I struggled last night to relax and let sleep come.
I had taken my sleeping pill (I hate that it has become a nightly necessity), put Laney in her bed, and was snuggled up to my husband (every night he pulls me close, wraps his arms around me and whispers “go to sleep..I got you..it’s gonna be okay”).
Last night though, the voices were loud and were trying to figure out what to write next. Do I explain why she’s known as “the whore” and not “sweet cheeks” or even her God-given name? Do I tell the story of her crazy mom? What about “the letter” that would mean starting at the beginning? As I laid there tossing and turning it finally came to me….I have to tell why I, Kelly, feminist, strong,I AM WOMAN hear me ROAR, gave my husband a second chance. Why I didn’t move on down the road, driving past him with the wind in my hair, smile on my face with my middle finger waving good-bye Earl to him.
I like most of you had always when I heard about “lying cheating bastards” said “MMM MMM MMM… if MY HUSBAND ever cheats on me I would leave him…no I’d kill him…no first I’d leave him then I’d sneak back in and kill him and feed his body to the pigs. Wait No… I’d leave him and feed him alive to the pigs. Hold it.. I’d feed him alive to the pigs after cutting off his limbs.” Yep I had a plan if he ever did it to me, but let’s be honest I didn’t have anything to worry about because while my marriage wasn’t perfect I knew my husband loved me and wasn’t capable of cheating.
And now here I sit writing a blog about his affair and it’s effect on me. I don’t know which was a harder pill to swallow “the affair” or “my stupidity”? While the first still gags me (partly because of “the whore” she is as Laney says “ewwy nasty” inside and out) the latter pill literally tore my throat open going down.
Why then did I stay? Because after I finally could put my anger aside and listen to him…not “the whore” with her selected “emails” “texts” “pictures” and lies…not “the whore’s mom” with her “texts” of “I can tell you about them as a couple”, “I’m here if you need to talk”, “Please let my daughter have your husband, kids and life she’s tired of living in the trailer park, whoring herself out to any man who will look her way, and trying to latch her kids on to them” (oh Lord I can’t wait to write about that messed up woman).
So a week in and I had told both “the whore” and her “mom” to take a flying leap, told my friends and family I needed to stop and breathe, and actually sat down in my closet (where I went to hide and cry) and let him talk, and I listened. His story is one that maybe someday with his permission I will tell. It needs to be told as a warning to all husbands and wives on how to protect your marriage, because there are people who will use any crack to climb in, push you apart and start chipping away at it slowly until it’s gone.
I have struggled with staying and being viewed as “one of those weak women”. You all know the ones; the “stand by your man” blame the other woman, turn a blind eye to the sins of your husband, stupid women…Pride is a sin and I know why first hand. It sits there on our shoulder telling us how wonderful and strong we are until we start to believe it. Look at me with butterflies dancing in my hair, lifting this car above my head, don’t you wish you were like me.
I wanted to be the woman I said I would be, the one we are shown in movies and cheer for. I had picked out an old show pig who liked sweets and a bottle of syrup to rub into his skin, I was done. So I sat there in my closet, tears running down my face and for the first time since I checked the mail that fateful Wednesday, I heard the voice of my best friend, the one I had married, laughed with, argued with and most important LOVED. You want to talk about a hard reality to wrap your head around, I realized “shit, shit, SHIT!! I still love him!!” And for the first time I was terrified, because hating him was easy…I could embrace it, cover myself with it, and use it as a shield to protect me.
Hate felt good…I can’t even describe how it felt but I’m sure if I talked to an addict we could find a common bond, because it was like a drug and it had highs that left me breathless wanting more and when it would wear off, there sat the pain and doubt, so I’d reread the “texts” and “emails” provided so lovingly by “the whore” and get another hit of hate.
So here I was smacked in the face with the knowledge of “I still love him”, and I knew my road, my journey had just gotten a LOT harder. Even worse “HE Knew”, and it had given him hope, and like a drowning man he latched on and wouldn’t let go of the life raft which floated by.
He scheduled a flight home and wouldn’t listen when I told him “I DON”T NEED YOU”. He came home and found me, Kelly the person who kept our crazy family running like clockwork, who thrived on chaos and crazy schedules, competitive Kelly who had to be the perfect mom, wife, daughter in law, friend…Broken. He stepped off the plane to find me standing there looking Strong and Defiant, with my head held high and anger in my eyes and he didn’t know how bad it had gotten.
He would find out later… about the morning I woke up so dehydrated from crying and forgetting to eat or drink that I couldn’t make my limbs move. They hurt so bad and I thought ” I can’t get up, I’m going to have to have Bill take me to the hospital.” and my inner voice weak and muzzled, screamed with every ounce of strength left in it “Those kids have been through enough and they will not watch their mom hauled off to the hospital!!! So GET UP!!!” and I crawled, stumbled to the kitchen and sat there drinking glass after glass of water. How Laney had grown so accustomed to being woke up by my crying at night, she would just roll over sleepily and hug/pat me. My choking on food and not being able to swallow it or if succeeding keep it down. I was slowly dying and nobody could see it or save me.
After an epic fight (a sledge-hammer might have been involved and some of his belongings destroyed) and sitting far away from each other at a basketball game ( I might be dying and my world is destroyed but I WILL make it to my kids activities), he came by to talk to the kids. I let him sit in the kitchen of our home as I would a visitor and see Laney. Laney’s story is too hard to tell right now so I will just say she too was broken and lost.
As he left that night he went to the car, came back and was crawling around the yard in the dark. It took me a moment to realize what he was doing, he was picking up the glass and broken wood from my demonstration of anger. In the following days he began to see the results of his “choices”…an empty fridge, a dirty house, physically sick wife, and lost, hurt children. He would show up in the morning and take Lou to the park and drop her off with groceries. If I let him in the house that day he would talk to me as he was picking up the house and doing dishes. He made me eat and forced water down me. He faced his children and their anger, their hurt without excuses, only sorrow. At the end of his visit I told him “I can’t make you any promises, and I will not lie to you.. I don’t know if I can get past this or if I will stay. All I can promise you is that if you call me, I will answer and I will listen.”
It has been a hard promise to keep but for the most part I have. I have watched the hate and love for the same man fight it out inside me. My journey is not over and I still don’t know where it will end but today the love is winning.
“Midnight, gettin’ uptight, where are you?
You said you’d meet me, now it’s quarter to two
I know I’m hangin’ but I’m still wantin’ you
Hey Jack, it’s a fact they’re talkin’ in town
I turn my back and you’re messin’ around
I’m not really jealous, don’t like lookin’ like a clown
I think of you ev’ry night and day
You took my heart then you took my pride away
I hate myself for loving you
Can’t break free from the things that you do
I wanna walk but I run back to you
That’s why I hate myself for loving you”
-Joan Jett And The Blackhearts-