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.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Holiday Me

I really didn't think I'd get another post written before Christmas.  Is there any busier time of year?  I mean, it's supposed to be all festive and warm and fuzzy and ensconced in heart warming tradition.  All Norman Rockwell-esque.  But, holiday reality is a tad bit less serene, at least in my world.

Hectic Holidays are more my style.  I mean, I say Happy Holidays and I almost believe it, but most years Hectic overpowers Happy during December at my house.  I don't mean to get all Debbie Downer on you!  I still LOVE me some Christmas time!!  It's just that sitting here in front of my computer screen, pumped full of Tazo high-test Awake tea, fingers flying across the keyboard, with less than a fully-formed idea of what in the hell I'm gonna write about, the first words that transfer from my brain to my blog are usually exactly what I'm feeling in the moment and what I'm feeling this morning is....behind schedule.
Only 3 days until the jolly man that could benefit from a membership with the local Weight Watchers, in his fuzzy red suit, pays a visit to all the homes of the good girls and boys around the world in one miraculous night.  (You'd think with a schedule like that Santa would need to be in better shape.)  Santa is a tad behind in his (her) preparations this year.  OK...every year.

You probably wonder, if I'm that damned busy, why in the hell am I wasting precious minutes sitting on my tuches typing?  That would be an excellent question.  I love your questions!
My answer....this blog is my new Valium, my virtual Xanax, my current sedative of choice and Mama needs a fix!  This blog is NEVER a waste of time.

My last post, It's Always Something, has amassed numerous comments from my detractors, ample support from my faithful readers and a substantial collection of questions, which I mentioned previously that I adore.  All of the comments had merit, except for one or two anonymous ones that should be classified as "hit & run" remarks.  I do not let the chicken-shit writers of those posts dampen my enthusiasm for our conversations in the least.

So, in the spirit of the Holidays, hectic, happy and otherwise, I'm opening this blog to all of you!  I don't mean to make it sound like I'm giving you a present or anything.  I am not nearly so self-absorbed (contrary to what many of those aforementioned detractors believe) to think offering to answer any and all questions posed to be worthy of gift status.  Quite the opposite actually.

You, my dear readers, my travel companions on the Road to Happy, will be giving me a gift.  The gift of time.  You'll decide where this post leads us as we head into 2013.
Let me clarify.  The benefit of requesting all of you to contribute to this post means I didn't have to spend any time thinking about what to share with you today.  Didn't need to come up with any words of advice or pearls of hard earned wisdom. (I have very few of those, so I have to disperse them sparingly)  Or, to put it in the words of some of you that consider this blog to be no more than rehashing the past, I had no need to dredge up harsh details from two years previous and regurgitate it into prose.

We started an amazing interaction in the comments of my last post.  This time, let's bring it!  All issues can be addressed!  No subject is taboo!  I urge you to submit all thoughts and quandaries that you may have considered proposing in the past.  Anybody can ask anything and all of us should feel free to share answers, opinions and ideas even if, and possibly especially if, they challenge the majority.

Dear friends, by submitting your questions and topics for discussion, you are soooo covering my procrastinating patootie!!  Seriously, I am one harried Mama right now.  I gotta get rolling.

I hope all of you are able to find more happy than hectic or melancholy this Christmas, but if you find yourself struggling, come here.  Grab an eggnog, with some spiced rum of course, and be with us.  I feel the love & hope through the screen and I'm sending it all right back!!  Holiday Hope & Hugs!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's Always Something.

For those of you old enough, as least as ancient as me, to remember SNL when it was cool, you might recall the immortal words of Gilda Radner as the slightly annoying but immensely endearing, Roseanne Roseannadanna.  Week after week she shared a multitude of exasperating situations that had befallen her, or some specific incident that ranked way up there on the gross-out-o-meter!
Her monologues always included the words, "It's always something.  If it's not one thing it's another."
Can't you just hear her?  In that raspy voice?  See her huge head of frizzy hair that would never be tamed with any amount of recommended hair products?
I really loved her.  Gilda was a comic genius.

I have heard Rosanna's voice in my head a lot the past few months.  As my blog has progressed, from time to time, I've tried to convey where I am on my road to happy.  Some days, I feel confident that I have finally arrived at the glorious destination of HAPPY.  Most days, I just keep trudging along.  Many days, I'm whistling a happy tune on my journey.  Other days, I feel like I'm schlepping a hundred pound bag of bricks on my back and on the really rough days, I'm schlepping the bricks while slogging along, dragging my ever-so-tired ass up an incline that resembles Kilimanjaro, but those days grow few and far between and I am grateful.

