It has been 4 days now since Erin triggered and shut down. When she triggers, I trigger. Make no mistake, i am not comparing the two triggers. They are not comparable however the reality for me is still here. Everything is like a amplifier to life. One thing this recent trigger has done is remind me how I need to stay connected to her. How many missed moments to kiss her, to hold her hand, to cuddle with her……how much I want to stay connected to her. It also has reminded me how fragile and fleeting life can be. I sit typing this and all I want to do is run downstairs and hold her, feel her warmth and feel safe. She is my safe place. But I cannot….
I have been told to stay away, stay out of her way. There is only distance right now and I feel it. I want to run and run and run to close that gap, to close the distance. For me, the only way to close the distance is too wait, to be patient and hope she comes back.
This distance has been bitter sweet. It has given me time to re-read my blog and learn from it. It has reminded me to not waste the time we have. Lately with everything on my plate, I have neglected the opportunities to just sit with her, to hold her hand and to connect. Why does it take events like this to remind you to stop and smell the roses? I will never know…..
I recently watched a movie and the line above was at the end. I stared to cry….
“No matter how much you change, you still have to pay for what you’ve done.”
Why does that line create so much fear in me? It is because times like this remind me I can still lose everything. I can still lose her. I fear losing her because after all we have been through it has taught me, I was exactly where I was meant to be and just did not realize it. That seems to be right when life will take it from you.
I miss you and love you Erin. I’d love to just hold you again one day and until then I will be standing here waiting for you.
I am back to visit my old friend….this blog. I have not visited it in some time. For those who have followed my story you might remember I come here when I feel alone or sad. I come here because I have nowhere and nobody else to turn too. So I write what is in my mind and often in my heart.
Recently we marked 4 years from D-day. This is always a stressful time of year. She struggles with it but I know. We had been doing well this year. Life had been busy but I though we had. The reality of infidelity and the recovery process is that it is a long hard process. Things can come out of nowhere and set it back. I think that is one of the hardest parts.
This morning I sit and write on the 3rd day of sleeping alone. The trigger she encountered was unexpected and I can only imagine the waves of anger, frustration and disgust that came back. The trigger was out of my control and just happened Christmas shopping with my daughter but by way of ownership and blame all triggers are my fault as connected to my wrongdoings. I get it, I accept it. It is just hard…..
I must remind myself that Erin’s journey back is harder.
I love my wife. I love my family. I am trying every day to put just one piece of her heart back. Just a few weeks ago Erin had told me what a great husband she had. That is the way this works. Good times and bad. I am in awe of the immense strength she has to endure the swings. All I want to do is look into her beautiful eyes, to hold her in a warm embrace. To go for a walk , holding her hand. She is my best friend. Right now, I can do none of those things. I am to stay away from here. I do what she asks, I try and lessen her burden and hope she sees the good in me once again.
So I sit here as she processes the feelings, the anger and hatred which she feels for the man I was. I sit and hope that she remembers the man I have tried to become these 4 years. I just sit and wait to see if she cone back.
It doesn’t feel like a new year, certainly not a happy one. A few days ago Erin triggered hard and she has been distant. I don’t know exactly what triggered her, in that, know a little but didn’t go digging. The source of the triggers are the same. My infidelity is after all the cause of all the triggers.
So 2016 has come with few words spoken between us and of those, only the necessary. I miss her. We have shared some amazing moments this past year. I wish to hold her and tell her how much I am looking forward to 2016, 2017 and beyond. I know it will take work and strength to get there. I find times like these stretch my faith. I wonder if this is the time she doesn’t come back. Everything she has endured so far should assure me that we can get through this but negative emotions are as much human nature as is love, hope and faith. I try and push them out of my head but it is hard. I keep trying….I keep working.
I’ve started to read blogs again. I needed a break. It is hard to read about all the pain others are suffering when I can see if every day in the one i love. So many people suffering. I wonder if their offending partners are suffering too. I have some strange thoughts and realizations which I am sure most people won’t care about. For those who have been offending partners I wonder if they are quietly suffering as I am. Nobody cares about how I feel, how the pain of what I have done is eating me alive. Most of the time I don’t even care about my own pain, only what I can do to help Erin. Nothing I do for myself helps. The only thing which lifts my heart is an act of kindness from her. It is a vulnerable feeling. Erin has still remained silent to our friends and family about my actions. A burden which weighs heavy on her at times as references and triggers are everywhere. She has her “Sisters” from her support group. I am thankful of that. She believes silence is better than the alternative of everyone walking on eggshells around her and treating her like a wounded animal. All my efforts go toward helping her with her burdens. I support her where I can. I will never be able to repay her for the gifts she has granted me. The moments of love she has shown, the renewed awareness of my family, my children and just how wonderful she is.
I don’t write much here. I don’t have much new to add to this journey. We are still on it and it is a struggle from day to day. I also find that I don’t like putting all my thoughts on here. I don’t want to give in to the negative emotions. I am staying strong, as strong as someone can be given what I have done. Regret, guilt and shame are powerful enemies. I take solace in my ability to break myself of my addiction. I will always be an addict, I know that. It is not something you are cured of. But it is something which can be controlled. People who don’t have the struggle of addiction will never understand that statement. They will not understand that resisting an addiction is something one must try and do. Those who have suffered with addiction, will understand. It is all a matter of choice. I chose to make the right choices for my family now. I know what I have to live for. I chose to live for them.
I wish everyone peace and happiness for 2016 and beyond. I wish it most for my Erin. I wish for the knowledge, strength and resolve to help in every way I can to give her that peace.
Yesterday I had a rough day. I had a great deal of anxiety at work and I broke down a few times. When I got home she comforted me as I cried. WE had plans to go for Sushi with her dad, brother and her. The thoughts of what I have done have been overwhelming me, that and the impending bankruptcy of the family business and the potential loss of every my father has worked for these past 30 years. Just everything coming back on me at once. She asked if I was going to be ok for dinner she asked I try and participate in the conversation. I said I would. I thought I was doing ok but I wasn’t. I was so focused on just holding her hand and being close to her I hardly spoke. She was not happy with me after dinner which likely made my anxiety worse. She napped after dinner from 9:30 until 11:30. I sat beside her reading blogs and writing. I was sad and anxious. I woke her and she went straight to bed. I look for signs of impending doom everywhere. Nothing on the horizon so I felt ok heading to bed.
During the night I had a dream I was at a Sushi restaurant and I was with my family and then all of a sudden I was alone. I fought hard but I could not get back to them or even find them. I woke about 4:30 in a cold sweat. She has told me if I needed her to wake her and she will comfort me. I didn’t. I fear she will wake distant and send my anxiety spiraling down. I lay there for 2 hours until I heard her stir and see her check her phone. I asked if she was awake and I told her I was not doing well. She asked if we went and brushed our teeth and made out for a bit would it help. I said yes and it did somewhat but I was very low and hyper anxious. She got up and went downstairs around 7:00. Around 7:15 she came up from downstairs and looked at me. I was not doing well. I was full of dread again. She spoke to me in such a reassuring, stern, assertive voice. The following is what she asked me and I answered in short direct answers.
Are you here? YES
Am I here? YES
Are we together? YES
Am I fighting for us? YES
Do I love you? YES
Do you love me? YES
Did I kick you out? NO
Are we getting a divorce? NO
Are we separating? NO
Have I left you? NO
Do you want to be with me? YES
Do I want to be with you? YES
Have I ever said I am leaving you? NO
Have I ever said I want you to leave? NO
Are we a team? YES
Have you stopped your hurtful behaviour? YES
Are you only with me now? YES
Are we worth fighting for? YES
Are we best friends? YES
Would you do anything for my recovery? My Happiness? YES
I want you to smile! You have so much to be happy for.
I am here.
I am with you.
We are together.
See this all as a full glass not an empty hopeless glass.
Drink up the goodness.
She held me and I felt better. I got up got dressed and had a good day. I was not consumed by the images, the guilt and sadness.
My wife is an amazing woman.
My wife told me she took a PTSD survey lost night. She scored 14 out of 20 and anything about 9 is a for sure she suffers from it. I can see the effects of it on her in every day life. She has trouble with normal routines. She has invasive, unwanted images and thoughts. She hates me and loves me at the same time. She is at odds with herself often and can suffer intense highs and lows within seconds. She is aware of the unfairness of what I have done and can, in the same breath, thank me for the massive effort I am making to both learn about myself and help her heal. She is triggered helplessly by anything and everything. When the triggers happen I am helpless to assist her. I am the enemy at that moment. When she triggers, I have learned to get out of her way. To become meek, humble, supportive and invisible. When she wants to seek out contact she does so. Until she does, i sit in sheer terror of the unknown.
I took the test as well. I scored 15. The way I have expressed this with my wife, we are both in hell, just different hells. I put us there!
I continue to process how I have hurt her. How lonely, isolated and scared she must be. I was her champion. The killer of spiders, the getter of water when she threw up, the fixer of stuck and broken things. The one she could turn to to listen and not try and fix the problem. I saw her thru the worst times in her life, Nanny, the miscarriage, the vertigo, the severe anxiety and now she cannot turn to her best friend. I have robbed her of a lifetime of memories and support.
I have split her in two. I have taken her from her kids, her friends and even her work responsibilities.
I have destroyed concepts like trust, honesty, love and marriage. None of these she has faith in. I have forced her to isolate herself to save me ridicule, scorn and isolation from everyone. I committed the crime and she is serving my sentence.
She must fear each day not knowing what lies ahead. Will she love me today and want to share every moment with me like the good days? Or will she vanish from sight like she did today. It must be torture to not know how one will feel and have no control over it.
You selfish prick!
Things I have learned: (in no specific order)
I am in love with my wife.
I have learned I am stronger than I thought but that strength comes from her love. I know if she is with me, I can move mountains.
I know she loves me but right now she is not in love with me. She wants to be, at least her positive side. Her negative side hates me. Last night I learned that both are good and the worst thing is indifference.
I can do immeasurable harm to those who love me. I believe I can fix it by loving them and being patient.
I have learned how to live. Before this I existed, now when she is near me, I live. I take in every moment with her and cherish it.
I have learned life is not all about me. I gain more satisfaction and peace helping And loving her and my kids.
I have learned to appreciate the time I have with my loved ones. It may be over before I expect it.
To be continued:
Woke sad this morning. Her torture continues. She continues to look for answers.
We had a great day. Her mom helped her feel better by being around (staying with us for the Christmas holiday) although her mom doesn’t know what is going on.
We cuddled and kissed. But after sending her to bed she came down with more questions. I must be patient and honest. I must help her thru this no matter the pain caused.
Remember. Christmas miracles. Remember forgiveness. Hope she will find peace before driving herself crazy with questions.
12:30- today is bad. No kindness, no hugs, she is distant today as she feels the milestone. 1 week ago it all fell apart. Her world gone in the blink of an eye. We have come so far and yet it is miles to go. Such a daunting journey but as long as I get those hopeful hugs, those beautiful smiles and get to stare into her eyes and there is love in them (behind the sadness) it is worth it. More than worth it. It is not an equal trade. I am blessed if those things are there. If they leave I am not sure what would happen.
I wonder…..a million things
I am starting to experience physical signs of stress today. They are compounded by the memories from a week ago. She is remembering what took place 1 week from today and she is in a bad place. This today will be a bad day i think unless she sees the positives of what we have accomplished in that time. How far we have come all with the strength and power of her love for me. I have supported her but it is her who has brought herself from the edge of the abyss and is walking back to me. The steps are slow and sometimes the pace may vary but i feel her coming back. Nobody will tell how long the journey will be. It is her journey. She occasionally looks back but she is still moving forward. I will continue to do everything i can to help. I will be patient, use my hope to help keep me strong and have faith. All the things we saw at church, all the things we have been holding onto. The things which have helped us thru this. She is so strong and i hope she remembers that and when she feels down. I cannot feel despair. That will be dangerous and she might lose faith or get tired. I cannot let her get tired. I must stay strong and hold her up where she allows me too.
Long day ahead.
Plan is to go to church. Wake up early and go get toboggans at Can tire so when we get home, we can go right out. Bad plan on several levels but none the less decided. You wake up at 8:00 to the sounds of little feet running across the floor. Best way to wake in the world. You get up and go see her. She is awake and had a good night. She hugs you and you talk about the day. You are excited for both church and tobogganing with the kids. You go downstairs and tell them to get ready, we are leaving in 5 min to go get sleds.
Being out with them was nice. You went to the store and bought every toboggan in sight. You envisioned all 5 of you on a sled sailing down the hill, dog running beside. Laughing and enjoying life. Another piece back together?
On the way home, stopping to get mom an iced cap and the kids bagels. You don’t get anything. You don’t get Tims anymore. You won’t buy yourself one, only she may do that from now on. Back home running late. 5 min shower, clothes and into the car. Dropping Cameron off at gramdmas and off to church. We are all doing well. Erin has on her rings for church.
We are running close to being late and i am anxious. Never been to a service in years. How will it go? 3rd Sunday of Advent. I feel like a sinner, i feel weak and i feel shame. Nobody knows my shame but i cannot contain it.
The service starts and the first Hymn is “hope is a star”. You cannot contain your feelings and tears start to flow. You cannot look at her, the same way you did not at the Christmas concert. You are tired and weak and shamed. All the messages flood in.
We have walked in hope, we have prayed for peace.
Give us the courage to wait in times of pain and trouble.
Then the prayer of confession.
Words of hopeful assurance and the lords prayer.
At some point she held your hand. Another sign of hope but later she released is and never took it back. She is struggling today. You look at the beautiful girl who is your daughter, you look at your wife. You are thankful you are there and fearful to leave. Soo many emotions washed over you. You didn’t feel the absolution you thought you might. There was no peace yet, too much work to be done. Not that easy to ask for forgiveness, even in church. No free rides.
Service ended but you couldn’t leave. You didn’t want to go. It was nice being there with her. It is nice being near her always.
Tea and coffee downstairs. Shake a few hands and introduce lauren to of the other girls in the choir. It was a good morning.
Lunch of hotdogs. At first she wouldn’t eat but then she did. She said it was good. She is eating more now but grudgingly, that’s for sure. She has no pleasure in food or drink. It is a necessity now to live. Kids are outside waiting to go sledding, but we are talking. More questions, more revelations, more smiles and jokes. More hugs and kisses. All good signs. I’ve come to not like those, as they tend not to last.
Fun afternoon on the hill. You are so tired but it was fun. She came for a bit but Cameron wanted to go. We took a picture. Best picture of us ever. I loved it. It was like it was us and a clean slate behind us. If it were that easy.
More plans and off to Can tire, Micheals, Walmart. A few times you remind yourself not to leave her side. You are absentminded and forget. The last one was the trigger. You left her in Walmart and when to load the car. Bad idea. You are unsure that the issue was exactly but you suspect a few things. Regardless, the darkness is back. You get home and she disappears into her room. You get back to your chores. You look forward to them to fill the silence. Text her for dinner “did you make me anything”. Yes i reply and a few moments later she appears. Less angry for a moment but not better.
After dinner she vanishes to carolyns. You feel like you have replaced one parent for another. She now it distant. She is absent and they are worse off for it. No overwhelming sense of hope tonight. The pressure of her mom’s visit looming large. She is a good actress but it will take an epic performance to achieve which moms in town. I will support her but have fears. If it unravels, will she be able to width stand the pressure from everyone? No idea…
10:30. Mom should be back from Florida soon. Time will tell. You feel very anxious. No olive branches tonight so far. No hugs, no smiles. You are powerless to affect these things. They are gifts you get form her and she can as easily take them away, which she does. You live for these and these alone now.
How you long to hold her. How you are trying for hope but with each fell back into her despair you join her.
She came in and told you she doesn’t mean to be rude but she doesn’t want to be around you right now. Why would she?
11:00 she came back down saying she was in a very dark place. She said maybe love it not enough. We talked and talked. She is trying, i can see her trying so hard. She is being pulled into two parts. The one who loves me and the one who cannot stop thinking about what i did.
She comes closer to me and kisses me. We are happy and enjoy the moment. She kiss and caress for a while. It’s too fast but before we know it she is laying on the ground and i’m on top of her. Seconds later i am pushed off, she is clearly upset. Her imagination is getting the better of her on this occasion. She apologizes and says it doesn’t mean she doesn’t want you near, just not ready for that. I knew as soon as we started falling it was a bad idea but nothing i can do about it now.
Talked more, kissed more and time for bed.
Can I help? Can I fix this pain? Despair in creeping in…closer. Hope is strong but is it powerful enough?
I am in hell. But a different hell than her. If only I could be in her hell, with her. Then I would be happy.
I drift back and forth between children’s rooms. Trying to soak up every last moment with them. I feel time. I count seconds now.
Stay positive. Have hope. Have faith.
I see hope in the smallest things.