I’ve been lazy, skimmed over things, swept some dirt under the proverbial rug, and smiled when I wanted to cry. In the thick of the affair I still had to be all of the things I was before the affair…children require that you sacrifice yourself for their well-being. As my body was melting down inside under the intense swirling flames, my outside was cool and breezy. I was lying to them and to me without using any of the words available in the English language. And, even if I had chosen to use some words, there weren’t any that fit the turmoil going on inside of my mind and body. Little embers would float around igniting fires as they fell deep in my soul and the thousands of tears that I wouldn’t allow to release my eyes did not overflow back and put out any of those fires. I had never felt so alone ever.
As days turned to months and months into years my despair grew, and my husband’s did as well, until the tipping point finally tipped. A point we both feel we willed to happen for our own sanities and other very different reasons. By the time that tornado gained strength, leveled, and then at last fizzled out, the path of destruction was deep and wide. I was in a hurry to repair that path, to build again, to make it new and shiny like a brand new penny. I did not want to see with my eyes that barren swath of turmoil on my timeline. I wanted it to disappear much faster than the time it took to create it. More than anything I wanted it all to go away, to pretend that it was much less than it was and much less devastating. In my haste to move forward, I forgot that I had left a trail of bread crumbs, a way to get back to the beginning, which is good, because I ended up lost. Where I was lost could even be described as worse than what caused me to get lost to begin with.
It seems like a fine idea to skim over the bad things in our lives, less touching means less feeling. Only that isn’t what it means at all. All of those pieces that lay scattered on my path (and his) needed to be picked up, dealt with. Peace is elusive without all the pieces. As much as the journey through an affair sucks, picking up those pieces sometimes sucks worse. It’s not easy to grab a chunk of your life that was devastating and put it under a microscope, but necessary. As I started cleaning my path many months ago, picking things up, examining them, I started to feel better. The cleaner things looked, the clearer things became. When the fog of an affair is hanging like a cobweb over your life, you vision is truly clouded. Things that aren’t there appear and things that are there become blurry. I honestly believed that I could overcome the mess that had been made and just keep walking, but I realized eventually that I couldn’t do that. Healing cannot take place when there are still uncovered wounds and pieces of yourself laying in heaps behind you.
As I started picking up each bloody section, my first instinct was to throw them away, put them in a box, anywhere, as long as they were out of my sight. Again, I realized that was not the answer either. Those are my pieces, me, who I was and who I have become. Throwing them away or hiding them would only make me incomplete still. The hole in my heart would still be there without the part of it that belonged there, even if it was in shaky condition. I had to man-up, I had to deal with something again that I didn’t want to deal with in the first place. I struggled daily with this task of this repairing myself. As each piece was cleaned and lay before me like the sections of a giant jigsaw puzzle I saw that the edges of each one had changed, where once there was a logical way of interlocking me with them, now there was not. Nothing was clear, except the fact that I was standing in a heap of myself and had no idea how to put me back together.
Maybe it was then that it hit me that I would not be going back together the same way that I had been. I had changed and the sections of me that had laid out on that path and been weathered by the storms had changed. With no pattern to follow and the essence of who I was on the line, I started putting me back together piece by piece.
I am still in this journey, much further down the path, but still picking up pieces, and still holding onto pieces that I don’t know how to address. I have moments of weakness and moments of strength. But, I will say the moments of strength are much more plentiful than the moments of weakness. I feel nearly whole these days, despite some puzzle left to put back together. It is not the first thing I think of every morning any longer and it’s rarely the last thing I think of every night. Nights, admittedly, are the worst, when the mind wanders aimlessly out of my control sometimes. Just the way my husband looks at me or touches me at night occasionally starts my mind to believing that none of this happened, that I must have dreamed the whole damn thing. I know that I didn’t.
I got the urge to know what she was up to yesterday, so I asked a friend to creep on her page….a definite moment of weakness. I was happy when she reported that her page was no longer public and she couldn’t see anything. I am suspicious though that my friend lied to me, to protect me, and to encourage me to move on even further. I suppose it doesn’t matter either way. Admittedly though, I was hoping to hear that she was doing well, that she really was trying in her new marriage. You see, my piece labled “Bobbie” is still laying somewhere at my feet, not yet put back into place because I have no idea what to do with it. I only know that in order to put it back, it must resonate peace. I haven’t been able to find peace yet with that piece.