Denial

You know when you get little glimpses of awareness that you’ve hit on an idea but can’t quite uncover it? I noticed this has been happening more often for me as I seem to be coming up from complete apathy to less apathy. The smoke clears for a moment, I have a thought, and I try to pursue that thought in the hopes of some personal enlightenment. In the wake of Tony-textacle, something struck me the other day – unrelated to Tony’s infidelity in his marriage – but my x’s behavior in ours. Then I recalled this same thought occurred to me post Bobby.

Strangely enough, I know more about Bobby’s post D-day than Tony’s. I didn’t even realize Tony and Kelly had a D-day in July until last week. Bobby told me everything about his recovery plan post D-day, until he hit the point in recovery that he needed to acknowledge I couldn’t be a part of his life. Tony lied to me for the past 7 months, maybe in an effort to “keep the enemy closer?” Who knows. When I realized Tony had been creating even more lies within his marriage, a little thought bubble popped up to say “do you recall saying he was more like your x than you wanted to admit?” And I got a physical sensation of being ill. It was as if my mind had buried that reminder so deeply that it created a physical sensation as it was dug up again.

Tony did, in his marriage, exactly what my x did to me upon discovery: lied more and denied what actually happened. The next stop on this this reality train is believing that Tony was also lying to me (haven’t fully accepted that yet).  I also repeat: does it even matter?  Nope, not really.   Not my marriage.

I read an article about Hiding in Denial and the flashbacks were not pleasant. When I uncovered my x’s infidelity he turned the entire situation around on me and my need for control. He wasn’t going to give up a female friend. He wasn’t going to allow me to monitor him. He may have crossed a little line, but he was in control and would manage the situation on his own. If he gave up his female friend that meant there was admitting to guilt and he wasn’t guilty. The article went on to describe that until someone admits they have a problem, no changes in outcome would be expected.

“Albert Einstein said, “No problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it.” Until I can change how I see the problem (and the problem is me, what I’ve done, and what I’m capable of) I will never be safe for my partner. Until I can accept the reality of my own defects of character I’ll never get where I’m going. If the right help is attained, we can find hope as well as a plan to find movement and clarity for both spouses.”

So, while I initially started thinking about Tony, it led me backwards to my own situation with the x, and then further into understanding myself. I have been programmed to accept liars into my life. This has become my defect of character and I allow it to continue by actively looking the other way.  Consistently burying my cues.  I keep accepting a “less-than-I-deserve” behavior in hopes that the other person will change.

Of course, they never do.  And I have become thoroughly practiced in being obstinate about forcing a change, obsessed with their change, instead of gracefully getting up and walking away from their behavior.  I allow some else’ bad behaviors to validate my own bad behavior.

I don’t stop.

With Tony I got the behavior I was seeking from my x. At some point Tony admitted his shame and his ownership for creating the mess we were all in. This was very close to the time he spoke to his wife. I believe that, up until that point, he was as authentic as he could be. He was horrified with himself and his actions and for the further mess he would be creating. I never got that from my x. Not even close. Never even an apology until years later – and it was one of those “I’m sorry if my actions hurt you but I never really cheated” kind of back handed apologies. I think that period of Tony being so genuine is what kept me holding on even longer, he couldn’t be that honest in his marriage so there was hope for us yet (idealized thinking). It wasn’t until his wife told me he was calling me a liar that the truth of it all struck me – he went right back to denial as it was a much more comfortable place to be.  But I shouldn’t have gone with him.  I should not have been around for his mistakes and lies to his family.

I have been holding on to my own denial. The thought that hope exists where it had, in fact, been extinguished 2 years ago in April ’17 when Tony chose to stay in his marriage. I am very good at this since I had a 22 year marriage where I was hopeful for around 18 of those years because I was gaslighted and weak. I keep allowing others, men in particular, to control my life. First my father, then a husband and then two affairs. If I don’t stop trying to control and manage my pain instead of acknowledging and accepting it, to really understand it, I am never going to break this cycle.

(You can go back to re-read the article Ann sent me here, and start to see how that played into what I had already started to think about my habits)

I actually believe that things do happen for a reason. I started to uncover these old perceptions of myself back in this post, and slowly other markers (such as Ann sending me the article) showed up along the way to highlight that I was on the right path to my own little self discovery.

