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Wiping the slate clean


A few months back, I posted about wishing there was a way to induce amnesia so that I wouldn’t have to wake up in this nightmare every day.  I joked that if such a think existed, I would be first in line.  To NOT have the memory of the affair, and to wake up with everything BUT that on my mind – that would be a gift.

As I walked through the grocery store, a magazine cover caught my eye.  The cover story talked about wiping away painful memories forever.  I didn’t even open it, I just added it to my cart, to read later.

The online article can be found here 

The article talks about how memories are made, and how each time we reaccess a memory, we essentially save over the old one, with some details being missed, or biased towards different perspectives.  We create neural pathways to remembering an event which can be severed, leaving all other memories intact.  By having people recall a painful event, while at the same time preventing the protein synthesis the brain uses to recall it and the emotions associated with it, the associations are broken and the next time it is overwritten, the details are lost.  Brilliant. Sign me up.

I talked to my husband about it…ok so I texted him about it since he hasn’t been around much lately (and yes, the alarm bells go off when that happens), and he wouldn’t want to do it.

IF it were possible, here are the pros and cons, as I see them:

Pros:

1. I would never again remember the events of the affair, and could live my life in happiness with my family intact, no longer recollecting the infidelity and its after-effects (no flashbacks, fears, PTSD)

Cons:

(OK so there was only one pro, but what a PRO it is!!!!)

1. I would have to ask all of my friends to never discuss it with me again

2. My husband and I could never talk about it again, which means he would lose ME as a support for the feelings HE has about it

3. He would now have to live a lie, paying monthly child support that he hides from me so that I don’t wonder what it is for

4. We would lose the benefit of having “worked through it”, taking instead a shortcut to a better place

5. If and when the child shows up down the line, and I am sure she will, would I be re-traumatized?

OK so there are more cons than pros….but I would still do it.  In fact, I emailed some individuals cited in the article to ask about it, and to also ask about more specific PTSD therapies for dealing with traumatic events.  So far, my therapy individually has been talk-therapy, and while friendly and supportive, I don’t find it is helping me cope with the trauma very well.  I think I want to seek out some more specific targeted therapy, and thought these individuals may have some recommendations.

But…given a choice, if I could take a pill to forget, knowing that my husband would now have to live a lie to protect me…I would choose that.  He’s lied to me before.  He was pretty good at it.  And while it would be hard for him, most of me doesn’t even care.  This was done TO me, and I want relief whether that relief is hard for him to swallow or not.  I’m not the one who couldn’t keep it in my pants, so I think a lifetime of keeping a secret to protect someone you’ve hurt is a small price to pay.  I think so anyway.

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The view from here


I have to admit it.  I haven’t been feeling well lately.  It’s funny, because I don’t expect things to be linear and to always move forward with never a setback, but I also didn’t expect to still feel so sad and helpless two years later.

 

The anniversary of D day, or “disclosure day” goes in the infidelity circles, passed last week.  This year, unlike last year, I tried not to make a big deal out of it, and didn’t even mention it.  Last year, I celebrated by starting this blog. OK, so ‘celebrated’ isn’t really the appropriate word, but it is what I did to help vent the feelings that arose when the anniversary date came up.

This year I sat by a pool in the sun in the Bahamas, surrounded by my husband and my three oblivious children, thinking about how the last time I saw palm trees, it was the last day of my vacation in Malibu – 2 days before he disclosed the affair.  I thought about how we hadn’t been on true ‘vacation’ in a warm tropical place since that time.  I thought about her, them, and us.  As much as I’d hoped last year that this year I would be able to get through the time without giving it any thought, it didn’t happen.  It’s too soon.

Lately, now that the whore has left us alone from the legal battling being over (she got her $28K settlement for a false lawsuit she created that we had to settle in order to get the custody/support crap ironed out), things have been kind of quiet.  When things get too quiet, I start to get edgy.  What is she going to pull next?  How am I going to find myself surprised this time?  Will it be another false report to the police about me?   Will it be my tires slashed again?  (that was last month, I didn’t blog about it, but we have our suspicions), Will she up the ante and do something I can’t even imagine right now?   It is a function of the PTSD I struggle with, always on alert, never able to completely relax and rest and just BE. I am like the car accident victim who won’t get in the car, the earthquake victim who fears a sudden shaking….it ISN’T a way to live, and it isn’t the way I want to live, but it is my reality, for now.

So if things have settled from the legal side…why do I feel so crappy?

