The question is frequently asked, "How does the WS feel? What is going thru their head? What do they feel? What do they fear? Are they sad all the time? Are they happy? Do they feel guilt? Do they feel second class? What is a WS all about!?" The answers are I'm sure different for many. After all, each person is unique. And I welcome other FWS comments and views.
Weekend or days that QS has off work are the worst. And best. *sigh* It's complicated. Here is a glimpse into my life, a year and a half past Dday and into R.
I'm not a morning person. Hate early mornings. Hate alarms. I wake slowly and over the span of a couple hours. Sunday mornings are murder. QS always beats me up. He is my alarm clock. Generally as the sunlight is peeking thru the window annoying me and forcing me out of my deep sleep, I smell fresh coffee and hear the mug scrape across my nightstand before I even open my eyes. I smile. He brought me coffee. He knows I hate mornings and he always fixes my mug every Sunday morning. He's such a doll.
A small pain squeezes my heart. Before my eyes are open, I remember how selfless my husband is. That he does these sweet gestures for me, even after the hurt I have inflicted upon him. I shake the feeling off. I don't want to ruin a good day. He is here with me now. I'm working to be a better person. I'm not who I was a year and a half ago. Today is a new day.
He slides back in bed and I roll over into his arms. I finally force my eyes open and he's watching me. His eyes crinkle as he smiles. He whispers, "Goooood mooooorning Babe." I roll my eyes. He laughs and pulls me closer to him. Morning breath and all, he accepts me. I stare into his eyes in wonder and awe. This man has shown me so much love. So much grace. Forgiveness. Compassion. I feel about 2 inches tall. I give him a quick peck before racing for the toothbrush and shower. We gotta get going.
Dressed and hair done, we're ready to leave. He grins and says, "Gosh, you look so nice today. Your hair is perfect." I adjust his tie and breathe in the scent of his cologne. Makes me so weak in the knees. Every. Single. Time. Another kiss and we're out the door.
As we drive, the kids chattering in the backseat, QS telling me the latest scores from whatever game he was watching, my mind starts to drift. Life is so...normal. Yet it's so...different. We're different. "Aubrie...?" My mind snaps back. "I'm sorry...what?" He sighs. I've done it again. Caught up in my mind, the thoughts swirling. I tuned him out. Way to go me. Not listening is part of what got me in this mess. I see in his eyes he's annoyed. "I"m really sorry. I got caught up in some thoughts. Please tell me again." He sighs and starts over. I pay attention and start truly listening even though I don't know the difference between the Cardinals, Ravens, Black-hawks, Eagles, or whatever other bird team he's talking about.
It's so hard to concentrate anymore. My mind wanders in a thousand different directions all at once. I struggle with focusing. My memory is worse. It frustrates those around me. I'm trying to improve. To slow my mind. Massive work in progress. Well...I think there is progress. Maybe a slight progress.
We get thru Sunday School and church service. Of course the subject of fidelity it brought up from time to time. It's church, right? On bad days, he reaches for my hand, or I rest my hand on his leg. The moment is usually short and fleeting. We're stronger. We can do this. During closing prayer, he always places his hand over mine. In that moment, I feel strong, safe, loved, and treasured. That is my favorite part of the service. His hand over mind during closing prayer. My heart sings every time.
We go to lunch with friends, then go home for the afternoon. On nice days, the kids play outside. They make us laugh with their antics. And as I'm sitting there watching them play, watching QS laugh and interact with them, my body convulses in a full body shiver/cringe and screams, "How could you be so STUPID!?" The kids don't notice, QS doesn't notice. I fight back the panic. "You were so stupid. Yes you were broken. But seriously!? How dumb can one person be!?"
Deep breaths. I coach myself. "Pull yourself together. You know why you did what you did. You know what lead you to that point. You are moving in the opposite direction now. Just. Be. Enjoy your family. You still have them. You're doing the hard work. Everyone makes really stupid choices. You learned a terrible and valuable lesson. Don't let the guilt consume you. Keep walking Girl."
I shake myself, and walk into the house to get the fixin's for s'mores, planting a big, wet kiss on my husband as I walk past. He looks shocked for a moment, then a sly grin crosses his face. I shake my head, "No. I'm getting dessert together, keep an eye on the kids." He huffs in mock consternation, and goes back to his book.
As I gather things together for dessert, my mind wanders again. "I was willingly throwing all this away. My kids, my husband, me, everything. I was hiding secrets. Pretending to be something I wasn't." I reach across the counter to the laptop and quickly refresh the SI page. I see a new post. Looks like we have a new WS on SI. I scan their thread. *sigh* I call out the kitchen window, "Babe...gimme a sec. I'll be out in a bit."
