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A fate worse than death


I lost my mother last year. Her death was the most significant death I have experienced thus far. Sure, I’d lost my grandparents, but your grandparents are two generations removed from you, and let’s face it, we expect them to die at some point. Our parents’ death presents a new challenge for us as children. For the first time, we start to see our own mortality, and we are ‘next in line’. My mother’s death was hard. It is still hard. I miss her often, and sometimes find myself talking to her as I work through something. I’ll be making a recipe, for example, and find myself saying out loud to myself: “Ok mom, if I don’t have any eggs…I would substitute it with…..?”, or ” Mom, I wonder whether you would like this?”. She never answers, of course, and so far there have been no signs that she is ‘around’, but I keep waiting for one.

My mother’s death, has been one of the most difficult emotional challenges I’ve had to face. Trying to rectify all of the feelings pent up over 30+ years, trying to sort out all of your feelings, make amends, make apologies, live with the apologies you will never be able to receive. Not to mention the fallout that comes from a family shattered by the absence of the one person who held it all together. My mother was the cook, the holiday planner, the birthday rememberer, the gift-buyer for my children, the one who would watch TV, hear about a new toy, game or gadget for kids, and write it in her little journal to remind herself at the next gift-giving opportunity that she wanted to do that for her grandkids (if she didn’t lose the journal, or forget where she’d written it down, or that she’d written it at all). My dad relied on my mother to be his appointment-maker, his personal secretary, his gauge of social correctness, his social convenor, his organizer, his….everything. When family members were on the “outs” she would place herself in the middle, trying to make peace, and then creating social situations to bring them together. I swear, before my brother had children of his own, the only relationship I had with him, was through my mother and the events she would create for us. Without her, I am left to create them, and maintain a relationship with those who remain. She was, without a doubt, the glue that held us together. Without her, I face losing everyone else unless I step into her place and be the glue that once again holds the pieces together.

I think the loss of anyone is significant. But, the loss of a parent ranks as one of the most stressful and painful milestones an adult child will face. Inasmuch as I love my mother, and miss her, and her death has affected me, I can say, without hesitation that my husband’s affair was more painful. In fact, I would do my mother’s death over and over again before I would EVER want to face the pain and devastation my husband’s affair has brought into my life. My father is now aging also, and I honestly believe that he could have died along with my mother — in fact my entire family could have been wiped out, and it wouldn’t have held a candle to the loss that came from the discovery of his affair. Many times I wished I had died. Losing my life, ending my existence was often considered as a less painful state than living through the pain, the humiliation and the trauma of that experience. I contemplated death a lot during that first year. At one point, I took a handful of pills, intended for pain conditions, and hoped that I’d fall asleep, or get sick, or never be the same. I wanted something to erase me, or at least the memory of the event. In those times, even the thought that I would be leaving my children didn’t matter. I reasoned that they would be “better off” with no mother, than with a depressed shell of a woman, always angry, always on edge, permanently stressed out, tired, exhausted from the emotional gymnastics dealing with the affair required. I wound up with what resulted in a horrendous hangover. Flu-like feelings, nausea, severe fatigue from the pain meds…but no death, no hospital, no do-over. I don’t even recall my husband being upset with me about it. In fact we never really talked about my “failed” attempt. I guess in his mind, it wasn’t anything that would have successfully killed me, but it doesn’t change my intent at the time. It is a pain I can’t describe. I never contemplated ending my life when my mother’s ended, and I won’t when my father’s will end. It just, isn’t. the. same.

Fellow blogger Samantha Baker recently commented on a blog post, indicating that she’d written a blog on this very topic, so I wanted to link to it here.

Her point is a very valid one. You expect people you love to die. You don’t expect them to deceive and betray you. The very people you count on to love you, look after you, and care for you, you don’t expect to turn on you, actively seek out ways to indulge in activities that cause you harm, or sneak around behind your back, humiliating you for their own pleasure and benefit. When we lose a loved one, it is final. They aren’t coming back. We grieve it, we move forward, we put it behind us. With an affair, the process doesn’t have an end-point. We are always left wondering if it will happen again, we attend therapy sessions where we pick apart, analyze and re-hash the details of the affair, the pain, the marriage, the trust and the loss. When someone dies, although it is painful, you are never left wondering if they will die again, and you will experience this again. With an affair, that simply isn’t so. It is not embedded as a constant fear in your mind, akin to now have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The triggers and fears remain, long after disclosure. When my husband used to be late coming home, my first thought was that he was in an accident, and I feared for his safety. Now, I wonder if he is sleeping with someone else. My husband purchased a device to track his whereabouts, and sometimes it is inaccurate. This morning, for example, it emailed me to tell me he had left the zone around our home that I had demarcated as “home”. I should have received an email within 30 minutes telling me he had entered the zone called “work”. I didn’t get that email until 11:30, four hours after he’d left. My first thought: he was in a hotel with someone, made up the meeting he was supposedly in, and has just now arrived at work. It plagues you forever, and never goes away. The trust, as you knew it, is now gone. Perhaps it should be. That blind trust was naive. It was fantasy. I now live in reality.

