Hypocrisy. Again.

Two years ago, I madly searched for any insight into the last woman HUSBAND was fucking. As the sordid details of his 25 years of deception and cheating and double life and, what I eventually learned, sex addiction, were unfolding, I was desperate to try to find out everything I could about this woman.

I read the things she had written to HUSBAND again and again. I watched the videos she had made for him several times (only a couple of what he tells me were hundreds). I read her facebook postings and comments on HUSBAND’s page, on my sisters-in-laws pages, on other friends pages. And I began to get a glimpse of this woman who had so willingly played a role in the drama of my life without me knowing.

The perversion of her sensibilities became obvious. Obvious on her posts that talked about all kinds of things from a crass perspective, and from an “it’s-all-about-me” viewpoint. Obvious when she posted a shocked response at the reported theft of some items from a mutual friends’ store: “How dare he…they should throw him over the boat” (it involved some fishing equipment). Seriously? This other woman who was stealing and destroying parts and pieces of the unit of our family thought she had the right to stand in judgement of another thief? Could she not see that she was a master thief?

Well…I thought I’d long gotten over this madness, the impact to me of her hypocrisy. I certainly have gotten over the searching, looking for her or “stalking her,” and think about and of her less and less. But today, today when looking at a mutual friend’s facebook, there was a short video showing a homerun hit and the subsequent fans-in-the-stand reaching for the baseball of a recent game. The disturbing portion of the short video is when the ball is caught by a little girl and simultaneously snatched, literally out of her hands, by an older woman…likely in the general age range of HUSBAND’s last whore. Of SW.

snatching

WELLLLLL…on that post….SW posted a response that caught me by surprise.

“Wow. Heartless.”

No words from this betrayed.

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Deep roots

Where we live, violent storms are a norm. During the course of a year, we may have multiple violent storms with winds and wind gusts exceeding 30-40 mph. Hurricanes make an appearance, although our protected land area rarely gets a full-brunt, we frequently get the bands with winds reaching 50-60 mph.

Falling trees are also not uncommon. The neighborhood HUSBAND and I live in is covered in magnificent trees of myriad varieties. We have water oaks and white oaks, maples and hickorys and ash and sweetgums and cedars. And we have pines…oh, we have pines. Some of these majestic trees soar over 90 or 100 feet in the air, and during storms, sway madly like dancers responding to the music. Inevitably, after a storm, our region of the state has numerous downed trees, some seemingly ripped out of the ground by the roots.

PineTrees

One summer day, not too long after we moved into our present home, I was in the kitchen on a phone call, blindly looking out the window at the rain which was coming down hard. Suddenly, the rain all blew violently to my left, then just as quickly was all driving hard to the right. I immediately got off the call and dashed into the family room where my four children ran into my arms, all very frightened as they could see the crazy weather and sensed something was different and not-so-right. As we all sat in the floor with our arms wrapped around each other and my mama brain was quickly thinking about safety, I saw an enormous, old tree in our back yard get literally uprooted and begin to fall to the ground. It wasn’t falling toward us, and the children were enveloped in my arms so they did not see my panic, but I waited for the BOOM as I anticipated it hitting the other end of our house.

After the storm, we went outside. The tree had fallen nearly between our home and our neighbor’s house, clipping one edge of our roof and one edge of theirs, but almost as if someone had carefully laid it between so as not to cause too much damage either way. For this, I was grateful. But the uprooted tree was literally shocking – the roots stood in the air well over six feet and the entire, tall, old, majestic tree was lying there. Gone.

fallentree

We asked our tree professional why this happened. He explained that trees need their roots to grow both wide and deep, and that based on soil and construction and water and other factors, they often fail to go deep…trees with surface roots only are far more subject to fall…and such it was with this tree.

Betrayal made me realize that I could learn a lot from trees. My roots needed to grow wide and deep, too.  I didn’t really see before, but I had paid more attention to spreading my roots out, and found others like that too. We were so much more likely to fall when the inevitable storm appeared. To be gone.

I work on deep now, but going there was hard…I had to fight the urge to give up and just go wide – it was the way of my past, the way of my family and examples – but instead for my very survival, I was compelled to do some deep digging in, digging down. Along the way, I found debris that had settled…debris from my own stuff, and from generations past. But now…the roots are going beyond that mess into a rich place of nourishment, a place of life-force. Deep is where I faced the giants, and found out I wasn’t alone – He hadn’t left or forsaken me. And there…deep…is where I found my voice, and strength. Strength to dare to love again.

deeproots

The Dance I Now See

I took the red-eye home from Vegas last night. Left a little before midnight and connected in Atlanta with literally just time for a quick bathroom stop between flights.

I suffer from motion sickness, so always need to be at a window seat. When I boarded, the aisle seat occupant was already there, so I had to ask him to please let me in. He was wearing professional clothes, not unusual for a 7:00 am flight out of Atlanta, and when I got there, his head was bent down intently looking at his phone screen. After I spoke, he glanced up, got out and let me in…all was well.

ManTextOnPhone

Immediately, my 50-ish seat-mate reattached himself to a furious texting conversation, and I got out my headphones along with my phone and texted HUSBAND to let him know I’d made the tight connection. We shared a few back-and-forth texts, and I was glad to know I’d be back in his arms within two hours. It was a sweet moment…yet the complete and utter intensity of my seat-mate’s phone communication drew me to glance…where I saw this that he had just texted:

“Last night was amazing. I’m crazy about you.”