Turning my attention to the laptop, my fingers fly over the keyboard, forming a reply to the thread. I whisper a prayer that the person on the receiving end is open to my 2x4s and comments, as well as the other people's responses.
That they're not on SI just to please their BS. That they aren't faking this. That they genuinely want to be healthy. Fingers crossed. Submit.
QS meets me at the back door as I come back outside. He already knows. He recognizes the look in my eyes and asks, "What's the story?" I tell him quickly, and add my view. He nods, makes a couple comments, then swallows me up in a bear hug. "God, I love you. I love who you are. You have changed so much!" My heart melts.
Bedtime rolls around. We tuck the kids in bed. QS gets in the shower. I lean against the bathroom counter and we chat about the day. Our dreams. Our hurts. And other random tidbits that come to mind. He steps out, reaches for his towel, and leans in and brushes a kiss across my lips as I step into shower. The realization hits me all over again. He really loves me. His every day words and actions proves that. I love him. I've fought the ugly parts of myself, and continue to do so. The changes made are making me a better, safer person. We've been thru hell, and we're fighting our way back.
It hurts. To know what I did. To see where we have come from. But it's joyous too. Look where we are now, how far we've come. It's bittersweet.
I feel sorrow, guilt, shame, horror at what I have done.
I feel joyful, peaceful, loved, more healthy.
I feel like a prize.
I feel sub-par.
I feel fear that one day, he'll change his mind and leave.
I feel confident that he'll stay.
And yes, sometimes I feel all of that at the same time.
Another day in the life...
ETA: "A Triggery Day in the Life of a F.W.S." is further down this thread.
[This message edited by Aubrie at 7:27 PM, December 6th, 2013 (Friday)]
I will no longer compare our path to that of others, as it is as futile as finding two identical snowflakes.
Also I should point out this "Day in the life" is descriptive of a good day for QS. I suppose I should have written my feelings and emotions when he is having a terribly bad day. That may have been more helpful for some. *shrug* Inspiration hit one day and the above post is what came tumbling out.
I hope to one day have a similar (though not identical) story to tell. Fingers crossed, prayers to God.
"Your secrets keep you sick"
I suppose I should have written my feelings and emotions when he is having a terribly bad day. That may have been more helpful for some. *shrug*
PLEASE? For those of us with WS's who struggle to articulate - this would be a blessing! I wrote a version of this - a day in the life of me - to help WS understand me.
Thanks for sharing again, Aubrie.
I actually printed it off for my W the first time. It was a good way to initiate one of the discussions we needed to have. It helped me understand her frame of mind and put to rest some "she got away with it," feelings.
I still get them, but they are easier to dismiss now. They don't ruin the "mood" or my day any longer.
DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.
Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.
I'll try. Give me a couple hours.
I'd like to hear the other side also. Thanks for sharing.
The word Bittersweet, I never really understood till now. And that is how every day is after the pain I have caused. THe happy times are in spite of , the every action or word said myself or my H is thought about.
The smiles I see my H have, the pain and hurt I know behind them and the realization on how wrong I have been ,
THe waking up,when he is home, seems to be the best. And I savor it as he works away and is gone 7 to 10 days at a time. The initial opening of eyes feeling his arms pull me tight. Its fleeting, but I do take it. Just that moment of feeling loved and safe, the world and reality removed. Then.......... it comes crashing. The reality, the realization, the shame, the sadness, I want to pull away incase I dirty or hurt him more. But I stay.
I tuck it away, try not to let the tears come, he needs me to be strong, he wants to move on.
The morning usually consists of getting coffee, (he makes it too. :-)) I make sure kids on track. Then we sit and listen together, on the couch, to the kids getting ready and chatting. Usually holding hands or our legs touching. And I am watchful, seeing hoping I can tell what kind of day he is having. So I can be there for him.
Can he look at me, is that a forced smile, does he stay with me or have to go and have a moment, or is able to just enjoy the moment.
THis is about the first 30 minutes of my day, and it is none stop, on my mind.
It has affected how I think, feel, act and live. It never leaves me.
Thank you Aubrie for posting this, you have a great way of expressing yourself and explaining.
Joanh, the sweetest thing in the world? QS sets my coffee pot for me every day during the week. All I have to do is turn it on. The weekends, he brings it to me already made. *swoon*
1985, thank you for your post. QS was reading over my shoulder and grinned. We appreciate you and the advice/words you have shared since I first signed up here. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well.
This took longer than I thought. It's difficult to type this out. To put out my thoughts and feelings in those bad times. And more difficult to share it with others. I agonized, QS supported and approved.
A Triggery Day in the Life of a F.W.S.
