we celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary last month. no banners or fireworks or extravagant gifts, just the two of us, being "normal"...well, OUR normal anyway .
it's also been 7 1/2 years since dday. this year, and a few years before, I honestly didn't dread or even notice dday approaching, arriving or passing until later on in the month. good, yes? yes .
if you would have told me (and believe me, some old OLD timers did) 7 years ago, that I'd be here, going about my life, more focused on whether or not I picked up laundry soap (did I? ) than being consumed with the wreck that was my M, I'd tell you that you had bumped your head.
it's not been easy. this bears repeating: IT"S NOT BEEN EASY. there were times I wanted to give up. times I wanted to disappear. times I wanted to fast forward to whatever may lie ahead, no matter what it was. I cursed those things I couldn't control: the sun coming up every morning, the pain, the tears that wouldn't stop when I wanted them to, and the tears that wouldn't come when I needed them to, the loss of time, the excruciatingly slow tick tock of time, my horribly slow healing compared to my perception of mr unfounds ability to move through the muck, the simultaneous and conflicting raging anger and bottomless sadness.... the un-fucking-fairness of it all...
there are things I would have done differently and things I'm not proud of. hindsight, ugh, sometimes I wish it wasn't so clear. luckily, there was nothing that left any permanent damage, other than the hole in the wall from my cell phone turned projectile on dday. I refuse to patch it as it serves as a reminder to me as to what happens when I lose control of my own emotions, and that nothing, and no-one and no situation will have that power over me again. I will use my powers for good
while each situation is unique, I've learned that there's also eery similarities when it comes to the aftermath of infidelity. believe me when I tell you, there is someone, somewhere that is feeling just what you're feeling. I've said it a thousand times you are not alone.
that whole 2-5 year healing thing? yup. it's true. and you're welcome for me being a slow learner and raising the curve . 7 1/2 years later I can say I'm healed. well, healed from the initial blow and subsequent aftermath. always healing, always reconciling, always CHOOSING. that's NOT to say that my own experience with infidelity doesn't play a part in my life, even today, and as far as I can see, in the future. mostly in a good way, but in some, still sad. I can look back and remember without reliving the pain. but to be honest, there are times that it still hurts. not that gut wrenching, bring me to my knees hurt, but a melancholy whisper of "oh yeah, that sucked.. sigh" hurt. it's not everyday, or even every week, but it does still happen. difference between back then and now, is that now, there's healing, learning and growth between the then and now. maybe that's what lessens the pain in those now old scars. having gone through this, I've become more compassionate, more aware of others, and more importantly, more self aware. I can recognize the slightest of boundary crossings in others and can be proud of the thick dark boundary lines mr unfound and I share.
do we always get it right? bwahahahh! we've tripped, fell, got up, tripped again, face planted and finally dusted ourselves off and got on with it. difference now is that we can call each other on our screw ups and talk about it. and let me tell you, it's not as eloquent as it comes across in the typed form. sometimes it's ugly and goes in fits and starts, but it gets done. we learn from every experience. this isn't to say we're holding hands singing kumbaya while watching unicorns dance under rainbows on a daily basis...okay, never, but what we do have is working. there are times when I want to wring his neck (and I'm sure he feels the same way). underwear is still left on the floor, the ongoing changing of the thermostat back and forth between us, toilet seats are still left up and communication is an ongoing lesson. there are times we both knee jerk fall back into bad habits, and times we have to buck up and remember that we have a common goal and act accordingly, even if it means swallowing our pride. I used to read here back in the stone age and think "how in the hell are those people who are reconciled do it????" it all seemed to effortless to them, while I was like a monkey trying to do calculus...in japanese...with no thumbs. and you know what, now that I can look back on my own journey, that's EXACTLY what it was like!!! it's okay, you're not scored on how flawlessly or gracefully you go through this, only on sincere effort and consistent stick to it-ness.
it took both of us. no if ands or buts. this isn't to say we were always on the same page, or the same chapter or even both of us being able to use a shared book as an analogy. there were times I would be on a page and he'd be watching a documentary . it used to bug the shit out of me, until I realized that we all deal with this in our own way and my way might not be the way someone else needs to or CAN deal with it. I oh so wanted for him to be right there beside, on the same schedule, with the same feelings as me on the healing level/journey... but he wasn't, he couldn't be, just like I couldn't on his journey.
in saying that though, there were things we HAD to be on the same path with. common goals. being aware that our own healing couldn't hamper the others healing. accepting that while we may go about healing our individual selves differently, we had to come together to heal the M.
this is of course after the shock and rage after dday. THAT lasted longer that I or he would have liked. but it was a necessary part of it for me. during that time, he took it. not at first. at first he fought it, denied things, puffed up and shut down.. round and round we'd go .
I desperately wish I could say there was one big AH-HA moment when all that shit stopped...that when I jumped on one leg while singing don't cry for me argentina it became clear to me...when that one tear, that one word made him open his eyes and it all flowed smoothly from then on out... there were big moments for us, but honestly, for the most part, things happened slowly like a seed growing. we knew it was happening most times, but it wasn't until later that we could look back and say, hey, we grew a flower ! when did THAT happen???
good gravy that sounds like a LOT of work . it was, and is.
and for me, it wasn't with out the help and support and occasional 2x4's from SI and the family/community it's created. from those that were/are on the same place in the journey as I was/am, to the old timers that had walked the path ahead of me. my friends, my compadres, my partners in crime, my gotta laugh for fear of crying, my snarky, funny, btdt friends.. thank you. the newbies that continue to amaze me in their strength and courage (you are strong,you ARE courageous, even if you can't see it.. I can ). the amazing fws's here that I will forever be indebted to. I owe so much to you and can never repay you for your willingness to share your personal experiences and insights, and your patience with me.
well... , that escalated quickly .
point is (???)... we continue on.. and that's a good thing