I felt sick to my stomach. I saw the telltale band around the ring finger of his left hand, and began to watch his behavior in earnest. He was completely unaware of all that was happening around: the other passengers loading, people placing things in the overhead bins, the flight attendant asking people to be seated. I thought about what HUSBAND had told me he said to his affair partner, and “being crazy about you” was a common phrase between them. I thought about HUSBAND’s admissions to the nonstop texting, the obsessions with fantasy talk. Attention poured and lavished between them in the illicit relationship unlike the pittance of attention offered in our real relationship.

ManWeddingRing

I thought about a wife sitting somewhere in Atlanta, knowing her marriage was disconnected, aching to understand why her husband seemed to care about all things except her and their marriage. A wife who washed and folded the underwear he wore the night before that his slut had removed with her dexterous fingers so she could make his night amazing. A wife who made sure his kids had their school supplies and were taken care of when they get sick or got their hearts broken. A wife who showed up with bells on to greet a family member or client at her husband’s beckoning, even though she had worked a 50 hour week. A wife who invested so much of who she was wondering desperately why he felt like she expected so much from him, what was wrong with her, why couldn’t she just be happy…

lonelywoman

I texted HUSBAND what I’d seen, what I was observing, realizing I never would have even had eyes to see this before, or understand the secret dance that I was now part of, and that is so often danced all around me. HUSBAND responded, telling me he was so sorry that he had put me in the situation to grieve what I could now see. He told me that he was so thankful for my grace…for our life now.

I struggled with wanting to grab my seat-mate, tell him to look me in the eye and that I knew what he was doing and he had to STOP…that he was killing, no KILLING a woman out there, that he was stabbing and slashing and hacking at her heart and her life and that of his children. I fantasized about standing up in the cabin and telling the whole flight that I was sitting next to a cheater. I waited for the moment to ask the right question to let him know slyly that I knew utilizing innuendos and hidden meanings, that he hadn’t hid his smut from me.

But none of that happened, and I didn’t do any of those things.

I just grieved.

Right after we landed, making that long taxi around to our gate, my seat mate finished the trip in crowning glory. He pulled HER up on his phone, scrolled quickly down a long series of messages, seemingly rereading them at a fast pace. Then, quickly in a well-practiced pattern, he swiped and deleted, swiped and deleted, swiped and deleted message after message after message until there were none.

Delete-Button

Evidence gone.

Just like that, his transgression was erased.

Except, not really. The dance? I can see it now. Everywhere. And for that, I weep.

dance

Victory

Some victories are so sweet. The victory of overcoming fear when I started a new school – I attended tons growing up as a military girl –

I remember the fear the night before, the stories that bounced around in my head, the plans I mentally made to deal with this or that or that or this. And the feeling of walking into a new room and being introduced as “the new girl.” Going to the lunchroom and knowing there were rules but no one had told me the rules and if/when I broke one wondering what the punishment might be – from administration, but worse, from peers.

Unhappy Teenage Girl Being Gossiped About By Peers
Unhappy Teenage Girl Being Gossiped About By Peers

But the victory when I wasn’t the new girl anymore and had at least a few people to share secrets with and I knew where to sit and with whom.

The victory of completing a routine on beam…not just without falling…but soaring. Knowing I’d hit every moment just the right way and that the judges were struggling to find the blemishes in the performance…receiving the embrace of my coach and then seeing the score. Such sweet victory.

gymnast

As a young driver, I was determined not to be a typical girl which I defined as indecisive and inattentive on the road. I wanted to drive like a boy with daring and confidence and an arm out the window and my head thrown back. Oh, the victory when one of my friends commented that I drove like a guy.

It was a sweet victory each time a precious new life emerged from me…all plump and squished up and crying. Holding that new life and staring into the eyes of creation – that is a victory so sweet and so timeless and I’m forever grateful.

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It was bittersweet victory as each milestone flew by in the lives of those babies…kindergarten…transition to high school…proms and honor societies and graduations. Now the victory of seeing my beautiful girl pledge her love to her mate, and the boys seeking education beyond high school and graduating and working. Oh, the beautiful victory.

I thought it was a victory when I said my own vows. When I pledged myself to love forever even if things got really bad for any reason. I thought it was a victory for me. For HUSBAND – he told me it was as he gazed into my heart. For us. But it was so soon, so early in our delicate oneness that he broke those vows. Far too early for the oneness to be strong, he went outward to another woman and set a pattern of seeking pleasure for his pain that excluded me rather than embraced me. I couldn’t figure out why the victory of love and marriage had turned so distant and felt more like a marathon that never ended rather than the short sprints of joy and life with victories sprinkled in. But it was all those lies, all those deceptions that HUSBAND was either living in, or covering up for, that created a space between our oneness that only he knew how to bridge. Because only he knew the real story.

So the victory in this? The victory is that truth…truth really has freed me and freed us. It has no hold anymore, no ability to fool or separate or speak words into my heart that destroy. Truth revealed and the excruciating process of healing is victory like none other.

dancing