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Seeing what's inside again.


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Fear Becomes Me, Part One

“Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.” Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

So, there I was on a runaway train.  I contemplated often on how to get out of my situation.  The thought to leave my husband never really occurred to me and the thought of never talking to James again seemed an impossible task.  I think I was just waiting for something to happen.  I had no answer, no solution, so I waited.  For what, I did not know.

There is a feeling I get when I am deeply hurt.  It’s a feeling that goes straight to my heart and chest.  It is part pain and part the feeling of all my breath leaving me.  I can breath, but it doesn’t feel like it is giving me life.  It’s as if my soul has left me and my insides have caved in and will not allow air to enter.  This is also the same feeling I had almost everyday for years and years.  However, it was not brought on by being hurt, it was brought on by fear.  Fear of getting caught.  There were so many times when I would be on the phone or the computer and my husband would unexpectedly come home or come into the computer room.  There were so many times I had to plan to be away and lie about where I was going, wondering if my lies were being bought.  I hated the feeling with a passion but I DID NOT know how to stop it.  I could not break free of the mess I had created.  That is my only excuse.  I just physically and emotionally, could not let go of this person.

The affair and my feelings for James drew me farther and farther away from my husband.  He had become a friend to me and that was where I wanted the relationship to stay.  Of course, my husband wanted more and rightly so.   Over time, I could no longer be all the things a wife should be.  Apart from the stress of getting caught, there was the constant stress of my husband wanting to be intimate.  It truly pained me and I used every excuse in the book to avoid it.  This part of the story is hard to tell and so, I don’t really want to go any further than to make the point that I went to bed in fear every night.

These fears increased ten fold the day I was caught.  It was not my husband who suspected anything, but his parents.  They had me followed one day and video taped me leaving a hotel with James.  My husband confronted me at home after his parents had informed him of the situation.  To express how scared I was seems superfluous.  The only thing I was scared of was my husband leaving me and hurting my children.  James meant nothing to me in that moment.  I remember my husband being very calm.  He asked what I wanted to do.  I, of course, said that I did not want a divorce and that I would stop seeing this person.

My husband’s reaction my seem strange, but if I back up a bit, it will make more sense.  Around this time (and I can not remember if it was before, during or after I was caught), my husband began having an affair as well.   His cold-as-ice demeanor tipped me off immediately (a feeling I had felt once before).  I was petrified he was going to leave our family.  I could not be mad at him for it because I knew I had driven him away, and of course, I had committed the very same act.  This period in time compounded my stress and fear levels immensely.

To go way, way back, my husband was my high school sweetheart.  We dated on and off for seven years before getting married.  The first time he broke up with me, my world had ended.  I didn’t know anything else but him, he was my first love.  I’ll never forget what he said to me the day he left me.  I can only assume it was not horrible enough for him to dump me, so he told me that he didn’t love me and that he never had.  This was the same exact sentiment he told me once again, ten plus years into marriage, on the day I confronted him about his affair.  I don’t believe there are any two moments in my life that come remotely close to the pain I felt on these occasions.  I will never understand the purpose, true or not, of saying those words to anyone.

We both eventually decided to try and make it work.  He ended his affair and I attempted to, unsuccessfully.  Continuing my affair at this point, under heightened security, was the beginning of another journey.  There is only so much stress a body can take before it begins to break down…

Up next:  Fear Becomes Me, Part Two

This post is the continuation of my story and journey to divorce.  My last related post was A Secret Life.  You can find my story from the beginning under the category, My Conscious Journey to Divorce.

 

Photo credit:  www.nevadatree.com

 

 

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9 Comments

A secret life.

This post is a continuation of my story, the last related post being, My Decent.  My story is a cautionary tale in some sense.  I came through it a better person, thankfully, and that is why I have chosen to tell it.  I will be judged and that is OK.  I will be embarrassed and ashamed, but that is OK too.  I have to believe there is a greater good in sharing my experience.  My feelings at the time of my affair are difficult to express without romanticizing it to some extent and I struggle with that.  It makes me feel like I am justifying it and I am not.  There is a strange dichotomy going on.  I have no regrets because it made me who I am, but I certainly would do things differently knowing what I know now.

I have been putting off this part of the story for the above mentioned reasons, distracting myself with other “easier” topics. I was so insanely in love.  Now, I feel nothing.  That knowing makes me distrustful of my very own feelings.  Perhaps that is further proof to me that living in the moment is really all that matters.  Enough stalling, time to tell…

After James and I met online, our relationship progressed at a frenetic pace.  I found myself thinking of him every waking moment.  I even began to act differently, as if he was watching my every move.  My body felt more alive than I can ever remember.  Every sense became heightened.  Every move was thoughtful, as if in slow motion.  I felt I was vibrating on some higher frequency.  We came to use each others words and anything that made us feel connected.  We had seen only one picture of the other and it was enough to want to know more.

I can not recall how long it was before we decided to meet in person.  Or more like, he decided.  He was always pushing me for more and I let him.  The first time we met, I was a mess.  I do not ever remember being so nervous and panicked.  I wanted to run.  Talking about something and actually doing, are two very different things.  I suddenly felt nothing for this person that I had grown so attached to.  I could tell he was attracted to me, but the feeling was not mutual in the beginning.  I was uncomfortable and turned off in a way.  Sadly, I think what kept me from running through the airport and back to my car, was that I felt obligated.  I felt I owed him for coming so far to see me.

The first time we had sex was awful.  Really awful, actually.  We knew so much about each other mentally, but we knew nothing of each other physically.  I do not know what kept me around after that.  I had fallen in love with him in a way.  Our differences were exciting and we fed off them.  It was an escape.  I had lost myself somewhere and he picked me up and carried me off.  I stayed the course.  We learned, we adapted.  We came to be perfect lovers.  Each pushing the other.  Each learning from the other.  We became addicts eventually.  We had designed a complex life within a life, where we needed one another.

We did not see each other often due to distance, but we spoke on the phone for hours almost every day.  When one is forced to talk so much in a relationship, no topic is left unexplored.  I learned so much about myself and him.  We grew to deeply care for one another over the years.  I believe the reason our relationship lasted so long was because neither of us wanted to leave our families.  Our feelings were mutual on that subject, so there was never one person who was unhappy (enough) with the situation.

Our bond was intense.  I wanted to be buried with this person.  It pained me that we would not be.  I wiped this person’s runny nose with my finger, without thought.  I walked naked on a beach with this person…ME, the girl my mother always called a prude.  I gave this person every inch of me, willingly, openly, freely.  He gave me confidence.  He made me feel intelligent and beautiful.  He made me believe I could do anything.  No one in my entire life had ever praised me like he did.  It was something I deeply lacked during my childhood and I ate it up like ice cream on a stick.

I remember somewhere during this time watching the movie, Unfaithful.  That was me.  I only hoped it wouldn’t have the same ending.  Those movies ALWAYS having the same ending.  Why did I think mine would be so different? There is a scene in the movie where a friend is discouraging the thought of an affair to another because of her own experience.  She says remorsefully, “……someone finds out or someone falls in love and it ends disastrously.   They always end disastrously.”  It haunted me.  I am sure I knew deep down it was not going to end well, but I could not stop.  I was on a runaway train.  I felt if I jumped, I would surely die.

Up next:  Fear becomes me.