After an affair, your life doesn't belong to you anymore. For over a year, I couldn't control my own thoughts.
The turmoil in my head was viciously repetitive but savagely random. With this blog, I began to exorcise the demons holding my head hostage.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Meet My Girls

Tenacity has always been a character trait of mine that I felt good about.  When dealing with the aftermath of adultery, it was not a valued asset.  I turned into One Note Johnny, a veracious dog with a bone.  It felt as though if I didn't get answers to the hundreds of questions eating away my sanity, I may need a short ride in a tight white jacket to a padded room.

By now, we are well into November of 2010, around 6 weeks post DDay.  Lots going on in real life, my son's 13th birthday party, my brother and sister in law were coming for a visit, Thanksgiving with my parents and grandpa and a very busy time at work.  I'm in retail.  I really needed to bring my A game at work for the holidays.  In order to make real life flow as smoothly as possible, I became Sybil.  I had at least 4 personalities taking up residence in my body.  Each had marching orders and reported for duty as needed.

None of my alters behaved like pre-DDay me.  That Shawn was absent without leave.  My picture should have been added to the side of a milk carton.  The most dominant alter we'll call Toughie Pants.

She made the most appearances in public.  Toughie Pants planned an awesome party for the young prince, handling even the littlest details to guarantee his 13th Birthday would be a life long happy memory.  She had dinner with Mom & Dad a few times a week, chatting about work, weather and social schedules with enough detail to seem genuine.  At work, she kept the daily logs, did payroll and placed orders for the perfect amount of merchandise needed to keep the customers satisfied and the registers full.  Toughie Pants had no time for feeling sorry for herself nor would she allow anger to distract her from her many missions.  She was very focused.  Thank God.

When I found myself with alone time, Debbie Downer, alter number two, floated to the top of my conscience self.  She was a big fan of turning on the water works full force!  Let the tears flow!  Always needed a large box of Kleenex handy when Debbie was present and accounted for.  Her train of thought usually ventured off the deep, dark edge of the nearest cliff.  I hated Debbie.

The last two alters that I was aware of were Lovelorn Lucy & Royal Bitch.  Lucy had only one purpose, to love Richard more than he had ever been loved before.  She opened her heart to him without fear of being betrayed ever again.  She left love notes for him and sent many sugary sweet texts just to brighten his busy day.  Lucy spent many hours alone with Richard.  They went on numerous, romantic date nights.  Spent MUCH more time than most folks our age did making passionate love and shared many whispered words of never ending commitment.

The most comfortable fit for me was Royal Bitch.  When she had the leading role in my life the anger found a release.  She was like a dormant volcano that would erupt with out warning.  In the next few months, she made sure she was not denied the spotlight.  Seriously, she could be scary, especially to poor Richard.  He feared her.  He told me he hated her, but of course, that just meant he hated a large part of me.

One minute he may be blessed with the companionship of Lovelorn Lucy, only to speak a single wrong word and then find himself faced with the wrath of Royal Bitch!  He was riding the coaster right along with me and we were riding in the dark with no way to know if around the next turn the tracks ran up hill or we'd be hurled into an even darker place at the bottom of the next dismal drop.

Always, just underneath the alter in the lead, was the constantly flowing river of questions.  The obsessive thinking became harder and harder to contain.  It was time to find a mental health professional with chemical tools at his disposal.  Time to meet with Richard's shrink, Dr. N.  He was already up to speed on our marital issues.  Richard met with him numerous times during his Jaymie fascination.
I was betting Dr. N would get to meet all the girls!  Wouldn't that be treat?


Pippi said...

Me, too, is all I have to say to this post. Although I didn't name my parts, I've got all the same ones. And, when one isn't getting her needs met: Watch Out!!!

Anonymous said...

Dang Shawn....once again you described exactly what I (and many) have gone name (S) is close to Sybil but not it ...LOL.....although I was and at times still called that by H.I have felt that a crazy person. I have now tried to embrace each one...hold her tight and tell her all will be will be ok

~~ S

Anonymous said...

This post is oh-so-true! My toughie pants was almost always in charge, but debbie downer was a close second. My royal bitch wouldn't be denied, though. I didn't really have a lucy, much to my husband's regret. No, he had to feel the full brunt of his destructive behavior.

Thankfully lately I have been feeling more and more like one whole person with one personality. I think it is determined daisy or independant irene. I know what I want, what I expect, and what I deserve. My husband will either give it to me or not, but either way I'm going to take care of myself!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawn,
Your post so ring true, except that I didn't name mine Sybil personalities. But I did have all 4 of them. I never knew, either, which one would show up, but I did seem to stay with the crying one and sexy one in those first few months. The angry one came out later and the toughie one about the same time. I would get so mad that I would throw things at my H, if he didn't get out of the way, that was his fault. Are you seeing your counselor now, that you mentioned? I'm sorry that you are going through this, as you well know, but if you don't make a "best seller" out of these post, your sure wasting great writing skills. I know I shouldn't laugh when I read them, but the way you put things are hilarious. Great writing, kiddo.

shawn, the wife said...

