coming out of my body.  A part of me thought I had become possessed. 

I would learn later that it was all psychosomatic. My body was trying to deal with the stress, and at that point, also the fear I felt as a result of the affair. It was awful and terrifying. It was also further evidence of how deeply damaging the affair was. How my husband could have ever convinced himself that his affair wouldn’t hurt me or cause destruction to our family I will never understand? Those are the only things an affair does.

So, in the midst of so many weeks of insanity, sadness, and rage-  a part of me would always perk up when I seemed to go without feeling any of these emotions for a prolonged time. It just felt so good to feel good and have it last for a week or so. 

  It felt good to talk to my husband every day.  It felt good when I could manage the hard emotions without retreating into a shell and hiding behind this wall I had created. A wall that felt like it was the only thing that could protect me from all the hurt.  It was good not to cut my husband down with my words and also not feel absolute loathing for him.  It was good to see my children happy- no insecurities present on their faces.

But I never could make it more than 2.5 weeks. There would be triggers. There would be thoughts of -this time last year he was doing this -and with those thoughts came images. It seemed my period was also often a time for me to emotionally lose it.

 I’m definitely not the most confident woman in the world but neither have I been the most insecure. But now, I was battling insecurities constantly and I was angry at my husband for that. His affair was robbing me of so much. So with all that, I never got very far with the good feelings.  As much as I wanted it and hoped for it –  it never seemed to last. I just wanted a month- one sweet month of sweet sanity and this past Thursday it finally came!

A month ago, on the 15, after another hard week of cold feelings towards my husband,  I sent him a text asking if we could be friends again.  He replied with , Yes please- and that’s what we’ve been for the last month.  I have had some hard moments in the past month and one particularly difficult night, but we would talk about it and together get through it. That sadness, while real, never built itself into the wall I normally hide behind, and that’s been really good.

Im so happy for this incredible month. I have hoped for it, and looked forward to it as it grew closer- and it has finally became realized and I’m so very grateful!

 

Belonging 

When I found out about the affair I wanted to get far away from everything that reminded me about it- my husband, our home, his job and the town that we lived in. I was a complete and absolute mess,especially when it came to dealing with triggers.  The anger was always there- bubbling inside of me and the triggers caused my anger to spill over. It would consume me entirely. I wanted to destroy my husband and everything about his affair with that anger! But the flip side of that is that I also loved my husband and I wanted our marriage to still work.

A few weeks after Dday, I had asked my husband to come back home. We were at his parents house and I missed him. My feelings were all over the place- but on that day I was feeling hopeful and he wanted to be back with us so we all agreed that we would go home together.

Our kids were with us and my in laws had given my son a birthday card with some money in it. His birthday was just a week after Dday. They hadn’t really seen him since and with all the craziness of post Dday they hadn’t been able to get a present or card for him yet. They told him to go to the store and pick out a toy he liked. My son really wanted to get a toy that night and my husband asked if that would be okay. I said yes without thinking about anything more than that my son wanted to get a toy and also about how hard the past few weeks had been for both my kids.

The thing that I hadn’t considered though, and really should have,  was that driving to the toy store meant having to drive down Commercial Drive. Commercial Drive is this long stretch of stores, hotels, and restaurants in our town. There were restaurants and hotels that he had frequented with the ow. We passed by a few on our way to the toy store and with each one  I could feel myself becoming more and more angry . Then we passed by one more place. The  images, details and all this other junk associated with his time with her there hit me hard and I lost it. Right there in the car, I went crazy,-  screaming, yelling and cursing at my husband. My children were terrified. I would learn later that my son thought I was upset with him for wanting a toy. I remember coming home and sitting in my pantry because I wanted to be some place in my home that  I knew she hadn’t been in. I hated my life. I hated this person I had now become, a person who was so filled with rage, that I couldn’t even control.

I remember talking to my children about moving. My daughter became upset. Despite all the craziness of our home life she loved her school. That was her safe place. She had made a really sweet friend in her class and those were things she didn’t want to lose. And that’s all I needed to hear – I wasn’t gonna to take her or my son’s safety of school or the joy of my daughter’s special friendship away from her. I wasn’t going to add more havoc into my children’s lives by adding a move into it.

It was hard.  It still is at times. But I stuck it out, and a few weeks ago I was washing dishes by the sink admiring the view of the mountains I had from that little spot in my kitchen and thinking about how much I love it. 

I also thought about the night before-  my daughter had an event at school. I had gone early and was saving seats for the family of one of my daughter’s friends, who would get there late because of work.  My neighbor and her family took up the other end of the row and we chatted and laughed a bit. A couple of rows  behind me was the mom of my daughter’s sweet friend and we talked about our girls and family. One of my other neighbors had to work that night and so I had offered to take her daughter and then videotaped her class so I could send it to my neighbor.  A few weeks prior I had gotten together with several of the women in my neighborhood for a night of food and drinks.