I don't know when, if ever, the triggers abate.  Many have told me, this is a never ending ache, but that the ache will improve from chronic and acute to dull and intermittent.  I can live with that.  That's why I chose to stay with Richard.  Our marriage is worth learning to sustain my joy while enduring the intermittent, dull ache.

For the newbie readers:  I'm 2 years and 2 months post DDay.  I interrupt the continuation of my story with updates in real time once in a while.  This periodic status check gives me the opportunity to thoroughly contemplate where I am on my road to Happy and analyze what part of my marriage and my psyche still needs some attention. During this analytical pause, I've learned, "It's always something!"
And, I'm gonna have to learn to live with that.

There's something currently blocking my road to Happy and the undeniable fact is... I dumped the shit there!
I found a list of questions you should ask your wayward spouse right after DDay.  It's a good list.

Why, when or what brought this list to my attention is questionable.  In other words, I can't freakin' remember.  Most of the questions have been asked and answered at least once, but more than likely many times in a variety of ways.
But, because it's always something, I decided to pose a few of these to Richard again.  I emailed him.  Below are the questions in red with his answers in blue:
Got the response from him yesterday.

1.  What did you like about yourself during the affair? I felt young and wanted.  How were you different with her than me?  I was myself so not all that different. Perhaps more paternal with her; conversations were taken down to her level – her school, her boyfriend; perhaps a little more silly and carefree since we didn’t have the day to day issues that come with the responsibilities of having a family..

2.  How was this time different or similar to previous infidelities? I had feelings for her that were not just sex.

3.  What did you share with her about us? I told her you were a good wife and we had a good marriage.

4.  After the first time you had sex, did you feel guilty?  Yes. If so, how were you able to continue? The excitement and desire for the next time was more powerful than the guilt… like being a drug addict. I would feel bad driving home and walking in and seeing you  – especially the overnight at law enforcement dinner – but then I would quickly (within 24 hours??) look forward to the next time. We have talked about how I squared it up in my mind -- I deserved it because  I am an older,  successful man and lots of  successful men have mistresses.

Since receiving his short, but brutally honest answers, I've been trudging up Kilimanjaro with that bag of bricks I mentioned.  Last night, when I came home, I was quieter than usual, but we had a nice family TV night watching "The Voice."  We are rooting for the last girl standing, Cassadee Pope. (even though the way she spells her name makes me swallow hard!)  
Wise Richard knew I might be a little tender after reviewing his answers, as he is well versed in reading my moods. We did not discuss the email at all.  I asked the questions even though I knew most of the answers.  I opened the wound.  
Why did I need to ask about the affair AGAIN after all this time?  Because it's always gonna be something.  We will have brain worms forever and once in a while you're gonna need to feed the bastards.  The key learn to feed them while keeping them under lock and key.  You learn to keep them at a distance.  You can see them.  You should acknowledge them, but they do not need to be set free to run amok.  

Here's my NEW of this morning, I'm OK.  I read his response at work yesterday and my heart crumbled when I read the answer to question number 2.  My eyes are quite damp as I tell you about it.  However, a deep breath or two and I'm gonna get on with my day.  It's almost Christmas which gives a completely different meaning to it's always something!  I have way too much to accomplish today to dwell on what happened two years ago!  

This road to happy itinerary update gives me hope and I wanted to share it with you.  With each day that passes, I am getting stronger.   I can carry those miserable bricks up that mountain if I must because I know I'm one tough cookie.   The road to Happy is not a destination.  It's a journey.  All journeys have ups and downs.  
If there are obstacles on my road to Happy, so be it.  Well..I guess I should say WHEN there are obstacles because...Come on!  Say it with me...It's Always Something!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Manic Meltdown Part 2

The train to Crazy Town had pulled away from the station, chugged hard to make it up a wickedly steep hill and was now about to barrel down the reverse side of the incline with the brakes completely disengaged.  In was about to get ugly. be accurate...uglier.  Of all the times I lost it over the first year after DDay and as many of you are well aware, there is a plethora, a multitude, a vast quantity of incidents that involved me taking leave of my common sense, this is the meltdown that I regret the most.  You'd think I would care more about the meltdowns that impacted my loved ones, my family, my friends.  I do have remorse about most of those, too, but this day, in Richard's office, holds the gold medal for meltdowns and still causes me extreme discomfort as I describe it.

