The Tide is High But I’m Going On


There’s a tide in the affairs of men…
Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224

Yes I realize I’m taking complete literary license with this quote but because everything happened so quickly I find myself caught in what can only be described as the tide…waves of people knowing or asking about what happened at different times. So every few weeks, I’m sharing bits of the story to friends, relatives, and office mates.  Sadly, in Georgia one can be divorced in 31 days, so it catches most of them by surprise that we are indeed now divorced.  Heck, it still catches me by surprise and I’m the one that just went through it.

Had M not left for a scheduled vacation that first week and had he paid the lawyer in a timely manner we probably would have been divorced in 32 days but as it was, from “start” to “finish” it was 60 days. I wasn’t quite sure how I would be on day 61 or even any day after that but surprisingly (yes, surprising to me), I’m doing Ok. I am working with some really great folks who are holding me accountable to meeting personal goals that I’ve set for myself. Sometimes my goal is just to not dwell on the what-ifs and I’ve got a bevy of friends who randomly send me texts just to keep me focused. I’ve also been “privy” to way too many similar stories and it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach that infidelity is such a common thread woven across so many people, regardless of their economic, spiritual, or social backgrounds.

As for the tides, most of the time, the church wave comes in with an innocent question… “where is that man of yours? or where is M, is he sick?” and I pause for a moment so that I don’t blurt out “probably with his girlfriend and yes he is sick … in the head … and I hope he catches some incurable venereal disease” to say, “he made a choice to go outside of our marriage and wanted nothing to do with reconciling so you probably won’t see him here again.

The work wave comes in asking about whether I will have a booth at the upcoming local fall craft festival or if we will be attending a specific event or sometimes it’s just a question based on comment overheard in the hallway.  For the most part, with each response, I’m able to just state the facts… sometimes they come out like verbal diarrhea (Sorry P!) and I have to apologize for just regurgitating 60 days in 60 seconds. And sometimes, people listen with a look of sorrow, feeling for me because I’m “such a nice person and how could he have done that?”

But then just as quickly as the tide comes in, it goes out – and there are moments where no one is asking about M or about “us”… and even those that have known for awhile stop asking me how I’m doing because they know I’m doing fine. No matter when you that are reading this found out, just know that I will forever cherish your prayers and your love and your support.

Yes, there will still be some days that will be better than others but while I may not be able to stop the waves, I can, at the very least, learn to surf.

Wonderland


“Only a few find the way, some don’t recognize it when they do – some… don’t ever want to.” ― The Cheshire Cat 

The nights are still incredibly quiet but somehow they don’t seem as lonely. Don’t misunderstand–my thoughts still keep me awake and when I do fall asleep its just for a few hours and them I’m once again awake for the rest of the night. Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to be able to fall back asleep with enough time to actually rest before the alarm goes off. Most mornings however, I turn off the alarm before it even goes off.

It’s been 48 hours since I signed the papers.Time used to be so fleeting to me and now I’m so annoyingly, conscientiously aware of it. I still measure time by D-Day; I don’t mean to, it just happens. I still don’t hate you but I sure hate what you did. I hate that your selfishness has ruined four significant dates for me: the anniversary of your father’s passing, my brother’s birthday, my birthday and our anniversary …… in one fell swoop, every single one of those significant and special days is forever marred by the memory of your infidelity and your indifference.

My consolation is that my “new” birthday will be in February. Yup, that’s right… at least for awhile I will celebrate my half-birthday 🙂 I can thank L for that suggestion. And our anniversary will now be my “antiversary.”  It’s all sort of fitting as I have felt a bit like Alice navigating the twists and turns in Wonderland so these un-celebrations would be perfectly at home with the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the White Rabbit. And like Alice,  I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”

But I’m Ok. Actually, a lot more Ok than I thought I would be. After signing the papers, I had a mini-meltdown that lasted about 5 minutes and was solved with hugs from Ms. E and Mr. R and then later hugs from my parents who stopped what they were doing and just listened to me as I likely shared the same stories and frustrations they’ve heard for the past 2 months.

Aside from that, its been pretty non-eventful. Although, I will admit that I have been in a constant state of checking my email to see if there is word from the lawyer that the judge has signed off on our divorce paperwork.  In that respect, I feel like the white rabbit always checking his pocket watch. Alice:How long is forever? White Rabbit:Sometimes, just one second.” 

I’m honestly not sure how I will react when I see those words and see the documents showing the finality of it all, but one things for sure I’m willing to take the road less travelled.

“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”

Trifecta


In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It Goes On. Robert Frost

I’ve slowed down on posting. I started writing this blog the night you left the rental. This has been my own way of working through my hurt and I think I always intended to share the blog with you on the day our divorce became final. But that day is closing in upon us I don’t know if I will or not. Does it really matter? Do you even care? I know the answer to both of those questions… if you did care, then this blog would never have come into existence.

D-Day feels like forever ago and it has just been 61 days. I’m definitely not the same person… emotionally or physically. I’ve aged about 20 years, I look at my hair, there’s more gray, my eyes are sadder and usually puffy from crying–beit small two-minute meltdowns or full-on cry myself to sleep, my smile isn’t always at the ready, and I find less, well actually zero humor in shows that minimize the effects/affects (?) of infidelity and divorce.

I picked up the items from you that you found when packing up your own stuff from the rental a week ago. I was surprised to see so much of “our stuff” just tossed into in the back of your car, stuff that we had accumulated over the years that apparently didn’t have a spot in your new home, so they were just in the back of your car. One thing that stood out to be is that you are no longer pleasing in my sight. I will never again look at you with eyes of love. I will never again speak about you with terms of affection, your name is simply M, your appearance is just one of a random person in a crowd.

I got the initial paperwork from the lawyer today with the details that will be incorporated into our divorce decree. It’s the last time our names will ever be joined with the words husband and wife. Our anniversary is Saturday… no, our anniversary, would have been Saturday. It’s football Saturday here, UGA Homecoming. For so many hours and days after D-day I prayed for my own sort of homecoming, but it never came.

I was a fool for thinking that you were actually considering “us” when you were on your trip to visit your family in NY. I dropped you in Atlanta at 3:20 pm. The chat log shows your first text to her was at 3:26 pm and they didn’t stop until 10 pm that night. You no sooner walked into the airport hotel lobby that you began texting her, apparently desperate for her.  And then for the next seven days that you were supposed to be thinking about us, and whether or not there would be an “us” again, you were texting her and calling her.   My stomach still lurches thinking about the fool that I was.

But I’m not a fool anymore. You fooled me for too many years and Heaven knows that you are fooling yourself into thinking that you  and she did nothing wrong. I don’t know how long you will fool your new girl into letting you stay with her. I think its funny that you had the audacity to say to me on D-weekend,  “nothing will happen between me and her until you and I are settled” and “I could never live with her, she’s got two kids.” And yet, it did and you are. No matter how much we shared in almost eleven years of marriage, it does sadden me that the mere mention of your name, a name I used to count as “safe” is now reduced to who you’ve become ….

Liar. Cheater. Thief.

How Are You Feeling?


The saddest thing about betrayal is it never comes from your enemies.

Its football season here in SEC land. My friend L was visiting on Saturday and the GA game was on in the background. We were casually chatting and through some weird course of the conversation we got to talking about football. I never would have imagined that I knew as much as I did because it certainly wasn’t the case 11 years ago. Eleven years ago, I was just learning and now, I know all about the BCS and how championship games really aren’t about matching up the top two teams. I have learned how to read and discern between the coaches poll, the AP poll, the USA Today poll, etc. I’ve learned key rivalaries and how college overtime rules are different than pro-game overtime rules. But it didn’t stop with football. I also know that March madness will be quite different. Walls covered with poster boards, pages of bracket possibilities and the hourly calls to tell me that I called an upset or I lost an Elite-8 team. I have learned even more about wrestling – the tadpole splash, sweet chin music, the pile driver, the money shot and that Hulk Hogan had a bazillion name changes, just like the wrestling world itself.  Yup, you taught me a lot about your favorite things.

About a month before D-Day, I shared with you that you didn’t make me feel like a priority basically you made me feel that I didn’t matter.  Of course, after D-Day and pulling the chat logs, I was able to see why I didn’t matter … because you were already emotionally gone and nothing about me mattered to you.  In hindsight, I wonder if anything about me mattered to you. What did you learn from me, do you even know my favorite things? I’m shaking my head because I know the answer.

47 days ago, I started this blog and at that time I thought maybe, just maybe, when this was all said and done and the hurt subsided that we might be friends. And reading back in earlier posts, I did write with the hopefulness that a friendship on some level might exist but now.… now…. now, I must accept that the person I loved doesn’t exist anymore.

