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?

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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?

Two Lives

I decided to make the best of this situation.  We moved near the end of the school year and I spent part of the week commuting Silly Son to his last weeks of school.

Then I began to look around and try to get into the community.  I did not want it to be like it was in Hawai’i.  I started a mom’s group based on my interests in attachment parenting.  I found a couple of playgroups and tried them out, I started to go to Weight Watchers and I began to explore the streets I ran my errands on.  I amped up my little at home business of sewing and crafting.

I did the mom thing like I never had before.  I juggled appointments, tried to keep our home nice, attempted to socialize even out of my comfort zone.  All the while, MrJJ began to come home later and later, blaming new traffic patterns.  I knew for sure we had a problem when I tried to kiss him and he turned his face.  I couldn’t say anything that night, but I confronted him the next day.  In a series of emails he said that it was obvious I didn’t love him any more and wanted a divorce.  He kept pushing it.  I begged for marriage counseling instead.  He kept dragging his feet.  Desperate, I ordered some sex toys.  We had never used anything beyond bodypaint.  I wanted to be what he needed and if that was it, I was going to be that.

By the time that non-descript box came in the mail, MrJJ had pushed me away so thoroughly that I just hid the box and its contents in my sewing room.

By early November I realized I was pregnant.  There was a faint positive on the test, I hadn’t been charting but I knew the signs and knew the last time we had sex we had cut it too close to ovulation.  I was torn.  I had wanted a third, I had a third.  Now though, I was looking at being a single mom to two and one on the way.  I began making plans to free myself.  To go back to our old college town where I had a church and support.  In the meantime I sought out a church nearby.

I’m not even sure I can define the misery I felt during September ’06 and the end of the year.  I would crawl into the bathroom in the middle of the night, shutting the two doors between myself and my sleeping family.  I would howl silently, beating myself on the breastbone for maximum pain, minimum bruising.  Not that MrJJ would have noticed anyway.  He had all but completely checked out from the entire family.

One day, when I was maybe seven weeks along, I began cramping.  My period started and it was awful.  The same tissues were present as the time I lost an early pregnancy right before I conceived Sweet Daughter  I had no reason to hide this secret anymore.  I had kept it to myself, I didn’t want MrJJ to feel trapped in a marriage that he didn’t want due to a baby being on the way.  I told him, that night- days later- I can’t remember.  He was sad for me, said I could have told him, he would have understood.  It was a turning point of sorts.  I had seen glimpses of my husband in the weeks prior.  This was new.  He took an interest in us. I still felt isolated.  I lost my baby.  Not ours, mine.

One night soon after that I was in the bathroom again.  The pain was so palpable that I couldn’t believe my family couldn’t feel it.  My body shook with sobs, cried into my bitten lips.  My hands were trying to beat the pain out of my chest.  I cried out for help.  What I was given was the revelation of small demon-like creatures.  They had pointed ears and faces.  Their hands were like claws.  They had razor sharp teeth and they were tugging at me.  Trying to pull me to that brink of suicide that I had been to before.  Then, a thought in my head.  “Moment by Moment”.  I realized, moment by moment I could live through anything.  I bought a posey ring to remind me.  Divorced or married, I needed to adjust my life to moment by moment.  If not for myself, for my kids.  I thought I had found a church, but they were unwilling to provide the help our first church had.  So, I contacted my old pastor and his wife.  They prayed over me and reminded me, prayers are our moment to moment in this life.

I cooked my first from scratch Thanksgiving dinner.  Always until then we had gone to the in-laws or a friends.  I did cook a dinner in Hawai’i, but part of it was take-out from a local restaurant. Sweet Daughter had just had oral surgery the day before and MrJJ missed it due to training to prepare to go to Iraq. I pulled out all the stops and made sure I had his favorites.  He was kind, complimentary and loving.  I did fall apart a little when I was cooking all morning and nobody spoke to me, then again during clean up.  There was a blip that day.  Creep, the pseudo-sexual encounter guy had found my (other) blog.  From that, he found my MySpace page.  I had a tracker on the blog and could see he searched for his old username.  As if I would mention him in a blog about my life ten years later.  I didn’t even like to remember him.

He sent a fishing message through MySpace.  He didn’t sign his name and I only knew it was him due to the blog tracker.  I told MrJJ and deleted the message, blocking him.  MrJJ got very angry and kept insisting there was more between Creep and myself if he looked me up after all this time.  I was so deep in denial I honestly kept insisting there wasn’t.  All I remembered after nearly a decade was the disgusting way he kissed, a feeling of intense shame and relief when MrJJ knocked on my door.

The next weekend we went to get our Christmas tree.  It was one of two happy family outings between September and December.  The other was a trip to a local pumpkin farm and corn maze.  On both outings I felt my husband might actually love me.  I tried not to give myself false hope.  In the store, he put his hand on the small of my back to guide me through the crowds.  I put more into that protective gesture than maybe I should have.  When we got home, he was happy and loving and insisted on taking so many pictures of me.

I felt, things were looking up.  We had a chance.

A video that rings true

I’m in the middle of writing my next entry, they are difficult to do. I can’t imagine how much harder they would be if wrote with all of the emotion that rises to the surface.

In the meantime, here’s a video from a beautiful singer about what the discovery of a betrayal is like. It’s so true and just the beginning.

“I Was Right” Music Video – Bec Smith

Reborn, only to keep living the pain

To understand how this loss of memory from this time gets to me, you should know I remember things. I remember when my mom was out with her ‘boyfriend’ and dad was driving us around drunk saying he was going to take us kids and “go AWOL”. I remember looking out into the dark dessert night and wondering what AWOL meant. Wishing he would stop scaring us and let us just run and play, even if it was to make ‘sand angels’ in the sand under the stars. Something to be happy.

I remember Mom’s wedding day. I’m pretty sure she went to the courthouse to sign the divorce papers and stayed to marry her boyfriend. We were left with some people we didn’t know and watched “The Fog”. I resented not being included, being left behind for someone else to take care of me.

In retrospect, I feel like that again about the night P. left me to fend for myself.

And like my other memory, I reverted to childhood play. Late the next morning, I found myself outside in the drizzling rain, making fairy houses from twigs and leaves. Sometime later I called MrJJ’s father as I guessed MrJJ would be there. He wasn’t. I called his mom and remember being thereto visit with her. She’s two hours away. I don’t remember the drive there or back.

MrJJ came home, I think he was gone two nights. That first one and another. Just said he had been with friends. I can’t remember…was he loving? Was he cold?

I had classes, he had work. I asked to ride in together. I remember the song “How do I live” came on the radio and I started crying.  MrJJ reached over and turned it off with a snap.

It was real early but I planned to wait until the campus counseling center opened up. But I couldn’t wait. I was falling apart all over again. I desperately called my old boss, Patience She was the owner of the Christian daycare I worked at for years before I decided to move on to teaching high school. She comforted me, prayed with me and led me to Christ. I had to know that even when everyone else in my life left, there was Someone there for me. I can’t even remember the prayer we prayed.

I went in and was assigned a counselor. I found it disconcerting, she had something wrong with her eyes, I couldn’t tell if she was fully blind or just very vision impaired. A seeing eye dog sat at her feet. I wish she had addressed the issue as I felt it would be rude to ask. I don’t remember getting much help out of those sessions. They had to end when the summer ended and I was not longer in school. I really needed more, but I couldn’t afford to go anywhere else. I could have gone to the county mental health center but Sorry was the receptionist there. Any appointment would have to go through her.

My peace came from Patience She gave me the number to her pastor and he agreed to do marriage counseling. MrJJ and I went in, it was actually good and we felt closer. MrJJ kept talking about resentment for what I had done in ’97, pushing him out. I had worked hard at pushing the shameful memory into the deep recesses in my mind, so I was just aghast that he resented me for insisting he leave or stop hurting me. MrJJ also said that the fact I was agnostic until recently disturbed him. He had been confirmed Catholic in boot camp yet I had gone to Mass more than he had. I worked in a Christian daycare, he had an emotional affair with a woman that would say “G-d Dammit” and laugh just to see her husband flinch. And he was mad at me for seeking a religion that accepted me as a woman like he was accepted as a man.

