On Being Lonely

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Will and I used to have such a “great” social life…back in the day. Lots of friends, lots of parties, fun times out, friends over for dinners and holidays. We really were a go to couple for social gatherings and good times. What I didn’t know was that Will was more than social with more than a few of those so-called friends at the time. In 1995, I had had enough of Will’s drinking and abuse. He had ruined us financially with his gambling and finally disclosed his serial cheating. (I thought completely at the time..he was still lying) I was leaving. I went back to my faith and began making plans for divorce. Will seemed resigned at first but then had a change of heart. He, too, began to attend church and we reconciled. He seemed to be a new man. I never saw him drink, he cleaned up his language and never laid a hand on me in anger again. Because he dutifully served in the church, I believed his sexual acting out and gambling had stopped too. Our social life changed. We had a few close couple friends who knew our story and were with us through our life changing conversion from party people to a solid family committed to our marriage and to God. Then we got orders and moved.

It is always difficult in a new place in the military lifestyle. It takes a little while to find one’s niche…one’s posse…one’s crew. But this move was a little harder. At church we felt at odds telling anyone about Will’s past…at least Will did. he didn’t want me to give anyone details…so I didn’t. He didn’t go out drinking with anyone at work and didn’t really like anyone he now worked with. I had friends at my job and tried to go on double date nights with Will and my friends and their hubby’s.Nothing ever clicked. We had several good friends thru church and had an active enough social life in that respect…just no one we felt really close to. I felt like we were hiding the big secret that was Will’s “former” life.

Will retired from the military and got a great job. I thought maybe this would lead to some new social opportunities. But, no. A couple of great company trips and hanging out at resorts with his co-workers…but that’s it. He moved within the company to a new division and, well, he didn’t really seem interested in making good friends or introducing me to anyone. I retreated into myself. I began to find it harder and harder to make friends. I dreaded questions about Will and I. How long we had been married. Where we had lived. Why had we fallen from our faith and what had brought us back. It became easier to just rely on my family, my kids, who knew our history.  I would find a group of girlfriends at work, but when talk of the past or of personal stuff came up, the friendships became scary for me and I would just sort of let them go. I know now that I was suffering from unresolved trauma but did not know what it was. All I knew was I felt much like I always had…there was something shameful and embarrassing in our past and I shouldn’t talk about it. So I didn’t.

I felt myself slowly diminish into a shadow of myself for 20 years. 20 long years. I was so alone. I had my children…and then my grandchildren. I took care of my home, my husband, my family, my job, was a dutiful daughter and sister. A faithful church member and friendly neighbor. But I was so very lonely. My oldest daughter had never been able to stand me. I think she loved me, but it was somewhere very deep within her. She admits to hating me for a very long time. My son was away on a mission for two years and my younger daughter lived out-of-state.  I had my two dogs…which Will did NOT want to get but allowed and did love eventually. Still, I was alone. Will began to travel a lot. I was lonelier still.

In 2013, an amazing thing happened. My younger daughter moved home! Her husband had been stationed at our nearby base and they bought a home less than 5 mins from me. I was ecstatic! My four grandkids and my best-friend-daughter-that-never-hated-me was home! I wasn’t lonely for the first time in decades! They would go to the zoo and invite me. I wanted to go out to lunch and would call them. They needed someone to help with Halloween costumes…I was there! It was glorious! I was happy! Will would go out-of-town and it was ok…I would go over for movie night.

Then D-day. My daughters were the first people I called. They came over. My oldest preferred to call Will before getting to the house. In the meantime, my sweet daughter who shared everything with me and me with her, did not take the news that I had asked Will to leave the house because I caught him having an affair. She screamed. And then said simply, “I can’t be here.” And left. My older daughter came in and told me that Will was staying at her house and she already knew what had happened…she had just gotten off the phone with him. She offered to stay with me for a few minutes. My son called and all he could say was, “Oh my Gosh.” He just kept repeating that. His sweet wife texted me 30 minutes later saying she loved me, came stay with them out-of-state for awhile if I needed to.

