Lies in the Attic

I was watching a BBC version of Jane Eyre. I began to think about when it became one of my favorite books. I was just about 12 years old. I identified with the young Jane. Bookish, didn’t belong anywhere really. One good friend. Losses. Abuse.

As I got older, the relationship between Jane and Rochester grew as my understanding of a love between a man and woman grew. Somewhere, deep inside, I wanted my Rochester. My man that would see beyond the girl who was still a bookish wall flower. The one to draw me out. The one to declare his love and how being separated from me would cause a heartbreak he’d never recover from. My innocent mind glossed over the mind games Rochester played on Jane. Of the three stages of the book, only one mattered. The one where they loved and were together.

By 18 years old I found my Rochester. Dark, strong and somewhat brooding. I just knew there was love sleeping inside of him. At first, it seemed like I was right. Here was a man (well, at 18 physically a man if not otherwise) loving me. Seeing beauty in me that nobody had seen before.

I was naive and didn’t see the tricks. That this type of man was often angry and entitled. I didn’t realize that if a man was dark and brooding, there was a reason for it. And as long as he kept that reason hidden in the attic, those around him would be affected by the visits of the specter he tried to lock away.

I’ve been injured by my Rochester’s attic secret. He’s kept secrets from me and himself. That doesn’t make them go away, just get crazier. That’s what brought the affairs on. A man who believed he could lock away secrets and take what he wanted. Childhood issues he can’t or won’t face. Some I knew, one I didn’t until at least a year after the second affair had ended. He was angry and snapped at me that others had had a hard life too. That others could forgive. He had. When he was six or seven a neighborhood teenage boy molested him for a few days. He kept it to himself until he was about 12 years old then told his mom. A year’s worth of therapy and he was fine and had forgiven the perpetrator. It was all in the past.

Except to me it wasn’t. It was one more secret in 15 years of secrets and lies. Again, years have passed and I don’t know any more than what I’ve shared here. I believe that a person who cannot talk about a wound still has healing to be done in that wound. Our son’s birthday was exactly a month before the second affair started. He turned the same age my husband was when he was molested. I believe it was a trigger. My Rochester refuses to see it. He’s keeping his blind spot.
Even if he’s right and my research into the long term effects of molestation are wrong, he has more issues from his childhood he’s never faced.

He’s wounded and crippled. I’m not Jane though. I didn’t find my support system and get validated. I don’t have the strength to nurse him back to a whole man who can see clearly. I have my own scars. Many he helped cause and even layered one over the other. Rochester can love me, but can he be whole enough to pull me out of the web he’s created?

I wanted my Rochester. I just never realized how true to form he would be when he pulled me from the shadows.

Just the Facts Ma’am

NO.

I realized today that I just report the facts. No mean feat considering just the facts are so emotional too. I gloss over so much, even then it hurts.

My first d-day. Some would call it c-day. Confession over discovery. It’s a d-day to me. Devastating. Demoralizing. Dream-shattering. It was only a confession day because Sorry decided to force MrJJ’s hand. “Tell her or I’ll tell her in the most hurtful way possible.” What could hurt more than knowing your prince, your happily-ever-after, your man of honor loved someone else? That someone else was your friend?

I’ve written about it here before, that day. As I write it this time, iTunes has shuffled a song called “Friends and Love” into the playlist. I can’t even remember where it came from, it’s beautiful. Friends and love should be beautiful. This friend, this love…not beautiful.

Watching one of those spy movies recently, I was wondering why I triggered. The woman was trying to escape someone, going in and out of buildings. I’ve done that. Not life or death, but as it turned out, a part of me died that day.

I sat in the floor of my closet, crying.  I felt frumpy. She made me feel frumpy with her little comments, though I did not connect that until later. MrJJ stood over me, angry. What was my problem? Please, please let’s go out…but not with her. Just us two. Just this once, I begged.
We already invited her, she’s been having a hard time, you know that. You’re holding us up. It was a sneer, a disdain in the reply. I imagine that he also said they’d go without me and I bustled, but that might not be the truth. It would fit with the whole picture.

We went to Denny’s. I can’t remember ordering. I can’t remember anything but sitting next to the window, the morning sun streaming in. I think MrJJ sat next to me, but I couldn’t swear to it. There was some movement under the table. The wait for the food was forever, each moment a torment as we all just sat there. I don’t think I talked, all my memories come later. The movement under the table clicked something in me and I got up and left.

The town wasn’t built up in that area yet. The black roads and drying fields yawned ahead of me. Everything seemed too bright to have shape.  I hurried away, tears blurring things even more. Half a block down, I see they have gotten in the Jeep to follow me. I ducked into a Hardees, only to be told I’m sorry, we’re closed for renovation. I look down at what looks like a Carl’s Jr. star. Huge and waiting to be hung. I was confused- those are from when I lived in California as a child, not here in rural NC. I stumbled out of the door and walked as fast as I could to the next building. A hotel.

The confused faces of the staff blurred past me as I rushed upstairs, down the hall. I wanted to hide, there was nowhere to hide, just the maroon carpet and shut door. So I went down the other stairs, two flights of stark tan walls and stairs. I couldn’t even find an ice machine to hide behind. I rushed out, hoping MrJJ and Sorry were looking somewhere else.

There they were, in the parking lot. I ran to the back of the hotel, hoping to escape there. The deep and wide ditch stopped me. There was nothing but a wide dying field ahead of me. No cover. As I teetered on the edge of the ditch, MrJJ came to me, pulled me to him and hugged me. Kissed the top of my head. Promised me he loved me and it would all be ok.

