When the other life stuff comes

I think I am heading into depression. I have three master’s degrees. I cannot find a job I want. I likely won’t get hired because I cost too much. All I want is a chance…but I’m starting to really get the impression I won’t get one. I get interviewed but no call backs. Or I make it down to the final two–and they hire the one with fewer years and degrees. I’m tired. I feel so much sadness and as if I don’t have value.

The blows of the rejection are so painful now. It’s like a reminder of how my own husband chose something else over me. To be chosen once…to be believed in…to have one chance. That’s all I want. I need one person to show me they believe I can do it and I would rock it. The idea of staying in my current toxic environment is terrible. I feel stifled, claustrophobic. I am not sure what to do next.

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Just MEH

This is the first time I don’t have a major idea or theme for my blog.  Maybe it’s that I’m feeling sad.  I honestly have no major reason to be depressed.  The work drama continues, and I think that mostly, I am hating the feeling that I have no control over anything.  I am waiting to hear news after a job interview for a job I really want, and the weird thing is that I feel this feeling of fight or flight increasing.  I have typed up my letter of resignation, and I live in fear that I will have to return to this toxic environment next year.  I cry every day as I leave work from the built up stress and anxiety that I have held in all day.  Not really the way I want to live.

Things at home are…good.  I hesitate to say that because it feels like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.  You know the feeling?  He has been kind and attentive and frankly, understanding.  It is rather refreshing.

I did have a rather frustrating few days when I had a dream that it was before we were married and that as long as he used a condom, it wasn’t cheating.  In my dream, he was having sex with two other women.  I remember telling him he had to pick, and he did not choose me.  Then I woke up.  Fantastic.  Then, I had a moment when I got angry about the injustice of it.  I have been helping his parents because his mom is sick.  I love them, and I do not resent helping; however, these weird, deep hurts bubble up in the midst of helping.  I think about how I am good enough to cook, clean, and take care of our kids and his parents but not good enough to be faithful to.  I swear the anger surges back.  I can be in the middle of helping his parents do the simplest thing, and I just feel so angry.  It’s awful because I don’t think it has a thing to do with them–just with him and how he took advantage of the person I am.  It is a hard thing to accept some days.

So I am in a funk that mostly has nothing to do with the affair.  I guess I can say that is a good change, right?  Maybe this is the week when I get a fresh start at work and a chance to grow and change in new ways.  I certainly have to have some hope or I’m not sure what deep hole I will land in.  How have you turned around a difficult work situation?  I could certainly use some positive ideas.

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Work drama and…

After Dday, I started really noticing wayward qualities in others.  No boundaries.  Flirting.  Gaslighting.  Not owning their actions or being self-aware.  I see it constantly and wonder if those people have cheated or if they are on the slippery slope, headed in that direction.

At work, I’ve noticed some things that have really bothered me.  One thing is how sexual harassment is laughed off.  The good ol’ boys can make a comment and think we should be ok with it.  Sadly, someone I considered a friend actually made a comment about me sitting on his lap.  I still can’t believe it.  He even knew about my husband’s affair.  It definitely shifted my thoughts on our friendship.

In the higher ups, I see things such as using power to control or manipulate.  My current boss yesterday got defensive simply because I asked for clarification on my evaluation.  I wanted to know more and how to get better.  Apparently any question is a bad question.  I suddenly became “difficult to work with” and “standoffish.”  Well, if I wasn’t before, I certainly can’t imagine a working relationship with him now.  He shoved all of the blame for his lack of knowledge about my job onto me.  It certainly reeked of wayward tendencies and left me feeling deeply hurt and angry.  Work was my safe place for a long time.  Now it most definitely is not.  When someone gets angry and defensive because their employee is asking for information on how to improve, that certainly makes a person wonder what is going on underneath.  There is definitely a control issue and likely, he has a lack of confidence in his current position.  What I find crazy is that these people dig themselves in deeper and deeper, instead of simply addressing the issue.  We can talk all around the issue, but if he’s stuck in the idea that he is right, just like my husband during the affair, well, I will get no where.

