I have done something very bad, and if I were hearing this story from me I wouldn’t believe it either.
I admit, last week I had reached an emotional breaking point regarding Bennett. I hadn’t spoken to him in a while and the last we spoke, we argued over nothing….or better put, I argued with him over nothing and got myself very wound up.
Much too wound up. Enough to make myself sick for days.
I had been battling a stomach bug, but getting entirely panicked and anxious only exacerbated my symptoms. By Wednesday night I was vomiting anything that I put in my body. If I wasn’t vomiting, I had diarrhea. Sometimes, I had both at once. It was not pretty.
I made the mistake of letting my misery take control. I called Bennett in the middle of the night.
On a landline, at his lake home, while he was with his brother.
There was some logic here, as irrational as it may have been. I figured he was staying the night, I know there is no cell service, and his brother knows all about me. I thought he would be mildly upset.
I was way, way wrong.
Not only was his brother with him, but so was his niece and nephew. The problem with this was that by the time I called him, I was full on hysterical and there was no calming me down. I should have taken two ambien and knocked myself into sleep, it would have been the right decision. But I didn’t make a good decision. I was sobbing like a maniac. I had no pride and no self-control.
The conversation turned ugly. Every time he tried to calm me down I felt like I was being chastised. Or, I felt like he was more worried about getting me off the phone because his niece and nephew would wonder wtf was going on in the middle of the night. Nothing helped and I could only continue to sob. Until he told me to “calm down and shut the fuck up.”
That did stop me in my tracks. I have never, ever heard him with any tone of voice directed at me. I had clearly pushed him beyond his ability to control himself.
I hung up the phone and instantly regretted it. We got off the phone around 12:30, by 12:42 I called the number over and over thinking he would have to answer. I tried his face time. I pressed the buttons on my phone in a frenzy.
Until I pressed the wrong one.
Months ago, Bennett and I were having a conversation about his wife getting phone calls and text from numbers he didn’t know. We spent some time digging on line to discover who the calls were from. During that time, I said “let me check your wife’e number.” He gave it to me and I saved it. (Point to note: Bennett claims this never happened and I somehow got his wife’s number another way).
I saved her number because I clearly had ill intent….what other reason could there be. There is none, it must be why I saved it. I saved it under his number and not a separate entry. His name houses 6 different phone numbers. Hers was the last one and it simply said “other.” In m y hysteria, as I was pressing his number over and over, I must have pressed hers. I didn’t realize I pressed it because the name on the phone contact is his.
When the phone was answered, it was pitch dark (on my end too) and I thought it was him so I said “oh can you talk now?” When a woman’s voice replied that I had the wrong number, I replied “No, I most certainly do not have the wrong number (I could see his name on my phone screen – I know I didn’t dial the wrong number!) and then I said “please put your Uncle on!” I think she said, “you have the wrong number because my Uncle isn’t here with me” and hung up on me.
Thinking it was his niece with his phone and now being mad on top of hysterical, I dialed back. This time I think she asked me who I was looking for and I believe I said “Bennett” and she said “he’s not here” (things start to get fuzzy now because I believe I started to realize I was speaking to his wife and not his niece). I replied “yes, he is, he is in xxxx, city!” and when she asked who I was I replied “his girlfriend.” At which point she said something like this is his wife and hung up.
I passed out on my back deck from disbelief and exhaustion. Sometime later I woke up and made it into my house and into bed.
At 7:30 am a phone call from “No Called ID” came through. I suppose I knew in the back of my mind that it was her, and not him, but I convinced myself it was him calling from the lake house. As soon as I said hello she hung up.
I received a text from him some minutes later “M – you called Callie?”
There were a few more calls that day from unidentified numbers, which I didn’t answer. He asked me not to speak to her should she call. I separated out her phone number and blocked it. Some other numbers came through and I gave them to him and it turns out she asked her children to also call the number, believing it was a foolish prank, and I blocked them as well. My voice mail is a generic greeting.
He had a long drive home from the lake house and spoke to me for a couple hours. He was strangely calm and seemed much more worried about how upset I was.
I was sick through Thursday and and Friday, still vomiting, but I think more from the virus than the anxiety at this point.
Saturday I left to the city to spend with a good friend and Bennett and I only had generic text Saturday and Sunday.
He told me Sunday night he was in a very bad way and worried about losing his job in the morning. When he said he was horribly distraught, I assumed he meant his job, but it wasn’t. He had started to believe I was intentionally malicious and was getting himself sick over the situation he had placed himself and his family in.
I spoke to him Monday morning after he spoke to his boss, to find out there would be lay-offs, but his role was not at risk. He called me soon after and the conversation started out with blame, and believing I had been intentional in the phone call. I understand why he wouldn’t believe me. If it was me hearing this story, I don’t think I would believe me.
And then, seemingly out of nowhere, he utterly broke down. I listened. I have never heard a man break down like this, it was horrible. I didn’t know what to do except to listen. Now I think I understand what he was experiencing with me when I was sobbing to him on Wednesday.
It stopped me in my tracks.
I think between the stress of our break-up, my phone call and his worry over his job he just had a nervous break. He told me he had been sobbing like this all weekend. He is a wreck.
I know at one point when I was mad that I told him I wish he hurt like I hurt – then he would finally understand me. I know now, beyond a shadow of doubt, that he does hurt like I do, maybe worse because he is potentially harming his family. I’m sorry I uttered those words aloud.
I’m sorry I don’t have the patience to control myself and my mouth when I have something on my mind. I haven’t fully grasped how to control my emotional outbursts. I haven’t learned that once said things cannot be unsaid and you need to roll things around on your tongue and taste them before spitting them out. I haven’t learned.
And I am so disappointed in myself.
I am disappointed that I broke the man I love. If I really loved him, would I have pushed him to this point? What kind of person am I?
Why did I save her number all that time ago? To cause intentional harm?
If I really loved him, why would I allow us both to stay in this horrible situation?
I am so upset with myself for allowing all of this to happen. Mostly for hurting him. I never want to hear that pain in his voice again.
When he was crying, all he could really say was that he never wanted to hurt me, that he let all of it get out of hand and go on too long, and that he was so very, very wrong for doing what he’s been doing to a woman who, despite being a poor partner and wife, doesn’t deserve what he’s done to her. He was ashamed that she may find out this way that he has been cheating on her. As I just typed this I realize that was the emotion coming across to me: shame. He was horrified at the man he had become and just realized who he really was, and not who he pretended to be.
It was horrid to listen to his realization.
As I write this last line I know things are over for good, he needs to be away from me to repair what he can, as best he can. He deserves that from me.
And I have to find the ability to control myself so I don’t end up harming myself again and end up in the hospital.