Once the kids arrived at our new temporary home, this was the beginning of the roller coaster ride of emotions and psychological trauma. The kids were excited, just like we were on a mini vacation, but the horrid nature of reality was looming in the back ground of all of our minds. Earlier that afternoon, I had driven to our town home and collected what my daughter needed from school out of her bedroom. I had walked from room to room in a haze, not realizing what was happening and acknowledging that moment in my home would be my last. There were still dirty dishes in the sink from the week before, my daughters bedroom still a teenage disaster, and my sons shoes were by the front door: it all appearing that we would be home at any minute. I had operated on auto pilot, in a hurry to gather as much as I could before the hubby appeared. I had loaded food from the fridge, towels from the closets, as much of my children’s items as I could find etc. unbeknownst to me, I had the entire day to get what I needed, as my husband was on a boat trip with his best friend and his best friends wife. I was to find this information out later.
We settled in for the evening, I had made a point of having all of their personal items unpacked and placed in the proper closets and drawers, just to give them as much of a feeling of “home” as possible. Looking back, I am not sure I would have ever had the strength to make it through that weekend if not for needing to be strong for my children. I have parents, but my mother and I have not talked in ten years and my dad and I are not close. I am an only child and given the fact that I had isolated myself from everyone but my children and husband for years, I had no one to call upon. It was all on me.
Monday morning arrived way to quickly, I drove my daughter to school, I headed to work and my son slept in for the day. For one day, the world seemed that everything may be ok. My husband had texted me the previous evening that we were to have no more contact under advice from his attorney. HE had met with a female attorney that Friday and they were attempting to get as many cell phone records as possible. I knew that I needed to seek counsel ASAP myself so I phoned a local attorney that morning and scheduled and consultation for 2 p.m. that afternoon. I never spoke a word to any of my co workers or bosses of what was happening but laid low for that day. Monday was R.’s usual day off, so thankfully, I did not have the awkwardness of facing him. Monday was also our pay day: I had informed my boss that I would be taking a late lunch that afternoon and that it would more than likely be more than an hour and he was cool with that. Around 1:30, R. came in to pick up his pay check. He was attentive, as much as he could be, and inquisitive about how we settled in the night before. He was VERY obviously elated that my husband had not yet phoned his wife and to my dismay, was becoming comfortable with the fact that my husband just may NOT call his wife after all.
Not long after R. left from picking up his paycheck, I headed to the attorney’s office. That $300 consultation was the most rewarding and under charged two hours of my life. In our discussions, I learned there was no way possible for my husband to get any copies of any text messages, even if he were to learn of adultery begin committed-it could only be allowed into a court of law if we were having child custody issues or if my husband wanted to sue R. for alienation of affection. My attorney was sharp, gave me plenty of information and was one tough cookie. As I was leaving the parking lot, I felt a sense of peace in knowing legally, he had no grounds to stand on. Interestingly enough, after I turned onto the main road, I passed my husband, who began flashing his brake lights in trying to get me to stop. I continued on my route and returned to work for the day. AFter work, I returned to our new condo, had dinner with my children and we went for an evening swim in the indoor pool. As much as I was attempting to enjoy that evening, something in my belly was fluttering, the kind of flutter that I feel when something devastating is on the horizon. What more could happen?
On Tuesday morning, I again dressed, took my daughter to school and headed to work. My belly was in knots. R. would be returning today, how would life go after all this? I pulled into the parking lot and R. was outside, hanging the flag, his morning ritual. I entered through the back door to find my boss man standing in waiting for me with a look of disdain on his face. He informed me he needed to meet with me in his office, I followed him there, and he proceeded to fire me, he fired me for an “Assumed” affair with R. I sat in horror. How could this be happening? I never admitted to anything, never said a word in all honesty, I just sat and stared at this man who was ending the only life source I had remaining. He took my degree and certification off of the wall, let me know how “let down” he and his mother were, and walked me out the door. I exited the parking lot, drove one mile down the road, and phoned my attorney. She immediately demanded for me to return to my place of business and make sure R. was terminated as well. If R. was not terminated, we were to begin the proceedings for a discrimination lawsuit ASAP. I parked a block away and watched in wonder as five short minutes later, R. exited the parking lot as well. I let him get a little out of site and then followed him, he was going to our private meeting spot, I think he assumed I would be there waiting for him. I pulled in beside him, he sat in my car and we talked for over 2 hours about what was going to happen next. In this case of our story, I had the easier part: I just had to figure how I was going to support my daughter with no income. In R.’s case, he was having to go home and tell his wife he was fired and why. I headed home and awaited his call.
