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, 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.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It's hard to pretend everything is happy in your life, just because someone is having a birthday, even dear grandpa. Family can be a big stress, even without cheating spouses.

I also think you have a bit of borderline tendencies. Don't take it personally = that is what borderline's do. You do not have borderline - you have some tendencies. LIke anything - we can all have tendencies. It's helpful to label your trauma actions - oh, it's that borderline tendency I have and then you can change it. Do some research on it. I also have recently decided I have some borderline tendencies. I am not borderline - but I have the tendencies of over reaction at any moment...not often...but when I do - watch out the yelling begins and then I'm left feeling awful and looking a fool and others not understanding...borderline tendency...then I have another one - taking things way too personally --- total borderline tendency. I have FOO issues in regards to those problems (over reaction/sensitivity) which all borderlines have = they just have a lot more specifics.

Because I now understand that I over react to things that others do not, or that I take things so personally where others would not and I have researched borderline disorder I can see the parallels and now am working towards fixing them. If I just call myself crazy at times, there is no fixing that.

If you disagree, that's fine. But maybe if you label it with some sort of tendency, then you can research it and fix it and understand it easier. You do not have the suicidal or cutting that many borderlines do - that's why you aren't borderline, that's why I'm not. But I do think you may be sensitive to a point where it gets you into trouble and then you have such deep regret because of your over reaction or sensitivities and that stems from FOO. And now you figure that over reactions or yelling just isn't working for you. Look up borderline and really read about it. There is some good books out there that many who are not borderline have been told to read by their therapists. I just found them on Amazon and Barnes. I know my ex-therapist would say I'm not borderline cuz I mentioned it before, but I do understand that I have some tendencies and that now is making all the difference.

To understand that the trauma is wrapped up not only in the betrayal, but your responses from FOO issues and the why and the how is so helpful with finally the fixing of things that have always bothered you about yourself. One good thing about betrayal trauma - it brings such reactions that flood from the past to where it is so overwhelming you just can't figure out what is going on and then you just give in and say - I'm not crazy, but I have this or that tendency - good time as any to change.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hang in there Shawn.... I feel your pain. You were justifiably at the end of your rope. Hell, I was at the end of my rope FOR you just reading what happened!!

No time to write tonight but I will weigh in mañana.

Love to you..

Stephanie C.

Jessa Olsen said...
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shawn thewife said...

Anonymous #2: If borderline tendencies means I over react under stress....check. If it means I sometimes take things too personally....check again.
But....what does it mean I'm on the borderline of??
If you're talking about Crazy Town...I've jumped the border too many times and I intend to continue moving as far away from that border as possible!
Thanks for the info, but I'm feeling like I can work through my "tendencies" without labeling them.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Angie: First, thanks for using a name! So much easier!

Your comments warmed my heart. You obviously speak from experience with deep compassion and I thank you. I depend on this blog for my "self-care". Readers, like you, are a big part of that.
When I write, I am able to find clarity in confusion, calm in turmoil and possible solutions to complicated problems. My writing helps, but my readers complete the circle of healing.
Your words, "Blind-sided by your own self" are SPOT ON! I am going to try, very hard, to be more aware of potential stressors that can send me over the borderline of Crazy Town. I don't expect I'll have the self control or the foresight to always save myself from a temporary visit, but I damn well won't stay there very long!
Thank you so much for caring enough to share your thoughts. Your comments meant a great deal to me.
I hope you're on a very smooth and gentle Road to Happy.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Stephanie C.: I was clinging to the end of my fraying rope, but that's no excuse for over reacting regardless of the justification. Life is full of stress. Some cheating husbands or troubled children, some hosting big celebrations with grandiose expectations and some just annoying, like sisters in law that are prone to negativity. That's life.
As hard as it is, I gotta maintain some sanity. At the very least, if I gotta let the monster run amok for a bit I should set it loose on the primary target. Focus on what is really bothering me and try, try, TRY to remedy the situation calmly!!
Love to hear more of your thoughts. Thanks for checking in.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Jessa Olsen: OMG!! I have so many bones to pick with you, I barely know where to start!!
Strike that. I do know. You said "maybe that is WHY Richard cheated". Girl! That will not fly here!
Men cheat because of their own issues...not issues at home. If home sucks, if your wife is a total bitch...leave! Get a divorce! Suggest therapy, whatever! There is no EXCUSE or REASON to cheat. Period.