Somewhere in the recesses of my consciousness, I hear movement, the soft closing of a door. The cobwebs of sleep and dreams versus reality leave me confused. It's a struggle to wake up. Mornings are so difficult. I feel a body slide under the covers and arms wrap around me. From habit, I know it's QS crawling back into bed to tell me goodbye before he leaves to start his day. I snuggle into his chest and my body starts to relax as I fade back to sleep. But I awake again. QS won't be still. His hands are all over, tugging my hair, roaming over my body. His kisses frequent and forceful. Exhaustion and irritation are all I can feel. Seriously? Now? I put my hand on his, forcing it to stay still, groggily hoping he gets the silent hint. He kisses me, murmurs, "I love you." and gets up. I manage a, "Love you too, be safe." before sleep takes me over again.
Two and a half hours later, I am slowly waking again. I'm still not happy it's morning, but am able to crawl out of bed and function at a more human level. Shuffling to the kitchen, I hit the button on the coffee pot, pick up my phone, and text QS. "Morning Babe. How's it going so far?" I go about my routine, checking on the kids, getting my coffee cup ready, grabbing a muffin. My phone pings. QS has responded with a simple, "fine". I send another note, warning him of the impending rain. I receive no reply. Must be busy today.
With everyone up and starting to move around, I settle on the couch to drink my mug, wait for the caffeine to kick in, and check up on SI. I read a couple threads, then my phone rings. There he is. I answer with a smile. "Hi Babe!" I'm met with a flat, "Hi." I ask how his morning is going. He gives a very short reply. "Babe, everything ok?" I ask. His response is clipped. "Yeah. Fine." I ask again, "Are you sure?" "I said I'm fine!" I drop it and try to change the subject. He cuts in, "Did you pick up stamps yesterday? There's a bill on the desk that needs to go out." I sigh, "No, I completely forgot. I'm sorry, I'll..." His voice goes up a notch, "How is it that you forget everything? I told you yesterday that we needed them! Why is that so difficult?" "QS, I'm sorry! I forgot, you know my memory blows. I'll do it when I go out for groceries in a while." He huffs, "Just do it. That bill has to go out today."
Now I'm starting to get annoyed. Don't start fussing at me first thing in the morning. "QS what is wrong??? Because you sure aren't acting like everything is "fine" to me." He still sounds frustrated when he replies, "Nothing ok? There's alot of crap going on. The warehouse ordered the wrong product, the homeowner is throwing a fit about the design, the designer is MIA, and I'm getting backed up." Ok, so he's overwhelmed at work. I try to calm him down, and help find a solution. Because talking thru it always seems to help him. But this time, he seems to get more worked up and irritated. Somehow, we find ourselves in a full blown argument. I finally have enough and tell him I'm getting off the phone. He's obviously angry but growls out an, "I love you" before he hangs up.
Well screw the coffee, I'm wide awake now. How difficult is it to say, "Ya know, work sucks today" the first time I ask if he's ok? Whyyyyy won't he just open up his mouth and talk to me? Why does he have to be a big tough man and keep all his feeling "inside"? I stalk down the hall to brush my teeth and get ready to run errands. The kids are supposed to be getting dressed and brushing their teeth, but at last check, DS is jumping on DD's bed, and DD is laying in the floor, playing with her Pet Shops. "Kids! Dressed! Now! DS, why are you jumping on the bed? DD, do we not have things to do today?" They look at me guiltily and start going about their business.
I fire off a text. "Are you pissed cause I turned you down this morning? Cause you know how hard mornings are for me." There is silence for 20 minutes. Then finally, he replies. "It just hurts. Thinking about you and him." The world stops. My stomach falls thru the floor. There it is. The real reason he's off today. Sorrow, shame, and frustration consume me. Why does everything have to be so complicated? Nothing is as it seems. Bad day at work? Nope, it's really me. I'm the cause of all his frustration and hurt. Way to go Aubrie. Take a perfectly beautiful human being, cheat on them repeatedly, and toss their heart in a trash heap. If I wasn't for me, his days wouldn't suck so bad. He deserves so much better than me.
After checking the kids once more, I retreat to the bedroom and close the door, dialing up QS as I sit down on the bed. When he picks up, his voice is subdued, "Yes?" My heart crumbles in my chest. All I want to do is reach thru the phone lines and carefully wrap his hurting soul in my hands. "QS, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I snapped and fought with you." I hear him sigh and he mumbles incoherently. We have a very awkward 30 minute conversation. He has tanked. Nothing I can say or do will help him in this moment. All I can do is talk. And words are not enough for this pain.
