A new chapter.

As many of you know, my marriage is almost a thing of the past. Remediation happened and it’s now a waiting game with the ultra slow, disgusting court system.

As my 30+ year marriage comes to a close, I’m also trying out a new therapist as I feel it’s time to face some things that I’ve tried to ignore. As most of us who have dealt with infidelity can attest, if you don’t face the trauma head on, it’s going to bite you in the ass. You can’t sugarcoat it, you can’t ignore it, you can’t wish it away. You have to work through it, and as many would agree, it’s work. It’s some of the hardest most agonizing work a person or persons will probably ever have to do. We didn’t want it, we didn’t ask for it, but it is ours to deal with.

I’m going back to therapy and although my 1st therapist was a nice gentleman, he was zero help in helping me to rid myself of the trauma and mind games that betrayal/abandonment brings.

I’ve mentioned trauma because I’ve come to terms with what I’ve been dealing with. It’s trauma plain and simple. It’s the death of a marriage, an idea, a covenant, an imagined future, a family structure, a relationship, a perceived trust in someone that was not only taken advantage of, but was destroyed. It’s trauma, and it will NOT leave me the fuck alone. So I need some help, and hopefully I’ve found it.

I met with a female therapist who just seemed to ask all the right questions immediately while quietly listening to my rambling while jotting down notes. I explained my ex’s personality and her subsequent lack of empathy or remorse after her affair. Her eventual distancing herself from our children, and her doubling down on her poor choices to all those around her except the AP.

My therapist asked many questions, but one really stuck out. She simply asked if she was a nurturing mother. I just sat there, picturing the past, all of her actions, her attempts at it and I could only answer “no”. It just always seemed like she was going through the motions, like she wanted to be, but she just didn’t have it in her. I know she loves her kids, she just wasn’t born with the nurturing “gene” so to speak.

This defect is the main reason why her female friends couldn’t wrap their heads around the fact that she just left our son. Yes, the affair was abhorrent, but as terrible as that act was, they had the hardest time with the abandonment of her kids. They only knew her apparently friendly yet introverted side. I now am convinced without a doubt that she’s a full blown narcissist. She checks all the boxes that I’ve seen, and also shows sociopathic tendencies. It’s a great sense of guilt for me that I basically set my children up with this person whom they call “Mom”.

So, this is the trauma that I’ve endured. It was emasculating at first, but I’ve come to terms with it. And it’s also why I’m going to try EMDR.

I’m not going to try to explain what EMDR is, just that it’s something I need to try, and something that my therapist has had really good success with. She used herself as an example. She was abused as a child. And in order to come to terms with it, and help others, she had to put it in its proper place. And EMDR did just that.

She explained it like this. Our brain saves all of our memories. That lunch you had on July 13th, 2002, it’s in there, but it’s where it belongs, in the back of the filing cabinet. The amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex are where trauma lives, until it’s filed elsewhere. She said EMDR is not hypnosis, and that it won’t delete her or the memory of the trauma. That’s not possible, but what is possible is putting it where it belongs, in the back of the file cabinet. Still accessible when needed, but not right in the front where it’s debilitating and impossible to talk about or wake up without this albatross around my neck.

I’ll admit that my emotional state has been shit lately. The tears are literally brimming on a moments notice no matter what triggered them. Some stupid sappy commercial, a scene in a movie, a loved ones hug at Thanksgiving, thinking about my kids and how they’re going to handle their parents divorce.

It’s something I need to do for myself and my kids. I’m not really the man they need me to be, and hopefully this will be one more step towards finally getting the old me back. I realize it’s not a guarantee, but it’s something I’m willing to take a chance on.

It’s not so well (with my soul.)

So today during church I really struggled to hold it together and I’m not sure why. I think it was because it had been a tumultuous week with a lot happening and there are some things getting closer to fruition. I’m having some real “God moments” (phrase stolen from my TC) and I’m having to face reality and an unsure future.

Today we sang a song that had the line “it is well with my soul” and I just could feel that it’s not, nothing is. Everything is swirling around in my brain and I’m not sure how I’m going to handle it all. I’ll explain a few of them.

My divorce is at the stage where I am making an offer to someone who basically discarded me like trash without a second thought. It’s a difficult thing to deal with because she wants nothing to do with her family, except the financial part. I’m trying to stay positive and to remember that anyone who would treat another human being like that is someone I’m better off without.

As many of you know I am 99.9% no contact because I learned a long time ago, No Contact means No New Hurts. Unfortunately I came face to face with her on Saturday. My son had a cross country meet and I was warned by him that she would be there. After he ran I was talking to all 3 of my kids. I walked over to ask my sister in law a question and then returned to my kids…..there she was, 3 feet away talking to our kids and we locked eyes. I’m guessing she was standing close by waiting for me to walk away. When I met her dead eyes, I just turned and walked away as I have nothing to say to her,NOTHING. I hate how I feel towards her. I’m nowhere near feeling any different though so it is what it is for now. I can’t imagine we’ll ever be friends again, let alone friendly.

Continuing to Saturday evening I had a class reunion to attend. As the time closed in I became increasingly not interested in going. The thought of having to explain where she was and what happened wore on me all day and I almost bailed. I admitted this to a dear friend (shout out to TC again) in a text and she wanted to know if I needed to talk. I said “no, I’ll be fine” but then my phone rings and she said too bad I don’t get to make that call. She talked me not only into going but to make this reunion my bitch. Thank you!❤️

My stbx and I were in the same class in high school so I had some spies look to see if she would be attending. She had not purchased any tickets so I could at least go without that being an issue. She’s 100% not sorry for what she’s done so I wouldn’t have been surprised if she did show up with her head held high, it’s a good thing she didn’t.

There were two women who were her closest friends in high school that I hoped would be there as I was going to set the record straight on how it all went down. She has said some disparaging things (lies) about me on Facebook so I thought that was what they would be going by…boy was I wrong.

As I walked up to the registration tables I heard a cheer above the noise of music and conversation. It was the two I wanted to see, working the table, cheering my arrival. They both told me they loved me as they held their hugs way longer than normal and that’s when I knew that they knew. I didn’t have to explain anything. They have no idea how much that meant to me, and we all exchanged numbers so we could keep in touch. I saw people I had not seen in thirty + years and only had to explain my situation a few times. I believe social media makes our privacy and also our transgressions public knowledge. The rumor mill is put on hyper speed these days. But, all in all I had an absolute blast. It was by far the best reunion I’ve ever attended.

I realize this is a rambling post, but I needed to purge. I need a new therapist. I need to continue my self care and to continue to Thank God for all of the wonderful people in my life, the love and support they have shown me is immeasurable and it just seems to be continuing. I’m very blessed and although it is “NOT well with my soul” it will be, I know it will.❤️

Claiming the center.

Awhile back a dear friend asked me if I had claimed the center of the bed yet? I wasn’t sure what she meant, so she basically asked if I was still sleeping on “my” side of the bed even though I was the only one in said bed. I told her I hadn’t and she said “you need to claim that bitch” or something along those lines. So, I did.

It lasted about two days and then I was back on my side of a queen size bed. I had thrown away the bed linens we shared simply because I looked at them as tainted. She would be with the POS and then come home to me. But I still remained on my side of “our” bed. And then I realized something. I guess I still considered it “our” bed. After all of the betrayal and the pain and the loneliness it still remained in my head and my habits as my side and her side. Old habits die hard, old memories die even harder.

So this past week I looked at the bed and realized it still had a pillow on “her” side. Like there were still two people sleeping in this bed. Well that shit had to end. I removed the pillow, put mine in the middle, and claimed the center of my bed. I can flop around if I want, I can sleep crossways if I want, I can fall asleep with the light on and a book on my chest if I want (a common occurrence). I can do anything I damn well please in MY bed. I can eat, drink, tweet, text, (okay I’m stopping here) in MY bed.

I may not have a lot of control over things in the next few months, but I can choose to take back what’s mine and not let anything else be taken from me.

My sanity, self esteem and my will to live were almost taken from me, but I persevered thanks to many, many people who were there for me at my absolute lowest. Crazy thing is, most of them were total strangers hidden behind anonymity and fake names, but we all shared a common denominator that none of us asked for.

I’m feeling the old me coming back. A much more empathetic me, but still mostly old me. I like old me. He’s an okay guy with a bunch of shit jokes, sarcasm and a lot of love to give with a new sense of self and awareness.

I hope you all get to take back or find what you need in order to move on and realize that what happens to you doesn’t have to define you.

This is MY time and YOUR time to take back the center, of whatever it is that brings you joy and happiness and the self realization that you’re so worth it!

The gift of perspective.

So today was Fathers Day. All 3 of my children were here to celebrate me, their Dad. They made me dinner and those of age shared a drink with their old man. It was a fun day, as they always are when we all come together as a family. I had a good day and it wasn’t just because my kids were here. It’s because I gained some perspective in my life and things became a bit clearer as to what I need to fret over and what I should be thankful for.

You see, the day before Fathers Day my stbx and the AP (POS) decided to post a Facebook video for all to see sharing their secret of a solid Christian relationship. *Take your time to let that sink in, or let the bile settle back down in your stomach *

So anyhoo, since I’m not on Facebook some family decided to share it with me. Although I only watched maybe 30 seconds of it as it is still kind of painful to see your wife talking about love and respect and Jesus while staring into the eyes of her infidelity partner, I’m grateful they shared it as I’ve been blindsided enough without this creeping into my life at a later date. The video truly shows two lost, narcissistic, sociopaths who found each other and will eventually devour each other’s souls.

I’m not going to lie, it upset me and with her not having any contact with virtually anyone in her family, I highly doubt the timing of the video (Fathers Day weekend) was a coincidence. As my family started to leave comments such as: “Hey, how does Jesus feel about the whole adultery thing”? she removed the video and blocked them. This video was a HUGE mistake on her part and showed how mentally ill she is thinking it was a good idea. If she had anyone hanging on, this might’ve been the last straw. She purposely humiliated me in one comment and outright lied also.

With all that on my mind, something made me go into my DM’s and I noticed one of the tribe hasn’t been on in awhile and I simply reached out to say Hi and hoped she was doing well. What she said, was exactly what I needed to hear. I hope she doesn’t mind my sharing what she said, but since I haven’t mentioned who it is, I don’t think she’ll mind. This is what she shared:

Hi!! Happy Father’s Day! I’m doing really well! I hit this turning point with my friend who has stage 4 cancer and is in the fight for her life. It made me see that I’m ok. It literally changed my perspective. I realized that I have zero complaints. My problems are 100% solvable. And for the first time, I was able to see my ex husband as a human. I can’t explain it, but I was able to let it go. All pain, and the hurt .. I was able to say that in the end, he hurt my feelings. He hurt my feelings and it’s ok. It’s ok that he hurt my feelings. And in that little space, I was able to breathe and find a bit of freedom. So, I come to check Twitter now and then. How are you my friend?

There is no such thing as coincidence. I needed to hear this and put my problems in perspective. I then reached out to a dear, special friend to tell her about this message and she shared this:

I have a coworker who’s Niece just turned 21 and has been disabled all her life. Wasn’t supposed to live passed age 5. Well, her shunt in her brain was blocked and she had to be airlifted to a bigger hospital and coded on the helicopter. She’s now on life support and won’t survive. Her father is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The mom of this girl is going to lose her husband and her only child in the same year. It’s been heavy on my heart all day It makes me grateful for the small problems I have. Everything in our lives is fixable. We can solve all of our problems and keep moving forward. I think that’s why I keep a Blessings Jar & Gratitude journal. It’s so easy to get blind sided by the struggles and let them grow bigger than they deserve,but we all have to get to that realization on our own. It takes an aha moment. That was yours maybe

Ughh, reality is subtle sometimes and sometimes it kicks you in the dick. These were messages I needed to hear. My children are healthy and safe. I have my own health and am blessed beyond measure with kind, caring, loving people in my life who have my back. I can’t control what she does, but I can control how it affects me. I’m tired of being the betrayed husband. I’m tired of feeling like somehow, because of HER horrible life choices, I’m the one who is hurting. I’m tired of this defining my life. Yes, it was an awful, painful thing to do to someone, but concerning the messages, my TC says: “I listened to the God whisper” and I’m going with that.

It may have been a whisper, but I heard it loud and clear.

The spackle of the broken.

I haven’t written a blog for awhile. I’m not sure why, no excuses. God knows I’ve got plenty to say.

I’m in a much better place emotionally and maybe I didn’t want to screw it up with touching on things that might spiral me back down into the mind trap of despair and loss.

I’ve been thinking about (and occasionally using) the term “broken” lately. A little over a year ago I would’ve never associated that term with a human. It was reserved for electronics, cars, tools, dishes, and the occasional lease. Now, people are the first thing that comes to mind when I hear it.

I was broken. She broke me. She broke my heart, my family, and very near my will to live.

But then something happened. Not all at once. Oh God no. But over the months I could feel the cracks being repaired. I like to call it “The spackle of the broken”.

