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.

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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.

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.

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?

Time to re-Focus

forewarning- I didn’t bother to be PC in this post.

First, let’s get this straight.  I am Christian.  I belong to a conservative church.  Am I conservative?  Yes and no.  According to conservatives- more no than yes I am guessing.

I was listening to a radio program (which will remain ‘nameless’) today and the hosts were going on and on about voting about gay marriage.  Marriage should be between a man and a woman you see.

Biblical principles aside, as I have yet to see a completely convincing argument, homosexual marriage is hardly the death knell to the traditional family.  Infidelity and its growing acceptance in society (refer to sites such as Ashley Madison) is far more dangerous than the less than 10% (just throwing a number out here) of the population that happens to be queer and also want to get married.

When current estimates put infidelity rates somewhere between 50 and 85%, I believe that reveals a much larger risk to the traditional family.  Infidelity leaves a footprint on the family that is not easily washed away.  Even many experts do not understand the psychology of an affair- and recovery from affairs.  Infidelity carries it’s damage into the next generation.  I would say that most people on the support forums I have visited were children in a house that was affected by infidelity.  How it plays out usually depends on the gender of the wayward parent and the gender of the child.  I wish I could remember the study I once saw quoted, but I am pretty sure a daughter of a betrayed wife is more likely to also be a betrayed wife.  Also, the son of a cheating father is more likely to cheat.  In my case, P.’s father was a serial adulterer.  I recently learned that his mother likely also cheated, if not on P’s father then on the fiance she had after the divorce.  My mother cheated often.  The three times I know about include the final other man, one of my dad’s friends and one of my mom’s friends…yes, a female.

The legacy can be crippling.  There are also real life “Fatal Attraction” scenarios, some to differing degrees.  If you are tempted to cheat, even if you are not the spouse be aware of the high emotions that run through a betrayed spouse after discovery.  Though I am more prone to self harm, at one point I had a vivid vision of confronting the other woman and stabbing her with a screwdriver.  It scared me, but what about the spouses that it motivates?

In geometry a triangle is the strongest shape.  In love, it usually means at least one person is unbalanced.  You are taking a risk when you create that unbalance.  The papers are littered with any person involved in an affair- the other person, the wayward and the betrayed, snapping and committing a crime.

This brings me back to my point.  If we want to protect the family institution, we should legislate the breaking of a marriage contract.  Infidelity increases the occurrences of STDs (after all, your ‘soul mate’ can’t possibly be ‘unclean’ so why use protection?), children born outside of the marriage, emotional abuse (by its very nature affairs are emotional abuse) and divorce.  When we signed our marriage license, we signed a contract and it should be treated as such.

So please, let’s not focus on the fags.  Leave them alone if you want to preserve the image of family.  Go after the infidels…the cheaters.  Those that help a spouse break their vows.  The companies like AM and the ‘alibi’ company that promote it.  This is a much more insidious issue.  It affects Christian couples as much as anyone else.  There is definite harm…and definite strictures against it in the Bible.

My guess is this is such a shameful topic that nobody wants to touch it.  That and politicians, not known for their fidelity, don’t feel the burning desire to pass such brave legislation.

Though, keeping on the course a wayward is on, one is bound to feel something burning eventually.

Betrayed Spouse Bill of Rights

I posted this today on a support board and felt I should share it here.

Betrayed Spouses Bill of Rights
In a world where a marriage is as likely to end as not, we sometimes forget what a partnership is in the early days after discovery of infidelity. We lose ourselves in the desperation to hold onto your loved one. Remembering your rights will help you no matter which path your marriage takes.

1- You have a right to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. By having an affair, your spouse has closed off the relationship with you and opened one with the OP (other person). You have a right to insist this is reversed for your healing and to assure that loyalties have been realigned.

2- You have the right to trust- but verify. Trust has been broken, ‘snooping’ is not snooping. It is verifying that someone proven to be a liar, sneak and cheat has changed their ways. Like an addict, a WS(wayward spouse) will often go back to their emotional fix. You have a right to verify this is not happening.

3- You have the right to insist there are only two people in the marriage. That choice was made when you made vows to each other. Even a moment with a third person is too much. You owe your WS no time to ‘think about it’. There’s a marriage or there’s none.

4- You have a right to know who the OP is, the flip of this is you do not have a right to harm or harass this person. Hold yourself to a better standard than the OP did.

5- You have the right to choose to give the gift of reconciliation or to divorce. You have the right to take some time to make that choice. If you one day realize you cannot live with the truth of what has been done, you have the right to walk away.

6- You have the right to insist your WS gets STD testing done and to see the results. Even if the WS claims it has not gotten physical, as many WSs will admit to “only a kiss” when it has gone much further.

7- You have the right to insist that your WS initiates and honors NC (no contact) immediately. You have a right to have input and to be a witness to how NC is established.

8- You have a right to set and enforce boundaries. This is not blackmail or any of the other negative words your WS might use. This you protecting yourself.

9- You have a right to hold onto evidence for as long as you need it to feel safe. Your WS has created an atmosphere of risk and danger. It is natural to have a safety net to counteract what has been brought into your marriage.

10- You have a right to know who your WS’s friends are and the nature of their interactions. If it is kept a secret, it is not healthy for the marriage and therefore something is amiss.

11- You have the right to out the affair to anyone you deem will help you and/or your marriage. This is not your secret to keep, this is not your shame to hold. You owe no protection to those that failed to protect you.

12- You have a right to heal on your timeline. As long as you are making steady progress, you are healing. It is a slow process and a WS that says things along the lines of, “You’ll never get over this!” does not have a full grasp of the damage betrayal causes. This is a healing process that takes from 18 months to five years.

13- You have a right to yell, cry, fall apart and otherwise handle this in any way that relieves some of the devastating pain, shock and loss of trust. Your world has been turned on its end. You do not have the right to physically, verbally or otherwise abuse your spouse.

14- You have the right to insist on a true marriage. A marriage of partners, where you love, honor and protect each other. If you feel your marriage is missing one of these components, either fixing it or leaving are your only two options. You don’t have the right to cheat and/or turn someone else into a betrayed spouse.

15- You have a right to love yourself. Often the betrayed have forgotten themselves as an individual. This is the optimum time to remind yourself that you are unique and lovable in your own right. That as much as you might love your spouse, you should love yourself enough to refuse any sort of mistreatment.

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