dream

I have so much on my heart, and even more in my head – where do I begin?

It’s been 136 days. I am better, but still feel like I am in the midst of the biggest storm of my life.  when will how I feel subside, quiet, and fade into the background?  when will the darkness lift, the light shine, and my happiness return?  I’m forever changed and the last 136 days have shown me sides of myself I didn’t know existed.  I’ve wanted to give up from sheer overwhelm, but I didn’t.  I’ve wanted to cause hurt in terrible ways, but I’ve remained true to who I am and lead with love (for me because I wouldn’t be able to live with myself otherwise). I’ve wanted acknowledgement and understanding of the damage done psychologically, emotionally, financially, and most of all to my ability to trust – but I’ve learned that I most likely will never get that from him, so I struggle with it daily and have to find a way to resolve it for myself.  I’ve seen the hurt in the eyes of my sister, heard the pain and felt the distance from my daughter, and the helplessness from my son and parents.  This has not only happened to me, but it’s happened to my family and they are not without their own sadness and anger because of it.

I’ve asked all of the why’s, and how’s, and turned the past 10 years over and over in my head a billion times to try and understand my part in this – and I’ve concluded that this wasn’t about me. That I loved as hard as I could in the most authentic way I knew how. That I gave everything in a way I’ve never given to anyone else.  I was open, vulnerable, and fully connected to someone who used all of that for their own purpose. I’ve come to understand what narcissistic behavior looks like, what sociopathic tendencies are, and I see now how this had to play out.  I am learning that all the little things that felt wrong, uncomfortable, embarrassing, disrespectful, and sometimes even appalling where a part of the toolkit for a person who sees no wrong with how they move through the world, and has no mirror for who they really are and how they impact others.  When everything is not enough, it has to end. In some ways I’m grateful it was only 10 years of my energy he consumed.

At some point I would like to take this hurt, pain, feelings of shame and failure and use it all in a way that brings good to the world. I know that I don’t have a corner on the market for betrayal or trauma from being in a psychologically abusive relationship, but I do understand these waters. I understand their depth, their irrational flow and their waves.  I understand how someone who has waded, felt drowned by or swam in these waters can feel that no one will understand how this happened to them without any or with very little fault of their own.  I understand how what you think is love can blindside you, and what it feels like to lose all that you planned for in the blink of an eye.  I also know what it’s like to deal with someone who lacks empathy.  It’s mind boggling to me that the act of selfishness can become something to be so proud of, especially and profoundly when it comes at the detriment of someone you said you loved. It is the act of killing the thing you hold most dear for your own selfish pleasure/gain. How does that make sense?  Everyday I question how real it was, how blind I was, and how blinding love is when you fully fall into it.  I question if I will ever be able to fall into it again,  and then I think that my happiness is in there somewhere. My ability to truly love, not for selfish reasons but for reasons the go beyond this space and time. reasons that connect our spirits and energy and bring good to everyone we interact with. that is my reason for love, and no one gets to dictate how I chose to experience it.   How I use this all of this pain, learning and growth is still to be determined, but it won’t go to waste.

I followed a dream. to love a man, to fully accept his flaws as a part of who he was, to support his dreams, and to journey through life with him.  I followed a dream to own a farm, to grow flowers, to live in the country and be surrounded by peaceful pastures.  Both of those dreams are over.  The farm will be put up for sale in a few days, and I’ve never felt loss on this many levels all at once.  The steps I’ve taken to get to this point have been excruciating, and I feel like I’m still at the starting line.  However, I am hopeful that someday I will be able to dream again, and when I do, I will dream with my eyes a little more open.

-n

the downshift

day 100. I’ve never felt lower. lower than when this was all revealed to me. lower than the fights days afterwards when i was just numb and in disbelief. reality has set in. peoples comments and true feeling about the man i spent 10 years of my life loving are all coming at me. i need boundaries. people need to practice empathy. your opinions of him are also your opinions of me and that sucks.

the support i do have is amazing but asking me to tell you what i need is like asking a drowning person if there is anything you can get for them. i don’t know what i need. i am so overwhelmed with decisions to make, coordinated plans to put together, and just getting out of bed some days is beyond a struggle. i just want to sleep. i want to sleep for a year, and wake up to have all of this not been real or have it taken care of. fast forward me to the part where i feel whole and happy and loved by someone who deserves all that i am. right now i don’t feel any of those things, while i imagine he is out in the world having fun, living life to its fullest, not in the least concerned with what he’s left behind, or how i am coping and struggling through each day. karma is a bitch.

if i’ve learned anything – when the people you love or care about are in the midst of a traumatic event, don’t ask what you can do, show up and just start doing, or give suggestions of things you have time and ability to take care of for them. i will try to remember that.

they say i am grieving. that these ripples of feeling great and being back in the valley of deep sadness are a part of the process. i’ve never lost a close family member or friend, so i’ve never experienced this. how long does it last, how many ripples/waves of up and down should i expect? i’m exhausted.

my kids and sister have been amazing – each supporting me in the way that they can. family is family. i am so grateful to have family at this time. the fruit has also been extremely understanding and supportive. thank god for good human beings.

i have never been this overwhelmed or felt this level of pain. my thoughts just spin around and around, morning, noon and night with the why did this happen, how am i going to get through this, what is he doing, i didn’t deserve this, what should i do next, and on and on and on… some days i think i am completely losing myself and being consumed by this sadness. but most days i’m able to push it back just enough to get through the things i need to get through while hiding tears in between meetings and conversations.

the downshift is terrible. i just want off of this rollercoaster. please.

