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, December 24, 2013

A Christmas Wish

The holidays can be rough on a betrayed spouse.  It's takes truly Herculean character to put on a festive face when your heart feels like it may be melting.  That's just one more thing that adultery can take from us.  I say enough already!  We do not deserve to miss the joy of this season.

I have a Christmas wish for all of you struggling to find your holiday spirit.
The wish may require some effort on your part.

You may feel that Christmas was totally tainted by your cheating spouse.  Your anger level may be off the charts and your sorrow may run deeper than the darkest seas.
I wish that you would strive to take back your happiness, even if just for tomorrow.

I wish for you to inhale...breath in the good around you,
and exhale the pain for just a little while.

I wish that you would make a conscience effort to find your Road to Happy this Christmas and take your first solid steps forward.  Search for the good in everyday.
Soon, the good will begin to outweigh the bad.

Start now.  I wish you'd try.
A really smart dude name Aristotle said, "Happiness depends upon ourselves."
We gotta own it.
Holiday Hope & Hugs

Merry Christmas, my friends.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Define Normal...

In June of 2010, BDD (Before D-Day) Richard and I took our kids to New York.  We both lived in the city when we met in 1980.  We wanted them to see it all.  We did everything from Central Park to Ground Zero.  While on this trip, BDD, I was blissfully unaware that Richard was texting photos of all the city's highlights to Jaymie back in San Diego.  At that time, BDD, they were becoming such close friends he didn't want to leave her out of all the fun.
But, this post isn't gonna be about Richard's seduction of Jaymie.  That was BDD.  I wanna talk about ADD (After D-Day).   So, back to my chosen topic of the day....

During our visit to the Big Apple, we stayed in Time's Square and saw a few Broadway shows.  One of those was The Addam's Family Musical, starring Nathan Lane as Gomez and Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia.  Fan-freakin-tastic fun!  The tag line for this production was, "Define Normal".   This is a phrase I have contemplated frequently ADD.  Our normal ADD sure as hell ain't what it was BDD, but it's OK, most of the time it's not bad at all, I'd even say pretty damn great more often than not.

Sometimes, ADD, we have to evaluate our new normal.  I want to share one of those times with you today because I'm hopeful it will help some of you that are fresh into the mess believe that life after DDay, while certainly different, can be very good, very happy.   You might just find yourself surprisingly comfortable in a new normal.

Richard seems to be quite a popular guy among his peers.  He often receives invitations to lunch, happy hours and dinner parties.  ADD, he never readily accepts the opportunity to socialize without me.  He has been very good about only attending events that include me.  This has been exceedingly helpful in our recovery.
This past week, while discussing his office holiday party plans,  I said I appreciated the fact that they were having the festivities in their office instead of going out for a long lunch elsewhere.  Since my Manic Meltdown in his office, we don't hang out with his staff like we did BDD.  Richard wants that to change.
"It's been three years.  When do we get back to normal?"
Without missing a beat, I said, "We have a new normal."
He laughed out loud and readily agreed with me.  He had acquiesced so easily yet I became a bit melancholy as I thought of Morticia and her ponderous, burdensome words:

I let myself feel the pain of our loss of BDD normal.  Even though I am well on my way along the Road to Happy, the pang of heartache still grips me now and again.  I saw our BDD normal as that of the spider, and this betrayed fly wants nothing to do with that!
After my quick contemplation of normal lost, I forced my mind to focus on normal now.  This kind of shift in thinking takes practice and at times an iron will.  The shift in this instance was fairly simple.

My husband is no longer the spider.  Our new normal is defined by many more positives than chaotic negatives.  As I began to embrace the affirmative aspects of our new normal, such as greater, more honest communication, deep respect and gratitude for a love nearly lost, passion and affection openly shown daily and a unique understanding of each other's needs, my heart became light again.  Instead of dwelling on the loss of trust, the gallons of tears spilled or the fact that I still have not forgiven Richard, I counted myself among the very lucky to have such a love and a marriage so strong it survived an extended trip to hell and back.

I know the phrase, "Define Normal" is rhetorical, but I wanna give it a shot.
Normal is what you perceive as your comfort level.  Normal is the space in your life that feels commonplace but not necessarily unexceptional, ordinary but not average.

How many people really take the time to redefine their normal?  ADD, we have to redefine it.  Since we gotta do the work, create the new definition, we might as well make the new normal better.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Facing my Real Enemy

The last scathing email from Daddy James was the proverbial straw that demolished my broken heart into dust.  Just a short time before, I would have considered the email chastising my trip to the church a challenge.  I would have been thrilled to know I was making Jaymie's family squirm.
Not this time. After receiving the most recent email tongue lashing, I crumbled.  I had no more fight left in me. It was almost time to raise the white flag of surrender.

My first reaction after reading the email from Daddy James was to seek atonement from the Pastor.  I remember I completely lost it.  I was sobbing so hard I had to strain to catch my breath as I wrote to Pastor Jeff.  I shared that email with you here: Rock Bottom
I may have dared to hope the Pastor might offer me some guidance.  That didn't happen.  Never heard a single pastoral peep from the man after I sent him the email of contrition.  Daddy James must have been right on.  That Pastor was pissed.....pissed and wise enough to steer clear of my marital mayhem.

My story timeline is now nearing the end of August, 2011, not quite a year after DDay.  I wasn't close to finding my Road to Happy.  I thought that Road might be permanently shut down for me.  No passage allowed!  Not surprising that I couldn't see my way to the Road.  My real enemy had set up blockades so high and deep there was no way I could get a visual.
The real enemy threatened to smother me by fighting any attempts I may have made at moving forward.

I so wanted to kick my enemy's ass but I had no clue how I could accomplish that.  At this point, I was ready to throw in the towel.  For nearly a year, I had managed to distract myself from my real enemy.  Bad form.  If only I had been smart enough, strong enough and brave enough to face my real enemy, I am certain I would have spared myself a massive amount of suffering.

But....the real enemy scared the ever loving crap out of me on a daily basis.  No wonder I avoided facing the person that was making my life hell.  Truly, not a day went by that my real enemy didn't do something to strike fear in my dilapidated heart.  

Here's where I had trouble.....I really didn't understand who my real enemy was.  I didn't get it at all.  Jaymie wasn't my real enemy.  Daddy James considered me an enemy, but he was never mine.  Certainly Geek Boy Kevin was not enemy material.

My mind began to shift inward.  I'm not saying I gave up on getting answers from Jaymie just yet, but in my rational moments, I knew the answers for all my questions about Richard's infidelity would never come from her.  You may think I felt Richard was my real enemy.  Logical conclusion, but no.  The grand title of My Real Enemy belonged exclusively to me.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

You Know Who You Are

Sorry to interrupt the flow of my story, but I gotta use this blog to send a message to the reader that seems compelled to screw with me.  Not just me...she is trying to mess with Richard to get to me.

