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, October 2, 2012

Tour de Trauma

The end of 2010 was quickly approaching.  I dreamed of a fresh start in the new year, but I truly had no idea what that start would look like.  Sure, in our sessions with the lovely Dr. K my stance was abundantly clear...Richard needs to leave.  To find my way, to begin to process all the trauma, I must be on my own.

Imagine Richard's confusion...
Inhale & demand he start packing.  Profess nothing but disdain for him and his betrayal.
Exhale & wrap him up in me for hours of passionate love making while declaring I will love him always.  Yea...I was seriously mental.
My emotions were convoluted at best.  Richard only wanted to make me better, make my pain disappear.  I think he would have done anything I asked if I told him it would make me happy again.
He was all about atonement.

That gave me ANOTHER idea. (I was just over-flowing with ideas!  Most of them bad.) I told Richard I wanted to go on a tour of sorts.   I guided tour of "Places Richard Spent Time with Jaymie, the Bitch- Whore."  We'll just call it a date night.  Visit scenes of the crimes.  Soak up the ambiance of the places my husband romanced the skinny assed skank.  Doesn't that sound like LOADS of fun??
Maybe...if you're a masochist!  I guess I kind of was.

Because my man aimed to please, he agreed to my request.  Like I said, he may have been willing to gnaw off his arm to make me happy at this point.  I'll bet he would have preferred the taste of his own flesh to the night I had planned.

I knew about numerous locals they frequented during the affair.  They had walked, hand in hand, all around the hotel at Barona Casino after cocktails and coitus in their room.  They had enjoyed a shopping trip at Fashion Valley Mall.  Made purchases at Nordstrom and Victoria's Secret, apparently not concerned about strolling together in public.  Then, there was Jaymie's favorite rendezvous spot, doggie beach in Coronado.  She had a new puppy and as most little girls would, she wanted to spend lots of time spoiling her precious beast.

I chose to go to two other spots on the Tour de Trauma.
First:  Krakatoa Cafe in the Golden Hills section of San Diego.  Coffee, smoothies, sandwiches and Wifi.  What more does a young co-ed need?  Richard said he spent hours there with Jaymie, just holding hands and talking.  Don't you think the other 20-something patrons cringed a little seeing Jaymie cuddling up with my 60 year old husband??  It sure would creep me out!
We only spent a few minutes in there.  It was a dark little place, hidden in lots of shade trees.  Much too bohemian for my taste.  I walked around inside, paced the patio and headed back to our car.
Move on folks...nothing to see here.

Second: A vacation spot much more my speed, the Lowe's Coronado Resort.  This was where Richard had surprised Jaymie with an afternoon of jet-skiing, followed by lunch and a massage.  We walked to the dock where they had rented the jet ski.  We went inside the spa and took a fast peek at the pool.  Had a quick drink at the bar in the lobby. (by then, we both needed one real bad!) Then, back to the valet and into Richard's car.  Even his car was contaminated.  I knew Jaymie's sweating ass had been in that passenger seat many times.  I should have made him trade that car in or sterilize it at the very least before my butt had to touch the same leather as hers.
So much in my life had been corrupted.  Where would it end?

Maybe at the Hotel del Coronado.  Sitting on the beach watching the sunset.  That was our next stop.  I wanted to go there because, as far as I knew, he had never taken her there.
I couldn't tell you for certain what I had hoped to gain from this journey into infidelity memory lane.  I can only guess.  I think I was steeling my resolve.  I think I wanted Richard to have as much understanding as he possibly could about how my world was altered by his choices.  How he debased our marriage.
Probably, a lot of this was just to make him squirm with guilt.  Torture him for a few hours before I came in for the kill watching the beautiful, serene sunset over the Pacific, drinking a wonderful chardonnay.
Staring deeply into his eyes, with my hand on his knee...
"Richard, I want a divorce."
Take that, you cheating bastard.


Erica said...

Your post reminded me that, among other places, my H had sex with his skanky OW in the back of our car. Our car! When I found this out I demanded that he sell the less than 1 year old car immediately and that he have a new car in place within 2 days. Now, 20+ months later, I still have a hard time when I see that type of car on the street. I also couldn't believe that he could let me sit in a carseat that she sat in, a car he had sex in... and that it was somehow okay for our newborn twins to be driven home from the hospital in the back seat of a car that he had sex in (with someone other than their mother). Compartmentalization when in an affair is a powerful device. Crazy!

