I woke up this morning thinking that I should have called this blog Back At Square One or Again??? or Am I Really This Stupid? It feels like I just ask for the same things over and over, he agrees, and we start forward progress that lasts for a week or so, and then before I realize what is happening, I am back in the same shape again. Because the truth has come out so slowly, the process of evaluation and re-evaluation never seems to end. I get a fix on one emotion, address what it means, work to fix it, and then realize that whatever I thought caused the emotion wasn’t really the truth, and I have to start over again.
I reached a point this week when I really thought that becoming my mother might be my only choice. She is an ostrich – anything unpleasant, she just buries or pretends never happens. Totally funky incidents from my childhood now appear in a different light. Both my parents had affairs, but nothing was ever addressed. They never went to counseling, even when stress and dysfunction made it difficult for anyone in the house to manage day to day living. Today, if anyone asked if her marriage was successful or not, she would insist that it was.
I swore from the age of ten that I would always face the incidents and problems in my life head on and honestly, admit to my mistakes, and take responsibility if I hurt someone. I have worked very hard for forty years to do so. I have always intended to live my life like an open book – no secrets that must be kept, no filtering from family and friends, no trying to keep stories straight. Yet here I am, at 50, doing all those things I swore I would never do. I can’t be honest about my life or my feelings because I would be telling someone else’s truth, and they would be harmed.
We work at the same university, and our work lives overlap in some fairly significant ways. While complete honesty would not technically affect his job, the thought that someone he works with will find out petrifies him, since he feels that it will alter their perception of him. Telling my family or his would not only complicate our healing process, but sharing would traumatize them more than it would comfort me. While I shouldn’t care about the OW’s feelings, I don’t want to hurt her or damage her life. We live close to where they both went to high school – she still has family and friends that live there and the picture poster is still in contact with them….this news will get back to her family. So, forty years of honesty ended to protect people who never gave me a thought….