My many personas didn't have names back then. I didn't recognize all the girls. They came and went as they pleased. I didn't know that I was going bat-shit crazy. If I felt an emotion, I just let it fly. Well, that's not exactly right. I didn't LET it...I would just happen. I was not in control of my actions or emotions at all. Truly amazing for a control freak like me.
As I reflect while writing this blog, I see each girl very clearly. They each had a place, a responsibility. The real Shawn had gone into hiding. Sure the girls were a part of me, very honest to the core parts, but this was the first time in my life, and I damn sure hope the last, that I let those parts run amok with out a little more self-control.
I have always had a strong personality and a very healthy self-esteem. After DDay, I felt hopeless, helpless and my confidence was nill, so I am grateful to the girls.
Who knew we all had such STRONG personalities floating right below the surface? I've learned a lot about myself since DDay. I think all of us do.
Can we consider that a "silver lining"? I think so.
Hope & Hugs,

Anonymous said...

We were very alike before the A, as I was strong and confident like you. Being the oldest of 6 children will do that for you. When did you name your girls? Love their names. I too was so like you after D-day. I called my best friend, second Mother, type of friend and months later told her about it, with her telling me, "you already told me" so I was pretty mixed up. I don't know who I am right now, I hope to find out soon. I'm glad you found a silver lining for yourself.

Take care,

Liveandlearn47 said...

Love this post... and I sooo relate.

I had
Consistent Connie - she could multitask like no one else. She showed up on time, had the house obsessively neat and tidy. She kept going into late in the evening cleaning grout, folding laundry, researching purchases, planning vacations...she was consistent, reliable and always ready to please.

Removed Romona - she dove deep into depression. She look out at the world in fascination. She watched the world continue to move on and wondered if anyone noticed that she was screaming in pain. She could stand in the middle of a highschool awards ceremony and play the game of being a proud mother all the while feeling like she had been beamed in from a distant planet to participate in life like it was a sitcom.

Delicate Debbie - She was injured, hurt. She could cry at the drop of a hat and then purge to whoever was infront of her all that had just transpired. She cried at the dry cleaners or the school pick up line. She would appear out of no where when the smallest trigger occured. She was insecure, fragile and oh so delicate.

Bitchy Betty - Oh man.. look out for her. She would enter and exit so quickly it made everyone's head spin. She was consistently angry, the victim, the task master to all. One moment Delicate Debbie is holding court and next thing the dog has shit on the oriental rug and clearly it's all because of my husband's affair.

Raunchy Rebelious Regina - The sex god, the risk taker. She purchased ever sex toy imaginable. She layed naked in hotel rooms reclaiming her man. She took control, craved sex, attention. She sexted and striped. She was aluring filled all that the OW once filled. She told all the truth about what had been missing physically from the marriage for her. She no longer cared - she craved wanted and needed to be seen for all the woman that she was.

Oh was like Sybil. THANK GOD time helped merge these. I sometimes look at the early months and first year post d-day much like I was invaded by an alien. I wonder if I needed each of these separated parts of myself to operate independently so that I could process the immensely painful details of my husbands affair. In time, the pain lessened and the need for these parts of me lessened.

Loved your post today - I had forgotten about how distinct that period of time was...seems like a world ago.

shawn, the wife said...

L & L: LMAO!! I love your Bitchy Betty!! Blaming WH for the dog shit...Hilarious! So relatable! There were somedays when Richard could exhale a bit too loud and I just KNEW it was because he was missing Jaymie! UGH!
And you're so right. I need to Thank God for the relief, regardless of how much, from those crazy first months. Healing a little at a time. Letting go of one of my girls at a time. Finding parts of the real me gradually. Be grateful for how far I've come, the tiny victories!
It's all good. It's forward motion.
I really appreciate your insight & the belly laughs!
Hope & Hugs,

Anonymous said...

I have to say Debbie Downer was my most constant companion, I actually had to see an eye doctor, I cried so much that I would get large hard knots of skin under my eyelids and I would swell up and look like Balboa after Creed, it was horrible, I couldn't go in public and I would cry harder, lol. Vicious cycle, they say... sure hurt my husband like a knife. That was probably the thing that hurt him most... my pain, my suffering and my trials I had to deal with in our lives happening one right after the other. Oh, and the "I am Angry" email I sent him at work one day. I think it stated every single slight and memory that I had obsessively put together with my digging and reviewing our life. It was bald-faced, honest and very brutal with just the facts. It sure did effect him. I still have that as well. Haven't read it in about two years, but it's coming on, the digging out of the bag and maybe even making it a little lighter yet again.
Formerly, Brokenonce

Crazypants said...

I just found this on HH. I thought I was going crazy. I’ve been reading these last couple days. I need to email you. How do I email you? Haven’t read much on HH. I saw your post a few people down, and got stuck here. Thank you. I felt crazy. Everyone says I’m crazy. To find out all this is normal. Makes me feel a little better.

shawn thewife said...

Hey, Crazypants:
You're not crazy, might be, but if you're like I was... it is temporary insanity.
Feel free to email me at on HH. You can ask anything there. It is a very safe and helpful place for betrayed spouses.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn