The odd bad day turned into a bad week which spun out into a bad month. Anniversaries; of my mother-in-law’s death, which we never mourned properly because of the interruption of the discovery of the affair, 19 days later. A heart procedure looms on the horizon as I prepare to go to the Cleveland Clinic for an atrial ablation. That has its own baggage, mortality issues, assessing of the life, etc., but what I never considered was the power of the anniversary of the discovery of the affair, which was revealed to me via Christmas card. Someone said they thought that quite mean of the OW’s husband to send me a Christmas card and it never occurred to me until today that I might think of that Christmas card every year for the rest of my life. I hope not.
I don’t talk about the affair anymore. I’ve mostly lived a life of solitude for the past year, avoiding people, which was to avoid breaking down in front of them followed by probable dismay, concern and questions. What a mess that would be, so the wrap-up, here, is that I haven’t been talking about the affair and I haven’t been socializing, but, still the months since July have been mostly good ones with plenty of progress and feeling fairly normal, much of the time.
Comes November and I find myself increasingly burdened with sadness and heavy thoughts, but, not wanting to discuss anything. I did tell someone who already knew, a few details, after news of a church pastor requiring all of his employees to delete their Facebook accounts. “This is a tragic story.” they said of my tale. The stark truth of that response has penetrated my defenses, the ones which assure me that things aren’t so bad, this is only temporary, I’ll get through this and all of the other things I have learned to tell myself since I was very young when things have been going so very wrong. It is a tragedy. Let’s call it what it is: a tragedy. It’s a tragedy to believe you finally have happiness to find that the person who has professed to love you madly all of these years ignores what they know to be your wishes and contacts their first love. If that isn’t bad enough, she tells them they should have gotten married and begins to lay out her plan for them to be together. For some inane reason, be it temporary insanity or something else, he finally agrees to meet her. It’s a tragedy and a shock. It’s so unlike who I thought him to be and perhaps that is the mess I am holding in my hands, now. Who is this man I’ve been living with? What about him is true? Even more disturbing is how I seemed to have forgiven him, a number of times and then wake up and find myself with my self-worth crumpled up like discarded paper. Triggers. They come when they will and there is no telling what is going to grab you by the collar and drag you back to square one. Now I know why my preschooler cried every time we played Chutes and Ladders and he landed on a chute. The wailing and gnashing of teeth followed by hanging his little round glasses from his ears as he tried to hide his tears…I get it, now. No amount of kind words from your mom can remove the fact that you’ve had a bad fall. Falls break things: arms, legs, backs. This fall broke a heart. And my life, really.
And so I feel tragic. My heart aches all the way through to my back in that place on the inner edge of my shoulder blade. My husband is concerned because I am irritable. My brother is worried. He doesn’t know about the affair, but he knows something is wrong. I’m just glad he lives 300 miles away and is busy with his own problems so that I don’t have to face him.
My daughter said yesterday that she is so proud of me and how far we have come in healing. She thinks the good months we have had are a testament to our true progress, not to be measured by a bout of depression over a string of sad things, which is only normal. She says that anniversaries come, unfortunately, some are close together, I am stressed facing my procedure and just try to be patient and ride it out….which would be so much easier if I could drink; not drinking as in “No alcohol,” being an unfortunate result of my atrial’s recurring flutters.
Looking forward to the day where I can have a glass of wine. Hope that happens.