Sadly, that matters to me because I thought you were my friend and that I was yours.  But a friend doesn’t hurt another like you hurt me—the worst kind of hurt: betrayal. You chose to hurt me to make yourself feel better…. I have to ask… do you feel better? Don’t answer  that– I don’t care …. at least, I’m trying hard not to.

It’s Like a Death (as shared by my friend)


A fellow blogger walking through her own journey of the consequences of infidelity commented that she felt she knew me for years simply by the way I conveyed my story. I think its because we all share the same story….we’re all part of the same club, for better or worse (much worse), its now a bond that we all share. My friend E walked this journey not many years ago and has recently become a sounding board for me. I ask her questions and she responds in a way that tells me that we are forever going to be part of a sorority that has its own handshake, pledge and motto,  she likened it to death and she’s right. I would like to share her blog post, It’s Like a Death, since she said it so much more eloquently than I ever could. E, thank you so much for sharing honestly with me, often with the same sense of exasperation that I have, and thank you for letting me link back to your post.

45-Minute Procedure


“God only gives us what we can handle. He must think I’m a bad ass!” pinterest pin

I had knee surgery yesterday. I think back to a conversation we had just a week ago when we were talking about you and your plans for moving your stuff out of the rental and I had mentioned I was at the orthopedic surgeon’s office. You never asked me why and I know its because you don’t care. Just like the night I injured my knee, exactly one week prior to D-day. I hobbled into the bedroom, you were already asleep but woke up to my crying and limping around. You asked me if I was Ok. I said no. You prayed for the pain, offered to get me an ice pack and then went back to sleep, never bringing it up again.

I lived with the pain from that day through now but little did I know that the pain of two tears in my meniscus was nothing compared to the pain I was going to begin to have to deal with just one week later. If only it would be as easy as a quick 45-minute procedure to repair the tears in my heart as it is to repair the tears in my knee.

So while I’m layed up over the next few days, I am soaking up plenty of Pinterest.  Often I would look to fellow pinners to post words of encouragement that I needed to hear/see. Many were things I wanted to hear from you but I had to seek out myself. Today, I spent 45 pinterest minutes on a procedure I like to call “Me.” Here are some of my favorite pick me ups today.

 

Picture 2  Picture 4 Picture 5 Picture 6 Picture 7 Picture 8 Picture 9 Picture 10 Picture 11 Picture 12 Picture 13 Picture 14 Picture 15 Picture 16 Picture 17  Picture 19Picture 1

 

 

Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This


Three years ago I was driving an hour outside of town to bring you clothes. You were in an inpatient rehab center after an overdose. Two days later I was driving into Atlanta to meet your mom and Mr. B as they had an extended layover on their way back to Arizona. And I recall that the only thing I wanted for our anniversary two weeks later was to go see Boyce Avenue but realizing that wasn’t going to happen.

My i-calendar is full of birthdays and anniversaries and I wonder if I’m ready to start removing all the dates on my calendar that apply to you and your family. I know that eventually the calendar entries will become less of a reminder of what we shared and more of just a memory of a time that once was. I have to accept that the person I loved doesn’t exist anymore and therefore neither should these reminders.

I remember how I would replay the events of that week and try to piece it all together. My calendar is full of notes as I tried to sort it out. Fifty days ago I was coming home from Wednesday night service and stopped to bring you home one of your favorite hamburgers from a local restaurant. I was blissfully unaware that your friend B  just had a meltdown in the office of our pastor.

I was unaware that he was telling Pastor the events that had been going on between you and her. The way you asked him to lie for you, or as you told him, “be vague about the details.” You would send him graphic texts about what you and she had done and expect that he had your back, that he was your ‘boy’, that he would cover for you.

Personally, looking back at how you operated and orchestrated everything, I think you knew exactly what you were doing when you included B in your secret life. You knew that he would not keep this to himself. That he would break down and tell someone. You might have even expected that he would tell me, thus setting into motion what you imagined would be me screaming and yelling and asking for a divorce. But it didn’t play out that way. B told the Pastor, Pastor called you out on it, you told me and I offered you forgiveness.

I know you didn’t expect my response because before you told me the dirty details, you got some tissue and said, “you’re going to need this.” But unlike the story you played out in your head, I didn’t cry.  I told you that night not to mistake my lack of tears as a sign that I didn’t care but that you didn’t deserve my tears. Yup, you didn’t deserve my tears then and I’ve given you way too many in the 48 days that have followed. I can get through most days now with nary a sniffle and I’m thankful for that.