Bone number two: I do not "Put on a Happy Face". I'm happy! I love my husband! I love my family! I love my life! I hate that my husband cheated. I love that he has worked so hard to save our marriage. There's no facade here. I'm the first one to put it out there that I still hit rough patches on my Road to Happy. Who doesn't?
You could not be more wrong about why I stayed. I write truth. I write real. Nothing fake here. Not hiding a rabbit in a hat or anything up my sleeve. As hard as it might be for you to fathom, I write truth and the truth is...My marriage is better than it has ever been.
Last bone: Richard loved the affair high because Jaymie was so young. He needed that fountain of youth and he found it between her legs. He may have enjoyed the fact that she was easy to manipulate. That suited his purposes just fine. He doesn't wish I was less controlling. I WISH I was less controlling. My life would be much easier, so I'm gonna really work on that.
Even though you are WAY off base, I appreciate your comments. Thanks for reading.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Kari said...
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Jessa Olsen said...

I love when people say, "why don't the husbands just leave?" Well hmmm let's see. Let's be as REALLLL as we can be. #1 You used your kids to make Richard feel like hell when he was in limbo to leaving. #2 You harrassed his co-workers #3 Managed to get yourself a restraining order. #4 If he left, you'd take him to the cleaners & most likely make his after life a living hell. Look @ how angry you are getting at complete strangers who are trying to help you...we see through the facade Shawn, you are clearly unhappy, clearly controlling, and yes alotta crazy. I just don't think you are a very nice person, really. You have "so many bones to pick with me?" And you are how old? My point exactly, case closed.

Anonymous said...

We never said you weren't honest when speaking to others, but are you honest when speaking to yourself? Denial is a form of dishonesty. Denial is not just a river in egypt.

shawn thewife said...

Jessa Olsen: Yikes! PLEASE don't be a "Hit & Run" commenter! Let's talk about where we disagree. You're entitled to your opinion and I sure as hell get to challenge it. That's the way debate and discussion should work. I am not angry with you. I don't know you. I merely took a very strong stance against some of the many points you addressed.

If I can't convince you that you are misjudging me, I certainly hope I can alter your perception of Richard. He is not a pussy whipped chicken-shit husband in a mouse trap! He didn't stay because of the kids. He didn't stay because of the money. He didn't stay because he thought I'd go all "Betty Broderick" on him. He stayed because he knew he fucked up! He knew he had been a truly selfish bastard. He stayed because he loves me. As you mentioned, I worked VERY hard at pushing him away. I did many horrid things. Yet, he stayed and tried everyday to help me move past the pain.
About me being nice...?? I guess that's all relative. I'm very nice to the people in my life that I care about. I try to be nice to complete strangers, too. I can be extremely NOT nice to people that mess with me or those I love. When it comes to the "Fight or Flight" instinctive thing...I've always been a FIGHT kind of girl. Does that make me NOT nice? I guess to some. But, for every person that thinks I am demon spawn on steroids, there are at least 50 others that think I'm a damn decent human being.

And you know what?? It doesn't matter anyway. I KNOW I'm a good person. I KNOW I'm basically a happy person, too. I KNOW my husband loves me. I KNOW I still have a lot of healing to do. I also KNOW my marriage is worth it.
Don't be a stranger because now you KNOW I love challenging alternative points of view.
Anytime, Sister!!
Oh...maybe you could share your history so we can see where your strong opinions come from. It might help us understand your POV better.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: I get that! I thought you meant fooling myself. Lying to myself. I get that.
But, let me assure you and any others out there reading that one of the main reasons I write this blog is to be able to REALLY take a hard, deep HONEST look at where I am, where I've been and where I still want to go.
This blog is my SANCTUM of truth and self examination. I don't write because I have nothing else to do. This blog is therapy and therefore must be written with an open heart and mind. Open to seeing all the best as well as the worst in my life. Open to all the generous thoughts shared by readers. Open to the idea of supporting others through their pain while still learning to deal with mine. AND...especially open to readers that challenge me to take long, hard looks at myself. Readers that share other outlooks and perspectives. Readers that are not traveling the same path on the Road back to Happy.
I promise you as I promise myself: This blog will be all about you and most of all...for me.
Hope & hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Kari: I'm glad you're still walking the Road to Happy with me. The journey is so much easier when we travel together!!
You are so right. I believe that even though all of our stories are unique, much of our pain is the same. Working to reconcile or leave and find a new path is the hardest thing many of us will ever do. We're bound to have a few missteps along the way. I read this quote today and I LOVE IT!:
An Optimist is a person who figures it's not a total disaster taking a step backward after taking a few steps forward. It's not a disaster at all. It's more like a Cha-Cha!
So off I go...dancing my way along the Road back to Happy!!
Thanks for the support!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...
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BS said...
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bs said...
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BS said...