I write truth.  My truth.  My opinions.  My point of view.  Richard knows I write.  AFAIK...he rarely reads.  He knows what happened.  He does not feel the need to revisit our dark days.  He does, however, respect my choice to write.  He knows, as do I, that this blog opens us up to potential haters because I write about some very specific places and events.  I'm not worried about exposure.  My life is what it is.  Sharing it heals me.
Sometimes haters get a little fired up.  No problem.  You gotta issue with me?  Bring it.  Let's go.  I am always open for a good debate.  Let me hear why I'm such a bitter, angry woman that is too weak and too scared to leave my cheating prick of a husband.
Haters words can't hurt me.  They are only faceless screen names with a keyboard and internet access.

Here's what I'M NOT open for...the person that sent Richard an email at work pretending to be Jaymie.
We didn't even know the email was sent until she emailed me through my profile and said something like, "Bet you didn't know Jaymie emailed Richard at work!"   She was right.  Neither of us knew because the damn email was buried way down in his spam folder.  I dug it up.  It had previously been unread. The emails she sent Richard and I were both from someone calling herself La Zawn, email address:

The email address was no good.  We couldn't reply to her if we wanted to....and Oh, I really wanted to!!   We knew it wasn't from Jaymie.  The address used to reach Richard was from a website search engine, not his personal one that Jaymie always utilized to hook up with my husband.   PLUS... it was just too vague to be her and I'm pretty damn sure Jaymie has had her fill of my family!  So, it made me wonder...who would seek out Richard like that?  How did they know our last name to find his law firm online?  AND...why in the hell would someone go to so much effort?  I have lots of theories but no answers because La Zawn/DogTown is a chicken shit!

Today brought another visit from La Zawn...we think.  Richard's receptionist took a message today from someone saying it was Jaymie.  The message was, "Please tell Richard to call me.  He knows the number."  Yeah, right!!  The receptionist knew Jaymie!  She knew it wasn't her!  Richard called and emailed me immediately to let me know what was up.

The purpose of this post is to send a shout out to whoever it is that has taken an interest in my marriage.  YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.  You also know how to reach me.
I can not fathom why you have your panties in such a wad, but you're wasting your time with Richard.
If you are looking for attention....I'm right here.  Wadda ya need?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rock Bottom

I guess what THEY say (who in the hell THEY are escapes me!) about Rock Bottom is true.  At least it was for me.  I had to hit Rock Bottom to begin my walk up on the Road to Happy.  The email from Daddy James threw me down hard onto the floor of the dark corner of Crazy Town known as Rock Bottom.

How about this for a lead in understatement?  Daddy James was pissed.  I had no idea what he might do about it.  My best guess was after he sent his email to Richard, Pastor Jeff and I, he wouldn't do a damn thing.  For so long I had hoped for a confrontation with Jaymie.  I didn't care where, court would have suited me just fine.

When I look back now, I can't even remember WHY I wanted to confront Jaymie.  Did I have an exhaustive list of questions that begged for answers?  Was I boldly determined to unleash Royal Bitch on her?  Rake her over the coals, squash her under my heal and make her cower?  Or was it more about continual punishment, making her suffer as I was by causing turmoil in her life?
Probably all of the above to some degree.

The threat of a restraining order or a harassment lawsuit did nothing to mitigate my intense focus on Jaymie.  BUT....the email from Daddy James did throw a switch on my guilt-o-meter.  If his email was accurate, I had managed to piss off a Pastor!  I mean, I'm not a church going girl, but I understood that you had to commit a fairly heinous crime for a pastor to be infuriated with you!  They are supposed to be forgiving, right?  Compassionate, right?  If Pastor Jeff was incensed with me, I must be undeserving of those sympathetic emotions!  I had clawed and battled for months to purchase my own personal piece of real estate in Rock Bottom.  I had finally arrived, moved in and set up house.

I decided to write to Pastor Jeff to sooth my guilty soul.  I needed to convince him I was not a demon in Betrayed Wife's clothing.  My conscience required I repent for my sins against his church.  I emailed him with this:

I need to write and tell you how sorry I am for bringing you and your church into my messy life.  Jim was only partially right about my intentions.  My only goal has been to get Jaymie to talk to me.  I have so many questions about her relationship with my husband, Richard, that only she can answer.  I keep hoping that if I can fill in the gaps about what happened, then I'll know if I can ever forgive Richard and get past this.

So, in that regard, I was using your church for my own purposes.  BUT...when I got there, I knew I could never do anything like that no matter how desperately I want answers.  Even sitting in the parking lot, I was horrified at myself.  I almost drove away, but then I thought maybe I could find some hope inside.  I couldn't believe how kind and welcoming you all were to me.  I felt so guilty, undeserving of your kindness.  That's why, I didn't say a thing.  I didn't go up to anyone.  I sat in the back hoping there would be a message for me in your sermon.  Praying that God might speak to me and help me heal my broken life.

I'm bawling like a baby as I type this.  My heart is so broken.  I am so lost.
And, I am so sorry.  I will never bother you or anyone at your church ever again.

I realize that my feeble attempts to manipulate Jaymie into helping me were not well thought out.  I know now that she'll never help me.  She begged my husband to leave me.  Why would she want to help me?
Guess I need a plan B.
Again, I can't apologize enough.  I am not able to find forgiveness in my heart, but I pray you can.

Never heard from Pastor Jeff.  Not a word.  He didn't respond to forgive me or chastise me.  He may not be a saintly forgiving type of church leader, but he was smart.  I think he was right to ignore me.  He couldn't help me.  Even a quick email of forgiveness would have been wasted on me then.
The one part of my note to him that rings completely true is:  I AM SO LOST.  He surely didn't have a map that would lead me out of Rock Bottom.

That was August 20th, 2011.  For a few weeks after this, I rarely left Rock Bottom.  Without the energy or even the will to be angry, I wallowed in the lowermost region of Crazy Town.  I drank too much and slept too little.  I hated Rock Bottom.  Or, to be more accurate...I hated ME at Rock Bottom because it felt like surrender.  I was giving up on my marriage.  I had been defeated.
It would take numerous weeks for me to realize that this quote from JK Rowling could work for me. It can work for you too.  Focus on this...Once you hit Rock Bottom, you got no where to go but up!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My 100th Post

A Year After the Affair began as a cathartic virtual diary of sorts.  I needed an out of the box idea to move myself forward out of the bleak reality I had lived in since DDay.  When I registered for this blog on E-Blogger, it was called BlogSpot then, there was no thought given to what my story might do to/for others that had been touched/brutalized by an affair.  It was all about me and maybe a little about Jaymie.
At first, I did think maybe I could use this as a tool to further embarrass Jaymie.  Thanks to the Gods of Cyber Space, soon after I hit publish on my first post, I found the Healing Heart.  The members on this support site, that I recommend very highly, schooled me pronto about staying away from the other woman.  Still for the first few months, I had all of our last names right up in front for the world to view.
I even added a couple of nice pics of the three of us.  One of Richard and I celebrating his 60th birthday at Pebble Beach just nine short months after DDay, arms around each other looking as happy as newlyweds and Jaymie's Google+ mug shot.  Shared both with anyone who found their way to my homepage.