The Pastor G eventually became our pastor. The first thing he did was assert we were both willing to have Christ in our lives and our marriage. The second was to create a list of the wrongs we had done each other and forgive each other. I knew there was something to say about Creep’s visit in ’97, but I held back to see what MrJJ said about Sorry There was ‘nothing’ so I said nothing.

I was doing my best to show MrJJ how much I loved him. Little notes, small gifts. I couldn’t help but cry though whenever MrJJ came to me with something he had talked about with Sorry. At one point he sternly told me to stop with the overt affection and the show of pain. It was manipulative apparently. So I journaled, not even daring to write the words in my secret thoughts. Even now, reading the notes and entries from that time can bring back to a sinking heart and breath that catches in my throat, threatening to choke me.

We went to counseling. At one point our pastor mentioned that Sorry and Jerk had come in. Apparently Sorry sullenly told them that she wasn’t planning on working on the marriage. MrJJ nodded and said he knew. He had told her if there was a chance for them, she had to try to work on her marriage first so he wouldn’t feel badly about ruining a marriage. Even though she refused, MrJJ continued to talk to her.

One night while we were kissing and talking under the stars by a local pond, MrJJ mentioned that he had jokingly mentioned to Sorry that the solution was the “Chasing Amy” solution. As I recoiled from the thought, he told me that Sorry had eagerly said, “Yeah, I could do Jem!” MrJJ gave me a look, realized I was disgusted and played it off like it was a joke.

Another night MrJJ casually mentioned that Sorry had offered to help me. Help me? How? By helping to teach me how to keep him of course. Funny, she didn’t “have him” so just what lessons was she planning on teaching me?

Quite a few times he tried to talk me into turning to Jerk, who was going through the same pain I was and needed help…could understand. Why would I want anything to do with either of them? MrJJ seemed somewhat relieved I refused to talk and would either cuss and fume when either of them called or just hang up.

Eventually, I heard less and less about “Sorry said…” and it became more and more about us. One day, MrJJ got a phone call. He had finally been hired by the company he wanted to work for. He would begin as a federal police officer, but it meant getting his foot in the door and moving up. He told me, “You know what this means? This means I stay with you.” I was relieved to finally have an answer one way or the other. MrJJ told me that he had been praying and he ‘told God’ that getting the job would be a sign that he was meant to be with me.

MrJJ told Sorry that we would be moving. That it was completely over between the two of them. She got upset and demanded money for the cell phone she had purchased him. MrJJ came home and told me that we had to pay her over $200 and why. I was flabbergasted. He had a cell phone this entire time and I didn’t even know it. I went to search for it in his car. I found a shirt that she had bought him. I found a CD of 98Degrees “The Hardest Thing” and I found pictures of her. One with her lounging on the bed in short shorts…on her honeymoon. And a couple of her from her high school cheerleader days.

I demanded it all be thrown away. He told me he had to give her back the pictures, that she had asked for the CD back when he gave up on them and he was keeping the shirt. “Why?” I cried, “When you don’t even wear the shirt I bought you?”

“Because this is more my style.” MrJJ replied, “She knows me better than you do.”

The shirt I bought him was just the same, except a thin line across the chest. Nearly the same color even.

So we drove to her apartment and he went in to give her the check for the money. He insisted, saying it was the best way to get her out of our lives. He also returned the pictures, but not the CD. He said that would just be thrown away. I still wish he had given it to her, so she knew it was over, like she requested. Of course, the lyrics are awful if you are the wife that feels like a second choice. A choice by chance.
“I can’t let you see what you mean to me
When my hands are tied and my heart’s not free
We’re not meant to be

It’s the hardest thing I’ll ever had to do
To turn around and walk away
Pretending I don’t love you ”

At her apartment, I stayed in the car. He was up there for maybe fifteen minutes, but it felt like forever to me. MrJJ came back and told me that she cried and asked if I would talk to her. She knew she couldn’t have him, but she missed our friendship. Of course I refused and MrJJ looked relieved.

That Moment the World Drops from Under your Feet

That moment can come back to you even years later. I had to come back to this posting more than once to get it all out.

One summer morning I sat in our closet, I couldn’t find anything to wear because I felt unattractive, unloved and unlovable. I tearfully told MrJJ I did not want to go out with Sorry that morning. I just wanted to stay home. Him. Me. Talking. Having sex. Just being together. MrJJ insisted the plans had already been made, we couldn’t stand her up.