The day has changed completely. Even though the sun is shining brightly, all I feel are dark clouds wrapping around me. Cold fingers of fear, sadness, and dread curling themselves around my heart. It's getting harder to breathe. We barely get thru our errands and back home. My nerves are frayed and the kids are bouncing off the walls. I give them some schoolbooks to work on while I put groceries away and start laundry. Memories of AP4 haunt me. All that time wasted, all those emails and IMs. Those stupid pictures. Why did I send pictures? And images with my face in them??? Why did I have to be so broken and dumb? There's millions of broken people and they don't cheat. But I do. Repeat offender. I cringe and try to shake the darkness. It's futile.
I plop down at the school table, look over their finished work and hand them new papers. I open the laptop to SI, reading blindly. Scrolling thru several threads, but not really comprehending anything. My eyes catch a couple thread titles, "Here again." "Broken NC" "She gave me an STD". So much pain and hurt. Shaking my head, I close the computer and try to busy myself with the children. I text QS frequently but he doesn't have much to say.
Time crawls, it seems the minutes have turned to hours. I'm nervous, my concentration is shot, I jump from one project to the next, not accomplishing anything. I worry about QS. Is he really ok? What can I do? It's my fault he's in this position to begin with. How can I ever expect to fix it? But MH and DS did it. MH5 and BR have done it. I see people succeeding every day. I can't give up. But it's so hard. Why don't I just throw in the towel, free him, and move off into oblivion? Argh. I hate me. I hate what I've done.
After what seems an eternity, I hear a diesel engine come up the drive. He's finally home. He comes thru the door into the kitchen where I'm standing. As he sets his stuff on the counter, I reach out to hug him. "Hi QS. I'm glad you're home." He doesn't look at me and gives me a one armed side squeeze, and pulls away. I tiptoe up to kiss his cheek. He pushes me away. "QS...."I start. He mumbles, "I'll be back" and walks down the hall. I scurry to get dinner out of the oven and on the table, calling the kids for dinner.
Our meal is quiet. The kids tell him about their day. DS is impressed that he picked 3 giant boogers. DD tells him he's disgusting and proceeds to share a long drawn out dream she had the night before. QS talks pleasantly with the kids. He still hasn't made eye contact with me. I slide my foot across the floor and brush it against his. His fork stops midair from his plate to his mouth. I whisper, "I love you. I'm sorry." He glances at me quickly, finishing his bite. "Yeah. Love you too." But his foot doesn't move. He lets mine stay in contact with his. Well that's a good thing.
With dinner cleaned up and the kids playing games, I find QS in the living room, on his phone, trying to reach the next level of that crazy game he's addicted to. I sit next to him and slide my arm thru his. He lets me stay. I don't say anything. I just sit there, watching him, touching him, and making myself available for whatever he needs. There's a pause in the game as he's leveled up and waiting for new items to unlock. He leans over and kisses me roughly and very thoroughly. "Just hurts you know?" and goes back to his game. I sling my legs over his and lay my head on his shoulder, "Yeah. I know. I'm sorry." It's silent again. My mind races. Do I say anything more? No. He's quiet. He's letting me touch him. Just shut up and be there. He levels up again, but powers the phone off and tosses it across the couch cushions.
"It sucks. Thinking about all the trash you talked about. Giving him parts of yourself that are mine. And you were eager about it. You would set your alarm, and get up early every single day, eager to talk to him while I was out working my butt off, stressing about life, and trying to make ends meet. I know you aren't that person anymore, but it still hurts sometimes and I got to thinking about it today and couldn't stop. I know there is a balance in feeling this and letting go. Guess today I just had to feel it."
I wrap my arms around him, "I know Babe. I'm really sorry you're hurting. Sorry I'm the cause. If I could do anything in the world, it would be to take this away." There is a terrible feeling of helplessness. Nothing I can do will take the past away. I can promise a better tomorrow, but it just seems to fall flat. If I hadn't messed up the past, a better tomorrow wouldn't be necessary.
We sit quietly, listening to the children giggle in the other room. He pulls me tighter into his arm. I feel his hurts, see it in his eyes, it drips from his words, and yet here he sits, holding the very source of his pain. Healing and reconciliation are so weird. I don't understand it. I never will. But I'm eternally grateful for the gift he's given me. And there is a hope that one day I can and will be a woman he can be proud to stand beside.
[This message edited by Aubrie at 7:14 PM, December 6th (Friday)]
And never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.
― Sarah McMane
[This message edited by Joanh at 7:31 PM, December 6th (Friday)]
Memories of AP4 haunt me.
What does that mean? Because that's the heart of my pain most days. I'm wondering how my H can think about what he did to me, without thinking about his AP... and I don't want him thinking about his AP. I'm afraid 'memories of AP haunting me' means he's thinking about the curl of her hair, or the way she looked at him, or the way she ran her nails down his back... ?