No doubt when I began the blog, I was still residing in Crazy Town and I was frantically looking for a way out.  It was over a year after DDay and even though there were many days that I felt nearly normal, there were more that felt like I was living a cowardly life, too afraid to admit my marriage was a facade.  We would not be able to survive Richard's infidelity.  I hoped by beginning to write, I would find a way to reveal the truth of what my future would be and how in the hell I'd ever get there without ending up in a straight jacket.

This is my 100th post.  I am very proud of how far I've come since the first day I began to write, 12/01/11.  I'm still very selfish about it.  I write mostly for me.  I still need to get to the end of my Crazy Town adventure because that's how I have learned to let it go.  Type it, read it, briefly revisit the pain then exhale.....Ahhhhh....bye, bye unmerciful memory.  Inhale and breathe in what brings me joy today.  There is so much.  I am very blessed.  I am extremely grateful.

A blessing I never forget to count is you.  You have changed much of the direction of this blog.  You gave me an additional constructive reason to write.  If the blog had remained just a negative narrative or a tragic tale of my old news, I do not believe I would have been able to walk this far on my Road to Happy.   For me to continue to rejuvenate my happiness, this can't be all about me.  I want this blog to be more than a record of my time in Crazy Town.  I want it to be a place of recovery, a place for those of you that are struggling to find the strength to repair your damaged life.

The fact is... I NEED you people! Many of you thank me for aiding in your recovery, but you always return the favor ten fold.  You are my new drug of choice.  Jaymie is out, my readers are in.  I guess it's like switching from a crack pipe to a treadmill.  Both can be addictive but obviously one is the better choice if you wanna live a happy life.  Is that a shitty metaphor?  Yeah...probably.  But, even after 100 posts, my writing will never win any literary awards.  You're not gonna get Hemingway here, but you'll always get straight shooting.  I tell you exactly what I think.  I pull very few punches.

Each of us is in a different phase of recovery.  No two people find their way out of Crazy Town the same way.  However, I have noticed that many of you use my story for a bit of a vicarious thrill.  You're too smart to lash out at your spouse's affair partner, so reading about my antics brings you a small measure of not-so-guilty pleasure.  Am I right?  It's OK to admit that.  You'd have to be true saint to never wish ill will for the affair partner.  Hell, you're a Mother Teresa clone if you never imagined them boiled in oil or flattened by a steam roller.  If reading about my feeble attempts at payback bring you some tiny amount of titillation, feel that shiver of possibility then remember I have proven beyond any doubt, it ain't worth it.

Here's what we can do:  If you wanna let it all out, declare your rage with the other woman/man, do it here.  Write them a letter, say all you need to right here.  Write it, post it or delete it.  It worked for me.  Maybe it can help some of you, too.  Tell them exactly what you need them to know.  Get it out of your broken heart and off your chest.

I'll start.  My letter to Jaymie today will be much different that it would have been 100 posts ago.  Here's what I would write to Jaymie today:

Jaymie,  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry that I wasted nearly a year of my life focusing on you.  I'm sorry that I wasn't strong enough after finding out about your affair with my husband to put my pain on him.  I'm sorry that I didn't know how to handle so much grief.  I'm sorry that you had a front row seat to witness my pathetic attempts to repair my shattered heart.  I'm sorry that I was so confused and damaged that I actually thought you might help me heal.  I'm sorry I let my shock and anguish blind me to the uselessness of your existence in my life.  
I'm stronger now.  I'm smarter now.  I'm so much healthier and happier now.  Richard and I love each other more everyday and I am grateful I gave him the chance to prove to me he is truly sorry for the mistakes he made with you.
Life is good.  I'm done with you. 
But, I'll share this bit of your back.  The karma bus could be right around the next corner and you know you're due for a ride.

That felt kind of good!!
Your turn.  If you think it might bring you any relief at all, start typing!
Writing can be such a powerful healing tool.  I can surely vouch for that.  You don't really need to write 100 posts to find your path on the Road to Happy.  Sometimes one good rant will start your journey.
Thanks for reading my 100th post, but mostly, thanks for joining me on my Road to Happy.  I never could have come this far without you.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blood is Thicker than Truth

I've had a few conversations recently with other betrayed wives that feel the need or, more accurately, are obsessed with the thought of outing the affair partner/slut/whore-bag to her family and friends.  Welcome to my world for the first year after the affair.

There is something to be said about telling her husband.  I think that's different from telling her parents, her co-workers, her close friends or YIKES...her kids.  Her husband is directly involved, personally affected.  He deserves to know.  Does that punish her?  Let's hope to hell so, but chances are, you won't get to watch.  Bummer, huh?

It is perfectly normal after DDay to hate the other woman and want to see her suffer while we watch and cheer her demise.  Filling her loved ones in on her secret life sounds like a sure fire way to punish the bitch.  Not so much.  That incessant pull on your gut to shame the other woman won't work out the way you hope, the way you've imagined in your beat up brain.
It's a flawed plan.  I'm gonna tell you why.

First, no matter how badly you think you can hurt her, you can NEVER hurt her the way she hurt you.  Never.  The pain of a betrayed spouse is unique in it's magnitude.  You know that to be true.
And then there's this....the way we imagine the payback going down in our heads is usually not what transpires in the real world.  I'll use my mistakes to prove my point.  When I realized how scared Jaymie was of her parents finding out about her open legs policy, I thought it would feel great to tell her dad!  Couldn't wait to rub Daddy James face in the entire pile of steamy, hot bullshit!  I imagined the scenario would go something like this:  
Me:  Your daughter had an affair with my husband.
Daddy James:  What?  Jaymie couldn't be that stupid!  She slept with an old married man?  Oh, dear Jesus!  Jaymie!  Get your sorry ass in here!  Richard's wife, Shawn, is on the phone.  She says you have been engaging in sex with Richard.  Is this true?????

Yeah..I was looking for a big reward.  A drama filled ass kicking laden with humiliation for Jaymie.

