The day after Rich got back I called the counsellor to tell her and ask if I could my next appointment so that we could attend the counselling sessions together. But the Counsellor said that she couldn’t see us both together until she had seen Rich on his own first. I couldn’t believe it! Why? What right did Rich have to anything? Surely this was about me, about what Rich had done to me, and how he could make it right. What a fucking cheek that he was being given any help when he deserved everything that he got!
But the counsellor was insistent so I reluctantly booked Rich in to see her the following week. Neither of us were back at work so I booked Rich in for an afternoon session.
When Rich went to the session I was on tenterhooks all the time Rich was gone. What would he say to her about me? Would he slag me off and laugh about me as he had done in the past? Was he going to talk about ‘her’ and how much he still loved ‘her’? After all he wouldn’t say a word against ‘her’, despite the fact that ‘she’ had now started to call his work trying to contact him.
When Rich got back I immediately asked him what they had talked about; Rich said that the Counselor had told him that he was not allowed to tell me what had been discussed, or anything that he had said; that were things that he didn’t want to tell me or feel comfortable telling me. What the Fuck! Here I was, I had been lied to for months, I had been made a fool of, Rich had sided with someone else against me, he had talked about me and laughed at me with someone else, and now he was telling me that there were things that he still did not want to tell me. So what the fuck had he come back for? What was the point of it all if there were still going to be secrets between us, more lying, more covering up? Why, if Rich wanted me back could he tell the counsellor and not tell me?
At that moment in time I realised that I needed to seriously consider my position and whether I really wanted to be here; I started to realise that what we had was goneand it wasn’t coming back. In fact I did not know if Rich was worth swallowing my pride for any more, I already felt as if I was choking! It pissed me off that instead of being really honest Rich had now gone to MY counsellor and talked about me behind my back again. I was starting to really dislike this man that had come back and questioned whether I was making a massive fucking mistake, and wasn’t it just going to be easier to walk away?
I think that Rich could see the thoughts going through my head and knew that I was on the verge of getting out of the hellhole he had dragged me into; so he said that one of the things that they discussed was that he did not want a joint bank account anymore; that he thought that I only wanted him for the money that he brought into the house. I was shocked, because I thought that we would just be what we were, and more and more it was becoming clear that we would never be that again, in fact, it made me question if we were ever what I thought we were in the first place.
What could I say? I had to agree, he had set up his own bank acccount by now and it was clear that he no longer wanted to share one with me. I was so hurt that he had thought that I only wanted him for the money that he was brining into the house, when I had loved him so much; he seemed to forget all the times I had worked hard and done overtime; he seemed to forget that it was he that wanted me to work part-time. I wondered if he understood me at all.
The following week when we went to the counsellor together I felt alienated because Rich and the counsellor had a secret that I did not know aboumt and that they did not want to share it with me; pretty much like the last year really!! I didn’t feel that I could trust the counsellor because I felt as if she was on Rich’s side; I just started to cry.
The counsellor asked Rich to tell me what he had told her, the things he was frightened to say to me. I could not understand why Rich was frightened of me! Why Rich got to tell me about what was upsetting him, what about all the pain he had put me through? What about my pain?!
So Rich proceeded to tell me how he thought that I was only with him for the money that he brought in every month, the money to pay the mortgage and pay for renovations, that I only wanted the house and not him. He brought up the fact that I only worked twenty hours a week and that I did not want to work more hours than that, and about how this put so much pressure on him. He said that he felt that I did not listen when it came to the house.
I felt like ‘this Rich’ who had come back had never really liked me in the first place. Here he was saying all the things that had made him want to leave and I just felt ganged up on and alone. I remembered when Rich had told me that he had been falling out of love with me since the previous year, and now he was sitting here saying all these things. I didn’t understand because Rich was the one who had always told me that he wanted to take care of me, Rich was the one who moaned if I worked extra hours at work, why did he do all of that he if thought that I should work more hours, bring more money into the house?
But it was when Rich then told me that he felt guilt towards ‘her’ for leaving ‘her’, abandoning ‘her’ in the rented property; and that he was upset that he had let ‘her’ down, that my world started to reel. Rich had just sat there and slagged me off, he hadn’t given a fucking shit about me or Tom and now he was telling me that he felt sorry for ‘her’!