I peeked over his shoulder and Sorry glowering, arms crossed and, despite my gut feelings, my head wondered why? Why?

MrJJ walked me to the Jeep, put me in, buckled me up and I leaned my head against the window, crying. When we pulled into our apartments, I begged him to drop her off at home. She couldn’t stay here. Of course she wasn’t staying, he said, I’m dropping her off. Then do it, don’t leave me alone. Don’t worry, I’ll be right back, I love you.

It felt like forever. This was before cell phones were ubiquitous. No choice but to wait. I don’t know why I didn’t call her house. I finally couldn’t take the torture. I gather all the pills in the house and some wine coolers. I got into my car, intending to drive down a long country road, take the pills with coolers and stuff the tailpipe of the car. Let someone find me, just let the pain go away. I got to the nearby community college and suddenly felt I had to turn around.

It turns out that they were there, in a gazebo. Thought I had seen them. That’s the only reason MrJJ came home soon after I got home. The rest…well, i can be read here.

I was left to die or not. I can feel the summer day almost like you can feel Maximus’ hand over the field in Gladiator. The same colors, same surreal reality.  Five days before my birthday and I’m left behind like the leftover filled Styrofoam boxes from Denny’s. By the time my birthday rolled around, celebrating my life was as unwanted as those leftovers. I was closer to death, slowly dying. I can see the wires protruding from the new Hardee’s sign. I can feel a blur of diners around me in Denny’s.

This happened June 19, 1999. We buried it all almost immediately. The last year of a millennium, and here we are on the cusp of a new decade in the new millennium and I can still remember. Even buried, it was STILL there.  If it won’t go away, how do I move away from it. I can’t randomly delete it. Those feelings, they come back. It’s a PTSD thing. The first time I saw a Hardee’s after the second affair came to light, I triggered. I didn’t know what it is, or what it was called at the time, but it was there.
Now I’m supposed to recover? HOW? How do you forget when you’ve tried so hard and it WON’T GO AWAY?  How do you heal sleeping next to the person who hurt you, let you hurt but won’t let you go- and won’t help you fight the demons he gave birth to in your dreams, in your life?

Broken Brenchel

I wrote about the most recent Big Brother it couple while the season was still in full swing. In more recent news, infidelity has rocked the couple. I don’t follow the celeb gossip closely so pardon any mistakes in the details.

Apparently some celeb wannabe posted on Twitter that she’s been having an affair with the Brendon half of Brenchel. she helpfully included pictures he sent, one of his erect penis. Initially he denied it, typical wayward attitude. Even in the face of photographic evidence, he attempted to claim it wasn’t him.

My understanding is that at this point Rachel is friends with the other woman (whose claim to fame seems to be spreading her legs and tweeting offensive racist remarks). While Brendon admits to a ‘Skype affair’ he’s still denying actual intercourse. Again, a typical wayward lie. Although it might be true, statistics usually weigh in on that claim as a lie.

All in all, I’m not surprised. When two people attach the way these two do, it can be a sign of the emotional vampirism that usually accompanies a person that cheats. They need more and more validation and suck it from where ever they can. When they current partner is no longer fresh to them, they seek another to feed from.

I’m Sorry

For those that come here looking how to recover, I’m sorry.  I’m a piss-poor example. I’m trying to do my own healing, even with various therapists and a recovery class, I’m failing. The hurt is still there, still so real. Even when I try to ignore it, it appears from nowhere.

I’ve let my marriage remain in limbo.  MrJJ hasn’t taken any real steps to help heal our marriage until recently. During the years in between, my heart for my husband has slowly been dying.

I hope you find the help and healing you need, and maybe even a little of it from here. Please forgive me for a blog with few merits.

Since I haven’t updated my story

Honestly, it hurts too much to write the details, even these years later. I was hoping it would change with time, but not so far. It’s like it was yesterday when I bring it out.

So here’s the stroy, sort of, with some humor:

Their Luuuuv Story

I think I’ll do another one of my ‘friend’ and MrJJ later. Have I mentioned I found her on Facebook?  She’s a pug.  With some shar pei mixed in now that she’s getting older.  The years have not been kind.  Her ex is married to a much younger woman and I can only hope he doesn’t bring his creepy, swinging ways into her bedroom.

Funny little video showing the ridiculous way affairs start

One of the members at SI created this.  Unfortunately, I cannot embed a video from this site on WordPress for some reason so here’s the link:

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7475989

The Subconscious and Triggers

I was in my recovery class last night learning about the subconscious. How it’s formed, what’s stored in there and so on.

One statement that was made was very interesting to me. The speaker said that the subconscious cannot tell reality from fantasy (ie- a memory). I discussed it with my facilitator and how that plays out in real life is a large part of how triggers work.

For instance, you hear a song or smell something that brings you right back to a moment in childhood. It’s your subconscious recognizing what you don’t consciously and recalling that memory like it’s in the present. Not differentiating the memory from the actual present.

This is what happens when we trigger. We have certain experiences- sight, sound, taste, touch and so on- that bring us back to a moment that has been cemented into our subconscious and when it recalls that from the memory banks, it’s almost real to us and we react accordingly because of those strong feelings.

Reminding ourselves that the actual memory is of the past and things are changing helps. Lingering reinforces the memory and creates another layer in that moment.

I don’t know about you all, but that is very hard for me. I’ve buried my pain for years and it’s very hard to recognize when I am doing that again or if I am acknowledging the feeling, letting it pass then dealing w/ the new, present one the trigger has brought up. It’s a learning process that I hope to get better at, because the stuffing isn’t working any more than wallowing would.

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