So I did it.  Called him.  Told him.  No ass kicking to be heard.  Instead, he prayed for me.  After that call, I sobbed for hours.  Did I ever see any of the fallout?  Would I ever hear him rip his naughty kid a big, fat new one?  Did I get to know without any shadow of a doubt that Daddy James chastised his baby whore of a daughter for days?
Nope.  Nada.  Nothin'.  

As you know, I frequently gave in to my thirst for payback.  I hope you don't because the addiction of revenge wraps around your heart and if you don't get high enough off your efforts, you gotta go bigger.  Please let me save some of you ladies the trouble, the additional pain and the wasted energy.  If the person you tell is someone important in the other woman's life, they will care about her well being.  Yours...not so much.
More likely than not, they will take her side.  Blood is thicker than truth.  Blood trumps truth.  You spill your pain all over them and they lash out at you to fight it off.    
Just what we need.  More negativity in our lives after DDay!
They will take her side and if you persist, as I did, to remind them of their loved one's major mistakes, they will begin to hate you and it might get ugly.

Without my knowledge, and much to my chagrin, Geek Boy Kevin and Daddy James had joined forces.  Daddy James now knew I only went to his church in my efforts to score the emails.  I had no intention of seeking a divine repair of my broken heart.  
The email I received on August 19th, 2011 at 10:00am should validate my position above.
He copied Richard and the Pastor of the church.

Shawn:  Let me call this straight- This is pure bullshit.  You visited the church, sat in the back row long enough to gather some names, and left before the service was done. All in an effort to gain data to continue your vendetta.  (Jeff, sorry but I have to call it as I see it…)
 Just because someone greeted you does not mean you are in counseling.  If you show up at the church again, you may receive counseling, but not in the way you think. In my opinion the hole in your soul has to be pretty big that you continually try new things to fill it.
Do you think I’m that stupid to fall for this?  My relationship with Jeff is that I can tell him everything and not worry about what or how he feels about me or my family.  Believe me, he has heard worst- all your story did was make him very angry that you tried to use him and the church for your own personal gain (I have never seen him that angry before…interesting how he called me back two days later to tell me he was still fuming).  “Mess with the flock, and watch the shepherd go after the wolf”.
Ø  Get over it- you have stepped over the bounds and breached our written agreement.  I’m checking into my legal rights about that now.
Final word- Your predatory and aggressive behavior needs to be shut down.  You continually going after a 24 year old girl (just out of a broken relationship & lost job who was courted hard by a professional) by harassing her friends and trying to scheme up new ways to be a bitch shows you are exactly the type of woman who your husband didn’t want to be with.  Deal with the 55 year old professional man who has done this in the past and recognize he just ain’t happy with the woman he is tied to (although I can’t imagine why. You being all sweet and everything…).
Done done done… I do not want to hear from you Shawn EVER again! I do not want you to call anyone that has a relationship with Jaymie. I do not want to have anyone stalk her or anyone in our circle of friends. Phone calls, emails, it all stops now!
Richard, you handle this from now on.  She is a pest and a bother and frankly; I’m tired of her poor behavior.  If she isn’t happy with her current arrangement, you fix it.  We did what we had to do based on what she wanted for closure, and we closed the door. I have the signed agreement that we fulfilled- I guess her word is not worth the paper it is written on. Again, I’m taking as much legal action as I’m, allowed to in this instance. 
Richard- if you want all of the emails and the records of her phone calls to our friends, we can deliver them to you for proof of her vindictive and threatening behavior. We do not feel safe with her stalking us, and will alert the proper authorities and get her off of the street.  (I believe there are laws enacted as a result of Nicole Simpson’s death that have strong bearing here).
You have permission to respond to this email. Shawn does not.  Jeff- thank you for your standing with me on this.  I covet your prayers for wisdom as I go forward with this.

 I had spread the ugliness that was the affair all over the fucking place.  I told Jaymie's parents, her new boyfriend and her old boss.  I gained nothing from any of it.  There was no relief from the black hole of my life to be found from outing Jaymie to her friends and family.  After I read that email, I spent days more depressed than I had been in months.  Crushed emotionally and mentally.
Spare yourselves.  Blood will always be thicker than truth.  Focus your efforts at home where your Blood resides.  I wish I had.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Inner Angry Child

Daddy James wasn't my only pen pal. (in the age of email, should I say keyboard pal?)  I acted out frequently by sending a variety of texts and emails to Jaymie and Geek Boy Kevin suggesting how Jaymie's life might be easier if she acquiesced to my requests for the emails.  I even left a few personal voice mails for Geek Boy that pondered what he could possibly see in Jaymie now that I had been so kind to reveal what a lying, trampy whore she was.  How could he be so desperate?

I was the desperate one.  Desperate to purge the pain from my life and dump it on them.

Before and after my trip to the church, I did what I could to keep Jaymie and Geek Boy Kevin involved in my plans and activities.  If I wrote to Daddy James, I also sent a copy of my friendly correspondence to them both, usually with a little something extra added just for their enjoyment.

 I forwarded the email I received from Daddy James about my church visit (posted here:  A Year After the Affair: A Ticket to Hell) to both of them prefaced by this:

Jaymie really has a great dad.  How in the world did she end up so screwed up?? Hate taking him down because of her.  
If just once, she could think of someone other than herself, her dad could be spared the public humiliation.
All it would take is a phone call.

In retrospect, I should have figured they might compare notes with Daddy James at some point.  I was banking that Jaymie would want Daddy James as far away from the fallout of the affair as possible.  I actually gave her credit for caring about someone other than herself.  Without the guidance and protection of new bed mate, Geek Boy Kevin, I may have been right, but he fashioned himself her white knight.  I'm sure in his creative mind, he saw himself as a character in one of his comic books. (did I mention Geek Boy Kevin is a comic book fan and wanna be writer?)  Jaymie's would be protector was tall, skinny and scruffy holding tight to a verbal sword raised and ready for battle!

He sent this to me and copied Richard.  He apparently thought Richard had some small amount of control over my behavior.  Poor confused Geek Boy.


Enough is enough. I thought you were an adult who truly wished to help me at first. Now I see that you were and still are just an angry, pathetic child; so malicious that you aren't even deserving of pity. If you continue to contact me, my family, Jaymie, or her family,  I will contact my attorney and legal action will be taken. Do you understand?

In case you don't, I'll explain it further. Do not email me, my family, Jaymie, or her family. Do not call me, my family, Jaymie, or her family. Do not text me, my family, Jaymie, or her family. Continuing to do so will result my filing a restraining order against you, followed shortly by a harassment suit that will take place in a small claims court. I have every email you've sent me, every text message you've hatefully typed out, every voicemail you've tried to threaten me with. I will win. And you will not.