And then. . .nothing. I was left to myself. My oldest called to make sure I was “okay.” My younger daughter did not call. My son texted, “I love you, mom.” None of the kids could or would talk to me. I foolishly thought that after protecting them and nurturing them their whole lives, they would be there for me when I was so very alone. I was wrong.

Later when I found out the full extent of the betrayal from Will, I called and told my mother. I told her about Will and my sister. She took my sister’s side. My sister attacked me via text with such vile and disgusting language I had to block her.  I no longer have a mom or a sister. My older sister died just after this incident two years ago and I was threatened if I came home for the funeral. Tomorrow, my older sister would have been 58. Again, I was a fool to think that after supporting my mother, bailing her out financially, protecting my sister and being there for here time and time again…there would be comfort or support for me. Again, I was wrong. Neither of them are part of my life anymore.

Now, over two years after D-day, I am again alone. We have moved again. Our new church does not know our history or the trauma. They do not know us. I am afraid of the questions. Why did you move? (Because my husband screwed a nasty herpes infested whore in every room of my old house and it reeked of skank and deceit.) Yeah…not the best way to gain new friends.

My younger daughter and her family have moved again too…out of state. But, that relationship has never been the same. I no longer have a best friend. My older daughter is still here and she no longer hates me, so that is good. But we are not best friends. I don’t have friends. I am so very, very alone.

Will works farther away from home now, twice the drive to and from, so is home with me less. I am physically alone most of my day…every day. I talk to my dog…and the robot vacuum. I don’t like who I am becoming. And I haven’t got the first clue how to change it. It is exhausting even thinking about trying to make friends. I am terrified that somehow, someone will *gasp* find out! That we will be looked at as “those” people. The pressure of living an isolated, hidden, shameful life is slowly killing me. How? How do I get past this, blogger friends? What do I do? Please help!

Leigh ❤️

 

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Two

 

IMG_0492Two years. TWO YEARS. That is how long it’s been since I trusted Will. That’s how long it’s been since I felt secure. That’s how long it’s been since I felt innocent and clean. Two years ago, on May 17, 2015, I saw Will’s phone with a texted picture of Danielle posing for him in the Victoria Secret lingerie he bought her. I saw Will looking at me with a terrified face and saying, “It’s only texting! Nothing more!” Still trying to deny it as I read about how he liked the way her ass felt in his hands. . .

We met today with our counselor and discussed why I have been on edge this past week since returning home from a visit with my son and his family. Well, it turns out that there are a lot of triggers this time of year that I have been stuffing down and they all came up today, my 2 year mark from D-day. We leave for Florida in a week. Two years ago, in Florida, Will was distant, even mean, and unable to perform sexually. I asked him what was wrong…was it me? Was there someone else? He gaslighted me to the point that I apologized and cried. How DARE I even ask him that after he brought me to Florida?!

Last night we went to my grandsons sixth birthday party. Two years ago, we had his fourth birthday party at a pizza place. Will was distant, and disconnected from me and the grandkids. He kept disappearing. . .to the restroom, to go get more napkins, to find a waiter for more sodas. And he would be gone for quite a while.

He was on his phone. With Danielle. Like he was in Florida. Talking. And texting. And sexting. About what they did and what they were going to do next time they were together.

So, this has been in my vault. Locked away behind my every day stuff. Behind the mom and grandma stuff that I have been handling. Behind the new home and the fledgling renewed marriage stuff. Behind the trying to find my way in a different place and different type of life stuff. Buried far beneath the happy face and “I’m OKs” and the caretaker and nestbuilder and fun grandma, caring mom, content wife facade that covers so much, and that I thought I had given up for my newer, bolder, more genuine ME.

So, I begin, again, to re-emerge from the darker recesses of myself which I allow the people I love to place me. They don’t do it purposely. They are used to a certain me. One they love, but maybe more important, one they really like.  I am not always that likeable me anymore…because that takes so much effort. Effort that I don’t always have. I allowed it today as my oldest daughter called to unload about the difficulties she was having with my oldest granddaughter. I listened, I offered my shoulder to cry on, I offered the advice she was seeking. Then I got off the phone and fell apart. Because it was too much. Too much for today. Too much other ugly, sad, hurt on a day when ugly, sad and hurt were already overwhelming me. It was hurtful that no one knew that today was d-day for me, except Will. And he tried. And, I guess, looking back, that is saying quite a lot. He tried, he IS trying. WE are trying.