Give me the choice, and I choose death. I would much rather experience the death of a loved one. At least they didn’t intend to die. At least they didn’t die with the selfish intention to cause me harm and suffering. Death isn’t selfish, it isn’t gratifying. Their death is anticipated, and we spend our time with them knowing that one day…it will be around the corner. I never, when signing my marriage certificate ever considered that I was signing up for this. It wasn’t on my radar. I was unprepared. It has caused an unimaginable pain and void in my life.

The other difference worth mentioning is that when one mentions that someone has died, people rally for support. People ask how they can help. People feel sympathy. No one turns around and blames you for the death. No one tells you that they died because you weren’t enough. No one asks you to look at how you contributed. Someone’s death isn’t an embarrassment to you personally and doesn’t bring you shame. Unlike a death, we suffer in silence. We try to keep it quiet. We feel shame for our husband’s affair because of society’s unfair assumption that it happened as a result of a shortcoming in US when really it was a shortcoming in him. We weather the storm, telling few, crying quietly when we can steal a private moment, or screaming uncontrollably when we feel safe to express how we feel. Its just easier to grieve a death.

Since my husband subscribes to this blog, and will read this entry, he should probably know:

You do this to me again, and you will be staring at the back of my head as I walk away with our children. There will be no hesitation, and there will be no tears. Having gone through the pain that I have suffered from your actions, if you were to put me through this again, you wouldn’t be worth shedding a tear for, and I would be gone. Im not doing this again. There are no second chances. Case closed. Just so we are clear. I’m just sayin’.

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Fidelity & The Faithful


 

We are all asked to be faithful in our marriages when we stand there at the alter and pledge our fidelity to our spouse with promises to honour them.  Last time I checked, sleeping with someone else behind their backs and lying to them wasn’t part of the definition of ‘honouring your spouse’.  That aside however, I wanted to post about fidelity and the choice to be faithful.

I use the word “Choice” when talking about being faithful because it is a choice.  Those who have strayed, did so because they chose to put their needs above the love and respect they have/had for their spouse.  The hear-and-now got in the way of the now-and-forever, and they made a choice to cheat.  People make choices NOT to cheat every day.  They choose to honour their marriages, their spouses, and to be faithful to that one person for life – because that is the promise that they made.

What makes you faithful?  What makes anyone faithful?

Are you faithful because the church or temple commands it of you?  Are you faithful because society would perceive you as lesser-than if you didn’t conform to its views on marriage and fidelity?  Are you faithful because your parents divorced and you don’t want to end up a statistic?  Are you faithful because you feel badly hurting the one you have pledged to protect and comfort?

Are any of those reasons good enough reasons to remain faithful to someone?

I pose the question because recently my widowed father became involved with another woman.  My mother has been deceased now for 9 months.  My father is already taking vacations with, and spending the night with this ‘new woman’.  While I won’t get into how hurt I feel that he has moved on so quickly, and that I feel for my mother, to whom he was unfaithful a handful of times during their 45 year marriage, I will say that it feels as though my father has cheated on my mother – again.  My father was caught cheating back in the 90’s, and my mother told me about it.  She had my father take me out to lunch and confess his wrongdoings.  I am sure it was her way of paying back to him some of the humiliation she felt.  To know that my father had cheated on my mother this ‘first’ time ( I say first, because it was the first one that *I* was aware of, but later learned that there were earlier incidents that I had been too young to become privy to), made me think that my father’s fidelity towards my mother was obviously shaky.  To later learn that not only had he cheated on her this one time, he had also had an online affair, and possibly a physical affair before I was even born.  This last one was shared with me after her death through family she apparently confided in.

With so many slip-ups in fidelity, to learn that my father has moved on so quickly after my mother’s death makes me feel like he is cheating on her again…except this time, he is allowed.  It’s almost as if he has a hall pass now, with his wife dead and out of the way, as if he’s been biding his time, being ‘faithful’ because he HAD TO, not because he wanted to….which brings me to the reason for my post.

