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, January 29, 2013

Bringing Mom into the Lurid Loop

It took me a while this morning to remember where I left off in my story.  I told you about my Manic Meltdown nearly 2 months ago.  For those of you that haven't given up on me, here's what happened next:

That day was so hard.  I couldn't string two rational thoughts together.  I had lost focus as well as a filter.  Scattered thoughts almost instantly became irrational actions.  Recalling many of those impulsive actions cause me sincere regret.
I don't know how I made it through work that day.  No way I accomplished anything of substance.  I'm sure Nikki had my back.  She always does.

After what I can only imagine was an extremely turmoil filled, unproductive day, I left to go pick up Richard at his office.  We had planned a date night, but once again, due to unforeseen circumstances, my crazy quotient rising off the charts, without discussing it, we knew the date was cancelled.  As we began the 45 minute drive home, few words were spoken.  After my performance that morning, he must have been scared shitless.  How could he possibly know what I was capable of at this point when I had no idea?  The fluctuation of my emotions was random and excessive.  One minute, I was screaming in the halls of Richard's office, the next I was crying, writing an apology to a member of his staff.  Anger, remorse, anger, remorse, anger, the tide...a never ending cycle.

Without warning (I'm sure Richard wished I had some kind of flashing red light that would signal CAUTION CRAZY AHEAD!) I dialed my mom.  I was gonna type that I "decided" to call MOM, but that isn't accurate.  A decision means there was thought given to the action.  I was all about spontaneity!  As the phone rang on his blue tooth, I announced it was time to bring Mom into the lascivious, lurid loop.  Mom answered and I dropped the bomb. Yuck..more collateral damage.

"Mom, it's me.  I have to tell you something.  Richard cheated on me with a 24 year old girl.  I found out 3 months ago.  Dad knows.  I'm surprised he hasn't talked to you.  Dad doesn't know I know he knows.  Messed up, right?"
"I knew something was wrong!  Are you OK?  Can I do anything? I can't believe your dad knew!"

OOPS!  Threw Dad under the bus along with Richard.  That was wrong, but shrapnel was flying.  Wadda ya gonna do?

"You can't do anything right now, but I just thought you should know.  It was getting too hard to continue the Happy Show.  Richard and I are heading home.  He's here in the car.  He can hear you."
I knew Richard wouldn't want to be left out of this enlightening conversation.
I snicker thinking about how good I was at hurting him.  I had such a scary evil streak.

Mom replied that she had nothing to say to him right now, but she was glad I told her about the situation and she hoped I'd call her later.  Richard would have to wait to face her.  All you moms out there know what happens to someone that hurts your child.  Richard knew even though Mom spared him a tongue lashing in the car, she was gonna rip him a big new one later.   She just gave him time to think about what was coming.  Well played, Mom.

We said our goodbyes.  I think I was crying because Mom had been so calm and comforting.  For three months I had worried about her interfering if she knew the horrible truth.  She came through in the clutch.  Turns out, no matter how old we are, we still need our Mommies.

The rest of the ride home is a blur.  Often I'm amazed I remember as much as I do.  Most of my friends will attest to the fact that my memory is like a sponge.  I absorb a lot , but the info doesn't last long in there.  I do remember what happened when I got home.  I felt like a caged animal.  I wanted out!  I needed to get away from Richard for a few days.  I didn't want to hear his voice, see his face or even know he was in the same zip code!  I began calling local hotels for room prices.
When I threw his ass out, he stayed at a Marriott Suites with Jaymie and a seedy local motel for the next few nights.  I was looking for something a little more upscale.  As I called, searching for a room with the creature comforts I desired, my mom called to check on me.  I told her my plans.  I wanted to leave for the weekend.

