I was an abysmal mental wreck for the next few weeks, but I didn't know it. I didn't know much of anything. The initial shock was wearing off, but since my mind couldn't handle the burden of my reality, it compassionately shifted into a comfortable delusion. When a person suffers from Post Traumatic Stress, and make no mistake, that is exactly what this is, your brain will slide into a protective mode. My altered state of being was brought on for self-preservation but was also heavily influenced by my need to hide my husband's ugly behavior from my Mom & Dad.
They arrived a week after DDay, with my 97 year old grandpa, for their winter visit. They own a home about 10 minutes from ours. The trepidation I felt about them learning the repulsive truth about my current situation stemmed from a few things, but first and foremost, I did not need my mother's heavy handed advice right now! She means well. No, really...she does. I know you've heard that before about people that just can't mind their own freakin' business, but I totally get where my mom is coming from. She thinks she can "fix it". Doesn't matter what "IT" is. She has a deep seeded need to make it all better. It's almost a compulsion, really. And, lucky me, I inherited that annoying bit of her DNA, so I understand why she can't keep her solution brainstorms to herself.
Once we survived the conference with Jaymie, I exhaled and embraced the new relationship that was emerging with my wayward spouse. The path I chose meant there was no reason to trouble my family with my pitiful predicament. Richard was absolutely frantic in his efforts to pay penance for his participation in his heinous violation of Commandment Number Seven. I almost felt sorry for the guy. His shrink told me that Richard had experienced one of the worst mid-life breakdowns he had ever seen. I've loved Richard for 30 years. Isn't it obvious that I would choose tracks on the coaster that would allow me the smoothest ride possible? I steered onto the track called "Madly in Love". Most of the emphasis should be placed on the syllable...MAD...certifiable.
This was crazy, teenager, soupy, high energy, thought kidnapping, manic love. When we had to be apart, we left notes for each other. We texted hourly. Called just as much. Made love at every opportunity. When close enough, we were always touching, hugging and kissing. Spent way too many minutes just gazing into each others eyes. There was only one reason I was able to gaze at anything remotely related to Richard at that point. My brain had shifted into my safe place and had granted me temporary blindness by way of denial.
All of this uber-love was not normal. Duh! Not normal, but purposeful. We made it through a dinner party with my parents and a dozen of their friends. Yea, a few comments were made about how cute it was that we were so touchy-feely. I think someone even suggested we get a room. We just smiled and made-out some more. Had an awesome time at a Halloween party with our friends. Truly, we were back to our perfect couple persona's. We fooled everyone, including ourselves, but not Mom.
Mom is a very smart and perceptive woman. She has always had a kind of sixth sense about guys that cheat. If she acquired that skill when my dad had his affair, then perhaps I will also be empowered with the talent now that I am counted in the ranks of the betrayed. She casually inquired about the status of my marriage. Without planning my answer ahead of time, I was surprised that I found a convenient lie so quickly. "Richard has been struggling at work. He just hasn't been himself. He seems to need a great deal of reassurance lately. He's seeing a therapist." Nice, right? Off the top of my head or pulled right outta my butt cheeks. You can pick. Where ever I found the fabrication, it seemed to appease her.
I had almost convinced myself, between hysterical crying jags, that I was such a strong and driven woman, that I would set the new world record for rebounding from the havoc, waste and ruin of my husband's erratic, immoral mid-life crisis. As far as I knew, Richard was doing everything right to ease my pain, to quiet my anger and to mend our marriage. As far as I KNEW....haven't we already established that I didn't know jack shit?