Eventually I'll share an additional meltdown moment in Jaymie's parents' church and you might wonder why this visit to Crazy Town penetrated my psyche deeper than that.  Here's why, in the church, I experienced the deepest of debilitating emotions, sorrow, heartbreak and anguish.  The pain was mine to bear.  This day, in Richard's office, I became a real threat to him, much more so than any other day.  I wanted to hurt him.  I wanted to leave permanent wounds, scars he would see everyday for the rest of his miserable, lying, cheating, adulterous life.  Not physical injury, psychological damage and public humiliation that would haunt him forever.
Come know you've imagined ways you could 'out' your cheating spouse!  Billboards declaring him to be an adulterous pig or fliers with his scum-bag mug and a thorough description of the revolting details of his philandering escapades on every car windshield at the local mall on Black Friday!
Not to worry...those fantasies are good!  Acting out on them...not so much.

As loud as I had been in Richard's office, I was able to amp it up a notch.  He had closed the door, so I felt the need to bring my "A" game in the vocal decibels department.  He asked me to please keep my voice down.  Yeah, that wasn't gonna happen.
"Why? Everyone here already knows about Jaymie, right?  They witnessed your disgusting behavior first hand!  Who cares if they know I'm pissed?  How could they NOT know?"
"They don't know.  Only Michelle knows.  These are my employees.  Please."
"Are you really that stupid?  You think they didn't know?  Jaymie spent more time in this office than all of your staff combined!  You really think they don't know?  You're still lying!  Of course you know they know!  How could they miss you chasing after Jaymie?  They know alright.  But, just to be sure...I'll go ask."

Before Richard could even begin to process what I was about to do, I dashed out the door, all the way back down the hall, past Michelle's office, with the door still closed, past the front desk and the wide-eyed receptionist, straight into Sharon's office.  Sharon is the attorney that leases office space from Richard. and Jaymie's former employer.  She hired Jaymie on Richard's recommendation.  Why else would she hire a coffee shop waitress as her legal assistant?
Sharon was sitting behind her desk.  She looked up with a deer in the headlights expression and I blurted out my inquiry.  "Did you know Richard was fucking Jaymie?"  Her mouth dropped open so wide a bird could have flown in and set up house, and all she was capable of was a shake of her head and a barely audible, breathy no.

I didn't buy it.   I spun on my heels and marched toward the front desk.  The receptionist had been joined by one of the firm's attorneys, Lori.  Safety in numbers, I guess.  I barely paused but I looked right at Lori and in a voice that probably sounded to her like evil personified, I hissed, "It's on.  I'm gonna find out who knew what!"  Then, back past Michelle's office and into Richard's.  I slammed the door behind me and announced my intention.  "As soon as that client leaves, we're gonna have a little staff meeting.  We need to clarify who knew you were fucking Jaymie.  I want answers! They better not lie to me just to cover your ass!"

To Richard's credit, he didn't say we couldn't call such a meeting to order.  He merely suggested we sit for a minute and decide how it should be handled.  I was in no mood for sitting.  Pacing, stomping and flailing, that was working for me.  On the credenza, behind his desk, was the digital frame I gave him for Christmas, flashing photos of our family in 2010.  I gave him that to remind him of what he nearly lost, could still lose, forever.  I lunged for it, tried to yank it from it's cord. "Please don't take that!  I love it. I need it."
He was begging, almost crying.  It wouldn't pull out of the wall so I dropped it and grabbed an 8x10 photo of us and the kids skiing in Mammoth.  I shook the picture at him. "You don't deserve us!  We are too good for you!"
With the picture in my hand, I dashed back into the hall and to my astonishment...the place was empty.
All the staff had gone.  Sharon was missing, too.

"Where are they?  Where'd they go?  Did you tell them to leave?"
"I didn't have to tell them to go.  They couldn't get out fast enough.  They emailed me to say they were leaving and I was to let them know when you were gone."
"You get them back here!  Just lie to them like you lied to me!  Tell them I'm gone.  Do it, damn it!"

We went back and forth for nearly an hour.  It was obvious they weren't coming back. My throat was raw from yelling.  As my frustration mounted, the pounding in my head became excruciating!  Finally, I couldn't take anymore.  I was spent.  Anger of that magnitude is crippling.  I gabbed the car keys and made for the elevator.  I'd like to think I had a brief flash of sanity, but really, it had more to do with the level of anger I was able to maintain.  My rage tank was running on fumes.  I was close to collapse.  Time to go.

Down to the parking level with Richard right behind.  I burst into tears, wailing, "How could you do this?  You ruined everything!  You killed us!  You killed us!"  And, with that declaration, I hurled the framed photo to the ground.  The glass shattered on impact and flew into the air.
As I threw myself into the driver's seat, I heard Richard pleading with me to be careful while repeating his mantra of "I'm so sorry."
He began to pick up glass but he understood I wasn't waiting for him to move and I was leaving NOW.  He got the hell out of my way and watched as I did my best imitation of an Indy car driver burning rubber around the corner and out of the garage.
Whew.  It wasn't even noon yet.  This would be a very long day.