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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pure Grace

Going off the beaten path on the Road back to Happy.  It's time for me to make more than a sincere attempt at attitude adjustment.  Lately, my thought process has been so convoluted that this post may require a future edit or two or ten.

Here's what started my misguided musings:  A comment from an anonymous reader chastising me for "some of the most irrational behavior I've ever heard of."  When I read the comment, it really didn't phase me much.  Even though, in the remarks, I was also told "you are more than entitled to your pain, but not to your pound of flesh."  Eeewww.
My response was extraordinarily eloquent, "DUH!"  I know I was nuts!  I post all the time about how much I know that!
But, then the black veil of guilt crept in.  I let myself fall back into a place of vicious self- doubt.

Why did I do all those cruel things?  No wonder Richard fell for a 24 year old, soft spoken hippie chick.  He must have been totally sick of my take no prisoners personality!  Then, I threw fuel on that fire by becoming Mrs. Hyde for a year!  I was a lunatic!  For good reason, sure...but SOOOO over the top!
Even though I am well aware that there is nothing good about going backward in your brain, I found myself beginning to withdraw.  Not lashing out, but reeling myself in.  More than once Richard asked, "Are you OK?"  I assured him I was fine.  Not so much.

Now, here's where it gets weird.  I bought some new lotion at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.  I think I have mentioned how much I love me some Nordstroms!!  This particular body lotion is by a company called Philosophy.  (can you see where this is going?)  The scent is as light as the fresh smell of soap and water.  A subtle blend of bergamot, lavender, water lily and jasmine.  (Maybe I should write ad copy!) I recently found this 32oz. bottle under the sink in my bathroom.  Because I had spent more than I should on that particular day at Nordies, I forgot I bought the stuff.  Oops.

I put the big, pump bottle next to my bed.  I use it every night.  I read the black lettering on the front of the white bottle as I apply the silky, soft, product called "Pure Grace."  The company is big on sharing inspired thoughts through their bath & body line...Hence the name:  Philosophy.

There is a full paragraph waxing poetic about how walking outdoors and breathing in nature empowers our spirits.  Serenity Now prose like that makes me throw up a little in my mouth.  BUT...the bottle also reminds me nightly to reflect on the simple blessings of my life.  When we do this, we are better able to manage our troubles.  We embrace our highest potential...Our Pure Grace.

Who would've thunk it?  I am being placed smack dab in the center of the Road Back to Happy by my body lotion!  Instead of drifting to sleep with thoughts of the emails Richard wrote to Jaymie or me telling her Dad about all the reasons Jaymie surely needed to attend church more frequently, I have been making a concerted effort to focus on simple blessings.
How much I love to hear my 18 year old daughter sing.  The fact that my 14 year old son seems so eager to begin high school.  The energy and strength I gain from my dearest friends and the mere fact that Richard and I fall asleep holding hands nearly every night.

Since I read the comment accusing me of "irrational behavior", I was not drifting off to La La Land with the best of thoughts, which can cause the worst of dreams.  Then, I found the simple words on the front of a very plain bottle of moisturizer.
I am going to conquer my mental relapse:  After I smooth the floral fragrance on, and lay my head on my pillow, I come up with at least 4 simple blessings every night.  I close my eyes and focus on how damn lucky I am and the warm feel of my husband's hand.  My dreams have been much sweeter.
That might be the blessing I focus on tonight, sweet dreams and how grateful I am for those of you out there reading.  Yep.  You are truly one of my many blessings.

***An amusing afterthought:  I headed for the shower after I finished this post.  Inside said shower stall was the Philosophy facial cleanser I also purchased during my spree at Nordies.  Until today, I never read the bottle.  I don't wear my glasses in the shower so I couldn't have read it even if the thought had previously occurred to me.  After utilizing the facial wash, I brought it out and put on my glasses.
At the top, the bottle says:  Purity.  In the paragraph following....there was nothing I related to at all.
Snicker..snort!  Hehe!


Anonymous said...

I am happy you have found Grace. Grace and gratitude for what is; your marriage transformed to its purest and most distilled form. Like you and Richard, my husband and I have been to hell and back because of his affair, but I have never loved or appreciated him more, nor him me. He could have left me for her; I could have kicked him out and never looked back. We decided that we love and want to be with EACH OTHER and that is what we try to focus on every day. When the guilt and shame weigh on him, or when I struggle to understand why I wasn't "enough" for him, what keeps us strong and united and starry-eyed in love is knowing how close we came to losing "us"... 37 years of love and laughter and tears and birthing and raising children. That is a bond that is too precious to be replaced with "an affair".

I am sorry that you beat yourself up over that snarky comment... you are being brutally honest and I suppose that opens you up to criticism. The aftermath of an affair is a brutal experience. I was so angry that there were moments when I would have gleefully run the BitchWhore over with my car if the opportunity presented itself!! But instead I beat cow pinatas to a bloody pulp (funny story there) and even took to whacking the shit out of my bed with a tennis racket on those days when my rage spilled over. Did you take it too far with Jaymie? I think the whole point of your blog is to say just that. But damn, girl, we betrayed wives GET IT!!!!! We understand your anger and the gnawing, relentless need for revenge. So, thank you for your honesty, and your enlightening message..."this is what I did, but I wouldn't recommend it."

