Hello SI! Hope you are all doing well; it has been a while since I’ve posted and have barely been reading. I felt the need to take a hiatus for a while to recharge batteries and while this has on the whole been good, the swift return to reality has been like a bucket of cold water in the face on an icy morning; the journey continues. A lot of events have occurred outside of infidelity in my life lately which have been both wonderful and painful:
A friend of mind found out exactly what I do at my current office and has been trying to recruit me from company of ~50 people to fortune 500 company doing more or less the same job I am now. This would be a substantial pay jump and would put me in charge of quite a few more processes and people. Given that I’m still only working at ~80% capacity, I told him to give me a few months and ask again which he has respected. In addition I took the dive and fully quit smoking about two months ago after nearly a decade of this horrible habit; if I can survive infidelity I can do anything right?
One of the fun side effects of infidelity is awareness that cannot be turned off. While I had always believed I had a picture perfect childhood and came out unscathed, in the past six months I’ve come to realize that is not the case. Earlier this year I noticed heavy conflict avoidant patterns in my family which I have been working to overcome.
One of the less fun side effects of infidelity is the searing alienation because honestly nobody really understands what you are going through or the pain. This makes it excruciatingly difficult for people to empathize with me and leaves me feeling very lonely at times. I’m sure many of you are the same way but when I am awake I am consumed every minute of every day by the horror, and sleep is no reprieve since I am awoken hourly by bad dreams. I have a hobby that is literally the only few hours per week that I am granted peace and am left unconsumed by the nightmare. Last week we were set to go on a trip to the mountains for a few days and I decided I would be driving down one morning for my hobbies and driving back up since although I put on a good front and seem “ok”, the reality is I am one straw away from my camel’s back breaking.
Needless to say, this caused quite a stir within my family and the trip was cancelled because it was “all my fault”, nevermind that my brother was leaving the trip a day early never to return. I don't really see the difference between the two approaches used by my brother and I, but it caused them to ditch me and in the end they ended up going with my brother and casting me as the summer personification of the Grinch. Realizing the manipulation behind this I have come to see that throughout my family’s history there has been a pervasive undertone of emotional manipulation. It is painful to see but rather than engaging in it, I decided to break the cycle and let them know I understood why they were in pain, and that although I believe in my decisions I am truly sorry that they are hurting so much without trying to excuse or justify my decision in the least. Thanks infidelity for the awareness! You’re the best!
With the non-infidelity stuff out of the way, I’ve had some time to take stock of my trauma growth progress and while I’m proud of how far I’ve come the journey has just begun. I want to believe that I have the truth, and the full truth but there’s a constant nagging that something doesn’t add up, even though I’ve seen texts from the AP to her which nearly confirm the story she gave about ending it of her own accord and not sleeping with him that last day. Things like that; so now I’m left with but one option for peace of mind, it appears it is time for the polygraph so I can lay that beast to bed.
Another thing I’ve been struggling with is fitting the puzzle together. I know this is like riding the tea cups at an amusement park where you go in circles and circles and circles and it is completely non-linear so I’m trying to come up with a list of things to both grieve and accept. From here I’m looking to enact a plan to do so, one at a time. My list (bucketed into specific topics for the sake of brevity) looks something like this:
•I never had the relationship I thought I had – I was deceived from the beginning
•She can in fact love me and still do this to me, those are not mutually exclusive facts
•She is as broken as she appears
•I saw the red flags and chose to ignore them, big big big red flags, from day 1.
•It wasn’t a matter of if she would do this, but rather when she would do this.
•She is a changing person, the lie detector test will help with accepting this assuming it comes back positive.
•She slept with someone else (this one obviously brackets into all of the little things that go along with it).
•She is capable of great deceit and lies
•She is capable of great selfishness
•If it were to happen again I would have the strength to walk away without asking a single question.
•My gut knows best, trust it.
•There isn’t always justice or fairness in life
•Should have and could have are pipe dreams, nothing I could have done would have stopped this.
•I had skewed views of love though thankfully not as skewed as hers
•The relationship I believed I had
•The relationship I believed I would have in the future
•All of the Disney “love is forever, true love conquers all, fairy tale blah blah blah” bullshit.
•The girl on the pedestal
•Peace of mind
•A black and white world
Thanks for listening to my ramble, as always SI is a great place to just vomit words and gain some peace. You all are the best!