This is not a game, Shawn. This is real life. What you're doing is illegal beyond any semblance of doubt. Don't forget it.

Do not contact me again. This is my final warning.


Oooooohhhhh!  So scary!  NOT!  Repercussions or consequences from my behavior didn't matter one bit to me.  There were no consequences in Crazy Town!!
As much as I hated to admit it, Geek Boy had me pegged...I was an angry child.  To him and probably many others, I would also seem pathetic.  He hit the nail on the head when he called me malicious, too, but how could he say I was undeserving of pity??
I guess he isn't much of a writer.  His vocabulary skills suck as bad as his taste in women because if one is "pathetic", by definition they "arouse pity."   Dip-shit.
Again, I confess I was most certainly behaving like a ill tempered, unpredictable child.  My temper tantrums rarely abated.  Never thinking about what would happen if.....
Impulsiveness and instant gratification were my only motivation.

At this point, I wanted to face Jaymie in court.  I longed for it!  I dreamed of the opportunity of sharing with the world how Jaymie straddled my husband, a man 36 years her senior, on his office chair and on his office floor, and his office couch and in a cheap room at Barona Casino and at the Sheraton and at the Marriott...but, I digress!
How rewarding would it be to share how she chose to go down on a married man for the occasional hundred dollar bill and a few whispered, pretty words?  All that titillating verbiage on a permanent court record??  The thought of that kind of public humiliation made my heart pound with anticipation!   Did it matter that I would also be shaming my husband, risking his reputation?  Hell to the NO!  That was a bonus!

The level of my anger soared above my ability to maintain rational thought.  Even though I could go through a whole day with a smile on my face and words of cheer on my lips, the pit of my gut was filled to the brim with boiling animosity.  To this day, I continue to be astounded by the fact that I maintained such an enormous amount of hate and vindictive rage for so long.  It exhausts me to think about it!
I know many of you get it.  You've felt it...the level of vehemence and bitterness that settles into what may have well been an otherwise acceptable soul before DDay.  You probably felt it, but you were better than me, stronger than me and you didn't act on it.  If you are fresh into the mess of betrayal, please recognize the anger, acknowledge it, but THINK before you act upon it.
I was the epitome of a spoiled, resentful, infuriated child. Yep...Good call, Geek Boy, but it was gonna take someone other than him to send this rotten brat to a time-out.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Unkind?? MOI?? and Find FLACA!

****As in the previous post, this post and the comments that follow, have been edited for privacy****

This post is gonna cover two things on my mind today.  First...On May 28th of this year, one of my Readers and fellow blogger, Flaca, published her last post.  Kissing A Fool | Covered in Kisses and Lies
It said this: 

“Unkind people need your kindness the most, they advertise their pain,” Rick Warren

Don't know who in the hell this Rick Warren guy is, but he makes one hell of a solid point with this little jewel of wisdom.  I so totally get this now.  Not so much until now.  
For a year after the affair, I was that unkind person.  To be frank, I wasn't just unkind.   There are so many other adjectives that would describe me much more accurately.  I don't need a handy, dandy thesaurus to call it what I was.

On bad days I was nasty, hateful, awful, fierce, vile, obnoxious, hellish, horrid and loathsome just to name a few.  Not to worry...even though sometimes it pains me to remember what a beast I was, I also know I was a beast of burden and even though many think I don't deserve it, I have given myself a pass for most, if not all, of my repugnant behavior.

On good days I was merely disagreeable, objectionable, tough, unpleasant and as Grandpa might say...just plain ornery.  On the rare occasion, on the surface I may even have appeared to be happy to most people in my life.  I think only Richard knew that regardless of the smile of my face, I was miserable to the core.  But, the affair ended nearly three years ago.  I have moved on.  I am happy.....until I'm not.  When will the sneak attacks from Royal Bitch end?

My behavior during Grandpa's Birthday Bash and the consequences that will surely follow may be God's way, Karma's way, Fate's way...whatever...of teaching me a lesson I truly needed to learn in my life.  I am prone to act out because of my residual pain.  I gotta remember to demonstrate a little compassion when others seem cruel, uncaring or just annoying.  They may also be suffering personal agony that I can not see.

Last week, I let all the triggers and my pain over ride the possibility that the family member that pushed me back into Crazy Town (it wasn't much of a shove.  I was already way off balance!) may also have some damn heavy rocks in her Life Basket.  Even if she was "unkind", my response was unacceptable.

In this particular instance, I needed to listen to Rick Warren.  (BTW....gotta Google that guy.  No clue who he is!)  I believe with my entire heart, a heart that is still mending, that I need to learn to be kinder to all right now.  Not accusatory.  Not judgmental.  Just kind, patient (Crap!  Also not my strong suit!) compassionate and understanding.  Think I can do it??  My heart wants to, but more than heart NEEDS to.

The second part of this post is this...Where in the hell is FLACA????  She just dropped out of cyberspace!  I have tried to comment on her blog, asking her to just check in for a role call.  Nothing.  My comment is still awaiting moderation.  I have emailed her privately hoping she'll send a quick reply saying life is good and busy.  She is ready to move on without us.  Nada!
I'm concerned about her and I'm hoping one of you have had some sort of contact with her since her last post on May 28th.  Or, maybe she is still reading, just not posting.
FLACA!  If you're out there, Girlfriend, please just send up a flare so we know you're OK.

One of my Readers, Jessa, thinks I want to be all sweet and nice but I'm just not made that way.  Maybe she has a very sharp and narrow point, but you don't have to be sweet to be kind.  Right?
Wish me luck.  I'm gonna go try out there and be the antithesis of unkind!  I will learn not to unleash my pain on innocent bystanders!  Transference be damned!
There is most certainly a lesson to be learned here and I don't intend to ignore it.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Still Crazy After All These Years

****This post has been edited for privacy issues.  I also had to remove many of the comments for the same reasons.  I'm sorry.  I hate to squash our conversation, but it was the right thing to do.****

Still have lots of family visiting.  One more day of Grandpa's 100 year birthday celebration, but I have been blessed with a quiet morning to regroup.
I need it.  Here's why....

Yesterday was the big birthday bash, here in my home.  I've been planning the party for months.  Planning the entire weekend really, each and every day to give my out of town family a memorable time and to be certain Grandpa is shown as much LOVE as possible.
Somehow my plan took a detour through Crazy Town.