On another note, I totally 'get' the (horrible, painful, masochistic) desire to see all the places they were together. In a truly 'who am I? why am I doing this?' moment I even turned one of our hysterical bonding sessions in a 'show me what it was like with her' moment and I kinda pretended I was the (skanky blow-up) doll to try to get a sense what the experience was like. (Got at my deep fear that sex with her must have been SO HOT that it was worth to him all the damage in our marraige.) I'm definitely not proud of that moment and it only lasted a couple of minutes before I snapped out of it and started sobbing. Like your H, my H was willing to do anything & everything to set things aright even though some of my 'this will help me heal so just DO IT you m-er f-er' ideas were insane. He was desperate for me to heal, I was desperate for something, anything to take away the pain. We're all desperate after an affair...

shawn thewife said...

((Erica)) I so sorry I triggered such a nasty memory! I guess I should post some kind of a warning label on my homepage: Alert! May cause emotional turmoil due to topical triggers!
However, my hope is that the familiar scenarios in my story let others out there, suffering in silence, know that they are not alone.
The sex thing...I soooo did that, too! I thought I had to know it all! Now I tell readers fresh into the mess...ask all you want, but remember...once you know it, you can't UNknow it. got that right! Betrayal does make us desperate. It makes us bat-shit crazy. It requires us to seek help to heal. I can not imagine trying to do it alone.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Erica said...

Hi Shawn - Just wanted to share that your post did not trigger me, just another reminder that all our affair messes, while unique in many ways to our particular situations, also share some similar threads too. We're not alone, and yes, that's comforting.

Re. the sex thing - the 'act it out, jerk!' happened probably 6 months after DDay, after I asked a million questions big & small (the where, when, how, positions, sounds, etc) - all pretty horrific but my mind wouldn't rest until I felt I knew it all. I think I had a desperate need to know EVERYTHING so that the OW wouldn't 'have anything on me' (which makes no sense, but did at the time, especially considering she was of the pathological, bunny-boiling wanting-Erica's-life type). I still wake up sometimes in the middle of the night with questions and doubts about whether I really got all the info, whether my cheating H could actually be truthful about this, but nowadays I don't wake him up in the middle of the night demanding answers. I can go back to sleep knowing that I know A LOT and any remaining details probably don't really matter. Took a long while to get there & hope I stay on that trajectory!

Thanks again for sharing your story. I'm an avid reader and want all my favorite A-related bloggers to write every single day but I'm also happy when you don't because you're busy living, as you (and we all!) should be!


Abby said...

I just discovered your blog. As I'm sure you've heard before....OMG!!! It is like reading my life. I am 3 years post no contact. I would love to hear how you're doing NOW.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I am consciously avoiding the places they visited but sometimes I do have a macabre desire to go to them all with him so he can witness the pain and sleaziness of the affair in front of me and there won't be any secrets. Intellectually I know that he is ashamed and doesn't value a moment of the affair, but emotionally sometimes I want to tear at it and destroy him. This ambivalence is exhausting.

Two days after discovery, I "sanitized" our car seats with rubbing alcohol. They didn't have sex in the car but the thought of that skank sitting in my seat and touching everything made me want to vomit. It was therapeutic to wipe everything down.

Anonymous said...

The men are not ashamed..not at all.They only regret it because we found out.They never wanted to give up the married life and the home we set up for them.
They "rediscovered" their love for us only because we made them give up the OW.

shawn thewife said...

Hi, Abby: Many of us have similar stories after DDay. We may not all act out in the same way, but we most certainly all share the deep pain and anger due to the betrayal. There is no better therapy than sharing with other betrayed spouses, such compassion and empathy.

How am I now? Depends on the day! Mostly, our marriage is stronger because we are all too aware of what we almost lost. We talk...a lot...about everything. We are so much more attentive to each other. I'm still very touchy about triggers and potential red flags. Richard gets it...MOST of the time, but we still need the occasional visit to MC.
In a nutty shell..I think we're gonna make it. I think we're gonna be happy together.
Hope you're on a solid road to happy, too.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: You don't mention how far out you are from DDay. I can only offer that, with time...lots of time, the emotional coaster slows down. We all understand the wanting to know, but not wanting to know. Needing answers to the million questions, but fearing them at the same time.

I love that you sanitized the car seats!! Did you read Erica's comment above?? She made her WH trade the car in!!
We all NEED different things to heal our damaged hearts. Some of the demands we make will be outrageous and tough for our WHs to comprehend.
Tough! If we need it...they should do it!
They owe us! We don't get to punish them forever, but we're certainly entitled to a little rage release.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: I don't think we can define all cheaters as non-repentant. I can tell you with complete confidence that Richard harbors huge guilt. He's getting past it, but I know it's still there. Sometimes he talks to me about the regret he feels, but even if he didn't tell me how he feels, I'd know.