While it may have been the worst way possible to uncover my own truths, sending Tony’s wife the information helped to uncover something I had buried and continue to recreate. I know it will always be viewed as malicious, that I would hurt someone who never hurt me and I understand that point of view. But somewhere in this narrative I needed Tony to accept the truth, my truth I guess, and this felt like the only way I could achieve it. What happens next in his life is his. His anger at me is because of discovery, because I upended that perfect scenario of life he worked so hard to create.  I’m sure some it it is because I hurt Kelly, but the bigger part of it for Tony is because he is uncovered as a serial cheater and liar and loses his prized possession: his outward face as a good and honorable man.  I have to own what I did, it was wrong and I haven’t yet learned how to control this terrible, horrible piece of me that wants others to hurt when I hurt.

Stick with me as I dig deeper, I appreciate all of your insight.

 

Rear view

I wish I had some feeling, any feeling about the text I sent to Tony’s wife.

I have been drained since then, but not in the way I am normally emotionally drained. I haven’t had a period in 60 days now and I had awful cramps early in they day. Maybe this is from the polyps that need to be removed. Some of it is surely from the emotional disturbance but it’s not what I would normally experience.

The drugs are doing their part and, I suppose, I am further into excising him than I thought. I made it so he would never reach out to me again, killed all hope and crushed any reason to think he could remember us with anything except remorse.

I plan to take one more day to myself and then physically change what I’ve been doing. I did it and I’m moving on. She replied succinctly:

“Thank you for your concern for me however I think you need to be more concerned with whatever it is you are going through.

I really don’t need to hear anymore from you about this as I have known about this since last July when you texted me from a random phone number.”

Last July, while very drunk, I forwarded her a profile photo of him on a dating site. I never admitted it to anyone, but of course they had to know it was me.

He claims he told her it was a joke and she didn’t know anything. Based on his response to my text Tuesday, I tend to think her reply was gracious enough to tell me to shut up while pretending she knows more than she did. Or maybe she suspected he was lying. Either way, he did actually tell me he never told her about our affair or he made up a different version.

That’s all the time I am going to spend on it. I did what I say out to do, told her and made him regret ever meeting me.

The emptiness continues, but I’m forcing a change in myself immediately.

I am promising myself, and you, that this is the end of Tony. He is in the rest view mirror and I am moving on. If his wife can take pity on me, I need to take pity on myself.

Void

I realize that the text posts overlapped with my regularly scheduled writing about my resume. That could be confusing to wonder what state of mind I’m in if you were to read the posts in order. The text posts were in real time.

I got so close to *not* sending the text. I wrote a post. I stepped away. And then I just snapped.

The best way I can describe this would be like a metal door Sliding down in front of me, encasing me in a dark windowless, airless room. The room is absent of sound and light. I hit send and went about my way. No thought, no reaction, no remorse.

I went about my evening, admitted my guilt to my bff, and took some sleeping pills. I woke in the same state of apathy. My friend called and told me how disappointed she was and how she needed me to start digging in and doing the work on myself I clearly haven’t done since Mexico.

Thank you for all of your comments and input. I wish I had a better explanation for my actions.

I wish I felt more than I do. My friend said I should be prepared for the worst – for his anger or her anger now directing at me or my family. I don’t know “how” I prepare for what may come (or not).

I slept more than I should have today and just decided to take a mental and physical break. Sit on the couch and think.

Ann once said to me “I need to burn the bridges behind me” and that always stuck with me. I need to load them with gasoline and explosives and toss a match. I leave behind the wreckage that I myself have become. I wish I understood this deep, dark desire to “do unto others” because I acknowledge it’s horrible. This is worse than a child throwing a tantrum.

I haven’t tried prayer and that seems to be the one thing I should try. To pray to a higher power for patience, kindness and forgiveness. For the ability to believe in myself and control my impulsivity. I need to find faith in myself, in a higher power, in anything because I’ve lost my way entirely.

Complete Break from Reality

It’s my own fault. There is a dark, dark part of me – even beyond Trixie’s antics – that comes out.

I sent the text because I was mad at him for blaming me for attacking his marriage. And then he blamed me for attacking his family and it was more than I could bear. I didn’t even know what he was talking about.

Whatever happened and whenever, it’s my fault. I even told him it was my fault so he would calm down. But he kept attacking and spewing hate. I thought just admitting guilt would make a difference. It didn’t.

I popped.

I hit send:

Hello Kelly,

I am sorry in advance for the disruption this text will cause.  

I am writing because I had an affair with your husband for approximately 2 years from 6/16 – 4/18.  

I have tried to avoid contacting you, but have realized I needed to do this for myself. We fell in love and when he decided to stay in your marriage, we were both unable to let go for a time and then, ultimately, I was the one who couldn’t let go. I have been suffering a deep depression which led to harming myself.  

