Lies. They destroy relationships. They destroy lives. They pile up on top of each other until they feel like they might bury me alive. Small lies, big lies, white lies, half-truths, gaslighting – they are all the same. They all cause pain. I’ve reached the point now where my tolerance for lies of any sort is basically nonexistent. I will not accept them, but more than that I feel like I can’t accept them. I think one more lie might actually cause my brain to crack.
So I continue to keep my distance from my husband. It doesn’t matter why he still lies. It just matters that he does. He can’t promise me that he won’t lie again because that’s how ingrained in him it is. As far as I know he has not been to individual counseling this week. He knows the steps to take, but he isn’t taking them. So I’m in this weird limbo. We coexist. I don’t have animosity towards him (or he towards me). Yet we cannot be as close as I would like us to be. I can’t fully rely on or trust him. I can’t put my raw heart back into his hands. He just isn’t doing what it takes for me to feel comfortable and safe.
That means this weekend may be a bit strange. I have already started planning some things that I can do on my own. I am going to check out J.C. Penney for some items that I know are on sale this month. I may or may not be getting another tattoo (depending on what the sketch looks like when I go see it today). Maybe I’ll even drive down to the outlet mall in Williamsburg, although I doubt it considering the blistering heat we are supposed to be experiencing.
I’m not sad. I’m not happy. I’m just kinda blah. I have noticed that my recent posts tend a bit toward the melancholy. I’m not sure completely why that is – and to be honest I don’t know if they really do have a melancholy feel or not. I just don’t know what my emotions are. That’s possibly because they are conflicted and changing from moment to moment. I see others in pain on the message boards or experiencing a lot of triggers or joy or triumph in their marriages. I read about progress, steps backward, and frustrations. And I feel like I’m just hanging here.
It actually reminds me of a time that I paid a little extra for a bungee jumping/ hang gliding thing at a local theme park. They call it the Xtreme Skyflyer. They have you cocooned up in this body harness that is attached to a long bungee cable. The cable is connected to what looks like half of the McDonald’s arch. They raise you up about 17 stories and let gravity do the rest. There is a moment when you are high above everything, anticipating what is to come. Then you’re dropped. There is a long free fall to about 6 feet above the ground – so low that you are convinced you will slam into the spectators below. The initial speed is somewhere around 60 mph, then you swing back and forth for a while until everything slows down and you are just hanging. They slowly lower you down to the ground, and the ride is over.
This journey has been like that. At first I thought our life together would be an adventure. I looked at the ride from the ground and thought it would be fun – exciting even. I trusted that I would be safe with him. That we would be in this together. That no matter how scary it got we would always have each other. I got harnessed in (a.k.a. married) and enjoyed the view as we climbed higher and higher together. I wasn’t really anticipating a drop – maybe I closed my eyes and didn’t watch how the ride played out before, maybe I didn’t want to know, maybe I let myself overlook what was coming or convinced myself that we could just keep going up forever. That’s not how the ride worked, though…
Those clues from before that I had overlooked? The small lies, the hiding of pornography, the sexting and affair, all of the things he said he has “stopped,” that were “fixed.” They weren’t. They were just waiting at the top to pull the cord that would drop us. During and immediately following D-Day I discovered so many lies – they were coming fast and hard. It felt like my stomach was dropping out of my body. All I could manage was to hold on for dear life. The adrenaline must have been the only thing keeping my body running. Our marriage was holding us together while our entire relationship was dangling by a thin cable. He was taking me on this ride right along with him, and there wasn’t anything I could do to keep from being affected.
As we settled into recovery, therapy, and counseling things started slowing down. We were still on this giant swing, though. Some days we were up, some days we felt very close to crashing. Each new lie still caused my stomach to drop a bit, but nothing like that initial free-fall. I started to think that I could handle this. That I could deal with the back and forth, up and down as long as there were no more big drops.
Now the pendulum is slowing. We are nearly on solid ground. And I realize now how much I want that solid ground. How much I need it. I want to get off of this ride and feel the Earth under my feet. Know that my world has stopped swinging out of control. Each lie he tells makes it seem like I will never get there… I will be stuck on this ride forever. I can’t do that.
I want him to get off the ride with me. I’m not sure if he can, though. He is either too scared, too confused, too caught up, or too… I don’t know. So right now we are still bundled together, just hanging there. A few feet away from the ground. Almost where we want to be. And those 6 feet seem like an immense canyon. I’m not sure how long I can keep hanging here before I cut myself loose and go those last few feet on my own. I guess only time will tell.
In the meantime, here I am. Hi everyone! I’m up here just watching you go about your lives. I laugh with you over your joys. I feel empathy for you if you are down. I offer advice (what little I have) if I think it might be helpful. Some of you are on your own rides. Some of you are already on the ground walking around where I want to be. I will get there some day. I’m very close! I will not let anything stop me. Those lies are going away one way or another because I won’t let them in the next time they come knocking!