A Year and a Half Out

18 months today. It’s been a year and a half since D-day. I’ve thought about this day for the past few weeks. Where should I be? How should I be? With whom should I be? It didn’t strike fear or dread in my heart to think about it, but it made me feel like I should be changed and different somehow.  I wrote some of this to my online coach James earlier today, and thought I’d share it with you, too.

Here it is. April 17, 2012 – 18 months out.  It has been  just another day. I did not struggle through it. In fact, it was a good day. My husband was loving and sweet and all went smoothly at home. He called me at 10am to make sure I was ok and handling the day alright.  He really is sweet when he steps out of the affair fog, and when he is not feeling guilty and cornered and shamed.  This side of him is showing up more and more often these days.  It’s not all the time, but when he is like this, he seems like someone I hadn’t seen in a long, long time.  I have missed him.

Even when I sit and ponder on the fact that this is the day 18 months ago when my life fell apart, I don’t feel that sickening pain.  Some sadness and loneliness, yes. But it’s no longer a trigger that brings gut-wrenching pain.  That’s a big change.  I really am different now.

Now when I think about D-day, what comes to mind is that on that day my husband had to come clean and start on the road toward honesty and reality. That is actually a good thing. He broke away from his sin on that day. He struggled with guilt and shame, and the truth was heartbreakingly slow in coming out for months after that, but on that day he did the right thing and broke off contact with her. Maybe I should celebrate.

It was a long, slow process to get close to this place.  I would not be here if  God had not given me a huge lift when I finally went back to church on Easter, after turning my back on God in the aftermath of D-day.  Yes, God has lifted me up. I see now that He prepared me before D-day and He held me afterwards.  He put the right people in my life to be His hands and heart in caring for me.   And all for this weak, insignificant little blob named DJ.

The last time I wrote about the timeline was at the 15 month mark.  I talked about how bad the first year had been, and that at 15 months we were not in pain all the time anymore, but we were still not connecting well.  There had been short periods of emotional intimacy and connection, but one or both of us always pulled back.  For me it was out of fear and pain.  For him, I can’t say for sure, but it seems it was part shame and guilt, and part working through the feelings he thought he had for her.

And here we are today.  Not feeling emotional pain today does NOT mean that I am over it.  There are still triggers that will lay me flat in two seconds.  I feel ages older than I did prior to D-day – older, jaded, cynical.  My blogging friend Fighter and Survivor wrote about this recently in a post called “Life’s Fairy Tales.”  I commented that I felt the same way she did.  I no longer look at a couple getting married and get misty-eyed over sweet love.  I wonder if one of them is among the supposed 50+percent who cheat.  I wonder if their marriage will survive.  I no longer look at old couples and smile at the beauty of a long marriage.  Instead I wonder what emotional hardships they have survived and what scars they still carry.  Has pain and betrayal clouded my vision, or have I opened my eyes to the truth?

But at least I am not in emotional pain all the time anymore.  I am generally ok these days.  I feel happy sometimes.  My baby granddaughter lights up my world!  But there is still a dark heaviness, almost like a presence, in the background all the time.  Sometimes it comes to the foreground and I feel it as that x-ray apron, a heavy weight upon my chest and shoulders.  Much of the time, though, it is something dark just inside my realm of awareness – there in the background – not an excruciating, deep pain, but an ever-present shadow.

I no longer cry in the shower every day.  I did for a long, long time.  I still cry sometimes, but it’s not a daily part of my shower routine anymore.  Another hallelujah.

Oh, and another biggie — most triggers are not so powerful anymore -gosh, they used to keep me in constant turmoil.  But now most of them will pinch my insides for just a little while and then I can brush them off.  I haven’t had a full-blown flashback in a while.  I can’t even remember how long.  That’s a really good thing.  Flashbacks are scary.

But as I said, there are still some triggers that will swallow me up and then spit me out onto the ground.  Hearing “their song”, for example, is still huge.  Looking at the emails – which I don’t do often for this very reason – is another one.  Him going on business trips still does it, and he is going on one this Saturday.  I’ll try to remain strong.