-n

the shift

it’s day 72 for me. seventy two days since he cheated on me with someone he knew online for 2 weeks, requested me to open our “happy” (his words) 10 year committed relationship to become polyamorous, decided that he no longer wanted to be any part of the very new lifestyle change we had made together which involved moving from city life to a life of urban farming on 10 acres, and that because we never married he no longer was going to be responsible for any of the investments (read mortgage/farm). This project started out of my sheer need to share all of my hurt, confusion, and pain and also to provide a place of connection for others dealing with similar scenarios. We don’t talk about the aftermath of what infidelity does to us. We don’t talk about how broken trust on multiple levels changes us forever. I want this space to provide a place for healing to begin. THE SHIFT happened for me yesterday. I don’t know what did it, or why now, but I feel good. I feel hopeful, I feel full of love for myself. I know forgiveness is still something I will have to get to, but for now I feel grateful to be free of the marginalized happiness I was living in. Trying to just do my best to get along and take his shit and pick my battles – no more. I am FREE, WHOLE (or getting there) and HAPPY. I still have a journey ahead of me as we all do, and I will still be here to post uplifting and thoughtful messages. I feel cautious that this feeling may not last, but I’m holding on to it for as long as I can and building on it so that it strengthens day by day! If you’ve made the shift, I’d love to hear about it!! visit http://www.btrayed.com to share your story anonymously, or help someone who is dealing with the pain of infidelity. ❤️

sixty seven days

looking back over the last sixty seven days, my emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual states have all had their own earthquakes going on. i know looking back at this in one year, three years, or five to ten years, 67 days is going to feel like a drop in the bucket for the journey i am on, but in n. fashion, i thought i’d record where i am anyway.

i’d say i’m doing ok. ok is better than poorly, but not as good as great. i think it sums up sixty seven days nicely. my ok days are sprinkled with good ones, and a few bad ones, but for the most part i am finding my balance and feeling less and less wobbly.

emotionally – over the last 67 days emotions have been the lowest of my life. the pendulum swings were wild in the early days. there were times i felt like i was watching myself from outside myself, acting and saying things out of sheer fear, and i wanted to snatch me up and say “girl, get it together, we don’t bargain!” but now i think that it was just part of the process. the swings in the same 3 minutes from i love you to i hate you, or hug me and don’t come near me were alarming. it’s a crazy place to be. crazy as in c r a z y. i’m feeling calmer now, still scared of a lot of things, still really angry, but a tiny bit more settled. remaking parts of the house to remove any trace or memory of him has helped a lot.

physically – i’ve lost 20 pounds. people want to congratulate this, but it feels gross. this is no way to lose weight. and having people notice is a reminder of the trauma i’ve been through – and people do notice. i am not very interested in food, but when i do eat it’s vegetarian and sometimes vegan. every once in a while i’ll have some seafood, but having a kitchen with no meat is amazing!! i feel more focused, a lot lighter (not just from the weight loss), and happy that my change in diet is having a positive impact on the world. [important side-note: watch Cowspiracy on Netflix — it’s 👀 opening!]

mentally – my mind feels like it doesn’t rest. there are so many things to think about. to figure out. to undo, redo, plan for. and then there is the financial impact of all of this. that keeps me from sleeping, throws me into panic, and sometimes paralyzes me. it’s overwhelming the amount of “things” i’ve been left to be responsible for on my own. if this experience doesn’t make me officially a “boss b”, then i don’t know what will. establishing boundaries has been helpful for me mentally, and getting the opportunity to enforce them feels good. i am feeling all the feels mentally as well. i’ve been told that i’m a doer – that doing is the easy part in all of this, but taking time to stop and feel the feelings is actually more important than the doing. so i am being more mindful of that. writing helps. i consider this space my “private” writing, and i’ve started publicly writing on medium.com under the handle ‘theinfidelityproject’. that’s been good for getting out the more sensitive stuff.

spiritually is where i feel the strongest. it’s where i feel the most validated. all of my little reactions or weird feelings about things over the last 10 years have been confirmed as being real. because of that i’ve been shifted into a place of truth. walking through the world not holding back my truth. not sucking it in, and not speaking up. i was raised in a home with a lot of loud voices which made me quiet mine, and avoid saying what i wanted or needed. that no longer serves me in this life. it sucks that it’s taken this long, but i’m grateful for now being able to show up in every situation and say what i need to say when i need to say it – in the moment. i also can clearly see that where i am in my spiritual self awareness, and where he is, are on opposite ends of the spectrum. i feel so free. free to grow, to really find and act on my purpose, and explore the world in a way that makes sense to me. to commemorate that i got a tattoo! LIBRE, it is french for free/freedom.