It is up to Tony to honestly explain to you what he’s done throughout your marriage, and who knows about it. Tony will downplay what happened between us because he is so angry with me, but you should be aware of what happened.

I then blocked their numbers and went out.

I’m unsure how he got through, I could see it was blocked but maybe because I didn’t block on iPad as well?

He called me an asshole and a coward (ripe coming from the ultimate coward, eh?)

I don’t feel ANYTHING.

No anger, hatred or relief. Simply nothing at all. Zero.

I wish I felt worse about hurting her. But she was never a real person in my mind so maybe that’s how it worked when I snapped.

It was an entire absence of thought.

I called my bff and admitted the truth and she loved me anyway but I know how disappointed she is.

She said I should prepare for the worst. I admit I didn’t see his crazy anger as coming at me, but now I can see that a threat to his family could cause this.

I hate this emptiness and nothingness. I feel nothing while another family is breaking down due to my hand.

I haven’t learned enough. I don’t have enough compassion or healing despite all I’ve been through. I’m not worthy of anything if I can’t even get letting go right.

I want to feel bad for her (not him) but I feel empty.

Why do I feel the need to create so much drama? Why can’t I let things be?

Struggling

I am struggling right now not to write to Tony’s wife.

I made it worse because I reached out to him to find I was blocked.

I got angrier and angrier until he replied. He claims she got a text and told his kids and now everything is my fault. His life crashing around him is my fault. I haven’t seen him since April and spoken to him in 6/7 weeks.

Now I really just want to write and tell the truth. Fuck him, if I wrote it won’t be some mysterious text.

I am trying very hard right now not to hit send.

I have nothing left to lose and maybe this will just end it for me once and for all.

Keeping Trixie Silent

I know all the right things to do. I know not to contact Tony’s wife. Some days the right reasons don’t matter and that’s the part I strive to understand about myself.

My therapist basically said “let go and let God.” “Vengeance is mine, said the Lord.”

I did read everyone’s comments and digest them. Thank you. I just didn’t have any energy to address each one. When you know you want to do something wrong, it’s hard to listen to people who care about you telling you to behave differently.

Why do I have to hurt him? It doesn’t even make sense to me. Isn’t it bad enough I’m in such pain? Why hurt another family?

I suppose what struck me this time was the fact that I don’t know what Pandora’s box I am opening by telling her. She could be as nuts as Trixie for all I really know. Or, even if she’s not, maybe one of her friends are. I may experience the release of anger temporarily, but I could end up doing even more damage to myself and I’m not well enough to manage any more damage. I heard that from you loud and clear.

But the feeling of wanting to out him is strong.

So strong I reached out to him instead. Which is just as bad. He hasn’t answered me so now I’m obsessing. The trick is not to fall back into compulsion to force him into communication with me. He is doing the right thing for both of us. Something I can’t seem to do.

My head is still not screwed on. For any step forward I fall back, way back. I feel lifeless and empty. Trying to fill this void is overwhelming.

I know this comes down to simple math: he gave me something I never had and I can’t see past that. But I know there is no choice than to move forward and put him behind me.

I don’t even mention this to my support system anymore because I’m so embarrassed. I can’t afford the therapist as I’ve been out of work too long.

I’m just worried I’m sliding too far back. I’m worried it all feels like to much for me again.

I Decided – Trixie Post

*Written last week

I made up my mind. I have decided to contact Tony’s wife. I have been reading and reading like crazy so many opinions about do/don’t contact and why.

And I finally decided I am never going to be at peace until she hears the truth. I asked him many months ago, before I had my breakdown, to tell her. He promised he would. This was the only way I could avoid having this obsessive need to tell her myself.

He didn’t.

Here’s my email to her:

Hello Kelly,
I am sorry in advance for the disruption this email will cause.  
I am writing because I had an affair with your husband for approximately 2 years from 6/16 – 4/18.  
I have tried to avoid contacting you, but have realized I needed to do this for myself. We fell in love and when he decided to stay in your marriage, we were both unable to let go for a time and then, ultimately, I was the one who couldn’t let go. I have been suffering a deep depression which led to harming myself.  
I needed to finally stop hoping one day he might change his mind and just give you the facts about Tony.  
It is up to Tony to honestly explain to you what he’s done throughout your marriage, and who knows about it. I can provide any proof you need from me but thought keeping this email to the point was best.   
Madeline

If you are curious what changed my mind it was this website:

https://www.infidelityhelpgroup.com/2016/10/05/should-i-tell-his-wife/

And a website called Chump Lady.

*written today

I guess I hadn’t decided because something is stopping me from sending it – and believe me that send button has been under my thumb more than once this week.