Despite all the pain and all the hard emotions I have felt, somehow I have carved out a happy life in this home and community.  Was it hard? Oh my God,  YES!!!  I remember all the days sitting downstairs just weeping. I remember how unsafe I felt. How relentless the images were. I remember crying in every room in this house. Crying in my car while I was driving. I mean I couldn’t even get to our marriage counselor’s office without passing a hotel and restaurant my husband had been to with the ow. I remember screaming at my husband in that office – telling him how ashamed I was that he was my husband. I remember our counselor giving us the number for the local suicide hotline. I remember cutting my arms, beating my husband. Ripping his clothes. Ripping family pictures, breaking his things. We’d lose it so often in the car. I’m so grateful we never got hurt or hurt anyone else. It has been hard and ugly.

After all that and so, so much more – I’m here, my babies are here and my husband is here.  We are making a life together. I really thank God for that- for me this is a miracle and I believe in God for miracles.

I had a hard trigger last night after a really good day. I shut down and went to bed crying. I had some bad dreams. A small cold I had became worse during the night. I barely slept. My husband slept with our son. This morning he came up to see how I was doing. He has taken care of me all day. I haven’t gotten up from my bed. I hear my kids laughing with him.

One day, this year, after a really long stretch spent either icing out my husband or ripping him apart I was driving to my parent’s home listening to a playlist of Christian songs I had made. The words really got to me.  It made me think about my husband. It had been a few hard weeks because all the things my husband did- violating our home, his willingness to take the ow to restaurants and other places, creating so many triggers . These thoughts were circling endlessly in my head during those weeks.  It made me feel nothing but hate and disgust for him. But as I sat driving and listening to the songs the strongest thought in my head was yes- those things suck, they matter and he shouldn’t have done any of it but they don’t mean more to me than he does. Our home, the other triggers- they don’t outweigh him. I love him more than any of those things. He is more and he matters more.

This wasn’t an easy place to come to but really I got here because of him and the work he is doing. Today I’m able to rest, while being sick, listening to my children’s laughter because he is working hard to be a good husband and father. He is where we belong. He is once again becoming our safe place.

 

Tangled

That’s what my life with my husband and our children is. We are entangled together and we should be. We are a family.

All this hurt I feel now is because my husband chose to entangle someone else into our family. Well no- he thought she could be a separate thing that never touched us. But he was so wrong.  He was the only one that knew about this new thread. To the kids and I she was invisible but she was wrapping herself around us, choking us.

And then I heard him on the phone. I heard him say “because you’re my girlfriend” and the thread became visible and I went hot with rage. I went crazy. I pulled that thread out. I didn’t gently untangle it. I pulled hard and fast and I yanked at it- not even thinking about how it would affect the threads that were my children. I screamed, I raged, I cried as I yanked. My husband had allowed this disgusting thread to intertwine itself heavily into our lives, into our home, our bed. And so intertwined was he to her that now when I saw him all I felt was the same disgust. I yanked at him too. He no longer belonged intertwined with us!

Even after they were both yanked out. I wasn’t satisfied. I was fearful and still crazy. Any fucking fiber of her thread left behind, left me undone. Any reminder of it warranted my undoing.

20 months later. I’m still fearful. I still come undone at the reminders. But I weep more. I no longer rage in front of anyone, just alone sometimes. I scream. I let the anger rise inside. I feel it in my body rising hot and fast and then  I let it go.

I look at the the threads of our family and see the damage done from her thread chocking us and from the pulling and the yanking I did to remove her and flung her away.

In trying to unravel my husband from us, I found that I can’t and that I no longer want to.  We’re not simple threads. We’re thicker, heavier, more substantial. We’re sturdy and we belong with each other. We’re interlaced and intertwined and tangled together in a million places. We’re bound by moments, memories, joys, tears, love, hopes, history  and dreams. And when I look at us – I see the parts that have become snagged, shredded, and torn but then I see us wrap the stronger parts of us over those weakened areas and I know they’ll be stronger. We will be stronger and maybe we already are.

Trauma

I thought telling my husband everything would help and it did to an extent but this pain is so deep and there are so many facets to it.

Im so exhausted. We have been here since Friday night. My FIL is dying and we’re just waiting for it to happen and though my faith tells me he will be going to better place and that his soul will be free from this body that has kept him shackled for so long  i am still so heartbroken. I imagine the emptiness we will feel once he is gone. The empty rooms, the empty chairs that he favored, the man missing who shared stories with us that he had read or heard on the news or called us into his room to hear a song or a sermon.

But before the emptiness can be felt we have to watch him become more and more weak. He’s barely awake.  In some of the moments when he’s been responsive, he’s indicated that he’s hungry but he can’t swallow anymore and so they take small sponges on a stick and place it in ice water and then into his mouth and let him suck on it. That is all he has the strength and awareness to do now and it’s incredibly hard to see.

