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!