Her legacy.

When my wife made the decision to leave myself and our son, there was something I had to tell her. It was something that was painfully obvious to me and I don’t think I’m wrong.

In her family’s history, there was never a case of infidelity. Not that I ever heard anyway. There was also an extremely low, almost nonexistent divorce rate. There was long marriages filled with lots of kids and grandchildren.

I could see that what she was doing would be her legacy. They might remember her beautiful smile, or how time had been kind to her in the looks department. They will see her children and think that they turned out great. But the first thing they are going to remember, the first thing that will pop into their minds, is the fact that she cheated on her husband and chose to stay with her affair partner.

Her family has made it quite clear that he is NOT to be brought to any family functions. He is not welcome and that she has made this her new normal.

I have no idea how she will handle this going forward, nor do I care. I will never forget the look in her eyes when I was explaining all this to her the night she made her decision. Her eyes were darting back and forth as she contemplated what she was embarking on. Her normally beautiful eyes almost seemed to have scales over them as I tried in vain to construe what she would be remembered for. I wasn’t trying to be mean. I honestly believe it will be her legacy.

And to be quite honest, as much pain as she has caused me and with a tear running down my cheek right now, it makes my heart ache for her.

She was so much more than this.

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Comparisons

After the betrayal, a very good friend who has stuck with me through all of it shared a dream he had.

But first a little back story.

I have another friend who in my opinion has seen more heartache by the age of fifty, than most of us will ever see in our lives. His firstborn child is severely handicapped and although his daughter is twenty five, she functions at a toddlers age. His first wife who is the child’s mother, died at 39 from breast cancer, leaving him with his daughter and a son who is younger. He remarried and on his wedding day his only son was killed in a car crash. His now current wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer, but after a double mastectomy, seems to be doing great.

I remember him telling me at both funerals that he was just grateful that the Lord gave him the time that he had with them. Although he seems fine, he self medicates with alcohol to, I believe, drown out the demons and sorrows that he deals with on a daily basis. I could be wrong about the inner feelings he has as we all tend to put ourselves in other’s positions. I am not wrong however about the alcohol abuse. I grew up with an alcoholic father so I know what I know.

Now, back to my other friend.

He sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Iraq so he has had his own hurdles to get over. He has seizures and headaches and memory lapses and a host of other maladies that come with TBI. He writes down his dreams for his own interpretations later. He shared a dream he had about our other friend.

In the dream, the friend told him “what I wouldn’t give to go back to 1995 and have my only problem being my wife leaving me”.

He told me that this dream was meant for him and would I please receive it in the spirit in which it was shared. I did. I’ve always used my friend with all the losses as a model for thankfulness and gratitude in the face of challenges. There aren’t a lot of people like him in the world that I’ve seen.

With all that being said, I still see the betrayal and family abandonment in the same context as a death. It is the death of someone I loved for over 35 years. The death of who I thought she was and the death of the mother my children thought they had.

She has hurt us beyond comprehension with her actions, but I still thank God that she gave me the children I have and the years of happy memories we all still remember.

Hopefully, as the years pass, and all of our lives progress, we can create new memories for not only us, but for those yet to come.

Ambushed

I was listening to a podcast today, and a young woman went through a horrific ordeal. Her dad, who was a former Marine and served in Vietnam told her “You were ambushed once, it will never happen again”. He proceeded to teach her how to protect herself so she wouldn’t fall prey to anyone again.

I’ve always used the word blindsided when speaking of the betrayal that my wife subjected our family to. I believe that “ambushed ” might be a better term.

The amount of deceit and thought and overall work that went into the year long affair goes beyond simple betrayal. It’s most definitely an ambush. I went from thinking we were happily married to doubled over in pain in a matter of hours.

When I heard her say the phrase “you were ambushed once, it won’t happen again”, I thought of Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”.

I will never again allow myself to be put in that situation. I’m also going to teach my children how not to be so co-dependent that you become paralyzed when your significant other decides to become something that you would never have guessed they could become.

I’m not going through the next chapter of my life with blinders on. I will embrace the chance to love again, but I won’t be so blind to the fact that people make horrible choices. Selfish, life changing choices and you have to be prepared for anything.

When life throws an ambush your way, you had better learn from it. You train, adapt, become more aware and still retain the most beautiful aspect of human life, Love.

Giving loved ones back.

I’ve been married for 31 years.

It’s coming to an end. A very unfortunate, avoidable, extremely painful end.

I’ve known her family well over half my life. We’ve broke bread together, celebrated births and birthdays together, holidays, funerals, family reunions, baptisms, and weddings together.

We laughed, fought, got drunk, told jokes, cooked, worked on cars, fished, hunted, and cried together.

It occurred to me today that eventually, I’m going to have to give them back. They love me, I know they do. They’ve showed me, told me, and proved to me that they do. But as the months go by, they’ve pulled back and started to bring her back into the fold. I know blood is thicker than water and they have their own issues to deal with. They realize that what she has done has affected all of the family and it’s painful for them to think about it let alone deal with me.

