As the second year came around, I felt I was starting to find my feet somewhat. All the anti-versaries had been and gone, and I was still here. He was treating me extremely well (he always has really) and I seemed to be getting just a smidgen better. It was still a roller coaster, and I still fell deeply into the holes of despair as my worldview adjusted to my new reality. I had chosen a cheater. He didn’t view fidelity the same way I did. How could he to do what he did? He said he did, he really did view fidelity as incredibly important, but if he really did, even when he was lost and mentally unwell, he wouldn’t have broken my heart. Broken my soul. Because no matter what, no matter the lies he told himself to justify what he was doing, even if he was unwell, he HAD to know I would be devastated. And that meant nothing. Obviously. I just didn’t count. My support and total love wasn’t “enough.”
Another walk down memory lane. When our eldest daughter was nearly two, he went on a hunting trip, and was gone for a couple of weeks. We didn’t spend many nights apart, an annual hunting trip was about it,usually just a couple of nights, this one was longer than usual as he was going farther afield. Neither of us had to travel for work, or anything of the like, so spent almost every night together. We were both terrible apart, really pined for each other, weirdos that we are/were. It had been a tough time, I still wasn’t really sure if he had asked me back into his life because we had a child together, I FELT loved, but I guess there was some insecurity (I didn’t really identify it at the time.) We had recently bought his parents’ farm, and it was a little tricky, juggling his parents’ needs and his sisters’ wants, I was the meat in the sandwich. I attended one of my oldest friend’s wedding while he was gone. My daughter had recently been weaned, and it was one of my first “big” nights out since becoming a mother. Lots of old friends came, and we had a ball. A guy I knew really well while we were growing up was there, he and I got talking, laughing and did a lot of dancing. Was fun. He had been the boyfriend of my boyfriend’s sister, and we had spent a lot of time together in our teens and were good friends. He had a major car accident that left him fighting for his life with a traumatic brain injury and major lacerations for months in hospital in our youth, had recovered, gone to uni, fathered a son with his childhood sweetheart, but they had split up not long after. I knew he had become a leading research scientist, and that he had married and had two daughters with his wife, and she wasn’t there as she was expecting their third. He ended up driving me home that night, and sadly (I was quite drunk) he came onto me, really hard. In my tipsy state, I definitely considered it, but only very briefly. You know what stopped me? Not his very pregnant wife (but I did feel for her, what kind of man does that?) Not Roger. Not daughter, S. Not even that he was obviously a scumbag. All of these things were good reasons not to sleep with him. The big reason was, that even though I was tempted, I had to live with that. Forever. I could NEVER undo a drunken shag with a married man, while I was living with a good man who loved me. On Roger’s return, I confessed to kissing this guy. We talked it through. I asked him if he was okay, he said it was no big deal. I have revisited that in the aftermath of his affair. Was he really okay? He says he was completely okay with it, mostly because it really was no big deal, but also because I told him all about it straight away, so he trusted me. I can’t keep secrets about stuff like that, it would eat me alive! He still swears it never bothered him. It took me until I learned the truth about his shagging a working girl that I fully believed that. He didn’t care, because he had already actually had sex with another woman. What is a little drunken kiss? Also, not that this counts at all, as we were separated, but he had sex with six women when I was in the UK, and I have never been with anyone else. So, dear reader, are you counting? I am just now. Since I met and fell in love with him, 26 years ago, he has slept with:1. his ex-girlfriend 2. a prostitute 3-8. various women while we were separated (don’t really count, but, you know, lol) 9. his ex-girlfriend. My score: 1. him. OMG. Why was I even thinking I should stay? Seriously, when you write it out that way, it’s pretty damning. huh?
I ended up very low again, and rang Chrissy, the shrink. I went back to her for another session, and she immediately referred me to a psychiatrist. She felt that despite my saying I thought I was dealing with long-drawn out grief for the life I had lost, she felt I was suffering from pretty severe depression. I met the psychiatrist, he was lovely, listened well, and suggested we try a two-pronged approach, of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds. I was strongly opposed. But I went along with it. In the first fortnight, I waited and waited. I expected some kind of mild lift. Nothing, went back, he doubled the dose, I waited again, this time more anxiously. Nothing, he trebled the original dose. Again, nothing. He switched drugs. We went through the same process, and the anti-anxieties were making me VERY anxious,so I didn’t use them. We also changed them, and the new ones just made me want to sleep 24/7. More fiddling with dose rates, still no improvement. By now I was starting to feel very desperate. So, he ended up putting me on good old-fashioned tri-cyclics. I gained 9kg in a month. Now I really was depressed, not grieving. I had kept 15kgs off (and looked and felt great about my body, at least) for nearly two years, and now, in a month, over half of it had piled back on, and I was doing nothing different, same exercise, same diet. After seven months of trying the drug route, I stopped. I was worse than when they first put me on the drugs.
You know, when you live a life, a good, simple life, you have this idea that if things go amiss, if you get mentally unwell, there’s therapy. If the therapy doesn’t work, or isn’t enough on its own, you have drugs. That was what I thought. I was strongly opposed to drugs, I had tried a few natural remedies first, of course, but had faith these professionals were going to “fix” me. They didn’t, because I wasn’t broken in that way. My heart was broken, not the chemicals in my brain.
That was pretty much the story of my second year after I discovered the man that I loved with every atom of my being was a cheat.