To the Anonymous self annointed armchair psychologist who posted the following quote:

{"but real love takes action and somebody who is committed to making you a priority and NEVER EVER hurts you. This is the way you have to treat YOURSELF first, so get out of that dysfunctional situation of yours first of all, leave your unloving husband behind, learn how to treat yourself well and avoid toxic people and then find someone who adores you and would never hurt you. THIS is the true road to happy."}

Well, Anonymous and interested in psychology, here's my two cents

You may be INTERESTED in psychology but if you understood the psychology of human relationships you would know that your above statement is not speaking from the perspective of someone who understands human psychology.

Humans hurt each other. Humans hurt people they love......they do it often and all the time. It's human nature to "hurt the one you love"

A true student of psychology would be most interested in understanding ways to mend damaged relationships rather than doing the cowardly thing of cutting and running when things get tough in a relationship.

Keeping a marriage together long term takes work. It doesn't just HAPPEN.

As they say: To err is human to forgive is divine."

Any true student of psychology would understand that NO MARRIAGE IS EVER GONNA' BE PERFECT. NORMAL person of average intellect ADORES someone 24/7. It doesn't even take above average intellect to realize that it's humanly impossible to ADORE someone 24/7.

A true student of psychology knows that humans are perfectly imperfect.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, just keep selling yourself short...
Just keep running after some guy who jumped on the first young woman he could get. Just keep trying to fix things with a man probably everyone at work thinks is a d****. Your guy has serious issues and you make such a big deal of it, going to counselling, writing blogs, for a person who gives you crumbs. For a person who uses women, who used the feelings of another woman to numb his reality and who didn't care about your feelings at all doing so. Not a real man. Just keep doing so but please don't be confused why you - underneath it all - somehow always feel so angry and frustrated.

BS said...

Anonymous you must be responding to my posts, not Shawn's.

I should take the advice I gave to Shawn and ignore you, but I am having too much darned fun.

Anonymous said: "Yeah, just keep selling yourself short...
Just keep running after some guy who jumped on the first young woman he could get. Just keep trying to fix things with a man probably everyone at work thinks is a d****"

Anonymous angry person....So So Sorry you sold yourself short by getting involved with a married person.

Affair partners, men or women, are just like big blow dolls or purple dildos.

They are just the stuff of a married person's fantasies......a tool, a toy, a condom......something to be used and discarded.... nothing more.

Now you know for next time.

BTW: As Shawn has mentioned about her husband, my husband also treats me far better now than he did prior to the affair.

I guess almost losing the person you really love can change a person.

I sometimes think I like my marriage now post affair better than pre affair.

I have thought about calling the outsider to thank her, but then I realize that she would be too dim to get the point. ;)

Anonymous said...

Nope, never been the other woman. I would never do this to anyone and I also wouldn't want to be with a cheater. I got cheated on myself, though.
But it's scary how aggressive you are and how you devalue people. Everyone of us is a child of god and never even close to a thing like a "condom".

Linda said...

Another thought... the reason I read up on affairs is because a married guy approached me at work. But I turned him down, before you start insulting me. I really really liked him (at first, but now that he tried to start an affair with me I actually almost hate him because I saw his true colors). I was shocked because I thought how can a person that creative and sensitive - which he is - be that cruel and deceitful at the same time. He truly has a dark and twisted side. And I started wondering... who are these women that put up with it? That brought me here.
Before you keep getting angry at me, consider this: I turned this guy down, although I had a crush on him. I turned him down, because I thought of his wife. I was the only person between the two of us who considered her feelings. I was on her team and on his baby's. He wanted to take me out, he told me he had fallen in love with me. He told me she was horrible to him.
I got so repulsed by him because he threw her under the bus. They have a small child together!!!! He married her for a reason!!! Now I don't even talk to him any longer because of that ugly side he has shown me. He still tries to talk to me all the time and that makes it even sadder.
But no worries, I don't expect any kudos for "resisting" a married man, it wasn't just because of his wife. It was also because a guy who wants to make me his affair partner isn't worthy of my love.
Enough of me now, though. I just can't understand why women stay with men who have SUCH a dark side which probably takes decades of healing when there are the sweetest guys out there, it just takes some time till they come around ;) (but just met someone and would I have been open if I had stuck with such a selfish idiot?).

BS said...

anonymous aka Linda.

