I can’t believe I’m up writing because I am so tired. It has been a long week. But, here I am, exhausted, but awake. It is a strikingly familiar feeling to feel exhausted but awake, but one I haven’t felt in a long time.
I think that if you asked me to name some of the most hurtful things that he did, one would be how easily he fell asleep at night, leaving me to suffer. And we all know the suffering is much worse at night. And when you couple that with hacked emails and recordings involving an affair….well, you get my drift.
At first, right after I found out, I didn’t cry once, not once in the first six months. Whether it was numbness or shock or my protective armor I had up, no tears fell from my eyes. I knew this wasn’t right, and probably something I should have addressed and never did. And then, kind of all of a sudden, the missing tears showed, and with a vengeance. If there’s one thing my husband knows about me, it’s that I’m not a crier. But, overwhelmed and hurting for my children, those tears appeared, unaffected by my steely exterior and with the force of any other great body of water. So, there I was, vulnerable and exposed. My husband seemed annoyed. He questioned what I had to cry about. I sat up many nights in bed next to him crying while he slept (or more likely pretended to sleep). And eventually, those tears turned to rage over his callous and uncaring attitude.
When you feel rage you do things that you would never do in a million years when you’re perfectly sane and stable. Whatever my opinion of Betty Broderick was before, in that first episode of feeling this intense rage, I went from thinking she should have been in jail to knowing that you can be driven to things you would never otherwise consider….right or wrong. That never say never phrase rings true with me. When I think of all the times the rage I felt endangered my life, it scares the hell out of me. I had my own thoughts of suicide, but when children are involved you don’t have the luxury of any kind of suicide, either real or fake. There was the time I drove completely erratically in the rain toward the restaurant where he met her for lunch on Valentine’s Day. I could have wrecked and died and left my children without a mother, and for what? The stupidity of those moments still haunt me. His completely uncharacteristic behavior still haunts me.
I’m not sure either of us really slept in those days for an significant amount of time. We both slept light instead of heavy. We both were feeling that anxious, awful feeling of uncertainty. And for every two or three good days we had, there were five or six bad days right behind. And with very, very few exceptions, we kept it all hidden from the children. If nothing else, we had that in common. A common goal that kept us grounded, beautiful moments of sanity surrounded by a lot of hidden insanity.
Most people hearing all of this would not understand my staying with him. I won’t lie, it was hell. He lied so many times. He was cruel so many times. But, sometimes among all of that tragedy and grief, he would appear, like a memory loss victim who has sudden jolts of remembrance, but then loses them again as quickly as they came. It was in those fleeting moments that hope showed her face. He would tell me he hated hope. He didn’t hate it because of me though, but because of her. He was left feeling hopeless that he would never be able to free himself from the ninety-degree corner he was trapped in. He feared I would get tired of the whole charade. He feared that she would never give up. He was just tired of the whole thing, and had zero clue how to not be tired anymore.
When I step back and take the whole thing in, I realize that what I lost can’t compare to what he lost. When a man loses his dignity and honor, those are difficult things to get back…no matter what you say or do. Add that to the humiliation of knowing that he was duped into believing that it was possible that she was being real, despite his gut instincts, and the recipe for self-destruction starts to boil. Do I feel sorry for him? No. Feeling sorry for him would mean that I put all of the blame on her, and by his own admission, that wasn’t the case. I feel sorry for him that he allowed his desires and emotions rob him of his most precious personal assets, but that’s where it ends.
I do forgive my husband for his actions, even though there are many days and times that I think back to all of those terrible things he did and feel hints of betrayal trying to make their way into my heart. Under the same token, I forgive Bobbie as well. I feel much more sorry for her really. At least my husband can say that he was and is an honorable and moral human being who made a huge mistake that he is working on repairing. I don’t think Bobbie is capable of being honorable or moral. She’s much too self-absorbed to have either of those qualities. He did tell me at some point that he found her lifestyle intriguing. She really doesn’t really have to think about anybody other than herself. She has no responsibility to anyone but herself. She will and can and did do whatever she felt like doing, with no baggage to hold her back. I guess maybe that is intriguing to some people. But, to me it’s a rootless existence.