It’s kindness. It’s compassion. It’s empathy. It’s quite simply love. The love of others whether it’s family, friends, church, or the most amazing and honestly the most surprising, the support and love shown by complete strangers online who have come together in some very unfortunate circumstances. These amazing people which we all call our tribe are singly the most important part of my healing. It still blows my mind to think that’s even possible, but we all know it is. We laugh, we cry, we flirt, we poke, we support we advise,and most importantly we listen and we don’t judge.

All these greatest of human traits, love, compassion, empathy, kindness, all of them, are the spackle that’s filling in the cracks of my brokenness.

I was broken., but I’m not anymore. I’m cracked, and they are disappearing as I get back my Mojo and can now truly see what lies ahead. It’s not frightening anymore. It’s still not known, but it doesn’t matter. I’m going to be okay, and it’s all I wish for all of you beautiful people. To be okay and find your Mojo and get back what was taken from you. ❤️

Human touch.

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know that recently I had an MRI. It was on my shoulder and I suppose it’s just part of getting older and what not.

During the part where they numbed my shoulder and injected the dye, there was a nurse who was assisting the PA. He would warn me about how I was going to feel a slight pressure, or this one is going to be a little more painful than the others. While he was saying these things, the nurse would rub my calf and reassure me.

None of it hurt. What did bring tears to my eyes was her empathy. And her touch. It wasn’t by any means sexual, and I didn’t take it that way. What I did realize was that I REALLY miss the human touch. I get hugs all the time, but this was different. It just made me melancholy for the warmth of contact.

I miss it, all of it. The male/female hug, the chance to put my arm around someone, spooning before we would fall asleep, and of course the sexual contact that we had for 30+ years. It’s a huge part of all of our lives, and for over a year now, it’s been absent.

My trust issues suck right now understandably, but someday I hope to have the contact back. Not for a day, or a weekend, those I’m guessing are attainable. I’m talking about the kind of contact that literally makes you suck air, makes you shiver, makes you smile and has you thinking about it during the day. It just pops into your head and brings a smile to your face. That’s what I want again.

I may find it again, who knows, but I know that the longer I go without it, the more I miss it.

I was made for the long haul. I just need to be patient and see who is out there that wants the same.

A loss is a loss, a death is a death.

I ran into a woman from my old church last weekend. She was wearing a long winter coat with the hood up and I didn’t realize it was her until she dropped the hood and said “Hi”.

A little back story. Her husband was killed in a freak traffic accident about 3-1/2 years ago. He was a father of three and a great guy. He was 43. He was also a grade school teacher so to say this death impacted a lot of lives would be an understatement.

After D-Day my closest friend who was texting me constantly, keeping my spirits up and generally checking that I wasn’t planning anything nefarious shared something the widow had told him.

She said right after her husbands death, she didn’t think she could handle the waves of grief that were washing over her. But, with time, the waves got smaller and more manageable. They still came, but with much less intensity and frequency.

I’ve seen her here and there since D-Day but we’ve never spoke of it.

When I saw her last weekend we immediately hugged and just looked at each other and I could tell she knew. Not of the betrayal, everyone knows about that. But she knew, she just knew. The pain, the anxiety, the loneliness, the crushing depression, the loss.

She asked how I was and I asked the same. She shared how her Dr. had put her on antidepressants. She’s off now, but if he didn’t, she said she was becoming an alcoholic. We spoke of our children and the need for therapy.

In the end, we both had tears in our eyes and she just said” it sucks, it all just sucks”. I couldn’t speak anymore, so I just said “we’ll talk” and I left.

Most of my family and my stbx’s family have treated her betrayal like a death. It’s the death of the wonderful person that we knew. The wife, the daughter, the sister, the aunt, the Mom.

I’ve always thought to myself that this is worse than a death. Her husband didn’t choose to leave his wife and kids. He didn’t leave that morning and say “I love you, but I’m not “in” love with you, or another classic ” neither of us wanted it to happen”. She has no chance of running into her husband with another woman.

I don’t like to compare my situation with hers because unless you’ve been through it, that comparison seems unfair. But it is fair in my eyes. The death of my marriage, my intact family, all of our hopes and dreams. They’re dead. She killed them.

The waves are much smaller these days, sometimes it’s even calm as glass out there. I know my friend and I will be fine someday. It’ll just take time. And then we’ll talk.