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.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Un-Happy Holidays

It was almost Christmas.  Only a little over 2 months past DDay.  Nearly every minute was spent wondering how could my life change so drastically in such a short amount of time?  29 years of next to perfect, at the very least wonderful, then disaster.  How could my life have been turned upside down, backwards and sideways so fast?

HOW wasn't the right question.  I knew HOW.  What I needed to know was WHY?  Everything I'd done since discovering my husband's appalling, marriage killing behavior had been to analyze WHY.  So far, answers eluded me.  I was no Sherlock Holmes, no Sigmund Freud, but it wasn't due to lack of effort.

The effort was getting up everyday, taking care of my kids, going to work and trying to do my job.  Immense effort was required so as not to collapse into a whimpering, useless heap.
It was almost Christmas!  Life should be cheerful and festive!  Thanks to my mood altering drugs and a steady stream of vodka, (I also enjoyed a nice Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay from time to time when I thought I should cut back on the hard stuff.) my temperament hovered between jumping off a bridge and breaking into a boisterous chorus of "Deck the Halls" while making holiday cookies for friends and family.  I was just floating by, zombie like, doing what had to be done with very little hope for a happy new year.

I used up what little control I imagined I had.  Gave away my access to Jaymie, the naive, dimwit that I perceived as a font of knowledge.  This time, the control I relinquished was of my own doing.  I snort and snicker as I type that because now we all know, I was dimwitted as well.

Discovery of an affair will leave anyone, even the toughest, Type-A folks, feeling powerless.  By running the show after DDay, I was taking back my power, asserting my control.  I was driving the bus again, unfortunately my destination was no where near Happily Ever After.  I was on the fast-track to Crazy Town.

Nearly everyday I told Richard he was going to have to leave.  I didn't want him gone before the holidays, but after Christmas, I would require space.  With him in the house, I couldn't think straight.  I could barely breathe.  I had given away my punching bag, my venting surrogate, Jaymie.  If I lost it, Richard would be the recipient of my vengeance full force.  The thought of that terrified me.

I held it together through Christmas.  Put up all the decorations and the tree, not with my usual holiday zeal, but I got the job done.  Made my lists, purchased wrapped and shipped all necessary gifts but the thought put into selecting the token items was lack luster and the wrap was no where near my normal standards.  I think I even sent out Christmas cards.  I'll have to dig one of those out of storage.  I'd love to see the image I chose for that year.  What could I have ever found that felt appropriate??
I gave Richard an insulated coffee mug with pictures of our family smiling brightly before October.  The mug said "Happy memories from 2010".
Enjoy your daily java in that, you prick.
I was very clear I wanted NO gifts from him.  I basically dared him to try and appease me with a charity present.  I told him anything he wrapped would be considered a consolation prize.  I had no interest.  The compromise was he could fill my stocking with a few tiny treats so the kids would not find it empty on Christmas morning.  He thought he'd skirt my controlling Christmas gift giving rule by getting me a Hanukkah present instead.  We celebrate both holidays in our home. He bought me perfume, from Nordstrom.  The same place he bought Jaymie her fragrance of choice.  For a such smart man, I think we can all agree, my husband can be a gigantic moron.  Need more ya go:  The name of the putrid smelling perfume he selected for me....Gucci Guilty.  Unbelievable, right?
You can't make shit like that up.

In place of sugar plums, scenes that might allow me access to Jaymie again danced in my head.  Manipulations that might offer me some relief to my ever escalating compulsion for answers, revenge and control of my life became my charge.  This was not going to be a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah or a Joyous New Year.  2011 was not looking like a fresh start.  It had all the characteristics of a bitter end.


emotional tornado said...

Every Christmas has been tainted since Dday. In the year before dday I found a receipt for a Christmas tree, lights and a couple bottles of wine. Those things didn't come to my house. He weaseled his way out of it, but it always bothered me. After dday, every Christmas I remember that. I remember how he also always acted let down by my presents. Christmas shopping sets off anxiety attacks. I have stood in the isles of the store with tears running down my face because I knew I had to shop, but it hurt so bad I wanted to hide in the store. Even this last Christmas I worked hard a picking something for him in our budget (tight) and his comment was that I bought it for me. I've never used it. It still hurts that he said that.

I wonder if Christmas will ever be right again.

Erica said...

Emotional tornado - I know what you mean. Thanksgiving is tainted for me. When my H was in his affair he told me he had to work all that day so he left me (7months pregnant with twins me) at his parents' house all day while he was "working"... come to find out he was actually having s-x with his OW at their empty office. The next day was a huge baby shower his family thre for us. Awful.