I’m just sitting on it. Perhaps the feeling will pass. Perhaps it won’t.

I realize there is no gain from this text to his wife. I try to keep mulling over in my head why I feel so strongly about outing him. I know part of it stems from pure rage that he gets to live his life free and clear after 20 years of continued cheating and the wreckage he left of me.

Then I think: who cares.

If I could surgically remove these thoughts and feelings of him I would opt to at this point. I would even go back to Mexico! (Not ever!)

Nightmare Analysis

Thanks to MaggieMay, I analyzed my nightmare from the other evening.

Here’s what I came up with that makes total sense:

 

Reflection / Mirror: To see your reflection represents your true self.  This suggests you are pondering thoughts about your inner self.  If you see a strange figure other than your own reflection, then it suggests that you are undergoing some identity crisis.  You are not sure about who you are anymore.  To dream you do not see your reflection implies your have lost your self-identity.

Seeing images though the mirror may be a safe way for you to consider and/or confront materials from your subconscious.  You may be contemplating on strengthening and changing aspects o your character.  Alternatively, the dream means that you are unwilling to acknowledge your subconscious emotions.

(I dreamed all 3: I saw myself, I saw strange figures, and I saw nothing reflected)

Ghosts: To dream that ghosts are trying to kill you implies that you are ready to confront your past and repressed emotions, despite how painful it may be.  You are ready to move forward with your life and eave the past behind.  If a ghost is choking you in your dream (the ghost was not choking me but I was unable to scream) then it means some past situation is preventing you from fully expressing yourself.  Dreaming that you are being stalked or haunted by a ghost indicates that you are refusing to confront issues from your past which are affecting your present life.

(I dreamed that initially the ghost was stalking me, then ultimately trying to kill me)

Scream: To dream you are screaming symbolizes anger and fear.  You are expressing some powerful emotion which you have kept pent up inside.  If you try and scream and no sound comes out, then it indicates a sense of helplessness and frustration.No matter how hard you try and get someone’s attention, they cannot hear you.  Your dream highlights your difficulty communicating with this person.  You need to immediately identify your fears or feelings and confront this situation in real life.

(I dreamed that I was unable to scream until the ghosts were literally upon me, and then I was able to release the scream and woke myself up).

It seems the dream analysis is on point, and possibly more related to Tony that I thought possible.  Thankfully, I have also learned that the Tony emotions are pretty much in the same bucket with the other crisis emotions I am dealing with: Mexico, Work, and my Family.  All of these crisis coming at the same time are quite deeply buried … and my subconscious is definetly trying to get these emotions out from under.

In summary: I am clearly undergoing an identity-crisis at the moment and trying to confront painful, past memories and emotions (Family, Tony, Mexico, Work).  I have been refusing to fully confront these emotions and felt helpless and frustrated.  I have had difficulty communicating in all of these areas.

I thought this was a great and enlightening exercise!

I also think, that as crazy as some dreams are….the fact that this was truly a horrific nightmare of mine, and I haven’t had one in so many years, really does highlight the fact that I am digging deep to do the emotional work I need to get back on track.

Thanks Maggie!

 

 

 

 

The Conversation with Tony

Post Tony deleting me on Facebook, we communicated a little by text.  He put me back on Facebook when he realized he upset me.  Then he text me again, the next morning.

I engaged after I spoke to my therapist.

There was nothing that was going to change my mind to speak to him.  It had been months – at least since June or July – we had been on the phone.  I’m pretty certain the last conversation would have been in anger.

I have no desire to recap the conversation but I told him about Mexico.  I cried a little when I told him what brought me to Mexico.  He thinks he could have stopped me.  That’s a big fat, no – because he wasn’t leaving his wife – so he’s giving himself too much credit.

I wanted to ask so many things  I wanted to talk about so many things. I wanted validation.  I wanted to apologize for my bad behavior – not so much because he deserves an apology from me as much as I needed to forgive myself for the way I behaved.

For acting crazy and addicted.  .

I got just enough validation that he did believe for a while, enough validation to escape with my sanity intact and be able to delete him again and move forward without falling into the Tony hole again.

I left feeling sad and I said I missed him.  He quickly said we cannot go back to communicating.  I agree with him.

Hanging up the phone without an “I love you” at the end was actually horrible and made me cry.  But, I am ok.  It took a little time to marinate and process, but I am ok.  I didn’t dwell very long.

I deleted photos I had lingering on the phone and came across the last piece of the puzzle I needed.  Validation in the form of the first time he acknowledged he wanted to be with me and what it wold cost him. I didn’t include the whole text string as it’s just for me, but here’s a piece.