Just under an hour later, R. phoned and asked me to meet him at a public parking lot just down the road from my condo. His Dad had just arrived in town that very day for a week visit, after telling his wife she had kicked him out, and he was leaving his dad’s hotel in his dad’s truck. I parked beside him, crawled into the passenger side of his dad’s truck and sat in awe as the man I loved so much began crying. He caressed my face, kissed my hand, held my tight and cried like a baby. He told me the story of how he told his wife and he informed me that as we sat, his wife was on the phone with my husband. My husband was telling her everything that he knew and during that conversation, she kicked R. out. Around that time, his prepaid cell phone began to ring, his wife’s number showing on the caller ID. Before us, she had never known he had a private cell, until talking to my husband, she knew nothing of its existence and especially of the number. The call forwarded to voice mail and we both sat in silence as the tone rang to tell us that she had left a message. He dialed his code, put it on speaker, and we sat in awe as his wife’s voice boomed over the speaker calling us both by name and stating she hoped we had a happy life together. I was horrified, my heart broke in hearing her pain in her voice (yes, you critics can rip me a new one for that comment, but it really did) and I sat in more silence. R. began to laugh, grabbed my hand excitedly, kissed me full on the mouth and asked “Did you hear that? She just gave us her permission!” I really did not know how to respond to his comment, it shocked me that he responded in that way, but he began kissing me again, and before I could take a second to analyze the situation, we were in the king cab section of his dad’s truck, making passionate love. When we were done, I cried. I felt so evil, so cold, so heart less, but I loved this man so much…all at the same time. We sat and held each other for a bit before parting ways. He was going to dinner with his Dad and break the news to him, while I needed to go and be home and ready for when my children arrived back home.
The evening went fine, as much as I can remember, my husband phoned and asked for me to meet him the next morning at a local boat dock: we needed to talk. My son was due to leave the next Monday, May 1, for basic training and given all the trauma he had already suffered, I decided not to share the news of my termination with him. I sat that evening, explained to both my kids that so much had happened in such a short five days, I felt it was a good time for them to go and visit with their dad from Wednesday until Friday, to give me time to take care of business on my mind and then we could spend the weekend together, as a family, before my son left on Monday. (can you believe the last two chapters events happened over only four days?)
That night, R. phoned me after dinner with his parents and we talked for a few hours. I told him of my meeting with my husband the next morning and he was worried of me going by myself and just what was going to happen. He stated his wife was leaving the next morning to go to stay with her daughter through Friday: he was going to meet her at their home and swap vehicles with her, but after my meeting with my hubby, he wanted us to spend the day together.
I awoke the next morning, sent my kids to their dads one more time in just a few span of days and drove to the boat dock to meet my husband. I don’t really remember much about the meeting. I was terrified of what he may do, scared of what I would be feeling and unsure about what he would be feeling. I can tell you-he arrived with a cup of coffee in hand, this may seem like a trivial thing to you, but its not really. You see, I drank coffee the last five years of our marriage and he berated me everyday for it. He could not stand the way it smelt, not only did it give you stinky breathe, it discolored your teeth: if he had known when he met me, that I would eventually become a coffee drinker, he would have never married me, etc. (yes he really said that) When I sat in his car and he passed me the full coffee cup I really did not know what to think: was it poisoned, did he love me so much that he was going to be willing to accept me for my faults to make it work? I thanked him, opened the cap to take a small sip and that is almost the last thing I remember. The coffee was black: dark, dark black. When I prepare my coffee, I like a little coffee with a lot of creamers and sugar. This man knew nothing about me: the coffee reminded me in that moment, that my husband knew nothing about me, and was not willing to learn to fix it and that thought was all that kept going through my head during our fifteen minute conversation. I do know I apologized for hurting him, I apologized for the place I had put us in, but I made no apologies for the affair. I remember him asking for a separation, but he wanted it to be temporary, he reasoning for wanting a temporary separation ring over and over in my mind, even now. He said he realized I had many issues, not just from present day, but from my past as well. He realized there were demons in my mind and soul that were not allowing me to be one with God or him and he wanted to give me time to rid my life of those demons and past haunts so that we could work on us. He had stipulations, requirements, of what I needed to do before we could even begin discussing our marriage:
1. I needed to sign myself into a rehab facility and I could not consume any alcohol during our trial separation. (other than the one night of drinking the previous weekend, I had not drunk in months.)
