Step four. I’ve been procrastinating. Mostly because I have been unable to come up with an active list of resentments. I know I must resent more than one or two people but honestly, I feel like I’ve worked through a lot of them already. Except for the “Furniture” incident. Still, to this day, it is the most cringe-worthy event in my life. And it all started with resentment. At the time I dealt with it in the best way I knew how. I drank. And man, did I drink. Eventually, years passed and I managed to encapsulate it in a little bubble on a shelf somewhere in my mind. But it wouldn’t take much to burst the bubble and that friggin’ nightmare would come flooding back into my here and now.
It’s time to let it go.
I was married to the father of my children at the time (twenty years ago). I was absolutely FULL of resentment for him. He wouldn’t get a decent job to support us so I had to go back to work, when all I really wanted and needed was to stay home with our young daughter. Reluctantly, I got a job doing the only think I knew–selling furniture (which is how we met). After a year or two I got promoted to management. Eventually, he ended up working for the same company. He was in sales, I was in management. As much as I learned to love my job, I was still full of resentment. I let that resentment fester for a couple years by marinating it in alcohol. The alcohol made it tolerable but I grew to despise my husband. He was preventing me from doing the one thing I was born to do–be a good mother. I thought he was a monster when it was me who was evil incarnate.
I decided to have an affair with my boss. I initiated it. He was married as well. Didn’t matter. Who gave a shit…WE were the suffering ones. The ones that deserved happiness. No one else’s lives mattered except for ours. He was smart, independent, financially stable, thirteen years older than me and very secure with who he was. He was everything I wanted and didn’t have. We’d make sure we worked every shift together, go out for liquid lunches, leave early and write love letters back and forth. Computers and cell phones were not what they are today so most of our correspondence was at work or on the phone. The affair filled my heart with much-needed affection and the alcohol anesthasized my pain. I made several mistakes that fall, not the least of which was confiding my affair to my co-worker whom I also managed. We had become friendly, even though I was her boss. She supported my deception and quickly offered to become my alibi when I needed one. That should have been my first clue.
At the time the Lewinski/Clinton thing was all the rage in the news. What I didn’t realize was that I was in a very similar situation. My husband had no idea about my deception, nor did my family. It wasn’t until my co-worker “friend” asked me for a raise and full-time status that I realized what kind of trouble I was in. I didn’t have the power to do that and I told her so. Within 48 hours my life blew up before my eyes. She had recorded a phone conversation in which I asked her to lie for me and be my alibi for my husband. She went to upper management with the tape and we were both fired. I remember being so horrified that all I could do was go to a bar and drink myself into oblivion. My husband, of course, found out immediately–it was like wildfire ripping through a dry corn field on the sales floor. Devastated, he told his mother who decided at that moment that she needed to tell my parents over the phone what a piece of shit I was. My husband left work early that day and attempted to kill himself with a hose and the exhaust from his car. He did not–thankfully–succeed.
In my drunken stupor I realized I had to face my parents. Funny, now looking back, that it was them I was most worried about–not my husband or children. I was fucked up. I drove to their house and found my mother in bed, in the middle of the day. All the curtains were drawn and she was crying. I walked into her room to have some form of a conversation and all she said was, “What are the neighbors going to think?” I tried to explain as best I could how unhappy I had been over the past few years, but she kept interrupting with her holier-than-thou accusations and statements. The final blow was, “You’re not my daughter”. For an adopted child of any age those are not just words. They are daggers that not only gut you but turn into acid that pours on your soul and annihilates you. I was shattered. I was done.
I have only sketchy memories after that particular day. I remember getting back in my car, meeting my affair-guy at a bar and getting drunker. I remember stumbling to the bathroom and looking at myself in the mirror–all I could see was a shell of what I used to be with mascara all over my puffy face. Someone in the hallway asked if I was ok. I couldn’t respond. I hadn’t eaten in days, alcohol the only thing I had consumed. I have no idea how I got home that night. Actually, I don’t know IF I got home that night. It’s all a blur.
That was one of many rock bottoms for me.
For the next year I maintained a blur. I had lost my job, was humiliated beyond belief, had no self-worth or self-respect and basically drank and hibernated. Our marriage did not survive. We had several more issues that just got uglier and uglier. And I wonder sometimes why my ex-husband hates me so. The devastation that I caused him is irreparable. My children suffered not only the loss of a happy home, they suffered having a father who still can’t be in the same room as their mother. I wish with all my heart I could make up for what I did–to take away his hurt and pain, even if he’s over it now, which I’m sure he is. My actions have caused so much heartache to those I love that I will never be able to justify. I’m responsible for the devastation. It was my character defects that were the ultimate problem. My disconnection. My Karma. What a bitch.