They will always be my family but the dynamics have changed. I miss them. I will especially miss Christmas. I have many great memories to take with me though. My children will still go, but the awkwardness of the elephant in the room will mean that one of us has to step up and step away. And that’s me.

I know as time passes I’ll run into them here and there and there will be hugs and laughter and happiness for goals achieved and perhaps new relationships starting.

I have been blessed to know them and love them. But it’s time to start a new chapter of my life. Hopefully it involves new people that will love me and I them. And when I do see my old family, all I will think about is all the great times we had, and how blessed we were to have them.

Anxiety is a bitch.

So when everything went down, I went a little crazy, or so I thought. I couldn’t sleep, had no appetite, had bad stomach pains, thoughts would not shut down, the works. I went to see my doctor under a friends order. He explained it was anxiety brought on by the shock of my situation and explained the stomach issues were actually my diaphragm being in a knot basically.

He wrote a prescription for a benzodiazepine called Ativan. They basically work by calming the central nervous system. That’s why you shouldn’t drink with them because they slow down your respiration and with booze on top of these, you can stop breathing. I’m normally not a big pill taker but something had to stop the madness so I took one during the day and two at night. They worked like a charm (especially for sleep) but they did make me a little foggy and I lacked concentration. I started to research them and to my surprise, they are a big problem for a lot of people. They aren’t really addictive, but one does become dependent on them. There is a difference. They are not for long term use and since I was going on several months, I decided it was time to taper off. I did try cold turkey once, and I do not recommend it. It can also be dangerous for some people so tapering off is a better option.

I started to follow a woman on YouTube who had a horrible time with benzos and now she’s an outspoken opponent of them. She goes by “benzobrains ” if you’d like to look her up. I’m following her taper regimen and it will literally take 300 days if I follow it to a tee. I believe I can do it sooner.

The side effects of benzos are:

  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • trembling
  • impaired coordination
  • vision problems
  • grogginess
  • feelings of depression
  • headache

Lovely huh? I pretty much had all of them plus some sensations of tiny electrical shocks on the skin surface and more stomach pain if I was late on taking them. The taper is going well after a month and hopefully I’ll be off of them before the new year.

These were a Godsend for me when I needed them for survival, but I’m not sure I can recommend them. The lack of concentration and drowsiness are the biggest drawbacks for me. Sometimes I would find myself at work just staring like a zombie and then snap out of it and not know what I was doing. It’s strange because you can get those same symptoms with anxiety. Damned if ya do, and damned if ya don’t.

This is more of a public service message than anything else. If you’re on them or are being prescribed them, please do your homework first. I didn’t and am now slowly coming off.

On a side note, my doctor said he would not put me on anything I could become addicted to. Well how about dependent doc?

I love him but we’re going to have a talk real soon. My scrip is almost gone.😁

Plagiarism (Not really).

Right after D-day I was a basket case. To be honest, for several months I was a basket case. It took me a full week to even share with my family because looking back I believe I was in shock and thought it would all work out.

I looked online to find people who had gone through this so I could get some advice. I’ve never known anyone who had gone through infidelity, so I went in search of strangers. I happened upon a website called survivinginfidelity.com and I have to admit it really helped me early on.

I usually went to the divorce/separation forum because it was my situation but they do have a reconciliation forum also, along with numerous other ones.

They have an archive of great posts and I’m going to share one with you. It was written by someone with the username Jrazz. If you are out there, I want to thank you. This post gave me a lot of hope and my wish is it does the same for you. It’s kind of long but a great read in my opinion.

Here it is: For all of us, especially those who have Just Found Out that the person they are supposed to trust the most on this planet betrayed them, there are a lot of questions.

The range of these questions varies depending on the type, duration, and nature of betrayal, but the one question that burns in EVERYONE’s heart and mind is this:

Am I going to be ok?

This question is asked of those who have gone before us, and we are not only hoping for tips and tricks on how to heal, but some sort of timeline or goal so that we can mark our calendars out for the day when the bleeding stops and the sun comes back out. For some, peace can come in a matter of months. For most, it takes years… but the good news is that it is always possible. It is ABSOLUTELY possible to heal from this and to feel happiness again.

I can’t tell you where you’re going to be in a year, or the standard 2-5 years we’ve all come to depend on for our sanity to return and our lives to once again feel “right.” I can tell you that as I look at the number 9,999 in regards to how many times I’ve posted thoughts or feelings on this website, I see almost ten-thousand steps towards healing. Whether they were posts pleading for someone to tell me why this happened, posts venting about the unfairness of the situation and ugliness of the players, or posts about something that surprisingly brought me a feeling of joy I was scared didn’t exist anymore… each one was a step of growth. Progress. Healing.

As I look back at my time here, I see how much I’ve gained in terms of outlook on the human condition – mine especially. You hear that self-esteem has to come from within, you technically know it’s true, but it’s not until you have your entire world burned to the ground and you stand alone with nobody to catch you that you realize you are not only solely responsible for your own self-worth and happiness, but that you have the power to control both of these things.

