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Reopening old wounds in Paradise


This past week I had the opportunity to take a vacation with my family.  We haven’t been on vacation since the week before D-day . In fact, it was the first day after we had returned from vacation that my husband confessed to his affair.  Suddenly, all images from our vacation had a new meaning.  The smiling faces in our images, my husband holding my hand, cuddling with me – all of it was fake.  I’d arranged for a professional photographer to capture our family in photojournalistic images while we were there.  I’d researched who would capture our family, and where we would be photographed.  I’d planned the outfits, the timing, all of it.  Whereas normally I would be chomping at the bit to see the images from our photo session, I was suddenly less than enthusiastic.  I didn’t want to see a lie.  I didn’t want to look into an image and see something different from the magic that I’d felt in that moment – a moment that obviously meant more to me than it did to him.

Well, it has been two years since we’ve taken a vacation together, and we decided it was about time.  We are tired of living in the shadow of this hell-hole and wanted to recreate the magic we feel as a family when we are away.  We decide to revisit a location we’d been to previously.  It was an affordable place, great for kids, and warm during an otherwise cooler time of year.  I really thought nothing much of it until I arrived at the airport, and it suddenly hit me. “The last time we were here, he was having an affair with HER”.  All of a sudden, memories that I hadn’t been able to access, likely because they weren’t of any value or use, came flooding back to me.  Memories of the last vacation, what we’d done, where we’d gone, the dinners out, the family fun days, the road trips, I could see it all clearly as if it had JUST happened.  I remembered the room, the layout of our suite, the moments we had together as a family and as a couple.  It was as though I was seeing my vacation in detail from above, watching those moments unfold again, but this time with a perspective I didn’t have before – the perspective that the last time we’d shared these moments in this place, he was in the early phases of an affair that was, at that time, still exciting, new and fresh.  For all I know, the whole time we were away, he was thinking of her and their time together while he was supposed to be devoted to me and our family.  The sudden flashbacks were overwhelming, and I found myself crying on the shuttle to the hotel.

When we arrived at the hotel, I was shocked to discover that we had the exact same room layout as previously….and it made the flashbacks more intense.  I sat HERE when he and I discussed how sketchy the internet connection was. We sat HERE on a balcony JUST LIKE THIS one night after the kids were in bed.  The pool we were at looked like this, and I remember swimming and enjoying the company of a man I thought I knew,  but who was leading a secret life the whole time.  I remembered the meals, the moments, the evenings, the morning showers – all of it – exccept this time, I could see myself in those moments, deliriously unaware of what was unfolding right under my nose, and I felt sorry for the girl I saw.  What a complete loser.  What a trusting moron she is.  What an idiot that she can’t even see what is going on behind her back.  That same wife who busily folded the family laundry the night before we left to ensure clean clothes on our return, that same mom who swam with her kids and enjoyed family meals…that woman was being taken in favour of FREE pussy made available from a whore with an agenda.

I also couldn’t help but put the entire last trip into perspective, as I always tend to do with most events.  “The last time we were here, he hadn’t yet impregnated her, and he hadn’t fathered a baby with this woman”.  Had I found out about it at this point, he never would have…

I spent the entire vacation in flashbacks.  It caused me to mention her name over and over in casual conversation because she was now on my mind.  She was on vacation with me, and I couldn’t break free of her grip.  It was horrible.

I didn’t say anything to my husband about the feelings I was having.  Truthfully, I didn’t see the point.  I know our therapist would disagree, and say that I need to share my feelings of sadness and insecurity whenever they arise so that we can be together in the feelings.  However, I didn’t want to ruin HIS vacation by being a sappy, overly emotional, sad person who can’t seem to get over this, and who raises this topic at the most inopportune of times.  I didn’t want to be seen as a burden, and I didn’t want to compromise his only time of rest and relaxation by bringing HER back into focus.  I just held onto it, and it was hard.

It all leads me to wonder how long this will plague me.

My husband has told me that I need to revisit some of the places that are triggers for me so that I can overwrite the old memories with new ones.  In some small way, possibly a rational one, I could see the sense in that.  But emotionally, it really didn’t work out that way.  Revisiting places where we have been during times of his infidelity is not a simple re-writing of history.  It is a resurrection of moments that are now lies, and which no longer hold the special meaning they once did.  Having to sit at the same table, or visit the same restaurant – it doesn’t overwrite anything, it just brings back into consciousness moments that are painful to see from this new perspective.

Sometimes I just wish he could experience this pain….FEEL what it feels like so that he would truly KNOW the devastation he has caused me.

What I have been left with, after this week of vacation with my family, is a fear that I will never get over this.

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Comments

  1. dotcablogger says:

    I guess you either believe you’ll get over this feeling of pain in time, or you don’t believe in that. I don’t know what to say. Maybe I can say that people move on, life changes too, and even if you let yourself relive your pain in places that you revisit, you’ve gotten older or had changed and that place had changed too. The hotel room you stayed in had also been stayed stayed by countless others, and has gotten older or has been renovated. It’s not the same hotel room from 2 yrs ago even if it looks like it is. I guess I’m saying that you can forget or not be bugged anymore because you, others, the world, and time changes yourself and makes the event that bugs you the past, and then the distant past, and then not really worth getting bothered over because many other things had happened since then.

  2. Lost in France says:

    In hindsight, which of course is always 20/20 probably not the best idea.

    Sadly I think if you had not gone back, you may have been able to have good memories about the original trip. Now they have been swept away.

    It is much better to make new, fresh, happy memories.

    The world is a big place, with many other wonderful places to visit, both near and far.

  3. We took the kids to Disney while my husband was having his affair. I don’t think I could go back there. I can barely look at the photos of that trip now. But, in therapy, I asked him if he even wanted to be there with us or if the whole time he was wishing he was with the OP. He said he did want to be there and he did have fun. I think men are just really good at compartmentalizing parts of their lives. We are not good at that.

    Sorry you had to go through that.

  4. It is sad when trying to make new, pleasant memories it’s stolen from us because of the past. Even a simple hug can turn dark.

  5. Well my husband’s whore,she worked at Victoria Secret and she actually got our older son a job there….and while he was working there he brought home hangers that they ordered but got way too many…so anyways while i was doing laundry tonight i looked at them and told my son that i really don’t want to look at these hangers as they trigger me. Well recently whore face has quit Victoria Secret and took on an adventure that entailed opening her own spa on the Danforth, I could say the name…but….anywhile he told me that she was failing at her business and that everytime i look at these hangers, i should laugh because both of them have completely failed at everything since this affair started and ended. HAHAH….i laughed so hard, i was having a hard day and came home to this, i hugged my son and told him i love him…he made my day turn into the brightest day ever. I can look back at this and laugh now. Karma is great….

    • That’s a wonderful story, I love it. I truly appreciate being able to take a moment that was once a trigger, look at it through a different lens, and hopefully turn into something that brings you joy. That is true redemption if you ask me.

      Personally, I would still be a place where I would have to remove anything that had any association to her whatsoever. Something she’s touched, something that is reflective of her career, something that reminds me of her. All of it would have to go. I have contemplated asking my husband to throw every single pair of underwear that he owns, just in case they happen to be the pair that she removed from him on one of the many occasions that they were together. I know that the request is unreasonable, and I know that sounds stupid, but I can’t do do laundry without thinking about it. I do enough laundry that frankly I don’t want to think about her that often. Ha ha ha

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