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.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thank you, Maya Angelou

In case you live in a cave, or a remote village with no cable or Internet access or you actually have a relatively normal busy life that allows for little attention to be paid to any news channel, radio or television, here's a not so new News Flash...Maya Angelou passed away.  If you are not a fan of poetry or authors that write to inspire all of us to a higher calling, you may not know her.

I was never a fan in the truest sense of the word.  I admit, what little I knew of Ms. Angelou was because of Oprah.  I just never paid a great deal of attention to all she had to share.  She seemed lovely, kind, caring and capable of influencing some very powerful people.  I had never read any of her essays or autobiographies before, but since she passed yesterday, I have heard and read many of her most memorable quotes.
This one stood WAY out from the pack.

"I can be changed by what happens to me. 
But I refuse to be reduced by it."
Maya Angelou

Thank you, Maya Angelou!  Those two short sentences speak encyclopedia sized volumes to me!  If only I had just a small fraction of her command of the English language!  To be so motivational, I would need a large infusion of her introspective brain function, as well.  If I had been so blessed, maybe I could have shared something this empowering with you before today.  I could have learned to live by this credo before now.

We are ALL changed by infidelity.  All of us.  The betrayed, the cheaters, the affair partners.  
In so many ways we will be altered forever.  BUT...we do NOT have to let the havoc and devastation "reduce" us.  No way.  We MUST refuse to let the woeful unfaithfulness render us "less" than we have always been.

In fact, my hope and ultimate goal is to rise above the duplicity, the deception, the wrongfulness and the bitterness to become substantially more than I was before DDay.  I want US, Richard and I and all of you to do much more than endure.  We can INSIST that we grow into caring spouses and friends that are enhanced by the pain instead of diminished by it.

In very simple words that come much easier to me...Adultery sucks.  It kicked my ass and rocked my world and changed me in many ways, but it will NOT drag me down forever.  I won't allow it!  I intend to rise above it.  Join me, won't you?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Time to Lawyer Up

Each word I read of Jaymie's statement in the restraining order subpoena was another step backward, deeper into Crazy Town.  Any of the meager progress I'd made traveling out of that God forsaken hell hole was nearly lost.  I say "nearly" because I had an ace in that hole...the good people of the Healing Heart.  I don't think I went to them for help when I first received the order to appear in court.  Wish I had.  Yeah, whatever!  If wishes and buts were candy and nuts my cheating husband would have kept it in his pants and I wouldn't be writing this blog!  Blah....

Anyway, my anger level was peaking as I read how she felt like such a victim.   Her life was so disrupted by my intrusions!  PLEASE!  She'd noted that she had an affair with my husband.  That was the way she put it.  "A year ago I had an affair with Shawn's husband."  The rest was all about my "harassment" of her and her family.  Most of it was true.  Some of it wasn't.  Didn't matter.  I wanted to make her eat every word and the paper it was printed on.

I needed a lawyer and NOT the one I was married to.  I wanted a shark.  Someone that would help me take down Jaymie like the doomed swimmer chick at the beginning of 'Jaws'.  (I'm loving that visual!) Asked Richard who I should call and he suggested 'D' the law partner of banished best friend, Marc.  'D' isn't just Marc's partner.  He is also a very old and dear friend of ours, because of that I chose to use only his first initial in this post.  I say "our friend" but more accurately I mean Richard's.  We knew 'D' way before Marc, but it's a boy's club, I tell ya.  They are only friendly with the wives if there is no need to cover the man's rear end.

In my mind's eye, I saw myself in court, facing Jaymie, all lawyered up and supremely intimidating.  I'd get my chance to speak and my voice would make her ears bleed.  This is what I had wanted for a year.  This is why I "harassed" her and her family.  She would have to sit there while Geek Boy Kevin, Daddy James and maybe even her Mama listened to me wax eloquent about the times she got naked with my husband, the places she slept with him and even the time she begged him to leave me and our kids.  They would learn of all the lies she told to be with him in secret and how she was tossed aside like a used condom when I found out.
I was thinking I could chalk a big one up in my win column.

Did Richard really want me to drag 'D' into this?  I tried to reason with him that he was running out of friends.  Maybe we should use a stranger.  I planned to spill it all.  Keeping it as anonymous as possible seemed to be the responsible and reasonable thing to do.  (the fact that I had any reasonable thoughts at that time is surprising, right?)  He felt like 'D' would take the best care of me. That's how he put it.  He explained that a restraining order was not a little thing to be dismissed.  This was very serious and he wanted a friend to have my back.
I said OK.  He's the lawyer.  Gotta trust his gut when heading to court.

He gave 'D' a call and set up an appointment for me.  I think I saw him the next day.  I went to his office and of course, Marc was there.  I didn't even look at him.  Walked straight to 'D's office and sat with my back to the door.  I was grateful for the positioning.  'D's desk faced out to the hall, straight toward Marc's office and both walls were all glass.  Staring out at Marc while I told 'D' the horrific story would have been too much.  I was all TOO MUCH, but that might have sent me running for another attorney in a hurry.

'D' let me tell him about the past year and how I couldn't wait to share it all in court.  He seemed like a good listener, but I think he was manipulating me, or at least trying to.  He really thought if he let me bad mouth Richard and Jaymie in the privacy of his office I'd get it out of my system and he could talk me into a gentler way of dealing with the mess I'd created.
I found out later that's how he saw it.  This was MY mess.  He thought Richard should be running for the hills because I was a nut job.

