The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hard things settling in

Warning: This is just stream of consciousness, so don't read further if you have little tolerance for disorganized thoughts and feelings.

It's been a week since I found out about Husband's most recent deceptions. Over that time it's begun to settle in that I need to take a look at where I really am in this journey. And that's been gradually more and more depressing as I realize how much is called into question.

Today I've been feeling a big sense of loss, some regret, and a good amount of anxiety and fear. I was at the bookstore this morning and saw a former classmate who went on to have a successful career as a studio executive in the entertainment industry. She was there with a handsome, fit man and two girls - her family I assume. Since I've know her she has launched her career, risen to the top, and then retired to be with her family. I hid from her. I couldn't bear to face her because I didn't know what I could say about my life. "Hi, I've accomplished little professionally, I'm unhappy in my current job, I'm married to an addict, I've just found out for the 3rd time that he's lying to me, we have no savings for the future, our house is under water, we live paycheck to paycheck. How are you?"

I feel so pathetic right now, it's hard to think straight. Part of me asks how I could possibly have ended up here, and the other part of me knows my life is mostly nothing more or less than the result of choices I've made. Most of the time I'm happy with our modest lifestyle because I've felt like I had the important things in life: family, friends, love, companionship, a solid relationship. But with the loss of the progress I thought Husband and I were making in our relationship I don't feel like I have anything. The only positive thing I can point to is my wonderful son, but I don't consider him a personal accomplishment.

Maybe I need to start doing gratitude lists so I can get re-connected with the wonderful things I do have in my life: Family who love me and would always be there for me, girlfriends who are like sisters who love me, a wonderful son who loves and appreciates me. I have my health. I have a job. I have a car. I have health insurance. It's only when I compare myself to others, or to where I think I should be that I feel the pain of failure. And that's a big pain. I'm beginning to fear that I've wasted my life. As I search for jobs and feel the ageism creeping in, I'm beginning to understand that doors are closing for me, whether or not that's right or fair.

My anon program recommends that we let self-seeking slip away and look for where we can be of service. Maybe that's my best next step. Where can I be of service today? How can I take who I am and the things I have to offer and be of service to others? I've never known the answer to that, but now the question is much more pressing. I feel like my options are to figure that our or to give up. And I really don't want to give up. But today I feel so heavy and tired, and the way forward looks fraught with obstacles, and I feel like the clock is ticking on life which means there's so much at stake. I feel like there's no room for error and that paralyzes me.

Action. I have to take action. Move in a direction, any direction, because movement is better than no movement. I think my absolutism is heightened when I feel insecure. But if I make list of actions and just take them, something will happen. And then I can take other actions based on the result. It can be that simple if I just stop thinking about it.


Lexie said...

I did not find this to be in the least bit disorganized. But, oh how I related to your every word!

BTW, raising a wonderful son IS an accomplishment!!!

I too have felt EXACTLY as you have, thinking what on earth is MY problem? exactly the same. its uncanny.

It is so easy for me to blame my own short-comings on the actions of others. But,as we both know, that is just a cop out. It is also easy to make excuses. For me, its my depression. Its the kids. (and yes, mine ARE a massive handful, but doing pretty durned well now!) Its my husband. Its where we live... on and on and on... and sooooooo?

But, after a while, I began to get sick of myself. Just sick and tired of thinking "what's my effing problem?"

I'm on wellbutrin and that seems to be helping with the motivation, at least.

I began to tell myself to just STOP IT! Stop the negative self-talk. just STOP IT!!!

and do. don't think. do. (I still think, but then I say... "thanks for sharing, now SCRAM! I'm doing this and no G-D stupid voice in my head is going to tell me otherwise!)

I hired someone to help me with an entirely new web site. Its going to be amazing. (if I say so myself!) I have always wanted to have a little online store and maybe to create my own furniture line, one day. (but for now, selling others' works)

Sometimes I ask myself if I'm stark raving bonkers? (well, we already know that I am--LOL) but sooooooooo??? what is more nutso than the life I've been leading?

what's the worst that can happen?

what if I succeed? hmmm... I'll send you a post card from Italy!

Another dream!

You can too! Just go for it! I bet there's some secret ambition that you've had and like me... well...

you are not too old!!!!!!!!!

My mom wrote two books, at 77 and 85 and believe me, if she can, so can we!


it sucks. I don't need to be filthy rich, just rich enough to travel a bit and buy a few things, have a nice place to live and save for my future.

God only knows that my h will never do that. nope. not him.

((hugs)) L

Lexie said...

PS: being of service to others is fine. I've done a fair share of volunteer work and I have to say that it didn't make me any happier. it wasn't that satisfying for me. I'm actually happiest when I'm giving to myself first. And there's a reason why.

You already ARE a very giving person. There are many ways to "give." I am giving through my store and design services. And it is also giving to myself and I think that you touched on that, but I believe with all of my heart that we must give to ourselves first. And that is not selfish. Its taking care of ourselves-- first.

Follow your passions and dreams and the giving to others will follow. Its a bit like putting your oxygen mask on first, I think.

Open your own doors. yes, you can. You're a great writer. you have much to offer!


I understand your feelings. When I found out my first wife was a serial cheater... and I ended up divorced and penniless at age 40. Well, I'm now 55 and still penniless but I'm content with a great wife I don't deserve.

Life is meant to be a tough road. There are always those select few who get all they want, but for the other 98% or so we struggle along.

Do think about the positives. Dwell on those. If you are a woman of faith then consider the scriptures. Job 23:8-12, Jeremiah 17:5-10, Lamentations 3:13-33 and Psalm 63 come to mind. Dwell on those also.

And there are a lot of good service jobs. They don't pay well, but they can be rewarding.

You may or may not give up on your husband, but either way look for some of your own happiness. Take care of yourself first and him second (if at all).

Eat My Scabs said...

Lexie always has the best comments, really! I love em. And looking fwd to your new website! I'll buy your furniture.

Anyway...if you feel the urge to take action, then take action. easier said than done, right? But your right, make a plan, step by doesn't have to be huge. Even little things make an enormous difference.

woman.anonymous7 said...

Lexie, Blazer, Scabs: Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Input is so helpful right now. I appreciate the support, and will take all you've said into consideration.