I think I just feel a massive sense of unfairness and betrayal.  In all this, I am the only one of the three of us who has lost.  She gained a child who is paid for financially for life when she would otherwise not have had children.  She gained 28K in settlement money by creating false claims and then having them settled out of court.  She makes more in child support than she ever did in her profession, meaning she could simply no longer work and be fine, all on our dollar.  She didn’t even have to pay her lawyer for 2 years of representation.  My husband won in that he was able to have his cake, eat it too, and maintain his wife and family.  Sure, he has to pay for it financially, but given the other cost of losing everything in his family, I think he prefers to pay out monetarily.  Me, what did I gain?  Before anyone says “you got your husband back….he didn’t leave you”, I am not sure that is much of a win when what I have always wanted was a husband who cares for me 100%, who I can rely on 100%, who is trustworthy, honest, caring and compassionate, who I can give myself over to completely.  Yes, I have my husband, but I have a man who cheated on me. I have a man who is eternally sorry, and whose presence is a reminder daily of his infidelity.  I have a man who pays a monthly support check to someone else to support a child he had with her while not thinking about me.  What exactly is the win there?   I am the one who has lost, and I didn’t even get the little benefit of the fling, just a bunch of lying and betrayal.

If I sound sour again, it is because I am.  I oscillate between being OK and not being OK.  I think that is part and parcel of what happens when women choose to stay and work on the marriage.  Instead of just saying goodbye and putting it behind you, you force yourself to stare it in the face every day, to see the demons face to face from waking to sleeping.  Something as simple as watching him put on his shoes….I am reminded.  When does it stop?  How?

I was walking with a neighbour today, and while we were out, the topic of infidelity came up as we both discussed how we’d watched “The Descendants” on our respective March Break trips.  We talked about how in the movie, although his friends knew his wife was cheating, no one told him.  We had a heart to heart about what we would want if one of us knew that the others husband was being unfaithful.  I told her that I would want to know.  She told me that it would be none of my business to tell her and that it would cause a rift between us.  I was frankly very surprised about her reaction, assuming that all women would want to know, and wouldn’t shoot the messenger when the messenger;s intent was simply to make you aware of an injustice being done to you.  As we talked, she talked about her friends, and how infidelity has touched some of them, and then told me that if that ever happened to her, he would be kicked out immediately.  It wasn’t even a question.  Now, if I have learned ANYTHING this year, it is that what people THINK they would do, and what they ACTUALLY do when put into the situation can be very different.  Most women who stay, never thought they would.  Some who thought they would, realize that they just can’t.  It is interesting indeed.

The interesting part of this walk was the fact that she is unaware of our situation.  We moved in next door, 5 months after D day.  They’ve only ever known us as we are now, not before, and we’ve not said a thing.  She reflected on how she would feel, and basically said something to the effect of “I wouldn’t bother staying, life is too short to be living in a state of constant reminders about the affair, the lies, the betrayal, and I am worth more than that.  He would have to leave and get an apartment, immediately.  Stay for the kids, absolutely not.  The kids are better off with parents happily separated than parents who are together but miserable, and what will they learn from it?  They will learn that cheating is OK, that they will be taken back, and that affairs don’t hurt marriages.  I’d be doing them a FAVOR for leaving him, not by staying.  She made my heart heavy, and bless her, she had no idea.

It does give me great pause.  Will I feel this way forever?  Will I ever have my life back?

Sitting in buy family room is an album of professional images captured days before the affair was divulged.  We were vacationing in Malibu and I asked a photographer to capture our family.  From the images, a stunning album was created with one of our images gracing the cover.   The other day as I turned off the TV, I saw it resting there.  I looked at it, drew it closer, and started to cry.  In that image is the last time that woman (me) was truly happy.   I looked at myself and wanted so badly to jump into that picture and to feel the blissful ignorance of not knowing.  To feel my family complete and happy, and sure it was a lie, but it was comfortable, and safe, and secure.  It was all I had wanted.  I cried at the thought that the woman there doesn’t exist anymore, and in her place stands a woman who lives under a dark cloud, constantly in fear of it happening again, or of the whore bitch creating yet another scheme to hurt us.

I hurt at the fact that this woman, knowing that my husband was married, chose to get involved, knowing that if the same were happening to her, she would be crushed, and yet she continued.  I hurt at the fact that she hates me for no reason, and has created in her mind a false idea of me, and that her hatred for me drives her to constantly attempt to bring more hurt to me.  How much hurt can one person dish to another and feel justified in doing so?   I don’t understand.  I have never felt such hatred for another person.