Every day that we are here we are adding to our arsenal of personal strength and well being. We learn how to take care of our health like we should have all along. We learn that we are worthy of kindness and compassion, and we are reminded that showing compassion to others is always of mutual benefit. We learn that by not giving our emotions and time to the selfish leaves more energy for the worthy.

The pinnacle of this education, for me, has been the knowledge that our worst fears can come to fruition at any moment, and we can get through it. This betrayal is most certainly on par with any other life tragedy that one may face. We’re terrified of betrayal on a whole, and when it hits it’s just as bad if not worse than we imagined. But then something remarkable happens – the world keeps turning. Kids make us laugh. Pets kiss our faces. We perform something artfully, or skillfully and we feel pride in our action. We live – and we have the opportunity to live well again.

THIS is invaluable, and gives us a boost that those who have not yet suffered such a life pitfall are still lacking. We are part of a secret society who has gained crisis-management skills that will benefit us throughout our lives. Now, when faced with things like betrayal, death, financial hardship, illness, or any other emergency, we have a new outlook. We know we can survive, and instead of dropping to our knees in surrender we reach into our bag of strength for the tools we assuredly know exist because we developed them here.

YOU ARE GOING TO BE OK. THOUSANDS OF US ARE HERE TO TELL YOU SO.

I promise that if you try to reach inside yourself for that strength, it will be there. It grows every day. Every drink of water you take when you want to give up is strength. Every kindness you extend to someone you don’t particularly care for will build you up. Every time you look in the mirror and say, “I am good. I am worthy.” you will be building up a foundation of believing that – and rightly so.

It’s going to be ok.

After reading this once again….damn I hope to be able to write like this one day. Or at the very least, touch one persons soul like this did for me and know it was all worth it.

Peace my friends.

My story in a nutshell.

So, here we go.

January 22nd 2018 changed my life forever, for better or for worse (I’m not quite sure yet), but it changed it forever.

I was married for 31 years. Happily I thought, until the aforementioned date. That’s when my wife dropped a bomb.

She had been acting strangely for a couple months or so (fervently reading the Bible and listening to online sermons). We had fallen away from the Catholic Church after the scandals and coverups. Our parish alone had two priests removed. We talked about finding another church but hadn’t really tried real hard to do it. She followed one pastor and bought herself his study Bible with her name embossed on the front cover. I thought it was out of character for her and to tell you the truth, I to this day don’t know why I didn’t ask her what was going on in her head. 

She is self employed and started to work later and became distant. Never once did she say anything to me about being unhappy or disillusioned with me or our marriage, not once. I admit I should have been more in-tune with “us” but I just thought it was a temporary bump we were going through.

On January 22nd, 2018 she came home from work and said she wanted a six month separation so things wouldn’t get ugly. Blindsided, completely utterly blindsided. I didn’t even take her seriously because it made no sense. I had to ask if there was someone else even though I would’ve bet everything I owned on her saying no. She said it was Jesus. She said he had her on a path and it had nothing to do with anyone in this house. We have three kids by the way. Two out and one at home still. She slept in the guest room and left the next morning without telling me where she was staying. I was in a complete panic and tried to contact her but she wouldn’t answer her phone. After a day or so I thought of the “find my IPhone app”. I found her password and tracked it to a hotel in town and the next day I tracked it to a house. God I can’t believe how gullible I was then. I honestly  thought “wow, she actually rented a house”. So embarrassing. I never trusted anyone more than her. I was dead wrong.

A week later she met me at a restaurant and said ”first of all I’m happy, and I’m sorry I was dishonest with you”. I knew right away what she meant but I’m the one that asked if she cheated on me. I so wish I would’ve made her say it but ,water under the bridge. 

He was a client who I had met before. If you saw his Facebook page, you would think he’s a pastor. He’s also a “life coach” and all kinds of other wonderful new age bullshit stuff. He’s a charlatan and a con artist. Four marriages, a dozen small claims court dates for non-payment, a spousal abuse charge and was arrested on D-day for theft from his job. A vitamin, health food shop…a fifty year old man working at a vitamin store. He was offering a 30% cash discount and pocketing the money. Police got him on camera plus they sent three different officers in to buy. It’s still going through the court system 10 months later. He knows how to work the system, delay until they give up. He’s done it before.

Her family, my family, everyone was in shock and devestated by her actions. Her sisters had my back 100% , but they are slowly bringing her back into the fold. Im extremely hurt by that, but it didn’t surprise me. It’s easier to act like nothing happened and suppress everything as opposed to calling her on her shit and confronting her. I just want a little justice, just a little. 

She showed up on my doorstep 5 weeks later “crying “ and wanting to get counseling. One month later she left again. My son watched her leave twice.

I used to pride myself on being a great judge of character. Well that’s gone.

The D is progressing slowly and I’ll be quite honest, I’m terrified of what shes going to pull. Infidelity doesn’t mean Jack shit to the court system.

There’s other things, but for now that should do it. Peace