Now physical pain has replaced much of the emotional pain.  This morning I could not get out of bed by myself. My husband brought me my meds and I stayed in bed for an extra hour until they took effect. Then I got up with his help and took a hot shower to get moving. I went to work, but it was a rough day. Going up and down the stairs was too difficult, and my room is on the second floor.  Once I got there, I stayed in my room most of the day and sent students up and down for me.  They are a big help.

So at 18 months, I am not all better yet.  But I am better enough emotionally to start thinking that maybe, just maybe, life can be good again one day.  As my blogging friends have reminded me, I have come a long way.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “A Year and a Half Out

  1. Carol says:

    I think you should be very proud of yourself on this day. It takes a terrifically strong person to confront all of this pain head-on, not to deny it or repress it, but to confront it, like a fighter, and to put yourself back together again. And to share your insight and struggles with all of us so as to help us! That, my lady, is real strength. I am so glad that you now feel that God has been there for you all along, for surely He has been. I hope you know there are lots of people rooting for you and praying for you, me included.

  2. Not Over It says:

    Hi Carol,

    Your kind words have me crying at my desk. I don’t often feel strong, but I just keep putting one foot in front the other. And if anything I say helps someone, oh my, that helps to give this whole mess some meaning.

    One day soon I will write about my wrestling with God. He has been so patient and forgiving with me.

    Thank you for your prayers. That’s the best medicine! I will pray for you, too.

    DJ

  3. Scabs says:

    i’m about 18 months out too. And emotionally im in a place that survives some good and some bad moments. Those moments used to be days—i rarely have bad days anymore.

    And i can relate to the physical. I really think that when my mind and heart couldn’t handle it any longer my body gave out. Suddenly out of the blue one day I couldn’t walk. For months I lay on the sofa shuffling between the bed and sofa. Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong until one day I met with a talented dr and she saw right away. Rushed me into surgery and saved the use of my legs!

    Point being, all this emotional pain and confusion can wreck havoc on our bodies. Good work taking care of yourself! Life can be so intense.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Scabs,

      I’m glad your condition was caught in time! And I’m glad that you rarely have bad days anymore. That’s an inspiration.

      I could use a little less intensity right now … LOL.

      Take care and thank you for commenting. I appreciate hearing from people and getting to know fellow bloggers. It means a lot to me.

      DJ

  4. NOIE says:

    DJ, You are exactly where you need to be, and you have been so brave and true to yourself in getting there. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts, and as I’ve learned the hard way, trying to rush the recovery makes it last longer. I have to admit, that you sound waaay better than I did at 18 months! I haven’t posted in a long time, and I’ve had ups and downs since last time I checked in. I have a hard time defining dday for me because of the trickle effect. I guess I’d put dday version 1.0 at 4.5 years, 2.0 at 4 years, 3.0 at 18 months. I’m still dealing with pain, but I think of the path as a spiral. Sometimes I circle back to where I was before but generally I’m moving in the forward direction, to the other end of the spiral.

    One thing that’s given me hope -and relief – lately is internal family systems therapy. Our couples therapist has started using it with us, and each of us individually, and I am a believer! If you’re interested, you might check out the web site selfleadership.org, or the book Self-Therapy by Jay Earley. From what I’ve read (and my experience has confirmed this), you can do alot of work on your own, although I think working with a therapist is best. I like doing work on my own between sessions. It’s really making a difference.

    Take care, and I will be praying for your physical and emotional health!

    • Not Over It says:

      NOIE! How nice to hear from you – I was wondering how you were doing.

      A spiral is a good analogy. There are definitely times when I move backwards and times when I move forward, but I also am slowly moving in the forward direction. My husband and I had a big argument last night, and I found myself thinking that this was the end. Every argument still feels like it’s the end. Not true, I guess, but that’s how it feels.

      I will definitely look in Self-Therapy. Maybe my coach James and I can work on it together. My husband does not want to go to any more therapy. He feels it keeps the affair alive in our minds, and I haven’t been able to talk him into going again.

      Thank you for the tip and for the encouragement! I’ll be praying for you, too.