Mom to the rescue!!
"I'll call my casino host and get you a room at Barona! It won't cost you a penny!"
Great!  A free room at the place Richard took Jaymie to FUCK in the afternoons!  It seemed like Kismet somehow.  What better place to contemplate my future with my cheating husband than where the cheating took place?  I already did the Tour de Trauma, this was just a continuation of the trip.
I took her up on her offer and I went to pack a bag.  Didn't need much. My plan was to drink a lot and spend copious amounts of money on room service and spa treatments.
Richard agreed I needed some time to myself, but his face told me he thought this was the beginning of the end.  He was squirming.
This weekend away was looking better and better.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chomping at THE BIT. Part 2

As the months roll by since DDay, periodically I learn something new about the Roller Coaster from Hell.  One of the biggie lessons I've absorbed is that I still have a whole hell of a lot more to learn.  That means for those of you reading, please remember...I'm no teacher, no seasoned guide that can lead you through the quagmire of infidelity.
I'm merely a betrayed rookie, taking my hits and reaching out to you for back up.

You have generously shared many thoughts with me about my current gut twisting dilemma.  Many of your comments and emails have been bouncing around in my feeble brain but I'm afraid I haven't managed to form any solid solutions to the issue at hand. I've worked diligently at dissecting the problem and I think it boils down to...the BIT means Reality Bites!

2 years out from DDay seems like a long time, but it really isn't.  Especially when you have had set backs along the way, which I have, most notably...F%#K Fantasy Football.  That's when my eyes opened to the fact that Richard was still a liar.  Not on the grand scale of his covert life with Jaymie, but at this point in our lives, lying about drinking milk out of the carton is enough to make me catch my breath and swallow REALLY hard.

Some of you think this setback shouldn't be cause for deep concern.  Richard would agree with you.  Many of you are waving the big ass red flag.  I'm in your camp.  I don't wanna be.  It would be so much easier on my stomach lining to just accept the words coming from my husband's mouth, "This isn't that big a deal.  We'll be fine.  Don't worry."
When trust is at a premium, you can't spare any for hollow words.  You gotta save your minimal stash for actions.

Richard's big action yesterday was to set up an appointment with the lovely Dr. K.  He had to rearrange his schedule at work, contact her and bring me into the loop.  Substantial effort was made and noted.
He got an ear full in her office!  Suffice it to say, she told him without reservation, he fucked up again.  He still hasn't learned how to bring up problems in a constructive manner.  He waits until something pushes him over the edge or he just acts out and waits for the inevitable shit to hit the fan.

We all know why he's like this.  My man goes outta his way...WAY outta his way, to avoid conflict!  He's a divorce lawyer, remember?!  His entire day at work is heavily laden with animosity, disagreeable personalities and sincere attempts to quash all happiness out of the life of another.
Talk about some bad juju.

Don't get me wrong, Kids!  I'm not making excuses for the guy.  I'm just telling you that I've thought it through and I get it.  The lovely Dr. K has been struggling to help Richard get it for two years.  Maybe my old dog can't learn any new tricks.  That's a painful lesson for this rookie, indeed.
If Richard can't learn to come to me when something feels wrong, when he needs to vent, I'm gonna forever be walking on egg shells.  That would suck.  But, that isn't what scares me the most.
What has me losing sleep is that maybe he will never be happy.  Maybe he still hates getting old and he feels like he's missing out on something.
Today it's his "unbalanced" life.  That was how he described it yesterday.  Home, kids, work, us...all good, great even.  But he has no life other than that.  No friends, no freedom.
What if I drop some of my safety nets?  Will that make him happy?  If so, for how long?  What'll it be next?  My heart is beating faster as I type those words because the truth is...I don't think I'm ready to drop any nets just yet because it's a long way down, and the fall would kill me.

He says he's going to start writing down every time he feels like he's chomping at the BIT.  He thinks it will help if I can understand the specifics of what he wants.  OK.  Sounds like a plan.

I so want to believe him!  I have to leave town for a week for work.  That's hard enough when we are doing well.  With him chomping at the BIT, it will be torturous!
This rookie still has so much to learn, many miles to go on my Road to Happy but as of today, I still have on my hiking boots and I'm willing to walk on.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Chomping at THE BIT. Part 1

For those of you new to my blog...News Flash...I have a strong tendency to deviate from the story line.  When something happens NOW that deserves blog space, I interrupt the flow of the trauma with more current drama.  This is one of those times.

I don't know that I've written any posts on Sunday before.  Sunday is family day.  Usually some quiet time with Richard, lounging in our warm and cozy bed, sipping tea and chatting.  Sometimes the chatting turns into lovely morning sex.  That'll jump start your day much better than the most decadent latte from Starbucks.  Today our little talk turned very serious and I'm freaked out.

The basis of our heavy conversation this morning began the day before yesterday.  My best friend and business partner, Nikki, suddenly lost her dad.  She got the call at work.  He had a heart attack and they just couldn't save him.  She was devastated.  I felt helpless and my heart ached for her.  We had made plans to meet Richard and a client of his to celebrate a great victory in court for happy hour.  
There would be nothing happy happening for many hours after receiving such tragic news.  I called Richard to let him know.  I needed to hear his calm, reassuring voice.  He didn't answer his mobile phone.  I left a voicemail.  
I waited 15 minutes and tried again.  Nothing.  I called the back line to his office.  Nada.  So, I called the front desk.  Since the Manic Meltdown 2 years ago, I hate talking to the receptionist.  I always feel like she's judging me.  "Oh...checking up on your cheating husband, huh?"  But, the other two numbers I had were not bringing the desired results, so my options were minimized.

"Hey, Christina.  Do you know where my husband is?"  
Now why in the hell did I have to ask that??  I could have just said, "Could I please speak to Richard?"  Ugh.  Stupid shit like that plagues my weary mind!  
She said she didn't know his whereabouts but would check.  A couple of minutes of boring hold music and, "Hi, Honey!  What's up?  Can't wait for cocktails!"

Here's where the problem started.  "Where were you?  Why weren't you answering your cell?"
"I don't know.  I was here.  It didn't ring."
"I called the back line.  That didn't ring either?"
"I stepped out to talk to Linda. (his paralegal) I guess I missed it.  What the hell?"

I told him he needed to call his client and let her know happy hour was off and I told him why.  Appropriate sympathy ensued and we agreed to meet at home.
I knew I had snapped at him for no reason, but I hoped he would get that I was not thinking clearly because my mind was otherwise occupied with deep concern for Nikki.
We didn't speak much that night and I went to bed before 8:00pm.

The next morning, yesterday, Saturday, Richard woke and was clearly aggravated.  I called him on his piss poor attitude and he told it comes..."I hate always feeling like I'm doing something wrong even when I know I'm not."
And that's my problem because....???

We tried to discuss the phone call the day before.  I tried to reason with him that I was upset and I transferred some of my anxiety on him.  I was sorry.  But, I knew it was more than that.  Somewhere in my gut, I have known for some time that this was coming.

He's chomping at the bit.  You know...THE BIT.  The BIT I put in place to keep me safe.  The BIT attached to the reins that I hold, apparently tighter than he would like.  I am the cause of his persistent feelings of guilt.  The boundaries I feel compelled to keep in place are causing him to feel like his life is "lacking".  He isn't happy.
Where have I heard that one before?  Oh, yeah, I counseling with the lovely Dr. K, right after DDay!  Just fucking great!
His life is so "lacking".  He was headed off for a round of golf.  I called him a selfish prick as he walked out of our bedroom. 
He was gone all day.  Dinner with my parents and the kids was tense.  We came home watched a movie and I went to bed first again.  When he was fucking Jaymie I always went to bed first.  He stayed up and had phone sex.
Oh, Lord.  I don't like where this is going.  Nope.  Not one little BIT.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

15 Minutes of Good Advice

A member of the Healing Heart shared this today.  I had to pass it along.  As weird as it sounds, this is 15 minutes of solid advice on what to do after DDay.
Who in the hell knew you could get a great therapy session on YouTube for free!?  Granted, it truly speaks to the need in our society for all things "fast".  Go figure...getting our counseling on line.  Maybe soon, we'll be able to find support at a drive through, hopefully with fries and a shake or at the very least, an awesome Latte'.

I almost hate to admit it but this lady is straight up, spot on about infidelity!  She lays it all at the feet of the betrayers, right where it belongs!  If you want a quicky jump start to ya go.  This is a whole lotta info right on your computer screen.
Tracey Cox: Sex Talk

Lemme know what you think!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Crossing The Line

There was no way I could calm myself as I hauled ass out of the garage, leaving Richard's office in the rear view mirror.  My breath came in short gasps and my hands gripped the steering wheel so tightly my joints ached.  A few blocks away, I managed a moment of clarity and realized my state of mind was not conducive to being behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.  I pulled over and in a show of truly childish rebellion, I lit a cigarette in Richard's car.  That was a BIG no-no.  Not nearly as big a no-no as infidelity, but I knew he'd hate it, so I did it...twice.  I wanted to put the cigarette out on the passenger seat where Jaymie's boney ass had perched.  I refrained.

As I sat there, I replayed my behavior from less than 30 minutes ago.  Holy Nut-Job, Batman!  What in the hell was I thinking?  Such a repetitive sentence in this story...What was I thinking?
I chastised myself over and over the many times I crossed the line.
You know the line?  The line between, if you're telling the story, the person on the receiving end will say, "You poor thing!  I understand!" OR "You are certa-freakin-fiable!"

For a over a year after DDay, I straddled that line, wobbled back and forth over the line while hopping on one foot and juggling chainsaws.  Sometimes I landed on the side of reasonable behavior, but most times I fell right off into Crazy Town territory, ranting, raving and cussing on the way.

A few posts ago, Leaving Now for Crazy Town!, I told you that the rest of my story was more about me, all the wrong paths I took during the next year.  Writing about all the lunacy is helping me in a very important process....self-forgiveness.  Each time I crossed the line, there was some level of self-loathing.  Not always right away!  Lord knows, I can hang onto a fit of anger like a starving dog clamps down on a stew bone, but eventually, I'd get around to listening to my conscience.

After an episode of line jumping, my mind discussion usually began with the automatic initial response of "What the hell was I thinking?"  Then it went something like this:
Good Shawn thought, "I'm losing my mind.  How can I fix this?  I have to fix this!"
Bad Shawn thought:  "They ain't seen nothin' yet!"
My LINE was very grey, no black or white, no clarity.   It wasn't at all straight.  It jutted in and out, up and down like the perverbial coaster I had been riding.  The line was quite malleable.  I think it's direction fluctuated according to my measure of anger on any given day.  On the wrong side of the line, my behavior was completely unacceptable, unproductive and a bunch of other UNs I can't really think of right now.
After the office meltdown, I experienced both sides of the line.  I began to feel terrible for dragging Richard's associate, Lori, into Crazy Town, but his partner, Michelle, was still on my hit list.
I sent the following emails from work later that day.

To Lori:
Today was not about you.  It was only about Richard, Michelle and I.  I don't think you knew about Richard & Jaymie until it was too late.  At least, I don't think you had the same knowledge that Michelle had.  Michelle knew from early on.  She knew before anything really happened.   She did NOTHING!  She owes me an apology.  More than that, she needs to leave the law firm and let Richard and I have a chance at working through this.  I can't have him working with people that will simply cover his ass when he is fucking up so badly.  All she needed to do was tell him to get his act together and choose.  Be with Jaymie, if that is his choice, but stop cheating on me.  She did nothing.
PLUS...she never even apologized to me for letting it go so far.  I thought she was my friend, too.  Obviously, I was sadly mistaken.

This was never about you.  I'm sorry I let my pain and anger cause you worry.

To Michelle:
What the hell, Michelle??  You can't even face me??  Seriously??  You can't even talk to me??
Are you so ashamed of your choices regarding my cheating husband that you can't even find it in your heart to apologize to me??
All I wanted today was to tell you that I want you and Richard to part ways.  Maybe you already knew that.  If he and I have an ice cubes chance in hell of working through this, I need him to be surrounded by people that won't cover his ass when he is screwing up royally.  They need to be real friends and tell him when he's fucking up, personally or professionally.  You obviously don't fit that bill.  It's time you moved on.

Plus...if you were any kind of woman, you would want to tell me that you were so very sorry for not stepping up and trying much harder to keep Richard from making such a huge mistake.  You're not the person I thought you were.

If Mike tried something like this...wouldn't you have wanted someone to tell you??
I bet you would.
It's not to late to admit you fucked up.

How's that for riding both sides of the line!?
There were so many more incidents like this.  I'd act out, cross the line, feel bad and try to make it right.  OR...I'd act out, not get the response I wanted and then take it even further over the line with little to no regard for the damage I was doing to myself as well as anyone that found themselves anywhere near me as I tested the limits of the line.
The next person that stood too close when I jumped over the line to Crazy Town was my mom.  I'd worked so hard to keep all this from her, but on the dark side of the line I was like a wounded animal, capable of hurting pretty much anyone.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Resolve to be Happy

Happy New Year, my friends!
The key word in that greeting is...HAPPY.  All of my resolutions for 2013 revolve around being happy.  Sounds simple enough, right?  But after you've been betrayed, not so much.
After Richard's affair, it was very hard work for me to appreciate all the good in my life when I couldn't stop obsessing about the bad.
Since a year after the affair, when I began this blog and became an active member on The Healing Heart message boards, I have grown exponentially stronger with each passing day.  We all know there are some days, trigger filled, and self-pity laden, that drag you back a notch or two, but I can say with rediscovered inner strength, that those days are becoming the exception, not even close to the rule, for me on my Road to Happy and I am beyond grateful to those of you that have helped me reach this place on my journey.  It is SO much better than where I was two years ago!
I wish that all of you that have so generously joined me in this story of recovery find yourselves on the same path this year.

My resolutions this year should be to quit smoking, lay off the damn doughnuts and exercise from time to time.  Yoga maybe?
All of those things will make me healthy but not any more happy.  I mean, I really like doughnuts!
As I am ever vigilant in seeking to improve my quality of life and acutely aware of my level of joy, (If I make it sound like hard work, well...facts are facts.  Sometimes it's really freakin' hard!) I have found there are a few crucial things to remember and practice often.
Those will be the resolutions I focus on this year.  They are not numerous, but if I over load my to-do list, I doubt that will make me very happy.  :-(

1.  Make a note, mental or otherwise, of the best thing that happens to me each day.  Ask my kids to share the same with me.  If I was counting yesterday, my best thing would have been that my 15 year old son kissed me twice after wishing me a happy new year.  He hugged me, too.  Sweet.
Or...maybe since that happened after midnight it is today's happiest thing.
Oh, well, to stress about your happiest thing will NOT make it your happiest thing so try not to get all OCD about it.

2.  I will TRY to be kind to everyone, even the people that have managed to obtain my UNLISTED phone number to solicit us about life insurance just as I put dinner, that I worked very hard to prepare, on the table so I could enjoy a little time with my family.  I will not tell her she should seek other gainful employment because there is a special place in hell for people that make cold calls asking for money during the dinner hour.  I will thank her for the offer, graciously decline and bid her a good night, smiling all the while, even though she can't see me.  The smile will be for my family waiting patiently for me to begin our evening meal.
(LOL! This already makes me happy, because I just got a visual of THAT actually happening!  ROTF!  No way!  Once my son gets his plate in front of him, the count down starts!  His plate would be empty, and on a good night placed in the sink, then he'd be long gone from the table before I was even able to walk to the phone to answer it!!  Still, it's a fabulous fantasy so I WILL smile.)
Suffice it to say, in the past two years, my fuse has been shorter than I would like.  I'm gonna strive to extend it as much as possible.

And #3:  Find a way to reach out to more of you.  I don't want anyone to have to go through betrayal alone.  It's just too hard.  If it helps anyone at all, I will continue to share my story.  If any of you have ideas of how we can help each other PLEASE share.
You all have helped me.  Since you came into my life, I moved into the fast lane on the Road to Happy.
My readers provide a steady tail wind and push me along with loving thoughts and good wishes.  I hope to do the same for as many betrayed spouses (and we all know there are a shit-ton of us!) as I can.  Paying it forward will make me VERY happy!

That's it.  Notice none of my 3 resolutions require anything from Richard.  He doesn't own my happiness.  I do, 100%.
It kind of makes me happy to realize I get that now.

Sending you Hope, Hugs and a fervent wish for your Happiness in 2013!!
If you'd like to share your resolutions for the coming year, I'd sure love to read them!!