I will be glad when I wake up tomorrow and it won’t be today anymore.

 

All In The Family

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I haven’t blogged in awhile. Not because everything is great, not because everything is terrible. But just because of everything. The everydayness, the everythoughtness, the everymemoryness, the every-everythingness of what is my life now. Now that I know. Now that my children, my oldest grandchildren, some other family members and close friends, all know.  I am in a sort of a limbo state wondering what is next.

In the meantime, it has become glaringly apparent that Will’s addictions and past behaviors have had deep and profound repercussions within our family. The thing with addiction and recovery is that it is never, ever just about one person or one behavior or even one addiction really. There are so many minute little pieces that fit, sometimes grudgingly, into the puzzle of one’s dysfunctional life. What happened to someone, or to someone they love, or perhaps something they witnessed, or a multitude of other scenarios can cause trauma. Trauma that is not dealt with is so often stuffed down, or medicated, or manifested thru more dysfunctional behavior–like addiction. Causing more trauma. It is a difficult and sometimes a lifelong project to break the cycle.

My oldest daughter had a very, VERY, drama-filled adolescence. Much of it of her own making, but some of which, looking back, was spurred on by her wanting the attention of a distant sex obsessed narcissistic father and an insecure preoccupied fearful mother. Both of whom drank to excess, Will as an alcoholic and me as an enabler, and had NO idea how to deal with a strong-willed, smart, independent teenager. After “Ann’s” many rebellions thru running away, drug use, boys, and utter hatred spewed toward both Will and I, she managed to graduate from High School and land a full ride scholarship to the State University. A full 3 hour drive from home, I admit, it was somewhat of a relief to have her out of the house and away from influencing our younger two kids. Will and I quit drinking ( I did, he said he did and lied…shocker), He confessed his “minor” and infrequent infidelities (not all of them it turned out…shocker) and recommitted to our marriage during this time. We moved again and tried to look forward and start fresh.

Ann lasted one year at school. She announced she was bringing someone home to meet us. She showed up with a tall, skinny, kinda goofy-looking guy with big ears. She had been dating him for a little over a month, I think, at the time. And she was pregnant. She was 19. She moved in with Mickey (the ears, sorry 😏) and he got a job as a waiter in their college town. Our first grand baby was born and it was love at first site. As time passed, we learned that Mickey was an alcoholic and drug addict…and he was abusive. We drove the now six hours more than once to save Ann and the baby and bring them home to safety while Mickey sobered up. Ann continued to play this game…for eight long years. When we discovered that Ann, too, was an active drug abuser and suicidal, we sued for custody of our then eight year old granddaughter and her little one year old brother. I remember arguing with Will, only convincing him to take the kids because if not for us, they would have gone into foster care. No grandchild of Will’s was going to be a ward of the state! After two years of rehab and then, blessedly, a divorce from now incarcerated felon Mickey, Ann began to make a new life for her and our two sweet grandchildren. She then married a great guy who adopted these kids and loves them so very much. They together have a third. Ann is now a licensed therapist. And an alcoholic. In perpetual relapse. And continually trying to deal with her now difficult teenage daughter. Who has come home drunk, has run away, has boy issues. . .and is currently, for the last week, in a behavior mental health facility for an attempted suicide after being beaten up by her current boyfriend. The same one I was in. She is 17.

Her confidante and the person she feels comfortable talking to the most? Will. She knows some of what his addictions were and what he has done. She also knows and has seen how he has changed over the last almost 2 years (D-day is May 17, 2015).  Ann’s go-to person in crisis? Me. She does not comprehend how I was able to cope with all the crapweasle things she did as a teenager. She is having such a difficult time trying to cope with the same crapweasle behavior from her teenager now. And she is desperately trying to stay sober while doing so. All I can tell her is to rely on God and surrender it. There is no magic pass. There is no passing go and collecting money. These is no going around or over or under…only going through.

I have two other grown children. They have no addictions. . .that I know of. I have eight other grandchildren. I pray hard for all of them that thy NEVER have to experience this brutal, unrelenting trial of addiction and abuse. I want the cycle to end. I hate that addiction is such a prevalent problem and that it festers and grows in silence and fear. I hate that families, everywhere, everyday, are torn apart by its effects and fallout. I hate that my family has been so devasted by it…because of Will…and his parents. And who knows beyond that. All I know is that it needs to stop. All of it. For our own health, for the good of marriages and relationships and families everywhere.

There Are Still Days…

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Sometimes, I am going along in my life, doing the things that I do, and I am fine. Really. I mean, I feel (almost) like any other woman, married, with kids and grandkids, pursuing hobbies, living life. Sometimes. But, not always. Still, too often, I am weighed down by the knowledge that the one person in my life that I gave my heart and soul, my hopes and dreams, my trust and love to…betrayed me. So many times and with so many women, that even he is not sure of the number. And it still hurts. Just as deeply and indescribably raw as when I discovered his deceit. And then I have one of “those” days.

I struggle to rise from bed, and when I do, it seems a monumental task to get dressed or open the blinds to the glaring sunlight. Leaving the house…going “out there” among normal people…is unthinkable. It is safer here. Within the walls of this new home, where no other woman has bared herself for my husband’s use. Where pornography has never been viewed and phone sex with some desperate whore has never been had. It is safe to withdraw to my computer, to my writing, to my art, to my books. Although, sometimes, even those things don’t interest me. That is when I know my depression has taken over and that is my scary place.

So, I pray. I call other partners. I work my program. I try to engage in something…anything…to occupy my thoughts. I use all the tools in my toolbox to pull myself back to me. Sometimes it works, sometimes it takes a lot of work. But, I am still here. Day in, day out. Fighting for me, for who I want to be, for who I know I can become. It’s exhausting. And there is still part of me that hates Will for doing this to me…to us. I don’t know if that will ever go away. The hate is scary too.

Today is one of those days and I am praying hard and begging God to take this from me. I welcome your prayers today. ❤

Time Out

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Will is going hunting this weekend. He will be in the mountains with my son-in-law and grandson. I am fine with that. However, next week, I am leaving for a couple of weeks to be with my son and his family. Will will be here. By himself. Alone. I have been telling myself that: I should be passed worrying. He has been sober for over a year. I shouldn’t be triggered by the distance. I am over-reacting and being unreasonable. So far, it’s not working.

The truth is that I am worried. I don’t know if he will still be sober when he is left on his own. Because I still don’t trust him. I don’t. And I don’t know when, or even if, trust will ever be possible. I certainly can’t just decide to trust him 100% all over again after all he’s done. It is not possible for me to look at him yet and not see the deceit and filth that was his life. It is still a process. I know I am impatient, especially with myself, but this takes time. A LOT of time.

What I am not doing is beating myself up. I started to really get upset with myself for not being able to just take this in stride. But then I remembered…oh, yeah…I didn’t do this to me…Will did this to me. It is not unreasonable or unwarranted. It is not my responsibility to be perfectly ok with leaving my known sex addict husband alone for two weeks, unsupervised, a block away from a massage parlor and liquor store, with full internet access, and all the time in the world, to do whatever he wants with whomever he want, with no one to be accountable to. Whew….now that I’ve written that out, I think I can let it go. Because, really, there is nothing I can do about it. He will or he won’t act out. That will be entirely his choice. He will lie to me, or he won’t…again his choice. He has a poly next month. If he makes a poor choice then, that’s ok…I’ll be ok. I’ll re-file for divorce and he knows this. And if he chooses acting out over me, then I will be better off. And if he chooses to stay sober, then he and we will be much farther ahead in our recovery and on a firmer path. That, too, goes a long way in establishing that all-important trust.

So, in the meantime, I will breathe deep, I will exhale fully. I will let go and let God. I will trust in myself and my own healing as always. And I will be OK. Thanks readers…I needed this little time out. 😏

Where Is The Love?