That’s it, the last of Tony for a long while.

He will forever be my emotional bar – and he set it so high.  Just like Bobby set the sexual bar so high.

I am going to need to learnt to pole vault I suppose.

The First Downslide

It wouldn’t be a Madeline story without a serious dash of crazy seasoning. But I promised honesty.

I saw Tony last in April. I don’t recall if we spoke on phone subsequently or not, probably. But the last text was mid-August. Full stop. My last text said:

“I am having surgery on Sept 7th that I don’t expect to recover from and since you have decided to be such a jerk and I won’t recover you can expect my letter to you and your wife then.” I was furious at him for being a douche when I was dropping my son at college after I supported him through dropping off two kids to college. He could have been kinder. I should have been less crazy, but that sets the scene.

And I blocked him for a while until I went to Mexico, hoping I would hear from him because he knew the surgery date and my birthday were around the corner.

Needless to say, while fighting for my life, I finally stopped focusing on Tony.

Until I started to feel better and talk about it in therapy.

As my body healed and the new meds kicked in, the desperate addiction I felt towards him increased. I knew myself well enough to know trouble was brewing.

But I did all the right things. I called friends. I diverted myself. I even went on a couple great dates (those stories will follow and were therapy approved dates). I finally felt happiness, real and true, outside my home with my family the day after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving day and the subsequent party took all the life out of me. I slept for 2 days following. My cousins hire professional photographers and post literally hundreds of party photos.

To step back to provide context: my x never enjoyed these family parties. He didn’t want to play football with the cousins (boys and girls) he didn’t like to socialize and every year became a struggle. I love this family and would do anything to be included and they always were inclusive to The x and my boys. But towards the end of marriage I gave up on being included. I’m still surprised at all the times I said no and they asked again.

So when the guy I met asked me to a strange second date I quickly said “I will trade you for a football game!” The whole story will follow but, god bless his heart, he was so excited to be included.

My cousins are short – the girls are under 5′ and the boys under 5’8″. So I made a joke to my very serious boy cousins that I was bringing a 6’4″ athlete who could be QB (knowing full well I would never live it down). Everyone he met said “oh! Your Mads 6’4″!” And that’s all they called him all day. 6’4″. He loved it.

He was the star of the game so my cousins loved him. He’s gregarious and wonderful so it was super easy.

I was really happy that day.

So what happened to being out Trixie?

I admit I check often if Tony and I are friends in FB. It was the only social media we remained connected on. He shut it down for months but opened it last week sometime.

My social media stopped when I went in the hospital. But now I had a reason to open it because the photos from the party were fabulous. My cousin tagged me in all of them and they post to my wall.

There is a beautiful photo of 6’4″ and I together. We look like a couple. There’s photos like that with my cousins too, but I know they are my cousins. My cousin also tagged all of 6’4″s football hilights with my name. And they made comments under the photos about 6’4″ doing me proud on the field.

Today I saw Tony had unfriended me on FB. I went into shock. I couldn’t think and my reaction was to reach out. But he has been deleted from my phone for so long I truly could not recall his phone number. So I sent a text to his two emails and they didn’t come back with “delivered”. I scoured the internet with phone combinations for 40 mins until I hit it. I really couldn’t recall it. I called from my phone and it went straight to VM. I called from the house phone and it went straight to VM. I was blocked.

I called where I thought he was working and got as far as reception and hung up and called my friends and admitted my cray.

An hour later he replied that he was flying home, couldn’t text or talk now, and I was never blocked. I apologized and said I overreacted and he asked what prompted it. I didn’t answer.

Will he text me tmrw? I don’t know.

I made it through 7 months of not seeing him and 3 full months or more of no contact and I lost my shit the instant I felt rejection.

My friends say it’s because I have the photos with the guy up and he doesn’t want to see things like that. I interpret that as he doesn’t want me happy. I get confused. Why now? What’s the big deal of FB friends when we don’t communicate any longer?

But it hurt and flipped the Trixie switch.

My call with my therapist is at 10am tmrw. But what can she say that I don’t already know? Why do I keep doing this to myself with a man who clearly doesn’t want me. Or any connection with me.

I have to get to the bottom why rejection causes Trixie to trigger. And I want it to stop. I want to stop thinking about him and wanting him. I can believe he gave me the world and it was lovely but I have to also believe it’s gone for good.

I am angry and embarrassed at myself. And worried about him reaching out to me soon.

I was doing well. But my little child, Trixie, stomped her feet and wanted to know WHY now….why take me off FB now. It was a small and innocuous connection. But it was something to me. And now I’m hurt all over again.