      DJ

  5. beautifulmess7 says:

    Wow, your words are very powerful to me. I just had my 1 year D-Day anniversary and I’m sorry to say I didn’t handle it as well. You give me some hope!

    “I am better enough emotionally to start thinking that maybe, just maybe, life can be good again one day.” Thank you for that! I wonder sometimes if I will ever feel like life is just plain good again. I know in my heart I will, but its good to hear someone else starting to move closer and closer to that day.

  6. Not Over It says:

    Hey Beautifulmess7,

    There is a huge, major, significant difference in how I felt at 1 year versus how I feel now. At one year I was still in major pain much of the time and I was writing about stuff like “the depth of my sighs” and mush like that. I still cried a lot and I had frequent nightmares and occasional flashbacks. It seemed like D-day had ruined my life forever.

    At 15 months I was much better, and now at 18 months I can see that D-day itself was not the end of my life, but rather the beginning of a new life that is more real and honest.

    That’s not to say that his affair was a good thing. I don’t think I’ll ever say that. But D-day marked the beginning of the end of a period of evil – of lies and deceit and illicit acts.

    So be kind to yourself. You are where you are and it’s fine to be where you are. That’s what my coach James always says to me. I’m glad my words give you something to look forward to. I’m sure that at 18 months out, you’ll be a long way from where you are now.

    I’ll be praying for that. Take care – thank you for writing – I’m glad to “meet” you!
    DJ

    • Holding On says:

      DJ,

      I’m stopping in again after a while away. I am so sorry to hear about your Fibromyalgia and the fog and pain you are dealing with. I have often thought that the stress of the past year could possibly do some long-term damage to my body, like cancer or something. How can something that eats away at you not have some kind of effect on your health? I am sorry about something “extra” on your already difficult and full plate.

      I just wanted to thank you for sharing where you are at 18 months. I love this reply to Beautfulmess7. I am at 10 month, so nearing the year mark. I love how you can look back at 12, 15 and now 18 and see the improvement. That gives me lots of hope. Already I can see the difference between 3, 6, and now. I am still in “my life is ruined” mode most of the time. The shower is also my place for the thoughts to hit me.

      You don’t see how strong you are, but I agree with the other commenters. I see a lot of strength in your words and thoughts. You are fighting the fight and becoming such a strong woman.

      I wish you a physical healing as well as emotional healing, DJ!

      • Not Over It says:

        Holding On – thank you for stopping by! I had noticed that I hadn’t seen you online in a while. I hope that means you are feeling stronger.

        Living with Fibro means having to learn how to live life differently. Everything has to be more deliberate and planned. I can’t just run around on the fly anymore. But at least it’s not degenerative. And some people do recover from a flareup and never have another major one. I am hoping and praying and working towards being one of those.

        I’m glad to share with you about my progress. I used to look at the comments on EAJ from those who have been suffering for a long, long time and I wondered if everyone went through that. So I decided to chronicle it in my blog. I have posts from the six month stage, 1 year, 15 months and now 18 months. It helps me to look back at it when I feel like a pathetic mess – like right now with my husband away on a business trip.

        Thank you for your encouraging words. I can say the same for you. I see a beautiful, strong soul in your words.

        Sending you love & prayers,
        DJ

  7. nmwf1 says:

    Hi Dj, I am worried, D day is a ways off for me but through analyzing my husbands cell bills( which i have been obsessed with), The very day that my husband contacted the OW for the first time, is right there; BIG AS LIFE, in black and white, and its making me crazy. i don’t know how to handle that day. Its may 2, the day after my birthday. On that day there was a call to her work place, he must have left her receptionist a message to have her call him, ( she is divorced and took back her maiden name, because of her business. so it was easy for him to find her. ) 15 minutes later a call came from her cell phone, she must have left him a message cause he called his voice mail, 5 minutes later, they were on the phone for 1 hr. during which time I called him and yep, he put her on hold and talked to me for 3 minutes, and then got back on the phone with her, They must have been on there way home after work, he was working out of town at the time.( how convenient) then her cell phone must of been dying because they hung up and she called him about 1 hour later from her house phone and they camped on the phone well into the nite, at which time he put her on hold 2 times during the nite to take my call,( how considerate of him), and those calls lasted about 3 minutes each. (I bet she didn’t know it was his wife calling.) And from that day on until i caught him, they were in contact everyday. Thousands of texts, pic mail,thousands of calls, phone sex,hours of conversation, calling each other back and forth sometimes 10 to 15 times a nite, you name it. Anyway, I don’t know how to handle that day, I don’t think my husband even realizes that day is coming up, i doubt he even knows that I know. I keep my feelings bottles up inside because he seems so happy now. I sometimes think, for him, as long as I don’t bring it up, it is out of site out of mind. But that makes me crazy because it is on my mind 24/7 no matter what I’m doing, no matter where i am, its there like a lead weight on my shoulders.It eats away at me. i don’t know how he feels about her or if he thinks of her, he denies thinking about her but really, I wasn’t born yesterday. he cut off all ties as far as I know the very day that i confronted him. But you don’t have a close emotional connection with someone for months and then turn off your feeling that fast. my husband is loving to me, caring, goes above and beyond for me now. Can”t be concerned enough for my every need. Before all of this he was loving and caring, but not as much over kill as he is with me now, out of guilt, remorse, what ever. I know he was afraid of losing me once I found out. But somehow i can’t let go of the betrayal, the jealousy of the OW, the anger and the disbelief that he could do that to us. How he could take a chance and risk our marriage of 33 years, FOR WHAT? Was she that great, did he feel he missed out years ago with her? Come on, Who the hell is even the same after 35 years. I am surprised she even remembered him if the truth is known, Was she worth the heart ache it caused his wife? He is a loving man , from the outside looking in, a person would say; he’s so good to you, he loves you, just forgive him and let it go; its in the past. My mind tells me the same thing. but my heart won’t let go of the pain. I am dreading that day so bad. i know in my heart I will want to rip his head off. And yet he acts so happy now and I sometimes feel guilty for being hateful to him when I’m having a hard time coping. Before this saga, I was never hateful to him, There never was much to be hateful about. I AM IN SUCH TURMOIL…… I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, i want to run and hide on that day. I’m caught between loving him so much, and not wanting him to hurt anymore for his mistake, To wanting him to regret every second of it and feel how much it tortures me. I JUST CANT COPE with this roller coaster ride. This time last year, I didn’t think I had a worry in the world about my relationship with the man i have loved since I was 18 yrs old. I never dreamed he would even consider someone else. That our love for one and other was so strong that we were untouchable. Boy was I delusional. I guess that is what I get for thinking so highly of myself.
    I find it rather amusing now, when i think back to conversations I’ve had with other women about men. usually someone who has faced infidelity seems to always make a comment about how all men are alike and that you can’t trust any of them. And given the right circumstances they all will cheat. YOU GUESSED IT I was always the one who would say NO there not all alike. I know for a fact there are good ones out there. I am married to one. OH MY GOD ………… THE JOKE IS ON ME…………. I believe them now. A few years back, we were at a family Christmas gathering and my snooty sister in law who always thinks the rest of us are heathens because we don’t belong to her church,; announced that her and my brother were going to renew there wedding vows. Ceremony and all. Are you kidding me they had only been married for 18 years at the time. But OK, sounds stupid but what ever. But my sister in law in her miss pillar of the community church going better than the rest of us attitude. Looked at My husband and I and said, When are you two ever going to renew you wedding vows? And in front of everyone my husband looked at her and said (and i quote:) NEVER, I MEANT MINE THE FIRST TIME AROUND. My sister in law’s mouth dropped. and everyone laughed. And of course I was so big headed and proud. He made me feel like a million bucks. I have always loved to repeat that story, but somehow its lost its luster, and it’s not so funny anymore. ………..

    thx Dj, had to vent …….

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi NMWF1,

      I have so much I want to say to you that I am turning my reply into a new post. It’s there now so that we can all share in helping you through this.

      Take care of yourself.
      DJ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s