In the last couple of months, I have literally been consumed with hatred for her, and a desire to want to punish her, to seek revenge.  It is seriously taking over every waking moment of my day.  I can’t work as effectively as I should be, I can’t concentrate.  I want her to suffer. I want to see her feel the pain that I have and am feeling.  I envision her waking up every morning to her little girl, taking her off to daycare which WE pay 92% of so that she can go off to school and get a degree she doesn’t even need.  She leaves her kid in daycare and we have to pay for it. She gets a sitter, and we have to pay for it.  She gets $4K a month and according to her bank statements provided to calculate the shared proportion of expenses, she shops at second hand stores for her child.  This child is getting $4K per month….why does she not get new clothes and toys?  Because mommy apparently is also going to the hair salon, and buying herself clothes.  She is using our money for herself, I am sure of it, taking advantage of how the law favors her in these situations.  Completely unfair.  1 year olds don’t cost $4k per month, and yet when she chose to immunize her child last month, she had the audacity to ask us to cover the $100 charge….cause there is nothing left of her little monthly gift to cover this?  Makes me sick.   She is getting such a free fucking ride.

I don’t know where this post is going…it is more of a stream of consciousness than anything well planned out.  It is just a glimpse of the view from here.  It was 2 years on March 18th…and I am still wallowing in shit.

 

Sometimes in this big lonely sea, you find another person bobbing along like you…


A commenter posted on the blog yesterday who has been through what I am going through.  Yes, many people have been through affairs, or one night stands, or even years of cheating.  Wendy, however, had the commonality of another child having been born of the affair.  I was intrigued.  I want to know how she handles it, how she accepted and welcomed the child into their lives and home, and how four years later she is working through things.  I wanted to link you to her page, so that you can follow her too 😉

http://www.chattychicky.com/

 

A glimpse of what used to be


Have you ever woken up from a nightmare, terrified and convinced that it was real?  I think we all have.  You wake up, chest heaving with heavy breath, gasping while your heart races wildly to keep up.  You’re sweating, and you can still clearly see the horror that was causing you to be terrified.  It seems so real, so believable, so threatening.  And then you realize that you are awake in your room, and not where you just were, the threat no longer there.  It was a dream, and suddenly you are lighter, the enormous weight lifted from your shoulders when you realize that you are safe.  I would like to bottle up that sensation that comes over you when you immediately make the realization that it wasn’t real – the relief, the weightlessness, the bliss.

Have you ever had it happen in reverse?  I did yesterday.

I decided to take the dog for a long walk yesterday.  It was a 1 hour walk which probably took us 2-3 miles. Despite it being a sunny day, there was no one else around, no dogs, no people – no one.  It was surprising because the place is usually crazy busy with dogs running off-leash, and owners stopping to share stories of their beloved companions.  Yesterday, it was quiet, and there was solitude.

As we walked along, I don’t know what it was, or what prompted it, but for a split second the affair didn’t happen, my family was my own, my life was beautiful, and I was fortunate.   I was weightless, I was beaming, the sun was shining, and I was light.  It was lovely.  And then true reality set in, and the contrast was horrible, like a seething black fog that came floating back in and encapsulated me.  I was heavy, sad, tormented.  And, because of the beauty I’d just seen, the contrast immense, I was suddenly sadder than I had been in a long time.  It overcame me suddenly, and without warning, and I found myself crying uncontrollably, my eyes masked behind large sunglasses, thankful that we were alone.

I prefer to wake up OUT of a nightmare than to wake up INTO one.

I suspect I am having all of these feelings because the D day of the affair is approaching its two year anniversary, and the one year anniversary of this blog.  It is the only thing that can explain the immense sadness that I am feeling which came out of nowhere, after having given me a split second glimpse of what used to be.  I’d forgotten what my previous life felt like.  It was warm and familiar, and I miss it horribly.

“Get over it and let it go”


In talking with people who have been through this, and those that haven’t, I’ve learned something rather interesting, and witnessed a disparity.   Unless you’ve been through this, you cannot have the appreciation for the depth of the pain that one feels when this happens to them.  What’s worse is that in your assumption that you do know, you may say or do something that causes them additional pain and suffering due to your lack of sensitivity.

