Question - How does a girl plummeting down a rabbit hole into chaos come out unchanged?
The rabbit hole is my metaphor for the last year of my marriage. A little background about my husband and me. We were high school sweethearts. We married 2 weeks after I graduated in 1995. We had the “perfect” relationship. Four years later we welcomed our beautiful daughter - “a little US”. My grandma used to tell me to watch out for the 7 - year itch. I went back to work soon after baby, and I worked every weekend and H was off every weekend. Needless to say weren’t spending any time together and when we did it was mostly focused on baby and errands that HAD to be done. I was enjoying being a new mom but H hadn’t been ready to be a full time daddy. He started pulling away. Spending more time with friends never wanting to go out with me. I found a few girl friends of my own and started doing girls nights about 3 times a week just so I wasn’t lonely.
March 11th 2004 he came to me a week before our daughters birthday and told me he was moving out. When I asked if there was someone else he flat out denied it. He said, “He couldn’t take the financial stress anymore”, I begged, cried, groveled and done all but permanently attach myself to his leg to try and get him to stay. He did stay but only six days. Finally, on March 17th he moved out. The next week was a blur of tears and promises. I went to work everyday and let on like there were no problems. I’m not a very open person. I talked to him every day but didn’t see him and it was the same conversation over and over. “I love you I just can’t live with you. But we can be friends.” In the weeks that followed I has several panic attacks. I tried staying busy with work and around the house just to keep my mind occupied. It was always worse when the sun went down. I literally sat in my recliner dissecting every aspect of my marriage. I blamed myself completely. Maybe I wasn’t the best housekeeper, but I could change. I would talk and try to reason with myself. I tried to see the good instead of the bad because I knew if I focused on the bad I would break down. I tried to tell myself early on that this separation was best. That we’d grown up and apart. But I missed him so much. I missed his touches, kisses, voice and just his presence.
Then D-day happened. He’d been gone for about 3 weeks. Every time I talked to him I’d ask if there was someone else and every time he would say no. Later I learned that he wanted to “spare me unnecessary pain” I do believe that day will forever be seared into my memory. I called him at his mom’s to ask him to come over. Once he got there I told him “you don’t owe me anything but I want the truth have you been seeing Mary?” The look on his face was priceless. He demanded to know how I’d found out. I told him it didn’t matter. I just did. That is when things started spiraling for me. I told him to get out. I was discussed at who he’d become and I never wanted to see him again. I felt hurt, betrayed, and worthless. I started getting panic attacks daily. I was crumbling. I lost 30 lbs. I couldn’t eat, sleep or function. I eventually became the “Prozac Princess” I was tired run down and had no clue that this woman was that was staring back at me every time I looked in the mirror. Eventually, the hurt subsided and I was MAD. I was determined not to let him or her take me to the lowest possible point a human being could go. Now if I say I didn’t plot revenge schemes I’d be lying but I’m a firm believer in Karma. So I never acted on them. I wrote every day in my journal. My friends were extremely worried. You see I was the fun loving friend. Always the one to make you smile when you were going through a tough time. But they didn’t know how to cheer me up. I started going out. Not to meet men just to get out of the house. It was extremely hard at first because I’d never done anything “on my own”. I eventually started to try to have fun. I found out that I was an intelligent woman who could make choices on her own.
Fast forward to August, H comes to the house begging to come home. You see I’d made him realize that I was still the fun loving person he fell in love with years ago. He wanted to move back in. But I didn’t let him right away. I was still hurting on the inside. Even if he didn’t see it on the out. I basically told him he’d have to start courting me again. We took things very slowly. There was a lot of talking, crying, promising, explaining, and trying to trust again. We were slowly beginning to see where and when we’d made mistakes. We had somewhere along the way stopped looking at each other as a person but instead as roles. His was the husband he was there only to lift heavy things and kill bugs. Mine was to cook supper and be a mother. We did a lot of purging. We talked about everything. Nothing was held back if I had questions no matter how uncomfortable he was he answered them honestly. He broke off all contact with Mary. We couldn’t let 5 months destroy 10 years. This has been the toughest thing to get over. It’s been a year now, and I still have bad days. The pain is no longer as intense as it was in the beginning. And the thoughts no longer are there every single waking moment. But this has been an eye opening experience. You can be that one it does happen to. Everyone is susceptible. If there is one thing I’ve learned from this entire experience, it is to never take anything for granted.
So question - How does a girl plummeting down a rabbit hole into chaos come out unchanged?
Answer - SHE DOESN’T