Love, blessings and continued grace to you, Shawn. **S**

Xena said...

I totally agree with the above sentiments. Why are we expected to carry on as usual when faced with a betrayal that cuts so deep, that at times you wish you were dead.

Who the heck are they to judge what you have needed to do, to express how you are feeling. The savageness of such a betrayal deserves a response of the same magnitude. And you know what, the fact that you did what you did, tells me that value who you are. Someone messed with your heart and you didn't take it lightly. You are not a walk over.

I would be the first to say, we can't keep punishing our partners for something they did - but thats only when the time is right.

You are not mouse. You are lioness and now he knows it.

Anonymous said...

Agree, agree, agree with the above. I try desperately everyday to NOT give her any space in my brain but the days that I do you can find me running until my chest hurts, chopping firewood brutally (tears streaming) or sitting on the beach together with the dog - amazing how faithful those little creatures are! Sadly reconciliation is not possible for myself and the beautiful man I spent 22 years with and wanted to spend the rest of my life with - due to SO much damage being done. I'm 6 months past my D-day and I am feeling a little bit stronger, seeing a little bit of light down the track as the days pass - mostly because of my 2 beautiful little boys who give me so much strength. I am also blessed to be surrounded by gorgeous friends who are always there for a laugh or a bourbon or a sleeping pill! Some of them don't even know what I'm going through (I haven't told them) but when they do eventually find out I will tell them what a strength they have unknowingly been to me with their smiles and laughs. Therapist tells me its going to take time - I so wish there was a quick fix to take the edge off the pain. Looking back there's also stuff I wish I hadn't said and done over the last 6 months(I've never contacted her but thought about it - alot). Guess what it boils down to Shawn is we do what we need to do to get through don't we? No one should judge you for your actions - you're a survivor, you're there for your kids, your family. And thank you, thank you so much for sharing. You're an amazing lady.

Anonymous said...

Shawn ~ no one can suggest the best way for you to have dealt with this. It is your story ~ don't be too hard on yourself! Your life is helping so many! Once you become self-aware in this process, then the real work (grace, if you will) can begin. Placing your pain and anguish on someone else only works for so long. Once that no longer works, having the courage to look elsewhere for the truth of your situation and the role you play in it will lead to healing. Wishing you healing from your pain. I enjoy your post.

emotional tornado said...

Say what you have to say. Be honest about who you are and how you feel. Don't feel judged. I, and likely many more, need this from you. As betrayed spouses, there is an emotional war inside us. We need to let it out in a safe place where we can feel it all and build understanding through our own insight and that of others with a similar experience.

Don't censor yourself for anyone.

shawn thewife said...

I love you guys!! You always have my back!
Not to worry. I'm over that comment. If I'm gonna put it all out there, I'm gonna get slammed once in a while. I get that.
My dark thoughts may stem from the fact that Richard's physical affair with Jaymie started September 7th, 2010. We're coming up on the two year anniversary. The emotional affair started long before that, but having all the emails and knowing when they were together and what they did....Whew. There are many dates in the next two months that will weigh heavily on me. I gotta keep working on my "Gratitude Attitude". (Read that on another blog today! Love it!) I absolutely refuse to get sucked back in to the black hole of it all!!
Thanks so much for being out there. I feel the love!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Eat My Scabs said...

xena said it!

kris said...

LOVE this post! You know what FINE stands for right??From my counselor who said when they ask are you ok? Tell them you are not and why...
F- Frustrated (or F---ed Up)
I- Irrational
N- Neurotic
E -Emotional
it's also an Aerosmith song, hee-hee!
love ya girl!

shawn thewife said...

Kris!! That is priceless!! Love it!
Glad you're back. I've often wondered how you're doing. Don't say FINE!! LOL!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Like many others, your reaction and pain hits close to home for me. My reactions and pain were right in line. Don't let the bliss of someone who's never been there affect you (I say bliss, because I wouldn't wish my pain on ANYONE!). I wanted a divorce, but my husband wouldn't leave. There were literally days that I felt I was living with a terrible monster and I was fighting a primal fight for my own sanity. I am not proud of my actions but at the time I had little control over them.

Our marriage counselor helped my husband to understand this by saying "the hurt and anger she feels is in direct proportion to the love she has for you." Maybe the person that made the pound of flesh comment has never felt love or hurt that was so deep.

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog today, and I have been reading chronologically from your first post.

Your story is so gut-wrenching, but I'm so glad you have shared your experience.

Thank you especially for this "Pure Grace" post. It has helped me very much.

Blessings to you and yours,

Anonymous said...

I think you are a vengeful bitch!

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: You think I'm a vengeful bitch?
You B right!
After DDay, I truly was filled to the brim with visceral hostility and spiteful, unforgiving animosity.
I acted out on that shit for a year!
And I'm here to tell ya...that kind of dark soul eats you alive.
I was my own worst enemy.
Hope you keep reading so you can see I found my way out of the darkness.
Not sure I want to share my regualr ration of hugs with someone that called me a bitch, so I'll just say....
Happy Holidays! Shawn
PS...always pleasantly surprised to get a comment on such an old post so thanks!