****Here's where most of the edits came in.  I wrote this post about a family conflict and how it affected me.  I now feel I must limit details to respect the privacy of other members of my family.  If the post seems discombobulated...Again, I'm sorry.  After I shared this post and the one that follows, one of my wonderful readers pointed out the error of my ways.  I didn't think it through before.  I don't have any right to pontificate about the personal trauma of anyone else.  I share ALL my visits to Crazy Town, but in this post I wrote about the pain of another.  That was selfish and thoughtless.  I had to correct my error in judgement with heavy handed use of my delete button.****

This visit with my family has been uncomfortable, awkward and super weird.  Yesterday, the shit hit the fan and Crazy Town relocated to my guest bedroom.

When it comes to busting chops, I can usually take as well as I dish out (you all know I can dish it out!) but I guess the stress of the weekend had me on edge...a very precarious edge.  What may have been light hearted joking, felt cruel and uncalled for.  Jabs that might just sting on a regular day, cut like a knife under the duress of party planning.

Yesterday morning, I was trying to get myself geared up for all that needed to be done for the BIG day.   I have had many parties like this, so I pretty much have the drill down.  I just needed to do things in my time, my way.  I just wanted to relax for an hour before the day took off at a furious pace.  Of course, many offers of assistance continued and some remarks were made about how I am just like my mom, controlling.  Have to have it my way.  Do it all myself.
I let those remarks go, but inside I was seething.

I know that emotion.  It scares me.  I have kept it at bay for many months now.  I felt my streak of living on the safe side of Crazy Town was about to end right before all the guests arrived.  I reeled myself in...for a second anyway.  My self control was fleeting.  I heard what I thought was another snide remark and the flood gates of anger overwhelmed me.
Hello, Dark Side!  Rage bubbles up and over the top!!  Looks like we're heading into Crazy Town for the day!  I know all about the Transference bullshit yet, I couldn't stop it.  I screamed at the convenient transference target.....
"Fuck you!  Outside...NOW!"

You should have seen the look of fear on the other occupants of my kitchen!!  Lord, help me.  I had just set the tone for a truly lousy party.
Tried to explain why I was so pissed.  I was so damn angry.  I was not very articulate.  Didn't matter anyway.  The damage was done.  Most of my family that got wind of my little meltdown steered clear of me for the duration of the day.  This did not improve my attitude.

Here's my question:  Once a resident of Crazy Town, always a resident?  Did I lose it yesterday because of party stress or was it more than that?  Richard began the affair with Jaymie, that act of infidelity that nearly destroyed me, during the month of September, three years ago.  Am I trying so hard to ignore that fact that it's eating me up inside?  Am I still Crazy after all these years?

I can tell you this...I have been planning that party for months.  Now, it's just more collateral damage on my Road back to Happy.  I'm crying as I type.  I spent no time with my family.  I hid in the kitchen under the guise of prepping food all damn day.  Today, everyone is out playing golf or lounging at the hotel.  (Barona, the casino where Richard fucked Jaymie during the months of September and October 2010.  Triggers much??)  I'm home with my kids.  While they rest in their rooms, I decided to pour out my guts in cyber space.  It usually helps.

Crap, People.  After three damn years I should know when the affair is gonna jump up and bite me on the ass!  I also should know I can't blame every meltdown I have on the affair.  I gotta own any new time I spend in Crazy Town.  So, I'll own this. I wasted my Grandpa's 100th birthday and after all these years...I should have known better.  Dammit.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I have an Excuse!!

I wanna check in and let you all know why I may not be able to continue my story for a while.  Maybe you don't care.  Maybe no one out there misses me when I go on hiatus, but I miss you.  Therefore...I need to make my excuses for my absence.  (BTW...that previous sentence about you missing me was NOT, I repeat NOT me fishing for an out pouring of reader love. Although, I could use a hug right now.)

My life is always busy.  That's how I like it.  Busy and productive with a heavy dose of fun thrown in.  Most working moms are crazy busy, too, so that really isn't much of an excuse.  It's just that the last few weeks have escalated into a whole new level of crazy.  Not Crazy Town crazy...crazy busy.  There just are not any spare minutes these days.
When I have a few precious moments to relax, I become a "Mombie".  I drink wine and I veg in a near comatose, zombie like state.  I have legitimate excuses.  They are as follows:

Excuse Number One:  We are getting our house ready for a relative onslaught!  That's relative as a noun, not an adjective.  We are hosting my Grandpa's 100th birthday celebration!!  I've mentioned my Grandpa in this story.  He deserves the best birthday party ever and I intend to deliver.  Richard and I have spent every extra hour preparing for this festive event.  Gotta say, when I watch Richard shoveling gravel, or painting the fence working to make our yard look it's best for my uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews, my heart swells because I know he loves my family as much as I do and even knowing his mistakes, they love him right back.

Excuse Number Two:  Water Polo.  Holy Crap, People!  High School sports are a HUGE commitment!  My favorite time to write is first thing in the morning before anyone else is awake.  Now, we wake up at 5:00am for practice!  That's just the first practice of the day!  The second starts at 2:30.  No problem. Not like that's just right in the middle of the whole damn day!!  Not like I have to go to work or anything!!  Even though I am a planner/organizer extraordinaire (if I do say so myself!) the grueling schedule of training for this season of Bull-Dogs Water Polo is wearing me out!

Excuse number Two & a Half:  My son dislocated his shoulder at said Water Polo practice.  That's a big time ouchie for a 15 year old and a big time suck for Mommy.  First, the trip to the ER.  You all know that is never expedient.  Then, there's the follow up!  Primary care, a orthopedist and the ever popular MRI!  Waiting to see the surgeon next.  Crap.  My poor kid still goes to every practice.  Sits, watches and wishes he was in the pool with his team mates.  I haven't told him but I'm pretty sure his water polo career is over, at least for this season.

Excuse Number Three:  My friend Nikki and I own a small retail shop.  I think I've mentioned that before.  July and August means trade show season.  Lots of traveling to stock our store with lovely, tempting merchandise.  We've been to LA twice, Dallas once and we are heading to Vegas tomorrow.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my job.  It just gets in the way of family life once in a while and then the mommy/wife guilt creeps in.  Guilt is a useless emotion but normal and inevitable.

Excuse Number Four:  I got the freakin' flu!!  Who gets the flu in August?? Oh, yeah...that's right!!  ME!  I get the flu with a fever and stomach cramps and chills...the whole shebang!  I was in bed for 19 hours!!  Do you know how many posts I could crank out in 19 hours?  Such a waste!
On the bright side, I did lose 4 pounds.

There you have it.  I don't know when I'll be getting back to the story.  We're getting to the end of the drama.  The next part is about Daddy James raking me over the coals in an email.  Good Christian Daddy James used some naughty words, too!
Let's face it.  I deserved every bit of his wrath.  I make No Excuses.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Ticket to Hell

I didn't have to wait long for a reply from Daddy James.  My email to him sharing my experience at HIS church, with HIS friends made him jump right up and kick into damage control mode with a large dose of caution and a substantial degree of trepidation.  He went straight to the Lord to try and keep me in line.  As soon as I got his email, I furiously typed a response.  His words are in black.  My response is in red.


