My last afternoon with Ann, I played in the sand. She asked if I would like to try something new. Sure. Right now, I feel pretty open to trying anything if it will make me feel better.
She brought out the tray filled with sand and opened a chest full of figures, animals and other things. She asked me to describe the feeling of the sand, told me to take some time and chose characters or things out of the chest that represented people or things in my life. It felt like a test. What should I chose? I had no idea where to begin until I spotted the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. From there I found Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, Glenda the Good Witch and the Bad Witch.
The Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland was an all time favourite movie when I was young. It still is. I always thought it would be such a great thing to be able to click your beautiful red ruby slippers and they would take you back to the place and people you loved the most. A place where you felt safe, and loved.
Once I had chosen the characters, Ann asked me to place them wherever I thought they should be in the sand. So I placed the two witches on their own on one side of the tray, the Cowardly Lion on his own in the middle and then Dorothy, the Tin Man and Scarecrow on the other side. Then she asked me what each character represented. I was Dorothy, my teens were the Tin Man and Scarecrow, my husband was the Cowardly Lion and the witches were the Other Women he has brought into our relationship.
The Wizard of Oz is very fitting because it deals with a young girl fighting fantasy to get back to reality. I’m trying to live in the real world but my husband likes to escape to fantasy when reality gets to be too much. He gets to be the Cowardly Lion because I feel like he is a coward sometimes when he can’t tell people to mind their own business, leave us alone and not let anyone into our couple bubble. That’s what Ann calls it. It’s a bubble for only us but he’s let two other women into it. He’s cowardly not telling his girlfriend that he chose to come home and try to make our marriage work because he loves his wife. She believes I pressured him with our children and how his relationship with them would turn out. She’s fighting to keep him in the fantasy side of his life right now. She keeps telling him that a life with her is what he really wants. Time and time again he’s proved it. She tells him he wouldn’t have done the things he’s done if he wasn’t desperate to get out of our relationship. She thinks that four years of talking, texting, and screwing around with a married man wipes out 25 years of family, friends and hard work. She feels he didn’t really give them a chance. What she doesn’t know is, that she crossed the line from fantasy into reality. He had a wife, who took care of him and his family, he didn’t need another one. He just wanted her to be an escape for a week here and there. The same thing happened with his first affair. She wanted more and he wanted his family. I’ve read that married men do not leave their wives, their wives end the marriage when they’ve had enough with the lies and other bullshit their husbands keep bringing home.
Back to the sand box…
Ann asked me why the witches were on one side and Dorothy was on the other? Well, I’m Dorothy and I don’t want either of those women near me or my family. Ann asked how I would feel if she moved them to the side with Dorothy? I told her that wasn’t an option, they don’t get to be in my life, and continue to hurt my family. She asks what I would like to do with them? Ultimately, I would like to burry them in the sand and not ever have to think about or deal with them again. She says “So do it.” and I proceed to burry them in the sand so I cannot see them anymore. She asks “Where would you like this Cowardly Lion to go?” I would like him to be with us, he makes us a family and complete when he is really with us. When he is concerned with his girlfriend, I can feel the distance and it creates so much anxiety because I feel like I’m always waiting for him to abandon us again, while he bounces back into the fantasy where he can be someone else for a bit. I don’t like being in the fantasy side of things, I want to click my heals together, and return to where I feel safe.
I don’t feel safe right now. I let him move back home because he’s convinced that wherever I am at the end of the day, that’s where he wants to be. Unfortunately he’s still talking to his girlfriend and she’s doing her best to plead her case, telling him that he wouldn’t have done the things he’s done if he didn’t want their relationship more. Maybe she’s right. I honestly don’t know how any woman or man, who claims to be a woman or man, knowingly continues to try to pull a marriage apart when the married man or woman says they want their marriage to work. As far as I’m concerned his not ending the communication with her is still telling her she is right, that the relationship with her is what he really wants and it’s still telling me the same thing as it told me before, that it is not over.
She thinks I begged him to come home, I did not. I tried very hard to create distance so that he could have a relationship with her if he wanted that, but he wouldn’t allow me to keep that distance. I tried not answering his calls or texts, but then he would just come to the house. It didn’t take long for him to figure out that our lives were moving on without him, that we weren’t going to wait around for him to get his life on track.
I got a job, painted my bedroom, did a few other minor renos to the house, bought new furniture for my bedroom, the kids booked school trips and didn’t bother to consult him. He was upset that nobody was asking him for his input. The kids felt that he moved out without even so as much as a goodbye or explanation so they decided to treat him with the same respect. They feel if he wants to be part of their lives he will make the effort, they aren’t going to chase after him. He feels when this happens that it must be because of what I’m saying to them. They are smart kids, big enough to pay attention to his behaviour and the selfies that their dad’s girlfriend is posting on Facebook.
Playing in the sand gave me a lot to think about. I know that before too long if he doesn’t get over the guilt he feels for allowing things to get as far as they have with his girlfriend, and cut off from her completely that I will have to ask him to leave for the very last time and move on from this craziness that he’s brought into our life. I keep having faith that he will find the courage to be the good guy I married. I’m hoping we’ll be able to burry this all in the sand, click our heals together, wake up somewhere over the rainbow, back in Kansas, with the tornado behind us, and the witches forgotten far, far away in Oz.