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.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Demanding Attention

Geek boy Kevin was done with me, but still he sent this:
Sigh...Shawn, I worry about you. I said I wouldn't respond, but after this popped up I felt I had to say something out of concern for your mental health. If you push forward with your undying need for attention, then so be it.
So thoughtful!  Worried about me!  I had to pause and soak that in while I contemplated the last line...WAS I seeking attention??  Until now, I thought I was seeking information.  My Crazy Town visitation was all about an expedition for clarification.  I needed to know what really happened between Richard and Jaymie.  I needed the emails!  All of them!  Not just the PG rated ones...I wanted the deep, down dirty ones, too!  I couldn't begin to heal without full disclosure...Right??

However, I had to consider, maybe Geek Boy Kevin had a point.

I was using the same type of thinking and rationalizing that Richard used when he was cheating.  He justified his behavior just as I was justifying mine.  He thought he deserved a mistress.  Lots of hard working, successful men had a little something on the side.  He wouldn't be hurting anyone.  What could happen if he shared some time with a 24 year old co-ed with daddy issues?  Who could care?  
Self serving much??

My thinking was nearly as selfish.  I deserved to know everything about Richard's time with Jaymie.  Jaymie owed me the emails!  I was completely justified in taking down a few innocents in my pursuit of the truth.  If anyone was to blame for the additional collateral damage, it was Jaymie.  If she would just talk to me, send me the rest of the emails, answer the hundreds of tormenting questions eating away at my cerebellum, I'd relent.  She and those close to her could go along their merry little ways without fear of hearing from me ever again.  

Crap... Geek Boy Kevin kind of hit a nerve.  For a moment there, I had more than a little self doubt about my true intentions.  In my cloudy mind I was screaming, "You will look at me!  You will see what you've done!" I needed to show her how much she fucked up my life.  I demanded her attention to be certain that she felt the devastation she hath wrought, let her know her choices had some horrendous consequences.  Maybe it was more about sharing my pain than searching for answers...a whole lot more.

Today I can tell you in no uncertain terms it was all of the above....and none of it at the same time.  
It doesn't matter WHY I ventured all around Crazy Town the first year after DDay.  For the sake of my recovery and to help those of you still trying to find a place to begin to heal, the only thing that I need to share in BIG letters is:  STAY AWAY FROM THE AFFAIR PARTNER!  You can not find a path back to the Road to Happy anywhere near her sorry ass!

I punished Richard in the same way I lashed out at Jaymie.  I reached out, far and wide and up close and personal to those we loved sharing all our drama and anguish just to make Richard suffer as I was suffering.  Used people I care about in a totally selfish way to strike at Richard's heart, cut him to the quick.  That, my friends, is no better than Richard's narcissistic behavior during the affair.  It took me a long damn time to admit that to myself.
I can't take any of it back, but I sure as hell hope I can save a few of you from making the same grievous errors.  

My next victim was Geek Boy Kevin's dad.  Absurd, right?  I know that now, and I willingly accept any and all comments chastising me for my lack of self control.  I called the poor man and let him know his son was dating a moronic, gullible dip stick with no moral compass.  I advised him to talk some sense into his boy.  He actually said to me, "I thought she was no good."  
Whoo Hoo!  Additional affirmation (rationalization) that I was doing the right thing!  

I had to let Geek Boy Kevin know that his father was concerned.  I sent this:
I know you don't want to hear anymore about Jaymie.  You can't see the forest for the trees, but your dad can.
Spoke with him.  For a man that you said has little to no concern for you, he certainly seemed to care a great deal about your relationship with someone like her.  
The more people that know about the REAL Jaymie, the harder it will be for her to ever destroy another family.
That works for me.

I sent Kevin and Jaymie texts, emails and left voice mails at least a couple of times each and every week.  I was staying for much longer periods of time in Crazy Town and until I accomplished my goal, whatever in the hell that actually was, I would keep pushing the Crazy Envelope down their throats.  
I have been dreading telling you all what I did next.  It is so beyond Crazy Town.  I was beginning to live exclusively in Vindictive Village and it was a very ugly place.  My attention seeking took on a more threatening tone.  It was kind of like...if I don't get the emails, then I'm gonna --  insert idle threat here.   
There was definitely something to Geek Boy Kevin's attention seeking theory.  
I was very tired of being ignored.  
As I neared the edge of permanent residence in Vindictive Village, I sent this to Geek Boy Kevin:
Let her know I'm not a patient woman, but I have nothing but time. Time for church, time for meeting lots of new friends of friends and time to share my story with as many people as possible.  I'd rather talk to her, but I'm OK with bringing lots of newbies into the loop if that is the way she wants to go.
Must say that Richard is not happy with my idea, but that makes it even better.
Looking forward to a phone call or church, whichever comes first.
Sorry you have to be the messenger boy.
If that is unclear, let me elaborate...I was planning on going to Jaymie's family church. 
Yep...that's right.  If I didn't hear from Jaymie soon, I was gonna put on my Sunday best and go to services at the Baptist Church in Lemon Grove.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rockin' the Boat

This post is more than a little self indulgent, excessively long, discombobulated and I apologize in advance.
My intent was for this next post to be about my continued pursuit of making Jaymie's life suck hard.  I am ready to put it out there.  You think my behavior was bad up until now, you're right, but it got worse.  I wanna confess my sins.  Get it over with already!