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Remember that song? From Robert Flack in the 70’s? Yeah, so I heard it the other day and for the first time I realized it was an OW song. . .

Where is the love

(Where is the love)
Where is the love
(Where is the love)
Where is the love
(Where is the love)
Where is the love

Where is the love
You said you’d give to me
Soon as you were free
Will it ever be
Where is the love

You told me that you didn’t love her
And you were gonna say goodbye
But if you really didn’t mean it
Why did you have to lie

Where is the love
You said was mine all mine
Till the end of time
Was it just a lie
Where is the love

If you had had a sudden change of heart
I wish that you would tell me so
Don’t leave me hangin on the promises
You’ve got to let me know

Oh, how I wish I never met you
I guess it must have been my fate
To fall in love with someone else’s love
All I can do is wait
(That’s all I can do)
Yeah, hey, yeah

Ugh! I used to like that song! But it made me start thinking about Will and the love he’s always said was reserved for me. He has been consistent in his claim that he never felt anything,ever, for any of his APs. To him, they were a means to an end, only cheaper than prostitutes and massage parlors. And, (his words) a LOT more work. So, I guess my question then is, “where is the love?” I mean, I know that Will is an intimacy anorexic and that it is a process, but at some point, isn’t there a breakthrough? A pivot point? An epiphany? I find that I catch myself at odd times just waiting. Waiting for some kind of grand gesture. Some big “sign” or clue that he is all of a sudden madly, deeply, stupidly in love with me. At other times, I just want him to open up and need me. And only me. Not in a sexual way. . .we are nowhere near that type of intimacy yet. . .just as ME! The one person who supposedly now knows all of his secrets and thoughts and feelings. The one person he is the closest to in the world. The one person he can confide in and trust. But. . .I still feel his distance. I still feel his isolation. I still feel his withdrawal. And I worry. I wonder. I imagine.

And then I surrender.

I know that I cannot manage Wills recovery, nor do I wish to take that on. . .I have enough to juggle managing my own. . .but I often wish he would share more about where he is with me. I realize this is a far cry from a year ago when all I wanted was for him to shut up already about “recovery this” or “healthy that” but, I, and we, were in a different place then.  Again, my impatience rears its ugly head and I know that time will tell a different story. . .but I crave love, and affection, and closeness, and connection. . .with Will. And I know that it cannot come thru physical intimacy yet. He is not ready and I know that I am not, so how do we get there?

I continue to work hard and do the things I know are healthy for me. I know that Will is working hard and I DO see such great change in him. . .yet. . . I am still left asking that question:

Where is the love?

 

 

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

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Will and I saw our couples therapist today. Generally that is a good thing and signifies progress. I say “generally” because it is certainly not a sure thing. Sometimes, even 17 months post d-day, there are ugly little nuggets of disclosure that rear their nasty little heads. Today was one of those days. Yes, even this far into recovery (not simply sobriety, which I assure you is different) I was hit with a new disclosure and I feel floored again. Will’s explanation is that he disclosed this to his therapist waaaayy back in July of 2015… at the first polygraph…with the disclosure I was not present for….that I never heard…but was told by the therapist was “great”…that triggered a three, or five, or seven day PTSD episode that I cannot recall. To me, this is complete therapy abuse. Different therapist (thankfully!) but nonetheless, I was in the dark, so this is new to me. OF COURSE he has passed his polys since then. He has disclosed all of his disgusting past. What the polys do not ask is if he has disclosed them specifically TO ME. Ya know, the one he cheated on. The one he hurt. The single person in the entire world that he could commit adultery against.  The only woman in the world who has put up with his shit for over 37 years. Oh, yeah…me. Just the wife. Just the mother of his children, his life partner, the grandmother of his amazing grandkids and savior time and again of his sorry loser ass!!! I asked Will to leave our sad little trailer for a couple of days. I need to process. I need to think. I need to cry. I need to mourn yet another ugly betrayal, another lie, another layer of hurt. Does it ever end? Ever? Please…fellow bloggers…tell me this gets better! Tell me that at some point there is NO MORE. Because I am near my ropes end….really…