Triggers

I am down in the dumps today after facing a trigger last night.  My daughter wanted to watch A Walk to Remember last night.  My husband and I have a lot of history surrounding this movie.  The movie was one my mom’s favorites.  We got the DVD when she was moving from early to mid stages of Alzheimer’s.  This was about two years before his affair.  She wanted to watch that same movie over and over again.  Very romantic, sentimental movie…   This was when he was working hard to build his career.  I worked two part-time jobs, which was busy – but it gave me flexibility to create a schedule that worked for everyone.  My husband did no housework or cooking back then.  He did a most of the heavy yardwork, but I did a lot of it with the kids, too.  It was beautiful, but lots of work.  I enjoyed it, though.  I found it therapeutic – it kept me sane in the midst of all my busyness, and it served as a great lesson in respect and responsibility for nature for my kids.

My husband and I were so close back then.  We fought a lot, like we always have, but we would always blow it off and tease each other about being so hot-headed.  That was when he started calling me his wild horse.  I answered that if I were wild, I could not be owned.  Then he would chase me around the house to “tame” me.  If he went on a business trip, he would call me two or three times each day.  He was never mushy and romantic, but he always wanted to tell me everything that he was doing and how it fit into his work.  When he came home he couldn’t wait to get his hands on me, so I would always have it planned to have homemade bread and soup for dinner, followed by an evening alone.  We both looked forward to those times.  Oh, this is making me cry…

How does the movie fit into all of this?  We watched it so many times with my mom that he got a number of ideas from it.  Have you seen it?  The boy had a star named after the girl and gave her the certificate for it.  I earned my master’s degree around that time.  He had my diploma framed.  On the back side of the frame he had my mom and kids write notes about how proud they were of me.  I was so touched.  Another one was our anniversary.  The couple in the movie did not consummate their relationship until after they were married.  This reminded him of our relationship and he wanted to re-create the specialness of the first time.  He stayed away from me for two weeks before our anniversary that year – a major feat for both of us – and we sent everyone to someone’s house for the weekend, and we had the house completely to ourselves for an entire weekend for the first time in years.  He even got music from the movie and played it for me one evening in front of the fireplace.  It was a clear night so we went outside to dance in the moonlight – my favorite song from the movie.  It was wonderful.  Then we went on a second honeymoon because I had always wanted to do that, and the boy in the movie did everything to help the girl complete her bucket list.

My ringtone for his calls, even today, is the song Dancing in the Moonlight.  I’ve never changed it, even after D-day.  Maybe it’s time to let go of that.

So I watched the movie with my daughter.  She has no idea of all the significance for me.  I cried and cried throughout the whole thing.  I got through it using techniques from my therapist, and survived without a full-blown flashback.  That’s something to celebrate!   But I am depressed.  So hurt that I have been crying for much of the past 12 hours.  I haven’t done that in a while.  But I am satisfied that I was able to sit there and not have flashback.  Crying still right now, but ok.  I will make it.

This morning, he noticed my swollen eyes and he said, “So you’re being silly again I see.”

“You don’t need to be concerned about it,” I replied.

“Good.  Don’t expect me to be,” he retorted.  And he got ready for work and left.

How did we ever get from chasing each other around the house to this?  Oh yeah, he went and found his first love and realized he still loved her.  He’s only here now because it’s “the right thing to do.”

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