BS here --- I am not sure for sure if Linda and anonymous are one and the same.

If you are then, so, you did have a run in with a married man that hurt you in some way.

But, to clarify. I am not angry at you. I am amused by your comments.

Yes. We are all children of God and we all deserve at least one second chance.

It appears you are devaluing a married person who makes a mistake by succumbing to an affair.

But what does that have to do with my comment that most married people looking for illicit affairs, eventually discard their partners like used condoms or titilating sex toys.

I didn't say the affair partner is a used condom, just a person discarded like one.

Sometimes the affair partner presents themselves as a no strings sex toy and then gets annoyed when someone takes their offer.

Also, hate is a very strong word and devalues the person you are hating.

It's also a strong emotion reserved typically for those who are important to you in some way.

I don't even hate the outsider in my husband's affair. I pity her. She was so sad and delusional. Mainly she was deluding herself by claiming she wanted only an affair.

So dig deeper and ask yourself why you are hating and devaluing this married man whom you say simply approached you for an affair.

I have been many times approached by married men looking for affairs. I don't hate them, I rarely think about them. I certainly don't care enough to hate them.

I simply said "no" and moved on.

BTW: You claim you are on the wife's team but yet you DEVALUE her by ridiculing her generosity and capacity to forgive her husbands transgression.

You say you had a crush on him. Are you then totally innocent?

Did you not perhaps flirt and present yourself as open to a possible affair.

Are you only upset because ALL HE WANTED WAS AN AFFAIR, rather than to dump his wife and kids and run off with you.

You see, I am in the unique position of having read all the emails and texts that passed between my husband and the outsider.

My husband took full responsibility and did not blame her, but I saw who the true aggressor was and exactly HOW aggressive she was.

I also saw how she was so misleading claiming initially that ALL SHE WANTED WAS AN AFFAIR. But then she wanted more and she became a competitive stalker.

Yet she too was enraged when my husband dumped her. She is still stalking both of us.

She is in denial about her aggressive part in the affair scenario.

Like I said: Sorry you got involved with a married man.

A crush is involving yourself. A crush signals interest, whether YOU WANT TO believe that about yourself or not.

If you are all too willing to devalue the so named "cheater" than you must be willing to also see your own part in the interaction.

Also, why are you still thinking about him, if he disgusts you.

I never think about people that disgust me.

What a waste of energy.

TryingHard said...

One never knows when the trigger will hit and back to "Crazy Town" we go. I'm sorry all your planning and the party didn't go as you had hoped. I've been there. Just when you think it's safe. Personally I have a hard time being social since DDay and I sure can't be at a party. I think we do probably wear our hearts on our sleeves and are sensitive to other's words. Especially family. Oh yeah I can't be around too much extended family either ie sisters, MIL/FIL. I think we like to believe we aren't in Crazy Town anymore but that's just denial. We aren't fooling anyone but ourselves. All that said don't be so hard on yourself. Hugs to you

shawn thewife said...

TryingHard: Seriously...I did NOT see it coming! I'm still not sure I'm ready to blame my bad behavior on residual affair anger. At this point, I feel I need to own the meltdown regardless of the reason and start anticipating situations that might take place in or around Crazy Town....then, I can steer clear!
I'm trying not to be hard on myself but I'm fairly certain I did some permanent family damage. I've tried doing some repair work this week and it hasn't gone well.
Thanks for the hugs!
Hope & Hugs back, Shawn

KC Gents said...

I love what some of the commenters are saying about loving yourself enough to leave if you need to. For a lot of betrayed spouses, staying is about control and that is no way to live. I agree with the post that said some of you are selling yourself short. Some of you are and you look pathetic in the process which & then you wonder why you don't get respect by fellow bloggers, readers and drive bys. For those of you to weak & controlling to don't have to live in permanant crazy town, many have done it with nothing, start saving your money, put on your bitch boots & go. You will be teaching your children HUGE lessons that may come handy later in their life.

shawn thewife said...

KC Gents: Some of us look "Pathetic"?? Really? Wow. Not so generous with compassion and understanding, huh?

You were vague about just which one of us is "pathetic", "weak" and "controlling". I'll give you that, but seriously?? If you are trying to encourage somebody to hear and appreciate your view point, you have got to work on those social skills, Sweetie!

If you're referring to me...Controlling?? Yeah. Guilty. But weak and pathetic?? So not how I roll!

If you wanna share your story so we can try to comprehend why you think as you do, I'm sure we'd all be happy to hear it.
Until then...Hope & Hugs, Shawn