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?