Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend me your ears…

Any of the other titles I thought of were too revealing for the little visitor that still comes to my page sometimes.  I didn’t want her to know that today is really bothering me.

And it is.

“The evil that men do live after them, the good is often interred with their bones.”

Like Caesar I was betrayed.  Betrayed by one trusted and loved.  Hell, nearly a decade ago I was betrayed by him AND a friend.  Stabbed in the back by more than one.

“Et tu, Brute?”

Today is what Harlot called the anniversary.  MrJJ was in Hawai’i on a business trip, some sort of seminar type deal.  He had worked tangently w/ Harlot in the two years since we moved back to Virginia.  He had asked her if she was coming with her team, she said no.  When asked, he reported what she had told him.  When they showed up, he looked like an idiot.

He resented her.  He had never liked her know-it-all attitude.  As a woman, I know that take charge women are often viewed as bitches.  As the betrayed, I figure she is one and he was an ass for not keeping that in mind.  As someone who had a unique (if um- illegal) glimpse into her life and relationships for quite some time, I still think she’s a pushy bitch.

Yet, she was in a group of people he took to show the island in his rental car.  We had lived there 18mos.  He showed them the sites and a few out of the way places, like our old home.  Apparently she voiced how unimpressed she was of our tiny home overlooking the ocean and affording a glimpse of Diamond Head.  Somehow though, she ended up being the last one there.  They parked in one of those spots overlooking the ocean and watched the moon move over the waves as night passed.  They talked until after 2am from what I can gather.

Harlot started in on how unhappy she was in her marriage.  She began questions MrJJ about us, probing for dissatisfaction.

He later wrote, “It was the most romantic night of my life, though we never touched.”

“Yet Brutus said he’s ambitious, and Brutus is an honorable man.”

Either it’s true or it’s a lie.  The effect is still the same, pain from piercings and stabbings one after the other.

The next day MrJJ knew he had crossed the boundary we set after his first affair.  No talking our personal lives with someone of the opposite sex.  He told Harlot so.  She cajoled and wheedled him.  Telling him that was just such a strict boundary, how controlling, how silly.  They were just friends.

When he got home, he let it go.  Gave us our gifts.  Kissed me and smiled uncertainly, hoping I would like the fabric he brought back for my creation. Then he went back to work.  And she called him.  Emailed him, asked him to coffee.  None of this he shared.  Within two weeks they had gone on a secret hike together.  By a month, they had kissed in a park between their two work locations.

She left her husband.  I believe that had been her intent all along, she was just to weak to do it on her own power.

By six weeks out, I noticed a difference in MrJJ’s attitude towards me.  It culminated when I tried to kiss him and he turned away from me.  I would normally have curled up with my reaction.  I confronted on the phone the next day.  He said, “Take it to email, we can’t talk freely.”  I still have the exchange.  I can see the moment when I realized, “He’s talking like he did with Sorry.”  I asked him, “Is there anyone else?”

“No, don’t be foolish.  I’m just not happy.”  Or something like that.  I could dig out the emails, but the gist is burned in my brain without the need for reality too.

No, nobody else.  Even as little pieces seemed to click together and I sought proof.  I ‘d ask, it would give MrJJ an out.  It was always, no- there’s nobody else.  I’m still with you, aren’t I?

“I thrice presented him a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?

Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; and sure, he is an honourable man.”

So much pain, neglect and cruelty was crammed into the three and a half months between this day and the day I got my crushing proof.

Now, we have healing.  The pain has made it’s mark.  This morning, while I tried to pretend to sleep, MrJJ stroked my cheek and told me, “I’m sorry I have made you so hard.”

He believes that sometime, somewhere, I will be soft again.  Innocent again.  He refuses to believe that ship has sailed.  That there are so many scars on my heart they have become a cage.  I don’t know that there is a key.

I noticed last week I was beginning to trigger more, and about things that usually didn’t phase me.  My mind was going over the story of the affair.  Trying to weave the life I thought I had then with what was really happening.  When I realized why, what was looming, I talked to MrJJ about it.  He said, “It’s funny that a date that means nothing to me means so much to you.”  I wouldn’t even know the date, except that she emailed him on March 11, 2007 with memories of their six months together.  He hadn’t ended the affair when I read those heartbreaking emails the first Sunday of December.  She considered it their “Six month Anniversary” though she hadn’t heard from him in nearly six weeks.  There’s a whole lot of sixes in this story.  I wonder why.

Anyhow, I feel the fool for letting it still punch me in the gut.  I posted about it in the one place I thought I had, Surviving Infidelity.  So few responses I actually cried.  I know I tend to come across as stoic and practical, but the truth is, I am a person in pain and I cry at least once a day.  Still.  When I saw that a thread on how to kill a plant went into pages while mine went to obscurity, I knew I had nowhere else to go anymore.  When a woman got more support because her brother cheated than I got because I was still in pain, I knew it was time to leave.  No dramatic goodbyes, just downloaded an extension for my browser and blocked the page.  I guess I have to go it alone, because I have not found another place that understands infidelity the same way.  I’d love to go to one of the Christian sites, but I honestly think they are a joke.  I spent too many years doing what they usually suggest- bury it.

When someone comes to you and they are thinking about cheating or are cheating, help them understand just how deep it goes.  As the betrayed, you hear people say, “Oh, I would leave if it ever happened to me.”  Those are the same people that expect forgiveness in a matter of months, wonder why you aren’t ‘past it yet.’  There’s a whole fog when it comes to infidelity and those of us on the other side are afraid to blow it away because of the pain and shame factor.

I want to.  I feel like I should write Harlot and Sorry a Victim’s Impact Statement.  MrJJ is here, he knows it, he lives it.  They have gone on with their lives.  I feel like a big problem these days is accountability and they should be in that boat.  People say, don’t let them know how deeply they wounded you.  I almost feel I should let them know.  Maybe somewhere, they will change, soften, care.  I don’t know if I want to risk that at the cost of bringing them back in my life, even through email.  I know Sorry has no other way of contacting, but Harlot will go through email and work phone.  She tried it before.  And she can be bitchy when crossed.  So I sit, afraid to do anything to release this pain, anger and frustration.

On this day, I find myself wondering what to do and where to go.  How can I put this to rest?  How can I stop being frustrated with myself for not moving faster?

“My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, and I must pause till it come back to me.”


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