State of Love and Trust
Everybody take a seat. I'm gonna pause here in the trip reports because I finally came to the conclusion that I have to get this stuff down. I've actually been writing a great deal on the following subject, because it keeps just getting more and more absurd. But first, a disclaimer:
I am doing really well. I'm happy. I'd been trending this direction for about a month now, roughly around the time I moved out of the house. I left those ghosts behind, assisted by the seemingly daily revelations about X and both her past and present behaviors. It became slap-in-the-face clear to me that the woman I loved was largely mythological, a product of my trust that the person she presented to me for more than six years was the real her. This made it easier to turn the corner, to analyze our past and present with minimal emotion, allowing me to see things clearly, perhaps for the first time.
My trip to Ireland and Scotland was invigorating. I enjoyed myself immensely, and though I missed AJ on a fairly constant basis, I mostly left the real world behind. I had long discussions with my friends about my situation, a brief moment of tilt and then, a seminal experience. I will write about the last at some point soon. While I hesitate to call it an epiphany, it was definitely a light bulb moment, one born from a magical encounter. Perhaps the best example of my "healing" was when I returned home. After a similar previous adventure (ahemPlayboyMansionahem) I came home to that empty fucking house and the whispers of my tattered real life, a realization that amped my depression level to its all-time high. This time, I came home anxious to work on my apartment, set about building my life there, both individually and for AJ. It's only been a week, but that glow is not in any danger of being rubbed out.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I want you to know my frame of mind before you read what happened to me yesterday. It's positively cringe-worthy and when you read it, you may instinctively cover your testicles (and you ladies, well, not sure what you cover...clasp your breasts, maybe?). It might read like a kick to the nuts. Followed in rapid succession by another kick to the nuts. And yet, I tell you right now, after the initial shock wore off, I just laughed. I laughed at the ridiculousness of it all, from Point A right down to Point Z. I mean, it was 96-degrees yesterday, who in their right fucking mind goes to the supermarket to get soup!?
AJ and I, that's who. On the way home from my soccer game, I asked him what he wanted for dinner. When he offered no solution, I suggested grilled cheese, a perennial favorite, not to mention easy fixin' for a heat-sapped Dad with a potentially cracked rib. He liked the idea, but wanted some tomato soup for dippin'. I tried to talk him out of it, as the very idea of soup on this day made me swelter, but he was adamant.
So there we were in the bread aisle, when AJ dashes a good 30-feet, hugs a guy around the leg and says, "What are you doing here?" The guy had his back to me, standing there with two kids, one probably a pre-teen, the other a bit older than AJ. I figure it's a teacher at his preschool or something and start to push the cart that way when the guy turns around.
It's the Douchebag Poet.
Now, this moment was inevitable with he, X and I all living in close proximity. But ON FATHER'S DAY? Stranger than fiction, people. All the ways I anticipated this meeting went flashing through my head. I was literally drunk on firing neurons and could do nothing but stand there open-mouthed as AJ talked with the younger of the two kids. He walked toward me and of the million things I wanted to say and do, they were all crowded out by the Voice of Reason. That fucker. He said, "Don't make a scene in front of AJ." So when the Douchebag offered his hand and his name, I took it and gritted mine in response. I finally found my voice and told AJ to come back and something he heard there made him do it instantly. I grabbed a six-pack of sesame buns and turned away, but not before hearing something said between AJ and the younger kid, something which exposed yet another deception.
So that was awkward, but that's mostly all it was. I was a little upset, but not nearly as much as you'd expect I would be if you heard that story in a vacuum. And by the time we'd left the store, I had shrugged it off, though it did cause me to forget two items I needed. At the time, I was unsure I'd handled it well, what with (once again) taking the high road. I wondered if my penchant for doing that makes me some kind of sucker, some kind of pushover.
But, in retrospect, I know it was the best thing. AJ has enough confusion and insecurity right now. And for me, I'm not the least bit worried about losing my influence over my boy, or having his love for me altered by the presence in his life of this other. My main, sometimes my only, focus is AJ and he's plenty perceptive enough to feel that. As someone said to me, he may not even be aware of how much he loves me. It's simply instinctual. It is, in fact, one of the things about him of which I am most proud: his goodness, his willingness to befriend everyone. Just yesterday, he met the child of a new soccer teammate and by halftime wanted to know if Cole could come to our house for a sleepover. This is just the way my boy is and his hugging of the Douchebag in no way affects or minimizes our relationship.
As for the High Road, later last evening, I got right the hell off of it.
What AJ said at the supermarket exposed the fact that X invited the Douchebag and his kids to her company picnic while I was in Ireland, once again violating our agreement to not bring him around our son. This is the one thing upon which I have insisted and time and time again, she has agreed to abide by my wishes. She doesn't believe for a second that bringing to two of them together is harmful in any way toward AJ, but, to my face, she tells me she'll agree for now. And then, behind my back, does whatever the fuck she wants.
Again, this is a situation that a month ago would have put me on massive tilt. Now, I can unemotionally assess the problem. And it was in that kind of mood that I called X last night and let her have it, said all those things I'd kept to myself the last few months. Not angrily, but forcefully, and with nary a pause for her to respond. I had no interest in hearing her feeble attempts at rationalization. This was for me. Not because I think my words will have any afffect on her. Not because I think my words will alter her bahavior. Because I have held back some things that needed to be said.
I'm not surprised, by the way. There have been dozens of incidents over the past months that have cemented my knowledge that she holds me in little regard. That fact doesn't hurt me any longer. In fact, it is helpful for me to know that in this trashed relationship, I was the stand-up one. I was the one who trusted and gave and if the end result is that I was a fool to believe in her, that's fine. That's the way I am, believing that people are essentially good, that the words they speak and the actions they pursue are indicative of their inner self. Just my luck to pick this woman with a the cheerful facade and black fucking heart. Yet, I make no apologies for being that way. It's the way AJ is too, which is just how I want it.
And there's the thing. It's not me that X has to answer to. It's AJ. And that day will come sooner than she thinks. So while she continues to do whatever she wants with no regard for anyone else, she's hastening that day of reckoning. There's nothing I need to do to ensure that time will come. There are no more demands I will place on her. She's free to do whatever she wants--within reason. I believe this is known as giving her enough rope to hang herself.
As for me, all I can do is hope I can exert my influence on AJ. It's not a task with which I am either uncomfortable or inexperienced. I'm confident he and I can handle anything that comes our way. He'll never hear a bad word about his mother from me. But he will soon know very well how different she and I really are. She told me a few months back, by way of explanation for her cheating, that she came to the conclusion we didn't have enough in common. I scoffed then, but she's exactly right. As far as our concern for others, we are polar opposites. As far as our willingness to sacrifice for our son, we're miles apart.
There have been several instances lately where I've quite literally said aloud, "Man am I happy I'm not married to her any more." I can not state that with more forcefulness or sincerity. If this all came as something of a surprise to me, I am no longer lamenting this change in my life. It could have been much worse. I could have spent 10 more years of rapidly dwindling happiness with her before she checked out. It was inevitable and I'm thankful it happened now, before I wasted another second loving my perception of her.
As those of you who've been reading here for a while know, most of last year, X and I were trying to conceive another child. Were trying, in fact, right up until December, even as she was in the throes of her affair. We even went so far as to go to the fertility clinic for tests, tests which showed no medical reason why we couldn't conceive. And I can't tell you how much of a fucking relief it is that we didn't. I can only believe there was someone watching out for me, for that unborn child.
Much of what I've found out about her was shocking. At first. But with each confession, with each piece of information that leaks, the picture becomes more fully formed to the point that I now greet these revelations with a simple shrug. "That fits," I say to myself. I'm not surprised at all. Nor was I surprised at the following recent tidbits, two items which will close this post, which I present to you here and now without further elaboration:
She dyed her hair blonde.
She's getting implants next week.