Wow- What a revelation. Your email impresses me but… it also worries me in one area.
You have to know that I have never shared your troubled relationship with anyone but my wife Karen.  Even No one in my family knows about the adultery (calling it what it was) .  I don't imagine you did. To do so would also share your daughter's part in the adultery. To be honest I’m concerned about what you may have said about my daughter to others.  Jaymie made a grievous error and chose to do something very wrong.  But I don’t want to crucify her or make her a public example for what she did.  Of course you don't, but maybe it would be good for her to admit her part and ask for forgiveness.  God knows, there is a HUGE lesson to be learned for all of us.  Maybe she could go with me to "tag" team.  I will be talking about the affair.  They will all know my name, Richard's name, why not hers?  Or...perhaps if she let me know that she has sincere remorse, that she has at least some idea of how her choices ruined my life, maybe I could go to church and not use any last names at all.  They were very nice not to ask my last name on Sunday.  She would have to email or call me and plead her case for herself, otherwise, I see no reason to be discreet. I do not know if you specifically mentioned her name in counseling. So I ask you to please not make this part of your clearing the air.
God knows who was involved- I know Pastor Jeff, Crystal, Madeline, and Bill personally, and they know my family very well too.
I’m glad you are seeking healing; Have been searching for nearly a year.  Tough road. and I know you will find forgiveness through Christ.  Would you please explain why I need to seek forgiveness?  What did I do?  Do you mean find forgiveness for Jaymie and Richard? That truly would be a miracle.  I am only hoping to find peace and acceptance to live with all the hurt and anger.  Forgiveness isn't even on my radar!  I would encourage you to continue a new life in Jesus.  One of my favorite verses is II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away, new things have come.”  It was for my salvation and healing as well…
Through this may you also find “the peace that surpasses all comprehension…” (Philippians 4:6-7). 
God bless you and may He keep you close.  Thank you.  

As much as it shames me to admit it...I was elated by this email!!  Ecstatic!  Jubilant even!  I had made Daddy James worry (I might even say freak out!) about poor Jaymie's public reputation.  I reveled in the fact that was making him squirm!  I was feeling oh, so happy with myself so I sent the above dialog to Richard with the heading:  "I am SOOOO Going to Hell!"  I sent it to him because I knew he would be MORTIFIED that I was taunting Daddy James!  Richard didn't care what I did to him.  He didn't care who I told about what he did, but dragging Jaymie's family into my Anger Abyss made him cringe!
At times, that just pissed me off more.  Why in the hell did he care what happened to any of them?  They were nothing!  They were irrelevant!  (Except to the continued loss of my mind)  It was all Jaymie's fault!  If only she had sent me the emails her family would never have had to know she was stupid enough to spread her legs for a 60 year old married man.

Richard never tried to stop me as I travelled through Crazy Town blaming Jaymie for buying my entrance ticket along the way.  Sometimes I was even able to get him to carry my luggage.  Richard was as broken as I was.  Not angry, just severely depressed and guilt ridden.  I used that to my advantage.

Are you surprised or appalled that I can let myself off the hook and not harbor guilt?  I do not blame myself for my time in Crazy Town, but this part of Crazy Town was where few ever venture and was much too close to Hell.  Very soon I would begin to feel the heat.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Little Wisdom from Buddha

A Quote from Buddhist Boot Camp:

When someone is suffering deeply within themselves, their suffering spills over and they start making others suffer as well. What they truly need is our help, not punishment —Thich Nhat Hanh

There you have it, my fellow betrayed spouses!  Buddha gets it!  
That's my story in two sentences!

Damn.  If only Jaymie had been a Buddhist instead of a Baptist.  I'd have gotten the emails for sure!
Hee Hee  ;-)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Battle of Conscience

Have you ever felt like you had an angel on one shoulder and a demon on the other speaking to you at the same time?  One ruled by the innate knowledge of the difference between right and wrong.  The other, purely self serving, greedy and many times, insatiable. That's the one that always resides in Crazy Town and is loathe to leave it.
I know that both sides of Richard's conscience waged war during his time with Jaymie.  I would guess most cheating spouses have at least a twinge of a guilty conscience in the midst of all the lies and deceit. I actually hope to hell most betrayers are racked with guilt!
During my ride home that day, both entities, the angelic and the demonic, were jockeying for my consideration.  Having just been at church, I tried to place a big bet on the angel to come in first.  Even though I knew her to be a long shot, I was rooting for her!
It's was battle of conscience, a battle of the soul.  In such conflicts, there is rarely a draw.
By the next day, one side was more than able to out pace the other.

Richard was quite the nervous Nellie by the time I got home.  He had been anticipating a possible call from local law enforcement alerting him to my arrest for creating a public disturbance...or worse.  I imagine he had girded his loins for a call like that for the entire first year after DDay.  When I walked in the house he looked at me, wide eyed, hoping I would tell him I had changed my mind and gone out for a Sunday breakfast instead of Sunday service.

Please don't ask me what I told him or what transpired when I got home because I can't tell you.  Maybe I told him nothing happened because the good and pure side of my conscience enveloped me in guilt.  Maybe I told him about the warm welcome I received from the parishioners of the First Baptist church and their gracious invite to attend group counseling.  Maybe I said something like, "Get the fuck away from me.  I can't stand the sight of you right now."  Any of those scenarios seem feasible.  Feel free to pick the synopsis of my return that suits you or make up one of your own.

It's easier to confirm what I did the next day, August 15th, 2011 due to the email trail.  In a past email exchange in January, Daddy James had suggested (actually he demanded which you all know makes me do the EXACT opposite!) that I take my "anger, bitterness and attention elsewhere." 

I lost my bet.  The winner of yesterday's race was not the long shot.  I was currently being inspired by the malevolent side of my inner psyche, so I felt like Daddy James would love knowing I took his suggestion.  (Can you sense the heavy sarcasm and ill intent??  I was fully clothed in both.)
I sent him this:

Jim:  I took your advice.  I took my anger, my bitterness and my deep sadness and regret somewhere else.  You told me about how you used to counsel people at your church in Lemon Grove.  So, I went last Sunday.  They are wonderful.  I met Pastor Jeff and his wife, Crystal, a lovely woman named Madeline and another gentleman, Bill S****.  What a dear old guy.  
Anyway, they said I should come to something called "Tag" team and share what troubles me.  I intend to do just that.
I've tried to find other outlets and some bring temporary relief, but nothing gets the images and words out of my head.  Jaymie didn't help me.  Richard can't.  But, you told me the first day I called you about Jaymie & Richard.  You told me about the church.  Should have listened closer back then, but better late than never.  I'm going to print all the emails, take them to a meeting and be DONE with them!  It already feels better knowing I will never have to look at them again.  Maybe in time the images in my head will fade, but I'm realistic.  Tiny steps and all that.