Rich went on to try and explain that he felt as if, because of his actions, he had destroyed two people’s lives nowand that it was all his fault. Finally something that was his fucking fault, I am surprised that he didn’t try and blame that on me as well! I was literally gob smacked!! How could he have feelings for her equal to the ones that he supposedly had for me? How could he not see just what a manipulative cow ‘she’ had been? Checking his phone all the time, deleting texts I had sent, lying to Rich and telling him that I had told ‘her’ I had an affair just to turn Rich against me? But no! Rich telling me all of the things that he did not like about me, that had made him leave, but not seeing anything wrong in ‘her’.
I thought that when he came back Rich would just be so sorry, just want to make things up to me, as he always had done in the past, but it seemed as if this was not the case; that he thought that it had all been my fault!
By the time I left the counsellors office I was crying so much I could not drive so we just sat in the car, Rich in a terrified silence, whilst I just sat and sobbed.
I couldn’t do it, I could not have him back! So I turned to Rich and told him I couldn’t do it, and gave him back my wedding and engagement ring. I meant it, I was worth more than this.
For the first time since Rich had come back he started to sob, big, heart wrenching, struggling for breath sobs. He was holding onto my rings so tightly they cut into his hand. As I sat and watched him I knew he was in pain, and yes, I felt glad that he was finally showing the pain that I had been feeling for the past seven weeks. Cry me a fucking river!
But as I looked at him, a crying a wreck in front of me, I knew that I could not break up with him; although I still felt such anger, I still loved him and I knew I had to try, I knew that if we were going to survive it would be me that took us through.
I drove us up to the Downs where you could see the sea stretching out into infinity; it was quiet, and we just sat in the car in a stunned silence. There is something about looking out to see, the infinity of sea and sky that enables you to understand that you are just a blot on this world, a tiny little pinprick, and all the things that you think are important don’t mean anything at all compared to that vast expanse in front of you
It made me realise that we should try an overcome our problems, because you only get one life and I had to give it my best so that if I walked away in the future I would know that I did all that I could.
So I asked Rich to just talk to me, that I would listen and would not interupt. Rich asked me not to leave, to wear my rings, he just kept saying how sorry he was. I said how I just felt as if I did not know him that I did not know if I even liked him anymore. But I told him that for what we had in the past I knew that I had to try, and that was all I could do, try.
Over the coming months the ‘Down’s would become somewhere that would become a sanctuary for us both, together and separately. It helped to ground me when I looked out at that expanse of ocean and sky, it helped me to bring my thoughts under control.
That night Rich went to work for the first time in weeks, and the next day as he lay in bed my head went into overdrive; I had not realised at this time that the thing it was a ‘demon’ in my head that was whispering to me and that this was just the start of a long, long conversation that would go on for years to come. It was telling me not to stay, telling me I was better than this, telling me I would be so happy if I just let Rich go. I was in turmoil, going over and over what Rich had said, that he clearly still had some feelings for ‘her’ and I was struggling. I have to admit that at that moment in time the main thing that kept me there was that I was not going to let ‘her’ win.
I called the counsellor to make another appointment to attend a session on my own, and she had said that in actual fact she was just about to call me. She explained that she felt that she needed to see me on my own because she did not think that the previous session had been good for me and that she had not fully understood what a strong personality I had! So I went to see her that afternoon; I did not leave a note for Rich to tell him where I was, I hadn’t known where he was for three fucking weeks so now he could sweat for an afternooon. If he thought that I was always going to leave him before then that would be nothing to what he would feel now!
It was the start of the turmoil I would find myself in for nearly a year to come where one minute I was so, so angry with him I would want to punch him the face and the next I could be calm and rational; understanding that I was the key that was going to keep us together. But I was insane so I would do things like let him think I had left him, leave him to worry and wonder where I was. It was revenge, pure and simple.
At the session with the counsellorshe advised me to consider if staying with Rich was going to be the right decision for me, because she thought that I was going to move on without him; she explained that I clearly had such a strong personality that she was unsure if I would be able to stay. But this triggered something in me and I came away realising that pride was my deadly sin, and I was fucked if I was going to let it beat me!!
Why did you leave me all alone
Now you tell me you need me
When you call me on the phone
Girl, I refuse
You must have me confused with some other guy
The bridges were burned
Now it’s your turn, to cry
Cry me a river