BUT (I swear there is always a BUT!) My last post feels unfinished.  The little eye opener in the garage and the comments from all of you regarding the incident, has got me rolling in turbulent water.  I'm gonna reach for the "Rocking Boat" metaphor because of a recent post from  Rescuing my Marriage.  The post was called Patching the Life Raft.  It spoke to me on so many levels.  For one, she writes about needing to talk about the affair, share the misery with the masses just to lighten the load in a sinking ship.  This is one of those times for me.  Since Richard's early morning apology, my blissful boat is rocking in mild swells with a few intermittent rogue waves thrown into the mix, keeping me ever vigilant, just waiting for my marriage to spring a major leak.

I know you want me to finish the Crazy Town story of a Year after the Affair and I will!  I'm no quitter!  (Probably one of the main reasons why I'm still married.  Quitting is failure in my eyes.  I relate best to Toughie Pants, remember?)  I just need to utilize this pseudo soap box for my own selfish purposes right now.  My dinghy is rocking and taking on water.  I need help bailing!

Affair recovery is not for the weak at heart or of stomach.  We all know the Roller Coaster from Hell metaphor.  That sucker required lots of anti-nausea medication! (not to mention Xanax and wine)
That image works perfectly for describing my first year out.
The rocking boat better portrays how I envision forever after DDay.  My mind's eye beholds a little skiff with two slat boards benches.  (Picture the boat in Life of Pi and shrink it by half) On one of the splintery boards sits Richard and I occupy the second.  When we lean toward each other with love and in the true spirit of healing, the little dinghy seems adequately safe and buoyant as it drifts along in a peaceful ocean.
That's how it's been (mostly) for months.  Since the recent reveal of the additional regret, our stability in the marital waters has faltered.  It's not drastic, mind you, but it's disconcerting.

Most of you wonderful readers have not traveled as far on the Road to Happy as I have.  By your emails and comments, I have come to realize that you relate more to my past story than present dilemmas.
However, you possess very large, open hearts and even if you're not familiar with the turbulent waters I'm about to describe, I know you'll have sage, valuable advice.

You know I was mildly freaked out by the "I'm Sorry".  You also know I asked Richard about it and his explanation was less than enlightening.  "I just felt like saying it."  Seriously, for a lawyer, he's not the most articulate guy when discussing infidelity trauma.
He doesn't explain himself because he hates talking about he affair.  Most betrayers don't want to look that closely at the damage they caused.  I know that.  I get that.  But, when a big wave slaps the side of the boat, I feel the need to stand up and shift my weight...back and forth....really stir it up.  The tempest in rough seas.  Sheesh!  Your comments in my previous post told me not to make a big deal out of the spontaneous apology.  I didn't...with Richard.  My busy brain however is an entirely different story!

Richard called me at work last Friday.  Said he was getting off early and wanted to come by for a drink.  (Love that I have an awesome bar with fabulous margaritas right in front of my store!!) I hesitated.  At work, I don't think about the affair, but Richard calls, and on this day, I think of nothing else!  CRAP!  I guess my pause was longer than it should of been.  Richard said, "What's the problem?  You don't want me to come?"
I couldn't recover from my mental constipation quick enough, ", that's not it...I'm...uh..."
Richard got tired of waiting for me to shit or get off the pot.  "Whatever.  I wanna drink.  I'm coming.  You can join me if you want."
Feel the boat wobble, pitch and roll?
When he got there, I had intended to sit my ass down and quit rocking the damn boat!  I was gonna walk right up to him with a smile, a hug and a kiss.  I did that, then I pulled down his shirt that was riding up and began brushing the dandruff off his shoulders.
He looked right in my eyes, and almost snarled, "Don't fix me.  I'm fine.  You don't need to fix me."  Whoa!  Richard was doing an Irish jig in our bobbing boat and it almost threw me over the side!  I backed off quickly as my eyes welled up.

I haven't been very touchy-feely since then.  For me, when the waters become choppy, I pull back.  Richard needs touchy-feely.  He needs to be wanted, desirable.
When I pull back, he gets sullen.  That pisses me off because I want to be able to have a private moment from time to time in our little boat when I need to without worrying about him feeling all sorry for himself.  Is that too much to ask??

Suffice it to say, the last week has been a challenge for an amateur sailor,  like myself.
Here's what I consider to be the looming tsunami....Will I be on hyper alert for stormy seas for the rest of our marriage??  All couples rock their boats from time to time, right?  Why does any unkind word or a couple of days with less affection than normal cause the sour bile of sea sickness to rise up in my throat?  Am I still afraid our marriage might capsize?

I'm in this trip for the long haul, but I don't wanna live in unsettled seas.  The effort is exhausting!  I can't let every tiny change in the weather agitate our vessel.  I need to find a way to navigate around the nasty weather so our little love boat can drift along tranquilly.
Time to call on my readers, my Coast Guard me stop rockin' the damn boat!