The lawyer just texted. He said that he will be meeting with you in two days to get the final payment from you. Today is not like most days.

Blessings


…..And what if trials of this life, The rain, the storms, the hardest nights, Are Your mercies in disguise? Blessings by Laura Story

I was recently challenged by a dear friend to write about my goals, dreams, and plans, no matter how lofty they might seem. I have given it some thought and I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t have any right now. It’s been a long time since I’ve considered those for myself. They always took “us” into consideration and the question was pretty much what do I need to do to help our family?

For so many years, any goal or plan I had was to help improve our station in life. My goal was to have a good job so that we’d have insurance that was sufficient to meet our needs. I wanted to return to school to improve my skills so that I could get a promotion to get more money for us, when people liked my handmade cards enough to pay for them, I worked to find events and stores that would carry them so that I could bring in extra income to help us.

Now that its just me, and I guess its time to take her sage advice to heart. She so eloquently shared that now its my turn. It’s time to make choices for my future, choices that don’t include you.  So today, while I don’t have an answer for future plans outside of just remembering to breathe, I am going to choose to focus on my blessings and maybe soon I will be able to share some goals, dreams, and plans for my future.

  • I am blessed to have a Savior who loves me no matter how many times I present myself as unlovable with my words,  actions, and attitudes
  • I am blessed to have an amazing network of friends, many of whom are traveling this road with me, quietly holding one hand and handing me tissue with the other
  • I am blessed to have the most supportive brother who upon hearing the news started the conversation with “First of all, I love you and you are strong enough to get through this” and ended it with, “Its a good thing he wasn’t there when I was”
  • I am blessed to have a Pastor who upon hearing the news of your infidelity immediately called you out on it, made you take responsibility by telling you that you had 24 hours to tell me or he and his wife would be over to tell me themselves
  • I am blessed that my new route into work allows me to pass the cows that I love
  • I am blessed that my job includes a boss who immediately says “Yes!” when I walk into her office and say, “I need someone to be angry/sad/mad with me, will you?”
  • I am blessed to have an outlet with this blog. I’ve received some very sweet comments that have encouraged my soul.  I love that my first comment was from someone who called you an a$$hole (even now that makes me smile–thanks Pabloswife) And that so many others are willing to share their story and make me feel not so alone. Be sure to check out their stories ———>
  • And lest you think I forgot them, I am blessed to have amazing parents who have taken me in not just once, but now twice to help me get back on my feet. The first time was four years ago when they helped move us move across country so that we could find our balance after losing everything in Arizona. And now they are letting me occupy a small slice of their homelife again all the while never making me feel like a burden or a failure for the life that I somehow seem to be living.

As I look back at my list, it’s really about all the people that seem to have MY back, something you wouldn’t, didn’t, or couldn’t do. Thank you J for the challenge. I really am blessed.

Going, Going, Gone


The language… oh the language. I’m embarrassed that I sound like a sailor.

I find myself constantly apologizing to God, to my friends, to co-workers. I keep referring to you in some not kind words and I know better than that. In my grieving process, I’m apparently in the cursing stage. Hopefully it passes quickly because honestly its not me. I really don’t like foul language– I’ve always believed that with so many words in the English language I should certainly be able to come up with one that would work. Plus that’s not how I was raised and my mom would probably wash my mouth out with soap…that is, if she didn’t think the same of you as I do right now. But I’m sorry, its childish and you know me well enough to know that it not me.

There is a new part of me emerging. I wasn’t kidding when I said that as long as she is living my recycled life that I was free to get a new one. I’ve had more time to get to know my friends better. They have rallied around me in a way that still humbles me. The best part of receiving love is that you are energized to return it and show it to others. I am calmer, not every moment of my day is spent rehashing the events of D-day. Its as if their love and prayers carry me throughout the day. I will never be able to thank them enough and while I pray they don’t go through anything as life-shattering as I have been going through–I do pray that should their world get rocked that I can be the friend to them as they are to me.

I find that I have moments that I get excited to consider the new world that is mine. I think about venues around town, places that I can experience and explore without having to do a recon mission to scope it out to come home and prepare you for the environment. I really used to think you were spontaneous and maybe when we first met, you were; but as our years together passed, you weren’t as open to new experiences as you led people to believe.  Maybe it was just me, I’ll never know.

You called as sweet as can be asking for my help with your insurance and the pharmacy. This was quite the change from the two phone conversations just 24 and 48 hours prior.  Sometimes, I’m not sure if I’m coming or going. No that’s not true, I’m definitely going. I’m going to be stronger, I’m going to be smarter and I’m going to one day find someone that will love me the way that I deserve to be loved.

