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.

Cheating and Reality TV

Yeah, people like to call it ‘reality tv’ but the fact is it’s scripted. There is more room for ad-libbing than in a totally scripted show, but when it comes down to it, it follows a script and a pattern. So does an affair.

There are sometimes stand-ins for the participants when things don’t look quite right and have to be re-filmed. At those times, it’s usually a close up of part of a person, like hands. Or a far away crane shot. An affair is much like this, where the affair partners either just look at bits and pieces or look at it from such a distance they can’t see the details that truly make a person recognizable for who they are.

While these shows are going on, it becomes the participants reality. They go through character changes that sometimes make them unrecognizable to their loves ones watching from the outside. They often change their morality to fit the situation, using whatever justification they can come up with. This is just like the funhouse mirror you see when looking at an active wayward spouse.

There’s usually the promise of a prize that is worth all the debasement, conniving and acting they have to do. It is rare that a person gets it, and rarer still that they are happy w/ the reality of the fame and issues that come along w/ the prize. Just like cheaters.

Jem

don’t mind me

I need to rant about life for a moment.

My father lost his wife this morning. Her daughter and son lost their mother. Her mother lost her daughter. We should never have to bury our kids, yet she is flying to my dad and the kids to discuss funeral arrangements.

IT’S NOT FAIR!
She was young. She had just gotten a nursing degree. She had a daughter to see go to the prom, get married, a son to watch graduate.  Maybe even a daughter-in-law one day to frustrate.  Possibly in the future, grandchildren to hold.

I never met her and yet she was loving to my kids, more than my mom ever was.

My dad was a betrayed spouse too (my mother cheated multiple times). He’s been searching for that lifetime love and I believe he found it, only for it to be cut so short, so suddenly.

IT’S NOT FAIR.

We had so much in common. She always had a cheerful, bubbly hello for me when I called. She was such a blessing to my daddy and now she’s gone.

I miss her though I never met her. I hurt for my dad. For her kids. For her mom.

When I think of the people who do evil, wicked things and they never stumble on a pebble in their life- it just makes me cry out IT’S NOT FAIR!

I find myself questioning my faith and clinging to it at the same time.

Please, pray for my family, especially her daughter. The father is…fucked up. Pray that she will be put in custody with her grandmother, my dad, even her brother rather than the cruel man that is her father. It’s just a few years until she is of age, please pray she is able to live them in a loving and supportive environment.

They Call it d-day

Sunday morning, MrJJ encouraged me to go to one of the churches I had picked out to try.  I felt lonely every time I went alone.  After the day before, I had hope and wanted to be close to him.  Instead, he spent the day cleaning up his study, listening to a Hawaiian radio station streaming live through his computer.  I’d pop in now and then only to be brushed off.  Pretty soon, it was only the kids that went in to greet MrJJ now and then.

Sometime in the late afternoon, MrJJ went upstairs to go to the bathroom.  He thought I was taking a nap.  Urged by some inner sense, I went into his now clean study and touched his computer.  The Hawaiian music was still playing as I went to the Hotmail site I had noticed weeks before.  Unlike the last time, this time it allowed me to log on.  All the emails were from one person, a woman named Harlot.

Shaking, I forwarded all the emails sent and received.  MrJJ had learned from the AOL incident and this time had deleted all emails as they came in and went out.  The exception was that day.  Harlot happened to be online at the same time as MrJJ and they volleyed emails back and forth while he hid from his family under the guise of cleaning.

My heart was in my throat as I feverishly moved my evidence to my email account, then ran to my computer and changed my password.  My vision began blurring, I was dizzy.  I checked MrJJ’s email one more time and reeled, reading his email to her about how watching the movie “Click” the night before was making him reevaluate what was important in life.

I tried to hold it in, but I rushed upstairs.  Throwing open the bathroom door, I shot out, “I know about her!”

“Her?  Her who?  There is no one!”

“Harlot ***” I answered, putting as much sarcasm and disgust as I could into her full name.

“Oh, you have it wrong, we’re just friends.”

“‘Every time you are with me instead of your kids, I am thankful.'” I sneered the quote from her recent email.

His normally tan face blanched, I could swear it did at least.  I supposed it was good he was on the throne, he likely needed it.

“Just a minute, we need to talk.”

