After he left, we were doing really well as friends and parents, I was still heartbroken, and we had fun together when we did catch up. He told me the truth about his hookup with her, because I asked. I “felt something in my bones” about it, I kind of knew, even when he was protesting to the contrary, the whole time that he hadn’t really dealt with the “whys” properly, he hadn’t really any fulfilling answers about why he had chosen her, he knew, and so did I, why he chose an affair instead of talking to me, and we had a small clue as to why her (availability, re-kindling is easy when you know you’ve got in their pants previously, you also know they are whores who never say no, and we both always knew she had regretted that they broke up.) He hesitated to tell me, but he told me the truth. And he changed his phone number. Two years later, he changed his phone number, and we weren’t even together anymore. I guess it showed me he really had worked all the crap out of his system. He got so lost and confused about who he was, what he wanted for a while there.
We lived separately for three months. It was hard. I still loved him. A whole lot. He was so kind, the way I always remembered him, and he started REALLY looking at himself. Why did he get to that point? Who was he? None of the stuff he’d done matched who he thought he was. After three months, we bloody well reconciled! Again. It was different this time for me, I finally felt free of her breathing down my neck. I saw another psychologist, I knew I needed to find some peace with what my life had become, some kind of acceptance, without condoning what two people I trusted, one implicitly, had done to my sense of safety in the world, maybe this was all linked back to the vicious rape by a friend of a friend all those years ago, maybe I hadn’t ever felt safe since? During the third appointment, we were working through my lack of joy, my lack of safety, and what I needed to do to find some peace, and stop the thoughts constantly swirling. Then I told Jason that Roger had re-visited skankola (she doesn’t ever deserve capitalisation!) And he’d fucked her. Jason held up his hand at that point and went, “what? Hang on a moment. So, he went back to her after all this time, after you both thought he hated her? Well, Paula, you are not depressed, and you are not unwell, he has been making you feel very unsafe for a very long time. What do you want to do now?” I told him that I felt that this had finally been resolved, and that Roger could totally see how screwed up he’d been, how bad his behaviour was, and that we both felt that we were keen to carry on together, and put this sordid chunk of our lived in the past, but that I was having huge difficulty with my losses and my grief. Jason had met Roger, and he thought he was genuinely a lovely man, who had had a crisis and then hadn’t handled it half as well as he thought he was doing at the time. (Jason is a trauma and abuse specialist, works with a lot of under-privileged, abused, criminal youth, as well as his private practice, he’s seen a lot.) I asked if I was being as foolish as I felt, if I was being, as chumplady puts it, a chump. He said that he didn’t think so, that he saw a lot of genuine love, and lot of remorse in him, and a heap of desire to forgive in me. He then gave me the contact details of a couple who live in a city three hours from us, who he labelled as “the best couples counsellors in the country.”
I contacted them, and talked to Nic. We decided we couldn’t afford either the time off work, or the fee to do the intense counselling he could offer (full time, two weeks) but that he was keen to work with us, and we would do double sessions, as we had to travel so far, weekly at first. Roger agreed, a little reluctantly (we had spent a lot of time and money on shrinks already that hadn’t helped at this point.) So, ten hour days, six hours of driving, and four hours, with a break in the middle, of counselling. A day off work for both of us (I had returned to my previous job, at twice the pay, and greatly reduced hours, quite flexible, my boss was amazing to me, she knew what had transpired.) We did this for about six weeks, then went to fortnightly sessions. Discussion to follow in my next post. My reluctant counselling co-attendee of the past was actually getting somewhere finally!