Tuesday 11th September 2007 – Early in the morning after Rich had left for work.
I am really struggling and I don’t understand why; and I have to be honest, it is doing my head in!
I know my hormones have kicked in, but this time it seems to be not in a massively huge flood like the past few months, but in a continuous ‘high ‘state that has lasted about a week now, just under. I have blamed the way I have felt since Friday (perhaps Tuesday) on them; but if am being honest, although they are contributory factor, I don’t think it is all my hormones, and that frightens me.
So I am writing my journal to try and make some sense of it; of why I have so many thoughts in my head; because more than anything that is the thing that gets to me now. I just don’t want those thoughts in my head! And the idea that they will be there forever just does my head in, as I know that I cannot live with that, not forever.
Over the last week my sister has had a major operation and my dear friend Jacquie. who has always been there to support me over the past twenty five years rang me to say that her brain tumour had returned. Yes, all those things got to me; and Rich got the brunt of it on Friday night because these people love me and are suffering and he had just let me down.
Rich often sees himself as a ‘cancer’ that I need to get rid of. But he is not the ‘cancer’ what he did is; and I rely on Rich being the cure, along with time and I hope that together they will heal it.
I realised last night, just sitting having a glass of wine before I went to bed, that one of the things that drives a wedge, between Rich and I, is the totally different experiences that we had had from this. As I am writing this I realise that, although Rich has told me how he felt, during the actual war, his experience was nothing like mine. Even as I am writing this I am now crying. Because Rich has never really wanted to hear what I was like; has wanted to run away again I suppose; never wanted (I know it is because he finds it so painful) to know the mess that I was in.
As a result of that he does not, cannot, understand why, at times, I swing from high to low with him. It has changed me so profoundly in all aspects of my life, but where Rich is concerned more than any other.
But now Rich is getting sensitive to it all, picking up things that even I don’t pick up on. Last Thursday I gave a photo to Mary of us; I should have asked him and I took it of our ‘Journey by the Sea’ board. On Friday he told me it had really upset him. That I was not on the board anymore, there were no pictures of me; and that he took from that that I did not want to be involved in it, and that is why he had not put the board up.
I realised from this that I had not even thought of Rich when I gave the photo away. That I had not even realised the message I had sent out.
On Sunday we discussed Rich’s leaving ‘do’ if he got the new job; and we both admitted that neither of us would feel comfortable with the other one going out without them. Rich especially, he could not handle me going out for the night with my friends. I understand that so we agreed that we would go out together.
But perhaps more importantly Rich picked up on the fact that I keep calling him ‘my friend’. I do keep saying to him “Can I talk to you as a friend.” I realised that. He said that he felt that eventually that is all he would be, a friend; and that is why I kept saying it. I said that it was because an important part of our relationship was/is based on friendship.
But I have been thinking, and I notice that when bad thoughts are in my head I stop, and then remind myself that the Rich who did all of those things to me has gone; that this is a new Rich and then I make myself look at our relationship as a friendship first, something that we can then build on, because we have to build something new.
As I am writing this I am realising that over the past month or so Rich and I have started to go back to the intenseness that we had before; and by going back, back to the old Rich I now understand why all the thoughts are back in my head. We had such a lovely time in France we have started to go too quickly.
I just need to slow down a little bit.
Hopefully this will work.
I have chosen this journal entry because there are some key things that I wanted to share:
When the person you love has an affair it changes you, you will never be the same person that you were; and when I read the word ‘profoundly’ in my journal, I knew that I could not have picked a better word to describe the change that you will go through. It will be intense, deep rooted, heartfelt, and at times overwhelming; and the most frightening thing of all is that you will have no control over it! But now I know that it needs to be for you to survive whether with your partner or without them
This journal entry highlights the thing that those who have been betrayed know , (because I think it is safe to say it is the thing that drives you mad): it is the constant highs and lows that you go through when you are suffering from a broken heart, from a loss, grieving for the thing that you had that you don’t have any more, that make you wonder if you can stay.
At times it feels so unbearable (two steps forward, four steps back) that you think that if you leave at least you won’t have to suffer it any more. I know I felt like that when I wrote this entry; I could not bear the thought that Rich having had an affair would be in my head forever. Of course it happened it will never go away completely, but I know now that eventually it just becomes something that is there (a bit like an old table) and you just walk round it, or ignore it, or use it when you need to; the key thing is you don’t fear it anymore.
Over time I learnt that even if I walked away from Rich I would still feel bereaved, betrayed, unable to trust, and heartbroken; the only difference would be that I would not be with Rich anymore. Because Rich was trying so hard, there were so many things he did that kept me there during the many times that I thought about leaving, I stayed. I had found myself though, gone back to work full time, was earning good money, thinner, fitter, me, and I knew what I wanted from a relationship; and what I needed Rich to do to make amends. If Rich had not shown how sorry he was and worked so hard every day I would not have stayed; and Rich knew that too.
The part about my sisters operation and Jacqui’s situation were also pertinent because they were contributing factors to how I was feeling; but what I did was turn that feeling around and blame it all on what had happened to Rich and I. In fact it was all of those factors that were contributing to my mood, and I know now it was the changes in the season that were also making me question Rich’s love for me and consider whether to stay.
The fact that I understood that Rich was the ‘cure’ not the disease; was crucial to our survival; I understood that he was not the disease what had happened was the disease.
It is true: we had different experiences; which means that we have not always followed the same path, and may not always be able to relate to things in the same way (still). Although we have talked about how I was when Rich was not with me, Rich still finds it so painful to listen to, and he cries every time because he cannot change it, what’s done is done!
Rich becoming so sensitive to things is one of the things that made fall in love with him all over again; and still makes me love him today because now he faces his emotions, recognises them, talks to me about them; instead of burying his head in the sand and pretending they are not there.
When I read his entry the story about the photo board we had bought whilst in France made me realise just how I was moving away from Rich without knowing it. We had called it “Un voyage sur le Mer’ and had put together various mementoes of our holiday in the summer with photos, postcards, and little things like the tickets we had to go into the fair at Dieppe. I know, now, how astute Rich was becoming to have picked up on the fact that I had removed myself from the board by giving that picture to Mary. It was as if I was removing myself from our life together. I did not appreciate at the time just how quickly my husband was seeing things; things that he would have never seen before. The fact that he raised the issue helped me to stop and see what what I was doing, again contributing to me staying.
He was also right about the fact that I kept calling him ‘my friend’; but we have both come to realise that our relationship IS based on friendship first, and honestly I think that most people’s relationships should be.
This entry shows that at this present time we were moving forward, but it also highlights that there is still mistrust and a high level of fear there, and that would be there for some time to come, and with the autumn leaves came some real turmoil.