I sat next to MrJJ waiting for our order at Denny’s. We normally sat across from each other so we could look at each other. But Sorry was across from us. I could swear I felt her try to reach out to touch his foot with hers. There was something I couldn’t put my finger on. The looks they gave each other, it was as if I wasn’t there.

As usual, Denny’s was taking forever. I suddenly couldn’t take it anymore. I was still in denial. My mind was retreating. So my body did too. I got up and fled from the truth. I ran to the fast food joint next door. I saw MrJJ looking for me, so I tried to run in there. Closed for renovation. I ran to a nearby hotel, tried to hide in there. I waited. I came out. MrJJ was waiting in the parking lot, Sorry in the car. I tried to run across the field, tried to get anywhere. MrJJ caught me. He held me in his arms. He kissed me and cradled me and told me that yes, he loved me. Yes, we would work on our marriage. I nestled in his arms and looked past him. Sorry was standing with her arms crossed. A scowl on her face. Even then, the truth, the words would not form in my head. It was all her I thought. MrJJ wouldn’t go there. Not and still hold me like this.

We drove home. MrJJ dropped me off first and was supposed to drop Sorry off. I waited. And waited. Those words still were banned from my mind. I did gather all the pills in the apartment. I sat in my car. I contemplated how to do it. A country road I thought. MrJJ and I always talked about going down a long country road. It was a joke and a promise. We had done it one starlit night. Well, today it would be a different country road for a different purpose. I got in my car with the pills, cloth to stuff in the tailpipe and a drink. I drove down the road, heading away from town. Vaguely I remembered two girls had been found killed somewhere near this area. I wondered if I would be drawn to that place. As I drove past the community college, my mind clicked in. The unthinkable wasn’t happening to me. I had to take a chance I was mistaken. I could do it later if it wasn’t true. I turned around in the parking lot of the community college and headed home.

Soon after, MrJJ came home. He sat on the couch, his eyes sad. He told me, “We have to talk.” I remembered the last time he told me that. I thought it would be bad news but it turned out to be the best news- he loved me. Surely it would be the same this time. Nothing awful could happen after he held me like that earlier.

“I’m in love with someone else.”

I gulped. I denied still. “Who?” the word barely croaked out.

“Sorry”

The world fell.

I hit him, I pummeled him as much as I possibly could. I wanted to cause him pain like I was feeling. He just put his arms over his head and took it. There was no way my 5’3 frame could cause his 6’3 frame the pain that was destroying me at that moment.

At some point I stopped and just started sobbing.  I went to the bathroom, got the pills.  Got into my car where my drink was waiting.  MrJJ came out, saw me sitting there, dazed.

“What did you do?  WHAT DID YOU DO?”

I limply waved my hand to the empty bag, “Took some pills.”

“Which ones?”

“All of them.”

MrJJ called the ER.  They told him to give me syrup of ipecac and monitor me.  He rushed to the store and got some.  He stayed with me until I threw up for the first time.  Then he left.  I think for two days.  It’s all a blur.  He was gone.  I was alone.

I lay on the couch, dazed, out of it.  Some of the pills had had a chance to get into my system.  My body was heavy.  I kept drifting in and out of consciousness.  I got up to throw up.  I cursed the fact all my pills were gone.  I looked for his gun and couldn’t find it.  I went back to the bathroom.  I looked into the mirror, trying to determine if my pupils were dilating. What I saw freaked me out.  Someone else was looking back from behind my eyes.  There was me.  Then there was someone else.  Someone who felt wrong.

I  stumbled my way to the other end of our apartment building and walked into the open door of my neighbors and friends, B. and Olive  They were in the process of moving.  Brawn had a friend helping while Olive was at work.  He was clueless, didn’t get my slurred ramblings.  He called Olive and put me on the phone with her.  She talked to me then firmly said, “Put Brawn on the phone.”  I did.  I could hear her tell him what I had done and to take care of me.  Brawn sat me in the living room as they loaded the truck.  When the first load was ready, they loaded me in like another piece of furniture.  When the got to their new home, I was put on the floor of the living room like yet another box.  I just sat there.  They dragged me back and forth until Olive came home.  I don’t remember anything after that.

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