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.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Layers

I've been writing since 12/11.  If you've been a loyal reader, you are well aware of my post trauma transformation from strong, trusting, independent wife and mother into Royal Bitch, Lovelorn Lucy, Toughie Pants and Debbie Downer, to name a few of my new persona's.  Actually, if you've only read one or two posts you're probably well versed in the aftermath of my DDay, which really wasn't unlike most DDays...just the worst fucking day ever.

My story is nearly at an end, at least as far as my time in Crazy Town is concerned.  Before I type "The End", I wanna do my level best to dig deep into my crooked thinking.  I need to be done with it.  There's been substantial self analyzing to date on these virtual pages, but I feel there's more.  I may not have the writing skills or even the insight needed to break through the many layers that held my sanity hostage over those 365 days, but I'm gonna wing it anyway.

It might be a bit late for being overtly self indulgent with the details.  Some of the Haters out there may have me pegged.  I like to talk about me!  Yep, maybe I'm just as narcissistic as Richard.  You shouldn't continue reading now if you feel I'm kicking a very dead, smelly horse.  If you aren't interested in a post that could turn out to be more of the same shit, different day, at this point you should just be off like a prom dress.
I'll be finishing the story of my time in Crazy Town soon.  Please come back to enjoy the nightmare of the Retraining Order.
Now, with that warning proclaimed....

A whole miserable year had passed.  In the beginning I thought I'd be over it in a month.  Always believed there was nothing I couldn't fix.  I was the strong one.  The smart one.  If it was God that had chosen infidelity to teach me I wasn't as strong or smart as I thought....He has a real mean streak.  If it was Karma that drove the cheating husband bus over me...What in the hell did I do to deserve that??  Damn.  I must have really been nasty in a past life, maybe I was a puppy drowning pedophile.
After an entire year of thinking about the affair and very little else, why couldn't I wrap my brain around it and move on??

I think I get it now.
Here's where the layers of crazy come in.

On the surface Denial. Probably not fair to label this layer as crazy.  It was more like a layer of protection, my personal mental armor.  My sub-conscience didn't think I was capable of handling wretched reality.  I had yet to face the hard fact that there was no one to blame for my torment but Richard.  I loved him completely.   Never doubted his love for me, not for a minute.  My mind could not/would not open the door to the fact that he could injure me so deeply, so permanently, so deliberately.

Just below that layer was Transference.  Very convenient.  A real necessity when you are navigating Crazy Town.  I spread my lunacy all over the place but concentrated my efforts on Jaymie, usually under the guise of needing the emails to help me heal or declaring my absolute certainty that getting her to talk to me would be the only way I would ever be able to move past the anguish.  Jaymie never knew it, but in the altered reality of transference, she was the guardian of my heart for the first year after DDay.  She was like a decoy attracting my attention so I wouldn't notice who really broke me.

I hid Anger under my Transference.  I didn't always hide it well, but I thought I did a rather admirable job of camouflaging it most of the time.  I hailed the emails as the Holy Grail of my recovery.  It is hard to describe how I could be so sure I needed those emails, yet also know they were merely a ruse I utilized to lash out at Jaymie, the Bitch Whore.  My hate for her had unlimited bounds.  Imagine what could have happened had I unleashed that much animosity at Richard?!  There was a very thin, precarious line between my rage and the possibility of a blackness filled breakdown from which I believed I may never recover.  This layer, the one where Royal Bitch ruled, granted Richard a temporary pass. The mass majority of my scorn was directed or maybe the accurate word is deflected, toward Jaymie.
Maybe I'll thank her one day.
Yea, right!!  I'll be able to skate right on over to Spring Valley to thank her because then all hell will have frozen over!!

In the depths of my soul, was the layer I couldn't reach.  Every now and again it would attempt to surface, try to burst through a crack or two between transference and anger.  Almost daily a tiny bit seeped through my layer of Denial protection but only when I was at my most vulnerable, usually after I'd been shot down in another attempt to contact Jaymie.   This layer had to dwell at the bottom because there would have been no real life functioning for this girl if it floated to the top.  Buried so far down inside was Sorrow and total Despair.

I just had to take a very deep cleansing breath after I typed that sentence.  Whoa.  Sorrow still fills me with dread.
I think I had another layer.  Abject terror.  Terror was the thin coating around Sorrow and Despair.  Why in the hell was I so afraid to feel the heartache, to allow myself to grieve?
Unfamiliar emotions are scary as shit, that's why!!

