She had a pet name for my husband: Mountain of Strength. They shortened it to MS, and that’s how he signed all his letters to her. He was very fond of this name, and still was when I found out about it. Maybe he still is. She said he was her strength in ways her husband could never be, and that she would always return to him because he was her mountain home, her foundation.
My husband tried to avoid telling me what MS stood for when I found all the emails. He said he knew it would hurt me to hear it, and it did. It has caused me no end of anger and disgust. It didn’t even dawn on me exactly why this bothered me so much until last week. I went on a hike with a group of family and friends to a mountaintop park. I took some time to be by myself to soak in the beauty of the view and the crisp, clean air. I wasn’t thinking consciously about the affair or her, but as I looked out over the valley below us, it hit me. I knew why that pet name continued to push my buttons.
I have always considered myself a mountain person. Not that I’m a mountain woman living off the land or anything – I just love mountains. Wherever I go, I am always drawn to them. Mountains are always in the pictures I draw. I am happiest when I live on the slopes of a mountain. I did not call my husband my mountain of strength, but I called him my rock, the rock that supported me firmly and held me up high so I could catch that star. Her using such a similar analogy just kills me. It’s too much. It takes too much away from me.
Why did I not see this before? I think my brain is so traumatized that it works very slowly. I had actually be standing on a mountaintop to realize it. Mountain of Strength… My Rock. I can’t do anything about what she called him or how she felt about him. But he is no longer my rock of support. He is the rock that has sunk below the surface, and I am left flailing about in the water. Is that too melodramatic or what? Should I get out of the water? That would seem the sensible thing to do , wouldn’t it? But I don’t know if I really want to let go. Maybe I’ll be like Noah and find the solid rock after the flood waters recede away. Will they?