God is making a way for me in so many ways and i am grateful and thankful every time a perfect situation lands in my path. state your intention, don’t overthink it, and let it go…. things come to you when you do this.

i’ve been mindful of staying in service to others through this as well. i am exercising. i’m pursuing the things that bring me joy, spending time with family and friends – please come for a visit if you’re in the area! it’s harder for me to leave right now for personal travel (animals, finances), but i am always up for overnight guests. i’m finding my happy – slowly. it doesn’t mean i don’t miss what was, i have moments where i do. it’s going to take a while, a long while i think to work the last 10 years out of the fibers that make me me. not all of it, but the deep emotional parts have to go.

i’m picking up my shattered pieces and slowly and carefully putting them back together. selectively putting back only the pieces i want, and creating space for new pieces to form in a stronger way.

sixty seven days – i’m still alive.

(btrayed.com has had over 45k impressions, over 545 visits and a solid 28 submissions. i wasn’t sure i’d even get one, so this too makes me happy. i’ve provided a space for people to share and release their sadness, pain, anger through writing.)

xo. n ❤️

someone I used to know

he was that guy, the one who I loved so much. the one who said he wanted to grow old with me. the one who I felt myself with, who comforted me, and supported me when I needed it. he pushed me to take risks, and pulled me out into the world.

he is the one who connected us to people, it was his nature to be social and to know everyone in a bar by the time we were leaving. I could relax and allow him to be himself which took the pressure of small talk off of me.

we lived at the base of a mountain range, in the center of a city at the end of a historic cable car run, on acres of peaceful pasture land with grazing animals. he is the one I travelled the world with, he was the one, I thought.

I thought I was who he wanted. I thought I was what he wanted. I thought, because it was what he said. He also frequently said — people have the right to change their minds, I just didn’t think I’d be included in the category of “things” he would change his mind about.

he is the guy that over night decided that non-monogomy was what he wanted. he no longer wanted me. he no longer wanted the farm that hundreds of thousands of dollars were invested in for our retirement phase of life. he no longer wanted anything we were building together. he no longer wanted me.

it hurts like hell, but it is also freeing.

now I am the girl who gets to decide what she wants. how she wants it. where she wants to be in the world, and how she wants to live.

I dont forgive him, not yet. I do forgive myself for any feeling of blame. this was not my fault. I am enough. I am more than enough. I am generous, kind, graceful and full of love. I am healing. I am getting stronger, day by day and seeing this for the gift that it is.

he was the guy that crossed my path, spent some time, saw and did some amazing things with me,  but he is no longer anything to me. he is just a guy.

day 53

 

doubt

just as i start to feel a tiny bit of strength returning, something from deep in the darkness grabs an ankle and pulls me under. my chest is tight, i can’t think, the waves of anger are back just as strong as they were in the beginning.

i didn’t sign up for this. for the rug to be pulled out from under me with no warning. there was no fighting or not getting along. no months of anger or resentment. nothing that said “he’s about to cheat on you and leave you overwhelmed with responsibility”.

chickens donkeys dogs a horse, 10 acres and a mortgage. a farm that we were building that we signed up to do together. why now do i have to give up these things because of his selfish choice?

self doubt comes in and says – “can you do this? can you hold it all together, or are you going to fail? are you really strong enough or should you just give up.”

none of this is fair, and my dad said to me repeatedly growing up that life isn’t fair – but I believe that if i work hard, treat people with respect and come from a place of love things should be fair, people should be honest. people shouldn’t lie to you for 10 years and make every memory of your life with them a question. was he really happy on that vacation or was that fake, did he really like hanging out with me or was that just convenient? did he even love me?? was i a fool all along? what is love, will i be able to recognize it – i don’t know if i trust myself.

my hope is that in 45 more days the pain won’t be as intense, the waves will start slowing and my doubt will have decreased.

when i try to think of the worst thing one human can do to another – betrayal in any form makes the top of my list. I really don’t think there is anything more damaging to someone’s past, present and future. and the damage feels permanent. i will be forever changed because of this.

day 46.

repair mode

day 40.

while i feel (for this moment only) like i am able to stand, talk to strangers without spilling my story (it was bad), and think about ME – I am sure that this repair phase will last for some time and as my therapist said “be full of smaller traumas”.

I am hopeful. I am letting go. I am forgiving myself for feeling any kind of blame. I have not made it as far as forgiving him. it’s on my list but pretty far down there.

I am also free. I am feeling the power of freedom stronger and stronger each day. free from worrying about his feelings, his needs, his complexities. I tried with everything I have within me to give him all of me. I am free of that too.

there will be no momentary dopamine hits of excitement for me – there will be true, fully realized happiness, truth of who I am and how I operate in the world, acknowledgment of my cracks, faults, insecurities, and so much work to see them and heal them. I will be happier than i’ve been in a while, more honest, more engaged and for sure more full of love for myself and some future right person.

the repair phase is hard, but empowering and invigorating. it will come with losses, and gains, but it’s mine to design exactly how I want.

love to me!!

“writing while sitting in the biggest japanese stone soaking tub ever & L O V I N G it!”

– n