I agitatedly left, allowing him to clean up.  He came into our bedroom and closed the door.  I was calm, eerily calm.  He confessed to an affair with Harlot.  It had only been going on a little while, he claimed.  They had sex once, a few weeks ago.  Shocked that MrJJ admitted to sex with Harlot, I asked if he had had sex with Sorry all those years ago.  I got a strenuous denial.

He did it because I was depressed and didn’t bother to get help, he said.  MrJJ was tired of me and so sought someone who did not have the drama of me.

We talked, who knows how long.  I don’t even know what the kids were up to at that point, likely watching t.v.  We took a break.  I know now that he likely contacted her during that break, though he claims now he can’t remember.  We talked more when the kids were in bed.  I revealed how I had put all the blame on myself for our distance.  I had shopped for sex toys, our first ever.  By the time they came he had rejected me so often, I just packed them away.  I was trying to be who he seemed to want.  I was searching for answers, never knowing that the problem was something I couldn’t have changed.

Every loving action, every attempt at growing closer, was twisted by him.  Or, if he shared it with her, she found a way to twist it.  I was fighting a losing battle, one I did not even know I was in.

He promised to ‘take a break’ from her so he could concentrate on our marriage and family.  So he could decide without undue influence.  I fell into his arms.  I don’t know why.  I had always said I would leave if it happened again.  Here it was, worse than before.  Yet I yearned for him.  We had passionate sex that night.  What I now know is termed as ‘hysterical bonding’.  That dual need to feel wanted and to claim your territory.  At the time, it was so uplifting.

I came to regret it later.

I had had my d-day.  Discovery day.  Unbeknownst to me, I was yet again on the early discovery ride.  Stops include rounds of trickle truth, minimizing, blame-shifting, gas-lighting, fence-sitting, and (as I found out later) cake-eating.  I will explain all of those in the next posts.  If you are a betrayed spouse, or suspect you are, I highly recommend checking out some of my links.  Each affair is different, but they all follow the same script.  Leonardo DiCaprio may have played a modern Romeo, swords may have been replaced with guns, but the lines were still the same.  So it is with affair partners.

“I love you but I’m not in love with you.”

“We’re just friends.”

“It was only a kiss.”

“It was just the one time.”

“We used protection.”

“You drove me to it.”

“We’re soul mates.”

“You never understood me like this.”

All to excuse the inexcusable.  Each time, each word, each careless phrase, is a bomb into the betrayed heart.  Everything will be said to protect the affair and its participants, no matter that the betrayed will be obliterated until our tears feel like they are rivers of blood.

Each d-day is its own pain, own destruction.  I am two years away from the one I share here and my heart still quakes reliving it.  I can go to that day in June ’99 and feel the utter devastation of having the man I love tell me he loved my friend.  It is like an emotional time machine.  Suddenly I am standing in the doorway to my bedroom and its the first Sunday of December ’06.  My husband is telling me that the woman he is seeing is everything I am not.  Believe me when I say, there is a mark left on you forever.

My world was invaded, my family facing destruction.  Where would we go next?

just…

I have no support system now really.  I usually like an online support system so people don’t feel obligated to respond.  I still felt alone there so I had someone else change my password so I could break the addiction.

I was in a nice little plateau.  Now I feel like I have fallen off the edge.  I hate, I obsess, I want to be HEARD.  We did a Bible study and one of the verses said to approach someone that had wronged you and give them a chance to change.  I feel justified in doing so but I know the people that hurt me the most would never do so, would never even care about my pain.  I would contact with expectations, no matter what I told myself.

There could be no words that would equalize what has been done to me.

My own husband is still trying to prove to me his love and two years later even though he is a changed man and I agreed to a covenant marriage, I am not in love like I used to be, even when he was mistreating me.  To me, he is a bomb waiting to go off and cast shrapnel into my heart.

I don’t know how to leave a man that is loving.  It was all I could do to leave a man who had abused me in so many ways.  How do I tear apart my family when there is such change?

How do I stay with the pain?  Muted to the others that hurt me?  Helpless to be heard.

MrJJ says that when he gets home tomorrow he will begin showing me how he will fight for this marriage, how he will care for me even if I don’t care for him.

I’m afraid it might be too late.  A part of me has died in the past few years.  Slowly died.

babies. if…then…but…

I find myself in tears again. Someone on my support board posted a/b the birth of her baby. I guess I wouldn’t have been hit so hard, but it was a homebirth (this is a mainstream board, not my usual crunchy mamas boards). And the picture…well, you guys know that newborn look.

