What to write…? What to say…? What shouldn’t I say…? What to write…?
I think I’ll start with Eight Weeks Post-Incident.
I hurt. I hurt all the time. I pretend that I don’t. I pretend for my son so that he won’t worry. I pretend for my clients because I’m supposed to be there for them, not the other way around. I pretend for my husband because I don’t believe he can handle how I feel (or how he feels) and I am scared he will leave.
I feel lost. I feel like I am drowning in fear and anxiety and sadness and anger and regret and pain and, well, more pain. My stomach hurts. I can’t eat. I throw up. I have headaches. I can’t drink (because of the throwing up thing). I cry. My face is constantly puffy and I look like I have aged ten years in eight weeks.
This is what it feels like to be betrayed. Or at least, this is how I am feeling in response to betrayal. I’ve written about the pain of loss. This is definitely not the same thing. I believe it is possible to find meaning in loss, the kind of meaning that helps you get through. I’m having a really hard time finding meaning (meaning that helps) in betrayal.
I go back and forth. Do I focus on working it out? Do I walk away? Do I just say fuck it and let it go because it’s not like I have any control over the situation anyway? I’ve been focusing on having a good attitude—being introspective, being positive, being peaceful. Sometimes I can pull it off. Sometimes. Other times those pesky, hurtful, anxiety-filled thoughts creep in and grab hold of everything going on in my brain.
This is why:
- my house is a disaster
- I sit doing nothing, literally nothing, for hours at a time
- I read the same paragraph 8½ times before I realize it’s a waste of time
- I’ve listened to books on communicating through difficult times, can you become stronger after a betrayal, what I’ve done wrong that I deserve this kind of hurt (turns out nothing)
- I go online to see what people say, to get points of view (I quit doing that by the way because, holy hell, talk about depressing)
- I swing wildly back and forth between “I should fucking leave.” and “He should have to be the one to fucking leave.” and “I don’t want to do my life alone.” and “This is better than nothing.” and “Hell no, this is so not better than nothing.”
- I cry at the drop of a hat
whenI see photos
- I cry at the drop of a hat when I hear a song, pretty much any song
- I threw my wedding ring (and wedding dress and wedding shoes and pictures) in the canal (pure truth)
This is why it’s really not ok to betray people you purport to love. It destroys them from the inside out.
That was Eight Weeks Post-Incident. I stopped right there because there were no more words. It’s possible I was crying so hard that I couldn’t see the screen anymore. But still, there were no more words.
There were no more words until today—Four Months Post-Incident (or The Day My Life Imploded, whichever you prefer). Today a lot of the words are the same. I hurt. I feel lost. I feel like I’m drowning, falling, failing, suffocating. I feel like my heart is breaking. Turns out that is a literal feeling. It is. And it sucks.
I still can’t eat very much. I’ve quit throwing up all the time, thank heavens. It got so bad my nose would bleed all over my face when I got sick (I don’t know why) and I looked beyond frightening. I still sit around a lot thinking, doing nothing, trying to do something… The headaches are not constant anymore. I mostly only get them from, what I refer to as, Crying Hangovers.
Crying. I’m doing that. A lot. In the car. In the shower. Picking up dog poop (apparently life doesn’t stop for anything). Sitting on the floor of my closet at night so my son won’t hear and worry about me. Not pretty, single-tear-streaking-slowly-down-your-face kind of crying– but crying that feels ugly and requires lots of Kleenex because of the tears and the snot and, well, you get the picture.
But not everything is the same. I’m not pretending anymore. That’s something. While I do try to hide the worst of it from my son (see the above paragraph on crying), I’m no longer pretending for anyone else. I’m no longer pretending or trying to fool myself. I’m finally grieving.
Weird how grief works. I thought I had been grieving all this time. Turns out not so much. My intuition, my internal wisdom that has always there but has been super quiet (or maybe I haven’t been paying attention) is getting louder again. What I’ve realized is that before I was just in shock and then I was just afraid. Turns out you don’t really start grieving until you stop trying to fool yourself into believing whatever it is you are trying to fool yourself into believing.
What was I trying to believe? That I could somehow be perfect enough to change how he felt. That I could just ignore the problems and still be happy. That I didn’t have to grieve. That I could stuff my feelings enough for me and everyone else to think I was doing great. That I could just let it all go and not let it impact me anymore.
And at the base of all of this was paralyzing fear– fear I was trying to outrun until the grief kicked in. Real, painful, heart-wrenching grief. The fear is still there, mind you. I just have finally accepted that I can’t outrun it.
Fear sucks, too, but the way. But if I try to put a more healthy, Buddhist-type spin on it, fear is “an unpleasant experience”. Check out Pema Chodron for more on this. She’s brilliant and teaches about pain and fear and she knows her shit. But regardless, right now, fear just sucks. Sorry, Pema.
Oh. It happened again… The words just stopped. I got nothin’ at this point. There are no more words right now. They will come again. I’m pretty sure…
Here I am 2 days short of Seven Months Post Incident. This quote from a movie I saw forever ago keeps coming to me and seems to be the thing I need to remember.
The movie was called Freak City. It’s about this girl that has no family and no friends and finally makes a friend and then finds out he’s dying. I mean, that’s the basic plot. Here’s what keeps going through my head:
Girl: How am I supposed to live without so much? What do I get?
Boy: You get you.
You get you.
I get me.
Even though I hurt and I don’t know how long I will hurt, I still get me.
I guess that’s something.
Maybe that’s everything…