So, thank you.  Maybe I'll see you there sometime.

Sent it to Jaymie and Richard, too.  Wouldn't want them to be unaware of my intentions to seek salvation.  Then, motivated to toss out a wider net by that same evil muse whispering in my ear, I decided not to leave out poor Geek Boy Kevin.  When I forwarded him the above email, I prefaced the words with this:
Kevin:  Thought I'd keep you in the loop.  
Talk about perfect.  I might actually get some support from people that KNOW Jim, Karen & Jaymie.   (BTW...Karen is Jaymie's Mom)
The world is a strange place.  Didn't you tell me that?

My angel guide had taken a hiatus.  She was totally AWOL. Only the day before I had passionately prayed for anger and vengeful thoughts to be taken from me.  I begged God to soften my heart, to help me find constructive ways to stop the torment.  In 24 hours I stopped listening to my God fearing conscience and turned my ear to the Vengeful Devil loudly advising me to, "Make Jaymie pay.  Make her hurt like you do.  She wouldn't help you.  She won't even talk to you!  Tell the world what she did to you.  Make her pay."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sunday Services in Crazy Town

As I drove toward Lemon Grove, the absurdity of what I was doing did not escape me.  Did I really hope and expect Jaymie's parents would be attending services that morning?  Even now, I can't begin to explain what I thought I'd do if I saw them standing in a front row pew, holding a Bible, making a joyful noise to the Lord.

Armed with Map Quest directions, I was able to find the First Baptist Church without making a single wrong turn.  Instead of pulling directly into the parking lot that was across the street from the side of the church, I parked on the street where I was afforded a clear view of the main entrance.  The trip had taken less time than I anticipated so I was one of very few cars nearby.

I turned off the car, rolled down my window and sat quietly, watching each car arrive.  Every new arrival made my stomach clench, my heart skip a beat.  Is that Daddy James??  Will Jaymie come to try and prevent me from creating even more trouble for her family?  It was quite warm in the car, but that isn't why I was having difficulty breathing.

I ached!  It felt as though an evil elephant had planted his humongous ass on my chest!  My insides churned.  My brain and my gut were spinning.  I worried that I might hurl during the Pastor's sermon.  I had a brief humorous thought about the urgent need for barf bags to be placed on the back of each pew just like the airlines do.
It's really no wonder I was so sick to my stomach.  You would be too if you had reached the epicenter of Crazy Town.  It's a brutal vortex.  Low oxygen and extreme gravitational pull...straight down into hell.

After watching the gathering of church goers file through the front doors for nearly an hour, I knew it was time to, as my mom used to say...Shit or get off the Pot.  I don't why I went in. I didn't know what I'd do, what to expect.  Daddy James was no where to be seen.  I've never been a fan of idle threats.  I guess I just couldn't see going home without following through.
Usually being a person that always does what she sets out to do is admirable.
In this case, it was nothing but lunacy with quite a bit of masochism thrown in.

Right before I assumed services were to begin, I got out of the car, headed to the steps in front. There I met an elderly gentleman.  He walked right up to me and offered his hand.  "Hello, young lady."  (Already liked him.  He called me young!)
He introduced himself and welcomed me to services.  He was so happy I was joining their little congregation for services that morning.
I managed a smile and as I shook his hand I said, "I'm Shawn.  Thank you so much."

I walked into the foyer.  Such a simple church.  Nothing fancy here.  Remember, this was a neighborhood of limited means.  I found a seat on the far left, in the last row, right on the edge by the aisle.  Escape route appropriate.

I sat quietly, barely looking around for Daddy James.  Mostly staring at my lap or the front of the church.  Looking for salvation in all the holy symbols hanging there.
Cue the water works.....Not just whimpering, not merely crying.  Bawling.  Sobbing into my hands, dripping snot on my pants while straining to suck in breath while making no noise.
Yeah...that won't attract attention or anything.

Within a minute, a woman that I later learned was the Pastor's wife came over to me.  She didn't ask me what was wrong.  She was in no way intrusive, just concerned and armed with Kleenex.  She said she was glad I was there and she hoped I enjoyed the service.  I nodded and accepted the snot rags with great gratitude.

All the members here seemed older.  I think they liked the idea of a newbie, a soul to save that might bring something fresh to their beloved place of worship.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think that's why they were so unbelievably kind to me.  It's just a bit of an off topic observation.

The church had a Welcome Wagon Tag Team.  Next, I met Madeline.  She offered comfort.  Asked if I needed help.  I said, "No thank you.  I just hoped to find some peace here."
Cue the lightening!  Hard to believe God didn't fry my butt right there in that hard, wooden pew!
I hadn't come for peace.  I had come to perpetuate my war, my vendetta.  That was not to be.  (Thank God!)  Daddy James was no where to be seen.

Madeline gave me a pamphlet that described weekly meetings and group counseling for those in crisis. She shared that these meeting helped her when her husband had passed recently.  I was extremely grateful, but I could not wait for her to leave me alone!  The more kindness that was wasted on me, the heavier my soul became.  The guilt was almost unbearable.  I thanked her and told her that, for now, I just wanted to sit in the back and pray for guidance.  She graciously left me alone, after offering a gentle hug.

The sermon began.  In an opening prayer the Pastor thanked the Good Lord for bringing new faces to services that day.  The poor man had no idea how unwelcome I should have been.  Only I knew my intentions for joining them on this Sunday and that knowledge nearly suffocated me as he spoke.

For nearly an hour, through his sermon (Can't remember a word of it) I sobbed silently and I begged God to help me find a way to rid my broken heart of this intense pain but, I wasn't granted a revelation that day.
I rose quietly during the closing prayer and crept out.  I couldn't take anybody else being nice to me.  The shame I carried right then was immeasurable.  The only saving grace was that I had not talked about Jaymie to anyone.  I managed to refrain from dragging any of these lovely folks into my version of hell fire and damnation.  I walked quickly to my car.

Caught a glimpse of myself in the rear view mirror.  Puffy, blood shot eyes, blotchy red skin.  I was a sight!  I remember shaking my head at my own reflection thinking...Who in the fuck are you anyway?? I don't even know you!  You're pathetic!

You all know, I don't wear weak well.  I needed to get back some control.  On the drive home, I began to shake off the guilt and contemplate how I could use what I'd learned from Madeline.
I wondered if Daddy James would go with me to the counseling meeting at his church?