After Sweet Daughter I had felt like there was someone missing from our family. MrJJ and I agreed to possibly adopt a third. Though I do like being pregnant and even birth.

If you look back in my blog (though it might be set to diary), you’ll see that just over 2yrs ago I was possibly pregnant. There was a faint positive. Then, about a week later, I had a miscarriage. It was early, maybe 7-8 weeks. I went through it all almost on my own. I didn’t even tell MrJJ until after b/c of how he was treating me at the time. I didn’t know it, but he was in the affair.

I know now that after I finally turned to him for support, Harlot told him she was pregnant. She didn’t tell him when he picked her up for work in the morning, when he drove her home and they spent time at her mom’s apartment. Instead, she waited until he left and was on his way home. Then, a week later she got an abortion.

We also know now that it was possibly a lie. To me, the timing is just cruel. Also, she told him she was diagnosed as infertile, they had unprotected sex twice, her periods were irregular and yet she knew to test when she was barely late- though she was used to being late. The abortion was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, she was trying to talk him into antiquing that day. Went to dinner with a friend and somehow fit the abortion in. Was sexually active less than two weeks later and on birth control. I know I blogged this all before, I guess this is my way of working it out.

I commented to MrJJ the other day that had things been different, he might have had three or four kids at this point.

There came a point when I was mourning my lost baby and her thrown away baby that MrJJ tried to talk me into a third. I just can’t risk it. I feel like I am taking enough of a risk staying, no matter what leaf he has turned over.

So I look at the pictures like the one today, I see the tender skin, the fingers curled, lips pouting, soft hair waiting to be touched…tiny arch of a nose…

And I cry. Never again. Not for me. I lost my chance. My spirit baby has to fly to another mommy. I try to tell myself my family is perfect, we are balanced. If that’s true, then why do I feel like someone is missing in times like these? Is it just biological drive? If so, that’s just so odd because it’s not every baby that sets me off. There was a newborn in my Bible study group and I had none of these stirrings.

I feel lost and confused and maybe a bit angry that my choices are now affected by the bad choices others made in my stead two years ago.

Opinions please…MIL issues…Reality Check!

Time for yet another reality check.

I am getting to the point where the idea of visiting MIL (mother-in-law) makes me grit my teeth and I am considering just sending MrJJ and the kids from here on out.

I always thought it was odd that she called every week, without fail. But then I told myself, it’s just that my family is crap at keeping in touch (me included- it seems to be a family trait for all but Sis.) The asking what he had to eat that day and things along that line though…kinda “cut the apron strings” already to me.

Add to that her and her family have always made comments about my weight. Once I had lost 20lbs, down to the weight I am now, and I was still called fat. These are NOT tiny women. Even when I lost 65lbs due to the stress in my life in early ’07, I never heard one thing about how different I was compared to the last time they saw me. The difference was so profound that a casual acquaintance who hadn’t seen me in a year didn’t recognize me until I spoke! Yet, no compliments from the ILs. They never hesitate to tell me my ‘hams are thick’ or I look pregnant.

For every thing that MrJJ has done to harm me- physically and emotionally- MIL makes and excuse and admonishes me to be grateful I am not a single mom. She divorced FIL for many of the same issues!

It go worse when we had kids. She resented me breastfeeding. She believes we should leave the kids w/ her for the summer (at 8 and 4yo!) when the 2-3 days we usually stay she just sticks them in front of the tv and feeds them junk food. Yet me being a SAHM and now homeschooling means I don’t socialize the kids enough. Even when I share our very busy schedule w/ her. She didn’t even like the fact we still had Silly Son in a carseat- at 4yo! “Are you going to make him stay in that thing until he’s a teenager?” Well, no, just as long as he fits into a seatbelt and is safe w/out one.

The last straw has been building up. Getting the kids gifts for every tiny holiday, including Mother’s Day but ignoring me- Mother’s Day I did get a small afterthought card w/ some cash. Sent out days after their big box was sent. Then ignoring my birthday completely.

The final straw was the last conversation I had with her- which I posted about here. Basically she accused me of trying to sneak the kids out of the country. Then told me, when I told her of a job offer I got out of the blue, that it was about time I started contributing to the family.

I supported MrJJ and myself from about May ’93 until I quit work less than a week before Chase was born. Most of that penny pinching on minimum wage. Only for the 18mos or less did MrJJ have a steady job. He was and still is a spendthrift. I hold us together.

Am I just letting myself transfer emotions from the marriage onto my MIL? Or would you be upset too?

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