2. I needed to seek counseling for incidents in my past (I was raped when I was 13). I would seek counseling alone, as he had never wanted to know the circumstances of my rape and still did not care.
3. I would begin to attend church three days a week and seek forgiveness for all of my sins.
4. I would severe any and all ties with R., my friends and my family: this was a private matter that would be taken care of between my husband and I only.
Once I had fulfilled all the above requirements, then my husband stated, he would consider giving me another chance. Through this entire conversation, there was no blame on his part, no responsibility for any of the issues in our marriage, and no sounds of love, pain, sincerity, hurt, anger, no sounds of any kind of emotion, none. It felt as if I were talking to an automated answering service: you know, the kind that tells you to press 1. for English or 2. for Spanish.
I began to cry uncontrollably, he looked at me empty eyed and cold-hearted and told me he was sorry for hurting me and making me cry, I told him no, I was sorry that I could not accept his “contract” requirements, I got in my car and I drove away. Never once did he touch on our marriage, our history, our life. He never asked about the kids, he never asked where we were, were we ok. He knew I had lost my job (to this day, I think he phoned our boss and had us fired) but he had no interest in how we were going to survive or what my next step was. Yes, I had an affair: I take responsiblity for that, but what man who has been your husband for 10 years does not have compassion for at least our children? His lack of emotion, his cold, isolated demeanor, left me chilled to the bone. I drove to the condo, crying.
The next three days Wed-Fri were a rampart wave after wave of raw emotion after raw emotion. R. came over that afternoon, I helped him file his unemployment claim, we researched options for him to enroll in a truck driving class for his CDL and after a few hours of encouragement, I enrolled him without his knowledge. We sat together for hours and talked, watched TV, laughed, ate lunch and made love. It was so natural to be with him. He and his wife were separated, my husband and I were separated, we were finally able to just be with each other, if only for one afternoon. It was wonderful. He was having dinner that evening at a local restaurant where a former best friend of mine was employed. Our humorous, prankster natures combined and we decided to pull a prank on her for kicks. R. was going to ask her as a waitress, drop hints of information about her every time she was at their table, but never tell her who he was or how he knew this information until just before leaving. THis friend knew of R. and my relationship and knew that my husband and I had separated, though we had not been in much contact with each other. Things went as planned and we had a great laugh that night when R. called to tell me how shocked she was when he began sharing her personal information and how she laughed when he finally told her who he was and that I was involved. At the end of the conversation, I informed him that I had enrolled him for truck driving school, I gave him the number to the place and the addy. He was hesitant, I told him what better time than now? Why wait? I encouraged him to get his CDL now, ASAP, and that would be one less bridge he needed to cross. Here I was, filing his unemployment, encouraging and helping him to enroll in school, but had done nothing for myself.
Thursday morning I received a text from my husband that some of my personal belongings were in a storage until that we shared. I drove to the unit, curious about what I may find, and was heartbroken and appalled to open the doors and find my wedding portrait, set deliberately in the middle of our kitchen table, my dads two silver candle holders on each side, our wedding album in the middle and our two wedding rings laid on top of the album. It was such a cold and horrid, sight I snapped a picture, just as proof that I had not mistaken its meaning. The picture is on my old phone, but after posting I am going to attempt to bluetooth it to my new phone and re edit it into this post so all can see the barrenness of it. In the back of the unit, I found the one and only gift my dad had ever given me, a china set from his war-time in Vietnam, one-quarter of the set was broken into tiny pieces and no where in the unit was any of my children’s belongings. I snapped photos of the broken china, emailed them to him, and informed him of a law suit. He responded that I was acting crazy, he would never do anything with malicious intent, I was the only bitch in the family. I took home my wedding rings, my dads china, and a few of our former household belongings, laid on the couch and just cried.