Waywards need IC & MC to help them work through why they cheated and then help them deal with the resulting guilt. I hope you and your WH are in counseling.

If you truly believe your WH does not feel remorseful, I can't imagine how you will heal your marriage. How can you forgive someone that doesn't regret what he's being forgiven for?
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Hey Shawn- I've rereading A Year After... this week. One question for you, how long did the Richard/Jaymie story last?

shawn thewife said...

Hello, Anonymous: You're RE-reading it?? Really? Wow. I will never cease to be surprised and humbled that anyone reads my ramblings. Thank you.

Your question: There are a few answers. I think Richard began an emotional affair with Jaymie from the time he saw her in the coffee/wine bar across from his office. He wanted her and he aimed to have her. It was a lot about the hunt for him. She was a trophy. That was late 2009. He began corresponding with her under the guise of helping her find a job. He kissed her for the first time in March of 2010, and spent LOTS of time texting her, taking her to lunch and reeling her in for the kill.
I think there was one other kiss sometime that summer, but the sex started on 9/3/10. DDay was 10/12/10. Once they began the full on physical thing, they were texting, talking and seeing other constantly and it still took me over a month to catch on. After DDay, as far as I know, Richard never contacted her again...unless of course I initiated it...which I a moron!!
Now...if you are asking about the WHOLE story with my craziness added in, that story continued until I started this blog and I was able to let her go. This was my new outlet. I put my pain on these pages.
Does that answer your question?
Thanks again for reading and commenting.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

It did answer my question! Thanks!

daphne3631 said...

I am sorry I maybe asking questions from richard's perspective but I desperately need a another perspective of a WS to know if they really feel guilt or know more about their behaviour so I could help my own situation.What was richards reaction when you went to all these places?
I have been re reading your blog too and I felt that richard maybe doesn't regret the affair but the fact he was caught.I am in no way accusing you I am just offering my question. because he said so many times that she was his mistress, he felt he deserved it, it was exciting that means it was all very well planned. and I find it hard to regret such action done consciously. Do you think the affair would have continued if you didn't catch them?
and was that charity emmerald bracelet really expensive?

shawn thewife said...

daphne: Don't be sorry. You can ask me anything.
Richard hated going to all those places, but at the time he was absolutely desperate to do whatever I wanted if I said it would help me heal, help me find a way to forgive him.
Richard regrets everything about the affair...all of them. He hates anything that threatens our life together and he understands his selfish behavior changed our marriage forever.
Cheaters can rationalize their behavior to squash the guilt. He thought he deserved a mistress. Lots of successful men have one! It's like a shiny car! No harm done. Shawn will never know.
It wasn't well planned. It was sloppy. I was just so trusting an affair never occurred to me.
I asked him once if he hadn't been caught,what did he think would have happened with Jaymie? He said something like, "I think it had a shelf life of maybe a couple more months, but that's it."
He said it was too exhausting to maintain the fantasy much longer.
The bracelet was a tiny thing...I think he bid around $300 for it at the auction. The retail value was probably around $500. Probably the nicest piece of jewelry Jaymie ever had. I hope the massage therapist I gave it to wears it & enjoys it in good health.
Any more questions...feel free to ask away...I'm an open book. you can email me, too.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Sherry said...

I thought I was the only one who had an issue with my H's car after his nasty whore sat in it. I could not stand being in that car, sitting in the seat where she sat. That was my seat and she parked her nasty rearend in it. The car is gone now and thank goodness. I couldn't stand the sight of it any more. Now, whenever I see a car like it, it brings back those terrible memories.

momtimes666 said...

Shawn I found out my 60 year old husband was cheating on me 5 months ago.We have been married 35 years and it has totally devastated me, we are still together and he is also doing whatever I need to help me heal, but at times it all overwhelms me to the point that I just feel like I will never be able to get past the betrayl. I NEVER imagined this would happen to us. I too have visited all the parks,resturants,hotels anywhere they went this actually helped take back what was mine,it helped knowing I left our imprint on their places, then I had him get rid of his car and his truck all this seemed to help and he was quite willing .We are working very hard but everything is so hard sometimes, but we have faith that we will get threw this. Finding your blog has helped me feel like I'm not alone and my actions and thoughts are very normal. I just want to say Thank You!

shawn thewife said...

Momtimes666: Don't expect too much too soon. This is a very long journey. Time is your friend.
If your WH is truly remorseful, reconciliation is possible. You may even end up with a better marriage than you ever imagined. My marriage is better is so many ways and more difficult in a few others. It took me well over a year to start to heal. It helps to have MC, IC and friends that really get it, like the ones I found on the Healing Heart support forum. The link is on my homepage. You can also email me anytime. You are not alone.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn