Wednesday, April 10, 2013
After DDay: Finding a Helpful Needle in an Information Haystack
Was there a best friend that cheered you on while you screeched and roared and ripped your cheating spouse a big, fat new one? Maybe you had another friend, a kind neighbor or a sister that stocked you up with extra large boxes of fluffy Kleenex and held your hand during the many lengthy crying jags that left your eyes red, achy and swollen. I'm sure there are a few of you that had to manage the mountain of emotional upheaval all on your lonesome. I think that's the worst place to be.
Of course, some of us were blessed with the resources to visit trained therapists and counselors. With at least a $50 co-pay, they give you their undivided attention for 50 minutes. But, picking out a good one is a crap-shoot at best and you can't schedule every meltdown to coincide with a counseling appointment, can you? You're gonna need someone else when the going gets extra tough.
How about the Internet? Did any of you reach into cyberspace for support straight away? Was it easier to ask your multitude of questions to faceless strangers? I would think that might be the most popular way to go. Too bad I didn't consider it until over a year after DDay. If I'd found the Healing Heart online support forum sooner, this blog would surely have a much different tone. Jaymie would certainly have been a much smaller character in my story.
Oh, well...Would've, should've, could've...not productive.
There are so damn many web sites, blogs, messages boards and articles dealing with infidelity online. Sites for the betrayed that choose to reconcile, for the betrayed that choose divorce, for the cheating sex addict, the cheater in mid-life crisis, the cheater that has no fucking idea why he cheated and for the affair partners. (I guess even they deserve a little help.) It is the proverbial needle in a virtual haystack. Information over-load! Trying to find a place that speaks to you during your darkest days, a person or place to reach out and hug you, literally or figuratively, should not be so elusive.
Together, we can provide a guide to much needed advice, compassion and understanding.
This post is about sharing where we found the most comfort after DDay, what worked, what felt right or what was a huge time suck and a massive waste of energy. Who did you go to when you didn't trust your own judgment? Do you wish you hadn't opened up with the most delicate, heart wrenching details of your life to anyone or on any forum? Is there any place or person you think we should avoid?
Let's compile a list. Don't know what I'll do with it, but who knows? I might try to publish this shit for real one day and a quality list of where to run after DDay would make such a great chapter, right?
I wish I hadn't told my mom. Even though my dad cheated on her, she couldn't help me. I had never realized previously that she has quite the archaic view of Husband/Wife relationships. The thought of leaving a marriage because of infidelity was never an option for her.
I wish Richard hadn't told my dad. Richard thought because my dad was a betrayer, he could share wisdom about how to heal a marriage after DDay. I think Mom & Dad's healing process involved a broom, the rug and some serious sweeping.
More than anything, I wish I had never involved my kids on that very first night. That's not really the same thing...telling the kids, I mean. I didn't go to them for support. I used them to hurt Richard, but I felt the need to throw that out there as long as we're discussing who to tell or not.
There are so many people I wish I didn't tell! Why list them all?? Following that line to reach the desired information will turn this into a two part post...forget it.
Let's go this route...
Here's who I told that helped me....My best friend and business partner, Nikki. I'm with her nearly everyday. When I holed up at home in my bathrobe for a week, curled in a fetal position, she would have been the first to notice my absence. And, my dearest friend, Julie. She's known Richard and I for 25 years. There would be no hiding the drama from her! I called both of them before I even called Richard to confront him. I knew they would have my back and my front no matter what. Most people wouldn't want to be around someone that lived in Crazy Town for so long, but Nikki & Julie never bailed.
Best friends are the bomb.
I could've stopped right there if all I needed was someone to hold my hand and wipe my dripping nose while I sobbed or to make me a perfect martini while I raged and agree with every derogatory thing I said about my liar of a husband and his two-bit, white trash baby whore, but I needed more.
I had the lovely Dr. K to help me understand I shouldn't throw Richard to the curb for at least a few months. I needed Dr. N and his bag of mind-meds to help me function as a mom and a business woman. Both served a purpose, but, as you all know....I was stuck in Crazy Town for over a year after DDay. I was barely getting by. I didn't know it yet, but I needed to surround myself with other betrayed wives! Only they could help me.
When I finally turned to my computer for solace, that when the healing started. This blog lead me to many online forums. Some were wickedly judgmental and way too scary even for a truly opinionated bitch like me! Surviving Infidelity and the Healing Heart were the two that taught me more in a week than I had learned from anyone else in a year. I read for hours!! Surviving Infidelity was too big to navigate for someone with very limited computer skills. I didn't last long there, but the Healing Heart became my salvation.
A few months later, I began to realize there are legions of us blogging about our heartache! I'll spare listing the ones that were annoying, badly written or nothing but whine fests. I've listed the blogs that touched me most here on my homepage. I hope you will take a moment and visit each of them. You won't regret investing the time.
I'm not saying we can shorten the Road back to Happy for everyone. I just hope we can draw a clear map that shows how we found our way.
So, come on! Help me out! Who or what was your helpful needle in the information haystack?
PS....for those of you that dislike when I veer from the story of my time spent in Crazy Town, here's a little preview of what's to come....Jaymie's Facebook page introduced me to Kevin, her new boyfriend.
Suffice it to say: I was bored with James. Kevin was fresh meat.