Bad Day

I’ve had a few days this week where I’ve felt really down about everything.

It’s so frustrating when these days hit –  it’s bad enough what E did, but the fact that it’s still hurting and upsetting me 18 months on just feels unfair and makes me feel like I’m being self-indulgent – surely I ‘shouldn’t’ have days like this anymore?  I feel I should be ‘over it’ and have ‘moved on’.  I don’t want to still be reduced to tears by what he did.  I don’t want it to affect me anymore.

The most annoying thing about them for me, is that I am completely over E as a person.  I don’t love him, I don’t want him back and, far from missing him, I dislike him intensely. I’m very glad he’s not my partner anymore.  I’m just not over what he did to me.  The fact is that, apart from my children, the years I spent with E were the biggest mistake of my life.  I’m deeply embarrassed by, and ashamed of, the fact that I trusted him so much and for so long and on the bad days I feel so stupid for trusting him and so humiliated by what he did that I really struggle emotionally.

Most of the time I’m a pretty positive person, but on these days I can feel myself starting to sink.  I’m aware that it’s happening but I just can’t claw myself back to the surface.  On these days I feel an overwhelming sense of defeat and a completely diminishing sense of sadness and regret.  Days like this leave me exhausted and feeling unable to leave my house or face anyone or anything, I just want to hide.  Of course, I can’t do that, I have to get on with things – I have four kids, two jobs and a houseful of foster cats to look after – but on these days it feels like I’m walking through treacle and everything is a just harder than it should be.

Quite often these days are prompted by a reminder of what I thought would be happening now, as opposed to what is actually happening.  This time it was the fact that it’s Youngest Daughter’s Prom tonight and the fact that this was always something I thought we’d experience as a couple.

Just two years ago E was negotiating the legal settlement (the one he promised the proceeds of to O and doubtless to P too) and I really felt that, after a couple of years of stress and struggling, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I felt that once the settlement had been sorted we would be able to breathe again, we’d clear E’s debts and actually have some money for once.  My plan was that I would start building my freelance work and we’d be able to have time as a family, and spend more time together as a couple.

Of course, there wasn’t a light at the end of the tunnel (it was probably P with a fucking massive torch, and a plan of her own) and I know now that E didn’t care a jot about me or about our family life and he certainly didn’t want to spend any time at all as a couple, but that doesn’t help.  Because I was so committed to us as a couple, and to the beautiful family we’d created, because the 25 years we spent together had created such a strong sense of ‘us’ in me, I still have such a clear picture of what I thought our life would be that it’s really hard to process the fact that that life just doesn’t exist anymore.  For me, try as I might to ignore it, there’s still a sort of parallel world running alongside the real one.

In this parallel world, the one where I didn’t discover E’s infidelities, we’d probably still be together (I can’t imagine he would have left, there would certainly have been no secret Florida wedding, but I assume there would still have been lots of increasingly late nights that I would have believed were due to ‘work’).  The six of us would have had a lovely break in Singapore last year and visited all our old haunts together. We’d have bought champagne and maybe gone out as a family to celebrate Oldest Daughter’s A Level results.  We’d have taken Oldest Daughter up to Durham together, laughing at the overloaded car and she’d have rolled her eyes at us as we shared memories with her of our time at University.  We’d have picked her up together at the end of her first year and met her friends.  We’d have seen Youngest Daughter through her GCSEs and tonight we would have had a picture taken standing together in our garden with her looking beautiful in her prom dress. We’d have laughed at Youngest Son’s antics and felt slightly nervous before his parents’ evenings.  We’d have watched Oldest Son play in the samba band in the local gala day. There would have been family meals, days in the garden and family holidays in Norfolk and Centre Parcs.  I’d have confided in him about how worried I was about my Mum and my Uncle and shared stories of my new job with him.  Maybe we’d even have started sorting out all the stuff that needed doing in the house. We’d have been able to pop to the pub together at weekends or on weekdays and perhaps we’d have started to plan a move to the coast (I have always wanted to live near the sea).

Of course, even in the parallel world, E would still have been having affairs. He might have moved on from P and found a new student to sleep with, or he might have stuck with the one guaranteed to give him sex and flattery (the two most important things in his life), but he would still have been betraying me.  In this version of reality the devastation I felt in November 2016 would still have happened, it would just have happened later.  I would have been deceived for even longer and the consequences would probably have been worse, so I don’t want this reality, it’s just that it was so firmly entrenched in my mind that it’s really, really, hard to get the image of it out of my head.

Fortunately these days are a relative rarity, and they’re getting rarer – I have to remind myself that when it all first happened, every day was like this – but unfortunately, when they happen they tend to cast a long, heavy, shadow over me.  I guess it would be easier for me if E had just explained why he did what he did, why he lied for so long and so often, if he’d acknowledged the amount of love I’d put into our relationship, or even (we’re really in cloud cuckoo land now) apologised for the pain he’s caused.  Of course, none of that is ever going to happen and I accept that, and I’ll be fine, I just wish life could be fairer sometimes.

 

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3 thoughts on “Bad Day

  1. Darling please don’t be upset with yourself for trusting the person you should have been able to trust – you re not stupid and have done nothing wrong.

    I think part of the reason you feel the way you do is it appears that nothing visible has changed for you like it has for him i.e. he moved – you haven’t, he’s married – you’re not in a new relationship. Despite you not being where you thought you would be 18 months out, you have grown and there have been incredible changes to your life. And despite you not loving him or wanting him back , you are grieving for what you thought would be.

    You need more time but you will thrive, and I hope very soon.

    You have a tribe of warriors behind you, you are not alone here even though it feels like you are. We are here with you xo

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  2. You get to look around every day and enjoy the things and people he so easily discarded. You won the prize – who walks away from children? He married her to justify to himself (and manage his image) that this wasn’t cheating, but “meant to be”. You didn’t ask him to leave – He wanted to marry P! See? So easy to change the story on the fly. So much bullshit.

    I’m watching a close friend start her first year in 25 without her husband. Since we’ve come t9 find out that he’s been an escort/prostitute loving liar the whole time (we were all blindsided), here are my observations: she loved honestly and authentically, so has nothing to be humiliated about. He’s incapable of self reflection or honesty, so will continue (like E) to make the same mistakes over and over. He didn’t take into account that people take sides, and he lost friends and is now quite bored and incredulous that we are ok without him to entertain us. People sided with her because she’s never lied to any of us, he’s lied a lot, we now know. He won’t admit responsibility so he cannot have a relationship with his daughter. She won’t have it. That’s an enormous loss. But guess what? His actions aren’t why his daughter won’t see him – she won’t see him because her mother poisoned her mind. Absolutely no accountability.

    As for P, I’ll be looking out for her infidelity blog, because by marrying E, she just created a vacancy that his bottomless pit of need will need to eternally and unsuccessfully try to fill. If I even knew you peripherally, I’d volunteer to march up to him and gush about how awesome he is just to show you how weak his bond to her is. He’d flip on her at the first unfounded piece of flattering vomit that came out of any woman’s mouth. Like our friend, E’s getting older and keeping up the game gets harder and he will get sloppier. And don’t think for a minute that P doesn’t have little nuggets of concern poking her behind the eyes. She’s just stuffing them down in such a dark tight place so she can pretend they’re not there. Then the mask slips and he blames the world. But he can’t get away from his problems because he’s the fucking problem. You’re free! Hug those kids he was so quick to toss aside. You rock.

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