Last Thanksgiving I refused to go to his parents' home (the first absence in 15 years) and I was terribly depressed all weekend. This year I want to do something different - take back that holiday he ruined for me - by doing something for others ... Volunteering at a shelter, cooking for people who have no food, whatever... Just something where I'm not feeling sad for myself and making it a NEW type of holiday. Just some thoughts that I thought might help you too? This is so, so hard, I know.

Susan Rubinsky said...

The first holidays were really shitty -- as I suspect they are for everyone. For me the OC's due date was between Thanksgiving and Christmas but also between my son's birthday and my birthday. There's not much joy in knowing an illegitimate child will be born any day now and it just may happen on your own birthday. "What child is this?" still creeps me out.

emotional tornado said...

Susan--The OC was born on the date that had been my son's due date. That part still haunts me. It is always around Thanksgiving, so that is the stain on that holiday for me.

Erica--I have so many family commitments and want to be with my kids that I can't really do something different. I'm just trying to find a way to focus on the happiness of being with family and not think about the betrayal that is associated with it.

shawn thewife said...

Many tainted days. Today is the 2 year anti-versary of the day Richard's physical affair started with Jaymie. They did it in his office after everyone had gone home. I guess I can be thankful that this day had no personal meaning to me previously. I am truly sorry for those of you that had special days so brutalized.
We have been injured. The wounds will heal, but leave scars. We'll always have the scars, the reminders, but hopefully, like a wound, the pain will subside.
Hope & LOTS of hugs to you all!! Shawn

Anonymous said...

Memorial Day weekend is the dreaded holiday for me. Memorial Day weekend 2013 is when it happened. I got a text from my husband between 9-9:30pm the Thursday night before Memorial Day saying, "I'm not coming home tonight. I need a break. I will talk to you in the morning." I'll never forget those words. He even took an extra day off work, that Friday, to be with her. I tried calling him many times that whole weekend, no answer. he never called me either. He wound up ending that affair and we have been working on our marriage since. June 5, 2014 was one year after DDay for me. One year after the day he revealed everything. This past year has been such a struggle. I came across your blog after doing a google search to find out anyone else's story of how they are doing after one year. I still have my struggles that come from flashbacks/triggers. Those things bring me right back to DDay and all those horrible feelings that come with it. Thank you for sharing your story. It helps me feel better to know that I wasn't the only one with all these thoughts.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: I think it helps most of us to realize we are not alone in own pain. Most betrayed spouses all struggle in ways they never knew they would or could. DDay opens many doors to torment. We can learn to close them, one at a time, slowly, with deep desire to move forward.
Reconciliation is a team effort. The team captain is you. Your assistant is your WH and the rest of the bench is us. You lead the way and we have your back.
Let all of us know what you need.
Glad you found us.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Winona said...

Shawn, thank you for writing this blog, for your honesty in how you were that first year, for not whitewashing your actions and reactions. I'm still struggling, 18 months after DDay. I drink too much, I can't sleep, I can't afford a therapist, I'm getting lost and he acts as if I should be over it by now. It feels good - in a healing wound that aches and oozes and itches sort of way - that I'm not alone. I know I'm a few years late to reading all these early days of yours, but I'm finding some help in them.

Reclaiming holidays special days, and others has been painful. I told him a few months after DDay that everything from the time of his affair with her is now tainted, including our son's birthday and Easter which happened the week after DDay. I told our son we'd wait until dad got back form his trip... btu I never did it becuase that is when the real heavy emotional load happened. I learned on DDay why I did not receive anything for Valentine's that year, not even a card or a note to pretend: it wasn't me he was thinking off. He always claimed, weakly, he just wasn't the flowers kind of guy (I've learned since it's because he' lazy in relationships) and I had made it clear he needed to at least write me a loving note, link a meaningful song to my FB page or in email. It is now a hurtful day. I am trying to reclaim it, but the bottle of wine, chocolate, and cheesy card just hurts. No thought in those gifts, I try to be grateful and I do thank him, but they are typical appeasement type gifts, easy, no real emotion is being demonstrated. He put thought into her gift. I found the shipping receipt in his email server trash weeks after DDay, he had forgotten to tell me he bought her stuff for that day. He acted all surprised I found it. He also failed to tell me he has received a gift from her until he was throwing things out one day and I spotted an unfamiliar t shirt in the trash, he didn't even bother to cover it up...I carried it out to him with a look on my face, held it up for him to see the logo, he first looked panicked, then scared, then chagrined. "From HER, I assume? Nice of you to keep it all this time, fond memories?" A full year later. He claims to have forgotten about it. I never once saw it in the laundry and it never looked as if it was never worn so maybe he did, or mabe he realized he never could wear it without me asking where it came form. He was going to put it into the charity box, and I said "No I'll put it back where it belongs, in the trash, along with her".