Forever?

”If love is easy, then you aren’t doing it right.” Truth.

Love isn’t easy, there is no right or wrong, there are no rules, and I’m not sure it lasts forever. I don’t believe in forever anymore. I don’t believe in marriage, and what it stands for…even though my parents’ marriage is still going strong. Nobody seems to take marriage seriously these days. It’s a “Let’s get married!!” on a whim, then figure out that it’s too hard to coincide with another person who is just as strong willed as you are, and then figure divorce is the only option. Just because you have a fairytale wedding it doesn’t mean that the fairy tale will last forever, that’s only the honeymoon phase. Once that phase is over, and you can take a stinky shit in front of your partner while they relax in the bath tub, getting on with the rest of your marriage is going to require work and commitment. I think this generation has just decided that if it’s broke and there is no warranty its not worth trying to fix. Not me, I google error messages, order the parts to make the fix, put new parts in and if it’s still not working, I hit up google again. It’s a vicious cycle.

I also didn’t believe that anxiety or depression was a real thing. “Seriously?? DUH…It’s absolutely controllable” insert *eye roll*…not! I believed that you could just set your mind to it and the anxiety would just go away. ”Get over your shit already!” kind of self-talk but…the tears kept falling, chest kept hurting, etc. It doesn’t work that way. When depression has its hold on you it doesn’t kindly just let go because you use your “mom voice” on it. I get angry with myself sometimes because I feel like I should be able to control these days when my brain is being a dick, trying to convince me that staying in bed is the best place for me to be, as it starts to replay the events from the last four years, then I hear a distant whisper ”Mom?” which pulls me out of the fog, I get up and start the day. If it wasn’t for that whisper though, I might stay right where my brain wants me to. Every day isn’t like this and I’m not sure why the anxiety elephant has been trying so hard to sit its ass down on my shoulders lately. Spring is on its way so I should be feeling happier, the weather is warming up, daylight hours extended, so why is my body betraying me? I wonder if I will ever be free of these feelings or if to be rid of them I need to be free of the situation that caused it in the first place. See??? My brain is totally in dick mode, bringing up the ”what ifs?” I don’t believe in forever so the anxiety can’t last for the rest of my life…Can it? I really want to believe that I have control over how everything will play out.

I read a book recently by Sophie Kinsella called Surprise Me. I wanted to find it funny  like I have all of her other books and distract my brain from dick mode, but it made me feel anxious and start to overthink about my marriage. It was about a couple who were happily moving along in their marriage when on their 10 year anniversary of being together it’s brought to their attention that they could live to be 100 and 102, which made them realize they had another 68 years of marriage to get through. So then they decide to come up with surprises for each other to try and keep the spark in their marriage alive, which ended in the surprises being catastrophic disasters. It made me think that my husband and I are approaching 20 years of marriage this year with quite possibly, easily, another 30 years together if not more. We are about 7-8 years away from being empty-nesters and then what?? Catastrophic surprises for the remaining 23 years? Ugh.

I feel like for a long time I was living in this alternate universe, where I believed that my marriage would withstand infidelity, that my kids would be spared heartache, that growing old with one person was how my life would turn out. I don’t believe it anymore. Life happens. There are so many things about living in that alternate universe I didn’t have to think about or want to think about because it was all going to end with happily ever after anyway. Now I think about places I want to travel, things I want to see or do and I don’t care if I do them on my own. Actually, I would like to do some of them on my own just to see what life on my own would be like. I want to feel strong/independent again like I used to, and travelling to Prague to go on a hiking/river cruise to Budapest might just do that for me. Maybe. Or I would just end up with really sore feet?

Our story used to end up with my husband and I being each other’s best friend till death do us part, with our kids and grandkids around us. That was all I needed or wanted. I still want that, but the need/want isn’t as great or as necessary as it used to be. There are just so many ways that a story could go, this is just my view and opinion. You get to write your own story it so make it a good one with a happy ending, just don’t plan on a fairy tale…

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Triggered

I often have days when I’m triggered. Triggered by words, pictures, days of the month, dreams, memories of those times when I thought our life was good but really it wasn’t, they were just the times in between. They were the days that the lies continued, that promises were made that things were changing and that our relationship was the only one he really wanted. I wish I could stop these triggers that make me sad, sometimes angry or even make me stop second guessing my decision to stay in this marriage. Sometimes the what if thoughts that grab the pit of my stomach and sit on my back like a hundred pound weight feel like too much and I want to run as far away as I can, like the night when I first found out.  

