I found out about the affair on a Wednesday.
By Monday of the next week my oldest son had went back to college, my sister and niece back to Kansas, my friends and father-in-law had stopped babysitting me, and I was given breathing space. My kids were over the shock enough to point out we were out of groceries, and they needed snacks, toilet paper and juice.
I drove to town and I remember walking through the store like I was a zombie. It was the same grocery store I had used for twenty years, and I walked through randomly filling my cart. I had no list, no meal plans, no idea what I needed so I just put things in. When people talk about walking around in a fog? I now know what they mean, it was as if I was there and not there, as if I was alone yet everyone was staring, and I felt numb.
I kept wondering if everyone knew. I kept hoping I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew. I was so stinking tired, dehydrated from crying, and sad…the kind of sad where your eyes keep watering and your chest tightening and every single stinking breath is a struggle. I could feel myself panicking and I kept telling myself to “Get my shit and get out”. I’m sure I looked crazy throwing stuff in the cart, my hair a mess, my eyes swollen.
I finally checked out and my cashier asked me
“How’s it going?”
I felt laughter bubbling up in my throat, and swallowed it down, knowing if I let it escape it wouldn’t stop and I would end up laughing until it turned to cries, then crying till it turned to screams…the end being when they called an ambulance and put me in the hospital on a 24 hr. hold.
“Okay,” I replied with a sad smile, and looked at my phone to keep her from making random chit-chat.
On the drive home my eyes kept loosing focus, and I felt like I was driving drunk. I couldn’t keep my attention on the road, and the radio couldn’t drown out the voices screaming in my head. The emails and texts kept playing over and over in my head. The whore’s words, bat shit crazy’s words, my husbands lies, my questions were all on an endless play track. Over and over they screamed in my head. I looked down and was going 50 in a 70, and struggled to speed up, concentrate on driving.
There is a bridge on the way home, and as I came to it, all I wanted was to swerve right. To stop the voices, the sadness, the pain…to stop the new life I had thrust on me by opening the damn letter. I just wanted it all to stop.
Time can stand still, and in that instant I had a hundred thoughts, and a thousand choices running through my head.
“No one will know”
“Everyone will know”
“No one will blame you”
“Everyone will blame you”
“He will suffer”
“He will have to live with it”
“It will be over”
“I am tired”
“I don’t want this life”
“I am done”
Then I thought about my kids, and how they would suffer. I thought about who would raise them. I thought of my sister, and how she wouldn’t forgive me. I thought of my family and how it would destroy them. I thought of my dad, who had died too young and all he had missed out on. I thought of my grandkids, and what they would know of me. I thought of God and if he would forgive me.
By the time I had finished my thoughts I was past the bridge, and I slowly drove home turning up the radio till my car was shaking to drown out the voices.
I drive past the bridge weekly, and remember that night. Sometimes the car is filled with kids and laughter, sometimes it’s just me and the radio but I always say a little prayer for the lost soul who was there that night.
Why am I sharing this now?
Because I came from there, to here. From an overwhelming darkness where I couldn’t see any light, where death sounded better than living, and the pain was too much to bear…to my life now. Prayer, family, friends, and my kids brought me out. I BROUGHT ME OUT…I kept crawling until I could walk, when I was brought to my knees I prayed, and I never stopped trying to find me. I was covered by rubble, bruised and bloody, but I was still there hidden in the darkness.
I am sharing this because if I can do it? If I can come through to the other side? Everyone reading this can, because at the end of the day? I’m just an ordinary, nothing special, stay-at-home mom, who lives where happiness used to.
Life gets better if you give it a chance.
“You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day
Tried to run
Tried to hide
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side, yeah
We chased our pleasures here
Dug our treasures there
But can you still recall
The time we cried
Break on through to the other side”