I used to be a trophy collector. Airline miles, Michelin star restaurants, bigger bonuses, bigger jobs, awards, accolades, invitations, honors, amazing suits, custom shoes, expensive shirts, on and on and ON it goes. The affair was just one more trophy in a long line of stuff I needed to convince myself I was important. I was Ďokayí. I was Ďnormalí, heck, I was WAY better than normal, because just LOOK at all my trophies. I was amazingÖ
But I wasnít.
Through my counseling, through my shame, through watching all the pain I have caused my family and BS, I realize the futility of trophies. I needed trophies to make me feel normal. I needed them to fill up the hole in my soul that was created through years and years of childhood and teenage trauma.
The more I got the more I needed and it was NEVER ENOUGH. My A was by far the most destructive trophy in my life and it only accelerated me feeling half-full. After seeing the OW I used to ask myself ďwhat was that worth?Ē over and over again.
And now Iím here. I live in a room that I rent from a widow. I have some shirts hanging on a peg, a bag full of dirty laundry and a shelf where some cereal and a few other staples sit. Iím separated from my BS, I've lost the right to sleep in the same house as my children, and my world is gone.
And guess what? I donít miss a single trophy. I rarely even think about trophies and when I do my stomach gets sick.
I canít eat out. I canít travel. I canít brag, boost, or praise my own accolades. I canít golf. I find comfort in wearing old clothes and I donít care about work. None of it, absolutely none of it matters now.
I was living in a fog so thick it boggles my mind. To say I was blind, deaf, dumb and stupid is an understatement. I feel like a character in a childrenís film that was put in a trance by the evil wizard and told to do evil activities.
I was living in a lie that I convinced myself was normal.
Where do I go from here? I follow my heart. My emotions are exposed, more erupting every day through IC, isolation and self-reflection and they tell me where to go. The only path that has value, the only life that has value, is towards my BS and my children and try, TRY, to rebuild the family I have destroyed.
Today I can sit for hours and watch my children play. I have been reading them the Hobbit over the past month Ė we are about half done with the time I get to see them. I cook for them. I take them to mass. I do homework with them on Sunday. I help them clean their rooms and I take them shopping for clothes they need. I play games with them and I tell them stories and we take walks. We take slow, methodical walks through the woods. Time has slowed down and it feels right.
Everything I used to avoid when I lived in the shadows is ALL that has value today. I can now see that the ONLY THING in life that is important is my family, my wife, my children. With the trophies gone, the lies exposed, with just me sitting here, alone and open, I know what to do. I have a plan of action and I will continue to invest in my family with all of my energy.
Time will tell where this path takes me, but without any doubt, it HAS to be better than where my previous choices got me.