He tried to convince me that I was talking about ruining Richard reputation.  That open court wasn't a place to air dirty laundry.  He told me I might not even get a chance to speak.  I said if I didn't, then he was a really shitty attorney.  I gave him a chance to back out.  I told him I thought contacting him to represent me was a bad idea, but that Richard was adamant.
I asked him if he was my lawyer or Richard's.  That was key.

I was in that office over an hour.  Crying, yelling and demanding, but not once acquiescing.  'D' finally decided he was not changing my mind that day, so he offered up a compromise.
He said, "Let me call Jaymie.  Let me get a feel of where she is on this.  Maybe I can find a way to work all this out."

Work it all out??  Wow.  Was 'D' really like "Super Lawyer"?  What did work it all out even mean?  My head was throbbing and my eyes were swollen from sobbing.  I was spent.  I asked again, "Are you my lawyer or Richard's?"  He assured me he would be my attorney and mine alone.
Can you believe I bought that?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Debbie Downer Checking In

I almost didn't post this.  As you may have come to understand if you are a regular reader, I don't like myself much when I whine.  I expect more from myself.  I like to wear the Toughie Pants.  Then, I figured screw it.  This blog started out as a virtual diary, a place to pour out my emotional bile and help me understand how to feel better, to DO better.  I put everything else out there, might as well show the world my whimpering side.  I'm working hard to convince Debbie Downer that depression isn't a sign of weakness.   It just means maybe I've tried to be strong for too long.

Before DDay, I never really understood the condition of depression.  I had not experienced it.  It was so foreign to me.  I considered it to be a state of mind that only infected weak people that couldn't get out of their own way.

Self-righteous and pompous much??  My judgmental mind thinks God doesn't like us to be self-righteous and oh so sure of our inner strength, so He sent me a ticket on the Karma bus to knock me right off that lame high horse.  That ticket was called DDay.
Don't scoff!  I know infidelity is never the fault of the betrayed.  I didn't deserve to get kicked in the heart.  I KNOW!  God wasn't really punishing me for feeling superior to those that don't wear Toughie Pants.  But, when other parts of my life aren't shining like rainbows and running like clock work, I just don't bounce back or fight back like I did before DDay, so sometimes I feel a little more sorry for myself than I should....or than I would have Pre-DDay.

Let me try to explain my melancholy attitude.  I've told you that I have tried very hard to learn to be a more sympathetic person since the end of my time in Crazy Town.  The old Toughie Pants me strives daily to be compassionate for others in pain instead of rolling my eyes and thinking something intolerant like, "Quit whining! Suck it up and move on!"
Well...maybe I wasn't that indifferent and hateful, but I was no bleeding heart to be sure.  If I can find understanding and even tender feelings for others suffering, why can't I give myself a break when I'm in pain??  When my heart aches, I get angry with myself.  What's up with that??

There is no doubt that I have been wallowing in a pseudo-state of depression for over a month.  I wasn't gonna write about it because I felt my woefulness unworthy of screen time.  I keep waiting for Toughie Pants to show up and rescue me.  She has been absent too long.  My spirit is as flat as Kate Moss' chest and I am sick of it!

Before you start thinking Richard did something heinous, let me clarify.  He is innocent.  I am heavy hearted because of something else regarding other members of my family.  This situation is just too personal to share.  I give you all most of my life here on these pages, but I am loathe to drag other dear loved ones into my online pity party.  Suffice it to say, my heart feels like a truck full of lead is resting upon it and I am helpless to do anything to change the course of the situation.
So as not to worry you, no one is terminal or even slightly ill.  It is all about distance, time apart and choices being made by someone I love more than life itself that has given life to Debbie Downer.

Debbie became part of my persona after DDay.  I never knew anything about her before then.  She had never revealed herself to me previously.  When I began to walk my Road to Happy, I thought I beat her back.  I was way wrong about that.  She lies in wait, just under the surface, for any situation that rocks my world.
She sucks the life outta me.
I question my lack of resiliency right now.  Did the affair aftermath rob me of my backbone? My steadiness? Should I be resigned to the fact that I am most certainly not the same person I was before?  OR...would I have reacted the same way right now dealing with this issue even if there had never been a DDay?

Besides questioning myself an exorbitant amount, I also worry that Richard will get tired of me being less than I used to be and move on.  Doesn't sound like I'm feeling my marriage is all that and a big bag of chips, does it?  But, in the deepest part of my soul, I believe it is stronger than any of our 31 years together.  Seriously.  How can I feel so sure of us yet question his commitment?
He has watched me sink for a month.  He has tried to be supportive but he is sad as well.  As I struggle with this fresh drama I worry about disappointing Richard.  WHY??  Because, contrary to what I am telling you I truly believe about our relationship, I worry he will get very tired and become exasperated with Debbie Downer and seek out a new Jaymie!
Irrational?  You bet! Since when does that matter to a depressed person?  I never claimed or even thought I was perfect before, far from it, but since DDay, every now and again, when Debbie Downer rules the roost, I feel the need to be closer to perfect to protect myself from being hurt again.
That's a whole new neighborhood in Crazy Town.
That's a whole lot of pressure.

I'm not sure writing this is helping.

Here's the big question...why can't I just deal with the issue at hand without intermingling emotional baggage from the affair?  It's been 3 1/2 years!!  Will I battle with Debbie Downer and lingering effects of Richard's infidelity forever?  Will I ever stop questioning myself when I am in a tight spot?
Is this normal or am I not nearly as far along my Road to Happy as I profess?
Geez.  Son of a bitch.  I can't focus.  Somebody smack me.