Feeling the Way Into My Past

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I had no idea this is where I would have to start on the trip into my past. I had planned to start in the beginning, go through some old journals and look through pictures or something like that. But that’s not how it turned out. Where I am to start is at the hardest part. This is where my dreams reside.

(Before I go into it, I want to state again that this is something the one I loved wanted to happen. When he wrote his letter, before he took his own life, he wanted us to tell others of his choices so someone else might not make the same choices he did. He wanted us to show a video at his funeral that showed the pain and destruction infidelity leaves behind. We didn’t honor his wish because there was thought that he really wouldn’t want that to happen. However, I believe he did want this to happen and now that he is in heaven, after admitting all his sins to God before he died and receiving forgiveness, I think he would want this even more. To be with God is to want others to come to Him as well and not focused on preserving your reputation or looking good. His desire would be even more focused on helping others not make the same mistakes he had that caused so much pain. So, with that, I’ll continue.)

In My Dreams

Almost every night, at some point, I am taken to the world of the one I loved choosing to be with someone other than me. In the dreams, it happens in varying ways but he doesn’t try to hide it. He is very outward in his decisions and he has no qualms about them.

They are brutal dreams. They aren’t vague or quick. These dreams are HD quality both in picture and sound. I feel like I’m living right in the middle of them. Fortunately, they are not graphic dreams of what is happening behind closed doors. However, every negative thing that has ever been said to me, every insecurity I have ever had and the words used to shut me down are thrown at me throughout the dreams. There is also usually at least one person who is present throughout or enters into the dream, that stays with him and seemingly protects him from me.   The only thing I can see they are protecting him from is anything that questions what he is doing. They seem to want to make sure he doesn’t have to face any consequences for his actions. These protectors are also usually thrilled for him to be with anyone but me. He and/or his protector(s) don’t try to hide what he is doing and the one I loved, especially, is quick to tell me to get over it, deal with it or any number of reasons why I am somehow to blame for his actions.

I wish I could say that after I wake up, I just go on with my day, but I can’t. The sadness is suffocating some days and I do whatever I can to not let it show to those around me. I usually can do a good job of it, but, so often, I’m only partially present in the moments of my life. I sometimes feel like I’m buried beneath it all, hoping for a little bit of sunshine to crack through the sadness. Fortunately, all days aren’t at the worst. Sometimes I’m blessed with only having the residual sadness without memories of the actual dream.

Resting In the Pain

But the pain is indescribable. The betrayal of having the one who promised to love, honor and cherish me until death parted us do the exact opposite is devastating. There were so many other women. Some of the women I knew, at least one of them was supposedly a friend, some were acquaintances and others I didn’t know. I know that he “dated” at least two of them for a long period of time. One of them was around for at least seven years.

It hurts so much to even begin to walk down this path. My counselor wants me to try to “rest” in the emotions that come to mind as I step back in time! How is that even possible? These emotions are tied up into such a tight ball in the pit of my stomach just thinking about it all. I feel like I’m only dipping my toe into the whirlpool of pain and I’m already overwhelmed. At times, I feel like I can’t breathe. I feel very alone. I know I’m not alone because I always have God with me, as well as family and friends, but I feel like I’m going into such hostile and unknown territory and I’m the only one who can do the actual work. I’m not sure “resting” in these emotions is going to happen. It seems more like going to war with them.

The one I loved was the person I shared everything with but he didn’t do the same in return. Because I was confused about what love really looked like, I thought he loved me. I don’t know if he ever really loved me, but, by the time he died, I’m not even sure he was capable of love anymore. I’ve been told that addictions take away the normal feelings people have over time. The first thing to go for him was his ability to cry. He couldn’t do it. He even mentioned in his suicide letter that he wished he could cry. Living in addiction is so damaging to everyone involved and it saddens me how often TV shows and movies portray infidelity and looking at porn like they’re no big deal – normal and expected. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I was left feeling like I had no value and like I was just used for a cover story so he could live the life he really wanted to live. I can’t even begin to identify the cacophony of feelings that assault me as I type this now, but the one word that comes to mind so often is “throwaway”. I feel like I was (and sometimes still am) no more than trash to be easily tossed away.

I feel empty.

~ Joanna Lynn

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