I’d heard of affairs a lot.  I’ve read of affairs.  Heck, I’d even experienced affairs first-hand from an arm’s length.  Marriages of my childhood friends have ended over affairs.  Family friends have, in my adulthood, confessed to me that there had been infidelity in their marriages.  My father was unfaithful to my mother, at least three times that I am aware of…probably more.  I learned of it, I shrugged my shoulders, and yeah, I felt bad for her, but I knew it was her business, not mine.  I assumed she would feel sad. I assumed she would feel hurt.  I assumed to know a lot of how she felt because I could imagine it – or could I?  What I didn’t realize, until recently, is that until you are IN this, looking in from the outside, you can convince yourself that you understand, that you “get it”, and that you have an appreciation for the suffering.  Trust me when I say that you don’t.  You don’t even have a clue.  Assuming that it hurts a lot isn’t even scratching the surface.  It is just common sense, but doesn’t show any true appreciation or understanding.

I had someone recently use the words “let it go”, in relation to the hurt and suffering caused by my husband”s infidelity and the ongoing attempts by his ex-mistress to cause me emotional and legal distress. It was this person’s hope that I would be able to “let go” of the hurt that I have been carrying, and lift the weight from my shoulders.  I am sure the comment was made in good faith, with great intentions, but hearing it made me think that that they really may just not “get it”.

The best that I can describe the experience of living with this situation, is that of being diagnosed with a life altering, but non-terminal disease. You will never look at the world the same way again.  Everything you see, do, feel, say, experience, is all filtered through the lens of this new reality.  It won’t kill you, but you will wake up many mornings wishing it had taken you in your sleep so that you wouldn’t have to wade through another day with the oppressive thoughts and experiences that come with it.  There will be days when you wake up in the morning, and for a brief moment, a transient time, you will awaken thinking that it had been a dream, and that it never happened.  A lightness and glow will come over you, and for a brief moment you will believe it, until reality comes and pours a bucket of ice water over you.  For a moment there, LIFE WAS BEAUTIFUL.  Food will taste different, things will feel different, you will BE different. Never again will you wake up carefree and open…because instead you will wake up plagued and haunted.  Living with this is what I imagine living with Cancer to be like. You wouldn’t tell a cancer sufferer to “get over it”,or that you hope that she can “let it go”, would you?  Why is this considered any different?  Someone is irreparably hurting, their life forever altered, and their days continuously plagued by the onslaught of this reality, and yet you hope that they can “let it go”, or “move on”, or “get over it”.

Personally I can’t “get over it”. It’s too hard. It is in my face ALL THE TIME.  The best that I can do is to learn to live WITH it.  Part of learning to live with it is to adapt to the new reality that is my life.  I need to adapt to the idea that the money that rightfully belongs to my family, to my children, is being given to a dirtbag whore who didn’t have the common decency to stay out of a married man’s pants, but who feels entitled to take, take, take.  I need to adapt to the fact that because she refuses to get a job, her “income” is deemed so disparate to that of my husband that he is responsible for 90.5% of the additional child care costs, while she pays 9.5%.  I have to get used to the idea that a woman used my husband to capitalize on the “free ride” of having a baby and having it COMPLETELY financed for her (She pays less than $10 from her pocket per month for this kid).  I had to adapt to the idea that I could, at any time, receive yet another call from the police because she is once again making up stories designed to get me in trouble with the law, placing herself at the forefront of my mind, or both.  I need to adapt to the idea that one day, this demon spawn may show up on my front door wanting to know her father, spurred and encouraged by her mother to do so.  I have to adapt to the idea that my children may one day be made aware of the existence of a half-sister, and either be angry at us for not disclosing it, or disgusted by the infidelity.  Either situation is not good.  I have to adapt to the idea that I no longer hold a special place as being the only woman to carry my husband’s children.  I now forever share that, as the title has been stripped from me.  I have to adapt to the idea that this will never go away, it will never resolve, and I will always wake up faced with the prospect that THIS DAY may be one to present more hurdles for me where this situation is concerned.  I can not rest, I cannot become complacent, I must be ready for battle at any time….because she comes out of nowhere, and wants me to suffer.  It is not a way I wish to live – it has been placed on me, and while I will never GET OVER IT, or LET IT GO, I will perhaps learn to LIVE WITH IT, and that will take a lot of time, therapy, and self-love.  I really wish it were different, and trust me that I am doing my best.  I still have to talk about it from time to time, but I rely on my therapist for that. I don’t want to burden friends and loved ones with this enormous weight all the time.

So for those who have never been through this, you will undoubtedly one day meet someone who has.  Be a good listener.  Take the time to listen and care.  Don’t allude to being tired of hearing about it, even if you are.  Sadly, the statistics bear out that if you haven’t been through this, you will.  If that is the case, before it does, wake up every morning and take a mental snapshot of your life.  Give thanks for all that you have, remember the beauty of that moment, and soak it up completely, because when it changes, it changes forever, and you can’t go back.

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