So I guess that is where I am.  Nowhere.  I do not have a completed evaluation.  I do not have goals that pertain to my job description.  I do not know why I did not get a better rating or how to improve it next time.  I simply know he’s angry I asked.  He’s going to punish me for doing so.  And friends, I am SO tired of this kind of thing in my life.  I ache to kick butt on the job and have someone see how hard I am working.  To feel supported and confident.  To have ideas that are heard.  Instead, I am living in this crazy alternative world where I do not get to ask?  Where he “feels” my performance is a certain rating but has no evidence and won’t take any of mine?  Gah.  I’m on the precipice of something…I simply need to walk over.

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Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  I feel a bit torn about it all.  Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate moms.  It is a day to reflect on the relationships we have with our own moms and with our children–at least that is what I tend to do.

When my son was born, I loved Mother’s Day and that after losing a baby, I was able to finally be a mom; I had the privilege of parenting this crazy, little boy.  Each Mother’s Day after was full of macaroni necklaces, handprints, and plants.  When I had two more losses, I felt he would be an only child.  As many of you probably know, there is a deep grief and loss in that.  I finally had some fertility help, and we were blessed with twin girls.  Now, to be completely honest, being told there were twins was one of the scariest moments in my life.  My husband did not handle it well, and mainly that was because of money.  We had a lot of fear about how to make it all work.  So after that, motherhood had a bit of fear attached to it.

After they were born, my girls were crazy and beautiful and challenging.  I felt we were given such a gift and that even if things were very difficult, we would make it through it together, as a team.

Then D-day happened.  Suddenly, being a mom was more than I felt I could handle.  I did not know how to pretend to be ok as my world was swirling out of control.  I did not know how to keep creating these memories for holidays and really, just for the normal days.  I felt like I was barely surviving and that there was no way I could be a good mom. Even now I know I missed at least a year of their beautiful lives that I cannot get back.  I know that it is not my fault and that I did the best I could, but there still is a sadness in it. They were so young and I have no memory of a lot of things.  I guess trauma will do that to a person.

So being a mom is kind of a mixture of amazing feelings and grief.  It’s the weirdest thing.

Tomorrow, I am going to spend every minute thinking about how lucky I am to have these precious children in my life.  I am going to be as present in the moment as I can, and I sure as hell am not going to spend a minute thinking about the affair.  Tomorrow is about being a mom and about being a damn good one.  It is about joy and love and silly faces and giggles.  I don’t want to miss another moment.  Not one.

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When the Good is Bad

I was just sitting here today wondering when good will simply feel good again.  I think you probably know what I mean.  It happens in an instant.  You are doing something with family, friends, as a couple, and you are finally, truly enjoying yourself, and then…WHAM!  It is like a protective thing.  You suddenly feel like “oh no.  I can’t feel good or have fun or joy because that is how it was before and look how I was treated!  I was duped.”  Yeah.  It certainly ruins the best of times–the times when we most want to forget all of the pain that we are processing.

It happens to me in the smallest of moments–from when my girls are telling us the best stories to my son’s baseball games.  I’ll be in the moment, and then I’ll look at my husband, and it will smack me in the face.  I’ll think, “How could he not see the beauty in all of this?  How could he risk our kids and our wonderful life?”  I certainly have no answers to it because even he says it is not logical and makes no sense to him now.  I still struggle with it all and try to get him to tell me how he thought back then.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t help much either because my gosh, it is ridiculous the things he told himself and the way he thought just is not logical.  I keep trying to accept that I will never really understand how people can hurt others in this way.

Moving forward, my goal is to really try to be more present.  I have good days and bad at this, I suppose.  I really want to enjoy more of my life because darn it, it is the only one I get.  My kids are growing up too fast, and honestly, I missed quite a bit of it while I was struggling through the trauma of the very early days.  I’ve been waking up early to practice mindfulness, and I feel a bit more at peace when I am done.  I’m hoping it is helping and it just sort of merges into my healing process.  I keep reminding myself that this is the only chance I get at this, and I don’t want to waste a moment I don’t have to waste.

What have you been doing that has helped you when you are pulled out of your joy?  Are you able to pull yourself back to the present?  Find good things your husband is doing? Please share!  I’m looking for new coping mechanisms and perhaps others are too.