We surround his bed when he opens his eyes – it’s like he’s giving us a gift when he finally opens up those eyes. We know how difficult it is for him to just do that, and we want to fill them up with images of family and friends. We want to tell him he’s home, we have him, we’ll take care of him and we love him.

its good to have him home. It’s what he wanted but caring for him is overwhelming. It took his wife and two kids to change his diaper last night. My husband and I talked about it last night before we went to bed. I wondered if my FIL had been aware when they had changed him? I knew how my dad struggled with us, his wife- but especially his children, changing his diaper. My husband said that he thought his dad was aware. He had opened his eyes when he they told him they were going to change him and had  looked at them for a moment before closing them again.

My husband and I slept separately last night. He wanted to be close by his dad so while his mom slept on a couch by the hospital bed- refusing to be any further away from her husband, he slept in a bedroom downstairs. The kids and I slept upstairs. They’re too scared to sleep on a separate level without us and so I slept with them.

And as I lay in bed- another memory came to mind. My dad’s first day home. It was a Thursday when he came home. The next day, Friday, I told my siblings I would stay the night with my parents into Sunday . My little niece was told to stay upstairs because she had gotten the stomach bug a few days earlier and the last thing we wanted was for my dad to get it. My siblings and nieces went home in Friday evening. My mom slept on the couch by my dad’s hospital bed and I slept in the bedroom downstairs.

In the middle of the night I heard my mom throwing up. She had gotten the stomach bug.  I remember her not letting me clean up because she didn’t want me to catch it. I remember listening to her throwing up through the night. I remember changing my dad’s diapers on my own that night. I remember how angry he was that i was changing his diaper. I remember the next day my  mom helping me change him  even though she was still so weak because it was too much for me to do on my own.

I was so overwhelmed that first weekend that my dad came home. My husband couldn’t come but my Inlaws were kind enough to have my children stay with them. I don’t know if was during this first night or the following Saturday but I was so overwhelmed by everything and so I was using my phone. I ended up looking at our credit card statements and there was a charge for movie tickets and another charge from the movie theater itself. I remember calling my husband right away. He was sleepy but I asked him if he had gone to the movies with someone. I couldn’t imagine him doing that. He said no- I told him about the charges. He told me he would look into it and call me back.

He called me back a few minutes later and told me that he called our credit card company. That it looked like someone had gotten our credit card number and used it on the Fandango site to purchase tickets. When I asked about the use at the movie theater itself he said he didn’t know -that this is what the credit card company had told him and they would be sending out new cards.

I of course believed him. I mean new cards are coming soon, right? No- silly, naive, trusting Kaye they are not!  It was just another lie slipping quickly and easily from his mouth. But of course i wanted to believe him, the alternative would be accepting all those feelings I had when I first saw the charge. The pit in my stomach. The nervousness. The feeling that something wasn’t right.  So i believed him.

But last night that memory came back up and I felt all those feelings once again and I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed as quietly as I could so my children wouldn’t  hear me. I cried for how overwhelmed I was at the time but also for how alone I was and how I didn’t even know it.  How abandoned I was by my husband. I was taking care of my dad and he was out on a movie date with her. Eating snacks, making out, and it all fucking hurts so bad.

God help me. I can’t get through any of this without you.

 

 

FIL

Life has been a bit crazy around here the last couple of weeks. We’re dealing with some medical issues with my Father in Law and it’s been difficult. It’s also been dredging up a lot of past hurt from when my own dad was sick and hospitalized. Some of the most hurtful things my husband did were during that time. Knowing those things now and knowing he talked about my dad being sick with her is still very painful, but overall I’m managing it well. I have to keep reminding myself that this is now and he’s not that guy anymore.

I hate that my FIL is sick but I find myself being grateful that it happened now and not two years ago when the affair was going on because my husband would haven’t been as helpful to them as he is now and he probably would have been even more destructive to himself because it’s all been very stressful.

I’m also grateful that this didn’t happen last year, when things were so volatile between my husband and I. One day as I watched my FIL in bed I thought about all the screaming and anger he has seen from me. All the hurt I caused them while trying to deal with all my hurt and I felt so ashamed. He’s been sick for a long time and I wish he had been more direct in talking to my husband about everything once they learned about the affair but he and my MIL tended to focus on me and getting me to forgive. I
couldn’t deal with it but I wish I handled my anger better. Looking at my FIL, laying in bed, so helpless and at the mercy of doctors and nurses I was so heartbroken over the pain that he experienced in his old age because of my anger.

It sucks but I’m grateful we stuck it out. I’m thankful to see my husband being a good son. I’m grateful we are at my FIL’s bedside as a family. I’m grateful for all the times and ways my husband has helped care for my family since the affair came to light. The person he was when my dad was in the hospital was a complete and pure asshole. Two years later when his dad is sick – he’s once again the guy I knew and fell in love with. These are deep wounds but I’m grateful to see that they’re healing. I’m grateful to God for the ways he healing us and helping us be empathetic towards each other.