All those layers served a valuable purpose.  The layers bought me time.  Time to find the support I really needed all along, the members of The Healing Heart.  Time to let the initial wound heal a bit.   Time to find my inner strength, not just my Toughie Pants, my personal courage, so I could begin to accept what Richard did to me, to us.

Explaining the layers to you as I clarify them for myself may help some one out there reading to understand this:
There is no set time for healing after DDay.  It's a long haul, but healing does happen.  Recovery comes in many forms.  Eventually, you're gonna peel back all the layers and find a resilient new you.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I've Been Thinking

Since my last post I've been thinking (dangerous precedent, I know) about all I've been through to reconcile with Richard.  Many of my readers are quite adamant that I wear blinders where Richard is concerned.  They argue that I paint the speed bumps on my Road to Happy with a thick sugar coating and on the rare occasion when I do manage to take off the blinders, I view the journey ahead with rose colored glasses once worn by Polly Anna.
They question how much will I endure to continue living with the man that they see as nothing more than a serial cheater waiting, perhaps not so patiently, for his next conquest opportunity.  Those that comment in a less than supportive fashion see me as weak and ignorant, too scared to leave and be on my own, willing to live half a life.

Do I give their accusations any credit?  Do I pause and consider their opinions?  Do their anonymous words on a very public blog hold any weight at all?
Like I said...I've been thinking.

Here's what I came up with, so listen up Haters and Judgmental Trolls out there in the Blog-o-sphere!  Since DDay, I have gained so much more than I lost.  
Hard to fathom?  Need convincing?  I'll try to spell it out for you.

I've been thinking that the only thing I lost that still hurts 3 years later is trust.  I liked the me that was so completely sure of my husband keeping himself only for me as long as we live.  That was an easy, breezy married state of mind.  I miss it.  I mourn the loss of it.
That's one for the LOSS column, but other than trust, what did I really LOSE?
I'm sure there are a few trolls that can't wait to start typing an extensive list of what they think I lost.

As I continued thinking, I moved on from the LOSS of trust and began pondering how much I've GAINED, starting with an attitude of gratitude.  Richard and I came so close to LOSING each other.  I dare to say it was like a near death experience.  Once you come that close to ending life as you have known it, you learn to appreciate what was so nearly LOST.  You appreciate it.  You are thankful for it.  You cherish it.  You care for it more deeply.
Chalk a big one up in the GAINED column.

I've been thinking about our sex life. That Hysterical Bonding stuff sure helped us out in the bedroom!  After over 30 years together, we act like teenagers!  We've GAINED a whole lot of passion since DDay.  We've GAINED increased intimacy in so many ways.  We hold hands.  We cuddle in the morning. We send texts just to say hope you're having a good day.  Simple, sappy shit that I thought I didn't really care about.  I cared.  We both cared.  We just forgot.

I've even been thinking about thinking.
Since DDay, if Richard and I think about it, we talk about it.  Richard is still a work in progress, but thanks to the lovely Dr. K, he's getting back on the right track.  We have GAINED a wide open line of communication.  Nothing is off limits.  If something bothers me, I tell Richard.  He is so much better at listening to what I need than telling me what he needs.  I am grateful he wants to please me so much.  I am hopeful he will allow me to give him what he needs as well.

Let's see...that's 3 Gains to 1 Loss.  Have I sufficiently made my point?  I'm sure other GAINS and LOSSES will be discussed in the comments.  That's a good thing.  Another GAIN, if you will.
My new found compassion for others in pain is a true blessing in my life.  I get so much more than I give writing this blog.  I received such over whelming support when I found the Healing Heart and only hope I can give back some of the same.  I was such a hard ass before DDay.  Suck it up.  Shake it off.  Don't be a freaking whiner!!  I've GAINED empathy, patience and a much more open mind.

This post seems to be getting a tad too long, but I'll add this:

I've been thinking about the LOSS of trust and then I thought about it some more.  Even though I will never trust Richard again in the same open hearted way, is that a reason to leave him??  I'm too smart (or jaded, if you prefer) to trust anyone so completely ever again.  If I had chosen to leave my marriage and move on with another, I'd still have LOST the trust.  I'm not gonna get it back just by throwing 30 years with Richard to the curb.  I LOST trust, but I've GAINED instinct, a very intuitive gut that will serve me well for the rest of my days, not just in my marriage, but with my kids, my friends, my co-workers and strangers.

Don't think I don't know what some of the Haters are thinking!!
WOW!  Goodie for Shawn!  She GAINED so much because her wayward, serial cheater husband can't keep it in his pants!
Do I think and wish with all my heart Richard and I would've GAINED all of the above without him cheating?  Do I really need to answer that??
Think about it....