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Experiences Compounded

One of the things that has really been in my face lately is how much this betrayal has affected other life experiences.  For example, yesterday, my kids were in the car, and they noticed a gem on a sign.  They are talking on and on about how beautiful it is and about princesses and such.  I suddenly snapped to attention.  The sign?  The Diamond Royale.  Ah, of course.  The beautiful gem was associated with strippers.  My stream of consciousness went all through the circular thinking…objectification of women, porn, princesses, lack of being able to understand true intimacy.  I was not spiraling down.  In fact, I was just simply sad for our society and for what so many seem to value over truth and reality. For a minute, I was a little worried for my girls.  How can I be sure I instill in them the self-confidence they will need?  How can I ensure they will choose a man who values them and real life in all its glory over fantasy?

This kind of thing happens to me all of the time.  I have these life triggers, and I am just so sad about the life I have chosen.  I am sad that his decisions stole quite a bit from me.  To be honest, I have been having many good days.  We have had some really good talks, but underneath, there is still that deep sadness.

The worst thing lately for me has been work.  I notice how things that may have barely affected me before seem to have me in an emotional tailspin.  I no longer want to stay silent at work because I feel like I was silenced in my marriage.  I feel like I deserve a voice somewhere…and well, perhaps that is not the best thing.  The work situation has been very difficult.  Morale is down.  No one has had a raise in seven years.  People do not feel valued.  Comments have been made about cuts and about my particular position. I feel like I’m in immediate fight or flight mode.  My boss already used her knowledge of the affair to hurt me.  I’m simply unsure how much more I can take.  It’s so weird how the place that was once such a safe haven for me is now less safe than my home–where I stopped feeling safe two years ago.  I feel crazy some days, as I drag myself out of bed and force myself through the motions of going to work.  I try so very hard to find the positives.  Some days, I’m more successful than others.  Most days, I pray to God that I am able to find a new position where I can grow and feel valued.  I am so tired of feeling stuck in my life.

Are there life experiences you have had that are made worse by the infidelity?  What have you done to make these easier or at least more livable?  I’m so interested in your replies.

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Acceptance vs. Forgiveness

It occurred to me today that I believe there really is a difference between acceptance and forgiveness, although sometimes, I think people use the words interchangeably.

Acceptance is believing that this happened.  My husband had an affair.  He touched her. Kissed her.  Had sex.  Sexted.  Had tons of “conversations” through an app. He enjoyed it all at my expense. These things happened.  I accept that they happened.  I grieve parts of this every day, but I know that it is true.  I accept this is my reality.  It is now a part of my story.

Ah, but forgiveness, to me, is a different thing.  According to Rob Bell, “Forgiveness is setting someone free, and then realizing it is you.”  Gulp.  Yeah.  That SHOULD be easy, right?  We should just get in there and forgive so that we feel less pain.  People will tell us that forgiveness is just a simple choice, but friends, I really don’t think so.  I do think it is eventually a choice we make to let go of the need for revenge.  We have to let go of our desire for our spouse to feel our pain (they can’t). They will never know what it feels like to have the person closest to them betray them in the deepest, most painful way.  It means that there will come a time when we will stop hoping that the other woman loses everything, or her kids hate her, or she ends up divorced.  It means we have to stop wanting to hang flyers of her naked photos up all over the neighborhood with the words “Keep Away from Neighborhood Whore” on them (ok, I admit I REALLY wanted to do this but was talked out of it in case of a law suit).

What we realize is that NOTHING will stop our pain from this, and certainly, revenge will not stop OUR pain.  It will only serve to keep the violence in circulation, and there is always a “I’ll do them one better” coming back at anyone who engages in this cycle.  So, at some point, we will think about or talk about forgiveness.  I know I would love to say I forgive him, but I cannot do that right now.  I’m not against forgiving, but I certainly don’t want people telling me there is some kind of timeline to it.  It isn’t like you find out, and then a few months later, you can say you forgive him (or her), and all is well.

Forgiveness takes TIME.  Like grief, it is a whole damn process.  Again we have to go through a long process, and we are so tired and worn down.

What I know for sure is that I can let go of my need for revenge…mostly.  But I can’t seem to get out of my head what he risked everything for, and so, I need more time.  I need to believe that he is really changing and that this is not all a joke because I will not settle this time.  I believe when I feel confident in that, I will begin to fully heal and maybe…maybe I can forgive (after I burn some more evidence and break some dishes. Right?)


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