I started thinking about my own fidelity, especially in the wake of the discovery of my husband’s affair.  Why am I faithful?  Don’t I deserve to have a new person to sleep with, a new person to explore, a sizzling on-the-side rendez-vous ?  Someone to make me fee young, sexy, vibrant?  Someone to give me a “holiday from my life?” (As my husband called it)  It would only be fair, right?  Don’t think that thought hasn’t crossed my mind hundreds of times, but in the end, I asked myself why I remain faithful, especially to a man who has shown me that our marital vows can be waived if needed, and the answer is that I am faithful for me.

I am not faithful because I took vows that tell me that I should be, or because I am contractually obligated to.   I am not faithful in order to conform to society’s ideals of marriage and relationships.  I am faithful because I want to look in the mirror and see someone that I want to see reflected back.  I want to be someone reliable.  I want to be someone dependable.  I want to be someone who honours their word, and whose actions you can count on.  I don’t want to be a second-rate version of the person and partner that I aspire to be.

Just a typical Sunday morning at my house, minus the police report


Woke up this morning feeling hopeless about our situation.  Numerous lawyers and advice, all focusing their energies on resolving the family law side of the issue, and ensuring that the gold digging mistress receives her appropriate tabled amount of child support.  Countless drafts of custody and support agreements, none of which have been accepted by her side of the table because they require her to be accountable.  Instead, she wants to receive more money, and have no accountability for how she uses the money.  Good luck there sweetheart.

So, I wake up feeling hopeless that this little piece of shit is ever going to be out of my life (she pops her ugly little face up on a regular basis).  I’d expressed to my husband how hopeless it feels, and he reassures me that it won’t always be like this.  “Yes it will”.

The phone rang this morning at 8:30.  It was a police constable from the local police station.  Apparently they had tried to reach me on August 29th to deliver this message, but I wasn’t at home.  I was told that the mistress had launched a police report, naming me, and claiming that I have been engaged in ongoing harassment of her over the internet.  “Hmmmm, interesting”, I thought, in light of the fact that I have made no mention of her by name on this blog, and have certainly made no mention of her elsewhere either.  Her name, in my home, is like Lord Voldemort in “Harry Potter”.  She is, essentially, “she who will not be named”.  Her name tastes bad in my mouth, so I don’t utter it, let alone waste my time creating harassing internet fodder about her.

This is just yet another example of how she is trying to remain in our lives and connected to my husband by raising shit and claiming abuse at our hands.  It isn’t enough that she is claiming wrongful dismissal against my husband, claiming that he fired her because she was pregnant (those weren’t his grounds for dismissal and she was clearly told that in writing yet thought a suit might bring her money and so she seeks $100K in damages).  Again, good luck sweetheart.

She has told her lawyers over and over again how she is being harassed by me, my husband, and my husband’s colleagues, and yet she has never once provided proof of said harassment.   Instead, it garnishes her support from her counsel, making her seem like the poor, hard-done-by woman who was forced to have sex with her boss (yeah, right), and then became pregnant, fired and thrown to the street.  Likely story.

So now I have a file on record at the police station.  Personally, I think I’ve had enough of this shit.  My mother lays on her deathbed, a decline which was precipitated by this woman’s behaviour, and we are preparing to lose her at any moment.  This is, I daresay, the LAST thing I need right now.

I kicked her ass and it felt great


The other day, I saw the mistress. She stumbled upon where I was, and suddenly started making comments designed to hurt me. She mocked me, laughed at me, smirked at me. I couldn’t control the anger that welled up inside of me, and before I knew it, I had grabbed her by the hair, twisted the handful so hard that it drew her head closer to my hand, and had her locked in a bent-over position. I kneed her in the stomach as hard as possible and watched her gasp for breath. She fell to the ground and I pounded and pounded on her as hard as I could until there was nothing left, and she disappeared. Moments later, she reappeared and it happened all over again. Different places, same scenario repeated over and over and over again until I woke up from the dream and so desperately wished that it had been real. I would love to have her neck in my hands. I would choke the breath out of her with my bare hands, and enjoy watching her struggle. I would watch the colour leave her face, and the life slip from my grip. Before her heart had the chance to beat one last time, I would look her in the eyes and say “He loves me”. She would be wise not to ever find herself anywhere close to me. I will literally claw her eyes out for what she has brought upon my family.

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