I See Your True Colors


I haven’t heard this many uses for the F-word in over a month. Sadly some of them are mine.

Looking back to even just 8 days after D-Day. Your voicemail message went something like this, “yeah, I need you to text me Ms. X’s phone number.” She called about the job at the U and I need to call her back.” I remember thinking to myself… well, I needed you to not have an affair, I needed you to be a man and keep your pants zipped.

This time the conversation started with a text from you. “Do you know where my GPS is?” I responded that I believed it to be in the rental, that’s where I last saw it. You simply replied Ok. I thought you were at the rental and couldn’t locate it, but you weren’t even there. You had not even made an effort to look for it, you were just asking me to do your work. I texted you about the cancellation of the cable that I wanted done by a certain date and you didn’t respond. I also asked you for the cancellation number that you said you had when you called to cancel our remote email accounts from Arizona. This was my third request for that number since the accounts are still active.

I called you after you didn’t respond.  Well, my goodness, the heavens opened and the F-word started flying when I asked where you were with canceling the cable. There were so many excuses in just one sentence about why you had not taken the modem to the cable company yet. And when you stopped with your excuses you started with the blame. When I said that you were fully aware that I didn’t want to start the new month with the bill, you said that it was my fault that I gave the modem to you two days before the end of the month. You were reminded that at the very first meeting with the lawyer, I had stated that I did not want the cable to continue after the first of the month. I reminded you that YOU had chosen that day to pick it up even though it was two days before the end of the month. That still did not stop you from trying to deflect and I could write a 1500 word essay on this two-minute conversation and only get through your excuses.

You started moving stuff out of the rental. I had a voicemail telling me that you were missing your HDMI cable and that if I gave it to Mr. A when returning the roku that someone owes you an $80 cable. And then an hour later a text that said you were still waiting to hear about your cable. Really? Really!? You couldn’t simply call and say, hey, I think you might have given my HDMI cable to Mr. A. and could you see if he has it.

Over the past 41 days there has been a lot of excuses and a lot of blame and no responsibility. In fact, on D-day, that is how you opened the conversation. The first words out of your mouth were “because you... and it went from there to your story of how you “stepped out” on me. And when you were done talking and it was my turn, I told you that you didn’t get to just tell me you “stepped out.” You needed to explain exactly what that meant and with whom. After you told me, I said to you specifically, “I will forgive you and I will forgive her and I will not be mean to her or speak ill of her and that you needed to decide if this was over or if you wanted out.” I’m not sure why you asked me to wait for an answer until you got back from your visit to see your family.  It’s not like we were purchasing a car, this was our marriage and you needed time to think about whether you wanted in or out?!?

I see that now, but not that night as I was numb with the news so I said yes to your request of time and I left the rental—again, why I was the one to leave I have no idea. I texted you late that night to say that I forgot a house key and to find out when a good time would be to come back and get one you didn’t respond. I used the spare key that my parents had to get back into the rental, you weren’t there. It was 6:30 am, the car was there, the scooter was there but you were not. I returned to the rental at 10 am and asked you where you were knowing full well that you were with her. You offered me another excuse saying that her daughter had called you, upset because her mom was such a wreck and that you needed to come over, so you did. YOUR WIFE WAS A WRECK but you didn’t feel you needed to see how I was doing, instead you went to see how your girlfriend was coping with the news that you told me about the affair. You are an asshole.

You owe me too… you owe me a new heart. You owe me a refund on the time that you stole from me, both past and future. If you want to make it about money and possessions, you owe me seven years of supporting us and working three jobs to try to keep what we had in Arizona, you have to get a 10×10 storage unit to store all the stuff that you are keeping from this marriage. But then again, your girlfriends house, pardon me, your new place, is already furnished. You are fortunate that I am not asking for spousal support. Let’s not start playing the You Owe Me game because I assure you, that one, I will win.

You need to know that I’m not yours to bully anymore. You can’t control me with your anger any longer. You cannot cut me down with your words or your attitude. I don’t plan my day around whether or not we might encounter an unfamiliar situation that might cause you to panic or where you might be out of your element. I look back and realize that I ran a lot of interference not only with strangers, but also your friends and our families.

Again, I ask myself… Am I angry with you or am I angry at the time I feel I was cheated out of?  The answer is F-yeah.