It has been three years since I found out and sometimes it feels like it just happened. I hope eventually I will escape this feeling, I’ve chosen to stay and keep trying to overcome everything that has happened. I try not to let the what if days run away with my will to try and stay. I hope that I can trust him now to be the guy he says he wants to be. I hope that all I have repeatedly sacrificed of myself wasn’t for nothing and that he’s realized my life is just as important as his and that he won’t selfishly take advantage of me anymore. 

I don’t know why these days keep creeping in. I just want to be happy and strong again. I’ve been told I am so strong to have endured everything but I feel weak. I always thought the strength would be in leaving, that staying and accepting the affairs would be weak.  It’s all in perspective I guess. 

I guess it’s only really been a few months since Marjorie left, and that could be why I still have the days where I think maybe I should have made him end things on his own with her. The outcome would be completely different, I know this. He would rather have continued to lie to both of us, and I just couldn’t live like that anymore. After so many years of being his wife, I deserve better than to be a second choice. He tells me he never stopped loving me, and I don’t believe him. If he really loves me like he says he does why does he still want to know if I’ve heard from Marjorie and how is she doing. I feel like I’m never going to be enough, that he’s only here because he couldn’t let me go and watch me start a new life with someone who really loves me.

Some days I have regrets. Some days I overthink my choices and try to analyze why I didn’t chose to go the other way. I’m really trying to focus and stay looking ahead but sometimes the hurt and brokenness sneaks in and leaves me crushed. I wish I knew why he cheated, why he made me stay in a relationship that he so selfishly abused, why he wouldn’t let me have the freedom to just be if that’s what he wanted. I know that this is all on him, that nothing I could have done would have changed his path. What about my path? It’s changed, and I don’t know which way to go anymore. 

The Anniversaries I can’t forget

It’s funny the things that trigger my emotions since I first found out about his affairs. The shitty “Anniversaries”. It bothers me that I can’t shake the dates that are burned inside my broken heart. I want to forget them, and move on with my life but something holds me back. It’s like I need more information before I can move on from these points in my life. I feel like the characters from the Inside Out movie are inside my head, with Joy fighting so hard to keep Sadness from touching the memories she shouldn’t be touching and then there’s Anger who throws his two cents in once in awhile. I need to find a way to properly process and put away those memories that Sadness keeps throwing at me, and file them away for good. 

My therapist recommended a type of therapy called EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing because she feels that I suffer from a type of post traumatic stress. The two sessions that I tried this with her, I found it was helping. She said when you suffer from a trauma that doesn’t get processed properly, it comes with triggers.

My trigger from today was a trip to the drug store. I was in the vitamin aisle stocking up on some melatonin and vitamin D when I happen to turn around and face the condom and lube section. At first I just stood there, then the sadness started seeping in because it was one year ago today that he lied and left me to go see Marjorie. We had been in Walmart before he left and my body was freaking out because it knew without really knowing where he was going. He stood in the aisle looking at the different types of condoms, and I said “Are you trying to chose the condoms for this week?” and then I broke down in tears, asking him for the truth and he lied to me that day and several others after that. I knew the signs and I could read him. It wasn’t until a few weeks later when something else triggered me, he said something that didn’t jive with another story he had told me and I searched his truck, found the camera with pictures of her happily smiling in her lingerie, date stamped for the dates he was supposed to be working. I didn’t see the type of nightie that she was barely wearing, or the shape of her body, I just remember the smile on her face, she looked truly happy. He made her happy with the lies he told her. All of this hits me in the Drug Store at lightening speed, while facing the ribbed, stay hard condoms. 

The point of the EMDR is so that I can stay away from anti-depressants and out of divorce court. I have a personal phobia of taking drugs that will alter my mental state. I don’t want to get through this in a haze of disconnect because the drugs will make me feel numb, but at the same time I always feel everything with my whole body and that doesn’t feel good either. I’m working on it. 

So two years later and a few therapy sessions in, I still have those days where I wish I had of walked away because I’m almost certain that I would be over this by now if I had. I wish that sometimes he could feel what I feel when the goosebumps creep up my back, down my arms and legs, the pain in my heart because he had relationships with two other women inside our marriage. Maybe if he had of known the kind of suffering it would cause us, he wouldn’t have done it. All kinds of what if’s constantly run through my head, and I search for answers to relieve the anxiety. I breathe deep and think of sitting in that room with the therapist, as she tells me to think of a picture in my mind and a word that goes with it that will help calm me and we start talking about how to get off the train.